Thursday, March 29, 2012

Earl Scruggs 1924-2012

Tagging Earl Scruggs as a legend is to diminish what he was to Mountain Music. He was arguably the best banjo picker that ever lived or ever will. Prior to his leap to fame in the 1940's, 5-string banjo was frailed rather than picked with three fingers. He invented the style which is used by most traditionalists including yours truly.

The movie Bonnie & Clyde used his original score of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," as the chase theme. He also wrote and performed "The Ballad Of Jed Clampett," the theme for Beverly Hillbillies.

Through the forties, he and Lester Flatt on Guitar were an integral part of the Bill Monroe Band. The band played on the Grand Old Opry after World War 11 and hit music like a bomb going off.

Earl and Lester left the Monroe band in 1969 where they played in just about every venue including New York City. Flatt died in 1979, but Scruggs carried on with his three sons and playing with other Bluegrass greats like the Dillards and others who learned banjo at his knee.

That he will be missed is a given. His death isn't just the end of his life, it is the end of an era. An era that probably will not be repeated, as Bluegrass is way out of the main stream in music.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Home Town Success Story

I am a member of the 1956 graduating class at Renton High School, Renton, Washington. Our class held many that did quite well in life but one stood head and shoulders above the crowd. The following is a sketch of some of Ron Hicklin's work after graduation, a trip to Hollywood and after the starvation years. Captured on You Tube were several episodes of the network snow, Shindig. These are from 1965, which is when videotape first came on to the scene. Prior to that all shows were live. Stan Farber was also part of the group, also from Renton. Bob Zwirn was baritone, also from Renton. Those of you that remember Ron Rolla as bass, Ron dropped out of the group in 1963. After the Eligibles stopped ferforming, Hicklin went on to form a corporation in which wh hired out various background or studio musicians. There is where he made a huge success, both in wealth and reputation.

This is a song called Summer Place. It was widely recorded by many but none with the patented harmonies taught at Renton High School in those days.

Another is "Zing went the strings of my Heart.

Here is where The Eligibles backed up Patty Duke. They also backed her on her TV show.

The group went on to back most of that day's feature performers and recording stars, including many themes like the Andy Williams Show, Petticoat Junction, Gilligan's Island and a ton of others.I'll let you search out the rest using your search function. Also look under "The Ron Hicklin Singers."

As a local note, I live in Bayview, Idaho and have for the last 17 years. The Now retired Patty Duke lives just a few miles south of me. Her nephew, Mike Kennedy, a friend of mine, is a member of the Coeur d'Alene City Council. I'm sitting in my home, somewhat house bound while I get well from what was a first stage Pneumonia, listening to the music from 1965.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I found Out Why I've Been Grumpy Lately

I found out Today why I've been so grumpy lately. I have pneumonia. Coughing and hacking all night I finally went to the Doctor. Sitting in the waiting room was proof enough. 102 temperature and a questionable x-ray was proof enough.

My VA clinic is in Sand Point. After getting jabbed in the butt with some sort of huge needle, I was sent to Safeway where they have a charge account.One bottle of pills was around $7.00. The other, was full of horse pills and cost $85.00. They were free to me, except for one thing.

The druggist told me the prescriptions would be ready in 15 minutes. This having been my second trip to Safeway for prescriptions, I knew the gig. You can spend a lot of money in 15 minutes. Oh well, KI barreled out of there with my pills and two bags of groceries.

on the way home I was weaving a bit, my concentration shot. Other motorists must have though I was drunk. With all of the cell phones out there, I suspect the cops are still looking for me. But I made it home OK. The Doc said that if I wasn't feeling better by tomorrow he might have to hospitalize me.  That doesn't sound like fun at all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Panhandle Sun

Well, my first story is in. I wrote about the current and past forestry practices in the Park and the reasons for doing what they are doing. It's going to be a fun ride. I missed writing for publication, since the Spokesman-Review pulled the Handle Extra out of Idaho. That happened over a year ago and with the retiring of the Rathdrum Star, There hasn't been much chance of local news and features making the paper. 

The date of the first issue isn't set qite yet but it will be in the next few weeks. The paper will be available in racks in loctions we will alert you to as soon as they are extabished.
Advertisers can contact Mary Jane Honegger at: or at 687-4030.

Circulation will be in Spirit Lake, Rathdrum, Bayview and Athol. That may expand later.

For news tips call Mary Ann or myself. I'm at 208-683-9107

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

On The Road Again

I was surprised to get a call from Taryn Hecker Thompson today. She said that prior Spokesman-Review correspondent, May Jane Honegger is the editor of a brand new Newspaper named Panhandle Sun. Taryn will be writing for the spirit Lake/Athol Twin Lakes area, and yours truly my old beat, Bayview and Farragut State Park. Look for the first edition soon.It turns out Mary Jane has been looking for me for the last couple of weeks not knowing I was listed in the phone directory.

It will be fun to write for a publication again. The Rathdrum Star closed down a while back leaving local businesses without advertising coverage. Some of those businesses stepped up, hired Mary Jane and the rest is the future. 

We will specialize in features and stories about local people. The paper will be distributed in Bayview, Rathdrum, Athol and Spirit Lake. If you have a story of interest, e-mail me at: With the new ownership being local business, perhaps print media is still a valuable tool for businesses.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Are All Of The Candidates Real??

Well the stump season is well upon us once again. Some things that I perceive as different though are happening this election season. First, I see more competition in the Republican ranks for local, state and county offices. I'm talking about Idaho here.

It is very difficult if not impossible to look into the minds of some of the players. In the cases of District two, with incumbent Hart, we see several opposing candidates. Certainly, some of them are motivated by the desire to get rid of this horrible example of what not to be in a public servant. My cynical nature though, asks given the huge advantage for the incumbent to have many opposing, therefore splitting the vote.One wonders if some of this opposition is made up of friends of Hart, acting as Judas Goats to benefit their wacko friend.

In the case of Tondee, incumbent for the county council, I doubt that his opposition is contrived, but most probably just people that don't like Tondee. Still, the same result can be expected. Split opposition and another incumbent survives.

In another first, A democrat, Dan English filed for the district two seat held by Hart... What's more unusual is he may actually win the seat. There are enough Republicans out there in this heavily conservative district that believe in our public servants having integrity over purity of ideology.

English comes to the table as a practicing Christian, a community treasure having served as a city councilman, Sheriff detective, youth councilor, county clerk, founder of Anchor House, a home for troubled kids, and on top of that, he isn't an Ideological liberal. The values in this district are going to be tested severely. He has lived in Bayview as well as Twin Lakes, an anchor in this northern part of the county.

Then there is the Kootenai County Council.Larry Spencer, Gadabout and ultra-conservative,  running against one of his buddies last election cycle. It turns out that Green isn't conservative enough for Spencer, who is off the chart.

As far as the race for Kootenai County Sheriff, only one candidate stands tall amongst minor league opposition. Major Ben Wolfinger rose from 29 years ago as a patrol deputy. Didn't leave for greener pastures as most others have in this a low paying department compared to Spokane. He took the steps as they came, achieving the rank of Major, which he holds currently. Wolfinger is an officer's officer.highly respected in the department, no training would be needed for this guy and boy has he earned it. 

I will have more to say about these races as time slides inordinately toward November and the general election. Here is Dan English's web site:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Dan English Speaks

I’m Dan English and I’ve filed for the position of State Representative, District 2, Seat B, currently held by Representative Phil Hart.  I’m well aware of my odds in this race.  Running as a Democrat in Kootenai County, let alone in a district that has been judged to be among the reddest of the red districts in Idaho is an uphill climb at best.
This isn’t the most convenient time given the demands of family and vocation. Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not retired and in fact often put in very long but satisfying days on behalf of the kids and families served by Twin Lakes Friends Camp. 
I’m not sure public service, especially when called upon to run for public office, is very convenient for anyone these days.  It can come at a significant personal and even financial toll.  And based on the number of people willing to put their name on the ballot in either party compared to those that could or at least those who regularly complain about their government, you would have to say most aren’t willing to pay the price.  But that is the price that must be paid if we want our Representative Republic that is based on the Democratic process of free and open elections to thrive and survive.
This is America and we are free to believe what we want.  In most cases, we are free to act on those beliefs as well.  But I don’t think someone should be free to run term after term unchallenged when their belief and practices about our tax laws are so far out of line with ordinary, hard-working taxpayers who play by the rules, who pay their fair share, and expect everyone else to do the same.  They especially demand that anyone who draws a paycheck & benefits from those hard earned tax dollars to have enough respect for them to do the same. 
I’ve had the privilege of winning the public’s trust and holding public office on several occasions, just like Representative Hart.  I’ve taken my oath of office very seriously as well as the trust that was placed in me.  I imagine Mr. Hart must feel he does the same.  But that’s about as far as the similarities go.  I can only think we must be made out of different stuff at our core. Because I can’t imagine wanting to even give the appearance that I was somehow using the fact of being an elected office holder as a shield to avoid, or in any manner delay the responsibilities and timelines that every other ordinary tax payer must abide by.
I understand there are special privileges that lawmakers enjoy but I just can’t believe the framers of our state constitution ever had in mind that those privileges would someday be used to enable Mr. Hart’s tax avoidance behavior.  That is why I chose to make my announcement today in front of the Idaho State Tax Commission instead of a more traditional setting to draw attention to the apparent differences in our beliefs and behavior.
I do realize that Mr. Hart may not even be in the race in November.  In fact, at last check he hadn’t even filed to be in the race in May.  But then, my candidacy is not just about Mr. Hart.
 In Kootenai County, the decisions for most of our elected officials are made by a quite small percentage of the registered voters in the Republican Primary Election.  In most cases, if they even have an opponent, it is all over in May.  When the majority of the voters come out to make their choice, especially in Presidential years when the turnout is over 85%, they find they actually have no choice at all.  I think that problem will be even more acute this year given our new closed primary law.
Democrats have been criticized for not fielding enough candidates for the ballot.  As a Democrat I have accepted that challenge.  I feel very strongly about making sure the voters have actual choices for candidates on their ballot, especially in the November General Election.  It has been 10 years since there has even been a contested race on the General Election Ballot in this district.
So no matter who I face in November, I think the voters in District 2 will best be served by having a choice instead of so many of our voters not having anyone to represent them.
And how are your legislators representing you these days?  Are you happy with all the time, effort, and expense they are using to debate one-sided partisan bills and resolutions that do nothing to improve the daily lives of ordinary working and struggling people?  Especially when so often they are told by their own Attorney General and other legal advisers that many of these laws are unconstitutional and expensive wastes of time and money.  But they continue to spend time and money on special legislation that are the equivalent of form letters to the editor and Congress for their party faithful.  That’s fine if they want to band together and do that on their time and their nickel but don’t be doing it on our time or our dime!  The burn rate of the legislature is about $30,000 a day and this is no time for those kinds of wasteful expenditures.  I don’t know about you, but that is certainly not what I elected them to do!
The three core issues that will be most important to me are the same issues that I think most voters are concerned about.  They include quality education that benefits all of our citizens, strong economic policies that focus on job creation, and the expectation of high ethical standards for our elected officials.
In the end, I believe it all boils down to just one question for the voters and good people of District two…ARE YOU READY FOR A CHANGE OF HART?   If you are then please support my candidacy with your time, efforts, financial contributions, and your prayers.  So if you’ve Had Your Fill then Vote for Dan English, Legislative District 2 this November.  Thank You.                                    

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Heart vs Hart

       L-R Mamie, PO 1sr class, Daughter, Joel, 2 Iraq tours,Son, Dan, Wife, Cory Daughter, Hannah

Former Kootenai County Clerk, Dan English, will make a formal announcement about his candidacy for Legislative District 2, Position B, the seat currently held by Representative Phil Hart. He will make his brief announcement remarks Wednesday, March 7st at 10:30 a.m. He will make them outside 1910 NW Blvd. in Coeur d’Alene, in front of the State Tax Commission Office.

English, 60, is a native of Kootenai County and has a lifetime record of service to his community. He is the founder and former Executive Director of two local non-profits, North Idaho Youth for Christ and Anchor House-Idaho Youth Ranch. He currently is the resident Manager of Twin Lakes Friends Camp and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. In the past he has held positions as a city councilman, a sheriff’s detective, and a school board member among others. (From Huckleberries)

For the first time in a while, voter will have a choice come general election day. Although Dan is a Democrat he is not a flaming liberal and uses common sense rather than knee jerk liberal issues. If Hart beats his primary opponent, Dan English will be the only barrier to more of this loser and Wacko of the far right.  I suspect that if it is Hart vs English, many moderate republicans will switch to English.

He's done it all. Law enforcement, Youth Councilor, County Clerk, father of two service kids and many more accomplishments. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Bayview Is The Place To Party

The skies over Bayview are blue
the waters are as well.
If you party when in Bayview, we promise not to tell.

When you come to Bayview, the boating is sublime,
If you choose to be a little naughty,
we promise not to mind.

While float homes rest upon the water,
and kayaks skitter by
leave your cares at home, 'cause it don't matter.

Whether food, music or fun on the lake,
a great experience is yours to take.
So come on down,tell it true
You'll have so much fun you won't be blue.
(Bring Money)

Timberlake Fire Meetings

Hello Herb,

Could you let the Bayview community via your blog, know that the Fire Districts monthly Board of Commissioners meetings are now being held on the 3rd Thursday of the month.  The location is still the Athol Community Center. The time is still 6PM.

Thank You,
Commissioner Rudebaugh