Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell 2010!

The beautiful 25' wide wreath that each year adorns the side of the Coeur d'Alene Resort is hand-crafted by Connie O'Neal of Hauser Lake. As we say goodbye to another year, we remember the great things that have come our way and look forward to the promise of a new beginning.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Birthdays

Don't forget to add your birthday to the Main Street Birthday Club for 2011! Click on the photo of the cake/balloons at the top right side of this page and you'll find the link.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Eve Journey

Wishing Main Street readers and listeners the merriest of Christmases.
You all bless my life in so many ways.

The audio version of my traditional Christmas Eve column is HERE.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies

This holiday season my baking has been very limited because I've made some lifestyle/diet changes. But sometimes you need to break out a platter of Christmas cookies for guests. Simple recipe I've been using for years, especially when my daughters were in school is this Cake Mix Cookie trick.
Use one box of any flavor cake mix and combine with 2 eggs and 1/3 cup oil. Stir until it turns to dough texture. Shape into 2-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly with the bottom of a sugared drinking glass. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Can be frosted or not. Your choice. The cookies shown here I made with Red Velvet flavor cake mix for a festive look.

Sunny snow

A late afternoon sunbreak illuminates the snow-covered peak of Rathdrum Mountain. At nearly 5,000 ft. elevation, the mountain stands sentry over the farmland on the north side of the Rathdrum Prairie.

Pile driver

A worker helps position a log piling for the pile driving crane. The new pilings were installed at the Independence Point public dock on Lake Coeur d'Alene on Thursday morning.


On Wednesday evening, westbound commuter traffic on I-90 was backed up for hours and miles through Post Falls following a fatal accident.
Story HERE.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lake Tower panorama

Don Sausser shared another fabulous view from his penthouse apartment overlooking the Coeur d'Alene Resort and Lake Coeur d'Alene. Thanks Don!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Eagles are here!

The North Idaho winter version of stopping to smell the roses is watching the bald eagles during their several week migration that brings them to the east end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. This year the eagles are slower to arrive but by Christmas there should be anywhere from 80 to 100 or so making their visit. Viewing tip for families is to drive out Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive to Higgin's Point. Along the way keep your eyes open to the trees alongside the road (this photo of a young eagle was taken from my car on the side of the road) and you'll often see clusters of people with their cameras pointed in the direction of a sighted bird. At Higgin's Point there's a large parking lot, trails and an information kiosk. Very family friendly. The eagles are most active first thing in the morning and just before dusk, although I've seen eagles feeding mid-day. Just like fishing, patience is a good trait, some days you'll see dozens of eagles and others maybe just a few. But even one bald eagle soaring majestically and swooping down to catch a fish is something not everyone will ever get to experience! A photo album from my Sunday morning hour out at Higgin's Point is HERE.

Jammie Time!

The River City Leadership Academy Class of 2011 hosted a holiday Pajama Party on Dec. 3 to benefit the Post Falls Police Department's OASIS program. Donated pajamas will be given to children who are being sheltered due to domestic violence. RCLA members pictured (l-r) Pat Knight, Cindy Jordan, Anne Hagman, Shelly Enderud, Nellie Armstrong, Jame` Davis, Tami Martinez and Sherry Wallis.

Morning has broken ...

The morning sun breaking through the clouds illuminates the surface fog on the water along the Centennial Trail on Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Death Spiral

When over 100 bald eagles come to the east end of Lake Coeur d'Alene this month on their annual migration south, this is what will keep them here. Kokanee salmon spawn in huge numbers before dying. It's during their last thoes, that the spiraling movement attracts the attention of eagles. By the first week of January the supply of salmon decreases and the eagles head south. I shot this photograph at Higgen's Point on Friday morning.

Scooping snow

Record snowfall in November became a slushy mess on local roads the first two days of December. But the respite from snow gave Coeur d'Alene city crews a chance to remove the berms from Sherman Avenue on Friday. Here the trucks make their way east at 9th Street.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lighting up the weekend!

 Holiday D'Lites Parade
 Friday is WinterFest in Post Falls with a tree lighting, caroles, cider & cookies and a visit from Santa. 6-8 p.m. in the City Hall rotunda. Mid-Town Coeur d'Alene businesses will light up 4th Street, between Indiana and Foster Aveue, in unison at 6 p.m. on Friday night to kick off the season.

Two big small town celebrations on Saturday. Hayden's 5th annual Holiday Tree Lighting starts with the lighted parade at 5 p.m. on Government Way from Hayden Avenue to Honeysuckle. The tree lighting follows at Hayden City Park. Rathdrum's Holiday D'Lites runs from 2 to 6 p.m. with family activities taking place on Main Street and a lighted parade to top off the celebration.

Let it snow!

By 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 30, over 33 inches of snow had fallen for the month, besting 1973's record of 31.6 inches.
While it was definately a white Thanksgiving, the jury's out on whether this will guarantee a white Christmas. But the ski resorts are singing a happy tune for sure!
November weather story HERE. A visual of my patio with snowfall from November 23 through 30, 2010, HERE.

This week's Main Street

in print in the Coeur d'Alene Press 12/1/10  HERE.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Magic of the Festival

Cousins Ava Yates and Libby Morrisroe peer into a "chicken coop" playhouse with real chicks under warming lights at the Festival of Trees. Story about this years festival HERE.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday sledding

Big snowflakes were falling as kids took to the Boyd Avenue sledding hill in Coeur d'Alene on Saturday. Read about the November snow record and predictions HERE.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Gulls fly over the foggy lake at Independence Point in Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday morning. Arctic cold overnight temperatures reached double-digits below zero. The bitter cold is expected to last through Thanksgiving weekend in North Idaho. Weather story from Press HERE.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Coeur d'Alene is dressed for the holiday in snow and lights. The official kick-off begins the day after Thanksgiving with the Holiday in Lights Parade and the official lighting ceremony at the Coeur d'Alene Resort, which includes the biggest and best fireworks show of the year! Press story HERE.

Monday, November 22, 2010

There goes Hilde ...

In November 2009 Hilde attended the dedication of her namesake park in Post Falls.
Hilde and I were members of a very special club, in fact, the only two members. We shared the dubious distinction of being the only two women who have ever run for the office of Post Falls mayor, both being roundly defeated. It was a little shared inside joke ... our special club that had no meetings or bylaws or dues. Hilde's sometimes gruff demeanor belied a big heart for the community she loved. Ms. Kellogg made an impact in Post Falls and the Idaho legislature through the years, blazing trails in this community that made the journey possible for those of us who’ve come after. The quality of life we all enjoy is due in no small part to those citizens who served in the 1970s and 1980s and had the vision of what Post Falls could and would become. Hilde left the world a better place for having lived a wonderful life of service.
Rest in Peace ... Hilde Kellogg ~ Oct. 17, 1918 to Nov. 22, 2010

A Flash of Fur

When I let Annie out to play in the backyard snow on Monday she had no interest in posing for a photo. It was more fun for her to race around the yard in and under the snow.

Good neighbor

Winter weather might bring out the worst in drivers but it definately brings out the best in neighbors. Our Powderhorn St. neighbor, Harley Bush, is always at the ready to remove my driveway berm after the city snowplows clear the street.

Cross country cross walk

On the first snowy day of the season a young woman finds the best way to get around downtown Coeur d'Alene is via a pair of cross-country skis.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Loading Leaves

The dance of the front-end loaders during Coeur d'Alene's Leaf Fest was enhanced on Tuesday morning following an overnight storm with high winds. Even more leaves were blown from the trees, just in time to be scooped up on city streets.

Symbolic sunset

Idaho Veneer's log yard is silhouetted by the setting sun in Post Falls. The 57-year-old business is the last vestige of the community's mill town beginnings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Their ship came in ...

Just got off the phone with Dr. Cyndie Hammond after she texted me about an hour ago. Seems Cyndie and Senator Jim Hammond have had quite an adventure this week as two of 4,500 passengers stranded aboard the Carnival Splendor. Cyndie tells me that they had about 12 hours of their cruise underway when the ship lost power about 200 miles south of San Diego on the way to the Mexican Rivera on Sunday.
She and Jim were in a cab on the way to a hotel about noon when we spoke. The pair seemed giddy with delight to be on dry land, although Cyndie had to laugh about the traffic ... "It's Veterans Day in a military town and we're stuck in a parade." She said she's never seen as many television satellite trucks as there were when the passengers debarked, finally, in San Diego. After a week with no hot meals I asked what she and Jim were going to have for lunch and she said pizza, but Jim quickly stated his preference ... a steak! They agreed that a hot shower took priority over lunch.
Cyndie said the cruise line has been wonderful and praised the cruise director. She was grateful their cabin had a window and wasn't one of the inside cabins, at least there was a view. The Hammonds will stay in San Diego for two days, courtesy of Carnival, before heading home. For their troubles this week the passengers will receive full reimbursement for expenses as well as tickets for another Carnival cruise. Cyndie said they'll take some time before deciding which cruise to take again.

For all who served

Veterans Day is the time to honor the citizens throughout our nation's history who have selflessly served to protect our freedom.
10 a.m.: Program at Hayden City Hall Veterans Park
11 a.m.:  Program at the Warrior Veterans Memorial (pictured), trailhead of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Plummer with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe
11 a.m.: Third Street Bell program at the Third Street docks Veterans Park in Coeur d'Alene.

At most area cemeteries the gravesites of veterans are marked by flags. Coeur d'Alene Memorial Gardens on north Government Way is displaying the gravesite flags as well as the moving Avenue of Flags. The dozens of full size flags are loaned by the families of late veterans, after having draped the caskets of their loved ones. Pappy Boyington Detachment 966 of the Marine Corps League oversees the flag displays at the site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breaking Records with Betty!

When I interviewed Betty Owens today on the eve of her 103rd birthday, she officially became the oldest guest ever on KVNI. She's the most senior member of Main Street Birthday Club and made her first-ever appearance on live radio. She's a great gal and has a great friend in Don Sausser, who accompanied her to the studios this morning. This photo by Don Sausser, additional photos from Betty's radio debut HERE

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shopping Cart Dash

The Relish Cooking Expo supermarket dash was a lot of fun on Tuesday morning at Super 1 Foods in Post Falls. Jeff Conroy-St. Vincent dePaul, Al Williams-NIC, (with famous television chef Jon Ashton,) KCSD Major Ben Wolfinger and I competed to see who could locate all of the ingredients for different recipes first. Ben, who does a lot of cooking evidently, beat us by a mile. I prefer to think of Jeff, Al and I ending up in a three-way tie for second place. I found it difficult to just grab products off the shelf without comparing prices!
The North Idaho Relish Cooking Expo will take place on December 2 at the Greyhound Park Events Center. More photos from the Supermarket Dash HERE. Story from the Coeur d'Alene Press HERE.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Leaf Fest!

Monday, November 8 marks the start of the city of Coeur d'Alene's annual leaf pick-up program. Some tips to help with the process: • Rake leaves and pine needles about one foot away from the gutter or curb line to allow for water drainage.Don't bag the leaves or mix branches or other debris in the piles.Crews and equipment are limited, so leaves will be picked up only once. Please don't put leaves in the street after city crews have completed your area. Do not include bagged leaves, branches, rubble, or refuse.
Due to weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, and unforeseen circumstances, city crews are unable to provide a precise schedule of when leaf pick-up will take place. Pick-up will start south of Sherman Avenue and move north. Completion is expected by Wednesday, Nov. 24.
*I took this photo in November 2009. It's fun to watch the crews make short work of tons of leaves on the streets!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The latest fashion

Kootenai County Undersheriff Tad Leach and Coeur d'Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo surprised the audience at the North Idaho Violence Prevention Center's Fall Fashion Show by taking a uniformed turn on the runway. The annual event raises money for the NIVPC (formerly known as the Women's Center) and was held at the Coeur d'Alene Inn on Saturday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Flag waving fall

This beautiful sight greeted me a few blocks from my Post Falls polling place on election day. What's not to love about Old Glory and the stunning colors of our north Idaho autumn.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Madison in the morning

Madison Leonard of Hayden earned the title of Coeur d'Alene Jr. Miss, and went on to become Idaho's Jr. Miss. Last summer she wowed the judges in Mobile, Ala., to become America's Jr. Miss. I last saw Madison when she made her homecoming appearance in the Fourth of July parade before heading off to Pepperdine.

Madison is back home this week to support the delegates participating in the Idaho Jr. Miss Scholarship Program, Thursday through Saturday at North Idaho College. I enjoyed interviewing her this morning on KVNI, she's a real role model for young women. 
This week's Main Street column from the Coeur d'Alene Press HERE.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where to go ...

Find your polling place and see results as they're posted after the polls close at 8 p.m. HERE.

Watch the results with your friends and neighbors this evening:
Republicans will be at GOP Headquarters, 411 W. Haycraft
Democrats are gathering at Cricket's in downtown Coeur d'Alene
Non-Partisan Election Night event with the Post Falls Community Volunteers at American Legion Post 143, Poleline & Syringa
Live local election night coverage:
KVNI AM 1080 or

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Day!

We're all battle weary of election ads, robo-calls etc. but it's important to remember that there's an election that is dependant upon all of us to to do our part. What a privilege we have in this country to disagree and debate and cast a ballot without fear for our lives. Let's do our forefathers proud and show up at the polls. VOTE!

Saturday, October 30, 2010


On Friday, October 29 the 1,000,000th knife in 2010 came off the production line in the Post Falls manufacturing plant of Buck Knives!
Coeur d'Alene Press business story HERE.

Iconic Outdoor Idaho

This photograph I shot last week, just past Fernan Lake, received honorable mention for October from Idaho Public Television's Outdoor Idaho. Don't you just love where we live?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall on Fernan

The long and winding road around Fernan Lake is finally finished. This morning I drove the road, enjoying the beautiful fall colors. The newly improved boat launch and picnic area at the east end of the lake is pictured. Press story HERE.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rite and Right of Passage

CHS senior Carly Goodlander turned 18 on October 21 and celebrated the milestone by visiting the Kootenai County elections office with her mom, Rosemary. Carly is pictured as she registers to vote, with her grandmother - Coeur d’Alene City Councilor Deanna Goodlander - looking on. I hope on Tuesday, we’ll follow Carly’s lead and celebrate the incredible privilege we have in this country to choose our representatives at the polling place.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Can't keep a good man down!

KJ and Tom Torgerson
Local Realtor Tom Torgerson took a fall from a ladder in his shop last week and sustained critical head injuries. Anyone who knows Tom can't imagine this man of action, outdoors adventurer and doting husband and father being down for long, especially now that the first snow is falling in the mountains!
Tom's receiving care at Kootenai Medical Center and faces a difficult road back. KJ is spending as much time as possible with her husband so friends have set up a schedule for bringing meals to their home. Go to the website HERE to check the schedule and sign up. Username: Torgerson, password: 8845.
The community is keeping the family in our prayers!

A life well-lived

Ace Walden's 103rd birthday party, May 2010
In his 103 years on this earth, Ace Walden created a template for community involvement and making a genuine difference in peoples' lives. We only came to be aquainted in his 99th year but my life is surely richer for having known him.
Ace was granted his final wish ... to pass peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by people who loved him. I'm sure his beloved wife, Ellen was overjoyed to be reunited in Heaven with the love of her life.
Coeur d'Alene Press story about Ace's legacy HERE.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Got Elk?

Jim and his 5-pt elk
Jim Pierce had only one day to devote to hunting, opening day to be exact, with friends south of St. Maries. Not to worry for the overachieving Washington Trust banker ... he filled both his deer and elk tags by 9:30 a.m. on the 10/10/10 opening day with a 2-point mule deer and a 5-point bull elk. No word yet about the success of his fellow hunters, Matt Lyman, John Young and Curtis Gregory.
This week's Main Street column HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Front Yard view

Bert mowed our lawn after work yesterday for the last time this year. This morning as I went out for the newspaper the lawn was covered in frost while the petunias sing their summer swan song.

Fall Fore

The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course will be open through this Saturday to enjoy some final late season golf. Prairie Falls in Post Falls is open until there's snow on the ground. *this is the view from Potlatch Hill Road on Monday with the Resort course in the foreground.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Semper Fi Roy Weaver

There's one fewer few good men on earth with the passing on Saturday of 91-year- old USMC Gunnery Sargent (RET) Roy Weaver. Roy, a veteran of WWII who survived three years in a prisoner of war camp, was one of my favorite "old Marines" of the Pappy Boyington Detachment 966 of the Marine Corps League. Semper Fi.

Snow in the forecast?

According to climatologist Cliff Harris' forecast (HERE) we're in for a snowy winter, not record-breaking like recent years but plenty of the fluffy white stuff to ski and sled to our heart's content.
In Coeur d'Alene the average date of the first measurable snowfall is November 21, from records dating from 1915 through 2009.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Farewell to a friend ...

As a little boy Mike Anderson knew he wanted to be a policeman. He fulfilled that dream and more. The grandson of Coeur d'Alene homesteaders, Mike "came home" one last time on Saturday. To read more about this former county commissioner who protected and served for his entire career ... HERE.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


On Wednesday, the 98th Annual Coeur d'Alene Chamber awards event was held at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. Kudos to two people who were recognized. John McGruder has generously dedicated over three decades to the Commordores with four decades of Chamber involvement. He's a good guy who hasn't let a few health issues in recent years slow him down. Congratulations John on receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award! Barb Bradley is another of those seemingly tireless advocates in the Coeur d'Alene community. She is the epitome of what being a good citizen means so it's fitting that she was honored as Distinguished Citizen of the Year.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nothing to wear at The Wall

There's a contingent of local folks in China this week with the chamber tour group, and Pam Houser's been keeping me updated on their travel experiences. She noted that Commissioner Todd Tondee might run out of clean clothes before they leave Beijing for Shanghai. Evidently he packed light intending to do some shopping in his travels and there were no opportunities to be found. Pictured with Todd (in front) are his wife, DeDe, Chris Pappas and Pam Houser. Standing are Kelly Carlstrom, Nichelle Price and Nancy Seright.
The rest of this week's Main Street column from the Coeur d'Alene Press HERE.

Away for the winter

When the fallen leaves outnumber the flowers still in bloom it's time to put the patio furniture away for the year.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remembering Dad

Ron Rankin 1929-2004
It's been six years ago today since my father passed away. I sure do miss him but it becomes easier to remember the 75 years that he spent on this earth than marking the day he died. Oct. 12, 2004 was a beautiful, sunny fall day just like today. I know people use the phrase "rest in peace" but knowing my father he's not resting in Heaven, he's still looking out for those of us left behind. Life is good, Dad. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Mr. Baseball!

I was four years old when Don Larsen pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1956 World Series. Don's was the only MLB post-season no-hitter for over five decades until this past week when Roy Halladay did the same in a playoff game for the Phillies.
I had the pleasure of meeting the bigger-than-life Larsen (who lives in Hayden) in 2008 at a birthday party for him and his two amigos, Lyle Ekness and Rocky Bridges.
It was 54 years ago today that Don pitched that perfect game. That's quite a record!