Sunday Roast: Road Trip pics

Some sort of duck in a pond

Some sort of duck in a pond

Fields, farm & hills

Fields, farm & hills, Cougar Ridge area, ID

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

Awesome canoe sculpture, Lewiston, Idaho

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

View of the rolling hills of the Palouse, from Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Dried thistles, Steptoe Butte, WA

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Basalt formation, Columbia River Gorge, Biggs, OR

Photos by Zooey

So it was a good trip, with beautiful sunny days and cold nights, visits with friends and family, and lower gas prices than Oregon.  It’s the little things that count.  🙂

This is our daily open thread — Did you turn your clock back or forward?

Sunday Roast: Road Trip!

idaho

I’ve been feeling antsy lately, and winter isn’t making an appearance in the northwest this year, so I decided yesterday that I’m taking a road trip.  I’d love to finally take that trip to the Grand Canyon, but the time of year is still too iffy, so it’s a trip to Idaho to see my baby boy and friends — the few people who aren’t…um, odd…well…kinda sorta…er, nevermind.

All y’all try not to miss me too much, and I’ll see you next weekend — possibly in time to post my next Sunday Roast.  Maybe.  😉

This is our daily open thread — I’m off to the Gem State (it’s not all potatoes, ya know).

Sunday Roast: Death, Mayhem & Gun Violence

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Moscow, Idaho — May, 2007New York Times

The police said Mr. Hamilton had been drinking at a bar with another man until about 10 p.m. Saturday. Then, they believe, he went home and fatally shot his wife in the head before setting off for the courthouse carrying two semiautomatic rifles. Around 11:30 p.m., he opened fire at the building, eventually firing some 125 shots at the courthouse and at the people who responded to the scene.

Mr. Hamilton killed one responder, Officer Lee C. Newbill of the Moscow police. Officer Bill Shields was hit in the leg by bullet fragments as he went to Officer Newbill’s aid. A sheriff’s deputy, Sgt. Brannon Jordan, was shot several times but was not seriously wounded and was expected to leave the hospital on Monday.

Peter Husmann, a 20-year-old mechanical engineering major at the University of Idaho, in Moscow, heard the shootings and rode his bicycle to the scene armed with a .45-caliber pistol, said his father, Sam Husmann. Peter Husmann was shot in the back, fell to the ground, and was then shot in the calf, neck and shoulder, his father said. He was in stable condition on Monday.

After the shootings at the courthouse, Mr. Hamilton entered the First Presbyterian Church, directly across the street. He had worked there as a custodian for American Building Maintenance, which had a contract with the church, and he knew the church’s sexton, Paul Bauer, Chief Duke said.

Moscow, Idaho — August, 2011, ktvb.com

July 14, 2011: UI requested Moscow Police participate in a threat assessment concerning the threatening behavior of Ernesto Bustamante. University investigators met with Benoit to review Bustamante’s response and notify her that they would be interviewing him on July 19. She was asked to stay somewhere other than her apartment. The Moscow Police tried to call Benoit several times, leaving messages. Benoit did not return the phone calls. Police told the university that she wasn’t calling back. The university indicated that Benoit had been referred to Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse and a safety plan had been discussed. The Moscow Police informed the UI that Benoit did not want police involved.

July 22, 2011: University called Benoit to ask her where she would be staying until the start of school. She said she would be in Moscow. They encouraged her to take safety precautions and contact Moscow Police Department if she felt the need.

August 19. She was warned to be vigilant and call police if she had any safety concerns.

August 22, 2011: Katy was shot outside her home at 8:40 p.m.

August 23, 2011: Moscow Police find Ernesto Bustamante dead in a hotel room at the University Inn-Best Western.

Moscow, Idaho — January 10, 2015, ktvb.com

Police say they first responded to a call of a shooting at around 2:30 p.m. at the Northwest Mutual on E. Third Street. Police say the two victims at the first reported shooting were 76-year-old David Trail and 39-year-old Michael Chin of Seattle. Trail, a Moscow businessman, was taken to Pullman Regional Hospital where he was declared dead. Chin was taken to Gritman Medical Center and is currently in critical condition.

Minutes after the first incident, police say a second shooting was reported at an Arby’s restaurant on Peterson Drive. Police say Lee entered the restaurant and asked for the manager. When the manager, 47-year-old Belinda Niebuhr, came forward Lee reportedly opened fire. Niebuhr was declared dead at Gritman Medical Center.

About a mile and a half away from the Arby’s, police say a fourth victim was found dead at a residence in the 400 block of Veatch Street. The fourth victim, 61-year-old Terri Grzebielski, is reportedly the suspect’s adoptive mother. Police say Grzebielski was a physician’s assistant at Moscow Family Medicine.

You may be asking yourself what is the significance of posting these three items about gun violence in one small town in America, so I’ll tell you:  These are stories of suicidal rage, mental illness, murder, blood, obsession, fear, and a gun sickness in this country, the “cure” for which seems to be more and more guns — and, consequently, more and more gun violence.

The significance to me is the fact that, in each of the above stories, I knew one of the dead:

Crystal Hamilton died a bloody death by gun violence by the hand of her husband.  She was the head custodian at the Latah County Courthouse, and was a lovely young woman.  She always had a smile for everyone.

Ernesto Bustamante died a bloody death by gun violence by his own hand, after having become a murderer.  He was my psych research professor — my favorite professor — and he was gorgeous, with his long, shiny black hair, devastating smile, and ironic sense of humor.  He was an occasional chatting partner in my peer advising office in the psych department, and he murdered a promising young grad student, Katy Benoit.

Yesterday, Terri Grzebielski died a bloody death by gun violence by the hand of her adopted son.  She was a physician’s assistant in the University of Idaho Student Health Department, and was my PA for the four years I attended the U of I.  She was an amazing woman:  Very tall, very thin, full of energy, ready smile, and she truly cared about her patients.

In addition to these people, a childhood friend’s sister was killed with a gun, and her murder was never solved; my former mother-in-law’s boss was murdered by his crazed daughter-in-law; and the husband of a dear friend died as a result of a gun accident.

This is fucking excessive, people!  Does everyone know this many people who’ve died by gun violence?

I don’t know the solution to the gun sickness in this country, other than collecting all the guns and melting them into plowshares, but we all know that will never happen.  One feasible solution is strict regulations placed on guns and gun owners, but that would take political integrity and honor, and that exists in very small amounts in this country.

I’m sick to death of gun violence in this country, and I’m SO fucking done with “gun rights” being more important than human lives.

This is our daily open thread — Fuck you, trolls.

Sunday Roast: Harvest Time

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Photos by Zooey

I don’t know why I like combines, but I just think they’re awesome — especially when they’re harvesting a steep hillside.  I didn’t get any good shots of combines on hillsides, because I didn’t remember to toss the tripod in the car.  *sad face*

I took these photos outside of Moscow, Idaho, earlier this month.  Typically, the entire month of August is spent getting the wheat harvested.

Another awesome thing about combines is the annual Combine Demolition Derby at the Lewis County Fair in Nezperce, Idaho.  I’m not a fan of the demolition derby, but switch out the cars for combines, and I am transfixed!

This is our daily open thread — Fall is coming!

Idaho fire

Fire-fighting helicopter!

Closer look at the ridge.

More of the ridge.

Super close-up of the top of the ridge.

Photos by Zooey

These photos were taken in Nez Perce County, on the Clearwater River.  Thank goodness the river is right there, so maybe they can tamp it down before it goes nuts.

I hope that the thunderstorms due this afternoon don’t materialize.

The Watering Hole: June 15 — Landscape

Photo by Zooey

Cats and Nonewhere are on the road their Big Adventure ™ aka their move West to Oregon.  Safe travels!!

I took this picture just down the road from my place, but Cats & Nonewhere will be seeing more and more of this kind of scenery as they drive West.  Personally, I think they can handle it.  😉

This is our daily open thread — Where did you go on your last road trip?

Merry Christmas, my dear friends!

Photo by Zooey

Merry Christmas, everyone.  This is a picture from the train park in Lewiston, Idaho.  Every year, lots of volunteers get together and wrap up the whole park in colorful lights — it gets better every year.  This park was a great favorite of my parents, and they’d make at least a couple special trips into town to enjoy it — 45 miles!

Anyhoo, I spent a little time waking around the park this evening, and it was absolutely lovely.

Wanna shoot a wolf? Wait your turn – the Idaho Governor wants the honor

(This video is by Earthjustice and gives background into their efforts to protect wolves in the Rocky Mountains.)

Commondreams

The Obama administration has lifted protections for gray wolves in a handful of Western states. Soon, it could be hunting season on them once again.

Fifteen years after gray wolves were successfully reintroduced to Yellowstone and a separate expanse of wilderness in central Idaho, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday implemented a decision made previously by the Bush administration to formally remove these wolves from the federal list of endangered species in Montana and Idaho. A coalition of environmental groups led by the green law firm Earthjustice says it intends to seek an injunction in US district court to reverse the delisting decision. They argue it is both premature and grants states, including Idaho and others, a license to start killing large numbers of wolves using hunters and, potentially, aerial sharpshooters. A year ago, when wolves were briefly delisted until environmentalists overturned that decision in court, more than 100 were shot regionwide in a matter of weeks. Some were run down and trampled by snowmobilers in Wyoming who won praise as local folk heroes.

Few wildlife advocates dispute Salazar’s assertion that, with more than 1,645 wolves in the northern Rockies today, their restoration rate is one of the greatest conservation achievements in US history. Except for a few packs that wandered back and forth along the Canadian border, gray wolves were wiped out in the West by the middle of the 20th century. The original goal of a restoration plan written by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 1994 was to have 100 to 150 wolves in each state. Today, there are an estimated 500 wolves in Montana, 850 in Idaho, and 300 in Wyoming. Environmentalists maintain that biological recovery will be complete once the population reaches between 2,000 and 5,000, while ranchers and some state officials insist the current number is already way too high.

In Idaho, Republican governor Butch Otter has endorsed a proposal to halve the state’s wolf population of 88 packs and more than 1,000 individuals (counting new pups born this spring). Otter has said he plans to apply for a wolf-hunting permit so he can be the first Idahoan to fell a wolf. The governor claims that wolves have taken a huge toll on big game animals, namely elk-even though his own fish and game agency noted recently that elk numbers in Idaho are actually meeting or surpassing population objectives in most areas.

Continue reading

Larry Loses Again

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) was turned down today in his appeal to have his guilty plea overturned. In the Minnesota Court of Appeals decision, they rejected his claims that the sentencing judge didn’t have all the facts. In part, this was because it was Craig’s job to provide them and he didn’t. Also, it’s pretty tough to try to go into court to have your own guilty plea overturned.

According to Politico.com, Sen Craig issued this statement Continue reading