Monday, March 31, 2008


Actually, I am the last Bastian of conservatism, not to be confused with radicalism. I have outlasted some people that call themselves conservatives, but hey, you can name yourself anyway you want to.

I'm trying to remember the screen names of the aforementioned trolls. Then there was the guy that flipped over a condom dress, (do any of you realize how much money went into that creation?) Hey, the model, one has to admit, was prepared for any eventuality. Oh yah, that was Anymouse, as he called himself.

Then there was Ziggles. A Guy that way too much time or whatever, on his hands. There wasn't anything or anyone that escaped his wrath, er ... until he was unmasked, at which time he crawled back under his rock.

Now we have someone that has gone postal. No, not in the usual fashion, where you go guns blazing into the office to off as many co-employees as you can. No, this postal freak is something that crawled out from under a rock. Unable, or at least ill-equipped to debate the issues of the day.

I am sad. Not because of the vandalism. To that, I just feel sorry for the forgotten soul that can't reach out and mix with the rest of us. No, I'm sad, because we don't have enough treatment programs for people like this.

I'm sad because if he/she were to have come forward, discussed our differences of opinion, it would have been a civilized conversation. People can agree to disagree. We civilized types do it all the time. Give it a try, it works. Oh and did I mention that we have a suspect?

While law enforcement officers are coming to Bayview in hordes, to snag the phantom mail box destroyer, one can only wish that he would go back on his meds.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Juvenile Vandalism

I have hesitated about writing this, due to my concern that the idiot that vandalized my mailbox was trying to get attention. I went to the Bayview Post Office Friday to pick up my mail. Written on the box was the word, if in fact it is a word, "BLOGFAG."

In addition to the slur, I found the keyhole in my mail box glued shut.It only inconvenienced me for a minute or two while I had the Postmaster retrieve my mail, but the thought occurred to me that if there were prints on the box, this person of questionable intellect will be dealing with a Postal Inspector, as defacing or vandalizing a U.S. Post office or the boxes therein is a federal felony.

In discussing the crime with friends, I wondered, who would hate to the extent that they would take the trouble to deface a U.S. Government post office box. I checked back to see if any recent posts were picking on someone and didn't find that either. One person told me,"Well, Herb, now you have arrived, if the Cranks are coming out of the woodwork." I am still amazed at this childish trick, and I wonder, what was he/she thinking that caused this unusual stunt. I'll probably never know. Apparently there are some "Nutcakes" out there, folks.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Boat Launch Facility Fees

This year will mark the first that Kootenai County Parks and Waterways is charging the public for the use of the boat launches. Here in Bayview, we noticed a sign posted at the Village launch stating that $4 per day for residents and $8 per day for out of state boats will be charged for the use and upkeep of the ramps and docks.

Annual permits are $20 and $40 respectively. Other funding comes from a share or percentage of boat registration fees. While Waterways officials acknowledge the funds from boat registrations, it isn't enough to adequately maintain the facilities. Out of state boater that do not register their boats in Idaho especially strain the facilities without any monetary support.

Those Spokane boaters, of course, have the option to register their boats in Idaho to take advantage of the lower fees. The system is semi-honor system, much like the self parking garages, but like the garages, if you don't pay, a citation may be issued.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Over 40 kids ages from birth to 12 hunted down eggs at the Captain's Wheel and Terry's Cafe Saturday. clearly the largest turnout yet, it was a great success. We would also like to point out that unlike reports of parental interference in other locals, these kids, AND their parents were very well behaved and were good sports.

Not once, in witnessing both age groups was there any bad manners, nor pushing, shoving or stealing of eggs, as reported in other venues. We can only assume from this that Bayview Mom's, Dad's and kids are the best, most well behaved in North Idaho.

Easter Sunday will mark the 2008th anniversary of the Resurrection of Jesus, and coincidentally, my 70th birthday. I am very proud to share this holiday with the King. I will, of course, be holding court at the usual place, the bar at the Wheel, around 2:00 pm. Should anyone be overcome with joy at me attaining this improbable age, please join me.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Firing Range Aftermath

We recently wrote a scathing post about the stealth measure sponsored by the Idaho Fish & Game Department and eleven North Idaho legislators. A real feel good issue, according to some quotes by the evil eleven. I find it rather strange that a measure requested by F & G. Introduced and sent to committee February 13 and passed the house and senate February 20.

In five days, without any feedback or publicity enabling Bayview to at least be heard, this measure passed. In an attempt to circumvent a judges ruling, the state raised the noise bar to 64 decibels. Several remarks by area legislators forces me to believe that these well meaning people thought that a band of extremist ban the guns types has taken over the village. Not so! Prior to the lawsuit, the Bayview Chamber of commerce, supported by most locals and the fledgling Bayview community council both voted to send a resolution to the Fish & Game Department opposing the resiting of a world class firing range.

Contrary to one mouthy legislator, this is not about gun control, nor is it about banning the right to bear arms, which I am, as a conservative, very much against. Many of the people that sued, have and use firearms. For example, last Summer, many of this group trotted their own rifles out for a sound test, with a qualified audio engineer in attendance. What this is about is the inappropriate location, not firing ranges per se.

A magnificent park such as Farragut specializes in nature walks, wildlife observances, Camping and hiking,in addition to horseback riding, Winter sports such as sledding, cross-country skiing and many other compatible uses. The tranquility is broken only when loud explosions occur. That hasn't been a problem for the sixty years since the Navy abandoned the base. The known distance range in use during WW11 training,was only used on rare occasions, such as a few days prior to hunting season, when hunters would trek up to the office, beg the key to the gate, and were permitted to use the range in a very limited way.

It was only when Fish & Game, with apparently too much money overflowing their pockets, decided to create a world class range with multiple rifle pits, and trap and skeet, with shotgun blasts echoing throughout the park. While there may be a need for a facility such as this, we believe this is the wrong place. Since 1946, property lying vacant and wooded during and before the war years, has built up and is still growing into a vital premium place to live.

We are not weird headed cranks, nor extremists. The rural experience is one of great value, but without the sounds of silence, it is wasted. To suggest that the 11 incumbents that co-sponsored this attempt to circumvent the will of the voters that live in this community will go unpunished, is laughable. Jorgenson, Broadsword and others will be remembered when election day rolls around. Frank Henderson, when I e-mailed him as soon as I heard about the bill, which turned out to be too late, said,"I've never heard of that bill. I thought the firing range was a dead issue." Shortly thereafter, thanks to Bill McCrory, I found out he voted aye on the issue. either he didn't bother to look at the bill, or I was lied to.

In a county, Kootenai, that brags about being the most conservative county in the state, we have 11 so called conservatives siding with big government against local control. Sheesh, and they call themselves conservative. Ronnie Reagan would have taken them to the woodshed for a good hiding.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chicken Little Is Alive & Well

For the last few years, many ecology minded people, some even with scientific credentials have bombarded us with tails of global warming and disaster just around the corner. Sea levels rising to inundate coastal cities, and on and on and on. This isn't just an argument in scientific circles, it has become the holy grail of the left, and does not accept arguments to the contrary. Kind of like the Spanish Inquisition without the rack.

What is being lost, is that weather and climatologists that do not agree have been systematically shouted down, branded as ignorant heretics. This is why it was so refreshing to pick up the Sunday Spokesman-Review and find Randy Mann, a long range weather forecaster daring to dispute the mantra. The following are excerpts from this article.

"Snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere in early 2008 was greater than at any time since 1966. The U.S. National Climatic Data Center reported that record cold temperatures were observed across many American cities and towns in January and February. We've seen frigid temperatures as low as minus-20 degrees to minus -30 degrees near the Canadian border, unusual for so late in the season. rare snows fell as far south as Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas last week. Much of Ohio and upstate New York were buried under one to two feet of snow late last week."

(here's the punch line)

"Average global temperatures for January, according to the National climactic Data Center, were 0.3 degrees cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average. THERE HAS BEEN ABOUT A DEGREE DROP IN THE EARTH'S TEMPERATURE SINCE AUGUST 2007."

Mann goes on to point out that China has experienced the most brutal winter since 1210. One ice storm after another has hit Canada for the last two months.

"The Winter was so severe that Arctic sea ice has returned. Forecasters for the Canadian Ice Service in Ottawa say that "the ice has not only recovered, but it's now thicker in places than at the same time last year."

Mann goes on to say that some well qualified scientists say La Nina is responsible, some say the lack of sunspots and solar activity. "There is now concern that we may be in for a long period of severe cold if Sunspot activity doesn't pick up soon." Russian Weather expert, Oleg Sorokhtin, pointed out. "THE LAST TIME THE SUN WAS THIS INACTIVE, OUR PLANET WAS ENDURING THE "LITTLE ICE AGE." It was a cold period that lasted 500 years, ending around 1850. During that time, there were widespread crop failures, famine, iced up harbors and rivers.

Mann tells us that it is still too early to tell exactly where Earth's temperature is headed. One cold Winter does not determine whether global warming took a year off, nor does it portend a new ice age. We are apparently in the worst cycle of climatological extremes in about 1000 years.

Perhaps we should leave this to the experts and quit politicising what is at best an unknown future in global warming/cooling.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Baywinkle Blows Town

Baywinkle, sound asleep, is on his way to a rural area North and East of Bonners Ferry, Idaho. This all expenses included trip was sponsored by Idaho Fish & Game, after numerous requests from local residents, fearful that children might be harmed. Alerted by Marie at the Captain's Wheel, your intrepid reporter scurried up to 1st and Fir, where Fish & Game agents had the moose down already.

The Bull Moose, sans antlers, has been hanging out in Bayview since before Christmas, as deep mountain snows blanketed the surrounding areas. Many originally thought he was a female, since no antlers. Research shows however that moose do not shed every year, but usually every other. Some close calls have been experienced since he moved in, at times eating out of peoples hands, (to be discouraged) and others, charging in anger.(to be avoided)

All in all, it was a great experience for the community, in a season that doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment. Great pictures and memories will last much longer than Baywinkle will. IF&G officials on scene felt confident that the moose will recover nicely from the tranquilizer administered, which isn't always the case.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shooting Range, Dejavu

In an unbelievable turn of events, Idaho Fish & Game went behind the backs of local residents to circumvent a court ordered shutdown of Farragut State Park's plans for reactivating a World War Two known distance shooting range, effectively closed since 1945, with the exception of the occasional shooter, sighting in a rifle prior to hunting season.

The small village of Bayview sits surrounded by Farragut State Park on two sides. Perimeter Road goes by the proposed shooting range site within rock throwing distance. Noise from demonstrations of small arms fire are heard and objected to from areas several miles away, due to the echo effect of the hills surrounding the park.

Two years ago, a small band of determined citizens pooled their resources along with a local attorney to sue the state, asking that the creation of a "World Class Firing Range" be prohibited on the grounds that noise levels would be prohibitive to the peace and tranquility of the community as well as the safety, with the occasional errant bullet whizzing around. In addition to the rifle range, plans were put forth for a trap and skeet shooting area. While in theory, rifle noise could be baffled, there is no way to baffle or contain shotgun blasts. This facility is unwanted, unneeded and a public nuisance.

That the carefully observant activists in this area didn't get a peep from any source until this measure passed both houses is unbelievable. That Senator Mike Jorgenson of Hayden can't equate citizen voters with the neighbors suing the State is unfortunate. One suspects a vigorous election cycle this time around. Apparently, stealth and Big Daddy Government are still alive and well here in Idaho.

I have added this comment to the body of the post, because it is so enlightening, I didn't want IT to pass under the radar:

Bill McCrory has left a new comment on your post "Shooting Range, Dejavu":

Henderson voted "aye" on the bill! What's that load of BS he gave you?

The bill went to Resources and Conservation on Feb 13 and came out of committee on Feb 20.

No, not under the radar. It's been available on the legislative website. People just need to pay attention to what the hired help in Boise is doing. That's why the lobbyists get the big bucks and the taxpayers get screwed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bayview Ain't So Small

L-R Larry Grant, Gordon Fuller and Ralph Jones, Host. Fuller, who is blind,
is a member of the Idaho Governor's Independent Living Council.

While normally, Bayview is bypassed on the road to public office, we had a visit by democratic candidate for Congress, Larry Grant the other day. Grant, running for Bill Sali's First District seat, stopped by Ralph's Internet Cafe to visit with supporters, along with his entourage. Rick Currie, Chairman of the county Board of Commissioners told me he was going to try to attend tonight's Bayview Chamber of commerce meeting. Minor surgery with his wife being the only problem. Curry has been real good about visiting with Bayview citizens over problems, both real and perceived. While he can't always do what the folks here would like to see, he doesn't hide in his office, either.

It is my solemn duty to remind you of an occasion that isn't so solemn, as the annual pajama party at the Captain's Wheel cranks up for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, Saturday, March 15. Be there. Waivers are granted for those of us that sleep nude.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Party Time in Spirit Lake

It was party time in spirit Lake Saturday, as the who's who of journalism gathered at Taryn Hecker's new/old home. Long time Buddy, Taryn invited me to her housewarming held Saturday. We had friends, associates, just about everyone around that basks in the warmth of Taryn's friendship. Three newspapers were represented, as the Coeur d'Alene Press, Spokesman-Review and the St. Marie's Gazette were ably represented by the people that count. Namely the party animals. The snow berms are still monumental in the neighborhood. It is hoped that by the Fourth of July celebration, the snow will be gone, but nobody is taking bets.

The housewarming is more than just a house. It's a new start for a wonderful person, bright reporter and a great friend. Hang in there, Taryn, you do good.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tanker Contract

A recent Spokesman-Review editorial agreed with the defense department over the choice of Airbus of France, primarily, as the prime contractor for the new refueling tankers. Right on the heels of this, came an overwhelming cheer from our defense department. I respectfully disagree with both, but for different reasons.

First, the point made, was that we are in a global economy. That is, and should be, a limited goal. We haven't yet become a one world government, where our self interests must be sublimininated for the others out there. It is not in our best interests, for instance, to try to equal the workers in a country that pays an employee $5.00 per 12 hour day. We rose above that sort of thing in the 30's. The obvious result of equality here, is that we should then split the difference. Give them half our wealth, to make up for their people's inability to become part of the 20th century, let along the 21st.

At no time, since buying aircraft for the first world war, have we ever failed to support our military with domestic production of same. Tommorow may not include the same allies that today brings. It is critical that we not ever give away our technology or ability to produce our own protection. There isn't a war plane anywhere in the world that can stand toe to toe with ours. Let's keep it that way.

That kind of equality is retreating from everything we have gained through a better system, harder work, and the freedom to be as good as we have the ability to be. Secondly, and more to the point, we are in a recession. Actually, I have been preaching this for over a year. Memories are short, and the lessons of thirty years ago forgotten, ergo the mortgage debacle. Part, though of the cause of this recession is because we have given up our sovereignty to the world markets, no longer protecting our economy, our manufacturing jobs, claiming that a free market is the panacea for universal wealth. It is not. Free trade isn't free at all. It requires firms that used to manufacture goods in this country to ship those jobs overseas to take advantage of peasants in another economy.

Back to the tanker contract. Dissing Boeing, or any other resident company for the Europeans is shipping jobs in an area that we already have given up to many jobs. The most pressing argument regarding the tanker contract is that our defense is not a world wide project, but one that is addressing our interest, and ours only. To suggest that Boeing isn't competitive is a joke. This is about globalization of trade and politics. When politics intercede, they should, on behalf of our self interest only.

Shifting our economy into the service industries, without actually producing anything, is a carousel of a revolving nothing. Nothing produced, nothing earned, nothing acquired. Eventually, we will run out of borrowed money with which to maintain our freedom. I'm so glad I'm too old to see the final outcome.