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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Kootenai County driver’s license department delays snag teens, too

Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany)
Dave Oliveria (Colin Mulvany)

Eden Irgens’ daughter, Riley, and my nephew, Joe, shared a coming-of-age experience Tuesday, one they won’t want to repeat for a while. They both visited the driver’s license department at the Kootenai County Courthouse.

They didn’t go together. In fact, they don’t know each other. Riley and Joe simply had the misfortune, like many other Kootenai County residents, to wait for hours for their turn at the licensing window. Joe waited three hours and 30 minutes to take his written exam and driving test for his first license. Riley waited four hours and 15 minutes for her first license. (I’m not making these numbers up.)

Then, Riley had to return the following day to get the actual license. Riley’s mother commented on Facebook: “If a business were run this poorly, it would go under. This is a great example of government administration failure!” Bingo.

Litter bugs

Sheriff Mitch Alexander of Shoshone County is too diplomatic to say it. But a sheriff’s posse member is not. Out-of-county visitors – those from Kootenai County and Washington state – are trashing the north fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Litter crews picked up 57 bags of garbage along the viewtiful stretch of river recently.

Why does the finger point toward out-of-county visitors? Dave Merrick of the sheriff’s posse checked license plates along the north fork over three weekend days in July. They totaled: 284 from Washington, 241 from Kootenai County and 71 from Shoshone County. Dave figures 75 percent of the garbage comes from out-of-county visitors. Slobs.


Poet’s Corner: “She spied in her garden,/so green and so merry,/the happy slugs munching/a sweet, red, ripe, berry” – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“A Northwest Strawberry Festival”) … Tweetable: “My daughter says she’d much rather learn about science at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) than go shopping in Portland” – Trustee Christa Hazel of the Coeur d’Alene School Board. Tagged: #AttaGirl #ScienceChicksRule #STEM #LoveToLearn … Poll: 72 percent of my Huckleberries Online readers say felons convicted of murder in the slaying of a police officer should be executed … Redux: Some 45 years ago, Tom Hearn asked for my vote and many others as a student body candidate for vice president at my alma mater, Chico State University (Chico, California). Last week, Tom showed up at my door asking for my vote for the Idaho state Legislature. Tom, a Democrat and a Coeur d’Alene school trustee, lost by 19 votes at Chico. We’ll see how he does against Republican Paul Amador in November … Quotable Quote: “I think people who get in trouble should have to sand drywall as a punishment” – Trish Gannon of Clark Fork, publisher of the River Journal, during a break from sanding drywall. … Panhandlers in Coeur d’Alene are getting sneakier. Take the one who put a few items in a grocery cart and rolled it onto Fruitland Lane near the Dollar Store Thursday – puh-LEEZ. When motorists stopped, the guy jumped out of the bushes and asked for money … Bumpersnicker spotted by S-R photog Kathy Plonka on Northwest Boulevard near Coeur d’Alene’s Riverstone on Friday: “We’re screwed – 2016” … You weren’t seeing things at Tubbs Hill Thursday evening if you thought the Little Mermaid had washed ashore. Tim Suenkel (Prince Eric) and Natalie Colvin (Ariel) were posing for promo shots for the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid,” which runs Aug. 11-28. Artistic Director Jadd Davis enjoys using Coeur d’Alene’s fab scenery for his play promos (photographed by Chris Wooley of Heads and Tails Photo).

Parting shot

In the “Have You Hugged a Republican and/or Democrat Today” Dept., former Bonners Ferry Mayor Darrell Kerby cautions Facebook friends not to go cuh-razy about politics. After all, Darrell says, “your friends and neighbors, regardless of their political beliefs, have been, and will always be, there for you. Unlike politicians who come and go.” Read: Don’t unfriend someone because he or she is voting for Donald. Or Hillary.

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