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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Kootenai GOP to discuss whether rights act has too much ‘religion’

The wacky Kootenai County Republicans are at it again. Last month, the Elephants were asked to approve a resolution requesting that Idaho be declared a “Christian state.” They shot that one down sans discussion but not before it gained national attention. On Tuesday, the local Pachyderms will discuss a draft resolution calling for Idaho to “subtract the words” from the Idaho Human Rights Act. Actually, the resolution wants one word subtracted from the act: “religion.” Although the language in the “whereases” is confusing, it appears that the unknown sponsor wants Christian business owners to be able to refuse service to LGBT individuals. The city of Coeur d’Alene has adopted an ordinance that makes such a refusal unlawful. Never a dull moment when the Elephant herd gathers.

Remembering Rocky

The late Rocky Bridges, of Coeur d’Alene, a tobacco-chewing wisecracker who spent 11 years playing major league baseball, has yet another fan. Jeff Banister, manager of the Texas Rangers, keeps Rocky’s old Topps baseball card in a Lucite holder on his desk. In his Texas Rangers Blog, Gerry Fraley reports that Banister counts Bridges among the most influential men in his baseball career: In 1994, at age 66, Bridges was assigned by the Pittsburgh Pirates to work with Banister, then 30 and a new Class A New York-Penn League manager. Reports Fraley: “Banister was full of fire then. He learned from Bridges the value of keeping an even disposition, of letting the players play, of having fun. The development of Jeff Banister, major-league manager, started that summer.” A fitting eulogy.

Heimlich saves day

Thank goodness that some people are trained in the use of the Heimlich maneuver – like that Roger’s Ice Cream & Burgers worker who saved a man from choking last Tuesday. And if the employee hadn’t been available, retired Airman Ed Aycock was eating at the popular Sherman Avenue burger joint, too. Ed, who is also trained in the Heimlich maneuver, reported this incident to Huckleberries.


In the “Students Say the Darndest Things” category, Coeur d’Alene High instructor Bruce Twitchell Facebooks three things he’s overheard his students say recently: In response to his request to total the numbers written on a piece of paper, one girl replied: “You mean like math?” And: “We don’t get along with you because you are too old.” And: “I don’t even like girls, they are annoying. Women is where it’s at!” … Allium Spring Chorus isn’t falling apart. Or being vandalized. The public art piece that resembles a dandelion at the Third Street entrance to Coeur d’Alene’s McEuen Park arrived last year with some broken pieces. Artist David Tonnesen will repair Spring Chorus this spring … All three Republican legislators on the House State Affairs Committee from Kootenai County backed the revamp of the state’s concealed weapons law – Vito Barbieri, Kathy Sims and Don Cheatham. They and other GOP legislators support the unpopular perk that allows elected officials to carry concealed weapons without a permit. The Fiddlers Three seem to think they’re more equal than their constituents … Poll: 62 percent of my Huckleberries Online blog readers support the $80,000 settlement between Craig Jones and the city of Coeur d’Alene – or think it should have been more. Jones? He’s the owner of black Lab, Arfee, who was shot in Jones’ van last summer by a Coeur d’Alene police officer.

Parting shot

For those keeping score at home, four of five North Idaho senators voted for that goofy bill that bans local governments, including school districts, from regulating knives. State Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, was the only regional senator with enough sense to oppose this dangerous bill.

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