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Fort Boise: Idaho's Loss, Raul's Gain

July 29, 2014 - 2:05pm

Midday bombshell from ID-01 Congressman Raúl Labrador's office, longtime Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey is his new press secretary. And probably needless to say, Popkey's resignation from the Statesman is effective immediately, which is a shame, because we could use his skill at political analysis to help us sort this out. Local heads are exploding across the political spectrum, not least from those who insisted that Popkey was "an ultra-biased Liberal" or "self-described flaming Democrat from California" (which I missed) or "radical far far far left socialist/communist." (The first two of those were sincere comments, the last one not so much, I think.) Popkey's put in three decades at the Statesman, and I could hardly begrudge anyone from jumping ship after that, especially when the ship is listing rather suspiciously/Fort Boise. More here.

Question (for the uber-cons out there): Isn't Popkey suppose to be a radical far far far left socialist/communist"? How does this hiring by Teapublican Congressman Raul Labrador line up with that depiction?

Send In The Clowns

July 29, 2014 - 1:40pm

Dressed as Charlie Chaplin, Guatemalan Uriel Cifuentes strikes a pose while marching in the Parade of Clowns as part of the sixth annual Latin American Clown Congress in Guatemala City, earlier today. Clowns from Central America and North America have gathered for four days in the capital city to exchange ideas and attend workshops. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

Question: Are you afraid of clowns? Why? Why not?

City Seeks Comment On '15 Budget

July 29, 2014 - 1:13pm

The city of Coeur d’Alene has published its proposed 2014-15 budget online and encourages public comment on the spending plan. To view the budget, visit and click on Preliminary Budget. To comment on the budget, go to and click on Message the Mayor on the homepage. “The city wants to hear from the community about the budget,” said Mayor Steve Widmyer. “The council worked hard to offer a spending plan includes a zero percent increase in property taxes and is $3.3 million lower than last year’s budget.” There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget on Tuesday, September 2, during the regular City Council meeting at the Community Room of the Public Library. The fiscal year begins October 1/Keith Erickson, Coeur d'Alene Today.

Question: You're not going to check out the budget, are you?

DeePee: No Journalism To Love Today

July 29, 2014 - 1:03pm

DeePee (RE: Popkey to be Labrador spokesman): So many people go IN to journalism with an agenda these days, it's just not the same game any more. Flackery seems to be the ultimate departure point. We are arguing over the quality of buggy-whips. There is no journalism "to love" these days, because it doesn't exist. I remember when it meant making sense out of things, and exposing crooked cops and politicians in their act. It's why I got out 14 years ago; the only advancement was to start covering gas station pump-island grand openings to please the ad staff. When I got in, in the early 1970s, it was catching bad guys, making deadline, and getting it first and getting it right, because they other newspaper in town would clean your clock if you didn't.

Question: Are you concerned about the nature of modern journalism?

Voodoo Worker Doughnuts Windshield

July 29, 2014 - 12:56pm

Luke Copeland went to Voodoo Doughnuts Too on Sandy Boulevard Saturday with a big order; he was picking up about $2,000 worth of doughnuts for his company. Everything was fine until one of the doughnut shop’s employees threw in two extra doughnuts, right on Copeland’s windshield. “I walked in to grab the manager and when I came out I noticed someone putting two big doughnuts underneath my windshield wipers,” Copeland said. “He basically told me I was not in a parking spot and that was his way of paying him back.” The frosting made a mess. Copeland was upset and perplexed. Earlier that day, he says, someone from Voodoo told him to park where he did to make it easier to put the large order into his car. Copeland says when he went inside the store to complain about the employee’s actions, he didn’t get a satisfactory response/KGW. More here. (Voodoo Doughnuts insignia)

Question: I thought Portlanders were peaceful, especially those who worked at Voodoo Doughnuts. Thoughts?

Popkey To Be Labrador Spokesman

July 29, 2014 - 11:52am

Congressman Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, is pleased to announce that longtime Idaho Statesman political reporter Dan Popkey will become his new press secretary.  Dan will be based in the Congressman’s Meridian office and will coordinate communications in Idaho and Washington, D.C. “I’m very excited to have Dan on board as my new press secretary,” said Congressman Labrador. “He brings a wealth of experience and considerable knowledge of Idaho political history that will be a tremendous asset to me and my staff throughout the First Congressional District.  I’ve learned that one has to have an exceptional communications strategy to effectively represent Idaho in Congress. I know that Dan will help me better communicate my message to constituents and the media”/Congressman Raul Labrador news release. More here.

DFO: Idaho journalism has suffered a huge loss.


2 Survive Crash Into Fernan Lake

July 29, 2014 - 11:44am

A 30-year-old female passenger was taken to Kootenai Health this morning after the 2006 Chevrolet pickup in which she was riding veered off Fernan Lake Road into Fernan Lake. Kristopher S. Corey, 39, of Hayden, was driving the vehicle at 6:30 a.m. when his pickup left the road. Corey was not injured. But his passenger, Arian El-Quare, 30, of Coeur d'Alene, suffered minor injuries. The two were standing on the side of the truck, which was submerged, resting on the driver's side in a few feet of water, when a deputy and Coeur d'Alene police officer arrives. They were helped up the steep embankment. Cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Arguing Against Global Warning Plan

July 29, 2014 - 11:41am

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett speaks at a rally in response to an Environmental Protection Agency hearing on tougher pollution restrictions, earlier today, in Atlanta. Utility and coal companies are expected to argue Tuesday against proposals from the Obama administration that would force a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030 from 2005 levels. The EPA is holding three public hearings on the proposal in Atlanta, Denver and Washington. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

The longer the world waits to act on climate change, the more costly it will be to rein in the environmental impacts of releasing heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. That's the conclusion of a White House report on climate change released Tuesday. It comes on the same day the EPA begins public hearings on controversial power plant regulations that critics say will raise energy costs and do little to curb global warming. The timing of the Obama administration's report is not a coincidence. Although polls show a majority of Americans support the new power plant regulations, EPA officials are expected to get an earful of criticism as they present them in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Washington this week/Christian Science Monitor. More here.

Question: Are you willing to pay more in energy costs to curb global warming?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 7.29.14

July 29, 2014 - 11:39am
  • 11:54 a.m. Aqua Drilling reports individual who stole items from business may be an Inland Recycling, 6303 Govt Way/Hayden. 3 males are in white Chevy pickup at recycling business.
  • 11:38 a.m. Horse running loose @ Church/Winch, Rathdrum.
  • 11:34 a.m. Deputy asked to do welfare check on individual at Coeur d'Alene Casino/Worley.
  • 11:15 a.m. 78YO female is suffering chest pain @ 2800 block of Ferry Landing/Post Falls.
  • 11:11 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ 1100 block of Idaho/Post Falls.
  • 10:41 a.m. Suspicious panhandler w/sign at 3rd Street/Sherman Avenue, CdA.
  • 10:36 a.m. Trucking company concerned that driver has parked @ I-90/Wolf Lodge for hours w/o responding.
  • 10:35 a.m. Driver of full-size van w/carpet hanging out back erratic, pulled into Hauser Mobile station.
  • 10:03 a.m. Inland Northwest Bank, 5th Avenue/Spirit Lake, requests officer, unknown reason.
  • 9:38 a.m. Fireman en route to check possible smoke in area of @ H97/Yellowstone Trail, CdA.
  • 9:36 a.m. A dead dog is lying @ H41/MP 9.5 (just north of Rathdrum city limits).
  • 9:18 a.m. Domestic dispute involving adult son reported @ 300 block of E. Orchard/Hayden.
  • 9:08 a.m. Fireman discovers dust plume when he goes in search of smoke @ H41/Cederblom Estates.
  • 9:07 a.m. Female sez ex-husband won't turn over keys to house @ 1500 block of E3rd Ave/Post Falls.
  • 8:50 a.m. Undisclosed hazard reported @ 2300 block of Nettleton Gulch/CdA.
  • 8:49 a.m. Someone littering @ Government Way/Kathleen Avenue, CdA.
  • 8:28 a.m. A suspect in undisclosed crime has entered Great Floors on Govt Way/CdA.

Quotable Quote -- 7.29.14

July 29, 2014 - 11:27am

Quote of the day from the hearing room in Barry Peterson lawsuit:

Troupis: "The party's in trouble"
Judge: "That's not something I can fix"

H/T: Sisyphus

Poll: We're Mostly PacificNW Natives

July 29, 2014 - 11:18am
  • Monday Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation considers itself natives of the Pacific Northwest. 125 of 178 respondents (70.22%) said they were natives of this region. 50 of 178 respondents (28.09%) don't consider themselves PacificNW natives. 3 (1.69%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Would you support an attempt by congressional Republicans to impeach President Obama?

Judge: Peterson No Longer GOP Chair

July 29, 2014 - 10:43am

Fifth District Judge Randy Stoker today rejected a bid from embattled former Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson to hold onto the chairmanship by blocking a state central committee meeting scheduled for Saturday to choose new leaders. “His term has expired,” Stoker told the court. The judge’s ruling came after extensive arguments that lasted for more than two hours in court this morning in Twin Falls. “This is not a question of this court taking any position with regard to what the Republican Party should do in this state,” Stoker said. “I have no dog in this fight, so to speak”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Eye on Boise photo: Former Idaho GOP chairman Barry Peterson leaves Twin Falls courthouse)

Question: Who are the winners/losers as a result of this decision?

Boehner: No Plans For Impeachment

July 29, 2014 - 10:21am

Sarah Palin may have demanded that President Barack Obama be impeached, and tea party Republicans may have flirted with that idea as well, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) declared Tuesday that such talk was all a "scam" dreamed up by the White House. "This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff, and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill," Boehner told reporters at a news conference. "Why? Because they’re trying to rally their people to give money and show up in this year's elections. "We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans," Boehner added emphatically. "Listen. It’s all a scam started by Democrats at the White House"/Huffington Post. More here.

Question: Do you believe House Speaker Boehner that the Democrats are behind impeachment talks?

NRA Rep Compares Measure To Nazis

July 29, 2014 - 10:15am

The Jewish Federation of Seattle demanded a representative of the National Rifle Association step down Monday, after video claiming to show him comparing a statewide initiative increasing background checks for gun purchases to Nazi Germany surfaced online. The video, first posted by, purports to record Brian Judy, an NRA liason, speaking at an event last week in Silverdale against I-594. The comments veer towards Seattle entrepeneur Nick Hanauer, a major supporter and financial contributor to the I-594 campaign, and his Jewish faith. "He's put half-a-million dollars towards this policy," the video stated, "The same policy that led to his family getting run out of Germany by the Nazis/John Langeler, KING5. More here. (Wikipedia image)

Question: As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea not to bring up Nazi Germany comparisons during an argument over far less serious things, right?

Crows Enjoy 'Air'

July 29, 2014 - 9:34am

A black crow takes off as another looks on a 1932 lead statue named "Air" by French artist Aristide Maillol 1861-1944 in The Tuileries gardens of the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, earlier today. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Cell Phone Carriers Beware

July 29, 2014 - 9:00am
"Sign in Twin Falls courthouse: Ringing cell phone can bring $100 fine ... they're serious here"

-- Tweets Betsy Russell, who is in Twin Falls to cover court hearing over Barry Peterson's lawsuit to keep his Idaho GOP chairmanship.

Question: When did your cell phone last go off at an embarrassing moment?

Edit: Seniors, Rich Elect Seniors, Rich

July 29, 2014 - 8:58am

In Idaho, the richer you are, the more you count. Likewise, the older you are, the more clout you have. Why? Because that's who votes in Idaho's elections. No wonder the people elected to tend to Idaho's affairs have a blind spot when it comes to children, the poor and education. For years, two trends have worked in tandem: While fewer Idahoans voted, more Republicans got elected. Since 1980, turnout dropped from 69 percent to 57.6 percent in 2012. Meanwhile, Democrats have all but ceased to be a political force in Idaho. The GOP controls all statewide offices, all four congressional seats and 80 percent of the Legislature. Here's one theory: More of the dropout voters are young, poor and less educated. You could draw that picture courtesy of numbers unearthed by the University of Idaho's McClure Center and the UI Social Science Research Unit/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.


Edit: Crane Channels 'Tricky Dick'

July 29, 2014 - 8:53am

Nearly a half century ago, President Richard Nixon wrote the modern playbook for politicians in trouble. With evidence of wrongdoing piling up, accusations flying, friends fleeing and excuses falling flat, Nixon reached deep into his bag of tricks. He denied. He insulted. He obfuscated. He played the victim. Clearly, Idaho Treasurer Ron Crane (pictured) is a student of history. For four terms - 16 years - Idahoans have entrusted billions of dollars to Crane. In return for this responsibility, not to mention his $101,150 salary, Crane has stumbled and bumbled through one misstep after another. It began when legislative auditors asked Canyon County's prosecutor to investigate Crane's use of a state credit card to purchase nearly $8,000 in gas. Crane's defense was he saved taxpayers money by not using a state vehicle for his commute to work -- though a 1996 law said "the use of state vehicles for personal or other nonofficial business is strictly prohibited"/Idaho Falls Post Register. More here.

Question: Do you support/oppose Treasurer Ron Crane?

Temperatures Soaring Into Upper 90s

July 29, 2014 - 8:46am

The inflatable raft was piled high with everything two friends could possibly need for an afternoon at the Spokane River. Towels. Snacks and drinks. A folding chair, an umbrella. More floating devices, and even a dog – an inquisitive dachshund named Lily. “She’s queen of the boat,” teased her owner, Nancy Ray. With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s on Monday, Ray and her friend Stacy Martin were looking for ways to keep cool. The heat sent them to Boulder Beach in the Spokane Valley. Temperatures are running about 10 degrees hotter than normal this time of year, increasing the allure of the Inland Northwest’s lakes and river. Monday’s high at Spokane International Airport was 98 degrees. The heat wave is expected to persist all week, with 100 degrees expected today and highs in the upper 90s through the weekend for both Spokane and Coeur d’Alene/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (SR photo by Jesse Tinsley: Ben Gambill, left, and David Anderson show off with a tandem swing on the Spokane River shore near Boulder Beach on Monday)

Question: Have you been swimming in the lake this summer?