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Kootenai County Water Supply In Good Shape

June 25, 2015 - 1:09pm

Despite low snow pack and precipitation along with higher-than-normal temperatures, water usage in the area are not likely to be rationed. (Press photo: Shawn Gust)

Despite a warm, dry winter and spring, water providers in Kootenai County are not too worried about the region's water supplies. Like most cities and water districts throughout the region, Coeur d'Alene draws water from the Rathdrum Prairie -- Spokane Valley Aquifer, which flows at the Idaho/Washington border at a rate of 650,000,000 gallons a day. The city provides water to residents primarily within city limits, and according to Water Superintendent Jim Markley, the city has 18,000 water accounts. "And that's a carefully chosen word," he said. "It includes irrigation accounts - The Coeur d'Alene Resort is one account, and the little old lady down the street living by herself is one account. Basically it's the number of hook-ups we have." The number of accounts translates to approximately 45,000 people. Rationing of water in the Lake City isn't on the radar, he said, and with the condition of the aquifer there is no need to be concerned about that changing anytime soon/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.


Aryan Nations Applauds Murders

June 25, 2015 - 1:01pm

The Aryan Nations, whose messages of hate and white superiority have fueled violent crimes and domestic terrorism for decades, is applauding the murderous acts of accused racist killer Dylann Storm Roof. Only hours after the 21-year-old was arrested for brutally shooting nine people at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., Aryan Nations leader Morris Gulett (pictured) offered praise and urged others to follow Roof’s example. “I, for one, am very glad to see young people like Dylan Roof acting like men instead of the old 60’s era hippies stoned on weed and interracial love,” Gulett posted on his web site. “We had better see much more of this type of activism if we ever expect to see our America return to it’s [sic] rightful place in the world and our children grow up in a clean safe healthy enviroment [sic],” Gulett wrote/Bill Morlin, SPLC Hate Watch. More here.

Question: And you were wondered where the Aryan Nations went?

How Wild Waters Went To Ruin

June 25, 2015 - 11:52am

For years, Wild Waters worked to bring people in. Now, the challenge is keeping vandals out. (Inlander photo: Daniel Walters)

The sun bakes the concrete roof of the La Quinta hotel in Coeur d'Alene, where 19-year-old maintenance worker LJ Waldvogel is standing, looking down on the Wild Waters water park below. Nostalgia floods past. A half-dozen years ago, this was where he spent his summers. Back then, his agenda was simple. "Hang around," Waldvogel says. "Chill. Probably sit in the sun for a bit, get a suntan." From here on the roof, you can see the entrance to the "Drop Off" slide he loved, the one that ended in a sudden, stomach-yanking dive. It's been six years since anyone has taken that plunge/Daniel Walters, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here.

Question: Do you remember hanging out at Wild Waters?

Health Leaders Launch Partnership

June 25, 2015 - 11:16am

Panhandle Health District, Kootenai Health and Heritage Health have announced a joint project called Idaho Health Partners. Through Idaho Health Partners, the three organizations are working together to enhance and expand access to health care for the people in northern Idaho. The partnership is designed to connect patients with primary care providers and community resources. The partnership will officially launch with the opening of a Heritage Health clinic in Post Falls. Starting July 1, the clinic will offer primary care through a Kootenai Health and Heritage Health partnership as well as expanded services including WIC benefits from Panhandle Health District/Idaho Health Partners news release. More here.

AM Scanner Traffic -- 6.25.15

June 25, 2015 - 11:11am
  • 11:44 a.m. Female who is freaking out on cell phone re: threat gets into white Corolla on w/b Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 11:43 a.m. Child has left day care @ 9600 block of Govt Way/Hayden on foot.
  • 11:30 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Police Department activities report for June 24-25 here.
  • 11:16 a.m. Caller reports smell of pot in undisclosed apartment @ 8551 N. Govt Way/Hayden.
  • 11:03 a.m. Driver of silver sedan going w/b in e/b lanes of Northwest Blvd onramp/CdA. Caller was almost hit head on by female driver who was quickly stopped by KCSDeputy.
  • 10:59 a.m. Victim of battery of Westwood Drive last night in KCSO lobby to see deputy.
  • 10:54 a.m. Older male carrying backpack @ s/b H95/Lancaster Ave, Hayden, acted suspicious when offered ride.
  • 10:34 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency @ Heritage House, 1090 W. Park Place, CdA.
  • 10:23 a.m. Caller wants to talk to PFPD officer re: car seats.
  • 9:58 a.m. 9YO male complaining of back pain from rear-end crash @ H41/Prairie Ave, Rathdrum Prairie.
  • 9:48 a.m. KCSDeputy stopping to assist pedestrian @ H41/McWilliams Road, Spirit Lake.
  • 9:46 a.m. KCSDeputy stopping to investigate adult male near Garwood Elementary.
  • 9:27 a.m. Officer has female in custody as result of domestic battery case from Wednesday night.
  • 8:37 a.m. Noise complaint called in from 5900 block of Rhode Island St/Spirit Lake.
  • 8:10 a.m. Undisclosed medical emergency reported @ 300 block of Bay St/Post Falls.

Cindy: Back Yard 'Happy Place'

June 25, 2015 - 10:56am

My book lay facedown and forgotten as the sun lulled me into a summer stupor. I’d come to our backyard gazebo to read and recharge my batteries after a grueling day. But the concentration needed to focus on printed words proved too much. Instead, I listened to the chirping of a chickadee and the buzzing of a fat bumblebee. I watched them dart among the daisies near our deck. A pair of butterflies flitted past the raspberry bushes before alighting atop a gorgeous golden zucchini blossom in the vegetable garden. Once I was the queen of outdoor avoidance, preferring the shadowy coolness and the carefully climate-controlled indoors in the summer, but my hardworking husband has created a backyard oasis and it’s now my happy place/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: What do you think of your yard?

Quotable Quote

June 25, 2015 - 10:37am
"This is one of those weeks, if you walk around downtown, you feel you're overweight" -- co-worker in SR's Coeur d'Alene office.

AM Headlines -- 6.25.15

June 25, 2015 - 10:18am

Mayor David Condon shows off his purple socks Wednesday before helping University of Washington interim Provost Jerry Baldasty cut the ribbon on the new UW Spokane Center. Story here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Poll: No Compensation For Air

June 25, 2015 - 9:53am
  • Wednesday Poll: Hucks Nation said the city shouldn't require compensation from Hagadone Hospitality for the public air rights that would be lost if/when Hagadone builds a second Coeur d'Alene Resort tower over the western end of the resort mall and Front Avenue. (BTW, City Administrator Jim Hammond told Huckleberries that the city can't legally demand compensation for the air rights or for relinquishing the right of way for Front Avenue.) 125 of 235 respondents (53.19%) said the city shouldn't require compensation for public air rights. 102 (43.4%) said the city should seek compensation. 8 (3.4%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Do you support the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today on Obamacare?

Souza Rips LCDC Rebranding Cost

June 25, 2015 - 9:37am

In a Coeur d'Alene Press story, state Sen. Mary Souza, R-CdA, criticized the Urban Renewal Agency formerly known as LCDC for spending $54K to rebrand itself as ignite cda:

On Tuesday, (state Rep. Kathy) Sims and Souza spoke to the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee about the basics of urban renewal in Idaho. Souza said at the end of the meeting she was asked about the legality of last week's announcement that Coeur d'Alene's urban renewal agency was rebranding itself, and embarking on a $54,269 "public education campaign." Souza, who said she has studied urban renewal for the last decade, responded to the question by stating she had not read anything in the statutes that would lead her to believe the move was illegal. "I think the law is silent on this and typically that means they can go ahead and do that," she said. But she added that she doesn't believe the decision was an appropriate way to spend public money. "It's a heck of a lot of money going to improve their image rather than actually doing their job for the public," Souza said. Full story here.

Question: I'm still trying to figure out why "ignite cda" is lower cased. Anyone?

Obamacare Ruling Disappoints Crapo

June 25, 2015 - 9:32am

Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today released the following statement after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the King v. Burwell case:

“Today’s ruling is disappointing and in no way validates the President’s health care law as some are claiming,” said Crapo.  “The court did not rule on the merits of Obamacare, but, rather, on a one sentence provision in a 2700-page ill-advised law.  Obamacare is broken—plain and simple.  Millions of Americans, including thousands of Idahoans, have been pushed from their preferred health plans and doctors and continue to see their premiums rise.  In some cases, by as much as fifty percent in just two years—contrary to the President’s many oft-repeated promises.  Though this particular window of what many have viewed as an opportunity to swiftly replace the law with reforms may be closed, I will continue to work with my colleagues to push for nothing short of a full repeal of Obamacare.  Only when we address the real drivers of the cost of health care in this country and put in place market-oriented solutions, such as allowing states flexibility to regulate the insurance market and prioritizing the doctor-patient relationship over federal mandates, will Americans have access to the truly affordable, quality health care they want and deserve.”

Question: Can someone remind me what the nation's Republicans did to fix the health care mess when they controlled the Congress and the presidency under George W. Bush?

UI Won't Display Lynching Mural

June 25, 2015 - 9:07am

1930s-era mural in the former Ada County Courthouse, one of a series spread through the courthouse's central area, shows settlers hanging a Native American man. (State of Idaho)

The University of Idaho will keep a controversial image inside the old Ada County Courthouse covered for the grand opening of their new campus in July. KIVI-TV reports the mural depicting white settlers lynching a Native American is part of a large painting spread throughout the old courthouse. The University of Idaho, which is leasing out the building as a satellite campus for its law school, has no interest in keeping the mural on display. The associate dean of the college, Lee Dillion, says the mural doesn't fit well with the school and will therefore be kept covered. But former Idaho Attorney General David Leroy says getting rid of the display could cause problems. The building's grand opening will be held July 6th and classes begin in August/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Should this mural be trashed altogether?

Obamacare Ruling Miffs Raul

June 25, 2015 - 8:44am

Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: 

“I am stunned that the Supreme Court expanded the power of the executive branch to rewrite law it doesn’t like. Not only does this decision prop up a failed policy, it enshrines the principle that the president can trump Congress. One of my first votes as your congressman was to repeal this massive government takeover of our nation’s health care. The challenge now before Congress is to unequivocally repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-based care. The president’s misguided policy has limited access and increased health care costs.  It’s our job to expand access to quality care and restore incentives for innovations that improve and save lives.”

Question: Have you -- or someone you love -- benefitted from Obamacare?

Court Upholds Obamacare Again

June 25, 2015 - 8:39am

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama’s health care law allows the government to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance, a sweeping vindication that endorsed the larger purpose of Mr. Obama’s signature legislative achievement. The 6-to-3 ruling means that it is all but certain that the Affordable Care Act will survive after Mr. Obama leaves office in 2017, and will give it a greater chance of becoming an enduring part of America’s social safety net. For the second time in three years, the law t survived an encounter with the Supreme Court. But the court’s tone was different this time. The first decision, in 2012, was fractured and grudging, while Thursday’s ruling was more assertive/Adam Liptak, New York Times. More here.

Question: Do you approve/disapprove of this decision?

Ironman Or Hoopfest?

June 25, 2015 - 8:24am

In the future, athletes and spectators won't have to make a choice between Ironman Coeur d'Alene and Hoopfest, which have been staged on the same weekend in the Inland Northwest for years. Next year, Ironman Coeur d'Alene is moving to August. However, a conversation on the Patchin, Lukens & Oso radio show during my short evening commute prompted this thought: Would I rather watch Ironman Coeur d'Alene or Hoopfest. One of the KXLY trio said he wouldn't drive 40 miles to watch Ironman CdA because it isn't a spectator sport. Patchin responded that the swim start of Ironman and the finish are worth the spectacle. During their discussion, I thought of the time that I enjoyed the hamburger barbecue at Coeur d'Alene Bible Church while watching volunteers hand out water to passing Ironman bicyclist. I enjoyed the fun community vibe. Ditto for the time that I rode my bike to the north end of the Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course to watch and cheer the marathon runners, with hundreds of others. I've also viewed the race from the finish line. My point? Ironman isn't an easy race to watch because it's so long and there are view overall vantage points. However, I'd prefer those snippets to watching amateurs play hoops in downtown Spokane. How about you?

Question: Would you rather watch Ironman Coeur d'Alene or Hoopfest?

Woman Who Lost 175lbs Ready

June 25, 2015 - 8:19am

Megan Steeber, of Spokane, who once weighed 345 pounds, lost 175 pounds and began training for endurance events. Steeber, 37, will compete in her first Ironman-length triathlon on Sunday in Coeur d’Alene, joining about 2,000 others. (SR photo: Dan Pelle)

Megan Steeber has a story to tell. A story about weighing so much that her electronic scale stopped working. About losing half that weight, gaining a new life and competing in her first triathlon. Ironman Coeur d’Alene sponsors were so impressed they awarded the 37-year-old Spokane woman a free entry into Sunday’s race. The prize is worth $700, which Steeber called a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, because I couldn’t afford this on my own.” But if ever a gift came with strings attached, this was it. When Steeber got the news in early May, she said it left her “breathless,” but nothing compared to her workout regimen of late: 20 hours a week, including five-hour bike rides and three-hour runs. Fortunately, Steeber already was in training. Last month in Medical Lake, she finished the equivalent of half an Ironman, or 70.3 miles/Jim Allen, SR. More here.

Question: Do you find Ironman stories like this to be compelling?


Edit: ISP's Comedy Of Errors

June 25, 2015 - 8:14am

In his Lewiston Tribune editorial this morning, Opinion Editor Marty Trillhaase contends that nobody's laughing at the Idaho State Police's comedy of errors:

There's one clear winner in Idaho's private prison debacle: Corrections Corporation of America, the company that ran Idaho's private prison. How did that happen? Well, mistakes were made. So say the people surrounding Idaho State Police head Col. Ralph Powell. About two years ago, Rebecca Boone of The Associated Press exposed CCA for billing the state for unworked shifts at the Idaho Correctional Institution outside Boise. Until then, Gov. C.L. (Butch) Otter, a recipient of CCA campaign cash and an acolyte of prison privatization, had been loyal to the company. By 2014, however, the state ultimately chose not to renew its $29 million CCA contract and assumed management over the renamed Idaho State Correctional Center. For a $1 million settlement, the Board of Correction agreed to let CCA off the legal hook. More here.


Triple Digits In Saturday Forecast

June 25, 2015 - 8:10am

The latest weather forecast is turning down the sizzle this weekend, but only by a degree or two. Sunday could still see highs of 102 to 104 degrees across the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area, the National Weather Service said Wednesday afternoon. That official forecast predicted a high of 99 on Saturday, 103 on Sunday and 97 on Monday, which was 1 to 2 degrees lower than the morning forecast. At the same time, a heat advisory was issued Wednesday evening for the Columbia Basin, the Palouse and other areas to the south and west for highs up to 107. National Weather Service forecasters said the outlook is still uncertain because clouds may arrive to shield the sun/Mike Prager, SR. More here.

Question: While athletes for Ironman Coeur d'Alene and Hoopfest are performing this weekend, what do you plan to be doing?

Waiting Period -- 6.25.15

June 25, 2015 - 8:06am

Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writers Group

Hump Day Wild Card -- 6.24.15

June 24, 2015 - 5:35pm

The work day start slowly this morning. Now, there's news breaking out all over -- and I'm having a tough time keeping up with it. I love days like this. I'll keep posting. You keep commenting. Here's the Hump Day Wild Card ...