- Thursday Poll: 62% of Hucks Nation isn't a member of the Coeur d'Alene Kroc Center -- or have ever been a member of The Kroc. 111 of 180 respondents (61.67%) said they're not members. However, 30 respondents (16.67%) said they are members, and another 27 (15%) said they used to be members. Also: 7 (3.89%) said they want to join The Kroc, and 5 (2.78%) checked "What? Me exercise?).
- Today's Poll: Do you consider the actions of the Far Right wingers of the Idaho GOP to be laughable?
Writing for the Moscow-Pullman Daily News editorial board, Devin Rokyta comments:
The paranoia permeating the far right of the Republican party in Idaho is usually more laughable than anything. We know their bills trying to advance measures like those calling for the carrying of concealed firearms without any permit or training, "taking back" of federal lands that have never belonged to Idaho, nullifying federal gun control laws and Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and forcing high school students to read Ayn Rand will go nowhere. And if such bills somehow make it past the governor's desk, we can normally be sure a court somewhere will call their nonsense out for what it is. But we can't exactly call those on the fringe harmless. Unfortunately, they have loud and powerful voices in Idaho - and throughout the nation - and their hate and neurosis isn't always escapable. More here.
Question: Do you consider the actions of the Idaho GOP fringe to be laughable?
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell walks in the Boise Foothills, Tuesday, in Boise. Jewell has released a plan for a wildfire-fighting strategy intended to protect a wide swath of intermountain West sagebrush country that supports cattle ranchers and is home to a struggling bird species. Story here. (AP/Statesman photo: Darin Oswald)
Yet again, a former state lawmaker will strike gold thanks to a quirky little loophole in state law that allows legislators to turn a pittance of a retirement benefit into something extraordinary. Gov. Butch Otter announced that former Senate Pro Tem Bob Geddes of Soda Springs will become the next director of the state Department of Administration. This will be Geddes’ second state executive branch stint; Otter had previously plugged him into an ill-fitting role at the state Tax Commission. Geddes didn’t stay long enough to trigger the pension spiking that comes into play once a legislator fills a full-time government job for 42 months. In an unusual move, Geddes left the Tax Commission to lobby for the Idaho Farm Bureau. Geddes’ new role at the Department of Administration will allow him to turn an otherwise miniscule annual pension into one paying in excess of $37,000, provided he clocks another 30 months in the position/Wayne Hoffman, Idaho Freedom Foundation. More here.
Question: The Idaho House approved a bill to end pension spiking, 38-32, before it died in the Senate. Do you know how your senator voted on this one?
Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, Montana's most prominent political reporters, are leaving their posts next week as the Lee Newspapers State Bureau closes. "It's a loss for everyone who cares about informed civic discussion of statewide politics. Their decades of institutional memory and experience are unmatched," said Dennis Swibold, a University of Montana School of Journalism professor. "It's a terrible loss. Personally, I know these guys, and you can't find two reporters with more integrity. It was more than being a good journalist. They had an ethic of service." Johnson, bureau chief, worked for the Great Falls Tribune from 1977-1992, when he switched to Lee. He said he plans to retire. Dennison, who has worked for Lee since 2005 and worked for the Tribune for 13 years before that, is looking for another position. He said if this was his last job in journalism, he can look back on a great career/Great Falls Tribune. More here.
Photographer Duane Rasmussen provides this photo of the Sunshine Mine Disaster memorial along I-90.
Hard to believe it's been 10 years ago since Random House released “The Deep Dark – Disaster & Redemption in America's Richest Silver Mine,” authored by best-selling writer Gregg Olsen. “The Deep Dark” is the definitive (and dramatic without being melodramatic) account of the May 2, 1972 Sunshine Mine Disaster here in the silver fields of northern Idaho. Ninety-one men died on the day shift after fire broke out deep underground, overcome by deadly gases. Eighty-six miners escaped that day, and another two were found alive beneath a fresh-air shaft a week later. The fire's cause was never determined to anyone's satisfaction. Theories have ranged from arson to a welder's sparks to spontaneous combustion/David Bond, Wallace Street Journal. More here.
Question: Have you read "The Deep Dark"?
Meeting yesterday in Pocatello, the Idaho Transportation Board selected 27 projects, totaling $46.8 million, to complete in 2016 with funding from the recently approved gas tax and registration fee increases that lawmakers passed ruing their regular session this year. You can see the full list here; all involve either bridge or pavement restoration or preservation. "We are now accelerating critical projects more rapidly from the long list of needs,” said ITD Board Chairman Jerry Whitehead. “This is an important beginning to preserve our system by replacing and preserving our bridges, as well as our pavements, and keeping Idaho's economy and citizens moving"/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
There are large feathers scattered throughout the property at Dan Dolezal's Coeur d'Alene home, the remnants of a battle between his two emus and two neighborhood dogs. Dolezal, who owns the Camera Corral on Sherman Avenue, was at work last Friday when he received a phone call from a neighbor saying he needed to come home immediately. When he arrived, Dolezal was shocked by the amount of feathers and heartbroken at the sight of his emu, Prunella, lying dead. Sheila, his other emu, was scared off by the dogs and has been missing ever since/Keith Cousins, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Shawn Gust Press file photo: In this November 24, 2010 Press file photo, Sheila, a 4-year-old emu, walks through the snow in her pen as Vern Harvey follows behind)
Question: Would you know an emu if you saw one?
In August 1945, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Five years later, the superintendent of schools in Spokane stood in front of 900 educators at Lewis and Clark High School and warned: “The same thing that happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki could happen here, and we must prepare for it.”
For decades, that’s just what a lot of people in Spokane did. If the 1950s and ’60s were sweltering with Cold War paranoia, Spokane had one of the higher fevers. Local government officials urged public action and compiled potential nuclear targets and impacts. Newspapers published maps of potential destruction in the case of a nuclear attack. Citizens were schooled in blackout procedures and practiced a citywide evacuation while planes dropped leaflets that read: “This Could Have Been an ‘H’ Bomb.”
And a lot of people – though it’s impossible to say how many – dug and stocked their own backyard bomb shelters. Lee O’Connor, the author of a book on Spokane’s history of fallout shelters titled “Take Cover, Spokane,” says that while this was a national passion, “Spokane really distinguished itself in terms of civil defense”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.
Question: Did anyone you know have a fallout shelter?
Our lawmakers are a bit quirky
Some of their theories are murky
But back they did come
From where they are from
And earned a full case of beef jerky.
Betsy Russell/Eye on Boise
Update: After press time Thursday night, Kootenai County Commissioners Dan Green and Marc Eberlein voted to deny the zone-change request sought by Mort Construction for the 34 acres. Commission Chairman David Steward abstained. The hearing ended at 11:20 p.m.
Kootenai County commissioners heard more than four hours of public testimony Thursday night on a contractor's controversial zone-change request for 34 acres near Athol. The commissioners hadn't made a decision by 10:45 p.m., but if the request is approved, the property's zone designation will change from rural to restricted residential. Thursday night's hearing was a follow-up from one in March, and hundreds of people turned out for both hearings at North Idaho College in the Schuler Performing Arts Center. Most of those in attendance opposed the zone-change request, which would clear the way for 86 residential lots, as they believe a higher-density residential development in the area would alter the current nature of the area/David Cole, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.
502 W. Appleway & 95.