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This column reflects the opinion of the writer. Learn about the differences between a news story and an opinion column.

Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Lady Lola cruises back into view

In case you wondered what happened to the Lady Lola after Duane Hagadone sold her for $90 million in 2004, S-R reporter Scott Maben and Darrell Kerby of Bonners Ferry have the answer.

Recently, Scott spotted the Coeur d’Alene multimillionaire’s megayacht in Victoria, British Columbia. Darrell gawked at it at the Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle.

Seems Hagadone bought his ship back in 2011 for $47 million and offered it for sale again in 2015, according to SuperYachtFan. The website estimates Hagadone’s wealth at $800 million.

So why am I telling you all this? For a mere $430,000, you can treat up to 10 guests to a once-in-a-lifetime cruise by renting the Lady Lola for a week. If you have to look at your bank balance to decide whether you can afford the rental, you can’t.

Fender bender

When we last encountered Eden Irgens’ daughter, Riley, she was emerging with her first driver’s license after the usual ungodly wait at the Kootenai County Courthouse office. Now we learn that Riley has already been involved in a fender-bender. But her mom isn’t complaining.

Running late Wednesday morning, Eden backed out of her Coeur d’Alene garage only to be stopped by a small “crunch.” Eden’s left rear bumper had introduced itself to Riley’s right front bumper. Eden’s tears brought neighbors, who checked to see if she was OK. That, and the fact that no one was hurt, cheered Eden up.

“That is the happy ending to this story,” Facebooks Eden. “It’s just money, right?” And a bruised ego.

So long, Howie

Joe Butler, of our marketing web team, remembers sportswriter Howie Stalwick from their days together at the Coeur d’Alene Press: “He has an encyclopedic knowledge of anyone who has ever played on, visited or flown over Spokane/E Washington athletic fields. But he always felt that while sports were important, they weren’t everything.”

Joe recalls a scathing column about Spokane schools for continuing to play scheduled games on Sept. 11, while other schools canceled theirs. Recently, Stalwick pulled the plug on a career that included stops at the Press, S-R and Oregonian. Howie could be a handful. But he was worth the headaches.


Washington poet laureate Tod Marshall is planning an early Christmas present for the many fans of the late Tom Wobker, whom you knew here as The Bard of Sherman Avenue. Tod is putting the finishing touches on a 64-page book that’ll contain 250 of Tom’s small poems that first appeared in Huckleberries. Tod hopes to have the book finished for a Coeur d’Alene reveal this fall. Huckleberries will keep you posted … Taylor Viydo, the talented roving KREM-2 reporter who keeps track of such things, can add two more to his list of power poles that have been shaved off by errant motorists – one owned by Avista and one by Kootenai Electric Co-op. Both were leveled after Taylor’s recent story about the unusual number of crashes between vehicles and KEC power poles … The Idaho GOP could use that class in civility offered by the GOP-dominated Idaho Legislature. On Thursday, @IdahoGOP was promoting a $6 bumper sticker via Twitter that reads: “Hillary for Prison 2016.” Tsk tsk … Poll: If you think “lady” is an offensive term, you should know that 92 percent of my Huckleberries blog readers disagree … Huckleberries hates to break this to Spokane boosters, but the top reason – by a 2-to-1 margin – that North Idaho residents visit Spokane is – (drum roll, please) airport runs.

Parting shot

You aren’t the only one wondering why blustery Trustee Ron Nilson is still on the North Idaho College board. After all, three months ago Nilson announced he was quitting because he wanted no part of an alleged college takeover. Word has it that he wanted to be at the August meeting to officially welcome new President Richard MacLennan. Nilson served on the search committee. He’ll be done Aug. 31. We’ll wait to exhale.

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