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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Idaho’s driver’s license rules ageist

Councilman Dan English of Coeur d’Alene consoled himself last week while waiting and waiting – and waiting – for his turn to renew his driver’s license. At least, Dan thought, he would pay extra and receive a license that was good for eight years, instead of four. But that’s an option in Idaho only if you’re under age 62. Dan no longer is. So, like a teenager getting his first license, Dan was rewarded for his long wait with a four-year one. “I hope some ‘seasoned’ legislator is reading this and plans to right this (wrong) next session,” lamented Dan on his Facebook wall afterward. “Haven’t they heard that the sixties are the new forties?” No, but we now know that for those 62 and up four is the new eight at the DMV.

Also tired of waiting

Clay Larkin, the former mayor of Post Falls, agrees with English that the wait at the licensing office is unbearingly long. How long, you ask? In response to English’s lament, Larkin commented that he usually drives some 50 miles to Wallace, Idaho, to get his license: “We can drive there and back in the time we have to spend in the painful long lines in (Coeur d’Alene) – 10 minutes in and out!” … At Second Street and Indiana Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Independence Day, someone posted the word “Hate!” in black letters below the word “STOP” on a red traffic sign. In other words, a clueless activist thinks it’s OK to send a cultural message by vandalizing public property … Someone in a dinosaur uniform near Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone area on the Fourth of July offered an alternative for passing motorists who won’t vote for The Donald or The Hillary. The sign held by the T-Rex read: “Giant Meteor for president 2016.” Sold … You can thank Kim Ashbaugh (aka Walkabout) for the pristine condition of Tubbs Hill after the Fourth of July celebration in Coeur d’Alene. She worked six hours to pick up 30 grocery-size plastic bags of trash Tuesday.


Poet’s Corner (July 20, 2014): They spread out from the garden/and quiet as a mouse/stretched across the whole backyard –/I fear they’ll take our house – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Cucumbers”) … Quotable Quote:I’m willing to accept the argument that spiders are beneficial and deserve to live. But, frankly, if you’re going to launch yourself off the ceiling on a string, and dangle right in front of my face, or in my hair, then I think you deserve whatever swift death you get” – Trish Gannon, of Clark Fork, owner of the River Journal … Poll: A proposal by the city of Coeur d’Alene to sell about 2 acres of Blackwell Island waterfront on the Spokane River to help upgrade City Hall is wildly unpopular. In a poll on my Huckleberries Online blog Thursday, 84 percent of the readers opposed it … The Kootenai Environmental Alliance tweeted the explanation for the stiff opposition: “Publicly owned water frontage should remain in public ownership. Once it is gone, you can’t get it back.” Bingo … On Thursday, a lifeguard at Honeysuckle Beach on Hayden Lake called the cops to report an “unruly and belligerent” 20-something causing trouble near the boat launch. Yes, a lifeguard. The punk causing trouble should take his act to Coeur d’Alene’s City Beach, where there are no lifeguards this summer … Katrina Swaim of Coeur d’Alene wonders: “Have you ever made a quick stop at Wal-Mart, looked down at your outfit as you’re walking in, and prayed, ‘Please don’t let anyone take a picture of me and post it on the internet’?”

Parting shot

In a recent Carlson Chronicles column, Chris Carlson notes that Idaho is the only state in the Pacific Northwest never to elect a female governor. And he wonders when the Gem State is going to get with the program. Chris said two of the most qualified women in the state live in North Idaho: state Sen. Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, the co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s powerful budget committee. And Sandy Patano, former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig’s state director. Chris is correct. Keough and Patano are brilliant, articulate women. They would represent an upgrade over the current governor.

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