News aggregator

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?

Poll: $2M For Prez Primary? Wrong

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 9:53am
  • Tuesday Poll: Overwhelmingly, Hucks Nation opposes a bill supported by all 5 North Idaho Republican senators and Reps. Sims, Barbieri & Cheatham on the House State Affairs Committee to use $2 million in taxpayers' money to fund an earlier GOPresidential primary in 2016. 203 of 224 respondents (90.63%) oppose squandering that much money on the presidential beauty contest in Idaho. Only 16 of 224 respondents (7.14%) support the legislation. 5 (2.23%) were undecided.
  • Today's Poll: Which Coeur d'Alene abbreviation do you prefer?

DOTC: $2M Prez Primary Wasteful

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:59am

Dan of the CASA (RE: House State Affairs Committee OKs $2M for presidential primary): This wouldn't be as bad if it weren't such a duplication of elections and therefore completely wasteful. This will be a whole new one-issue, one-party election that could be and should be combined with the Primary election. I understand that the Republicans want to be part of their national process and feel it is critical to have this in March vs. May. So, if it's that important, then why not move the May Primary to March and then you could again have one combined (actually the word is consolidation and they passed a whole new section of the code a few years ago with the specific intent to have fewer, less confusing elections, but I guess doesn't count in this case) election and save millions of dollars and make it easier on the voters. Well, there's a one word answer for that one too--incumbents.

I'm sure the whole point of not moving the authentic Primary Election to March is because they are worried they would still be in session and couldn't campaign as much. Another benefit of having a combined Primary in March would actually be that you would see a much shorter, focused, and less expensive legislative session, at least every other year. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

Question: How can Idaho Republican legislators be so out of touch with their constituents on this issue?

Current Conditions : 39.0F, Partly Cloudy - 8:55 AM PDT Mar. 25

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 8:55am
Temperature: 39.0°F | Humidity: 98% | Pressure: 30.29in (Rising) | Conditions: Partly Cloudy | Wind Direction: SSE | Wind Speed: 1.6mph

Sho-Con: Otter Is Warren Harding

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:47am

Shoshone Conservative (RE: Ybarra rips Luna re: SchoolNet): I disagree that "Otter is the puppet master." Otter is more comparable to Ulysses S. Grant or Warren G. Harding -- not culpable DIRECTLY culpable or involved in the shenanigans going on in his administration, but INDIRECTLY culpable in being entirely disinterested and disengaged, thus allowing it to happen. In other words, I sincerely believe that Butch Otter is not, himself, dishonest. But he can't be bothered to expend the effort in keeping his appointees in line, which makes him a weak and ineffective Governor.

Question: I think Sho-Con is right about Otter. Thoughts?

2 Transportation Bills Surface

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:43am

Two new transportation bills were introduced in the House Ways & Means Committee this morning. One, from Rep. Jason Monks and House Transportation Chairman Joe Palmer, would make two funding shifts: Remove the Idaho State Police from funding by the state highway distribution account, which largely comes from gas taxes, and shift the $16 million now dedicated to ISP to transportation work, with 40 percent going to local government and 60 percent to the state highway account; and shift a third of the money that’s transferred to Idaho’s Budget Stabilization Fund each year to the state highway account instead/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you think we need to do something about Idaho's transportation infrastructure?

Luna's Legacy: Costly Tech Snafus

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:27am

For all the money Idahoans lavished on education technology, you should have seen:

  • The Idaho Education Network providing students in far-flung regions of the state with the opportunity to attend courses via teleconferences otherwise unavailable to them.
  • The Idaho System for Educational Excellence, a longitudinal data system, enabling teachers, administrators and state officials to share a seamless flow of statistics about where students were - and how well they were progressing.
  • Schoolnet, an instructional management system allowing educators across the state to develop and share what techniques work best in a practical, real-time way.

What a difference three months can make/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Thoughts?

Wednesday as of Mar. 25 8:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 8:27am
Wednesday - Cloudy with showers. High 47F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Wednesday Night as of Mar. 25 8:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 8:27am
Wednesday Night - Considerable cloudiness with occasional rain showers. Low 41F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Thursday as of Mar. 25 8:27 AM PDT

Coeur d'Alene Weather Forecast - March 25, 2015 - 8:27am
Thursday - Intervals of clouds and sunshine. High 63F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Alliance Adding 130 Jobs

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:22am

Donna Trapp-Merrill works at her desk in the customer retention department of Alliance Data Retail Services during her shift Tuesday in Coeur d’Alene. The company is planning to add 350 jobs over the next two to three years. (Coeur d'Alene Press: Shawn Gust)

Alliance Data Retail Services plans to hire 130 additional employees this spring to expand its Coeur d'Alene facility. The Ohio-based company made the expansion announcement on Tuesday as part of a long-term growth plan to meet its expanding portfolio of branded credit card programs. Alliance Data's facility in Coeur d'Alene opened in June, and Director of Operations Derrek Thomas said "everything has really been firing on all cylinders." "We've got right around 220 people sitting in the facility today and we've been in a consistent hiring and training mode," Thomas told The Press Tuesday. "We really don't see that slowing down anytime soon." Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer said Tuesday the Alliance Data announcement is great news and exciting for the community/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here

Question: I didn't find the per-hour wage amount that Alliance Data pays. But a job is a job, right?

 

Edit: Footing Bill For Idaho GOP

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:17am

Apparently, the only thing better than a closed Republican primary is two closed Republican primaries. It's even sweeter if you can get Democrats to help foot the extra bill. Barring an unexpected rejection from the House, the Republican-dominant Idaho Legislature is poised to establish a presidential primary election on the second Tuesday of March. On March 8, 2016, the presidential primary would precede the regular May primary - at an additional cost to Idaho taxpayers of up to $2 million/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Hucks Nation, and I suspect the rest of Idaho, is overwhelmingly opposed to the state footing the bill for an earlier presidential primary for the Idaho Republican Party. Then, why aren't our representatives (who are so quick to oppose such worthy things as a mental health crisis center, listening to their constituents when it comes to squandering $2 million for this partisan boondoogle?

Vestal: Readers Want Bad News

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:11am

There’s an old journalism cliché about the primacy of bad news: We cover crashes, not landings. The logic of this has always seemed sound to me. Crashes are unusual; landings are commonplace. Crashes are life-changing; landings are routine. Crashes are problems, and a free, self-governing people need to know about problems. Obviously, this is my self-interested journalist’s view of it. A disinterested observer – one more inclined to decry the preponderance of “bad news” – might conclude that going negative is simply the way to sell papers or attract viewers. If that’s so, it says as much about readers and viewers as the media/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Would you read a newspaper that only had good news?

Attack

Huckleberries Blog - March 25, 2015 - 8:05am

Michael Ramirez/Investor's Business Daily