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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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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: This Mudgy, calf best admired from afar

First, you should know that Mudgy isn’t the only moose in Coeur d’Alene who’s “all around the town.” There’s a herd of them. Like the cow and calf that Scott Maben and 6-year-old daughter, Joey, encountered Wednesday. Mudgy, of course, is the fictional character created by local children’s author Susan Nipp who wanders the Lake City looking for mouse buddy Millie. Downtown visitors will find five sculptures of the moose and mouse and can retrace Mudgy’s search for Millie from Tubbs Hill to Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene.

Ex-S-R reporter a tough editor

Before J. Todd Foster was editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier, he was a reporter in the Coeur d’Alene newsroom of The Spokesman-Review. A Tennessean, he was intense, especially when following a good story, such as the unethical way handlers disposed of slow dogs at the old greyhound park in Post Falls. But he still found time to play two-on-two nerf basketball with Jim Meehan, Adam Lynn and me. Earlier this month, Courier staffer Daniel Gilbert won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his exposé on the murky handling of natural-gas royalties owed to thousands of landowners in Southwest Virginia. At the Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, Editor Chris Peck columnized about hiring Foster in the ’80s for his Lake City newsroom. Peck, an ex-S-R editor, wrote: “He was a bulldog. When he bit into a story, particularly one that had a whiff of impropriety or governmental ineptitude, he wouldn’t let go. Still won’t.” Typical of Foster, Peck points out, he told a reporter who’d missed the Pulitzer celebration in the Herald Courier newsroom that a lot of small newspapers have won Pulitzers over the years. But none had won two so he “should get back out on the street and find us a story.” Salute. Pinehurst squared

Autograph seekers find rogue love

While other media tried in vain to interview Sarah Palin on her recent book tour, Huckleberries Online simply embedded a Berry Picker with the ex-VP wannabe when she visited North Idaho. Christa Hazel was in the right place at the right time to be drafted by the extended Palin family into helping with the book signing in Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint. Christa sent photos and text messages to Huckleberries Central throughout the day. Afterward, she provided this personal account of the Sandpoint native who’s the talk of this country: “I sum her up as gracious, charismatic, engaging and energetic. She seemed to be in a zone meeting/greeting/ signing. She was unbelievable in her stamina for all the signatures. She smiled as brightly in the evening as she did in the morning as she was boarding the bus from the (Coeur d’Alene Resort).” And: “I never saw her frown, look tired, sigh from fatigue, or rest. Todd Palin was the same way. I also noticed that she spent extra amounts of time in Sandpoint for the students that interviewed her for a school assignment.” At Sandpoint, Sarah Palin endeared herself to her fans further by wearing a UIdaho sweatshirt. Seems her fortunes, like the Vandals, are on the upswing. More Palin

Pot calling kettle blue may work

Kevin Richert, opinion editor of the Idaho Statesman, and conservative blogger Adam Graham/Give Me Liberty responded to the attack by Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, on Rep. Raul Labrador’s candidacy for Congress. As you may recall, Jorgenson announced in a press release Monday that Labrador shouldn’t run, targeting his fellow legislator’s role as an immigration attorney. Labrador responded that Jorgenson isn’t well liked. (Insert “neener, neener” here.) Now comes Richert: “I think Jorgenson overplayed his hand a bit. Labeling a foe a liberal is never a bad ploy in a GOP primary, but considering Labrador’s legislative record, it’s a stretch.” Blogger Graham chided Jorgenson for attempting to deputize himself as the “purity police” in this situation, noting that Jorgenson’s conservative voting record is a modest 71 percent. Observes Graham: “I’ll take Rod Beck over Mike Jorgenson as a standard for conservatism any day.” However, Richert and veteran Idaho political observer Randy Stapilus agree that Jorgenson may have succeeded in exposing Labrador’s unpopular immigration work to red-meat Idaho R’s. Parts is parts