Just eight days ago, I had my seventy-first birthday. Asked if I was still chasing fast women, I replied, no, I'm reduced to chasing slow ones. My eyes are starting to light up when I see an older woman using a walker, but then desperation births strange methods. One of the most difficult things about getting older, is that one has no previous experience with the phenomenon. Most knowledge is based on previous experience. aging is something that sneaks up behind you, then announces that you are suddenly old. No warning at all. It just is.
April fool's day is a date that to me doesn't mean playing tricks on people. It is the anniversary, actually the ninth anniversary of the last cigarette that I smoked. Cold turkey, pure will power. I've had two imaginary relapses, where I dreamed that I lit up and woke up the next morning relieved that it hadn't really happened. They say that if you go ten years without smoking lungs will fully regenerate. So far, so good. I had a recent chest x-ray that came up clean.
With the snow mostly gone, I've taken up walking so that when the season starts at the theme park I'll be in shape to walk the required distances. Yes, I'm going back into the entertainment business. This time, not as the railroad conductor. I'll be rotating between three coasters. Timber Terror, Tremors and Aftershock. I hope I see many of you there. Attending local attractions such as theme parks and water parks beats the hell out of long trips away from home, expense wise.
I'll be announcing both Bayview Daze parades and the later one for Athol Days, which is the Centennial for Athol. Hopefully I'll see some of you at one or both celebrations.
The Buttonhook Restaurant will open April 10 at 4:00 pm, under new ownership. We are not releasing the name of the new owner, since permission hasn't been granted. In these situations, most participants do not want premature announcements made until the sale is signed and recorded. We understand that Steve will be back as well as Joni, the ever popular bartender. Stormy will be back also.Business is picking up with the approach (ever so slowly) of spring, and with the Captain's Wheel the only full service restaurant currently open, the 'Hook is needed for the onslaught of tourists soon to follow. Spring hours will be Friday and Saturday only from 4-10pm lounge and dinner from 5-9pm. Expanded hours will start with Memorial Day Weekend.
Speaking of the Captain's Wheel, they will go to seven day service beginning April 6. Spring dinner hours will be until 8pm and 9pm on Friday-Saturday nights.Already restaffed by returnees, your favorite waitress is probably back. The real start of the season, though, is the ever present Annuals. This loose group and I mean that both ways, has been returning to Farragut and the Wheel for the last 22 years. Second generation party animals have replaced those that have given up with age, though that number is small.But before that, live music starts at the Wheel Saturday nite, April 18. Ozmo Boogie will be featured, Always a huge favorite. They will also perform May 15 which is a Friday night. That is in honor of the Annuals.
As of now, Sunday dinner hours are back to 8 pm. From Mother's Day onward, additional expanded services and hours will commence. More on that later. No news on what Terry is going to do, having been closed except for Tuesdays, all winter. Ralph's Internet Cafe to plugging along with great additions to the menu and will be the only place for lunch along with the Captain's Wheel. He also is serving breakfasts which has been a great success. Ralph will deliver for large orders, too. 683-2218.
The snow has melted, most boats are still floating, temperatures are moderating. dust off the mold from sitting around all winter and come on down.
Information obtained off the record indicates that the fire at the Patio Restaurant was set by an arsonist. Fire chief Jack Krill in conjunction with the fire marshal has turned the investigation over to the Kootenai County sheriff Department. At this time there are no suspects. Rumors that the owners set a fire tend to be without merit since a new tenant was set to sign a lease to operate the premises for the coming tourist season. Ditto for the tenants of the dock, since that would be akin to sitting on a limb, while sawing it off behind you.
From under some rock, a probability exists that a former employee of Waterford Park Homes, L.L.C. has tipped over,or that a long time boat slip renter freaked out after losing their ability to pay.
It should go without saying that many people, both floathome owners and boat slip renters have experienced steep rate increases. We will not speculate about the cause, simply because there is no obvious reason someone would do such a thing.
The fire that destroyed the patio at Boileau's last week has been determined to be Arson. Results of the investigation by the Timberlake Fire District and the fire marshal have been referred to the Kootenai County Sheriff Department for investigation. The apparent indication of accelerants at the fire location and the proximity of the building behind the patio with stairs and access to the balcony over looking the cafe is where the fire burned the hottest.
On the surface of the issue, no immediate suspects surfaced, yet one source that is a respectable witness, tells us that they know who did it and have reported it to the proper authorities. Chief Jack Krill made this statement:
“The Timberlake Fire Protection District and Idaho State Fire Marshal’s Office has completed the joint investigation of the fire. We have determined, with a high degree of confidence, the origin and cause of the fire; however we cannot release the information at this time. The case was turned over to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday, March 24.”
Yesterday was an all day excursion to Spokane for Grandparents Day at Northwest Christian School where my son Brian Teaches fourth grade. My three grandchildren, Alice, Mercy and Irene attend school there in the 5th, 3rd and Kindergarten.
The occasion was an hour long program consisting of groups singing, band and choir, all grades participating. Following that, a scrumptious dinner fixed by my Daughter-in-law, Jen. Shortly thereafter, my son Brian and the girls all dressed up for a father daughter night with a western motif.
I'm back home now, where I can re-assume my mantel as a Curmudgeon. Not too much going on since the fire. No cause has been announced yet, but I have the feeling it's known and just not appropriate at this time to discuss it. The history of Bayview has been fraught with fires. Many years ago, Vista Bay Marina burned to the water. just, what? around seven years ago, a boat caught fire while a vacuum cleaner was being used on the boat, sparking and igniting lingering fumes. That on was on the same dock as the Patio. It burned several boat slips plus two float homes out on the end of the dock. Earlier, on thanksgiving, three fishermen set out for a day of fishing only to have a malfunctioning propane hose light the boat on fire. All three jumped overboard with local boaters rescuing two of the three. Going further back, the mail boat caught fire just after leaving the fuel dock and of the mail carrier and one passenger, only the passenger survived.
Perhaps it is time to review fueling procedures, as well as heating systems on boats. Marinas are not for the most part up to code, and need desperately to comply with fire codes. The fire at the patio, if not caught in time, would have spread to the gas dock and probably wiped out the entire marina. Only the very fast response of Chief Krill and his troops saved the day. speaking of which, Krill still hasn't got enough volunteers to man the local station here in Bayview. How about it guys. Anyone out there want to help save your neighbor's house or boat?
There has been a lot of speculation as to the fire on the Boileau's dock. Some of the rumors are rather spectacular, what with the owners torching the place, enemies of the marina torching the place. Lets just get it all out into the open.
First, Waterford Park L.L.C. has enough marketing problems without losing an asset. That dog just doesn't hunt. Then you have the prospective lessees, ditto. One could make a case for hate toward Holland, but even there, it doesn't hold water. First, there is a security gate allowing only authorized residents and boat owners access to the dock. Residents on that dock, or boat shed renters would be unlikely candidates for arsonists, since their own asset might have burned.
Fire Chief, Jack Krill refused comment, stating that it would be inappropriate for him to give an opinion with an on going investigation. State Fire marshals, Insurance Investigators, all are a part of the scene, as an answer to this mystery is solved.
Wintertime in Bayview, breeds boredom. with boredom, comes speculation.Speculations breed rumors. I would like to put some of these Rumors to rest.First, the rumor that the Timberlake Fire District is setting fires to prove the point made in a study released just five days before this disaster. Anyone that believes this fairy tale should immediately jump back through the looking glass.
Chief Krill, first of all, is perhaps the most professional Fire chief we have had in many years, if ever. When he took over the department, one of the first goals he had, was to bring the department into compliance with standard procedures, as well as inspecting businesses that hadn't been adequately inspected in many years.
Chief Krill systematically inspected each and every business and marina in Bayview. He posted guest limits in some businesses, and in others, suggested that they were way behind the curve when it came to fire prevention. For the most part, these violators were marinas. He immediately reported these conditions to the various businesses. Coincidentally, five days after the report was issued, the disaster at Boileau's happened.
Tonight, I received word that there was a rumor that somehow, someway, the fire department was responsisble for the rash of fires that have erupted recently. The fire at the Saddle Up Restaurant, a few months ago, the mobile home that was destroyed in Athol and finally the patio. It is time to do a credibility check. Bored wintertime residents would be well advise to speak to reality, not fantasy.
These sorts of rumors, even meant as bored entertainment,are destructive, without merit and if followed back to their source, can be actionable.
Sleepy wintertime Bayview woke up to some excitement late last night, when an emergency call went out to Timberlake fire Department. Boileau's Patio was on fire. The interior, fully engulfed was gutted, but Chief Jack Krill believes the structure to be sound, and will be rebuilt as soon as permits can be issued. The gas dock behind the store was unaffected, as the fire department quickly contained the blaze.
The fire marshal, when asked of the cause, said that it was as of yet undetermined. He went on to say,"The fire department did a heck of a job to bat that fire down as quickly as they did."
The irony of it all, was that the new prospective lessees, Scott and Jeanne Bjerge, owners of the Bayview Mercantile, were scheduled to sign a lease Saturday morning. This will obviously be delayed.
The original store dated back into the 30's according to Leonard Bright who built the new store and tore down the old one. Alice Eaton, one of the oldest residents of Bayview, remembers it when it was run by a Wilson family.
The Fiscus family bought the resort in 1965, and in 1992, rebuilt the store which was located on the north side of the dock, and moved it to it's present location next to the boat launching ramp. The resort was subsequently sold to Waterford Park Homes, L.L.C. in 2005.
Every once in a while, someone decides to disagree with my opinions. that is OK, I enjoy a fruitful discussion where both points of view are shared. Where I differ, is when someone starts out with stuff like, "you've been at the sauce again, or some other denigrating remark that doesn't reflect on the subject matter, but chooses to get personal right off the bat. I've been somewhat ambivalent about these issue, not wanting to choke off legitimate discourse.
When such posts are made, I will usually delete them. Not because they disagree with me, but HOW the disagree with me. One can, of course disagree without becoming disagreeable. Interestingly enough,the disagreeable or even insulting comments come from you guessed it, "anonymous." I don't have any problem with a person that perhaps works in a sensitive occupation that might be adversely affected by negative publicity.
What seems to escape these hit and run posters, is that they can say anything they want without ever admitting who or what they are. These methods of communication are cowardly. I sign my name to everything I write. I never ever have dodged behind a bush so that nobody would know who I was. Most of the time, my posts are non-controversial, but even so, the occasional person that perhaps has personal issues with me and wants to taunt will slip up from beneath a rock, only to slither back after taking his/her shots.
As a result of these rare occasions I will not accept any more anonymous comments. If there is a good reason for not wanting your name used, just e-mail me first, explaining why and I will under those circumstances accept a post as long as it doesn't use my blog to make personal attacks on me or anyone else. Those that follow Huckleberries on line may notice that while many deride the persons that are currently unpopular, due to controversial opinions, etc. None of my comments seek out those people to make fun of just because everyone else does.
There are several options in the comment section. Open ID gives you the opportunity to list a name, or an URL. If you are also a Google blogger, you just have to leave it alone, as it will automatically show you with your blog name. From here on, I will not post anything in the comment section that isn't signed.
Recently, a hydrologist from Washington state was featured in a Spokesman-Review story about water. It seems this guy suddenly became aware of the vast amount of water entrapped in Lake Pend Oreille. At it's deepest, between Cape Horn and Lakeview, the lake is officially 1150 feet deep. In the north end of course, it is much shallower. The principle source of water for the lake is the Clark Fork River, which flows down from central Montana at the continental divide. The Clark Fork enters Lake Pend Oreille near the north end. The Pack river also joins nearby. These river deltas keep the depths very shallow all across the north end of this fifty plus mile long lake.
The aforementioned Washington hydrologist wants to pipe water from Lake Pend Oreille into the Rathrum aquifer, so as to help low summer flows. Alas, you'd think they were Californians, lusting after the Columbia River. What makes this so bazaar is that the beginning of the aquifer is in the south end of Lake Pend Oreille already. Without Lake pend Oreille feeding Hayden Lake and Lake Coeur d'alene, there would be no Spokane river, just a creek, nor an aquifer to fight over.
To illustrate why this is such a lame idea, the picture shown above is the lake at the current winter level, eleven feet below summer pool. You see, other government entities are already stealing our water. Albeni Dam, situated at Priest River and the Pend Oreille River control the level of the lake. This control is shared between the US corps of Engineers, Avista and Bonneville Power.
This reminds me of the joke they used to tell at Silverwood. Train robber: "We're going to rob the train." conductor: "You can't rob this train." "Why not, sez the robber." conductor: Because they were already robbed at the gate!" This, while funny, illustrates that when someone has already robbed the bank, it is generally useless to come in right afterward and rob it again. This would apply to Lake Pend Oreille, as it's waters have already been stolen, thank you very much!
A lot has been said about feeding wild animals. Most of it bad. Last Winter, Bayview hosted for a time, three moose. A lone Bull, which we dubbed "Baywinkle," and a cow/calf duo. The cow and calf were soon killed by well meaning neighbors apparently trying to make pets out of them. These well meaning folks piled corn out on the sides of the street where the moose could find it. Find it they did, and promptly died.
Without going deeply into animal biology, some are grazers, others browsers. All, while eating sparsely seem to survive most winters quite well. When humans intervene with a sudden, richer diet, one that the animal was never intended to eat, several bad things can and do happen. First, in the case of the cow and calf moose, the corn was deadly poison. Just as cows and horses can bloat, so can wild animals. A sudden change in diet can and does kill. The actual favorite food of moose, according to Idaho fish & Game professionals, is cedar.
Secondly, feeding wildlife can lead to them losing their fear of people. A third and just as deadly, not only for the wild animals but also humans, is when you congregate a large number of animals together, they will dash across the roads, and be hit by vehicle traffic. This is usually fatal to the animal and ain't so good for the car either.
Currently, we have received reports of a deer feeding operation on Cape Horn Road near Lime Kiln. This would explain the 25 to 30 deer herded up on the hillsides above lower Cape Horn. From the edge of Dick Hansen's development, all the way up to the community center, large numbers of deer are present, close to the road and human contact. Yesterday I watched out my window, also situated on Lime Kiln Road, while a doe walked calmly up the hill after getting a drink at the spring below. It wasn't nervous, not in a hurry, just ambling along at near noon.
Lack of knowledge is the usual culprit. Most people who create these hazards have the best intentions. Please, for the sake of the deer and moose and your neighbors safety, stop feeding them.
Perhaps it is time to roll back the clock and re-examine what hunting regulations we have and why. Back in our country's developmental stage, hunting was the way you fed your family. It wasn't sport, it was just like raising a garden, canning the results for off season. Hunting was the principle method of supplying protein to pioneer families.
In later years, over hunting caused an imbalance in the survival of these hunted animals.Another cause of regulation was the sports hunter. The ones that went out, found the biggest rack and killed just for the head and antlers. In many cases these trophy hunters left the carcass to rot, as all they wanted was the mount.
It is time, and especially in these current hard times, to remember from whence hunting came. Feeding one's family. Instead, Idaho fish & game has become an income base, rather than a conservation team. Out of state hunters flock to states like Idaho, Montana and Wyoming for the great hunting. Very few of these hunters every consume their kill. It's all about trophies and the victory over an animal that can't shoot back.
Hunting and fishing for sustenance is only allowed for Indian tribes with treaty rights. This should be returned to the rest of our population as well. After all, while Indian hunting rights are based on historical hunting grounds, so should non-Iddian residents have that historical right.
The problem? Non-resident fees support a great deal of the F&G budget. These people are no longer interested in whether a family needs a kill to feed themselves. It is all about money. This is a moral outrage. Idaho lawmakers should be only concerned with Idahoans and their welfare, not acting like money changers in the temple. As the economy grows worse, families will resort to killing deer, elk and moose, not as poachers, but as potentially starving residents. Stop selling our wild game to outsiders. We have our own to feed.
In or around 1968, long after the industrial revolution, climatologists were predicting a possible return to the ice age. Well, that didn't happen, at least not then. Now we have seen a small (roughly 2.0 ) rise in global temperatures over the last few years. As I see it, the argument used to be scientific, but is now that the liberal mantra is global warming is destroying the earth, take us back to whence we came. Introduce wolves, protect Cougars, (not the WSU kind) stop cutting our most renewable resource, our national forest trees.In short, these lefty goons want to take our world away from us in an orgy of dehumanizing of the earth. My question is aren't they part of the species too? And hey, who elected them to any office. Sierra Club? Private organization. Nowhere in our constitution does it say a private group can by miss-use of our court system, take over our country, or for that matter, the world. They need to be treated as any other threat to our system of democratic government. Actually, a republic, but I don't wish to digress to that degree.
On the other hand, some, if not many industrialists, that is if we have any left after shipping the rust belt off-shore, believe that this is merely a cyclical phenomenon that has occurred throughout the ages, with numerous ice ages, and even more warming trends. Since this is going to take many years, perhaps even hundreds, to play out, Nobody is going to win the argument in our lifetimes.
This is no longer a scientific survey, but a political football. One side says yes, we have global warming, but it is a natural cycle. The other, pretty much says,"the sky is falling." I suggest that first, shipping our heavy industry off-shore didn't change the hazards to climate. It just shifted the sources further away from us, but the shifting high altitude winds are still delivering crap to us from China and other locations. Last night, the temperatures in Bayview, modified by the warmer water of Lake Pend Oreille registered a minus 3 degrees, Fahrenheit. Today, March 11, the high was 28 degrees. Realizing that weather is not climate, we must also recognize that a whole bunch of weather over a long period of time, represents climate.
Until we get scientists that haven't been brainwashed in our uber-liberal Universities and think tanks, crap will still have a political brand as it floats downhill toward us.It is time to listen to the other side of the argument, rather than just the "Chicken Little's," of our world.
Today, I'm writing mostly about odds and ends. Actually as per usual I write more about odds. Sorting through things in a box that I hadn't opened yet, including some bills,(good thing I bank on line)I discovered a phone book, titled "The Local Pages, of Idaho,LLC." Well, over the course of a year, I get Spokane/Coeur d'Alene white and yellow pages, Coeur d'Alene, the black book by Hagadone Directories, and now this.
I peeled the plastic wrap off gently. Actually, there is no gentle way to peel plastic off from anything. It requires anything from a knife or scissors, to heavy equipment to get at these gems. Having gone to the trouble of extricating this book, I opened it. This is where I believe outsourcing has gone too far. Some dingy alleyway mud hut in Calcutta, India, scored big time on this one.
Just inside is a coverage map. An excellent idea. In looking at the map, however, I noticed just north of Athol, an arrow pointing north with the cutline, "to Carymore. Which most of you know is "Careywood." Page five revealed what appeared to be a county map which actually included Kootenai, Bonner and Spokane counties. The only problem is that they apparently, in the quest for ever cheaper labor, didn't hire a copywriter. I perused the "counties" map carefully. Yes, not an aberration, but more. North of Careywood, (this time spelled correctly) was Coclalis, actual spelling, Cocolalla. That takes care of my neck of the woods, but Post Falls and Dalton Gardens probably would prefer their spellings, to Dalton Garden, or Post Hills.
I guess leaving the L out of Marshall, Wa is OK since it's small and doesn't need two L's anyway. Oh, and I forgot that Russian settlement north of Spokane, Chattarov, instead of Chatteroy. One can only wonder who will answer the phone if you actually use this book as a serious reference?
Just as we were getting rid of the mountains of snow that has plagued us since mid-December, grass starting to grow, trees budding, wham! An arctic outbreak is sweeping into the area which will give us somewhere between 4 and 6 inches of snow by Tuesday A.M. Then a blast of unseasonable air will come storming into the area plunging temperatures down to below zero.This global warming is getting serious. With any more warming such as we have had the last two years, we can look forward to spring weather sometime in July.
Hey, this is one-third of the way through March! give me a break. There was one period at the end of December that I couldn't access my car for a week. then when I got it out of the parking space, it snowed in just behind me. My car lived at the Captain's Wheel for two weeks.
Soon after this belated blast of winter, we should finally see a warming trend and early spring. After all, didn't I see four robins in the yard yesterday?
I must have jinxed us where I visited the garden store the other day. Oh well, time to check my mail and a peek at the river Journal site to see if it's out yet. It is.Incidentally, for you folks that are out of the circulation area, which is from Clark Fork through Sandpoint and ending at Athol, Idaho. You can, however, access the stories by going to: http://www.riverjournal.com/
I'll be writing just one column per month under the new combined Sunday format, plus the River Journal. some additional features may be allowed if the content is interesting enough. If any of you local folks have any story ideas, do not hesitate to give me a heads up. I don't always hear about them.
In the March 5 edition of the spokesman-Review, an article by Becky Kramer suggests that the State of Washington has the hots for Lake Pend Oreille water. Well, folks, get in line. Pipe dreams (pun intended) like this have over a period of many years have gone from Southern California wanting to transplant the Columbia River to Los Angeles, and now this. first, noted hydrologist, John Covert appears to need better sense. He's either uninformed or just another dreamer without a plan.
The State of Idaho doesn't really control the waters of Lake Pend Oreille. A combination of Avista and Bonneville power, with the U.S. Corps of Engineers thrown in control the water levels, both winter and summer. In some years, the differential between the seasons have been up to eleven feet, as in the fall, the lake is drawn down to very low levels, so that the Bonneville power system will have more water down stream in the Columbia river system of dams. It is important to remember that Lake Pend Oreille is a natural lake, albeit held at a higher level than nature intended,not a man-made reservoir, and as such is treated differently than the artificial ones.
Residents and communities surrounding the lake have fought with limited success to keep the lake levels within reasonable bounds. In the past, the draw-downs were willy-nilly, generally caused by electrical needs on the west coast. This caused massive fish kills, among the shore spawning kokanee, which spawn in late November. The Lake Pend Oreille club, as sports fishing group located in Sandpoint, sued several years ago, causing Bonneville Power and Avista to time the draw downs before the fish spawn. The settlement was greeted with mixed results, but at least a solution was reached, even though the flushing of the lake dramatically between Labor Day week-end, generally the start of the draw down, and before the mid-November spawning cycle begins. Mixed results have been experienced, since the millions of kokanee that once populated the lake and caused a commercial fishing season in the past, and created a sports fishery with hundreds flocking to the shore.
To suggest that another government entity will take more water, is ludicrous.Other than the fact that seems to have escaped the hydrologist, which is the eastern lobe of the aquifer begins in Buttonhook Bay, a part of the southern end of the lake. In other words, folks, they already have a pipeline out of our lake into the aquifer. Whats that old saying? "You can dress 'em up, but you can't take them anywhere."
Almost every year, up here on Lake Pend Oreille, we lose one and sometimes more boaters to drowning or other boating misadventures. These lives were lost, not because of a vengeful mother nature, but because the operators of these boats either didn't have the advantage of a boating safety class, or disregarded the rules. Disregarding rules of safety, with the idea that these rules do not apply to you, or the conditions, or whatever else the reckless can think up.
Currently, we have the disaster of several professional and college level football players drove an open 21 foot boat out 30 ,miles into the gulf stream to go fishing. Much of those waters are shallow, which can give a false sense of security. It can also be the harbinger of high waves and rough chop. There is no cure for stupid, and these guys proved it. I wouldn't travel out of scenic bay in anything that small. These boats are built for speed, not stability.
Secondly, they, when finding the waves too rough, anchored. That killed them right there. Unless you have an extraordinary length of anchor line, a short anchor will pull the bow down, causing the boat to swamp as this one did. The decisions that these guys made were all designed to end their lives early.
For those that profess to know a bit about boating safety, or those that were smart enough to take classes on boating safety, will pick up immediately on the fact that rather than anchoring in shallow water with inadequate length of anchor line, was a death sentence. What you do in that situation, that is if you were stupid enough to go out in the ocean 30 miles in a 21 footer, is rig a sea anchor. A bucket or a couple of coats. ...Anything that weighs a lot dragged behind a boat will always keep the bow into the wind, thence keeping you in the boat, and the water out. That these kids didn't know any better, cost them their existence.
We here in Bayview, have decided, with the support and leadership of Timberlake Fire District Chief, Jack Krill, to take a proactive stance with this issue. One, we are planning on trying to establish a coast guard auxiliary here in Bayview. We lost one out of three of the winter fishermen a while back, when with a better education system could have perhaps saved all of them. Premature deaths of otherwise healthy people should and is preventable. We are going to try!
Perhaps one solution would be to outlaw cardtrol fuel pumps that are unattended. With an attendant making sure the blowers are on before engine start, the gathering of fumes after fueling that cost so many boaters their boats and sometimes their lives could be prevented. Fueling requires the boater to open the engine hatches and run the bilge blowers for at least 5 minuets after fueling. Without that you are leaving the dock on top of a bomb.
Those of you that reside in the Bayview area, have a boat and would like to help create a safer environment on the water, can e-mail or call me. If enough are interested, we'll contact the Coast Guard for organizational material.
Photo by Taryn Hecker Thonpson.
"I'm just a humble Muckraker who formerly wrote a neighborhood column for the Spokesman-Review, and now just this blog. write All rights reserved. No reproduction or use of this material without written consent is permitted by copyright laws. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org