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Opinion >  Column

Huckleberries: You can breathe now at Lakers Inn, but Patrick Jacobs wouldn’t like it

Priest Laker David Smith hung out in his lounge chair lakeside in temperatures around 15 degrees after shoveling 18 inches of snow from his deck and dock around the New Year. (Danielle Smith / Courtesy photo)
Priest Laker David Smith hung out in his lounge chair lakeside in temperatures around 15 degrees after shoveling 18 inches of snow from his deck and dock around the New Year. (Danielle Smith / Courtesy photo)

The late Patrick Jacobs would be spinning in the afterlife if he knew that the hard-boiled Lakers Inn at 407 N. Second St. in Coeur d’Alene had gone smoke-free on New Year’s Day. Patrick, who wrote superb restaurant reviews for this newspaper and his blog, Get Out! North Idaho, predicted in 2012 that a newly installed Smoke-eeter at Lakers “didn’t stand a fighting chance against the hardest of hard-core cig puffers that occupy these barstools from nine o’clock in the morning until two o’clock at night, seven days a week.” The smoke and the attitude and the strong drinks were part of the unpretentious nature of Lakers that Patrick enjoyed. The cigarette smoke isn’t entirely gone, even under the new bar rule, according to Dave Chamberlain of Coeur d’Alene: “You still face the nicotine addict gantlet to get inside. That being said, still an awesome pour at a ridiculous low cost.” Dave said he’ll definitely frequent Lakers more now “because I can breathe.” Patrick would have sneered at the concept.

Not my problem

Herb Huseland of Bayview didn’t hesitate to let ’er drip when he read a notice from the Bayview Water & Sewer District. The district asked residents to quit dripping their faucets during the extreme cold that is hammering the region. The additional capacity was overloading the system, the flier said. But Herb fired back in a post on his Bay Views blog that duty to domicile comes first. He was going to drip his way through the cold snap, unless the sewer and water district indemnified residents from broken pipes. We’ll see who blinks first … Herb wasn’t impressed with forecaster Accuweather either. At 9:26 p.m. Friday, Herb said the Accuweather prediction for Bayview low that night was 5 degrees. The temp at the time was 1 degree.


Your eyes weren’t playing tricks, if you thought you saw a man dressed only in black shorts and shoes sunbathing on a lounge chair on a Priest Lake dock at the turn of the new year. With temperatures hovering around 15 degrees. The Priest Laker was David Smith. He was taking a break after an hour shoveling 18 inches of snow off his deck and dock. With all the focus on polar bear plunges this New Year, Huckleberries thought the polar bear lounge crowd should get equal time … Best New Year’s resolution ever comes from 9-year-old Zu Casey of Coeur d’Alene whose father, Nic, passes it along – to eat more candy. Isn’t it great to still have metabolism working for you? … Quotable Quote: “It is now the same temperature outside as it is inside the freezer” – Huckleberry Friend Sharon Fisher of Kuna … Huckleberries hadn’t thought much about parking lots until Gina Emde Mote of Coeur d’Alene gave a shout-out to Coeur d’Alene Costco for “having the cleanest parking lot in town – no snow.” Saaalute.

Parting Shot

A Huckleberries Friend who teaches high school in rural North Idaho has been following the hubbub launched when online Career Trends by Graphiq said incorrectly that Coeur d’Alene is the worst city in the USA for paying high school teachers. It actually should have been 33rd worst on the Career Trends list – at an average of $47,668. The rural teacher tells Huckleberries: “Cry me a river. I would make $12,000 more a year if I worked for the Coeur d’Alene School District with my experience and education level.” Huckleberries suspects Coeur d’Alene teachers feel the same way about their counterparts in still-better-paying Spokane.

Dave Oliveria writes Huckleberries from North Idaho. He can be reached at (208) 765-7125 or by email at

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