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Posts published in “Day: June 20, 2014”

Quote of the day

ridenbaugh Northwest

Grant Loebs, chair of the Twin Falls County Republicans, speaking of his state party leadership in the wake of a rule committee meeting at which incumbent Barry Peterson was deemed to have been re-elected as chair (which Loebs said he was not):

“It’s kind of a tin-horn dictator type coup. And the question is what do you do when somebody stages a coup and has the office and changes the locks and has their hands on the bank account and the computer systems, how do you get them out of there? In this country, we don’t do it through violence, so we have to work through all the processes that are available to us.”

UPDATE Here's a response (not to the above quote, but to also-critical comments from former Idaho Republican Chair Trent Clark, who said that Peterson has lost his chairmanship and should surrender keys and related materials. The reply comes from Maria Nate of Madison County, a rules committee member:

"I am sickened by this discussion of 'absolute power corrupting absolutely' being attributed to the liberty wing of the party which is fighting the ABSOLUTE CORRUPTION of the establishment. Governor Otter is upset that he didn't get his choice of chair in 2008 and goes on a tirade to win at all costs, even if that means burning down the party. Otter has instructed his people to choke the party by not contributing to it, he meddled in precinct committee elections and attempted to manipulate the delegates of Ada County. Mr. Clark, the corruption lies at the feet of the governor. I am proud to belong to a group of individuals that have decided to take a stand against such corruption. We will be silent no longer."

She should be careful about suggesting that because words like "liberty" are sprinkled through its rhetoric, that her side and its advocates are any less susceptible to power grabbing. (One might revisit the history of Russian Bolsheviks in 1917 to reinforce the point.)

An Idaho gem

carlson CHRIS


Somewhere down the road a future Idaho governor is going to take a page from a President’s Book of Plays, and is going to create, maybe even endow, an annual award to an Idaho writer, artist, composer, or outstanding college teacher.

Let’s call it the “Gem” Award, and attach a cash component of say $100,000. Ask the Idaho Humanities Council (The Council has established a similar award, but no money) to submit three names to the Governor.

Yes, Idaho already has the “Esto Perpetua” award that goes annually to the person or organization that during the previous year has best promoted Idaho heritage. It is awarded by the Idaho State Historical Society. While prestigious it too carries no monetary award.

My nominee for the First Gem Award would hands down be Idaho’s State Historian, and one of the state’s finest writers, Keith Petersen. Born in Vancouver, Washington in 1951 and a graduate of Washington State University, Keith has immersed himself in Idaho history like no other Idahoan.

His ability to relate fascinating details and place them in a meaningful context is superb. It is also the product of meticulous research and an innate curiousity that asks “what else was going on then that could have impacted this event or shaped people’s perceptions?”

Did you know that Father DeSmet, one of the first Jesuit missionaries to come to Idaho and the inspiration behind the state’s oldest structure, the Cataldo Mission, was a confident of Northwest road builder John Mullan? Mullan first came west in 1853 as part of a Pacific Railroad survey expedition headed by Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens, who “negotiated” (read dictated) the famous treaty of 1855 the effects of which we are still living with today.

If you did not know those facts then read Keith’s most recent endeavor, a biography of Captain John Mullan, who engineered the Mullan Road that started at Fort Walla Walla and ended up at Fort Benton in Montana on the Missouri River. Much of Interstate 90 today follows the road that he mapped and engineered over 150 years ago. Even if one is not a reader of history or biographies, this book is well worth one’s time.

The book is entitled John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder and is published by WSU Press.

Keith begins the book with Captain Mullan’s delivery of a speech in New York City in 1863 at the height of his fame for his explorations, mapping and road building in the west. Mullan is actually the warm up act at the speech forum but drones on and on for a couple hours.

Keith portrays this as the apogee, the high point of Mullan’s story, for at age 36 it is bascially all downhill for the intrepid but ambitious Mullan from there to the end of his life. While Mullan displayed incredible discipline in his younger years, was a diligent and obedient student while mastering the intricacies of engineering at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and clearly an exceptional leader of his map-making and road building crews he appears to have had a classic fatal flaw. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

St. Luke's-Saltzer fight continues (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
Labrador loses run for majority leader (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Democrats prepare for their convention (Boise Statesman, IF Post Register)
IF Odyssey school charter may be revoked (IF Post Register)
New possible airfield near Palouse (Moscow News)
Balukoff suggests 'Otter fatigue' (Moscow News)
Caldwell moves 4th of July fireworks (Nampa Press Tribune)
Dairy worker sentenced on cruelty charges (Nampa Press Tribune)
Republican worker: Otter key to a resolution (Pocatello Journal)
Concerns over Hall Mountain Mine (Sandpoint Bee)
TF drive-in plans summer reopen (TF Times News)
Reviewing Idaho's natural gas industry (TF Times News)

Panel advises against Washington Park sale (Corvallis Gazette)
Recount shows Lane incumbents still win (Eugene Register Guard)
Oregon looks into bee die-off (Eugene Register Guard)
OR-7 and pups central in timber legal case (KF Herald & News)
New busing zones set for Henley School (KF Herald & News)
Ashland adopting pot dispensary rules (Ashland Tidings)
Fire burns part of table rock area (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Fire burns close to Heppner (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umatilla goes to Hermiston ambulance (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Wheat production down diminished this year (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Umpqua College seeks new health building (Roseburg News Review)
Support grows for mental health court (Roseburg News Review)
Gun regulation group forms (Salem Statesman Journal)

Another Boeing labor dispute, over 2 workers (Everett Herald)
Longview PUD considers rules on pot (Longview News)
Fake distress calls costly for Coast Guard (Port Angeles News)
Spokane animal shelter moves, grows (Spokane Spokesman)
Martinac shipbuilder in loan default (Tacoma News Tribune)
Inslee backs state minimum wage increase (Vancouver Columbian)
Pot stores look to open in July (Vancouver Columbian)