Monday, August 31, 2009

Flying Fingers

Hammond Bradford, grand champion in the “So You Think You Can Text?” text messaging contest at the North Idaho Fair poses with Phones Plus President Chris Cheeley in front of the Phones Plus 2006 Ferrari F430 Spider F1 convertible. Hammond won a ride in the car as part of his grand prize. To put Hammond's winning time to complete a texted script of :49 (seconds) in perspective, three of the times in the Over 50 age group were Lois Moore 5:34, Mike Earin 5:58 and Fred Cole 7:56! If I had entered the NIC/Phones Plus sponsored contest I'd still be at the fairgrounds trying to figure out how to turn on my phone. :)
Thanks to Stacy Hudson/NIC for the photo.

Palin's Pops

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's father-in-law and father were in North Idaho over the weekend making appearances with Vaughn Ward. I caught up with the trio out at the Greyhound Park on Saturday night. (L-R) Jim Palin, yours truly, Chuck Heath, Vaughn Ward.

Save a Life!

The Inland Northwest Blood Mobile will be in the Post Falls City Hall parking lot tomorrow (Tuesday) from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. The public is encouraged to donate and can just come by or make an appointment with Teresa Benner at the city, 292-2316.

Drop In and Speak Up

Word has it that US Senator Jim Risch will be dropping by Medicine Man Pharmacy on Idaho Street in Post Falls about 10 a.m. Tuesday (9/1) to hear your concerns about health care.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wind Blown

The visual of dozens of flags and banners waving in the wind on Friday at the corner of Pleasantview and Seltice Way in Post Falls was a sight to see.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Takes the Cake

A spin through the Culinary Arts building at the fair was mouth-watering. The breads, jams, jellies, cakes, cookies and candy were all ribbon-worthy. This spectacular German Chocolate cake was baked by Alyssa Tondee Abraham and took the Best Cake award. Also deserving of a mention were the clever, patriotic eagle cookies made by Adam Gibson. Congratulations!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Lutherans!

I put in my shift at the Lions corn booth at the North Idaho Fair but did take a break or two to visit with fellow food court volunteers. I mentioned earlier the Calvary Lutheran's breaded, fried meatballs on a stick as a perennial favorite and a few years ago they added fried twinkies to the menu but I was amazed at two new entries to the fried fair food category. Note: if you're my cardiologist, please step away from the computer. :)
The Lutherans now feature deep fried bacon! An order consists of three thick-sliced strips of bacon, pre-cooked. The bacon is then battered and deep fried and served with a dash of powdered sugar. Three fit and trim college guys were enjoying an order and declared the treat delishious. Then church member Mary Hess told me I really must try another new item ... apple fries! Thin sliced apples are lightly breaded in a cinnamon sugar mixture and deep-fried. Served with whipped cream for "dipping" or ala mode, they really are tasty.
For sheer creativity and a willingness to bring something new to fair-goers each year I declare the Lutherans the first Fried Fair Food Grand Champions!

Urban wildlife

For the past few months citizens have reported sightings of a cougar in Falls Park, which is right in the city center of Post Falls. For those who may have doubted themselves or were convinced it was maybe a large dog they'd seen, there is vindication. This full-grown cougar was struck and killed in the early hours of Sunday morning on I-90 near the Spokane Street exit, just a few blocks from the park. A cougar in town, even in wooded areas, is rare for Post Falls. I've taken photographs of moose and elk and even a bear in residential areas in recent years so there's no doubt we share space here with creatures of the forest. I'm not disappointed, though, that I didn't run across this cougar while trapsing around Falls Park with my camera. Thanks to the Post Falls Police Department for the photograph. UPDATE HERE.

Main Street in Print

this week's column HERE.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nice shirts!

Some North Idaho Fair traditions go back for many years. In my youth I loved the Lions corn-on-the cob when attending the fair. Now for the past several years I've had the opportunity to work a few shifts in the Lions booth with my husband, Bert. Here we are last year in our crowd-pleasing corn shirts with our nephew, Derek Scharf. If you come by the booth on Wednesday evening when I'm there and can tell me what my second favorite fair food item is, I just might have a Main Street t-shirt for you! :)


Sisters Karen Ouren and Kathy Hlebichuk (left and right) are joined by friend, Ellie Goltz on the Cruising for a Cure fundraiser last weekend. The sell-out event was the first-ever fundraiser for the Idaho Pancreatic Cancer Network. Karen and Kathy have been tireless and passionate volunteers with PANCAN since losing their sister, Barb, to the disease a decade ago.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home

The largest private residence in Kootenai County has come on the market this month. Owned by Ron and Georgia Puryear, the 26,000 sq. ft. residence is on the north shore of the Spokane River in Post Falls. Listed by John Beutler of Century 21, the asking price is $19.995 million. A preview last week afforded the opportunity to tour the home I've seen only from the river. Granted, the magnificent home has features not found in most other North Idaho residences but I was surprised at how the luxury also had a genuine air of livibility. The salt-water swimming pool boasts a whimsical rock-camoflauged changing area with an underground mine theme. There's a glass-front koi pool that's visible from underwater in the swimming pool. The views from the outdoor patio kitchen area are panoramic, in the small photo on the left is the beach house, and below you can see the Spokane River Queen heading upriver in the distance.
For now, I'll just keep playing Powerball ...

Soda Pop Crock Pot Cake

I received this recipe from my friend, Bob Frazey, who certainly knows his way around the kitchen. Haven't tried it yet but plan to and since there's no heating up the kitchen with a hot oven, sounds like a good summer recipe. I'll add this to my collection of favorite quirky recipes like cake mix cookies and omelette in a bag. Let me know if you try the crock pot cake. Click on the comment section below this post for the recipe ...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Going to the Birds

Amy Corbett made friends with "Bach", a blue and yellow Macaw parrot at the Keller Williams Realty luau on Friday night in Coeur d'Alene. The beautiful bird is owned by Linda Fabian.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hough Homecoming

If you thought you saw beautiful Julianne Hough or her handsome brother, Derek around town the past few days, it's likely you did. Their father, Bruce Hough (CHS '72) and all of his grown children with assorted grandchildren spent time on Lake Coeur d'Alene and visiting with his parents, Bob and Colleen Hough and enjoying beautiful North Idaho. A hike around Tubbs Hill on Wednesday and swimming at Blue Creek Bay were enjoyed by all.
Now it's back to a new season of Dancing with the Stars for Derek and on tour headlining as well as opening for Toby Keith and George Strait for Julianne.
*photo of Julianne and her dad from a visit to Coeur d'Alene in 2008.

Main Street

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

Vox Pop

Let's hear it for the voice of the people! PRESS editorial here. *plaque on the eagle pedestal in the Ronald D. Rankin Veterans Memorial Plaza.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bon Voyage Jonathan

Jonathan Coe, center, has spent a decade at the helm of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce. Now he's heading off to Santa Rosa, California to begin a new adventure with that chamber of commerce. Wednesday evening dozens of Chamber and community members attended a farewell reception. Pat McGaughey preceeded Jonathan as the Coeur d'Alene Chamber president and as Post Falls Chamber executive director I worked with both in the 1990s. PRESS story here.
thanks to David Larsen, the man behind the camera.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prayers for Delinda

On June 24, 2009 I wrote the following in Main Street ... "The Gravelle family is a large and close-knit bunch, well-known in the community. Maurine and the late Leon Gravelle raised six children in Post Falls: Orlin (PFHS ‘73), Stephanie (‘74), Tammy (‘76), Delinda (‘77), Sam (‘79) and Tim (‘81). Sam died in Alaska in 1991 and the family found a way to survive their heartbreak. Leon passed away in 2004. So when in May, Delinda Gravelle Tower was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer just a week before her 50th birthday, the Gravelles circled the wagon. Delinda has undergone a first round of chemotherapy and chemo trials, all the while with her siblings and mother by her side. Everyone is hopeful she’ll be back at the Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty front desk very soon. If love and family and friends have anything to do with it, she will be."
Delinda has had some highs and lows over the summer and is now back in the hospital. A website has been set up for people to make a contribution to help the family defray the mounting medical costs HERE.

Lucky winner

How fun that long-time reader and community philanthropist Dick Wandrocke won the Main Street/Coeur d'Alene Press basket at Tuesday's Post Falls Chamber general membership luncheon. Mr. W is going to look dapper in his new Main Street t-shirt! We had a fabulous bbq at the RedLion Templin's marina - perfect weather and a beautiful riverside patio for dining.

Pulling Rank

Brothers Ryan and Erik Turrell both wear uniforms and serve in the line of duty. Erik (on right) is a sergeant with the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and Ryan is a sergeant with the Texas National Guard. Their dad, Tim Turrell, is a longtime friend of mine from Coeur d'Alene Class of 1970. He was happy to have Ryan home for a recent visit before his son's fourth deployment to the war zone. Ryan's first three deployments to Iraq were with the regular Army starting in 2003 and as a combat engineer he served with the Buffalo Unit, who look for IEDs and disarm or dispose of them. Ryan is now in Afghanistan with a special unit doing night flying missions. Thanks to both Sgt. Turrells for protecting and serving.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cowgirl Up!

Cowgirls at Heart is a new event at the North Idaho Fair and Rodeo that was created to educate and entertain ladies about rodeo and to raise money for the Fair Foundation and Tough Enough to Wear Pink (TETWP). The hands-on clinic is for women over 21 years of age who are not necessarily cowgirls, but really want to increase their understanding and enjoyment of rodeo. Held on Friday, August 28 from 3-6:30 p.m. in the Main Arena, the program includes informational clinics, dinner and an auction as well as exclusive seating to watch the Dodge Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) Rodeo which begins at 7 p.m. Here's the INFO.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another Day at the Office

Weston Rogers took his mom, Heidi, to work with him this month which was quite a thrill since Weston's a river raft guide with ROW. Weston is up on the back of the raft and Heidi is seen in the back top left with a huge smile on her face. They're rafting about 14 miles down the Clark Fork River. Weston is a 2009 grad of Gonzaga Prep and is heading off to the U of I this fall. Thanks to Express Digital Graphics for the photo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Extra, Extra Read All About it!

I met up with old friends at the museum opening in Post Falls. Post Falls Historic Preservation Commissioner Jeannie Peugh, (center) and former Post Falls Tribune publisher Tom Burnett worked together at the paper in the 1980s. In the 1990s I served as publisher of the weekly Tribune with Jeannie as the office manager. Tom now publishes the Rathdrum Star and Jeannie retired from the newspaper business a few years back after 30+ years.

Celebrating History

For over two decades the Post Falls Historical Society has worked toward the goal of opening a permanent museum. On Saturday the ribbon was cut and the museum opened to the public. Located in the historic Chapin Drug Store building on the corner of Spokane Street and 4th Avenue, hundreds of items from the beginnings of Post Falls are on display. Pictured left to right are a few of the people who've shared their love of history with the community: Marion Eisenhauer Bunting, Bob and Mary Templin, Mary Schell, Kim Brown and former Post Falls mayor, Senator Jim Hammond. See the Historical Society link above for museum hours and information.

Post Falls Food Fest

Katelin Tulleners works the Rosa's Deli booth at the Food Fair on Saturday in Post Falls City Center. Over two dozen vendors will be open through Sunday afternoon in the City Hall plaza.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hospice House

Hospice of North Idaho has begun a capital campaign for the construction of Hospice House, an eight-unit home for Hospice patients and their families which will be the first of it's kind in Idaho. On Thursday the campaign cabinet hosted an afternoon tea at the Parkside Terrace to provide information about the project and the mission of Hospice. Pictured: Patsy Sorenson and Brenda Wild sample the wide array of desserts prepared by The Friends of Mary Carson.

Hot time at Hot Rod Cafe

Don't have details but when we showed up for an 11:30 a.m. meeting of the North Idaho film group, KNIFVES, fire crews were cleaning up and the Hot Rod Cafe was closed for business. I'll give more details later this evening if I can find out more. Hoping the damage is not extensive, owner Rob Elder is a good guy.
UPDATE: the fire was confined to a restroom and the Hot Rod Cafe is back in business!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week's Main Street print column

More Main Street gives you more of the print column that's linked HERE. :)

CHS Class of 1989

Come on Vikings ... your 20 Year Reunion is coming up in less than two weeks and there's still time to RSVP. Check the reunion website to see the fun things planned and to see who's still on the Missing List!

Beach Boys

When Coeur d'Alene Press staff writer Brian Walker (on right) visited the Oregon coast with his family last week he never imagined that he would cross paths with a co-worker. Emailed Brian ... "As we were daring our kids to swim in the chilly ocean waters, Mark Nelke (sportswriter) and his sister walked in front of us amid the mobs on the beach at Lincoln City on Sunday. Totally a fluke. We couldn't believe each other's eyes."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

97 Candles!

Former Post Falls mayor Frances "Franny" Wilhelm will celebrate his 97th birthday on Thursday. We had a lively visit by phone this week and Mr. Wilhelm is still lovin' life and going strong.

Swim, bike, run ...

Doug Okuniewicz, Walt Meyer and Rick Demmig have a combined age of 140 but as Team Greene they completed the Coeur d'Alene Triathlon on a bet, doing the Greyhound Park and Moon Dollars proud. Video evidence of their accomplishment HERE.

Good Times, Good Causes

There are a number of events through the year that benefit local charities and August is no exception. The charitable events calendar HERE has dozens listed. Coming on August 23 is Cruisin' for a Cure on the Serendipity yacht on Lake Coeur d'Alene. The '50s themed event benefits Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Contact Kathy Hlebichuck at or order tickets online.

Farewell to a friend

Our Coeur d'Alene High School Class of '70 has made it a point for several years to get together informally but regularly and as many as a couple of dozen of us do just that. Little did Tim Shepperd know that his election as class president and the ASB president 40+ years ago would find him in a similar role of keeping everyone connected through the years, but he's done a great job of it. When we met up at Cricket's last July 9 we were all so happy to see our old friend and classmate Andy Swanson. He'd driven all the way from Clarkston to get together with everyone. Stories were told, and laughter filled the air. It was a good night but we couldn't have known it would be the last time we would see our friend. Andy died in a car accident last week and we're heartbroken but grateful that we had a chance to share a hug. Obituary.

Laundry Night

On Monday night some of the girlfriends (Pam Houser, me, Sharon Sorenson, Trish Riggs and Chris Pappas) enjoyed a chauffeured boat ride to the Cedars Floating Restaurant. Thanks to our captain, Scott Shawver, for the VIP treatment!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hail to the Chief

Retired Post Falls Chief of Police Cliff Hayes was feted on Friday evening for his 26 years with the City of Post Falls, 23 years of which he served as Chief. It was a gala evening with nearly 200 people attending. It was interesting to hear from law enforcement professionals throughout the state and region how Cliff had overseen a department known as innovative and effective. Former Post Falls mayors, Frank Henderson, Kent Helmer and Jim Hammond, along with current mayor, Clay Larkin were amoung the group pictured who spoke during the banquet. Front (l-r) Sheriff Rocky Watson, Don Robinson-FBI, Cliff Hayes, City Councilor Scott Grant, former mayor Kent Helmer. Back (l-r) Sen. Jim Hammond, former Sen. Dick Compton, Jeff Black-POST, Chief Scot Haug, City Councilor Kerri Thoreson, Rep. Frank Henderson, Mayor Clay Larkin.
There was an array of memoribilia on display but the crowd pleaser was the Chief's 1980 Chevy Malibu patrol car, which he drove until about 1998. The vehicle sat in disrepair for many years until John Bujosa restored it for the police department.
More photos of the evening HERE.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bouncing Back

Rep. Frank Henderson is up and around and out and about less than a month after he underwent open-heart surgery at KMC. He and Betty Ann attended the Kootenai County Republican Women's luncheon today at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Frank's looking good and feeling good. The EverReady Bunny would be proud!

Happy Birthday Athol!

Athol, Idaho is celebrating 100 years this weekend. I love North Idaho's small towns! Full Coeur d'Alene Press story HERE.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bumper Crop

My friend Julie Chadderdon tells me that this coming Saturday is National Leave Zucchini on Your Neighbor's Doorstep Day. The discussion on my Facebook page was quite interesting. Another friend, Jeff Selle has a garden full of zukes and even delivered some to Ms. Chadderdon, quite neighborly since they'd not met before. Linda Jordan said she picked 40 from her garden on Tuesday and made hardly a dent in the crop. Good thing she'll be selling her zukes at the Harrison Grange Market on Saturday from 10 to 2 p.m. Dorene Russell suggests every Saturday night in August should be Steal Zucchini from Your Neighbor's Garden or that there should be a federal program that pays people NOT to grow zucchini.
Most people have a love/hate relationship with zucchini. Some people love to grow them, some people hate it when friends persistantly pawn it off. I'm somewhere in the middle. I love zucchini bread and fried zucchini but not enough to grow it.
Thanks to Jeff's talented teen daughter, Meghan Selle for the photograph of the family's Post Falls garden today. The Selles have some great hobbies that you can read about HERE. Use the comment section to share your zucchini thoughts!

Farm Fresh

My sister Janna is a pretty good story teller in her own right. Here's an item from her blog about a local small business.

Main Street in print

This week's Main Street HERE.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two Ships in the Night

Margo and Craig Parker's boat lost power on Friday night in the dark on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Tom and KJ Torgeson were returning from John Magnuson's wedding rehearsal in their ski boat and came upon the stranded couple. Click the comment section below to read Margo's telling of the tale ....

Pucker Up

Tamatha Dougall spent four days camping on Upper Priest Lake with her kids. One evening they were toasting marshmallows in the campfire and her marshmallow caught on fire. She brought it to her mouth to blow out the flames and it gets stuck to her lips. OUCH! When her lips swelled up they decided it was the hillbilly version of botox. At least Tamatha found some humor in it all.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Purple "Gold"

A favorite North Idaho pastime is the picking of huckleberries. Carl and Genie Riegert of Post Falls had a successful outting on Fernan Saddle this past weekend and have the purple fingers to prove it! Huckleberries sell for about $50 a gallon, hence the nickname "purple gold." Important to note that bears love huckleberries as much as we do!

Mystery solved ...

If you heard cannon booms and saw spectacular fireworks at the stroke of 10 p.m. on Saturday night over Lake Coeur d'Alene, here's the scoop. A cannon, which belongs to Sheriff Rocky Watson, was shot off shortly after 6 p.m., right about the time that John Magnuson and Holly Houston sealed their "I dos" with a kiss at their lake home near Kidd Island. A fireworks show was the finale` of the reception. Undisputedly the social event of the season, it will be tough to top for future anniversary celebrations for the couple. Much happiness to Mr. and Mrs. Magnuson!

Cooling Off

Don Sausser captured this photo of Coeur d'Alene Press Editor Mike Patrick enjoying a cool head rub from his wife, Sholeh, while the two waited in line at Art on the Green at North Idaho College over the weekend.

Sweating for Good Cause

This past weekend was a scorcer by North Idaho standards and for the thousands of people who enjoyed Art on the Green, Taste of the Coeur d'Alenes, and the Downtown Street Fair, we need to give a shout-out to some unsung heroes ... the many volunteers who manned service club and non-profit booths for three days really went the extra mile. Pictured in the Citizens Commission on the Arts grilled chicken booth, Chief Wayne Longo, Cd'A Councilman Mike Kennedy, and Ken Roberge taking a shift of “chicken flipping." If it was 95 degrees in the shade, the temperature over the grills was well beyond the century mark. Mike and Sally Dodge spent the better part of three days orchastrating the Commission's volunteers who included Anne Solomon and Sen. John Goedde. Multiply their efforts by dozens of booths and it's easy to see there's no shortage of dedicated volunteers who willingly gave up time on a summer's weekend for good causes. Thanks to Don Sausser for the photo!



Kootenai County Highway Districts are holding elections for commissioners on Tuesday, August 4. These elections are often overlooked by the voters but are as important as any other when taxing authority is given to those elected. Vote!
A list of candidates and election info from The Press HERE.