Tubbs Hill tussle turns into tango - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Tubbs Hill tussle turns into tango

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Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011 8:40 am

These two letters were intended to be published together, but only one made it into Friday's Opinion pages. Here are both for your perusal - and comments. - MP


Virgil Edwards, of the Disability Action Center, and I recently met and have spent time getting to know each other face-to-face because of "air time" in your paper.

I was one of three to submit a letter to the editor supporting the naturalness of Tubbs Hill...nothing more, nothing less. Our letter was published on March 11, and Virgil's response regarding ADA access on Tubbs was published in "My Turn" the next day. (Someone involved with the McEuen planning process had delivered our letter to Virgil before it was published.)

The good that came of this is that the two of us met due to this unfortunate "stirring of the pot."

As a result, we have come to recognize, and more clearly understand, each other's passions: one of us for Tubbs Hill with empathy for the disabled and their access to places of beauty... and the other of us for the disabled with empathy for the naturalness of Tubbs Hill.

We have also discovered we are in total agreement on many aspects regarding the proposed development of McEuen Field. For one, both of us do not want Tubbs Hill to become a de facto adjunct to The Coeur d'Alene Resort. We are also hoping McEuen Field (omitting the separate entity of Tubbs Hill from the proposed plan) will become more like our City Park, in keeping with the character of our community, and less like a 5-star resort.

As for the proposed trail on the north face of Tubbs, we are looking forward, instead, to possible improved access at Tenth Street as stated in the Tubbs Hill Foundation notes from their March meeting... quite apart from the resort and with a much lovelier view.

We also believe the proposed path that is to hug the base of Tubbs Hill, on McEuen, will be a wonderful, accessible trail that could easily have the feel of Tubbs with appropriate landscaping (which would not require excessive maintenance) on the McEuen side of the path. We look forward to having two new points of accessibility...without touching the steep north face of the hill.

Yours for working together...


Disability Action Center

Coeur d'Alene


TUBBS: One for

all and all for hill

A while back I posted a letter to the Coeur d’Alene Press on My Turn.

It was written in response to a letter written by Barbra Fillmore, Linda Wright and Barbara Zimmer.

The letter was about Tubbs Hill.

Since then I have met with Linda Wright, one of the original writers.

We met as just two people, each with his or her passions and ideals.

Linda and the Tubbs Hill people felt as though they were being invaded and pushed into having major changes without their input. The idea of an accessible trail was lumped in with everything else, and so was questioned as part of the total project.

I found Linda to be very genuine and sincere, wanting to make sure that she was not looked at as someone against people with disabilities. Because of our discussions, we have decided to work together and create a partnership rather than continue as adversaries. I would ask everyone in our community to do the same.

Right now we have a disaster in our own back yard. We have families with children, single parents, veterans and many others that are homeless, and do not know where or when their next meal will come. We have elderly and disabled people that may lose their independence and may be unable to stay in their homes only to be shipped off to an institution, which costs much more and goes against most of our citizens’ desires. If enough people went from home support to the institutions the state would go bankrupt overnight.

Wouldn’t it be a GREAT thing to have our community rally around these issues like they have around the McEuen Field and Tubbs Hill? Imagine a whole room full of people geared up to fight homelessness, hunger, and increase independence. I feel it is time to quit throwing verbal stones at each other and find a way to work together.

I hope that Linda and I working together can serve as a positive model to show how people with passion can work together for a common good even when it seems that both parties are on different sides of the fence. I, and Disability Action Center, will always advocate for environments that are built to be accessible and usable by people with any kind of disability. We must be careful that our advocacy is not interpreted to take any particular stance on unrelated issues such as new development, etc. In that way we can ensure that well-meaning people such as Linda can feel the freedom to question some aspects of a project without appearing to challenge equal access for people with a disability. I look forward to working with Linda and others to support their rights and to support our efforts to include accessibility in any projects that are undertaken.

We no longer wish to be seen as adversaries.



Disability Action Center

Coeur d’Alene

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • chouli posted at 8:50 pm on Sun, Apr 10, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    maybe everyone should *call* mr eastwood and inquire when the restrooms will be back in service and why the one porta-potty is so nasty. This isn't the first time I've read about that on this site. perhaps they shouldn't expand if they can't maintain what they currently have.

  • chouli posted at 8:46 pm on Sun, Apr 10, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    maybe everyone should mr eastwood and inquire when the full restrooms will be back in service...every day.

  • Jullee posted at 12:26 pm on Sun, Apr 10, 2011.

    Jullee Posts: 563

    We should be able to vote on the huge money issues and changes..The Boat launch is first and the Ball field.
    I think everyone can agree that it is a park and should have green grass and play ground equipment and open space for picnics volley ball etc. and if they want a big art fair or gathering they are actually better able to do it as it sits now..But someone needs to put back they nice concrete restrooms...the ONE porta-potty is full and nasty.
    Doug needs to tend to his grounds keepers.

  • chouli posted at 11:01 am on Sat, Apr 9, 2011.

    chouli Posts: 1283

    I will never support any changes to Tubbs HIll. It is unique and very precious. Once it is changed, it is changed (destroyed) forever. I have compassion for the sector of the population who cannot access the natural trails as they are, but it is what it is. There will be a day when I cannot access the trails either. There are many things I currently cannot access. It is what it is. period.

  • Wildsongs posted at 3:29 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Wildsongs Posts: 2

    It is wonderful when both sides sit down at the table and realize their common goals! Kudos to both of you for working together. As a former long time resident of CDA, Tubbs Hill has always been a favorite place of mine to enjoy the area's natural beauty. The fact that both sides will work together to create accessibility for as many people as possible, is a tribute to your open mindedness.

    Trails that do not disturb the natural beauty of an area but create access for people with disabilities is not a new concept! In traveling around the country, I have seen many trails, paths walkways and boardwalks created in natural areas for accessibility. Communities are proud to be accessible and it is nice to see Coeur d'Alene looking to become such a community.

  • Randy Myers posted at 2:54 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Hmm let's see, who asked for your opinion RadRev ? Oh that's right. No one did. Mica asked for mine and was given it. When we need the out of touch goobledigook paranoid conspiracy theory view we will seek you out Rad.

  • RadRevD posted at 2:27 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    Like you have even an ounce of credibility Randy.

  • Randy Myers posted at 12:58 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    That's a great question Mica. It is also a complicated one. Part of the problem with the plan is there are no contingencies for certain parts being in/out. For instance, the underground parking would change the topography of McEuen greatly and mean no ballfields, etc. Keeping the 3rd Street Launch means the plan would have to be re-done. The plan as it is, given financial constraints, can't be all or nothing. Thus, in my opinion, each piece as it is feasible should be voted on. Unfortunately the plan as is can't be tweaked. That's why the questionaires regarding the plans were so misleading. You see, I could "Like" everything about the plan (theoretically) but realistically I can't have the launch, the icerink, the wading pools, the fountains, underground parking and ballfields all at once. We have to pick our battles piecemeal. I personally think the boat launch is needed. While I'm a baseball and softball fan I can live with giving up the fields to other uses. As a Tubbs "purist" the sledding hill and "improvements" seem unwarranted and fly in the face of community values. Hope that gives you some insight into my admittedly biased view.

    I have thumbs up for pieces of the plan and thumbs down on it as a whole. Mary Souza has advocated a thumbs up or down on the whole thing and stated she's not all too concerned witgh the parts of the plan. I part company with her there. I agree that we need a public vote. How it is done is a huge concern.

  • MicaBay posted at 12:29 pm on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    MicaBay Posts: 33

    Randy, should the public be able to vote on each part of the plan, or just a thumbs up or thumbs down for the plan on the whole?

  • Randy Myers posted at 11:19 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Kumbaya is good with Virgil & Linda. Still doesn't change the need to beware the McEuen Plan & have a public vote.

  • RadRevD posted at 10:24 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    Virgil - Glad your eyes are fully opening and you've taken the blinders off.

    McEuen is totally about beautifying private property to the north. Charlie Nipp's departure from LCDC opens a legal way for him to develop and PROFIT from his past volunteer decisions.

    I don't harbor ill will against those with disabilities. Not long ago, I was unable to get out of bed without crutches.
    I have lost two seasons of hunting. I have been urged to apply for disability benefits with SSA. Is it my pride or ethics that causes delay?

    There are places I would like to revisit before physical limits prohibit. I would never consider advocating a tram be built above Meadow Lake so I could see that vista one last time. Diminishing finances likewise prohibit a ride in a helicopter or private plane. As I advocated in your last letter, there are multitudes in our midst that could still raise a spoon to their mouths, but there is nothing in their bowl to spoon! Why push for opulence for private development to the tune being plucked on YOUR STRINGS? Perhaps a portion of reality is a resignation that some places will be restricted to certain due to fiscal restraint and commonsense. Are your ready for that hike up Everest???

    My hope is that McEuen-Tubbs will be derailed with the next election seating representatives with compunction.
    The same goes for GOB-winked near shore development, without lawfully approved variance, that threatens to turn Lake CDA into a Lake Washington vista.

  • posted at 9:45 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.


    Completely agree, Terry!
    - Mike

  • Terry at KEA posted at 9:25 am on Fri, Apr 8, 2011.

    Terry at KEA Posts: 33

    This is just completely awesome. Thanks to Virgil and Linda for showing the way forward.

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