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Updated: 57 min 36 sec ago

Starbucks Breakfast Sandwich? Bleh

April 2, 2014 - 1:14pm

Could Starbucks possibly make their egg white/turkey bacon breakfast sandwich MORE flavorless? It's like chewing sawdust. Things like this are why I usually skip breakfast. Bleh -- Cindy via Facebook.

Question: I don't skip breakfast because I know I shouldn't -- and because Mrs. O usually has something set out for me as I rush off to work. But it's an after thought at best. How about you? Do you skip breakfast?

Constitution Party Ballot To Be Issued

April 2, 2014 - 1:09pm

A third ballot will be available to Bonner and Boundary county voters when they head to the polls for the May 20 primary election. The presence of two Constitution party candidates in the race for District 1 state senator is prompting the issuance of a Constitution Party ballot to voters. Christian Fioravanti of Bonners Ferry and Jack Mervin of Blanchard are both seeking the Constitution party’s nomination. Danielle Ahrens and incumbent Shawn Keough are vying for the Republican nomination/Bonner County Bee.

Question: Any Constitutionalists (who'll still admit to it) out there?

Edit: Students Ignore Tuition Forum

April 2, 2014 - 1:03pm

The sound of crickets chirping would have been an appropriate ambience during the tuition and fees open forum on Thursday in the Horizon Room of the Idaho Commons. During the presentation by University of Idaho Executive Director of Planning Keith Ickes discussing the proposed 4.7 percent tuition increase, there were less than 20 students, faculty and staff members in attendance. Of those few people there, only one student was not affiliated with GPSA, ASUI or SBA — senior Rachael Studebaker. Hats off to Studebaker for taking time to attend the event, but low attendance numbers show a disturbing trend of student disinterest regarding important changes/UI Argonaut Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Sounds like University of Idaho students are preparing themselves for a life of voter apathy. What do you think?

Court Torpedoes Doughnation Limits

April 2, 2014 - 11:50am

The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees. The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates. But their decision does not undermine limits on individual contributions to candidates for president or Congress, now $2,600 an election/Associated Press. More here.

TwoZeroEight: To paraphrase comedian Robin Williams, politicians should have to wear patches like NASCAR drivers so we know who is sponsoring them.

Question: So are presidential and congressional elections are officially for sale?

Beauty And The Beast

April 2, 2014 - 11:45am

On his Facebook wall, Robin Loznak posts: "The orchard is in full bloom. If it stops raining for a while maybe we'll get some pollination." You can see more of Robin's outdoor photography here.

Otter Jettisons Balukoff Backer

April 2, 2014 - 11:43am

A member of Gov. Butch Otter’s education task force has been excluded from the group’s followup work — because he is now working for one of Otter’s election-year opponents. Mike Lanza, pictured — a paid member of Democratic gubernatorial candidate A.J. Balukoff’s campaign staff — says he was told Monday that he had been pulled from one of the task force’s followup committees. The call came from Richard Westerberg, a member of the State Board of Education and the chairman of the original, 31-member task force that met in 2013. Westerberg, like all State Board members, was appointed by Otter, a Republican/Kevin Richert, The EDge. More here.

Question: Big boys have big feelings?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 4.2.14

April 2, 2014 - 11:40am
  • 11:45 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for April 1-2 here.
  • 11:42 a.m. CPD officer wants ISP dog for vehicle search but nearest one is in Osburn.
  • 11:33 a.m. Possible fraud reported @ 6900 block of N. Rude Street/Dalton Gardens.
  • 11:26 a.m. Reckless female driver of gray Chevy Cruiser, w/Bonner plates, stops @ Post Falls Super 1.
  • 11:19 a.m. CPD officer has spotted wanted male named Courtney in brown vehicle that passed his location.
  • 11:13 a.m. 23YO female has suffered fall @ Mountain Lodge Hotel, 3755 N4th/CdA.
  • 10:25 a.m. CPD officer needed for civil standby @ 16th & Young Avenue/CdA.
  • 10:24 a.m. Business alarm sounding @ Doc's Billing Services, 311 Indiana Ave/CdA.
  • 10:12 a.m. 90YO female suffering medical emergency @ Strahorn/Sterling Meadows, Hayden Lake.
  • 9:59 a.m. KCSDeputy is helping female motorist on I-90, unknown location, who has ordered a tow truck from Missoula.
  • 9:48 a.m. Arms @ BNSF crossing @ H53/Prairie Avenue/Rathdrum are going up & down; motorists driving through them.
  • 9:45 a.m. Motorist wonders if exhaust coming from valve on tank of nitro pulled by semi is normal @ s/b H95/Honeysuckle.

Some Carnivores ♥ Meatless Mondays

April 2, 2014 - 11:19am

Sometimes it’s an uphill battle to expand my family’s idea of what healthy eating looks like. My husband and four sons are adamant in their contention that there are but two food groups: meat and potatoes. Three if you include baked goods. Four if you include ice cream. Several years ago I got some recipes from a local Weight Watchers group and instituted Meatless Mondays. Some groaning ensued, but I found two staple recipes that my family enjoys any day of the week. However, I’m not sure my youngest son, Sam, 14, grasps the concept. When I asked him what his favorite meatless meal is he replied, “Pepperoni Pizza Pasta.” “Pepperoni is meat,” I explained. He scratched his head and offered another choice, “Chicken and Rice!” It seems I still have some work cut out for me, but since many folks give up meat during the Lenten season, I thought now would be the perfect time to share the two recipes that have received an unqualified thumbs up from the Hval clan: Linguine & Fresh Tomatoes and My Best Potato Soup/Cindy Hval, SR. More here.

Question: How often do you eat meat?

'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