Residence Inn Coming to NW Blvd

A four-story Residence Inn is proposed for Northwest Blvd between Emma Ave and W Davidson Ave. A public hearing will evaluate the proposal. The developer is CDA Hotel, LLC, which happens to be the same developer of the Marriott proposed on Sherman Ave.

The Irony of the NIMBY Mindset

In 2005, concerned citizens in Coeur d’Alene worked to minimize height restrictions downtown. A Spokesman Review article, here, specifically stated the “proposal isn’t in response to a seven-story building planned for 609 E. Sherman between the Potlatch Building and a new office for Hatch Mueller.”

Our photo, nearly 20 years later, shows the condos towering over the Potlatch Building and the Mueller building in the distance.

Twenty years after the condos and skyscrapers were built, condo residents oppose construction of a Marriott hotel in the empty lot across the street pictured below. City council tabled the issue for 90 days in order to modify hearing protocol to allow additional public testimony.

Mayor 90% Certain the Roosevelt Will Stand

As city council meeting kicked off, Mayor Hammond shared news that he is “[ninety percent certain the Roosevelt isn’t going anywhere].” The community room, packed with citizens, erupted in applause. Mr. Hammond as apparently found another buyer for the property, a 1905 structure called The Roosevelt Inn, formerly the Roosevelt School, which was under contract and slated for demolition. Hammond stated the buyer has the funds and will [create a deed restriction] to protect the building in the long term. He did not divulge the name.

Thomas George Rising in Downtown

Our team photographed many stages of the construction project so far. Here’s the latest for those who don’t frequent downtown CdA.

The Thomas George condos in downtown CdA, on Front street, are slowly but surely rising into the skyline.

The Power of the Ballot

In the evolving landscape of democracy, one truth remains constant: voting is the cornerstone of societal progress. It’s not only a civic duty but a profound expression of individual agency and collective will. Yet, despite its significance, voter turnout often lags behind in the United States of America. For instance, in 2016 the voter turnout was only 59.2%(UC Santa Barbara). Here’s why casting your vote isn’t just the right thing to do, but also an act of empowerment.

First and foremost, voting is the essence of democracy in action. It’s the mechanism through which ordinary citizens assert their influence on the direction of their communities, regions, and nations. When you cast your ballot, you’re participating in a grand symphony of voices, each note contributing to the melody of governance. In a world where apathy and disillusionment can sometimes overshadow optimism, voting becomes a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a better tomorrow.

Moreover, voting is an assertion of your values and priorities. Each ballot represents not just a choice between candidates or policies but a reflection of your beliefs, aspirations, and concerns. By exercising your right to vote, you’re affirming your stake in the society you inhabit. Whether you’re advocating for environmental sustainability, social justice, or economic prosperity, your vote amplifies your voice, ensuring that your concerns are heard and heeded by those in power.

Furthermore, voting is a powerful tool for change. History is replete with examples of how the ballot box has been instrumental in driving transformative shifts in society. From suffragettes fighting for women’s rights to civil rights activists battling against racial discrimination, the act of voting has been a catalyst for progress. By casting your vote, you become an agent of change, contributing to the ongoing narrative of societal evolution and advancement.

Beyond its immediate impact, voting also serves as a block against tyranny and oppression. In democratic societies, the ballot box serves as a check on authoritarian tendencies, ensuring that power remains vested in the hands of the people rather than a select few. By participating in the electoral process, you’re upholding the principles of liberty, equality, and justice upon which democracy is built. In doing so, you’re not just safeguarding your own rights but those of future generations as well.

Voting is more than just a civic obligation; it’s a declaration of autonomy, a catalyst for change, and a safeguard against tyranny. In a world where the forces of division often seem insurmountable, the act of casting your ballot remains a beacon of hope, a testament to the enduring power of democracy. So, when the time comes, don’t just vote—embrace the spirit of democracy and let your voice be heard.


State of the City, 2024

In front of a packed house, Mayor Jim Hammond delivered the 2024 State of the City Address.  Citing national awards and accolades including “2nd Best Performing Small City,” “Best Places to Live.” and “Safest Cities in Idaho,” Hammond stressed that things are good. Specific examples include a decrease in crime in spite of population growth and a vast reduction of phosphorus and ammonia discharged into the river. However, he noted, challenges in the city include the cost of housing, traffic, increased budgets resulting from higher costs of equipment and labor. 

Hammond stated the city is exploring ways to offset the housing crisis by increasing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and promoting the building of twin homes. However, he informed the crowd, the city would not enter into the subsidized housing market–likely referencing “Mt. Hink” at the Atlas Mill Site, which we discussed here. This is also at odds with previous statements from Councilmember Christie Woods.

He recently received the “Pillar of Idaho” award from Idaho Leaders United for standing up to extremism. In other city news: After a considerable lull, the city restarted invocations in January 2024, apparently never intending to let the change die on the vine, as we reported last year. 

Vote “No” on County Debt and Prairie “Plan”

Proponents tout the plan as a way to preserve the open space on the prairie. However, we urge you to vote no on this seemingly good idea. Why? Here are several reasons to vote “No.”

  • The county doesn’t have any contract for the purchase of land on the prairie.
  • This is a tax increase and a government intrusion into the private sector: real estate development.
  • Land costs a premium right now. 
  • Water is limited and the open space would need water to benefit the public. 
  • Cities and the county already control what type of developments can take place on lands under their jurisdiction. 
  • Precluding large swaths of land from development will increase the value/cost of developable land and subsequently contributing to increasingly unaffordable homes for median income households.
  • There is no plan! The verbiage calls for “scenic or recreational purposes,” but does not give any specifics.
  • The county cannot afford current needs and obligations. Rather than trying to buy land, the county should look at ways to fund prosecutor’s office construction, jail needs, and other issues. 
  • The bond rate of 3.7% is significantly lower than interest rates in a money market account and results in interest payments of nearly $22 million. 

Here is the text you will read on the ballot:


QUESTION: Shall Kootenai County, Idaho (the “County”), be authorized to issue and sell Open Space Bonds in the principal amount of up to $50,000,000 for the purpose of financing the purchasing and acquisition of public open-space land and/or easements for scenic and recreational purposes and development for public use (the “Project”), together with costs and expenses related thereto, the final installment of each bonds to fall due not later than twenty (20) years from the date of issuance thereof, all as provided in the Bond Election Ordinance No. 583 adopted by the Board of County Commissioners on July 18, 2023?

The interest rate anticipated on the proposed bond issue, based upon current market rates, is three and seventy hundredths percent (3.70%) per annum. The amount to be repaid over the life of the bonds, based on the anticipated interest rate, is $71,980,000, consisting of $50,000,000 in principal and $21,980,000 of interest. The term of the bonds will not exceed twenty (20) years from the date of issuance.

The estimated average annual cost to the taxpayer on the proposed bond is a tax of $8 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value based on current conditions.

As of November 7, 2023, the total existing indebtedness of the County, including interest accrued, is $0.00.



Who Should You Vote into Office?

After looking closely at all candidates including interviewing, hosting meet and greets the CdA News proudly endorses the following candidates:

City Council: Dan Gookin, Christie Wood, Dan English

CDA School District 271: Heather Tenbrink, Jimmy McAndrew

Dan English vs Roger Garlock

This will be the closest election of them all. Dan English vs Roger Garlock. Roger Garlock could easily pass as Dan English from decades ago. We observed them in their candidate forums online and through in-person interactions. Both candidates worked for years with many non-profits, spoke softly, and seemed slow to anger. Both candidates are likable and approachable. Potential liabilities for each candidate are as follows: Dan English voted yes on Coeur Terre, which is upsetting to neighbors in Indian Meadows. He serves on ignitecda, the urban renewal district, which receives frequent fire from opponents and fellow council member Dan Gookin.

Roger Garlock accepted the endorsement from the KCRCC. This will prove to be his largest liability due to community backlash against the KCRCC for the turmoil they engineered at NIC and the Community Library Network. However, Roger paid attention to city issues over the last few years and has not voiced radical rhetoric espoused by his endorsers. However, he endorses the KCRCC candidate panel regardless of their diminished level of understanding.

Both candidates get the same grade: B. 

This one will be a toss up. It feels like Dan English is happy to be replaced by Roger Garlock. Neither will rock the boat too much.

Wood vs Winkler

Christie Wood served on the City Council for several years. She also volunteered as an elected NIC trustee for nearly 20 years. She entangled herself in North Idaho College’s turmoil. However, after she left the college, NIC challenges grew substantially. Clearly NIC problems stem from the current board majority rather than Christie Wood’s covert influence. We covered some of Christie’s blunders on council but in general she is nice and wants to do right by the city, it’s employees and citizens. CdA News grades Christie Wood: B

Brian Winkler moved to Coeur d’Alene two years ago and runs on a platform of fear and conspiracy. We reviewed his platform on his website, interview online, and performance at a debate. From those performances, it is doubtful that he understands what the city does, how it operates, and what it controls. In the interview it appears he doesn’t understand the definition of a PUD, nor the implications it has on the property he owns. His other performances left us wondering if he knows what the “Trades” are. Christie Wood’s warm and disarming performance at the Coeur Candidate Forum left great advice for Winkler. If he wants to get involved, he should volunteer in a city commission (parking, parks, planning, etc). He claims CdA 2030, now rebranded “Connect Kootenai” is in cahoots with the “[evil UN 2030 agenda]”. CdA News grades Brian Winkler the candidate: DNF (Did not Finish) 

With more attention he may be a good candidate for the future. We hope his interest in the city will continue.

Who is Clark Albritton, the Candidate?


Mr. Albritton has a long tenure as a resident of CdA. He is running on a platform of limiting population growth and its impacts. However, after our review of his public comments here, here, and at a local campaign event, he ultimately fails to make a case against his opponent.  

When asked to give an example of council action he disagrees with over the past few years he cited the purchase of the SWAT vehicle. We covered the SWAT purchase here. Mr. Albritton claimed the vehicle purchase was 500k, much higher than published not only in our review but also here. Maybe he’d be a great council member. It just seems he hasn’t been paying attention. Maybe he will in the future. 

Perhaps Albritton’s achilles heel is the endorsement he proudly touts from a local political party. He is endorsed by the same organization that took over the NIC Board of Trustees and the Community Library Network. Both organizations incurred hefty and ongoing legal bills while facing increased insurance costs and suffering from contentious and disruptive meetings. The endorsement by Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) serves as a red flag to those who value civility and a balanced and measured approach to change.

Needless to say, in our opinion, he fails to grasp the issues at hand as his campaign website says: “Radical ideologies are taking grip, inserting tyrannical control wherever possible as global agendas are being implemented without local voice or scrutiny.” 

CdA News gives Clark Albritton, the candidate, a grade of: D.

Photo by Girl with red hat on Unsplash

After meeting with both candidates, The CdA News endorses Dan Gookin, flaws and all, for city council, seat #3.