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Huckleberries: Brit puzzled by tale of two Idaho shootings

Reporter Paul Lewis of London’s Guardian newspaper called Huckleberries last week trying to figure out two police shootings within 14 hours last July in North Idaho. He was amazed at the community anger after the Coeur d’Alene police shooting of Craig Jones’ 2-year-old black Labrador, Arfee. And also by the lack of outrage over the Sandpoint police shooting of a troubled, pregnant woman the night before. I confirmed that Coeur d’Alene police received hate mail and even death threats following the Arfee shooting and pointed him toward CPD spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood. And the reaction to the killing of 35-year-old Jeanetta Riley in Sandpoint July 8? Not so much, I said. In a lengthy article Friday (“A tale of two killings: What happened when Idaho police shot a dog and a pregnant woman in one day”), Lewis bottom-lines: “The divergent reactions to the police killings of Riley, a mother of three, and Arfee, a Labrador-hound mix, speaks to a disturbing indifference to some human lives lost during encounters with police.” Lewis provides in-depth background about the two shootings. His report is worth Googling.

Ilah for Legislature

From the fourth grade to the eighth grade, Ilah Hickman, 14, of Boise, has fought to have the giant salamander designated as Idaho’s state amphibian. She succeeded this year after the Idaho Senate voted 33-2 in favor of the amphibian and the hard-hearted House State Affairs Committee flip-flopped in her favor after first killing the salamander bill. After Gov. Butch Otter signed legislation that elevated the salamander to Idaho rock-star status last week, some legislators told Ilah that she should consider a career in politics. A Huckleberries blog commenter agreed that Ilah should run for the Idaho House of Reptiles, er, Representatives someday: “They need your wisdom. You are the future of this state, and I can’t wait until you and the countless others you have inspired take the place of those that you have fought all these years.” Reps. Kathy Sims and Ron Mendive, both R-Coeur d’Alene, don’t second that emotion. They voted against the salamander. Twice. And you thought salamanders were cold-blooded?


“One single day’s too short by far/to honor all the fools there are;/just check the news and you’ll agree/we need a month… or two… or three” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue. (“April Fool’s Day”) … For those keeping score at home, all 10 North Idaho legislators supported the House GOP-sponsored tax shift (HB 311) that would have cut taxes for Idaho’s wealthiest at the expense of the middle class. Luckily, the Idaho Senate put the kibosh on the risky proposal … For this week’s Quotable Quote, Huckleberries turns again to Chairwoman Christa Hazel of the Coeur d’Alene School Board, who summed up the feelings of many last Sunday when she said: “End of Gonzaga AND ‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 5, today. Withdrawal starts tomorrow” … You heard about the guy who received a misdemeanor citation for calling Post Falls 911 a dozen times to ask the cops to make sure he wasn’t overbilled on a $30 tab from a bar that booted him. But did you know that the PFPD also helped a resident who arrived at police HQ with a Canada goose entangled in fishing line? Police Chief Scot Haug’s troops can handle a wide range of circumstances.

Parting shot

Huckleberries figured the patrol officer who used “Q for Queen” to spell out the name of a motorist he’d pulled over at 12:48 p.m. Friday had good taste in music. “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions” come to mind. But then Huckleberries learned that the “Q for Queen” is part of the standard police phonetic alphabet. And another Huckleberries column bites the dust.

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