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Huckleberries: Tree City getting bare

January 19, 2016 - 8:15am

As I stepped into an elevator at Kootenai Health last week, I noticed two women looking at a front-page story in the Coeur d’Alene Press. “They’re cutting down more trees,” one said in an accusatory tone. “They” in this case being the city of Coeur d’Alene. “Don’t blame the city this time,” I said. It’s the feds. I told them that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was forcing the city to cut down a dozen or so trees in front of the North Idaho Museum, along Northwest Boulevard. To get FEMA levy certification, the city had to cut the trees and build a 3-foot wall to protect the historic Fort Grounds residents from flooding and costly flood insurance. Last year, the city leveled two-thirds of the trees along the Dike Road during an over-cut that satisfied the Army Corps of Engineers. But few Lake City residents. Adding insult to injury, Mother Nature toppled two dozen more trees near the waterfront during the November windstorm. In the City Known As Tree City USA, it’s no longer safe to be a tree/DFO, SR Sunday Huckleberries. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who has had his fill of federal government-mandated tree cuts in Tree City USA?

Obama's Iran policy

January 19, 2016 - 8:13am

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily

Weekend Wild Card -- 1/16-18/2016

January 16, 2016 - 12:58am

Huckleberries Online will be off through Monday as part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr holiday observance. As you enjoy the holiday, spend some time thinking how you can serve your fellow man and woman. Here's your three-day holiday weekend Wild Card ...

Parting Shot -- 1.15.16

January 15, 2016 - 5:15pm

A lone sailor aboard the USS John C. Stennis raises his arms above their head as the crew transitions from manning the rails after departing Naval Base Kitsap Bremerton in Bremerton, Wash., Friday. The aircraft carrier is deploying to the Western Pacific Ocean for about seven months. (Meegan M. Reid/Kitsap Sun via AP)

TGIF Wild Card -- 1.15.16

January 15, 2016 - 5:00pm

We're halfway through the month of what I call Deep Winter -- the true winter months of December and January -- which means, of course, that spring and flowers and gardens and outdoor activity isn't that far off. Yeah, yeah, I know that winter has a habit of hanging on in North Idaho. But we've already endured weeks of heavy lifting. Only two-plus weeks to go before we turn the calendar to February. Which means groundhogs, spring training and Blogfest 2016. Here's your Wild Card ...

Letter: Gookin letter appalling

January 15, 2016 - 4:48pm

In a letter to the Coeur d'Alene Press editor, John Cross, of Post Falls, blasted Councilman Dan Gookin of Coeur d'Alene for criticizing Republican behavior at a recent Kootenai County Republican Central Committee special meeting. Cross is one of the heavy hitters behind the local Republican scene. Gookin had criticized Republicans for ignoring a man outside the meeting lobbying for expanded Medicaid (an issue Idaho R's reject with about as much fervor as they do Obamacare): "Thinking back on Councilman Gookin’s career, I wonder if there are CDA citizens who have testified in front of the good councilman who feel they received no sympathy, were ignored, or disrespected. My guess is, you could fill a library room full of them." Full letter here.

Question: Does this mean that the Gookin is now a man without Republican Party support?

Labrador: Obama has been divisive

January 15, 2016 - 4:23pm

In a newsletter re: the State of the State speech, Congressman Raul Labrador said he has been disappointed in President Obama's presidency, saying the president failed to bring the country together as he promised to do:

When President Obama burst on the national scene at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, he spoke eloquently of unity. He said Americans must resist the “spin masters” seeking to divide us. Rather than red and blue states, he said there was one nation – the United States of America. It was a compelling message, which helped him win a Senate seat that year and, improbably, the presidency in 2008. Reflecting on that promise as the President gave his last State of the Union address Tuesday, I find myself very disappointed. President Obama had the ability to bring Americans together, but he chose a different course. More here.

Question: Do you think President Obama has been a uniter or a divider?

PM Scanner Traffic -- 1.15.16

January 15, 2016 - 4:06pm
  • 5:06 p.m. Choking -- Someone @ 11100 block of Hauser Lake Road choking on food.
  • 4:46 p.m. Missing Girl -- 10YO girl got off school bus at 4 but mother reports she hasn't made it home yet.
  • 4:30 p.m. Police Log -- Coeur d'Alene PD activities for Jan 14-15 here.
  • 4:22 p.m. Possible DUI -- Male in older Chevy pickup swerving @ n/b Atlas Road, from Seltice Way/CdA.
  • 4:17 p.m. Motorist Assist -- Officer stopping to help driver @ H41/54, Twin Lakes.
  • 4:12 p.m. Abandoned Vehicle -- ISP officer checking on abandoned car @ I-90/MP 15 (Sherman Ave).
  • 4:01 p.m. Loose Dog -- Deputy trying to catch friendly, brown pitbull w/tags @ Huetter Road/Curtis Road, CdA.
  • 3:34 p.m. Disorderly Male -- Officer arrests disorderly male @ Wells Fargo Bank (3:26 item).
  • 3:28 p.m. Chest Pain -- Legends Park Assisted Living, 1820 Legends Parkway/CdA.
  • 3:26 p.m. Disorderly Male -- Angry male who appears to be drunk stormed out of Bank of America, 357 W Canfield Ave/CdA to his red SUV & now is returning to the bank.
  • 3:19 p.m. Reckless Driver -- Male in blue Toyota Tundra is cutting other drivers off, not using signals @ Ramsey Road/Kathleen Ave, CdA.
  • 3:14 p.m. Chest Pain -- Urgent Care, 566 W Prairie Ave/Hayden.
  • 2:40 p.m. Battery -- Female hit male driver of black Honda in face before they sped off n/b on Rimrock from Garwood.
  • 2:37 p.m. General Illness -- 1500 block of E Pamela Drive/Post Falls.
  • 2:13 p.m. Citizen Dispute -- Motel 6, 610 W Appleway/CdA.
  • 1:50 p.m. Fire Alarm -- Post Falls High School on Poleline Road, not a drill.
  • 1:41 p.m. Unconscious Person -- 86YO female @ Trafalgar St/Kensington Ave, Hayden.
  • 1:26 p.m. Injury Fall -- 88YO male has cut on head after fall near Hayden Albertson's, 161 W Prairie Ave.
  • 1:21 p.m. Holdup Alarm -- False alarm @ Bluejay Industrial, 756 Buckles Road/Hayden.
  • 1:18 p.m. Panic Alarm -- Cisco's Gallery, 220 N4th St/CdA.
  • 1:16 p.m. Welfare Check -- Boy w/skateboard hanging over edge of McGuire Road overpass, above I-90, Post Falls.
  • 1:09 p.m. Unattended Death -- 66YO female 14400 block of Harbor St/Rathdrum.
  • 12:39 p.m. Tardy Recreationalists -- Local female reports husband and friend are late returning from winter outing in woods. They didn't take cell phones because they wanted to have a primitive experience.
  • AM Scanner Traffic with 19 more items

Cutline Contest -- Time2Vote

January 15, 2016 - 4:01pm

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, left, speaks as Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, looks on during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate at the North Charleston Coliseum Thursday in North Charleston, S.C. You write the cutline. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Thursday Winner -- HFHayden, with 12 likes: Heejin demonstrates for the Idaho legislature how to remove your head from your backside. You can see the Thursday Photo and all 13 Cutline Contest entries here.

Would Reagan be nominated today?

January 15, 2016 - 3:38pm

Writing for the American Conservative, Donald Devine wonders if Ronald Reagan would be nominated today:

All of the Republican presidential candidates compare themselves to Ronald Reagan. But almost every media outlet from the mainstream to the blogosphere predicts that Reagan would not even be able to win the Republican nomination if he were running for president today. The Washington Post highlighted a study from the liberal Center for American Progress claiming to show how Reagan’s policy positions differed from those of today’s Republicans. He raised taxes 11 times, including on the rich; increased government size and spending; signed immigration reform legislation including a path to citizenship; advocated the Brady gun control law; agreed to a treaty on climate; signed a treaty to reduce nuclear arms with the Soviet Union; and took many other positions that would not pass muster with the right today. Back when he was governor of California, he even supported abortion. More here.

Question: Do you think today's Republicans adhere to the values of former President Ronald Reagan?

In Idaho, Obamacare = $29M savings

January 15, 2016 - 3:12pm

Lawmakers got proof Friday that Idaho’s state health insurance exchange is working, as they collected nearly $29 million in savings from the state’s Catastrophic Health Care program budget. “It’s been, in my opinion, a glowing success,” said Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, a physician, who led the move in the Legislature’s joint budget committee Friday to reduce CAT fund budget, generating big savings for the state’s general fund. Idaho lawmakers approved the Your Health Idaho state exchange in 2013 after a multi-year fight, at Gov. Butch Otter’s urging. “This, to me, is an example of a courageous effort both by the Legislature and our governor to accomplish this,” Schmidt said, “and I’m very happy that we’ve been able to do this. And I’m glad that we can return this to the general fund”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

More Eye on Boise posts from Legislature:

Mmm-mmm Hudsons

January 15, 2016 - 3:04pm

If you're like me, you won't appreciate this photo of Food Porn a little more than 2 hours from dinner. But I couldn't resist posting if after seeing it published by Keith Boe on North Idaho Life. When did you last eat a burger from Hudson's?

Nonprofit exec to face child sex charges

January 15, 2016 - 2:49pm

A man with ties to numerous local nonprofit organizations was arrested Thursday on child sex charges. Mathew A. Plank, 52, arranged to meet a 15-year-old girl in a hotel room for sex in exchange for cash and Xanax, according to court documents. The girl didn’t exist, however; Plank had been communicating with police officers the entire time. He was arrested when he knocked on the hotel room door. Court documents say investigators “received information” earlier this month that Plank “had a habit” of having sex with young girls in exchange for Xanax. Police then began communicating with Plank using his cell phone. According to his LinkedIn profile, Plank works for BDS Marketing and founded the Craig T. Nelson Celebrity Golf Classic in 2008 and is a former volunteer with the Miss Spokane Scholarship Organization. He also was former marketing director at Spokane County United Way, the social media site says, and Spokesman-Review archives also list him as the former executive director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Spokane/Nina Culver, SR. More here.

On the Swine's IQ

January 15, 2016 - 2:27pm

The pig is quite intelligent,
per the studies undertaken;
about as smart as many dogs,
plus he gives us much more bacon.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Urban renewal changes proposed

January 15, 2016 - 1:53pm

Hoping to end years of debate and complaints about Idaho's urban renewal statutes, an interim panel is finalizing a reform bill to present to lawmakers for approval this session, reports Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence. The Urban Renewal Interim Committee spent months investigating urban renewal practices in Idaho, took comments from various stakeholders, and reviewed how the tool is used to promote economic development or clean up blighted areas in different communities. Spence reports that after a meeting that went well into the evening last night, the resulting draft legislation proposes three main changes to the existing statutes/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. Interim panel recommendations here.