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Huckleberries: Former CdA parks boss creative, but not doggedly so

In his three decades of service to Coeur d’Alene, no city employee was more creative than former Parks Director Doug Eastwood.

Doug was the Johnny Appleseed of city parks, creating green space with limited budgets and unlimited imagination. Doug’s creativity has limits, however. Ask his friends and family. Or his string of yellow-haired dogs with Labrador blood in them. They all answered to Smokey or Smokie, depending on the sex. Doug’s father started the trend when preteen Doug brought a shepherd-Lab mix home. “That looks like a Smokey,” Dad said.

And Smokey it was, for dog after dog. Smokey 2 was an Australian shepherd-Lab mix with golden hair. Smokie 3 was a Lab rescue dog with yellow hair, only Doug felt a small change was in order due to gender. Doug picked up Smokie 4 as an 8-week-old pup. After she died, Doug went Smokey-less for several years before a co-worker introduced him to a 4-month-old golden Lab in need of a home. However, she was already named Millie – and responded to that name. So the chain of Smokeys ended.

Such was Doug’s attachment to a uniform name for his yellow Labs that a cousin once joked with Doug’s younger daughter, Valerie, that she was lucky she wasn’t named Alicia 2, after her older sister.

Value of one man

Almost eight years ago to this day, The Spokesman-Review applauded community activist Hobart Jenkins, of Bayview, for his work in protecting water quality and fish habitat for Idaho waterways. Rather than bow out and relax after an active life, the editorial said, Jenkins rolled up his sleeves when the expansion of a Bayview marina destroyed tens of thousands of kokanee fry with a value estimated at $1.4 million. For that, the developer faced a fine of only $2,500, a travesty. Jenkins, said this newspaper’s editorial, “became the spokesman for the outrage, the sorrow, the injustice.” In the end, the Idaho Legislature increased the fine for such future waterway damage.

Of the legislation, Jenkins said at the time, “It’s sort of like locking the barn door after the horse is stolen, but it will have a future effect. There are developers who will pay attention to it and do the right thing.” Hobart, who taught us the value of one committed man or woman, died Tuesday at age 92.


There’s a reason why the superb Coeur d’Alene Library staff may have seemed lethargic Thursday afternoon – St. Patrick’s Day. As is her custom, Library Director Bette Ammon baked potatoes for her staff. The worker bees provided the toppings, side dishes and desserts. One hired hand said the staff ate “like kings and queens.” And later slept like babies? … Poet’s Corner: “Raise a glass now to Patrick,/and may God hold him near,/for he’s the very great saint/who brought Ireland green beer” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“St. Patrick’s Toast”) … Idaho has plenty of fighters in the Legislature, for every goofy idea under the sun. But it could get a “lover” if Paul Amador KOs state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, in the GOPrimary. That’s what his name means – in Portuguese … Spring forward, humbug: Daylight saving time isn’t popular with my Huckleberries Online blog readers – or at least 63.5 percent of them … Win, or most likely lose: The best name for a newcomer in a Kootenai County legislative race belongs to Coeur d’Alene Democrat Turns to the East. Man? Woman? Dunno. But Turns to the East will have to get past Pat Mitchell of Coeur d’Alene for a shot in November at the seat now held by Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene.

Party shot

In the wacky world of Kootenai County politics, “Democrat” Tina Kunishige is trying to fund her “constitutional sheriff” candidacy with a GoFundMe account. Which could cause her headaches when she is required to list names and addresses of contributors of $50 and more for campaign finance reports.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem yet. In the first four days of the GoFundMe effort, Tina has raised only $190 of her $25,000 campaign goal. Still, she’s assured a place on the general election ballot unless a real Democrat – one without ties to the Republican Party and constitutionalist Oath Keepers movement like Tina has – steps forward as a write-in candidate in the primary.

Follow Dave Oliveria’s North Idaho blog, Huckleberries Online, at He can be reached at, (208) 765-7125.

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