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

Huckleberries: Happy family, or at least trigger-happy

We’ve all seen those symbols on vehicles that represent a family, with figures outlined in white on the rear window – Dad, Mom, some kids and maybe a dog. Well, teacher Debra Cashman, of Rathdrum, knew she was in Idaho, Toto, when she pulled behind a Chrysler Town & Country minivan near her hometown McDonald’s on Wednesday. The car belonged to a family of six. They were represented in descending order by a semi-automatic rifle for father, a hunting rifle with a scope for mother, a shotgun, a .22 rifle, and two sons of a (hand) gun for the smaller children. Gun control for that family is – a steady hand.

Still here

Superintendent Matt Handelman, with a slight raise and one-year contract extension in hand, is no longer fishing for another job in Washington state waters. Shortly after news surfaced that Handelman was a finalist for the superintendent’s job in Edmonds, Washington, Handelman emailed Coeur d’Alene Public Schools staff: “In case you’re following my emails, I am no longer in the running in Edmonds. And, as I wrote last week, I remain your servant leader.” Until the grass grows greener again on the other side of the fence?

Too much Trump

The current spat over wives between GOPrez candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz was the last straw for Dave Chamberlain, of Coeur d’Alene. Dave installed a Block Trump app on Google Chrome. “It doesn’t get rid of ALL the Trump stuff,” reports Dave, “but it brings it down to a more palatable roar. Makes searching so much nicer.” Now if someone would only invent an app that would produce better candidates for president.


Poet’s Corner: “The tulips grew/in one bright bunch;/some deer strolled by/and had their lunch” – The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Why They Invented Fences and Rifles”) … Herb Huseland stayed up until midnight one day last week to see if he’d live until his 78th birthday. He did. The former S-R correspondent from Bayview then celebrated that he’d “dodged the Grim Reaper this long” … Bumpersnicker: “Work Harder: Millions of welfare recipients depend on you” (on a blue VW belonging to a student from Bonner County who parks along Dike Road near North Idaho College) … Why Ask Why: “If 2,140 excited Democrats can attend tedious caucuses in ruby-red Kootenai County to show their support for Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, why oh why can’t they focus their energy on local elections that matter more to the average resident?” … Poll: By more than 2-to-1, readers of my Huckleberries Online blog said they would rather see U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders live at a rally than former President Bill Clinton … Quotable Quote: “The little Supreme Court in my head says this is OK” – Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Sandpoint, dismissing the probable unconstitutionality of his bill to permit the Holy Bible in schools as a reference book … The slimy reptile that Kim Ashbaugh photographed climbing out from under a rock on Tubbs Hill last week wasn’t a snake. Or a North Idaho legislator. It was a western skink.

Parting shot

In the mid-1990s, you couldn’t find a Republican running for office who wasn’t yammering about term limits. Many of those running for Congress promised three terms and out. The late congresswoman Helen Chenoweth was one of the few who fulfilled that pledge. Now, flash forward to today. David Keyes, the former Bonner County Bee publisher, term-limited himself after 10 years on the Idaho Lottery Commission. David’s term actually lasted eight years. But he was appointed to fill the last two years of another term. After giving Gov. Butch Otter notice that he was one and done, David joked with friends that he was looking forward to a privilege denied him for a decade by his lottery duties – buying a Powerball ticket. Tongue firmly cheeked, Dave Facebooked: “Don’t be surprised if I win. I know the secret.” Stay tuned.

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