Monday, December 27, 2010

Unintended Consequences

If you are naive enough to believe that our people in Congress and the Senate know hat they are doing, get over it. Many, if not most laws that are passed for what looks like the public good, merely takes a problem from here and puts it there. It doesn't go away.

For instance probably the most egregious error our lawmakers have made recently,is to promote the use of Ethanol in our gasoline supplies. This was to solve two problems. One, lower dependence on oil and the other to benefit the environment. Neither have been accomplished. Gas is still at the $3.00 level and we merely passed the pollution baton to the Chinese. Now, instead of making our own, it drifts across the Pacific to our shore where no amount of amelioration will affect the outcome.

But by far, what corn subsidies have done to us is to raise almost double, the price of meat. Whether beef, pork or chickens, corn is a principal feed source. With energy companies competing for the same grain that formerly was mostly an animal feed crop. I for one, resent paying $3 per pound for ground beef, or $9 for a steak that was $5 just two or three years ago.

We need to urge our congressmen and senators to repeal the ethanol subsidy before they inadvertently create starvation in this country in addition to the screwed up economy. If obesity is a problem now, just wait until protein is eliminated from our diet.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Power Play destroys Bayview Chamber

This has been an interesting week for the Bayview Chamber of Commerce. (Ain't) Elections were held for officers and board members. In the long history of the chamber, these elections were staggered so that only two out of the six board members were up for election each year. This was for the purpose of keeping continuity. That and other bylaws were changed at an ill attended meeting two years ago.

Many in the community felt like the DAC, or Developmental Analysis Committee had grown into something not originally intended. Somewhat radicalized, more power had been concentrated in the committee which then showed a solid front, thereby obtaining total control of the body. Or as an E-Mail circulated by "George," was titled, "DAC Rules." That pretty much defines what went down. Able to split off and become an independent pressure or influence group, they chose to take over and dominate the chamber, rather than go it alone.

Such an action, though I'm sure gave a "team" victory sense to the proponents of the DAC, instead has finished off the chamber as the voice of the community. Shunning others that did not agree with their party line,refusing to let diverse opinions prevail, the so called chamber has been reduced to as they say, "preaching to the choir." While perhaps the other extreme of making the chamber an all business venture was fine for the business owners, it too was perhaps a bit tipped to the other extreme. What could have saved the chamber, sans the power play, was to redefine the group with a more inclusive attitude toward businesses in town.

This leaves business out in the cold from an organization that has the word "commerce" in it, which now is a gross misrepresentation. Perhaps it is time for the marinas and other businesses to form a new group dedicated to furthering growth within the community, rather than the dead on arrival look on the streets these days. Certainly, there is the temptation for some of the business owners to retaliate in kind, since they are the victims of anti-business themes.

I, myself, saw this coming for a while now and divorced myself from the group. I firmly believe I did the right thing as have most others that became fed up with the few that want to control the many. We enter the next year with the chamber losing the one thing they couldn't afford to lose. Their identity as the voice of the entire community.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nothing Is Forever

I have been writing for the Spokesman-Review since The beginning of the Prairie Voice and subsequently, the Handle Extra. That, if I remember correctly, was the spring of 2007. April to be precise. In the beginning, I wrote news and features for Bayview, then included Athol as well as a few stories from Spirit Lake. At the time, I was writing at least two and sometimes more stories per week.

Then the paper started cutting back. First, I was down to two to three stories a month, then the Prairie Voice was discontinued. I then started covering a little more territory and was published in the "Handle Extra." At the end of December, the Handle Extra will cease publication, and me with it. It has been a great run. I've thoroughly enjoyed every minute of every story. Sometime in the next two weeks, my last story will publish. It will be an overview of the four part history of Bayview which published last summer. It will be the 171st story that I have written for the paper.

I sincerely hope that during this period, you enjoyed reading about your friends and neighbors and sometimes even yourself. I did the best I could, but print journalism is on it's lips and while it may survive in some form, advertising revenue has shifted to the Internet. One great success story though, is Huckleberries On Line, the S/R's Idaho blog with blogmeister Dave Oliveria. His blog will hit 2.5 million page views for the year 2010, sometime Wednesday or Thursday. That, my friends, is success. For access to any of the stories I've written, you can go online to Then click on "times" then enter herb huseland in the search box and shazzam, every story I've written is there in chronological order.

I don't know what is lurking around the corner, but I definitely caught the bug and will search out other opportunities as I find them. For a start, I'm going to sell advertising for this blog. I normally get from 60 to 120 visits per day from all over the area and even some other countries. The cost will be very inexpensive and your ad will be exposed to many potential customers. I can be reached at: or by phone 208-683-9107.