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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries: Uneasiness between sexes extends to handshakes

My Huckleberries Wednesday begins with a discussion that we had here recently. The discussion began with Melissa Luck's question: "Do you shake hands with women?" Some do. Some do only if a woman initiates the handshake. Some just wanna hug.

Huckleberries: Pacific NW swell today, it was better 55 years ago

Fifty-five years ago, senior editor Leonard Gross of Look magazine launched a 50-page spread with this sentence: “The one great mystery of the Pacific Northwest is why all of us aren’t living there.” In today's Huckleberries column, we revisit what the Pacific Northwest was like 55 years ago.

Huckleberries: Pacific Northwest is swell now, but it was even better 55 years ago

Fifty-five years ago, senior editor Leonard Gross of Look magazine launched a 50-page spread about this region with the sentence: “The one great mystery of the Pacific Northwest is why all of us aren’t living there.” At that time, only 5.5 million people lived in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana). Back then, Northwesterners had an attitude toward newcomers that's much the same today: Let’s lock them out.

Huckleberries: Huckleberries mailbag: Some love us, some love us not

Four weeks into his expanded column-writing duties, D.F. Oliveria goes through email responses to Huckleberries from readers. Among them, Tony Stewart, the guiding light of the region’s human rights movement, comments on the swift passage of time since January 1987, when the city of Coeur d’Alene won the Raoul Wallenberg Civic Award for fighting discrimination.

Huckleberries: Fantasy gamer past haunts magistrate

There are few political yard signs in Kootenai County this fall. Maybe everyone is afraid to admit whom they support. Or they fear that fanatical followers of extreme candidates might take note. But there is one sign, with black lettering on a yellow background, that catches the attention of passers-by: “Vote No ‘Demon Lord’ Judge Peterson.” One was planted near Carl’s Jr. on Appleway last week. “Demon Lord” is shorthand for “Orcus: Lord of the Undead,” a pseudonym used by Clark Peterson, a magistrate in the 1st Judicial District.

Huckleberries: Artful move may be needed to save ‘Tolerance’

It ain’t easy jettisoning public art devoted to tolerance. But the Bonner County commissioners are trying. Artist David Kraisler’s “Tolerance” – a 10-foot steel-and-wood piece – has “graced” the courthouse lawn in Sandpoint for 11 years, since its creation in response to a planned 2001 Aryan Nations parade that didn’t happen. The city of Sandpoint got first shot at hosting “Tolerance,” but passed on it, claiming at the time that lack of a policy for public art was the problem. Trouble is, the sculpture resembles two giant stick figures coupling.

Huckleberries: Suppose nobody showed up to an election

Five of the 13 incorporated towns in Kootenai County fell below the electoral “Mendoza Line” on Election Day, Nov. 8 – with voter turnouts of less than 20 percent. The Mendoza Line, for those of you who don’t follow Major League Baseball, represents a dismal batting average of .200 – or about the career average of former Seattle Mariner Mario Mendoza.

Huckleberries: Lingering effects of hammer attack difficult

Often, readers move on quickly after a horrific accident or crime, while victims are left to deal with injuries and shattered lives. Take Yvonne Wallis, for example. She was one of the four victims of that hammer attack by a deranged Bayview neighbor pre-Christmas 2010. Daughter-in-law Patty Heath died in the attack. Suspect Larry Cragun is in jail awaiting trial.

Huckleberries: Solidarity is in the mind of statue beholder

In response to criticism about the small protest against the public art statue of Hindu god Ganesha in downtown Coeur d’Alene June 10, Kootenai County Constitution Party Chairman Daniel Brennan claims on the group’s website that many Lake City residents agreed with his group’s stand, but they were too intimidated by political correctness to show it.