Monday, September 28, 2009

Midtown Improvement Project Nears End of Phase III

The 4th Street Improvement Project is nearing the end of its third phase as October 2009 begins. Starting in late July, this part of the major revitalization effort began from Miller Avenue north to Harrison Avenue.

Phase III included grinding of the asphalt and the replacement of the stormwater utility, curb and gutter, sidewalk, and electrical utility. After the first week of October, light poles, street trees, and public artwork (bike racks) will be placed.

When the entire project is completed – target date mid October 2009 – the 4th Street area will be a rich blend of public art, eclectic shops, restaurants and residences, paved intersections, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, and tree-lined streets.

In anticipation of the project’s completion, a ribbon-cutting ceremony has been scheduled for the morning of Thursday, October 22nd.

Press contact: Dennis Grant, 769-2398.

Mayors Coalition Provides Regional Forum for City Leaders

Over seven years ago, mayors from all over northern Idaho responded to an invitation from Mayor Sandi Bloem to participate in what was to be the first of many meetings to develop common goals and purposes for the region’s cities. Since that inaugural meeting on July 22, 2002, city leaders from as far south as Lapwai and as far north as Bonners Ferry, have been coming together to share concerns and discuss ideas to meet common challenges.

At the first meeting, Association of Idaho Cities (AIC) Executive Director Ken Harward facilitated the gathering, which included a SWOT analysis of each city – an assessment of its Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. Former Governor Dirk Kempthorne was the featured lunch speaker. Having once served as the mayor of Boise, he talked about the importance of partnerships, the benefits of being a city in Idaho, and the need to open lines of communication with other cities to increase the welfare of all. At the end of this meeting, mayors decided to form the North Idaho Mayors Coalition (NIMC) and they elected Mayor Sandi Bloem its chair. The group decided to meet regularly to discuss issues and to provide an educational format at the meetings so they could make informed decisions.

“There are many issues that challenge us,” said Bloem. “Before we can effectively act on them, we must first gain knowledge.”

In the years that followed, the North Idaho Mayors Coalition would have informational meeting presentations on Idaho’s railways and the rails-to-trails program, the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), Water Conservation and Xeriscaping, The Idaho Rural Partnership, Affordable Housing, the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, the P.O.S.T Academy, and a Regional Public Planning Transportation Authority (RPTA), among many other subjects.

A key discussion topic over the years has been the Idaho Legislature. “It’s been great to have Ken Harward from AIC at our meetings to keep mayors updated on legislative issues and how they affect cities,” said Mayor Bloem. “It’s especially important to have this information when it involves funding from the state, and Ken is right on top of it.”

Bloem believes that the NIMC has really broadened the number of people from north Idaho who have involved themselves at the state level and have a presence on state committees. She says it’s because they believe they now have a voice.

“Most important, these meetings are a time for all of us to come together and better understand our common problems,” said Bloem. “The best meetings are the ones when most of the mayors get to share some good news.” For more information about the North Idaho Mayors Coalition, contact Victoria Bruno at 769-2204.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What's Happening at the Library?

videoHere's a video update of activities at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV, Cable Channel 19, that provides live and recorded coverage of public meetings and other information of interest to the citizens of Coeur d'Alene. More news and information about the library is available online at or call 208/769-2315.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Inland Northwest Community Foundation Awards $4,388 Grant to “Camp All-Stars”

Earlier this month, the Specialized Needs Recreation Program (SNR) was awarded a grant for $4,388.00 from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INCF) through the Florence Wasmer Fund for Children & Families. The grant will be used to support SNR’s Camp All-Stars Program.

Camp All-Stars provides day camps during spring, summer, and winter vacation breaks and school days off. The camp is typically filled with six (6) hours of meaningful and memorable activities such as community outings, crafts, and games. The day camp is provided for youth ages 4-21.

The INCF has awarded more than $37 million in grants and scholarships throughout the 20-county region since 1974. They accomplish this by awarding grants to nonprofit organizations in order to enrich education, arts, and culture, to provide critical human services, promote economic and community development, and to support the environment. Currently, INCF manages 262 funds with assets of $50 million (as of July 31, 2009).

“We are honored and grateful to have received this very generous grant from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation” says Angie Goucher, Executive Director of Specialized Needs Recreation.

SNR is a non-profit organization that provides recreational opportunities for youth and adults who have disabilities and or special needs. For further information on this organization, please contact Angie Goucher at 755-6781 or visit the website at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crime Stoppers Cash Reward

Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects responsible for the mal-injury and theft of newspaper vending machines in the City of Coeur d’Alene and Kootenai County. In the past several weeks’ 15 vending machines belonging to the Coeur d’Alene Press have been damaged and the money they contained was removed. Detectives continue to follow up on all leads received.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 667-2111, toll free at 866-667-2111. Callers are asked to use a code name or number and do not have to use their own name to be eligible for a reward.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Death Investigation Closed

Coeur d’Alene Police Detectives have closed the case in the death investigation of Lynea M. Hambrice. Her death has been determined by investigators to have been caused from an accidental fall in which she sustained blunt force trauma to her body.

Her companion in the hotel room with her that evening, Ian E. James, has been cooperative with law enforcement. He voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination and was determined to be truthful in his statements to police. He is not a person of interest and no criminal charges are pending.

The Police Department wishes to express our condolences to the family of Lynea Hambrice.

For more informaiton, contact Sergeant Christie Wood, Public Information Officer, Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Library Computer Workshop Correction

A press release posted on Sept. 2 contained incorrect information. The Computer Workshop on Intermediate Excel at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library will be offered Monday, Sept. 28, 5:30-7 p.m. rather than Sept. 21. Computer classes are available for up to nine people at a time on a first-come, first-served basis. A calendar of Computer Workshops can be found at

‘Remembering Louise’ Program October 9th at Cd’A Library

A special program paying tribute to Louise Shadduck – “Remembering Louise” – will be held in the Community Room of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., on Friday, October 9th, at 4:00 p.m. Sandy Patano will serve as master of ceremonies. Louise, who died in May 2008 at 92, was a pioneer for women in politics who spent more than half a century working with state and national leaders.

Shadduck was an early and vocal champion of the need for a new public library in Coeur d’Alene, and served as Honorary Campaign Chair during the major fund-raising efforts prior to construction.

To honor Louise’s contribution toward the effort to build the new facility, the “Shadduck Legacy Wall” was created and installed in the Community Room adjacent to the Heritage Wall, which is a pictorial display of the history of our community. S. Joseph Sharnetsky, created both pieces as well as the accompanying information on the computer kiosk. The Shadduck Legacy Wall includes 10 stone plaques to recognize families, organizations or businesses who wish to contribute to the library and its services for future generations.

Currently, three of these limited spaces have been secured with contributions of $10,000 by the William Morrow family, Idaho Forest Industries, and the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

“This is a very special way to support the broad range of programs and activities that the library offers all members of our community and to honor the memory of one of our great citizen-treasures,” said Ruth Pratt, Executive Director of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library Foundation.

“Remembering Louise” will feature a pictorial retrospective of her life as well as filmed and live presentations by a wide variety of people from all over the state including dignitaries, family, and friends. As with all other programs offered at the library, it is open to everyone at no charge. A reception will follow at Bakery by the Lake in Parkside Tower across the street.

Shadduck began her career as a reporter and columnist for the Coeur d’Alene Press in the 1930s and was also a correspondent for The Spokesman-Review. Assigned to cover the national Republican convention in Chicago in 1944, she soon moved into politics, serving on the staffs of several Idaho Republicans, including Idaho Govs. Len Jordan and Charles A. Robins, Sen. Henry C. Dworshak, and U.S. Rep. Orval Hansen.

She was appointed Idaho State Secretary of Commerce and Development in 1958 – the first woman in the country to hold that position. She was also an executive director of the Idaho Forest Industry Council and received an honorary law degree from the University of Idaho in 1969. She was president of Idaho Press Women in 1966 and served as president of the National Federation of Press Women from 1971 to 1973.

A prolific writer of history, Shadduck’s books include “Andy Little, Idaho Sheep King,” “Doctors with Buggies, Snowshoes and Planes: 100 Years and More of Idaho Medicine,” “At the Edge of the Ice: Where Coeur d’Alene and its People Meet,” and “Idaho Rodeo!” Her last book, still unpublished, is about architect and hotelier Victor Dessert.

In 1998, a new, $1.65 million state building was named after her – a Department of Lands office building in the Coeur d’Alene Industrial Park. In 2000, Shadduck was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities award by the Idaho Humanities Council, which called her a “beloved and tireless public citizen” whose books made Idaho history accessible.

(Note: Biographical information in this article was taken from the obituary for Louise Shadduck published at the time of her death.)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Volunteers Needed for H1N1 Vaccinations

Reaching residents of the five northern counties with the H1N1 influenza vaccine in the next few months will require plenty of volunteer help for the Panhandle Health District (PHD).
September is National Preparedness Month and the perfect time for people eager to help their communities through the pandemic and other public health crises to volunteer with the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as nurses, physicians, dentists, veterinarians and epidemiologists. They also include non-medical support staff: teachers, interpreters, legal workers, clerical and anyone with an interest in helping their community.
Vaccinating about 100,000 northern Idaho residents against H1N1 will require people with medical backgrounds as well as interpreters, teachers, office workers, managers, wheelchair pushers, direction guides, snack preparers and more. PHD will coordinate the vaccination effort and dedicate much of its staff to the job. Hundreds of volunteers will help speed and smooth the vaccination process.
The MRC is part of the USA Freedom Corps, a family of volunteer support groups that serves throughout the nation. The MRC unit in northern Idaho is coordinated from the Panhandle Health District. Volunteers receive training and respond to public health emergencies as needed.
Anyone willing to volunteer time and expertise during H1N1 and other public health crises can sign up for the MRC at or call (208) 415-5238.

This press release has been posted in cooperation with the Panhandle Health District and the North Idaho Public Information Network.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Club Gives 'Lonely Books' Some Face Time

You’ve heard of lonely hearts. Did you know that books can get lonely, too?
As part of its Fall Reading Programs the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., is offering the “Lonely Books Club,” for children ages 9-12 meeting Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m., beginning Sept.23. The fall club continues through Nov. 18.
“Lonely Books” are great books that haven’t been read for a while. Participants will be given a list of the books when they sign up and will just need to read one of the books and fill out a brief review sheet and promise to tell their friends about it.
Participants can earn incentives for reading and coming to the book club once a week to hear about the books others are reading.
Register by visiting the Seagraves Children’s Library, on the lower level, and asking a librarian to sign you up. Participants who need accommodations are asked to contact the staff prior to attending programs. For more information about the club call Youth Services at (208) 769-2315 Ext. 438.
Children under 6 visiting the library need to be supervised by an adult or a person who is at least 14. Children ages 6-9 should be accompanied by someone who is at least 14 who will remain in the building.More news and information about the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is available online at

Libraries to Discontinue E-book Service

A service which allowed Idaho library patrons to download electronic books for free will be discontinued on Sept. 30 – a year later than it had been expected to end.
The Eaudiobooks subscription was provided to all Idaho members of the Cooperative Information Network (CIN) including the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, through the LiLI website operated by the Idaho Commission for Libraries. The service was originally to be available on a trial basis for a year but had been extended.
Libraries involved in the program would be able to continue the service only by purchasing a subscription that ranges from about $2,100 for the smallest libraries to $16,000 for the largest. Costs are based on annual circulation statistics. Because of budget constraints, none of the CIN member libraries are able to continue the service.
The service ends at midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 30. According to information from the commission:
Users may download and check out Eaudiobooks any time through Sept. 30. Their accounts will be closed as of 12:01a.m. Oct. 1.
Eaudiobooks already downloaded as of 12:01am Oct. 1 will continue to work through the book’s check-out expiration date. That means that a book downloaded on Sept. 29 will remain active/usable in the user’s portable player through Oct. 19.
The link to the Eaudiobooks on the LiLI Portal ( will be removed on Sept. 30.
All libraries offer a selection of audiobooks on CDs, tape or as PlayAway books. Visit your library’s website or the CIN website,, for availability.The 21 libraries in CIN share a common library card, a computer catalog, and circulation services in order to provide patrons in North Idaho and eastern Washington with better and more convenient access to library services and materials.
More news about the Coeur d'Alene Public Library is available online at

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Mudgy & Millie' Share Birthday With Library

Mudgy Moose and Millie Mouse, the title characters from "Mudgy & Millie" pose with author Susan Nipp and Terry Lee, who created the Mudgy & Millie bronze statues during the Birthday Party for the Mudgy & Millie Saturday, Sept. 12, at the library. Behind them, below, are some of the 372 people who turned out to help set a world's record for a read-in of a children's book. Saturday also marked the second anniversary of the opening of the new Coeur d'Alene Public Library. The library has been visited by more than 500,000 people since it opened in September 2007. More news and information about the library can be found at

Volunteers Needed! Canfield Mountain Trail Building Day, Saturday, September 19th at 9:00 a.m.

This Saturday, September 19th, at 9:00 a.m., the Coeur d’Alene Parks Department is looking for volunteers to help with the construction of trails on Canfield Mountain in order to provide beginner-level mountain trails to the public. The work will involve the construction of switchbacks and new trails. Volunteers are asked to bring gloves and water. If you have one of the following, please bring a mattock, pick, or shovel.

Directions to the trailhead are as follows:

From exit 14 on I-90, drive 1.9 miles north on N. 15 St., turn right onto E. Shadduck Lane, drive 0.6 miles to N. Copper Way, left onto N. Copper Way, then left onto E. Mountain Vista Drive. The trail head is on the right, approximately 0.1 miles after you turn.

If you have any questions, please call Monte McCully, Trails Coordinator, at 292-5766.

Autumn Irrigation Blow-Outs Can Be Hazardous To Our Health

By Greg Schrempp, Cross Connection Program

City of Coeur d’Alene water customers will soon be starting to prepare their lawn and garden irrigation systems for autumn.

In our area, the most common practice is to use compressed air to blow out the leftover water in the irrigation piping. When performed correctly, this can be an efficient method to prevent costly freeze damage to irrigation systems. If performed incorrectly, however, costly damage to backflow assemblies can occur. You also run the risk of contaminating not only your water, but that of your neighbors.

The following guidelines will help provide protection to you and your neighbors from irrigation system contamination.

1) Make sure that the blow-off port where air is introduced into the irrigation system is downstream of your approved backflow assembly. Blow-off ports installed upstream of the backflow assembly can allow oil and contaminated air from the air compressor tank to backflow into your potable water service as well as the city water main. High pressure air introduced upstream of the backflow assembly can also damage the internal parts of the assembly, resulting in the assembly not properly protecting our drinking water supply as well as costly repair/replacement of the assembly.

2) If your irrigation system is protected by a Pressure or Atmospheric Vacuum Breaker then it must be removed before the introduction of compressed air as these devices can be damaged if subjected to air from either upstream or downstream of the device.

3) Newly adopted City of Coeur d’Alene code requires the backflow assembly to be installed with unions so it can be removed before the introduction of compressed air and stored inside for the winter. If the assembly was installed without unions and it cannot be removed to prevent freezing, then it must be thoroughly drained.

4) Perform your required annual backflow assembly test at spring startup to make sure the assembly is operating correctly.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the City of Coeur d’Alene Water Department at 208-676-7408 or 769-2220 ext 818.

Friday, September 11, 2009


The Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission received the 2009 Citation of Merit –Organization Award from the Idaho Recreation and Parks Association (IRPA). This award honors significant contributions from an organization whose involvement has a positive impact on Recreation and Parks at the state, regional, or national level.

The award recognized the numerous pieces of art located in Coeur d’Alene city parks and the Summer Arts Program that has introduced over 350 children to different forms of art over the last two summers. The award will be presented at the annual IRPA Conference awards luncheon next Tuesday. This year’s conference is being held in Coeur d’Alene.

For more information contact Steve Anthony, Recreation Director and Arts Commission Liaison at 769-2349.

FACT CHECK - Franchise Fees

In today’s Coeur d’Alene Press, Mary Souza writes about a City Council meeting she found to be entertaining. She writes about information provided by a citizen who spoke during the meeting. Souza states in her article that “Susie asked about the franchise fees that are added to our gas, electric and cable TV bills." Souza goes on to say "Did you realize that 5 percent is added to your bills, which then goes to the city? This, apparently, started a number of years ago, by voter approval, in order to fund the street improvements on Ramsey Road and Northwest Boulevard.”

Souza accepts the information shared by the citizen at the Council meeting as fact and continues to share in her article her opinion that this amounts to a "hidden tax". Unfortunately, the information shared at the Council meeting, which Souza states in her article as truth and upon which she bases her opinion, is false.

The fact is that Ordinance No. 1243, adopted by the City Council on January 20, 1969 provided for a franchise fee and was not initiated for the improvements on Ramsey Road or NW Boulevard. It was initiated because certain non-city providers of public services utilizing the City’s rights-of-ways in the conduct of their business should pay for that use. Enabling legislation provided this opportunity, and it is common throughout the country.

An election held twenty-five years later on February 1, 1994 was for the citizens to vote on a General Obligation Bond for the street improvements. However, instead of adding the payment of the General Obligation Bond to property taxes, the City Council chose to repay the bonds with the franchise fees which were already being collected.

Ms. Souza further states in her article “The street bonds will be paid off this year and Susie asked if the fees will be stopped or if a new vote will be taken to continue them.” Again, the franchise fee was the result of an agreement between a government entity (the City) and a private, for profit, company to allow that company the ability to utilize the public rights-of-way in order to provide its services. This is a fee charged to the franchise company. As with any commercial enterprise, costs are passed on to the consumer. How the company chooses to label this fee on their billing statement is their choice. It is a fee for service and its origin is the result of public documents and decisions. The bonds for street improvements will soon be paid off, but franchise fees will continue to be collected from commercial enterprise as the use of public rights-of-ways continue to be used by them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Reminder: Dedication Ceremony for the Fallen Heroes Memorial Plaza

On Friday September 11th at 5:30pm the public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony for the Fallen Heroes Memorial Plaza located in Cherry Hill Park at 1525 E. Hazel Avenue. This impressive memorial is a project sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club and the Coeur d’Alene Parks Foundation. These organizations as well as the Coeur d’Alene Police and Fire Department have participated in fundraising efforts to complete the Memorial Plaza. The Fallen Heroes Plaza site is linked with the 911 memorial Playground to emphasize the community service nature of law enforcement and firefighting.

The Memorial hosts five sculptures of public safety officers which are twelve feet high. Regional artist Brian Schmid will be joining law enforcement and fire fighters as we celebrate the dedication of the Plaza. Brian shared his artistic intent behind the impressive sculptures he created, in his statement of “The sculptures are formally called "open form." That means they are meant to be seen through and combine themselves with their surroundings. I chose this format for the main reason that these figures are being represented by illustrating their souls. Some generally associate this aspect of ourselves as transparent, universal, enduring and eternal. Additionally, for some, this description even transmits itself throughout our universe and applies to everything contained in it. I have tried to use this idea as direct metaphors to the figures themselves. Also, I chose Rebar as my medium for portions of this same description.

Given the above, my intent was to symbolize not only fire fighters and policemen of Coeur d' Alene, but to possibly transmit itself as a universal statement to all fire fighters and policemen, both living and passed on. For, unfortunately, what is being visually described not only by the sculptures, but the memorial as a whole, applies itself not to Idaho, but everywhere”.
Coeur d’Alene Police Officer Mike Kralicek will have the ribbon cutting honor of opening the memorial to the public. Please plan on joining us for this important event.
For more information contact Sergeant Christie Wood, Public Information Officer, Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320.

Officer Brandon McCormick Promoted

Police Chief Wayne Longo announced the promotion of Officer Brandon McCormick to the rank of Sergeant. Upon promotion, Sergeant McCormick will be assigned to the Patrol Division. McCormick has been with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department since March 2000 and he has most recently served as School Resources Officer (SRO) at Lake City High School.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

LEGO Club Added to Kids' Library Programs

A club for kids who love to build has been added to the lineup for the Fall Reading programs at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave.
The fall programs, “Autumn Colors,” will begin on Sept. 22 and continue through Nov. 20. Programs normally include stories, poems, songs, motion activities and a craft.
LEGO Club is a new program for ages 5-10 offered Thursdays, 4-5 p.m., this fall. Participants will get lots of free building time with library’s growing collection of LEGOs. The hour will also include looks at books about building and related activities.
Other programs on the schedule are:
► Preschool Storytime: For ages 3-5, Wednesdays, 10:30-11 a.m., and 1-1:30 p.m.
► Tales for Twos and Threes: For ages 2-3, Tuesdays, 11-11:30 a.m.
► Book Bay Lap-Sit: For ages newborn to 2 years old accompanied by a parent or other adult caregiver. Tuesdays, 10:15-10:45 a.m., and Fridays, 10:30-11 a.m.
Children under 6 visiting the library need to be supervised by an adult or a person who is at least 14. Children ages 6-9 should be accompanied by someone who is at least 14 who will remain in the building.
Patrons who need accommodations are asked to contact the library staff prior to attending programs.
More information about Fall Reading programs is available by contacting Youth Services at (208) 769-2315 Ext. 438. More news and information about the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is available online at


The City's CDA TV Committee will be hosting a Candidates Forum to be aired on CDA TV cable Channel 19 beginning with the live broadcast of the forum on October 7th.

The format for this forum is unique in that City residents have the opportunity to submit questions that may be selected for the Candidates Forum. The candidates will not have prewritten, prepared responses to these questions as they will be hearing the questions for the first time during the actual forum.

If you have a question you would like asked at the Candidates Forum, please submit your question on-line via the City’s web site at

Think Snow – Even in September!

By Tim Martin
Street Superintendent

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s going to snow and soon! Well, relatively soon. But it won’t be long before we need to find our snow shovels and service the snow blower. For our newcomers who have heard all of the horror stories of how cold and snowy it can be in Coeur d’Alene, relax. In a typical winter, there are 6 or 7 good snowstorms that each takes a couple of days to fully “mop up.” That’s about 14 snow days to weather. As renowned local climatologist Cliff Harris will tell us, “I'm still expecting a rather wet and cool fall season followed by a winter with far less snowfall than the last two record winters.” For us in the Pacific Northwest, we anticipate an “El NiƱo” weather pattern (Above normal temperatures – below normal precipitation). But as citizens, we should still be prepared for anything to happen on any given winter day.

Our first snowstorm will likely occur sometime in November or early December. It will be named Storm “American Falls.” This year’s storm names – alphabetically themed after names for Idaho Cities, were created by Ryan Swallow, first place winner from Mrs. Duncan’s 2005-2006 fourth-grade class at Winton Elementary. Why do we name storms? In order to track, record, and critique our performance, we give each storm a name. It also helps us communicate storm status on KVNI radio, the press, and on the city’s web page. Plus it’s fun and it gives kids something to think about.

We are already planning and preparing for winter. Over 240 lane miles of streets receive on average 67 inches of snowfall each year. With additional resources that the City Council has dedicated to street maintenance and some process improvements, the average time for us to complete a citywide plowing has been reduced to about 38 hours, a 25 percent decrease from the 1999-2000 winter. One statistic we keep is the number of missed school days; there have been only ten since winter 1999-2000, 6 of which occurred in the last two record years (sorry kids). A more important statistic is the low number of accidents involving city snowplows. I wish you could ride in our snowplow trucks, graders, or loaders to appreciate just how demanding and potentially dangerous it is to plow snow. There are many obstacles, such as growing traffic and often very poor visibility. We are blessed to have a very talented group of equipment operators working for the city. As a team, they have dramatically reduced the number of snow plowing complaints and our operators, both men and women, have maintained a remarkable safety record.

Although snow removal is improving in the city, it is not realistic to expect all snow problems to go away. I promise you that we will do the best job possible. Let’s enjoy the fall, and then start looking for our snow shovels.

United Way Benefits from Golf Tournament

On August 27th, city of Cd’A employees sponsored and participated in the 5th annual golf tournament at Ponderosa Springs Golf Course to benefit United Way. Over $1,000 was raised for this charity. Well done team!

Budget Reflects No Tax Increase

As you have likely read, the City Council adopted a budget last week with a unanimous vote to not increase income from property taxes. This has been perhaps one of the toughest budget years the city has ever faced. Compared to last year, the budget is down $3.3 million, capital funds have been reduced 100%, training and travel was reduced over 50%, and department supplies and services reduced 14%. Also, six vacant positions are being held open. But most importantly, our Police Association, the Lake City Employees Association, and the Fire Union was willing to forgo their contracted cost of living increases for next year.

Radio Read Water Meter Project is Complete

The City of Coeur d' Alene Water Department has just finished the radio read water meter project that began approximately five and a half years ago. Before this program, it took two employees two months to walk and read meters on 75 routes throughout the city. This week, the crew just finished installing the final meters on the last two walking routes. Now that all the routes are converted to radio read, we can read the whole city with one employee in one week. Kudos to everyone involved in this process.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Latest Library Newsletter Now Online

The latest edition of PageTurner, the newsletter of the Coeur d'Alene Public Library, is now online at

The is the largest PageTurner ever!

Printed copies of the newsletter are also available at the library, 702 E. Front Ave. More news and information about the library is available at

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's Happening at the Library?

A new video update of activities at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library produced by Jeff Crowe for CDA-TV, Channel 19. This is your source for live and recorded coverage of public meetings and other information important to the the citizens of Coeur d'Alene. For more news and information about the Coeur d'Alene Public Library visit

Labor Day Holiday Delays Garbage Pick-up Service by One Day

Due to the Monday, September 7th, Labor Day Holiday, City of Coeur d' Alene garbage pick-up service will be delayed by one day.

If your garbage is normally picked up on Monday, it will be picked up on Tuesday – if it is normally picked up on Friday, it will be picked up on Saturday. For more information, please call 769-2227.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Library Closed Sunday, Monday for Labor Day Holiday

The Coeur d'Alene Public Library will be closed Sunday and Monday, Sept. 6 and 7, for the Labor Day holiday.
Normal hours resume at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.
More library news can be found online at

Library to Host Folk Singer Bob Nelson in Free Concert

Folk singer Bob Nelson will give a free concert at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., on Wednesday Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Community Room.
His appearance has been underwritten by the Friends of the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.
Bob Nelson Nelson heard his first folksong when he was 13. For the next 9 years he built his repertoire of traditional folk songs, studied voice and honed his performing skills.
“My friend Don Firth and I had our six months of fame and fortune in the San Francisco Bay area in 1959 where we lived off our guitars and sang in the local clubs.” he said. “We were more infamous than famous, and we’re still looking for our fortunes.”
Since his retirement from the building trade four years ago, he returned to his first love – folk music. Besides his own performing schedule, he has joined with Stew Hendrickson in revitalizing the Pacific Northwest Folklore Society. The society actively encourages traditional leaning folk musicians in the area by providing regular concert venues.
Nine months ago Nelson started his recording archive project and has collected more than 300 reel-to-reel tape recordings of various folk musicians. These are mostly recordings made in various living rooms, hoots and concerts. In addition he has more than 400 cassette recordings as well as his LP vinyl record collection.
“In my archiving I am digitizing these recordings and documenting the backgrounds of each performer,” he said. “It is my lifelong dream to locate a final repository where these musicians, and their music, will be freely accessed by the public.”More news and information about the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is available online at

Library Offers Free Computer Workshops

Whether you are new to computers or just want to improve your computer skills a free workshop at the Coeur d’Alene Public Library, 702 E. Front Ave., may be just what you need.
The library’s workshops are offered on a first-come, first-served basis for up to nine participants and preregistration is not required. The 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.
During September and October the library will offer seven workshops:
► Introduction to Computers: Monday, Sept. 14, 5:30-7 p.m., and Monday, Oct. 5, 10:30 a.m. to noon. This is an informative tour in the basics of computers. If you have never touched a computer before, or have worked with computers but have not felt very comfortable with them, this workshop is for you. Basic typing skills are helpful, but not necessary.
► Basics in Excel (Spreadsheets): Monday, Sept. 21, 10:30 a.m. to noon. Have long lists of numbers or information that need taming or calculating? A spreadsheet can help. We'll help you explore and understand the parts of the spreadsheet, basic formulas, basic formatting, and editing.
► Intermediate Excel (Spreadsheets): Monday, Sept. 21, 5:30-7 p.m. Spreadsheets do much more than crunch numbers. Join us to learn about Excel's database functionality, creating charts and graphs, and creating more effective formulas on the run. Previous spreadsheet experience necessary.
► Setting Up Free E-mail: Monday, Oct. 12, 10:30 to noon. Need e-mail? We can help. This workshop will guide you through the sign-up process for free e-mail, and provide a basic understanding of how to use this important communication tool.
► Surfing the Web ­- Searches on the Internet: Monday, Oct. 19, 5:30-7 p.m. Workshop will provide a basic understanding of how to search the Internet using search engines, such as Google, Hotbot, and Yahoo!.
► Basics in Word (Word Processing): Monday, Oct. 26, 10:30 to noon. This workshop gives patrons a basic understanding of how to create, edit, and format documents in a word-processing program.
Patrons who need accommodations to participate in library programs or services are asked to contact the staff. Information about computer workshops is available by contacting Brannon at 208/769-2315 Ext. 456.
More news and information about the Coeur d’Alene Public Library is available online at

City Hall Closed Labor Day

On Monday, September 7, 2009, Coeur d’Alene City Hall will be closed for Labor Day. Other city offices and facilities will be closed as well. Emergency calls for Police, Streets, and Fire can be made by dialing 9-1-1. Other city facilities have emergency numbers and can be reached if the need arises: Sewer Back-up 769-2241 and Water 755-9729.

City Hall and other city facilities will open Tuesday, September 8th, at 8:00 a.m. For more information, please call 769-2204.

Xeriscape Garden at the Community Gardens

Councilman Deanna Goodlander and Water Superintendent Jim Markley met with Terry Harris (Executive Director, Kootenai Environmental Alliance) and Julie VanMiddlesworth (Environmental Scientist, Kootenai Environmental Alliance) yesterday to review the Xeriscape demonstration garden at the community gardens at 10th and Foster.

The individual gardens and the Xeriscape garden all look great as one can see in the photograph. The success of the project has been enormous, and there is already discussion of trying to find ways to expand the project next year, hopefully with additional gardens in other neighborhoods. The partnership between the City, KEA, and Shared Harvest has been an unqualified success.

For more information on the community garden or other water conservation opportunities, contact Water Superintendent Jim Markley at 415-0418.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Idaho Department of Labor Director Visits Water Department

Idaho Department of Labor (IDOL) Director Roger Madsen visited the Water Department today to observe Summer Youth Employment Program participants assigned to the City’s Water Department during the summer maintenance season. IDOL summer employees, funded under the federal stimulus program assisted maintenance crews and learned trade skills at no cost to the city.

Pictured: (back row): Water Dept Field Supervisor, Kyle Marine; Water Utility Worker II, Pat Cardwell; Summer Youth Program Participant, Cole Rayner; Roger Madsen, IDOL Director; Summer Youth Program Participant, Keith Free; Water Utility Worker II, Cory Royce; (front row): Leticia Ahern, IDOL; and Laura Grey, IDOL.


At 7:14 pm on September 1st, 2009 Coeur d’Alene Police Officers responded to the 3600 block of Government way for the report of a rape that had just occurred. The victim is a 13 year old female. She was walking around her neighborhood with her sister and they stopped to talk to one of their neighbors. The victim’s sister left to walk back to her residence.

The neighbor later identified as Ronald Glen Sever, approached the young girl aggressively, grabbed her by the arm and forcibly dragged her inside his residence. Sever locked the door behind him. Sever overpowered the female victim and forcibly raped her. The victim was struck in the face by the Sever during the attack.

After a few minutes the victim was able to break free from him and flee the residence. She went to a near by neighbors house. The neighbor saw her crying and called the police after determining what happened to her. The victim was able to provide details of the crime to police and identify the suspect.

Officers contacted Sever, 61 years of age of Coeur d’Alene at his residence. Officers recovered evidence of the crime inside his residence. Sever was arrested for Rape and Lewd Conduct with a Minor. He is currently incarcerated at the Kootenai Count Public Safety Building and will face first appearance this afternoon.

For more information, contact Sergeant Christie Wood, Public Information Officer,
Coeur d’Alene Police Department at (208) 769-2320.

Dedication Ceremony

On Friday September 11th at 5:30pm the public is invited to attend a dedication ceremony for the Fallen Heroes Memorial Plaza located in Cherry Hill Park. This impressive memorial is a project sponsored by the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club and the Coeur d’Alene Parks Foundation. These organizations as well as the Coeur d’Alene Police and Fire Department have participated in fundraising efforts to complete the Memorial Plaza. To learn more about how to make a donation or place an order for a naming opportunity visit our website at

The Fallen Heroes Plaza site is linked with the 911 memorial Playground to emphasize the community service nature of law enforcement and firefighting. The Memorial hosts five sculptures of public safety officers which are twelve feet high. The sculptures, designed by regional artist Brian M. Schmid, will stand in various poses honoring their fallen comrades; as represented by a vacant sculpture site. They are dedicated to Idaho firefighters and law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout Idaho’s history. They shall not be forgotten. A steel artifact from the World Trade Center in New York is anchored in a basalt column at one entrance to the memorial. Coeur d’Alene Fire Department commissioned two tall basalt columns that represent the Twin Towers.

Fire and Police Honor Guards will kick off the ceremony followed by a speech from Mayor Bloem, Police Chief Wayne Longo, Fire Chief Kenny Gabriel, and Steve Roberge from Coeur d’Alene Rotary.

Coeur d’Alene Police Captain Steve Childers stated “I appreciate the partnership of public safety officials, our community service groups and individual donors in our community who continue to work together on this important memorial. Please plan on attending this event.”

For more infromation contact Sergeant Christie Wood, Public Information Officer, Coeur d’Alene Police Department at 769-2320.

Military Family Fun Day & Warrior Olympics

The City of Coeur d'Alene will be hosting a day of military family fun and the 2009 Warrior Olympics at the Coeur d'Alene City Park on Saturday, September 12th. The Warrior Olympics consists of 10 soldiers belonging to Idaho's 145th BSB who will be pitted against one another in 14 Army Soldier tasks to determine the "best-of-the-best." There will also be fun events for the family including a climbing rock wall, bouncy house, sumo wrestling, food, warrior face paint, and arts and crafts. More than twenty military family resources will also be on hand to answer your questions, including Military One Source, Vet Center Mobile Clinic, VA reps, TRICARE Medical/Dental reps, Red Cross, Operation Military Kids, etc. This event is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. For more information, please contact Cassandra Vig at 660-4066 or 272-7532, or Cpt. Steve Keeton at 651-1472 or 272-7532.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


The Coeur d’Alene Parks Department is looking for volunteers to help with the planting of the trees for the new park at The Landings. Please note the information below.


September 8th, 9th and 10th : Tree planting - thirty trees to be planted on the 8th and 9th of September and fifteen planted on the 10th of September. We need at least twenty (20) volunteers for each planting. The planting will be done in the evening(s) from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.

The City of CdA will have their park employees and their Urban Forestry lead volunteers to assist with the planting of the trees.


• Meet at the parking lot at the Landings park (please wear appropriate clothing and shoes)
• Everyone needs to bring the following items (if you have them):
o Gloves
o Round point and/or square point shovels
• Volunteers will be organized into teams to handle tree moving and placing, tree planting, tree staking, and area finish to include racking and placing of mulch.
• Refreshments provided under the canopies.


August Blood Drive Delivers 16 Units

The city sponsored the 3rd blood drive of 2009 with the Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC) on August 27th. Out of 20 scheduled donors, the INBC was able to collect 16 units of blood. The city has one remaining blood drive in 2009, which will be later this fall.