Thursday, September 28, 2006


I wrote this yesterday, and posted it, but google apparently lost it. Essentially, what I had to say is that Waterford Park homes is in the deep doo-doo again. It seems that they bought a float home to remodel for an office, having given up their previous space to condos that don't have occupancy permits.

Well, it turns out that they don't have one for the float office either. Something about commercial use permit for a float home in a residential setting. As a result, no sewer hook-up is available to them. The employees are having to walk up and out of the marina to use the public toilets at the Boileaus Condos.

It has been pointed out to me that occupying a building without plumbing is illegal, yet there they are.

One employee that I talked to yesterday, said that all of the hourly employees were laid off, including him. When I asked him why, he replied,"The County shut us down."

I'm not quite sure what that means, other than the previous info that we have had, but it sounds like Waterford Park Homes, LLC and the local projects are starting to crumble a little. Could it be that the bankers are getting nervous too?

Breaking all the rules is bad, even when you have friends at court. Breaking them when you have made enemies of practically everyone, can be a disaster. Shape up or ship out, guy...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fish & Game Biology

A recent article printed in the Coeur d'Alene Press, Idaho fish and game expounded on the fight to save the Lake Pend Oreille fishery. Aside from the we will never stop fighting and don't give up this ship rhetoric, the finger of guilt must point toward Fish & Game, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Kokanee survival is the key issue here, but first we have to visit the food chain.

Algae is the basic food, eaten by phytoplankton, which is eaten by Kokanee which is then eaten by all the rest of the fish. Several issues affect the survival of the Kokanee, among them, the accursed Mackinaw, or Lake Trout.

The most damaging of the cases of this fishery demise, however, is not the predators. It's the management by the aforementioned agencies. For the first two or three years, phytoplankton is the source of food for these vanishing fish. Every fall, the Corps of Engineers flush the majority of algae and phytoplankton down the Pend Oreille River, as they rush to lower the lake level before the Kokanee spawn.

That sounds pretty good, if it weren't for the fact that to save the spawn, they are flushing the food source through rapid draw down. Picture your bathtub. Pull the plug. The swirling water will take anything light that will float down the drain. So it does on our lake.

Another factor, and possibly the more important of the two, is the 1968 introduction of Mysic Shrimp by Idaho Fish and Game. In an apparent attempt to provide more food, they failed to realize that shrimp avoid light, and only feed close to the surface during the hours of darkness, sinking to several hundred feet down during daylight, the periods that the fish are feeding, thence the twain don't meet.

The latest, and most ridiculous plan is to hold off on the draw down until after the Mackinaw spawn, hoping that they will spawn in shallow water, then drying the spawn with the draw down. Immediately following that, the lake will be flushed at an even faster rate, so that low pool will be reached in time for the Kokanee spawn.

It doesn't help to spawn more Kokanee, if there isn't any food for their survival. Will they never learn? Or is it all about Bonneville Power, and the water needed downstream, and politics as usual.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Greed Has Many Forms

Controversy flared yesterday, when the Idaho State Supreme Court rendered a decision regarding the high water mark on Lake Coeur d'Alene.

For those of you that are from out of the area, or unfamiliar with the issue, lakeshore residents along an area called Sanders Beach, have had trespass problems for years, as a street separates their houses from the strip of beach in front which they own.

For many years, the property owners have had problems with trash, loud parties and such in front of their homes, and in clear violation of property rights.

Because some prior owners, certainly not all, allowed public access, suggests that they were guests. Some have taken that as a public right to free access.

My position here, is that if the public good needs to be served by owning this beach, the public, through either City or County auspices, must purchase it, by either voluntary sale, or condemnation. The public must never be allowed to take property without compensation.

Recently, a local judge ruled that the high water mark denoting public/private ownership boundaries, was 2130 feet. This is two feet above the Summer high water level, excepting floods and such. The historical high water mark was several feet lower, prior to the building of a dam, which raised the level to it's current 2128.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-0 to overturn the local judge, and established 2128 as the true high water mark. It is sad, because some disagree with their ruling, they have cast aspersions as to the intelligence, or integrity of these justices. A unanimous decision suggests that the decision was based on good law, not emotion.

It would behoove those in opposition to look inside themselves, and ask if it isn't emotional attachment, rather than legal right that has formed their positions.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Fiver

I recently posted an(I thought)innocuous comment on Huckleberries, a Spokesman-Review on-line blog. It was about an actual experience I had, on a night off at the "Wheel."

I had an occasion to sashay into the Men's room, (Beer had been flowing) when I happened to look down. Behold! I was peeing on a genuine five dollar bill. I stopped and thought. Then, gingerly, and by the tips of my thumb and finger, extracted said bill from it's nest.

I quickly walked it across to the sink, where it underwent a vigorous scrubbing. I then pressed it between two paper towels, and returned to my table. After great thought, and recognizing that I was going to owe my waitress a tip, I generously donated said fiver to the cause. (Later, I told her of the source) She laughed and accepted it.

Unbeknownst to me, and after an abbreviated remark to this effect on a comment segment of "Huckleberries", a feature of the Spokesman-Review, it hit the funnybone of the blogmeister of the S/R, Dave Oliveira. He posted it on the S/R blog. Then again, and then to add to the indignity, printed it the the paper.

I hadn't time to finish the paper this morning, so I didn't catch the print part. I went to the Post office for my mail. One friend was in there laughing about it when the postmaster ran out to tell me she would never eat my potato salad again.

Well, ma'am, unless another fiver shows up in my lifetime, I have great doubts that your health is in jeopardy...

Monday, September 18, 2006

Blogfest IV

I can't think of anything to say that hasn't already been said by Mari & Stebbijo, except to ditto the great time part.

I haven't been heard from for a few days, due to another communications blackout. I'm half-installed for Adelphia broadband, and my phone line went dead again. I personally think it's the Navy Base and of course, the black helicopters at work.

But I digress. We had a rather small but lively blogfest, with surprise guests, Spencer, and the newlyweds, Sam Taylor & bride.

Sue Turner showed up and was a delight. She ended up in a spirited but civil discourse on growth with Spencer, which is kind of like trying to train the fox, as he is entering the hen-house. Spencer being a developer, and Sue appearing to be no-growth. I politely struck up a conversation with another at that point.

We missed all of the folks that sent regrets. We would rather have had them with us, than regret missing it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Meetings & Stuff

Busy day for me today. I ventured into the big city. Coeur d'Alene. Got a haircut, caught the hearing at the Courthouse between plaintiff C.A.R.E., which is a large citizen's group in and around Bayview, vs: defendants, Idaho Fish & Game.

The issue was a summary judgment barring development of the WW11 rifle training range into a world class range, where hundreds of sportsmen attend competitions, and the addition of a skeet/trap shooting range, all on property deeded to the state for the purpose of wildlife enhancement. It failed.

The true issue seems to be who runs out of funds first, the State, or the volunteers from Bayview...Duh!

After picking up Chinese over on 4th St, I met with our group of bloggers at the Kootenai County Courthouse, where we held a "Meeting in a Box. Dan English provided the meeting room. I'm convinced that he attended just to make sure we returned the pens in the kit.

I got to meet two other guys that are very interesting, and well informed. Thom George, and Mike Kennedy. Bill & Lisa McCrory also attended. Onward to Athol, where I croaked out two or three tunes at a Karaoke session, thence home.

These days off are going to kill me yet. Don't forget the Blogfest this Saturday, at 2:00 PM at the Captain;s Wheel in Bayview. Some new and interesting folks plan to be there. You plan on it too.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Making Waves

I met two wonderful Ladies this afternoon. They had just met, after 61 years of separation. You see, not all of the sailors at Farragut Naval Traning Base were Guys.

Phoebe DeGree of Bend Oregon, and Donna Lee of Portland, Oregon came to their first, and probably last reunion of Naval Personnel that trained here during the forties.

It turns out that they were bunkmates during 1944-45. Both were clerical Waves, serving the permanent party, or as they were known, "Ship's Company".

Donna had the upper bunk, Phoebe the lower. Fast friends for the last two years of the war, they separated to go their various ways. Phoebe married a sailor from the base. Both widowed now, they were charming company for an hour or so before it was time for them to leave. You see, they were both going out dancing at the Athol American Legion Post.

Oh, if I could only keep up with the likes of them.

Friday, September 08, 2006


This weekend marks the 20th reunion of the WWII Navy Veterans that cycled through Farragut Naval Station, during the war. The Greatest Generation, and I have no problem in using that name, is aging and has announced that this is it, the last reunion.

Sixty three years ago, a huge effort was put forth to establish a Naval Basic Training Facility. The base was built, literally, from the materials onsite. Trees were cut down, milled onsite, then the green lumber was used to construct the entire installation, except the brig.

Today, the brig, built with concrete blocks, is the only building that was saved. According to the several vets that I interviewed, none of them were residents of the brig.

The organizers of the annual trek back to where they suffered the indignities of the Drill Instructors, have grown old, and tired, and unless younger Navy Vets come forth this will be the last one.

This week-end, we are enjoying the last great visit. Our lunch crowd at the Wheel was so great that I was asked to give up part of my day off tomorrow to help with the crowd. I am honored to help, and we here at the Captain's Wheel are honored by the visit of these, our heroes of another era.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Blogfest IV

Blogfest IV is on. We will meet in a social setting at the Captain's Wheel Restaurant in Bayview, Idaho, Saturday, September 16 at 2:00 PM.

All bloggers and blurkers are invited. It probably goes without saying, but for the few, only friendly non-combative folks are invited. Leave the on-line hassles at home, and you are welcome. We would like to see some of our friends from Spokaloo Falls show up, too.

This blogfest is not to be confused with the "Meeting in a box" gathering that some of us are putting together for Wednesday, September 13 at 6:00 PM. That group is for Kootenai County residents only, but is going to be mostly bloggers and blurkers. This meeting will be at the Kootenai County Administration Building on the floor adjacent to the Drivers Licence office. We have been specifically invited, as the planning people think we have something special to contibute.

I would appreciate an RSVP on both gatherings.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Planning & Zoning

For those that I haven't had the pleasure of meeting yet, I was recently asked by the Kootenai County Planning Dept. to conduct a "Meeting in a Box." This essentially, is a small group, 10-20 people in a forum, from which opinions about future growth will be discussed.

This is especially noteworthy, since I don't think I've ever heard of Government doing this before. That tends to make Kootenai County the for-front of citizen participation. My specialty, it turns out, is to gather up those ornrey Bloggers, corral them in one room, and ask them to put up or shut up...

I have accepted this challenge, and I hope that you do too. All Kootenai County, Idaho Bloggers, Blurkers, and ner' do well's are invite to this citizen input group. Who knows, a County official may show up to show you that they care...

This meeting will be held in the Kootenai County Administration Building. Lower level parking adjacent to the drivers licence office, and humorously, next to Planning and Zoning. Straight down the hall to the end, in meeting room A-1.

The date, September 13, Wednesday, 6:00 PM. Several very interesting people have committed to attend. If you want to get up off your dead *** and be counted, this is your chance.

The meeting room was graciously offered by County Clerk Dan English, who will be our host.

I ran into County Commisioner, Rick Currie and his lovely wife at the Captain's Wheel in Bayview the other night. I remarked that we would be holding this meeting, and when...

When he was about to leave, I suddenly had a thought. I walked up to him and exclaimed, wait a minute...If we do this, how can we complain about everything you do, if we become part of the process...He grinned, and said, now you are catching on.

A big cheer for the only incombent Commissioner, and a pretty nice Guy.

In an era that has spawned many politicians, with varied agendas, it is very refreshing to meet a guy who just wants to "Git er done".