Saturday, December 29, 2007
According to a news release by the Sheriff's Department, they found over 40 items purchased at Fred Meyer by the use of the stolen gift cards. In addition to the burglary loot, they got a bonus in finding a large amount of Methamphetamine.
Police are looking further, not having recovered or accounted for many of the missing items, leading us to believe there were others involved.
During the last few days, the account of a scandal at the Idaho Police Academy, has dominated the news.The conversation on the Internet and National Television, has brought up the subject of misuse of police powers. Today, we celebrate the majority, the other kind of officers that are totally dedicated to protecting the public. If one could applaud over the Internet, I would at this time, do so.
Friday, December 28, 2007
"Don't Suffer from PTSD, Go Out and Cause it."
One such discussion had totaled about 80 comments at Huckleberries On Line, listed in this blog as a link. The comment I made, is as follows:
Hopefully, this discussion will end at some point. Having said that, the thought that comes to my mind, well actually, two thoughts are:
For anyone who has ever been unduly hassled by a law enforcement officer, the memory is revived.
Two, I believe that there are many people that have either witnessed as I have, the brutality, or faked probable cause (for a traffic stop)that has turned many citizens into non-believers, or know someone that has.
My particular gripe, is those officers that invent probable cause. I wonder, if a statistic such as this were available, how many court cases start with probable cause being a,"flickering tail light." One that can't be disproven. The serving officer, Dan, continuously refers to the lack of respect that many in law enforcement receive. It hasn't apparently occurred to this man that the deterioration of respect for law enforcement started a long time ago. Probably in the 60's. When citizens started to feel the "us against them mentality" exhibited by some officers.
Police that go trolling for people, instead of waiting for an actual occurrence, those that act like jack booted thugs, these are some of the reasons that I believe lack of respect is present. You must give respect before you can expect to get it.
Those serving officers that do their jobs right, deserve our support, but they, to protect their own reputation, must help weed out the other kind. If they keep quiet, do nothing when they see a fellow officer misbehave, then they are just as guilty as those that perpetrate these acts of misuse of power.
Sure it's more dangerous out there for law enforcement. It is for us too.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Well, of course not everyone a cop arrests or intervenes with is a "criminal" which by definition means they've been convicted of a crime. Many are innocent and there's the rub. Cops who view the public that they serve as their enemies who they need to open a can of trauma ass on before it happens to them are really no different than the thugs out there. Both see the community as their enemy and both see their role as to victimize the community before it victimizes them.
The thin blue line, in such an attitudinal crossfire, disappears quickly under the dirt.
We aren't their enemies. They are our servants. They hate to hear that. But it's the truth. They work for us and need to remember that.
Finally, cops who get PTSD have all kinds of professional resources to draw upon, including psychologists and medical and disability insurances. Citizens who get traumatized by cops have much much less to avail themselves of.God forbid one of these POST rookies takes this small minded macho crotch thrusting to heart and abuses his/her trust and harms an innocent person. That is indefensible.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Many were surprised, since she has managed to bear up well, as a loyal to the core employee. Apparently, the core was reached.
Some of the projects still up in the air with Waterford Park are rumored participation in the allegedly sold trailer park and motels, respectively. Also, the erection of a three story parking garage, in an area that has an illegally diverted stream and lies in a flood plain, which we are told by the building department will not be approved. Duplexes at Vista Bay and Harborview Marinas are also in the planning stages.
Many good people have come and gone, that were hired by Holland. Seemingly immune to local opinion, Holland has ran through everyone that would wok for him, that lives locally. One can surmise that he finally went to far, and Tina, living for many years in this small lakeside community of Bayview, probably couldn't reconcile her personal reputation with that of the interloper/developer that has allegedly, a slash and burn mentality, while searching for the last almighty buck.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
For those in the main stream media that constantly harp on Idaho's past brush with a scattered few Nazi types, Bite me. The true spirit of Idahoans surfaced late this week, as the news that our local food bank had been burgled. A security camera caught views of two or more young people, just after 4:00 am, Thursday Morning. Entering the office for the day, Athol City Clerk, Charlotte Hooper, found to her dismay, three doors broken into. With the key apparently in a place that was discovered by the punks, they opened the safe and took all the cash and approximately $3500 worth of Fred Meyer shopping cards, all activated. That was then, this is now.
As of my last available report, Kootenai County Sheriff's Department had in custody, one of the alleged perpetrators, with knowledge of the others involved. Their Christmas will be spent in jail.
When the news broke, Thursday, donations started to trickle in. By Friday, it was a torrent. People drove for miles to either go Christmas shopping for the people that were to depend on the missing gifts, or to drop off money. I sat and watched as one after the other, folks waited patiently in line behind those waiting for assistance. When one man's turn came, he handed Charlotte Hooper, Food Bank director, two crisp one hundred dollar bills, turned on his heel and walked out of the office. Some were the Who's Who of our area, some were kids that wanted to give back, and everyone in between.
Silverwood Theme Park donated an amount equal to the estimated stolen cards, plus two pallets of stuffed toys and t-shirts. The Shoshone County Sheriff's Department, took the seats out of a prisoner delivery van, filled it with things they had gathered for local people and drove it all down to Athol. Rathdrum Food Bank donated $1000 worth of food. This my friends, is the real North Idaho.
By the end of office hours Friday, donations had totaled over $15,000 in the two days following the break-in. At this writing, I have mused that in all probability, the givers were the biggest winners. To those nose high in the air, Eastern reporters and editors that think we are all knuckle dragging, mouth breathers here in our part of the Country? Again, Bite Me!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Our annual Christmas Party kicked off last Sunday with a big Pot-luck dinner, and entertainment provided for by James Adams. Special guest performer was Slim Dossey, Country Music Hall of Famer, and local resident. Slim, now 89 years old, is growing weak, and wasn't sure he could sing, or remember the words, and wondered if he could try sitting in a chair while performing.
Well, that didn't play out. As soon as he approached the stage, (standing up) he reverted to the old trouper that he is. As he started to step up on the stage, his Son, Jim, was heard to say, "don''t try it, Dad!" Slim Dossey, always performed these 65 plus years from a stage, and wasn't going to quit now. He needed a little help, but once he got up there, you couldn't stop him. Formerly with the Son's of the Pioneers, and other groups, he performed some tunes from the past, such as, Cool Water, and others. After three songs, he stepped down to a huge round of applause.
Long time performer, Slim played with Gene Autry, and pretty much everyone that was anyone in Country Music, back in the forties and fifties. Tex Williams, Autry, The Son's of the Pioneers, the list goes on and on. Slim Dossey made our day. James can be heard at the Garwood Saloon, week-ends.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Tayrn Hecker, crime writer extraordinaire, Meghann Cuniff, general assignment and school reporter, Paula Davenport, Voices and The Handle Extra. We also lost a very talented young writer, in Jim Hagengruber, who has not been rehired. Taryn comes back as a natural resources writer, Meghann as the night desk reporter, and Paula, temporarily, at least, as receptionist.
Kershner's last humor column is in today's paper. In it, he writes,"This is by rough estimate, my 1351 column. It is also my last." I have personally thoroughly enjoy the subtle,(and sometimes not so subtle) humor that has entertained me, inspired me and kept me chuckling for many years. It isn't quite as bad as it sounds. After all, with all up to date information available, Kershner is not dead, and this is not an obituary, at least not for him, but it is for his award winning column. He, gasp, will be an objective humorless general assignment guy. Hopefully, they will let him off his leash once in a while.
To put a sock in it, as I'm sure by now you are thinking, no more moving ahead with progressive, nauseating words and phrases that tick him, as well as me off. Say goodbye to treatises on nose hair clippers. He's gone, but not forgotten.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
If I'm not mistaken, slim is either 88 or 89 years old. A country music hall of famer, he is the last of the old "Son's of the Pioneers," Played with greats like Gene Autry and many others. Good N' Plenty shouldn't be sniffed at either. They used to play at Betty's, before it became the Rib Ranch, and many other old time venues. They can play just about anything you want to hear.
Food is free, as it is a pot-luck buffet. In reality, that means some very good cooks from around here pile it on, and expect some of you to help eat it. This is about the 12th or 13th straight year that the Wheel puts this party on, and it's really special. Come on down.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
The Burning Gods of Love, shown as the Christmas party band, actually will appear at the 'Wheel, Saturday, December 22. The mystery of the band's name comes from the drummer, Kevin Huff, striking sparks with the singer, and bass player, Daveanna Pleznac-Huff. Lead guitar and singing, features George Bruner.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
To appreciate where I'm coming from, I have to go back a ways. Back before Debra, back before Jennifer, even. These ladies, in committed relationships, both, took pity, or perhaps more accurately, were concerned about the over all health of the community. You see, I'm a committed slob. Not that I don't appreciate cleanliness, I mean I wear clean clothes and my grooming is reasonably good. I'm a slob because I litter. Not the neighborhood. I wouldn't dream of dropping trash out my car window, or unwrapping a candy bar , then throwing the wrapper to the ground. But, at home, the other side of me arises.
Each section of the Spokesman-Review, as read, drops to the floor in a disorganized tangle. Clothing lies where I changed out of it, generally on the floor. Time to fix dinner, except: I have no clean pans, or skillets, or plates, or flatware left clean. The kitchen counter is a refuse heap from which strange life forms have emerged. Then, and only then, do I realize that my continued existence depends upon washing the dishes. This rule also applies to laundry. Most people do laundry once a week, even though they still have clean clothes. These are sick minds. Overachievers. Neat Freaks. Bachelors don't wash clothes when they are not out. Even then, the local K-Mart or Wal*Mart is close by.
The" bottom line" here,(does this make Kershner's list?) is that, yes, I love living in a neat clean environment. I just don't like doing what gets me there. Recently, I have had help from two different ladies. I don't even think they know each other. Jennifer, with husband Dan, (he fixed a bunch of my plumbing) designated my house as a public health threat a year ago, and plunged in with both my feet. First question."Herb, where's your vacuum cleaner?" Answer: "I dunno. Haven't actually needed it for a while." "Why not," she asked? Answer: "Um, couldn't find the floor, so I didn't need it."
These were apparently unacceptable answers. We found the aforementioned machine hiding behind a door. From then on, the whole scenario started to remind me of some parts of the marital state. You know, bullying, nagging, that sort of thing. Could I sit back and drink beer? Absolutely not. I even had to participate. Would you believe that she wanted me to throw out or give away at least half of my belongings? She asked:"Herb, how long have you been carrying this from home to home?" " That thing? Oh, about 35 years." " When was the last time you used it? Well, I can't remember." Out it went.
Now I have another bully. Debra, the lady next door. She and her husband, Bob, moved in last spring with three busy little dachshunds. They now have the run of the house, as she does. Clean, nag, clean, nag some more, I tell you, this is out of hand. Why just yesterday, I had my son, Daughter-in-law and three Granddaughters over for dinner. (We'll skip the part about me forgetting to turn the oven on for the stuffed chicken dinner that was 2 hours late)
Thanksgiving, found me entertaining three, well six guests. Debra, her husband, Bob and Bobbie chef extraordinaire from the Wheel, and the three Dachshunds. Since my house is now ruined for comfort, I'm starting to entertain.
I finally realized why I felt strange this morning, walking out of my bedroom. Fantastic! I looked up and there to my surprise, was a sink full of dishes. Now I have goals again. I have to wash the dishes ... Just not today.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
The letter went on to say that no work could continue at Harborview Marina until July first of next year, allowing the current crop of spawning Kokanee to create another class of fry. Cautions were shared with Waterford Park, regarding upland management, and the potential of re-silting the shoreline.
We spoke with Idaho Fish and Game biologists, who said we are experiencing a very serious downturn in spawners in all areas of the lake, including Bayview.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Pulitzer rose to the top of his profession, more as a publisher, than writer. This might suggest that it takes less education to be a newspaper publisher, than a writer. The reason that I wrote the above paragraph was to illustrate a glaring difference in the business as it is today, and as it was then. In the late 1800's, Pulitzer backed the right wing Horace Greeley against the other Republican, Ulysses S. Grant. He wasn't much for unions, as that was before their time, but he wouldn't have embraced one anyway, because he was a fervent believer in talent over longevity.
Would that this rule prevail today. In a market that is rapidly shrinking, in a downhill spiral, we may someday soon, see the Spokesman-Review, and others, sold at check out stands, along with the other shock rags now available. One of the reasons, I believe is that union control over who a paper may retain, doesn't recognize ability or talent, or retainability. It just wants the senior members retained, even though they may have attained the legendary "Peter Principle." That of one who has risen to the highest point of their mediocrity. We aren't suggesting that the folks now working at the paper are mediocre, just that management can't depart from seniority, to retain the best and the brightest.
Unions, as I understand them, were formed at a time that many employers were essentially robber barons, keeping the masses in poverty. Seniority served two purposes. One, to keep management from showing favoritism, and to keep long time union members in their positions.
All of that had a purpose way back when. It doesn't now. With union rules determining the quality, or future lack thereof we are looking forward to a declining industry, with declining quality, with declining circulation and with declining advertising. This slippery slope will go on, until the paper closes it's doors, and sends everyone home, including those loyal union members.
During the current crisis at the Spokesman-Review, Editor Steve Smith consistently refers to the union contract as the (unstated) rule maker here. My opinion is that the paper would be well advised to break the union now, before it breaks them. ...
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I shudda known that a picture of two pretty and talented ladies trumped an informative and chatty blog. Hereafter, I will attempt to show only great ladies, that are both talented and very pretty, as my aforementioned guests were. However, I will NEVER conduct an interview with the previously mentioned talented ladies present. Taryn, I noticed, as I was throwing questions to the almost drowned subject, was busily writing notes. After the gentleman left, she proudly announced that she was going to scoop me. Well, she did. However, considering that I had done such to her in the past, I guess we are even. Oh, and did I mention that she is my favorite journalist?
Early next week, as Steve Smith has mentioned, some laid off reporters will be rehired. Apparently, the union contract stipulated such language, that they had to cut off those without sufficient seniority. Rehiring, however, as I understand it, is on merit and budget. While my young companion, Meghann is probably too junior to be asked back, who can possibly, after following Taryn's fantastic journey through the sickness of the Duncan Case find anyone on staff as talented as she.
The only thing that bothered me was the statement Steve made regarding the voices and the Handle Extra. I think his words were, "for the first time, we will fully staff both." I hope that it doesn't mean a hasty exit for me, as a lowly correspondent. If so, however, I will cherish the months that I have been allowed to grow, as a person, and even as late in life as I have arrived, my short career as a journalist.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
A bunch of folks got together and decided to have a parade. Hey, if New York, or whatever they call that jungle can have one, why not Bayview. Inside of three days, it was put together. over seven vehicles and uncountable kids, dogs and maybe a parakeet or two ambled through town, visiting all the residential streets and finally coming to rest at the Captain's Wheel. Well, not exactly rest. Hot chocolate flowed for the kids, and um, other beverages for the adults.
The crowd, if one wants to call it that, was around five or six during the parade. When the parade halted at the 'Wheel, the room was suddenly packed. At least several ordinances were violated, as no parade permit was obtained, but then nobody knew who the organizer was anyway. Most vowed to check out the formal way to do this, for next year. I have posted one or two pictures, but most didn't turn out well. Taking pictures without flash after dark is an art form that I haven''t mastered yet.
December came roaring in with ice, snow, and more to come. At around 3:00 pm today, a young man, Seth Mock, was walking down a sloping road in Bayview, that sleds were using. His feet slipped out from under him, causing him to injure his leg. Timberlake Fire District EMT units arrived, and transported the youth, estimated at 12 or 13 years old, to Kootenai Medical Center. Be careful, it's bad and getting worse out there.
Not to be discouraged by the weather, some local residents have organized a lighted Christmas Parade that is about ready to start. New York, or what ever they call it, isn't the only place that has parades.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Today's the day. Taryn Hecker and Meghann Cuniff are heading this way for a beer fest. Hey, these are professional journalists, not pansies. We are going to do our best to scandalize Bayview.
They are, even as we speak, headed this way. No doubt, you are wondering why they would bother to come all this way. Well, aside from being a Babe magnet, I can' think of a single good reason. Anyway, we will get some good pictures, some laughs, and hopefully, a safe return for the ladies. As many of you know, both Meghann & Taryn got caught in the massive lay-off at the Spokesman-Review recently. Black Thursday, we call it. I haven't had the heart to visit the newsroom since. It's almost empty anyway.
I expect both will come up smelling like a rose, since there are very few people that are sharper than these. Any place they end up will be better for having them. They are truly special. (I'll attach a picture when I get one.)
We survived, yes we did. We met a man that fell into the cold waters of Scenic Bay, stayed in the water one and one half hours, and survived. More about that later. I had the distinct pleasure of entertaining Taryn Hecker and her buddy, Meghann Cuniff, both journalists extraordinaire. Did I mention that they are also great companions? We sat around, cut up some, and then hung it up. They also coached me on how to conduct an interview, considering that the almost drowning victim was sitting with us. He may not recover. Anyway, above, some pictures.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I got no official notice, but, wow, you should have seen the insults come out. Lets see. I am a dishwasher in a bar. (Not a thing wrong with honest work) I'm a Freak. (undefined)
In an attempt to lay rumor to rest I am going to give you all an abbreviated biography. Licensed to sell real estate in the year 1969.
The boom market of 1977-1979 found me transferring from Real Estate Sales to the lending side.
As many of you know, the bottom fell out of the market in 1980. 1983. Back in the business again, this time with Seafirst Mortgage. That gig lasted until B of A took control, and they divested themselves of commissioned Loan Officers. Fall of1986. Founded, along with a partner, Westgate Mortgage Corp, as President and CEO. Spring of 1987, R/E market rates crashed again.
Jumping to 1990. I came back to Coeur d'Alene, a town I left in 1973. Probably before some of my detractors were born, or at least, off their Mom's breast. I wandered for a while, somewhat depressed at my business losses. I drove cab, and yes, occasionally washed dishes, wrote some commercial loans, and wandered up to Bayview, where I still reside.
I retired in 2000. One of the things that constantly ding those of us that are retired, and yes, forgotten, is that we are not quite ready for the rocking chair yet. Staying busy is staying alive. Most folks after 60 are not welcome in the very career fields that we thrived in. Nobody wants someone working for them that might take their job. My last attempt at that resulted in the excited employer telling me," that if everything is alright with my office manager, you are hired." I had thirty years in the industry. She had three. End of story.
I served as * Conductor/Entertainer on the Silverwood Train, cashiered at Wal*Mart. These are hobbies. Avocations, not to be confused with career moves. Retired people do many things to stay busy. I made world class potato salad at the Captain's Wheel Restaurant. not a bar, but a classy place to eat. Sure they have a bar. Name a good restaurant that has survived without serving liquor. When one retires, they tend toward their hobbies. Mine are varied. I'm a high hour private pilot, an amateur cook, a fisherman, and yes, a writer. None of these things are in any way disgraceful or demeaning. They are either physical or mental exercises that apparently not all that read me are familiar with.
To my detractors, I just say this. If you can attain my age, with my accomplishments, and with the friends that I have managed to make, you'll do alright. Remember the old adage:
"It only takes two hands to climb the ladder toward success. Many hands, however, of those that can't keep up, will attempt to pull you back down to their level of incompetence."
*At the insistence of Family Phil, I added the Silverwood gig.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
No, Hades hasn’t dropped below freezing, but something almost as unusual has occurred. In an election that was under attended, a write-in candidate for fire commissioner in the Timberlake Fire District brought down the long time incumbent, Bat Masterson.
Jon Guinn, a retired US Air Force officer and long time volunteer fireman and EMT, originally turned in a petition to the Kootenai County Elections Department with ten signatures, five needed for a nomination and a position on the ballot. Five were unregistered and apparently, two lived just outside the district he was running in, thence keeping him off the ballot. Not to be deterred, he launched a write-in campaign, complete with yard signs and web site. Running against a long entrenched commissioner, Bat Masterson, he won going away, with a 190-141 victory.
Asked to what he attributed his amazing feat, he told us that “certainly a low turnout helped a lot, but he also referred to the “closed club” atmosphere with many of the meetings going to executive session, running the public off. Acknowledging that certain issues, such as personnel have to be discussed in private, he went on to claim that open meetings were rare, with two commissioners ruling the roost and the others followers. He went on to say that he wanted fair hiring and firing practices, transparent open meetings, and an end to the” good ‘ol boys” closed atmosphere. Guinn went on to point to one chief and five full-time firefighters being fired in the last two years, with much of the experience going with them.” He reckoned that perhaps two deserved it, and the others didn’t.
The Timberlake Fire District was originally formed with the merging of the Athol and Bayview Fire Departments, back in 2000. Now, only manned at the Athol location, the district has five fire stations, all dormant, except for the Little Blacktail station, built mostly from local funds. Now formed by five commission districts, and five fire stations.
Guinn is fearful that a firefighter might either be seriously injured, or killed by not having a qualified chief to make safety decisions while fighting a house fire. The,” do we enter to rescue a screaming occupant, or is to too late and risky to enter the hypothetical burning building decisions are being made by very inexperienced people.”
Jon Guinn comes from Walla Walla, Washington. He graduated from WSU with a degree in Police Science. Guinn spent over 20 years in the Air Force, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. His Air Force career was spent in Security and investigations. After retirement, he served the US Government as a Consulting contractor for security issues. He claims certification as an EMT, as well as having taken courses in fire investigation. Currently, he is on inactive status, as a volunteer firefighter with the district.
Unable to reach the defeated incumbent, Bat Masterson, we spokes to the president of the board, Sam Scheu. Scheu told us,"We could have done a better job of publicizing the election." He went on to say,"only four percent of the registered voters showed up to vote." When asked about the 23% voter turnout in the areas of the district lying in Bonner County, he suggested that," It could have been from concentrated campaigning. Perhaps we need to find ways to communicate with these folks better." We spoke to Kootenai County Elections Manager, Deedie Beard, who said, "I don't recall in my thirty years in this department, ever seeing a write-in candidate win, although I could have forgotten." She went on to describe the conditions needed for a write-in victory. "A small turnout in a small taxing district would usually be the case."
We spoke off the record to two other members of the Department who wished to remain anonymous. Neither was happy with the results.
Monday, November 19, 2007
The opposite of progressive, of course, is Regressive. Now, I ask you. How many want to be thought of as regressive? Sounds terrible, doesn't it. Allow me to use an example, or two.
Progressive: A progressive society brought us Heroin, Crack Cocaine and methamphetamine. Starting around the time of the Vietnam war, our progressive society sent thousands to their deaths for what? Two parent homes are the oddity, not the norm, in a progressive society. Property crimes have run rampant, as dopers try to fund their recreational drug habit. Hanging out. Being cool. wearing one's hat backward, drooping pants. (with ass-crack showing) Trying out sex before dating? Progressive.
Regressive: Mom & Pop on an outing with their kids. Their natural kids, not yours and mine. Families sitting down at the dinner table together for dinner. (teens, excepted) Families that could make enough dough with one parent working, so that the other could keep the kids out of jail and reasonably under control. Going to church, worshiping anything other than the pursuit of pleasure? Regressive. Learning as an incentive for future life? Regressive, and ridiculed. Knowledge and the pursuit of? Regressive.
All-in-all, I've decided that I would rather be a Regressive, thank you very much!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The year 1958 saw a new trailer park established on Main Street. Bayview Trailer Park, with 32 spaces, served as homes for many over the years, and vacation spots for many others. Possibly one of the last picturesque spots where lower-income people could rub elbows with middle- and upper-income neighbors is fast coming to a close.
Established 49 years ago, this park has long been the center of residential Bayview. While the town stretches west to the Farragut State Park boundary, Bayview Trailer park is smack dab in the middle of town. With the planned construction of condominiums and a two-story parking garage in the works for spring, it doesn't look good for families living west of the park, saving their views of the lake.
A year ago, the trailer park owner sent out notices alerting residents that the park would close on Sept. 30. Although the park was subsequently sold, the new owner opted to stick with the original eviction timetable.
According to published news reports, about a dozen parks have closed in Kootenai County over the past five years, with older mobile home parks being converted to more lucrative uses as commercial properties or higher-end housing.
Jack and Charlene Soppit, still packing, operate the liquor store in town. Jack moved to the park 40 years ago. He subsequently married Charlene, and moved her and her daughters into his home. Skip Wilcox, retired from the U.S. Air Force, has been one of the more fortunate ones. He found another place to live. Some of the evicted trailer park residents still haven't. Older or disabled people are still looking for answers that aren't forthcoming.
The Captain's Wheel restaurant is sponsoring a farewell Thanksgiving potluck to say goodbye to friends from the Bayview Trailer Park. Former residents are encouraged to come from wherever they landed, for this, the last hurrah. Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. Music will be provided by Good & Plenty. Everyone is invited.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Around $900.00 was collected from raffle, meals and collection jars. Not all has been accounted for, but Terry thought that $900.00 would be a representative figure. Many younger people, friends of the family, and many older members of the community attended. The food was great, but the reason for being there wasn't. The Community, as usual, and Terry in particular, rose to the occasion.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Several people have asked me to make the unedited version of my story that recently appeared in the Handle Extra, S/R, available. Space restrictions, always in play with a newspaper, cut around 300 words from the history. This is reprinted, courtesy of the Spokesman-Review.
The spirit of the Pony Express is not dead yet. In these modern times, with the internet, E-mail, bill pay on line, some old traditions endure. Bayview, the southern most town on Lake Pend Oreille features a mail boat, one of only three such methods of delivering the mail left in Idaho. We hitched a ride on this boat recently with the current mail man, John Thaxter.
Leaving Bayview at 9:00 am we set out for Lakeview, the once- thriving boom town, now a ghost of it’s former self, but still home to a few hardy souls. There are most always folks on the dock meeting the boat, but the first, always to stick their nose into the mail boat, are one or more of the dogs accompanying their owners. For the entire thirteen years John has run the mail route, dog treats are always presented. We met Rich McKinny, Rob Kilborn, Vicki Growe and of course, a big friendly dog. We met another resident, a part timer, Steve DeHart, who lives in Kodiak, Alaska most of the time. He tells of his son Craig’s birth in Lakeview. It seems that when his wife’s time had come, May 12, 1984, George Johnson, then the mail carrier, toted two midwives over to assist with the birth.
Onward up the lake we went, bypassing Cedar Creek, a regular stop because our mail man knew the only current resident wasn’t home. Pioneers, Jack Needham from Illinois homesteaded in the valley a small distance from the shore. At one time, Cedar Creek was known as Clara. Needham ran a 60-mile long trap line up into the Cabinet Mountains. in the valley he had claimed. More recently, Bayview resident and entrepreneurs, Dick and Shirley Hansen now own what was once the Needham place.
We next stopped at Whiskey Rock, where we were greeted by Argyle Mydland, a seven-year resident and Shirley Williams, having lived there year round for seventeen years. A dog, nosing up to us for the traditional treat was the first to greet us. The one story that stands out is the stranding of Ed Hall on Whiskey Rock. He was picked up finally by the steamer, Mary Moody, arguably the first official mail carrier. Old records indicate that Whiskey Rock got its name back in the 1890's. From 1931 to about 1947, Ed and Lillian Hall operated a resort and bar. Ed would boat over to Bayview in his 28-foot boat which was powered by an aircraft liberty engine, to pick up a dozen or so sailors for fun and frolic at Whiskey Rock. Jim MacDonald, mail boat operator between 1953 and 1965, tells us that Hall would wait until the sailors were broke, then cart them back to Bayview where he picked up another load. Attractions were slot machines and seemingly unlimited supplies of whiskey.
We stopped next at Granite Creek. There we were met by Earl Tacke, the only year round resident. Granite was originally settled by the Charles Schroeder family in 1893. After filling a homestead claim, they bought fifteen heads of cattle, delivered to Granite by barge. He operated a ranch there for many years. Old mine sites and glory holes dot the area. Granite is now home to several families.
On, to the final stop of the mail route, Kilroy. We met Ken Gonzer, Jack Garland and Velda McTighe and of course, another dog, sniffing for a treat. On the way back, we were treated to several stories about the lake and John Thaxter’s experiences. Asked what outstanding experiences he had in the thirteen year he has ran the lake, he told us,” I’ve had about six boat sinking rescues, usually alerted to by Bonner County Rescue, and four medical evacuations.”
Some of the history of mail service on the lake date back to the 1860's. Individuals that were heading up lake from Pend Oreille City,(Buttonhook Bay) would carry mail and goods on the way to their destinations. From 1866 to about 1872, the steamer,”Mary Moody was the official mail carrier, serving the water portion of the mail route from Ft. Walla Walla to Helena, and Ft. Benton, Montana.
From 1938-39, Jack McCollough ran mail between Bayview and the present route with the early inclusion of Pine Cone, no longer in existence, and Cape Horn. Roy Ellis had the route from 1939-42, and following the interruption for WW11, resumed the route in 1946 through 1950.
Danny Knolls carried the mail from 1942-1946, but drown in a storm, of which Lake Pend Oreille is famous. Max Krackenberg cruised the mail from 1950 to 1953 after which Jim MacDonald, owner of MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort took over. Jim ran the route from shortly after his parents, bought the resort. MacDonald ran the mail until 1965. It was then called the Star Marine Route. He delivered mail from Bayview to the Navy barge, anchored in Scenic Bay, then Lakeview, Cedar Creek, Cunningham’s Castle, (no longer exists) Whiskey Rock, Granite Creek, Kilroy and Pine Cove, Cape Horn, before the road was built and back to Bayview.
1965-78 was handled by Hugh Davis, a native of Arkansas. In 1965, he and his wife moved to Bayview, after running boats in Alaska. During the thirteen years he carried the mail he missed only two days. George and Darlene Johnston carried the mail from 1978-1991. Darlene would carry the mail during Summer and George during the Winter. Tragedy struck when Darlene was running one day in 1982. Just after gassing up at Boileau’s, and carrying a young man as passenger, the boat caught fire and sank. The passenger, 16 year old Joe Dory didn’t swim, nor did Darlene. Dory made it to shore. Darlene drown, after throwing the mail sacks overboard. Boyd Westphal ran the route 1991-93. John Thaxter, the present mail carrier and our host, runs the lake six days a week, through rain, snow, fog , well, everything but famine and pestilence.
Source: Historical data obtained, courtesy of Linda Hackbarth, Bayview Historian.
Without Linda, this story would have been the worse for lack of info ...
Thursday, November 08, 2007
We, here at Bayviews, have a sliding scale of guilt, mostly based on how devastating a beauty, or not, that they are. To imprison this rare beauty for just, what! (burning a dead head? Sorry, musicians) This lady is capable of turning heads in Hollywood. Hey, come to think of it, how many Hollywood maidens have to put up with a moldy animal head. Especially one that measures around three feet across.
The defense rests. The Asshole that talked her into putting that head up in her home needs counseling. As to the perpetrator, hey, she is welcome in Bayview, anytime.
For the real deal, go to the Idaho Statesman.com
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I am stunned. I thought about the original estimates of a few. (I figured two North Idaho reporters.) I think of all the times I sail into the newsroom, stop to say Hi to the Bureau Chief, Scott Maben, sally over to the photo department, where Jesse Tinsley seemingly effortlessly creates prize winning photos, and also helps an overage reporter improve his photos.
Then, after a quick Quack at Meghann, on to my honorary Granddaughter, Taryn Hecker. Paula Davenport steps on my stories, I love her anyway. Some of the others, I know casually, but these people that I have named, have carved a spot in my heart, and they know it.
I can't hurt as much as my friends at the newsroom, but I'm a close second to Steve Smith, the Guy that cares a lot, and can't show it publicly. As a correspondent, I hurt even worse than most.
You see, it was the mentoring and helpfulness of these fine people, people that knew for every article that I wrote, it chipped away at their job security. I hurt for Taryn, my buddy at all times. Fortunatley, she will bounce back rapidly, and at her age, probably to a better future. I hurt for Boo & Goo. One more sour apple thrust upon their lives.For those of you that still think I am a bloodsucking outlaw, I can only say this to you. When I run across a news story that is breaking, or I feel too close to the story to be objective, I immediately call Scott Maben with the information so that he can assign a reporter to the story. I have done this numerous times since I started writing for the S/R. Likewise, when the news department gets a tip that doesn't fit the breaking news department, they refer it on to me. We have had a close cooperative relationship. One that I hope continues.
I don't know how the correspondent gig will play out. I have always wanted to write, and when I got my chance I went for it. I am also of the same mind of those that criticize the correspondent program, except as previously stated by former journalism teacher, Marianne Love, neighborhood correspondents came before the fully staffed bureaus. Yes, I feel guilty. I liked all of those that were laid off.How can I walk back into the newsroom without giving a loud QUACK in Meghann's direction.
I grieve for those that I could never even hold their sandals.As a correspondent, that was pretty much all of them.
Friday, November 02, 2007
It is a sad evening that I am celebrating my column, when many of my friends have been laid off at the Spokesman-Review. Jim Haggengruber, Taryn Hecker, or as most of you knew her as,"Taryn Brodwater." Paula Davenport, my college in the Idaho Voice, Meghann Cuiff, the voice of the local schools, and others, in other venues. To say that they will be missed, to to suggest that the atom bomb ended WW Deuce. An understatement of huge measure. This is a huge blow to the community, the paper, and journalism as an art form. These people are so sharp that they sometimes take my breath away. They will land right side up. I don't know whether the rest of us will. I Grieve ...
Thursday, November 01, 2007
'Today, Steve Smith, Editor of the Spokesman-review, gave proof to the rumors that a large number of reporters will be laid off. Well, they weren't rumors. Many, almost all former crackerjack reporters for the S/R Idaho Bureau have been dumped, laid off. All, seemingly from the North Idaho Bureau.
Gone is the guy with the envirionmental background, Jim Hagengruber, the guy that wrote headline stories about the fish kill in Scenic Bay, and always follows through with the best information possible.I am stunned. I thought about the original estimates of a few. (I figured two North Idaho reporters.) I think of all the times I sail into the newsroom, stop to say Hi to the Bureau Chief, Scott Maben, sally over to the photo department, where Jesse Tinsley seemingly effortlessly creates prize winning photos, and also helps an overage reporter improve his photos.
I can't hurt as much as my friends at the newsroom, but I'm a close second to Steve Smith, the Guy that cares a lot, and can't show it publicly. As a correspondent, I hurt even worse than most.
You see, it was the mentoring and helpfulness of these fine people, people that knew for every article that I wrote, it chipped away at their job security. I hurt for Taryn, my buddy at all times. Fortunately, she will bounce back rapidly, and at her age, probably to a better future. I hurt for Boo & Goo. One more sour apple thrust upon their Young lives.
How can I walk back into the newsroom without giving a loud QUACK in Meghann's direction.
I suspect that very soon, Steve Smith will be announcing the hiring of several new correspondents, coincidentally, former reporters.
I grieve for those that I could never even hold their sandals.As a correspondent, that was pretty much all of them.
I will not sleep well tonight.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Apparently, Kootenai County has eased up slightly regarding the county rule against moving older mobile homes. This as it should be. It is legal to purchase, live in and sell a 50 year old home, as long as it is a stick built house. For some elitist reason, that doesn't apply to Mobile homes. People that live on the margins of financial society, do not have the options to move, yet, to the extent that being dependent on rental lots, they manage just fine without housing assistance. The short sighted policy of eliminating these inexpensive homes, will and has come back to haunt the county government. Bureaucratic stagnation can cause enormous personal suffering. In this case, it has. It is past time that the State of Idaho, and possible the county, look into ways to produce mobile home parks in less expensive surroundings, so that progress doesn't continue to take these people's right to survival away.
Recently, the Federal Courthouse in Coeur d'Alene was gifted , for the purpose of turning it into a homeless shelter. Wouldn't it make both humanitarian and fiscal sense to assist people before they get to the shelter state?
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Things are quieting down in Bayview this week, the aftermath of the legal threats having calmed down. The last remnants of the Bayview Trailer Park are either gone, or will shortly be. I've been somewhat inactive compared to previous years on this blog. Most of the reason is simply to much work. Retirement is wearing me out. Since I started writing my column for the Spokesman-Review, which incidentally is a feature column, not opinion, such as I sometimes delve into here. For those that don't get this local edition, I will in the future, try to write the gist of what I write there, here. Although one of my columns appeared in the Handle Extra, that was because it got bumped from "Your Voice" section. Saturday,November 3, however, I finally get to debut in a column about the mail boat route, and the history of same, in the handle Extra. Let me know what you think, after reading it. Much of the historical information that I acquired , came from the immense help that Linda Hackbarth, local historian gave me. If you don't see my column in Thursday's Your Voice, it may have been moved to Saturday's Handle Extra.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
We also received word that yet another individual has received a letter similar to the one we posted previously. Unbelievable.
Friday, October 12, 2007
To attack an entire community for being unwilling to accept the law breaking as applies to building codes, is to suggest that this firm has lost it. The negative publicity that they have received is far worse than the few words spoken in anger, or in jest or as characterization.
I have had dealings with Steve Wetzel, and find him to be a fine upstanding person, as well as an attorney. It is astounding that this new member of the firm, Kevin Holt, who probably has never set foot in Bayview, would set the course for total resentment by this community.
We have received huge responses in favor of the accused, and, well, check the comments for the other reactions. Freedom of speech still reigns. We still have the individual and collective right to speak out against tyranny, and we shall ...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Recently, the law firm of Wetzel, Wetzel, Bredeson & Holt sent a letter to the Bayview Chamber of Commerce and two individuals, threatening litigation for alleged "Defamation of Character."
While it is and should be, an egregious act to defame another, tempers do flare, and things are said that are out of place. The law firm demanded a public apology, and last night at the Chamber meeting, they got it. That should have ended it, and perhaps we should too.
One thing that bothered me, was that after reading the letter, it appears that this firm is without mentioning names, is pursuing the same methods. An excerpt from this letter follows:
"Your organization, as well as other groups and individuals in the Bayview Area, have, for years now, made unsubstantiated attacks upon our client, Waterford Park Homes, and Mr. Holland, personally. This law firm has represented hundreds of clients throughout the decades of it's existence. The accusations made against Mr. Holland since Waterford first became involved in Bayview have either been half-truths without the benefit of all the facts, or, in most cases, downright mean-spirited lies. The false accusations against our client have piled up one on top of the other to the point where no good deed, no matter how selfless, could possibly overcome the reputation heaped upon him by small minded, bitter people who need no proof to throw stones. It has been our habit, and the habit of our client, to rise above the petty insults cast about by the venomous minority in Bayview."
After examining this letter, and certainly not endorsing rude behavior by anyone, we noticed that the language here tends to be equally inflammatory, toward what is referred to as," the venomous minority in Bayview. We, having access to the "man on the street," so to speak, find two things wrong with this. One, although not mentioning names, other than the two named in the complaint, this law firm has castigated an entire community. Believe me, this is not a bitter minority. In our opinion, it is a backlash, or an attempted defense from an unwelcome invasion that is turning this area on it's head to no one's betterment other than Waterford Park Homes, LLC. While many rumors have floated about, one can't control the thoughts and minds of an entire community. Two many egregious violations of codes and fish kills have left this once proud little village in survival mode. There is an old saying that might be applicable here. "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."
A nasty letter will not make peace with the Idaho Department of Lands, nor keep them from holding Mr. Holland's feet to the fire, either. This is my opinion ...
Oh, and did I mention that as a legal issue, you and your client are public figures, and as such are not likely to win other than a bullying contest. Trying to intimidate an entire community is tasteless and beneath you.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Note the profile peeking from the face in the upper middle.
Photo by Herb
Monday, October 01, 2007
There are several reasons, good ones, why fish and game officials discourage the feeding of wild game. First, when wild animals/birds, etc. are fed by humans, they become dependent on that food, and stop hunting for their own. During Summer months here in Bayview, boat owners, float home dwellers and such hand feed the ducks that populate the lake shore here in Bayview.
Then, most go home to their Winter homes, leaving these dependent ducks to fend for themselves when they haven't had to before. One such case, is an S-curve located on Fifth Street here in Bayview. A kindly, undoubtedly helpful person living on that curve, started feeding the ducks in their yard. I have driven through that area several times recently, having to stop until the ducks have finished crossing the road. One was predictably hit and killed. The person feeding the ducks, outraged at the motorist, set up a box painted red in the middle of the road, with the dead duck on top of it.
Instead of blaming a motorist rounding a blind curve, this person should look within, for it was he/she that produced a feeding station for 70 or 80 ducks. The dead duck, (no pun intended) was not only predictable, but inevitable. Good deeds never go unpunished ...
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Bayview Community Center Foundation, held it’s annual meeting Wednesday, September 19. Elections were held for the replacement of three board members that are retiring. The Community Center Foundation was originally created by the Bayview Chamber of Commerce in about 1993-94. Built with various state, Federal and private grants. The property was donated by the Waller family. After the shell was built, the rest was finished with community donated labor and materials. (This paragraph was edited out, and a side bar with convoluted info was substituted)
Aside from that, errors are sometimes made. Some by me, many by others. When editors are juggling six editions of Voices, and the Handle Extra,(all by the same editors) stuff can be mixed up, such as the comment on a side bar that showed the election of officers for the Bayview Community Council, instead of the Bayview Community Center Trust. I did not write that side bar. That was an unfortunate homogenization of two stories that got lost in the shuffle.
I always point out to my superiors, the errors of their ways, as the errors in mine. On the positive side, when I write sloppy copy as I do more often than I would like to admit, they smooth it out, make it work, and make me look good. They are horrendously overworked, under appreciated and they still shine, totally unperturbed by the turmoil that surrounds them. Please give them a break, and for that matter, me too.We try so very hard to get our facts/dates/names right. We don't always succeed. But we bust our butts to do so.
Whatever failures I have, I own. Just be aware that if there is information about Bayview or Athol, or any other venue that I am called upon to write about, if I wrote it, it has my byline. Some blurbs are not signed, and often are are added on by editors. Oh, and be assured, I do know that the population of Bayview is many times the 276 that somebody came up with.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
In the above picture, many people attended the town meeting conducted by the County Commissioners, recently. One of the things that I noticed, was that interacting pretty much together, were members of the Bayview Community Council, The Bayview Chamber of Commerce, and many unaligned persons. I use the word unaligned, because of many varied slights and issues that have separated this Village in the past, there are, in both the BCC and Chamber, three or four adamant people that do not want to get along. Those few, are holding this town hostage.
While nobody expects the entire population of Bayview to march in lockstep, I think everyone has the right to expect a process that is much less aggressive, that could and does sometimes bring members of both organizations to the same table. One way to achieve that, is to eliminate the overlap with the two organizations, so that both are not tugging and pulling in opposite directions, unnecessarily. Parochial behavior is tearing this place apart at a time that we need to be on the same page with each other. Many outside forces are reshaping our community, while we stand aside and bicker.
Tonight, Wednesday, starting at 6:00 pm for social hour, followed by a meeting, will be a key election for Bayview Community Center officers. These people essentially control the policies and fate of this building, and the activities that are held there. This trust should not be spent foolishly, nor should it be a platform from which we divide ourselves even further. It is expected that once again, the two opposing forces will face off for control of the other, or at least control over more of which happens here in Bayview.
Such behavior, I believe, needs to be re-examined. Perhaps we should back away from that three or four people that are directing the destruction of this community and learn to find common ground. Maybe the feelings run too strong for reconciliation. If so, those that can't find a way past these few, need to circumvent them. Confrontation, which has been the byword in the community, should be saved for those occasions that are few and far between, not a daily dish of arrogance.
Monday, September 17, 2007
Last week Bayviews made a serious error of omission. In my print column, I listed the members of the band as George Bruner and Rick Steiner, leaving out the drummer and good friend, Steve Cripe. Pictured above, alone in the back, but not forgotten, is Stevoreno hisself. The glue that holds the other two together. I am shamed ...
Thursday, September 13, 2007
It's not enough. You Bastards tried to ruin a person's life, over a minor technical legal issue, just because you didn't like the judge. Actually, let's try several lives, since it involved a husband, infant, parents and other family members. You have made the term "Justice" a mockery. To suggest that you were protecting society from violent criminal acts is more than stupid it shows that you and your minions have lost track of your entire role.
Where in this universe, did you over educated Morons ever think that you could use the office that was created for the protection of the public, against violence and theft, to settle personal grudges. No, your very late regression was not in time to allow this new bride to continue to nurse, and bond with her baby. That didn't matter to you.
In recent years, I have noted a marked lack of respect for law enforcement, and the prosecution of those crimes. We see cops jostling suspects, so they can claim resisting, we see traffic enforcement offficers, claiming a blinking tail light as probable cause to pull over a car driving late at night. These and many other instances are the cause of the public distrust of the entire enforcement community. When Law enforcement, and the prosecutors loose respect for the community they serve, they get reciprocity ...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
School started last week with the usual overloaded backpacks trudging by. Say, have the schools ever studied the ergonomics of the weight they expect these kids to carry? Anyway, one thing is way different. Instead of the hallways being white tunnels carrying students from class to class, this year Kathy Thomas, principal of Athol Elementary, commissioned a powerful mural painter, Rozanne Thompson of spirit Lake to decorate things up a bit. You have to see it to believe it. Everyone should plan to attend any open houses they have, this year.
I am so wound up in my two print columns that I have let the blog go. Since I posted last, Taryn quit her's. I hope she gets it going again, perhaps under a new name, heh? Holland appears to still be playing games with the County regarding the ruins of Bayview Marina. (Harborview)
We understand that ditches were dug and the site of the parking area disturbed without due regard to fencing off runoff which then did occur during the last storm. Bob, shortcuts be thy name.
Speaking of Bob, we understand that his crew at the Buttonhook got a little high handed with an underage person that reportedly had walked into the bar before the dining area opened. According to the young lady, Lacy Darnell, she was physically ejected from the premises. She then called the Sheriff Department to report an assault. The issue was resolved peacefully, but the bar manager was terminated for reasons unknown, shortly thereafter. Hey, just because we have passed Labor Day weekend, doesn't mean we don't have fun around here.
On a more serious note, the month end deadline for trailer park evictions approaches in a few days. Bayview Scenic Motel was purchased by a former Seattle Supersonic Basketball player. Seems we have and are being overrun by wealthy retired jocks now. The motel rooms are no longer available for week-end visits, but there are still the cabins at MacDonalds. We understand that monthly rentals will be offered on a landlord/tenant basis, without maid service until further notice. Reservations can be made, by calling 683-2215. More on that later. Other than that, with all of the RV parks closing soon, Bayview will not have much in the way of transient accommodations. How does that song go? "Clowns to the left, clowns to the right ..."
PS: Jaime was kind enough to remind me of other rental options: "Besides the cabins at MacDonald's, please don't forget about the cottages on Fifth Street for rent and some Floathome owners rent their places to help off set some of the unreasonable rent increases imposed at some of the local marinas. For short stays, we still have a Bed and Breakfast in Bayview as well as a few in the surrounding towns. Check out the Chamber Website for more information."
Sunday, September 02, 2007
I urge the Chamber to appoint a study group to research all of the questions involved, so that the citizens can make an informed choice. Also, Bayview, the area, is not well defined. If we do change our status, will we include the Cape Horn area? Certainly, those parts of our area that lie in Bonner County would have to be excluded. The issue isn't just development. That is a terrible simplification. Let's find out what specific hurdles are out there before we jump in any other direction.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tonight, County Commissioners Currie, Tondee and Piazza attended a town meeting in Bayview. It is my view that while many worthwhile questions were raised, and some good answers given, most of the more than 140 attendees went away without help for their personal causes. The reason being, being in the county, the commissioners can't make an ordinance for just one part of the County, without it affecting equally all other parts. The solution? Either incorporate, or realize the limitations the County has. Apparently, restricting boat trailer parking is a function of Lakes Highway District. One they haven't exercised.
Many spoke to lost views if high rise condos were to be built in front of them. Most apparently were not aware, that as a legal issue, views are not a property right. Other major issues addressed were Planning, Zoning and building regulation enforcement. Apparently, the Sheriff Department is unable/unwilling to serve criminal summonses on behalf of the County Building department, and the Commissioners are unable/unwilling to provide necessary funds for the rules to be enforced.
What it all boiled down to, is that the County cannot make rules for us that a city enjoys. For that to happen, they encouraged the area to incorporate. Issues of expense, water and sewer regulations for cities, expenses for outsourcing law enforcement, revenue, fire and many other government functions are the negatives. The lone positive? Local control. We met a former mayor of Hayden Lake tonight, not to be confused with the city of Hayden. He had more information at the tip of his tongue than most at that meeting tonight. Generalities won't cut it. We either have to seriously investigate incorporation, or sit back and wait for the inevitable growth, regulated only by the weak County laws, and subject to State regulations.
I applaud the three Commissioners for their appearance, though after Currie, chairing the meeting, and Tondee providing much of the technical assistance, one wondered why Piazza bothered to attend. His body language showed boredom, which undoubtedly was shared by some in the audience, but death to a politician. He didn't appear interested, nor did he contribute much to the discussion. One can only hope that behind those closed doors, he does something other than snooze.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
As Sheryl Puckett, long time resident put it, “these people are gutting Bayview. It appears that another round of developers are coming here to exploit Bayview, with no concern for the human cost. It may be legal, but certainly not moral.” Darling, most likely fronting much of the money, is a former linebacker for WSU. He was drafted into the NFL nine years ago, and currently is with the Arizona Cardinals.
Many residents are either in poor health or financial straights. Most have lived in the well established trailer park for many years, and have nowhere else to go. While verbal statements attributed to the new owners, suggest that part of the existing park, fronting Corbin Street may stay as mobile homes, nothing has been offered to the residents. Since most, (two claim they were never previously served) current residents received the eviction notice, it is believed that this may be either mis-information, or a change of plan. The recent eviction deadline letter was undated, but was accompanied by a return receipt and received by all affected people Tuesday, August 21 and effective the last day of September. Two residents claim that they never were served the first time by either Bob Holland, or the corporation he heads.
Jack and Charlene Soppit have lived in their home, which has been built onto and is unmovable for 30 years. Jack has a serious heart condition that is life threatening. He has had a triple by-pass and has about 12% of his heart function left. The move will have the effect of killing this man. Due to the tremendous medical bills this couple has had to deal with, there are no relocation funds available to them. When daughter Nan was asked what would happen, she replied,”they will be on the street.”
We have subsequently learned that James Darling last played for Arizona in 2003 and is retired now from the NFL. He now tackles only trailer park residents. ...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
As many of you know, I was part of the real estate industry from about 1967 through 1995, both as an agent, then later, a mortgage banker/broker. I went through the rapidly inflating market of 77-78 in the Seattle Area, and also the depression of 80-82. Back then, with fixed 30 year mortgage rates reaching above 20%, two things happened that were significant. One, loans were extremely tough to acquire and two, values plummeted. Homes that were located on golf course fairways, dropped to half their previous value, most of which had accrued in just the prior two or three years. Two, spec building was on fire. large developers had tracts with in some cases, more than one hundred starts all going at once, and all unsold.
A point is reached, and was, where neither the banks nor the builders could stop. Once the point of no return is reached, it is better to finish than to walk away. Finally, condominiums were starting to be the rage, and huge projects were built, usually with adjustable rate mortgages, some of which were negatively amortized. Banks foreclosed on thousands of new homes, both free standing and condos. I had a couple that obtained a mortgage from me on a home, having lived in a fairly new condo. They asked me if I wanted it free. I thought about the leverage aspect, then passed, as the value was less than half of the then existing loan balance. They, like many others, let the bank have it.
The banks, not wanting to keep the properties on the books, sold them for even less, thence depressing the market even more. That was then, this is now.
Here in North Idaho, we have several of the same ingredients, excepting that lenders, having a corporate memory of those other times, don't let builders have that much rope ... Or do they. Today, we see over building, coupled with a lack of demand caused mostly by rates at a 30 year low for an extended period of time. Fixed 30 year interest rates hadn't been below 6% since the fifties or early sixties. The demand caused a boom market, since families could finally afford to either move up in size, relocate, or move down, depending on their individual needs. That need having been fulfilled, there are very few buyers that have yet to buy. Add to this example, the hysterical competition that Banks and Mortgage lenders engaged in, offering adjustable rates when nobody in their right mind would want one, except they could then afford more house for the same payment. Kind of like buying stock on margin. Sooner or later, it catches up with you.
Lenders,, believing in the tooth fairy, thought that values would continue indefinitely, leaving their equity positions either intact, or enhanced. Buyers have disappeared, builders are stuck with unsold units, and lenders are eating smoke. One of the nation's most respected, and largest mortgage companies, just borrowed billions to stay afloat. That would be Countrywide. More are also in the same shape. A severe downturn in construction is inevitable, turning hundreds of construction workers out of work. We have most of the elements for a severe down turn in values due to some of the same factors from my previous example. It seems that history IS doomed to repeat itself.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Last weekend, I wrote four stories in and around Athol. One didn't publish, that being the fire at Conoco. The rest published, but without pictures. Space restrictions were the culprit. So that some of you will have access to these I am publishing them here. Enjoy.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Last week-end just about did me in. First, starting at 9:30 am I bounced up to Athol to M/C their parade. Thence over to the City Park for the games and other activities. I watched with amazement at the 4 or 5 year old young lady that walked away with the pie eating contest. Walking around with a donation can can clear a path real fast, but I managed to find several people that actually came toward me to donate. After about 2:00 pm, I decided to head down the road a piece to see if I could catch the camel lady at home. I did, as exhibited by my fearless ride into the sunset.
On my way down to the camel, using old hwy 95, I noticed heavy traffic coming toward me from the south. That always is a sign that the main highway is blocked. Sure enough it was, what with one fatality at the scene, two Medstar helicopter rescues, and the involvement of 5 ambulances, from every department in North Idaho. Northern Lakes, Coeur d'Alene, Rathdrum, Spirit Lake and of course, Timberlake were involved in the action.
After returning to the park, photographing many events, I decided it was time to slake my thirst, so I headed for the Legion, where the Old Timers Jam was scheduled at around four.
That was a real treat, what with the Cunningham brothers, Chuck and Norma Bell, and just about everyone that is anyone in local music performed. Looking up, a black ugly column of smoke was rising nearby. I grabbed the camera, and scooted down the street where a van on fire had been drove right up to the Crossroads Conoco and parked. The occupants bailed, leaving it to burn. Luckily, the gas tank burned, opposed to exploding, which limited the damage mostly to the vehicle itself. Back to the jam, then down to the Captain's Wheel where the Bells were playing. Chuck and Norma, who are retired, were convinced to make an appearance, highlighting three and one half generations on the stage. (The half generation represented by the twin girls who are both expecting.)
Thus Saturday was in the books. I slept well. Sunday, I had to write three columns, representing around 1500 words, for my Idaho Voice section of the Spokesman-Review, which I write for and publishes on Thursdays. I have never tried to produce that much in one day, which was mentally exhausting to say the Least. Well, I'm back to normal or as close to normal as I get. Now for next weeks news ...