Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trailer Park Woes

A concerned reader asked me to find out what was happening regarding the hardship cases still left at the old Bayview Trailer Park. Several homes have been moved in the last two or three days. Some that will continue to be used, others to be salvaged. Most, but not all people that have been out of options, are gone. Some, a small number, are still there, with no place to go.

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

Quiet, Rain and cool Weather

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

Bredeson & Holt

We just received an unconfirmed report from a reliable source,that Steve and Dana Wetzel have become semi-retired and are currently basking in the sun in Mexico. This, of course explain a lot. If Bredeson & Holt are trying to capitalize on the reputation that Wetzel & Wetzel has built over the years, they need to protect what they bought into. An unfortunate start in all the wrong direction. Perhaps this new regime would do well to establish good will before setting out to throw stones at an entire community. After all, there are not so many that anyone can waste potential good will.

We also received word that yet another individual has received a letter similar to the one we posted previously. Unbelievable.

Friday, October 12, 2007


After viewing the reaction from the townspeople of Bayview the last few days, I have come to several conclusions. The first, and foremost, is that when a law firm sets out to shoot itself in the foot, they should perhaps hire a public relations firm. You see, if Wetzel, Wetzel, Bredeson and Holt think they have been damaged by some casual dings by a couple of individuals, one, they shouldn't have publicly embarrassed themselves by being petty. Threatening a lawsuit for defamation of character was childish, at best.First, since both the law firm and their client are by legal definition, public entities, all they have accomplished is to have embarrassed themselves by going public with their frustration. This frustration could have come from many sources. One, it could be that their job has become more difficult by the recalcitrant behavior of their client. Or perhaps it is from the frustration that the Idaho department of lands hasn't caved in to their attempts to circumvent the mitigation plan that the state has demanded.

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

Disparaging Words

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

Fall Extravaganza

A lot closer to home than the picture of Mt. Rushmore, try Bayview, Idaho complete with fall colors.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Another Myth Exposed

While thousands of post cards are out there with the face of Mt. Rushmore. This is a picture of the backside, disproving the Park Service, when they claim there isn't room for any more Presidents on the mountain.

Note the profile peeking from the face in the upper middle.

Photo by Herb

Monday, October 01, 2007

Feeding Wild Game

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 ...