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Weather Is Unpredictable, Period

February 23, 2015 - 9:12am

I've heard a number of people comment recently on the unseasonably warm weather we've been having, then they add: "But, boy, we're going to have to pay for it come April and May." I'm not sure that's how weather works. It's not like the weather is forcing school to shut down and we will have to make up for it later on in the year. I don't think we get so many allotted winter days a year and if the season is a bust the weather gods balance it out by stealing from our summer days. At least that's what I think/Kathy Hedberg, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How do you think 2015 will play out, weatherwise?

Obama Fiddles While ISIS Beheads

February 23, 2015 - 8:50am

In his weekly column in the Lewiston Tribune, conservative Michael Costello writes in part: "ISIS slave markets, ISIS crucifixion of children, ISIS rape of women, and ISIS burning and beheading of non-Muslims and Muslims who exhibit insufficient purity are not just permitted by the Koran, but required by Mohammed's teaching. They don't want jobs. They want Paradise. Theirs is an apocalyptic doctrine that has as its ultimate goal, hastening the end of the world. And it is the official policy of the Obama administration that if we could create jobs for them, busting tires, flipping burgers or manning phones in call centers, Muslims and Christians could live together in perfect harmony." More here.


Making Idaho A Christian State

February 23, 2015 - 8:43am

The Rally Righters among Kootenai County Republicans are tired of other religions in this country getting “preferential treatment.” They want the Christian religion to be preferred instead. At least in Idaho. Among the items on the agenda for the local GOP Central Committee on Tuesday is a resolution requesting that Idaho declare itself to be a “Christian state.” The whereases tell of the USA being founded on Judeo-Christian principles and of those principles being under increasing attack by public institutions. The main motion states in part: “The state of Idaho and all its institutions will render full recognition to the Christian basis thereof, not permitting any diminution or rejection of its status nor any restriction on its presence or role in the public arena.” The resolution concludes that the preservation of the “Judeo-Christian bedrock” is not to be “interpreted as restricting the free exercise of any other religion.” The resolution didn’t specify which of Idaho’s Christian religions would be most preferred/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Would there be constitutional problems in declaring Idaho a "Christian state"?

How Naked Is Too Naked?

February 23, 2015 - 8:39am

Spokane voters may soon decide how naked is too naked. Three Spokane residents appear to have succeeded in gathering the signatures they need to place an initiative on the November ballot asking voters to create a misdemeanor public exposure law. “We’re just moms and community members,” said Beth Solscheid, one of the three women leading the signature gathering effort. “We got plenty of negative reactions, but for the most part we felt we got mostly positive responses.” Their proposal was sparked by the proliferation of coffee stands with female baristas working nearly naked – clad in only G-strings and pasties/Jonathan Brunt, SR. More here.

Question: How would you vote on the public exposure law, if you lived in Spokane?

'War Bonds' Attracts SRO Crowd

February 23, 2015 - 8:33am

Cindy tells Huckleberries that the official launch of her book, "War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation," attracted a standing-room only crowd at Auntie's book store in downtown Spokane Sunday. She sold out her books. A day earlier, she sold all the books she brought to Blogfest 2015. The photo above is now featured on her Facebook page.

A Closer Look At IEN Mess

February 23, 2015 - 8:23am

As the demise of the Idaho Education Network amid legal and financial problems dominates legislative discussion – the Senate is set to approve a stopgap funding bill this morning, already approved by the House, to grant emergency funding for broadband service to local school districts through the state superintendent of schools to replace IEN service, and remove funding for the program from the state Department of Administration – Idaho Falls Post Register reporter Bryan Clark took a look over the weekend at the role of former Department of Administration Director Mike Gwartney in the debacle/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.


Conservatives Warm To Gas Taxes

February 23, 2015 - 8:12am

Republican Reps. Joe Palmer of Meridian and Paul Shepherd of Riggins are are hardline conservatives and proud of it. But when it comes to upgrading infrastructure, they are willing to put all ideas on the table - including raising the gas tax, if necessary. Palmer, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, says he'd take a tax bill to the floor if that ends up being the Legislature's end game. Shepherd, the committee's vice-chairman, said he'd be willing to go along. Raising the gas tax isn't their first option. Palmer, who would like to raise $100 million to $200 million, wants some of that money to come from the general fund or raising registration fees. From there, he said, a fuel tax is on the table/Chuck Malloy, Idaho Political Weekly (via Lewiston Tribune). More here.

Question: Do you expect the Idaho Legislature to raise state gas taxes this year as part of a fix to repair Idaho roads & bridges?

Red & Blue States

February 23, 2015 - 8:10am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Zags 70, St. Marys 60

February 21, 2015 - 9:09pm

St. Mary's forward Brad Waldow, bottom, drives to the basket while defended by Gonzaga center Przemek Karnowski during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Moraga, Calif. Gonzaga came from 17 points behind in the first half to score the last 12 points of the game to beat St. Marys 70-60 to win the West Coast Conference championship outright. Gonzaga also set a school record with its 21st win in a row. Game story & boxscore here. And: Jim Meehan's SportsLink story.(AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

Blogfest 2015 Weekend Wild Card

February 20, 2015 - 11:59pm

At long last, we've reached the day for Blogfest 2015, celebrating the 11th anniversary of Huckleberries Online. All of you blurkers, bloggers & commenters in good standing are invited to Steve Widmyer's Fort Ground Grill from 2-5 p.m. today for free food and pop. You'll get a chance to meet others who share a love for what we do here year round. I'll try to put together a short speech to deliver around 3 p.m. I'm looking forward to renewing acquaintances in person again this year. See you there. Here's your Blogfest 2015 Weekend Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 2.20.2015

February 20, 2015 - 4:38pm

Snow billows in the air as the Marine One helicopter, carrying President Barack Obama, lands on the South Lawn of the White House, on his return from Chicago, Thursday, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Blogfest Minus 1 WC -- 2.20.15

February 20, 2015 - 4:37pm

Well, it's the day before Blogfest 2015 -- and I see the mice are still stirring. One last promo here. Steve Widmyer, who has gone on to bigger and better things since he's been hanging with the Huckleberries Online crowd, has the Fort Ground Grill ready for our annual invasion Saturday afternoon. We'll feed you grub & pop for free. But you'll have to listen to a 10-minute State of the Blog speech from me. We'll also give you a chance to buy Cindy's "War Bonds" book. And we'll toast our dearly departed friend OrangeTV. Also, The Bard of Sherman Avenue has emailed a statement to be read at Blogfest. 2-5 p.m. Saturday @ Fort Ground Grill on River Avenue. See you there. Here's today's Wild Card ...

Resolved, Delay Instant Racing Vote

February 20, 2015 - 4:36pm

The Kootenai County Republican Central Committee will discuss four resolutions when it meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the county administration building, including one that asks that any legislative vote on "instant racing" be delayed. The resolution calls for postponement of a vote in the Idaho House until a decision can be made by impartial gaming experts as to the legality of the "historic horse racing" machines. The Idaho Senate has already voted 26-9 to repeal legislation that allows the machines at the Greyhound Park and other state venues (with Mary Souza in favor and Steve Vick, Bob Nonini & Shawn Keough against). You can see the resolution here.

Question: Should the legislative vote on "instant racing" be delayed until after an expert determines if the machines at Greyhound Park and other racing venues around the state are legal or not?

Cindy: When It All Became Real

February 20, 2015 - 4:21pm

On her War Bonds blog, Cindy writes: "Writing War Bonds has been a five-year journey with many highs and lows. The thrill of getting signed with a great agency. The disappointment of realizing your agent’s a dud. The tremendous excitement of receiving a contract with a great publisher. The sinking realization that you still have a whole lot of work to do on your manuscript and only a few months to get it done. The joy of receiving the first round of advance review copies. The dread of finding that yep, there’s more words to be written and a just few weeks to write them. The amazing experience of opening that first box of final copies and resisting the tempation to dump them on your bed and wallow in them. (Not good for the covers. Plus paper cuts.) Then the dawning knowledge that you have to market the book, talk about the book, have your picture taken for the book, hound people to talk about the book. Daunting for an introvert for sure. But then comes the moment when it suddenly all becomes real.  A friend posts a photo of your books on display at a local bookstore and it hits you– people are going to buy your book and read it! More here.

Question: Is there a World War II love story from your family?

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

February 20, 2015 - 4:10pm

A participant holds her nose as she tries a "Cricket Consomme," a broth made from crickets at a seminar on edible insects at Le Cordon Bleu. A group of chefs and food scientists at the esteemed French school's branch in Bangkok spent the week simmering, sautéing and grilling insects to extract innovative flavors they say could open a new frontier for the world of gastronomy. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Thursday Winner (tie, with 4 votes apiece): "There is no stress in our administration. We have trained masseuses available everywhere" -- JMRusche, and: "Joe whispers in Stehanies ear, 'I'm like Justice Ginsburg, not 100% sober'"-- Charlie. You can see Thursday phone and all 13 Cutline Contest entries here.

PM Scanner Traffic -- 2.20.15

February 20, 2015 - 3:48pm
  • 5:41 p.m. Motorist stranded on USFS Road #151, near Spade Mountain.
  • 5:32 p.m. Undisclosed-injury accident @ H95/Ironwood Drive, CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. 2 boys & a girl are throwing debris onto McGuire Road/H53, Hauser.
  • 4:56 p.m. U.S. post office @ 7th St/Lakeside Ave, CdA, reports parking problem.
  • 4:42 p.m. Undisclosed animal problem reported @ 400 block of S12 St/CdA.
  • 4:30 p.m. Strong smell of smoke in back 2 rooms of house @ 1458 Progress Drive/Hayden.
  • 4:27 p.m. Child found wandering alone @ Hanley Ave/Atlas Road, CdA.
  • 4:23 p.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 1300 Mullan Ave/CdA.
  • 4:21 p.m. Coeur d'Alene police ask for coroner.
  • 3:48 p.m. Male driver of white 2000 Dodge pickup @ w/b H53/Diagonal Road, Rathdrum, tossed pop can @ 2nd vehicle.
  • 3:35 p.m. Teen girl reports 15YO brother may have killed himself in back yard with a gun shot while she's watching younger children @ Madellaine Drive/Palais Drive, Coeur d'Alene Place. Girl's mother en route home.
  • 3:34 p.m. ISP officer stopping wrong-way driver who had corrected himself @ H95/Dalton Ave, CdA.
  • 3:31 p.m. Sandpoint PD seeking 17YO girl who posted suicidal comments on Facebook & may be in Priest River.
  • 3:16 p.m. County resident (unknown location) reports to KCSO that transients are camping behind pump house.
  • 3:05 p.m. Someone is suffering stomach pain @ 3200 block of Emma Ave/CdA.
  • 3:04 p.m. Possible drunk driver has pulled into Motel 6 motel, 610 W. Appleway, CdA.
  • 3:04 p.m. Someone at Heritage Health, 1090 W. Park Place/CdA, is threatening suicide.
  • 2:31 p.m. Speeding driver ran red light @ n/b H95/Wyoming Ave, Hayden.
  • 2:30 p.m. 24YO female has suffered bad knife cut @ Harmony House, 9967 Maple St/Hayden.
  • 2:24 p.m. Undisclosed road hazard reported @ H95/MP 400 (Conkling Road/Worley).
  • 2:05 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for Feb. 19-20 here.
  • 1:45 p.m. Kootenai County Sheriff's Office property crimes for Feb. 19-20 here.
  • 1:33 p.m. Firefights check Verizon Wireless & nearby Starbucks for source of burning smell (1:18 item).
  • 1:18 p.m. Strong smell of burning coming from back of Verizon Wireless store, 540 Prairie Ave/Hayden.
  • 12:58 p.m. Fire drill to be conducted in 5 minutes @ Lake City High, Ramsey Road/Hanley Ave, CdA.
  • 12:56 p.m. Someone is unconscious @ 6600 block of Commercial Park Ave/Rathdrum.
  • 12:52 p.m. Vicious dog reported @ 100 block of N9th St/CdA.
  • 12:50 p.m. Officer stopping to check injured deer hit by vehicle @ H95/Lancaster Road, Hayden.
  • 12:40 p.m. Coeur d'Alene School District elementary reported possible sex offense.
  • 12:37 p.m. Someone is suffering allergic reaction @ 1800 Dalton Ave/Dalton Gardens.
  • 12:26 p.m. A chip truck w/o tarp properly fastened is spewing debris @ s/b H95/MP 438.5 (Boekel Road/Hayden).
  • 12:20 p.m. Surveyor reports county resident (unknown location) is upset at his work & is yelling.
  • PM Scanner Traffic

Days Gone By: Woolworth's

February 20, 2015 - 3:30pm

Another from Keva Wolfe's Old School North Idaho collection: This is the old Woolworth's on Sherman Avenue (site of the current Sherman Park Square, just west of The Vault, San Francisco Sourdough & Pita). I got here in time to venture into the old J.C. Penney's on Sherman Avenue. But I believe Woolworth's had already burned down. It might have been boarded up in 1984. I can't remember.

Question: Anyone remember the old Woolworth's?

HucksOnline Blogos -- 2.20.15

February 20, 2015 - 2:56pm

Pacific forward Gabriel Aguirre, left, of Brazil, tries to stop the drive of Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Stockton, Calif. After every Gonzaga men's basketball game, Jim Meehan, SR SportsLink blog, analyzes what happened during the game. See below. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

HucksOnline numbers (for Thursday, Feb. 19): 11,539 page-views/7436 unique views

Expert: No Dike Trees Cut w/o Reason

February 20, 2015 - 2:28pm

In her draft minutes from the Coeur d'Alene City Council meeting Tuesday, City Clerk Renata McLeod provides the council discussion re: tree cut on Coeur d'Alene's Dike Road. It includes in part:

"Mayor Widmyer stated that in the beginning the Army Corp said that all the trees and vegetation needed to go, and the City negotiated to keep trees. The arborist from Ruen Yeager found 300 or so trees had health issues and needed to go. The community believed the City saved 700 trees without considering the two other elements; slope restoration and breach of the levee. This led to false hope and the City celebrated too soon. Ms. Winters felt the community was excited to not have to remove all of the trees; however, the geotechnical analysis was not complete at the announcement of the 350 tree removal number. Mayor Widmyer asked if there were any trees removed that should not have been. Ms. Winters stated that, in in her opinion, there were not." More here.


Hoffman: Can't Have Everything

February 20, 2015 - 2:23pm

When I was a youngster, my mother used to tell me “you can’t have everything.” And as a child, I really wanted everything—the latest everything that the 1980s could offer: a video game console (the Atari 5200) with lots of amazing games, the incredible state-of-the-art Tandy Color Computer 2 with a full 64k of memory and a new Emerson color TV. “Can’t have everything,” Mom reminded her spendy son. She later abbreviated the phrase for simplification purposes. “C-H-E,” she’d chide. I might enlist my mom to visit the Idaho Legislature, which really does seem to want everything—a 7.4 percent increase in spending for schools, an overall spending increase likely to top 6.5 percent, not to mention the mega increase in spending being proposed for state highways and bridges/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation.