In the letters to the editor section today, the Coeur d'Alene Press publishes two letters with opposing points of view on the "flowers" ("Umbrellas Gracilis") in the roundabout at Kathleen & 4th/CdA:
- Yvonne Benzinger, Coeur d'Alene: "What a delightful surprise, coming upon the cheery umbrella-like flower sculpture in the Kathleen and Fourth roundabout on a gray winter morning! What a colorful and fun choice to plant these “flowers” so near the Coeur d’Alene High School for our young people to enjoy." More here.
- Ed Torrence, Coeur d'Alene: "“Umbrellas Gracilis” is what the sculpture on the Fourth Street and Kathleen roundabout is called. I’d call it the Fourth Street Folly. It will be an everlasting monument to the Coeur d’Alene City Council’s waste of taxpayer money. Whether or not one likes the artwork, this is a plain and simple misuse of $28,000 of public funds."
Do you like the "flowers" public arts display at 4th & Kathleen roundabout?
Rhonda Whited-Rupp holds a picture of sister Sherry Arnold, seen in a cowboy hat, and Arnold’s family in this Thursday photo made in Sidney, Mont. Attorneys for one of the men arrested in the slaying of the Montana teacher are seeking to have him declared unfit for trial. Story here. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
- Idaho Records/Sherry Adkins, SR
- Butte drafting anti-discrimination law/KXLY
- Briefs: CdA Realtor loses license after 2nd DUI arrest/SR
- Farris runs for Boise House seat/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise
- IPT editor Holbrook leaving newspaper business/Betsy Russell, EOB
- Valley Hospital turns away nurses, others after strike/John Stucke, SR
- Father shares memories of son killed in Idaho school bus accident/KTVB
- Priest River shooting, chase suspect arrested after crash/Brian Walker, Press
- Idaho auctions off cabin sites that contains 5 buried bodies/Betsy Russell, EOB
- Dem guv candidate listed as 'Republican for Minnick' in 2008/Betsy Russell, EOB
- Otter pulls in Christie, Denney attracts 'Duck Dynasty' starts/Betsy Russell, EOB
The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for tonight and early Saturday. Lows ranging from 5 to 12 degrees will feel much colder on the skin with northeast winds gusting to 30 mph. In Spokane, forecasters are calling for a potential wind chill of minus-14. In Coeur d’Alene, the wind chill could be as cold as minus-20. The wind chill warning is in effect from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. Saturday. Under those conditions, frostbite on exposed skin could occur in as little as 30 minutes, forecasters said. They warned people to take precautions against the cold/Mike Prager, SR. More here.
Question: Are you ready for the Arctic Express?
I missed a major opportunity several months ago, prior to Gov. Butch Otter’s announcement that he would put together a task force to examine and make recommendations for education reform. Before the first task force meeting I should have predicted the outcome of the group’s work, written my prediction on a piece of paper and buried the prediction in a jar in my backyard. The prediction: That the task force would recommend more of the same: Basically, more money for schools to prop up a failing system. I would have been called a genius—or evil manipulator of time and space, predicting the unpredictable. Does Wayne possess some dark magic that allows him to conjure images of that which hasn’t happened, the media would have asked. Trust me, it didn’t take much to imagine the outcome/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: Sounds like Wayne's happy with Idaho's bottom-of-the-barrel per capita spending for public education?
Boise State’s Chris Petersen, pictured, has accepted an offer to become the Washington Huskies new head coach, the school announced this morning. Washington had offered to make Petersen, 49, one of the highest-paid coaches in the Pac-12, sources told The Seattle Times. He was scheduled to make $2.2 million at Boise State this season and has a $750,000 buyout in his contract. UW did not immediately release details of Petersen’s contract. UW said it waited to make the announcement of Petersen’s hiring until after the coach had met with his players at Boise State this morning. A press conference is scheduled for Monday to formally introduce Petersen/Adam Jude, Seattle Times. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Does this mean that the Boise State Broncos will continue coming back down to earth?
More than $180,491 was raised and at least $172,999 was spent in the Coeur d'Alene city elections this year, according to 30-day post election filings turned in Thursday. Those final numbers are actually going to be greater, as candidates Amber Copeland and Chris Fillios missed the filing deadline Thursday afternoon, along with two political action committees. Of the total amount reported, candidates raised $142,908 and spent $138,217. PACs raised $37,583 and spent $34,782. ... Mayor-elect Steve Widmyer was the biggest fundraiser in this election, reporting a final total of $40,447. He spent $38,865, and the vast majority of that -- $29,645 -- went to Range NW. Widmyer's opponent, Mary Souza, was a close second in fundraising, bringing in $39,860. She spent $39,088 of that. While she did spend $6,084 with Strategery, she hired an independent campaign manager/Jeff Selle, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
Question: Any surprises in this report, other than Widmyer out-fundraising Souza?
Another day, another art controversy. Oh joy. The latest if not greatest displays of artistic ingenuity -- some might call them by another name -- have blossomed in the middle of a roundabout on Kathleen Avenue and Fourth Street, just south of Coeur d'Alene High School, and sometime next year, at the Third Street entrance to McEuen Park. Kathleen/Fourth Street: Dubbed "Umbrellas Gracilis," the creation by artists from Vancouver, Wash., is actually a play on words. Type "umbrellas gracilis" into an Internet search engine, and you'll see photos of a plant with descriptions of dwarf umbrella palms. Well, the artwork looks like a plant topped by three colorful umbrellas. Third Street: This piece will stand 25 feet tall and again, there's some fun with the name. It's called "Allium Spring Chorus," but spellcheck on Press computers automatically changes it to "Alien String Chorus" -- a moniker some gawkers will probably find more accurate. Creative? Most can probably agree on that. Best use of public dollars? Most people can probably agree to disagree on that/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.
Question: I sincerely hope that the Coeur d'Alene Arts Commission isn't intimidated by the whining from some quarters about its public art selections. I'd rather see them continue to be creative and take risks than hearken to some sort of formula in an attempt to please those who are rarely pleased in this community. Thoughts?
A man points at a painting of former South African President, Nelson Mandela in Lagos, Nigeria, Friday. Mandela passed away Thursday night after a long illness. He was 95. As word of Mandela's death spread, current and former presidents, athletes and entertainers, and people around the world spoke about the life and legacy of the former South African leader. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Jack Riggs, CEO of Pita Pit USA, confirmed Thursday that he has individually purchased the former Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. headquarters building in downtown Coeur d'Alene. He wouldn't disclose the purchase price or the square footage. The building is located at 505 Front Ave., and was owned by Coeur. He said Coeur employees continue to occupy it as the company transitions to Chicago. Coeur, formerly Coeur Mining Inc., called Coeur d'Alene home beginning in 1985. It announced it was leaving in March. Riggs said the purchase isn't Pita Pit related. However, Pita Pit administrative staff will "probably," sometime in the future, move into the building as the company continues its rapid growth, he said/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
There is news breaking from national baseball writers starting with Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes that the free agent second baseman Robinson Cano, pictured, and the Mariners have agreed to a 10-year, $240 million contract. CBS Sports Jon Heyman also confirmed the deal. There has been no confirmation from the Mariners. Earlier this morning reports out of New York came out that the talks had broken down and Howard Lincoln stormed out of the negotiations. But a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that “anything that’s been written that talks been broken off or that Jay-Z overplayed his hand is false. And that the past 48 hours of discussions with all teams involved were very productive.” They seem to be very productive/Ryan Divish, Mariners Blog. More here. (AP file photo)
Question: Did Mariners overplay for a good player?
Lisa Benson/Washington Post Writer's Group
350 W. Appleway & Hwy 95
Coeur d'Alene Weather
Current conditions: Cloudy
Temperature: 23° F
Wind: N 3 mph
Feels like: 23° F
Visibility: 10 mi
Sunrise: 7:24 am
Sunset: 3:54 pm