Thursday, May 29, 2008

Knights of the Round Table squared off in battle Memorial Weekend, as the Society of Creative Anachronism held a fair at Farragut State Park. The annual trek of SCA members descended on the park for medieval fun and frolic as knights and wenches partied old style.

Craft and food booths lined the street as jousters practiced their trade in the field of battle. It wasn't the battle of Hastings, but after all, the original was 942 years ago. Also, King Harold of England wasn't there, nor was the victor, the Duke of Normandy, a transplanted Viking.

A large organization, the SCA is made up of men, women and children dedicated to the preservation of the old ways. Real old ways. Present at Farragut were somewhere between 150 and 200 participants, some handmaidens, many merchants and of course the battle-scarred warriors of old. As people left the encampment, the host said, "a safe journey."

Memorial Day at Post No. 149, Athol/Bayview American Legion, produced two ceremonies, one at Bayview, another at the Athol Cemetery. Following the formal ceremony, the Legionnaires performed a flag-retirement ceremony at the post. This consists of a ceremonial examination to determine the flag is worn out, then a formal burning of the flags thus chosen. Unlike protests of the past, this burning was out of respect for the flag.

Moving on to Bayview, the Babs and Bayview Community Council sponsored gigantic yard sale was in progress. One lucky shopper walked away with an electric bread-making machine and a camera tripod, both for $10 each. Bargain hunters were out in force as one person's junk became another's treasure.

Upstairs in the Community Center, the B.L.A.S.T, or Bayview Local Artists Show and Tell was going full 'um, ... blast. Artists, musicians and connoisseurs of both, flocked to the show, which produced some outstanding works by local artists. This paper doesn't have room for the great examples of artistry, and it's a shame. Some of the paintings, no all of them, were expertly done.

One in particular, a ghost horse ridden by a ghostly young couple across a stream and painted on a whitish background, was superb. It was painted by Bettie Bockstruck. Others, like Susie Snider with a painting of a team of horses, Brenda Hunt with a plethora of paintings, also showed great expertise.

Entertainment almost ground to a stop as the scheduled group, The Keep, had a family emergency and canceled at the last minute. Fortunately, The Captain's Wheel was able to find another popular group, Comfort Zone that was available and ably filled in. Both the Captain's Wheel and the Button Hook rocked with business as the official start of boating season kicked off for the traditional Memorial Day Weekend. Terry's Cafe was crowded too, as breakfast and lunch crowds flocked to the popular spot.

With Lake Coeur d'Alene pretty much off limits to boating due to flooding, the Bayview launch ramps were busy, as Lake Pend Oreille hasn't quite reached full pool. Ordinarily, the lake doesn't reach full pool until mid-June. Albeni Falls Dam wide open, the lake has come up all the way without help from regulators.

Essentially, the Clark Fork and other streams are delivering more water than the Pend Oreille River can remove. Look for Lake Pend Oreille to go over its banks too, if hot weather returns. Not since most of downtown Bayview flooded in 1997 have we seen the normally placid waters of Scenic Bay turn ugly.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Blast (Bayview local Artists Show & Tell)

I have never been accused of being overloaded with class, unless of course you include low class. Having said that, my uneducated, but enthusiastic trip to this local art show was an eye opener. I'm totally amazed at the talent that resides right here in Bayview.

Last Saturday, these artists put together a show & tell that was fabulous. We had several outstanding artists, some of which many of us never dreamed were such. The one that caught my un-artistic eye the most, was a painting titled,"Soul Mates." It was painted by Bettie Bockstruck. In it she captured two youths crossing a stream in a ghostly manner, while riding a horse. The figures, superimposed over a similar background were eerie and fascinating. If this were a contest for originality, I'd have given her the first prize, hands down.

Above are a few of the artists and their work, starting with Susie Snider painting a team of horses, then Brenda Hunt, a pretty picture herself, then my favorite painting by Bettie Bockstruck, "Soul Mates."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Free the Families

Well, we have had the good and the bad from Texas. Horrible weather, floods, droughts, famine, pestilence. Texas has also produced the beginnings of the beef industry, the reputation of fighters, sloggers, and of people that overcame humongous challenges. Most of the development of the far west came from cattle country in Texas. When no body else would go west for fear of the plains tribes, the Texans did. When the Mexicans fought the Republic of Texas at the Alamo, there were Americans, Mexicans and many others that fought to the death, so that Texas would be free.

Texas is an interesting state. Born not from an English colony, it was originally a part of Mexico, albeit an area that wasn't terribly fond of Mexico City and the Texicans that represented both cultures. Texas, unlike other states, came not from annexation of US territories, but was, after breaking loose form Mexico,an independent state, the Republic of Texas. It is rumored that Texas is the only state in the present union that still carries in it's annexation charter, the right to secede from the union, having not been a part of the U.S in it's infancy.

Comes the present historical period, and U.S. law. As was presented to the "Church of Later Day Saints," or as commonly known, the Mormon Church, back in the 1800's. At that time, the U.S. government told Utah, either drop plural marriage, or don't plan on being a part of the United states. The church folded, finding suddenly that yet another revelation had miraculously occurred.

Now we come to the present. A period that finds for many years, a nod and a wink toward multiple wives. I can't comment intelligently about the religious content, except only to say that it appears the adaptation of plural wives developed on the trek west, where when a breadwinner was killed by Indians or others, the wife was brought into the family of other relatives.

I know it has taken a long time for me to come to the subject of this post, but I felt a need to do background, so as not to appear to be another empty blog post without any merit. My point here is that the debacle in Texas, without apparently any due process of law, resembles other posts that I have featured, regarding abuses of child Protective Services.

Today we learn that all 400 plus children that were seized in the raid on the breakaway Mormon compound in Texas, were taken from their mothers illegally. Something most of us probably figured out already. It becomes obvious that after this all plays out, the children will be back with their moms and siblings. What isn't obvious, is the trauma that was handed down by the authorities to the families involved. Some will probably never emotionally recover from the trauma of being torn from their mother's arms.

In summation, it would seem that one or two accommodations could have been reached. One, Texas authorities could have just laid down the law as to minimum marriage ages. Two, the young participants, none of which have been heard from, could be required to sign a statement saying that they agree to the marriage of their own free will.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Village Grieves

On a very sad note, the Coeur d'Alene Police reported that a motor vehicle/motorcycle accident happened near Cenex on Government Way Friday Night. Killed was Nathan Peck of Bayview. Nathan is the son of Neil and Debbie Peck and the Grandson of Al & Edie Peck. Nathan and his Mom, Debbie, are widely known for the Salee Creek gardens that produce fresh produce and flowers for the area. Nathan was 32 and was riding an almost new motorcycle when a vehicle turned onto the road in front of him. Attempting to avoid the truck, he layed his bike down, but it wasn't enough. The Pecks are long time residents, parts of the family having been here since Bayview was founded at the turn of the last century, in the early 1900's.

Several gravel pits are still owned by members of the family and Neil Peck in manager of Bayview Water & Sewer. Not only does the community grieve for a lost Son, but the loss of the Garden at Salee Creek will be huge to many.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Over the Top

The Bayview Chamber of Commerce met last Tuesday. Along with a plethora of candidates seeking various positions in county or state government, was a check presented to the treasurer by Ralph Jones, Vice-President. While some would wonder why that wouldn't be good news to everyone, some didn't think so. One such individual got in Ralph's face after the meeting to exclaim that he should have refused the money, or at least tore the check up, immediately. Why, you might ask would someone want to do something that crazy? Well, it had to do with the giver of this gift for the fireworks fund,Bob Holland, CEO of Waterford Park Homes and Waterford Park Marinas.

Last year, I myself received on behalf of the Chamber, a check for $2000 from another marina operator, Scenic Bay Marina. I too was chastised my some narrow minded people. At some point people, you are going to have to look into the mirror for the purpose of finding out whether you like the person you see. When attitudes get so radical that all practicality is thrown out the window, that labels you as a radical.

What we need more of in this community is cooperation. A coming together. I personally would like to see the Chamber newsletter and the twin published by the Bayview Community Council, combined to both save money, and to attempt cohesiveness. This town used to specialize in tolerance. Rich people rubbed elbows with others that are down and almost out, and everyone in between. Since developers have descended upon Bayview, we have been so emotional about the changes that appear to be inevitable, that very few are thinking straight.

It is past time to start thinking about returning to those days of tolerating all of our neighbors, not just those that agree with us or that are equally rabid. Anyone and everyone should thank donors regardless of the person donating. This is just good manners. apparently some in the community have lost track of that most valuable trait. Business owners, such as marina operators, maybe especially marina operators, benefit the most by the publicity and participation of those tourists that flock into town for Bayview Days. As such, it is reasonable and proper that these business contribute larger amounts than the average resident. Good manners don't cost a thing. Bad manners cost your humanity, and show lack of class.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Candidates Visit Bayview

The above candidates for public office appeared last night at the Bayview Chamber of commerce meeting, vying for votes in the primary, Tuesday after Memorial Day weekend.

From top to bottom, Rick Currie, incumbent County commissioner, District 2, Phil Hart, State Representative, pos B, incumbent, David Rawls, challenger for State Rep. Pos B, former School District Superintendent, Jim Connell, Senate candidate, Dist 3, Jai Nelson, Candidate for County commissioner, District 2. Not shown, Tim Herzog, challenger for County commissioner, Dist 1.

Residents were treated to a meet the candidate night which has not been terribly typical until recently. Currie, however, to his credit, manages to attend most monthly meetings. The hot contests this year appears to be for Currie's seat on the commission and Hart's seat in the legislature. It appears that we have some good choices for all offices. This blog will not officially endorse any candidate, due to recent changes in the Spokesman-Review ethics rules regarding attaching ones self to a political campaign.

I will say, however, that with the possible exception of failure of the current County commission to pass what could have been a county wide restriction on building heights, outside incorporated cities, I believe this commission has done a passable job, though could improve, especially in the area of letting the legal department legislate. Sometimes, the right thing to do shouldn't hinge on whether a lawyer thinks a lawsuit might ensue.

Having said that, all speakers attending, were bright, articulate and would make fine choices. But throwing the incumbents out every election cycle isn't the answer either. Bonner county has been known for single term office holders for a long time, and in some quarters is held in ridicule for not being able to govern itself. It would be sad to see the same "dump the losers," mentality take over in Kootenai county. Starting over anew with office holders needing to be trained into operational effectiveness should only be used in extreme situations. It takes experience in any endeavor to be effective.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stimulus Check

We have been told that we are about to receive some largess from our father who art in Washington, D.C. Just last week, we were told that a check was in the mail. I was totally enthused, until I remembered how many times in my youth, I uttered those very same words.

Came the internet. The IRS in their absolute loyalty to us, the guys & gals that actually finance their follies, have been given a web site, where we can determine at what stage our tax dollars are being doled back to us. I became awed at their concern for us. Even after figuring out that they had already torked us down for the money, now, rather than admit they didn't need the money after all, they are going to give us a gift.

If you guessed that I haven't received my check yet, you win the prize. Hark! Comes yonder blessings from above. We now have an internet address that will confirm where our previous donation is, in the path back to our pockets. This address is:

Now this looks like a rather basic exercise, doesn't it? Whoa, except for one thing. When you call them at the above mentioned address, the line is busy. This attempt, not because I was so broke I needed it right now, but because I did this for you. I have come to realize, that the whole gesture was for nought. You see, by the time you finally can log on to this site, you will have already got the check.

In any event, these are the target dates for rebates:

If the last two digits in your Social Security number fall within the following ranges, you can expect your rebate check by the following dates:

00-09 May 16
10-18 May 23
19-25 May 30
26-38 June 6
39-51 June 13
52-63 June 20
64-75 June 27
76-87 July 4
88-99 July 11

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Public Beach: Could it Happen?

During the last week here in Bayview, Idaho, an idea has cropped up that has been raised for years. Bayview, kind of like strip cities that had grown up astride a major highway, didn't get planned. It just evolved. Starting out during the forties as a navy town, it became a spot for people that live elsewhere, to park a trailer or build a cabin for summer use. No provisions were ever made for public access to the lake, except in Farragut State park.

Recently, Ralph Jones, learning that Waterford Park Marinas had put five waterfront RV parking spots up for sale at a cool $99,000 each, decided to try to create a public beach. First, he went to the Engineer, employee of Waterford Park, Dennis Scott with the idea. He suggested that by donating, or at least lowering the price of the lots, people would step up with enough money to buy these out and create a public beach. Bob Holland, while not committing to anything, suggested he would be willing to talk.

Much would have to be done, both in the planning and acquisition stages, but the sea wall,according to the Idaho Department of Lands, which is an illegal encroachment into the lake bed, and Bayview Creek, which was also diverted, buried, piped and turned into an outlet pipe high above the lake level, needs to be made whole. Bayview needs a place for families to lie on the beach. All of this could happen, if, Kootenai County can find a way around the 25 foot setback for natural vegetation, which is a county ordinance. If, the ordinance has a variance clause, it may be possible to accomplish this. Department of Lands has been queried, and doesn't seem to have a problem.

The project is in it's early stages, but County commissioner, Rick Curry is looking into the plan, and seems to favor a County owned public beach if it can be accomplished. Ralph has bit off a big hunk with this dream. One can only hope that it comes to reality.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Objectivity & Credibility

After pretty much tanning bob Holland's butt over the last year or so, with errors in judgement, and or telling it like it is, I was criticized recently for a column that actually praised him. It is necessary at this point to explain, that if I gang up on someone just because nobody likes him or what he does or is,it suggests that I will consistently do so.

Two words and every meaning of those words are at play here. The first, would be objectivity. Since I set out on my journey as a rather long in the tooth correspondent for the Spokesman-Review, I agreed with the S/R not to embarrass them with wild-eyed stuff that would call into question my objectivity or fairness. That applies to my blog as well as the published stories.

While most people in town agreed with many of my posts and or articles, not all will or did. That's OK. Anyone that is looking for 100% acceptance is probably smoking a banned substance.

The second point is credibility. If I were to march in lock step with any faction here in Bayview, even if most of the time I agree with their positions,I will or would have lost credibility, since I would have made it obvious that I am not objective, do not care about facts but am only interested in furthering an agenda.

I don't know when I lost the respect of those that thought I would never write anything good about Bob Holland, but then maybe I never had it. Maybe those persons considered me as a tool to further their own agendas. I am sorry, not about what I wrote, but about the loss of what I thought was respect and acceptance from those few that disagreed with me. I have to, for my own self respect adhere to the above words. Words that I live by.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Blogging vs Civility

I started blogging with the encouragement of Dave Oliveria of the Spokesman-Review blog, Huckleberries around three years ago. During that time, many changes have happened. During the early years,some thought of the blog as an open chat room where anything went. They were wrong. Some left in a huff because those of other political persuasions offended them. I kind of hung around, realizing that among those shrill voices was an occasional pearl of wisdom.

I started my own blog, and as the years passed, changed directions several times. Now that I am writing for the Spokesman-Review, I feel a responsibility to not carry that image down, and have toned my invective down. Objectivity in journalism is the name of the game. Outside of columns and editorials, news is supposed to be news, not your personal opinion. Most of the time that works.

Still, on the blog, and I just finished perusing the Huckleberries blog, stopping to comment as needed, the blog that has nurtured me from the start,is deteriorating into a shrill,emotional lack of knowledge, and so blatantly biased, as to insult the casual reader. You see, even if it is terribly satisfying to vent all of your prejudices out loud in front of God and everybody,don't you think that backing an opinion with logic and thoughtful discourse would be more enlightening?

Every subject, it seems, that brings a national issue, or even a local one, to bear, attracts a mob of less than literate snobs of whatever political persuasion, into a mob of people akin to those that turn over buses and set fire to things that have no connection to the people they oppose. If there are any people that would like to comment on these issues that can actually read this then intelligently reply, I would welcome those comments.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Farragut Harbormaster Shed

L-R Norma Jean Knowles, representing Waterford Marinas and Linda Hackbarth, savior of the shed in the process of being removed from the trailer that transported it ot the park.

Sitting lonely atop a naval boat shed, next to a few on the navy side that still exist sat the U.S. Navy harbor master shed. From 1942 through 1944, the hyperactive training base taught small boat handling with whale boats and cutters, swarming in and out of the small harbor at what was for years after the war, Bayview Marina. From this lofty perch, a local man, Haven Berg directed traffic, counted the boats that left and accounted for the same number that returned. Built by two other local men, Bill Bockstruck and Harold Stewart, this cupola stood sentinel over the comings and goings of boat traffic from then to 2006, when the marina was tore down in preparation for a new rebuilt, modern dock system.

The old roofed docks were patched together with a wish and a prayer, the pilings having been driven back in the forties. rotted off then spliced, they stood, kind of, until the wreckers came. One person, Linda Hackbarth, a noted local historian, noticed the shed, still perched above the marina, and asked then manager of Waterford Park Marinas, Tina Arendt, if it could be saved. The question was put to President, Bob Holland, and he approved the effort to rescue this last remaining artifact from Naval presence.

Hanging out in Arizona at the time, Hackbarth wa unaware that her wish was about to be granted. On her arrival back in Bayview, Idaho, lo and behold, there it was,sitting high and dry on the front lawn of the Boileau's Marina. Then the year long quest for a home started. Thinking the existing navy base would be the proper home,negotiations were started, but to no avail. It seemed that security would be breached if the hut were to be mounted in front of the navy base entrance.

Finally, the Brig museum at Farragut State Park was queried. Would they be interested? Boy howdy were they. They jumped all over the chance to obtain this one last artifact from World War 11 for their collection. Tuesday, April 31, the shed found a home. With the cooperation of Bob Holland, Dave Vig, construction superintendent, and a large cast of caring players, it was transported to the brig, where it will be completely restored to it's original condition, which strangely enough is still pretty good. When it is done, it will rest on a pedestal inside the courtyard at the brig for sailors coming back for yet another reunion will be able to enjoy it.

Haven Berg is gone lo these may years, but the shed will be preserved for future generations to learn from. Linda Hackbarth, sometimes laboring under lack of appreciation and even disrespect, has yet again graced the community with her love.