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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene newcomer misfires in challenge to incumbent Edinger

Toby Schindelbeck, a relatively recent California transplant, should fire the advisers helping him run his campaign for the Coeur d’Alene City Council.

First, he angered some residents in a debate with Councilman Ron Edinger by saying he knows from his experience in California how to help Coeur d’Alene avoid becoming another Oakland. Or Spokane. Coeur d’Alene residents love being told by a newcomer – especially from California – what they’re doing wrong. Not.

Secondly, Schindelbeck’s campaign circulated a flier stating that Edinger is a “registered Democrat” and a career politician. Many Lake City residents consider a Democrat to be almost as bad as an ex-Californian. Funny thing, though? Edinger is a registered Republican.

Finally, the Second Amendment Alliance of southern Idaho supported Schindelbeck by depicting Edinger on its Facebook page as being anti-gun. But Edinger owns three guns and is part of a gun-loving and hunting family. The Second Amendmenters advocate permitless carry of concealed firearms. They misfired at Edinger because he voted for a city ordinance that banned guns from Coeur d’Alene parades. The ordinance was put in place years ago to prevent the defunct Aryan Nations from carrying loaded firearms during its reign of annoyance. So who’s counting? Is that strike three for Schindelbeck? We’ll find out on Nov. 3.

Technical difficulties

In the candidate debate, 79-year-old Edinger asked several times for the moderators from the Coeur Group to repeat a question. Some have made an issue of that. Now comes Jeff Crowe of CdA TV, which filmed the debate, to say that it could have been a technical issue. In another debate that evening, Councilman Steve Adams, 49, asked for a question to be repeated. Or the problem might have been with one of three men asking questions. Says Jeff: “After the event, a few folks said they had an issue with this panelist, not because they could not hear him, but that he was talking so fast they could not understand him.” Jeff wondered if those criticizing Edinger might be guilty of “a bit of age discrimination.” Bingo.

Brain cramp

How do you know when Columbus Day has gotten confusing? Taryn Thompson of Rathdrum offers the answer: “When you tell the kids there is no school Monday so they can stay an extra night at dad’s house and then you wake up Monday morning, look at the calendar and realize there IS school and your kids are still asleep in Spokane.”


Jim Pierce’s 7-year-old pooch, Vandal, got too close to a porcupine Sunday while Jim was pheasant hunting near Plummer. Vandal’s reward? A face full of quills, including some that stuck in the mutt’s tongue. Jim, of Coeur d’Alene, tells Huckleberries: “I got them all out while we were in the field. I had some needle nose pliers in the truck. She was pretty patient.” Bets she won’t do that again … Poet’s Corner: “The leaves on the maples/are red as the dawn;/today they’re on branches,/tomorrow, your lawn” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Gentlemen, start your rakes”) … 911 dispatcher talking to ISP officer about a man lying in the grass along I-90, near Highway 95 in Coeur d’Alene Thursday, wearing a fedora. “A what?” asked the responding ISP officer. “A fedora – like Indiana Jones,” came the answer. That was followed by an appreciative chuckle from the officer … Facebook Friend Jill Kuraitis wonders: “What is the statute of limitations on keeping the box your computer came in?” Anyone? … Poll: A plurality of 41 percent of my Huckleberries Online readers say Columbus Day should be left as it is. However, 27 percent say it should be transformed to honor the country’s indigenous peoples.

Parting shot

For those keeping score at home, Tara Malek, the wife of state Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, has taken a job as special assistant U.S. attorney general for Canyon County. That’s Canyon County, as in Southern Idaho. Luke, also an attorney, tells Huckleberries, however, that he plans to remain in Coeur d’Alene – and even seek re-election to his legislative seat next year. Luke is the answer to the trivia question: Which legislator drives Kootenai County Tea Party adherents nuts because he is competent and not afraid of them?

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