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Huckleberries: Hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d’Alene? Don’t hold your breath

UPDATED: Wed., March 8, 2017, 7:47 a.m.

"I love the energy," said Geri Rogers of Coeur d'Alene as she photographed the time trials for the Diamond Cup hydroplane races on Aug. 30, 2013. The 2013 races remain the only one staged on Lake Coeur d’Alene since the 1960s, although there have been many attempts to revive them. (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW file photo)
"I love the energy," said Geri Rogers of Coeur d'Alene as she photographed the time trials for the Diamond Cup hydroplane races on Aug. 30, 2013. The 2013 races remain the only one staged on Lake Coeur d’Alene since the 1960s, although there have been many attempts to revive them. (Kathy Plonka/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW file photo)

Coeur d’Alene has this thing for hydroplane races. Or at least some of those in influential positions have a thing.

Twenty-seven years ago the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce announced support for hydroplane racing on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Some thought the chamber was running interference for Duane Hagadone. The Coeur d’Alene resort/newspaper owner had tried unsuccessfully in fall 1985 to persuade the City Council to sign off on the races.

I was covering the meeting in 1985 when the council voted 4-3 to let voters decide the matter. Then-Mayor Jim Fromm cast the tie-breaking vote, despite Hagadone’s threat that he would pull the proposal if the matter went to the voters. Hagadone did. Maybe Hagadone knew what was coming. In the advisory vote, 74 percent opposed the return of hydroplane racing. Many recalled the downtown riots that raged during the 1960s races.

Chamber boosters didn’t bring the races back in 1990. Nor did others for years afterward, until Labor Day Weekend 2013, when races east of Coeur d’Alene ended in indebtedness. Sheriff Ben Wolfinger refused to issue a race permit the following year, unless organizers got their financial house in order. They didn’t. Financial problems dogged organizers in 2015 and 2016 also.

And this year? Organizers have already pulled the request for a race permit.

Don’t hold your breath about future hydroplane races until you see the rooster tails on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Oh say can he see

Huckleberries hears from artistic director Jadd Davis of the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre that a prize vocal student of his will combine twin passions this spring.

Ryan Schneider, 13, a fine Coeur d’Alene baseball player, has been invited to sing the National Anthem at a Los Angeles Dodgers spring training game. Ryan apparently is an INSANE – Jadd’s caps not Huckleberries’ – Dodger fan. “I love when my students succeed,” Jadd tells Huckleberries. “But it’s even cooler when they get to do something that transcends boundaries for them.”

Huckleberries

Poet’s Corner: “To assure your job/Won’t turn to vapor,/Please use both sides/Of the toilet paper – Remember The Bard (“Budget Cut Blues”) … Tired of Facebook telling you that there’s more snow in the forecast day after day? So is KXLY weathermeister Kris Crocker, who fired back Monday: “Hey Facebook! You don’t tell ME the weather! I tell YOU the weather!” Kris added a “feeling threatened” emoji to underscore her point … Sherry Krulitz, of Pinehurst, also is fed up with the groundhog’s accurate 2017 prediction: “I’m trying to think positive. But I’m starting to feel like I’m living in a ‘snow globe.’ Someone needs to quit shaking it.”

Poll: A near supermajority (62.39 percent) of my Huckleberries Online crew says the more invasive pat-downs planned by TSA airport security in wake of a critical 2015 report are “overkill.”

Parting shot

If you didn’t get the memo – that you can’t ride legal Idaho studs into Washington after March 31 – you might get a $124 citation as a reminder. Judging from the sound of studded tires whirring on Coeur d’Alene streets near North Idaho College recently, some of you fellow Spudheads should tie a ribbon around your finger.

You can contact D.F.

Oliveria at daveo@spokesman.com. Or follow his blog (www.spokesman.com) and/or Twitter (@HucksOnline).