Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer
16 Days & Counting (to affiliate with the Republican Party to vote in the closed GOPrimary in May): I'm thinking about some friends who moved here from Hawaii last year -- and have experienced their first winter in North Idaho. It has been a mild winter, to be sure. But I don't think they see it that way. Mebbe I'll take them a fruit basket and a lei, to help them through the final weeks of our mild-before-it-turned-dicey winter. That might cheer them up. Here's your Hump Day Wild Card ...
Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez poses during the team photo day before a spring training baseball workout Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/ Gregory Bull)
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Wednesday that she has vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers. Opinions have been sharply divided over the politically charged measure, with both sides ramping up pressure on Brewer after the state's Republican-led legislature approved the bill last week. Brewer said she made the decision she knew was right for her state. "I call them as I see them, despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd," she said, calling the bill "broadly worded" and saying it could have unintended consequences/CNN Politics. More here.
- Judge strikes down Texas' gay marriage ban as "state-imposed inequality"/Christian Science Monitor
A.J. Balukoff, Democratic candidate for Idaho governor responds to Lewiston Tribune editorial wondering where he's been campaigning): Hi, Marty Trillhaase. I understand that you have been looking for me. My apologies for being a little hard to track down. It's true, I've been all over the place, talking with a lot of our fellow Idahoans. These past few weeks I have been visiting Idahoans in Bonner, Kootenai, Bonneville, Bannock, Canyon, and Bingham counties. Since my launch and throughout my visits, I have been engaging with Idahoans about their concerns with education and our economy. I have been talking with community and business leaders about what Idaho must do to turn things around. All are concerned with Idaho's crash to 50th place in education and wages, but there are great ideas and people in Idaho that are going to help turn that around! Yet a better question is, where is Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter? Full comment here. (AP file photo)
Question: Has anyone attending an event where A.J. Balukoff, Butch Otter or Russ Fulcher were campaigning?
Ramsey Elementary first-grader Sophie Bailey shows a picture from “Mudgy and Millie” by Susan Nipp Tuesday morning in Casey Campbell’s class as students met with a first-grade class from New York state via live video using the Idaho Education Network. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Gabe Green)
- Idaho Senate passes state amphibian 33-2/Eye on Boise
- Fugitive of the Week/Howard Ray Brammer/Press
- Morse sponsors biometrics privacy law/David Goins, Press
- New board would help Crane keep taxpayers' money safe/Eye on Boise
- Kustra: SB1254 would allow open carry of guns in dorms, arenas/Eye on Boise
- Land Board accepts new cabin-lease appraisals, lessees protest/Eye on Boise
- Legislation to address child deaths from faith healing won't get hearing/Eye on Boise
The answer is: Mark Knapp and Tim Herzog. The question: Who are the speakers for the dueling GOP luncheons at noon Thursday. Firearms attorney Mark Knapp (self defense instructor,competitive shooter and founding president of Armed Defense Training Association) will speak on "Economic and Firearms Freedom" at Reagan Republicans lunch/Fedora. County commissioner candidate Herzog will discuss his campaign and ideas at Bjorn Handeen's Precinct 52 lunch/IHOP. Handeen tells Huckleberries he may also discuss the local GOP Central Committee dust-up Tuesday night.
- 5:07 p.m. Someone is in trouble in a boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene, off 545 S. Lakefront/Harrison.
- 4:39 p.m. A dog is running at large, creating safety hazard, @ H95/Hayden Avenue.
- 3:45 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Feb. 25-26 here.
- 2:47 p.m. Patient is ready at Kootenai Health to be transferred to Hospice House.
- 2:25 p.m. Female driver complaining of back pain after 2-car crash near Bank of America/Post Falls.
- 1:51 p.m. A small child is locked in a Dodge pickup, with engine running, at unknown county location.
- 1:38 p.m. 68YO male has bump on head, disoriented, after fall Tuesday @ Hedgewood/Palmwood, Post Falls.
- 1:25 p.m. Road rager in white, older Ford Focus is @ s/b H95/Kathleen Avenue, CdA.
- AM Scanner Traffic
In her latest newsletter, Mary Souza takes issue with the process re: the move to dump North Idaho College sports into a lesser conference: "It’s all about the process! Seems that college President Joe Dunlap and Athletic Director Al Williams are doing an end run around normal procedure. They are going behind the scenes to ask faculty to support changing to the NWAACC. I’ve also been told there were threats of job loss if coaches or athletic staff talked with anyone about their opinions, and that the Booster Club was caught completely off guard by this proposal." Dunno about job threats. But it does seem that this significant change in league status has caught many off guard. I can't believe I'm saying this ... but Mary might be right about slowing things down re: a final decision. Full newsletter here. (However, Mary switches subjects to the Four Corners project, going on to say that the historic Memorial Field grandstands should be spared any move to reconfigure or reposition the field. I disagree. Those grandstands were decrepit 15 years ago when I was still playing softball. They should be upgraded and replaced, maybe with something that looks similar).
Question: When did you become aware that North Idaho College was thinking about switching the athletic programs into a lesser league?
On her Facebook wall, Trustee Christa Hazel of the Coeur d'Alene School Board posts of this photo shot from inside the Idaho Capitol: "The opportunity to advocate for our public schools with other trustees from all over the state was beneficial. We made contact with our local representatives, as well as legislators from other parts of Idaho, to urge them to reverse course and restore education funding as an Idaho priority."
An 11-year-old girl shot a cougar that was following her 14-year-old brother to their home at Twisp, in north central Washington, the state Fish and Wildlife Department said. You've got to admire the girl: Not only did she have a cougar tag, but she put it to good use. Read the story here. The female cougar killed last week was about 4 years old and weighed about 50 pounds — half of what it should weigh, said Officer Cal Treser. It's the latest in a rash of cougar incidents in the Methow Valley this season/Rich Landers, Outdoors. And: More here.
Boise -- The Coalition to Keep Guns Off Campus announced an event on the steps of the Capitol on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The coalition is made up of students, student associations, professors, parents and community members who oppose SB 1254. One of the event organizers, Bryan Vlok, Student Body President of Boise State University (BSU) stated: “There isn’t one major stakeholder in Idaho who supports SB 1254. From the Idaho State Board of Education to the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, Idahoans have made it clear they don’t want this bill passed.” Max Cowan, the Student Body President of University of Idaho, stated: “This is an issue that affects students directly and we’d like this decision made close to home, on our campuses”/Emily Walton, Coalition to Keep Guns Off Campus. More here.
We have another North Idaho winner this week -- Sibulsky, who attended Blogfest 2014 and is a regular Leaderboard contender. He won our $50 Davenport gift card prize. Here's our spiel for this week's quiz: "How much do you know about Boeing production locations, police cruiser models, tax revenue from pot sales and other items in the news? Take our weekly quiz and find out. You could win movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel simply by entering. Take New Quiz here.
- Answer to Question No. 3: $28,000
- Leaderboard: TLPoelstra, RaynTim & Sibulsky are among the 21 contestants on this week's Leaderboard.
My former SR photog buddy Brian Plonka provides another of his film studies (remember the mayfly last fall?) This time he photographed under Hauser Lake and recorded the frozen sounds of the lake. He explains: "I used a hydrophone on a long cable to record the sounds of shifting and settling ice in Hauser Lake, Idaho. Changing the levels of depth with the hydrophone under the lake produces different sound results. Just a simple combination of video and stills to accompany the sound driven piece." Enjoy.
The House has voted 56-14 in favor of SB 1337, the dairy spying or “ag-gag” bill, sending it to Gov. Butch Otter’s desk. “Threats of the activists and their outlaw justice is real and it’s on the rise,” Rep. Gayle Batt, R-Wilder, told the House in her closing debate. “Because actions are escalating, there’s a need to enact additional protections to protect rights of private property owners”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
Question: Do you support/oppose this bill?
Gov. Butch Otter’s campaign finance director is a former Education Networks of America staffer who left the company in September. Martin Bilbao had worked for the Nashville, Tenn.-based company as its Idaho account services manager. Last summer, when ENA submitted a bid for a multiyear high school WiFi installation contract, the company’s 308-page bid cited Bilbao’s ties to Idaho and Idaho Republican politics. In July, ENA won a contract that could extend to 15 years at a cost of more than $33 million. But since then — and as Otter gears up to run for a third term as governor — two multimillion-dollar ENA contracts have come under scrutiny at the Statehouse/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.
If we're reading the newspapers correctly, the Big Issue down in Boise this year is whether college students should by law be allowed to carry guns on campus, having jumped through the necessary hoops to obtain a concealed-carry permit. On its face, it seems like students should have that right. The National Rifle Association certainly thinks so. But let's take this a step further. Does that mean you have the Legislature's permission, with its police powers, to pack a gun into my house over my objections? Because when you walk on to a university campus, you've done so with their permission. You've established your admission credentials, they have invited you to attend and partake of their schooling and even their housing. Nobody sent you, at gunpoint, onto that campus. You are there of your own volition and you agree to play by their rules/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.
JohnA (RE: NIC boosters bash budget deal): Yes, I think it would be a bad move to go to the 'Junior Varsity' of college athletics when there's already a great national program at NIC. I know the new NIC president is from that realm and feels differently, but I've been to several booster club gatherings and the support for the teams would absolutely disappear if this move is made. I think the Trustees should address the revenue side of the equation and try to get attendance back up. It was only two years ago that they had record attendance so what's up with that, anyway? To destroy a well known program in the long term to deal with what should be a short term decline in attendance would be wrong, I think, and there are a lot of boosters who feel the same way. So, please give it a good think, Christie, before you make this move. (Photo: NIC Web site)
Question: Is the NIC administration trying to balance the books on the back of the athletics department?
The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee passed a new bylaw in November that would allow the committee to replace an elected committeeman for missing more than six meetings in a 12-month period. The problem is, the bylaw might not be legal, according to a legal review conducted by Idaho State Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene. Kootenai County Republican Central Committeeman Matt Roetter said on Tuesday that he challenged the central committee's legal authority to unseat an elected committeeman, but was told at the time it was passed that state Republican Party officials reviewed the bylaw and found it to be legal. That wasn't good enough for Roetter, so he sought a second opinion from Malek, a former Kootenai County prosecuting attorney/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
2301 E. Sherman Ave & 23rd
Coeur d'Alene Weather
Current conditions: Cloudy
Temperature: 41° F
Wind: N 7 mph
Feels like: 36° F
Visibility: 10 mi
Sunrise: 7:09 am
Sunset: 6:45 pm