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.