Thursday, April 30, 2009

Armageddon Maybe? Nah!

The subject of a lively discussion this afternoon, was that of the flood of Snowbirds heading North at this time of year, and when you consider the places they Wintered, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico So. California, one wonders what, besides souvenirs, they brought with them.

On the other hand, (sound like a one-armed paper hanger, don't I) When the press isn't busy with Armageddon type statements, guesses and such, It has been pointed out that the Swine Flu went through here about thirty years ago. Back in the sixties, it was the Hong Kong Flu. There have been cyclical flu epidemics since time began.

It is, however, noteworthy that the WHO and in this country, CDC are worried. Not about a few dozen deaths. that happens regardless of what precautions are taken. No, they are worried because this one caught them napping. It came out of the blue without warning and from a country, Mexico, that has less than stellar Health Care. This, if for no other reason should give cause to the notion that socialization of medical care is the answer to all problems. In the back of their minds, is the inevitable pandemic that everyone is talking about. Right now, we have no pandemic, just like all seasons, the threat of one someday.

It has also been pointed out that several hundred fatalities per year take place during Flu season with the seasonal varieties, which seem to be ignored these days. Could it be that the MSM needed a new fight song? A study by the CDC in 2003 established that about 36,000 people in the United States, die each year from seasonal flu varieties. That kind of puts a different perspective to the problem.

I don't know whether this will work, but I invite doctors from England and Canada to respond to the question, "Is socialized medicine better than not." One hears stories about months wait for elective surgery and even scarier stories. You may, of course use aliases if your comments might create problems with your employment.

Bayview Springs Forward

Not waiting around for good things to happen in the jobs market, Bayview Water & Sewer District is donating land for a community garden. Residents are urged to donate seeds, plants for setting out later, and above all, your labor. Seeds and plants can be dropped off at the Bayview Mercantile. Write your name on the donations which will then make you eligible to share in the product grown. Questions can be directed to Linda Williams, Secretary at the Water & Sewer Department at her home number. 683-4020. Knife River donated the top soil and equipment donated by H & E Equipment Rental. Step up, folks.

The Bayview Community Council has collected in excess of $500 dollars recently for the Athol, Bayview, Careywood Food Bank. Last fall, 1200 pounds of food was donated, along with $200 cash. This time of year is tough on the food banks, since most people think about giving around the holidays, then stop thinking about it. With unemployment at a level not seen for decades, if not our entire lifetimes,more people are going to need our help than ever before.

(Hayden, ID)—Kootenai Humane Society and Petco of Coeur d’Alene will host Pet Adoptathon 2009 on Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 11am-3pm, in the Petco Parking Lot. The event will feature animals from KHS and area rescue groups. Participants will be able to see and familiarize themselves with a wide range of animals from purebreds to mixed breeds and learn about many of the area rescue groups’ efforts. In addition to KHS and area rescue group’s animals and displays, the event will feature a Pet Kissing Booth. (Hat tip to Cindy Post Grandy)

Timberlake Fire District has been busy putting out fires this Spring, and after a long absence, the Bayview Station will be manned. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Fire permits can be obtained on those days as well as other fire safety information will be available. To get pictures and stories on recent fires, go to:

The return of Liz & Larry Justus returning from Wellton, Arizona, marks the reopening of Lakeland RV Park, adjacent to the Bayview Post Office. Many eople come back every year, so if a reservation is needed, act quickly. With the Boileau's RV park turning into a parking lot and the old Bayview Trailer Park being closed, RV parking is almost extinct. Lakeland R.V. can be reached at:683-4108.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Patio @ Boileau's

As the Phoenix rose from the ashes, so has the patio. Having been burned to a total loss, the structure was torn down to the flotation.Only seventeen years old, the previous structure was, as most know, burned down by the hand of an arsonist. Rumors have a disgruntled former Waterford Park employee as the culprit. Unfortunately, there are so many of those, that the winnowing process could take a while.

Scott & Jeannie Bjerge, owners of the Bayview Mercantile were days from signing a lease/purchase agreement to run the patio when someone broke in and caused a fire that destroyed the place. Almost immediately, pending insurance claims adjustment, along with the inevitable permit process, the tearing down of the old and rebuilding the new started. At this point, the structure is up, wiring and plumbing inspected and approved and the interior yet to be finished along with appliances, sinks and such.

The annual fishing derby starts this week-end, and Scott will be on the gas dock at 6:00am for gassing up fishermen/women. Following the opening of the derby, Scott is hosting a gigantic barbecue on the dock Saturday, from 2-4 pm, May 2. There will be beverages available as well, for the other kind of gassing up. Join Scott & Jeanne for a rebirth celebration.

Since the rebuilding of the patio isn't a firm date, they are shooting for May 8, but are realistically thinking the week-end of Friday, May 15. Everyone in Bayview and beyond wish the Bjerge's well and will be on hand to wash the re-opening down. It is wished that a moment of silence for Leon Bergom, who died while rebuilding the patio, be observed while passing this icon.

In addition to MacDonald's Resort, the Captain's Wheel has been added as a weight station for the fishing derby, which starts Friday, May first through Sunday, May 3. Tickets are available at the Bayview Mercantile.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Breaking News

Stay tuned for a great story that I, hopefully will have by Sunday.

I spent all day at Dry Run day at Silverwood getting back in the saddle again, so to speak. My legs and feet are dead on arrival, but I had a great time. I look forward to seeing many of my loyal readers at the park this Summer. No, I won't be on the train this year. I'm a coaster boaster. See you there.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Season Openers

Many of Bayview businesses reduce hours or close for the winter. Terry's Cafe will open back up for 7 day service 7am to 3 pm except later on Tuesdays which feature the spaghetti dinners that have become a tradition. This will happen starting Friday, April 24.

The Buttonhook is open with limited hours until later this spring. Fridays and Saturdays only, with Bar hours from 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm and food service starting at 5:00 pm.

The Captain's Wheel is back with seven day service as well, with hours: opening 11:00 am and food service 'till 8:00 pm,9:00 pm Friday & Saturday nights. which will become later as the season progresses. Sunday through Thursday a fish & chips special including a pint of beer for $6.00, or a soft drink for the kids. Starting May 9 Breakfast will be served Thursday through Sunday starting at 8:00 am.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boileau's Floating Patio

Work continues on the rebuilding of the floating patio at Boileau's. As a tragic postscript to the arson caused fire that burned the structure, Leon Bergom, age 67, experienced a heart attack just after securing the last roof trusses, April 13. He and his family run a construction company that has done some work at Vista Bay Marina as well. Pausing only for a funeral, the family pitched in and are finishing this project in honor of the patriarch of the business.

As of this date, no arrests have been made, though it is widely known that there is a suspect at large. We will not name that person, since no arrest has been made, and no charges filed.


In other local news, Athol Elementary 5th graders staged a rocket exhibition Monday. The entire student body sat in a semi-circle watching as David Moon, fifth grade teacher, supervised the kids that built the rockets and fired them off themselves. All of the students had obviously been coached on safety and it showed. These rockets were powered by black powder cartridges that resembled a 12 gauge shotgun shell in size. When the rockets reached their apogee and started back down, little parachutes deployed. The wind picked up a little, so the the rockets had to be pointed back toward the street to allow for the parachutes to come down inside the school property. About four didn't make it, sailing into the trees at the north end of the play field.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

He Meets Us In The Dark

This is a poem by my son, Brian, in the aftermath of their miscarriage. Brian and Jennifer, my son and daughter-in-law.

A new twig on the tree
But no leaves budding,
Unfurling miniature fingers.
Spring has come,
But brittle branches
Stretch with barren stiffness
Poised for nothing?
This little limb meant more.
The ache of sap rises in my bones,
Leaks into tears, small sighs
For small deaths;
Not for what is,
But for what could have been.

Roots are for these days.
My wife and I delve deeply down
Dark and blind paths
Under earth, soul-roots thirsting
Seeking, crying for comfort
In half-finished prayers;
And before we are done
He meets us in the dark,
Wet with His tears
Shed on another tree,
Yes. He loves.
We drink sovereign stillness
And let our questions go,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Susan Boyle

I was browsing through the news the other day, when I caught a whiff of this show in Great Brittan modeled after American Idol. I ran the You Tube tape and was blown over. Many have called Susan fat, some ugly, but what I saw was an ordinary person with extraordinary talent. At age 47, she claims to have never been kissed. She comes near me, that's going to change.

First, the lady is not fat. Secondly, she's not ugly. She is just plain, as most of us are. We all admire beauty, and those of us that can't claim it, envy those that can. For me, it's talent. Hell, I sing karaoke at age 71 and have fans, but I'm not pretty.

I do think in the case of Susan, that first I would like to publicly propose marriage. Listening to her sing around the house would pep up anyone's life. I think the contrast with her down to earth plain old having fun thing, not a bit of nervousness, it was that contrast with the beauty that was shown as she began the song. The hair stood up on the back of my neck and I found myself having to wipe my eyes when it was over.

It was all of us identifying with her as just a regular person and then having her bloom as a flower, right before us, as she was just being herself. Not a practiced star, just kind of like Popeye. The Scottish version of, " I yam what I yam.

It was fabulous entertainment, and contrasted with her unassuming attitude, just remarkable. I managed to find her singing
"Cry Me a River" as well. This lady is no longer unemployed and if my proposal reaches her, she will no longer be un-kissed. For those of you that have been living in a cave without any outside wordly news, I give you Susan Boyle.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jackie Robinson # 42

It was 1955 during the world series. Dodgers Vs the Yanks. I was in my junior high school year. My study hall was in the afternoon, which meant that I had library during the games. The Librarian was Mrs. Cavelleto. Renton, Washington at that time was primarily Italian. Mrs. Caveletto ruled the library with a vengeance at Renton High School. ... Except during the world series. It seems that our librarian was from Brooklyn. Suddenly, if you were a Dodger fan, you could do no wrong.

Flash to the present:

Recently, in all of major league baseball celebrates the huge contributions that this star baseball, football and basketball star. One man, Dodger president,Walter O'Malley, made two revolutionary decisions. The first, was to cross the color line. there, in that time were some fantastic ball players in the "Negro" leagues. He brought up Jackie Robinson, to the jeers of all major league baseball. This guy, was perhaps the best all around ball player, but his real value was in taking crap from pretty much everyone, and coming out after a few years, as the most admired player of all time.

Back to the past:

1957, January. A guy I've not been able to find since, and I decided to explore New York City. If I remember correctly, his name was Donald Eggers. He was a tall skinny guy that was heading overseas at the same time I was. He was from Spokane, I was from Renton. Some of the adventures will go unnamed. But there were some great memories, too. Back then television was all live. They hadn't invented video recording yet. Don and I ambled up Times Square, like we owned it. We came to a television studio. It might have been CBS, or ABC, or even NBC. I don't remember.

We walked in and asked if we could visit. We were in uniform and were were extended the courtesy of the house. It was the Andy Williams Hour rehearsals. There were chorus girls and guys wrestling around in the lobby. We went into the main theater and there was Andy. But there was more. His guests were , I think, Pattie Paige, singer, and yes you guessed it, Jackie Robinson, formerly of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I was more awed than if I had just met the president of the United States. Somewhere in the house is a scrap of paper with Andy Williams' on one side and my hero, Jackie Robinson's autograph on the other.

Later, and I never found out how, MY Mom managed to get Jackie to send me birthday greetings while I was serving in Morocco. He was then, the Vice-President of a firm called, "Chock Full of Nuts." After I'm gone, someone will,if they don't throw everything out as trash, will unearth this little slip of paper torn off of God knows what, with Andy's signature on one side and my hero, Jackie on the other.

I grew up in a Renton, Washington suburb that had a few black people, but not many. I do remember that when my mom had to work, she brought in a black lady to cook dinner. she was pretty much an aunt Jemima stereotype, but oh Lordy could she cook. We never grew up with hatred about others. Sure, we recognized that some people were different, but we really never thought we were better.

Today, Major League Baseball celebrates the life and career of Jackie Robinson, perhaps the greatest human of them all. He didn't pontificate on television about all of the wrongs that happened in the 1800's, he just simply went out and proved them wrong.Every player in both leagues are wearing number 42 today. I just wish Jackie were here to see it, but then maybe he does. ...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Piracy Tolerated By Shippers

photo courtesy of the US Navy

Today, the day that Captain Phillips has been rescued, brings home some startling allegations. We all read, just a few days ago articles alleging that when civilian crews carry weapons on board, insurers raise the rates so high it is more profitable to pay ransom than the hiked premiums. This arrangement, almost a partnership with pirates, is an outrage, and an abomination. Where have our guts and principles gone?
John Reinhart, CEO of Maersk associated himself with Captain Phillips, citing him as an American hero.Phillips is, Reinhart, a guy that put his crew at risk of a few gold coins, isn't!

Thomas Jefferson made history when as president, he sent the navy under Stephen Decatur into Tripoli harbor to burn the captured ship, USS Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, he ordered US Marines to invade. This brought an end to piracy against the United States, by the Barbary Coast Pirates. Our country was in it's infancy, but while Europe cowered, we refused to be bullied by international criminals. The Marine Hymm starts out, "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli."

During World War two, all merchant ships flying the American flag had a marine gun crew on board for the purpose of shelling attacking Subs and/or aircraft of the Axis. More recently, we re-flagged many ships that transited the Persian Gulf. That was due to Iran sinking ultra-large tankers, while cruising during the Iraq-Iran war.

Shippers that previously had re-flagged vessels in other countries to get around the requirements of American crew, soon were standing in line to get back under the flag.
This isn't just about money, insurance rates or other considerations. Putting American Merchant Mariners in jeopardy for the purpose of saving money isn't acceptable.

One of two things have to happen, and if our new president has any cojones, this would be the time to show them. Either the US government underwrites the insurance for our shippers, or we force the insurers to accept trained private security with adequate weapons to ship as crew, or we do like during WW11 and ship US Marines or Seals on each and every US flagged ship who's course brings it into waters known to be pirate havens. That would also include areas around Singapore and Malaysia. After a while, we wouldn't even have to cover every ship. The pirates, after being blown out of the water a few times, would find other ways to make a living.

It is also alleged that many ships and crews are still under capture in Somalian ports. Our Navy isn't busy fighting any wars, currently, send them in with cooperation from other countries navies and clean these vipers nests out. It is time to man up and take care of business. The United states of America used to be widely know as a country with which you didn't screw around with their citizens while they visited other nations. That no longer is true and hasn't been true for many years. It is time to draw a line in the sand. Piracy on the high seas has been an International crime for hundreds of years. It's enforcement time.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bayview's Easter Egg Hunt

I am wrung out, rode hard and put away wet. Literally. Along with Marie Streater of the Captain's wheel and many wonderful volunteers we made the annual Easter egg hunt happen. For the first year since Terry Shepherd of Terry's Cafe started the Easter tradition, we were on our own. Somehow we bummbeled and fumbled through. I am exhausted. Not from buying supplies, though we did. Not from cooking the eggs. Not from coloring the eggs. Actually the Timberlake fire District sent down a bunch of fire fighters to help out, and help out they did.

No, the reason I am exhausted, is first, the egg cooking that was held at the Captain's Wheel. A party ensued. Then Friday, the egg coloring party. Then today's egg hunt, which consisted of Marie and myself dodging raindrops while scattering eggs. In more temperate climates, it would be called hiding eggs. Here, the grass just hasn't started it's race to mid-summer burnout. Finally, after the younger group mobbed the lawn outside of the Captain's wheel in a driving rain, the older kids flocked to the Bayview Motel and RV park where Norma Jean was gracious enough to allow us to use the grounds for the egg hunt. The rain finally stopped. Not in time for moi to escape being soaked, but for the 6-12 year olds.

Our kids are tough here in North Idaho, and a little rain doesn't faze them.Kudos for the firemen that helped out. It turned out that the guys from the fire district were the most innovative decorators of all. these guys can do anything, and they always do it well. We are fortunate to have the fine men and women of the Timberlake fire department, not just to put out fires, but are always present for community projects.

Both Athol and Bayview produce more community minded people than most have ever experienced. We had a great time and I understand that the egg hunt in Athol that occurred later in the day was a huge success. The kids did great, even though many were rained upon. But after all four or so days in preparation for the event, I'm wasted. More parties were held by the participating adults, than the kids it was all for. To all of those that helped, a huge thank you.For me, I'll sleep well tonight.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Overaged Easter Bunnies

Normally, when an Easter Bunny reaches a certain age, they are put out to pasture. Such is not the case with this year's crop. Most of the volunteers that have stepped up are either first time community bunnies, or in some cases, have never born children. Such is the spot I jumped into when a person was needed to coordinate things. Soon after taking the bull by the horns, the rest of the gang jumped in. There are, those, however that haven't dyed an egg in 50 years. I fall into that category.

Today we cooked about 10 dozen eggs, after having stuffed about four hundred plastic eggs with various goodies, a couple of days ago. Tomorrow, all volunteers, either already identified, or drop-ins are welcome. We'll meet at the Captain's Wheel Restaurant, where we will get in each others way, drink too much and generally have more fun that the kids will Saturday morning. The kids from toddler to five will meet at the Wheel at 10:00 am, followed by the older kids, 6-12 at the Bayview Motel and RV park, at 10:30 am. Us newbies will of course make a hash out of it, since forever, Terry shepherd has sponsored the egg program. But, you know what? the kids won't mind.

One of the more interesting things about having this as a community volunteer program, is that I truly believe that the adults putting this together, are having way more fun that the kids will Saturday. Getting everyone that wanted to involved was a great idea that didn't happen, It just occurred by accident. The Chamber of commerce is underwriting the program with the help of anonymous donors.

We hold the egg program on Saturday so that those families that want to attend Easter services can do both. It is, of course, important to remember the original purpose for Easter, being the day history has shown of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We celebrate both ways, without denigrating either.

Those that want to help dye eggs can report to the Wheel at or around 1:30 pm Friday. As an additional treat, since Theresa so nicely complimented my potato salad that I used to make, that I tossed together a batch for those that come down to color eggs, or just hang around to drink and party.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

When Common Sense Isn't Home

I just finished an article on Boating Safety with a history of marina and boat fires in the recent past. I left out some, like when the mail boat caught fire leaving the dock and the carrier drown. There just wasn't enough space to cover everything. also left out was the most recent fire at the Boileau's floating Patio, because it was deliberately set.

A new one came to light last Saturday. Noticing Timberlake fire chief, Jack Krill parked at Boileau's, I sauntered over to find out what was up. It turns out that a boat with two adult men and several small children was stranded out just off Cape Horn, in Lake Pend Oreille.

Chief Krill invited me to go along on the rescue/tow operation. We shortly thereafter learned that a Navy work boat passing by was towing them in to the public launch, where we met them. Asked what happened, the young man, who will go un-named, since embarrassing him beyond where he already is wouldn't be friendly told us this. "We launched from here, (public launch in Bayview) and idled out to where we could put the hammer down. I gave it full power and noticed that I couldn't achieve more than 45 mph." I asked well then, how fast does it usually go? He said,"it's got a 454 in it and will do 65 mph." He went on to say that he then shut the throttle down as he could tell something was wrong. When he shifted into neutral, the engine seized up.

I asked him, well, what was your oil pressure gauge reading when you started out? He replied, " oh, it wasn't working." He then asked me, "the engine wasn't burning oil, but it was pumping out the exhaust." I then gently suggested that perhaps his oil pressure gauge was working, and was showing zero because he didn't have any pressure at all. I went on to suggest that the most likely path oil can take to the exhaust is through or around the pistons, such as in rings collapsing from the heat, which gauge apparently wasn't monitored either. The moral of this story is:

We are out there on the water with people that run at 65 mph and the only gauge they monitor is the speedometer. This isn't an isolated story, I'm afraid we have many unqualified operators out there.Boating Safety classes are available through the Coast Guard Auxiliary,U.S. Power Squadrons and the Kootenai County Sheriff, marine division. Take advantage of them and please remember there is much more to boating safely than the throttle. If this young man had had the engine seize up at full throttle, he could have pitch-poled or buried the stern and lost the children that were with him, along with his own life. Lake Pend Oreille and for that matter, every other body of water can be fatally dangerous.

The football players that lost their lives off Florida, is another example of ignorant boating. First, they took a small boat out 30 miles. Second mistake was anchoring the boat at the bow when rough weather hit. When a wave lifted the stern, the bow couldn't lift with it and the boat flipped. They had life saving PFD's aboard but weren't wearing them. The only anchor usable safely in that instance would have been a sea anchor. That is where you tow a bucket or sleeve or even a heavy jacket behind the boat. That will allow you bow to always face into the wind. They didn't and it killed them.

Boating safety is easy to learn. Ignoring the rules can be the last thing you'll ever do. Chuck Waller and George Grandy are working up a plan to petition the Kootenai County Sheriff Department for the purpose of forming a water born search & rescue group. Anyone interested, should contact George at 683-1859 or Chuck at 683-2389. It would help if you have a boat in the water and accessible at all times.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Easter Weekend in Bayview

Events sometimes overcome inertia. This is one of those occasions. Terry Shepherd, of Terry's Cafe in Bayview, has for several years, put an Easter egg hunt on for the children of the surrounding area. She did this out of her own pocket, without a sponsorship. Usually spending $400 per Easter, she just doesn't have the bucks to spare this year. But wait there's more! Unable to repeat this year, what with her expansion to Spirit Lake, We, the rest of the community woke up to the fact that we might not have an Egg hunt this year. I found this unacceptable and took on the job coordinating the event.

I am, however, not the only one that will be working on this. After starting the ball rolling, pretty much everyone that I have talked to is willing to help.Marie at the Captain's Wheel will supervise the younger kids, with a yet to be named probably (Herb) doing the secondary older hunt. This event will tke place Saturday AM, not Easter Sunday.

Kids from birth to 5 years old will gather at 10:00 am at the Captain's Wheel, wile the other kids, 6-12 will point toward the Bayview Motel/apartments on Main Street at 10:30 We will avoid the year round RV's that are parked there, and do our egg hunt near the fence where the Bayview Daze show & shine usually takes place. We expect things to get a little loose, since Herb has not been an Easter Bunny for many years. We also suspect it won't matter to the kids at all. Come one, come all. anyone that wants to help color eggs, should gather at the Captain's Wheel around 1:00 pm Friday for egg coloring. We could also use help hiding the eggs Saturday Morning.Call me at 683-9107 or Marie at the Wheel 683-1903, or just show up a little before start time and Identify yourself as a volunteer.

Since rampant deer feeding has taken place again here on the north side of town, egg locations will depend on avoiding deer poop piles. They are all over the place. That shouldn't be a problem though. After all, we are country folk. Bring the kids down and prepare to enjoy. You can, of course, always stay in town for lunch at either the Captain's wheel or Ralph's. Do not, however, encourage the children to put small, dark,oval objects in their mouths.