Friday, February 27, 2009

March 4th Open House Introduces Fourth Street Reconstruction Project

Later this spring, the City of Coeur d’Alene will reconstruct 4th Street from the alley north of Lakeside Avenue to Harrison Avenue. To provide an opportunity for citizens to become acquainted with the project, an Open House will be held on Wednesday, March 4th, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers at 710 E. Mullan Avenue.

4th Street project improvements include: removal and replacement of all the paving, sidewalks, street trees, curbing, reconstruction of the storm sewer system, and upgrades to the water and wastewater facilities.

In addition, midtown place-making improvements include: pedestrian bulbs at selected intersections, accent paving at Foster, Roosevelt, Boise, Montana, and Miller, accent concrete on the sidewalks, widened sidewalks, accent street lights, and a narrower road section from Roosevelt to Boise. There will be trash cans, benches, and additional street lights.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Magazine names library one of ‘Best of ‘08’

The Coeur d’Alene Public Library has been recognized for its design in the Intermountain Contractor magazine’s “Best of ‘08” competition.
The library – designed by Architects West of Coeur d’Alene and built by Leone & Keeble Inc. of Spokane – received the award for the Best Public Building Over $5 Million in Idaho. See the Intermountain Contractor article
An independent jury of industry experts judged nearly 100 submitted projects from Idaho and Utah. The winning projects were featured in the December issue of the magazine and will also be submitted for the National Best of ’08 Competition.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The City has been invited to participate on the advisory group for the KMPO Transit Center Location Study. The study has just begun and it is anticipated to be completed by July of this year. Our advisory role will involve providing input on potential sites for the center and review of the final report. The primary consultant for the study is the The Land Group, Inc. of Coeur d’Alene. The transit center study area encompasses the Coeur d’Alene metropolitan area. It is anticipated that the study will examine the siting of a facility in the study area. The study will focus on operational efficiencies while evaluating optimal locations for ridership generation and transfer connectivity. The study will also consider sites near to higher density residential, commercial, employment, shopping, recreation, community and social service centers.


At its annual meeting, the Kootenai Environmental Alliance recognized City Water Superintendent Jim Markley with the President’s Award for the water conservation efforts of his Department. Congratulations and well done Jim!

The Moscow Police Department expressed appreciation to Police Officer David Kelly for his assistance in serving on the interview board for Moscow’s Internet Crimes Against Children position. His specialized expertise was extremely helpful in the selection process. Thank you Officer Kelly for a job well done.

On February 20, 2009 Deputy City Attorney Ann Eckhart presented the Bill of Rights to the 5th grade class at Hayden Meadows Elementary School. Ann was participating in the 2009 Lawyers in the Classroom program which is a statewide project sponsored by the Idaho Bar Association. Ann’s interactive presentation excited the children and they had amazingly relevant questions. We are proud to once again support and congratulate Ann on a job well done.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Workshops take mystery out of computers

Need to use a computer to apply for a job, to communicate with family and friends, or just because you want to learn more about the technology? Computers don’t have to be a mystery.
Eight computer workshops will be offered at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., during March and April.
The library’s workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis for up to nine participants and preregistration is not required. The free, 90-minute workshops are taught by Christopher Brannon, Information Technology Coordinator, in the library’s computer lab on the Terrace Level. Participants should arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled starting time.
MORE: Computers


The City is accepting Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards for utility payments at no cost to the City. In January there were 282 customers that chose this method of payment for a total of $27,099.39 in transactions. If the City had chosen not to have the customer pay the convenience fee this would have cost the City approximately $813.00 or 3% of the total transactions.

Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR) Celebrates 12 Years of Service

In 1997, the State of Idaho reduced its funding to programs for people with special needs. For all practical purposes, cities were only able to receive referral services from the state. It was at this time that the Coeur d’Alene Recreation Department, concerned parents, and volunteers got together to form Specialized Needs Recreation of Kootenai County, a non-profit 501C(3) corporation. Its purpose – to develop, operate, support, and enhance programs of recreation and leisure education for children and adults in Kootenai County who have disabilities or other special needs. SNR also coordinates activities and encourages closer cooperation with public and private agencies, individuals, companies, and organizations.
Knowing that it did not have the resources to conduct a year-round, special needs program, the city started small with a 1997 summer camp, which served about 50 participants. It then solicited corporate donations to help with staff salaries and purchased a van with donations from Pepsi and the United Way. The first summer camp was very successful. It included camping trips and field trips to local areas of interest. What’s more, the structure of the camp allowed for focused work on specific social skills as well as unstructured, free time for young people.
Soon, it was obvious that a year-round program was needed, and that new and more expansive recreational opportunities were required. The Recreation Department and the Specialized Needs Recreation Board solicited United Way funds and were successful in their efforts. Later, when Coeur d’Alene recognized that about one third of its program participants were from Post Falls, the Post Falls City Council was contacted to assist financially and they gladly contributed. Now, the cities of Hayden and Rathdrum also contribute to the program.
Specialized Needs Recreation has grown to serve over 2,700 returning participants (those who may attend more than one function) and the program operates all year long. Activities now include a summer camp, Christmas Vacation camp, Spring Break camp, bowling, dances (“Proms”), a five-day camping trip, swimming, and horseback riding.
In 2008, Special Needs Recreation provided through its various programs 309 scholarships and was supported by 6,021 volunteer hours. “”It’s a very unique program,” said Steve Anthony, Coeur d’Alene Recreation Department Director. “Four cities and a non-profit agency collaborate to provide activities for our citizens with special needs and it shows the commitment of our elected officials to this segment of our population that sometimes gets overlooked. Specialized Needs Recreation not only provides recreational opportunities for program participants, but also for their families.”
As the population of the Coeur d’Alene area has increased, so has the special needs population and the need for recreational activities for them. By spearheading this collaborative effort, the City of Coeur d’Alene continues to meet the needs of its special citizens. For more information about Specialized Needs Recreation, call SNR Program Director Angie Goucher at 755-6781.

Board Members Sought for Specialized Needs Recreation

Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR) is recruiting new board members, and they are looking for “a few good men” – and women.

SNR is specifically looking for individuals who are able to contribute or have skills/experience in the following areas: Web Design, Marketing, and Public Relations. Your knowledge and contribution will benefit Specialized Needs Recreation in its quest to expand to meet the needs of this growing, special population. SNR is also seeking volunteers to serve on its fundraising committee.

If you have a passion for helping others, particularly people who have special needs, and you want to be part of making important decisions for a great organization whose main goal is to ensure that youth and adults who have developmental disabilities experience all the recreational opportunities they can, then please join the SNR team.

SNR is a non-profit organization, and the SNR Board meets every other month for approximately two (2) hours to plan, to discuss events, and to make decisions about the organization. If you are interested in finding out how to become a board member for Specialized Needs Recreation, please call Angie Goucher at 755-6781.

McKenzie River Donates to SNR

McKenzie River Pizza Co. offered to donate the proceeds from their “soft opening” night on January 25th to the Specialized Needs Recreation program. It raised $3,000 which will go a long way to help support the 2,700 Specialized Needs Program participants in our area!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tax forms available through library website

Forms for filing state and federal tax returns can be downloaded from the website for the Coeur d’Alene Public Library: The forms can be accessed from a link on the left side of the page by clicking on “Tax Tools.”
The distribution of paper copies of tax forms was discontinued three years ago in an effort by the library to reduce paper waste because of the amount of forms leftover after the tax season.
Paper forms and other tax publications can still be obtained at the Internal Revenue Service office, 1221 Ironwood Drive, 1-800/829-3676, and at the Idaho State Tax Commission, 1910 Northwest Blvd., 208/769-1500. More news and information about the library is available online at


The City Council will meet in a workshop with the Planning Commission and design consultant Mark Hinshaw to discuss design elements for East Sherman Avenue. The workshop is Tuesday, March 17th, at Noon, in the Old Council Chambers. This is a workshop only, and not an opportunity for public comment. A public hearing will be schedule in the future before the City Council where the Council will accept public comment.


The City received 8 bids for the Wastewater Utility Stormwater Station Upgrade project:
Shannon Industrial $188,398.00
TML Construction $192,551.00
General Industries $213,980.00
Safco Inc. $222,400.77
Polin & Young $239,528.00
Westway Construction $245,000.00
Star Construction $249,846.00
S & L Underground $304,657.00

The bids are being reviewed for responsiveness to the bid specifications and it is anticipated that staff will make their recommendations for awarding the bid at the Public Works Committee meeting on February 23rd with Council awarding the bid at their March 3rd Council meeting.


The Spokesman ran a very nice article on the water meter radio read conversion program. Follow this link: if you missed it and want to see what was said.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentine's Day Fun Run

Run Your Heart Out!

Fleet Feet's Valentine's Day Fun Run!

Where: Fleet Feet 511 E Sherman Ave.Downtown Coeur d'Alene

When: Thursday Feb. 12, 2009

Time: 6 pm

This run will cover about 3 miles through downtown Coeur d'Alene. Be sure to dress in proper attire. There will be drinks and treats at Fleet Feet after the run. No cost to attend.

House Bills Reflect Transportation Needs

Yesterday afternoon, Idaho House Bills 93-98 were posted on the Legislature's "Mini Data Current Bill Status" webpage. All reflect, in one way or another, the need to raise or recoup revenue to repair Idaho's roads and bridges.


The Coeur d’ Alene Police Department invited local pharmacists to a Crime Prevention meeting to discuss concerns over recent robberies and thefts involving the prescription medication oxy-contin. Twenty-four pharmacists representing every pharmacy in Coeur d’Alene attended which exceeded the Department’s expectations. Topics discussed included safety, prevention, and procedures to follow if a robbery occurs. The pharmacists appreciated the opportunity to meet and expressed their support of the Department’s prescription medication turn in program.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

“School Day Off Day Camp” – February 16th!

Specialized Needs Recreation Presents Camp Allstars

Specialized Needs Recreation (SNR) is holding Camp All-Stars “School Day Off” Day Camp, February 16th, at Sorenson Elementary in Coeur d’Alene. If you have nothing to do on your school day off, come and have some fun with us. You will not need to bring a lunch, we will be going out for lunch and then off to the Spokane Valley Mall.

Camp All-Stars Day Camps are filled with six hours of meaningful and memorable activities such as community outings, crafts, and games. Camp will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The cost is $12.00 for the day. There are scholarships available for those who qualify.

Transportation is provided for Post Falls participants from the Trading Company. Morning pick up will be at 8:30 a.m. and afternoon drop offs will be at 3:30 p.m. Campers coming from the Coeur d’Alene area will meet at Sorenson Elementary at 9:00 a.m. in the gymnasium.

Unfortunately, SNR is not able to provide 1:1 assistance. Nonetheless, individuals who require 1:1 assistance are still encouraged to join us with their care provider or assistant.

Specialized Needs Recreation also offers summer, winter, and spring break day camps as well as school days off throughout the year and after school programs. If you would like more information about Specialized Needs Recreation and all the wonderful programs and activities we offer, please call 755-6781 or check out our website at

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


From Police Chief Wayne Longo

The Police Department hosted a meeting of Block Watch Captains at the department’s training room on the evening of February 9th. Approximately 10 captains attended and listened to a presentation on gangs by School Resource Officer (SRO) Mark Todd. Updates on the Block Watch program and the Citizens on Patrol Academy (COPS) were also presented. A question and answer session followed. Mayor Bloem, Captain Childers, Sergeant Christie Wood, and I attended as well. The next meeting will be held in late spring.


From Terry Pickel -Assistant Water Superintendent

I was contacted by a reporter from the Spokesman-Review interested in doing an article on our Radio Read meter conversion project and invited our new Service Division Supervisor, Rob Stark, to participate. We met briefly with the reporter and photographer and discussed the program’s purpose: reducing reading time and producing more accurate monthly billing. We demonstrated the basic unit and explained its various capabilities. Rob then took the photographer for a ride to demonstrate how efficiently it works. They read a route that would have normally taken five-to-six hours to read manually. It only took eight minutes to complete with the radio read system. Needless to say, they were very impressed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chamber of Commerce Regional Infrastructure Summit

The Regional Infrastructure Summit is coming quickly. For more information or to register online go to the Coeur d'Alene Area Chamber of Commerce website at – click on Member Info. and it is listed under Events and Opportunities, February. The event is happening on February 20, 2009.

Arbor Day Button Contest Announced

An art contest to design a button for Arbor Day celebrations has been announced by the local Arbor Day Committee. The contest is open to middle school and high school students who live within the Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, and Lakeland school districts. Designs must be submitted by Friday, March 6. The local Arbor Day committee will select 6 to 10 finalists. The selected art will then be judged by the real experts – a group of fourth grade students.

The winner of the contest will receive $75, a tee-shirt featuring the winning artwork, and a supply of the Arbor Day buttons to give to family and friends. Information regarding the contest has been distributed to public school art teachers. It is also available at the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department (710 E. Mullan Avenue), the Post Falls Parks and Recreation Department (408 Spokane Street), the Hayden Urban Forestry office (8930 N. Government Way), and on-line at For more information, contact Karen Haskew at 208/769-2266.

Chief Longo Awarded "Community Service Award for Region One"

Region 1 Department of Health and Welfare announced their nomination and acceptance of Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Wayne Longo for the “Community Service Award for Region One”. A ceremony will take place on February 18 at 4:00pm in the JR Williams Building at 700 E. State Street in Boise Idaho.

Throughout the State of Idaho there are seven Regional Advisory Committees on substance abuse. These committees annually select a community member to recognize for their outstanding dedication and service to substance abuse prevention and treatment in the community. The award is presented in conjunction with the Patricia Kempthorne Legislative event each year in Boise.

Chief Longo was nominated by Tammy Rubino with Kootenai Alliance for Children and Families, for his work in the area of substance abuse prevention. Tammy stated in her nomination letter “Chief Longo has long recognized the importance of enforcing alcohol and drug laws to prevent our youth from becoming dependant on illegal substances. He has been at the forefront of enforcing underage drinking laws in North Idaho.”

Chief Longo was a pioneer in promoting the Meth is my Neighbor Project across the State and recently developed a “Turn in Prescription Medicine” program that is being replicated by other law enforcement agencies in the Panhandle.

The Department of Health and Welfare works very closely with local law enforcement and is happy to recognize Chief Longo for his dedication to our community.

Police Chief Wayne Longo Selected for FBI Executive Seminar

Police Chief Wayne Longo has been selected to attend a two-week Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in June. This is an extraordinary honor as only two law enforcement professionals from the FBI’s Salt Lake region are selected to attend. LEEDS is for department heads who manage at least 50 sworn officers, serving metro areas having populations of 40,000 or more. All travel and per diem costs are borne by the FBI. Competition is keen for these slots so it is truly an honor for Chief Longo to be selected to attend this program.

Parks Day Celebration Volunteers Needed

The Parks Day Celebration Committee is looking for volunteers for the 2009 Parks Day event. The Parks Department is trying to build upon the enormous success of the first-ever 2008 Parks Day Celebration. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, July 11th, and will showcase Cherry Hill Park, Shadduck Lane Park, and the new hiking trails on 25 acres of parkland located on the west side of Canfield Mountain. There will be free food, family activities, and music at these venues. If you know anyone who is interested in joining the Parks Day Celebration Team for the 2009 celebration, have them contact the Parks Department at 769-2252.

Tubbs Hill Photo Used for Congressional Report

From Doug Eastwood, Parks Director:

The National Park Service contacted me last year with a request to use one of our Tubbs Hill photos for their annual report to the U.S. Congress regarding the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LCWF). I just received a copy of their report and they used the photo of Jane Houghton, former member of the city’s Urban Forestry Committee, standing on the suspension bridge admiring the fall colors. John Schwandt, current member of the Urban Forestry Committee, took the picture. The Urban Forestry Committee was on an annual inspection of trees and Tubbs Hill was on their agenda that day. The photo is located on the inside cover of the 2008 annual report. The National Park Service has used some of our projects in the past to demonstrate to congress the benefits communities receive through LWCF (Tubbs Hill is a LWCF project). The National Park Service has also used photos of the Canfield Sports Complex and Shadduck Lane Park in previous presentations. We have 24 parks in our park system and 50% of our parks were funded through LWCF.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Fish Tale - Hatchery Fish Finds New Home

Today, Mayor Sandi Bloem presented a piece of history to Idaho Fish and Game's (IDFG) Museum Curator Mick Hoover. For Hoover, it was truly an historic "catch" - but wait - this is no ordinary fish story.

It all started when Roger Young, an old friend of the Mayor's, made a request. It seems Roger's grandfather and subsequently two of his uncles had managed the Coeur d'Alene (Tubbs Hill) Fish Hatchery starting around World War I. One of the few remaining pieces of material evidence of the hatchery was fixed on top of the city's Water Department screen well on the east side of Tubbs Hill.

Roger Young knows Mick Hoover who is in charge of preserving IDFG's artifacts for a future museum and who has developed its "A Century of State Fish Hatcheries 1907-2007" touring exhibit. Mick and Roger both know the "fish weather vane" that has been on the screen well for many years, and they know it is about the only physical evidence that has survived from the north Idaho hatchery.

When Water Superintendent Jim Markley contacted Mick Hoover to let him know that the fish had been kept and preserved by the Water Department and that they were willing to return it to the Fish and Game Department, Mick was very excited at the prospect of acquiring the fish for IDFG's historical collection.

Before the record-breaking snow event, city personnel removed the fish from the screen well house, and returned it to Jim Markley for safe keeping until Mick Hoover arrived from Mackay, Idaho.

The hatchery, formerly located at south 10th Street near the base of Tubbs Hill, was in service from 1913 until 1954 when the building was transferred to the Idaho Water Company. The fish, originally yellow, was painted green, and moved from the hatchery to the top of the screen well by the Water Department when the old fish hatchery was torn down in 1993, and has been there until last week.

Pictured above from left to right: Mayor Sandi Bloem, Roger Young, Mick Hoover, and Jim Markley, City Water Superintendent