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Updated: 12 min 32 sec ago

Treasurer Crane Defends Record

July 25, 2014 - 10:51am

In his 16 years as Idaho’s state treasurer, Ron Crane has built up the state’s credit rating, launched a popular college savings program and a free annual control-your-finances conference for women, and helped create a bond bank that lets local school bonds and other local-government debt take advantage of the state’s favorable interest rates, potentially saving property taxpayers millions. But he’s best known for a series of critical state audit findings over the past five years, the most recent suggesting that Crane made an inappropriate transfer between two funds that cost the state’s taxpayers more than $10 million. Crane vigorously disputes the audit finding, contending his office did nothing wrong and made reasonable decisions based on what it knew at the time/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Are you concerned about Treasurer Crane's record? Or have you locked into the race at all?

AM Headlines -- 7.25.14

July 25, 2014 - 10:16am

Two horses from Budweiser sit on display as the crowds observe them Thursday at the Super 1 in Hayden. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Mike Curry)

Coeur d'Alene Sunset

July 25, 2014 - 9:45am

Carrie Gridley, owner of CG Salon at Charlotte's Web (2nd & Indiana), snapped this photo of a recent Coeur d'Alene sunset. Sam Crawford posted it on his Facebook page -- and drew my attention to it via email. Posts Sam: "Coeur d'Alene is spectacular in the summertime." Usually, I have mixed emotions re: sunset photos. Sometimes the photo isn't nearly as worthy as the sunset. But this one is. I'm going to make it my desktop photo for the foreseeable future. Absolutely wunnerful.

Hey, Didn't You Used To Be ...

July 25, 2014 - 9:40am
... rocker Ted Nugent?

Immigrant Kids In Idaho, Guv Upset

July 25, 2014 - 9:33am

Eight migrant children from Central America apprehended at the Mexican border already have been sent to Idaho, according to a U.S. Health & Human Services Report quoted late yesterday by the Associated Press, though they’ve gone to sponsors, not to state custody; that means they’ve been taken in by relatives, family friends or foster parents. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, who yesterday sent a letter to top federal officials declaring that the Gem State won’t take any of the unaccompanied minors who arrived illegally at the southern border as part of a surge of tens of thousands, wasn’t happy about the report. “Assuming this report is true, HHS has not provided any information  about this nor did it go through any of the established channels  to inform the Governor’s Office that this was happening,” Otter’s press secretary, Jon Hanian, said in an email/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (AP file photo for illustrative purposes)

Question: So the kids have sponsors -- and the governor's upset? Seriously?

Hearn: Critic Finney Prefers Scowling

July 25, 2014 - 9:27am

Trustee Tom Hearn of the Coeur d'Alene School District took critic Mary Jo Finney to task after the county Prosecutor Barry McHugh dismissed Finney's complaint that Hearn and two other trustees had violated the state's open meeting law:

I could say a lot about this complaint by Mary Jo Finney but I won't other than the following. I have repeatedly offered to meet with Ms Finney to discuss her concerns and she has refused to meet with me. She apparently prefers sitting in the back of school board meetings reading emails and scowling at the board members she doesn't like and then writing letters to the editor or filing spurious complaints about board members. Ms. Finney apparently sees herself as the great defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way ... or something. I am very open to the concerns of citizens about the schools but if the citizen refuses to meet with me to discuss their concerns then I am suspect of their real motives.

Thoughts?

Vestal: Rocker Nugent Is Tone Deaf

July 25, 2014 - 9:17am

Why did the Coeur d’Alene Tribe cancel the concert of super-bigot and hack rocker Ted Nugent? Because the left hates guns. Some people thought it was because a tribe inviting The Nuge to play for them was a bit like the NAACP inviting David Duke. Some thought it was because a tribe that has a record of standing up for human rights and against racism had a responsibility not to host someone who called the president a “chimpanzee” and a “subhuman mongrel,” and who suggested that it might have been better – Obama-wise – had the South won the Civil War. Others wondered if it was related to Nugent’s practice of wearing a Native American headdress onstage, or mocking those who object to racist sports-team names. Others might have thought it had something to do with Nugent’s witheringly ignorant comments about poor people, another of the many types of people other than white hunter-Americans that he likens to animals. There are many, many reasons that the tribe – or any decent earthling – might not want to support this jackass. Including this one: His music is lame/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (AP file photo: Ted Nugent performs at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, Md., last August)

Thoughts?

Playhouse To Stage 'Avenue Q'

July 25, 2014 - 9:05am

In the Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q,” no topic is too taboo to skewer: race relations, poverty, religion, sexuality, politics, pornography. That’s nothing new – shows like “Rent” and “Spring Awakening” have tackled most of the same issues – but the twist here is that a majority of the characters are puppets, cheerful-looking but gleefully vulgar cloth-and-felt creations that would likely get evicted if they moved onto Sesame Street. “Avenue Q,” which beat “Wicked” for the Best Musical Tony in 2004, is one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, but it’s just now making its Inland Northwest community theater premiere at Lake City Playhouse. Why the delay? George Green, LCP’s artistic director, said the complicated production – it requires about a dozen puppets, all of which are operated by the actors onstage – and the risqué content have prevented “Avenue Q” from becoming a community theater staple/Nathan Weinbender, SR. More here. (Photo by Kathy Plonka: From left, Kayla Mueller, Lili Gorman and Mark Pleasant star in the Lake City Playhouse production of “Avenue Q”)

Question: So, are you into vulgar puppetry?

Nonini's Wife Angers Local Vets

July 25, 2014 - 8:47am

Local veterans are hopping mad re: a snarky response from Cathyanne Nonini re: a request that her husband, state Sen. Bob Nonini, attend a presentation re: a veteran's home being located in North Idaho. Cathyanne Nonini's responded to a request from Len Crosby, the legislative chairman for the Post Falls American Legion post:

Hello Len, I will forward your request to my husband ... However your request is received with some bittersweet feelings. My husband, the good Senator, and I have always enthusiastically supported the American Legion, as you know. It was hurtful and disappointing that you and Mary chose to support my husband's very liberal and unkind opponent in the recent Republican primary. Whalen became very ugly and mean in the last weeks of the campaign and your financial support helped with his personal attack of my husband. Bob has done an excellent job in Boise and the campaign was one of the ugliest we have ever seen. I am proud that my husband kept his campaign clean and focused on his record and issues, while your candidate chose to personally attack and tried to malign my husband's reputation. Interesting that now you ask for Bob's assistance and interest in your issue -- Cathyanne. Full exchange here.

Thoughts?

Storm Strikes RV Park, Kills Cattle

July 25, 2014 - 8:43am

Ernie Power, camp host at Silverwood RV Park, cleans up debris Thursday from surrounding trees that blew onto his RV after a storm fell near 100 trees and caused damage to dozens of vehicles Wednesday night. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

John Symons couldn't believe it when a son told him that four of his cows and a calf were killed by lightning Wednesday. "It made me sick to my stomach," the Hayden-area rancher said Thursday. "A neighbor threw rocks at them and knew they had died when they didn't move. They had dark spots on their bellies from where they were struck." The cattle deaths, toppled trees that caused widespread damage at Silverwood Theme Park's RV park and many power outages were among the results of the fierce thunderstorm that left areas of Kootenai County recovering on Thursday. Symons' loss of cattle at Hudlow Road and Marble Lane north of Hayden was estimated at $4,500. "That's a lot of money to lose," Symons said. Symons said the cattle were under a tree that was split by a lightning strike/Brian Walker, Press. More here.

Question: What is the worst storm that you've experienced?

Jeers -- To Idaho F&G Commission

July 25, 2014 - 8:22am

In his weekly Cheers & Jeers column, Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune gives jeers to ...to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. The commission is opposing creating a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. "Without state sovereignty, you won't have hunting, fishing and trapping in any meaningful way," said Commission Chairman Fred Trevey of Lewiston. How would he know without first consulting groups such as the Idaho Conservation League? Negotiations with monument supporters could lead toward an agreement to secure hunting and fishing rights within any national monument proclamation President Barack Obama issues. This looks like Fish and Game extending political cover to Otter, who not only opposes the monument, but the much more flexible Boulder-White Clouds bill Congressman Mike Simpson could have passed with the governor's support. Full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Do you support/oppose prospect of President Obama creating a Boulder-White Clouds National Monument?

Letter: McRuin Is All Wet

July 25, 2014 - 8:15am

From Saturday’s front page; “I don’t think that much water (120K gallons/day) was anticipated by Team McEuen.” If that is not a giant red flag I don’t know what is. The Team should have known EXACTLY how many gallons per day this pad would take because it should have been clearly specified/designed/reviewed and implemented. “That was unbeknownst to anyone...” Ooh that makes ya all warm and fuzzy inside don’t it? Can you imagine these boobs building your house? You would turn on a faucet and your neighbor’s toilet would flush. “Due to the popularity of the splash pad...” Y’all did not think that the much hyped park would draw kids to the splash pad when it is 95 flippin degrees out? Why build it? Why waste the electricity or water on it? Let the kids enjoy it since they will be paying for the maintenance on it forever. “...appears to have lower than anticipated soil infiltration rate...”/George Beauchesne, Hauser, letter to the editor, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Izzit just me -- or do some of the most vocal critics of the McEuen Field reconstruction live outside the city limits?

Crude & Unreliable

July 25, 2014 - 8:12am

Joe Heller/Hellertoons

Wild Card/Thursday -- 7.24.14

July 24, 2014 - 5:12pm

Huckleberries Online survived the monster storm Wednesday afternoon by ... staying on line while the police squawkers provided snippets of the ongoing damage. At one point, a dispatcher told a responder to a utility problem that he'd have to wait because there were 25 priority calls in front of his. Local police, firefighters & utility crews began to get the matter in hand within about an hour of the storm's beginning. They all deserve a monster hat tip for facing the storm and helping us through it. Now for today's Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 7.24.14

July 24, 2014 - 5:10pm

A lineman reaches for a lift from a helicopter as work continues on twinning power lines that run from Calgary to Edmonton near Carstairs, Alta., Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

McEuen Park: Mission Accomplished

July 24, 2014 - 5:04pm

After years of talking, planning, wrangling, dreaming and dissension, the transformation of the Coeur d'Alene waterfront from a mundane parking lot into a classy people's playground is now a pinch-me-it's-true reality. McEuen Park, officially opened two months ago, is the most dramatic change ever to hit the city of Coeur d'Alene. McEuen Park is huge. Like a fabulous, multifaceted emerald setting, the 20-acre project wraps around the town jewel, Tubbs Hill, from the west side of the waterfront to Sanders Beach on the east. Together, Tubbs Hill and McEuen Park add up to 140 acres of public space. That's one-sixth the size of New York City's Central Park with its millions of people. The park will continue to be a work in progress as trees grow tall, shrubs fatten, grass grows greener and the additional pieces of public art that have been commissioned are installed/Mary Lou Reed, Inlander. More here.

Question: Did you realize the McEuen Park/Tubbs Hill green space is 1/6th the size of New York's Central Park?

Update: Nugent Loses 2 More Concerts

July 24, 2014 - 4:54pm

The Puyallup Tribe of American Indians in western Washington, following the lead of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in Idaho, today cancelled two shows by rocker Ted Nugent who is finding himself at the center of a growing controversy over his record of racist and violent rhetoric. “The Ted Nugent shows, scheduled for August 2nd and 3rd at the Emerald Queen Casino, have been cancelled,” the tribe announced on the casino’s Facebook page without further elaboration. The cancellation, Hatewatch learned, came just a short time before Seattle TV station KOMO was expected to air a segment on the Puyallup tribe booking Nugent for the shows. Puyallup Tribal Council Vice President Lawrence W. LaPointe told local media that the tribe booked Nugent without realizing that he espouses “racist attitudes and views.” “The first amendment gives people the right free speech, but I think racism is intolerable and not acceptable here,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of complaints from the community and other organizations”/Bill Morlin, SPLC HateWatch. More here. (AP file photo)

Also: SR story here.

Question: It appears that a trend is beginning. Thoughts?

PM Headlines -- 7.24.14

July 24, 2014 - 4:35pm

Kevin Daughdrill (in front of sign) and Eric Allen (behind sign) of the Idaho Transportation Department affix new speed limit signs along the westbound lanes of Interstate 84 east of Mountain Home today. (AP Photo/Idaho Statesman: Joe Jaszewski)

PM Scanner Traffic-- 7.24.14

July 24, 2014 - 4:30pm

Beer Theft at Stateline Walmart: The male pictured above is suspected of stealing a 30-pack of Bud Light from WalMart, located on Pointe Parkway in Post Falls, around 11:55 p.m. on Wednesday, July 9. A witness observed the male drive away in an orange and black truck, heading towards the Washington state line. If you have any information or tips, please contact Det. McDonald, reference case 14PF13077, at 208-773-3517. (A picture of suspect's truck with Dixie flag in bed can be seen in comments section)

  • 5:16 p.m. Blue Harley-Davidson w/blond female on back weaving, 35 mph, pulling into Curleys/Hauser.
  • 5:05 p.m. Animal problem reported @ 2000 block of N6th Street/CdA.
  • 4:57 p.m. ISP officer reports male passenger of vehicle behind Pier 1/CdA is going through garbage.
  • 4:51 p.m. PFPD officer reports vehicle belonging to shoplifting suspects (2:51 item) still in parking lot.
  • 4:30 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for July 23-24 here.
  • 3:46 p.m. Male in green van hitting child @ 1500 block of 3rd Avenue/Post Falls.
  • 3:38 p.m. Dark vehicle appears to be abandoned @ Spokane Street/Spokane onramp.
  • 2:51 p.m. PFPD officer reports WalMart shoplifters stuffed stolen items in trunk of vehicle, secured w/bungy cords, and then left on foot when they saw him coming. He tells partner he doesn't think he can, by law, open trunk & look for stolen items. His partner agrees. So the officer said he'll wait on scene to see if suspects return. Car keys locked in vehicle.
  • 2:38 p.m. Motorist, who was driving erratically in Hayden Super 1 lot, now getting gas at nearby Exxon.
  • 2:34 p.m. Tree appears to be down on a cable line @ Bunco Road/Vlazy Lane, east of H95/Athol.
  • 2:15 p.m. Deputy reports cable line down @ Hayden Lake Road b/n MP 6-7.
  • 1:49 p.m. Female in gray 2009 BMW took bundle of wood from Post Falls property.
  • 1:31 p.m. Someone is unconscious in 100 block of W9th Avenue/PostFalls.
  • 1:14 p.m. 83YO Post Falls female is semi-conscious at home after be treated for stroke @ Kootenai Health.
  • AM Scanner Traffic

Coeur d'Alene To Hold Line On Taxes

July 24, 2014 - 3:50pm

Coeur d’Alene’s 2014-15 budget will have a zero percent property tax increase under a preliminary spending plan that has received support from the City Council. During a budget workshop Thursday, the council endorsed a budget of $74,561,945 as outlined by finance director Troy Tymesen. The budget will be formally adopted following a public hearing at the regular City Council meeting September 2. As proposed, the budget includes the streamlining and restructuring of some city departments. The deputy city administrator’s position, which in the past was budgeted at $148,292 including wages and benefits, was vacated last December and will not be filled. Those duties will be assumed by other city department heads and their staffs/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today. More here.

Thoughts?