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Updated: 55 min 28 sec ago

Denney Defends Closed GOPrimary

October 6, 2014 - 1:37pm

Republican Lawerence Denney, debating Democratic opponent Holli Woodings today at the City Club of Boise, was asked if he now regrets supporting the closed primary, as he runs for Secretary of State, a position responsible for promoting voter turnout.  “I do not regret having supported the closed primary,” Denney said. “There’s kind of a misnomer that the primary is an election. It’s not an election. It’s a nomination process. It should not be, in my opinion, it should not be run by the state government but by the parties themselves, because we are selecting our candidates. I’ve had people tell me that we are suppressing the vote by having a closed primary. Well I think it’s important that Republicans nominate Republican candidates and that Democrats nominate the Democratic candidates, and I think there could be a process that’s a lot better than what we’re doing now. It’s run as an election … but it’s really not, it’s a nomination”/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

More from today's debate between Holli Woodings and Lawerence Denney:


Restoring The Clark Fork Delta

October 6, 2014 - 1:21pm

Katherine Cousins of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game motors through the Clark Fork River delta Monday, Sept. 22, while touring the area. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

On a fall afternoon, the Clark Fork Delta is a place of astonishing beauty. Yellow-green grasses glow against the denim-blue of the Clark Fork River as it empties into Lake Pend Oreille. Each detour down the braided river channels reveals a surprise: an eagle’s nest, a pair of redheaded ducks, a golden stand of cottonwoods. In a kayak and in hip waders, Katherine Cousins has explored this fertile meeting place of land and water. Amid the striking scenery, she sees an ecosystem in peril. “The delta is melting away,” said Cousins, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game mitigation biologist. Each year, the 5,600-acre delta loses about 15 acres to erosion. The culprit is fluctuating lake levels that benefit hydropower production but corrode the delta’s shoreline/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Have you spent time enjoying the Clark Fork River/Delta?

SR News Quiz -- Oct. 5-10.2014

October 6, 2014 - 1:16pm

How much do you know about local landmarks bathed in pink, a retired local pilot's innovative talents, Ebola in the U.S. and other news of note? Find out in the Spokesman-Review Weekly Quiz, where you could win two movie tickets or a $50 gift card to the Davenport Hotel. You can take the quiz here.

  • Answer to Question No. 1: Chris Kopczynski.
  • Last week's winners: Brian Hartring from Chewelah, Wash. (gift card), and Brian Dooley from Spokane (movie tickets).

Legislature Under The Radar

October 6, 2014 - 1:12pm

All 105 Idaho state legislative seats are up for election next month, and if that was all you knew, you might assume wholesale change at next year’s session. The legislature isn’t all that popular, right? There will be, of course, few changes. Many seats are unchallenged, or barely challenged. Even by the modest standards of recent elections, we’ll see few Idaho legislative races even of much interest, let alone competitive. Surprises happen, and every election features a few. But a handful (all for House seats, none in the Senate) are worth your attention as the campaign rounds the last turn. Just one district has as many as two of these notable races: District 5, for both of its House seats. This is a rare legislative district where the House delegation is split. Republican Cindy Agidius and Democrat Shirley Ringo, both of Moscow, hold those seats. Ringo’s is open, with her run for the U.S. House instead, while Agidius is running for re-election/Randy Stapilus, Ridenbaugh Press. More here.

Question: Which legislative race are you most interested in?

Who Passed, Who Flunked Debate

October 6, 2014 - 1:02pm

One could view this debate, the first between all three major candidates, as a legitimate test regarding whether each achieved their objectives.

  • The Democratic nominee, A.J. Bulakoff, a successful Boise businessman and a long-time leader on the Boise school board, had to convince teachers, like Kathy, that he was truly a supporter of education and for restoring funding for programs and teachers salaries decimated by cuts orchestrated by Governor Otter during his two terms.
  • Governor Otter had to defend his rationale for the cuts by convincing voters that despite the cuts Idaho was still holding its own in national test scores and that Idaho’s educational system was producing employable graduates. Otter needed to shift the public focus away from education to his view that Idaho’s economy and its people are doing well.
  • The Libertarian candidate, former Republican and Canyon County prosecutor John Bujack, had to convince the audience that a third party candidate could succeed in winning the governorship and then actually leading the state without a party to support him.

Bulakoff gets an A; Bujack gets a B; and, Otter gets an F/Chris Carlson, Carlson Cronicles. More here.

Question: Do you agree/disagree with Chris Carlson's analysis of the gubernatorial debate in Coeur d'Alene?

Statesman Endorses Woodings

October 6, 2014 - 11:43am

State Rep. Holli Woodings found this old campaign sign of retiring Secretary of State during a campaign stop in St. Maries last week. (Photo courtesy of Woodings campaign)

In a Saturday endorsement editorial, the Idaho Statesman Editorial Board said: "We made our decision to endorse (state Rep. Holli Woodings, D-Boise) without regard to either candidate's "experience," simply because we don't believe it is very applicable. We are more concerned about their impartiality running elections, monitoring campaign finances and lobbyists, and managing Idaho interests on the Land Board. Our concerns about (state Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale) revolve around past partisan dealings and future plans to tinker with voting. Denney's failure as speaker to take action against former Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, who stole state timber and refused to pay $600,000 in back state and federal taxes, has us questioning his impartiality. More here.


Read more here:

AM Scanner Traffic -- 10.6.14

October 6, 2014 - 11:27am

The suspect in an armed robbery Saturday at the Global Credit Union in Coeur d'Alene. More here. (Surveillance courtesy photo, via Coeur d'Alene Press)

  • 11:45 a.m. Tobacco problem reported @ Venture High School, 1619 9th St/CdA.
  • 11:40 a.m. Driver is bleeding from head after crashing into tree @ Seltice Way/Seeley, Post Falls.
  • 11:05 a.m. Resident is visiting KCSOffice to hand over undisclosed found property.
  • 10:23 a.m. Animal control office has caught loose dog @ 10900 block of N. Idaho/Rathdrum.
  • 10:19 a.m. 50-by-100-foot grass fire reported @ 5700 block of E. Parks Road/Athol.
  • 9:38 a.m. Security @ Kootenai Health reports possible abandoned vehicle.
  • 9:14 a.m. Hayden WalMart security has information re: a shoplifting incident.
  • 8:51 a.m. Abandoned vehicle reported @ Carter Lane/Upriver Drive, CdA.
  • 8:24 a.m. Driver of blue Thunderbird, with Shoshone County plates, was speeding at 100 mph before being stopped @ e/b I-90/MP 26 (4th of July).
  • 8:26 a.m. Victim of domestic fight is in vehicle at strip mall in 3100 block of Govt Way/CdA.

HucksOnline Blogos: Final Details

October 6, 2014 - 11:26am

Councilman Woody McEvers and Jimmy McAndrew go over final details before the gubernatorial debate at the Coeur d'Alene Library Community Room Friday. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

HucksOnline numbers (for week of Sept 28-Oct 4): 33,327 page-views/21,643 unique views


Quotable Quote -- Bjorn Handeen

October 6, 2014 - 11:05am
Every college major should have a published probability of moving back in with your parents -- Bjorn Handeen.

Good idea?

Poll: Avista Does Good Job

October 6, 2014 - 10:52am
  • Weekend Poll: A supermajority of Hucks Nation says Avista provides good service/product for a good price. 106 of 154 respondents (68.83%) took that position. Only 40 of 154 respondents (25.97%) disagreed. 8 (5.19%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Who won the governor's debate in Coeur d'Alene Friday?

On Eating Sea Vegetables

October 6, 2014 - 10:45am

No can do.
Same story.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

(Wikipedia photo, of edible seaweed nori)

AM Headlines -- 10.6.14

October 6, 2014 - 10:15am

Sunday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. people from several of the churches in Kootenai County gathered to express their Pro Life views.  A line of people streached from north of Neider Avenue next to K Mart, south to Apple Way and Wallgreens Drug Store, holding signs against abortion.  They sttod quietly for one hour and then left as quickly and quietly as they had arrived. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Raiders' Paul Revere Dies In Idaho

October 6, 2014 - 9:46am

In this Aug. 24, 2003, AP file photo, Paul Revere, whose group Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded a hit version of '"Louie Louie" in 1963, runs between groups of guitar players at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Wash., Sunday, Aug 24, 2003. An estimated 754 guitarists attempted to set a world record for the largest group to play the tune "Louie Louie."

Paul Revere, the organist and leader of the Raiders rock band, has died. He was 76. Roger Hart, manager for Paul Revere and the Raiders, said he died Saturday at his home in Garden Valley, Idaho, from cancer. Revere was born in Harvard, Nebraska, Hart said. “He’d been quiet about it for some time,” Hart said. “Treated at the Mayo Clinic, Paul stayed on the road as long as he could, then retired recently back to Idaho, where he and his wife, Sydney, always kept a home.” Revere, born Paul Revere Dick, became known as “the madman of rock and roll” for his theatrical colonial wardrobe and infectious onstage persona with the band. “From Day 1, we’ve always been a party band that accidentally had some hit records and accidentally got on a hit television series,” Revere told the Associated Press in a 2000 interview/Associated Press. More here.

Question: Kicks are going to be harder to find now. Thoughts?

Gay Marriage Wins Ruling In 5 States

October 6, 2014 - 9:21am

The Supreme Court on Monday denied review in all five pending same-sex marriage cases, clearing the way for such marriages to proceed in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. The move was a major surprise and suggests that the justices are not going to intercede in the wave of decisions in favor of same-sex marriage at least until a federal appeals court upholds a state ban. The move will almost immediately increase the number of states allowing same-sex marriage from 19 to 24, along with the District of Columbia. The justices had earlier acted to stop same-sex marriages in Utah and Virginia, issuing stays to block appeals court rulings allowing them. Other appeals court decisions had been stayed by the appeals courts themselves/New York Times. More here.


Edit: Here's Your Degree -- And Debt

October 6, 2014 - 8:51am

Each spring, the Idaho State Board of Education -- usually in response to an inadequate higher education appropriation - boosts the price college students must pay for their degrees. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, only six states have cut deeper into college and university budgets, and Idaho has responded with the 19th fastest rise in student tuition. Not to worry, say state board and college administrators. Idaho's tuition remains a bargain compared to other states. As the Idaho Statesman's Bill Roberts reports, they can cite the College Board, which ranks tuition at Idaho's four-year schools as the seventh lowest in the country. Among the 15 members of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, Idaho's tuition stands in the middle. Of course, that sidesteps the fact Idahoans earn a good deal less than just about anyone else/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Did you or a child graduate from an Idaho college? Did you think it was a good bargain for your education dollar?

Land-Use Plan Drives County Races

October 6, 2014 - 8:41am

A proposed overhaul of Kootenai County’s land development rules whipped up a storm of criticism last year and drove the three county commissioners to dump a Texas consultant hired to do the update. The controversy over the ill-fated Unified Land Use Code also motivated two small business owners – both champions of private property rights – to run for the county Board of Commissioners. Republicans Marc Eberlein and David Stewart would form a solidly conservative alliance opposed to regulations that infringe on residents’ ability to develop their land. They are challenged in the Nov. 4 general election by Democrats Bruce Noble and Jerry Shriner. Land use isn’t the only burning issue in the campaign. All four candidates also have weighed in on the county’s long-running effort to ease jail crowding/Scott Maben, SR. More here.

Question: Do you support the conservative duo of Eberlein and Stewart?

Hall: The 'Gentleman' Holding A Head

October 6, 2014 - 8:33am

I recently heard a cable news anchorman refer to the terrorist dude who cut a man's head off as "the gentleman." It was one of those grisly episodes in the new war in Iraq and Syria where a hostage is brought forward and the person who kills the poor soul gives a self-righteous little speech before decapitating the hostage in cold blood. The killer spoke English and the news anchor, pointing that out, said "the gentleman speaking" appeared to have a British accent. The gentleman speaking? It would have been more pertinent to refer to the lethal spokesman as "the gentleman who is killing." My first thought was to remember that not even a snooty British accent can warrant attaching the word "gentleman" to someone who is slicing another person's head off. Some accents can give the illusion of a quality person whether the person is first rate or not/Bill Hall, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Which accent impresses you most?

Clark: These Frogs Are Frightful

October 6, 2014 - 8:27am

‘Ribbit!” Who knew that this is how the world would end. Not with a bang, as T.S. Eliot once observed. Or even a whimper. But with a … “Ribbit!” “Voracious Bullfrogs Invading Montana.” The headline stopped me cold Friday morning when it glared out at me from page A7 in The Spokesman-Review. Oh, dear. Having grown up with a serious boob tube addiction, I knew immediately what these four words could mean for humanity, and it ain’t good. My unease didn’t improve as I started digesting the story’s first sentence. “BILLINGS – An invasion of American bullfrogs that will eat just about anything – including each other – is spreading …” Nature vs. Humans. I’ve seen this battle played out many times in reruns of old scary movies that I used to watch on TV as a kid/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Are you afraid of frogs, toads and other amphibians?

Vestal Stunned By Literary Award

October 6, 2014 - 8:21am

H e thought for sure Anthony Marra was going to win, for his “freaking amazing” book “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.” “I was not sitting there thinking, ‘I wonder if I’ll win,’ ” said Shawn Vestal, author of “Godforsaken Idaho” and a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. “I was thinking, ‘Yeah, Tony’s getting ready to win.’ ” So when the esteemed novelist Louise Erdrich read his name Monday night to present him with the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards for debut works of fiction, Vestal was thunderstruck. “People afterward were asking me if I was OK,” he said. “I guess I seemed like I’d been hit in the head or something.” Winning the $25,000 award – the richest writing prize awarded by the PEN American Center – was a shock/Carolyn Lamberson, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: If memory serves me correctly, Shawn worked for the Coeur d'Alene Press at one time. Which means the two main columnists of The Spokesman Review -- Doug Clark and Vestal -- are Press alum. I worked for Duane Hagadone's Daily Inter Lake in Kalispell, Mont., for five years. Hagadone Newspapers has launched many successful careers. Thoughts?

Debate Central

October 6, 2014 - 8:16am

Coeur d'Alene Councilmen Dan Gookin and Woody McEvers handled the technical aspects of the governor's debate at the Coeur d'Alene Library Community Room Friday. You can watch the debate for yourself w/this video provide by the city of Coeur d'Alene & Coeur d'Alene TV Channel 19 here. (Photo: Duane Rasmussen)

Question: Who won the debate?