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Updated: 32 min 51 sec ago

'Trash People" Lands In Israel

April 2, 2014 - 11:06am

The "Trash People,” an art exhibit of life-size figures made from 20 tons of recycled iron, glass, computer parts, cans and industrial waste, stands on Israel’s Hiriya landfill near Tel Aviv, Israel, today. "Trash People" by German artist HA Schult, has been traveling for 18 years around the world, with stops in Paris La Defense, Moscow Red Square, the Great Wall of China, Egypt's Pyramids in Giza, Piazza del Popolo in Rome, Antarctica and now in Israel until April 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

See comments section for another view of "Trash People"

Fulcher: Otter 'Real World' Hurts Idaho

April 2, 2014 - 11:00am

Senator Russ Fulcher today released a gut check on the realities of Governor Otter’s tenure. “Idaho sits at or near the bottom in several economic indicators. We are tops in the nation for minimum wage jobs. Although, the governor calls the minimum wage an Idahoan’s ‘real world experience’, Idahoans would much prefer to have an economy with high wage job opportunities.” Fulcher continued, “Idaho ranks 47th in the nation for average wage; our people have had enough of this “real world experience” and want leadership that cares enough about their future to have a vision for the state”/Russ Fulcher for Governor news release. More here.

Question: Fulcher makes some decent points. Under Otter's watch, Idaho has sunk to the bottom or near the bottom in the percentage of minimum wage jobs, teach salaries, per capita student spending and average wages. Thoughts?

Poll: Humbug, To April Fool's Jokes

April 2, 2014 - 10:27am
  • Tuesday Poll: Hucks Nation is decidedly opposed to April Fool's Day jokes, with 76% opposed. Of that number, 48 of 95 respondents (50.53%) doesn't pull April Fool's Jokes on others. And 24 of 95 (25.26%) said that they not only don't pull April Fool's Day jokes on others but they don't like them pulled on themselves. Only 22 of 95 (23.16%) play April Fool's joke. One respondent (1.05%) was undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Should the Coeur d'Alene City Council change zoning for the historic Fortgrounds area to prevent more multi-family dwellings?

AM Headlines -- 4.2.14

April 2, 2014 - 9:48am

Emergency crews from the Post Falls Police Department, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and Kootenai County Fire and Rescue respond to the scene where a Spokane man finally pulled over his vehicle on Interstate 90 near the Huetter rest stop after going into diabetic shock. The driver was spotted swerving near the state line where his vehicle struck a barrier, and was followed by an off-duty Spokane County deputy. Story here. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Alexie's 'Part-Time Indian' Gets Boot

April 2, 2014 - 9:16am

School trustees decided in a 2-1 vote "to look for a suitable replacement" for a book that drew more than a hundred people to a Meridian school board meeting Tuesday night. The body was mulling over a committee's recommendation to keep "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" as an option on the reading list. During the public's opportunity to speak, one person called the book "verbal pornography" that "poisons the mind," while others said "Diary" told a story about a boy who finds education is his escape from poverty. Parent Bonnie Stiles said she counted 133 "filthy words in this book that we do not speak in our home, that I'm sure you do not speak in your homes." Some of the 50 or so speakers who each had three minutes to address the school board said the book about a young Indian growing up on a reservation has literary merit/KBOI2. More here. (Wikipedia photo)

Question: How many books have you read by Sherman Alexie?

Jail Deals With 14YO Murder Suspect

April 2, 2014 - 9:09am

A recent murder has staff at the Kootenai County Jail faced with a unique situation. They are trying to sort out how to properly house a suspected teenaged killer. Eldon Samuel III admitted to killing his brother and father in March according to court documents. Police said the teenager used a pistol, a shotgun, knife, and machete to kill his family inside their Coeur d'Alene. The 14-year-old is being charged as an adult and being held at the Kootenai County Jail. Samuel has been locked up in an individual cell in the booking area. He cannot be around other inmates according to staff. Samuel can only be in the common TV area when other inmates are not around. Managers at the jail told KREM 2 News that there is not a separate area for holding juveniles. They added that the jail already deals with overcrowding/Taylor Viydo, KREM2. More here.

Thoughts?

Slayings: What Have We Learned?

April 2, 2014 - 9:06am

Letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor: "The patricide-fratricide that happened in Coeur d’Alene freshly haunts us all. Why? How? And after so much love through housing help from St. Vincent de Paul? I will never forget getting chewed out by a farrier because my adolescent son had a horse not worth the trouble of his horseshoes. He went on and on about how people have a horse that isn’t good for anything else and what do they do? They breed it. While I still believe the farrier’s words to be overly harsh and judgmental, I can see his point. Why would someone breed to reproduce when they themselves are unfit or can’t afford offspring? And why are single parents now the norm despite having four times the poverty? Are we becoming a society with the moral compass of farm animals? Where our sole purpose in life is the goal of being a video game couch potato on disability until we feel the need to breed, but still live with mom to avoid paying child support?"/Mike Reno, Post Falls. More here.

Thoughts?

County Pays $315K To Fired Attorney

April 2, 2014 - 8:41am

Kootenai County's insurance company paid $315,000 to a deputy prosecutor who was fired and then rehired after suing the county for wrongful termination. The Idaho Counties Risk Management Plan, or ICRMP, paid the settlement to Kenneth Stone in November 2013. A month later, county commissioners created a new, temporary full-time position for Stone in the prosecutor's office "for 11 pay periods." Stone could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but his wife, attorney Saviraj Grewal, said neither she nor her husband would comment. "The ICRMP settlement was confidential," Grewal said. The settlement amount was released after The Press submitted a records request to ICRMP. Previously, the county refused to divulge the settlement amount/Taryn Thompson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Something's happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear ...

Praying For Victims

April 2, 2014 - 8:25am

Adisorn Gronski, left, prays while monks from the Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery in Woodinville chant for victims of the deadly mudslide in Oso, Wash., Tuesday, near a road block in Oso. The March 22 mudslide destroyed the rural mountainside community northeast of Seattle. The official death toll now stands at 29. Story here. (AP Photo/The Herald, Sofia Jaramillo)

Council Debates Fortgrounds Zoning

April 2, 2014 - 8:16am

The Coeur d'Alene City Council debated late into Tuesday evening on whether to protect the historic nature of a neighborhood, or the property rights of homeowners in that neighborhood. Single-family housing in the Fort Grounds neighborhood was the main topic of discussion again at the council meeting, and they were still trying to decide at press time. The Fort Grounds Homeowners Association appealed the Coeur d'Alene Planning and Zoning Commission's earlier decision to deny a special use overlay zone that would restrict all building in a portion of the historic neighborhood to single family homes. Ken Murphy, speaking on behalf of the association, gave the council a 12-minute presentation of the issue, and made a strong case for restricting the neighborhood to single-family homes/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Which way would you go on this if you sat on the Coeur d'Alene City Council?

Idaho Lawmakers Delusional

April 2, 2014 - 8:16am

These days, Idaho's politicians are afflicted with legislation selection disorder. You know. LSD. It works like this: Act as if the people of the Gem State are a self-reliant bunch of up-from-the-bootstraps, rugged individualists who are beaten down by an oppressive federal government.Ignore the reality: The benevolent U.S. taxpayer is all that stands between them and financial oblivion. John S. Kiernan, a senior analyst with the personal finance social network Wallethub.com, worked over the numbers and here's what he found:

  • For every dollar Idahoans pay in federal taxes, they get $1.40 back. That tracks with earlier studies by such groups as the Tax Foundation. Idaho's poorly compensated workers don't generate a lot of income tax, but they require an awful lot of help from Uncle Sam in terms of Medicaid, food stamps, Social Security and Medicare.
  • State government would be 35 percent smaller - or state taxes would be 35 percent higher - if the feds weren't propping up Idaho's budget.
  • Out of every 1,000 people, nearly eight work for the federal government - whether that's Idaho National Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Mountain Home Air Force Base, the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you tired of lawmakers in federally dependent Idaho pandering to voters by yapping about federal intrusion?

Procrastination

April 2, 2014 - 8:13am

Nick Anderson/Houston Chronicle

Wild Card/Tuesday -- 4.1.14

April 1, 2014 - 5:07pm

I forgot to mention the small cluster -- maybe 3 or 4 -- of protesters on the I-90 overpass @ Northwest Boulevard/Ramsey Road about noon Sunday. They had one large "Impeach Obama" sign that I could see as I passed by, heading for the Ramsey Road transfer station. They were dancing around trying to get the attention of the travelers on the freeway and passing by on NW/Ramsey. One guy was wearing a holstered side arm. I was unaware that the anti-Obamites were still doing their Freeway Protests. Anyone else see these guys? Now for today's Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 4.1.14

April 1, 2014 - 5:05pm

Members of the Albanian delegation attend a military welcome ceremony during meeting of Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama with German chancellor Angela Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, earlier today. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

April Fool's Day Targets Internet

April 1, 2014 - 4:51pm

"The Verizon wifi was down all day where we live, and is finally up again; way to go on an April Fool's Day, no foolin'! It's back up and running ... finally! Anything happen that was 'out of the ordinary' with you today?" -- Facebook Friend Corinna Hunter.

Question: Did you lose Internet access on April Fool's Day today? Or did something else weird happen to you?

Top Story: Idaho Prioritizes Wolf Kills

April 1, 2014 - 4:47pm

Today's Top Story (w/18 comments):

You have to wonder when Idaho will finally get its fill of killing wolves. The most likely answer is never, mostly because the state will probably be stopped short of its ultimate goal and back off its eradication efforts when the species' population dips down to about 150 or 10 breeding pairs - anything below that, officials fear, may encourage the federal government to step back in.To put that population number in perspective, just five short years ago the predator's numbers in Idaho were believed to be around 1,000. Many groups estimate the current population to be in the neighborhood of 500. You have to give Idaho some credit for that feat. While the Legislature and Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter are incapable of adequately funding a proper education system or attracting business and shedding Idaho of the distinction of having the nation's highest number of minimum-wage workers per capita, they certainly know how to slaughter wolves/Devin Rokyta, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here.

Question: Is it fair to compare money spent to eradicate wolves to money not spent to support education?

PM Scanner Traffic -- 4.1.14

April 1, 2014 - 4:40pm

Sometime between Friday and Monday, someone spray painted graffiti on the restroom facilities of Chase Field, located in the area of Walnut Street and 20th Avenue. The graffiti was in blue spray paint and reads "WE ARE THE SPECTACLE" There are currently no suspects and anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Moss at (208)773-2952. (Photo: PFPD)

  • 4:46 p.m. 1 female injured & taken to hospital in crash b/n red Bronco/Chevy Suburban @ H95/Hayden, blocking.
  • 4:42 p.m. Beige Silverado w/Montana plates passed several vehicles on shoulder @ w/b I-90/H95, CdA.
  • 4:35 p.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for March 31-April 1 here.
  • 4:26 p.m. A car & a truck are parked along w/b I-90/Huetter rest stop area, unknown problem.
  • 4:23 p.m. Driver of white Dodge mini-van aggressive, reckless @ e/b I-90/MP 3, exits @ Spokane Street/Post Falls.
  • 4:18 p.m. Driver of white Nissan pickup possibly DUI @ w/b I-90/MP 39 (near Cataldo Mission Slough).
  • 10 more items + AM Scanner Traffic link below

Cutline Contest -- 4.1.14

April 1, 2014 - 4:31pm

Time 2 Vote (can't believe there are only 2 entries for this one) ...

Boston Red Sox player David "Big Papi" Ortiz takes a selfie with President Barack Obama, holding a Boston Red Sox jersey presented to the president during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington today, where the president honored the 2013 World Series baseball champion Boston Red Sox. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Monday Winner -- DFO, with 6 likes: Young Seattle Mariners fans have a case of butterflies on the opening day of the Major League Baseball season; runnerup: JohnA, with 5 likes: Audiences were somewhat disappointed by the limited special effects budget for the new Mothra movie. You can see Monday photo & all Cutline Contest entries here.

Obamacare Signups Beat Projections

April 1, 2014 - 4:25pm

With an I-told-you-so swagger, President Obama said Tuesday that 7.1 million Americans signed up for health insurance by Monday's deadline - exceeding the original White House goal under Obamacare. "In the first six months, we've taken a big step forward," he said amid cheers of supporters in the White House Rose Garden. "The truth is even more want to sign up." The 7.1 million sign-up figure does not include anyone who enrolled Monday in 14 states with their own online insurance marketplaces. Nor does it count those who will be allowed to exploit an extension of the deadline if they couldn't complete applications by the deadline due to website problems/New York Daily News. More here. (AP photo)

Question: Health exchange signups in Idaho beat projections, too. Could it be previously uninsured individuals see the value in Obamacare -- and that it won't be such a winning issue for Republicans this year?

PM Headlines -- 4.1.14

April 1, 2014 - 4:20pm

"I want to catch anything that'll bite,” said Kaden Thompson, 9, of Sandpoint, as he fished Round Lake in Dufort, with his friend's dog, Athena, on Monday. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)