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Current Conditions : 46.2F, Overcast - 3:15 PM PDT Mar. 25

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 3:15pm
Temperature: 46.2°F | Humidity: 83% | Pressure: 30.30in (Steady) | Conditions: Overcast | Wind Direction: WNW | Wind Speed: 2.2mph

Idaho Gets D- In Government Ethics

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 2:48pm

Idaho is one of eight states without an agency or independent commission to oversee state ethics laws. It is one of three states with no financial disclosure requirements for state, judicial, county and city elected officials, and it has no "revolving door" policy. These shortcomings are part of the reason the state has received a D- in a national survey rating government corruption risk. "I think we have honest people in state government, but to uphold the public's trust, I think there is room for improvement," especially when it comes to contracts, personal finance disclosure and conflict of interest, said former Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. "The time is ripe … it is begging for improvement"/Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman. More here.

Question: Do you think the Powers That Be in Idaho care that the state has such a low grade when it comes to government ethics?

Read more here:

Creation Museum Fits Idaho To T

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 2:16pm

Stan Lutz doesn't get what the fuss is all about. So what if three state senators boycotted the morning prayer at a recent legislative session because a Hindu cleric delivered the invocation? It was anti-Christian, they argued, to have a Hindu bless the Senate. Or as state Sen. Steve Vick explained to the Spokesman-Review: "They worship cows." Who cares that the Idaho Statesman called the "prayer snub pitiful" and the incident pushed the Idaho Press-Tribune to publish an editorial headlined, "Time to end public prayers in Statehouse"? This is Idaho, Lutz noted from his usual post at the Northwest Science Museum, America's newest tribute to creationism that's only a few miles west of the Capitol dome where Rajan Zed got the cold shoulder/Mary L. Laganga, Los Angeles Times. More here.


Hayden OKs Art, Haters Attack

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 1:06pm

This conceptual, photoshopped rendering shows the model of Epiphany that appears in the Hayden City Council's packet. Artist Michael Horswill would like to qualify that this is a model, smaller and less detailed than the final sculptures will be. (Courtesy rendering via Coeur d'Alene Press)

It's not just a multi-colored Plexiglas head, it's an "Epiphany." The Hayden City Council on Tuesday night approved a large piece of public art that will be built near the Hayden Library. The central sculpture, titled "Epiphany," is a human head made of steel and colorful Plexiglas, creating a stained-glass effect. It will be located just off Government Way on a narrow strip of property owned by the Hayden Library and bordering the Peak Tennis Center. "The face will glow in the evening with light that gradually changes colors, signifying an active mind," the artist, Hayden resident Michael Horswill, wrote in a Feb. 23 letter to Mayor Ron McIntire and the city council/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Dissenting Opinion: In the comments thread under this Coeur d'Alene Press story, several pseudonymous people took issue with this public art, including Hayden Joe: "It's not going to be the most popular, probably, for a lot of people," Timmins said. "But, you know, it's what the public needs." Oh Brother! Ding-Dong! It's rainbow colored. Get it people? Like the Rainbow Bridge in the CDA Park. It would have been Politically Incorrect to say no to this, "symbol." " this is a model, smaller and less detailed than the final sculptures will be." Oh, goody. It will be even larger than what is depicted in the photo. Makes me want to go put on my tu-tu and prance through the park. And for the record. I'm actually OK with some public art, but lets reflect known history and culture and how about some public representation in its selection? And lets keep Political Correctness OUT of the decision. These non-Public Servants never cease to amaze.

DFO: I remarked to Mrs. O on our way home from church in Hayden Sunday how much the city of Hayden has improved as a result of infrastructure upgrade along Government Way, construction of quality business buildings, and a refurbished City Hall. Public Art will add to the process. Hayden now has a community feel with an evolving "downtown." H/T to Mayor Ron McIntire & the City Council members and staff who made it possible. Thoughts?

Quotable Quote

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 1:01pm
"In 8th grade, I was eating cheetos and playing football. Not passing legislation. Ilah Hickman is a boss" -- Dustin Hurst/Idaho Reporter.

Salamander Bill Advances

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 12:58pm

The Senate Resources Committee has voted unanimously in favor of HB 1, the bill to designate the Idaho giant salamander as the state amphibian. The sponsor, 14-year-old Ilah Hickman – who’s pushed for the bill for the past five years – skipped her family’s spring break trip to the Oregon Coast to present the bill to the committee today/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

DFO: Long live the giant salamander ...

Bond: Goodbye, Dad

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 12:51pm

My father, Richard Milton Bond, slipped the hook this morning. Had he lived another month he would have been 94 but given his failing health, I would not have wished that on him. The whole family, even we kids, called him Dickie and he never minded. He had a raucous laugh, an even greater sense of humour and greater than that, a spirit for adventure and a disdain for bullshite. He had a pilot's heart and a disdain for common thinking. Linus Pauling taught him freshman chemistry at Cal-Tech, whence he transferred with the V-12 program to Berkeley, where he met my late mother, Patty, while both were on the student council/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.

Question: Do you still have a living parent?

Current Conditions : 45.9F, Overcast - 12:14 PM PDT Mar. 25

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 12:14pm
Temperature: 45.9°F | Humidity: 74% | Pressure: 30.31in (Rising) | Conditions: Overcast | Wind Direction: SW | Wind Speed: 2.0mph

Coeur d’Alene Center for Healthy Living Grant Proposal Video

CdA City Blog - March 25, 2015 - 12:04pm

This video was prepared to support our America's Best Communities grant competition application submitted on March 24, 2015. CDA 2030, along with team members from City of Coeur d'Alene, Kootenai Health, University of Idaho, Heritage Health, and Jobs Plus, have put this application together in hopes of making some of our community's visions a reality through this economic development grant opportunity. Check out the video here.

Blackwell Plants To Be Restored

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 11:42am

Students in Lake City High School’s advanced placement Environmental Science course grow native vegetation they'll plant on the BLM Blackwell Island Recreation Area. (J. Esler)

Lake City High School students will be helping restore native plants to Blackwell Island Recreation Area this week in a project coordinated by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Coeur d'Alene District. Students in the school's advanced placement Environmental Science course helped sow the seeds in January for the new native plant and pollinator garden at the popular Lake Coeur d'Alene recreation site. BLM botanist LeAnn Abell and Jasmine Williams of the Coeur d’Alene Forest Nursery helped the students start a variety of native north Idaho plants such as blanket flower, Idaho fescue, and yarrow/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Teacher Pay Falls To 49th

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 11:34am

The average teacher pay in Idaho dropped by more than $200 from 2012-13 to 2013-14 — a decrease that the state’s teachers’ union can’t explain. On average, only two states pay their teachers less than Idaho. But meanwhile, pay appeared to increase for Idaho “instructional staff,” including counselors, principals and curriculum specialists. These mixed results came from a National Education Association study released this month. And the news comes as Idaho legislators and education policymakers continue debating a $125.5 million plan to increase teacher pay/Kevin Richert, More here.

Question: And you're wondering how low Idaho can go?

AM Scanner Traffic -- 3.24.15

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 11:31am
  • 11:45 a.m. Chimney fire reported @ 30899 Nautical Loop/Spirit Lake.
  • 11;41 a.m. Someone is suffering chest pain @ 900 block of W. Emma Ave/CdA.
  • 11:39 a.m. CPD is seeking 13YO female runaway named Kyra, who's 4-9, 128lbs & wearing black leggings.
  • 11:22 a.m. Traffic Hazard: A bale of hay is lying @ H41/MP 4.4 (Wyoming Ave/Rathdrum).
  • 11:06 a.m. Residential alarm sounding @ 1700 E. Arrow Point Drive/Harrison.
  • 10:37 a.m. CPD asks to check Greyhound Bus stop for female teen runaway.
  • 10:30 a.m. CPD officer stopping for transient in alley north of 1700 Sherman Ave/CdA.
  • 9:50 a.m. Deputies need help with armed, suicidal male @ Coeur d'Alene River Road/MP 14 (North Fork)
  • 9:22 a.m. Deputy reports being flagged down by pedestrian @ Govt Way/Commerce Drive, Hayden.
  • 8:53 a.m. Motorist reports smoke but no flames along n/b I-90/MP 17 (Yellowstone Trail/CdA).
  • 8:47 a.m. Possible structure fire turns out to be steam from dryer vent (8:43 item).
  • 8:43 a.m. Neighbor reports possible fire in double-wide trailer, across from Garwood Elementary, 17485 N Ramsey Road.
  • 8:34 a.m. 2 males who may have been involved in nearby crash were observed behind 4-plex on Glenwood Drive/Post Falls.

Wednesday as of Mar. 25 11:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 11:27am
Wednesday - Rain. High 47F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Wednesday Night as of Mar. 25 11:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 11:27am
Wednesday Night - Cloudy. Low 41F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday as of Mar. 25 11:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 11:27am
Thursday - Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 63F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Dennis: Ache Is Part Of Living

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 10:53am

Dennis: In my younger days, I lived life to the fullest. From cliff diving and jumping off bridges in the rivers where I grew up to bucking hay and general ranch work. As a young adult, the fun expanded tenfold with no thought of the consequences when I got “Old”. And as I’ve gotten older, the stuff that I thought had healed up has been coming back to haunt me. Three knee rebuilds, three rebuilds of my right shoulder and now I’m looking and a possible second reconstruct on my left shoulder. But I will say that I wouldn’t change a thing. The life lessons that I have learned, the memories, friends and family that I made throughout the years have made those aches and pains worth it. But I still have to say,,,,,,,,,, GETTING OLD SUCKS!!!

DFO: Broken nose. At least 2 broken ankles (maybe three including one that healed on its own). 2 blown knees. Among other injuries. Worth every minute of it.

Question: Do you consider the injuries you received as part of an active life growing up ... worth it?

AM Headlines -- 3.24.15

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 10:41am

In this file photo, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. Bergdahl, who left his post in Afghanistan and was held five years by the Taliban, has been charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Story below. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File)

'Subtract The Words' Shot Down

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 10:38am

A resolution, sponsored by Precinct 52 Committeeman Bjorn Handeen, was shot down without discussion last night at the monthly meeting of the Kootenai County GOP Central Committee. Handeen's resolution called for Republicans to support an action to "subtract the words" from the Idaho Human Rights Act. Handeen wants the word "religion" removed from the act. He tells Huckleberries via email this morning: "If we say one group shouldn't have special rights, then we have to surrender our own special rights." As it did a month ago, the Central Committee voted to not even discuss the bill. Last month, Handeen spearheaded the move to reject sans discussion a resolution calling for Idaho to be designated as a "Christian nation." Handeed told Huckleberries that there may have been some payback involved in the action last night. You can read the resolution here.

Question: Does the rejection of resolutions seeking to designate Idaho as a "Christian nation" and asking to "subtract the words" indicate local Republicans are beginning to pull back from the fringe right?

Welcome To Avista Happy Hike Hour

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 10:08am

Mellow-voiced announcer:

You’re listening to AM radio station K-P-A-Y. Now sit back and get ready to be energized. It’s time for host Les Ohms and the Avista Happy Hike Hour!

“You light up my liiiife. You give me hope. To carry on …”

LES – Hey-hey! And a happy-hike Tuesday to all my merry minions!

That, by the way was Debby Boone singing the Avista corporate theme song, “You Light Up My Life.”

We have a lot of exciting power-related topics to talk about. But first, let’s take a phone call from one of our listeners.

Hello, who’s this?

OLD WOMAN – I’m a little scared, Les, so I’d rather not give my name.

LES – Certainly, dear. You have nothing to be scared about. What’s on your mind?/Doug Clark, SR. More here.

Question: Avista sez it needs more & more moolah to replace antiquated infrastructure. Are you buying what the utility is selling?

Complicated Tax Bill Surfaces

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 10:03am

Complicated legislation to make big changes in Idaho’s tax system – lowering the top income tax brackets to 6.7 percent from the current 7.4 percent, while keeping lower brackets the same as they are now; removing the sales tax from groceries while eliminating the current grocery tax credit; and raising the gas tax by 7 cents a gallon, from the current 25 cents to 32 cents – was introduced this morning in the House Revenue & Taxation Committee/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: I like that the bill calls for removing the sales tax on groceries. But it seems too late in the 2015 Legislature to be trying to digest a tax change this significant. Thoughts?