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Two prominent and newly retired Idaho politicians – longtime Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem and longtime Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa – announced Monday that they’re joining Gallatin Public Affairs, where both will be “of counsel” to the regional firm.
Patrick Jacobs, Coeur d’Alene’s unofficial king of food, fashion and fun who died too young last Sunday, was a huge fan of former Coeur d’Alene Mayor Sandi Bloem. Her Sandiness, longtime owner of Johannes Jewelry in downtown Coeur d’Alene, was known for rocking outfits and bling while presiding over Coeur d’Alene City Council meetings and riding as a passenger on the back of a Harley-Davidson at the city’s Fourth of July Parade. I dug this mini-review of Sandi’s stylish taste by Patrick after a council meeting in February 2007: “One thing is for sure: Sandi Bloem is a hard-core fashionista. Did anybody catch her outfit at the 2/20 City Council meeting? I tuned into red-hot CDA Channel 19, and my jaw dropped when I saw her squeezed delicately into a shiny plastic grey-and-black leopard print jacket and wearing her usual amount of bling. Her trademark salt-and-pepper upswept hairdo was 10x more vicious than usual. She must have decided to go with an extra-fierce look for the evening since she had to charm everybody into helping her sneak that little $3 million Kroc doo-dad through the system.” The Kroc Center, of course, is a smashing success. And Patrick’s observations about life and personalities in Coeur d’Alene are already sorely missed. Strike two
Coeur d’Alene Councilman Mike Kennedy thought he’d struck gold Thursday when he conjured the word “nontroversy.” According to Mike’s definition, “nontroversy” means roughly “a ginned up scandal, controversy or otherwise politically inspired nonsense by some political partisan (from either side).” In jest, Mike was busy on his Facebook wall calling for a lawyer to help him copyright the word when a buzz-killer noted that “nontroversy” was already defined in the “Urban Dictionary.”
BOISE – North Idaho’s reputation as a haven for white supremacists, deserved or not, likely won’t be an impediment for a doctors group booking a conference here in 2015. The Coeur d’Alene Press reported the Western Orthopaedic Association has recommended selecting Coeur d’Alene for its summer conference in two years.
Now, we all know what Mayor Sandi Bloem meant at the annual Human Rights Banquet on Monday when she said she’d return to the feast in 2014, but maybe not in the same capacity. She had already decided not to seek re-election to a fourth term, for personal and professional reasons – not because she feared possible stiff competition against rival Councilman Dan Gookin. Bloem told Huckleberries on Wednesday that she wasn’t going to run, when your columnist followed up on her banquet remark.
Another week, another lake rescue story from North Idaho, although not as dramatic as the one in which a father and a son capsized their sailboat in high winds on chilly Lake Pend Oreille. In fact, Shirley Thagard could think of no better place to be stranded on her pontoon boat on a sunny day than Hayden Lake. At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Shirley was on a final tour of the lake when she discovered the gas gauge wasn’t accurate – empty happens before the needle gets to “E.”
An overlooked park in the heart of Coeur d’Alene will be transformed into a recreational showcase over the next 14 months. In the city’s most expensive park project ever, McEuen Field between downtown and Tubbs Hill will be remade to give visitors a greater variety of amenities and improve downtown’s link to the waterfront.