Thursday, February 04, 2010

Spin Control

In a recent article published in the Bonner county Bee, news editor, Keith Kinnard interviewed Lt. Cary Kelly, marine patrol supervisor. Whether that means that Kelly is a cop, or that he is a fireman is up for grabs. I say that, because this article seems not to be able to differenciate between the two.

Kelly justifies buying a 30 foot parrol boat, in addition to the one stationed in Sandpoint and the other in Hope. Kelly went on to say, "It can take as long as two hours for a patrol vessel to reach the southern end when the weather is foul." He goes on to say, "Various political sand diplomatic efforts over the years to resolve the issue have not panned out, whitch prompted Bonner County to seek the watrways Improvement Fund grant from the state."

Here's where the story becomes interesting> "We've had several close rescues and we're getting more traffic down in the south part of the lake," said Kelly. This with no quotes: Last season, the marine patrol rescued two kayakers caught in a storm near Maiden Rock and two teenage personal watercraft riders who ran out of gas in bad weather and with darkness falling." This statement is blatantly false. I, myself was aware at the time of the rescue attempt at Maiden Rock. The problem is that it was Timberlake fire District's fire/rescue boat that made that rescue, not Bonner County.

In the last year, Timberlake fire has responded to many Bonner County rescues. At least three in the Lakeview and north or Lakeview areas, plus water and land rescues up to and including Maiden Rock, which is clearly in Bonner county and then some.Timberlake Fire District Chief Jack Krill told us that over 10 rescues, involving both land and waterways were performed by his department, all in Bonner County.

Having another boat on the lake near Maiden Rock, stationed at Garfield Bay would be great. Just don't misrepresent the alleged lack of cooperation from Kootenai County Sheriff or Timberlake, to get what you want. After speaking with Sgt. Matt Street, commander of the Kootenai County Sheriff Marine Patrol, we believe that there is great cooperation between Bonner and Kootenai County, which leads us to believe that the reporting was sloppy.

Street indicated that they would go anywhere, anytime, to assist in a rescue. Kootenai County, with several lakes to cover, do not man their Scenic Bay boat on a regular basis, but coverage by the Timberlake Fire/rescue boat makes up the difference. Fire districts have mutual aid agreements, where in the case of law enforcement, cross deputization is used. Sgt. Street informed us that that has been done in the past with the former Bonner Sheriff and is in the process of being renewed under the new sheriff.

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