/ October 7, 2021
PEOPLE compiled by
Susan is taking this week off, so we thought we’d include five notable writers who have written about autumn. Enjoy the turning leaves! “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus Philosopher, author France
If you haven’t had a chance to drive around the county checking out fall colors yet, make some time to do so. The foliage is especially beautiful if you get to higher elevations, so take a hike and soak in the natural beauty. The fourth installment of the “Where are all the workers” articles was slated to publish in this week’s edition, but we decided to hold off one more week to allow for reporting from a state planning conference to be included in the final piece of this series. We appreciate hearing from so many of our readers about this topic — there’s no doubt that the shortage of workforce housing is a big topic on everyone’s minds right now. Check the Oct. 14 edition for the fourth piece of this series by Zach Hagadone and Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey. In the meantime, thanks for reading the Reader and supporting an informed community. – Ben Olson, publisher
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“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.” Delia Owens Author of Where the Crawdads Sing Georgia
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“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” Friedrich Nietzsche Philosopher, poet, writer Germany
“It was a beautiful, bright autumn day, with air like cider and a sky so blue you could drown in it.” Diana Gabaldon Author of Outlander books Arizona
“... I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”
Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.
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Nathanial Hawthorne Novelist, dark romantic Massachusetts October 7, 2021 /
P&Z recommends approval of 25-acre rezone to make way for multi-family housing
Commission to require development agreement providing ‘some guarantee’ of affordability
By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Sandpoint’s housing affordability crisis was front and center at the Oct. 5 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, as members voted 3-1 to recommend approval for a Comprehensive Plan land use map amendment and rezone of a 25-acre parcel west of the airport from industrial to Context Area-3, which would allow for multi-family residential. That decision came with the stipulation that a development agreement be written up front that “at the very least” includes the stipulation that future building on the site actually results in multi-family and “workforce” housing, Commission Chairman Jason Welker said in his motion to recommend approval to the City Council. Therein lay the big sticking point: what is meant by “workforce” housing and how (even whether) to balance industrial with residential uses in a housing and economic climate that has put immense stress on both. Commissioner Forrest Schuck was the sole dissenting vote, citing his concern that recommending approval would open the way for every industrial-zoned property owner to come looking for a rezone to more immediately lucrative uses, such as residential. “Everybody’s in a big hurry,” he said, noting a preponderance of “buzzwords” being used related to affordable and workforce housing, leading to “a lot of rubber-stamping going on around those words.” “I don’t think we should be so quick to give that up [industrial land] for some ephemeral idea of what workforce housing might be,” he added, going on to say that without a development agreement, “we’re just giving up the farm.” The property in question, which is owned by Litehouse, Inc., is currently vacant and has been used only for haying, according to Jeremy Grimm, of Whiskey Rock Planning and Consulting, 4 /
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which represented Litehouse in its application for the Comp Plan amendment and rezone. Grimm, a former Sandpoint planning director, said the city has “plenty of land to absorb industrial and manufacturing uses.” He pointed out that Idaho has experienced a 40% decline in manufactured goods, meanwhile the economy has only added jobs to the lower-wage services industries. “There are a lot of other sectors that need housing for their workers,” Grimm said, underscoring the dire need for more housing supply to help bring down astronomical prices that are putting a crunch on area laborers and employers alike. “The numbers speak for themselves,” he said, highlighting that 47% of renters and 37% of homeowners are spending more than 30% of their income on housing. At the same time, while the city needs to have added more than 100 dwelling units per year to meet demand, Grimm said, it has year-to-date only brought 26 to the market (and 130 single-family units in the past three years). However, there are more than 600 units in the development pipeline, according to interim City Planner Daren Fluke, accounting for about 15% of the housing stock in the city. Meanwhile, 21% of the city’s land area is designated industrial, much of it clustered in “quite tidy” areas around the airport, Fluke said. Pointing to national housing analysis, Grimm has more than once said that industrial-zoned properties, many of which sit fallow, are not serving their highest and best purpose, therefore helping constrict developable space and driving up residential prices. “This is a critical, critical issue for this community,” Grimm said, warning that “we will lose our employees, we will lose our employers. We will become a Jackson Hole. … This community is at great risk of losing existing employers if the housing
crisis persists. I can’t stress this enough.” Commissioners agreed that easing the financial burden of housing for area workers is of paramount importance, but worried about to what extent future development on the site would really benefit local wage earners. Despite what has been suggested in other media reports and more than one piece of testimony at the Oct. 5 meeting, while Litehouse currently owns the property and is seeking the amendment and rezone, the company is not necessarily intending to develop the parcel as “affordable” or “workforce” housing. Coeur d’Alene-based developer Cliff Mort, of Big Creek Land Company, whose Monogram Homes is constructing the nearby Boyer Meadows subdivision among several other projects in the region, told the commission that “one of my companies is the contract purchaser of this [property] subject to a rezone.” Mort, whose Boyer Meadows project was represented before both P&Z and the City Council by Grimm, said that the requirement of an up-front development agreement adds both time and cost to any development — in the case of residential projects, adding to their sale price. “When cities start going down that road it’s a bit of a slippery slope,” said Mort, who along with Grimm serves on Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad’s Workforce
Housing Task Force. “I think the market itself dictates supply and demand and pricing … [And] right now, in this current environment, timing is everything when it comes to helping with the current housing crisis.” As he stated during testimony on the Boyer Meadows project, Mort reiterated the relative nature of “affordable” housing — while Grimm (who was recently appointed to the the Idaho Economic Advisory Council) said it’s a simple matter of supply and demand: “Housing begets workers, which will allow industry to grow.” What’s more, Grimm said, “We don’t know what workforce housing is.” Commissioner Cate Huisman keyed in on a previous statement of Mort’s during testimony on the Boyer Meadows project, in which he asked “whose workforce?” in relation to conversations regarding worker-priced housing in Sandpoint. Welker, in a subsequent statement at the Oct. 5 meeting, said, “We talk about buzzwords: workforce housing, affordable housing, market-priced housing. Another buzzword that we hear from the mayor and the Sandpoint Workforce Housing Task Force, which I believe Mr. Mort is a member of, is public-private partnerships … partnering with the developer to assure that some proportion of the homes that will ultimately end up in this development are without question available to workers in
An aerial photo, left, and map, right, showing the proposed development (marked with arrows). Courtesy images. the local economy.” Welker continued that, “We need to secure some guarantee” that whatever gets built on the parcel is geared toward workforce housing, and, “we do know what workforce housing is: It is for workers in the local economy and there are models all over the country for how that can occur. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be market-priced housing in future development here, it just means that we’re taking one small step to assure some housing for people who work in the local economy who earn closer to or below the area median income.” Market-priced housing in Sandpoint is currently between $400,000 and $700,000, depending on the source, for single-family residential. Meanwhile, rents even for single-bedroom units routinely rise into the $2,000-per-month range. Area median income is generally defined as around $61,000 per year, though Fluke cited a figure at the Oct. 5 meeting pegging “affordable” housing as suited for a yearly wage of about $50,000. Welker addressed “the sense of urgency” to bring more housing units onto the market, saying, “yes, we’ve got to grow supply faster than we can grow demand. I think demand has been growing at an unprecedented rate for the
< see P&Z, Page 9 >
Vote recount affirms Bonner Co. Elections are legit Idaho secretary of state officials deem ‘My Pillow Guy’s’ claims of Idaho election fraud ‘garbage’
By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff First, it was two of Idaho’s smallest counties: Butte and Camas. Next, Idaho secretary of state officials visited Bonner County to perform a partial recount of the Nov. 3, 2020 presidential election, all in the name of disputing widespread claims of election fraud — dubbed “The Big Lie” — by My Pillow CEO and conservative activist Mike Lindell. A document detailing how all of Idaho’s counties were “hacked” and votes “flipped” from Donald Trump to President Joe Biden prompted the recounts. According to Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck in an Oct. 6 media release, Lindell’s figures “questioned the integrity of the Secretary’s office, and the integrity of the 44 elected county clerks across Idaho, and that is something we won’t take lying down.” While Butte and Camas were selected for complete recounts due to their small size and complete inability to be hacked due to using only paper pollbooks, Bonner County — clocking in at the state’s eighth most populous — volunteered to join the effort. Clerk Mike Rosedale first volunteered Bonner County for a recount after the May 2020 primaries — when worries spread about ensuring election integrity while using only absentee ballots — and again following Lindell’s claims, alleging 2,244 votes were electronically switched from Trump to Biden in Bonner County during the November presidential election. This time, the state took Rosedale up on his offer, and a handful of personnel from the secretary of state’s office facilitated a recount on Saturday, Oct. 2, commencing the process at 8 a.m. and shutting the lights off shortly after 6 p.m. The partial recount consisted of randomly selecting eight of the county’s 32 precincts (totaling about 7,700 ballots), hand-tallying each presidential vote and then comparing those tallies to canvassed results from November 2020. While 45% percent of votes were placed at precincts on Election Day and therefore already sorted, the remainder were absentee ballots or early votes — all of which needed sorting on the day of the recount. As Bonner County Elections
staff, SOS officials and both Republican and Democratic volunteers filled the room with the sounds of shuffling ballots and the piecemeal chatter of ballot sorting — “Trump,” “Biden,” “Oldtown,” “Clark Fork” — Rosedale kept a watchful eye on operations from the front of the room. At two long tables, volunteers worked through the early and absentee votes, careful not to let any ballots from the chosen precincts slip through. “This is my biggest worry, right here. The tables doing this,” Rosedale said, gesturing toward the individuals sorting ballots. “That’s what kept me up last night.” At other tables, volunteers from both political parties were paired up and given tally sheets. An SOS employee would hold up a ballot and state the voted-for candidate and the volunteers would mark their tallies. Officials were prepared to account for human error, which would fall under a 1% or less discrepancy from the canvassed totals, according to Houck, who oversaw recounts in all three counties. “Just the fact that we’ve got 30 bodies in the room that are all human, chances are we are going to create human error, even in our count today,” Houck told the Reader while on site in Sandpoint, “which is why this is not a recount for the purpose of recertifying any kind of totals or changing any numbers. It’s really looking … to see, and either prove or disprove, that 2,244 ballots were not electronically manipulated.” The results In Camas County, the recount revealed a 0.14% margin of difference between results found in November 2020 and those tallied during the recount on Sept. 23. In Butte County, after a math error was corrected in the days following the recount, SOS officials reported a 0.07% discrepancy between Election Day findings and recount totals. In Bonner County, officials found a 0.116% margin of error. Nine ballots — eight for Trump and one for Biden — seemingly went uncounted in November, seven of which Rosedale said could be “attributed to extremely light markings that the tabulation machine could not pick up” but that volunteers’ eyes counted as votes during the recount. Percentages in all three counties
Volunteers sort ballots at the Bonner Co. Administrative Building on Sat. Oct. 2. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey. fell within the margin “reasonably attributable” to human error, according to Houck, and certainly in stark contrast to the supposed 8.4% swing in favor of Biden that Lindell claimed happened in every Idaho county through internet hacking — even in those with no computers used in the vote-counting process (Butte and Camas) and no connection to the internet (Bonner). Despite what Rosedale and Houck see as a successful endeavor to disprove Lindell’s claims, not all of Bonner County is celebrating. In an Oct. 1 statement, Bonner County Democratic Central Committee Chair Linda Larson shared that while Rosedale requested that the committee ask local Democrats to participate in the recount, “with full confidence in our election process, concern for the safety of our volunteers, and out of respect for our health care providers during the current COVID-19 pandemic surge, we respectfully declined.” “Democrats have been observing elections in Bonner County for decades, including the Nov. 3, 2020 presidential election, as poll workers, poll watchers and poll judges,” Larson continued. “We have full confidence in the integrity of our elections. We believe this recount is not warranted.” Still, through contacting poll workers, Rosedale was able to ensure that self-identified Democrats were present at each tabulation station during the Oct. 2 recount. Bonner County Republican Central Committee precinct committeewoman Anita Perry was largely responsible for mobilizing the Republican volunteers in the room, also taking part in the recount
process herself. “I wasn’t in agreement with Mike Lindell when he came out with [allegations against] all these counties,” Perry told the Reader. “For Idaho, I thought it wasn’t right. So when I heard that Idaho was recounting, I was happy to be asked. In Idaho, it doesn’t sound right.” The cost An Oct. 6 media release from the Idaho secretary of state estimates the Butte and Camas County recounts cost their office about $2,500 and the Bonner County review cost around $4,000. These costs will be covered by “federal grant funds earmarked for audits in 2018 by the secretary under the Help America Vote Act,” according to the SOS office. “We had set aside a certain amount back in 2018 anticipating that we would have costs for audits or costs for follow-ups at some point in time, and we wanted to keep that earmarked,” Houck told the Reader, noting that even three years ago, “we were considering the need for audits to prove the integrity and credibility of the election and to show the accuracy.” According to the SOS release, “the secretary’s office has offered to reimburse any expenses incurred at the county level from the same funds.” Rosedale said that all but one of his elections office employees present at the Oct. 2 recount are on salary, meaning that the only costs the county accrued, by his estimate, are the wages needed to pay for that employee’s 10 hours of work. ‘A patent fallacy’ For Rosedale, this is the end of the road regarding Lindell’s claims.
“I’m not planning on doing anything,” he said when asked if he would pursue any more communication with Lindell. “I cleared Bonner County’s name.” SOS officials shared in an Oct. 6 press release that “no further review of this data is planned by the office.” Houck said he has not had any firsthand contact with Lindell, but when a reporter with Talking Points Media asked him if he’d be willing to meet with the My Pillow founder, Houck replied by noting that “the secretary of state’s office is a public office.” “If he wants to show up, just like anybody else, we’d be more than happy to talk to him,” he continued. “Anyone that wants to bring us information that represents what they believe is an anomaly within our system or an error within our system or something that we need to look at, we would love to see that information.” Houck told the Reader during the Bonner County recount that when false information is widely distributed and “nobody dismisses it as a fallacy,” it often becomes “accepted as reality.” “If it is within ... our capacity to help dismiss it, at least regarding our space, with some level of assuredness or statistical reasonability, then that seems prudent to me to do so,” he said. “Bottom line: Lindell’s data is garbage, at least with respect to Idaho,” Houck added in a follow-up interview with the Reader. “The information that he put out is a patent fallacy. What other states choose to do with that is up to them, but our state certainly encourages others to likewise stand up for the integrity of their elections.” October 7, 2021 /
NEWS City approves prelim plat for Madison Meadows housing development, sets dates for parks workshops
Photo by Ben Olson By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Sandpoint City Council members voted Oct. 6 to approve the preliminary plat for a 10-unit single-family housing development dubbed Madison Meadows, located just north of Cedar Street and west of Boyer Avenue. The vote was 5-1, with Council member Deb Ruehle casting the lone dissenting vote. She said, “I’m disappointed that we’re not adhering a little closer to what the wishes were of the people with the Comp Plan,” referring to a number of concerns raised by the Planning and Zoning Commission, which included the development’s plan for a cul-de-sac, which is discouraged though not prohibited under the Comprehensive Land Use Plan — though it has been noted several times by council members, P&Z commissioners and local developer representatives that the Comp Plan hasn’t been updated since 2009. Another worry about the Madison Meadows project, which is being developed by Coeur d’Alene-based Atlas Building Group, is that while the site is zoned Context Area-3 — enabling higher density residential uses such as multi-family — early indications for build-out on the parcel suggest single-family homes on lots of 5,000 square feet or more. Prior to the matter of Madison Meadows, Mayor Shelby Rognstad provided the council with an update on the Sandpoint Workforce Housing Task Force, which recently met for its second time since being convened as an advisory board in August. Rognstad promised “meaty recommendations” coming from the group, which includes area political, business and community leaders, in the coming months, framing the task force as responding to “the challenge in access to housing both in terms of affordability and availability, particularly as we’ve experienced in the past year — it’s been shocking and the talk of the town.” Though still in the “exploratory stage,” Rognstad said the task force will look at 6 /
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changes to the Comp Plan, which will require “political will and commitment from the community.” Those recommendations would first be presented to the P&Z Commission, which the mayor referred to as the “superpower that local government has to influence the built environment.” “Politics isn’t always quick,” Council member Joel Aispuro told the mayor. “It’s not a quick fix; I appreciate you doing this.” Meanwhile, the city of Sandpoint will hold a series of public workshops to meet and discuss the parks site concepts and proposed sidewalk projects to be constructed with a seven-year 1% local option sales tax, which Sandpoint voters will consider on the Tuesday, Nov. 2 ballot. Public workshops dates have been added, including evening times: Thursday, Oct. 7 — Meet with city staff at Farmin’s Landing/Gunning’s Alley at 8 a.m. to learn more about the Sand Creek Downtown Waterfront project. Friday, Oct. 8 — City staff will be available to talk about the Travers/Centennial/Great Northern Sports Complex at the Travers Skate Park at noon. Tuesday, Oct. 12 — Take advantage of another opportunity to meet with city staff and discuss the Travers/Centennial/Great Northern Sports Complex project at the Travers Skate Park at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21 — An open house workshop will take place at Sandpoint City Hall Council Chambers (1123 Lake St.) addressing all the Parks and Rec. site plans from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. The public is invited to attend at any time during those hours. More workshops will be announced every week during the month of October to inform the final design and phasing of projects. For more information, visit the city’s website sandpointidaho.gov.
Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond
East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: To temporarily avoid a government shutdown, Congress passed a spending bill that keeps federal funding going through Dec. 3, The New York Times reported. The debt ceiling issue remains unresolved: Republicans refuse to raise the ceiling for borrowing to pay past debts (they raised the ceiling three times under ex-President Donald Trump). Various media sources illustrate the issue: Democrats can only use reconciliation once (which does not require bi-partisan support), either for their BBB plan or for raising the debt ceiling. Failure to raise the ceiling could have catastrophic economic consequences. And failure to pass a widely popular bill will undermine President Joe Biden’s campaign platform. This month the U.S. postmaster general will slow delivery of first-class mail (letters, bills, small parcels that used to be delivered in one to three days) to four to five days. According to Accountability Journalism a similar move in 2020 caused late arrival of checks, credit card penalties and missed court appearances. The change is problematic for mail-in voting. The USPS estimates the slow-down will save “less than a quarter of 1% of the total FY 2020 operating expenses.” The independent agency with USPS oversight, the Postal Regulatory Commission, said that amount may be inflated. Pandora Papers: 11.9 million private financial records recently shared with The Washington Post revealed a vast and secretive offshore system for hiding billions of dollars from criminal investigators, creditors and tax authorities. The newspaper plans an eight-part series exploring the financial records. Risk of death and hospitalization from COVID-19 can be cut nearly in half with the use of their newly-created molnupiravir, an anti-viral pill, according to developer Merck. Sen. Bernie Sanders told ABC News that the $3.5 trillion figure (over 10 years) for the Build Back Better plan
By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist
is likely to be reduced before it gets the president’s signature. It calls for investments that include addressing climate change and social infrastructure issues. Progressive Democrats were promised the bill would be coupled with the bipartisan $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill, and are standing firm on upholding that promise. To appeal to conservative Democrats, many of whom have connections to corporate donors, angles are being sought to reduce the price and scope. Nonetheless, Sanders said the larger issue is not so much resistant Democrats, but “taking on the entire ruling class of the country”: drug companies, health insurance companies and fossil fuel industries, who, he said, aim “to prevent us from doing what the American people want.” Blast from the past: An open letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, from economist John M. Keynes, said that without a robust economic recovery, the U.S. might slide into authoritarianism, which was happening in other countries. Despite opposition, FDR acted on Keynes’ advice, investing in housing, relief payments and direct hiring as part of his program against monopolies and Big Money interests. As a result, the U.S.’s economic recovery from the Great Depression was strengthened, as was its democracy. Eighty-eight years later, Keynes biographer and financial journalist Zachary D. Carter pointed out parallels with politics today in The New York Times: Big money interests want to torpedo the Build Back Better plan. Corporate-funded Democrats are putting out false claims about BBB, such as claiming it would create “crippling” debt, when in fact Carter said BBB is budget-neutral, since it taxes high earners. BBB includes plans for Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs (which will also lower government costs), and plans to help with child and elder care expenses, thereby keeping people in the work force and helping prevent supply shortages. FDR gambled on a better life for average people, and Carter said BBB does the same. FDR was elected to four terms for helping average citizens.
With Little out of state, McGeachin issues order banning COVID-19 testing, vaccination at schools Gov. Little vows to rescind and reverse any actions Lt. Gov. McGeachin takes
By Clark Corbin Idaho Capital Sun While serving as acting governor on Oct. 5, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin issued a new executive order banning public schools and the State Department of Education from requiring COVID-19 testing or vaccinations. McGeachin issued the executive order while Gov. Brad Little was out of state traveling to Texas to visit the U.S. border with Mexico along with nine other governors from the West. The Idaho Constitution states that the lieutenant governor serves as acting governor while the governor is out of state. McGeachin also unsuccessfully attempted to deploy Idaho National Guard troops to the country’s southern border, the Associated Press reported. Major General Michael J. Garshak responded to McGeachin that he was “unaware of any request for Idaho National Guard assistance” from Texas or Arizona. He also told McGeachin the National Guard is not a law enforcement agency, the AP reported. In a statement Oct. 5, Little vowed to rescind and reverse any actions McGeachin takes in his absence. “I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly elected governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf,” Little wrote in a statement released by his office to the Idaho Capital Sun. “I will be rescinding and reversing any actions taken by the Lt. Governor when I return.” McGeachin’s executive order marks the latest clash in the battle between the two
political rivals ahead of next spring’s anticipated showdown in the Republican gubernatorial primary election. “Today as acting governor I fixed Gov. Little’s executive order on ‘vaccine passports’ to make sure that K-12 schools and universities cannot require vaccinations or require mandatory testing,” McGeachin wrote on social media. “I will continue to fight for your individual liberty.” Little also took to social media to respond to McGeachin on Oct. 5. “Attempting to deploy our National Guard for political grandstanding is an affront to the Idaho Constitution and insults the men and women who have dedicated their life to serving our state and the country,” Little wrote. In May, while Little was out of state on a different trip, McGeachin issued an executive order banning mask mandates — even though the state never has had a mask mandate in place. Little responded the next day by rescinding the executive order retroactively and calling McGechin’s actions a “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt.” In 2019, during yet a different instance where Little was out of state, McGeachin presided over a rally of the Real 3%ers of Idaho militia group and administered an oath to the group’s members. McGeachin has already announced her candidacy for governor in 2022. Little has yet to officially announce whether he will run for re-election next year, but he has appointed a campaign treasurer and is raising campaign funds. Although he has not announced a cam-
paign, Little reported raising $18,500 in campaign contributions on Oct. 4 alone. McGeachin’s executive order went into effect at 2 p.m. on Oct. 5. It was not immediately clear when Little would rescind it. His office announced he would still be out of state on Oct. 6 visiting the border. Reaction to McGeachin’s executive order was mixed among Republicans. “While the Lt. Governor has an important role to serve as president of the Senate and follow the guidance of the Governor, her actions today are the exact kind of overreach that does not represent Idaho and Idahoans,” Speaker of the Idaho House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said in a written
statement. “This is a complete grandstand and abuse of her political office in an attempt to influence voters.” Rep. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, tweeted, “Awesome! So glad she’s standing up for the people of Idaho.” Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, tweeted concerns that banning COVID-19 testing requirements could force Boise State University to forfeit its upcoming nationally televised football game on Saturday, Oct. 9 due to Mountain West conference rules. As of Oct. 4, COVID-19 has killed 2,982 Idahoans since Little announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 on March 13, 2020, according to Idaho’s official COVID-19 dashboard.
In this file photo, Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin poses with the executive order she issued May 27 prohibiting mask mandates as acting governor while Gov. Brad Little was out of the state. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)
This story was produced by the Idaho Capital Sun, a Boise-based independent, nonprofit online news organization delivering in-depth coverage from veteran Idaho reporters on state government and policy. The Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national nonprofit funded by tax-free donations in 22 states. Learn more and follow daily updates at idahocapitalsun. com and statesnewsroom.com. October 7, 2021 /
Idaho House, Senate leaders working toward reconvening the Legislature Republicans on interim committee want to pass bill to combat Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination, testing rules By Clark Corbin Idaho Capital Sun Top legislative leaders are working on a plan to bring the Idaho Legislature back into session at the Statehouse in Boise, Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives Scott Bedke announced Oct. 5. The announcement, which came during a tumultuous day of politics in the Gem State, was not a surprise at this point. On Oct. 4, Republicans on the Legislature’s interim Committee on Federalism voted to recommend that the full Legislature consider a draft bill that would criminalize state and local government employees who implement President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 vaccination and testing rules for employers. “Currently, the Senate Pro Tempore [Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise] and I are working through the proper avenues to return to session with a clear path forward to deny the recent Biden mandates,” Bedke wrote in a press release issued Oct. 5. “The draft legislation moved forward by the Joint Federalism Committee with unanimous support of its Republican members appears to have found that path. I stand firm against the current Biden administration’s attack on personal rights and freedoms, and I do not support this federal violation.” Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, is sponsoring the draft bill and recommend-
/ October 7, 2021
ed the Legislature reconvene in a special session within the next 30 days to take up his legislation. “That is a concern of mine that we don’t delay,” Vick said Oct. 4. “These mandates are going to go into effect before the Legislature meets again. I do think a special session is necessary to
address this issue.” The Legislature is not in session now. On May 12, the Idaho Senate adjourned for the year following the longest legislative session in state history. However, the Idaho House voted down a motion to adjourn and instead went on an extended, open-ended recess. The 2022 session is scheduled to begin Jan. 10, 2022. It was not immediately clear when the Legislature would return to the Statehouse. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee is already scheduled to hold meetings Tuesday, Oct. 19-Thursday, Oct. 21 at the Statehouse. JFAC includes 20 of the 105 legislators, including members of both the House and the Senate. The Idaho House may have other business when it convenes as well. The House has yet to vote on a House Ethics and Policy Committee recommendation to censure Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, and remove her from a legislative committee. The Ethics Committee found Giddings committed conduct un-
Speaker of the House Scott Bedke (R, Oakley) at the Idaho Capitol on April 6, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)
becoming of a legislator and detrimental to the Legislature after she posted a blog with the name and photo of a 19-year-old intern who accused former Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, R-Lewiston, of rape. Ada County District Court issued an arrest warrant for von Ehlinger last month and he was arrested in Georgia on Sept. 27. He has maintained he is innocent. This story was produced by the Idaho Capital Sun, a Boise-based independent, nonprofit online news organization delivering in-depth coverage from veteran Idaho reporters on state government and policy. The Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national nonprofit funded by tax-free donations in 22 states. Learn more and follow daily updates at idahocapitalsun.com and statesnewsroom.com.
BoCo approves contract for Boyer relocation project Work to begin ‘sometime next spring’
By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Bonner County commissioners unanimously approved a contract Oct. 5 for work on the Sandpoint Airport’s 2022 Boyer Road relocation project. The contract, totaling more than $542,000, is with Northwest Grading, Inc. — an arrangement originally approved in May, but finalized at this week’s board business meeting. It is the latest development in an FAA-funded effort to move a portion of North Boyer Road near Schweitzer Cutoff Road out of the Runway Protection Zone of Runway 20 at the Sandpoint Airport. The work would also include “building a retaining wall and rebuilding the sidewalk/bike path,” according to the Oct. 5 memo that Airport Man-
ager Dave Schuck shared with commissioners. In February, when Bonner County originally pursued the FAA grant for the project, Schuck told the Reader that a portion of Boyer had been in the Runway Protection Zone since the road was “re-routed many years ago.” “The FAA wants to clean this up for safety reasons,” he continued. Schuck told the Reader on Oct. 6 that while the schedule to start work on the project is not yet solidified, “it will likely be sometime next spring.” “Boyer will be closed to everything except local traffic for a period of time yet to be determined,” he said. “We will be coordinating with the city to minimize impacts by scheduling around any projects they have going that might cause delays or conflicts.”
< P&Z, con’t from Page 4 > past year and a half. I think the urgency don’t work in the local economy — who might be on the suppliers’ part to capitalize are second-homeowners, investors, specuon the record demand of the past year and a lators, remote workers and that’s not what half as quickly as we need more possible. of right now,” “I’d say let’s he added. “Of slow down a little course that’s bit and make sure somebody’s we do it right workforce, but so that this 25 we know who acres, which as our workforce far as I can tell is. It’s the peois one of the last ple who work largest undevelfor Litehouse, oped parcels in Bonner Generall of Sandpoint, al, the school does provide district. That’s housing that who we hear meets the needs from supportof our commuing this rezone nity — not just and that’s who the urgency from we should take the developer to this step to cash in while the serve.” market’s hot or The apthe demand from plication now the potential buygoes to the ers, who as far Sandpoint City Chairman, Sandpoint Planning & Zoning Commission as I can tell from Council for the developments final considerwe’ve seen in the ation. last year are mostly going to people who
“I’d say let’s slow down a little bit and make sure we do it right so that this 25 acres, which as far as I can tell is one of the last largest undeveloped parcels in all of Sandpoint, does provide housing that meets the needs of our community — not just the urgency from the developer to cash in while the market’s hot or the demand from the potential buyers.”
— Jason Welker
October 7, 2021 /
Deny, deny, deny...
Bouquets: GUEST SUBMISSION: • “I would like to extend a Bouquet to Kochava for treating all Bonner General Health employees to a free coffee/drink of choice in honor of National Coffee Day. What a kind gesture, Kochava, thank you!” — By Cadie Archer Barbs: • I love my job. And I hate it a little, too. The parts I love outweigh the others by far. I truly enjoy shedding light on worthwhile local activities and people. I love learning new things by writing about them and sharing topics I’m familiar with, also. I like interacting with this community on the street, via email or phone — especially when there are constructive remarks intended to make the Reader a better paper. The parts I don’t like are numerous, but one that stands out is dealing with the haters. These seemingly joyless people thrive on spreading their bad mood and sullenness to anyone who will listen. Often, we’ll get long emails from these trolls chastising us for any number of reasons, most often centering on the fact that our paper doesn’t cater to their individual viewpoint. Usually when we respond to these emails, either Zach or I will ask them to call us directly, or provide us with a phone number to call them, since we prefer to speak to people one-onone. We find that trolls often drop their hateful tone the moment they actually interact with one of us, and it’s a great way to break down the barriers of email by actually having a conversation. More often than not, the troll prefers to hide behind their keyboard. That tells us everything there is to know. They aren’t interested in making the Reader better, or in making the town better, instead, like a person with a bad mood, they want to rub off their negative energy on someone else. These haters come and go, like flies buzzing around a quiet room, then they find someone else to bother. Yeah, it’s a fun job, but it sure would be a lot better if people would just stop being jerks. 10 /
/ October 7, 2021
Dear editor, Are you having trouble denying reality and believing the truth? Well, we can help you with your denial. We are promoting a 12-step program just for you for only $200 per step. When you complete our course, you’ll be able to believe those things that are completely false and deny things that ring with truth. For example, you will be able to believe the “Big Lie” that Trump won the presidential election. You’ll be able to easily deny that we are in a climate crisis. Furthermore, you will deny that we are suffering a COVID pandemic and that you don’t need vaccinations nor need to wear a mask in crowded situations. Incidentally, we will help you ignore “Darwin’s Revenge,” where polls show that more Republicans are getting infected and dying from COVID than are Democrats. Finally, you’ll be able to deny others their right to liberty by being so self-centered that you can spread your virus freely. So please sign up for our program that uses the latest methods of subliminal shock therapy, monoclonal brain intervention and hydroxychloroquine frontal-lobe wash. Get in touch by calling: Idaho Denial Institute and Outrageous Thoughts Services, at 1-(888)-IDIOTS. Philip A. Deutchman Sandpoint
Our national motto… Dear editor, On Jan. 1, 1892, teenager Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland, became the first person admitted to the new American immigration station on Ellis Island in New York. Many of us, in fact all of us, share similar stories of ancestors coming to the United States from places all over the world. We are a nation of immigrants and it is a significant source of our pride and strength. It is in this spirit that our National Immigrants Day on Oct. 28 was created. E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many, one” — our national motto. Steve Johnson Sagle
Dear editor, There is a Yiddish word that applies to our lieutenant governor. That word is chutzpah. It does not translate well in English but one acceptable definition is “brazenly ballsy.” First she blindsides our governor with a horrendous case of over-reach while he’s briefly out of the state. Then she holds hearings on education in the state and refuses to comply with provisions of the Freedom of Information Act on records of those hearings. When she finally does comply the records are so heavily redacted as to be meaningless. Then, when a suit is brought, she only releases the records when threatened with contempt of court with potential fines and jail time. Now, in the ultimate display of chutzpah, she has the gall to ask for taxpayer money to pay her legal fees. Fees that she brought upon herself by her complete disregard for laws, procedures or mores. Now this person wants to be the next governor of Idaho? I would not hire her as a security guard at a toxic waste dump. We need rational leadership in our elected officials. Not members of some fringe group. Gil Beyer Sandpoint
Our kid, your town...
Dear editor, I’ve met, spoken with, and dealt with both Jalon Peters and his opponent incumbent Gary Suppiger. They are both “nice.” Jalon is a strong conservative. Gary is a RINO. If you want someone who makes decisions like a Democrat, by all means, vote for Gary. If you are a conservative and appreciate family values, fiscal responsibility, and true responsiveness to citizens and parents, please vote for Jalon Peters for school board. Yours in Christ, Jenn McKnight Sandpoint Editor’s note: According to the Idaho School Boards Association — and as outlined in its candidate guide, titled So You Want to be a School Board Member? — “school boards are nonpartisan. Candidates are not required to belong to a political party.”
Extended deadline nears for filing income tax return By Reader Staff Taxpayers around the country sought extensions for filing their 2020 income tax returns, citing financial stress stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some qualified for an automatic extension in Idaho, and for those individuals the deadline to file a return and submit full payment is Friday, Oct. 15. According to a media release Sept. 30 from the Idaho Tax Commission, Idaho law waives late penalties for those with an extension, but they will still owe 2% interest on any tax due that wasn’t paid by May 17, which was the original Idaho income tax due date. “We expect to receive about 50,000 individual income tax returns in October,” Tax Commission Chairman Jeff McCray stated in the release. “That’s in addition to the 921,000 returns we’ve received so far this year.” Idaho income tax returns may be filed electronically and, for some who qualify, they may be prepared and filed for free. Visit tax. idaho.gov/freefile for more information. Taxes may also be paid electronically through tax. idaho.gov/epay. The free Quick Pay option lets taxpayers make a payment without creating a special account. Find it at idahotap.gentax.com/ tap?Link=QuickPay. For those who qualify for Idaho’s tax rebate, that payment will be received after the Tax Commission has processed their 2020 tax return. “The sooner you file the return, the sooner you’ll get the rebate,” the commission stated. For more information, visit tax.idaho.gov, call 208334-7660 or toll free at 800972-7660, or visit the local Tax Commission office. Go to tax.idaho.gov/visit to find the nearest office.
OPINION Local option tax: A fair and proportional solution to the Free-rider Problem By Jeremy Grimm Reader Contributor In August 2015, having at that time resided in Bonner County for eight years, I finally convinced my extended family to travel to the area for a family reunion. Despite the smoky skies that week, countless hours were spent at City Beach, hiking Mickinnick and the Bay Trail, at the Sandpoint shooting range, taking in the Festival, learning to play tennis, going to the rodeo and, in general, enjoying the rich assortment of amenities the area offers to residents and visitors. With 21 people in tow, the weeklong gathering was enjoyed by all staying at the modest lakeside vacation rental we had, just outside Sandpoint city limits. Despite our group having spent about $2,500 on groceries and meals at local restaurants that week, the city of Sandpoint received exactly $0 beyond the very small redistributed portion of the 6% state sales tax to support the cost to upkeep the facilities, provide police response in the event of an emergency, or to offset the acquisition and development cost of city parks.
Similar to my family members who were on vacation, many non-city area residents and visitors enjoy the city of Sandpoint park system while making little or no financial contribution to its existence — hence the “Free-rider Problem,” a type of market failure that occurs when those who benefit from resources and public goods, such as city parks, do not pay for them or under-pay. Like the growth in tourists visiting the area, the population of Bonner County has increased by more than 15% since 2010. Numerically, this amounts to an additional 6,233 humans in the area, and the vast majority of our new neighbors reside outside the city of Sandpoint and have no meaningful way to financially support the cost of parkland acquisition and development in Sandpoint. And maybe they shouldn’t, right? After all, Bonner County — the unit of local government serving those residents living outside city limits — maintains exactly one developed park area, the Garfield Bay Campground, to meet the recreational needs of residents. Some may legitimately feel that developing and maintaining parks
is not an essential government service — and I respect, but disagree, with that opinion. However, the residents of Sandpoint have chosen to invest in their parks and recreational facilities, which due to growth are in need of expansion and improvement. This brings us back around to the question of how to pay for the growth and improvements to the park system in Sandpoint. In her recent remarks, Helen Newton, a longtime resident and the former city clerk of Sandpoint, expressed her hesitancy and general distaste for the proposed LOT. In many ways, Newton is right. As a Sandpoint resident she has, for decades, paid a proportional share of her city property taxes to develop and maintain the attractive and enjoyable park system that we have today. Therefore, why — at no fault of her own — should she be asked to now pay even more to expand this system so that an even greater number of new residents and visitors to the area can enjoy it? Thankfully, the Idaho legislature through Title 67-82 has provided a solution to this problem that wisely the City of Sandpoint has implemented — Park Develop-
ment Impact Fees in the amount of $1,814 per new single-family home in Sandpoint. These funds are collected by the city at the time of new building permits and are restricted to expansion of park facilities to ensure that new growth pays its proportional share to maintain the level of service in the park system. If Sandpoint existed in a bubble, in theory, there would be adequate funding to keep pace with the demand for new improvements and parkland and to ensure that our level of service (parkland or park features per 1,000 residents) could be maintained as we grow. However, Sandpoint does not exist in a bubble and the induced demand on our park system from visitors and area residents creates an imbalance that leaves elected officials with the choice of reducing our level of service or finding a way to pay for park improvements that don’t “double dip” on the backs of city residents. But... paying the LOT on top of property taxes is a “double dip” you might say. Well, here again, the Idaho legislature has cured this challenge through Title 501045 which expressly authorizes, “Any resort city may establish a city property tax relief fund into
which may be placed all or any portion of revenues received from any non-property tax levied in accordance with the provisions of this act and such non-property tax revenues may be used to replace city property taxes.” So in short, the Sandpoint City Council does have the authority to replace some portion of property taxes (say in the amount equal to 1% of consumer expenditures for an average household) in the budget thereby making the city residents whole. It seems to me that the proposed local option tax proposed on the November ballot is a sensible way to allow non-city residents and area visitors to help support and grow the park system that most all of us enjoy. I will be voting in favor of its passage and encourage other Sandpoint residents to do the same. Jeremy Grimm is the former Planning and Community Development director for the city of Sandpoint (’07-’15). He currently owns Whiskey Rock Planning and Consulting and is an appointed member of the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council representing Region 1.
Road Reflections Asphalt projects, road closures and other details By Steve Klatt Reader Contributor The Bonner County Road Department is beginning to wrap up another construction season that has been both busy and productive. There is just never enough money to do all that needs to be done, but the state of Idaho shared surplus eliminator funds that we applied directly into asphalt to pave portions of North Boyer, Eastriver Road, Heath Lake Road and Woodland Drive. We also applied these funds to initiate a repair project on Old Priest River Road. We also finished our BST project on tying together Lakeshore Drive and Dufort Road. Another project that was completed this summer to the consternation of local residents,
Steve Klatt. was the closure of the Heath Lake Road-Highway 95 intersection at the request of Burlington Northern Railroad. Our summer chip
seal program treating approximately 20% of our paved roads was finished more rapidly than in past years. The mag chloride dust abatement treatment of last spring had a tough summer with our unusually dry and hot weather — it holds up best when we receive occasional rains to renew the mag. Bonner County has just adopted our budget for next year and although there will be a tax increase, the Road budget will remain quite static. The commissioners were faced with some tough choices and the Road Department endorses the methods they used to make their choices, but it is tough to chew on the frustration of seeing our Roads budget constricted when there are numerous projects this department would like to start on. There is a reasonable expectation that local roads will receive
another portion of Idaho surplus eliminator in the coming year and that will likely help us have funds to schedule several more paving projects not now in our program for 2022. The Sunnyside Road has long been a management quagmire for Bonner County with a number of sections of undefined rights of way. I have been working with property owners trying to find common ground for road definition rather than having multiple conversations with multiple attorneys and ending up in a courtroom. Summer recreation use of the Sunnyside area has begun to cause many more issues of congestion, parking and significant inconvenience to residents that need resolution. Coupling overuse with the management issues of a flat gravel
road with inadequate drainage in all seasons has focused quite a chunk of my time on that road. Folks, it has been an interesting job working with Bonner County Road and Bridge and really an honor to work with the many first-rate guys of this department that I have both affection and respect for. I feel we have made some progress in a number of areas, but am disappointed to be leaving quite so many loose ends for my successor, Jason Topp, to travel together. I am retiring at the end of September and want to thank many of you in the county for your interest, ideas and support, although I was given some opinions that I really could never agree with. Our local roads continue to improve and that is the way it should be. October 7, 2021 /
Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist
Cool new 3-D prints
Thought 3-D printing was a fad? While COVID-19 may have slowed down research in technology and manufacturing industries worldwide, it also helped illuminate the importance of 3-D printing in our lives. Why wait days for a package to arrive with a part when you could have it printed in a few hours? We aren’t quite to the level of reliably 3-D printing food; once we can, the world will be changed forever. In the meantime, what are some cool new 3-D printing projects that have been made recently? The Hero Arm Prosthetics have always been a tricky business. A well-fitting prosthetic can cost thousands of dollars, and even so will not completely replicate the appearance of a missing or undeveloped appendage. Hands in particular are difficult to make — they’re how we interact with everything in our world, and no one wants to play an arcade claw game every time they want a sip of soda. This is why the hero arm was developed. It’s a mechanized arm with a number of motors attached to each finger, as well as electrode sensors that read electrical signals traveling through the wearer’s nerves and muscles and translate them into commands for the motors. These signals trigger the prosthetic hand to move as though it were your actual hand. The coolest part about it is that the chassis can be fully 3-D printed in a number of styles from major media sources, such as Iron Man, Metal Gear Solid and Halo. The Hero Arm is an awesome advancement in prosthetic technology, and while it still remains pretty expensive for the time being — between $10,000 and $100,000 12 /
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/ October 7, 2021
— the ability to 3-D print components for it will dramatically reduce the price as time goes on and technology improves. Housing This isn’t a particularly new technology when it comes to 3-D printing, but it’s very relevant to our area. As if trying to buy a house around here wasn’t difficult and expensive enough, the production backlogs spurred by COVID-19 caused astronomical inflation in the lumber market. Plywood prices more than quintupled over the past two years while contractors filled their schedules for over two years into the future. A 3-D printing company in Texas recently built a house fully up to code for around $4,000 in a single day. While it might not be a palatial fortress with river views, marble countertops and vicuna rugs, it can comfortably house a working-class family of two with minimal waste involved in the construction. This technology may not be showing up in our neighborhoods tomorrow, but it’s certainly on its way, and it could revolutionize how we think about housing forever. How We See The World Do you wear glasses? Maybe you’re using some to read this paper right now. If they’re a prescription pair, did they cost you a pretty penny at the optometrist? Maybe you had to wait weeks, or even months to get some glasses that frame your face just right, and now they’re starting to fall apart. 3-D printers are being used to create alternate and replacement frames for some glasses, allowing faster prototyping and reduced costs for consumers. Additionally, some enterprising wearers have begun printing out their own frames with home and library 3-D printers, skipping the wait altogether when all that’s needed is a quick fix to the frame.
The Future of Agriculture Planet-wrecking plastic is a double-edged sword. It ruins the environment by sticking around forever — which is exactly what we desire from plastic until it breaks and becomes useless waste. The range of things we can and have done with 3-D printing in relation to agriculture is astounding. Translucent plastic panes for greenhouses have been designed and printed, complete with specialized insulation gaps between the panes that help regulate temperature inside of your greenhouse more effectively than a simple plastic sheet. Even more exciting than a 3-D printed greenhouse is the ability to print your own seed starter kits. Why blow $30 on a kit that will break down after a single use when you can spend less on a long-term seed starting kit with its own regulated plumbing? Multiple seed pods already exist as free files online that include water reservoirs and channels that direct water in a controlled manner to your seedlings’ roots. Some of these projects can even be scaled up with certain printers that allow for the construction of large parts that you can snap together, allowing you to create flower boxes or even full raised beds with built-in water regulation. You might now be asking yourself, “Why wait for several hours, or even days, to print out the parts to a single bed when you could just build a wooden one by hand?” That’s a good question, and I respect anyone who’s willing to get a little dirty and build something with their own two hands. Consider this for a moment: Your 3-D printed bed may take days to print out, depending on its size, but you only need to spend 15 minutes to snap it together. In that time, you could be building a set of three wooden boxes and have a fourth bonus box for next to nothing. Are you interested in exploring
The 3-D printed hero arm, styled after Metal Gear Solid. Courtesy photo. the world of 3-D prints? Stop by and visit the tech desk upstairs at the Sandpoint library. The tech desk staff are trained to use the library’s 3-D printers, as well as answer questions you may have about getting started designing your own prints, or even printing out something you found online! There are already a number of basic programs that can be used on mobile phones, tablets and
computers, including some that make sculpting as easy as playing with a lump of virtual clay. You don’t need to be an engineer with multiple degrees to bring your vision to life, and the library staff is happy to help get you started on turning your concept into a reality you can hold in your hands. Never be afraid to ask for help. Stay curious, 7B.
Random Corner history? om
Don’t know much about rand
• Augustus Caesar was perhaps the wealthiest person in history. Nephew and heir of Julius Caesar, he had an estimated net worth of $4.6 trillion, when accounting for inflation. However, the 14th-century Mali Emperor Mansa Musa, in West Africa, has also been regarded as the richest person to have ever lived. According to BBC Africa, Mansa Musa’s wealth was “indescribable,” though some sources estimate his riches at about $400 billion in contemporary dollars. • The world’s most successful pirate in history was a prostitute named Ching Shih from China. This was until the Commander of the Red Flag Fleet bought and married her. But rather than just viewing her as a wife, her husband considered her his equal and she became an active pirate commander in the fleet. Ching Shih soon earned the respect of her fellow pirates — so much so that after her husband’s death she became the captain of the fleet. Under Shih’s leadership, the Red Flag Fleet consisted of more than 300 warships, with a possible 1,200 more support ships. • In Ancient Asia, death by elephant was a popular form of execution. The animals could be taught
We can help!
to slowly break bones, crush skulls, twist off limbs or even execute people using large blades fitted to their tusks. • Germany uncovers 2,000 tons of unexploded bombs every year. Over the course of WWII, the Allied armies dropped about 2.7 million tons of bombs over Nazi-occupied Europe. Half of that tonnage landed on Germany. A German man was just killed last week in Austria by a piece of unexploded ordnance found in a swimming lake. • A singing birthday card has more computer power in it than the entire Allied Army of WWII. • Shrapnel is named after its inventor, British Army Officer Henry Shrapnel, who was the first person to invent an anti-personnel shell that could transport a large number of bullets to its target before releasing them. • Thomas Edison didn’t invent most of the stuff he patented. Of the 1,093 things he filed a patent on, he stole most of them off real geniuses like Nikola Tesla, Wilhelm Rontgen and Joseph Swan — the latter of whom originally invented the lightbulb.
How have we ended up here? By Steve Holt Reader Contributor At the last public hearing to discuss the proposed amendment to shoreline regulations on Sand Creek on Sept. 21, Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Jason Welker simply asked everyone present, “I kinda wonder how we ended up here.” From what I’ve been told, the amendment all began with the city’s realization that the proposed development at Farmin’s Landing, as currently designed, would have been in violation of the 25-foot vegatative buffer (setback) for commercial development along Sand Creek. With the Farmin’s Landing project having broad community support, including significant expenditure of resources to date, the city sought to remedy the issue in the form of a code amendment. Simply put, the amendment to Title 9 completely eliminates the 25-foot vegetative buffer and allows “structures” within the setback down to the high water mark for the entirety of commercially zoned property adjacent to Sand Creek. The amendment also clarifies several definitions the city felt exposed to from a legal standpoint. For the record, Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper has no problem adding clarity to certain terms and rewriting pieces of code that present the city with unreasonable liability. Quite the opposite — we want the city to remain in good standing so that it can protect our water and ensure quality projects. I appreciate the city bringing concerned organizations such as ours into the conversation. I also believe the city is acting in good
Steve Holt. faith in its attempt to protect our waterways. However, the proposed language has brought up a multitude of new questions and in my mind has yet to hit the mark. This seems clear as demonstrated by lengthy questioning from P&Z commissioners and the eventual denial of the amendment, with a recommendation they hold a workshop on the matter. This is an important topic as it could easily be the guiding language for downtown shoreline development for the next 25 to 50 years and deserves careful consideration. It’s clear from the city’s Comprehensive Plan that providing public access to and along our waterways while protecting the integrity of our natural resources are critical goals. Both of these items are addressed in the stated purpose of the ordinance, hence dovetailing nicely. Unfortunately, I think the wheels start to fall off the bus when you begin to examine what types of development would be allowed under the proposed language and where
the development incentives are for quality projects. While maybe not the intention of the city, this language supports projects that develop a plaza-like shoreline, with no restrictions on retaining wall height or building materials, constructed right to the water’s edge. It’s a potential concrete jungle for more than 8,000 lineal feet of shoreline. I know this is not what the city is driving at and, while there may be some language suggesting certain criteria to be followed: aesthetics, public access, stormwater, etc., there is no requirement, or incentives, for developers to construct projects that may include items that would be considered beneficial to the public. I believe that by working together there is an easily attainable win-win for everyone. Simply hold onto the existing 25-foot vegative setback, then provide an exception for those projects that provide a “public benefit.” Public benefit is then defined by the city. The definition lays the groundwork and supports city staff’s ability to make their findings of fact during the application process. Public benefits could be defined with various criteria, two of the most important being providing public access and enhanced or improved stormwater management. This clearly incentivizes developers who may want to take advantage of the area within the setback. Knowing that your project requires some form of public access and improvement to water quality from the beginning enables quality projects and discourages detrimental ones. This approach also gives the city leverage in negotiating a variety of issues on behalf of the public, as it ultimately decides what constitutes a “public benefit.” Farmin’s Landing will provide public access and stormwater management to the public’s benefit. Done! Throughout the discussion regarding the
amendment, the “legal rights” the city may or may not have to write or enforce a code unfortunately filled a good portion of the air time. In my opinion the city simply deflected many good suggestions without comprehensive legal explanations. The “public benefit’’ concept was actually suggested to me by two extremely seasoned land planners, whose combined experience in the field exceeds 50 years. Both have written code for municipalities as well as taken advantage of loopholes for developments in the private sector. This approach is legal and utilized, period. Many cities around the country, including in Idaho, protect their shorelines from poorly designed and destructive development in a variety of ways. Overlay zones, buffers, rules for riparian areas and more are all used to protect our nation’s waterways. If we all work together there is absolutely no reason we can’t do the same. We will keep you posted regarding future hearing dates and please feel free to contact our office to discuss the matter at any time. At our next “Keeping up with the Waterkeeper” on Thursday, Oct. 7, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. by Zoom (unfortunately for now), we will be discussing this issue in depth. Check out LPOW.org or our Facebook page for the link and the latest information. NOTE: LPOW also encourages city residents to support the City’s 1% local option tax. The stormwater improvement slated for Farmin’s Landing collects stormwater from approximately 28 acres of the downtown core and will lay the groundwork for introducing a variety of technologies in the way the city of Sandpoint manages this source of pollution. Steve Holt is executive director of Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper.
October 7, 2021 /
FOOD & DRINK
All roads lead to pizza
After nearly three years, Powderhound Pizza reopens downtown location
By Ben Olson Reader Staff Powderhound Pizza is back. The beloved pizza restaurant and locals’ hangout has been absent from downtown Sandpoint since February 2019 when a fire claimed two buildings and a half dozen businesses, only serving their famous pies at the location on top of Schweitzer Mountain during the ski season. Owners Ben and Jeannie Higgs said they are happy to be slinging pizzas again, and they’re excited about their new location. Powderhound Pizza is now located at 201 E. Superior St. in the old First Interstate Bank building next to Verizon. Both see potential in their new spot. “We were hoping to be part of the whole rebuild process [at the former location located at Bridge Street and First Avenue], but the project took longer than we would have ever foreseen, so we started exploring other options,” Jeannie said. “When we found this location, it felt right once we looked at more of the pros with parking and outside seating. We’re walking distance from the marina, so boat-up orders are still a thing, and we’re the first place tourists see when they come off the Long 14 /
/ October 7, 2021
Bridge, but also we’re super convenient for the locals. Even coming from Ponderay it’s super easy to get here — just hop off the bypass.” The menu will remain mostly unchanged, with a few minor tweaks. Powderhound will still offer its classic and specialty pizzas, wings, soups, salads and more. The only items that didn’t make the new menu are sandwiches, which have been discontinued. Powderhound will be open seven days a week, with Takeout Tuesdays offering just walk-up and carryout orders from 3-9 p.m. Sundays will be open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and all other days the hours will be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Powderhound has the NFL Sunday Ticket offering a multitude of football games, and starting in mid-October will be offering all NHL hockey games, too — the only spot in Sandpoint to offer that, Ben said. For the Higgs’, who also own Idaho Pour Authority downtown and the Powderhound Pizza atop Schweitzer, it was nice to have some time off after the fire, but they are happy to be back doing what they love. “It’s been a blessing, but frustrating,” Ben said. “We were in limbo so long, thinking we were going to be in that spot [by Bridge Street and First Avenue], said
Jeannie. “There were a lot of iterations of what that space and reopening was going to look like.” The new location took about three months to renovate, starting with a blank slate in July. “We had to gut it down to barely anything and start from there,” Ben said. The restaurant is now a comfortable, clean space with an ample hardwood seating area indoors, as well as an outdoor patio that catches the afternoon sun. A handmade cedar bar top and bench seat were made with the help of their parents, and the new kitchen is twice as big as its predecessor. Along with its food offerings, Powderhound has eight rotating beer taps, a rotating list of red and white wines, ciders, seltzers, canned cocktails, kombucha and the usual assortment of nonalcoholic drinks. The Higgs’ also brought back Wingsday Wednesday, the weekly special that gets you 10 wings for $10 or six wings and a beer for $10. “We ask that you be patient with us while we train our new staff,” Ben said. “We’re a popular place and we do get busy. We’re still on the hunt for a few more employees, too.” Looking over the work they did to renovate the space, the Higgs’ were
Top left: Powderhound Pizza owners Ben and Jeannie Higgs test out the patio in front of their new location. Top right: Jeannie Higgs serves a pizza inside the restaurant. Above: One of the many delicious pies offered by Powderhound. Photos by Ben Olson. eager to begin the new chapter at this new location. “I think the thing we most enjoy is being so involved and being part of a community,” Jeannie said. “We love providing fun spaces where people can enjoy good food and drinks.” Powderhound Pizza is located at 201 E. Superior St. next to the Verizon store by the Long Bridge. Check out their menu at powderhoundpizza.com.
WOMEN’S GOLF LEAGUE WRAPS UP THE SEASON
The Wednesday Morning Women’s Golf League finished their season with a scramble on Aug. 25, 2021 followed by brunch at the Sandpoint Elks. The league will begin playing again next spring and invite all women to join this fun group. More information will be available next spring. Pictured are some of the winners, from left to right: Nita Garvey - Low Gross Overall (President’s Cup) and Low Net Overall (Club Championship) Leslie Gleeson - Low Net C Flight (President’s Cup) Pam Bradetich - Flight A Low Net (President’s Cup) Ohn Nail - Flight B Low Net (President’s Cup) Rochelle Baxley - Flight B Low Gross (Club Championship) Joanne Toth - Low Net Overall (President’s Cup) and Low Gross Overall (Club Championship) Niba Pinsonneault - Low Net Overall (Club Championship) Missing from photo is Linda Larion Flight C Low Gross
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COMMUNITY Oct. Ponderay Market to feature Mrs. Montana By Reader Staff
dered Indigenous women — an issue she hopes to shed light on as she attends the Sunday, Oct. The Ponderay Mar10 Ponderay Market, slated for ket’s October event will 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Ponderay feature a special guest, Events Center (401 Bonner Mall according to organizers: Way). Plains, Mont., woman The market is held the second Jennay Jo, known best Sunday of each month (except for by her most recent title, in November, when the market Mrs. Montana. will be on Saturday, Nov. 13 from Jo earned the title Jennay Jo. Courtesy photo. 10 a.m.2 p.m.), and features an through the Today’s International Woman array of local artisans and vendors. Those pageant system, after having held the title interested in participating in the market Mrs. Petite Montana in 2020. Most importcan contact organizer Melissa LaDuca at ant, her work as Mrs. Montana includes firstname.lastname@example.org. being an advocate for missing and mur-
Online Auction to benefit KRFY By Reader Staff A sailboat adventure, Schweitzer lift tickets, a fly-fishing float trip, wine, pies, and lodging on Lake Pend Oreille and in exotic destinations — participants in the annual 88.5 KRFY online auction have a chance to win these items and many more. The benefit auction opens for bidding on Friday, Oct. 8 and closes at noon on Saturday, Oct. 16.
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Dozens of items will be on offer for a variety of budgets, with all proceeds going to Sandpoint’s nonprofit community radio station. Help support local community radio and bid on something for yourself. For more information contact the station at 208-2652992 or email email@example.com. The auction will take place at biddingforgood.org/KRFY or follow the link from the station website: krfy.org.
Better Together Animal Alliance is nearing full capacity Adoption fees for adult animals are being waived to help them find homes faster
By Reader Staff For the first time in many years, the kennels and cat rooms at Better Together Animal Alliance are nearing full capacity with more animals coming in each day. To help create some space and relief for animals and staff, BTAA is waiving adoption fees on all adult animals, reopening the dog kennels to visitors this weekend and asking community members to help empty the shelter. “We are seeing our community being hit with hard times. Health and housing instabilities are primary reasons for animals being surrendered right now. We need help getting these wonderful pets back into homes,” said Devin Laundrie, operations director at BTAA. “Currently, we have the ideal pet for any home. Come in and find your match.” While not everyone is in a position to adopt a pet right now, there are other ways to help and support these animals during
this time. • Visit bettertogetheranimalalliance.org/ adopt and share some of the animal profiles to your social media accounts, or send them to friends or family members who might be a good match. • Consider becoming a foster home for animals in our community. When you register as a foster through BTAA, all food, supplies and medical support are provided — those who participate just provide the home and care. Visit bettertogetheranimalalliance.org/foster to register. • Donate to BTAA, this could be a financial contribution or in the form of food or other supplies. Visit bettertogetheranimalalliance.org/ways-to-give to see how you can support animals in our community and check out BTAA’s supply wish list.
• Volunteer as a dog walker, cat room attendant or help with other duties around the animal care center. Visit bettertogetheranimalalliance. org/volunteer to learn more and apply. “While it can be overwhelming to have our animal care center this full, it is a great opportunity to come and find the perfect pet for your family,” Laundrie said. “I’m hopeful we can rally together to find homes for each one of these animals.” Learn more about adopting a pet at BTAA by calling the animal care center at 208-2657297 ext. 100 or by visiting bettertogetheranimalalliance.org/adopt.
Tessa is one of the many loving animals at Better Together Animal Alliance waiting for a home. Courtesy photo.
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events October 7-14, 2021
THURSDAY, October 7
Live Music w/ Baxter // Elkins 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Traveling through Sandpoint on their All American Tour, this folk/country duo will be a show you won’t want to miss
Ecstatic Dance w/ DJ Yamuna 7-8:30pm @ Embody Studio (823 Main) Learn more at embodysandpoint.love Live Music w/ Chris Paradis 6-8pm @ The Back Door
FriDAY, October 8
Live Music w/ Alma Russ Duo 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery A duo piecing together folk and country into an Appalachian style. Plus, join the Winery in welcoming Lori Salisbury as Oct. artist of hte month. Meet Lori and check out her work from 4-7 p.m. Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 2-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms Live Music w/ Ron Greene 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall
Online fundraiser for KRFY 88.5FM Oct. 8-16 @ biddingforgood.com/krfy Help support community radio by participating in this online fundraiser running through Oct. 16. Bid on fun and unique items to help raise money for KRFY. Items include a tropical island condo stay, a sailboat excursion, a pontoon boat excursion, a Schweitzer gift basket and more. Visit: biddingforgood.com/krfy Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7-9pm @ The Back Door
SATURDAY, October 9 Live Music w/ Doug and Marty 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Mandolin and guitar duo from Sandpoint Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 10am-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms U-pick pumpkins, live music, food and drink vendors, tons of kids’ activities and more. Live music by Red Blend at noon Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park Live music, local produce, arts and crafts Live Music w/ Steven Wayne 7-9pm @ The Back Door
Live Music w/ Johnathan Foster 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Traveling through on his Lantern Shade Tour, Johnathan Foster is a folk/country/ Americana songwriter Live Music w/ BTP 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Free Dance Class at Emobody Studio 10-11:30am @ Embody Studio (823 Main) A fusion of Tribal Fusion Bellydance and WildCore Movement. Join Julie Wise and Brietta Leader in a sweaty, fun and expressive event. embodysandpoint.love
SunDAY, October 10
Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am
Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 10am-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms
Ponderay Market 10am-3pm @ Bonner Mall Way in Ponderay Held the second Saturday of every month, featuring live music, food vendors and more
monDAY, October 11
Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s “Sciene and Religion: Can They Coexist?”
Blind beer tasting at IPA 6pm @ Idaho Pour Authority A fun event to try new beers, learn about a style of beer and win prizes
Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience
tuesDAY, October 12 wednesDAY, October 13 Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park
Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 2-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms
ThursDAY, October 14
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STAGE & SCREEN
LuLaRich docuseries doesn’t say it out loud, but it’s really about the ‘prosperity gospel’ By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff On a basic level, LuLaRich is a four-episode expose of women’s clothing company LuLaRoe featuring a host of current and former retailers, many of whom argue that it’s a pyramid scheme that left them tens of thousands of dollars in arrears once the product quality tanked and the business structure started crumbling amid complaints from within and legal and media scrutiny from without. Unlike similar slice-of-life/true (white-collar) crime series, LuLaRich enjoys an apparent deep level of access to founders DeAnne and Mark Stidham, as well as a number of former high-level employees. The juxtaposition of betrayed retailers, embarrassed ex-executives and unrepentant founders — intercut with loads of archival video, including deposition footage of the Stidhams drawn from one of the 50 or more lawsuits brought against the company — helps the series build methodically into an overall portrait of exploitation that was as much economic as it was psychological. The latter is where the real importance of LuLaRich lies and what makes it so riveting. The company operated via a multi-level marketing strategy, whereby independent retailers would pay between $5,000 and $10,000 to acquire an inventory of leggings, skirts and shirts, selling them in pop-up home parties (think: Tupperware and Amway) and on Facebook Live. Retailers sent much of those profits upstream to those who recruited them into the company in exchange for bonus checks. Those bonus checks grew larger as retailers brought in others to work “downline” from them. In many cases, according to testimony from some of the highest earners, those bonus checks could rise into the five and even six figures per month, extracted from downline “teams” numbering in the thousands. Using this model, LuLaRoe grew from a startup in 2012 to a company making in excess of $1 billion by 2016 — all that wealth
flowing from the labor of nearly 1 million mostly middle- and lower-income women and filtering up to the owners themselves. More than colorful, comfortable clothing, LuLaRoe retailers were selling a possibility: the option for women to stay home, make tons of money and still be full-time mothers. Meanwhile, they were required to post on social media touting their financial and personal successes, affixing the mandatory hashtag #becauseoflularoe. They were hammered with slogans like, “we’re blessing lives,” “choose happiness,” “#blessed,” “what is your why?,” “be you” and “happiness is a choice.” The point of all this saccharine sentiment was to create a sense of community and family-friendly empowerment, giving women who had hitherto felt either financially stressed or relegated to secondary status in their households to “contribute to the home and society,” as one company line put it. “LuLaRoe really takes advantage of these feelings women have,” said Becca Peters, who spent years following the rise and controversies surrounding the company. “It’s similar to an empowering message of feminism, but at the end of the day it’s the opposite.” As evidence for LuLaRoe’s essential patriarchal nature is the company’s notion of “retiring your husband,” in so far as women retailers were encouraged to earn enough that their male spouses didn’t need to work outside the home; rather, the men would take over their profitable enterprises as in-home managers — bringing the entire family into the LuLaRoe fold. The religious element is hinted at, though underrepresented, in the series. Notable moments occur when Mark Stidham compares himself to Mormon founder Joseph Smith, and only a few references are made to how certain Mormon communities around the country helped create nodes of LuLaRoe retailers. Nonetheless, that affiliation is there, and writer Anne Helen Petersen, who grew up in the Lewiston area and now works from
western Montana after many years as a national culture reporter, made the connection between LuLaRich and the so-called “prosperity gospel” in a lengthy interview with Meg Conley, who has written extensively on the topic. Published Sept. 15 in Petersen’s Culture Study newsletter (annehelen.substack.com), the piece titled “What Got Left Out of LuLaRich” is a deep dive into how evangelical Christianity and its trappings have long infiltrated — to the point of being indistinguishable from — the kind of freebooting scam-riddled capitalism that weaponizes motherhood and femininity in general as a particularly aggressive profit center. The prosperity gospel is straightforward and has deep roots in the Protestant tradition in the United States. In its fundamental form, the reasoning goes that God rewards faith (in the form of obedience to almost-always-male church leaders, as well as heavy tithing) with financial and even health rewards. The right-wing revivalists of the 20th and 21st centuries, from Oral Roberts to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker to Joel Osteen, crafted and grafted the prosperity gospel onto conservative American Christianity to such a degree that while we might recognize it in action, we fail to see how widespread its influence really is
(for more on that, read To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise, by Harvard historian Bethany Moreton. Spoiler: Wal-Mart bankrolled the rise of the Christian Right in the mid-20th century). Far from an aberration, the saga of LuLaRoe, as depicted in LuLaRich, is part of a long tradition of business practices that prey on an entire matrix of psychosocial forces, from patriarchal subservience to insecurity to ambition to plain old boredom, to enrich a few
LuLaRoe creators DeAnne Brady Stidham, left, and Mark Stidham, right. Photo courtesy Amazon Studios. people at the top at the expense of almost everyone below — all in the name of freedom, faith and family. As one former LuLaRoe retailer put it: “I sort of came to the realization, ‘Oh my God, I’m in a cult.’” Stream it on Amazon Prime.
October 7, 2021 /
The Sandpoint Eater
By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist
Yep, I’m still talking tomatoes. When I left home a couple of weeks ago, it was under threat of frost. I thought of many of you, outside in the frigid air, stretching tarps over your at-risk gardens or pulling up vines of tomatoes to hang and ripen in the garage. But, alas, you weren’t on my mind for long. I was too busy savoring the 80-degree weather of southern Spain, eating her warm, ripe, sunkissed tomatoes (straight off the vines, no less) with abandon. If we are what we eat, I am feeling Spanish at heart. I haven’t yet started dreaming in Spanish, but visions of every lovely meal dance in my head. Fall was a perfect time to visit Spain and see all the food and wine activity. The olive orchards and vineyards were abuzz with busy workers in the middle of their harvests, and the afternoon heat was quite tolerable with an ice-cold cerveza in hand (it’s no wonder they siesta midday). One of my favorite discoveries during this trip was the village of Carmona, about a half hour’s drive from Seville. I learned this beautiful village is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe (more than 5,000 years). It will become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and no doubt it will become a popular attraction. I visited an abbey of nuns at the Convento de Santa Clara, who support their order (Order of Saint Clare) and convent by baking and selling cookies, Dulces de Santa Clara. The ancient convent was founded in the 15th century and is filled with beautiful artifacts and art. There’s a small courtyard for visitors and an impressive bell tower that serves as a village 20 /
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landmark. During my visit, perched at the very top of the bell tower was an enormous stork’s nest (the first one I’ve ever seen). The cookies we sampled at the convent, “yemas de Santa Clara,” can be purchased throughout the village. The sisters of Saint Clare are also noted for their “torta inglesa,” an English-type cake. Other convents in the region sell goods as well, each with their distinct offerings. I love the food specialties found in every region. For instance, I was told the best pastries in Barcelona come from the district of Sarrià (and judging from the long lines I encountered at every pasty shop, I would tend to agree). Ceviche is another dish that uses different ingredients by region. While many people say ceviche originated in Peru, the Spanish declare it
originated in Spain, made by the Moorish women from Granada, who took the first recipe to Peru. And of course, we can’t forget their national dish of paella, developed in Valencia, again, by the Moors. Depending on the region in Spain, the ingredients vary and may include chorizo, chicken or rabbit for meats, and mussels, shrimp, crab and snails as seafood additions. Saffron is a key ingredient, along with garlic, and lemon wedges on the side are a must. Gremolata is often served alongside the paella (a mixture of finely minced lemon zest, parsley and garlic). The delicacy of a great pan of paella is “socarrat” — a thin, delicious crust that forms on the rice, at the bottom of the pan (socarrat is achieved mere seconds before you burn the rice). Another Andalusian favorite is sopa de salmorejo (though I
may not be an expert at making it, I profess to be an expert at eating it). Unlike its chunkier and red-colored cousin, gazpacho, salmorejo is creamy, orange-hued and void of any seeds. During this trip, I sampled myriad bowls at sidewalk cafes and the tapas bars of Toledo, Nerja, Madrid and Malaga. It’s often served with the garnish floated on top, but sometimes it comes on the side, and it was always a surprise: chopped hard-cooked eggs, croutons, olive oil, finely chopped green pepper and even Ibérico ham, the local delicacy. Ibérico ham from a couple of provinces (Salamanca and Huelva) comes with a certificate of provenance noting the pigs’ diet and even ancestry (I swear it’s true). I’m sad to report I didn’t have the energy to attempt “nothing
to declare” contraband. I was nervous enough about all the COVID protocols for U.S. reentry (which went without a hitch), so there will be no Ibérico ham for my next tapas party. That said, I did manage to make a few key purchases, as I have a paella cooking class coming up (I donated it last spring for the Friends of the Scotchman’s Peak auction). I tend to go a bit overboard in foreign markets. So now, my luggage collection includes yet another little, essential black suitcase, this one purchased in Malaga. And I’m happy to report that the double-wrapped bottle of just-pressed, extra-virgin Spanish olive oil made it here unscathed and will go into my next batch of salmorejo. For now, you may have to pick some up at Winter Ridge. Adios!
Salmorejo is a classic, creamy Andalusian soup, made primarily with tomatoes, bread and garlic. It’s a great way to use your over-ripe and/or blemished garden tomatoes. Yields four bowls but the recipe doubles easily. (I have substituted Tito’s vodka for the water and served it in little bowls, as a starter for Sunday brunch.)
• 2 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped • 2 1/2 cups of crustless, cubed rustic white bread, crust removed, bread cubed • 2 garlic cloves •1/2 cup cold water • 1 tsp sherry vinegar • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving • Sea salt
In a blender, puree the chopped tomatoes with the bread, garlic, sherry vinegar and 1/2 cup of water at high speed until very smooth, about 1 minute. With the blender on, drizzle in 1/4 cup of olive oil until well incorporated and smooth. Season with salt. Cover and refrigerate until the soup is cold, at least an hour or two. Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Garnish with the chopped eggs and ham, drizzle with olive oil and serve. The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but give it a good whisking before pouring into the bowls.
GARNISH: • 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped • 1/2 cup chopped serrano or Ibérico ham (prosciutto will do nicely)
Season passes on sale for 2022 Festival at Sandpoint By Reader Staff The Festival at Sandpoint is preparing for its 39th annual season to be held July 28-Aug. 7, 2022. Season passes went on sale Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. for $299 (plus tax and fees), for a limited time. New for 2022 will be a ninth concert to the annual music series, and the Festival has reduced the number of season passes being sold for next year, so organizers recommend that concertgoers act soon to purchase.
Starting Jan. 1, 2022 at midnight, season passes will increase to $349 (plus tax and fees), unless they have already sold out. To kick off its season pass
sale, the Festival is giving away a pass for following, tagging and sharing its social media pages and posts. The giveaway ends Friday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m.
The music of the wild By Ben Olson Reader Staff
A couple weeks ago, I joined forces with some friends and backpacked into the mountains for a couple days and nights. This time of year is always beautiful at higher altitudes and the weather during our trip did not disappoint. On Day 2, my friends wanted to day-hike to a distant peak, but I declined, choosing instead to relax in camp all day. As they trudged off before noon in search of different vistas, I wedged my sleeping bag into a hammock strung between two trees overlooking a virgin valley, opened my
book and swayed gently in the sunny breeze in a blissful state of being. After a chapter or two, I put down the book and let my eyes close, listening to the sounds of nature. It was a good book and you couldn’t ask for a better place to read for a couple hours, but the sounds of the wild in that subalpine world were just too important to ignore. I listened to the wind blowing through the trees, rising and falling like waves hitting a beach. I picked out the individual chatter of various mountain birds, too busy in their daily search for food to pay me any notice. They flitted from branch to branch, their songs echoing
cheerfully off the rock wall near our lakeside campsite. I heard the gentle trickle of water exiting the lake to make the long journey to the valley floor, running down the mountains into the Kootenai River and eventually out to sea. I heard pikas scurrying among the rocks, preparing their dens for a long, cold winter in the mountains. Every once in a while they would emit a squeak that pierced the silence before disappearing into their secret world hidden among the rocks. I found that the closer I listened, the more intricate the noises in this quiet mountain world became.
To learn more about season passes and the giveaway, and to purchase season passes, visit festivalatsandpoint.com/season-pass or call 208-265-4554.
A rustling sound near the hammock eluded me for some time until I realized it was just the strap gently rubbing against the bark of the tree. A “bloop” sounded every once in a while from far away, and it was only in gazing at the mirrored surface of the lake that I realized it was the sound of a small fish coming to the surface to dine on the small insects above the water’s surface. Sometimes the best music comes from the world that exists without humanity’s input. Lucky is the person who gets the opportunity to waste an entire day swaying in a hammock, listening to the music of the wild.
Alma Russ Duo, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Oct. 8
Jonathan Foster, Idaho Pour Authority, Oct. 9
It is not often that an artist can transcend time to bring sounds from the past alive, while also maintaining a modern finish. One such artist is Alma Russ, a western North Carolina-based singer-songwriter who applies her youthful touch to the tried-and-true sounds of Appalachian folk music. Russ will come to North Idaho to perform as the Alma Russ Duo with Bryson Elliot Evans this week, sure to blend fine-tuned picking
Idaho Pour Authority will have more than beer on tap Saturday, Oct. 9, as rootsy Americana music will flow free thanks to singer-songwriter Jonathan Foster. The Redding, Calif.-based artist is currently on a cross-country tour to promote his fifth independent release: Lantern Shade. The 10-track album, which dropped in 2021, is touted as Foster’s best yet, with one critic stating that listening to Lantern Shade feels like sitting
5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., powine.com.
… music reviews. As someone who is charged with writing about popular media and local happenings, it becomes a near-daily occurrence that I have to describe someone’s musical sound. This is harder than it may seem. We risk oversimplifying or mischaracterizing someone’s art form with cliches, which is enough to keep me up at night. To stay fresh, I like to read reviews from publications like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and NPR. Those writers work hard to reinvent the music-writing wheel, and it’s worth checking out.
A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint skills with her signature soft, distinctly tonal vocals for a night of alternative country and folk songs. The live music is happening in conjunction with an artist reception from 4-7 p.m. for the winery’s October Artist of the Month: Lori Salisbury. — Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
around a campfire while someone plays guitar and shares stories. Particularly on tracks “Into the Black” and “Stardust Saltwater,” this writer finds those observations to be true. Check out Foster’s music and learn more about the artist at jfmusic.net. — Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey 7 p.m., FREE. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., 208-5977096, idahopourauthority.com.
Snail Mail, the moniker for indie rock singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan, is well on her way to being recognized among the likes of solo female rockers like Phoebe Bridgers and Japanese Breakfast. Her 2018 release Lush is a complete record, tough and vulnerable at the same time. Her upcoming release Valentine promises to offer the same vibe but twice as refined. The hard-hitting title track has already been released, available on all streaming platforms.
I have no time for people who aren’t willing to admit that the 1997 cinematic masterpiece Titanic isn’t the greatest movie of all time. I understand that not every film is everyone’s cup of tea, but come on. My 1,000th rewatch over the weekend confirmed that Titanic has a firm grip on my heart thanks to its historical aspects, pure grandeur and, above all, the captivating love story between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. It seems I find something more to love about this movie each time I watch it.
October 7, 2021 /
BACK OF THE BOOK
Planting trees is the best way to leave a legacy By Ben Olson Reader Staff
From Pend d’Oreille Review, Oct. 9, 1914
GRIGGS THE STABBER DISCHARGED Joseph Griggs of Granite, serving a sentence in the penitentiary for stabbing Clarence Franklin, was pardoned yesterday by the state board of pardons. Griggs committed his crime at a dance being held at Granite on the night of January 18, 1913. He and Franklin were rivals for the hand of a certain young lady of that place. At the dance Franklin seemed to have the better of Griggs, who, becoming irritated by the “joshing” of others at the party, attacked his rival and drive a knife into his back, inflicting a wound which it was for a time feared might prove fatal. Immediately after committing the act Griggs left Granite and came to Sandpoint and gave himself up, and on March 11 was sentenced to imprisonment from three to 14 years. There has been a feeling among people in the county who were acquanted with the circumstances that Griggs had suffered enough punishment for his act and the pardon meets with general approval. Attorney A.P. Asher represented Griggs before the pardoning board, as he did also F.E. Blanchand and the Bonners Ferry robber who was committed to prison for a period of from one to 15 years last Februrary, but whom the board refused to pardon. 22 /
/ October 7, 2021
My mid-20s were some of the brokest years of my life. When my college roommate called one day to tell me he was getting married in Ohio, I told him I was so happy for him — and that I likely couldn’t make it because I was broke. He found me cheap airfare and even paid for the pants required to be a groomsman, so I gathered up all the money I had in the world — a huge glass jar of spare change I’d been collecting — and got a ride to Seattle to catch the plane. It was at this airport where I had a singular experience with a TSA employee. I was supposed to find one of those machines to dump the change and collect more portable money to take with me, but that didn’t happen, so I went through the metal detectors with this enormous jar of change and confused everyone. “Well this is a first,” the agent said, scratching his head. The powers that be eventually came up with the solution to dump all the change in one of those plastic tubs and send it through the metal detector. After the change made it through I sat and scooped it back into the jar, with fellow passengers looking at me the way someone would look at a shivering dog in the street. One guy actually dropped a dollar in the jar. I felt, in a word, pathetic. Fast forward to the end of the Ohio wedding and I had exhausted my change supply and decided the way home would be to hitchhike across the country. When my friend’s mom heard about this plan, she snuck two $100 bills in a bag of peanuts and said “Book a bus ticket home, please.” I did book a ticket, but it only took me as far as Denver, so I set out by foot and thumb from there, winding into the mountains in the back of pickup trucks, in passenger cars with numerologists and ex-convicts, getting stuck in small towns for days sometimes before getting a lift. It was
a rough two weeks to get home, but it was everything a young writer like me desired: freedom of movement, crazy experiences, and a revolving cast of characters who picked me up and shuttled me a bit farther on my journey home. One thing I loved about my friend’s wedding was the gift bags they gave to all the people who attended. One item in the bag was a little tree planting kit, each containing a different type of tree. The idea was to plant the entire thing in the ground — the cardboard box would biodegrade, the seedling would have just enough starter soil to take hold, then it was Mother Nature’s job to see it grow someday into a mighty tree. There were dozens of these little kits left after the wedding, and I crammed as many as I could fit into my pack before taking off. On my hitchhiking journey from Denver to Sandpoint, I stopped occasionally when a place seemed right and planted one of those little trees. One Japanese maple was planted on a bluff above a rest area where I spent the afternoon waiting for a ride. A Douglas fir found a new home in the plush lawn outside a convenience store in Craig, Colo. Another exotic hardwood was placed in the hollow where I slept a hard rainy night outside of McCall, Idaho. Each time I planted a tree, I felt this immediate rush of satisfaction, because I’ve always been one of those nerds who walks around looking at big, regal trees and says, “I wonder who planted that tree. Whoever it was, thank you.” Planting a tree is one of the best ways to leave something behind after we die. Long after our bones are buried or our ashes returned to the earth, the trees we plant will still be there, reaching their branches ever upward into the sky and perhaps catching some future rambler’s eye like so many trees have caught mine. Planting anything, for that matter, is leaving something behind when we go. One of my neighbors planted and carefully cul-
tivated a morning glory vine several years ago. I’d often see her outside tending to the plant, training the vines to keep climbing and pouring sacred little vials of water with good thoughts in her head. After she passed away a couple years ago, I’ve noticed that the morning glory is just as strong and vibrant as ever. She nursed it through the first couple of years and made it hardy enough to come back by itself. Every time I see that beautiful plant climbing up the wall, I think of her. When Dan and Carrie Logan gave me a snippet taken from one of the willow trees that grew in the space where the roundabout by Super 1 is now (if you have lived here long enough and remember those trees, they were magnificent), I was so thankful that they thought of me. Those trees meant a lot to me, and it was rough to see them cut down. But progress marches on, right? When Dan handed me the willow snippet in a little pot, I was thankful for another opportunity to plant a tree and, just maybe, some distant relative of mine — or perhaps just a stranger — will be walking around one day and say, “I wonder who planted that willow tree there. Whoever it was, thank you.” You’re welcome.
I hope, in the olden days, there were giant skunks that roamed our continent, because boy, I’m glad they’re gone.
Solution on page 22
Solution on page 22
Woorf tdhe Week
By Bill Borders
/FECH-ing/ [adjective] 1. charming; captivating.
“That Louis Vuitton handbag is fetching with that red dress.”
Corrections: Due to an email confusion, in last week’s Reader, the letter to the editor titled “That old time religion...” was misattributed to Bill Collier. The actual author of the letter was Lee Santa. — BO
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Quickly 6. Wood shaping machine 11. Nigerian monetary unit 12. Disgraced 15. Basement 16. Eurasian maple tree 17. Evil spirit 18. A military unit 20. 2,000 pounds 21. Incite 23. Present 24. Jar tops 25. Against 26. Tiger Wood’s sport 27. Transfer possession 28. Bobbin 29. Website address 30. Moderated 31. Set up 34. Temporary lodgings 36. Charged particle 37. Nile bird 41. Legion 42. Not false 43. Forearm bone 44. Falafel bread 45. A mooring post 46. Treat with contempt 47. French for “Friend” 48. Red dye 51. Beer 52. Coal gas factory 54. Belt or girdle
Solution on page 22 56. Excite 57. Alleviated 58. Pertaining to the Sun 59. Cubic meter
DOWN 1. Windflower 2. Feel 3. Be unwell 4. Poop 5. Nobleman 6. Furlough 7. Cravat 8. Part of a comparison 9. An unskilled actor
10. Characterized by emotion 13. Worn away 14. Lairs 15. Stogie 16. Spontaneous abortions 19. Ancient Greek marketplace 22. Quandary 24. Lightest metal 26. Fortitude 27. Petrol 30. Common hop 32. Operative 33. Lummoxes 34. Crocodilian reptile
35. Creative persons 38. Large fatty herring 39. Add 40. Purposes 42. Heart (slang) 44. Use a beeper 45. Small fluid-filled sac 48. Offensively malodorous 49. Frosts 50. Tidy 53. Which person? 55. South southeast
October 7, 2021 /
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