Dunno whether to blog this or save it for the morning. ... hmm ... whaddatheysay? A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Here goes:

*The Note blog leads off by providing 20 "big dirty little secrets about the election, all guaranteed to be true and (almost) all guaranteed to make every one of our sources angry." Good stuff. Click here.

*James Taranto's Best of the Web each weekday may be the best roundup out there to keep you up to speed on the geo-political goings-on. He writes it for the Wall Street Journal. And you can get it sent to your PC free daily. You can find a sample here.

*In her new blog, Michelle Malkin zeroes in on the Lefty Nation mag's vile, but not-very-inventive, depiction of Dubya as monstrous Saturn, eating one of his children, here.

*UI soph Henry Johnston, of Sandpoint, is back to bloggin', and his most recent effort includes a link to something called, "Evil Conservative." Can't quite figure it out. But it seems to be a site that provides a liberal-eyed view of conservatives and a little game at the end to let folks know what you think of conservatives. You can find Henry's blog here (and follow the links to Evil Conservative).

*Soon, I'll be adding to the links on my blog page, providing new "best ofs" in at least three categories: columnists, e-zines and bloggers. Look for changes by mid- to late-week next week.


Headlines @ 3 p.m.

*Senior al-Qaeda suspect killed in Saudi Arabia: Bonk, bonk, bonk ... and another one bites the dust.

*Al-Hussayen agrees to deal, will leave U.S. and reunite with family: Yo, Sami, don't let the door hit your back side on the way out.

*Guard member called to Iraq loses his job with Idaho (Transportation says dismissal was unrelated to military service): The Idaho Transportation Department can't seem to build a road in North Idaho without getting sued. Do you suppose ITD oafishals are trying to pin their incompetence on this patriot Guardsman?

*Clinton fans line up at Costco in Issaquah: From the White House to the discount warehouse. What's next? Hillary's dog house again?

*Vice president Hillary; Speculation intensifies in Washington: I'll let The Edge call this one: Don't look now but the Drudge report says Hillary is a top choice for Kerry's VP. The Clintons are like the White trash characters in Christmas Vacation. They keep coming back. That there is an RV.

Peanut Gallery (The Edge)

Got to love the logic of Tom Hamilton who illegally dredged a 150-foot channel (free sign-in required) in his property for his boat slip and doesn’t believe he did anything wrong. Hamilton is going to hire “independent scientists” to show that the river should be left alone. I am I the only one who sees the irony in this? Riddle me this Batman, how can the scientists be independent if they’re on his payroll? He loves the environment, thinks he improved the environment, and doesn’t believe he did anything to hurt the environment, yet he seems irritated, or maybe perplexed is the right word, that the fish and turtles are gone because of a silt curtain placed there because of his actions. He’s darn lucky the Department of Lands didn’t fine him a wad of cash.

The Edge

DFO: My sentiments exactly.

Best of the Northwest (6/30/04)

Gotta an anonymous postcard yesterday from someone who claims Duane Hagadone's megayacht, Lady Lola, ran into trouble while touring the Galapagos Islands in March. Read: It supposedly hit a reef. The note goes on to say passengers received alternate transportation to the mainland. And that LL was so immobilized that she had to be towed to a distant location for substantial repairs. Dunno if this is hooey or not. Anyone out there heard anything about it?

1. Cartoonists Eric Devericks of The Seattle Times and David Horsey of the P-I both take aim at the Iraqi handover here and here.

2. The Idaho National Guard is heading to Fort Bliss, Texas, today to begin an 18-month deployment to the Middle East here. And The Idaho Statesman wishes them well here.

3. Before Her Hillaryiness told San Franciscans that they'd have to hand over their tax cuts, if the Dims took power, she was in Seattle raising $400,000 for Patty "Osama Mama" Murray and paving the way for Slick Willie's visit today here.

4. Don't look now, sez Megan Patrick of the Seattle P-I, but that 12-ounce mocha Frappuccino you just ordered from Starbucks is loaded with calories here.

5. And the battle in Seattle over Jimi Hendrix estate goes on here.

6. A Washington state child molester got his yesterday in Ravalli County, Mont., when he took up arms against the gendarmes here.

7. A Valley County (Idaho) rancher and a hired hand have been fined $750 apiece for killing a wolf that was threatening the rancher's cattle here. F'shame.

8. Former Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe was in Boy-C this week showing youngsters how to do it here.

*Joel Connelly of the P-I ask Her Hillaryness if she's read any good books lately here.

*For you Mariner fans, Larry Stone of the Times sez the Texas Rangers aren't a fluke here, and Steve Kelley sez Joel Pineiro passed his first test as the M's new ace here, and Art Thiel of the P-I sez sentiment is blurring the M's vision as they consider their next move here.

*Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey gives two thumbs up to the Boy Scout in the attorney general's office, Lawrence Wasden, here.

*The Seattle Times supports letter grades in schools as an important way to teach students life's lessons here.

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 (6/30/04)

Got the latest blog numbers from my blogmeister at S-R Central. And ... they're pretty good -- a little over 6,000 page views per week. Or about 1,200 per week day, when most of the traffic occurs. That's way up from 300 to 400 in the first few months. And then 400 to 600. And around 700 of a month ago. The blog consumes my extra time at work. But it's worth it when people out there are reading. Thank you, big time, for your faithfulness in tuning in to this little part of the 'Net. Thanx for sharing No Holds Barred with your friends. And, if you see something good on the 'Net that's blogworthy, drop a line and send a link. You can reach me thru the return mail address on the blog or by writing daveo@spokesman.com. Now, your morning fixes:

1. Cartoonists Chip Bok and Steve Benson launch another day with their takes on the self-governing Iraqis and J. Flipflop Kerry being overshadowed by Slick Willie here and here.

2. The usual source for jokes was a bit dry, so No Holds Barred turned to Daniel Kurtzman's Political Humor site and came up with this by Craig Kilborn: "George Bush handed over power to the Iraqis. Then they asked Bush where he's going now and he said, 'I'm invading Disneyland.'" Here's the rest of your Late Night Fix.

3. For your Top of the News Fix, No Holds Barred offers: So-Damn Insane & Co. about to face the music (execution?) for their crimes against humanity here; the beheading videos are being seen as a form of cyber-terrorism here; 15 Iraqi groups have purchased a full-page ad in USA Today to thank America for its sacrifices for their freedom here; and, on lighter notes, a reviewer sez Spiderman II is worth the hype here and J.K. Rowling reveals the name of her latest Harry Potter book here.

4. Want to see how life will be like if the Dims get their hands on the presidency or the Senate. Her Hillaryness already has America's tax cuts in her cross-hairs. This is what she said in Frisco this week: "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." Here's the rest of your Reality Check Fix.

5. If you think hatriot Michael Moore is the worst the Left has to offer, you haven't met Nicholson Baker, whose new novel, "Checkpoint," spends 115 pages discussing how to assassinate Dubya. Can you say, loathsome, baybee? Here's your Nutty Left Fix.

6. For your Opinion Fix, No Holds Barred has: Dick Morris (Bush v. Kerry), Andrew C. McCarthy (Supreme Court's detainee rulings), Michelle Malkin (your child's summer reading list), Mark Steyn (Michael Moore, hilarious), and Howard Blake (being "rich" in an election year).

*Writing for Slate, Eric Umansky sets his cross-hairs on America's new Enemy No. 2, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, here.

*The War Blog of David Horowitz's FrontPageMag puts the media under the microscope as they sneer at the Iraqi government handover here.

*William F. Buckley relinquished control of National Review mag last night here, and you can find his meaning to the cause of conservatism here.

*A research organization sez the Mayo Clinic is risking its sterling reputation by spreading misinformation about smokeless tobacco here.


I spent an hour at the courthouse today looking at Ron Rankin's memorial to the amazing Kootenai County residents who won medals or died in 20th century American wars, from the Spanish-American War to Vietnam. Seeing the roll call of the dead on the 8,000-pound granite stone in the veterans memorial plaza was moving. Among the 141 county residents killed in action are the names of warriors from prominent families: Nipp, Watson, Damiano, Wolters, etc. And the stories of those who won medals of honor are amazing, too. Paul Ziegele charged an enemy pillbox and single-handedly killed 3 of 4 enemy in it. Bill McFadden won several medals for conduct above and beyond. Former Mayor Ray Stone helped liberate a concentration camp. Brothers George and Charles Nadler won dozens of medals for their flying exploits in Vietnam. Then, there's USMC Major Pappy Boyington who shot down 26 enemy fighters in South Pacific battles. Amazing men. And they were our brothers, husbands and fathers. That memorial is holy ground. Take time to visit it.

Ouch! Revisited (The Edge)

Don't feel about mixing up car models. The Coeur d'Alene Press got the Ironman winner's name wrong on the front page. Ouch!!!!

The Edge

DFO: 'Tis easier to mix up Chris and Matt, even on the front page, than a Dodge with a Chevy. But thanx for trying to make me feel better.

I Saw Bob (Henry Johnston)


I saw Bob (Nonini) at the GOP convention in Boise June 10-12. But he wasn't to be seen a whole lot. I only saw him once at the floor session Saturday - didn't run across him at the Reagan dinner the night before or at Butch's BBQ at the ranch the day after.


DFO: OK, we know Bob was in Boy-C two weeks ago. Any more recent sightings?

Where's Bob? (Anonymous)

Here's another curiosity. There was a Hagadone hosted free cruise on The Good Ship Lolapop's poor cousins, the Coeur d'Alene cruise boats, last night with lots of GOP luminaries and office holders and candidates and Otter and Crapo. (GOPoohbah) Bob Nonini was not to be seen. In fact it's become kind of a cocktail party mystery as to where the former man-about-town is hanging out these days. He hasn't been seen at any of the usual meetings or soirees since he abdicated his throne on the Central Committee May 26. Maybe part of his campaign advertising strategy is to get his picture on the side of milk cartons. :-) There was lots of fun and funny speculation last night ...

DFO: Whattabout Bob? Anyone seen 'im out there?

Jonathan's East Coast Report

HI DAVE-O! Just a couple of quickies for today's installment:

* MACKER BACKER: A quick check at www.macker.com proves that the Hoopfest just concluded up your way is, indeed, a variation on what's called "Gus Macker" in the Midwest. The all-comers, 3-on-3 format began in Kent County (Grand Rapids), MI, and the name was just a funny creation. Today, many cities in the Great Lakes/Rust Belt, from Buffalo to Sheboygan, have their own Gus Macker competitions. Know what they call the referees? "Gus-Busters"! Bill Murray, kindly pick up the white courtesy phone.

* PUNCTUATION POLKA: Those of us who write for a living, or hope to like Your Humble Writer, take punctuation for granted. Not Lynne Truss, a witty London Times columnist whose look at the history of punctuation, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", was a surprise million-copy best seller in the UK. It's now on the Top 10 list here. I've been a fan of wordplay writing since age 7 or so, which shouldn't surprise you or anyone else who reads this. One of the best ever in this field was the late Willard Espy, of Oysterville, WA. His two '70s opuses, "An Almanac of Words at Play" and "Another Almanac of Words at Play",
were frequent bedtime reading for me while I was in college.

* ADD ESPY: Today, the word "ESPY" is a mere acronym for ESPN sporting honors- or, did you see the item about two people who actually named their kids "ESPN" (rhymes, roughly, with "Aspen")? How humiliating. Better yet, look into Willard Espy's writings. In front of me is an entry from "Almanac", a 24-verse ballad with at least four Washington State place names in every stanza. A sample: "With Methow in her madness, once more the girl began:/'I Sekiu and you only; Alava you,' Spokane." Hee-hee! I haven't picked up this book in 20 years, until now. See what I'd like to do with my own writing? A lost art, this wordplay business, and kudos to the pretty Ms. Truss for her spirited revival.

Until tomorrow...

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

DFO: You always -- always -- learn something when you read Jonathan. Willard Espy & poems with Washington place names? 'Tis worth the price of admission.

Peanut Gallery (Cis Gors)

As my daughter and I were walking around the mall for exercise (no really.... too hot to do it outside) we were discussing the kidnapped soldiers. And other country men. She mention that she thought we should do what the Russians did. Seems when they kidnapped the Russians and wanted their prisoners back, the Russians refused.... then shot the prisoners... my daughter said that after that there wasn't anymore kidnapping. ... So if they kill the newest soldier.... oh, heck why wait, we just learned they killed one that they had since April, so why not just give them the prisoners we have over there..... all dead like the Russians did it. No more Mr. Nice Guy.....Tony Blair will blanch but what is the saying about it is some times better to apologize after...instead of asking permission first.

Cis the Retired

DFO: As much as I'd like to agree, it's important that we keep moral superiority. Our hand-wringing over Abu Ghraib, for instance, has produced a silver lining. Muslim scholars are asking themselves why they accept torture and worse at the hands of their dictators when Americans don't.

Iraqi Report from Ali

Want an unfiltered report on what Ali Average in Iraq felt about the government hand over? Read the entire first piece on the blog I've linked from an Iraqi named Ali. You won't find it in the mainstream media here.

Best of the Northwest (6/29/04)

Ironman USA Coeur d'Alene II has come and gone. Ditto, Hoopfest XIV. And our local herd of Moose on the Loose has a leader. In other words, the Inland Northwest is back to enjoying summer life as usual, as we Coeur d'Loonians fight tourists and visitors for space on our diminishing north shore beaches. But, hey, that's our problem for living in such a viewtiful area, right? Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonist David Horsey of the P-I and free-lancer Milt Priggee provide their views on traditional marriage and Slick Willie's "Life" here and here. (No Holds Barred doesn't always agree with these guys, but they, along with Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times truly are the Best of the Best in the Northwest).

2. And the winner is ... Little Deuce Moose. The results of our on-line Moose on the Loose poll are in. And Little Deuce Moose, a creation by artist David Clemons, won the Coeur d'Alene Moose competition easily, with my choice, Monarch, second. You can find the complete on-line results here.

3. Some 1,250 Idaho National Guard answered the call to duty yesterday in preparation for a long stay in the now sovereign country of Iraq. The Idaho Statesman looked at our state's warriors here.

4. In anticipation for Idaho's 114th birthday on July 3, the Statesman dug into its files to describe the scene when Boy-Ceans learned in 1890 that they were part of a new state: "A great shout went up on the sidewalk in front of Jacobs' store, and cheer after cheer rolled down Main Street." Click here.

5. In King County, there's quite a family battle under way over Jimi Hendrix estate here.

6. As anti-tax hawker Tim Eyman delivered 200,000 signatures in a cuh-razy attempt to expand Washington gambling, a broad-based coalition began forming against him here.

7. Larry Stone checks out the "for sale" sign outside the Seattle Mariners clubhouse here, and his Seattle Times colleague Blaine Newnham sez M's newcomer Miguel Olivo showed up ready to work yesterday here.

8. Believe it or not, drive-in theaters still exist in Idaho, according to the Boise Weekly here.

*Writing for the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, Mike Throgmorton of Whitworth College wonders who's to blame for keeping students in the Marysville, Wash., district in school until the middle of July. You can play Mike's "blame game" by clicking here.

*With good managements, sez the Statesman, people and wolves can coexist here.

*In Vancouver, Wash., two dogs mauled and killed an 8-year-old boy ... and animals lovers screamed when the authorities had the dogs euthanized. You can get Froma Harrup's take on this senseless reaction here.

*The editorial staff of The Daily Evergreen takes a hard look at what the Fourth of July means here.

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (6/29/04)

We have so many stoplights in Coeur d'Alene now I get disoriented sometimes when I'm not paying attention. For example, I was daydreaming as I drove south on Gummint Way this a.m. I thought I was by the Silver Lake Mall, but then I saw the K.C. sheriff's office on the left. That's what happens when you hit most of the new lights green. I guess traffic lights mean more cars and residents. And that's progress. And that's suppose to be good. Right? Your 6 Fixes:

1. For your Political 'Toon Fix, cartoonists Daryl Cagle & Co. offer their insights into Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11 here, and Paul Nowak doodles his view of Slick Willie's legacy here.

2. Craig Kilborn provides his insights into the Iraqi government handover with this: "Here’s a question which will last longer? Britney’s marriage or the new government in Iraq?" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. For your Top of the News Fix, let's turn to Google News, which has just reported that a helicopter crash has killed 24 members of a U.N. peace-keeping force in Sierra Leone here; a roadside bomb in Iraq has killed three more Marines here; and the U.S. Supreme Court sided with pornographers again here.

4. Ex-New York Mayor Edward I. Koch speaks of hatriot Michael Moore's latest bit of propaganda in these terms: "It is shocking to me that Americans in a time of war, and we literally are at war with Americans being deliberately killed in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere by Islamic terrorists, will attack their own country, sapping its strength and making its enemies stronger." Here's your Fifth Column Fix.

5. Apparently, fewer children are getting left behind as graduation rates for high school and college are creeping up to record levels. Here's your No Child Left Behind Fix.

6. For your Opinion Fix, No Holds Barred offers: Charles Krauthammer
(Clinton's shrinking legacy), Joseph J. Sabia (Cornell U's decline), Robert Alt (Supreme Court's dangerous ruling on Gitmo detainees), R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (Germany, France), and Phyllis Schlafly (grass-roots granny from Nevada).

*Believe it or not, partisans from both Democratic and Republican parties are extremely religious, and that's posing a problem for J. Flipflop Kerry. Steven Waldman of Beliefnet sez Flipflop can't ignore the conservative religious tendencies of African-Americans, here.

*Ten years ago, three in 10 Ugandans were infected by the AIDS virus; now, that number is six in 100. Why the tremendous drop? Can you say, faith-based abstinence, baybee. The cultural elitists can yap all they want about safe sex, but the only true safe sex outside of marriage is none at all. Click here.

*The Independent Women's Forum looks at what the transfer of power means to Iraqi women here.

*Believe it or not, a 68-year-old Michigan landowner faces prison time for moving dirt on his property here.


For the record, I'm one journalist in the U.S. who isn't wringing his hands about Abu Ghraib and the thugs yearning to be free at Gitmo. Nor am I anything but ticked that Islamic cuh-razies are still executing prisoners. Killing is the only thing the brutes know how to do. And their days are numbered as soon as the interim government uses its clout and popular support to crack down. The good news the rest of my brethren ignore? Ali al-Sistani, the No. 1 Iraqi cleric, supports the new gummint and has turned his rhetorical guns on the thugs. We've renewed diplomatic ties with Libya. The Iraqi gummint handover came two days early. And even NATO got off its lazy back sides and plans to pitch in to train Iraqi security forces (pardon the oxymoron). The first thing the new gummint should do is to declare martial law and finish cleaning out the rats in Fallujah, Iraqi style. While we look the other way. Payback is hell, baybee.

Jonathan's East Coast Report

Yep, you had a busy weekend up there. Did you know that "Hoopfest" is also called "Gus Macker"? I don't believe there's such a person, but the 3-on-3 format began somewhere in Michigan- either Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo- under that name. A few other cities use the moniker as well.

* Your illustrious daily actually got a call in El Globo this morning, in a piece by an Alan Dershowitz-style ACLU lawyer who praised the jury in Boise for letting that Al-Hussayen fellow walk. What I didn't like about the story was that your paper was referred to as "The Boise Spokesman-Review". I expect a correction to be made right away. If they don't notice, I'll e-mail them myself. I don't care what the piece said- just get the paper's locale right!

*All I need to know about the loony-left message of the day, I read in two comic strips: "Doonesbury" and "Boondocks". The former isn't always political, but the latter- talk about sneaking extreme views into a place where kids might look! I made sure to tell My David -- that fantastic piano-playing Culture Minister I've told you about (he's a world-class comic-
book/animation authority among other things and the guy who got me hooked on "Rocky and Bullwinkle," for which I'm eternally grateful). He says that and Al Capp were among his favorites back in the day, even when the latter got a little too radical-right for him. I was a little younger then, of course, and preferred the kid stuff. I think "Dennis the Menace" was my favorite as a kid.

Anyway, My David says Al Capp had integrity while the guy who does "Mallard Fillmore" is a little too childish in his drawing. Well, who said Garry Trudeau was another Picasso anyway? We've got to do something about McGruder, though. He's as bad as Big Fat Hairy Moore. BTW- Even the latter's sympathizers have said that the- pardon the reference, please- "stolen election" myth is the "Rosebud" of the loony-left. Personally, I prefer Orson Welles in "War of the Worlds", which Yours Truly actually read word-for-word, on tape, as a junior-high audio-visual project. Still the greatest sci-fi broadcast ever, IMHO.

Have a great week!

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

DFO: Gus Macker? You pulling my leg, Jonathan? Probably not. JC's a demon for facts. Loved that line re: stolen elections and Rosebud. Wonder when the cuh-razy Left is going to let it go. I'd like to think the R's stole the election because they're generally such wusses about fighting dirty. Usually, the D's beat them to the punch. Can you imagine the mess we'd be in if Cuh-razy Al was prez. Or even our former Philanderer in Chief? We'd have surrendered by now.


*Militants say they executed U.S. soldier in Iraq: So, we have our Supreme Court saying the cuh-razy Islamists can challenge their treatment at Gitmo, while they're cuh-razier brothers back home are ruthlessly murdering Americans. Mebbe goofy Supreme Court justices would have a different opinion if a loved one was being held by these bloodthirsty monsters.

*Poll: White House race tightens up: Despite the piling on by fat Michael Moore and the Dem/Planet Hollyweird/mainstream media complex, Dubya has erased an 8 poll deficit and is running dead even with Flipflop. That roarin' economy is hard to ignore even by the see-hear-speak-no-good-of-Dubya media. BTW, whatever happened to the expression: "jobless recovery"?

*I'm a street bum, says broke Tyson: Couldn't happen to a nicer ex-con.

*U.S. renews diplomatic ties with Libya: The war in Iraq scared the WMD right out of Moammar. After he cleaned out his shorts, he decided to make nice rather than be next. Put this one in Dubya's win column.

*Report: Heinz-Kerry fortune valued at $1B: Looks like Flipflop's trophy wife was worth every dime he invested in wining and wedding her. But I'm dying to see what the first missus said in the sealed divorce papers about the opportunistic junior U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Peanut Gallery (The Edge)

re: Bob Paulos' column damning Spokane with faint praise.

Why would anybody want to work in Spokane and make more money? Isn't it enough to live and work here in paradise? Besides, Old Bob hands out Christmas gifts every year to the poor folk. Teddy Bears and lollipops are better than higher paying jobs, trust me. Cash is over overrated. Live in a trailer. Work for nothing. Watch your boss get richer and richer. You might be cleaning that yacht someday. It's the American scheme.

The Edge

DFO: My sentiments exactly.


I don't know much about cars, but I do know that an Impala is a Chevy, not a Dodge. But you wouldn't have known that if you were reading my Huckleberries column today. Colleague Larry Reisnoeur had some sport with me in his auto racing blog today here.

Best of the Northwest (6/28/04)

One of the fun things about this job is reading columnist (and I use that term as loosely as possible) Bob Paulos of the Coeur d'Alene Press Sundays. For laughs. Old Bob, who was a Hagadone snoozepaper publisher in another life, can't pass up a slam at our paper or the town of Spokane. He seems to think the sun rises and sets on Coeur d'Alene. Which isn't that far off. And that Spokane basks in Coeur d'Alene's sunshine. Never mind that there are a lot of Kootenai County workers who couldn't survive without decent-paying jobs in Spokane County. Why am I telling you all this? Old Bob was his cantankerous self Sunday in acknowledging the All-America City status won by Spokane, which puts Spokane ahead of Coeur d'Alene in that category, two wins to one. You can find Bob's column take here (third item). And here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Eric Devericks of The Seattle Times and free-lancer Milt Priggee provide a nice, cartoon, one-two punch to launch the week's Best of the Northwest here and here.

2. As I was saying, we had quite a weekend in the Inland Northwest with Hoopfest shutting down Spokane's downtown for a coupla days here, and Coeur d'Alene's Ironman gaining national attention here. And the winners were here (Hoopfest) and here (free sign-in required).

3. You think you're off to a rough start this Monday a.m.? My padre, Steve Massey of Hayden Bible Church, has you beat. My Huckleberries column this a.m. looked at a particularly rough day encountered by the rev'rend recently here (free sign-in required).

4. I grew up on a dairy, so I know how much cow manure stinks. (Some might say that I got my start as an opinion writer scraping manure from the corrals on my Uncle Manuel's ranch.) In Idaho, dairymen are searching for a way to make their operations, ah, how did that old deodorant commerical go -- more civilized. The Idaho Statesman tells ya all about it here.

5. A few years back, Seattle Mariners fans screamed bloody murder when the M's traded Randy Johnson to Houston for three unknowns: Freddy Garcia, John Halama and Carlos Guillen. The Astros didn't win a World Series title with the Big Unit, who abandoned them after the season for Arizona. Now, the M's have moved Freddy, who probably would have left after the season as a free agent. Don't cry. They got a boatload of Minor League talent in return. You can find everything you want to know about the Freddy Garcia trade here, here and here.

6. Initiative guru Tim Eyman sez he has enough signatures for I-892 to put the initiative on the ballot, asking voters to expand gambling in Washington state as a means to lower property taxes. In other words, Eyman wants Washington to sell what's left of its soul to the devil. Click here.

7. Fastest-growing town in Idaho? Boise? Unh-uh. Post Falls? Close. Rexburg and Kuna lead the pack. But Middleton is right behind. Middleton. It's the oldest city in Canyon County. Now, it's becoming a boomtown. Click here.

8. Campaigning in Seattle, Ralph "Unsafe in Any Political Office" Nader blasted attempts by national Demos to stop his prez campaign here.

*The Statesman applauds U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson's work on the Boulder/White Clouds wilderness bill here.

*Columnist Kay McFadden of The Seattle Times reviews "Celibacy: The Devil and the Flesh," an HBO documentary about the Catholic Church which is scheduled to air, here.

*Steve Kelley of the Times and Art Thiel of the P-I provide their takes on the Freddy Garica trade here and here.

*Columnist Joel Connelly of the P-I opines on that expetive that veep Dick Cheney should have deleted on the U.S. Senate floor here.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (6/28/04)

One hundred and fifty thousand people for Spokane's Hoopfest and another 30,000 for Ironman Coeur d'Alene USA? Incredible. That's about 40 percent of the population of the Spokane/Kootenai county area. And a great day it was to swim, bike, run, hoop. The weatherman should take a bow ... as well as all who participated to make these events run like clockwork. Here's your fixes:

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Chuck Asay get us rolling to begin the week with their views on hype from the Left (Michael "Big Fat Stupid White Man" Moore, Slick Willie and Al Bore) and the media's obsession with Abu Ghraib. You can find your Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Didja hear about veep Dick Cheney dropping an F-bomb on U.S. Sen. Pat Leahy on the Senate floor? Jay Leno did. And here's his take on the incident: "On the Senate floor, Dick Cheney flipped out and told Senator Pat Leahy to go f-himself. Can you believe that? Aren't these the same guys trying to fine Howard Stern for bad language?" —Jay Leno. Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. The Islamic brutes trying to deny freedom to Iraq's huddled masses suffered a one-two punch today when the U.S. quietly handed over control of the country to the interim government here, and NATO offered to send peacekeepers to help stabilize the new improved country (thanks to US) here. For the rest of your Top of the News Fix, you can find Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's leading Shi'ite cleric, denouncing al-Qaeda's terrorism here.

4. Now that Repub horndog Jack Ryan has dropped out of the Illinois Senate race due to revelations in his divorce papers, Matt Drudge reports, the race is on between the media and political forces to unseal J. Flipflop Kerry's 1988 divorce papers involving his first rich wife. Here's your Dirty Politics Fix.

5. Did the Dimplecrats insane support of abortion in all forms cost them the White House in Y2K? Larry Eastland of LEA Management Group LLC contends that the 40 million legal abortions performed in the last 30 years may have aborted enough future Dems to cost them big time at the polls. Here's your Abortion Politics Fix.

6. For your Opinion Fix, No Holds Barred is offering Andrew Sullivan (Kerry's on the rise), Rich Lowry (slaughter in the Sudan), David Brooks (Michael Moore), Pat Buchanan (Ronald Reagan), and Bob Dole (gauging success in Iraq).

*Prof Mike S. Adams of North Carolina can't figure out cuh-razy femmes who on one campus (Colorado) are up in arms about the use of a vulgar, 4-letter term for females, but defend their right to be called by that name at another (Wesleyan). Confused? Click here.

*Joseph J. Sabia of Cornell University sez the Lefty Media -- Chris Matthews, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, and Dan Rather -- are blowing at gale wind force as part of the Demo/Planet Hollyweird/mainstream media crusade to get Dubya here.

*Nicole Kidman shows how low Planet Hollyweird can stoop by taking up pedophilia in her latest movie here.

*Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standards opines on the New York Times inability to decide if there was an Osama-Saddam connection here.


Yesterday's "30" item re: Jerry Jaeger's United Wayfest Wednesday produced interesting fodder from a well-connected reader who, of course, must remain anonymous:

*Read on your blog about Jerry Jaeger being author of The Resort. While I believe the idea was his, Steve Wilson's college-age son (whose name I cannot recall) was the ghost writer of the novel. That was during Steve's tenure as GM of the CdA Resort. Must not have earned Steve many brownie points, though, since he was shuffled to the CdA Inn around that time.

*Also heard that JJ Sr. is beside himself that the hospitality division's new restaurant, Bonsai Bistro is weeks behind schedule. They not only missed out on the Ironman influx of customers but caused much grief to the city crews trying to handle traffic control downtown since lots of large construction equipment is parked on 1st St. between Lakeside and Sherman. Would hate to be the general contractor on that project.


Jonathan's East Coast Report:


* I guess both of us like the Monarch Moose, but we know there's no moose like Bullwinkle! Come to think of it, I'm surprised nobody out there thought of Mr. Moose, from "Captain Kangaroo". To do Mr. Moose, I believe the artist would have tried coming up with a bunch of ping-pong balls- not to mention a bunny rabbit. As another beloved cartoon animal of my youth, Jinks the Cat, would have said: "I hate those meeces to pieces!" Wait a minute, those were mice.

* Did you get my e-mailed piece from Ray Ratto (SF Chron) re: the newest accessory at Giants games, rubber chickens? Seems they're selling these things for $10 a pop, to be waved when Barry Bonds is walked. Someone else there says "SBC" stands for "Sell Bogus Chickens". It says here someone ought to send a few of them up to Seattle, since the Mariners have given you folks nothing but fowl play this season.

* Anyone up there been to Alaska? Me neither, but today's NYT had a great piece about the Midnight Sun ball game in Fairbanks, which starts at 10:30 PM. I've had an interest in the Last! Frontier ever since I heard Johnny Horton's great hit "North To Alaska" when I was six or so. There's also a story I'll send along one of these days that involves the Pope, Stan Musial, a Super Bowl, the guy who invented Mrs. Paul's fish sticks, and a Philadelphia broadcaster who happens to be of My Tribe...all in Anchorage!

* Thanks to Cis from Kootenai for the info on Battle Ground, WA. If I'm not mistaken, the Battle Ground Little League once made it to the Series in Williamsport. Of course, the greatest upset in Little League history involved your paper's home state, when Kirkland (WA) knocked off Taiwan in '82. Even here, we see the name "Kirkland" on a lot of items, since it's the house brand- and hometown- of Costco Wholesale Warehouses. I was in one of those places this morning to pick up a pair of new eyeglasses. My folks are used to it but one can definitely lose all sense of proportion among those aircraft carrier-size racks of paper towels, detergent, and "boxes of! 1500 Q-Tips, which amounts to 3000 swabs." That last item comes from David "My Favorite Pundit" Brooks (yeah, him again), who does Costco, Home Depot, and just about everything else suburban in his witty new book "On Paradise Drive", which I highly recommend. Even my mom said to me "David Brooks did a great number on this place, right?" Hey, better him than Michael (The Fat Flintstone) Moore any day. Have a great weekend!

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

A Little Something ...

... to tide you over. Since I don't blog on weekends, I thought I'd give you a little roundup of good stuff you can check out to tide you over until Monday:

*Monica Lewinsky's mad at The Big He for not writing about how he destroyed her life here.

*Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz ap-hollow-gized for saying reporters of the Iraqi war were cowards here.

*Michelle Malkin's new blog is dyne-oh!-mite here. And check out her column about the Planet Hollyweird Hatriots here. (Thanx to Supern1987@aol.com for drawing my attention to this column.)

*A new poll shows Iraqis overwhelmingly support their interim gummint here.

*The Belmont Club offers the best blog out there on the war in Iraq here.

*The Orland Magic is worried that high school phenom Dwight Howard, the No. 1 NBA draft pick, may be too Christian for his team here.

*Illinois' Repub horndog Jack Ryan has dropped his run for the U.S. Senate here.

*Dubya's now running 7 points ahead of Flipflop in the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll here.

'80th Birthday'

Happy Birthday, Mr. Austin!
May you see one hundred more.
Please have one of those beers you missed
when you flew in the war.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Heat is on, temperatures rising

Cis Gors of Kootenai (not Ponderay, as previously reported) provides this traffic report:

We were on our way home from CdA yesterday about 4:30 pm and the traffic was thick... you know the kind ...you are running right along but a quick slow down off and on, because some one is trying to jump to the turn lane. When a princess about in her 30's came up behind us in her maroon car and sat on our tails for about 3 or 4 miles... then finally an opening on the right side for her but not for us... of which she jumped to as fast as she could and drove by and told us by her hand signal..... that we were #1.... guess her first two fingers were broke off... She only got about 3 car lengths ahead of us...
So you all enjoy your weekend... and with all the extra traffic with Ironman event... turn on the AC and enjoy the scenery... because the ride will be a little longer. Think of it as practice for next weekend....

Cis, the Retired

DFO: AC? Cis must be a newcomer to these parts.

'The Old Soldier'

My father was a soldier, “An airman”, he would rage.
He left to fly “The Hump” you see, at nineteen years of age.

From Bombay sand to China land, upon that route he flew.
His airborne ships would fly round trips, that numbered ninety-two.

Few would note the size and scope, or what Dad’s flights could mean.
Eight hundred men would meet their end, in mountains high between.

The Sixth of June in Forty-four, D-day, he turned twenty.
Flags unfurled across the world, and in the land of plenty.

He spent the night in usual plight: too young to drink a beer.
The next day Dad would fly away, to China, filled with fear.

The war would end in Forty-five, ‘til Freedom’s next embargo.
But Dad would fly for twelve more years, with A-bombs as his cargo.

Six children and a wife he has. Grandchildren? Thirty-four.
That’s not too bad, for one just glad, to make it through the war.

His family met this month to pray: at eighty, there’s no end.
We marked the fruitful journey of our father and our friend.

John Austin

DFO: John sent this dandy poem with the note: "I penned for my father, Gene Austin of Hayden Lake, on the occasion of his 80th birthday this month. It is a testament not just to him, but to the thousand World War II veterans from the greatest generation who pass away every day in this country."

T-Wolves Draft Stepp

You can read what they're saying in Minneapolis re: the T-Wolves decision to draft Gonzaga's Blake Stepp in the second round of the NBA draft Thursday here.

Best of the Northwest (6/25/04)

After reading the Thursday a.m. article about S-R buyouts, Post Falls Police Chief Cliff Hayes and conservative gadfly Ron Rankin both called to ask if I was still employed. Indeed, I am -- almost 20 years, and counting. The buyouts didn't affect me or the Coeur d'Alene office. All us chickens are present and accounted for (except the sports guys who take the summers off to golf). But thanks for asking. Here's your TGIF Best of the Northwest:

1. Cartoonist Milt Priggee provides a dandy take on J. Flipflop Kerry's troubles with his Catholic Church here, and David Horsey of the P-I looks at prescription drugs here.

2. Players, rosters, brackets, scouting -- plus stories -- you can find a site that will tell you all about this weekend's Hoopfest in Spokane here.

3. Nick Bock of the Coeur d'Alene Press keeps the spotlight on Ironman USA Coeur d'Alene event by reporting on a local mother and her son who are entering their first Ironman event Sunday here.

4. For 50 years, a Utah rancher has sat on a remarkable secret: His land in the nearly inaccessible Book Cliffs region, 130 miles from Salt Lake City, contains prehistoric Indian villages that run for 12 miles. And are virtually intact. Archaeologists are calling it one of the most spectacular finds in the West here.

5. According to the P-I, the Washington teachers union succeeded in its all-out war on charter schools, gaining enough signatures to ask voters to torpedo a 2004 law that legalizes charter schools. Guess Washington teachers are afraid they'll be upstaged by the competition. Click here.

6. A 42-pound trout! The Daily Inter Lake of Kalispell, Mont., tells you all about 76-year-old Ruth Barber's 25-minute struggle to land the phenomenal fish on Flathead Lake here.

7. Speaking of athletic endurance, Kristin Armstrong is back in Boy-C after qualifying as a cyclist for the Greek Olympics this summer. In a Q-and-A session, Armstrong told The Idaho Statesman all about it here.

8. African-American churches in the Seattle area are part of a statewide push by the Religious Left to fire up the faithful to vote Democratic here.

9. OK, I'll tell you which Loose Moose is my favorite: Monarch Moose -- you know, the one with the big butterfly wings. We're collecting ballots and checking them twice until midnight Sunday. So, you still have time to vote for your fave moose here.

*The Idaho Statesman agrees that there's some benefit in moving the state's prez primary up a few months to take part in a regional event -- and a price tag: $1 million. Click here.

*Columnist Danny Westneat of The Seattle Times opines on American cynicism toward government and the media here.

*I don't care much for the Seattle Supersonics, Portland Trailblazers, or the NBA for that matter. Haven't watched a game in years. But Art Thiel is one of the West's best sports columnists. So, I blog him when I can, including this look at the Sonics' draft of an unknown player here.

*Joel Connelly of the P-I sez Alaskan villagers are turning to tourism now that they've foolishly cut down the old-growth forests around them here.

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (6/25/04)

I walked to City Park yesterday p.m. to see what's happening re: Ironman prep. And ran into Big Dave Walker perusing Ironman paraphernalia under the Big Tent that stretches from the Rotary stage westward almost to park's edge. After exchanging pleasantries and telling each other what great things Ironman and Coeur d'Alene are, we decided we could be ultimate triathletes, too -- as long as the events were: eating, sleeping and listening to the Mariners lose in 18 innings. So, from one, ahem, Ironman to another, I dedicate today's Quick Fix 6 to Big Dave and the rest of the CdA Iron(wo)men:

1. For your TGIF Political 'Toon Fix, how about a triple header? No Holds Barred is offering great stuff from Paul Nowak (Saudi security) here, Wayne Stayskal (Demo voter push) here, and Daryl Cagle & Co (roundup) here.

2. Jay Leno offered right-on view of U.S. immigration policy re: Cuba last night: "Here’s a wonderful story – you probably heard about this….the wife and daughters of Yankees pitcher Jose Contreras escaped from Cuba by boat yesterday and were reunited with the Yankee pitcher. And luckily Contreras meets the three requirements for his family to stay in America: a fastball, a curveball, and the slider." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. For you Top of the News Fix, we have: another air strike at Fallujah here; veep Dick Cheney dropping the F-bomb on Dimo Sen. Pat Leahy of Vermont here; a poll that shows religion is important to most Americans here; the strange nuances of our improving economy here; and hackers attacking popular Web sites here.

4. Six years ago, Repubs trumpeted bloody murder when Slick Willie, the prez of the U.S. played fast and loose with his pants zipper in the Oval Office (See: Monica Lewinsky, knees). Now, for some reason, a good part of the herd in Illinois are defending Repub U.S. Senate wannabe Jack Ryan, whose acts of indiscretion are detailed in his divorce proceedings. Here's your Sauce for the Gander Fix.

5. Don't look now, but Burger King is in danger of losing its position as the No. 2 fast food burger to, gadzooks, Wendy's. BK, which serves a mean breakfast burrito for 99 cents -- or at least it used to until recently when it jumped to a buck and a quarter or so on Appleway -- has been struggling for some time. Here's Slate's Daniel Gross with your Big Biz Fix.

6. For your TGIF Opinion Fix, you can't beat Wes Pruden of The Washington Times (Slick Willie & Weird Algore) here; Ramesh Ponnuru (split in social right ranks) here; and The Wall Street Journal (how to read "torture documents" properly) here.

7. Film producer Michael Moore may have wowwed Cannes and the Liberal Establishment in Blue Country, but he has some answering to do for playing fast and loose with the truth. In their book, "Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man," David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke take on the Lefty's Pied Piper to such an extent that he threatened to sue here.

8. Dubya's gained a little in key battleground states as spring turns to summer, according to the renown Zogby poll. You'll have to follow the link to the "Latest Zogby Interactive Poll" as the Wall Street Journal provides your Poll Fix.

*Fred Kaplan of Slate On Line explains why compulsory conscription isn't a good thing for 21st century USA here.

*Andrew Coffin of World mag reviews "Saved!", an anti-Evangelical movie that's on target in some places but overall bashes Christians, like almost all Planet Hollyweird films, here.


*My spies at Jerry Jaeger's United Way bash Wednesday for $1,000 contributors didn't catch the name of the Californian who built JJ's Lake Coeur d'Aleneside hacienda of 7,000 square feet. But did you know he calls the monstrous house he built next door, "The Big House"? I hear he advertises it that way on his Web site, too. He got the term from a 2003 column by S-R buddy, Nils Rosdahl. Here's the blip from Nils (although "The Big House" now could cover 14,000 square feet):

`The Big House'

No, it's not a penitentiary. ``The Big House'' is how Coeur d'Alene Building Department employees refer to the 10,845-square-foot house under construction just east of the city-owned Jewett House on Sanders Beach of Lake Coeur d'Alene. The two-story place is on two acres accessible by a private road behind the Jewett House and serving the residence of Jerry Jaeger, No. 2 honcho of the Hagadone Corp., adjacent to The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course. Amenities in the plan include a hot tub, croquet lawn and bocci ball court. The owner is listed as Ron Nichols of Granite Bay, Calif.

DFO: BTW, remember that mystery book written by the anonymous J.J. Hunter, featuring The Coeur d'Alene resort? It was featured prominently in one of Jaeger's rooms, according to My Spies. Didn't I tell ya in Huckleberries back when that Jaeger was the author?

What They're Saying About Us

*The Drudge Report is currently carrying the story about Spokane's hookup to "wi-fi" (Internet wireless) although I'm surprised that downtown Spokane has 100 blocks here.

*Reigning Ironman Triathlon World Champion Lori Bowden will be the leader of the pack that starts off Sunday from downtown CDA in quest of the second Ironman USA Coeur d'Alene title here.

'CDA Free Parking'

On downtown streets two hours are free
but it’s not wise to try for three,
for carefully your tires we’re marking
and you don’t mess with Diamond Parking.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Best of the Northwest (6/24/04)

Now, I know what happened to Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, back when. Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the surrounding area were staging some big-time events at the same time: Hoopfest, Ironman and a soccer tourney. That's why there was no room at the inn. Yeah, yeah, I know the real story about the Roman census and all that. But Joseph & Mary'd be up a creek this weekend if they needed a hotel/motel room or camp spot in Spokane/Kootenai County. They've been swallowed up by Spokane's Hoopfest, Ironman Coeur d'Alene and the Far West Regional Youth Soccer Championships in what colleague Becky Kramer calls "perfect storm" conditions. And here's what's happening in the rest of our viewtiful part of the country:

1. Eric Devericks of the P-I and David Horsey of The Seattle Times doodle about that Wal-Mart lawsuit and al-Qaeda here and here.

2. For those interested in seeing Ironman CdA Sunday, the Coeur d'Alene Press provides a list of good viewing spots here as well as a story about Ironman entrant Cheryl Gamache, a Post Falls woman who learned to swim only four years ago, here.

3. We know him as Gonzaga's Cory Violette, but down Boy-C's way he's known as Bishop Kelly's Cory Violette. The Idaho Statesman sez the ex-Zag has worked out for 7 NBA teams and is hoping to be selected by a pro team in tonight's draft here.

3. A P-I article by Lindsay Rowe begins, "There's a giant colon in town. You can walk through it, you can touch it, but if you're squeamish, you might run out of it." You gotta see and read this one here.

4. Enrollment officials at Washington's six public universities claim state higher-ed isn't facing a crisis, no matter what their presidents say. In a Seattle Times story, Sharon Pian Chan reports that 75% of high school grads who apply get into the state U's, even U-Dub, here.

6. Happy times have returned for Micron Technology of Boy-C, which handed out $9 million worth of bonuses after experiencing its best quarter in 3 1/2 years. The company's planning to increase its worldwide work force by 5 percent to 10 percent in the next 12 months. Click here.

7. Spc. Ryan G. Anderson, a former WSU student and Muslim convert, was ordered to stand trial at a court-martial for allegedly trying to help al-Qaida, but he won't face the death penalty here.

8. Snoqualmie was the fastest-growing state in Washington from 2002-2003, while neighbor North Bend was one of the slowest. The Seattle Times looks at growth patterns and provides a chart that shows the tiny Spokane County towns of Roy, Rockford and Fairfield are among the fast growers (if your computer can magnify the chart, that is) here.

9. Ex-U-Dub football captain Dean Kirkland is in a heap of trouble after being found guilty on 26 felony counts in Portland last week here.

10. The University of Oregon has been placed on probation for two years for a recruiting violation here.

*Seattle attorney Chi-Dooh Li sez: "Casino gambling is to organized crime what carrion is to vultures," here.

*At 41, catcher Pat Borders of the M's is more than just another old hand, sez Bob Finnigan of The Seattle Times here.

*Columnist Sarah McGuire of WSU's Daily Evergreen has had with M-TV and the sisters Simpson (Jessica and Ashlee) craze here.

*The Idaho Statesman isn't cuh-razy about erecting a new Ten Commandments at Julia Davis Park, but it's less cuh-razy about Mayor Dave Bieter denying activists access to the ballot box here.

Thursday Quick Fix 6 (6/24/04)

Temperatures reached into the high 90s yesterday in viewtiful Coeur d'Alene, as the worker bees busied themselves at City Park preparing for Sunday's Coeur d'Alene Ironman. And we're already at 70 degrees this morning as temperatures are headed into the 90s again today. Our heat might be standard for California. But our tongues already are hanging out here. On the positive side, that'll heat up our lake and make swimming nice. Onward:

1. For you're Political 'Toon Fix today, you can find Daryl Cagle's stable of cartoonists taking aim at J. Flipflop Kerry here and Paul Nowak revisiting talks with North Korea here.

2. Jay Leno isn't letting up on Bill Clinton's book, "My Lie (er Life)": "The most quoted thing in the book is where Clinton talks about after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, he slept on the couch for two months. That’s how you know Hillary was mad…they had separate bedrooms and she still made him sleep on the couch!" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. In your Top of the News Fix, Islamic extremists killed dozens in coordinated assaults today here; the U.S. Supreme Court said veep Dick Cheney didn't have to hand over his energy task force papers here; Iran has turned over the 8 captured servicemen to the British here; and the Archbishop of Canterbury endorses a new Bible that promotes fornication here.

4. Sick people that we are, Paul Johnson Jr.'s execution topped the weekly "Lycos 50" list. Published each Wednesday, the list shows the top searches each week using Lycos. Johnson's headless body edged out searches for Paris Hilton (sick), American Idol Clay Aiken (passe), Britney Spears's tour cancellation (cue up vomit sound) and Ronald Reagan's funeral (No. 5 for The Gipper?). Here's your Lycos 50 Fix.

5. "Want to read Bill Clinton's My Life without turning all 957 turgid pages?" asks Slate. "We can help! Slate's 'Juicy Bits' team has constructed a reader's guide to Clinton's memoir, with handy jumps to Hillary, Chelsea, Ken Starr, Marc Rich, George Stephanopoulos, and Monica Lewinsky." Here's your Slick Willie Readers Digest Fix.

6. In a great debate on the Slate Web site, author Lee Smith argues that the House of Saud is crumbling, while Afshin Molavi counters with the claim that it isn't and that's a good thing for the rest of the world. You can find your Middle East Fix here and here.

7. Remember Dr. Death? Jack Kevorkian? He's been denied a new trial concerning his conviction in the 1999 euthanasia death of a man that was shown on national television. Too bad. So sad. Click here.

8. My buddy, David Dolan, produced his monthly Israel News Review this week, telling you everything you want to know and more about what's going on behind the scenes in the Promised Land here.

*Ann Coulter has her cross-hairs on Slick Willie's latest pack of lies here. And the Washington Times notes that the Slickster's fat tome failed to mention several women that were nothing more than notches on his ample belt here.

*Islamic analysts say extremists are handling executions by beheading improperly (so what else is new?) here.

*Deborah Orin of the New York Post On Line wonders why the media refuse to show the horrors perpetrated by our enemies here.

*Collin Levey of The Seattle Times warns that we shouldn't underestimate the Ralph Nader flutter effect here.


I figured out why I have a rough time concentrating on one thing ... and need to write my columns in short bursts ... with three dots between items. I'm fascinated by too many things. Currently, I'm reading three books at once: A collection of Emily Dickinson poems, which I mentioned this morning; Rick Warren's inspirational book about the Purpose Driven Life; and Ann Coulter's "Treason." Nice mix, hunh? Slowly, I'm acquiring a taste for poetry. Generally, I don't have a lot of use for religious how-to books. However, I enjoy an occasional book by a rightwing flamethrower like Coulter. She might make Lefties cuh-razy, especially when she paints them as traitors. But she's one blonde who certainly isn't dumb. I guess you can say I'm looking for my muse, my purpose and my conservative inspiration. Until I find them, I'll continue to blog.

Jonathan's East Coast Report:

I note that Vancouver, WA's Richie Frahm, the ex-Gonzaga star, was drafted by the new Charlotte club. I also note that he went to Battle Ground High School. I'm not sure exactly what Battle Ground that refers to, but it's the second school by that name I know of. The other one's in Franklin, TN, a well-off Nashville suburb, and the school was built near a Civil War battle field.

I know this thanks to a high school friend, now active in my synagogue, whose father-in-law was dean of Battle Ground South- also Webb Day School, in the tiny town of Bell Buckle, TN. Like that name? Me too. I'm still bewildered that I actually know somebody who grew up in a place called Bell Buckle! Oh, yes- for all the "Blame Florida" whining among the hard-core Dems, you could also blame Tennessee- because these same posh Nashville suburbs narrowly helped Dubya carry Al Gore's home state.

But most of us know someone in Florida, at least up here, and Palm Beach County is a favorite "snowbird" stop for most of my friends and relatives. It's also home of a real dragon lady, a caustic loony-left talk-show host named Randi Rhodes, who I'm told is a cross between Molly Ivins and that Fat Faker from Flint. No, I don't have any intention of tuning her in, thank you. I'm assured by at least one savvy friend, however, that loony-left screamers (Moore, Maher, Larry David) and rabid-right screamers (El Rushbo, Savage, et al.) are equally odious. We like our political polemics very subtle, thank you. Until tomorrow...

-Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

Peanut Gallery (The Edge)

Duane could be a beloved hero in this town. But he’s not. I guess he doesn’t care about his legacy, or what people think. If he’s a Christian, he might want to think about what the good Lord thinks. I believe that one day Big D will be called to THE office and asked some uncomfortable questions. There won't be any Jaegers or Barlows to help him then. Sanders Beach might be the least of his worries -- The Edge

DFO: A whole lotta people are going to be uncomfortable on that day. But you're right that the Lord will expect more from those who were given much.
P.S. I love my pancakes with huckleberry syrup...

Peanut Gallery (Doug Burr)

Hi Dave,

I'm just now catching up on the No Holds Barred column and ran smack dab into the Duane Hagadone/Horatio Alger stuff. He must have enjoyed your defending him after your many years of shining light on his dubious dealings in CdA. How odd must you have felt?

I fully agree with your point about Hagadone acting as if philanthropy was a disease. If just one of these monied clods would choose to be the first and make a substantial donation somewhere in this community, I believe it could set an example for all the rest to follow. Of course, this requires someone to be first and therein lies the problem...

In terms of philanthropy, the names Duane Hagadone and JR Simplot should not be spoken in the same sentence! Southern Idaho is absolutely littered with examples of JR Simplot's largesse. To paraphrase Lloyd Benson; I know JR Simplot (though we are not friends) and Duane Hagadone is no JR Simplot.

Doug Burr

DFO: I just noticed that Sunday piece discussed the Alger Award that Hagadone received in April, not recently. Dunno why they waited so long to report on it. It's worth a read to get some background on Hagadone. And then you can squeeze the B section of Sunday's paper onto your pancakes.

Best of the Northwest (6/23/04)

A few weeks ago, The Spokesman-Review wrote about a writer and a photographer from Sunset mag who visited Harrison to do a piece about the 72-mile Path of the Coeur d'Alenes rails-to-trails bike path that ties Worley to Plummer. Well, those two were Julie Fanselow (writer) and Glenn Oakley (photographer). And their three-page travel piece is in Sunset's July edition. Nice one, too. Here's your Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. Eric Devericks and Milt Priggee jump-start us this morning with views that attack both sides of the political aisle here and here.

2. In the "welcome to America" category, former Serbian Dajana Bajric was one of 40 immigrants sworn in Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Spokane. If you want your heart warmed by this courageous young woman, click here (free sign-in required).

3. Spokane Valley Mayor Mike DeVleming used his city-owned computer to rally support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi last winter, an action that violates state law. Oh well, the city survived for its first 15 months without a whiff of scandal. And this is a little one. Click here.

4. Note to self -- make sure you visit City Park today to see the tent city that's being erected for this weekend's Coeur d'Alene Ironman competition here. Meanwhile, the Coeur d'Alene Press tells of the effort CdA's Brenda Smith has made to prepare for Sunday's big event here.

5. Even if Ten Commandments supporters gather the necessary signatures to reinstate a monument at Julia Davis Park, Boy-C Mayor Dave Bieter sez he won't allow a special election on the question here.

6. For some reason still unknown to me, Green River mass murderer Gary Ridgway escaped the gallows. And now triple murderer Dayva Cross is using that sentence to try to save his neck and do away with Washington's death penalty in a state Supreme Court case here.

7. The Seattle Times looks at the four wannabes vying to replace Christine Gregoire as Washington attorney general here.

8. Former Gonzaga star Richie Frahm, who spent the last season fighting for minutes with Seattle, was one of 19 players drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats here.

9. The Missoulian provides a little heroism in the backwoods, where a younger brother packed his injured sister three miles to medical care here.

*Sports columnist Art Thiel jumps on new U-Dub AD Todd Turner for saying he wants to make his new college "a national example" because it already is -- a very bad one. Click here.

*Columnist Robert L. Jamieson Jr. applauds Washington Gov. Gary Locke's decision to commute some prison sentences here.

*Columnist Joel Connelly is wringing his hands that Berners Bay, an Alaska treasure, is in the cross-hairs of 1950s-style development schemes here.

*Peter Cookson Jr. ponders the pull that brought him from the East to complete a family circle in Portland, Ore., here.

Hump Day Quick Fix 6 (6/23/04)

While getting in touch with my, ahem, feminine side last evening, I read a poem by Emily Dickinson that struck me as describing anyone who stands against the groupthink of CdA: "Much madness is divinest sense/To a discerning eye;/'T is the majority/In this, as all, prevails./Assent, and you are sane;/Demur, -- you're straightway dangerous,/And handled with a chain." Onward:

1. For your Political 'Toon Fix, cartoonists Paul Nowak and Kevin Tuma launch us this morning with their takes on sycophantic Dan Rather and GOP, ahem leadership here and here.

2. Craig Kilborn leads the pack of late-nighters attacking Slick Willie's book with this comment posted on Daniel Kurtzman's "Political Humor" Web site: "This weekend 1,000 people lined up at Barnes and Noble to see Bill Clinton. Not to buy his book, but to give him a Father's Day card." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. It seems like only yesterday that Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr and his band of misfits was threatening to take over southern Iraq. And now? The Germany-based 1st Armored Division is proclaiming victory over Junior Sheik and his many martyrs. Didn't hear about it from the mainstream media? Click here.

4. Senate Republican leaders are going to put J. Flipflop Kerry and their Demo colleagues on the spot July 12 when they plan to call for a vote on the traditional marriage amendment. The vote will come two weeks before the Demos convention in Boston. Here's your Republicans Get A Spine Fix.

5. The uproar over the bare-breast act between Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake at the Super Bowl isn't going away. Here we are almost five months beyond the two pulled their stunt, and if anything Congress is listening even more intently to citizens who are fed up with indecent acts and language on TV. Here's your Watch Yer Language Fix.

6. For your Top of the News Fix, the Iranian cuh-razies have announced they'll release their British naval captives and the Islamic cuh-razies sez they're going to kill Iraq's new interim prime minister here and here.

*Kay S. Hymowitz of New York's City Journal sez social indicators, which have been dismaying for decades, are turning positive, and the kids are leading the way here.

*Dick Morris, a former adviser to Slick Willie, sez of his ex-boss: "Bill Clinton has a unique form of ADD — he is disordered when he does not get enough attention." Read all about it here.

*Atlanta attorney Curtis Edmonds explains why the U.S. Supreme Court made the right call when it sidestepped the "under God" pledge controversy by saying atheist plaintiff Michael Newdow didn't have standing to bring the case here.

*Steven Stalinsky of the Middle East Research Center points out that the U.S. is dealing with its prison abuses and wonders when the Arabs are going to deal with theirs here.

*Bruce Bartlett of the National Center for Policy Review sez the media are being foolish by ignoring a recent Pew Reserch Center study that documents their liberal bias, once and for all. Liberals in the media outnumber conservatives by 5-to-1. Here's your Media Bias Fix.


Got some odds & ends to clear away before I call it a day. And that rhymes. Eatcher heart out, Bard:

*Writes John Austin: I see the U.S. is going to retain the physical custody of Saddam Hussein after transferring legal custody over to the Iraqis. I think that is a good thing. Now, if only we can get a few of those original soldiers from Abu Ghraib prison to guard him." NHB: Bingo.

*Don't look now, but a group of North Idaho community theatre types are planning to bare all as part of a calendar fundraiser a la "Calendar Girls." This KXLY story doesn't say which theater troupe we're dealing with here. So, you're going to have to stay tuned.

*North Dakota State athletic officials are flirting with a switch to the Big Sky Conference again here.

*Don't look now, but the Citrus State is making its own bid to become a Potato King, like Idaho and Maine, here.

*Don Morgan recommends Justice Clarence Thomas' comments in support of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision against atheist Michael Newdow in the "under God" pledge case as a must read here.

*Jim English, commish-elect Katie Brodie's treasurer, filed the 30-day postelection disclosure statement which shows his candidate raised $26,380 here. Few of the other wannabes have filed theirs yet.

*Don't forget to vote for your favorite Loose Moose on our Web site here.


Peanut Gallery (Cis Gors)

In regards to the pigs sty-like..... It is the few that make it rough on the most...

Ages ago I lived in Ellensburg in a place called Cooke Canyon.. We were the end of the road, on the other side of our fence was the start of the woods heading to Wenatchee National Forest and the rest of the woods. Good hunting area. And every year.... every year.... Seattle hunters

came over and camped just beyond our fence. (so much for getting out in the woods, guess they were afraid the elk would attack.) And they would leave their trash behind. So we cleaned it up because we would have to anyway, when the wind blew it on to our property. I wanted to take down the license numbers and pick up the trash, and deliver it back to its owners, as I am sure they forgot it and would want it back. My family wouldn't let me. Dang!
My family over the years have camped during hunting and fishing... we always picked up the campsite. We left it as good as it was or better. Meaning we picked up the trash others left too, a lot of times. And now my adult kids do the same...

Why is it people seem to think as long as it isn't their yard, they don't have to clean up their messes?

Cis the Retired
Ponderay, ID

Jonathan's East Coast Report


*There's only one pundit out there who gets a mental standing O from me every time out, and that- as you doubtlessly know by now- is David Brooks. He nails it more often than Tim Allen- and

he's nobody's tool, either. Incidentally, did you note that he was in Seattle last night? There's a brief write-up on his reading there in today's Seattle Times.

*D-Brooks isn't the only one out there who thinks that the Dems have forsaken moderate, thoughtful, religious voters (like myself). Personally, I think Bernie Goldberg had the right idea; it's not so much "red-blue" and geography as "cosmopolitan" vs. "everyone else". If I'm not mistaken, he suggested that the media/Hollywood complex try life in Indianap! olis or Oklahoma City for a while. Not a bad idea; I'd go with Indy because it's centrally located and has big-league sports teams. Bernie also dropped Mitchell, SD, as an alternative. That's the hometown of a few notable people: George McGovern (no comment), Mike Miller (NBA player), and someone who's probably smarter than both of 'em: one of my favorite broadcasters, Gary Owens. If you were a "Laugh-In" fan in the '60s, like myself, you'd understand because Gary could make the phone book sound good and very witty to boot. I think he does a daily show on "Music of Your Life" stations these days.

*Ever hear of a writer named Ted Morgan? He's a French expat who became a US citizen in the '70s, an erudite journalist and biographer (Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad) who was raised in a Parisian diplomatic family; the name was originally DeGramont (get it?). I read his autobiography, "On Becoming American", in college and never forgot it. Three decades ago, Morgan came up with the single best remark I ever read on "cosmopolitan" vs. "the rest of us" cultural/political differences:
"Americans are very strict with public figures on sexual and social mores. I suspect if you take out Manhattan, Cambridge, Georgetown, Hollywood, San Francisco and a few college towns, America's favorite couple would be Jerry Falwell and Anita Bryant." Know what? He was right. You can also read David Brooks' latest, "On Paradise Drive", to learn more. The man's brilliant and, ! at least in his books, marvelously witty.

*Finally, Father's Day has passed, but it's not too late to check out "Big Russ and Me", the wonderful memoir by NBC's Tim Russert. He's one of the best-loved people in the media, and has great stories to tell about growing up in snowbound Buffalo, the son of a garbage truck driver. He also came from an old-school Catholic family, and worked for one of my favorite old pols, Sen. Pat Moynihan. I know for a fact that voters in places like Buffalo, who have old machine-Democratic histories, don't care for people like John Kerry; I know because I visited the area a few times. In '98, I was a little hesitant to mention the names "Ted Kennedy", "John Kerry" and especially "Barney Frank" in those parts; turned out that the Niagara Frontier was, surprisingly, a bit of a Ross Perot stronghold. Hey, when you've been a wintry Rust Belt hulk for decades and your football team loses four Super ! Bowls in a row, maybe you'd vote for the jug-eared Texan too because you believe in lost causes. Until next time...

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, Mass.

Peanut Gallery (Steve Badraun)

I am right there in front ready to give Duane Hagadone his due for oustanding achievements in his career. I also believe that Duane and his corporation have been better than average corporate sponsors and benefactors to the community. I also believe that as a result of Duane making money with his projects, the people of Coeur d' Alene have gained in some areas of community development. Now, Can we put all of that aside and talk about this award? There ain't no way Duane Hagadone remotely fits the profile of Horatio Alger and the profile of his fellow recipients. Read about that award.......Read about the vision statement of that organization. Read about the recipients past and present of that organization. After reading, just try to fit Duane Hagadone into that mold. It just does not fit by any stretch of the imagination. Give Duane a Fortune 500 award. He deserves it. But don't play him off as some person who struggled through adversity

-- Steve Badraun

DFO: I still can't figure out why I get no hits on the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site when I type in the name "Duane Hagadone." You'd think heads would roll.

Another Missing Moose?


On Saturday morning, June 19, 2004, at about 10:15 a.m. I was driving eastbound on Prairie Avenue from Ramsey Road enroute to the Hayden Branch of the Kootenai County Library. I noticed that the moose art that had been on the southwest corner of Prairie Avenue and US 95 was gone. I tried a couple times to call the Cd’A Police, but Verizon’s cell phone circuits were busy. At 10:35 a.m., after I finished my business at the library, I called the Coeur d’Alene Police dispatch number and spoke with Kathy. I asked if the moose had been removed with authorization or if it had been stolen. I made sure she understood that my question was about the moose at that corner (the new Del Taco stand construction) and not the one at Courcelles Parkway and Prairie Avenue which had been reported stolen some time ago. She stated it had been stolen. I don’t recall seeing the basic information about this in the Police Blotter section of the Review, but maybe it was and I just missed it.

Bill McCrory

DFO: Not to worry. Ex-AG Jack Riggs pulled it through the Car d'Lane parade Friday night. It's the Little Deuce Moose, painted like a hotrod classic car. Now it's sitting down on Sherman Ave, across from Great Carpets.

Coeur d’Alene

Reader's Mailbag (6/22/04) ...

... re: Duane Hagadone, anniversaries, etc.

There's lots of little things the HagaCorp does with very little fanfare ... ferinstance, a local musical group needed a place to perform for a 9-hour marathon in February ... the Plaza Shops lobby was perfect, and was given with no strings attached. In years past, Resort security stood overnight watch for a charity run's sound and display stuff at the city park bandshell. Jerry, Bill & Steve(s) might be the do-ers, but the leadership comes from the top...just don't ask for money!

-- Inside The Borah Triangle

DFO: Anyone else out there want to get in on the debate re: Our Horatio Alger winner?

*Congrats on your reasoned defense of Duane Hagadone. Nobody is perfect. But Duane has certainly put CDA on the map -- John McHugh

DFO: As I said, I have to give the devil his due.

*Happy Anniversary to you both..... If Dave is anything at home like he is in the blog.... then Brenda must have the patience of a saint.. But it seems he knows that... so won't pick on him... God Bless and hope I am around to read about your 75th -- Cis the Retired

DFO: Hmm. That's another 46 years. I'd be 100. Could happen. But ...

*Just wondering how many early risers may have seen this sign at Ash and Garland Car Wash on Sunday morning? "FARTERS DAY SPECIAL: 10 WASHES FOR $29.95" I was delayed in returning with Funny my camera and they had opened for business when I got there too late and the sign had been corrected. 3 cheers for Fathers and local vandals!

DFO: Mebbe it shoulda said: Old Farters Day. I've been called worse.

Best of the Northwest (6/22/04)

As I write this, news has broken that Islamic extremists have beheaded their South Korean captive here. These monsters deserve the same swift justices that the batch who beheaded American Paul Johnson Jr. got: death within hours. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Your Northwest roundup:

1. In the great minds, er, cartoonists, think alike category, David Horsey of the P-I and freelancer Milt Priggee have a similar take on Slick Willie's new book, "My Life," here and here.

2. I forgot to blog my Monday Huckleberries column and my padre's (Steve Massey) Saturday religion column about the "under God" phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday. You can find them here and here. (Free sign-in required.)

3. WSU has registered its highest number of Regents Scholars ever for the falls semester. You can find The Daily Evergreen story here.

4. The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major blow to Washington state's "Patient's Bill of Rights" yesterday, ruling in effect that patients can't bring multimillion-dollar lawsuits when insurers refuse to pay for recommended medical treatment. This, according to the P-I. Click here.

5. Surprise! Surprise! "Baghdad Jim" McDermott, D-Washington, is featured in Lefty film producer Michael Moore's propaganda film, "Fahrenheit 9/11" here.

6. Don't look now, but our beloved Seattle Mariners are only 8.5 games back and playing improved baseball. In other words, they're caught in the middle as the trading deadline continues to approach. The Seattle Times looks at their situation here. And gives you a chance to say what you'd do now if you were running the M's in a survey here.

7. James Bond, who for 20 years has shaken and stirred Seattle University law students, is retiring in August, one of the few conservative university profs in Washington, here.

8. On Friday, Dean Edmeade became the first African-American to earn a doctorate in mathematics at Washington State. The Daily Evergreen tells ya all about his accomplishment here.

*In his "Whatever Happened To ..." column, Rick Clarke of the Coeur d'Alene Press did a nice job profiling local Demo Queen Mary Lou Reed here.

*According to Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman, Boise Mayor Dave Bieter is off to a slow start, possibly putting too much emphasis on personal loyalty and dangerously insulating himself here.

*According to The Seattle Times, the launch of that first private space flight, financed by gadzillionaire Paul Allen, could be the beginning of something big here.

*Glenn Balch, an Idahoan who wrote dozens of books about Western life, is making a comeback, 15 years after his death. Tim Woodward of The Idaho Statesman tells ya all about it here.

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (6/22/04)

I'm not much of a fan of north shore owners who refuse to acknowledge the public's historic access to their beach front -- 100-plus years and growing. But I saw something Sunday that caused me to pause. On West Lakeshore, where beach owners don't mind if beachcombers use their beach as long as they pick up after themselves, a woman and her dog were sitting below a sign that said: "No dogs allowed." She looked like she could see, which means her dog wasn't a seeing-eye sort. Mebbe she couldn't read. A short distance away, a large family with a barbecue was sprawled all over another private beach in a way that'd make me ticked if I owned it. That's the trouble with the public today. To many of its members are inconsiderate pigs. Sorry for being so blunt.

1. Cartoonist Chuck Asay doodles how I feel about Abu Ghraib and the Islamic animals who have beheaded two Americans in captivity. Here's your Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno had Slick Willie pegged pretty well (Sunday) night when he said this: "Clinton told Dan Rather last night that the worst day of his life was the 'day he told Hillary the truth'. So he’s not going to do that again. Not fool around. Tell Hillary the truth. Not gonna make that mistake. 'What the hell was I thinking of when I did that?'" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Don't look now, my religious conservative friend, but you may be Dubya's ace in the hole as he tries to win re-election this fall. Don't believe me? Then, why is a new group targetting religious conservatives in an effort to get them back to the polls in '04 here. The Washington Times provides the rest of your Religious Right Fix.

4. In looking at Bill Clinton's book, "My Life," Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standards sez that Slick Willie is not a failed president, but an insignificant one. And, in another great one-liner, he sez: "At best, Clinton is Calvin Coolidge without the ethics and the self-restraint." Here's your Slick Willie Fix.

5. Smoking erases 10 years from your life, according to the longest ever study of smokers. But smokers get big benefits if they quit any time in life, even after age 50. Here's your Health News Fix.

6. Most Americans -- 7 out of 10 -- say the late Ronald Reagan was a better president than Slick Willie. Which isn't surprising after the around-the-clock coverage of Reagan's funeral recently. Many Americans got their first up close and personal look of our late, great president. What is surprising is that 30 percent of the population thinks Slick was anything other than a Middle Age Hormone. Here's your Poll Fix.

*Writing for The Weekly Standard, John V. Last turns thumbs down on "Saved!", a Planet Hollyweird attempt to tap the same market as "The Passion of the Christ." But falls far short because all it does is make fun of evangelicals here.

*Jennifer Graham, a National Review contributor, sez Nancy Reagan redeems the image of second wives here.

*David Brooks of the New York Times gives Slick Willie credit for seeing the importance that religion plays in public life here.

*Christopher Hitchens discusses the lies of "9/11 Fahrenheit" maker Michael Moore here.


Gotta run, so I don't have time to write a decent "30" today. As I mentioned, it's my 29th wedding anniversary. And we'll be dining out. Catch ya in the morning.

Jonathan's Report

* RIP, Merle "Doc" Derrick, the dean of Inland NW sports scribes. I didn't know him or his work, obviously, but anyone who spent half a century doing most! ly preps, even in a small city, had to be a great guy and a great writer because you can't do a spin job on high school kids. John Blanchette's beautiful tribute on the weekend told me more. The mark of a great columnist, IMHO, is how they treat a departure from this mortal coil. Blanchette makes such pieces sing, as I discovered in his collection of past pieces. Jim Murray, The Greatest, couldn't have done it any better- and I don't drop that name lightly. Your area is truly blessed to have Blanchette around.

* Where does the nickname "Spokaloo" come from? I've found it more than once in your, and other, writings from the area. Reminds me of a long-ago performance by yours truly in a camp production of "The Thurber Carnival" many years ago. All I remember saying is "You may be allergic to a stuffed cockatoo", and I ad-libbed a long "o-o-o-o-o". Well, it rhymes with "Spokaloo", "Kalamazoo" and Tiger, too- or, given his lackluster run at majors, "Tiger Who?"

* Spokane sounds like a nice little baseball town, and I know it was a Triple-A city for many years. It seems to be the largest market in the Northwest League, excluding Vancouver, of course. Bobby Brett, the team owner, is either related to KC Hall of Famer George Brett or Ken Brett, a pitcher on my boyhood sporting idols, the '67 "Impossible Dream" Red Sox.

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

Hagadone no Horatio Alger

You are way off base, my friend, on believing Duane Hagadone deserves anything attached to the name Horatio Alger. You recall, I wrote you a blog on this earlier. If you look at past and present recipients of this award, you will find real struggle against all kinds of odds that they would succeed in life. Duane Hagadone never came close to experiencing the tragedy, poverty, and heartache of either the recipients or Horatio Alger. I am convinced he bought his way into this organization and in my view, he spun his life story to fit some sort of life of struggle. The truth is that Duane Hagadone was raised in a very privileged environment in a protective town. He is a successful person but please, he ain't a kid who struggled by any measurement.

Steve Badraun
Seaside, N.J.

DFO: I must be living in some kind of parallel universe. I mean, here I am defending Duane Hagadone. Obviously, the Horatio Alger gang believes The Kingfish fits the bill to win its award. I don't think Alger awards are handed out willy nilly. But I'd be more impressed with Hagadone if he had a single philanthropic bone in his body ... if just once in his life, he gave something to the community out of his vast riches without getting something in return. Still, I believe, he deserves credit for adding substantially to the newspaper his father left behind and to Bob Templin's hospitality industry that he seized in the early '80s.

Peanut Gallery (The Edge)

What a tear-jerking story in Sunday’s Press about a lil’ boy with nothing rising to the ranks of super millionaire with the power of positive thinking, and lots of good ole’ fashioned hard work, I laughed til’ I cried. My question is how much money has Duane (Hagadone) given to local charities and projects over the years? We never hear about that...

The Edge

DFO: Harsh. I'm not a Hagadone fan, but ya have to give the devil his due. For good or bad -- and some would argue for the latter -- Hagadone has transformed his native town into a waterfront beauty. He certainly has built on the newspaper that he inherited as a twentysomething when his father died unexpectedly. And he's worthy of the Horatio Alger award. He, however, never has understood anything about newspapers except making money. But that's another story. I, too, am surprised that, at 71, he's not busy building a legacy of contributions and buildings, like a library, to leave behind in his memory and his parents'. Mebbe he thinks he's going to live forever, like J.R. Simplot. BTW, I couldn't raise the Hagadone story to which The Edge refers, on the Coeur d'Alene Press Web site. The search engine, incredibly, had no hits for the name: Duane Hagadone.

Peanut Gallery (Mike Kennedy)

But should you really be blogging on your anniversary? This August will be 10 years for Kathleen and me. You've got 19 on us - keep up the good work. My parents will celebrate 41 years this September and my wife's grandparents are moving up on 65 years. Good role models. We've learned in the last 13 months just how much work and faith are needed to keep a marriage strong, but the real critical item (for us at least) is a bride with low standards for a mate. All else can be worked out.



DFO: Indeed, Mike has found the key to a successful marriage -- a bride with low standards. Certainly worked for me.

'Spokane Indians Opening Day'

The sweetest summer sound of all:
the crack of bat against a ball.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Best of the Northwest (6/21/04)

Hadda great Father's Day with my two best girlfriends (wife Brenda and Amy Dearest) yesterday, walking along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene and then visiting friends for a rousing round of croquet. Where my wife aced me in with what Seattle Mariners announcers would call a Magnolia Moment shot. Cost of visiting the waterfront: Zero; cost of visiting friends: a $4 pie from Albertson's; cost of having friends and loved ones: Priceless. Your Roundup:

1. I'm not too cuh-razy about David Horsey's cartoon commentary re: Dubya and the 9/11 commission findings. But it's the Best of the Northwest 'tooning today here.

2. Kristin Armstrong, a 30-year-old Boisean, will represent the U.S. in the Olympics after her win by a half bike in the national cycling road race championships in the L.A. area Saturday here.

3. Hunters have had it up to here with the wolf relocation program, which, they claim, is decimating Idaho's big-game herds. And they'll tell you what you can do with your scientific evidence that sez otherwise. The Idaho Statesman tells ya all about it here.

4. Susan Whaley of The Idaho Statesman makes a good argument that you can have a fun vacation by visiting dozing Mount St. Helens volcano here.

5. Idaho bars and eateries are bracing themselves for July 1 when a new state law take effect, forcing them to go smokeless, here.

6. "He's happy that he can stand here today and say, 'I'm healthy,' " said Reds general manager Dan O'Brien Jr. "It seems like each and every game he plays, he takes a step toward being the Ken Griffey Jr. you remember from his Seattle days. He's 100 percent, which is why you see that smile." On Sunday, Junior became the 20th player to hit 500 HRs. And Ancient Mariner Edgar Martinez recalls him well here.

7. Four people died and a fifth was critically injured Sunday when their car hit an elk and plunged off an I-90 embankment in one of the deadliest crashes in Washington history here.

8. A Yellowstone National Park concession worker was attacked by two bears during a hike over the weekend here.

9. Todd Turner, the new U-Dub AD, laid out his vision for Husky athletics, stating: "I'm not terribly concerned about past, I'm really more focused on what lies ahead." Nice try. Looming sanctions involving college basketball betting pools won't let Turner ignore the past for long. Read all about the new AD here. And P-I columnist John Levesque issued a warning to Turner here.

*Columnist Dan Popkey of The Idaho Statesman learned a lesson when he interviewed a couple of octengenarians who'd had their flag stolen here.

*Dean Logan, director of King County Elections, tells Seattle Times readers what Washingtonians should know before they vote under the new primary system here.

*Joel Connelly of the P-I looks at the furious effort to build logging roads in Alaska's Tongassd here.

*If you think the flack for the Transportation Security Administration looks familiar, you're partially right. Mark Hatfield Jr. bears some resemblance to the man who gave him his name and for a long time was a dominating political figure in Oregon. Click here.

Monday Quick Fix 6 (6/21/04)

It's a be-you-tiful day in the Inland Northwest, with the sun shining in a blue, cloudless sky. And it's a be-you-tiful day in my life. Twenty-nine years ago today, on a day with a triple-digit temperature in a Baptist church in the small Northern California town of Corning, Calif., Brenda Orrmins became my wife. Within two years, I whisked her away from friends and family 1,000 miles to Cold-Spell, Mont., and began our Northwest adventure. She stuck with me, which shows the gal is determined. Twenty-seven years later, we're still going strong. God deserves the credit. He has kept us focused on the important things in life. Your Fixes:

1. For your Political 'Toon Fix, cartoonist Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal look at the Saudis and Slick Willie's Big Lie, er, Life here and here.

2. For your Inspirational Fix, Guy Gilchrist has his angels on alert here.

3. You think there was absolutely, positively no connection between So-Damn Insane and al-Qaeda? Then, you're either a very partisan Democrat. Or you've been following the mainstream media too closely. Here' your Reality Check Fix.

4. Brace yourselves, conservatives. Ex-prez Bill Clinton's about to hijack the summer giving interviews about his self-indulgent new book, which even The New York Times panned here. So far, Slick Willie has revealed that he doesn't like to be called Slick Willie hereand that -- surprise! -- Hillary almost ran for prez this year here. Here's the rest of your Slick Willie Fix.

5. The media made a big to-do about Moqtada al-Sadr's uprising, predicting it was the beginning of a countrywide meltdown in which the average Iraqi Joe would rise up against the Great Satan and run U.S. troops into the desert. Well, that uprising is kaput (even though you never heard about it). Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe (or, as Jonathan Cohen calls it, El Globo) tell you all about the good things that are going on in your Iraqi Winning The Peace Fix.

6. Looks like Iran wants a little of what Iraq and Afghanistan got. This morning, Iran seized three British ships and captured 8 crewmen, claiming the vessels had entered Iranian waters off the coast of Iraq. Here's your Top News Fix.

*Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review On Line sez the job of AG John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice is tougher because America is safer here.

*Author Ralph Peters, writing for FrontPageMag, sez the brand of Islam religion practiced by bitter old men in the Middle East is the problem here.

*Ex-CIA officer Thomas Patrick Carroll opines on the way the mass (hysteria) media mangled the findings of the 9/11 commission report here.

*Bill Whalen of the S.F. Chronicle sez mud-slinging in prez races goes way back to 1796 and the first contested race between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson here.


Tomorrow morning, my family ends its 27-year sojourn in Montana's Flathead Valley. I started it 27 years ago almost to this day when I moved from Stockton, Calif., to become Duane Hagadone's news editor at The Daily Inter Lake. Some call it The Daily Mistake. Others call it something worse. A year later, or about the time my sister Eileen Harrison and hubby, Rich, moved from Sacramento, I became the managing editor, the paper's sixth M.E. in seven years. I lasted another four years and then was sent packing. I landed on my feet as the assistant news editor of the notable Lewiston Tribune. The Harrisons stayed. And stayed. Despite the cold and the long hours that are needed in the Flathead Valley to make ends meet. Over the years, another sister (Charlotte), a brother (Ray) and my mother (Eva) moved to Kalispell. And ultimately left. Those three are now with me in Kootenai County. Two of us married Montanans. And three of our children were born there, including my son, Seth. Now, the Harrisons are moving to southern California to be near their son, Josh. Five members of my extended family will be part of the three-vehicle caravan that takes their worldly goods through Utah to the L.A. area, beginning today. Many memories will go with them. I'm glad I experienced the Flathead. I'm glad I'm not moving to Sufferin' California. I'm glad I'm here bloggin' for you. I'll see ya again Monday.

She's in, she isn't, she's in

Dunno how I missed Wayne Hoffman's report about the state Demo convention at Pocatello here. But one insider tells me that the grafs toward the end about Naomi Preston are pregnant with understatement. Preston? She's the cowgirl who planned to take on U.S. Rep. Butch Otter in the 1st Congressional District race. And then dropped out. And now wants back in. And has gone thru a campaign manager or two already. With or without a cooperative wannabe, the Demos have little chance of winning this seat. But they have enough problems trying to make gains in the Legislature without having to fight their own wannabe in an important race.

What goes around ...

Another terrorist thug just found hell waiting for him instead of all those virgins he expected. The thug believed to have beheaded American engineer Paul M. Johnson Jr. was gunned down a few hours later by the Saudis here. (btw, I could provide a link to the grisly photos of Johnson's beheading, but you can do a Google search, if you really want to see them.)

Jonathan casts his first NI vote ...

... for the "First Man on the Moose" moose.

HI DAVE-O! Let's put a period on the week with these items:

* MOOSEBERRY JUICE: Checked out your town's moose sculptures last night at Spokane-7. With these things, less is more, which is why I voted for "First Man on the Moose". Sorry, Rocky-and-Bullwinkle fans (that's me), Our Heroes weren't clear enough. I did like "Monarch Moose", though. And you say some morons have actually cracked a few of these pieces up? Give them as much punishment as the town and Hagadone's Heroes can allow.

*BUMPER-SNICKERS: Passed by a mini-van this morning with ten- count 'em, ten!- anti-Iraq and/or anti-Dubya bumper stickers on it. Such is life in these parts, but couldn't two have sufficed? No Kerry sticker, though. The driver's probably a Naderite. Let's say that a car with that many messages on it might get egged, or worse, up in your neck of the woods. About the only funny sticker: "Tell our friends in Florida to Push Harder!" Probably can't wait for the Fat Fraud from Flint's new movie to come out.

*A NEW REGULAR: Introducing yet another David to my collection: Cantor David, from a large Seattle synagogue. A self-proclaimed "Paul Wellstone Democrat" and out n' proud for 20 years, he dislikes Michael Medved because "he outed us once on the air." But even he admits that My Favorite Pundit, David Brooks, has pleasantly surprised him with his thoughtful writings. D-Brooks, by the way, makes a Seattle appearance next week. Now, that's worth a cross-country flight, IMHO. The good Cantor also wants very much to sing the anthem at Safeco Field one day, and with the Moribund M's in the tank, he might have an easier time of it. He adds: "I can represent the Jewish community, the gay community, and the deaf community all at once!" (He's not deaf but says he signs his services often.) That's right at home in the oh-so-PC Emera! ld City, no?

*READING/VIEWING: I've started in on Tim Russert's excellent and warmly written memoir, "Big Russ & Me". Now, there's one of the true honest men in the media- a garbage truck-driver's son from Buffalo made good. I also viewed a DVD on "Schoolhouse Rock", those clever little animated educational shorts that ran on ABC in the '70s. That's when I was in college, so I didn't catch them the first time. Let me say that their "History Rock" bits: "Elbow Room" (Westward expansion), "Great American Melting Pot" (immigrants), "The Preamble" (a folksy tune about the Constitution) and the classic "I'm Just A Bill" (a singing piece of paper in the US Capitol) all make me proud to be an American. What other country could produce cartoons with distinctive music on these and other subjects? Beats "South Park" any day. Have a great wee! kend!

-Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

DFO: Another thorough report from our Neo-Con in King Kerry's Court.

Extra! Extra!

*Man killed after threatening police with knife (S-R, free sign-in required): Whenever I get down on our badges, which isn't too often, I think of the awful work they do at times. Rathdrum police officers were called on to perform the worst kind of work here, defending their lives. They're worth every penny of their salaries.

*American hostage beheaded, Al-Qaida group says (S-R, free sign-in required): And I'm suppose to be crying crocodile tears about Abu Ghraib? We're fighting the scum of the Earth. The Islamic wackos don't realize that they're strengthening our resolve. Not weakening it. After all, we're not Spaniards. Or French.

What They're Saying About Us ...

*At $2.6 million in total compensation, Hecla's Art Brown was Numero Uno on the Journal of Business's list of top-paid, public-company execs here.

*Wanna meet the man who redesigned Duane Hagadone's personal botanical garden? Click here.

*Don't look now, but Ironman North America has just added an Arizona race for the '05 season, which means INA is now in every corner of our country, including, of course, Coeur d'Alene. Click here.

*David J. Tollerud, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences committee reviewing the EPA's Superfund work, defends his panel's work from Spokane Gang Green's gripes, stating we ain't got no steenkin' bias here.

Random Thoughts from The Edge

I didn’t shell out $1,000 to see Dubya, but I managed to watch most of his speech for free on TV. I thought he did very well, including giving a nod to our Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and the folks from Idaho who slipped across the border. He also promised to visit someday…Maybe he and Laura can watch a baseball game in the pit.

I’ll believe it when I see a baseball diamond in the pit on Ramsey Road. I'm afraid legion baseball is going to the short end of the stick. It’s going to cost millions to develop that land. I think they paid way too much cash for a pit that will probably need to be filled in order to make it work. Can we say BOONDOGGLE!

I wonder why the Hagadone Press ignored the sale? Strange after two days of coverage on the McEuen park.

The Edge

Best of the Northwest (6/18/04)

It's TGIF, with Car d'Lane set to blast off tonight and thru the weekend in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Think American Graffiti with middle-age folks driving the rods instead of Richie Cunningham and Fonzie types. Tonight, the vintage cars cruise main while the huddled masses adore. Tomorrow and Sunday, the cars are lined up on Sherman for closer adoration. Be there or be square:

1. How about a TGIF triple-header? Milt Priggee, David Horsey of the P-I and Eric Devericks of the Times launch us this morning with their views on Slick Willie, Tim Eyman and terrorism here, here and here.

2. What's bigger than Dubya stoppin' by for a chat? Dubya swung into Spokane Thursday to boost fund-raising for U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Washington, who's trying to take out U.S. Sen. Patty "Osama Mama" Murray in a Senate race. You can find the story (free sign-in required) and photos here, here and here. (And the soldiers at Fort Lewis cheered Dubya this morning here.)

3. In the Back to the Future category, a Central Valley School District parent is fighting to Control-Alt-Delete Bernard Malamud's The Natural from a soph reading list. I was forced to read the book by Parley Mel Anglen, my haughty frosh English teacher. And, of course, I noticed the sexual stuff and detailed description of nipples. I was a frosh boy, fuhcryinoutloud. I also noticed what a wonderful story Malamud wrote. Bottom line? Concerned Parent should simply ask her kid's teacher to assign another book. We've done that several times for our younguns. No harm. No foul. Click here.

4. Today's edition of No Holds Barred is brought to you by the No. 9,963. Or the number of square feet in the Boy-C home being built by Joe Albertson's only surviving grandson. Or, you thought Jerry Jaeger's home on Sanders Beach was big? Ahaha. Click here.

5. Heapin' Chalupas, Batman: Boy-C State has sold the naming rights to its basketball pavilion to (drum roll, puh-LEEZ) -- Taco Bill. You got it. The Broncos'll be playing at Taco Bell Arena next year. Click here.

6. You can run but you can't hide when you're big as a buffalo. A 1,200-pound buffalo cleared an 8-foot fence and made a break for freedom at Blackfoot, Idaho, this week, only to be cut down on the run. (Petaphiles should pause for a moment of silence.) You can find your not-so-great-escape story here.

7. Remember to check out our on-line gallery of EXCEL Moose on the Loose in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and to vote for your favorite moose here.

8. U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson is pushing a scaled-down plan to preserve 1,000 acres of the Boulder-White Clouds wilderness area in Central Idaho here.

*The Idaho Statesman sounds off on the state's food-stamp fiasco here.

*Times columnist Nicole Brodeur looks at that Skamania County murder in which a mother gun downed her two daughters, 2 and 4, and left their bodies in a rock pit here.

*Times columnist Danny Westneat wonders why being nude in public is OK sometimes but not OK at other times here.

*P-I sports columnist Art Thiel, one of the best, focuses on that talented U-Dub basketball small fry Nate Robinson here.

TGIF Quick Fix 6 (6/18/04)

"A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain" -- Robert Frost (The Portable Curmudgeon)

1. For your Political 'Toon Fix today, how about a tribute to Father's Day from Daryl Cagle & Co. here?

2. For your Inspiration Fix, No Holds Barred is offering a slide show set to a poem that honors the Father of fathers, the One we call Our Father. My brother-in-law, Clark Orrmons, sent it from Northern California. Be sure your sound is turned on, and click here.

3. Both Demos & Repubs have video games about the other guy's candidate. The Repubs offer Kerryopoly here, while Demo Doves came up with something a little more violent here. Here's your Games Pols Play Fix.

4. Nearly 2,500 gay and lesbian couples applied for marriage licenses in the first week that Massachusetts extended the right to same-sex couples, according to a Boston Globe survey of city and town clerks here. Meanwhile, anti-gay marriage activists in Montana have more than double the signatures they need to place marriage protection before voters. Here's your Dang Straight Marriage Fix.

5. Commencement speakers for U.S. colleges and universities generally are heavily weighted to the Left. And Young America's Foundation found that this year is no different. “For eleven years, we’ve shown that college administrators are using commencement ceremonies to send their students off with one more predictable leftist lecture. This year, the most prestigious schools exclude scholars like Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas for the likes of Kofi Annan, Madeleine Albright, Gloria Steinem, and Ralph Nader” -- Young America's Foundation President Ron Robinson. Here's your Leftwing Propaganda Fix.

6. The assertion that Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction prior to last year’s liberation has been rendered absurd – by United Nations weapons inspectors, according to FrontPageMag. Don't ask me why the U.S. media haven't picked up on all those weapons and former weapons of Iraq that have been found floating around the Middle East and Europe. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

7. Who can blame Iraqi officials for wanting to string up So-Damn Insane here?

8. Dubya got a nice little poll bounce from fickle Americans as a result Ronald Reagan's funeral coverage here.

*David Horowitz of FrontPageMag looks at the Big Lie campaign in which Leftists stab Dubya and this country in the back while ignoring reality in Iraq here.

*Not only is Michelle Malkin a talented columnist, but she's now a talented blogger. She provides a dyne-oh!-mite insight into politics and the powerful here.

*It's TGIF, and that means I'm bloggin' Florence King of the old Misanthrope's Corner. She simply is/was one of the best writers out there. Enjoy here.

*John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge look at why America's so religious here.


I keep talking about the EXCEL Foundation's Moose on the Loose project. And the punks who have vandalized some of the moose, including neighbors (here and here) of the one we have out in front of the S-R building in CdA, designed by artist Greg Torline. Well, it's time for you folks to see what I'm talking about. The link I'm going to provide will take you to photos of all 26 ceramic animals. They're terrific. You can click on the photos to enlarge them. Our "7" mag is also running a contest to see which moose is the people's choice. The link will show you have to vote, too. So, enjoy. And keep your fingers crossed that we catch the creeps who vandalized these works of art before they strike again. Click here.

Peanut Gallery (Cis Gors)

I have your blog as my home page, so I see it every time I go online.... that by the way is far from a complaint. It is my choice... I may not agree with you all the time as I am an middle of the road, Independent. But I sure love to read your take on things. What is an Independent.... we are the people who go in after you Republicans and Democrat do all the arguing and paying for the choices... and we Independents come in and look at your buffet and chose what we like and don't like. Don't know what we Independents would do without all you R's and D's...lol... And that is my views on politics... still keep my whining rights by voting -- Cis, the Retired

DFO: Don't necessarily consider myself a Republican ... more of an independent social conservative. I can easily vote D as long as important social issues don't come into play. I enjoy the political buffet line, too.

Peanut Gallery (Steve Badraun)

I just really like the conceptual plan for the McEuen Field areas. It is a positive step in the right direction and contains many public elements that take advantage of that beautiful piece of property. I agree that it is going to be a real challenge keeping red geraniums out of there -- Steve Badraun

DFO: The McEuen Field Heist woulda been something if they'd had the courage to move all parking north of Sherman Avenue and forced residents and touristas to walk past downtown businesses. To use half the available land on the invaluable waterfront for parking is unparalleled myopia.

Local Headlines (6/17/04)

*Taxpayers to pick up Bush's tab (No reimbursement for law enforcement costs during president's visit for Nethercutt event) --SR (free sign-in): And I suppose Slick Willie paid for all his campaign junkets out of his own pocket. We might not like it, but it's the way both sides play the political game.

*Seattle high-rise once 9-11 target (Original plot called for 10-plane attack) -- SR (free sign-in): Here's a wake-up call for all you ostriches who have forgotten that we're still involved in a war on terror. Read my lips: It's the war on terror, stupid.

*I-90 info booth a popular place (Rest area offers opportunity to get travelers off the interstate) -- SR (free sign-in): No, you can no longer feed the Aryans.

**Meet the Editor (Frum Helen Back,(see picture), was a writer for Hauser Thoughts, published by Westside Resort several years ago. She is now the editor for Hauser Times and is happy to be back at the grindstone -- Hauser Times: Frum Helen Back sounds an awful lot like D.J. Nall. If so, you have to check out her on-line Hauser Times. It's good for a few yucks and glimpses of small-time life.

*Jake's just an Idaho kid who wants to win a world title -- CdA Press: If we were playing Jeopardy!, the question would be: Who is Jake "The Snake" Plummer? Under NFL QB's for $1,000, Alex, would be this information: This Denver Bronco QB was reared in Boy-C and has a second home in Coeur d'Alene. He'll be golfing up here tomorrow. Welcome, big guy.

Peanut Gallery (Doug Burr)

Hi Dave,

Hey, how about we put just one real moose in the mix along with the EXCEL decorative bunch scattered throughout town? We (somehow) decorate a real moose and tether it at various locations where the EXCEL moose are now located. When the vandals try to knock the real one over... the vandal problem is solved and they get a no-expense paid trip to ER for medical treatment. Hidden cameras is such "big city" remedy that it will never work here and we have access to the real foul-tempered thing. Besides, the EXCEL Foundation would get even more publicity; in all the other critter art displays throughout the US, no one has yet been attacked by the art in defensive fashion!

Hope your summer is going well.

Doug Burr

DFO: Keep those cards and letters coming re: the insurgents who are damaging our moose. You guys are geniuses. This one's a hoot.

Peanut Gallery (Barbara Worley)

Just a note to tell you how much I look forward to your blog. You're the only one out there I read with regularity. Being a Naples-ite, working in Sandpoint, it's hard to keep up with the REAL buzz going on around this country.

Barbara Worley

DFO: What a nice note. For you outsiders, Naples is a tiny town between Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry, just off Highway 95, that had the misfortune of being about 4 miles from Ruby Ridge when all hell broke loose a few years back. I attended a wedding there earlier this year in the Community Hall. Great salt-of-the-earth people. I would have enjoyed every minute if Gonzaga wasn't in the process of losing a NCAA basketball tournament game that day. Welcome aboard, Barbara.

Peanut Gallery (Bill McCrory)


The residents who testified at the Copper Ridge project hearings Tuesday night and who wrote letters of opposition to the Mayor and City Council deserve the thanks of all Coeur d’Alene residents. We listened to all the testimony presented, and “impressive” doesn’t even come close to describing its quality. Louis Nizer would have been proud of their diligent, methodical preparation of evidence. Their hard efforts produced positive results for the community. Not only were they able to persuade the Council to overrule the Planning Commission’s approval of the project, they also sent a very strong message to developers: Don’t try and slide bad projects supported by slipshod engineering and deceptive promises past the people of Coeur d’Alene.

Bill McCrory
Coeur d’Alene

DFO: I saw part of the hearing on TV. Very impressive. The anti-Copper Ridge folks should write a book on how to deal with this City Council. The biggest thing they had going for them, of course, was that the Hagadone Corp wasn't involved. Congrats to them.

Best of the Northwest (6/17/04)

The Coeur d'Alene Press, owned by Mr. Big of The Coeur d'Alene resort, of course, continued in a front-page story today to lay out the plot, er, plan to makeover venerable McEuen Field. Phil Corless asked about the Great McEuen Field heist, er, master plan yesterday. It's mapped out on Page 3 of the Press. To Hagadone's credit, he isn't cuh-razy about this plan. He'd prefer a botanical garden to accent his resort geraniums. But Coeur d'Alene residents wouldn't put up with an over-the-top move like that. At least, I think they wouldn't. We're not as bold as we were 10 years ago. Too many of our firey oldtimers, like Art Manley and Red Halpern, have died off. Well, at least the ceramic moose are a nice touch. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. Cartoonist David Horsey and freelancer Milt Priggee provide views on stem-cell research and prez Alzheimers disease here and here.

2. Hey, if you've never been to Car d'Lane, you've missed something -- and not just that riot we had a few years ago on Sherman Avenue. It's a swell treat to officially kick off Coeur d'Alene's summer this weekend. And even the weather seems to be cooperating for the big event. Colleague David Buford tells ya all about it here (free sign-in required).

3. It's June, and that means they're tuning up in Weiser, Idaho, for the National Oldtime Fiddlers Contest. You can find an Idaho Statesman preview here.

4. Dubya's in Spokane today looking for cash for U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt's campaign against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. But he also has an eye on the ha-huge Washington population of military veterans (649,000). Only four states have a higher percentage of veterans than Washington. Dubya and Flipflop both want them in his column. Click here.

5. Angry Idaho lawmakers have no one to blame but themselves for that food stamp debacle that could cost the state $1 million in fines. Why? Because reports telling of the pending calamity were available to them several times last year. The Idaho Statesman reports about it here.

6. U-Dub could be looking at ex-Vanderbilt AD Todd Turner as its next athletic director here.

*The Idaho Statesman gives legislators a thumb's up for setting an example for fiscal conservatism by freezing their own paychecks here.

*Columnist Stephen A. Norris of The Daily Evergreen looks back on his life as a WSU Cougar here.

*Columnist Collin Levey of The Seattle Times looks at former veep Al Gore's journey into irrelevancy here.

*Dr. Jerilyn McIntyre, president of Central Washington University, sez the state should have known and reacted to the enrollment freeze that finally hit higher ed in Washington state here.

*Despite his .204 batting average with the New York Mets, John Levesque of the P-I sez, Mike Cameron would look good patrolling Safeco's centerfield here.

Thursday Quick Fix 6 (6/17/04)

Happy Thought for Today: "Children are never too tender to be whipped. Like tough beefsteaks, the more you beat them, the more tender they become" -- Edgar Allan Poe (from "The Portable Curmudgeon"):

1. For your Political 'Toon Fix today, we have Chuck Asay here, Wayne Stayskal here, and Gary Varvel here.

2. As Father's Day approaches and (hint, hint, Honey, something for the garden) you're wondering what to get the big (garden), lovable (garden) lummox, you might enjoy this unlifting look at Dad by Nancy cartoonist Guy Gilchrist here.

3. So, why did The Big He fool around with intern Monica Lewinski? Because he could. That's the bombshell he dropped yesterday. Here's your Slick Willie Fix.

4. Hate to tell ya, friends and neighbors, but you're probably wasting your time paying attention to poll numbers. The 2004 election could boil down to these six states: Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Unless, of course, Dubya or Flipflop grab the Big Mo and blows out the other guy. Here's your '04 Election Reality Check.

5. Yeah, there's evidence of WMDs. Remember all that WMD weaponry that the Good Guys caught the Bad Guys taking to Jordan to do dirty deeds in Amman a month or so ago -- you know, the cash that was studiously ignored by our media? Well, you can find more evidence of Iraq's nasty bombs in our WMD Fix.

6. Newt Gingrich is still staying up late at nights, but he isn't plotting another Republican revolution. Believe it or not, he's a spy novel buff who recently cracked the coveted Amazon Top 500 Reviewer list. He's reviewer No. 488. Here's your Where Are They Now Fix.

7. After a year of shedding American blood in the Middle East, Iraqis aren't impressed. And you know what? I'm getting fed up with these ungrateful curs. They don't have the guts to fight for their own freedom. Mebbe they deserved So-Damn Insane, after all. Or someone like him. The Washington Times provides your Poll Fix.

8. You congress(wo)man may talk tough, but for the third year in a row, not a single U.S. senator or U.S. representative cast votes whose to reduce taxes, cumulatively speaking. Ask Messrs Craig, Crapo, Otter, Simpson and Nethercutt about that next time they're in town. Ms. Murray and Ms. Cantwell, of course, are lost causes. Click here.

*Without Ronald Reagan, sez Jeffrey Bell of The Weekly Standard, there would have been no happy ending here.

*In an editorial, The Washington Times tells it like it is: We are a nation born under God. And shame on the U.S. Supreme Court for not having the guts to affirm that. Click here.

*The Stepford Wives, sez Suzanne Field of the Washington Times, makes war on stay-at-home moms here.

*No one gives Liberals heck like columnist Ann Coulter, and she's at it again with the Lefty attempt to transform Ronald Reagan into a moderate Republican. Click here. And enjoy.


Got this note from Phil Corless just before closing time:

As a relative newcomer to Coeur d'Alene (been here a year), what exactly is the "McEuen Playfield Master Redevelopment Concept"?? Is it a secret? Do I have to join Black Rock to find out? And as to the Moose vandals, they ought to GET what they GAVE.... First we flip them over, then break their ankles, and then start ripping things off their body.


DFO: The McEuen Field ripoff was brought to us a year or so ago by the same folks who fiddled while Duane Hagadone's piece of Sanders Beach was lost: Her Sandiness & Court. I need to look up the vote. But, basically, the council jumped at recommendations by a hand-picked "Committee of Nine" which called for evicting the American Legion Baseball team and the tennis courts from their longtime home. In doing so, the "Committee of 9" and the council ignored a popular plan by a Friends of McEuen Field group that would have added to the rec uses. Not subtracted. The Friends plan had overwhelming public support. But that doesn't mean much if an idea doesn't fit the image that The Powers That Be have (See: Community Center, Downtown Library). The council's plan replaces the hardball diamond with a multiuse open area that, I'm sure, will sprout red geraniums, red maples and copper cupolas someday.

p.s., great suggestion re: the moose vandal punk(s).

A Word from Niece Klaire ...

... re: what it's like to run your first marathon:

Well I did it! The marathon was two days ago in San Diego and I am still alive and in one piece (although there were moments when I thought I might die)! I'm still a little sore and stairs

are a bit of a challenge, but other than that I think I'm in pretty good shape (considering). I still can't believe that it's over, after months of training it is almost surreal to be done. Running this marathon was without a doubt the hardest, most challenging, most rewarding, most emotional thing I have ever done in my life (and that includes getting my college degree).

You will be glad to know that the Sacramento team alone raised over half a million dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Nationwide, Team in Training raised 12.5 million dollars for the cause. Of! the 17,000 plus participants in the Rock n Roll Marathon, 3,500 of them were Team in Training members from around the country.

The amount of support I received during those 26.2 miles from runners, spectators, and team members was absolutely amazing! We ironed our names on our singlets and complete strangers would shout out words of encouragement along the way. This was especially important during miles 18 to 24, my hardest 6 miles of the course. But I believe that one of the most amazing moments happened the night before the race.

We attended a pasta feed that was for team members and their family and friends. A man came up to our table and introduced himself and his wife and then preceded to thank each one of us for saving his life last year. It was at the moment that I truly realized why I was doing this. We have a saying on the team that goes, "You think running a marathon is hard? Try chemotherapy." I could go on and on about all of the amazing things that I experienced, but I really just want to say thank you. So thank you again ! for everything. I hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Klaire Bynum

DFO: The Oliveria Extended Family's first marathon is in the books. Saaalute.

Local Headlines

*Copper Ridge project denied: 'Tis nice to see Her Sandiness & Court unanimously heed 35 neighborhood souls -- only 35! -- in rightfully rejecting a questionable subdivision. So, why did four of six council members refuse to listen to an endless line of speakers and almost 2,000 signatures asking them to stand firm in demanding Sanders Beach access as part of the recent Hagadone Hospitality annexation. Yeah, I know. We live by the golden rule in CdA. He Who Must Be Obeyed -- and has all the gold -- makes all the rules.

*Bush visit has backers dishing out (Ticket sales picking up for Thursday's $1000-a-plate fund-raiser for Nethercutt): Dunno what to wear to meet Dubya in Spokane Thursday? How 'bout a Texas Rangers ball cap to acknowledge his past connection with the American League West club -- and a bathing suit made from $1,000 bills to acknowledge his insatiable desire for more campaign moolah.

*Judge rules batter-coated fries are fresh vegetable: See, I told you, Dear. McFries are good for you. Can't wait for the same judge to give thumb's up to Peanut Butter and Potato Chips, too.

*Artists upset by vandalism (Contributors to CdA moose project consider possible punishments): As far as punishment goes for the creep(s) who is vandalizing Coeur d'Alene's colorul moose, artist Marcia Ryan sez: "I'd start at his kneecaps." Me? I'd make the creep march in the Fourth of July parade and hand parade goers tomatoes and rotten eggs. Any other ideas?

*Fields in their dreams (McEuen concept comes closer to reality): You'd never know by that chipper Coeur d'Alene Press intro that the Downtown Crowd was about to boot kids off McEuen Field. Let 'em eat cake. Right, Sandi?

*Post Falls to seek Ironman reimbursement: Yeah, it may be a Coeur d'Alene event, as Post Falls Police Lt. Greg McLean sez, but Post Falls is being pretty chintzy and shortsighted to think it won't receive at least $10,000 in indirect benefits from the magnificent Ironman event. The City Council should stand in the corner until it wises up.


Best of the Northwest (6/16/04)

Gotta kick outta the Coeur d'Alene Press today. In an iditorial, Brand X ripped us as being the "printed mouthpiece" of the Lands Council for publishing a story Tuesday about possible conflicts of interests involving a National Academy of Sciences committee meeting in Coeur d'Alene Thursday. Unbeknownst to the Brand X idiotorialist, I wrote an edit today, blasting Spokane enviros for erecting strawmen to undercut the panel's work in reviewing EPA Superfund cleanup of mining wastes in the Silver Valley. Some mouthpiece, huh? Here's your roundup:

1. Freelancer Milt Priggee, my old S-R buddy, and Eric Devericks of The Seattle Times provides their talented look at the world today here and here.

2. The state wrongly denied food stamps to more than 13,000 Idahoans who needed them last year, and gave out the wrong amount of food stamp assistance to thousands of others — errors that likely will cost taxpayers $1 million in federal penalties. So sez The Idaho Statesman here.

3. Don't look now, but you're going to pick up most of that bill for Dubya's visit to Spokane Thursday to boost U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt's Senate bid. Old George'll probably make a million bucks off the event. And the public could easily be paying that to bring Dubya to Spokane. Click here.

4. Happy days aren't quite here again today in Washington State re: jobs. But they're getting close. Of the 85,200 jobs the state lost between January 2001 and June 2003, the labor market has regained 53,600. It needs about 31,000 more to get back to pre-recession levels, according to the state Employment Security Department. So sez The Seattle Times here.

5. It's 4 a.m. in Conrad, Mont. (population 2,753), notes The Seattle Times, and your cyberspies are at work protecting this country -- risky work. Click here.

6. Politics, indeed, makes strange bedfellows. The gambling industry's bankrolling Tim Eyman's cuh-razy initiative effort to legalize electronic slot machines in Washington's non-tribal casinos. Big time. About $300,000 worth, to date. The P-I provides the rest of the story here.

7. They're ba-a-a-ck. Mormon crickets, that is. And they're eating everything in sight in Owyhee County, Idaho. Click here.

8. Five years after Oregon passed a law allowing charter schools, the alternative schools roll call has expanded to more than 50 to date. Not all of them are successful. But there seems to be a healthy relationship between school boards and charter schools. Click here.

*The best column in the Coeur d'Alene Press is Ric Clarke's "Whatever Happened to ..." This week, he hunted down former Coeur d'Alene drama queen Darci Wright, who's starring at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse, here.

*Clint Stinnett and Wendy Jacquet, leaders of Idaho's teensy-tiny Demo legislative delegation, rightfully rip their GOP counterparts for trying to undercut the Indian gaming initiative here.

*The Statesman was right on in criticizing that Supreme Court non-ruling Monday re: the words under God in the Pledge of Allegiance here.

*The Idaho Press Club has filed a lawsuit to force Idaho legislators to conduct its business in public, and the Idaho Press Tribune of Nampa sez that's good here.

Hump Day QF6 (6/16/04)

It's another day in the City on the Take ... and I see by the front page of The Coeur d'Alene Press, the snoozepaper owned by the town's Kingfish, that The Powers That Be now are officially after another piece of public land. Brand X published the first of a two-part series on the potential overhaul of McEuen Field, a play area east of The Kingfish's resort that now features softball and baseball playfields. It won't in the future. The American Legion is being enticed away with a so-called "field of dreams" elsewhere. The tennis courts got the boot, too. It won't be long before the City Council, which let Sanders Beach slip through its fingers, hands the keys to McEuen over to downtown jumbos. Such is life here. Now, it's time for your fixes:

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak provides the proper spin on the so-called jobless recovery for today's Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Jay Leno had the best one-liner last night among the late-night crowd: "I was watching one of the news channels last night and some legal expert said he was shocked that the U.S. still has not set a trial date for Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein! We can’t even set a trial date for Robert Blake. When was that ’68? I think it was the first season of "Barretta” when that happened." Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Finally, the gutless congressional Repubs are going to hold the Dims feet to the fire on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The R's plan to force a vote on gay marriage right before the Dimocrat convention this summer -- unless, of course, they don't. Here's your Gay Marriage Fix.

4. The Southern Baptist Convention rejected a resolution today that encouraged members to pull their children from guvmint schools. In part, the measure said: "Government schools are by their own confession humanistic and secular in their instruction, [and] the education offered by the government schools is officially Godless." Here's your Public Ed Wake-up Call Fix.

5. Bill Samson, a senior White House correspondent for the Washington Times, tells why the Lefty Media are always twisting everything Dubya does and sez to fit its liberal view of the world. Shawn Macomber of FrontPageMag reviews Samson's book, Misunderestimated, for our Media Bias Fix.

6. We're losing female soldiers right and left in our war on terror, but you're not hearing about it because the Pentagon ain't talkin'. They're not dropping as a result of injury and death. They're getting pregnant. And I'll say it again -- a woman's place is not on the battlefield. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

*Walter Shapiro of USA Today sez that Lefty Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, is nothing but -- surprise! -- a barrage of cheap shots at Dubya here.

*Samuel P. Huntington of the Wall Street Journal sez atheist troublemaker Michael Newdow is right when he sez atheists are outsiders in America here.

*Michelle Malkin discusses America's insane asylum for terrorists here.

*Juan Williams sez Dubya shouldn't write off the black vote here.


I've contracted blogstipation -- the blogosphere's term for writer's block. Can't think of anything to say. And I have to get home before dinner gets cold. I could tell you about a coupla new sites that now link to No Holds Barred: columnist Michelle Malkin's Web site and The Boar's Head site, which features religious discussion. But I'll save that for another day. I'm still amazed at the blogosphere. It's not as tangible as a black-and-white article in the newspaper. But it offers cheap thrills. In recent weeks, I've received notes from individuals whose work I've blogged: cartoonist Eric Devericks of The Seattle Times, Michelle Malkin, WSU columnist Ben Hawken, etc. What fun! If you want an outlet for your creative juices, bloggin's the way to go. Meanwhile, my stomach just growled, so I'm outtahere -- DFO

Peanut Gallery (Gayle White)

It was bad enough when the Hot Potatoes was dropped from the printed newspaper but is the Huckleberries now being done in? Two Mondays without it makes the week really stink! Sorry, don't have time to read the blogs so please come back to the print.

Gayle White
Post Falls

DFO: Not to worry. I've been on vacation. Huckleberries'll be back in its usual spot next Monday. Thanks for the reminder that people out there enjoy my scribblings.

Peanut Gallery (The Edge)

Welcome back!!! We missed you.

I am fuming mad over the punks who have been trashing the Moose art. I believe public whipping, and tar and feathering should be the punishment once they’re caught. However, I am not hopeful

for this because the Coeur d’Alene cops can’t seem to catch anybody doing anything. Bank robbers have escaped on bikes. The rapist is still at large, and so it goes… It seems as though the police force is waiting for the bad guys to turn themselves in on the tip line. Yes police put themselves in the line of fire every day. Yes they are dedicated. Yes they have to deal with the scum of the earth every day. Yes they care. Yes they catch drunks, speeders, drug users, and violent thugs. But they need to have some measure of success in the high profile cases that people really care about.

The Edge

DFO: Where's the Crime Scene Investigation team when you need it?

Lunch Special (6/15/04)

In case you haven't heard of the latest Planet Hollyweird flap, involving Condi Rice and Hillary, Richard Leiby of the Washington Post's Reliable Source column tells ya all about it. Seems Paramount depicts the two in a commercial for The Stepford Wives in a less than flattering way: Condi, as a bare-torso hottie, and Hillary, as a bosomy housewife with a tray of biscuits. Take it away Richard: "Paramount's commercial very briefly showed the national security adviser and the senator being morphed into Stepford clones: Rice's head appears on a body nude from the waist up, arms covering the chest, while Clinton displays more cleavage than you'll see in her official new portrait." One viewer thought some teen-age boys had gotten ahold of the commercial and played "a really bad joke." But No Holds Barred sees it as Planet Hollyweird's standard operating practice of denigrating everything. You can read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday Best of the Northwest (6/15/04)

The sun's shining in a blue sky with large, fluffly clouds outside my window on Northwest Boulevard. In other words, I'm looking out on a day that attracts folks to Coeur d'Alene -- the type of day that woulda been nice last week when I was on vacation, when the rain, rain wouldn't go away. But am I bitter? Ah, I'll get back to you on that. Meanwhile, here's the Best of the Northwest roundup:

1. I was on vacation June 6 when Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times penned a superb political 'toon commemorating the D-Day invasion. But since this is my blog -- and I can do what I want -- I'm presenting it to you today here.

2. Meanwhile, cartoonist David Horsey at the P-I has a pretty good fix on Enron's lawsuit against utilities in the West here.

3. Don't look now, but another Idaho critter is thisclose to landing a spot on the Endangered Species Act list. The critter? The southern Idaho ground squirrel. The Idaho Statesman looks at the endangered critter here.

4. This edition of No Holds Barred is brought to you by the No. 8,693 -- or the number of signatures needed by Treasure Valley activists to force a vote that could restore a Ten Commandments monument to Julia Davis Park -- unless, of course, the anti-Christian Liberties Union can find another judge to stop them. You can read all-about the latest 10C's battle in Boy-C here.

5. West Nile virus, a potentially deadly infection transmitted largely by mosquitoes, hasn't been found in Washington state since 2002. But that fact hasn't made scientists relax. The Seattle Times brings you up to date on the search for the deadly virus here.

6. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has been ensnared by the recent disclosure that former guv Neil Goldschmidt had sex with a 14-year-old girl while he was mayor of Portland. Kulongoski denies knowing anything about the scandal here.

*The Idaho Statesman shakes its editorial finger at decisions reached at the annual Herd of Elephants convention here.

*The Seattle Times sez that tribes should accept responsibility for the problem gamblers they create through their gaming outlets and provide money for treatment here.

*Melanie McFarland of the P-I looks at the summer TV pile of vile here.

*If you're like me, you don't think about PCanada much. And that isn't altogether wrong. But for those who do think about the Great White North, Joel Connelly of the P-I has something to say about the next national elections up there. So does British Columbia, which for those keeping score at home, is one of the western provinces. Click here.

Tuesday Quick Fix 6 (6/15/04)

As usual, I'm running late because I meet with my padre, Steve Massey, Tuesday mornings. In a former life, Steve was the S-Regional editor who kept me somewhat in line in the Coeur d'Alene office. He was a dandy editor. And he's even a better pastor -- one of the many bright spots in my life and certainly a godsend for Hayden Bible Church. You may know him as the Christian conservative who writes a column for the S-R every other Saturday. I have the privilege of knowing him as friend. But I'm getting maudlin here. And you're in need of your Quick Fix Six to help you make it through the morning:

1. Cartoonist Kevin Tuma and Daryl Cagle's gallery provide a dyne-oh!-mite Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno gets us rolling today with this from last night: "And after another week of violence in Saudi Arabia, the Bush administration has warned the Saudis that they need to do more in the war against terror. Like for example, fight on our side." And here's the rest of your Late Night Fix.

3. Dubya has gays scuh-reaming because he won't pronounce June -- the traditional month for most hetero marriages -- as Gay Pride Month. Too bad. So sad. Here's your Anti-PC Fix.

4. If you didn't already know the types of animals our military is dealing with in the Middle East, read this account by the commander of the terrorist attack that killed 22 in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. It explains why we must win the peace in Iraq and the war on terror overall. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

5. Members of cuh-razy cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi's Army have chosen either victory or death in their quixotic fight against the, ahem, infidels. And U.S. troops are obliging them. The graveyard's getting bigger as the resistance continues to get clobbered. Meanwhile, dangerous al-Qaida operative Abu Musab al Zarqawi allegedly has told Osama has-bin Laden that the infidels are winning in Iraqi. You can find your Iraq Good News War Fix here and here.

6. A World mag article asks: "Are sex-ed 'medical-accuracy' laws about truth-telling—or subverting public-school abstinence efforts? With new research touting the public-health benefits of abstinence ­education, the question is crucial." For the rest of the story, here's your Safe Sex Fix.

*Star Parker of the Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education looks at the Anti-Christian Liberties Union's never-ending war against religion in public life here.

*Dr. Laura Schlessinger sez former First Lady Nancy Reagan has nothing in common with a Stepford Wife here.

*Journalist Robert D. Kaplan joined U.S. Marines as they stormed Fallujah, and returned to share his impressions here.

*Actor Charlton Heston sez that Ronald Reagan was his president before he was ours here.

*Rich Lowry of National Review On Line asks why pro-choicers are so ashamed of their stand on abortion here.


I see the city of Coeur d'Alene is pretty much the way I left it before going on vacation a week ago. Then, I haven't had my ear to the ground. So I don't know what The Powers That Be are scheming to do. They're always up to something. Sometimes, it's good; sometimes not. Guess that's the way it always is in small towns with Big Fish. Which isn't bad ... unless you're downwind.

*Gotta deeper appreciation for Jim Kershner's play reviews after reading his take on Coeur d'Alene Summer Theatre's "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." I saw the Sunday matinee. Kershner nailed it. Very good performance of a play with a goofy premise, with great dance numbers by a "deep bench." Also, strong lead performances by Noel Barbuto and Kelly Kunkel ("Velma" in "Chicago"). Dunno why audiences like this play. But there was nearly a full house for Sunday's matinee. Overwhelmingly grayheads. Watching some oldtimers climb stairs to their seats, I gotta glimpse of what I'll look like in another 15 to 20 years. Not a pretty picture.

*For $1 at a garage sale, I picked up an autographed copy of Sherman Alexis' The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. Great stuff, if you understand Indian culture at all. Pretty good, even if you don't. And, if you like the book, you'll love the movie based on one of Alexis' short stories: Smoke Signals. I found it at Hastings some time back. I'm still laughing.

*On Friday, I checked out a library copy of Ann Coulter's "Treason" -- to help me switch gears from relaxed vacationer to liberal basher. It worked somewhat. But I'm still cruisin' in autoglide. Vacations are great that way. By Thursday, I'll probably be spittin' nails again. But the afterglow is nice while it lasts.

*For those keeping score at home, I bought regular gas for $1.97.9 Saturday afternoon at Kalispell, Mont. Saw it was selling at $2.12.9 when I got back to town. Can anyone explain in little words why a remote place, like Kalispell, can sell gas for 15 cents less?


Bayview Herb Recalls Ronnie ...

I want to talk about a great man. A man named Ronald Reagan.

I first became acquainted with "Ronnie" in 1964. I was a Washington State transplant to California, and following the sun, migrated south. After a few years, I became involved in Republican Politics, through the California Young Republicans.

Early in 1965, around February, I was elected Vice-president of the Santa Ana Young Republicans.

The chief part about being vice-chairman, was that I was in charge of speakers. What a gold mine. I had in the immediate area, Ronald Reagan, then doing "Death Valley Days," and Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry farm, and many others.

I first talked to "Ronnie", nobody ever referred to him more formally, in that February afternoon. I had left a message at the main switchboard of Universal Studios. Two weeks later, he called me at work.

I told him that we needed him at a speaking ingagement in mid-June. He informed me that he hadn't planned that far ahead.

I told him that that is why I called so early. He gave me his unlisted phone number (he and Nancy lived in Pacific Palisades), and invited me to call back in April.

We got together, and put on a great speaking engagement, involving more that 1500 people, and this was prior to his anouncement for Governor of California.

I was friends with his daughter, Maureen, of Jane Wyman, and spoke to her often until her death 3 or 4 years ago.

Ronnie, would talk to you or me the same way he would talk to an important official. He had absolutely no ego...I will always miss him.

Herb Huseland

Jonathan's Monday Musings ...

Welcome back, Dave-O!, and glad you had a nice week off. Kalispell? I believe that sounds like the way you say "good morning" in Greece, which will be the center of the universe later this summer. Don't think (S-R's John) Blanchette's going but I know (P-I's Art) Thiel and (Tacoma News-Tribune's Dave) Boling are. Now, the views:

*Good that you included Thiel on the board. He's truly an Art-ist of sports writing. When I Sound-ed him out a few months ago, he was incredibly impressed that someone BackEast found him. Once,

a couple from Anacortes, WA, actually showed up in my synagogue; they were the bat mitzvah girl's grandparents- who retired there from, strangely enough, Salt Lake. (My Tribe is barely visible there.) Anyway, I talked to them and asked "Seattle Times or P-I?" They said "P-I", and I said "You mean the paper with the smartest sports columnist in America?" They said "Art Thiel! He's the greatest! How do you know him?" There are a lot of things Your Humble Writer knows. The real Thiel was impressed as well. Too bad the Mariners are in the drink for the year, despite the sweep of horrid Montreal.

* I'd like to thank the folks at the Spokesman for their smoother, tweaked Web format. The old one looked like a '50s design- if they had the Web in the '50s, that is. Plus we get to see mugs of all your columnists- Blanchette has a definite witty-professor look, while Doug Clark looks like a Garrison Keillor wannabe. Writes a bit like Keillor, too- and I'm a long-time fan of the mild-mannered Minnesotan. Guess that dry Upper Midwest-style humor extends to the Northwest as well.

* Those loony-left folks at El Globo threw us a bone yesterday with a piece on the "Class Clowns" of Red and Blue-state punditry. On their side, Kansas City's Thomas Frank, author of a biting book called "What's The Matter With Kansas". On our side, David (My Favorite Pundit) Brooks, who needs no further introduction. Somehow, they think Mr. Frank is the Brooks of the left. I haven't read his book yet but I might- call it "know-your-enemy" time or something. But, as you know, D-Brooks rules my world. The difference? Easy. D-Brooks wouldn't hurt a flea. Frank, Franken, and the Frankenstein from Flint are attack dogs. End of story.

* RIP, The Gipper, whom I proudly voted for twice. Ditto Ray Charles, the man who defined soul. Unlike many I know, I never had a bad word to say about Reagan. It's what happened afterwards that made the Beltway so mean. As for The Genius, his version of "America The Beautiful" ought to be declared our second national anthem and played! at gatherings, ballgames and fairs forever.

That's it for this installment. Be here tomorrow for "Tuesday Tip Sheet" or "Mardi Mass." (Can you tell I watched a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" video last night?)

Jonathan Cohen
Brookline, MA

`Rare Moose'

Some few Alces Americana
are yellow like a ripe banana,
or purple hued and draped with chain,
and they all live in Coeur d’Alene.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

An Encouraging Word from Steve ...

You have created in your blog access, an invaluable tool for people in their local communities to express themselves. Events and incidents that could go unnoticed can be brought to light and

examined. Would the public outcry over Sanders Beach been so intense without lots of information gained from the blog? What would have happened to the career of former Governor Neil Goldshmidt of Oregon, if early on in his career, in a blog, it was discovered that he had committed statutory rape of a 14 year old girl? Would the well being of an old sick man suffering from cancer treatments at Kootneai Medical Center been eased if we would have known, in a blog, that he, after these horrible treatments, was dumped off each time from a taxi to a dilapidated mens shelter for other poor old men to care for him?

The challenge is to get the people of our communities to trust the blog, and share their experiences. Of course, there is always a danger in raw information and rumors and whispers. However, given the alternative of filtered and controlled manipulated reporting that can often happen in small town politics, their lives and the lives of their fellow neighbors can be made better with outlets like your blog. Keep it up, Dave.

Steve Badraun
Seaside, N.J.

DFO: Thanks, I needed that.

Flag Day Best of the Northwest

Forgot to wish happy Flag Day birthdays to my sister Eileen in Kalispell and sister-in-law, Laura Gibson in Boise. Eileen's the one headed to southern California to be with her only son, Josh, a language whiz at Vanguard University. After 26 years of cold winters and iffy summers, she finally persuaded her hubby that it was time to return to the sunshine. Price tag on her new home? $650,000, for 3 bedrooms and a study. And that's only one of the reasons that I'm a Coeur d'Alene lifer (God willing). That, and the fact that I live in the best community in the Inland Northwest. Here's your Flag Day roundup:

1. Cartoonists Eric Devericks of the Seattle Times and David Horsey of the P-I provide the region's best political 'toons here and here.

2. Free-lance cartoonist Milt Priggee said goodbye to singer Ray Charles here.

3. At 104, and believed to be the oldest of sweet onions, Walla Walla Sweets are still strutting their stuff down WWay. That Walla Walla Union Bulletin tells ya all about my favorite garden vegie here.

4. Dr. Steve Klein of the Northwest Hospital and Medical Center isn't joking when he sez he doesn't want to treat trial lawyers or their spouses. He's one of the physicians behind a push for a law that would allow doctors to refuse such care in nonemergency situations here.

5. Vanity, thy name is woman: According to The Seattle Times, a new wave of image-conscious brides is turning to personal trainers, cosmetic dentists, the dermatologist's syringe — even the surgeon's knife — to look flawless before they say "I do." Click here.

6. Howie Stalwick, my old S-R buddy, described 20 holes of Inland Northwest golfing hell in the latest issue of The Inlander here.

7. Foes of gay marriage are trolling the churches to collect signatures for an Oregon initiative drive that would ban the practice here.

8. According to the Snohomish County Public Utilities District, Enron gouged Western cuss-tomers to the tune of $1.1 billion here.

*Say It Ain't So, Art: Peerless P-I sports columnist Art Thiel thinks the unthinkable -- that Edgar Martinez is done. Click here.

*What are the odds of matching 6 of 6 numbers and winning the Washington lottery? One in 7 million. The WSU Daily Evergreen using that stat in an edit ripping students for wasting their money on the lottery here.

*The Walla Walla Onion-Bulletin welcomes the contest Demo primary for Washington guv here.

*The Inlander wondered why Ronald Reagan's flag-draped casket was displayed all over the country when the flag-draped coffins of military personnel killed in Middle East fighting aren't. Click here.

Flag Day QF6 (6/14/04)

Just got back from an event-packed week of vacation: watched valedictorian Amy Dearest graduate from Lake City High; entertained med-school son Seth and lovely bride, Stephanie, from Denver; and popped over to Kalispell for a last visit with sister Eileen and her hubby, Rich, before they move to southern California Saturday to be near their son. When Eileen moves, the family's Montana adventure ends. I started the migration 27 years ago when I moved from Stockton, Calif., to Kalispell to become news editor for The Daily Inter Lake. (Yeah, yeah, it's a Hagadone newspaper. The King and I go way back.) My sister moved up a year later. And then a brother, another sister and my mother. Now, two siblings and mom are here with me in Kootenai County. And my wife's mother plans to move up here by the end of summer. Soon, we'll have enough votes to swing an election. But enuf of this reminiscing. Here's your Quick Fix Six.

1. Cartoonist Paul Nowak and Kevin Tuma get us going again with today's Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. Jay Leno had a dandy one-liner to commemorate ex-prez Ronald Reagan's passing: "And we really don’t have leaders who speak as well as Ronald Reagan anymore. He had a simple direct way of telling you something. Like when he just came out and called the Soviet Union 'the evil empire' you know what he meant. Can you imagine Bush trying to do that? You know he’d screw it up, he’d say something like 'we have to defeat the medieval vampire.'" Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Score One for the Good Guys: Investment broker Don Morgan sez the U.S. Supreme Court must have a good sense of humor. On flag day and the 50th anniversary of the decision to insert "under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance, the court ruled that atheist Michael Newdow had no standing to challenge the words, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. The court avoided the larger constitutional issue. But did torpedo another poorly considered decision by the 9th U.S. court of Appeals. Here's your Win One for the Gipper Fix.

4. Here's one you'll want to circulate to your friends. Mike Adams of Townhall.com is sorry about the Abu Ghraib scandal and all. And sez so in a letter addressed to the world's Muslims, who, he notes, have never ap-hollow-gized for September 11. Here's your Reality Check Fix.

5. Remember cartoonist Ted Rall, that Leftist numbskull that denigrated the death of ex-footballer Pat Tillman here? Well, Rall's at it again. And this time his target is the late Ronald Reagan. This numbskull's hatred for these two heroic giants is provided in today's Leftist Media Fix.

6. In case you were wondering what happened to the '60s Flower Children, who, unlike myself, never grew up ... they were all in attendance at the International Day of Emergency Protest in Gomorrah by the Bay recently. Check out the cuh-razy protest signs in today's Lefty Protest Fix.

*Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal describes what she saw at Ronald Reagans' funeral here.

*In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal wonders why the world is shrugging while Iran produces an atomic bomb here.

*Newsweek looks at how Nancy Reagan coped with her husband's Alzheimer's disease here.

*Margaret Thatcher's eulogy at Ronald Reagan's funeral Friday is here.

--30-- (until June 14)

Rough day on the bloggin' front today. First, the computer software switched the jump on a coupla e-letters, from Steve Badraun and The Edge. Then, it shut down for half the day. I wasn't able to provide some of the regular features: Quick Fix Six and Lunch Special. All is well now. But I'm going to pull out of here for a week to enjoy my daughter's graduation and the extended family that's coming in for all over. I'll also take time to consider what I want this blog to become. I've been writing it since February now -- and it has become equal parts national, regional and very local. I appreciate the folks that add to it daily with their e-mails. If you have any ideas about the blog, send them in. I'll probably check it some time this week. Meanwhile, I'll get back to you around 9 a.m. Monday, June 14, with your next Quick Fix Six.

'Downtown in the Summer'

On Sherman life is very sweet:
we eat our lunch out by the street
amid the rap songs cars let loose
and watch the tourists pet the moose.

The Bard of Sherman Avenue

Jake "The Snake" Is One of Us

Denver QB Jake "The Snake" Plummer hails from Boy-C and has a second house up in these parts. As part of its weekly feature on sports figures in all 50 states, Sports Illustrated tapped Jake to tell the nation about Idaho. Here's what he said about Coeur d'Alene: "I wish I could get back to Boise more often -- I usually visit twice a year -- but I also have a house in Coeur d'Alene. It's gorgeous up there, sort of like Lake Tahoe, and it's growing fast. That's one of the things that is tough about the boom in my state: It's getting harder to find privacy." For the rest of the story, click here. And you can find E.M. Swift's SI story about fishing in Idaho here.

A Neo-Con in King Kerry's 'Hood'

I tried an Idaho Spud this week! That's right, the quirky Boise-made candy bar made a rare appearance up here as part of a reading ! by Boston writer Steve Almond (his real name, by

the way). He's got a book out called "Candy Freak", in which he not only obsesses over candy bars but visits factories as well. One of Almond's stops was the Idaho Candy Company in Boise, which makes that odd-looking coconut-marshmallow confection. Only problem is that so many kids showed up at the store, most of the candy was gone by the time I reached the table. Wicked bummah, as we in New England say. But I did get to take a bite of someone else's Spud, which had a distinct maple-mocha flavor. Other hometown bars came from Kansas City, Sioux City, and one which you may remember growing up in Northern California: the taffy-like Annabelle bars from the Bay Area. Almond's from Palo Alto so he grew up on the Big Hunk, Abba-Zaba, and Rocky Road. Annabelle, by the way, was the founder's daughter. If you can swallow (sorry) a bit of loony-left political aside, this book's a real hoot and will make you very hungry. All I know is i! f this guy made a sometimes stone-faced type like me break up laughing six times in 15 minutes, I'm sold. Now to find a whole Idaho Spud -- Jonathan Cohen

DFO: You can't get real Idaho spuds in North Idaho unless you grow them yourselves. All we get up here are Washington potatoes. Or Watatoes. Imagine they taste the same as the big honkers down south, but ...

A Word from an Expatriate ...

I am just mystified about the race track thing. There is simply no major population in North Idaho and Eastern Washington and Western Montana to keep an operation like that going day and and day out. We found that out with the dog track. Even when we had the Canadian dollars rolling into our area, the dog track collapsed. I don't know. Maybe if the Indians get involved, they will figure out how to make a buck. Oh well. It is not my money. Isn't this the same developer, Watson, who started the megamall? All of this shuffling around to try anything to make land pay reminds me of Jonathan Winters in the movie, "The Loved One". He owned a cemetery in California and found the land was valuable. He said "how am I going to get those stiffs off my lawn" He decided to have a celestial burial, bought a rocket, and shot them into outer space -- Steve Badraun

Another Word from The Exile ...

I always appreciate hearing the comments of Dan English. It is healthy to get a great debate going on the issues such as the future of the Coeur d' Alene library. It is perplexing to me that a series of citizens committees would place the future of new modern library on a site that has limited parking, miles away from the general Coeur d' Alene family populations, and completely out of the daily

travels of mothers and fathers who need drive their children to the library. The moon seems closer to them than the proposed library site! The need to visit a library is dramatically changing and the offerings of a library will have to change in this era of Internet resources. At the very minimum, it is vital that the library starts with a convenient, easily accessible location to even survive in the years to come.

As Dan has expressed, I, also, love downtown and I wish all of the commerce of our town residents would take place downtown. However, that is simply not the reality anymore. I suspect no more than one penny of every dollar exchanged each day in Coeur d' Alene occurs downtown. I also believe that the amount of trips by young families to central downtown can be counted on one hand each year. Perhaps for some, there was a hidden hope that the library placement would force more people to visit downtown. Unfortunately, the library competes with all sorts of commerce. Now that the public is being asked to pony up money for the new library now and in the future, it is time to revisit this entire concept. With the present proposed site, I am afraid for most families, "if you build it, they will not come" -- Steve Badraun/Seaside, N.J.

DFO: Anyone for the old Rosauer's building?

A Word from Eagle Eye ...

To: Ace Jones re: rising property assessments,

I don't understand alot of things, I readily admit. But I do know that my house has been reassessed twice and I am paying alot more in property taxes than I was.That is my take on the reassessment -- Eagle Eye.

Best of the Northwest (6/4/04)

Junior & Bride arrived safely from Denver and a 15-hour trip through Billings. Note to anyone driving to Denver from here: the trip thru Wyoming and Montana is quicker than any one that involves Utah. About the same mileage. But Seth sez the freeways and 75 mph limits allow you to make up an hour or two. It's around 1,000 miles, I think. Anyway, graduation day is tomorrow night. And Sis is freakin' a bit about her valedictorian speech. Noting that there's 11 other valedictorians, I gave her only one bit of advice: the shorter, the sweeter. Here's your Northwest roundup.

1. David Horsey of the P-I, Eric Devericks of the Times and freelancer Milt Priggee provide today's Northwestern 'toons here, here and here.

2. In Spokaloo County, Commissioner John Roskelley, who climbed Mount Everest last year with his son, Jess, announced plans to step down when his second full term expires here (free sign-in).

3. Meanwhile, another climber has died on Mount Rainier -- a fire captain and father of four who'd climbed the mountain many times. Click here.

4. Before you renovate your home, you might want to dig in your backyard for possible treasure to pay for it. In an Idaho Statesman story, Fred and Carolyn Fritchman tell of finding 60 turn-of-the-century signs advertising Studebakers, which helped pay for remodeling expenses here.

5. The future of U-of-I athletics could be in the hands of the Western Athletic Conference Board of Directors today here.

6. You can light 'em up again in Pierce County bars, as a trio of judges strikes down a smoking ban here.

7. The football team at WSU isn't the only sports group to finish in the top 10 in the nation. How about those rowers? Click here.

8. The rumors that Edgar Martinez, the Ancient Mariner, is planning to retire are greatly exaggerated, sez Bob Finnigan of the Times here.

*Joel Connelly looks at the possibility that Washington could become the first state to have women filling the posts of U.S. senator and governor here.

*Art Thiel of the P-I gives his views on Qwest buying the naming rights for the new Seattle Seahawk stadium here.

*Brian Barry, a scientist from Bend, Ore., tells Oregonian readers that Dubya's plans to dispose of 30 million curies of nuclear waste at Hanford is nuts here.

*In an editorial for the S-R today, I applauded the city's foresight in locking up 1,000 feet of Spokane River beach for posterity, but reminded Mayor Sandi Bloem of her promise to try to preserve more of Sanders Beach here (free sign-in).


As Ah-nold once said, "I need a vacation." And one's coming soon, beginning Saturday, for a week. It'll be a family affair with my Coeur d'Alene home acting as Ground Zero as my extended family gathers to celebrate Amy Dearest's graduation from Lake City High. Amy's maternal grandmother flew in from Corning, Calif., Monday. Big Brother Seth called at 1 p.m. from Billings to say he's halfway here from Denver with his new bride, Stephanie, whom I haven't seen since their wedding last August. And the others will be dribbling in from all points of the Northwest between now and Saturday afternoon to join in the festivities. Graduations are wonderful things. Family gatherings are wonderful things. And they're more doable for us since my mother and two siblings moved to Kootenai County in recent years. And I don't think that's the end of the Oliveria Extended Family immigration. Now, I know what I missed all those years when Brenda, the kids and I were the only ones up here. I'll tell you more tomorrow about the gathering and all.

Endangered Species

You thought Democrats in Idaho were an endangered species? Try conservatives in today's newsrooms and TV news stations. Only 7 percent of today's journalists claim to be conservatives. And I are one. The Christian Science Monitor tells ya all about it here.

A Word from Ace ...

Reading Eagle Eye's comments and your response I realized how often people misunderstand the effect of value increases. If the increase is from new construction, the taxing entities receive additional revenue. However if the increase is from existing properties appreciating in value they do not. This is due to the 3% cap put in place during Gov. Batt's time. (One of the side effects of Rankin's 1% effort)

The value of the county could double due to market adjustments and not one additional penny would be created for the County government. It would lower the rate. When different properties increase at different percentages, one person will pay more and someone else less, but the government will not gain $$. The schools are a little different, but that is a whole other story.

Ace Jones

A Word from Dan English ...

I just wanted to offer a different perspective on the proposed location of the new library. It has nothing to do with developers, bond issues, land values, etc. As one who was born, raised, and spent the majority of his life in downtown CD'A I am very happy to see some public services coming back to the "inner-city" of Coeur d'Alene. Contrary to popular opinion, not all families and kids choose, or are able to afford, to live out in all the new subdivisions. If you just look at the area south of I-90 you have several elementary attendance zones and one middle school. So again, as an old-time downtowner, I say good for them for keeping the library downtown where it came from and still belongs in my book.

Dan English

A Word from Deanna ...

Just a note re: Storm Water. It took a citizens committee augmented by staff 24 months to come up with a workable storm water utility. A really hard job and I give major Kudos to those hardworking citizens. The Epa is gonna make us pay attention to storm water, especially since we have this wonderful lake we live on and we can't drain it to the lake like we did in the old days. Some folks have to deal with flooding of our old systems onto their property and we have to fix it. A utility is the best way to do it. We all drive on the streets, etc etc. EVERYBODY has to pay including my son's Texaco station. The newer business builds that have stormwater protection on the premises will get a credit of up to 70%, but as usual business will pay more than homeowners.

Deanna Goodlander

DFO: Deanna's responding to a note from The Edge.

Lunch Special (6/3/04)

Today's Lunch Special is ... alphabet soup. David Tidmarsh of South Bend, Ind., got all the letters right in 15 rounds to win the National Spelling Bee today. Here's the words he had to spell: phalanx, kiwi, ombrophilous, succenturiate, foudroyant, balancelle, ecdysis, politeia, serpiginous, sumpsimus, sophrosyne, arete, gaminerie, autochthonous. I wouldn't have survived the opening written round here. Max Keister, a Coeur d'Alene Virtual Academy 12-year-old, survived the written round but was tripped up in the second round by the word, vair (a fur, usually from a gray and white squirrel, used for trimming and lining clothes in the Middle Ages. Betcha knew that, hunh?) You can find David Tidmarsh's bio page here and complete Spelling Bee results here.

A Word from Cis ...

... re: The race track in Post Falls: I don't care one way or the other if they have horse racing, but got to wonder, after the auctioning off of Playfair things, and the dog track in Post Falls, not racing but being used for OTB, why would the powers that be, think one would work now? -- Cis the Retired

DFO: Cis is talking about a mile-long race track, Saratoga West, that's being proposed for Post Falls at a cost of $30 million to $50 million. A fella from Spokane sez there's better than a 50 percent chance it's gonna happen. Ya right.

A Word from Eagle Eye ...

I just got my tax assessments in the mail and the values jumped by 20+%. I would imagine these tax entities are just licking their chops. I sure hope the property tax watch dogs are keeping their eyes open! -- Eagle Eye

DFO: Did you see how the value of your lot, which isn't subject to the 50-50 homeowners exemption, jumped as much as your house value? That's one of the tricks of the public assessment trade. It means more moolah for the taxing entities. No wonder Assessor Mikey McDowell was proposing a tax freeze for long-time home owners. If the current assessment escalation continues, fueled by out-of-staters paying too much for area homes, we'll all head to the courthouse with tar, feathers and rails to run off the oafishals.

A Word from The Edge ...

I noticed the Coeur d’Alene Distress didn’t report that citizens in Coeur d’Alene will now be paying $4 a month for storm water. I wonder what Big D is paying
in fees for the Resort?

The Edge

DFO: Didn't Her Sandiness & Co. waive future storm water fees along with the $150,000 annexation fee when they added The Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course to the city rolls? I wouldn't be surprised if The Queen & Her Court waived property taxes, hookup fees, shoreline ordinances and anything else the HHagaCorp wanted, too. (Note to literalists, I'm being sarcastic here.)

A Word from Steve B ...

What a great addition of public space for the people of Coeur d' Alene! Congratulations are in order for Tim Johnson and Cliff Mort for having the foresight to see the public space potential for the marketing of their properties. This effort by them should provide the encouragement to the Mayor and the City Council to absolutely stand fast for public access to waterfront on all the properties in our city. They now have a great model. Let's see if they will be strong when the Hagadone interests come knocking at their door again when it comes to Hagadone ownership properties along the Spokane River and elsewhere -- Steve Badraun.

DFO: You're kiddin' about Her Sandiness and the City Council holding fast, right?

Steve McCrea Checks In ...

The editorial in the Spokeman about the library contained a startling amount of uninformed commentary. Shouldn't a newspaper, for gosh sakes, do a little investigation and find answers before it posits an opinion questioning the location for the library and the need for a bond? While the story

which preceded the opinion was accurate, it didn't attempt to give the readers any insight into the decision making process which led to the location of the library or the formation of a committee to investigate bonding as a means to build the library. It didn't summarize the work of many people who spent thousands of hours trying to fugure out the best location for a new library.

Maybe after finding out the rationale of the citizens who worked on those committees you would be in a position to criticize their findings. But without publishing that information, your editorial questioning the decisions was shoddy. Such editorials tend to lower the respect for your newspaper and for journalism in general

Steve McCrea
Coeur d'Alene

DFO: Yo, Steve, do you think I fell off a turnip truck yesterday? Do you think I didn't follow the, ahem, great search process that -- knock me over with a feather -- decided that the best location was the one favored by downtown redevelopers? C'mon. That location stuck because it was to be built with PRIVATE money. Joe Sixpack figured you could build it where you wanted ... as long as he didn't foot the bill. Now that the city is considering floating a bond to pay for a grandiose library -- contrary to the promise made not to do so -- the situation has changed. If it gets to a vote, you might want to add a little box on the ballot to ask if a location for a library as far from the geographic center of town as possible is the best one. However, you'll never pass a $7 million bond in the current atmosphere. You can take that to the bank.

Best of the Northwest (6/3/04)

As a Northwesterner and sports fan, I don't like to see the Mariners lose (which has become habitual this year). But if they're going to lose ... I don't mind seeing one of our own beat them. 1B Josh Phelps, who hit that grand slam at Safeco Field last night in Toronto's 5-3 win? He's a Rathdrum boy. (For Jonathan Cohen in Brookline, Mass., and other out-of-state readers, Rathdrum, pop. 4,000(?), is the hub of northwest Kootenai County, sandwiched between Spirit Lake and Hauser.) And I can't help but wish him the best. Here's your Northwest roundup:

1. I was jacked up when I got this e-note today from Seattle Times cartoonist Eric Devericks: "I just wanted to say thanks for linking to my cartoons on your blog. Great stuff, the blog not my cartoons that is." If you want to see how good Eric is, check this political 'toon offering here.

2. The Idaho Statesman supports adding U-of-I to the Western Athletic Conference with Boy-C. Quote: "Broncos and Vandals go together like football and tailgating." I agree. Enuf of the Sun Belt already. It's time for the big leagues. Click here.

3. I huffed and I puffed but I couldn't get the Coeur d'Alene City Council to force Mr. Big to guarantee perpetual public access to his portion of Sanders Beach. However, I'm not quite as ticked at Her Sandiness & her craven Gang of 4 for caving in now ... after news about 1,000 feet of beach opening up for public use on the Spokane River here (need to sign in).

4. "A federal jury yesterday said Boeing did not discriminate against Asian-American and other minority employees in pay or job promotions," reports Shirleen Holt of The Seattle Times here.

5. The Idaho Statesman reports: "Conservationists aren't the only ones fighting the Bush administration over protections for wild lands. A group of mostly small-business owners is joining the debate as the Department of Agriculture considers loosening the rules for some states." Click here.

6. If you know who Rachel Love-Fraser is, you know that she's a duckling that's been turned into a "Swan" in that latest reality show. And you probably want to read The Seattle Times story about her transformation here.

7. U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., underwent a heart procedure to correct an abnormal rhythm, according to the Missoulian here.

8. It wasn't quite "The Day After" stuff that frightens Gang Green to death, but that meteor that appeared in the skies of western Washington caught people's attention nonetheless here.

*My publisher said I sounded a bit shrill in my editorial today re: the punk(s) who seriously damaged to of our Moose on the Loose displays. Give me a scalpel and a few minutes alone in a jail cell with this creep, and I'll show everyone what shrill really is. Check out my scribblings here. (Need to sign in)

*Pete Zimowsky, outdoor writer extraordinaire of The Idaho Statesman, sez you should consider yourself lucky if you see a wolf while backpacking in the Northwest. But there are also a few cautions you should use to avoid being attacked by a wolf. Click here.

*Doug Clark, the best man at my wedding 29 years ago (besides me, of course) as of June 21, is one of the Northwest's best secrets. He's won national awards for his column writing. And you can find his latest effort here (need to sign in).

*Yo, fellow Mariner fan, sports columnist Larry Stone of the Times sez the M's might not get much in a trade for staff ace Freddy Garcia here.

Thursday QF6 (6/3/04)

How viewtiful is it today ... in one of the most viewtiful cities in the country? With the sun shining overhead and the lake gleaming just beyond the trees at City Park, it's so viewtiful that a tourist might be tempted to buy the first lot in the first gated community he or she sees. And some do. And that's why we're growing so fast. I remember what S-R columnist Doug Clark told me 27 years ago in Manteca, Calif.: "If you ever get a chance to live in either Kalispell, Mont., or Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, jump at it. They're beautiful places." I've lived in both -- thanks to Doug. And I'm still living in the best of the two. But enuf of my remembrances, here's your Quick Fix 6:

1. Cartoonists Paul Nowak and Wayne Stayskal provide a twofer Thursday and your daily Political 'Toon Fix here and here.

2. The networks are running re-runs of Leno, Letterman, Conan, et al. So, I'll put your Late Night Fix on hold until they provide fresh stuff. Meanwhile, CIA Director George Tenet turned in his resignation today. Here's a Top of the News Fix.

3. And speaking of stale material, J. Flipflop Kerry will give a major address on how he'll remake the military. And he's getting all his ideas from former generals loyal to Slick Willie. Remember Mogadishu? That, and Kerry's mimicking Dubya re: his approach to fighting a war on terror. (Meanwhile, he's also being threatened with a lawsuit for using the images of former Vietnam War swift-boat captains here.) Here's your Flipflop Fix.

4. Don't look now, but old Green Ralph Nader is struggling to get his name on state ballots for the aught-4 prez election. As of now, he's a grand total of zero ballots. Mebbe the Dems don't have to worry after all. Here's your Nattering Nabob Nader Fix.

5. Steve Badraun, my ol' buddy in New Jersey, sez he wants good news from Iraq? How about OK news? Which is better than the usual bad news we've been getting from over there. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani (say that fast three time) has given tacit approval to the new government here. Chip Beck, a retired Navy commander, is leading a resurgence for Boy Scouts in Iraq here. And here's the rest of your Iraq War Fix.

*Patrick Bishop of the London Daily Telegraph insists the Saudis have been good friends to the U.S. of A. here.

*Steven Zeitchik of Publishers Weekly discusses the life and death of that great biographer William Manchester here.

*Author Paul Johnson sez the liberation of Europe provides lessons for today's war leaders here.

*Columnist Suzanne Fields discusses the irony of having twin granddaughters born in Berlin the day before Dubya dedicated the WWII memorial in D.C. here.


As I mentioned earlier, I'm checking out early today ... to gather with the Editorial Board for our annual retreat at Becky Nappi's home in north Spokane. Great company of friends. Great chat. And a great view from Becky's living room windows. At times like these, I'm reminded that I have one of the best jobs in Idaho. By my calculation, fewer than 10 people throughout the Gem State make their living full-time giving their communities a piece of their mind. I often joke that I began preparing for my life as a editorialist/columnist by scraping cow manure from my Uncle Manuel Aguiar's corrals as a kid on Saturdays. Forty years later, I'm still shoveling, ahem, fertilizer for a living. The difference? I don't get my hands dirty now. Be good out there. And we'll blog together again tomorrow morning.

Lunch Special (6/2/04)

Dubya is derided as a man of faith by The Left. And praised as a man of faith by the religious right. Recently, he met with 8 Christian journalists, including my fave, Marvin Olasky of World mag, who interviewed him on a range of issues, from Iraq to abortion. On his Christian witness, he said: "I have a fantastic opportunity to let the light shine." He immediately followed that with a caveat: "I will do so, however, as a secular politician.... My job is not to promote a religion but to promote the ability of people to worship as they see fit." The Lunch Special? Dubya & the Cross here.

Best of the Northwest (6/2/04)

Gotta short day of bloggin' today because I'm headed into Spokaloo for the afternoon. But there's plenty of time for a Northwest roundup, of course:

1. Cartoonist David Horsey of the P-I and free-lancer Milt Priggee begin the roundup with great 'toons here and here.

2. OK, it's not exactly the Northwest (although it did appear in the P-I), but what other blog of this sort provides photos of the winner of the Miss Universe contest here as well as the also-rans here? Hey, I needed to do something to spice up the daily bloggin'.

3. Idaho state GOPoohbah John Sandy is stepping down under pressure, and superb Statesman columnist Dan Popkey tells you why here.

4. McCall Aviation will inaugarate its 4-times-a-week service between Boise and Sandpoint on Monday, with a connecting flight to Seattle, too. Guess that officially makes Sandpoint the regional center of North Idaho. Or mebbe not. But you can read all about in the Statesman report here.

5. A couple from Stanwood, Wash., sez it's easier to mourn the death of a second son within 9 months because "he had paid the price for what he believed in." Cody S. Calavan, 19, died in hostile fighting in Iraq -- 9 months after his 15-year-old brother, Joey, was killed by an apparently negligent driver. The Seattle Times provides the full story here.

6. "Inspired by his daughter, who developed diabetes at age 6, U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt made diabetes research a top legislative priority and a personal quest," sez the Seattle Times here.

7. "Kurtis Monschke went hunting for someone to kill in March 2003, aiming to rise through the ranks of a white-supremacist movement by beating to death a homeless man, a jury found yesterday," sez the P-I. And now this symbol of Aryan manhood will spend the rest of his life in prison. Good riddance. Click here.

8. In northwest Montana, they have a saying: "Please pray for me, I drive Highway 93." If it wasn't for a passing hero, all the prayer in the world wouldn't have saved Joshua Dempsey, 23, of Ronan, from dying in a burning car after he crashed off the dangerous highway. The Missoulian provides the remarkable story of his rescue here.

*Art Thiel, the P-I's superb sports columnist, explains why righty Gil Meche's days in the majors are numbered following yet another uninspired effort last night. Click here.

*In an editorial, The Seattle Times sez (correctly): "The Senate should slap down a sneaky ploy by a South Carolina senator that would give the Department of Energy the right to single-handedly change the rules about how it handles highly radioactive waste." Click here.

*Columnist Joel Connelly of the P-I contends that Dubya's negative ads pose a great peril for J. Flipflop Kerry here.

*Robert Jamieson Jr. of the P-I explains why Seattle's taxi drivers resent the city's 80-cents-per-ride gasoline surcharge here.

Hump Day QF6 (6/2/04)

The sun is shining overhead. And my Amy Dearest is taking the last high school test for the rest of her life ... a calculus test. Her brother talked her into taking one last semester of calculus, even though she doesn't need it for her intended college major, stating that she'd thank him later. She hasn't. She can't stand the class. And she has let her adoring parents know it every day of the whole semester. But she's pulling down an A. And she probably has grown as a person by persisting. Mebbe she'll thank her brother someday, after all. Who knows? I do know it's time for your Quick Fix Six:

1. Cartoonist Chuck Asay and Paul Nowak doodle our Political 'Toon Fixes here and here.

2. All the Late Night Crowd was re-running last night, so I tried to find the most recent quip for your fix, and, of course, it comes from Leno, the leader of the pack: "As I’m sure you know, last night on American Idol, Fantasia Barrino beat out Diana Degarmo. American Idol – sounds more like The Sopranos, doesn’t it? Here's your Late Night Fix.

3. Fifty-six percent of Americans say their lives have improved over the last 5 years and 68 percent expect their lives to improve over the next 5 years. Despite the war on terror, the country is optimistic, which is good news for Dubya & Co. Here's your Poll Fix.

4. Sixty years ago Sunday, brave troops scrambled ashore and took the beaches of Normandy, a bold move that spelled the beginning of the end of German Fascism in Europe. Now, the same precision is being used to choreograph V-Day memorial ceremonies amid security concerns. Here's your Memorial Day Plus Two Fix.

5. Alexandra Polier, the former intern who was accused of having an affair with J. Flipflop Kerry earlier this winter, tells her side to the story. Here's your Rest of the Story Fix.

6. For those of you who want to know what it all means, No Holds Barred presents the following Opinion Fixes: Wes Pruden (The Greatest Generation), Joel Mowbray (Ahmed Chalabi smear), Mark Steyn (liberal Air America) and Tony Blankley (Bush wings it and does well).


Public vandalism ticks me off. Nothing is more senseless. I mean ... what does a punk(s?) think he's doing when he destroys fixtures in a public bathroom, for example? All he's doing is making matters rough for someone who wants to use the facilities later. So, you can imagine how ticked I am about the vandalism to EXCEL's "No Moose Left Behind" project. This afternoon, I checked out the damaged moose in front of Marc Wallace's law office a few blocks away. It was laying on its side, with police tape blocking off the scene. It was a beautiful piece of work by artist Stephen Strickland. I'm glad EXCEL is offering a $5,000 reward to catch the bum(s) who vandalized "Matilda" and the other fiberglass moose on Northwest Boulevard. If I were king of the universe, we'd put whoever was responsible for this personal attack on the community in stocks at City Park and let children pelt him with eggs. Those were the good ol' days.

A Word from Steve ...

Good commentary in the Review about the choices we must make for the Coeur d' Alene public library. There are powerful forces that will not listen to any reasoning about the location and purpose of the library. They will have it downtown and they will have it big no matter what the cost. It has always been extremely foolish and shortsighted to place the library at the most further point from the young families of our city. Too bad for the long term success of the library. Too bad for the young children who cannot visit it often. The community can change it anytime. The residents can simply turn down the funding, demand a re-examination of the entire library plans and then welcome back another vote for public money. Sadly however, slowing down the train just to think about it for a time will be nearly impossible. There is a large bushel basket of egos with this one -- Steve Badraun

DFO: Why do I get the feeling that The Powers That Be are trying to pull another fast one? (Read: McEuen Field final design that ignored the People's Choice design by architect Monty Miller.)

Former Womb Mates

Brook and Brynn Bemis of Lake City High weren't the only twins on the Boise Capitals 18 and under team that participated in the recent State Cup soccer tournament at Boise. The Idaho Statesman chatted up both sets here.

A Word from Gus Johnson ...

I had a few calls on one of your recent bloggers ( is that 1 g or 2 ), so let's get on with the corrections. First, Mr. Henderson won his seat against Mr. Eberle, not Hilde Kellogg. Second, Frank Henderson is not and would not be a 'place holder' for anyone. He won the primary because he wanted to serve the voters of District 5. Frank and I have never discussed anything about this and will not in the future. Don't take my word, ask Frank, he will tell you the same. Third, I will be running for a third term as commissioner, and am looking forward to it. Forth, in the future I would like to serve in the legislature, when my time comes. Fifth, as far as my 'stock' in the River City goes, I will leave that up to the stock holders, they haven't let me down yet. Lastly, the only thing I agree with the blogger is that I also hope Frank serves many many years in Boise. P.S. Dave - you are always welcome on election night join the Post falls Mafia at Templins.

Gus Johnson

DFO: The trouble with blogs -- especially when you're in a hurry to get out of the office to hear your kid sing at the Lake City High spring jazzfest -- is that you write and edit them without additional proofreaders. And there are more mistakes. Hence, I failed to catch the faulty info about Frank holding onto Hilde's seat (rather than Eberle's) for Gus, a bit of Election Night rumor from a Post Falls insider that Gus adamantly denies above. And the beauty of blogs? You can correct the misinfo with few clicks of the keys. The Friday item should have read like the second item here.

World champ coming to CdA

You think the Coeur d'Alene Ironman hasn't gotten big in only one year? Think again. Lori Bowden of Victoria, B.C., two-time winner of the world Ironman competition, has signed up to participate in this months event. Inside Triathlon tells you all about it here.

Lunch Special 6/1/04

We turn to Arabia for our Lunch Special today: sheik-a-bob. You got it. Iraq has a new prez, Sheik Ghazi al-Yawar. At a press conference today, Dubya remained determined to turn total control of the country over to SG-al-Y and his government June 30. You can read about the sheik and the complete text to Dubya's comments here and here.

Best of the Northwest 6/1/04

Chalk up the traditional baccalaureate ceremonies as a casualty of the Memorial Day weekend ... or of student/admin. apathy. My wife and I attended baccalaureate services at Lake City High with my daughter, Amy, and mebbe 50 others. We enjoyed singing the songs and prayer, led by senior Joel Sandford. But couldn't help wondering why only a dozen or so students and their families believed the semi-worship service was important as they conclude their high school careers. At Coeur d'Alene High, schools super Harry Amend said, there were only 2 cars in the lot at the assigned time for baccalaureate, a half hour earlier. What a shame. Rather than dwell on a great tradition going bye-bye, how about your Best of the Northwest roundup?

1. David Horsey and Eric Devericks launch our short week with their delightful views on life here and here.

2. My Monday Huckleberries began with David Bond, Igor and a sidetrip to Russia here. But the edit I wrote for Sunday was purely local, raising questions about the need for a mammoth new library, next to City Hall, as far from the center of Coeur d'Alene as possible here.

3. Have you ever had bed-and-breakfast in a dog? Or, for that matter, been to Cottonwood? Woodcarver Dennis Sullivan and wife, Frances Conklin, have opened a bed-in-breakfast, alongside U.S. Highway 95, in a building that looks like a 30-foot-tall beagle here.

4. You think you're good at Scrabble? Try taking on the scrabble whizzes who gathered for the annual regional tournament of the Seattle Scrabble Club here.

5. Two faces burned, two lives changed After being badly burned, two young men face a different world -- filled with surgeries, questions about identity, strangers who stare. One man begins his journey, another nears its end. The P-I presents a dramatic special report about the battle two men face after suffering horrifying burns here.

6. The Mariners haven't been doing very well this year, but there's hope down on the farm. You can find a complete farm roundup, complete with how the prospects are doing, here and here.

*S-R columnist Doug Clark, cheek firmly tongued, dissects the 16 minutes that former mayor John Powers son spent in jail on a burglary charge here.

*In an editorial, The Idaho Statesman slaps U.S. Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo for opting to side with a South Carolina colleague rather than their own governor on the ticklish issue of nuclear waste cleanup here.

*Joel Connelly of the P-I looks at the rituals of summer that are just around the corner here.

*Anne Paulk tells Oregonian readers that religious conservatives don't have a corner on the market when it comes to traditional values here.

*Montana Regents are exploring ways that the university system could become a better catalyst for the Big Sky State's prosperity here.

'An Old Soldier Died Today'

A bumpersnicker making the rounds goes something like this: "If you can read this, thank a teacher; if you can read this in English, thank a veteran." We take Memorial Day for granted sometimes, spending our three-day weekends camping or enjoying backyard barbecues. But I wonder where we'd be if it weren't for the courage of the Greatest Generation, fighting back from Pearl Harbor to preserve the world from tyranny? In 1985, A. Lawrence Vaincourt penned an immortal tribute to my parents' generation, titled "An Old Soldier Died Today." Milt Nelson of Rathdrum sent it along for your enjoyment here.

Tuesday QF6 (6/1/04)

As expected, after a dreary and overcast Memorial Day weekend, the sun is high in the sky today, mocking us worker bees. Oh well, the garden is finally in. So the sun can do its stuff on my tomato, cucumber and squash plantlings. Meanwhile, I have to cram 5 days into 4. So, we'd better get your Quick Six Fix out of the way:

1. Cartoonist Kevin Tuma launches our post-Memorial Day week by making light of the new disaster film in today's Political 'Toon Fix.

2. Since all the Late Night fixin's are dated to last week, I thought I'd give you a chuckle by visiting Daniel Kurtzman's political humor sight and checking out So-Damn Insane's complete makeover. Here's your Queer Eye Fix.

3. If you're a conservative, you should enjoy the 2004 prez elections because Dubya plans to focus his campaign on ideology. Me, conservative; him, liberal. And he won't be overlooking that National Journal magazine article that rated J. Flipflop Kerry as the nation's most liberal U.S. senator. Here's your Campaign '04 Fix.

4. Speaking of Flipflop, NewsMax reports that the Flopping One flipped off a veteran at the Vietnam War Memorial over the weekend. Seems Flop flipped off when ex-Green Beret Ted Sampley, who served two complete tours of duty in Vietnam, said he didn't belong at the memorial. Here's your Flipflop Fix.

5. None other than Linda "When Will I Be Loved" Ronstadt sez the music industry is so obsessed with sex that she wouldn't be able to make it in today's scene. Here's your Former Stone Poneys Fix (and I didn't misspell Poneys).

6. The national media are always painting the situation in Iraq at its worst, seizing fighting by radicals like al-Sadr and the Abu Ghraib scandal to prove their point that our invasion was a great snafu. But many stories are ignored. In Najaf, for example, popular sentiment is tilting toward the Americans despite two months of brutal fighting here. Meanwhile, in infamous Fallujah, locals are tired of the out-of-control foreign Muslims who cause so much distruction. You can get the rest of your Iraqi Reality Check Fix here and here.

--John Leo is shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- that the media have grown more liberal in the last nine years here.

--According to L. Gordon Crovitz, everyone now agrees that it was right to attack Iraq pre-emptively here.

--Jim Geraghty sez veterans are the new soccer moms here.

--Robert Novak sez our troops in Afghanistan feel forgotten and abandoned here.

About DFO
My Mentor
Quick Fix Six
Best of the Northwest