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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries: Rural life is fine until Woody Woodpecker comes knocking

Lee Sorenson of Post Falls enjoys reading Ammi Midstokke’s adventures in the S-R Outdoors pages. It reminds him of “the years of commutes, winters, and Mother Nature’s jokes” in the Spirit Lake and Blanchard Valley areas – and a troublesome woodpecker that interrupted sleep.

Huckleberries: Urban farming comes with side of noise pollution

The tiny community of Bayview on the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille survived a terrifying wildfire during our summer of drought. But there’s at least one resident who doesn’t think she can handle the outbreak of “roostosterone.” That’s the name Jeanna Hofmeister (aka, “Baggy-eyed in Bayview”) gave the disquiet wrought by a neighbor’s rooster. In an email to Huckleberries Online (, Jeanna describes how the neighbor decided to become an urban farmer recently, first introducing chickens and then ducks. Both of which were fine, as far as Jeanna was concerned. She found the clucking of the chickens “humorous.” And said: “The ducks sound like Lucille Ball mid-cackle, and after all, who doesn’t love Lucy?” Then, along came Foghorn Leghorn, a rooster with an over-abundance of “roostosterone.” Again, Jeanna: “It crows all day. It crows at 4 a.m. It crows at 11 p.m. Basically, all the time, anytime.” Jeanna tried contacting the owners of Foghorn Leghorn, to no avail. She’s contacted the county commissioners’ office, county planning and zoning, code enforcement and the sheriff. She thinks the rooster constitutes a “nuisance,” as defined by Idaho code. Last week, county commissioners showed an interest in her plight. But nothing has been done so far. Rooster and dumplings, anyone? Finger steaks?

Huckleberries: Committed committees are an asset to the city

Coeur d’Alene Councilman Dan Gookin shot from the hip last week – and hit his foot. After opposing the reappointment of competent Denny Davis to the Lake City Development Corporation, The Gookinator told the Coeur d’Alene Press: “We’ve got some people who serve on five or six committees. Our committees are weak because they don’t have a good cross-representation of the city.” Gookin would have a good point, if his info was correct. A look behind the numbers shows that 130 resident volunteers serve on Coeur d’Alene committees and commissions. No volunteer serves on five or six committees. In fact, only three serve on as many as three committees. Six others serve on two committees. Gookin might have found that out before he popped off by doing what Huckleberries Online did – contacting City Hall. Meanwhile, Gookin should consider the city lucky to have volunteers for committees that deal with such things as signs, urban forestry and dogs. In divided Coeur d’Alene, no good deed goes unpunished. PlayStation 3 flap

Huckleberries: Denial of Newtown school shooting shattered

Believe it or not, there are people out there who claim the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary (Newtown, Connecticut) massacre didn’t take place. The deniers say that we’ve been told a cover story for an elaborately staged government hoax. One of those who raised questions about the massacre is an individual who used AP photos of bullet holes in school glass as the basis for a loopy conspiracy theory. Wealthy entrepreneur George Mason told the Newtown Post-Examiner that the glass pictured in crime scene photographs was not “correct glass for a school or public building.” Which brings in Matt Roetter, president of Roetter Window and Door Co., of Hayden. An article in the Post-Examiner Sept. 21 calls Roetter “the nation’s leading forensic expert on the analysis of fenestration components, such as doors and windows (who) has been retained on more class-action cases than any other fenestration expert witness or consultant in the country.” Roetter had this take on Mason’s theory, for the Post-Examiner reporter who called him: Horse feathers. Bingo. Spy on a pole?

Huckleberries: Nature’s siren is louder than sheriff’s new toy

Talk about stealing your thunder. A 100-pound black bear upstaged Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger’s big reveal for his $335,000 BearCat military vehicle Wednesday morning. Spokesman-Review photographer Kathy Plonka was en route to the BearCat unveiling when she got word that BooBoo Bear had climbed 60 to 70 feet up a tree at Woodland Middle School. Real bear? BearCat? Easy call. Kathy and her camera veered off to the Coeur d’Alene middle school, where she witnessed BooBoo climb down the tree. Get tranquilized. And get whisked off to Idaho Fish and Game HQ to sleep it off. Meanwhile, Coeur d’Alene city spokesman Keith Erickson literally ran into the commotion during his daily jog. Keith considered the near encounter with BooBoo “even more impressive than the big moose (he) encountered a couple months ago at nearby Bluegrass Park.” Bear? Moose? Just another day in viewtiful CdA. Parking problems

Huckleberries: Reagan Republicans rebuff phony image of Otter

The Reagan Republicans were miffed last week when a young Elephant posted on their Facebook wall a photoshopped picture of Gov. Butch Otter, President Barack Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The three men appeared to be walking hand in hand. This, under a headline, “Turn Idaho Blue” and above a caption, “Support Obama, Give to Otter.” It seems photoshopper Ethan Crisp considers Republican Otter damaged moderate goods because Christie will appear at a $1,000-per-couple fundraiser for the governor in Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 6 – Christie, after all, praised Obama for relief help after Hurricane Sandy hit.

Huckleberries: The Great Opponent of Progress

Things are getting curiouser and curiouser in the uber-conservative attempt to overthrow Coeur d’Alene’s City Hall. In a debate earlier in the campaign, GOPartisan Chris Fillios claimed his opponent, Amy Evans, was a self-described “progressive liberal.” (This, after she’d called him a nice guy.) Now, a transcript has surfaced on a North Idaho tea party blog containing the word-for-word comments by Evans at the monthly Progressive Dinner at Seasons restaurant in September.

Huckleberries: Burgers an unwelcome aroma at sushi bar

On Facebook, Syringa Japanese Café & Sushi Bar, in Coeur d’Alene’s Midtown, tells of a disagreement with a customer over a Happy Meal. Seems the cuss-tomer arrived with a Happy Meal from Mickey D’s, for a child in the party, and was told bluntly that the restaurant didn’t allow outside food or drink. Later, the cuss-tomer left a pointed note saying that Syringa was a favorite eatery but s/he wouldn’t be returning.

Huckleberries: Below and beyond the call of duty

Jennifer Drake says of hubby Ben that he’s always willing to jump in and help someone, “literally and metaphorically.” Ben wasn’t being metaphorical one night last week when Jennifer advertently dropped her cellphone into 15 feet of water at Powderhorn Bay on Lake Coeur d’Alene. The phone had worked its way out of a diaper bag while Jennifer was hurrying to board her father’s boat to beat a storm back to Echo Bay. It fell with a telltale plop into the lake through the 8-inch gap between the boat and the dock – and then mocked the distraught mother by glowing at the bottom of the murky lake. Adding insult to injury, the phone contained photos and video of the first months of Ben and Jennifer’s baby son.

Huckleberries: Sending sky lantern aloft not welcome, on two fronts

Coeur d’Alene Councilman Dan Gookin has a message for whoever launched a sky lantern that landed, deflated, behind a rear car tire in his Fortgrounds ’hood: “Now if you and your guests don’t mind driving around Coeur d’Alene today picking up your mess, it would be appreciated.” Firefighters who battled wildland fires (known in the old days as “wildfires”) in steep terrain near Avista’s dam at Post Falls and the Mica Bay area on Lake Coeur d’Alene recently would appreciate your support, too.

Huckleberries: Rasor’s ideas on tutus mystify Moscow man

Henry Johnston, a Sandpoint High grad, wonders where former Bonner County commissioner Cornel Rasor got the idea that gay men wear tutus to work. Rasor, as you may recall, is part of the Idaho GOP push to ask the 2014 Legislature to void nondiscrimination laws that add gays to human rights protections. Six Idaho cities, including Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene, have approved the ordinances.

Huckleberries: Though the end is near, he’ll meet it his way

Larry Justus, who operates the Lakeland RV Park on Bayview Creek with wife, Liz, has a lung disease with a name that friend Herb Huseland of Bayview can’t pronounce. The disease is killing him. Larry, who is in hospice care, informed Herb as cheerfully as possible that there’s nothing anyone can do for him health-wise. It’s the end of the line. But he asks one thing of his many friends in and beyond picturesque Bayview, on Lake Pend Oreille.