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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bard of Sherman Avenue’s poems raise money for Hospice

For 14 years, the Bard of Sherman Avenue would send little rhymes to Dave Oliveria, who hosts The Spokesman-Review’s Huckleberries Online blog. Now, after his death, 200 of Tom Wobker’s poems have been collected in a chapbook.

Huckleberries: The Bard’s passing had gentle touch

Tom Wobker, the Bard of Sherman Avenue, left us on April 23, the purported 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. But his poetry will live on through this column and the Huckleberries Online blog.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue: In memoriam

Wobker was a man of few words who had a lot to say. To commemorate his special wit, here’s a sampling of some his political verses.

Huckleberries: Old ad captures radio legend’s former celebrity

In Coeur d’Alene, radio legend John Rook was known for his short-lived KCDA radio station that shook up the local political establishment -- not for the clout he once had as one of the premier radio programmers in the country. John once hobnobbed with the likes of Kenny Rodgers and Glen Campbell. In looking through the postings on his Facebook page after his death Tuesday, I saw an old trade ad that reminded me of how influential Rook once was.

Huckleberries: A few more things about The Bard of Sherman Avenue

The Bard of Sherman Avenue took his first public bow last weekend after 14 years of anonymously penning little rhymes for Huckleberries and my former Editorial Page column, Hot Potatoes. Now, print Huckleberries has some loose ends to tie up in honoring this gentle man with a talent for wit and rhyme.

Huckleberries: Quest for pop ended in Bonners Ferry showdown

Today, Dave Keyes, of Sandpoint, manages a string of newspapers for a Billings, Mont., newspaper group. But 30 years ago, he was a rookie reporter for the Bonners Ferry Herald in need of a Diet Pepsi. His quest for the pop placed him at the wrong place at the wrong time, as he ended up looking down the barrel of a rifle.

Huckleberries: Coeur d’Alene woman searches for perfect ‘mocktail’

Eden Irgens, a Coeur d’Alene fan and communications specialist, has searched for the perfect mocktail in Lake City after eliminating alcohol from her diet and lifestyle. As part of that process, she has started a blog to tell readers which bars and restaurants in town offer good mocktail alternatives. And which don’t.

Huckleberries: Tree City USA is getting a little bare

In the city known as tree city USA, it's no longer safe to be a tree. A dozen or so more trees that fronted North Idaho Museum were leveled last week in the name of flood prevention. They join hundreds of trees toppled along waterfront under edict by the Army Corps of Engineers and even some knocked over by Mother Nature during Wind Storm 2015.

Huckleberries: Longtime county clerk clear on marriage license row

Dan English has more interest than most in the stand taken by Kentucky’s Kim Davis. Davis, of course, is the county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. English, as many of you know, was a multiterm county clerk in ruby-red Kootenai County until that “D” after his name caught up with him. English describes himself as a Christian and a Democrat, as Davis does. Unlike Davis, however, he would have no problem issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. English told Huckleberries Online ( blogs/hbo) readers: “I would uphold my oath of office. If I couldn’t do that, my ethics and personal moral compass would require me to resign. I could respect someone who held that position but was also willing to pay the personal price to resign. Maybe they do things differently in Kentucky.” Bear in the ’hood

Writer refutes ‘boring’ label given to Post Falls

Online reporter Chanse Watson of the Idaho Panhandler didn’t appreciate a website that ranked his hometown of Post Falls as the second-most boring one in Idaho. How can Post Falls be boring? That’s what Chanse wondered last week in a column. After all, he said, it’s near two towns that rank high on national lists of amazing mountain communities – Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint.

Huckleberries: Like it or not, it’s supposed to be good for you

A rhyme about “Liver” by The Bard of Sherman Avenue triggered a discussion on Huckleberries Online last week. It read: “Packed with nutrients/so incredible,/it’s quite a shame the/stuff’s not edible.” Seems there are two types of people in this world: The supermajority who hate liver. And the few who can stomach it. Cis Gors, of Kootenai, is among the former. She recalls spending hours at her table as a youth trying to force down the vile-tasting organ. If she didn’t finish the liver at dinner – or sneak it to the dog – she was served it for breakfast the next day. And, if necessary, lunch.

Huckleberries: Paranoia over visitors adds to Idaho’s bad reputation

Remember that 1966 film comedy, “The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming”? Well, in Elk River, Idaho, it would be “The Arabs Are Coming, the Arabs Are Coming.” Seems the tiny town (population about 125) in the northern Idaho boondooks went bananas when four dark-complected strangers with cameras showed up recently. Twice. Mayor Jim Martin called the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office to report “some undesirables” – townsfolk called them “Arab people” – had invaded Elk River. All this according to the Lewiston Tribune. Sheriff Chris Goetz downplayed the community paranoia, stating he and his deputies found nothing amiss regarding the visit of the strangers, according to the Trib. Also, Mayor Martin told the Trib that Elk River isn’t “against Arabs,” but “we don’t want what’s happening in the rest of the world to happen here.” And Idahoans wonder where our beautiful state gets its rep-P-U-tation for racial silliness? Gun-totin’ momma

Huckleberries: Unexpected budget request reminder of heartbreak

Many of you have heard of the silly mountain biker who started a Boise Foothills fire by lighting soiled toilet paper to dispose of it. Well, that started a discussion among my Huckleberries Online ( crew. One said he has a “city colon that only works indoors.” He has never pooped in the woods (even during a camping trip from South Dakota to Southern California when he ate chili daily). However, outdoorswoman Taryn Thompson admits she has, from an early age and when there was no other option. Says she: “A potty emergency in the family a while back gave birth to the joke: Save your receipts.” John Austin also admits to going No. 2 in the forest. Says he: “Including once when I happened upon a bull moose on Eagle Peak. It was not voluntary.” Seems bears aren’t the only ones who poop in the woods. Unexpected reminder