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Huckleberries: An air travel horror story

By D. F. Oliveria The Spokesman-Review

Sara McDrummond didn’t kiss the tarmac at Spokane International after she disembarked Sunday from LAX. But no one would have blamed the Post Falls dental hygienist if she had.

After all, she is now one of a growing number of Americans who have suffered a potential “active shooter” situation.

It began hours before while she waited at Gate 66 of LAX Terminal 6. McDrummond: “All of a sudden, I saw hundreds of people running at full speed toward the ticket counter and screaming.”

McDrummond told Huckleberries she and others heard gunshots.

She took refuge behind a huge pillar, and McDrummond called her husband. Then, she joined a group rushing down the nearby jetway, tripping on luggage, to get out of the line of potential fire. The pilot ordered those in the tunnel to get on the plane for safety.

At that point, McDrummond dialed up her church prayer chain in Hayden and waited. It wasn’t long before the pilot announced that a suspect was in custody. The man reportedly crashed security and ran through the terminal yelling that someone had a gun.

No gun was found, according to media reports. McDrummond finds that curious.

Amazingly, she caught her plane on time, after she endured a lengthy re-screening process. At the end of the day, Sara was grateful to be alive and now has an air travel horror story that tops yours.

Expelled? Vacated?

Don’t use the term “expulsion” to describe the recent 65-0 vote by the Idaho Legislature to boot John O. Green from his House District 2 seat. You might get lectured by Kootenai County GOP chairman Brent Regan. In a Facebook post, attorney Duane Rasmussen used the term after Green was convicted by a federal jury in Texas of conspiring to defraud the federal government. In response, Regan huffed: “As an attorney and a precinct committeeman you have a responsibility to the truth. The Speaker made a motion to find (Green’s) seat vacant per the Idaho Constitution. He did this specifically to avoid the expulsion vote wanted by the democrats.” Regan demanded a correction. You’d think the chairman would be more concerned that Green is now a convicted felon than with parsing words.


Poet’s Corner: Come January we’ll remember/ how bright the sun shone in September – Tom Wobker, The Bard of Sherman Avenue (“Autumn Thought”) … Quotable Quote: On Tuesday, after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Angela Goodman of Rathdrum asked son David, 5, what he had learned in school that day. David: “We learned about a King named Junior who got shot because he wanted to turn the world upside down.” Can you summarize the life of the civil rights leader as well in 20 words or less? … Rick Price, of Sagle, a Green Bay Packers fan, viewed the stop sign at Boyer & Oak in Sandpoint on Sunday morning as a good omen. Below the customary white “STOP” lettering on red, some scamp had pasted the words: “The 49ers.” Sadder but wiser, Rick would learn hours later that wishful thinking doesn’t decide which teams play in the Super Bowl.

Parting shot

What was making front-page headlines in Coeur d’Alene 50 years ago? The dress codes at middle and high schools. The students, according to the Coeur d’Alene Press, asked the school board to allow girls to wear slacks (including corduroy) and jeans during winter. The School Board voted 3-2 against the proposal. However, the board relented on hair length when it came to the boys. They would be allowed to wear sideburns but no lower than their ear lobes. Dang hippies.

You can contact D.F. “Dave” Oliveria at

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