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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: Birthday got no lift from elevator

Dave Oliveria (SR)
Dave Oliveria (SR)

Coeur d’Alene violinist Cathyanne Nonini will remember her 61st birthday on Monday, May 23, because it didn’t go well. It started out OK, however. Cathyanne, wife of state Sen. Bob Nonini, and her sister, Paulette, were enjoying time together at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, when they entered an elevator. They were the only two in it. Between floors, the sisters heard a “kerthunk,” and the elevator stopped. Cathyanne rang the elevator buzzer. Nothing. Then she used the phone to contact security. The voice on the other end said help was on the way. When it didn’t arrive in 10 minutes, Cathyanne called again. Thirty minutes after the initial call, the women heard clanging above them. Forty-five minutes into the ordeal, a fireman removed a panel in the elevator ceiling and peeked in, using a flashlight to see into the darkened interior. At that point, the rescuers were working against nature, or at least the call thereof. The women were advised to use a corner of the elevator if they really needed to. They decided they could wait. Finally, a ladder was lowered and the two were helped out. Cathyanne’s sister suffered a leg injury exiting and landed in an ER. Before Paulette’s release, a concerned nurse asked if she, with her injured leg, would have to climb many stairs at her hotel. Paulette said no. The hotel had elevators. Responded the nurse, “Oh dear, you are not going to get into another elevator are you?” At least not with a full bladder.

Locals don’t vote

Kootenai County is a good example of that old adage: You can lead an adult to register to vote. But you can’t make him or her vote. OK, maybe it had something to do with horses and water. The percentage of local voter turnout has remained low this century, before and after 2011, when the Idaho GOP successfully sued to close its primary. Voting percentages in the closed-primary era are: 2016, 22.61 percent; 2014, 21.72 percent; and 2012, 21.22 percent. Voter turnout percentage in the open primary era? Better, if you go back a ways: 2010, 22.35 percent; 2008, 21.37 percent; 2006, 24.57 percent; 2004, 24.14 percent; 2002, 28.92 percent; and 2000, 31.72 percent. None of those percentages impresses. Idaho would do much better with a mail-in system. But that won’t happen. It’d be harder for GOParty Big Shots to influence the outcome if too many average Joes and Janes voted.


Poet’s Corner (On Oct. 19, 2003, Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler was running for Hayden mayor. Butler received few votes. But his ill-fated race was noted in rhyme): “I am the man to lead this town/And bring us national renown./If sufficient votes I gather/Hayden will be on Dan Rather” – Tom Wobker, the late Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Butler for Mayor”) … How do social media connect in a small town? A friend of Marianne Love’s niece lost a purse containing a bunch of money in Sandpoint on May 28. Marianne posted the fact in her Slight Detour blog. The man who found the purse read the blog post. And voila. Owner, purse and money were reunited. What? Things don’t happen like that in your town? … In preparing for a round trip to Twin Falls, Idaho, Taryn Thompson Googled “The Top 10 Things to find in Arco.” But found only two things. Which is two more than Huckleberries thought there would be … Visit Idaho has been cranking out paid-content Top 5 lists that feature Coeur d’Alene. Top 5 Idaho cities “with dog-friendly adventures”: Boise, McCall, Stanley, Coeur d’Alene and Sun Valley … And: “Five Restaurants in Coeur d’Alene that Will Blow Your Mind” (in descending order): Drummin’ Up BBQ, Adventures in Deliciousness, Beverly’s, Satay Bistro and Fire Artisan Pizza. My blog crowd added some of its own to the list: Carambola, Moon Time, Paragon, Garnet and the new Bluebird (in Midtown) … Bumpersnicker (on a white Ford pickup pulling into O’Reilly’s on Appleway on Thursday evening): “Guns don’t kill people, fathers with pretty daughters do.”

Parting shot

S-R colleague Alison Boggs wants to get this message to the driver who hit that young, red heeler mix while driving through Spokane’s Perry District Thursday evening: It wasn’t your fault. Alison was walking her two dogs home when she saw the pup run off leash into traffic. The young pup was hit by a car and died almost instantly. Later, a friend of the dog’s owner asked Alison and other witnesses to spread the word that the accident was unavoidable, hoping it would get back to the motorist. Consider it done.

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