The future of figure skating on display

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Sunday afternoon I had the pleasure of serving as a faux judge for the Lake City Figure Skating Funtastic Exhibition. My friend Amy Pollard Bartoo grew up in a beautiful old house on Fernan Lake, and ever since she was a little girl she loved to take to the ice to skate every winter. It’s a love and a passion she has carried with her all of these years.

The home she lives in now has a pond in the backyard that also freezes in the winter and she dazzles with her skill and artistry. She’s also passionate about young people now having the opportunity for ice time year 'round at Frontier Ice Arena and is very persuasive.

So that’s how Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer, Marie Widmyer, Fernan Village Mayor Heidi Acuff, honorary Mayor of Foster Avenue Mary Larson, myself and Troy and Katie Braga came to be seated in the ice arena’s penalty box aka judging box with big encouraging emoji score cards. The skaters ranged in age from 4 to 25 years old, many of the younger skaters gaining the experience of performing alone on the ice and in front of “judges.”

To say it was a most delightful way to spend an hour or so would not do the event justice. I’ve always loved to watch ice skating at the Olympics and what’s not to love about the Ice Capades? But to see these budding young figure skaters with such dedication and joy take to the ice was inspiring. Check out frontiericearena.org for classes, clinics and exhibitions.

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Java on Sherman is hosting a farewell party tonight from 5-7 p.m. as the owners close their downtown business on Ninth and Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene. That half a city block is rather nostalgic for my family. In 1965 we moved into the old John T. Wood house that once graced that corner. It was a grand turn of the century home with three stories, 26 rooms, six bedrooms and was the absolutely perfect place for teenage slumber parties and watching the cool kids cruise Sherman Avenue in their hot rods.

Sadly the house was torn down in the late ’70s and the property became the home of a Sambo’s Restaurant. Later Woody McEvers did brisk business for quite a few years with Rustler’s Roost. There were a few incarnations of various businesses at the location before Java took up residence several years ago.

When I win the lottery, I intend to buy the property and re-create the historic home that was the place of some of the fondest memories of my youth.

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The St. Vincent de Paul homeless warming center has been a lifeline for those without shelter this record-breaking winter. There’s a camaraderie and sense of family that develops between the shelter staff and those who gather there for a warm meal and a safe place to sleep. I was moved to see a video clip of John Panther blowing out the candles on a birthday cake over the weekend. There in that most humble of places this homeless man had a moment of joy as everyone celebrated his 60th birthday. It’s the little things that remind us to see the humanity all around us. Kudos to staffers Cindy Thompson and John Blanchette for feeding the hearts of your charges.

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On Monday night’s episode of Jeopardy one of the questions was “Almost extinct, the Coeur d’Alene language is spoken by a few Native Americans on a reservation in this U.S. state.” The correct answer (in the form of a question) is Idaho.

The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has 2,190 enrolled members and its Language Department includes classes to teach tribal members, staff and anyone with a desire to learn the ancient Schitsu’umsh language.

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Throughout childhood my daddy was my special Valentine, never forgetting to treat his daughters with little boxes of candy and paper hearts. But it's not hard to single out my very favorite Valentine's Day of all: 1986. After I moved back home to Idaho from North Dakota and a year-long, long distance relationship, Bert arrived here on Feb. 14 with a truck full of belongings to take a huge leap of faith to marry me and my three daughters the following month. I can't imagine what our lives would be like without him.

Happy 31st year of being an Idahoan, my sweetheart!

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Things to Do: Tonight Nashville Unplugged debuts at Nashville North in Stateline. Free admission to hear singer-songwriters Aaron Benward and Travis Howard performing their hits and tell stories behind the songs. Doors open at 6 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

The final weekend of Aspire Theater’s production of “Catch Me if You Can” at the Kroc Center, Thursday through Saturday, tickets at aspirecda.com.

Saturday Krewe d’Alene from 5:30-10 p.m. at The Resort Plaza Shops to benefit the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance. Tickets at Coeur d’Alene Chamber.

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Happy birthday today to Jeff Conroy, Joe Doellefeld, Linda Jagars, Mindy Hatcher, Tracy Dickinson, Craig Smith, Art Sullivan, Sandi Hall (70!) and Donna Montgomery.

Tomorrow Stephanie Smith, Paula Rehrmann, Tom Thompson, Diana Farquhar (60!), Adam Averill, Craig Bronson, Deanna Goodlander, Morgan Dickinson, Bruce English, Quinn Kennedy and Jim Wilson are celebrating.

Friday’s birthday revelers are Mike Kennedy, Dorene Russell (60!), Dewey Berndt, Helen Pischner, Lisa Ortize, Steve Mills, Don DuBois, Chuck Ethridge, Leslie Anne Spencer and Mary Button.

Big birthday wishes on Saturday to Jill Monroe, Warren Moore, Steve Shepperd, Susie Bingham, Pershia Moser (40!), Abbie Nowland and Diana Raugust.

Celebrating birthdays on Sunday are Amy Boni, Teri Nipp, Rebekah Newbry, Samantha Kraack, Helga Wernicke, Julia Jaworski and Rob Colvin.

Rick Seward, Ron Ouren, Maycie Goodlander (21!), Barb Eveland, Phil Romans and Jared White were born on Feb. 20.

Tuesday Megan Reagan (40!), Jerry Moss, Paige Watkins and Donna Pfeiffer take another trip around the sun.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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