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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Take the candy to the bathroom, go directly to jail

There aren’t many candy bars out there worth a misdemeanor shoplifting citation, let alone a felony charge. Maybe a Snickers. Or a giant peanut butter cup. But not much else. Which makes Huckleberries wonder about the 72-cent candy bar from Post Falls Super 1 that landed a woman back in the county jug last week. According to Post Falls police, the woman gobbled the candy bar in the store bathroom and then paid for other items before leaving the store. When she was nailed by store security for stealing the candy bar, she lied about her name. Why? She told security that she had been released from jail that morning – and had been warned by a judge that she would be charged with a felony next time she was caught stealing. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

Bikini weather?

And to think that I saw it at City Beach – last Sunday afternoon, when the temperatures had dipped to 23 degrees: A young woman in a red bikini was being photographed on the cement steps at Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene. After the final click, Bikini Girl bolted for a beach towel nearby and then to an extended-cab red pickup near the North Idaho Museum. P’haps she was practicing for the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day? … Speaking of which, Dave Wagner, of Coeur d’Alene, a veteran polar bear plunger, tells Huckleberries that the winter dip in frigid Lake Coeur d’Alene ain’t all that bad. The key, sez he, is to strip off external clothing five minutes before the plunge. Then, you’re so cold and numb that the water seems warm. However, Dave cautions, the uninitiated should be sure to wear proper footwear when taking the plunge because it’s hard to knock sand off your feet when you’re shivering and trying to dress again in a hurry.

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “If you have food/and water too/and walls the winds/don’t blow straight through,/no killer gangs/outside the door/to rob from you/when they want more,/then this, my friend, should be your motto:/thank you, God,/ I’ve won the Lotto” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Thanksgiving in a World of 7 Billion”) … In a story about “The 19 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America,” Matt Teaford of the Impulcity website lists three Pacific Northwest towns: Ketchum, Idaho, Leavenworth, Washington, and The Dalles, Oregon. No Coeur d’Alene. No Sandpoint. No Wallace. No way … Idaho is among the most charitable states in this country. The Gem State tied for third with Kansas, two notches behind charitable Utah. Washington was eighth. Now, if Idahoans would only practice that charity when it comes to public schools … Idaho may already be “Californicated.” According to a New York Times interactive map, 47 percent of Idahoans were born in the Gem State. But the next largest block – 12 percent – were born in California (probably conservative Orange County) … Last week, the police scanner in Kootenai County reported that a car owner found a dead squirrel under the windshield wiper. Which isn’t cool. But it beats a horse head in your bed in the morning.

Parting shot

Tony Stewart, a Kootenai County human rights leader, is catching flak for his statements about a traveling holocaust exhibit that focuses on Nazi extermination of gays during World War II. The exhibit is on display at the Human Rights Education Institute of Coeur d’Alene. The flak has come from letters to the editor in the Coeur d’Alene Press. The letter writers brushed aside the enormous contribution to the community made by Tony and the task force in fighting the Aryan Nations during the last 35 years. The late Kootenai County undersheriff Larry Broadbent once summed up that contribution succinctly to a group of nervous local businessmen: If it hadn’t been for the task force, Broadbent said in the 1980s, there would be 600 Aryan Nations members walking Coeur d’Alene streets instead of 60. Who knows how many there’d be now.

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