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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

SR: 'Lazy' Solons Kill Salamander Bill

January 21, 2015 - 5:08pm

On today's editorial page, the Spokesman-Review applauds 14YO Ilah Hickman for doing her homework in lobbying the Legislature to designate the giant salamander as state amphibian. But the editorial isn't as kind to the "lazy reasoning" from Kootenai County legislators Kathy Sims, Don Chetham and Vito Barbieri, who voted against the salamander:

"So a student who was praised for her diligence had to listen to the lazy reasoning of adults. The Idaho giant salamander is not under consideration for listing. If it were, it would be unprecedented for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to invoke “state symbol” as a factor. There are no court cases to cite. The bill’s sponsors had a letter from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office noting this. Oddly, other state symbols have not generated the same concern. If lawmakers were serious about their fear of the feds, they would introduce a bill rescinding the mountain bluebird’s status as state bird. Don’t hold your breath."

Question: So when has "lazy reasoning" been a disqualifier to hold office for a Kootenai County legislator?

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

January 21, 2015 - 4:52pm

A tourist is shown with a Aldabra giant tortoise on Changuu Island, Tanzania, earlier today. The endangered species, some of which live longer than 100 years old, continues to be brought to the island for protection from theft and for better breeding. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Mosa'ab Elshamy)

Tuesday Winner -- No Comment, with 9 likes: "Can I have one with a Seahawks logo? I don't like the Dallas Cowboys." You can see Tuesday Photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 1.21.15

January 21, 2015 - 4:45pm
  • 5:22 p.m. Security @ Super 1, 204 W. Hayden Ave, has caught cooperative shoplifter.
  • 5:21 p.m. Injury accident b/n log truck & passenger car reported @ H95/Wyoming Ave, Hayden.
  • 5:16 p.m. EMTs requested for ill or injured person @ Hayden Walmart, 550 W. Honeysuckle Ave.
  • 5:03 p.m. ISP officer wants search dog for motorist w/prescription drugs & medical marijuana card on freeway.
  • 5:02 p.m. Someone suffering breathing problem @ Country Comfort assisted living, 824 N23rd St/CdA.
  • 4:53 p.m. Unknown injury accident reported @ H95/Sunset Ave/CdA.
  • 4:49 p.m. Male involved in earlier domestic dispute has returned to mobile home on H53/Rathdrum.
  • 4:45 p.m. Driver of Ford F150 w/dealer plate was reckless on e/b I-90 before leaving freeway @ Spokane St.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report Jan. 20-21 here.
  • 4:15 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Office property crimes report Jan. 20-21 here.
  • 3:58 p.m. 2-vehicle crash is blocking turn lane @ Prairie Ave/Government Way, Hayden.
  • 3:33 p.m. A male & a female who missed CityLink are yelling obscenities @ 200 block of Anton Ave/CdA.
  • 3:27 p.m. Lakeland SD bus w/children aboard rear-ended by vehicle @ H41/Willadsen Road/Rathdrum, no injuries.
  • 3:11 p.m. Transient male walking s/b on 1st Street/CdA is swearing @ passing motorists.
  • 2:53 p.m. Driver of light-blue pickup is swerving, possibly DUI @ n/b H41, entering Spirit Lake.
  • 2:42 p.m. Someone has been hurt in a fall @ 3500 block of W. Cedarblom St/CdA.
  • 1:58 p.m. CPD officer reports motorist in blue Ford Fusion w/Washington plates hit his car & drove off @ 3rd & Sherman Ave/CdA. The hit-and-run driver will have damage to the left rear bumper. (Update: violating driver quickly caught)
  • 1:51 p.m. Sunset Towing truck & another vehicle involved in non-injury crash @ H41/Scarcello Road, Twin Lakes.
  • 1:29 p.m. Undisclosed animal noise reported @ 1306 N H41/Post Falls.
  • 1:21 p.m. Resident of Garden Plaza Center/Post Falls isn't feeling well after getting flu shot.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

PM Headlines -- 1.21.15

January 21, 2015 - 4:37pm

President Barack Obama holds a molecule model as it is explained by Boise State assistant professor Dave Estrada during a tour at the new Product Development Lab in Boise State University’s Micron Engineering Center in Boise today. Obama spoke to a packed crowd at Boise State today. Stories below (Idaho Statesman/AP photo: Darin Oswald)

HucksOnline Blogos -- 1.21.14

January 21, 2015 - 3:12pm

From 7 Blog: The Coeur d’Alene Symphony is borrowing from the silver screen for its first concert of 2015, with songs from movies including “Frozen” and “The Hobbit.” This year the members of the Coeur d’Alene Youth Orchestra will perform with the symphony, and the St. George’s School Chorus will provide vocals for “Mamma Mia” and “Skyfall.” More info including ticket prices here.

HucksOnline numbers (for Tuesday, Jan. 20): 8583 page-views/5537 unique views

Obama Explains -- Why Idaho?

January 21, 2015 - 2:33pm

President Barack Obama speaks with Sarah Haight with Rekluse Clutch Revolution as he tours the new Product Development Lab in Boise State University’s Micron Engineering Center in Boise today, before speaking about the themes in his State of the Union address. (AP Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

“There’s not a liberal America or a conservative America,” President Barack Obama told a cheering crowd at Boise State University, “but a United States of America.” He said there were a number of reasons he wanted Boise to be his first stop on his tour to spread his State of the Union ideas across the country. One was because he was contacted by a young girl here, Bella Williams, who invited him to come visit. “She also wanted me to learn to ski or snowboard with her,” he said. As someone who grew up in Hawaii, he said, “You do not want to see me ski. The Secret Service does not want to see me ski”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Also by Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise re: president's visit:

Question: What stood out for you during President Obama's speech in Boise?

Quotable Quote -- President Obama

January 21, 2015 - 2:25pm
"In Idaho, the only blue turf is on your football field" -- President Barack Obama, moments ago at Boise State University.

Live-Streaming Of Obama Visit

January 21, 2015 - 2:05pm

Deanna: Keep Independence Pt Lot

January 21, 2015 - 1:46pm

At the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting last night, former councilwoman Deanna Goodlander argued for the city to keep its parking lot at Independence Point: "For many of us who are disabled or elderly that is the last location for us to go and enjoy the view down the lake. If you look at what is available, the Dike Road is a view of the river, and parking there is very limited. There is no parking on the Centennial Trail side of the dike, Lakeshore Drive has no parking, then comes Independence Point. We took access along the boat ramp for cars away when we redid McEuen. I voted for that because I believed that the access for all the people was important for that park. Our next opportunity to view down the lake is along Sanders Beach, which is blocked by fencing of the private properties and limited parking. More here. Deanna's full comment here.

Question: I think Deanna's correct. I generally don't like concrete on the waterfront. But I don't consider the Independence Point parking lot to be obtrusive. And it serves a terrific purpose, especially during shoulder seasons, in providing easy access to the lake for the disabled and elderly. Thoughts?

Waiting For Obama

January 21, 2015 - 1:14pm

President Barack Obama walks on the tarmac with Boise Mayor David Bieter after arriving on Air Force One today at Gowen Field Air National Guard Base in Boise en route to Boise State University, where he will discuss the themes in his State of the Union address. (AP Photo: Carolyn Kaster)

Outside the Caven-Williams Sports Complex at Boise State University, there’s a long and cheerful line of folks waiting to get in for President Obama’s speech this afternoon. There are signs promoting protection of the Boulder-White Clouds mountains and signs calling for freeing Boise Pastor Saeed Abedini, who’s being held in Iran; Obama is scheduled to meet with Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh, and her yong children after his talk/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I think it's swell when any president -- Democrat or Republican -- visits Idaho. How about you?

Why Ask Why?

January 21, 2015 - 1:12pm
To all of you who back into parking spaces: Why? -- Cindy.


Of Obama's Visit & Restroom Lines

January 21, 2015 - 1:09pm

A couple of tweets from the Caven-Williams Sports Complex in Boise caught my eye. That's where a large crowd is waiting for President Barack Obama to speak:

  • "Obama can talk equality all he wants but there is no waiting for the men's restroom & 100 in line for the women's restroom" -- Scott Nicholson.
  • "Line for the women's restroom at CavenWilliamsSportsComplex #BSU #POTUS speech is almost as long as security line. No line for men" -- Colleen Fellows.

Question: Shouldn't public places keep female needs in mind when planning restrooms?

CPD Arrests 2 In Car Theft

January 21, 2015 - 1:02pm

From Coeur d'Alene Police Department Facebook wall: "Stolen vehicle update: The 1995 Buick Century was recovered Tuesday afternoon. A CDA police officer observed the vehicle southbound in traffic at 3rd and Spruce. Before the officer was able to initiate a traffic stop the driver left the car at 2nd and Spruce and fled on foot. Two other people that were in the vehicle were detained by officers. One of them will likely face charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and providing false information to law enforcement.The Police Department is seeking the driver of the vehicle. He is described as 6’1, 155 lbs., black hair, wearing a dark colored ball cap, black and white jacket, and dark pants. He has a possible first name of “Mike”. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Police Department at 208-769-2320.

Question: How clueless do you have to be to drive a stolen vehicle around in the same town that the theft took place?

Headed To Boise

January 21, 2015 - 11:52am

Marine Cpl. Chaz Sorensen loses his hat due to the jet's exhaust as Air Force One, with President Barack Obama aboard, departs from Andrews Air Force Base, Md., earlier today en route to Boise State University where he will discuss the themes in his State of the Union address. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

History Tells Us: Don't Trust DOE

January 21, 2015 - 11:43am

“Study history, study history,” Winston Churchill said long ago . “In history lies all the secrets of statecraft.” I was reminded of those wise words from the great man recently during the latest dust up concerning the state of Idaho, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and two former Idaho governors. I’ll leave it to the former governors, Phil Batt and Cecil D. Andrus, to press their case as to why top Idaho officials are mistaken in granting DOE a second “waiver” permitting shipments of commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF) to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). My perspective, as Churchill  would suggest, is to remind us of the “history” behind the current and historical controversies. The two former governors share a lot of history with the Department of Energy/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here.


Why Do Cities Fight Records Access?

January 21, 2015 - 11:28am

The elected officials of local cities should tell the Association of Idaho Cities to quit trying to block a legitimate avenue of appeal for citizens of their communities who feel they have been denied access to public records. The principle of openness outshines any petty arguments over so-called local control. This week, a representative of the cities group tried to derail an effort by a coalition of media groups to offer reasonable legislation to give citizens a way to appeal denial of public records requests other than hiring an attorney and filing a lawsuit. The lack of an alternative is the most glaring flaw of the state's public records law, which is intended to make records available to citizens cheaply and conveniently. The media coalition wants to pass a law where a citizen could go to the state's public records ombudsman to challenge an agency's decision/Tom Grote, publisher of McCall Star-News (via Lewiston Tribune). More here.


AM: Falcon Killer Identified

January 21, 2015 - 10:46am

Scott Dinger holds the body of Hornet, his eight-year-old, falcon that was killed on Jan. 7th while Dinger was hunting. Idaho Fish and Game has identified the suspect in the killing. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Tess Freeman)

Raul Welcomes Prez To Idaho, Sorta

January 21, 2015 - 10:40am

In a statement today, Congressman Raul Labrador welcomed President Barack Obama to Idaho, saying in part: "After last night’s State of the Union, I think the president could benefit from listening to Idahoans. He would do well to reflect on how the venue where he speaks today, the Caven-Williams Sports Complex, was built.  He could reflect on the journey of two Idaho families, and many others, who worked hard, played by the rules, became successful and generously shared their success with our community. Idaho families work hard and value individual responsibility. Idaho businesses are built on innovation and self-reliance. Idaho governments balance their budgets. During his short visit, I hope the president absorbs some Idaho common sense.” Full comment here.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 1.21.15

January 21, 2015 - 10:21am
  • 11:49 a.m. Resident in 1500 block of Frederick St/Post Falls reports hearing single gun shot in house behind her & then saw someone leave quickly in metallic brown pickup that turned onto Henry.
  • 11:29 a.m. Suspicious camera on tripod near old water park @ I-90/H95, CdA, is an ITD measuring device.
  • 11:12 a.m. Highway Distraction: Stuffed dog, painted red, taped to light pole on w/b I-90/Beck Road area.
  • 10:54 a.m. Someone is having trouble breathing @ 400 block of Skyhawk Drive/Spirit Lake.
  • 10:34 a.m. Maintenance worker triggers ATM holdup alarm @ Wells Fargo Bank/Seltice Way, Post Falls.
  • 10:20 a.m. Disabled vehicle w/lights flashing is parked along w/b I-90/MP 30.5 (east side of 4th of July Pass).
  • 10:15 a.m. Rathdrum Prairie female left work crying but hasn't arrived at Kootenai Health as scheduled.
  • 10:05 a.m. Mother in NW CdA reports to juvenile probation that she found pot paraphernalia belonging to son.
  • 9:39 a.m. Officer wants vehicle owner contacted to move car so work crews can remove trees along Dike Road/CdA.
  • 9:37 a.m. 48YO female may have suffered stroke @ 2400 block of Bradley Drive/Post Falls.
  • 9:25 a.m. Officer stops vehicle with broken window on Hayden Ave west of Ramsey Road/Hayden.
  • 9:24 a.m. Driver of 1998 Grand Cherokee driving recklessly @ s/b H41/Seasons Road, Twin Lakes.
  • 9:17 a.m. Small dog is running loose @ Summit Ave/Government Way, CdA.
  • 9:11 a.m. Diabetic is suffering unknown medical problem @ 12th Ave/William St, Post Falls.
  • 8:47 a.m. CdA female involved in psychological response Tuesday now believes people watching her.

Poll: We Don't Share Sims' Fear

January 21, 2015 - 9:50am
  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation doesn't share the paranoia of all things federal government expressed by Kootenai County GOP Reps. Sims, Barbieri & Cheatham in voting against the giant salamander as state amphibian. 127 of 151 respondents (84.11%) said there would be no federal government overreach if the Idaho Legislature designated the salamander at state amphibian. Only 18 of 151 respondents (11.92%) sided with Sims, Barbieri & Cheatham, who voted against the salamander in the House State Affairs Committee, fearing it could attain endangered species status, causing federal government overreach. 6 (3.97%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with President Obama that the rich should be taxed more to help the struggling middle class?