Thursday, April 17, 2014

Boat launch remains open; new pavement coming soon

Despite all the work on the west end of McEuen Park, the boat launch has remained open. City street crews will soon begin removing asphalt from the area leading to the ramp, but the facility will not be closed during demolition. After new curb is installed, the ramp may be closed temporarily while new asphalt is put down. Coeur d’Alene street superintendent Tim Martin said he will work with his crews to keep the launch at least partially open during paving. If complete closure is necessary, Martin said it would like be brief and attempts will be made to notify the public.

Water works!

An otherwise gray and drizzly day was dealt a splash of satisfaction on Thursday when Patrick Cancilla of NW Playground Equipment flipped a multitude of gauges that brought the new splash pad at McEuen Park to life.  “Working with water can be tricky,” Cancilla said as he adjusted pressure to the water park.
After a couple hours of testing, the splash pad was deemed ready for use. Now it’s just a matter of waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate. The east end of the park—including the 12,000-square-foot splash pad, is scheduled to open on Friday, May 2. It will be up to the city’s Parks Department to determine if weather is nice enough to turn on the eight water features. Other areas of the park are expected to open in phases throughout the month of May.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Novel Destinations Travels to China

Ron Deady Helps  Students There to Go to School, Get Books

Deanne and Ron Deady at the Great Wall of China.
The next “Novel Destinations” program at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library,  Friday, April 25, at 7 p.m., will take its audience to China where a local man’s foundation is helping young students to get an education and create a library.
“The Chinese Kids Project,” a slideshow by Ron Deady, will be presented on the big screen in the Community Room at the library, 702 E. Front Ave.
Deady is a retired military and commercial pilot. He started a Foundation in China in 2006 called The Chinese Kids Project in Yunnan Province, in the town of Xundian.
He travels to China each year, selects recipients for a “scholarship,” and awards 20 children with a red envelope to assist them financially. Another effort buys books to build a library for grade-schoolers. The story and photos relate how the projects started and progress is an interesting one, full of Chinese intrigue, humor, and hope for better detente.
Sponsored by the Affinity Living Community in Coeur d’Alene, this will be an after-hours library program with refreshments.
The free “Novel Destinations” programs were created by the Library Foundation to give people in the community an opportunity to share their travel stories and photos. Anyone with a potential slideshow for the series is asked to call the Foundation office at 208-769-2380 or to e-mail

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For regular updates follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Specialized Needs Recreation Hawaiian Luau Dance is Friday!

Come out for a night of fun! Special Needs Recreation (SNR) will hold a Hawaiian Luau Dance Friday, April 18, from 6-8 p.m. at Prairie View Elementary School, 2478 E. Poleline, in Post Falls.
Admission is $5 per person. Prizes will be awarded and there will be a live D.J. For information or to volunteer, contact Angie Goucher at 755-6781. Or visit us on our website @

Specialized Needs Recreation is a non-profit organization that provides recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities.

Cd’A building department will not perform inspections on Friday, April 18

The city of Coeur d’Alene Building Services Department would like to inform contractors and homeowners that there will be no building, mechanical, or plumbing inspections performed on Friday, April 18, due to required staff training.

Staff training involves continuing education credits on the 2012 International Building Code Means of Egress Requirements.  Staff will be available to assist the public during regular office hours on April 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to accept and issue building permits.  Please call 769-2267 for more information.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Final STCU Workshop April 17 at Library

The last workshop in a series offered by the Spokane Teachers Credit Union focusing on personal finances will be offered Thursday, April 17, at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
Also sponsored by the Library Foundation, ‘Become Debt Free’ will be presented from noon to 1 p.m. in the Community Room at the library at 702 E. Front Ave. The free program includes a light lunch.
The workshop includes information about:
  ► Determing where your finances are now and where you want them to be.
  ► Tools to make debt-free living possible.
  ► The importance of celebrating milestones.
To register for the workshop, visit or call 855-753-0317.

Patrons who need accommodation to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff prior to the activity by calling 208-769-2315. For more library information visit The library is a department of the City of Coeur d’Alene and a member of the Cooperative Information Network, Library Director, Bette Ammon. Library hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m./Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For regular updates follow the library on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Volunteers plant White Pine seedlings in near Fernan Lake

Coeur d’Alene Parks Department employees teamed up with volunteers last weekend to plant 400 White Pine seedlings in the Fernan Lake Natural Area.

White Pine is our state tree and was very prevalent in Idaho until a disease called White Pine Blister Rust wiped out the vast majority of the nation’s White Pines. The disease was brought over from Europe around 1900 and proceeded across the country killing off the native species that had no resistance to the disease.

The US Forest Service created a Blister Rust resistant species and has been working to re-establish the tree for quite some time. Replanting these trees in our natural areas is helping to re-establish these trees in Cd’A.

The group plans on planting 200 more in other city natural areas soon.

Online parking ticket appeal form now available

Residents attempting to file an online parking ticket appeal were unable to do so between April 3 and April 11 due to a problem with the link to that site. The form is now available. To file an appeal online, visit our website then click on the "I want to ..." tab and then to the appeal a parking ticket.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fugitive surrenders following 4-hour standoff near downtown Coeur d’Alene

A suspect on Kootenai County’s most wanted list was taken into custody without incident on Saturday afternoon following a standoff near downtown Coeur d’Alene that lasted several hours and involved multiple law enforcement agencies.
Nathan Todd Bussell, 21, was taken into custody about 5 p.m. He was wanted on a $75,000 felony warrant for aggravated battery.
Coeur d’Alene Police Captain Steve Childers said a cooperative effort involving about 30 law enforcement officials from the city, Kootenai County and Post Falls responded to the incident. Responders included members of the SWAT team comprised of officers from the city and county. Officers had been informed Bussell was possibly armed.
A remote robot was used during the standoff to enter the home and capture pictures for authorities to aid in the apprehension of the suspect. Childers said it was the second successful use of the robot, obtained recently by the city.
Officials were alerted around 11:30 a.m. that the fugitive was at a residence on the 500 block of Foster Avenue. A one-block area of that neighborhood was blocked off as officers attempted to get Bussell out of the one-story home.
Bussell refused repeated commands to exit the home and was holed up for about four hours before peacefully surrendering about 5 p.m., Childers said.

Friday, April 11, 2014

McEuen Park splash pad pieces in place

The final colorful splash pad features at McEuen Park were set up on Friday and crews are expected to turn on the water Monday for testing and to adjust the water pressure of hundreds of sprayers that will cool off park visitors of all ages beginning later this spring.
In all, there are eight water features, including a giant sailboat that will spray a large wake as if it were plying through the water, a 10-foot tall Barney Rubble cave, a rainbow-colored three-pronged “water whoopee,” a bear climbing a tree, a water pole, large arches, and two small beavers.
Water from the splash pad will be recycled through a 60,000 holding tank situated below the Harbor House and used to irrigate the park, said acting parks director Bill Greenwood.
With a surface area of 12,000, the McEuen Park splash pad is twice the size of the second largest splash pad at Landings Park, Greenwood said.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

City of Coeur d’Alene website gets major upgrade

The city’s website has been completely redesigned and is now even more user friendly for visitors who want to connect with the city online.
The opportunities are virtually endless—from paying utility bills, learning about job opportunities and following us on social media, to filing reports, watching past City Council meetings and learning about the city’s 16 departments and 22 volunteer committees.
The new website also includes a rotating spotlight article on a current city event or project, and a message from Mayor Steve Widmyer. Link to the city’s website at
“This complete redesign was done with users in mind,” said City Administrator Wendy Gabriel. “While much of this information was previously available, we have invested several months to make the city website as user-friendly and engaging as possible. Our talented Information Technology (IT) team and support staff did an amazing job.”
The project was overseen by IT Design Administrator Brandon Russell.
Look for additional website improvements soon that will further enhance user experience.

Coeur d'Alene officials participate in mock disaster

Several representatives from the city of Coeur d'Alene participated in a full scale exercise on Wednesday to test local capabilities to respond to a large scale disaster. The exercise provided participants the opportunity to assess disaster response plans, policies and procedures.

The session focused on decision-making, coordination, and the itegration with multiple jurisdictions during a large scale disaster. The outcome of the exercise was to strengthen interagency communications and to enhance the collective ability to establish a coordinated response and recovery from a major disaster in Kootenai County, in this case, a catastrophic snowstorm.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

McEuen Park Donor Wall taking shape

There are still spaces left to etch your name in history on the McEuen Park Donor Wall. For a donation of $500 per line you can have your family name, business or a loved one’s name engraved in one of six granite plaques. There are only 380 lines available and many have already been sold.

The wall is currently under construction in the center of the park near the grand entrance at Fourth Street. The Panhandle Parks Foundation is sponsoring the project.

Donations received will be used for maintenance and amenities for all Coeur d’Alene Parks and help to secure property for future parks, open space and recreational facilities, said Parks Foundation Executive Director Kim Stearns.

For information contact Stearns at 208.818.6922, email her at or visit the website at to download a Donor Wall form.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Front Avenue Promenade work under way

Concrete work has started along the south side of Front Avenue adjacent to McEuen Park on what will soon become a pedestrian-friendly promenade with trees, landscaping, and a mix of concrete and brick pavers. The pedestrian corridor will continue east to Seventh Street and westward in front of The Coeur d’Alene Resort to City Park. Pictured here are crews installing concrete near the grand entrance to the park at Fourth Street and Front Avenue.

Monday, April 7, 2014

City PD may soon get narcotics detection/apprehension K-9

The Coeur d’Alene Police Department may soon have an additional member on its force that specializes in catching elusive suspects and sniffing out illegal drugs.
A City Council subcommittee voted 3-0 on Monday to forward a favorable recommendation to the full council to authorize purchase of a patrol canine with the abilities of suspect search, tracking, apprehension, handler protection and narcotic detection.
“This will have a huge impact on officer safety for the entire department,” Lt. Jay Heintz told the General Services Committee. Among other things, the canine can help prevent ambushes and expedite searches for suspects.
Interim Police Chief Ron Clark said if the full council supports the proposal, his department expects to get the dog—most likely a German Shepard—in June. The K-9 would then undergo 400 hours of certification training, including 240 hours for apprehension and 160 hours for narcotic detection
The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department currently has a $10,000 credit with Alderhorst International Inc., a police K-9 dog training academy in California where Coeur d’Alene would acquire the dog.
Coeur d’Alene could use that credit and reimburse the county. Additional costs of $11,537 would include a concrete slab and fencing for the handler’s residence, canine equipment, food, veterinary care and other expenses bringing the total cost to $21,537.
The Police Department’s canine program started in 2002 with canine Justice. A second canine was added in 2007 with canine Maxx. Both dogs were used for narcotics detection. This would be the department’s first K-9 with apprehension capabilities and would replace Justice, who retired in 2013.