Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So you know ...

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has ordered flags at the State Capitol Building and other state buildings and facilities to be flown at half-staff on Thursday, October 1, 2009 from sunrise to sunset. CWO Jesse Donald Phelps – whose remains have been returned to Idaho 34 years after his helicopter went down in Vietnam – will be laid to rest on Thursday, October 1, at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.


I got home a little after 5 p.m. after stopping at Walgreen's in Post Falls to pick up prescription refills and a few other odds and ends. About thirty minutes later I hear on my scanner that Walgreen's pharmacy had just been held up! The robber, whose note said he had a gun, escaped on foot and as of this post the police are still out searching for him. Male, about 5'7" to 5'8", possibly Hispanic, wearing a white or light color sweatshirt and black gloves. He held a black bag up to his face but the witnesses said they could see facial stubble. He also had a noticable cough. It should come as no surprise that he was after and stole Oxycontin, seven plastic bottles of the powerful narcotic.
Be careful out there and call 9-1-1 if you think you may have seen him. See Post Falls PD site for security camera photo of suspect HERE.


I will be placing an order tomorrow (Oct. 1) for the Vietnam POW/MIA bracelets. Scroll down to the Sept. 23 post titled "1,737" for details. Thanks!

This week's print Main Street column

is right HERE.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Successful Sisters

In the Race for the Cure, it's all about friends and family. Nancy DiGiammarco (left) has a best friend in her sister, Jennifer Ross as she faces her journey through breast cancer. The Fancy Nancys team set a goal of raising $1,500 that they met and beat by a mile. With a whopping $7,685 raised, the team was the runaway winner. But Nancy and Jennifer don't need a title to know they're winning the race for a cure.

Festa Italiano!

Grape stomping, great food and more! HERE.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How much is that doggy in the window?

My sister, Janna Scharf shared a photo she took on Friday on N. 7th Street in Coeur d'Alene. She said she did a double take when she noticed this doggy in a second-story window so drove around the block to get the picture. That's when she noticed the dog was joined by a feline friend on the windowsill as they watched the world go by. *click Janna's name above for her blog link.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

and the winner is....

Madison Leonard, Coeur d'Alene's Junior Miss is the new Idaho Junior Miss and will represent the state at the Junior Miss Scholarship Program in Mobile, Alabama. The state program took place this weekend at Idaho State University in Pocatello with 38 high school seniors vying for the top honor. Madison was also the recipient of the Overall Scholastic Achievement Award and won a preliminary formal gown award, as well. Madison, a senior at Coeur d'Alene High School is the daughter of Denise and Paul Leonard.
Lakeland's Junior Miss, Katie Russell was voted by her fellow participants as The Spirit of Junior Miss.
Idaho's new Junior Miss earned nearly $6,000 in scholarships, in addition to an all-expense-paid trip to the nationals in Alabama. Idaho State Journal story and photo HERE.

Great Pumpkins

Jeff Selle's Post Falls garden has produced some giant pumpkins this year, including at least one 80 pounder. Email a photo of your great pumpkin and I'll post it here!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lots of lawn

Before many of us headed out the door to start our Friday, Kirt Vanderwilt of the Coeur d'Alene Parks Department was grooming the green lawns of McEuen Field with Lake Coeur d'Alene in the background.

Hometown Heroes

Friday morning Kootenai County Fire and Rescue honored two citizens and a local business for their lifesaving efforts on August 11. Karen Rudbech and Rachel Smith (pictured with roses) were customers at Knudtsen Chevrolet when an employee suffered a heart attack. They performed CPR and utilized an Automatic External Defibrillator until rescue crews arrived. Knudtsen Chevrolet owners, Eve and Eric Knudtsen were recognized for their investment in the AED. Chief Ron Sampert praised all involved and encouraged the public and the business community to follow the lead and to also become trained in CPR. Post Falls Mayor Clay Larkin presented all four with a Mayors Medal.


National Public Lands Day (Saturday, Sept. 26) is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy. In 2008, 120,000 volunteers built trails and bridges, removed trash and invasive plants, and planted over 1.6 million trees. Join us for the 16th annual National Public Lands Day!
If you're looking for local volunteer opportunities go to Put in your zip code and a host of opportunities pop up. In the Coeur d'Alene area you'll see the CASA Program, SNR, Reader and Book Drive, Community Class Instructors and more!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet September

After a five-hour meeting in downtown Coeur d'Alene I changed into my swimsuit and headed for a mid-afternoon retreat at Sanders Beach. The water was just right for swimming. There was a group of pre-schooler moms enjoying the afternoon with the kids, kayakers, sunbathers of all ages, dogs chasing sticks thrown into the water, a scuba diving class taking place. September in Coeur d'Alene is reminiscent of what the town was like before we were "discovered." More images of my September day at the beach HERE.

How hot was it?

Wednesday's high temperature on my front porch at the end of the day ...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


So what do people in beautiful North Idaho do when Summer thumbs her pretty little sun-tanned nose at the first day of Autumn? Take another dip in Lake Coeur d'Alene or the Spokane River! Record-breaking 90 degree temperatures today ... loving it.
*photo at Mill River Park


... that's how many soldiers from the Vietnam War are still missing and unaccounted for. Read HERE in the Main Street print column how you can once again wear an iconic stainless steel bracelet to bring awareness to those who wait for their son, husband, brother to be returned nearly 40 years later.
Thank you to those who've served and those who wait.
National Federation of POW/MIA Families.

Trophy Elk

Vicki Isakson is a hard-working, meeting-attending Dept. of Labor staffer by day. The rest of the time she's an outdoorswoman of considerable prowess. She loves whitewater rafting, kayaking, off-roading, traveling and hunting. On her second outing of bow hunting season last Saturday she bagged a 5X5 point bull elk, her first. Then she went back the next day and packed it out and is looking forward to a winter of elk meat in the freezer. I can't reveal where she was hunting but she describes it as five miles, as the crow flies, from her front door or by foot about 10 miles.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Today is POW/MIA Recognition Day, since 1989 designated for the third Friday of September. Coeur d'Alene's Roy Weaver, a WWII US Marine Corps combat vet and former prisoner of war (1942-45), is everything you'd expect as he heads into his ninth decade of life. I'm fortunate to know Roy through his longtime friendship with my late father and their involvement in the Pappy Boyington Detachment of the Marine Corps League. I stand in awe of what Roy endured and survived but also of his attitude and patriotism.
"Harboring bitterness or hatred throughout my life will only harm me. It will not hurt those who beat me. So keeping these hates within myself is a waste. It was war, and a clash of two diametric cultures." Roy Weaver
Vietnam was my generation's war and I remember wearing a POW/MIA bracelet for most of the early 1970s. For Roy and those brave men in uniform who were held prisioner and those from past wars and present who are missing in action, we need to remember their sacrifices, not just today but every day.
Bud Kirchoff of Coeur d'Alene is another WWII veteran and former POW. He was a prisioner during the Battan Death March. His story HERE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

In the Arms of the Angels

I write about hundreds of people in our community each year and as much as I enjoy the stories with happy endings, it's the circle of life that breaks our collective hearts. In May I told of Delinda Gravelle Tower's diagnosis with a rare soft tissue cancer just a week before she turned 50 on May 13 ... how her large, close-knit family was rallying by her side; mother Maureen, siblings Orlin, Stephanie, Tammy, and Tim and her much-loved sons. Love and the power of positive thinking surrounded Delinda these past four months so it's sad to report that Delinda's battle with the cancer ended last evening. We'll keep her family in our prayers ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wine Cellar

Sign on the window this week ... "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the management team has made the extremely difficult decision to close the restaurant on October 3, 2009. We want to invite everyone to help us commemorate the last three weeks at The Wine Cellar. Please join Mary and the staff (along with Jim on the weekends) in celebrating the memories and great times that we have shared over the years." Press story HERE.

Monday, September 14, 2009

From Yakutat with Love!

Pictures are worth a thousand words when it comes to beautiful fresh-caught salmon on the grill ... good friends here and in Alaska!

Good Scout

Fourteen-year-old Coeur d'Alene High School freshman Steven Price, a member of Boy Scout Troop 201 in Coeur d Alene, achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Steven has been in scouts since first grade with Pack 1 at Bryan Elementary. Steven's Eagle Scout project was repairing and installing trail signs on the Canfield Trail System for the U.S. Forest Service.
He's pictured with his brother Anthony, 11, also a scout with Troop 201. Kudos to their parents, Ed and Marie Price for raising two such outstanding young men!

Cool Down

At the 20th Annual Dalton Gardens Community Picnic on Saturday, firefighters from Kootenai Fire and Rescue Station #5 were real crowd pleasers on the unseasonably warm day. The ladder truck provided a cool spray to the children down below in the park.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Paint by Numbers

Dave Quinn of Walls That Talk was painting an 11 ft. by 14 ft. mural of tires on the side of Lloyd's Tire and Automotive on Government Way on Friday. Watching him work with such small brushes and repeatedly referring to a diagram before each stroke makes one wonder how long it will take to be complete the project.

Where are the flags?

In the course of my travels today I've been in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene. The contrast to the landscape of several years ago is disheartening. Few homes are flying flags, and fewer businesses. I saw only one vehicle with a large flag placed in the bed of the truck. I saw many large flags not being flown at half staff, including on government buildings. I made some phone calls to various businesses and government offices and without exception, when they were reminded that this was September 11 the flags were lowered. But I wonder about the mindset of the citizenry eight years after foreign terrorists attacked America at home, killed over 2,000 people and impacted the way we live in the Land of the Free. American troops continue to serve their country in combat, continue to give their lives to insure we don't have to live in fear. And on this beautiful sunshiney Friday eight years later we seem to have lost the outrage, the patriotism and the willingness to make a statement.
I'd like to recognize the following businesses who fly large, highly visible flags throughout the year and who today are flying those flags at half-staff: Knudtsen Chevrolet, Trading Company Post Falls, GW Hunters, Shilo Inn, Perkins, Robideaux Motors and the Coeur d'Alene Resort.
Thank you to the cities of Post Falls (City Hall) and Coeur d'Alene (City Hall, the library, Independence Point, Third Street Bell, and Forest Cemetery) and Kootenai County (in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza) for seeing to it that flags belonging to the people are at half-staff.
*I realize that there are likely other businesses who are flying flags at half-staff in honor of September 11 that I did not see, so please let me know of those. I plan to include them in next week's Main Street column.

Never Forget

No matter where you were on September 11, 2001, those images and later stories of heroism are indelibly imprinted in our hearts and memories. Today the Fallen Heroes Plaza dedication takes place in Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d'Alene. See Cd'A Press story HERE.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Main Street

This week's print column in the Coeur d'Alene Press HERE.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Phoebe Come Home!

When we returned from our trip to the coast our little dog, Phoebe was no where to be found. A neighbor was coming by every day to check on her and put her inside for the night but on Sunday she somehow escaped from the yard. No reports with Post Falls Animal Control or the Humane Society that she's been found as of Tuesday night. If you see our girl in the Pioneer Ridge area of Post Falls, let me know.

Something for Everyone on Saturday

September 12 is chock full of things to do:
20th Annual Dalton Gardens Community Pot Luck from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ward Newcomb Park (corner of 4th and Hanley). Bring a side dish - burgers, hot dogs, beverages and ice cream will be provided.
Patriots Day 9-11 Remembrance, Post Falls American Legion Post 143 (1138 E. Poleline Ave.) Hot dogs and burgers and an appearance by the Washington Air National Guard Band. 12:15 p.m.
Mudgy and Millie 2nd Birthday Party and World Record Read-In, Coeur d'Alene Library 11 a.m.
Warrior Olympics, Coeur d'Alene City Park, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. See the top 10 citizen soldiers, who are the best of 630 competitiors in the state, compete for the title of Soldier of the Year for the Idaho Army National Guard.

Back to School!

Just a reminder that the kids are back in school today so drive carefully on your neighborhood streets. Additional patrols will be out in force to insure we're all obeying the law at crosswalks and when coming upon a school bus picking up or dropping off students.

Monday, September 7, 2009

More summer?

After one of the coolest and wettest Labor Day weekends in recent memory, the rain stopped on Monday late afternoon and a beautiful rainbow appeared over a farmer's field in Post Falls. Meanwhile in downtown Coeur d'Alene Don Sausser took advantage of his bird's eye view to capture the same rainbow in these fabulous shots. I'm thinking the rainbow symbolizes a few more weeks of warm weather.

This Bud's for Brice

Brice Williams, a 1991 Post Falls High School grad and alum of the United States Air Force Academy, has made his home in Los Angeles and his living as an actor for several years. His latest is a commercial for Budweiser titled "Bud Light Break-Up."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Plant a tree!

The Community Action Partnership Food Bank received a donation of 21 fruit trees by Coeur d’Alene Garden Center. The CAPFB is selling these trees for $10 each. Proceeds will go towards the purchase of food for the food bank. As of today, Sept. 2, they still have; 2 Haralson Apple, 1 Moorpark Apricot, 1 McIntosh Apple, 1 Haraled Apple, 1 Sweet Sixteen Apple, 3 Cortland Apples, 1 Zestar Apple
Call Katy at 664-8757 ext 217 ASAP if you want to buy one of these trees for a good cause!

Record Setting Readers!

Coming on September 12 will be the world's largest "read-in." Read about this special Mudgy and Millie birthday celebration on the Coeur d'Alene Library site HERE!

In Print

This week's print Main Street column HERE.

After the storm

A fast-moving rain storm about 6 p.m. Tuesday night darkened the blue skies and dumped quite a bit of rain over Post Falls. To the east, Sam Crawford was enjoying the summer evening on the lakefront lawn of his neighbor, Jim Elder, when this rainbow appeared over Fernan Lake. Sam snapped the photo with his iPhone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Family Farmers

Jeff and Sunny Selle are enjoying the togetherness of gardening at their Post Falls home. See their blog with photos of their first venture in entering the fruits and vegetables of their labor in the North Idaho Fair here.


The Benches for Bus Stops Committee will cut the ribbon on the first sponsored bench on Thursday at 4 p.m in front of Post Falls City Hall. The group will place benches at CitiLink bus stops throughout Kootenai County. Five-year sponsorships are $1,000. Call Craig Wilcox 667-1212 for information on the bench project and sponsor information.