Friday, December 30, 2005

Bowler's Heaven - Michigan man bowls third 300 game of life, then dies

PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — A longtime bowler collapsed and died at a bowling alley shortly after rolling the third perfect game of his life.

"If he could have written a way to go out, this would be it," Johnny D Masters said of Ed Lorenz, who died at a bowling alley shortly after bowling a perfect game.

Ed Lorenz, 69, of Portage, near Kalamazoo, bowled a 300 Wednesday in his first league game of the night at Airway Lanes. When the retiree got up to bowl in the fifth frame of his second game, he clutched his chest and fell over, and efforts to revive him failed.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Idahoans must guard and protect our federal public lands

This is an op-ed piece that will be appearing in newspapers around the state this coming week. I don't know anyone who has more understanding or credibility on this topic than Cecil Andrus, a four-term Idaho Governor and former Secretary of the Interior.

Idahoans must guard and protect our federal public lands
By Cecil D. Andrus

Selling off our public federal lands to pay for the damage of Hurricane Katrina is like selling your backyard to cover the costs of a fire in your garage. It doesn’t make sense.

Yet, there are some in Washington, D.C., who are pushing a plan to sell off 15 percent of all the lands held by the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and other Interior Department agencies. States like Idaho with a lot of federal acres would be first on the chopping block.

Idaho has about 33 million acres of federal public lands. Selling of 15 percent of those would equal more than 5 million acres. That’s more than the entire Boise and Sawtooth National Forests combined. And the 15-percent figure doesn’t necessarily apply to a state-by-state approach – there’s no limit in the proposed legislation as to how much could be sold in any single state.

Here in Idaho, our public land is our working capital. We use our natural resources, such as timber and grazing, and we enjoy the recreation that comes with them, such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking.

Yet, our public lands are more than the sum of its parts. Over the years of my life, as I have driven and flown around this beautiful state, I’ve seen the prettiest blue waterfalls, the most stunning high desert cliffs, the most breathtaking green forests. But just as much as the scenery, I love the fact that it belongs to all of us. None of us own it, yet we all share it – it’s ours. That’s one of the most central concepts of being an Idahoan – it’s what makes us who we are.

I can’t imagine why anyone from Idaho would want to auction off this irreplaceable treasure. I know that Jerry Brady, Democratic candidate for governor, has stepped up to defend Idaho’s public lands, and I commend him for it. Because once we sell it off, it’s gone. The old Will Rogers adage is true: “They ain’t makin’ it no more.”

Sure, you can horse-trade for a few acres here and there. We did some of that when I was Secretary of the Interior under President Carter. But in all my years managing the Interior Department, our goal was always to make public land more open and accessible to the people; not sell it to the highest bidder so private landowners can put up fences, like they’ve done in Texas.

I’m sure some people will say that Idaho has plenty of public land, so we can afford to sell off some and still have plenty. But selling land isn’t the same as selling potatoes, microchips or some other commodity. Rural land can be bought strategically, so that purchasing 100 acres can effectively close off 1,000 acres or more, depending on road access. This kind of buying allows one private citizen to make a minimal investment but still locks out huge tracts to everyone who doesn’t own a helicopter.

Also, in the current political atmosphere, there’s a strong potential for dishonesty. It seems like every day, more headlines are coming out of Washington, D.C. about politicians corrupted by greed. What do you think would happen if the entire West were opened up to land speculators? Who do you think would be the winners and who will be the losers?

I’ll tell you who. It will be the high-dollar campaign contributors and the big-time power brokers who will own the best and most valuable lands. The hunters, fishermen, campers and other recreationists will be left out, but they won’t be the only losers. It will also be the family rancher, the small-town outfitter, the restaurant owners and hotel operators and all their employees.

Idaho and the West are not for sale to the highest bidder. Our heritage, our culture and our future depend on keeping this irreplaceable resource open for all.

Cecil D. Andrus,
Former Idaho Governor

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tall buildings? Community Centers? Attend and Give Input!

Tonight there will be a workshop at the First Presbyterian Church at 521 Lakeside Avenue in downtown Coeur d'Alene from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm regarding the issue of downtown development restrictions.

There will also be a meeting at Coeur d'Alene High School for citizens to provide further input on the proposed Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center.

It's unfortunate that both meetings are happening on the same night, but for my money both of these are critical issues. I intend to go to the downtown development workshop for the bulk of it since of the two issues it is the one I know less about. If there is time left I will try to make the Kroc Center meeting as well.

Regardless - people need to attend these meetings in person and make your feelings known. You can also email me directly at: to give me feedback if you can't attend in person. Thanks!

For information on both of these things visit the city website at: City of Coeur d'Alene Website