COEUR d'ALENE - No puffing, kids, be it real or electronic.
The city of Coeur d'Alene is considering banning the sale of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, to minors, adding the nicotine-containing yet less hazardous type of smoking to the no-go list for those younger than 18.
Area anti-smoking advocates - including Natalie Forsyth, working on behalf of the American Lung Association of Idaho and STAND (Support Teens Against Nicotine Dependency) - approached the city about enforcing a ban in the spring.
The city's legal department, as asked by the City Council, studied the request, and found a similar rule in Spokane Valley.
Up for the General Services Committee to consider at noon today is whether the Lake City wants to adopt is own rule.
"What we got back is that this is kind of a growing thing," said Mike Gridley, city attorney on including rules about e-cigarettes and minors.
E-cigarettes were invented in 2003 and allow people to heat nicotine, herbs or other substances and ingest the active ingredients without actually burning the substance. Advocates call it an important, healthier step to quitting smoking. They are flavored, with four ingredients including nicotine - compared to 4,000 in real smokes.
The American Cancer Society Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said recently that more needs to be studied before they can be called a safer alternative, or even a cessation step.
But some feel that banning it from minors would still send an important message to kids about smoking in general.
James Barbour, owner, of the Vapor Cafe on Government Way that sells the electronic product, said he'd support a ban on sales to minors. Most all of his clients are older anyway, he said, looking to quit smoking after years puffing.
"I have customers wheeling in with oxygen tanks on," he said. "Married guys with beards, people who have been smoking and want to quit. Those are my customers; kids don't really hang at the store at all."
The committee will make a recommendation to the City Council on the proposed rule.
World War IIaircraft at airport until Wednesday
By J.R. CONROW
HAYDEN - Imagine what it would be like to be piloting or sitting in the tail of a B-17 or B-25 during World War II, ready at a moment's notice to bomb the enemy somewhere on the Eastern Front in Germany or the Western Front in the Pacific.
For six days aviation enthusiasts - military history buffs and those looking for a new interest - have an opportunity to see the inside of a B-17 or B-25 at the Coeur d'Alene Airport-Pappy Boyington Field.
Individuals young and old alike spent Friday morning under partly sunny skies sharing smiles and flashing cameras to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Douglas Noga, of Newport, Wash., reflected on the need for speed while remembering his father with pride.
Norbert Noga served in the Navy and obtained his pilot's license, but never flew oversees in any of the war campaigns. Douglas said Norbert spent his career at home working as an engineer.
"Growing up he never really liked to talk about what was going on," Noga said. "He was humble as he just went about doing his job to keep aircraft in the air."
With both the B-17 and B-25 restored and in the air, history is waiting to be told. The B-25 took 28 years to be restored to regular flying conditions by 2009. The B-17 has been a regular attraction at events since 1985.
Visitors during this four-day event could tour the inside of the crafts or take a special 20-minute flight over Hayden and Lake Coeur d'Alene.
The event kicked off Thursday at noon and is brought to the Lake City by the nonprofit group the Commemorative Air Force Arizona Wing Aviation Museum, based in Mesa, Ariz.
see PLANES, A2
The crew members are volunteers, willing to share the history and answer any questions, but most of all, it can be seen in their eyes the passion for these aircraft and their history in military service.
The B-17 Flying Fortress, known as 'Sentimental Journey,' still has eight of these crafts flying around the world today. The B-17 crewed 10 members including the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, navigator, bombardier, radio operator, ball turret gunner, two waist gunners and the tail gunner.
The B-25 Mitchell Bomber, given the name "Maid in the Shade," has experienced 18 missions in combat dating back to World War II. Named after Gen. Billy Mitchell, this twin-engine bomber was considered as one of the most versatile aircraft.
B-17 loadmaster Fred Bowman served 22 years in the Air Force and said he loves to tell tourists the story that these two aircraft are female as a way to ease any tension.
"They're females because they like to kiss you," Bowman said. "They have the tendency to kiss you on the arm, back, top of your head, wherever they can."
Of course, that means if you don't want to get smacked trying to enter the aircraft or move around once in flight, watch your step and be careful of what's around you.
Loadmasters, Bowman said, are responsible for watching the back ends of the aircraft for oil leaks, gas leaks, sputtering engines or fires and wing issues. He added once passengers are safely secured the loadmasters watch for those experiencing air sickness or other concerns.
Bowman said these tours have special meaning.
"The moments are unexplainable," Bowman said with tears in his eyes.
Bowman, originally from Pennsylvania, served in both campaigns across Europe and Japan.
"I lived on a small farm and after I finished high school I decided to join the air force," Bowman said. "When I had my family with me it was a big vacation, it was a great opportunity."
Tours of the B-17 and B-25 run through Wednesday. Tour hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Proceeds go toward the regular maintenance and operation of the aircraft.
Bowman said keeping the show is important for future generations.
"For any of those interested in aircraft, come, it's history." Bowman said. "The worry I have is how long it will be allowed to continued."