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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Ex-Mayor Steve Judy’s dilemma recast in ‘Coeur d’Alene’ play

The play “Coeur d’Alene” by Arizonan Lisa Jayne is based on events in the Lake City in 1998 when Steve Judy was a 27-year-old mayor. It focuses on Judy’s handling of a request from the Aryan Nations to stage a parade in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

The names have changed. But you can recognize some of the characters. “Thomas Metzler” is former Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler. “Danny White” is human-rights activist Tony Stewart. Judy and his wife, Michelle, are identified under their own names.

The dialogue and situations in the script are plausible or mirror what happened. Except the part about the lemons-to-lemonade drive. Remember? The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations used the neo-Nazi parade to raise money for human rights by collecting pledges for every minute that the goose-steppers walked.

In the play, Judy eagerly embraces the idea. In reality, I remember Judy fretting over coffee with me at the Ironwood Square Starbucks. He wondered if he could trust “Democrats” like Stewart and local human rightists to take an apolitical approach to the lemons-to-lemonade drive. Judy was a staunch Republican. The task force has always made dominant Republicans in Coeur d’Alene nervous.

Ultimately, Judy did the right thing and welcomed the lemons-to-lemonade gambit. The Sieg Heilers raised $35,000 for human rights by marching 27 minutes. That’s the important part.


Bonner County instructor Rick Price sums up well the calamity that has hit the Sandpoint area: “Sandpoint is going through a rough patch, and it has us all a bit rattled. In the past month we’ve had two amazing young women hit by trains, Captain Lyons, one of our best and brightest, killed in war, our mayor dying, and today someone else killed in a wreck on 95, a road that everyone uses. Keep us in your thoughts.” And prayers … On her Facebook wall Wednesday, KXLY weathermeister Kris Crocker laments: “Got caught adjusting my bra strap on the news tonight, sooooo … is it Friday yet?” … That guy flicking his cigarette lighter while gassing up at the Ironwood Square station in Coeur d’Alene was lucky Darwin’s Law wasn’t in effect Thursday. He lit himself and his car on fire, but he extinguished both without suffering burns.


The officer en route to investigate smoke in the woods behind the Coeur d’Alene Target store got a sober warning from a dispatcher Monday. The transients who camp there can be violent. Now there’s something you won’t see on a chamber of commerce brochure … According to, newspaper reporters (No. 8) have more stress than police officers (No. 9) but slightly less than firefighters (No. 3), airline pilots (No. 4) and event planners (No. 5). Someone should have mentioned that before I began newspapering 44 years ago … Poll: Huckleberries blog readers say that uberconservative Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, is the Kootenai County legislator most likely to say or do something embarrassing during the 2014 session … About 90 minutes. That’s how long it took the operator of a front-end loader to knock down the little white building across from the Coeur d’Alene bureau of The Spokesman-Review on Monday afternoon. The building has housed several businesses, including the Pasty Depot and a chicken place that featured a man dressed as a rooster out front waving to motorists. Not enough stopped to keep the business alive, I suppose.

Parting shot

David Bond of the Wallace Street Journal appreciates the photos of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter that have appeared on the Huckleberries blog lately: “Dear Spokesman-Review,” he posts, “please print more photographs of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter in your newspaper so those of us in Shoshone County can remember what he looks like.”

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