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Huckleberries: Smile when you say ‘Athol,’ friend

I gave my brother-in-law William a tutorial on Idaho town names during his visit to Coeur d’Alene recently. He’s thinking about moving his family to the area. If he does move, I told him, he needs to change his California license plates ASAP – and pronounce state town names correctly. It’s MOSS-coh, not Mos-COW. Boi-See, not Boy-Zee. Wee-IPE. Kammy-eye. And, of course, CORE-da-lane. Recently, I received a refresher course on the right way to say Gem State town names while viewing “The Idaho Cities Song” video by Peter Bierma. In reporting on Bierma’s clever, rhyming song, KTVB said: “The catchy tune takes listeners on a very fast city-by-city tour of the state, and sets the record straight on the most mispronounced town names.” Bierma explained to KTVB that he was inspired to write “The Idaho Cities Song” after a few mispronunciations of his own. Bierma, of course, gives special attention in his two-minute-plus spiel to ATH-ull, which, he acknowledges, might cause uninformed outsiders to sweat while trying to pronounce it. But it’s a city name guaranteed to cause longtime Idahoans to chuckle.

War on Common Core

Jeremy Morris, the Hayden attorney who is fighting his homeowners association re: his plans to erect a ha-huge Christmas display in his yard, also is involved in a lawsuit against Common Core. He’s one of 10 plaintiffs in the case against Gov. Butch Otter, Superintendent of Schools Sherri Ybarra and Board of Education Chairman Don Soltman. Brent Regan, president of the uber-con Idaho Freedom Foundation, is the lead plaintiff in the suit filed on Sept. 28. The suit filed in U.S. District Court seeks to “cease implementation” of Idaho’s version of Common Core and throw out the state’s testing contract with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Seems Hayden’s Clark Griswold enjoys fights.


Poet’s Corner: “Bulbs by their thousands/will blaze in the nights/because he thought God said,/“Let there be lights” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Misreading Genesis in Hayden”) … Quotable Quote: “I am glad he is happy he won an unopposed election all by himself. Where is that box of ‘Participation Trophies’ ” – Brent Regan of the Idaho Freedom Foundation re: the re-election of Coeur d’Alene Councilman Dan Gookin, who was running unopposed. Ah, didn’t these two guys used to be BFFs? … Retweetable: “Spotify just played me a Depends commercial. On my birthday. Too soon, Spotify, too soon” – reporter Christina Lords of the (Nampa) Idaho Press-Tribune, on her 29th birthday … You can add opinion writer Devin Rokyta of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News to the growing list of those who aren’t impressed with the battle by Hayden attorney Morris to erect his Christmas extravaganza: “Despite his claims, this supposed war has little to do with Christmas, some to do with rules and a lot to do with Morris’ ego and desire for attention” … Poll: On Huckleberries Online (, 69 percent of the readers sided with the homeowners association over Morris in the, ahem, “war on Christmas” showdown … For those keeping score at home, “Today” weatherman Al Roker arrived at Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene at 7:05 a.m. Sunday on the third day of his latest “Rokerthon.” He had already made a stop in Spokane that day and was planning to stop in Missoula afterward … A Post Falls police officer was told Friday that he was needed to check out an attic crawl space after a West Palouse Drive homeowner found the cover ajar. However, the 911 dispatcher added, the resident doesn’t have a ladder. Responded the PFPD Blue: “This should be interesting. I don’t either.”

Parting shot

Some with a political ax to grind – state Sen. Mary Souza and state Rep. Kathy Sims, both R-Coeur d’Alene, come to mind – have spent years fighting the valuable urban renewal law in Coeur d’Alene. Now comes Post Falls City Councilwoman Kerri Thoreson with this statement: “We spent nearly two decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars jumping through the hoops required by the state and federal agencies to have (an I-90 overpass built at Greensferry) with no success. So we invested tax increment financing ‘via urban renewal’ and just built it ourselves.” Sounds like the two legislators from Coeur d’Alene are tone-deaf.