Friday, July 31, 2009

Mikey's #1

Bob Koep shares a fabulous photo he took of his nephew Mikey (Michael Scott Koep) and Mikey's grandpa, Ken Koep last weekend. Grandpa Ken was holding Mikey up so he could play in the sprinker on a hot day. Bob's brother, Michael B. Koep is Mikey's proud daddy.
Today is little Mikey's very first birthday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pipe Dreams

Coeur d'Alene Summer School of Piping and Drumming is a 38-year local tradition that draws students of all ages from all over the country. 50 pipers and 25 drummers arrived at North Idaho College last Saturday for a week of instruction for all skill levels. Chief instructor is Andrew Wright, a top scholar on the history of pipe music, who travels from Scotland. On Thursday evening (tonight) at 7 p.m. there will be a recital in the courtyard between the Ft. Sherman Officers Quarters and the residence hall that's open to the public. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boss Lift 2009

Boarding the C130 on Pappy Boyington Field at the Coeur d'Alene Airport.
An incredible opportunity to see upclose and personal the men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force Guard and Reserves as they train at Gowen Field in Boise. A Blackhawk helicopter ride and overnighting in the barracks were just some of the things we experienced. Made possible by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves and our Region 1 ESGR Director Jerry Morrison and ESGR Employer Outreach Director Robert Shoeman, the two days were unforgettable. There are three photo albums linked here: Boss Lift participants; the men and women in uniform; Bert and I. The print Main Street column has additional information HERE.

Tales of Coeur d'Alene

Lifelong Coeur d'Alene resident Jim Shepperd celebrates his 83rd birthday July 29 and shared a fun story of that day in the print Main Street column HERE. Our conversation included other interesting tidbits. Jim's father, Warren was a longtime member of the Coeur d'Alene Kiwanis, starting in the 1920s. He had 23 years of perfect attendance. Jim also became involved in the Kiwanis as an adult and made 23 years of perfect attendance himself. The Shepperd family lived on 11th and Sherman, in the St. Thomas area. Jim said that 13 of the boys he knew in the neighborhood later became priests. Dr. Alexander Barclay Sr. was the family doctor and had his offices and a hospital on Garden Avenue across from the courthouse. His two sons, Alexander Jr. (Bud) and Gedney (Ged) became doctors and continued on in the same location for many years. The building in most recent years was the location of the Kootenai County Elections offices. Dr. Barclay Sr. forgave all doctor bills during the Depression, not wanting his patients and neighbors to suffer any additional financial hardships. Jim was brought into the world, not by Dr. Barclay who was gone that day but by Dr. John T. Wood, who later went on to become a US Congressman. Dr. John T's son, Dr. William Wood had a long and illustrious career in Coeur d'Alene including decades as Kootenai County Coroner. He passed away a few years ago in his nineties.

Racing on the River

The 2009 Race the River Triathlon at Riverstone took place under stormy skies on Sunday but the enthusiasm of the competitors wasn't dampened in the least. Standing on the winners platform in the Men's 40-44 age group are winner Jeff Yates, center, 2nd place finisher, Bryan Ogle, right and 3rd place finisher, Eric Petersen on left. Click Race the River to see a list of all times and placements.

Light Show!

Into the wee hours of Tuesday morning Mother Nature put on quite a show with sky-to-ground lightning strikes and a background soundtrack of booming thunder. Denise Durflinger captured this strike from her house on Poleline and Cecil in Post Falls. The photograph below was taken by Phil Corless in Coeur d'Alene. If you have lightning pictures email them to me at the address on the right.


Yes, that was former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway having lunch at the Beacon in downtown Coeur d'Alene on Monday. He and his family spend time here in the summer at their Black Rock home.

World Series or Bust!

The Post Falls Little League All Star team won the state championship and the opportunity to compete in the Northwest Regionals, starting Aug. 6 in San Bernardino. They're just six games away from realizing their dream to play in the Little League World Series. Kudos to coach Michael Hunt, manager Dusty Pfennigs and players TJ Harris, Ryan Hunt, Tyson Bell, Donald Ells, Trevor Hammell, Josiah Hoffman, Jacob Koski, Jacob Lebsock, Max McCullough, Isaiah Parker, Joe Pfennigs and Elijah Schreibeis. The boys are holding car washes at Super 1 Foods and the gas station at Highway 41 and Mullan on Friday from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. to raise funds for the regional tournament. Julie Hunt at 818-2463 or Michelle Pfennigs at 755-7681 have more info for anyone interested in helping. Press story HERE.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Honoring Heroes

National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day is marked on July 27. Official Presidential proclaimation HERE. Flags will be flown at half-staff today in honor of those who fought for freedom in North Korea.
My late father, Ron Rankin, was a US Marine Corps combat veteran of the Korean War, having survived the historic Battle of the Chosin Resevoir in 1950.
In this photograph he was about 20 years old. I was born 10 months after he returned from war.

Monday Freebie!

McDonald’s is offering one free McCafe 7-ounce iced mocha or 8-ounce hot mocha every Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until August 3. No coupon needed, but the offer is at "participating locations" only.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Royal Celebration

The 12th Annual Julyamsh Pow Wow at the Greyhound Park Events Center this weekend was filled with the color and culture of the Coeur d'Alenes and tribes from all over the country. Reigning over the celebraion were Miss Julyamsh Kyra Antone and Princess Olivia Pakootas. Their "crowns" are intricate, handmade with thousands of seed beads sewn onto leather. More photographs of the dancers and horses HERE.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A fresh coat of paint

In the latest installment of why I love my husband, Bert and I spent the morning in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Kootenai County Adminstration building. It had to be over 90 degrees before we finished cleaning and then painting the pedestal that the eagle statue rests upon. In 2005 when the plaza was re-named in my late father's honor, our family gifted the eagle to the citizens of Kootenai County. While I may serve as curator of the plaza, it's my husband's willingness to roll up his sleeves to honor his father-in-law and all veterans that makes me grateful.

This Week

Main Street print column HERE.

Coeur d'Alene Chamber CEO Leaving

Jonathan Coe announced on Tuesday that he's accepted a position as director of the Santa Rosa, California Chamber of Commerce. A surprise to some but not so much to me. In fact, Jonathan is a rare exception to the organizational leadership norm. He led the Sandpoint Chamber for 14 years and the Coeur d'Alene Chamber for a decade. These positions generally have about a 5-year shelf life due to the nature of working for boards of directors which change every few years, in effect having a new boss on a regular basis.
I was director of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce when Jonathan replaced the irreplacable Pat McGaughey as head of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber back in the late 1990s. Big shoes to fill but Jonathan put his own successful stamp on the chamber as time went on. I enjoyed working with Jonathan always. He's always on top of his game.
We wish him well as he makes this career change and heads off to new horizons.
Santa Rosa is a beautiful city and area ... my grandmother owned tourist cottages there in the 1950-60s and many happy childhood memories are rooted in Santa Rosa. Press story HERE.

Anchors Away!

Thousands of people enjoy seeing the sights of Lake Coeur d'Alene each year on one of the Lake Coeur d'Alene Cruises boats. We had the pleasure of meeting Captain Harry and his deckhand, Trevor on The Osprey over the weekend. It's great to see people who love their jobs and do them well.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Emmy Winner!

In June, the 35th Annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards ceremony took place in San Diego. The Emmy for Sport Event/Game-Live/Unedited was awarded to Cox 3 Sports: Marcus Williams and his wife Tina Williams, Producers/Directors. Marcus, a 1985 grad of Post Falls High School, started in the biz as a cameraman with Cox Communications 15 years ago. He’s the grandson of LaVenia Jacobson of Coeur d’Alene, son of Candice Applegate of Sequim and the stepson of Harley Bush of Post Falls. Pictured: Marcus and Tina at the Emmy ceremony.

Happy Campers

During a reception at Camp Sweyolakan on Sunday I met Susannah Kirkham Steffy, who was celebrating her 74th birthday. She was sharing the day with her daughters Seraphima and Gretchen and her grandchildren Sasha and Andre`. Susannah had last been to Camp Sweyolakan in 1952 so it was a special homecoming. All three generations of her family have camped at Sweyolakan. More photos HERE.

Soon-to-be Chief

Captain Scot Haug of the Post Falls Police Department was officially appointed to the position of Chief of Police at the Post Falls City Council Meeting this evening, effective August 1. Long-time Chief Cliff Hayes announced his retirement earlier this month. (see post down further)
Captain Haug started with the Post Falls Police Department twenty years ago, as a dog catcher. Through the years he's worked his way up the ranks and this evening that hard work and dedication paid off. What a great role model he is, especially for younger officers just coming onboard.
I think Scot will be a very effective leader, especially since he has experience in so many of the positions he'll now oversee. The citizens of Post Falls will be very well-served with Scot Haug as the new Chief of Police.
above: Newly-appointed Chief Scot Haug with his parents, Sharon and R. Scot Haug after the city council meeting.
left: Capt. Haug and Councilor Thoreson

Press story HERE.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tuesday Freebie

Starbucks is sampling a new pastry line on July 21 with the purchase of a beverage. Items included in the promotion are muffins, scones, bagels, croissants, rolls, bread, pound cake, morning buns, coffeecake, cheese danish, apple fritters, doughnuts, tarts, pies, gluten-free orange Valencia cakes or tropical paradise bars. Click "new pastry line" above to print out the coupon.

Emmy noms with local connection

Those talented Hough siblings, Julianne and Derek, have been nominated for a choregraphy Emmy for their work on Dancing with the Stars. They're the grandchildren of Bob and Colleen Hough of Coeur d'Alene. Their dad, Bruce Hough is a 1972 CHS grad.

NIBCA puts on a party

The North Idaho Building Contractors Association held the All American Block Party last Thursday to celebrate summer. See photos HERE. The NIBCA Parade of Homes is coming up August 7-9 and August 14-16 so mark your calendar!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jim and Ben

At the end of a week in California for business, Jim Hail (the younger) on the last leg of his flight home on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Spokane, had a most enjoyable conversation spanning economics, the law and politics with his seatmate. Jim is a '99 grad of Coeur d'Alene High School with a BA in political science & history from U of I so the serendipitous seat next to Ben Stein paired two kindred souls. Stein might be best known from his role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off or as the Emmy-winning host of Win Ben Stein's Money but he has an eclectic career and educational background, including valedictorian of his Yale Law School class. Ben's bio HERE. Jim reports that Ben and his wife were headed to their summer home in Sandpoint. Recognizing that North Idaho is a fabulous place to be makes Ben Stein very smart, indeed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Signs of Summer

Crews are out in force on our area roadways, with a relatively short construction season. Progress is being made on Post Falls' N. Spokane Street improvements, including a round-about at the Poleline intersection. In Coeur d'Alene the mid-town makeover is moving along at a fast pace.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How grand!

Lance Bridges will be the grand marshal of the Rathdrum Days Parade (10 a.m.) on Saturday. What a great guy to honor. Lance is the Park & Rec director in Rathdrum and has been for years. I met him in the early 1990s when he served in the same role in Post Falls. He's a good guy who's made a career out of his passion for young people. Way to go, Rathdrum and congratulations Lance!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If I could fly ...

Early Wednesday evening as I drove into my Pioneer Ridge neighborhood, I heard a small engine overhead. I stopped the car and picked up the camera from the passenger seat. Since the top was down I had a clear view of the motorized glider that flew low overhead. For one wistful moment I wished we could trade places ... it was a beautiful night to soar with the birds.

Honor Guard Honored

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department Honor Guard received the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce Award for Top Marching Unit for their participation in the July 4th Parade.
The Police Honor Guard first formed in 2000 as a partnership with former Police Chief Tom Cronin and current Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson. Sheriff Watson was unable to commit personnel to the unit so he focused instead on fundraising to provide uniforms and equipment for the officers. Their mission is to honor fallen officers who die in the line of duty.
The Honor Guard also represents the City of Coeur d’Alene and Law Enforcement in Kootenai County at various events under the direction of the Chief of Police. They often work in conjunction with the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department Honor Guard.
Chief Wayne Longo has shown his support of the unit this year by providing new uniforms and equipment specifically designed for police honor guards. Captain Steve Childers directly oversees the Honor Guard.
There are seven volunteer members of the Honor Guard consisting of Officer Shane Averitt, Sgt. Jeff Walther and team leader Sgt. Eric Turrell and the officers named below.
Here's a photo I took at the Coeur d'Alene 4th of July Parade: Officer Tom Sparks, Officer Jana Alleman, Officer Nick Knoll, and Sgt. Scott TenEyck.

Kids at Play

Last Saturday when the temperatures were just south of 90 degrees, more than two dozen Sunrise Rotarians weren't at the lake. Instead they showed up to volunteer for the kids whose families are facing challenges. The Sunrise Rotary donated money and manpower to help improve the play area at St Vincent de Paul North Idaho's Transitional Housing program. SVDP director Jeff Conroy described the day as amazing. Cari Frasier of US Bank coordinated the project and volunteers. The group made four-square boxes, installed a new basketball hoop, planted flowers, landscaping blocks, improved a gazebo, bought toys and new balls. Costco donated a new play structure. Our communities never cease to amaze me with their generous hearts.

From The Press ...

This week's print Main Street column HERE. Read how Bill Gaulin was surprised on his 80th birthday. Here's a photo of Bill with his American Legion Youth Honor Guard during a recent flag retirement ceremony.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Girls of Summer

Over the weekend in Meridian the girls of summer from Coeur d'Alene Crush earned their first-ever trophy when they took third place in the state tournament. These players, age 10 and under, advance to the regional tournament this weekend at Ramsey Park in Coeur d'Alene. Come on out and cheer on the home team! CRUSH 10U Fastpitch softball team: Reilley Chapman, Kayla Patton, Bailey Gleaves, Ally Dement, Emily Callahan, Miranda Amos, Jane Wilkey, Alanna Osmanski, Mackenzie Longley, Destyni Lari, Lille Brott and not pictured Betty Comak. Coaches are TJ Patton, Holly Gleaves and Danny Dement.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rep. Henderson update

As of Sunday night, Frank is making a steady recovery from open-heart surgery and has already been up and walking around at KMC. Standard recuperation and rehabilitation should be all this octogenarian needs to be back in the saddle.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jammin' in the River City

Ben Zubaly of Rathdrum waited for his turn to compete in the River City Jam skateboard event on Sunday in Post Falls. Photos HERE.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

7-11 on 7/11

Get a free Slurpee today at any 7-11 store. It's their birthday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Can't keep a good man down

Good wishes for a speedy recovery to Rep. Frank Henderson, who just had bypass surgery at Kootenai Medical Center on Thursday. Just like a good Timex, Frank at 86 keeps on ticking. If most of us in our fifties and sixties had even half of Frank's energy and passion, the world would be a better place. And happy birthday Saturday to his lovely bride, Betty Ann.
*photo is from 2006, shortly after their December wedding.

OnLocation North Idaho

For the past two years I've produced a pictorial blog that's been drawing thousands of visitors each month. Go to OnLocation North Idaho to see what I saw in the Blackwell Island Recreation Area parking lot today. Only in Idaho! :)

Lights Camera Action!

I love discovering the different layers of our communities and attending my first meeting of a group of writers, directors, make-up artists and production pros this week was enlightening. KNIFVES (Northwest Independent Film & Video Entertainment Society) began in 2006 when W.J. Lazerus looked for a way that he and local production friends could discuss what was happening in the Coeur d'Alene area industry. People might be surprised to know how many film industry professionals have relocated to North Idaho and the positive economic impact the industry provides. *In 2008 Utah film revenue was $100 million, Oregon $454 million.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Salute to the Chief

The news of the day in Post Falls is the pending retirement of Chief of Police Cliff Hayes. (press release)
I've known Cliff for almost two decades, he was the relatively new Chief when I became the publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. The PD was in the little brick building on the corner of 4th and Spokane Street and my newspaper office was just down the block.
Don's Pool Hall was across the street and fewer than 7,000 people lived in the city. Cliff and his family became a good friends, our respective children graduating and growing up and going off into the world as we stayed in touch. Christmas Eve or any gathering of friends at the Hayes' always involves spirited competition, legendary Trivial Pursuit bouts in which Cliff often prevails. It's funny to think that when our friendship began, neither of us had quite reached the age of 40. Lots of things have changed in these past decades, in our lives and in our community. There are nearly 20,000 more people calling Post Falls home, I'm in my second year on the Post Falls City Council and in a few short weeks a new era in local law enforcement will begin.
When anyone retires, the best legacy of all is that everything is better for the effort. Cliff leaves Post Falls with a respected and forward-thinking police department and with a well-qualified and well-prepared successor in Captain Scot Haug.
Knowing Cliff as I do, I doubt he'll pick up a fishing pole and row off into the sunset. I'm sure he'll take a page out of the Frank Henderson - Bob Potter - Paul Anderson retirement manual and find some way to contribute to the community.
Coeur d'Alene Press story HERE.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Omelette in a Bag

This is a great camping trick or even for a big, busy family breakfast at home. Boil water in a large pot. Use a ziplock freezer bag and crack two eggs into it. Add about 1/4 cup milk then "scramble" by squishing the bag between your fingers. Then add whatever you like into the bag ... diced onion or tomato, shredded cheese, cubed ham or crumbled bacon. Seal the bag, write your name on it with a Sharpie (if you're going to have multiple bags in the pot), drop into the boiling water for about 10 minutes. Open bag and slide onto the plate. Voila` ... an omelette!

Jam Session

Today's Birthday Girl, Taryn Hecker, is a real Renaissance Woman as well. Taryn turns 30 today and owns a new photography studio in Spirit Lake. She's an award-winning reporter forced into retirement during these challenging economic times who is reinventing her life. The historic Fireside Lodge in Spirit Lake has been the hub of activity in this small North Idaho town for over a century. Now open only on holiday weekends, Taryn has stepped into the role of waitress on those weekends and enthusiastically stepped up on the stage during jam sessions to sing country songs like a pro. Fireside Lodge owner is Rod Erickson, a musician and yodeler of considerable renown, so a Sunday visit to his establishment after a day on the lake proved to be a real treat.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Emails circulating around the in-box in recent weeks have excitedly announced a one-time only occurrence at five minutes and six seconds after four a.m. on Wednesday. "Never to happen again..." most of them claim. But wouldn't it actually happen a second time in the same day at 04:05:06 07/08/09 in the afternoon?

It's a Big Deal!

The North Idaho Fair is coming August 26-30 but entries need to be submitted before opening day. Go to the North Idaho Fair website HERE for a copy of the Exhibitor's Handbook.

What are the odds?

On the day that Michael Jackson was being eulogized my husband was doing some clearing of clutter at home. He came across a box of old magazines I'd set aside a couple of decades ago for no particular reason. Random magazines of the era. But three of the dozen or so caught my eye. Click here to see their covers. I'm thinking I'll put them on Ebay and see what happens.

Old Koot

Dave Walker isn't an old coot but he has a wonderful family history here in Kootenai County that spans decades. He's started a new blog with old photos taken by his father, Kyle, that I predict will become very popular with longtimers and newcomers alike. Follow along at THEOLDKOOT.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Kids on Parade

For the better part of three generations, kids on bikes, scooters, and wagons ... kids with dogs and kids in costume have paraded down Sherman Avenue in the July 3 Kiddie Parade in Coeur d'Alene. This year nearly 2,000 youngsters participated and a few of the darling faces are pictured in an album HERE.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

We're enjoying the weekend with our visiting daughters, taking in the parade and fireworks and the lake and river. Will post photos from the Coeur d'Alene Kiddie Parade and today's parade this weekend. Check back.

Have a great day and be safe!

Friday, July 3, 2009

God Bless America

Through the years I've taken hundreds of photographs of local veterans, many of the Greatest Generation of World War II service. I'm honored beyond measure to call many of them my friends and consider each one a hero, although few would describe themselves as such. God Bless America and those who've fought for and protected the freedom and independence we celebrate on July 4.
See their photos HERE.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shuttle to the River

If you're planning to attend the fireworks show and concert in Post Falls at Q'emlin Park on Saturday, free shuttle busses will be running from 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., to and from the park. You can park at City Hall, Black Bay Park or RedLion Templins and hop on the bus! In the park there will be food vendors and a beer garden but you can also bring a picnic dinner, if you like.
We watched the fireworks in Post Falls last year and it was fabulous, the shuttle bus system worked really well in eliminating the post-fireworks traffic congestion.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Memory Lane

July 1 is celebrated in Canada similarly to our July 4 Independence Day. Back in the 1960s before tourists from all over the world discovered Coeur d'Alene, the majority of our visitors over this holiday weekend were Canadians. A rolicking, sometimes rowdy good time was had by all in the City by the Lake. Canadians and hydroplane races, summer in Coeur d'Alene back in the day was definately fun.

From the Press ...

Today's print Main Street column HERE.