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Idaho Poverty: A slow death sentence

November 12, 2015 - 11:29am

In a poignant, first-person story, Idahoan Chelle Gluch explains how living in poverty in the Gem State is a slow death sentence. She writes: "Over the years, I’ve lost about ten teeth, a finger, and a few toes to poverty. I try to rationalize—it’s not that bad, it is just one tiny body part. But – it is that bad." Chelle can't get medical care because she doesn't have insurance, a problem that Idaho GOP legislators can help relieve if they ditched their ideological opposition to Medicaid expansion for compassion:

I woke this morning with half my face swollen and throbbing–another bad tooth. I sat in the bathroom with an icepack pressed to my face and bawled. Not because of the pain but because of sheer frustration. I knew the tooth was going. I’d even managed to set aside $150 for the dentist over the last six months but it was far from the $650 the dentist needs for the root canal and crown. Once again, I’d lose a body part to poverty. More here.

Question: Have you spoken to your GOTP legislator about his/her opposition to Medicaid expansion?

I drank a cup of coffee ...

November 12, 2015 - 11:15am

I drank a cup of coffee today with a friend at Longboard (formerly Kootenai Coffee) -- and I can't remember what the cup looked like. I don't think it was red. And I don't think it said anything about Christmas. And I didn't give tell the barista that my name was "Merry Christmas." All  know about that cup was this: It was dark roast. It hit the spot. I woke up enough to have a good visit with my friend. The coffee and the business that provided it did their job. I appreciate that in a coffee business.

Greensferry Overpass opens today

November 12, 2015 - 11:10am

Photo Set (of 4 photos): They're preparing to dedicate the Greensferry Overpass at Post Falls in a few minutes. Here you see a Post Falls Police Department photo from the top of the overpass. I'm looking forward to use it as a short cut to Post Falls businesses that I visit. How about you?

Sandpoint plans for new stadium

November 12, 2015 - 11:07am

Sandpoint's iconic Memorial Field will be getting a makeover. A local option sales tax to raise $2.7 million for the stadium passed last week with 73 percent of the vote. The money will go toward funding new grandstands, with an additional 600 seats. Authorities deemed the old stands unsafe years ago, but did not have the money to rebuild right away. Now that has changed, and officials said they have already begun planning. Many in the Sandpoint community said they want the new stands to look and feel similar to the old ones. Officials said they plan to give them a similar look, but bigger and safer/KREM. More here.

Question: Have you ever sat in the old grandstands at Memorial Field?

Yesterday: 1994 Idaho guv debate

November 12, 2015 - 10:45am

We've been talking about the late Ron Rankin this week. Rankin, a former Kootenai County commissioner and activist who fought to lower property taxes, was an Independent candidate for governor in fall 1994. The other two major candidates was eventual Republican winner Phil Batt and Democratic Lt. Gov. Larry EchoHawk. The debate occurred Oct. 27, 1994. Lizard People has provided a link to the video of that debate here.

Poll: > 1/3 served in military

November 12, 2015 - 10:12am
  • Wednesday Poll: Slightly more than 1/3 of Hucks Nation has served in the military. 58 of 169 respondents (34.32%) said  they have served in the military. 111 of 169 respondents (65.68%) said they have not.
  • Today's Poll: Do you appreciate Councilman Dan Gookin more/less/same today as you did when he first took office 4 years ago?

Edit: The make-believe war on Xmas

November 12, 2015 - 9:34am

Just as the Christmas decorations and holiday music come earlier and earlier every year, so do the idiotic claims of the War on Christmas being waged in America. The first accusations of the season are courtesy Jeremy Morris, a Hayden, Idaho, man who fancies himself a real-life Clark Griswald. He has accused his neighbors and his homeowners association of waging jihad on Christmas for threatening to sue him if he goes forward with his plans for a massive display that includes tens of thousands of lights, a living Nativity, a 22-voice choir and a camel named Dolly at his home. Despite his claims, this supposed war has little to do with Christmas, some to do with rules and a lot to do with Morris' ego and desire for attention/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

DFO: We've discussed this at length. Any more thoughts?

North Idaho Cider sets chili cookoff fundraiser for Humane Society

November 12, 2015 - 9:23am

KeithofCDA, Bent & North Idaho Cider is hosting a fund-raiser for Human Society Saturday:

In co-operation with the Kootenai Humane Society,  North Idaho Cider is hosting the 1st annual Tail Wagging Chili cook-of will take place this Saturday, November 14th. The event is happening at North Idaho Cider's production facility and tasting room located at 11100 Airport Way in Hayden. The event starts at 11AM and will end at 4PM. The purpose of the event is to raise cash funds for Kootenai Humane Society operating expenses.

So far a dozen local entries in the chili cook off will compete for the top cash prize, now at $200, as well as 2nd and 3rd place prizes made up of donations from local merchants. Chili entered in the competition will be judged by Wally Jacobson, Executive Director of Panhandle Area Council and Tony Usher, Executive Chef at Avondale Golf Course.

Additionally a Peoples Choice Award will be voted on by the general public in attendance.

Entries for the cook off are still being accepted as are vendor spots for local merchant. Cook off spots are $40 with $20 going to the prize money and $20 going to the Humane Society. Vendor spots are $25 with a dozen various vendors committed so far. Vendors are local small businesses/individuals offering a variety of merchandise from jewelry to art to skin care products. Kootenai Humane Society will have staff on hand with pets available for adoption. 

Proceeds from North Idaho Cider's sales that day will go to Kootenai Humane Society after the event. Cost for the event is $20 for Adult, $15 for teens, and $5 for 12 and under. Admission includes a complimentary hard cider, local draft beer, coffee or non alcoholic cider. For kids under 21 non alcoholic cider, or soda is included. All admissions include unlimited chili samples, cornbread and 1 vote in the People Choice Award.

For info email 

DOTC: Of Gookin & Ron Rankin

November 12, 2015 - 8:57am

Dan of the City (RE: Cuff: Gookin becoming next Ron Rankin):

OK, here's what I know. And as I think about it, I'm part of a probably small subset of folks who was a Cd'A School board member who had a recall petition filed against me by Ron Rankin, beat Ron in a couple of school board elections, but then went on to serve for several years with him as a fellow county elected official.

I don't mind saying at all that over time I came to appreciate him, respect him, and miss him and his unique perspective on many things, especially on this day, Veteran's Day.

I often tell folks that if I had to go into a political bar fight, I can't think of anyone I would rather have my back than Ron Rankin. I mean that as a very high compliment.

Dan Gookin. I'm also one of the few people on this thread that had certain "issues" with both Dan Gookin and Ron Rankin and will end up "serving time" with both as fellow elected officials.

While I don't see eye to eye on Dan on everything (and that's a healthy thing), I have moved on from focusing on our past "issues" to looking forward to engaging with him on the various issues of mutual concern for the City of Coeur d'Alene. I will say on the record that Dan has both surprised me and impressed me with his stand on some issues that are important to many of us. I think he has grown with his experience and responsibilities and I hope to always do myself.


Trib: Hoffman opposes city freedom

November 12, 2015 - 8:52am

In this morning's editorial, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase takes aim at Idaho's "Mr. Freedom," Wayne Hoffman, for his recommendation that the Idaho Legislature take away the ability of individual cities to raise the minimum wage. Trillhaase says in part:

"When it comes to freedom in McCall, last week's minimum wage vote was too close for Hoffman's comfort. Actually, if he had his way, no state or even the federal government would impose any minimum wage. But Hoffman has enough like-minded friends in Idaho's Legislature that he can count on them never advancing the state's wage one cent higher than the national minimum. So he wants them to close down the option. "Advocates for this absurd policy are likely to keep pressing local governments - or their voters - to say yes," Hoffman wrote in his newspaper column last week. "Eventually, there will be some kind of piecemeal win, unless lawmakers put a stop to the madness." Isn't this the same Hoffman who has made it his life's mission to keep the heavy hand of government off people's backs? More here.


Lake City observes Veterans Day

November 12, 2015 - 8:52am

As Winton Elementary students sang patriotic songs, William Taylor offered a salute and tears rolled down the veteran's eyes. Taylor was among 150 or so people who attended Wednesday's Veterans Day ceremony at McEuen Park organized by American Legion Post 14 and VFW Post 889. "I'm proud to have served my country, but what I'm more proud of is the people who came out in the cold to observe this day," Taylor said. "Every day (the public and veterans) are coming closer together." Taylor said he and fellow veterans returned from the Vietnam War being called baby-killers, but said each ceremony such as the one in Coeur d'Alene helps heal those wounds of war. "We're now people who can stand proud because of people thinking of us," Taylor said/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Otter pledges troth to education -- again

November 12, 2015 - 8:31am

A plethora of “who’s who” in the Idaho education world swooped into Coeur d’Alene this week for the Idaho School Boards Association’s annual convention. More than 500 board members, superintendents, education leaders and guests gathered to meet, greet and learn Wednesday through Friday at the Coeur d’Alene Resort. The convention reached an all-time attendance record, according to ISBA staff. Featured attendees included Gov. Butch Otter and Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra. Otter addressed board members during Wednesday night’s dinner and told them he was starting another campaign — not for another term as governor, but to “campaign for the completion” of the 20 recommendations made by his Task Force for Education. The rollout of the recommendations is expected to take four more years and $350 million/Jennifer Swindell, Idaho Education News. More here.


Question: Whenever I hear of Butch Otter talking about his commitment to education, I am tempted to close my eyes, put my fingers in my ears and say repeatedly, lalalalala. Izzit just me?

Mullan realignment on ignite list

November 12, 2015 - 8:15am

Next week, Coeur d'Alene urban renewal agency board members are scheduled to discuss — and possibly approve — spending $1.6 million on the proposed Mullan Road re-alignment construction project. Later this month, on Nov. 23, a Coeur d'Alene City Council committee is scheduled to consider approving a contract for the project's design work. That would then need to be approved by the full city council. The design contract was in front of the public works committee early this week, but was tabled to give the three city councilmembers on the committee more time to review the details of the contract, said City Councilwoman Kiki Miller, a committee member/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Four more years

November 12, 2015 - 8:08am

Jim Morin/Miami Herzld

Hump Day Wild Card -- 11.11.15

November 11, 2015 - 5:13pm

On Facebook, state Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d'Alene, offers this poignant thought today, Veterans Day: "Those who go abroad to face the horror of war on our behalf must be supported when they return. We are failing, and must do better." Bingo. Here's your Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 11.11.15

November 11, 2015 - 5:12pm

Korean War Veteran Margaret Ogram salutes the flag during the singing of the national anthem during a Veterans Day ceremony at the Pfc. Robert J. Gordon Veterans Memorial Plaza at Hayden City Hall on Wednesday in Hayden. Kathy Plonka/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Song corrects Idaho city names

November 11, 2015 - 5:03pm

It's not Boi-zee, Koo-na, Kam-eye-uh, Wiser or Weepy. If you've spent much time in Idaho, you have probably heard someone mispronounce the names of cities like Boise, Kuna, Kamiah, Weiser and Weippe. A group of radio stations in Twin Falls and Boise are hoping to change that. Townsquare Media Production Directior Peter Bierma wrote the lyrics and produced the video for the "The Idaho Cities Song." The catchy tune takes listeners on a very fast city-by-city tour of the state, and sets the record straight on the most mispronounced town names. Bierma said he was inspired to write the song by a few pronunciation stumbles of his own/KTVB. More here.


Cuff: Gookin becoming next Ron Rankin

November 11, 2015 - 4:43pm

Susan Cuff (RE: Gookin takes on Regan) "I think what you're seeing here is the same evolution that Ron Rankin experienced. Old-timers will recall that, way back in the day, Rankin was a total outsider, an idealogue and he tilted at an awful lot of windmills.What Rankin was not, however, was stupid. He was extremely intelligent, as I suspect Dan Gookin is, although I don't know him personally. When Rankin was finally elected county commissioner and suddenly became an "insider," he discovered that issues were not as black and white as he once thought and that his job was serving the people, not a strict ideology. He became a very respected commissioner who did good work. You may be seeing is a similar political evolution of Dan Gookin."

DFO: Susan is a former Coeur d'Alene Press reporter. She and I both had the duty -- and fun -- of covering the late Ron Rankin in his hey day, as the tilter of windmills, as he roamed Idaho in his old Cadillac, only to see him settle down and do a good job as county commissioner for two terms.

Question: Do you think Susan is right? Is Gookin starting to serve the entire town rather than just the segment that was largely behind the failed recall effort of a few years back? Inquiring minds want to know.

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

November 11, 2015 - 4:30pm

Rick Santorum, left, gestures as Chris Christie watches during Republican presidential debate at Milwaukee Theatre, Tuesday in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Tuesday Winner: DFO, with 8 likes: "Wayne Hoffman, of the "nonprofit, educational" Idaho Freedom Foundation, trains Kootenai County legislators how to respond to him prior to the 2016 session." You can see Tuesday photo and all Cutline Contest entries here.