Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year ... Old Year

New Year's Eve. A time for reflection, a time for hope. Much has happened in our little community, some good, some not so good. The continuous leakage of residents unable to live here anymore is a stunning loss to local businesses, as well as to friendships and relationships.Several factors are at play here.

Certainly the demographics have changed, what with the new developers tearing some things down, building others. Perhaps the largest loss that might end up bankrupting the entire village, is the loss of tourist facilities. In pre-development days, only four years ago, we had four RV parks and two motels, one only being four rooms.We now have one motel of four rooms, two RV parks and where we had five eating facilities and three cocktail facilities, we now have one of the later and two of the former.I see some reasons here other than loss of population.

One, many residents don't bother to support the local businesses at all. To them they live in a bedroom community and don't eat out or stop at a local watering hole for a drink or two. I have spoken to many concerned locals and also business people. I'm going to tell you, no punches pulled, what the conclusions are that I have reached. No favorites, just the facts.

One, certainly those that do not drink alcoholic beverages shouldn't and won't be scolded for that. However, that being said, diner out once in a while wouldn't hurt any of you and will foreclose upon those arguments when the business go belly up from your neglect. It is cheaper to buy some of your needs at the Mercantile than driving into town. Use 'em or lose 'em, folks.

The third criticism I have, is to the folks that belong to and support the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. The word commerce is defined as follows: "The exchange of buying and selling commodities and services." As I currently understand the goals of the chamber, none of them include the support and promotion of local business. I have, as I wander through town, received several complaints from local merchants directed toward this neglect. If one wonders why none of the local business owners attend, that's the problem. No, actually, that's just one of the problems. The other, is this town is full of factionalism and the merchants don't want to get embroiled on one side or another of an issue that would alienate half of their customers.

The other side of the coin, is that business owners haven't always done the right things to attract and hold customers. Things like allowing smoke to travel through open doors to the dining areas, sending non-smokers to other places, rude treatment of customers, allowing loud and obnoxious drinkers to continue their loud and obnoxious ways, indifference to strangers who show up, who then,leave feeling unwelcome,never to return. Every time your business sees a new face it is a one time opportunity to make a new friend and to start a long term relationship with that potential customer, Once gone, so is that opportunity. Ignoring strangers is a disease of local watering holes. It's also a recipe for failure. Perhaps that one is the most egregious of all. My background is sales. Purchasers, or clients do business with you only because they want to, not because they have to.

Those dollars in the till are not automatic. Piss a customer off, and those dollars stop. After awhile, so many dollars stop that the business starts to lose money. Even when dissatisfied customers find out that the reasons fore their boycott is no longer present, the smoldering felling of being unwanted or not appreciated lingers on. These things have been repeated to me many times over the last week as the captain's wheel prepares to close.But the Wheel isn't alone.

Business people that take their customers for granted, and in this economy, will disappear. Some already have. We are a dysfunctional community on both sides of the ledger. Now that I have managed to offend without specific targets, everyone in town, let me wish you all a Happy New Year. ... But the only way to make it happy is to pay attention to our community, support and fund it. The businesses need to extract their collective heads from their nether regions and start thinking about how to make new friends and how to keep the old ones.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Aliens Attacked My Computer... Again

I have been out of touch since just before Christmas. Yes, another virus. I could have called Iyogi, my protection plan, but I also had installed Magic Jack which is phone over internet. That meant I couldn't e-mail nor could I call anyone. Boy, howdy, talk about a quiet Christmas.

Rather than trying to understand the tech support in India, which I couldn't talk to anyway, since all I had was a cell phone that I could use next to my keyboard. After a half dozen lost signal hang ups, I gave up. The day after Christmas, I headed for Wally World to buy one of those cheap laptops. Good luck. All of the under $500 sets were sold out, so I got this one, an HP notebook.

I learned something new about computers. Laptops do not operate the same as desk tops. It's a whole new ballgame. I got stuck on the very first step of set-up. What's up with setup. Shouldn't you just be able to plug it in, turn it on then download some programs? Huh uh. After reading, then re-reading the instructions, and after an hour, I located the on/off button. I knew immediately I needed technical support. I went to the Captain's Wheel, where many of the patrons there, actually understand this crap. Now, I'm up and running ... kinda. You see, my system of choice is Mozilla Firefox. I downloaded it and created some favorites. Then I took the computer home at which time Windows blocked me out of Firefox.My sanity, while in question for many years, is now teetering right on the edge. I am beginning to drool and make funny noises. The voices in my head are insisting I throw this computer away, too. I ignore them. My credit card company wouldn't understand if I told them I had to charge a new computer because the old one, (four days old)had outsmarted me.

So to all of you, Happy New Year. To my computer, the entire industry and especially those miserable jerks in India, I have only this to say to you. @%##??&%@$#*

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tis sThe Season

It is upon us. whether you are a Christian, celebrating the birth of Christ, A Jew, celebrating Hanukkah, a peaceful Muslim or an agnostic, or even an animist, worshiping the trees, the Christmas season seems to cheer up everyone. Especially department stores, but I digress. Christmas Eve, just two days away, will find me at the captain's Wheel for the pot luck dinner and no host bar.

Most other activities have already taken place, including the best Christmas lighted parade, yet. Ralph's cafe shot some great video and you can ask him for that footage by contacting him at

Also I would like to clarify my sloppy coverage of the restaurant situation. With the closing of the Captain's Wheel, the Patio will be open for limited food service and cocktails seven days per week from 11 to 7 or whenever. Ralph, a good friend, went to my blog before his first cup of coffee and became righteously pissed that I downgraded him to a snack bar. That was the sloppy part. Somehow, with the always beautiful Daveana, he manages to come up with many tasty meals, within the limitations of no hood or fire suppression system. You go to Ralph's you don't go home hungry. so you can't get prime rib nor a sirloin steak, hey he's got most of the rest. My most humble apology for calling your place a snack stop.

The hit of the week though, was the Christmas lighting contest which has gained momentum in the last two or three years. The first prize winners were Jan & Walt Johnson. to see this fabulous display, drive west on 6Th street in Bayview to the end. You just can't miss it. I took six pictures of it and still didn't do it justice. I needed a wide angle lens I didn't have, but the best picture that I got is displayed above.

To my fellow Christians, Merry Christmas. To the Jewish friends that I have, a happy Hanukkah. for all of the others, Stickman included may your faith, whatever it be, give you a happy holiday and a happy life to follow. Remember, this holiday isn't just about presents, though giving is one's most important acts, receiving isn't all that much of a deal. It boils down to It's all about love. Merry Christmas to all and to all, goodnight.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

End of an Era

Since the death of the widely respected partner in ownership, Jerry Berry, along with previous partner,Jim Campbell,still living, the future of the Captain's Wheel Restaurant has been in question. Widowed Carletta Berry wanted to take over and silent partner, Michael McFarland, who purchased Campbell's interest,based on advice of his mentor, Jerry, chose to rise from silent partner to CEO. Those issues are to be decided in court sometime in January.

What can't be adjudicated in court, is the dismantling of the local infrastructure. As developers flocked to Bayview a few years ago, it became obvious that at least some of the investors wanted to transport this lazy backwater into a mecca for wealthy summer water sports enthusiasts. Unfortunately this included the task of getting rid of long time residents, some, third and even fourth generation. Situated 8 miles from the main highway, (hwy95) Bayview sits at the foot of Farragut State Park.

First, the town trailer park, often referred to as an eyesore, was purchased and razed. This purchase was engineered by Bob Holland , currently owner of the Vista Bay Marina, The previously know as Bayview Marina, and now called Harborview, and then Boileau's Marina, which included the patio and the Buttonhook.

The trailer park property was subsequently sold to James Darling, of WSU and NFL fame as a linebacker. Darling came into the community knowing that his predecessor, Holland, had stepped on many toes and wanted to avoid that. He worked assiduously to heal community breaches ,and is continuously trying to balance his interests with the community.Currently, he is building the first of three phases, involving about 32 condo units.

The former RV park at Boileaus' was turned into a parking lot to satisfy parking requirements for other Holland enterprises. The Bayview Motel was sold to a former NBA basketball player, about the same time. Not wanting to be subject to motel taxes and regulations, he turned that project into monthly rentals.That project has crashed since with the current economy, only about four units are rented. We now have less than half of the temporary RV and tent capacity for tourist than a few years ago.

This brings us to there present condition. The local economy has tubed. Many permanent residents have moved away, leaving a shell for the winter months. New condo projects probably will not help, as most will be purchased as second or vacation homes. The Buttonhook Restaurant has closed, with an opening date up in the air. Terry's Cafe, owned by Chan of Scenic Bay Marina, may reopen soon for breakfast and lunches. The patio, now leased from Chan by Scott & Jeanne Bjerge, has stayed open much later in the year, due to other closures, and will stay open throughout the Winter season. The hours of operation at the Patio will be 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.Cocktails are available at the Patio.There is still a possibility of the former Terry's Cafe opening soon, as lights are on again and remodeling is in progress.

Today, we morn one more stake in the heart of Bayview. Losing hundreds of dollars per month trying to stay open during the slow months, the Captain's Wheel is throwing in the towel for, at least the next two months. The last days of this drama will play out after January 3, when the lights will dim over the most stable full service restaurant & bar that has existed since 1996. The possibly last hurrah of the 'Wheel will be New Years Eve, with ever popular, "The Keep" playing for your listening pleasure.

Left open, will be the JD's, a bar and the patio, along with Ralph's internet cafe, which along with the patio brings Lite meals to the table, but puts Bayview into a category of not having a sit down restaurant in operation during this winter season.

Asked why this was necessary, Captain's wheel management just sighed and said, " There are either not enough people living here during the winter season, or due to the economy, choose not to eat out. Either way, we can't keep on losing money where the bottomless pit equals the total loss of equity and bankruptcy.

Folks, It's going to be a long winter. The hopes and prayers of local residents continue to come up negative, as the cards are turning up as a pair of deuces.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas In Bayview/Athol

There are lots of thing going on this Christmas, much of which we won't hear about, but of those activities that have been brought to our attention, we'll mention. First off, Santa will be appearing at the Bayview Community Center Saturday, December 19, starting at 4:30 pm, with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony around 5:00. An ensemble will sing carols and kids will get the chance to tell Santa what they would like for Christmas. Refreshments will be served and prizes given for the best decoration display. Some areas to watch while driving around for the view, would be 4th & fir, Spruce between 1st & 3rd, and out on the cape there are several. One that has been outstanding is just off the corner of Cape Horn Road on Pend Oreille Pines.

Timberlake Fire District had it's annual Christmas Party last Saturday, December 12. An appreciation dinner was held at the Bayview community center, sponsored by the Fire District Commissioners.

Speaking of the Fire District, they have adopted a family for Christmas this year. The whole crew pitched in for gifts for a very deserving family. Heather Murphy, a single Mom with five kids will get a visit from Sparky the fire dog mascot, along with a fire engine which will deliver the gifts. Most likely, the firefighters will fight over who gets to go on the truck.

Oops, I almost forgot. The Christmas parade that started two years ago is on again. Tomorrow, Saturday, December 19 it will start at Phil's house on 1st and Fir, thence, after a few libations, and snacks onward through town in a squiggly way, to end at the Captain's wheel or there about.

The Captain's Wheel is holding a Christmas Eve pot luck dinner starting at 4:00 pm. Bring some goodies or just yourself.

If I've left anyone or any activity out, please e-mail me so that I can add to this list. Merry Christmas to all.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weather, Or Not

It appears that the weather guessers are somewhat worried over two systems about to meet and clash right over us. A cold front swooping down from Canada is fixin' to bump heads with the warm front surging up from California. Expected to hit Monday evening and Tuesday, they have changed from predicting 3-6 inches, to warning that it could be much worse.

Why those cursed Californians continue to send us weather they don't want is beyond me. Why not ship it to Arizona and New Mexico where they can use it? (Oops, apologies to my friends wintering in Arizona)Anyway, when two weather systems converge, heavy precipitation can occur. Where they converge, appears to be right here.

Speaking of Arizona, I spoke with Jean Campbell yesterday. Jim & Jean are former owners of the Captain's Wheel. They alternate between Lake Siskiyou in the summer, as restaurant/gift shop operators and Welton, Arizona where they hunker down for the winter. Apparently they had a wind storm with wind velocities above 50 mph, with light rain, which produced a monster mud bath. So it turns out they, too have to shovel weather in the winter.

In other news, Santa may or may not be on time for Christmas. It turns out the Air Traffic Control system is overloaded, and Santa may be diverted to Moses Lake or some such isolated destination. Speaking of Christmas, for you eternal optimists, Accuweather has a snow storm hitting 12/24 through 12/25. A bit of a long range forecast, but hey, this is for the optimists.

I plan on joining others at the Captain's wheel for their Christmas Eve Pot Luck dinner. It starts at 4:00 pm. Bring your goodies or just yourselves, since many bring more than their share anyway. Break out those mittens, folks.


12/15/09: The weather guessers are now welshing on the Christmas snow storm They now say it will happen a day or so after Christmas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I have never in the past done this, meaning copied and pasted stuff that in the history of this blog is frowned upon. Still, I feel strongly that the MSM including senior editors of the spokesman-review, who tend to be very liberal have blessed the use of this horrible term that is definitely pejorative in a sexual context to conservatives. I don't always follow the conservative party line when it gets to far right, but this is unacceptable. Period.

Teabagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth[1] or on or around the face (including the top of the head) of another person, often in a repeated in-and-out motion as in irrumatio. The practice resembles dipping a tea bag into a cup of tea.[2][3]
The practice

Teabagging is an activity used within the context of owning trents dome BDSM and male dominance, with a dominant man teabagging his submissive partner as one variation of facesitting and/or as a means of inflicting erotic humiliation. Teabagging is not always carried out with a solely “sexual” connotation.

Teabagging has been used during hazing or bullying incidents.[4] Incidents have included reports of groups holding down victims while the perpetrator “shoves his testicles in [their] face”[5] or puts their “crotch to his head.”[6]

Mimicking teabagging has become popular in online video games. It is portrayed by the winning player positioning his character over the fallen character's face (while repeatedly crouching and standing) to imply domination or humiliation.[6]
[edit] Use as a political term
Main article: Tea Party protests

In 2009, groups known as Tea Parties were formed to protest United States government tax and spending policies. Media outlets began to use the term 'Teabaggers' as a criticism of the entire Tea Party movement, making use of language and accoutrement employed by some of its members.[7][8] An article in by Alex Koppelman traced the controversy to a photograph by David Weigel posted on The Washington Independent website on 27 February,[9] showing a protester holding a sign that read “Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You!!”[10] Weigel's report was referenced by bloggers, including Wonkette, who used “teabagging” or “teabagger” in their headline.[9] Several critics of the protesters, including Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and Anderson Cooper, used the slang in their broadcasts. Cooper later apologized, calling the term “silly” and stating that his use of it detracted from his serious reporting.[11][12][13][14][15]

It would appear that MSM liberal editors have blessed the use of this dirty term in obeisance to their liberal following. I do not believe that repeated use of a dirty word or term legitimatizes it. Certianly other words that are in common use on the streets are prohibited on spokesman-Review blogs. It is apparent to me that this one sided morality is wrong, wrong, wrong!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Road Trip From Hell

Today I trekked to the big city. No, not Rathdrum or even Coeur d'Alene. I went for the whole hog and drove to the land of red light busters, choked freeways and crime waves, and that's just Spokane city officials, according to Clark. Actually, it wasn't too bad. The route I took avoided the infamous pot holes, which is good because I experience many of those where I live here in Bayview. Really, the only bad part of the trip was getting out of the car. That it was cold is an understatement. Bone-chilling, paralyzing cold.

I took the trip anyway. You see, I have three beautiful young granddaughters that were in a Christmas Pageant at Northwest Christian School in the North End. It was great entertainment. all three were in different grade levels and had parts based on their class. On top of the fact that I have these three beauties as grandchildren, my son is a teacher there, (4Th grade) and my daughter-in-law is a substitute teacher at the school. So son was herding the fourth grade class while his wife, Jennifer was trying to keep order in the third grade class, which she subbed for today. She needed a whip and chair. The kids didn't get outside recess due to the cold, so they saved all of their pent up energy for the evening events. Still, when it was their turn to head for the stage, they settled right down, like great troupers that they were.

I didn't see Cindy Hval there, but I strongly suspect she was out stalking her 15 year old son's Health teacher. (If you don't follow Huckleberries on line this doesn't make sense, but then much that I write doesn't anyway. Inside joke.)

Had to stop for gas. It couldn't happen when it was warm, no. I had to get out of the car, stick the hose in the tank and hope my hand wouldn't freeze to it. Made it home OK. did I mention that I stopped for groceries on the way to Spokane? It's the first time I have ever had to unload the car to assure that I wouldn't ruin some of the food I'd bought. Usually that is a Summer thing. I could see the rolls of biscuits freezing and popping open, causing me to bake all night long, but no, everything worked out fine. In a year or two, I may venture to the big city again, but only under duress, or that of my grand kids. I don't plan on poking my head out until at least March.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Whaterever It Takes...!

That is what Bayview residents received on their doorsteps Friday Night, as four men riding in a pickup threw leaflets on most everyone's lawn stuffed in a plastic baggie and weighted down with ballast rock allegedly stolen from the Burlington Northern tracks in Athol.

The content is as follows:

"Know That Whatever It Takes, White America will survive!
It is signed, not with a name, but the Aryan Nations, National Headquarters, P.O. Box 91, Athol, Idaho, 83801"

"Join The Ranks." Etc.Etc.

Captain Ben Wolfinger told me today that they invite a criminal complaint on this matter, and will definitely follow through. If you have received one of these pieces of filth and desire the perpetrators to be brought to justice for littering, call the Kootenai Sheriff department 208-446-1300 and file your complaint. Each such call is treated as a separate count of littering. Let's make it expensive for these Jerks to do what they do. Never has the city of Athol's claim to fame name wise, ever been more appropriate than with these residents. Some of us view this series of acts as the equivalent of burning a cross in a neighbor's yard, sans the fire hazard.

My humble apology to Ben Wolfinger. I referred to him as always, as Captain. It turns out her was promoted to Major. A big congrats to Ben Wolfinger, a truly conscientious peace officer.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

For many years the mission of the Corps of Engineers was to regulate navigable waterways. The original intent was primarily the Mississippi,Missouri and Ohio rivers, for both flood control and navigation. toward that goal, locks were emplaced at necessary points to aid the up river and down river commerce. These rivers were and are navigable because they can be used all the way to the ocean for marine traffic.

Then somehow, the corps got too big for their collective britches and decided that THEY would determine what was navigable and what was not. The most obvious transgressions are out west, where rivers that may support a canoe for brief journeys, dammed rivers that cannot be navigated, even by fish and other egregious mis-applications of the terminology.

To state that the Corps transgresses upon the states rights that they regulate, as well as rule the power grid thfough the measured feeding of water from dam to dam, as needed for power generation, is teating the subject lightly. They have gone so far beyond the original intent of their perview as to be ridiculous. The situation is obvious. We, residents of the various western states need to wrest control from these power hungry federal abusers. One method would be to sue in federal court, asking the court to find that the Corps has overstepped their mandate. Another, would be to get congress to redefine what constitutes a navagable waterway.

Here on 50 mile long Lake Pend Oreille, the corps is attempting once again, to manipulate the levels through their ownership of the Albeni Falls Dam without regard to the fact that this lake is not a man made reservoir, but a natural body of water. Our lake has been trashed by the lack of regard to our fisheries and lakefront properties. They seem to feel that we exist for the sole purpose of supplying water to Grand Coulee Dam and other such structures down stream.

There are adequate dams down stream from Lake Pend Oreille to hold summer water through the winter power use cycles without misusing our lake. During the few years where a moratorium was in force and the corps was only allowed to lower the lake to 2051 feet above sea level every three years, and to maintain a Summer level of 2062, with 2055 being the odd years winter level. The mighty Corps of Engineers has unilaterally decided they essentially will in the future do what they damn well please. This is wrong and the State of Idaho needs to pull them up short, if the various interested bureaucrats can manage to extract their collective heads from their ... rears.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Seniors Thrown Under The Bus

I feel that I've jumped through the looking glass and am now in Wonderland with Alice. Everything seems to be upside down. The democrats in congress, reputed by their own statements, are for the poor and the downtrodden. They have voted, party line to reduce payments for Medicare treatment. Sure, they say out of one side of their mouths, "no reduction in benefits will occur, just payments."

I have no accurate figures on this, but I do know that most doctors in my area, which includes North Idaho, are refusing medicare patients and those that don't will not accept new patients. These doctors claim that the payments do not come anywhere close to prevailing rates that are charged in the area, and that they lose money treating them. Not only that, but the ones that do accept medicare patients are so bogged down with bureaucratic paperwork that they often have to hire an office assistant just for medicare related reports and forms required.

On top of this political anomaly, AARP, supposedly the bastion of protection for seniors, has endorsed this abortion of logic. (note to self, cancel membership immediately) The obvious outcome of this travesty is a program the federal government can brag about that the medical profession won't use or accept. This reverse Robin Hood approach to legislation clearly is robbing from the poor to give to the middle class. Before I attempt to jump back through the looking glass, I'm going to sit here and wonder about the nasty Republican Party that only thinks of big business, being on the side of helpless seniors. I'm going to then examine where the hell the Democrats get off turning their backs on the elderly. Well, I guess that's no surprise, after all, they turned their collective backs on Labor, who through smoke and mirrors, still support the party.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Politics & How They Can Lie

Now that the last election cycle is over, (we hope) a number of thoughts have occurred to me. First of all, where has my political philosophy gone to. Back when I was a Young Republican in Orange County California, I was what I thought,a solid core conservative. Many of us were, at the time. We were in essence, the torch bearers for Ronald Reagan, as he approached the decision to run for Governor for the State of California. We all knew he would run, it was the usual pre-positioning that candidates used to get supporters to urge them to run. They did, he did. The rest is history. I was privileged to be personally acquainted with Ronnie, as we called him back then I, at one time had his unlisted phone number when he lived in Pacific Palisades, prior to being elected to the governorship. I still cherish the personally autographed first copy, first edition of his autobiography,"where Is The Rest Of Me."

But there is more to the story than that. You see, we had three layers of political philosophy dividing the Republican party. First, the eastern establishment supported Rockefeller for President. The vast majority of conservatives in Southern California, favored Reagan. The third level was the John Birch Society. Bless them, they were Zealots of the first order. Unfortunately, they were so far out of the main stream as to be inconsequential.

Well, Reagan was elected Governor of California, then re-elected to a second term. It turned out that rather than he being a weak "movie star," he had perhaps much more substance to him. All except the JBS. He just wasn't conservative enough for them. Actually, Genghis Khan was too liberal for some of them, but I digress.

Ronald Reagan was a consensus builder, not a fanatic.He started out by uniting the Republican Party, which was no mean trick. His mantra was, "this party has a large tent, and went on to say,"Speak no evil of those in our party. The other side will do that for us."

Reagan was elected Governor of California at a time that the previous administration and legislature had brought down the financial structure of the state to the degree that Reagan had to raise taxes big time just to keep up with the previous expenditures. This was not popular, especially to those that were used to the free handouts that were being curtailed.

In entering the Governorship, he realized fairly soon that the legislature was ruled by Jesse Unruh, a Democrat. In order to run the state, these two had to find a place they could agree.They did, and the rest is history.

After being elected to the presidency of the United State, he ran into the same sort of problem with Congress. The Speaker of the House was Tip O'Meil, a fellow Irishman. It is rumored that after fighting tooth and nail over legislation, they would as Irishmen tend to do, retire to the living quarters in the white House, where they would sip a bit of the old sod.

There is much more to the story of Ronald Reagan, and how I found myself intertwined in his rise to super stardom, but that can wait for another time. What I want to say today, is that the persons or group or four or five that call themselves Reagan Republicans are not even close. They are riding on coattails that would never have been available had Ronnie been alive. He would literally roll over in his grave to find that people are using his name in vain, and running back to the extreme he so much hated.

Monday, November 30, 2009


L-R Retiring Deedie Beard and County Clerk, Dan English

A grand lady, dedicated to accuracy retired today. After 33 years in county government, and most of that as the elections director, Deedie Beard called it a career. The stories of late night counts and recounts haunt the hallways of the election department. Most of which occurred before the computerization of the whole process. Machine voting has taken over most of the counting process, along with modern paper ballot processing from the hinterlands of the county.

Within those 33 years of county service, Deedie once bragged, "not one person in this county knows how I think politically, or how I vote, and I intend to keep it that way." Two years ago I interviewed Deedee for a story I wrote in the Handle Extra about her stellar service. Deedie was honored today, by the county she served and by the state from within she served. Room one hundred in the county administration building was packed as co-workers, friends, of which she has many, and an extended family that pretty near collapsed the walls of the room. Cheers and tears ruled the day as Deedee's replacement quickly rose to the occasion, furnishing her with a fresh pack of Kleenex.

Deedie received awards from the county, Women's league of voters, and the Secretary of State, Ben Ysursa, naming her as the bar to which other county election departments could take lessons from. But plaques and certificates cannot take the place of the love and affection folks in Kootenai county hold for this wonderful person and administrator.

Unfortunately, the shadow of sore losers threatened to dampen the celebration as a lawsuit was filed late Monday afternoon, challenging the election itself, apparently without a request for a recount. In my opinion, with a five vote margin, the loser to Kennedy could have and probably should have called for a recount. Apparently the loser chose to insult the system itself, and by reference, the grand lady retiring.
What they hope to accomplish is unknown and the outcome deplorable. Attacking the very system that allows one to abuse it is interesting at best.

My take on this is that while conservatives certainly outnumber liberals in the panhandle, Extremism can and probably will move voters toward the more moderate middle. We saw that when Sali lost to Democrat Minnick last election cycle, and with the continued extremism we actually might see more Republicans voting to retain Minnick who isn't by any standard, liberal.

Please join me in congratulating Deedee Beard on one of the most astounding careers in public service ever seen in this neck of the woods.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heros and Heroines

Sometimes things just happen when you least expect it. I ran into Elizabeth Anderson and her mother, visiting from the wilds of upper Minnesota Saturday. Elizabeth had brought her Mom up to see infamous Bayview. From a county planners standpoint it must be perceived as that. It must be pointed out that she works for Kootenai County Planning & Zoning. Among all of the vast projected large plats that have been requested from Harrison to the northern county line, her department has been extremely busy. Perhaps the word extremely isn't out of order either, as turn it loose growth advocates have clashed with Whoa, stop the train, no more building.

Stuck right in the middle is the Kootenai County Commissioners along with the planning and zoning people. Our region is at least up until the recession occurred, bursting with an unprecedented growth. A growth that as usual in these situations, hadn't been planned for. The last two or three years has found the county furiously trying to update their master plan where no plan really existed before.

But that isn't the real story here. You see, Elizabeth Anderson was stricken with breast cancer a while back. She cheerfully shifted gears and settled into a combat mode. Never fearing that she would loose her battle with cancer, she stuck her chest out, (figuratively speaking) and charged forth to meet the challenge. Losing both breasts, she underwent a year of chemotherapy which still has two treatments to go.

Meeting her and her Mom in Bayview over lunch was on my part a distinct pleasure of the highest kind. You see, It's not very often you get to sit next to a real hero that has done real heroic things.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Football Conferences

Many years ago, in 1959 the old Pacific Coast Conference broke up and reformed as the PAC-8. The purpose of the split was to get rid of dead wood. Idaho was dumped along with the University of Montana. Clearly, over may years, Idaho and Montana just couldn't keep up with the major markets. Shortly thereafter, the PAC-8 added Arizona and Arizona State, making up what is now the PAC-10. That is the abbreviated history of the major schools along the Pacific corridor.

It is now time to consider once more, a realignment of schools and conferences. For many years, Washington State has proven with only one or two exceptions that they can't compete regularly in the PAC-ten. Then we have number 6 ranked Boise State, 12 and zip, once more. clearly, they are overmatching the WAC conference and need to move to a higher plain. I propose that WSU and Boise State switch conferences, with WSU going to the WAC where they should be able to compete year after year. Boise State, on the other hand, can't get respect because of the inferior competition they face. Simple solution? Have Boise State join the PAC-ten where there would have every chance to excel, if they can.

Obviously, with this suggestion, I have not made myself very popular with WSU fans, but hey, that's the way I see it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Most of us, when the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, think of roast turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce and many other goodies that sometimes only appear on that holiday. Others think back to the beginnings of our country when a religious minority sailed to our shores to escape tyranny. They gave thanks when they arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and again when they survived the wilderness winter that followed.

Today, we find almost every family with someone in financial distress, or with health related problems. It is so easy to sink into despair.I've done it myself more than once. Summer is over, the winds of early winter blow and rain splatters against the windows. We hunker down, hoping for an early spring, even before winter has truly arrived. We have mosquito born viruses that arrive every year a bit further north. HIV is still a killer, and now we have H1V1, or Swine Flu. These are some of the bad things going on.

Thanksgiving, though, is about positive things in our lives. The friend or relative that beat cancer. The new baby arriving. Our health still intact. (for the most part) The love we share with those very special people in our lives. Somewhere a person we know is dying, but babies are regularly born to take our places. For every person in personal distress, there is someone else that is extending a helping hand. Please remember, that though the Sun is not shining from the sky, it is still present from within. Whether a person is happy or sad, is from within. It is a slef induced condition. Have a truly happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Alternatives

No need to seat over a hot stove all day Thursday, just pop by the Captain's Wheel for a monster potluck dinner. Bring a side dish if possible, or just show up hungry. There will be Turkey and dressing and whatever. No-host bar will be open as well. The Wheel will open at Noon, and will stay open for an indefinate time, reopening for regular business Friday and the week-end.

We understand that a smaller potluck buffet will also be held at JD's. Y'all come on down.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Lynching Of Sarah Palin

I guess I'm confused about the reactions to Sarah Palin. It would seem that she is getting an unseemly amount of praise from one side, and the same in hate from the other side. Some like her politics. some like her beauty. Others resent her politics and resent her beauty, too. I call it all foul Play.

For sure, she isn't the arch-typical politician. Still, she had enough on the ball to raise above pettiness and become the governor of Alaska. Alaskans are a bit different from the lower 48. No, actually, they are a lot different. While we down here, over the years gained a certain amount of class and what some would call civilized society, Alaska is still in many ways, a frontier. Frontiers, like ours down here 100 years ago, tend to be a little rough and ready, and without many of the frills that the establishment calls normal.

Alaskans don't have the same standard of living that we do, accepting in one or two larger cities, of which there are few. Hunting, not so much a sport for trophies, but for subsistence has long been tradition there. They of course, don't have the benefit of high rise San Franciscans to keep them on the liberal path to enlightenment. They don't want or need them. Without the guidance of the Sierra club, the average Alaskan is more of a conservationist that those organized groups.

If there has been unfairness, and there has been, I would call some of it sexist, excepting many "liberated women" appear somehow threatened by her and her family's lifestyle. I'm not going to go into the children and their behavior, simply due to the fact that few families that I know of, can claim there are no skeletons in their respective closets. There is something in the bible about casting the first stone, and many should take heed of that. Keeping healthy young people sexually apart can be a daunting chore, one that most often fails So we have free clinics and tolerance for these activities,a but when a conservative family, or at least their children fall into the passion trap, suddenly we have a huge double standard. I, for one, would like to see her critics look into their own hearts and check it out for the two-faced principle.

Those of you that do not believe the same things or have the same political viewpoints as she ... fine. That doesn't forgive demonizing her or her family.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Political Correctness

Political correctness, long fostered by the main stream media, has reached a point of no return, apparently. The list of rearranged social and political standards is a long one, but today I just want to talk about one area.

As we all know, a tragedy struck a few days ago, when an army major,a Moslem, shot and killed thirteen people and injured thirty-one more. H did this while screaming Allahu Akbar. A a term much used by Islamic Terrorists. Yet, the media, with the exception of Cal Thomas, is afraid to tell it like it is. Everyone from Army Generals, down to beat reporters, sail gently around the subject of this, a terrorist act, as if it would condemn all of the Moslems in service as well. The above term in Arabic means, "God Is Great." Talk about misusing terminology.

We are now hearing reports of and from colleges in the medical world that this thug regularly spouted anti-American and pro Islamic slogans. None of his superiors were brave enough to risk the thought police by either disciplining him, or even throwing him out of the Army.

To quote an old saying, "it is time to call a spade a shovel." It is also time to bring sense into law enforcement. Profiling is now against the rules. Now I'm not talking about the arresting of a black person on the charge of "driving while black, or yellow, or pink or any other extreme use of that tool. What I am saying, is we better start watching those members of a religion that proposes the violent overthrow oof the United states. While certainly, not all people that worship as Islamic are not terrorists, it is reasonable to suspect that most will come from that group.

I start to worry, when general officers are so afraid of offending a minority, that they will excuse clues to what eventually transpired at Fort Hood, and will certainly happen again and again unless an effort is made to sort through the ranks and get rid of people that can't even pass a routine security Clearance. Now the Army, still embarrassed, rather than calling this a terrorist act, is going to prosecute the perpetrator as a simple murder. What a gutsy call.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nice Round Figures

No. ... Not those kind! Sometime tonight, or perhaps tomorrow, I will have exceeded 100,000 page views for this blog.It all started with my first post at the beginning of 2006. Currently, as I sit at my computer, 6:00 pm this date, I have 99,973 page views with an average of 70 to 80 per day. Thank you all for visiting.

I hope to get even bigger in 2010. I am currently accepting area ads for businesses in Kootenai county. These will be the size of the side bar pictures and are real reasonable. E-mail me for details if interested.

Lots of interesting stuff going on in the local area, some of which I can't talk about quite yet, but stay tuned.

8:45 pm pdst: We are within 13 page views of attaining the magic number. Through Site Meter, I can kind of identify the one that puts us over, but privacy laws prevent me from identiying it for sure. I will attempt to identify the winner by URL and a time line. If that person wishes to identify themselves they may do so by comment or by private e-mail. privacy will be respected.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More Flack from Concerned Citizens

Much feces has been stirred against the Timberlake Fire District, and their chief, Jack Krill. First, I support the efforts of Chief Krill to modernize the department, so as to negate huge fire insurance rate increases. Some misunderstood this campaign to suggest that Chief Krill had personal motivations, or that he had used high pressure rhetoric to push a proposed future levy. I personally support the chief along with the volunteers that populate the fire commission. They have a thankless job in which along the way, certain restaurants and marinas were found out of compliance with current fire codes. The commissioners instructed the chief to remedy these conditions and bring these public facilities into compliance. This he has tried to do, with some compassion toward the hardship that such compliance that hadn't been required in the recent past, now surface.

During the election of two new commissioners, there has been a supposition that these candidates are anti Fire District who's purpose was to dismantle the current structure. This is simply not true. Both winning commissioners are dedicated toward continued community service. I fully support the fire district and the chief and voted for both commissioner-elects.The body of this post features an e-mail regarding a concern by a citizen and the reply by chief Krill. It is long, but informative:

"Mr. Brown:

I am very pleased you sent me an email; I truly value open and honest
communication and transparency in government business. I don't
believe we have met and I would very much like to meet with you.

We seem to be fighting a lot of battles to get the truth out and
properly educate the community. This sometimes takes time away from
more pressing fire district business. We do appreciate the support in
the community, but please understand that it is appreciated more when
it does not offend others. Respectfully, I do not believe you
portrayed Commissioner-elect Rudebaugh properly in that email
regarding the use of the copier and I do not believe he would
intentionally do anything to harm the fire district or his reputation.
Maybe I should have clarified the information we sent you in response
to your public records request. We realized there is contradiction
and confusion in that part of the fee schedule and I will have it
clarified in my chiefs report at the next commissioner meeting to
prevent future misunderstandings.

We welcome public participation at the fire commissioners meeting to
provide us with feedback and input. I would strongly encourage you to
attend our meetings held on the 3rd Wednesday monthly, 6:00 PM. The
next one is November 18 at the Bayview Community Center.

Although I regularly vote in elections, I am sorry to say that I did
not vote in this election. I was out of town for this election day
and didn't have the time before I left to vote absentee. Regardless,
there was no fire district or firefighter backed candidate(s) and I
was not and would not provide any personal opinion on any candidate,
my closest friends and coworkers can vouch for that. I respect all of
the candidates for their desire to serve the community.

All of us at Timberlake are excited to work with our two new
commissioners. I've met both of them and have the strong impression
that they will do what is best for the community and serve you well in
their positions. I've had the opportunity to speak several times with
Commissioner-elect Rudebaugh before the election (as I did with other
candidates) and know that he is taking the time, energy, and personal
cost to learn all he can about being a good fire commissioner. In
fact, he is attending the Idaho State Fire Commissioner Association
annual conference in Boise and paying for it own of his own pocket. I
don't know what the total cost will be, but believe it will be well
over $400. These two gentlemen will provide a fresh perspective on
the difficult challenges that we are faced with and help make some
very tough decisions that will impact the future of this fire

Thanks and I look forward to meeting with you,

Jack Krill"

Floating Patio

Scott & Jeannie Bjerge, operators of the floating patio at the boat launch in Bayview, have extended their winter hours. With the Buttonhook and the former Terry's Cafe closed for the winter, and the Captain's wheel closing Tuesday and Wednesdays, the town was left with just Ralph's Internet Cafe for snacks and soft drinks. Until further notice, the patio will be open week-ends from 11:00 am and Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:00 pm for diners as well as cocktails.

Monday, November 09, 2009

photo by Kathy Plonka, Spokesman-Review

It was a crisp winter night in Athol. The Saddle Up Grill had closed for the night. Owner Howard White was in a hurry to get home to Post Falls. It was his and wife Suz’s 13th wedding anniversary. Normally, with the couple working 16-hour days, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, they stayed in a motor home behind the restaurant. Due to sewage disposal problems, they had to quit doing that for a while. Howard would sleep in the Saddle Up Grill, so that he would have an early start at prepping for breakfast.

Howard closed, locked the doors and headed home for a date with his bride. It was Dec. 17, 2008, just a little short of two years in operation. About 4 a.m., a fire broke out in the dining room, probably caused by a space heater too close to upholstery. Timberlake Fire District, just a few blocks down the street, answered the call quickly and limited damage to the dining areas, saving the kitchen, except for severe smoke damage.

At the opening in March 2007, a lifelong dream was realized as Howie and Suz cranked out the first of many succulent smoked prime rib sandwiches, slathered with Suz’s secret barbecue sauce, along with what Howie called the world’s biggest and best burger. Twelve ounces of choice ground beef surrounded by all the fixings. Out back is a 500-gallon smoker, where they turn out their food from scratch along with their made-from-scratch barbecue ranch-style beans.

There is little doubt that had Howard White stayed that night in the restaurant, as he normally did, he would have been overcome by smoke and killed. The date with his wife probably saved his life.

Armed with an insurance policy, the couple figured a few months to rebuild, then back at it. This is when things started to come unwound. They bought this historic building, first used to house recruits headed for Farragut Naval training base. When a train with recruits came in late in the evening, they were put up in the bunkhouse. Many years later, it became the Saddle Up Inn. It was an owner contract, with title still residing with the previous owner. When the insurance company paid off, it paid the loan off. That left the Whites with a small amount of cash and a paid-in-full deed to a commercial lot and a half-burned building.

Today the Whites are without an income, or a restaurant without a loan to rebuild. Howard White’s one thought was, “Why, with the billions of dollars the federal government has thrown at the banks to stimulate the economy, don’t the banks then use the money for that purpose, instead of socking it away to protect themselves from bad loans?”

The Whites are hard-working people who enjoyed working 16-hour days to make what was once a dream come true. Now, it has turned into a nightmare. They are looking for help.

Help either in the form of donations, which can be sent to P.O. Box 16, Athol, Idaho 83801. Or the best solution, White hopes, is for a lender to step up with an SBA loan putting him and his wife back to serving smoked prime rib dinners.

Reprinted from my story in Sunday's spokesman-Review.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New Blog In Town

I just started a second blog. It is called "Kootenai country. You can reach it at: I did this because I wanted to geographically spread my wings a bit. I will also be offering cheap ad space on it as well. While Bayviews is primarily about the community and people that surround me, Kootenai country will encompass all of North Idaho. You'll find the occasional commentary, some humor, straight news of interest and of course, I will be poking fun at people doing dumb stuff. I hope you will slide over to the blog to catch whatever I'm expounding on currently.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Halloween At The Wheel

Halloween is over and the costumes and decorations have been put away. There were some real good imaginative outfits displayed, but Jen & Dan Williams, pictured above walked off with first prize. The place was packed and folks danced to the Riverside Band tunes as well.

Proving that a 30 something woman can still be hot, restaurant manager, Marie Streeter showed up with a costume that looked like a cross between a lady leprechaun and an English bar wench.

The Captain's Wheel will go to Winter hours, closing Tuesday and Wednesday starting today, but Ralph's Internet Cafe will be open until 5:00 pm both days.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Many of you that live in the Timberlake Fire district recently received a letter from Larry Spencer deriding the fire district, the fire chief and the need for more equipment. Spencer is a gadfly that hates all government and slams all projects that are proposed. He is currently suing North Idaho Community College over the education corridor, has opposed the Kroc center and just about every city and county official.

I posted a more balanced look at the fire district requests and status on this blog October 14. I suggest that those of you that received this letter check the blog for a little balance, in like telling both sides of the story. You can also go to and read it there. Spencer has a habit of dissing issues and candidates just before an election and in most cases, too late for a rebuttal. I detest these kinds of tactics.

This criticism does not necessarily apply to the Fire Commissioner race. While I'm not acquainted with three of the candidates, I fully support Rudy Rudebaugh. He is a local businessman, owning Victory Auto Parts and Solid Rock Solutions. You shouldn't hold Spencer's endorsement against him or other candidates.

Friday, October 30, 2009

OK, OK Halloween is Here

I left the Halloween post up longer than I usually do, so that the various venues would get the publicity. Having done that, I'll have fresh real good stuff by Sunday. Stay tuned, It's getting interesting.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Antics

It's Halloween week and here are the activities For Athol and Bayview:

First up is horror night at the Bayview Community Center.Tuesday, October 27,Sponsored by the Bayview Community Council, a chiller movie and popcorn will be served. This is a costume party, too, so wear your Halloween costume and win the $25.00 prize.

Saturday, Halloween, starts with the annual Timberlake Fire district party at Station 1 in Athol. Plenty of candy and of course, an appearance of sparky the fire dog. 5:00 to 7:30.

Athol Baptist Church is sponsoring a trick or treat tailgate party in the parking lot at the Athol Community Center. It starts at 6:30 'till 8:00 pm.

The evening party is the 20 plus year old annual costume party sponsored by the Captain's Wheel. This isn't just a local event. People come from Spokane, Post Falls, Coeur d'Alene and Sandpoint for this traditional party. Prizes will be awarded for various costume categories and live music by the ever popular Riverside Band. Music starts around 8:30 and will last at least until 12.30, at which time everyone's coach will turn into a pumpkin. Judging from the last few years, the Captain's Wheel Halloween party is even bigger than New Years Eve. Don't miss it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Ahh, politicians and their supporters. Yah gotta love them. The one thing that consistently saves our form of government is the extremists shooting themselves in the foot. In all my years, and their have been a bunch of them, I have witnessed time and time again, the extremists frothing at the mouth, insulting and condescending, as they drive the moderates away from them.

I myself have been vilified, not because of what I believe, but because I'm not one the them, the elitists. At no time is this more prevalent than as elections near. Spewing hatred instead of calmly trying to convert those that aren't with them, they drive voters even further from their positions because of their juvenile behavior.

This is not an attack of the right on the left, or the left on the right. It is a pox on both their houses, and I love it. If these Whackos ever became reasonable, using issues instead of vindictive hatred, they actually might find allies instead of running them off. Walt Minnick wasn't elected by the Idaho Democrats. He was elected by the thousands of Republicans that were sick of the Whacko that held that office. Moderates i, Whackos 0

Our partisan elections are run by such people, so that the reasoned moderate from both the left and right are swayed back and forth as a dog worrying a bone, not respecting their opponents or even those that aren't an opponent. I love it because with the predictable behavior of these childlike types, they will never win the voters trust. Democracy is safe as long as they don't catch on and become intelligent boosters, rather than rabid insults to the system.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Social Security Payments Stagnate

Recently disclosed information announced that no cost of living increase will occur for seniors this year. I'm not an accountant, nor an auditor, but if you don't think senior citizens have higher expenses this year, lend me your ear.

First to hit me last month was a $50 per month increase in my mobile home park rental. That's an increase from $300. Then Kootenai Electric announced a 12% to 14% increase in power rates. Since I heat with an electric furnace .. well you do the math. Somehow, somewhere, I'm going to have to find roughly $100 per month more in income than I already pay in a pinched budget already.

I'm thinking of giving up television. Living down in a hole, far from TV transmitters, I don't have the option of going to an antenna. I can't get rid of cable for my computer, since I still occasionally write articles for the paper. Try sending 500 to 600 words plus six pictures by dial-up.

If the indexes indicate that there has been no inflation, then I suggest they check the validity of the indexes. Anyone noticed groceries going down? I haven't. Meat is sky high and so is everything else. The old standbys like chicken and hamburger are almost twice what they were two years ago, most likely due to the federal boondoggle of throwing the corn market into chaos, by sending this vital feed crop into bio fuels which could have been produced by waste that does not compete with the human food chain. No good thing that can come from this. I no longer have the option of eating as I have for the past 71 years. I now have to fill up on food that is cheap, rather than nourishing. Well, maybe I can lose some weight now, that is unless they raise the price of wine grapes, putting me back into poverty.

In short, long term problems should not be fixed by short term solutions, especially if politicians continue to pass feel good legislation without regard to unintended consequences.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thought Police Next?

Currently, congress is in the process of adding yet another category to hate crimes. First race, then religion, now sexual orientation.

To attach a "I hate you because," (choose your own category)to the crime, in many cases raises the level of what normally would be a misdemeanor to the level of a felony.

Not because the injury was egregious, but because your motives were politically incorrect. Why not add old people like me to these minority class distinctions? I certainly don't want to get assaulted by someone half my age. Equal protection under the law, is perhaps the most important of all rights. Creating special categories of people such as these hate statutes violates that right to equality.

To re-classify these acts to a federal hate statute, might or might not fly. Definitely, an appeal, or civil suit is in order. There are already laws against assault, both physical and sexual.

For the higher purpose of designating simple assault as a hate crime, elevating it to felony status, needs a very lot of discussion...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spencer Strikes Again

A knock on my door two days ago produced an unusual guest. Larry Spencer, an area Libertarian Gadfly was standing their with purpose in his countenance. I invited him in where he produced a letter he is hand carrying around the district bashing the Timberlake Fire District's chief.

In the letter, he alleged several things. First was a diatribe against a proposed levy to bring the district into compliance with the fire rating bureaus. He suggested that the levy was out of line substantially with other districts of like size and that the chief was using a threat to close two unmanned fire stations as a pressure tactic for passage of the levy. He quotes a passage from the fire district's own web site, saying,"You can either pay more for insurance or invest more into your local fire protection district." That followed by Spencer saying, "That's some choice you offer us, chief."

He goes on to blast the $14,000 raise Chief Krill received, snarking that it was out of line for a department that size. What he didn't mention was that the first year was a probationary salary to be renegotiated at years end, which it was.

The real issue surfaced, though, when he got into the endorsements of candidates for district commissioners. He endorsed David "Rudy Rudebaugh, owner of victory Auto Parts and Solid Rock Solutions, in Athol followed by Marty Fish, a plumber and real estate agent. With those endorsements, he clearly showed in print and verbally that he is extremely anti-union. The other candidates are unabashedly pro-union.The fire district full time staff is unionized. The other candidates are, Phyllis Page, wife of former Timberlake Fire District firefighter, and Monty Aarestad a firefighter currently employed by the Sagle Fire Department. Page's husband is also employed at Sagle. Spencer alleges that Aarestad doesn't live in the district he is running in. When asked, fire chief Krill explained that all four candidates were vetted for eligibility and are qualified candidates. Interestingly, both of the candidates just mentioned are connected with the Sagle Fire District, one that the fired empoyees of three or so years ago are now working.

What didn't make the "white paper" that Spencer is circulating are the verbal shots he took at Chief Krill. Anyone that cares to Google Jack Krill can find the details of his termination in an article by the Wassilla newspaper. In it was the headline, "Board Wants Krill Back." Apparently some allegations, never proven and some others that were subjective were the cause of his suspension followed by termination. Among those, were that he yell at and verbally abused his troops. I asked Timberlake Union President of local 4483, Jake Capaul, what he thought of the chief. He replied, "We love the guy." When asked about the alleged abusive management style, he laughed and said, "Chief Krill never yells or even raises his voice."

Spencer is famous with his taking half truths and spinning them toward whatever his goal is. In this issue, he is true to form. I don't at this time have issues with any of the candidates, excepting that the parties from Sagle may have retaliation in mind. It would appear that chief Krill is popular with his employees and the elected board that hired him.

Chief Krill declined comment, saying,"I don't have any business involving myself in a political discussion, especially when it is about those I work for." He went on to say that all of the correct information is available at the district's web site.

Back to the issue of a levy, one must understand that this fire district was essentially leaderless for several years in which old antiquated equipment got older and more antiquated. Here is an excerpt from the district's web site.

"The fire district is trying to educate our residents about the state of the district and our needs for the future. On Monday, October 12, 2009, we were given a letter signed by Larry Spencer and were asked to respond to his comments and accusations. We encourage all residents to learn about the current state of the fire district and the proposed levy by visiting our web site at"

More from the web site:

The commissioners agreed that a permanent levy is needed and one commissioner suggested a February 2010 election. However, there has been no official decision regarding if a levy election would happen, how much the levy would be, or when it would occur.

The 86% relates to a $500,000 increase as recommended by the chief to make the necessary corrections and improvements. The commissioners have not made any decision on the amount of increase.

"In 2000, the fire district earned an ISO rating of 4/8 by a slim margin (60 points are needed for a class 4; we earned 61.7). A lot has changed in 9 years. We worked hard to prepare for the August ISO review, but there was no way we would maintain the 4/8 rating with our current equipment and deficiencies. Based on all of the facts and records, we are not a Class 4/8 fire department anymore." (ISO stands for Insurance Services Office, which advises the Idaho Rating Bureau how to rate various fire risks.)

"The closing of a fire station is dependent on the available equipment and personnel. To meet minimum requirements by ISO, each station needs one fully equipped fire engine and we must show that the fire engine actually responds to calls. In a few months, our newest fire engine will be 16 years old (1994 model); the other 5 will be 21-30 years old (1989, 1987, 1986, 1984, and 1980 models). We have 6 stations and 6 engines currently in service. I am having each engine evaluated for safe operations by a qualified fire mechanic, based on those evaluations; we may have to reduce our fleet which essentially means closing a station. We have a 1979 engine that was taken out of service last year after being evaluated by a certified fire mechanic because it was too costly to repair (over $20,000 in materials and over 500 hours of labor) and had not been properly maintained in the past (water in the pump gears caused corrosion). If a piece of equipment is not safe to operate, I will not put our firefighters and residents at risk by continuing to operate it. The fact is that we need funds to properly maintain our assets and funds set aside to replace them when they have reach the end of their lifespan. We will be cost effective with these funds – for example, we can remount at least 2 of our current fire trucks (compartments/pump) on new chassis, which will save us half of what a brand new truck would cost."

These statements appear to be factual. The fire district encourages concerned citizens to call the department at 683-3333 with any questions or concerns they have. It also appears that the choices that Chief Krill has outlines aren't choices, but inevitable alternatives that you the voters will decide. Polling places for the replacement commissioners, two, are your usual polling places at general elections. Timberlake High School, Garwood elementary,Bayview community Center, and the Athol City Hall. This election will be held November 3.The real issue here appears to be that without upgrading equipment and personnel needs, the fire rating people will substantially lower our district ratings, causing an even greater cost to homeowners and business than the levy request. All government agencies are in a tough fiscal position during this financial crisis we find our selves in. Here are two choices. Higher insurance rates, or more taxes to pay for the upgrades needed.

I am not taking a position on any of the candidates, except to hope that the two candidates don't suffer too much from Spencer's endorsements and rumor mill. Rumors on the street say that candidate Fish didn't circulate his petition himself, but rather, Larry Spencer did. Stalking horse for an out of county wanna be? Here is a statement by Rudy Rudebaugh:

Hello Herb,

Thank you for allowing me to provide clarification for why I want to serve our taxpaying citizens of the Timberlake Fire Protection District as a Fire Commissioner.

“I David “Rudy” Rudebaugh wish to continue my public service by utilizing my 30 years of experience in leadership and solid business principles. This skill set is important in properly serving the taxpaying citizens and district employees in assuring we focus on today’s business in a tough economy and balance growth for the future."

"All of us must look at the tasks or current needs of the district and there impact not only today but also the future growth of our district in a fair unbiased responsible decision making process."

"The delicate balance between the responsibility of providing first class of fire protection service to our district citizens, the needs of the district operating correctly, and the cost to the taxpaying citizens of our district is why we need well rounded individuals to serve as your Fire Commissioners. I am committed to serving the citizens of the Timberlake Fire Protection District in this responsibility of being an effective Fire Commissioner for You the Taxpaying Citizen.”

“I would like to personally thank those who already are supporting me and thank those undecided in advance, for there unbiased commitment in educating themselves in understanding the candidates and why they want to serve the taxpaying citizens of the Timberlake Fire Protection District. This allows all of us citizens the ability to make an educated choice for the next Fire Commissioner to serve them”


David “RUDY “Rudebaugh

Candidate Timberlake Fire Protection District Zone 4

*Comments from other candidates will appear here as they become available.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Scanner Reports

I avidly read the scanner reports as reported on Huckleberries online. Daily, Dave Oliveira posts the activities of the underside of our world in Kootenai county, Idaho. Some are funny, some tragic, but it makes for a great post, so here goes:

It appears that great good and equally great bad has risen with the birth of cell phones. To be able to instantly report accidents that may have been fatal, without instant response, of course is good. Also, the reporting of violent crimes hastens response is good also.The place that this system loses itself is when busybodies feel they have to report every single alleged aberration that occurs within their sight.

For instance, one such was a report recently of a suspicious male taking pictures of houses in a neighborhood. OK, so arrest the damned appraiser, for he probably will devalue your house. Or how about this one:

"4:03 p.m. Boy falls off bicycle @ Government Way & I-90. He’s uninjured." If he is uninjured, why the hell are you tying up the 911 line?

How about this one:

"3:27 p.m. R/P reports her son was almost hit by a blond woman driving recklessly while he walked home from school on 15th, north of Hanley." An emergency, or just a blond joke?

As to the guy that grabbed the pies without paying for them, I personally would have stepped up and paid for them. I'm concerned that more food thefts will occur in the near future due to the economic emergency.. My only complaint about the pie theft, is the lack of judgment of the thief. Pies don't have much nutritional value. Could he have been on a monster food trip? Well, I won't go there. After all, hunger is where you find it.

One of the great ones though, was this one: "Deer running loose one 15th near I-90."
One can only wonder, about all of those other deer that can't get loose, When did it get out that deer actually run loose in North Idaho.

I'm not sure what to say about the young lady that broke both ankles after jumping 15 feet.Rather than watching TV, come to think about it, I'm not sure we had that yet, we used to slide down a tar paper roof on waxed paper. The drop was about 9 feet. We did that for recreation. Perhaps this young lady was reacting from an emergency, in which case jumping was better than staying where she was. Perhaps the act of hanging out in front of a TV or using X-boxes has taken the resiliency from our young people's legs. Oh well, I am content to being able to step up two feet if absolutely necessary.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

For more widgets please visit

Annual Food Drive

I received this e-mail for a public service announcement. This annual food drive is even more important this year, with the sad shape of the economy and high unemployment. Please give freely when they knock on your door.

"On behalf of the Bayview Community Council, could you please include in your upcoming column(s) for October, something that would address the following information?

Food Drive For Athol/Careywood/Bayview Food Bank

The Bayview Community Council is coordinating a one day Food Drive for the Food Bank on Saturday, October 17th. Council members will be conducting a door-to-door collection on that day.

Desperately needed items include canned food, canned meats, peanut butter, boxed meals (macaroni and cheese, scalloped potatoes, etc.), soups, cereals, and diapers. Monetary donations are always welcome.

If you are missed, donations can be dropped off at Marlys Bladgens on Merriweather Rd. (first road on the right, just past the Post Office, last house on the left), or bring your donations to the October 27th Council meeting, Oktoberfest at the Center on October 16th, or to the Food Bank directly.

The Council thanks you for your contributions."

Sally Newcombe
Health and Outreach
Bayview Community Council

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Seasonal Changes

It seems just a few days ago that we were basking in 80 degree weather. Tonight, the first frost is expected in many areas, and definitely by Thursday night, when the lows are predicted to be around 25 degrees.

In Blaine county, Idaho, the first snowfall of the season closed at least one school. It seems that normally the leaves fall before the first snow, but with the deciduous trees still retaining their leaves, many branches broke from the weight of the snow, causing many power outages, including some schools.

Oktoberfest fishing derby ended Sunday with the largest fish, a 15 pound 7 ounce Rainbow walking off with the big bucks. Winners were Cory LaRue of Hayden with the aforementioned rainbow; Hal Bunyard, with a 5 pound 9 ounce Mackinaw; Vern Scott of Garfield Bay, with a nice 14 pound 7 ounce Rainbow; Robert Blackstone of Coeur d'Alene with a 5 pound 1 ounce Mackinaw. As always, the entry fees went into a pool of which all funds were awarded as prizes.

As the weather turns colder, the local snowbirds are leaving in droves for points south, primarily Arizona. Jim & Jean Campbell late of Bayview, left their jobs as food service managers at the Lake Syskiyou Resort, and have landed in Wellton where Monday Hamburger night at the VFW will find Jim flipping burgers again. It seems that Jim & Jean haven't retired from the food business after all. Liz & Larry Justus are closed at their RV park and are shortly heading the same direction.

James Darling, after shedding his partners is finally building the first of three phases in his Bayview development. The former trailer park site was purchased by Darling in the spring of 2007, but spec building loans were next to impossible to obtain then. Since, construction costs have gone down substantially,allowing the final product to be priced more modestly also. The first phase will include 6 condos on the second floor and 6 motel units on the ground floor. More on that as things develop further.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Burning Now Allowed

Date; October 2, 2009

From: The Kootenai County Fire Chiefs Association

Glenn Lauper, Coeur d’Alene Fire Department 208-769-2340

RE: Open burning and Yard Waste Burn Permits are available October 3, 2009 from your local fire department and the Idaho Department of Lands.

Due to the recent change in our weather, the Kootenai County Fire Chiefs have agreed to allow open burning throughout the county. Please contact your local fire department to obtain permits and specific requirements.

The following restrictions only apply to the city of Coeur d’ Alene. Cost $2.00

A burn permit is required and the permit is subject to the following requirements:

1. A yard waste and clean-up permit is good for the 10 days after the date issued.

2. The fire shall be a minimum of 50 feet from any structures or other combustible materials unless: The pile is less than 2 feet high and 3 feet wide. Then 25 feet clearances will be adequate.

3. Burning shall be conducted during daylight hours only. The fire must be totally out by dark

4. The fire shall be attended at all times.

5. Attendant shall have a hose connected to a water supply and readily available at all times.

6. The Fire Official is authorized to require that burning be immediately discontinued if smoke emissions are offensive to occupants or surrounding property.

7. Permittee shall call 1-800-633-6247, Air Quality Hotline, each day before 9:00am. A recording will advise permittee of acceptable environmental conditions. Burning shall only be conducted on a "Green" day.


Dry pine needles, dry lawn clippings, dry garden waste, leaves, and tree limbs.


Any type of plastics, rubber products, paint, paint cans, fiberglass products, carpeting, furniture, stumps, household garbage, and noncombustible or fire rated material. The permit is not for commercial logging debris or commercial construction/demolition materials.

Other types of burning permits are available, please call or contact your local fire department on week days from the hours of 8AM to 5PM.

If any of the regulations for burning are violated, the permit may be revoked immediately and you may be issued a citation for illegal burning.

The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department asks that you be considerate to your neighbors and to please consider recycling as an alternative to burning.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

No Wake Zone Alert

There is currently a poll on Huckleberries online/SR asking the entire area if a no wake zone should be removed or not. The no's are leading big time. You can vote by going to: So far it is 23 votes in favor of the status quo, 2 votes for removal and 4 votes in the "I dunno" category. This poll is scrolled way down, as it was posted at 8:45 am. These are the final results as posted this morning on Huckleberries on line. Perhaps some of you will want to call this poll which included the entire area, to the attention of the board of county commissioners.

Should Kootenai County modify the no-wake zone at Bayview, if the community is solidly against such action?
Yes 12% (10 votes)
No 86% (70 votes)
Dunno 1% (1 votes)
Total Votes: 81

Monday, September 28, 2009

Oktoberfish Is Here

This is it, folks. Lube up the old reel because the annual derby in Bayview is on this weekend. Starting Friday evening at 7 pm, with an auction and free food for ticket holders at the Captain's Wheel. All proceeds, including the funds derived from the auction will be paid out to the winners. Tickets can be obtained at Ralph's Internet Cafe in Bayview, or at the Friday night auction held at the Captain's Wheel.

Entry fee is $25 per entrant, with all money raised to be given out to the various winners. You are invited to come down, bid on stuff you don't need, eat the free buffet and of course lie about the big one that got away.

Prizes are as follows:

The first fish weighing more than last year's winner, 9 pounds, 10 ounces wins $100
1st prize goes to the largest Kamloop Trout 40%
2nd prize goes to the largest Mackinaw 30%
3rd prize goes to the 2nd largest Kamloop Trout 20%
4th prize goes to the 2nd largest Mackinaw 10%

Lest we forget, the 1st prize winner also gets possession of the traveling trophy for the year. Fish & Game is still awarding $15 per head for trout and Macks, so even if you aren't one of the big winners, you can still win. It is not advised, however, to detach the head before weigh-in.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm B a a a a ck!

I had a little disagreement with a trojan Horse virus last week. Thankfully, I'd already submitted my September column to the Spokesman-Review. I'm back up as of two hours ago. I'm missing some programs, as the operating system had to be reloaded. The tech backed up my files, crammed a new windows XP into the computer, then downloaded my files. Fortunately, all of my pictures, around 1500 in all and everything I've written for the last three years for publication is intact. I don't have sound though. for some reason when I opened an e-mail that needed sound, the computer went to windows media. It gave me an error message informing me that I didn't have sound installed. I guess I'll have to call my tech buddies for help again.

Wrapping up local news, the Buttonhook has closed for the season. A little early this year, but business was way down and Steve, the chef bailed out. He is now working for a restaurant ajacent to a golf course in Priest River. Steve survived several owners for the last several years.

The issue of the no wake zone may have been stalled or blocked. Chuck Waller, Gary MacDonald and a crowd of about 50 people crowed into a meeting room at the Kootenai county Administration building Monday, where the county commissioners were meeting in joint session with the Kootenai County Parks & Waterways Advisory Board. Parks and waterways seem to think that they represent all of Idaho and Spokane, Washington, too. I guess their boss needs to take a class in civics. Anyway, Chuck Waller informed me that a committee is being formed to include P & W as well as Bayview Chamber of Commerce members. Hopefully, the county will see the light.

Be aware that the No Wake Zone web site is still up. It can be accessed at: Add your letters to the site and send them to the county commissioners, too. They work for us, not the other way around.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boileau's Donnybrook

Just when we thought Summer was over and Bayview would quietly doze off, another chapter in the Bob Holland book of escapades occurred. I'll lead off by posting a well circulated e-mail that I received this morning:

Hi guys

I just got a call from Dave Nacarrato that had a float home at Boileaus. They sold it to Holland and has since filed papers on him requesting a demand in payment. So they are on the way to litigation. But what he had to tell me was that Grant and Delores Moore had sold their float home to Holland and are clearly in heavy litigation at this time.

Grant and Delores got wind that Holland is going to move the home off the front dock tomorrow morning. They in turn have called KCS ( sheriff ) dept who is suppose to meet them out there at 10:00 to make sure this is not going to happen since they have not received payment from Holland. There may be some other float home owners on the docks, and the press has been called and is aware of the situation. She would love it if you could pass the word and try and get others down there to see this mess as well.

Grant and Delores are some of the first long time float home residents, and it is a shame that it has to come to this regarding the sale of their float home.

I wish I could attend but I will be in town taking care of some business. Please pass the word to others. Someone please let Skip know as I know he would attend if he has time. If you do not know the number to get through the gate it is XXXX or just go through the patio (store) as you can get past the gates that way.

Thanks so much !

I checked with Skip Wilcox who has been monitoring the situation. He tells me that The Idaho Department of Lands has prohibited the movement of any float homes currently based at Boileau's Marina. Apparently there was a noisy confrontation on the docks between a resident and Mr. Holland. At this time, the situation has stabilized and no action will be taken by any of the affected parties, except that the former Fran's Landing was ordered to be towed out from the Kokanee spawning beds prior to the 15th of this month. That, of course, is today. We also learned that Chan is applying for a permit to operate the former Fran's Landing. He intends to move the vessel to his marina where it will once again be a restaurant. It seems though, that until Holland and Fran settle up, the title is still in her name and can't be moved except by the owner's request. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Timberlake Fire District Reacts

Navy Reunion

The Navy reunion at Farragut State Park went off smoothly. Well it should, considering there have been 25 years of practice. Thirty-six hearty veterans, some past ninety year old were present and accounted for. As usual, Al Leiter held forth as master of ceremonies, with Ranger Errin Bair hosting for the park.

The weather was extraordinary and everyone had a great time. Sadly missed was Theora Lish, who had for many years enjoyed these reunions with her husband of 66 years, Charles. She passed on just two months ago.

The museum has had a makeover that has brought it up by twice the previous standards. New cabinets and showcases built by volunteer, Jim Graham, who along with his wife Jackie, hold down the fort at the brig. For the complete story on the reunion complete with veterans war stories, check out the "Handle Extra," in Sunday's Spokesman-Review.

Refusing to give in to age and infirmity, most vets were heard to say, "see you next year, and you know, I bet we do. Incidentally, a new Idaho parks Director has been chosen and will take charge Monday next. Nancy Merrill is a park professional, having served at Eagle Island state park. Although she is expected to be comfortable with the political side of things, she is known for her dedication toward the park system. In this tragic economy, it's not going to be an easy job.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bayview's No Wake Zone

No one issue has ever united the citizens of Bayview faster, nor so completely as the threat by Parks and Waterways and the Kootenai county Commission to remove the protection within the bay of the no wake zone established over twenty years ago for the purpose of keeping the multi-use bay safe.

Citing the expense of maintaining the buoys and the alleged unfairness that Bayview has enjoyed the peace, tranquility and safety of the past twenty years, Commissioner Todd Tondee unabashedly endorsed the change, though no formal process had taken place, hearings held, or for that matter, even as much as engaging interested parties in the Bay.

This whole scene belongs in the category of, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it, our elected officials are hell bent for citizen disapproval, unless of course, they are running for office in Spokane County sometime soon.

A web site that has become very popular recently is here for your viewing and participation, should you wish to weigh in on the issue. Sheriff Rocky Watson, tongue firmly in cheek, when asked his views on the subject were, "I'm in favor of eliminating the no wake zone. We are short of organ donors." He, of course, was referring to the mix of fast power boats, sailboats, personal water craft, kayaks, inner tubes w/kids on board and kids paddling canoes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Farragut Naval Reunion

It's that time of year again, where surviving World War two alumni of Farragut Naval Base congregate once again. This will take place this Saturday, September 12 at the park. Festivities kick off at 9:00 am with the flag raising ceremony along with a memorial service dedicated to the sailors that are gone. We lose more every year and every year, it is considered probably the last reunion. This one may well be the end.

Oktoberfish has come around again. October 2 Ralph's Cafe sponsors a fishing derby every year at this time with all entry fees going into the prize pool. Friday evening, 7 pm at the Captain's Wheel hosts an auction with the proceeds also going to the winners pool. Prize distribution can be seen on the blog if you scroll down a few posts. The derby itself is Saturday and Sunday, October 3 & 4.

The community is still roiling over the behind the scenes attempt by Kootenai county Parks and Waterways to eliminate or severely modify the no wake zone in Scenic Bay. The 5 mph speed limit in the bay has been in effect for more than twenty years with the required hearings followed by the then county commission voting to establish this low speed zone. Since then there are no re callable incidents where injuries or death have resulted from slow moving boats interacting with kids on tubes, kayaks and canoes. It appears that a slight inconvenience to out of town boaters who are in a hurry have complained, yet when asked to produce logs of such complaints, which we understand are required, show no complaints at all. A further misrepresentation by an unknown entity, informed KREM TV that the Navy is in favor of abolishing this safety net for more efficient operations. When asked directly, Alan Griffith, director of research at the base, denied that any statement of that sort was made. He went further and I quote, "My job is to protect the safety and security of the base. We take no position and can live with either a no wake zone, or without."

This is going to be an issue that will be remembered for a long time. Elected officials must on occasion take note that the folks stepped on have long memories come election day. That was proven in recent election cycles, when an almost complete turnover of commissioners occurred.

The issue raised the question who should maintain the buoys. For these twenty plus years, the county parks & waterways people have done so. Now they say they don't have the money and want out. This is not acceptable to the Bayview community. The fees from boaters that use our bay and in most cases, actually moor their boats here should more than pay for the small amount needed to retain the status quo. For those that are just learning about this issue that should have been brought up in the community long ago, write or e-mail your county commission with your concerns. Remember, however, the waterways board only represents boaters, not shoreline homeowners or marinas. Now that the issue is above water, so to speak, we, as a community can deal with it out in the open and not behind closed doors.

The Navy, not subject to county or state law, may, if they wish, do whatever they want out there, but a desire to foster good community relations has held them to compliance with local regulations. We hope that continues.

A web site has recently been created for people to use as a forum regarding this issue. You can access it at: