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Updated: 16 min 19 sec ago

Ex-GOP Super Evans Backs Balukoff

October 2, 2014 - 1:41pm

Four-term Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Jerry Evans announced today his endorsement of Democrat A.J. Balukoff for governor.  "I have watched what’s happening to our schools with growing concern and frustration for several years. Despite an abundance of political talk to the contrary, Idaho’s public schools have been all but abandoned by our state’s leaders. We are not living up to our state constitution’s mandate to 'maintain a general, uniform and thorough' system of public schools,” said Evans. "As a lifelong Republican, it’s not easy for me to endorse a candidate from another party. But it is with enthusiasm that I endorse A.J. Balukoff’s bid to be Idaho’s next governor”/Balukoff for Governor news release. More here.

Question: Surprised?

Cindy And The Pitbull, Part 2

October 2, 2014 - 1:31pm

On her Facebook page, Cindy posts: "On my walk yesterday, what did I see, but the animal control truck parked in front of 'my' dog Arfie's house. The officer was taking a report from a meter reader. Seems 'Arfie' had escaped once again and this time he decided to have a meter reader for lunch. "In 20 years on the job, I've never had to use this," said the guy, pulling out a can of pepper spray. The guy loves dogs and showed me a baggie full of dog treats he carries with him. The officer stressed that what makes Arfie dangerous is NOT his breed, it's his unpredictability. She still seemed flabbergasted by Arfie's 4-mile walk with me, saying, the dog exhibited 'agressive behavior' on numerous occasions. I don't know what's in store for Arfie, but I did learn his owner had never licensed him and that he'd put garbage cans in front of the gate, Arfie had escaped from. The dog simply knocked over the cans and ripped the chain off the gate.

Question: How do you deal with loose dogs when you're out & about?

Sims Defends Vote Vs Health Center

October 2, 2014 - 1:16pm

State Rep. Kathy Sims, North Idaho College Trustee Todd Banducci and GOP Senate nominee Mary Souza (back to the camera) enjoy a laugh at the Kootenai County Republican Women's lunch today. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

At the Kootenai County Republican Women's luncheon at noon today, state Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d'Alene, explained why she voted against the behavioral health bill last session (that resulted in Idaho Falls getting a mental health center instead of favored Coeur d'Alene). In a letter that she circulated at the luncheon, Sims said: "The bill purports to provide for 'those Idaho citizens experiencing behavioral health crisis where an appropriate level of care to meet their needs is not available.' This is not the only vague term giving too much latitude in determining who gets help and when. The lack of a definition provided in the bill is deeply troubling. For example, what is the 'appropriate' level of care and who decides?" Full letter here.

Question: Does Rep. Sims truly represents the Coeur d'Alene community when she opposed a bill that resulted in Gov. Otter locating a mental health center in Idaho Falls instead of Coeur d'Alene?

On The Waterfront -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 1:04pm

On the waterfront during the noon hour today, I saw:

  • A young woman giving a young man a piggy-back ride on the Coeur d'Alene Resort Boardwalk.
  • A fisherman casting his line near the resort boardwalk bridge.
  • A sign announcing a Xeriscape (wild grasses & wildflowers) demonstration area will be planted in the small area leading to the 3rd Street entrance to Tubbs Hill.
  • A city employee spreading Coeur d'Green on the large grass area of McEuen Park, west of the children's playground.
  • A small plume of smoke coming from the east summit side of Tubbs Hill.
  • About 50-60 people, mostly young parents with young children using the McEuen Park playground.
  • A sunny near-cloudless sky shining down on a waterway with no boats but the huge resort vessels on it. Viewtiful.

Spreading The Green

October 2, 2014 - 11:53am

Larry Walter of the city's parks department spreads compost at McEuen Park. (Photo: Coeur d'Alene Today)

The new grass at McEuen Park continues to grow greener with lots of TLC from the city’s parks department. Crews this week spread 100 yards (the equivalent to about six dump truck loads) of fertilizer onto the popular park. Specifically, the parks department used “Coeur d’Green,” a by-product of the city’s wastewater utility. The compost is made from de-watered biosolids from the treatment plant that are mixed with wood chips. “Kudos to the wastewater department for their support in helping to beautify our parks,” Parks Department Superintendent Bill Greenwood said.

Question: Have you ever used Coeur d'Alene-produced Coeur d'Green compost?


Balukoff To Open Lake City Office

October 2, 2014 - 11:48am

Gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff has opened a campaign field office in Coeur d’Alene. The grand opening will take place at 4 p.m.  Friday at 1621 N 3rd St, Suite 200. Balukoff will make a short statement followed by hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. “I'm really proud to be opening an office in Coeur d’Alene because it shows how much support my campaign is receiving and how important North Idaho is to my run for governor,” Balukoff said. "I look forward to being there and encouraging my staff and volunteers to continue their hard work toward bringing new leadership to Idaho.”

Question: Did I hear right that the Kootenai County GOP will not have a campaign office this fall?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 11:40am
  • 12:09 p.m. Officer reports fire of about 10-by-20 feet on Tubbs Hill.
  • 11:56 a.m. Coeur d'Alene resident reports plume of smoke coming from top of Tubbs Hill.
  • 11:55 a.m. ISP officer wants backup to serve warrant on passenger in car stopped @ I-90/Cataldo.
  • 11:48 a.m. Suspicious male in trench coat, camo & face covering reported @ 6th/Coeur d'Alene, CdA.
  • 11:45 a.m. KCSDepartment property crimes for Oct. 1-2 here.
  • 11:43 a.m. CPD officer has trespassed someone from Woodland Middle School.
  • 11:32 a.m. 70YO female possibly broke arm in fall @ Aspen Nursery, 6075 E. Commerce/Post Falls.
  • 11:20 a.m. Officer on scene calls for funeral home (may be related to 9:59 item).
  • 11:07 a.m. Elderly male is weaving as he walks on w/b onramp @ I-90/MP 7 (H41/Post Falls).
  • 10:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Oct. 1-2 here.
  • 10 a.m. Someone has been hurt in a fall @ 500 block of Dolan Road/Rathdrum.
  • 9:59 a.m. CPR is in progress on unconscious person @ 1900 block of Joaquina Drive.
  • 9:57 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ Kootenai Cancer Center, 1440 E. Mullan.
  • 9:56 a.m. Officers are trying to locate a person beneath H95 bridge over Spokane River, north of NIC.
  • 9:01 a.m. CPD officer is trying to locate parents after finding wandering girl.
  • 8:46 a.m. CPD officer wants someone to pick up Austin & two kids after citing him for suspended license.
  • 8:42 a.m. Elderly male hurt in fall @ 16000 block of E. 1st/Bayview.
  • 8:25 a.m. Officer tells animal control that she'll need help picking up large dead animal on Riverbend/Post Falls.

Food Porn

October 2, 2014 - 11:30am

On Get Out! North Idaho, Patrick posts: "Here's some lunch porn so dirty, I may get banned from Facebook. Roger's Burgers Double D with bacon plus fries and FRY SAUCE! Perfection."

Question: I just ate a meat loaf sandwich w/side order of tomato grown in my garden. What do you plan to eat for lunch?

Poll: Blame Individuals In NFL

October 2, 2014 - 11:12am
  • Wednesday Poll: Hucks Nation said the ones to blame for the culture of violence against women & children in the NFL are the involved players themselves. 85 of 147 respondents (55.82%) took that position. Meanwhile, 50 (34.01%) said the individual players, NFL & former college teams are to blame for the culture of violence. Other responses included: 7 (4.76%) blamed the NFL & 4 (2.72%) blamed NFL/former college team. 1 respondent (0.68%) was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should Idaho go green by banning plastic grocery & shopping bags?

Avista To Raise Idaho Rates

October 2, 2014 - 10:55am

Electric rates for Avista Utilities’ Idaho customers increased 4.2 percent effective Wednesday through a surcharge that allows utilities to recover costs from the previous year that weren’t included in base rates. Avista’s request for increase was approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. For a residential customer using Avista’s average of 930 kilowatt hours of electricity per month, an average monthly bill would increase by $3.76, from $81.88 to $85.64. The increase allows Avista to recover $7.7 million in power supply expense needed to serve customers that wasn’t included in base rates, according to PUC staff/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Just in time for winter. Anyone want to join me in giving a razzberry to Avista?

AM Headlines -- 10.2.14

October 2, 2014 - 10:55am

The varsity boys cross country race rounds the Idaho Air National Guard F-89B Scorpion memorial in Lakeview Park in Nampa, during the Gary Ward Invitational Wednesday. (AP/Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)

Quotable Quote -- Dan Gookin

October 2, 2014 - 9:38am

"A line needs to be established between permanent structures - such as espresso stands - and something that can be moved, even if it won't be moved. I believe the mobile merchants would like to know the rules as well; it's one of the first questions they ask the city when they go to do business. As these types of businesses proliferate around the county, it's growing more common for cities to have rules and regulations. The city is keeping pace with changing times" -- Councilman Dan Gookin RE: food truck controversy. More here.

Question: I thought Libertarians-turned-Republicans, like Gookin, supported less regulations, not more. Thoughts?

Downtown Spokane Displays Pink

October 2, 2014 - 9:35am

The iconic smoke stacks of Steam Plant Square will glow pink in the month of October for breast cancer awareness. Developer Ron Wells and representatives of Avista, the majority owners of the building, turned on the new LED lighting system and switched the color to pink after Spokane Mayor David Condon read a proclamation in support. Wells told of how his mother died of breast cancer when he was 17. You can see more of SR photog buddy Jesse Tinsley's photos of the pink smoke stacks in downtown Spokane here.


CdA Press Goes Pink Sunday

October 2, 2014 - 9:32am
It's #BreastCancerAwareness month. As a reminder, Sunday #CDAPress will be delivered in pink bags thanks to @kootenaihealth -- Live Well Cda tweet.

Question: Are you more aware of Breast Cancer Awareness month, as a result of all the pink reminders?

UI Student Has Bacterial Meningitis

October 2, 2014 - 9:30am

University of Idaho administrators are taking preventative actions today after one student was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis Wednesday. UI Dean of Students Bruce Pitman said university officials were provided preliminary information about the student's condition Tuesday and the diagnosis was confirmed Wednesday morning. Pitman said the student, who is not being identified, was doing well given the situation. Bacterial meningitis is an infection around the brain and spinal cord that typically results from a meningococcal disease that is caused by bacteria, according to the Public Health - Idaho North Central District website. Moscow Family Medicine will be on campus today to provide antibiotics to students in the same living group with the student or who came in contact with the man, Pitman said/Elizabeth Rudd, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Would this concern you have you had a child at University of Idaho?

Joe The Plumber To Make House Call

October 2, 2014 - 9:24am

Remember Joe the Plumber. In an interview with Joe Wurzelbacher, Lewiston Tribune reporter Joel Mills provides this flashback: "Wurzelbacher was swept into the national spotlight in October of that year when Barack Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, was campaigning on his suburban Ohio street. Wurzelbacher - who is speaking Saturday in Lewiston - asked the future president about tax policy, and the campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain latched onto Obama's response about spreading wealth as evidence of a socialist agenda." So why are we talking about Joe. He's taking part in a rally in Lewiston Saturday for businessman Mike Kingsley's run for the Idaho House of Representatives against Idaho House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston. John, of course, is a semi-regular commenter on HucksOnline. More here.

Question: Would you turn out for an event to see Joe the Plumber?

iPAD Project Fizzles In Paul, Idaho

October 2, 2014 - 8:50am

Paul Elementary School was considered a model of one-to-one classroom technology in 2012, when it received a grant for student iPads. Now, the K-5 school in rural Minidoka County is a symbol of something else: the scramble to try to keep technology in student hands. This week, The Times-News in Twin Falls published an interesting update on the Paul iPad project. The school no longer has a contract with iSchool, the Park City, Utah, company that helped set up the iPad program. Paul missed out on the first round of technology pilot grants in 2013. Now, the Minidoka County School District is using supplemental levy money to help pay off the devices, now scattered among four schools/Kevin Richert, IdahoED NEWS. More here. (IdahoED NEWS photo: Third-graders at Paul Elementary use iPads)

Question: I've often wondered what kind of a mess we'd be in had Tom Luna, Butch Otter & company had their way with implementation of the Luna Laws. Maybe I'm reaching here. Thoughts?

Help Wanted: Idaho GOP Hiring

October 2, 2014 - 8:35am

For a guy who says he wants to avoid making headlines, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates managed to do just that last week. Swinging through Twin Falls, Yates told the Times-News' Nathan Brown he had picked a new finance chairman. Larry Craig. Yes, that Larry Craig. The same Larry Craig who incinerated a 28-year career -- first as a representative from the 1st Congressional District and then as U.S. senator -- when he got caught in a gay sex sting operation in a Minneapolis airport men's room in 2007. The same Larry Craig who tried to wiggle off the hook -- first by flashing his Senate identification to the undercover airport cop he allegedly solicited and next by claiming he had a "wide stance"/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here. (AP file photo, of former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig)

Question: Um, can you think of a better person for the Idaho GOP finance job that Larry Craig?

Ex-Pilot Cuts Weight, Cost Of Hydros

October 2, 2014 - 8:26am

Murdo Cameron, owner of Cameron Aircraft, has teamed up with North Idaho College to build hydroplanes from composite materials, making hulls that are much lighter and stronger. He talked about the process at the facility in Hayden last Thursday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Murdo Cameron has something to tell the sport of hydroplane racing: Lighten up already. The retired airline pilot, an innovator in the field of advanced composite materials, says he can transform how thunderboats are built, greatly reducing their weight and cost while making them stronger. And he’s well on his way to proving it at an aerospace school near the Coeur d’Alene Airport. “I think it’s a revolutionary breakthrough in building unlimited hydroplanes,” Cameron said/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Did you miss not having the hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d'Alene this year?

Tribe Works To Protect Idaho Water

October 2, 2014 - 8:19am

Representatives of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe met with Kootenai County commissioners on Wednesday to discuss water rights. Helo Hancock, legislative director for the Tribe, explained to commissioners how the federal government files claims on behalf of the Tribe, and why. Tribes are unique in any prior-appropriation water rights state because older water rights take priority over newer rights. It is called "first in time, first in rights." Tribes obviously would have the oldest claims to the water. Tribes and cities are also allowed to claim future water rights if they can prove there is an "express purpose" for doing so, unlike individual water rights which must be put to a "beneficial use" or are lost/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Hancock said: "Eventually, it's going to happen; Washington is going to start claiming our water." Do you see any problem with Idaho sharing its water rights with neighboring Washington?