Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wounded Warriors At Diamond Cup

The Diamond Cup committee has been contacted by a group called Operation Ward57. This is a non-profit group that supports Wounded Warriors in many different ways. An all volunteer group that assists wounded Veterans return to civilian lives that have disabilities.

The Diamond Cup committee is proud to support this group with free passes to the best seats on the course, along with transportation to and from the race site.

Thousands of myriad details are yet to be addressed between now and race day, August 30 Through September 1  Labor Day Weekend. Posters will be out soon showing times and dates for all events. Along with the H-1 Jet boats, there will be an exhibition race with the vintage Thunder Boats, sporting Allison and Rolls-Merlin engines used in World War 11 fighter  planes such as the P-51 Mustang and the Spitfire of battle of Britain fame.

Limited Hydros won't be left out either.  The Grand Prix boats are nothing to sneer at. They sport 454 blown engines that can propel the boats up to 150 mph.

Friday, August 30 will feature testing along with Jet boat qualifying. The pits will be open to the public that day, closed Saturday and Sunday. The Budweiser Distributor will distribute posters at all beer outlets and your favorite watering hole.

Two web addresses to take note of are:, where you can offer financial support for out wpounded vets, and for race tickets.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

School Board Elections

It somehow amazes me when the Ideologues are so wrapped up in their practice of preaching to the Choir, that they forget an important ingredient for good government.

Yes, political philosophy is important, but only to a point. That point is first, that the philosophy is not destructive as it was when Adams was elected to the Coeur d'Alene city council. Secondly, and a point that has been glossed over, is that the candidate be qualified for the office he or she seeks.

The School board trustee election is a case in point. On the one hand there are two candidates that appear to have only membership in the falsely named Reagan Republicans as their sole qualification. With a lobby of same thinkers behind them we are in danger of turning our institutions into funny farms.

The school board elections in Coeur d'Alene are supposed to be non-partisan. The Reagan Republicans didn't waste any time smearing Christa Hazel with the hated librul label, this a woman that worked for Helen Chenoweth, who was certainly not left of center.

Christa is a parent with school age children, as is Hearn. I personanlly believe that having skin in the game is terribly important, since there is a direct effect on one's own kids if poor education is present.She also has a law degree. Having been involved with community affairs since before college, you coun't ask for a better qualified candidate.

Tom Hearn, also a parent with young kids is a mental health professional with a ton of experience. The kind that the schools need. I have no idea what Hearn's politics are because you see, it is a non-partisan office. I think the only reservation I would have about any candidate is first, don;t elect another political candidiate that normally resides on a different planet.

The election and subsequent disaster on the city council should be warning enough. Bring forth people with common sense, beware of social engineering in our schools and we will as our children, prosper in the future.  Above all, be sure your vote goes for someone that cares about the kids, not inserting politics into our education system.

These are two excellent choices. Use them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tom Hearn For School Board

Tom HearnThis is my endorsement for good education. (Herb Huseland)He has skin in the game as well.

"I support safe, dynamic, 21st Century classrooms to best ensure a successful, productive, job-ready future for our children. Sound decision-making, good citizenship, personal responsibility and financial independence are all products of a quality education system. By supporting our children, our teachers, and support staff, we support quality of life for every citizen of Coeur d'Alene."
Tom Hearn

I have spent my whole professional life advocating for the care and safety of children and their families. If elected, I will continue to be an active and positive voice on behalf of the children of the school district. I will also support our teachers so they can continue to provide the best possible education for our children.

I believe strongly in fiscal responsibility. I am the owner of a successful private mental health clinic in Coeur d'Alene and know what it takes to manage a business. I have worked in this area since 1986 and have never been bankrupt or had any type of significant financial problems, including tax liens against my business.

I believe in research-based, forward-thinking education policy. While I obviously support teaching the core curriculum requirements, we also need to support innovation and the latest research-based programs. We need to support our teachers and administrators in their efforts to use the best teaching tools available. With continued hard work, we can make the Coeur d'Alene School District a world class school district.

To provide the best education for our children, we need effective communication between the school board, educators, and the citizens of Coeur d'Alene. During my 35 years in the mental health field, I have been appointed to State boards by both Democratic and Republican governors. I served as Chairperson in both instances. My experience has allowed me to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, and I know how to encourage communication and respect between people with differing interests and concerns.

I believe that the school board needs to remain a non-partisan elected body concerned only with providing a quality education to the students of Coeur d'Alene. I am and will continue to be non-partisan in my approach to the concerns and responsibilities of the Coeur d'Alene School Board. I have no agenda in this election and truly just want to help our students and education professionals.

Please contact me if you have any questions about my candidacy. I can be reached by email, by postal mail, or on Facebook. Thank you for your support.
Vote May 21st

Monday, March 25, 2013

Power Corrupts And Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

First the firing of the best public defender in Kootenai County History over personal attacks and council bullying, now a country treasurer not daring to retire for fear far right politics will skew what has been twelve years of smooth operation.

Perhaps it is time to stop Spencer candidates from being elected from the hinterlands of what ever planet his political persuasion originates from. Jai Nelson is misusing the power bestowed upon her and the other two are going along with her.

When doing a good job interferes with a political agenda, it is time to replace the political thorn in the county's side. I urge those of you that have been outraged by the antics of the few, guided by the most far right and power hungry of our Republican Party, to select new candidates or even recall those that have abused their positions to settle personal issues. If you wish to be heard, send a powerful message to Jai Nelson at:

Do you miss our previous council president yet?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Birth Day

As I woke this morning, the temperature a cool 42 degees, I realized that I was on the eve of being three quarters of a century old. Sunday, March 23 1938 I came squalling into the world preparing for war. The Germans had been at war with England and most of Europe for a year or so at my birth.

I grew up in a war atmosphere with dad going to work at Todd's Shipyard, building wooden decks on destroyers. At four I had climbed a cherry tree in our back yard and proceeded to fall, landing on my head. That may explain a lot.

Somehow I survived childhood, though it must have been a close thing. The polite way of putting it was that I was precocious. I was slow growing up. I don't have any idea when I will reach maturity. Maybe I will skip that as unnecessary.

Tomorrow, Saturday March 23, 2013 I will achieve 75 years of age, without having been shot by a jealous husband. I'm told there will be the mother of all birthday parties as well. I was, however, shot down over my request for dancing girls in scanties. Sunday, I return home after a detour to Capitola to visit my daughter, just out of the hospital a few days.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dirty Water

For years I have taken good water for granted, first in the Seattle area then North Idaho. I didn't realize how privileged we are. Great clean water and good sewage disposal policies.Hey, even our irrigation water is better than the drinking water of central California.

I had a recent conversation with my daughter-in-law who felt that early puberty and an inordinate amount of twins born in this area is due to polluted water.So far, no two headed babies, but that is probably not far off. Nobody actually drinks the stuff. Some install filters so that they don't even have to shower in the local water, and this water has gone through a public utility filtration process.

There are two principle causes for this problem. Central California is the heart of our region's farms raising vegetables that we depend on as well as large dairy farms. The cows poop and pesticides abound. Also, those homes still on septic systems add to the problem.

O.K., you say, that happens all over the country, so why is it just a problem in the Central Valley? The answer is the water table.Here in Manteca, my plumber son tells me, "the water table is just five feet under the surface." This means all of the cow urine and poop along with the pesticides and with the aforementioned septic systems, create a plume of crap sinking directly into the aquifer, the water that is perfunctorily filtered, then piped to every home and business.

Why then does the EPA pick on North Idaho when bigger fish reside in California? Who knows, maybe the choice is bad water or no water. If this story doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy about our clean clear water, nothing will.

Now we have a political crises made one due to a single Ideologue bent on stopping spending regardless of what the expenditure is or how necessary it is. In this case, clean water is the goal, one mandated by the EPA. This Jerk doesn't offer an alternative, just Mule like stubbornness. This is a great example of be careful what you wish for, you may get it. Remember, you folks voted for this guy.

In the mean time, I am making Pepsi and Coca Cola many bucks selling bottled water. I'll be glad to get home where I can turn on the tap and get clean, pure water.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Well actually, I'm not on a rod trip since I flew. My adult kids bought me a plane ticket to Oakland, California where my son Herb Jr picked me up. He lives in Manteca, a daughter in Modesto and another in Capitola. To make everyone feel bad, the daytime temps are in the 70'

I'm still excited that after being a hydro fan for 60 years, I now get to top it by being selected to be the PA announcer. That I am stoked is an understatement. This will be the high point in my life, ranking just under the birth of my kids. The challenge will be daunting, but having a hydro background will help tremendously.

Later today on to Modesto where my eldest daughter will feed us. I'll stay there until Wednesday whence I will return to Manteca. My other daughter, Sussie, is scheduled for surgery Tuesday, so I will top off the visit by dropping by the Santa Clara hospital on my way to the airport. I will return just one day after my 75th birthday. It is truly great to eat someone else s cooking. I am waiting on ESPN where the bracks will be chosen. Already the announce has been snarky about the Zags.

Since the family is planning the mother of all birthday parties, My return will consist of a two hour flight and a hangover.. As always it is fun to go and more fun to get back home.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Last Great Race

1968 was the last Diamond Cup race on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The following is a column from the Seattle Times about that race.

Bardahl Wins Interminable Diamond Cup
By Bud Livesley, Times Sports Writer

COEUR D’ALENE — As a Smirnoff mechanic said, mimicking Gene Miller as he counted down the long, tiresome hours over the public address system: “It is now three days to the five-minute gun.”
It was only a slight exaggeration. It took seven minutes short of eight hours to determine a Diamond Cup hydroplane champion yesterday. It took Billy Schumacher only three seconds longer than 18 minutes to perform the task.

It took hours to piece together a timetable and a race course wrecked by a frustrating southwest wind that turned Lake Coeur d’Alene into a sea of whitecaps and a million “holes.”
In the end, persistence by men and machines outhuffed and outpuffed the wind.
It was dark when Schumacher guided the Miss Bardahl through the grey water to win the final heat and his first Diamond Cup regatta. It was 8:23 p.m.

Minutes later, blinking running lights beckoned the return of patrol boats from the battered course. Now it was peaceful, cool and pleasant. Earlier, it had been hot, windy and unpleasant.
Only the first heat, at 12:30 p. m., came off on time

Miller virtually was hoarse before the day’s activities ended with the awarding of trophies under artificial light.
Miller, the official race announcer, intoned: “There will be a 15-minute delay. There will be a half-an-hour delay. It is now 15 minutes to the five-minute gun.”
It was monotonous. But it was necessary if there was to be a race this day. And several times, that was questionable.

The wind, in gusts of 30 miles an hour, ripped loose the log boom on the back stretch. It tore the officials’ barge from its mooring and set it adrift. It was rescued, 25 yards away, by two tugs.
Several barge guests were seasick. Bill Newton, referee, stood like a captain on the bridge, feet astride, braced against the wind, a hand holding tight to his hairpiece.

At this point, man and the elements almost had battled to a standstill. Two heats, interrupted by three 15-minute delays, had been raced, with the Miss Budweiser and the Miss Bardahl victorious.
Then, at 2:30, as the hydros wallowed in deepening swells at the south end of the course, heat IC was called off because the lake, as Leif Borgersen, the Notre Dame rookie, put it, “was like an ocean.”
(Later, Borgersen, who qualified Saturday as a driver. won heat 2A.)
Two and one half hours later, the racers tried again. It was half successful. Newton called a halt after three laps, with Warner Gardner the winner aboard the pride of the Inland Empire, Miss Eagle Electric.
The Eagle was to fly high again later to give hope to partisan viewers, by then their numbers considerably fewer than an earlier estimated 30,000.

Only the die-hards were around when Gardner ran Jim McCormick out of an engine on the third lap and went on to beat the Harrah’s Club and Savair’s Mist. Thousands of followers had abandoned Tubbs Hill, their ice chests empty. The picnic was over. Only the buffs remained.
There was one final delay while three hydros — Miss U. S., Harrah’s Club and Smirnoff — were swept from the course. Bill Muncey and his world-champion U. S. were a leftover casualty from 2A when Big Red died in the infield even before reaching the starting line.

The Smirnoff expired on the second lap and Harrah’s Club a lap later, in heat 2B.
The outcome of heat 2C was put best by Tommy Fults’ 2-year-old daughter, Kelli. She proudly proclaimed to one and all, “My daddy beat the Bardahl.”

That he did. Fults led from start to finish and had the day’s best average speed, 102.661.
The sentimental favorite, Eagle Electric, was within reach of a much-desired victory in the final heat. Like the wind, she wound up breathless. Gardner had the most points, 800, going into the final 15 miles.
The Eagle flew about a quarter of a mile. Leading the way into the first turn, two belching bursts of flame erupted in the darkness.

Then the Eagle feathered a nest off the exit buoy. Gardner watched Schumacher speed off into the dark, to victory. Fults gave chase, but to no avail. Daddy tried, but he didn’t beat Bardahl this time out. Fults spun out on the north turn of the third. The Checkered Lady, shunned to the sidelines by balky engines in the past two races, was not to be denied victory No. 3 for the campaign, now heads east for the President’s Cup and the Gold Cup.

Schumacher and the Bardahl might bypass the Potomac River action with a cushion now over second-place Gardner in the chase for the national high-point championship. Schumacher, the 1967 champ, now has 5,600 points to 4,900 for Gardner.

Dave Heerensperger, owner of the Eagle Electric, took defeat graciously. “We went out leading the pack. That’s the only way to do it.”
Schumacher remarked, “It was dark and bumpy out there.”
But he was smiling. It had been a long day.
(Reprinted from The Seattle Times, August 12, 1968) (courtesy

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Diamond Cup Racing

It has been years since unlimited Hydroplanes have raced on Coeur d'Alene Lake.This year, the race is coming back. Slated for Labor Day Weekend, the date is set and officially accepted by the racing commission.

I fondly look back at years of racing in Seattle, where I was raised. The hydros arrived at Lake Washington in 1952. In the beginning, the Gold Cup winner chose the location of the next race. Stan Sayres of Mercer Island, contracted with Ted Jones to design a faster boat than what was currently used in the Detroit area. The Detroit boats were what was called "stepped hydro's." A raised ledge was built into the hulls where the boat would ride on the step and the propeller. Miss Pepsi and the Gayle boats ruled the waterways at that time.

 The Sayre boats were built by Les Staudacher. Slo-mo-shun 4 was the first boat It was a radical design change. Two sponsons, one on each side supported the hull. When racing the only surfaces contacting the water were about three inches on the rear of each sponson and the bottom half of the prop. With half the prop out of the water, huge rooster tails would  climb high in the sky reaching 75 feet on the straightaways.     Sl-Mo 4 was shipped to Detroit and promptly won the Gold Cup in 1951, driven by Les Taggart. The gold Cup was coming to Seattle.

Hydro racing came to Lake Washington in the summer of 1952. By that time, the Sayre design of Jones and built by Staudacher produced another boat, Slo-Mo 5.The new boat was driven by Lou Fagel. After a few years of Seattle domination, the powers in Detroit changed the rules governing the location of the Gold cup to highest bidder. The Seafair Trophy races were born.

Some of the most famous boats were the Thriftway driven by Bill Muncy. He won 66 races, all in the Thriftway boats. Another was the Bardahl, owned by Seattle oil baron, Ole Bardahl. Later, the beer boats came along. The Miller boat and most famous of them all, the Miss Budweiser. These early boats were powered by Allison aircraft engines from World War 11, used in the Mustang fighter plane. All had to be water cooled for adaptation to the Thunder bats. Rolls Merlins were a bit more powerful and became the standard. The Rolls came from the British Spitfire of  The "Battle of Britian" fame.

Bernie Little, ever the fierce competitor, bought up all of the Rolls-Griffins, cornering the market. From that day on, he controlled the races, which because of the lack of competition nearly killed the sport. The Griffin was a second generation built for the Supermarine Spitfire.It was so powerful that the Spitfire could keep up with V-2 rockets.In the beginning, the races were carried live on all three Seattle TV Stations. Bill O'Mara of King TV was the most famous voice of the hydros.

Ron Musson, Bill Muncy and many others were killed in boat crashes. From 1968 forward the "Pickle Fork" design was used. This consisted of scooping out much of the bow which tended to catch air and flip the boats. In on of the most spectacular crashes, was Slo-Mo-5 which caught the wind and did a complete loop ending up right side up, sans driver who fell out while the boat was upside down. He survived, but never raced again. In later years the cab was located in from of the engine, the first being Thriftway too. It never lived up to expectations but when the jet boats came along, the design was adopted, along with an escape hatch on the bottom of the cockpit so that a flipped boat could allow a driver to exit from the bottom.

As racing draws near, I will write more on this subject, along with sketches of some of the more colorful drivers.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

St. Patricks Day Festivities


Sadly I won't be at the festivities having flown out to California to see my kids. Have a great time and remember, green beer, not green complexion.

Friday, March 08, 2013


Spring is struggling to arrive, with Winter dragging at her heels all the way. The days are longer and the temperatures are slowly, ever so slowly increasing. A little sun is peeking through today in Bayview and the signs of Spring are here. For now, it is dead quiet in Bayview.The loudest sound in town is fish swimming by.

As always, the signs of MacDonald's Resort towing boats back and forth from de-winterizing is the first true sign of Spring. Folks are arriving for boat and float home checks.

The unfortunate closing of J.D.'s Bar due to an untimely renewal has crowded the Captain's Wheel to capacity. Hopefully, it will open back up soon.No word yet on whether the Buttonhook or patio will open.I will let you know when I find out.

Come on down for St. Paddy's Day, with Saturday night music by the suddenly popular country band, Last Chance. They are booked all over the inland northwest with inquiries as far as Montana and further. I'll be vacationing from March 16 through the 24th but will try to post during my stay in Central California with kids and grand-kids. (also great-grand-kids) Until then, think Summer.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Hazel For School Board

In a recent conversation with Christa Hazel, I remarked, "I would ask your party affiliation but then this is a non-partisan office, isn't it."

This was her reply:
I have always been Republican.  Rumors to the contrary are false.

I served as a constituent representative for Sen. Dirk Kempthorne while a student at NIC.  I also was a volunteer campaign coordinator for Phill Batt for Latah County (I was a Kootenai County resident) while I attended the University of Idaho.  I assisted Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth's campaign.  I helped organize a fundraiser for Butch Otter's campaign for Lt. governor.  In 1994, I briefly filed as a candidate against Rep. Tom Dorr but withdrew after I was accepted to law school. I had been recruited by Kootenai GOP Grand Dame Ruthie Johnson.

The Kootenai County Taxpayers Association and the late Ron Rankin once gave me a Courage in Service award.  Ron was very supportive while I served as the student body president at NIC.  I was 20 years old. 

I have not been as active post-law school because I had two children at home that took most of my time.  What time I did have, I volunteered to the district. My children are now 9 and 11.  

In the most recent elections, my husband and I donated to Ed Morse's successful campaign against Phil Hart.  (I drafted the original timber theft opinion for Judge Bob Burton against Phil Hart that withstood Idaho Supreme Court review).  We also hosted a fundraiser for Barry McHugh.

I have a letter from Sen. Kempthorne, written on my behalf, that states in part, "I am happy to recommend Christa for anything that would fully utilize her knowledge and enthusiasm for government and politics."

Yes, Herb-- I am a Republican.

Monday, March 04, 2013

We're #1

We are number 1. In both polls.Yes, I know. Not many of us attended Gonzaga or are even Catholic, but that doesn't matter. They are family to most sports fans in the Inland Northwest. Never, in the history of Gonzaga basketball have they been ranked this high. I'm not sure any mid-major school has.

The problem now though is the target on their backs. Every team the Zags play from here on out will be trying just a little harder to unseat the kings of the hill.We might as well celebrate now, because next year could be a disaster. The Zags with Olynyk having graduated already and even with another year of eligibility, could go pro. That along with Hart and Harris graduating could wipe out the entire front line leaving the outstanding back line to carry the freight.

Only Illinois was a legitimate loss, what with the freak ending at Butler. Some of the teams Gonzaga beat along the way, were West Virginia, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, and Baylor, all basketball powers. Of course, in addition to that non-conference schedule, they went through the WCC like it wasn't even a challenge. Only Saint Marys was a close call.

The Dog Pound is empty now and quiet reigns, but for most of the year the gym was bulging with racous fans urging the team on. The next challenge is the league playoffs then the NCAA. It ain't over yet and the fat lady hasn't sung, but we will be there, rooting on our team.