Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Are The 99

We here in Bayview and Athol are a little different than those in the cities. Where dissidents and Anarchists camp out bleating against the system, the country and the fact that there are those that have more than they.

Here in Bayview, Athol and vicinity, we, the 99 are home comfortable in the knowledge that there will indeed be a better day. I have searched fruitlessly for the 1% that might represent the campers, but no. Not even one encampment and with Farragut so close ... Well you would think, right?

Could it be that the normal citizens or our area are the 99 and those poor fools in tents purchases from top flight sporting goods stores, are the 1% Hell, they are wrong about everythi9ng else, so why not.

Thsi attempt to destroy our society will not work of course, but it does point to the necessity for constant vigilance and remembrance that democracy, even here in our neighborhood, is not guaranteed but for words in a constitution, which so far have been enough.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mr Tire Leads Tire Givaway

Many of us have tires in our garages that fit the car we don't own anymore. I know I do. In chatting with Eldon at Mr. Tire in Athol, Idaho, we came up with a plan.

Several people have dropped off tires they don't need anymore, enabling Eldon to help out those less fortunate that are having tire problems. Many times in the past, he has donated used tires free to those that could not afford to fix a flat tire. Recently, Mr. Tire decided to formalize this act of kindness into a drive to collect those tires you don't need.

I know for one, that I have at least 3 tires from my old K-car, long deceased. Here's the deal. Bring those unwanted used tires to Mr. Tire located on Hwy 95 one block north of Hwy 54. He'll give them to needy motorists for just the cost of mounting and balancing. You can reach the store at 208-683-2195.

Perhaps various groups could make a tire drive into a community project. Let's get on this.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Round Trip Finished ... At Last

Exiting Harborview Medical Center with Yvonne, my neighbor in need, I hit the freeway last Wednesday, during what started as a Seattle downpour. Realizing that it might be entirely different on Snoqualmie Pass, I headed east in a hurry. Sure enough, by North Bend, the rain had started to turn to snow.

As we topped the pass and started down the other side it became apparent the losing altitude was not going to change the snow back to rain. Finally, somewhere east of George, Washington, the snow quit and we outran the storm.

Several pit stops along the way at rest areas later, we encountered a totally deserted on past Ritzville. We headed out on the home stretch stopping only to grab a couple of things at Super One in Hayden. Coming out of the store, the car wouldn't start. We called Mike Heath, Yvonne's son to rescue us. The next day I met a tow truck at the store where we had the car towed to C&L in Athol. This Thanksgiving will be much more meaingful than most, since one stop earlier would have stranded us at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere.

By Friday afternoon and a new starter, the car was ready to come home. I wasn't. Having nothing important to do during the week-end snow storm, I left the car at C&L. Tuesday, I picked up the car to complete what was a seven day trip. I am now humming, "On the road again."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

A free Thanksgiving dinner is being served at the Bayview Community Center. This feast is free, though contributions are welcome. Mark Thursday, November 24, 2:00 pm on your calendar for a hassle free dinner.

Turkey & all the trimmings, beverage, dessert.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

To Seattle And Almost Back

What was intended as a round trip to Seattle didn't quite make it. I left Tuesday morning with Yvonne Wallis for her scheduled appointment with plastic surgeons. This was only an outpatient visit to measure her recovery and plan for future surgery to cover where bone had been removed almost one year ago.

We stayed in Seattle at the SCCA House which is a non-profit hotel housing patients and caregivers while in town for treatment at both Harborview and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. The drive over was great. Sunny skies all the way.
We drove over to Harborview at about 8:30 and had breakfast at the cafeteria in the hospital. We then headed up stairs to the plastic surgery and burn center. The surgeon noted more healing was needed and set the plan up for the hopefully final surgery for April. This was a relief, since I didn't enjoy the prospect of driving over Snoqualmie Pass in January or February where storms have been know to dump several feet of snow in one day or night.

Coming back was a little more adventuresome. When we exited the hospital parking garage we were greeted by a Seattle deluge. Since it had only started during the period from about 10:00 am to 11:00, we figured we could outrun most of it. We eventually did, but not until about Moses Lake or so, snow all the way from North Bend to where we hit dry pavement in mid-state. We always stop at most rest stops since they can be spaced many miles apart. The last one was totally deserted.
We cranked the car up and headed for the homestretch.

Stopping off at Super One foods in Hayden, I needed a new supply of peanuts for the squirrel I adopted last summer. We headed for the car and cranked it up... except it didn't crank. Turning the key did nothing but produce a bunch of lights on the dash. Since my headlights worked I assumed it was one of those infernal safety switches or,computer modules gone nuts. After cursing modern engineering for a few minutes, I called Yvonne's son for a rescue. We shuddered at the thought of this happening at one of the deserted locations in the middle of nowhere. God was watching out for us.

Today, between GEICO road service and son, the car resides at C&L Auto Repair in Athol, almost all the way home. I received a call from C&L telling me I need a new starter. Just think. One more start and I'm home. One less and I'm stranded in the middle of no where in a snow storm.

Update: C & L called to tell me that the car was ready and a good Samaritan stopped by to pay the bill. Will generosity never end in this village I call home? To the anonymous donor, my heartfelt thanks.

Update: It appears that the anonymous donor was Chan Karupiah.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weather Or Not

Well, the weather guessers are predicting a bunch of snow for this winter, but this morning produced an unusual thunder storm with hail, snow and what they call grapple, which essentially, some of all of the aforementioned.

Accuweather is predicting around nine inches of the white stuff for tonight and tomorrow, but forgot to mention the snow level, so it might be in the higher elevations, but be prepared. It looks like we are dodging the proverbial bullet, as they are predicting an arctic outbreak for Thursday, Friday and the week-end.

I leave with Yvonne Wallis tomorrow and am, devoutly hoping for decent weather while crossing the state of Washington.The folks at the University of Washington needed another outpatient visit. A huge thank you to all of the folks that have donated to her costs prior to scheduling the (hopefully final) surgery to replace the hole in her head with a permanent plate. Currently and since August she has had to wear a helmet to protect the gap in her scull.

We'll be back Wednesday pm and will let everyone know what's going on by Thursday. Again, both Yvonne and I wish to heap a huge thank you to all of those folks that have donated so that these trips and expenses therein can be afforded.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Local Taxing Districts Can Be Taxing

Kootenai County has many small taxing districts. Road districts, Fire and water and sewer as well. Most of the time these are operated without much friction by dedicated local citizens that spend many hours of thankless work keeping things moving. Until, of course something goes wrong.

A sudden rate increase, as recently happened in Bayview, or a couple of years ago a dust-up with Timberlake Fire District contracting out management to another larger district, can provoke instant negative involvement from otherwise quiet members.

Currently, a problem has cropped up in Carlin Bay. A community of upscale homes, many on waterfront, has hit a bump. It seems the Carlin Bay Property owners Association is calling for an expensive upgrade to it's sewer system, which depends on a leaky sewer lagoon. Officers of this organization are pushing for a huge increase in taxes to maintain and improve the system as it exists.

Others, perhaps even the majority, want to merge with another larger district with infrastructure already in place. Here is where the problem is. Many of these small boards are made up of community leaders that do not want to relinquish control. The big frog in a small pond phenomenon is an issue in many of these districts. Some personalities have a need to control others. On a larger stage, we call them politicians.

In the case of Carlin Bay, a water district of about 140 members, of which many are vacant lots owned by absentees. some members are claiming violation of bylaws, unequal assessments and various other sins of commission and omission. I was contacted by a member of this organization that vehemently oppose the board of directors, and base this information on their representations.

As Carlin Bay and other small districts grow, all will face at some point consolidation. In the case of sewage disposal, environmental concerns will force actions that thirty years ago were ignored. Existing effluent, both above the ground in personalities, and below in amounts taxing nature's ability to neutralize will force modernization and consolidation, but probably not peacefully.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Holidays Great For Some

Soon the holidays will be upon us. First Thanksgiving representing the thanks for the original Pilgrims survival, and more currently for the blessings that most of us have received in the past year.

This will be followed by Christmas which even if one isn't a Christian usually is celebrated.For most of us it is a time of cheer and celebrations with family members.

One family will not be among that majority. Michael Heath and his mother, Yvonne Wallis will celebrate Christmas by having nightmares, reliving the brutal attack by their deranged neighbor, Larry Cragun. While Yvonne, through the generosity of the community, will probably survive, Michael will never have his wife of twenty-two years back. She was killed during the attack. Mike has been unable to function normally due to his grief and the necessity of caring for his mom.

We have emphasized, perhaps wrongly that only Yvonne needs help. They both do. We are heading back to Seattle November 15 for a one day outpatient preparation for later surgery to install a permanent plate in her head to cover the hole that now exists. We have adequate funding for the trip, but oh so many other needs are apparent. Living in a single wide trailer, she hasn't money to winterize her windows and other needs as well. There is still the hopefully final trip in which her surgery is performed. Based on our experience from the first procedure, we will be in Seattle for several days, perhaps up to 10 days as last time. That will incur much more cash outlay.

We can't turn back the clock, nor make everything right, but each time she receives a gift of love from people that care, she brightens up, knowing that not everyone is evil. If you wish to donate toward her and Mike's expenses, you can send a check to me: Yvonne Wallis, c/o Herb Huseland PO Box 884, Bayview Idaho 83803. For those of you that have already helped, God bless you all.