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/ April 20, 2017

(wo)MAN compiled by

Susan Drinkard

on the street

The downtown streets will soon change dramatically. Are you excited or nervous? “I’m neutral about the change, but confident I will quickly figure out which way to go.” Patty Spiva Independent merchandiser Elmira

“I don’t agree with it. There will be lots of wrecks. They should leave it like it is.” Greg Barreth Retired Sandpoint

“It doesn’t really matter to me because I don’t drive downtown that much. I didn’t know about it.”

DEAR READERS, Hello again, dear readers! I’m back from my month overseas, rested, rejuvenated and ready to take on another two years of toil and drudgery for little pay. I’d like to take this time to thank our editor, Cameron Rasmusson, who had to step in and fulfill a good portion of my duties as well as his own during the four weeks I was away. This is not an easy job, so if you see Cameron, give him a pat on the back for keeping our ship afloat. Also, special thanks to our ad director Jodi Taylor and Keokee’s designer Laura Wahl, who together helped suss out our advertising needs and design while I was out gallivanting around. You’ll have to be patient with us this week as we’re getting back in the swing of things. I’m still not caught up on my email inbox, so if you happened to send a critical email in the past week or two and haven’t heard a response, it might be best for you to re-send it now. Rooting through a month’s worth of emails is not in the cards for me. Also, I’d like to apologize for any mistakes or flubs that occurred while I was away. As I said before, this job is extremely difficult with two people, let alone one set of eyes to proof it all. Personally, I had an amazing experience in Vietnam. It is a hot, wild, teeming country full of vitality. I think it should be mandatory for Americans to travel overseas just once in their lives, if only to see how other cultures live. Every time I do, I am further reminded of the fundamental facts of life: that we can all relate to one another despite language and cultural differences, that adept environmental policies are crucial in avoiding having a country full of trash and dirty waterways, that we are very wasteful in the states, that it’s possible to live in harmony with other cultures, even decades after devastating wars. This week and next I’ll share some of my experiences—this week I just teased a handful of photographs. Special thanks goes out to the five Vietnam veterans I interviewed over the past month. I appreciated hearing their stories and hope you enjoyed them, too. It’s good to be home, Sandpoint. -Ben Olson, Publisher OPEN 11:30 am

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“That’s awesome. I didn’t know anything about it. It should make traffic flow way better.” Joel Freibott Drywall specialist Priest River


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“I think it is kind of silly because it will be confusing. Why are they changing it back? It seems like a waste of money.”

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READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724 Publisher: Ben Olson Editor: Cameron Rasmusson Zach Hagadone (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Taylor Contributing Artists: Woods Wheatcroft (cover), Ben Olson, Jerry Luther. Contributing Writers: Cameron Rasmusson, Ben Olson, Nick Gier, Scarlette Quille, Marcelo Rochabrin for ProPublica, Tom Carty, Susan Drumheller, Brenden Bobby, Phil Hough, Jim Mitsui, Jennifer Passarro, Brenda Hammond, Jeff Thompson, Dianne Smith, Jodi Rawson, Charity Luthy. Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Griffin Publishing Spokane, Wash. Subscription Price: $95 per year 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.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 400 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: Like us on Facebook. About the Cover This week’s cover by the inimitable Woods Wheatcroft, male prostitute.

April 20, 2017 /


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By Nick Gier Reader Columnist It was March 24, 2010, and I was at Bangkok’s new international airport, the fifth busiest in Asia. Along with my travel companions, I boarded Air Vietnam flight 830 to Hanoi. Forty years ago, Americans flying this direction would have been fighter bomber pilots. As we drove into Hanoi from the airport, we saw many bridges over the Red River that had been destroyed time and time again by U.S. bombs, only to be rebuilt or spanned by pontoons. The river was crowded with boat traffic bearing loads of basic building materials. In Hanoi, I had expected a drab Marxist-Leninist city, but everywhere we looked there were brightly colored town houses – far outnumbering the more shabby residences. With ornate French colonial ironwork, they are built narrow and with multiple stories because property prices are so high. Hanoi’s inner city is vibrant and bustling. Its private stores

Letters to the Editor Vietnam Vets Articles... Dear Editor, Thank you, Ben Olson, for the excellent interviews with local Vietnam veterans. This is Pulitzer Prizeworthy journalism. I also would like to thank the interviewees for telling their personal stories frankly, honestly, and no doubt reluctantly at times. I was captivated by these stories because I’m the same age as these fine men and came close to having the Vietnam experience. I volunteered for Navy ROTC at Penn State in 1967, but failed the eye exam (20/25 in one eye, caused by too much reading). Then the liberal press at the time (Walter Cronkite) persuaded me to oppose the war. One of my cousins, Gary Pencek, went to Vietnam and came back with stories similar to those told in these interviews. His brother Bob decided to move to Canada and became a lumberjack. I was going to 4 /


/ April 20, 2017

are piled high with goods, and street-side restaurants do a brisk business. The noodle soup called “pho” is the best in Asia. The first evening in Hanoi, our guide took us to the lowering of the flag at Ho Chi Minh’s tomb. The next day, we visited his famous house-on-stilts. Uncle Ho, as the Vietnamese call their beloved, ascetic former leader, refused to live in the presidential mansion right next door. A Buddhist temple right next to Ho’s home was filled with Vietnamese worshipers. After interacting with Vietnam’s farmers and small business owners, I have concluded that these people are totally unsuited to Communist ideology. The “liberation” promised by the North Vietnamese Communists after the U.S. withdrawal in 1975 turned out to be another 14 years of oppression. Private property was abolished, and every line of work, even the barbers, was collectivized. The experiment was a colossal failure, but since 1989 most property and businesses have returned to private hands, and Vietnam has become another Asian economic “tiger.” Politically, Vietnam is still a one-party state with tight controls

on the press and other media. After trying to discourage religion, the Communists now allow religious freedom. The Buddhist temples and Catholic churches I visited were well-attended and well-maintained, though politically active Buddhists are not treated very well. The next stop on our tour was Hue, the former imperial capital. The government has discouraged commercial development there, and it was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. Much has been done to restore the many historical sites destroyed in the massive Tet Offensive of 1968, when the Viet Cong invaded the city and their flag flew over the Citadel for 25 days. From Hue we drove along Highway 1 to Da Nang, where we saw condos, beach hotels, and golf courses being built all along the coast. Forty-five years ago, on March 8, the U. S. Marines landed at Da Nang as the vanguard of a troop buildup that ultimately reached over a half-million. With a mixture of French colonial buildings and wide boulevards, new high-rises, and miles and miles of chaotic commercial

development, Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is now a thriving city of 7 million people. The war museum was a real downer for all of us. We had seen most of these horrific images, and we knew most of the tragic stories behind them, but to experience them all in one place and in a short time was emotionally devastating. During my trip, I was most impressed with the morale of these hard-working, dynamic people, and since my return they have continued to prosper. Even with many non-competitive state-run enterprises, the Vietnamese economy is growing at a rate of 6 percent. (The U.S. rate is about 2 percent.) Those living in poverty have been reduced from 60 percent in 1993 to 13.5 percent in 2014. Vietnam invests more in its schools than any of its developing country peers, and the results are impressive. For 2016 the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) ranked Vietnamese 15-year-olds eighth in the world in science. Six other Asian nations were in the top 10, while the U.S. came in 25th. In science and technology the U.S. continues to lose its competitive edge to hard-work-

follow him, but by sheer luck came up with a high draft number, 225. Another cousin, Terry Greenhalgh, God bless him, was shot down in Laos. His name is on the Vietnam Memorial. Since then, we’ve launched into some other stupid wars. I’m getting a little tired of this and so, being the creative - inventive type, I did some brainstorming and came up with a solution. I have invented a new weapon. I call it the Shit Bomb. Yes, anytime some pseudo leader/dictator/idiot starts misbehaving, we drop one of these on his nice palace. We’re talking about an explosive megaton human feces device that will cause infinite embarrassment and shame. He (or she) will not be hurt, but will have to retreat to his nice underground bunker or vacation home to avoid the stink and the possibility of contacting E. coli. He will tell his minions to clean it up, but they will be laughing (along with the rest of

the world) and tell him, “Clean up your own s—.” The military-industrial complex will hate new weapon because it will be very low cost to manufacture and deliver using the latest drone technology. So, it’s going to be a tough sell, but I’m optimistic because our new president is looking for ways to cut the budget. And hey, welcome back, Ben.

believes, but I do agree with him regarding UI athletics. The general budget should not be supporting athletic teams. These athletes (all of them) need to live on a budget like everyone else. They should base their expenditures on revenue from ticket sales, advertising and private support. Be it the varsity football team or the girls basketball team, these young, but adult students should not expect the tax payer or general student body fees to support their extra-curricular activities.

Bill Stuble Dover

Bill, Thanks for the kind words. I was glad to give some attention to those brave souls who sacrificed so much for our country. -Ben Olson

College Athletes Need To Support Themselves...

Dear Editor, I don’t agree with most of what contributor Nick Gier proposes or

Bill Litsinger Sandpoint

Follies Article... Dear Editor, The events mentioned in an article written by Mr. Henney in the Easter publication of the Reader about myself were totally fabricated without my permission and have no

Ha Noi railroad tracks. Photo by Ben Olson.

Vietnam: The New Asian Tiger: Revisiting my 2010 Trip to Vietnam

ing Asians. My fear is that the Vietnamese, just as the Chinese have done, will accept the lack of political freedom as long as they have the freedom to worship, to enjoy their professions and to run businesses on their own. Nick Gier of Moscow was co-president of the Student-Faculty Committee to End the War in Vietnam from 1965-66 at Oregon State University. He taught philosophy at the University of Idaho for 31 years. basis in fact. I find his unsolicited use of my name and the content offensive. I neither cross-dress or use my precious violin to beat people with. I played the guitar both nights at the Follies and no violin was present. It is best to ask permission before one makes up bizarre stories about someone that could hurt their reputation. The damage is done. Spare the apology, but I want a published retraction of everything he said about me. Fiddlin’ Red Sandpoint

Red, I’m sorry that you took offense to Tim’s satire article about the Follies. He meant no offense whatsoever, but was being humorous, as well as self-deprecating in his way. In no way do I think anyone took his writing at face value, but we’ve published a retraction on page 23. Again, sorry for any offense. -BO

Letters to the Editor


Labrador is Wrong...

Love There was a time I believed love was a permanent gesture. Initials carved in the skin of an old oak tree. Over time I understood Most loves turn out Like a penis. Carelessly drawn in Sharpie On a locker room door; Easily erased by alcohol. -Scarlette Quille

More than a store, a Super store!

Get ready for spring!

*Mowers and BBQs available on order


Dear Editor, Our Congressman Raul Labrador is wrong on all counts in his recent “Guest Opinion” in a local newspaper. The Republican–sponsored American Health Care Act, which he opposed, did not fail (it was withdrawn before a vote was taken) because it did not repeal Obamacare, but because there were too many moderate Republicans, joined by Democrats, who realized that as many as 20 million Americans would lose their health care coverage if the bill passed. Our son is one of them. Unable to afford health insurance until the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) was enacted, he finally got a check- up which found he needed immediate heart surgery which was followed by a wonderful recovery. Obamacare helped save his life as I’m sure it has for many more Americans. The GOP attempt to replace Obamacare would have cost our son his health insurance -- he was depending on its subsidies to help pay his premiums. In addition, under the GOP plan, millions more Americans, depending on Medicaid for their medical services, would eventually lose their health care coverage also. Ironically, at the same time the GOP launched its new plan to repeal it, a national poll found that Obamacare was more popular than ever before. More Americans thought it was “a good idea” than opposed it. So let’s make improvements, not repeal it. Labrador brags of his voting “52 times in the past six years” to repeal Obamacare. Isn’t there something else positive he could have been doing during that time to help his district or his state? James W. Ramsey Kootenai

Follies Article Not Funny... Dear Editor, This letter is regarding your article of 4/13/17, written by Tim Henney, about the Follies. Well, the Follies are not my cup of tea, but I guess it’s fun to let go once in a while. However, your “report of the Follies” was a bit less than funny or entertaining; in fact it convinced me that I would never want to take part in it or see it. Why? I will tell you why. 1. The gleeful report of some disgusting old man, who seemed to suffer with an enlarged imagination, flying through early years of movie star pals and then the mysterious “Val.” And then, we suddenly return to what must be the present. And then, (are we confused yet?) I quote: “I thought possibly I was hitting not on cheerleader Val but on some stranger ... Then I spied someone imitating Sandpoint celebrity Fiddlin’ Red.” Now, are we still in dreamland? Or suddenly back to

the present? What does the real-life Fiddlin’ Red have to do with any of this? Absolutely nothing. Does anyone have the right to name some ridiculous part of this man’s dream by someone else’s name? And how are the casual readers supposed to interpret this? Pulled into this unknowingly, is a person who has absolutlely nothing to do with this, who has fallen into this nonsense without his knowledge or permission? Particularly when the story includes sex and violence. How would you like, one of you, to be thought of as a crossdresser and a smasher of one of your beloved musical instrument? How would you like all your eager music students and customers to wonder, just to wonder, when there is violence and sex hinted about, as that paragraph seemed to imply. I don’t want to read a newspaper that puts people down—accidentally or not. There better be some apologies around this. I for one will think twice before I decide to buy another Reader. Especially with Tim Henney’s writings. Janet L. Merril, Ph.D Sandpoint

Janet, This article was intended as satire. Your offense, in this seemingly solicited letter, confounds us here at the Reader office. I believe this has been blown completely out of proportion, and I will state now that I fully support our writer Tim Henney. He is a kind, intelligent, witty man who was writing humor in this piece. Furthermore, the piece is not making fun of Fiddlin’ Red, but of the lecherous persona Tim adopts for satirical purposes. There was no malicious intent. I think if you polled 100 people that read the article, 100 would think it was a satirical article, that none of the “events” actually happened. It was humor in the same style as the Follies, in which Fiddlin’ Red was a participant. Had he known Red would’ve taken his writing this way, Tim would have never included him in his piece. We have apologized to Red, and we have run a retraction. I consider this matter closed. By the way, the Reader is free, so don’t worry about ever “buying” a copy. Furthermore, if you can’t recognize satire, perhaps this newspaper is not for you. -Ben Olson, Publisher Want your voice to be heard? Send a letter to the editor. Please keep letters under 400 words and refrain from libelous statements and the use of excessive profanity. April 20, 2017 /


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BNSF to build second railroad bridge over Lake Pend Oreille By Cameron Rasumusson Reader Staff Pending government approvals, BNSF Railway plans to move forward with a second bridge across Lake Pend Oreille. Company officials announced this week that design and engineering for the project is under way. According to company spokesperson Courtney Wallace, the new bridge won’t move beyond the proposal phase until all the necessary permits and reviews have been successfully obtained. While no construction is planned for 2017, Wallace said BNSF hopes to keep the government and public in the loop as planning moves forward. “BNSF initiated the project in 2014, and despite a brief pause in development, always had the intention of moving forward with the project,” Wallace said. “Bringing it forward now allows us to adequately handle current and future rail traffic.” Following completion of the project, the second bridge will allow for two-way train traffic across Lake Pend Oreille. According to Wallace, this will reduce the need for engineers to slow down or stop as they wait for clearance to cross, possibly translating into shorter wait times for drivers stopped at train crossings. “This is the equivalent to adding a lane on a highway; it allows for a more fluid flow of current traffic,” Wallace said. While the project is not slated for this year, preliminary work for design and engineering will begin as early as late spring. The company expects to conduct load testing, which will collect information about the performance of driven piles for the new bridge over Lake Pend Oreille, beginning the second week of May and finish by the end of June. Howev6 /


/ April 20, 2017

er, those dates are contingent upon good weather and may be delayed. The prep work will have some impact on Dog Beach. Company workers will drive two test pilings into BNSF property near Dog Beach, a job that will require a crane, a pile-driving hammer, a large compressor and necessary support equipment. The work itself will likely produce a great deal of noise. Finally, the BNSF property near Dog Beach will be sectioned off with security fencing, which may limit access to the beach itself. According to Wallace, the second bridge will not have any direct impact on the amount of train traffic passing through Sandpoint, which is instead driven by the market. However, the bridge is a response to anticipated increases in market activity. “It is important to remember that as the population continues to grow, demands for goods will grow as well,” Wallace said. “Market demand drives rail traffic. Rail traffic will continue grow whether or not the

A pile of rusty equipment sits at Dog Beach with the train bridge in the background. Photo by Ben Olson. second bridge is built. Adding it now will help better manage our current volumes and help with any future growth. But also, adding the bridge does not automatically mean there will be a spike in traffic.” As for railroad safety—a guiding concern for environmental quality activities

given the potential impact of a coal or oil train derailment—Wallace believes the second bridge should only help matters. That’s because it provides additional options for train dispatchers to direct traffic. She also emphasized the importance of maintenance in preventing rail accidents.

“Regular maintenance of the railroad allows BNSF to keep its network infrastructure in optimal condition and reduces the need for unscheduled service work that can slow down the BNSF rail network and reduce capacity,” Wallace said.

Candidate events line up McKiernan steps down as in school board election Daily Bee publisher By Cameron Rasumusson Reader Staff

By Cameron Rasumusson Reader Staff With the May 16 election for Lake Pend Oreille School Board shaping up to be the most heated in years, several candidate events are lining up to help inform voters. Candidates will appear on the 88.5 KRFY Morning Show at 8 a.m. for a series of interviews, with Zone 5 candidates Cary Kelly and Anita Perry appearing April 19, Zone 3 candidates Lonnie Williams

and Victoria Zeischegg appearing May 3 and Zone 2 candidates Richard Miller and Gary Suppiger appearing May 10. KRFY, Sandpoint Online and the Sandpoint Reader will also host a candidate forum set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, at the Columbia Bank community room. The forum will also air live on 88.5 KRFY.

Last week, Jim McKiernan stepped down as publisher of the Bonner County Daily Bee, Priest River Times and Bonners Ferry Herald. The circumstances of the departure are still unclear. We have reached out to the Hagadone Corporation, McKiernan himself and interim publisher Larry Riley, also the publisher of the Coeur d’Alene Press, for

Jim McKiernan. a statement but have not yet received a response. We will publish a follow-up should we receive one.

FEATURE U.S. Immigration will lose millions because it can’t process visas fast enough By Marcelo Rochabrun For ProPublica Used by permission Lost amid the uproar over the Trump administration’s crackdown on undocumented immigrants is a change coming to the legal immigration system that’s expected to be costly for both U.S. companies and the government itself. Each year at about this time, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services receives a tidal wave of applications for H-1B visas, the ones for college-educated workers. For-profit companies usually have a five-day window in April to send in applications for new visas just as existing visa holders begin renewing theirs. The new wrinkle is that earlier this week USCIS suspended socalled “premium processing,” a program that allowed employers to pay extra to reduce visa wait times from as long as eight months to just two weeks. Officials have depicted the temporary stoppage as the upshot of a “significant surge” in demand for expedited service, but, in reality, it appears to reflect the agency’s own mismanagement and waste. According to USCIS records, congressional testimony and interviews with former agency officials, USCIS has plunged most of the expedited program’s revenues from the last eight years — some $2.3 billion — into a failed effort to digitize the larger immigration system, leaving inadequate resources to staff the H-1B portion that was its cash cow. “I can’t believe that my old agency could be that stupid and reckless,” said William Yates, a former senior USCIS official who helped create the fast-track program. “It infuriates me.” USCIS has occasionally suspended premium processing before, but the timing of this suspension, which is expected to last up to six months, is especially damaging. Some 236,000 H-1B applications poured in in April 2016. Pausing expedited service is likely to cause delays for tens of thousands of applicants for new visas, mainly workers at universities or research organizations,

as well as foreign doctors who receive H-1Bs in exchange for working in areas that are medically underserved, according to USCIS data. It’ll also cost USCIS up to $100 million in lost fees, agency spokeswoman Carolyn Gwathmey acknowledged. Gwathmey said the loss would be cushioned by a $700 million reserve fund created by a surplus of premium processing fees and “would not negatively impact” the agency’s ability to keep paying for the digitization initiative, which is $1 billion over budget and five years behind schedule. But the interruption has fueled concerns about the Trump administration’s intentions for the H-1B program overall and the fate of the digital push that expedited H-1Bs have funded. Many H-1Bs are gobbled up by outsourcing companies, and President Trump promised during his campaign to make sure visa holders weren’t displacing Americans for jobs. In January, a draft executive order aimed at cracking down on work visas leaked and, while it hasn’t been signed, Politico reported it may be soon. In recent days, the Justice Department and USCIS have announced initiatives to look into H-1B fraud and abuse and USCIS has said that some entry-level computer programmers may no longer be eligible for H-1Bs. The suspension of premium processing won’t affect the number of H-1B visas issued, even to outsourcing firms, but critics worry that lost revenue from the program will extend the agency’s digitization delays and, thus, perpetuate the backlogs that led to the stoppage in the first place. So far, the effort to modernize has been plagued by glitches and lapses in security — between 2014 and 2016, for example, faulty programming resulted in the agency sending out thousands of green cards with inaccurate information on them and then failing to recall them. Some see little hope of fixing such flaws if funds from premium processing stop flowing. “Any CEO who would propose to cut the source of all your revenue — while at the same time still

paying to fix your product — would be fired,” said Greg Siskind, a longtime immigration lawyer. When it was unveiled in 2000, premium processing appeared to be a clever solution for both USCIS and its frustrated users. At the time, the wait for H-1B visas was about two to three months and the agency was processing about 195,000 a year, at a cost to applicants of about $2,130 a pop. The snail’s pace was due in part to sheer volume and that the lengthy applications, which run to 60 pages on average, were processed entirely on paper. Applicants printed them out and submitted them in duplicate, with the original going to USCIS and a copy going to the State Department. Each application had to be checked against criminal, and customs and border protection records. The premium service was pitched as a boon to businesses — particularly tech companies — more than willing to pay fees of $1,000 or more to cut the turnaround time from months to weeks. Today, regular processing costs applicants from $1,600 to about $5,000 per visa; premium processing costs another $1,225 on top of that. The expedited option has become more popular as the timeframe for regular processing has grown longer. It jumped from 41 days in fiscal year 2014 to eight months this year, USCIS data shows. Last year, 59 percent of H-1B applicants paid for premium processing, up from 36 percent two years ago. Premium processing revenue more than tripled in the last decade, reaching $488 million in 2016. The revenue from the premium program was supposed to cover the costs of providing the service and to supply funds for a

much-needed effort to modernize USCIS’ infrastructure. In 2005, USCIS launched the initiative, known internally as “Transformation,” whose main focus — and expense — has been mounting the Electronic Immigration System, or ELIS, an acronym that plays off the country’s longtime immigration gateway, Ellis Island. ELIS was budgeted to cost no more than $2.1 billion and scheduled to be complete in June 2014. Agency officials said it would handle all types of immigration petitions — from work visas to green cards to asylum requests to applications for citizenship. Applicants would be able to submit forms and supporting documents digitally; immigration officers would be able to process their petitions online. Petitions would be adjudicated more efficiently and officials would be able to identify security risks, fraud and criminal activity more effectively. But ELIS mostly doesn’t work. Designed to process all 90 kinds of immigration petitions digitally, today it can manage just two. Visa applications are still submitted on paper, after which USCIS contractors place them in old-fashioned files and manually transcribe applicants’ biographical information into the same comput-

er system used since at least 2003. The Department of Labor has digitally processed a form included in H-1B applications for almost 15 years, yet the same form has to be printed out and mailed to USCIS. To get an email from USCIS confirming receipt of an application, you have to send a paper “Request for e-notification” form. Lawmakers have called USCIS’ digitization initiative a “complete and utter waste of money” and “a poster child for IT mismanagement.” “To call it a transformation is insulting to intelligence,” said Houman Afshar, an immigration attorney who represents corporate clients. With much of its premium-processing windfall going into “Transformation,” since 2008 USCIS has chosen to use the proceeds from its regular visa processing program to try to cover the extra personnel and other costs related to the expedited service. Unsurprisingly, the agency wasn’t able to keep up, resulting in what William Stock, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, described as the premium processing “death spiral.” Yates said the current logjam

<see VISA, page 8 > April 20, 2017 /


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Waldorf student interns with KRFY radio By Tom Carty Reader Contributor Bouquets: •Special thanks goes out to all of the people who helped us keep on track while I was away. Tom Prez did a great job standing in for my Thursday deliveries. Cameron Rasmusson stepped up to run the paper like a boss. Jodi Taylor kept the money coming in from our advertisers. Laura Wahl helped layout ads along the way. Chris and Sandy Bessler and the rest of the Keokee crew were available for questions and advice. I’m so glad to return and see my newspaper that I love so much still firing on all six cylinders. Barbs: •It saddened me to read about the racist fliers distributed around Sandpoint during the weeks I was away. It’s important for people to realize these despicable people exist in our community. I get emails from these people from time to time and probably don’t share with you as much as I should, but it’s becoming a problem that will need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. •While traveling in Vietnam, I was able to witness what an unregulated environmental policy does to a nation. The waterways were clogged with trash and scummy from human and animal waste flowing directly into rivers. The oceans were saltier than normal and often had a scummy, rotten smell. Trash lined the ditches on all the roadways and the shorelines. Those who oppose environmental regulation on ideological reasons need to see these things to understand that without these regulations, the U.S. could be just as bad someday. I urge you all to write to President Trump and lobby for upholding our place in the Paris Climate Agreement. Unless you like trash everywhere and dirty water. 8 /


/ April 20, 2017

My name is Tom Carty, and I’m a student at Sandpoint Waldorf School. For my eighthgrade project I have chosen to work with the local radio station KRFY 88.5 FM. I have worked for the past seven months with my incredible mentor, Suzy Prez. This project started in October when I first spoke with KRFY and arranged a meeting. The goal of my project is to learn what it takes to be a broadcaster. Over the past months I have learned and experienced many things. I have worked as a deejay at the station three times. Each time I picked the music and announced the time and weather with the help of Elisa, a volunteer deejay. The production manager, Jack, showed me the

process in which the sound passes through a set of systems before it goes out on the air. The largest part of this project is the interview that I did with Sue Vogelsinger. Vogelsinger is a local Sandpoint resident who worked for President John F. Kennedy. She was one of the staff in the press section of the West Wing. Vogelsinger had great stories about working one-on-one with President Kennedy. To hear this exclusive, onetime interview, tune in to the 88.5 KRFY Morning Show on Wednesday, April 26, at 8 a.m. I hope that you will tune in and enjoy learning about Sue Vogelsinger and her time in the white house, as much as I have. Tom Carty, center, stands with KRFY’s Suzy Prez, left and interviewee Sue Vogelsinger, who worked for JFK in the White House. Photo courtesy KRFY.

< VISA,con’t from page 7 > could have easily been avoided. “I would classify it as malfeasance if they took that money and then did not hire sufficient numbers of officers,” he said. USCIS said that since last year, it had begun using premium processing revenue to pay the salaries of immigration officers tasked with adjudicating the growing pile of expedited H-1B petitions. The agency also said it was considering hiring more immigration officers and that the suspension would help the agency reduce processing times for all applicants whether or not they paid for premium service. Chad Graham, a lawyer who represents companies seeking H-1B visas on behalf of foreign workers, expects the suspension of premium processing to have an array of effects. Foreign workers renewing H-1Bs may not be able to travel internationally for months while their applications are pending, even if their jobs require it; in many states, they won’t be able to renew driver’s licenses either. Because of a rush to file as many H-1B renewals as possible before expedited service was sus-

pended, USCIS said it hasn’t been able to keep up with its manual data entry. With its funding source on pause, ELIS remains thirsty for resources. There’s been a steady drumbeat of reports from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General saying the system’s flaws have resulted in worrisome mishaps. In a single month in 2013, USCIS sent out almost 2,500 green cards erroneously marked as valid for 10 years instead of two years because a faulty database had filled in incorrect information in the “expiration date” field. In 2014, the agency sent applicants over 5,000 green cards bearing the wrong names or birth dates. Some replaced the applicant’s first name with “No Given Name”; others included the wrong photos or fingerprints. Between March and May 2016, USCIS issued duplicate green cards to 756 applicants, in some cases sending as many as five green cards to a single individual. Months later, the OIG found, the agency had not recalled any of the duplicates. The agency’s recently departed

acting director, Lori Scialabba, told Congress in March that while the OIG findings were accurate, their study had been conducted shortly after the green card process was put on ELIS, “a time when it is typical for IT systems to have kinks that need to be worked out.” USCIS made its citizenship application available on ELIS last April, then took it down four months later. The OIG later said it had found “alarming security concerns” with the process — including that ELIS was allowing applications to go forward that had not been properly checked against FBI and Customs and Border Protection databases. Some 175 individuals were granted citizenship before the problems with the background checks were discovered, the OIG found. The agency now says ELIS will be finished in March of 2019. “We can see that they aren’t going to make that date either,” said Kristen Bernard, director of the information technology management division at OIG, who has overseen several audits of USCIS.

People’s Climate March scheduled for April 29 By Ben Olson Reader Staff

A nationwide march supporting climate issues will see a Sandpoint contingent next week. The “People’s Climate March in Sandpoint” will take place at 1 p.m. at Farmin Park on Saturday, April 29. The march will end at the Sandpoint Community Hall where there will be booths highlighting effective actions for combating climate change, as well as creative activities for kids and adults. March organizers express that everyone is invited to march, and have asked those who join to bring colorful signs and banners to express their passion. For more information, see sponsors’ websites: www. and

A Highway Runs Through It: Planning for Growth in Sagle

By Susan Drumheller Reader Contributor The hamlet of Sagle, the unincorporated area just south of the Long Bridge, boasts a rural quality of life conveniently close to Sandpoint and its urban services. But Sagle is at a crossroads of sorts. Growth pressures are sure to change the face of this loose-knit community that now features a few businesses, storage units and billboards along U.S. Highway 95, at least one suburban neighborhood, rural residential properties, farms, woodlands and recreational resorts. Among the looming changes that portend future growth pressures are: •An uptick in building location permits countywide. The housing market is picking up steam and the Bonner County Planning Department is processing 70 more building location permits countywide than this time last year—a significant increase; •Gov. Butch Otter just signed a $320 million transportation bill that includes the continued expansion of U.S. Highway 95 improvements north. The next phase is the Granite Hill improvements, estimated to cost $22 million. Eventually, the divided, controlled access highway will extend into Sagle, but stopping short of the Long Bridge. This will make commuting from Sagle to Kootenai County jobs more attractive; •The Sagle Valley Water and Sewer District is actively exploring options for establishing a sewer district along the commercial highway corridor, which would allow grocery stories, restaurants and just about any other type of development to occur.

Given these realities, and the state mandate that counties periodically update their comprehensive land use plans (most states require regular 10-year updates), the Bonner County Planning Department launched a process to update the land use plan focusing on the Sagle area. In addition, because of the assumption that growth is likely all along the Highway 95 corridor, the county also launched a “sub area” plan for the Samuels-Selle Valley area. Eventually the county will replicate this process for other areas of the county to provide more localized attention based on the unique characteristics of those areas, according to Milton Ollerton, Bonner County’s planning director who was hired last year. “The comprehensive plan is a broad brush,” Ollerton said. “This gives us a chance to microscope in and give more attention to these areas.” Comprehensive plans provide counties and cities with a blueprint for growth, establishing general goals and objectives. The plan is implemented with zoning codes, which are the regulations for how development can occur. Public workshops began earlier this year in Sagle and the Selle Valley to revise the comprehensive plan for those specific areas. Meetings have been well-attended and relatively peaceful in Sagle, but became unmanageable in the Selle Valley over concerns that the intent of the plan was to rezone the valley in a way that could lead to over-development, destroying the area’s rural character. Ollerton’s assurances that the county had no agenda, other than to update the plan based

An aerial view of Sagle. Photo by Jerry Luther. on the community’s wishes, didn’t quell the worries. In response, the county is forming a special committee of Selle Valley landowners to guide the planning process. The Planning Commission will appoint committee members at its meeting tonight, April 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, about 110 people have attended a series of workshops in the Sagle area, expressing their vision and desires for their community. One overarching theme—as in the Selle Valley—is to retain the rural character of the place. At the same time, residents have suggested that it would be nice for Sagle to have its own grocery store and other commercial services that now require a trip across the Long Bridge. Getting a grocery store necessitates a sewer system, which is in the works and could spur additional growth. Now the Sagle Valley Water and Sewer District has 265

water connections, and the capacity for 405. The district is making plans to provide the sewer infrastructure and treatment for the commercial corridor, but it could also serve higher density housing nearby, said Tim Blankenship, an engineer working on sewer options for the district. “It’s really being driven by the commercial properties along Highway 95,” Blankenship said. Sagle native Mike Gunter has been regularly attending the workshops and advocating for preserving the rural character of the area. He stays involved because, he said, “Government works for those who participate.” At the April workshop, he said developers should locate denser subdivisions “closer to urban services, not in Farmer John’s cow pasture.” That’s exactly the kind of direction that a comprehensive land use plan can give.

But to think that the plan can stop growth is unrealistic, said Blankenship. “They want to see it stay just the way it is,” Blankenship said, sharing his impressions from one of the workshops. “Well, that’s not going to happen. We need to make sure it develops in a way that’s going to be good for everyone in that area.” The next workshop for the Sagle Sub Area Plan is scheduled for 6 p.m., May 16, at the Sagle Elementary School. For background materials on the planning effort, visit the county planning department’s website, Susan Drumheller lives in Sagle and is on the steering committee for Project 7B, a citizens group with the mission to educate and involve the public in land use planning decisions.

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Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist Energy is a hot button topic in the crucible of politics and social commentary right now. Clean energy, cheap energy, what’s best for the planet versus what’s best for our bank account. Long story short, it’s a giant convoluted mess and a winding labyrinth of personal interest and conflict that ultimately boils down to human profit, both on a macro (GDP of entire countries and global economies) and micro (personal workers, towns and communities). You may want to power your entire city block on reclaimed cooking oil that somehow cleans the atmosphere while it powers your home, but your friend Roy at the coal mine could lose his job because that makes his position obsolete. This is the conundrum we as a country, and as a species are at right now. It’s much more complicated and affects a lot more people than a couple of southern billionaires and their sheikh buddy in Saudi Arabia. Lucky for you, this article has already passed the myriad of social and economic problems to focus on one simple thing: What is energy? Energy is something that can be transferred to other objects or converted into different forms to, as perhaps the greatest scientific minds in the history of our great nation, Rob and Big, put it: “Do work, son.” What does it mean to do work? It can mean almost anything. In the most tangible of forms, we quantify energy into joules. No, not the place you went to for lunch (though we’ll go over that later. You know my rampant obsession with tacos), a joule is defined as the amount of energy transferred through mechanical work to move an object one meter against a force of one newton. Not a Fig Newton. One new10 /


/ April 20, 2017

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energy ton is the force needed to accelerate one kilogram of mass at the rate of one meter per second squared in one direction. Ugh, Brenden. Snoozeville, I’m back in high school physics! Yeah, well context is important, so suck it up, buttercup! As the internet puts it: “tl;dr” (too long, didn’t/don’t/doesn’t read): a joule is a basic unit of measurement for energy that helps us understand how things move/do work.. If you’re feeling lost or afraid, fear not! Mad About Science lists are here and ready to blow your mind. What can one J (abbreviation for joule) do? It can heat 1 gram of cool, dry air by 1 degree, C. Well that’s uneventful! Let’s move up to what we call a kilojoule, or kJ. As our Canadian neighbors laugh at us for not knowing the metric system, that’s 1,000 joules (10^3 J). 1.8kJ is the amount of energy released by an M16 bullet firing at 960 meters per second. To think that you did all of that with just one squeeze of your index finger! The energy wasn’t in your finger, though. The energy was stored in the exploding powder in the cartridge. To put that into perspective, and how mass and weight can vastly change the outcome of something, the world record hammer throw required almost twice that energy: 3.4kJ, just to make the hammer go 30.7 meters per second. Throwing hammers sounds pretty fun. Moving up to megajoules (10^6 J), you see a familiar phrase if you pay the electric bill: 1kWh, or 1 kilowatt-hour, which requires 3.6 MJ. To put that energy use in perspective, you could watch 6 episodes of Orange is the New Black on your HDTV before consuming 1kWh of power.

Now to balance that against how much energy your body uses in a day, the average 2,000-calorie diet contains about 8.4 MJ of energy. Instead of eating, you could watch nine episodes! But come on, what’s binge-watching without binge-eating? Going past that, a term most of us have heard is gigajoules (10^9 J or GJ). We’re familiar with this term because there is a little over one GJ in a bolt of lightning. Putting that into scope, a 16 gallon tank of gas has about 2.2 GJ of energy inside of it. If you’re wondering why your car doesn’t just erupt into a glorious display of divine fury, it’s because the tank is depleted slowly over time (and also pushing an object weighing at least a thousand pounds around for miles at a time), and not all at once in a fraction of a second. Let’s jump up a few orders of magnitude here to get to more interesting stuff. A petajoule (10^15) is roughly the amount of energy released by your average thunderstorm, which is more energy than the kinetic energy of the International Space Station, a 417-ton mass of steel and science moving almost five miles per second. Skipping even farther ahead, we look at the largest order of magnitude we have a name for: yottajoule (10^24 J). 5.5 YJ of energy from the sun hits the face of the Earth every year. Multiply that 4.5 billion and you have about the total energy that’s hit Earth since it formed. That’s a taco or two. Past this point, we really don’t have words to describe these awesome levels of mind-bending energy, just numbers. Any idea how much energy is in a solar flare? It’s 10^25 J. That’s a staggeringly huge num-

ber. Can you count that high? That’s 10 septillion, in case you were wondering. That’s also 1,000 times the amount energy that Earth receives every year! All right, Brenden. It’s time to wow me. This has been a great number dump or whatever, but I’m wearing socks, and I want you to blow them off with these Joules you’re talking about. Fair enough. You remember when you saw that T-shirt that had the doctor from “Back to the Future” and it said E=mc^2 and you thought it was like a funny meme or something? Well, that was Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant people to ever live in the history of humankind, and to blow your mind, I have to break that down for you. According to Einstein’s famous Theory of Relativity, E=mc^2 means Energy equals mass times the speed of light

squared. This implies that all mass contains an imim mense amount of enerener gy. When we’re talking about things on the scale that we’re about to discuss, we have to talk about them together (Well, we don’t have to, but it’s a lot easier to.). We’ll refer to this as mass-energy equivalence, or mass-energy. So, a solar flare, 10^25, a pretty big number. The mass-energy of the entire Milky Way galaxy, includinclud ing dark matter (projected, of course), is 10^59 J. That’s 59 zeroes. That is NOT barely double a solar flare, exponents don’t work like that. A solar flare is 10^-34th of a percent of the mass-energy of the entire Milky Way galaxy. That’s 0.0(this goes on for 32 more zeroes)01 percent. An ejection of energy larger than all of the energy the Earth catches in a year 1,000 times over is 34 zeroes away from being a single percentage of energy in our galaxy. Did I forget to mention that we think there are at least two trillion galaxies in the universe? It’s not a very small world out there, after all!

Random Corner We can help!

Don’t know much about solar


• Solar energy is a completely free source of energy and it is found in abundance. Though the sun is 90 million miles from the earth, it takes less than 10 minutes for light to travel from that much of distance. • Solar energy has also another use. By means of photosynthesis, solar energy is converted by green plants into chemical energy which creates the bio mass that makes up the fossil fuels. • Solar energy can also be used for making potable, brackish or saline water. Without using electricity or chemicals, waste water can be treated. Creating salt from sea water is also one of the oldest uses of solar energy. • The largest solar power plant in the world is located in the Mojave Desert in California, covering 1,000 acres. • Solar energy has been used for over 2,700 years. In 700 B.C., glass lenses were used to make fire by magnifying the sun’s rays.

Earth Day feature:

Why Wilderness? By Phil Hough Reader Contributor When I was 10 years old, my dad and I took a 10-day adventure along the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a canoe route established in northern Maine by that state’s legislature in 1966 to preserve and protect the wilderness character of this unique area. This magnificent 92-mile-long ribbon of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams starts northwest of Baxter State Park and flows towards Canada. Protection for the Allagash was enhanced in 1970 when it was named the first state-administered component of the National Wild and Scenic River System. This was my first taste of wilderness, and it changed my life! I returned filled with desire for more adventure, to find places where I could be part of the natural landscape, to learn from wildlife what it meant to simply “be.” To “be” alive, in a place beyond the confines of the cages of zoos and suburbia. That need for adventure, solitude, to be a seeker of wild places never left me. Though I did set is aside for a few years for an education and career. In those years, I made occasional forays into the backcountry and beyond. Paddling through Canyonlands, hiking in the Colorado Rockies, the North Cascades, the Olympics and Glacier National Park. There is yet remote and wild country that can be found on weeklong adventures! My yearning for more wildness set me on a path, in 1994, to walk from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail.

After 2,700 miles of walking, through 48 wilderness areas and many landscapes of varying other uses, I was hooked. A dedicated long distance hiker. Next up was the Appalachian Trail, then the Continental Divide Trail and a kayak trip the length of the Yukon River from British Columbia across the Yukon and Alaska to the Bering Sea. Big adventures need big country. Wilderness transformed me once again. Coming back from my second through hike of the Pacific Crest trail I was struck by the fact that in all my wilderness wanderings, I had found no country in the “lower 48” more wild than the Scotchman Peaks. I felt that I could help do something about that. We can all do something to make sure opportunities to be wild are there for us without having to travel to the corners (or ends) of the country. While it may not be big enough for a five-month hike, the Scotchmans are wild enough for a weekend or even weeklong trip into areas beyond the hustle and bustle of our otherwise busy lives. There is room enough to find your own special place in the Scotchmans and in doing so to find the remote sections of your very soul. This is where we each can find soul-itude. This is why, as we celebrate Earth Day, I ask you to join me in urging Senator Jim Risch to re-introduce the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Act and preserving the 13,960 acres of a place we call our wild home.

A young Phil Hough backpacking Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and highest peak in Maine.

April 20, 2017 /


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Sandpoint – Ponderay

920 Kootenai Cutoff Rd. Located just northeast of Walmart.

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/ April 20, 2017

The Cedar St. Wine Bar is officially open! With a huge selection of great wines and a fabulous tapas menu it's a party every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night! Join us 5-9 with live music on Fridays! The Wine Bar on

CEDAR ST. BRIDGE in Sandpoint, Idaho check us out on

The Wine Bar at Cedar St Bridge

t h u r s d a y


f r i d a y


s a t u r d a y


s u n d a y


m o n d a y t u e s d a y

w e d n e s d a y t h u r s d a y

Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Get Dave Back to Work Benefit 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Toss back some pints and raise some money for Dave to help get him back to work. Music by Kevin Dorin

Season Bender: The Motet 8pm @ The Hive No matter how you choose to express funk, you can’t fake it - and the Motet are FO REAL. Tickets are only $10 for this special Schweitzer Mountain appreciation show

“Life An Live Music w/ Still Tipsy and Traditional Basque Dinner 6:30pm @ Memorial Community Center, Hope 6:30pm @ the Hangovers $30 for dinner or $40 for three drink tickets. Support T 9pm-12am @ 219 Lounge by watch Live Music w/ Marty Perron Happy hour begins at 5:30 p.m. 264-5481 film. $7 s and Doug Bond Third Fridays with Devon Wade 5:30-7:30pm @ Idaho Pour Authority 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Computer Live Music w/ Chris Lynch Basic Com Country music at the Beer Hall 6pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante 8:15am @ Live Music w/ Beat Diggers Spring for Earth Day Dance Odyssey 9pm-12am @ 219 Lounge All day @ D 7-9pm @ Embody Center This up-and-coming six-piece Shop locally Drop by 823 Main St. for this band brings great variety dance practice. Sliding cost of $10- Spring for 20 Sandpoi Live Music w/ Neighbor John Kelly $20. with local n and the Atomic Blues Band Walking with awareness for a day to 7:30pm @ Di Luna’s 9am @ Sand Creek Trail giving com Enjoy great music and raise funds for Nurse practitioner Jane Hoover stores will o the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail guides a walking conversation all day, as w on breath and awareness Community dance tivities for 7-10pm @ Sandpoint Community Hall Winery Spring Retail Sale strations, an Rumba Lesson taught by Glenn and @ Pend d’Oreille Winery samplings f Patty. $6 for members, $9 for non-mem- Bargains all day long. A porLive Music bers, and $5 for teens. 208-699-0421 tion of sales donated to CCS 6pm @ Arlo


Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am. All are welcome

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7:30pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

25 26 27

CHAF 5-7pm Live m and Do about th appetiz

Lost 7am Enjo

Missoula Children’s Theatre Auditions Auditions are free, and there are roles ava sentation of “Gulliver’s Travels.” Sponsor

Music Matters - Celebration of Bach, His Life and 6pm @ Panida Theater Students of the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint C grams will perform selected works of Bach during the concert. $5 admission for adults, free for children und

Night Out Karaoke 9pm @ 219 Lounge

Sue Vogelsinger interview 8-9am @ 88.5 KRFY Tune in to hear of Vogelsinger’s work in the JFK Press Corps

Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Good until the keg’s dry

Game Night at the Niner 9pm @ 219 Lounge

Art Program Fundraiser • 5-8pm @ Idaho Pour Autho A fundraiser to support the art program with the Wash Elementary School PTO. No-Li Brewhouse beer will be plus enjoy live music, complimentary appetizers, raffle and a live auction with two bicycles donated from local v

Live Music w/ Truck Mills 9pm-12am @ 219 Lounge Come watch a master at work, with Truck Mills on his lap steel guitar

Yappy Hour 9pm-12am @ 219 Loung Support Panhandle A Shelter! Live music, a fe in area for dogs, and foo drink available for purcha


CHAFE 150 Happy Hour 5-7pm @ 219 Lounge Live music with Marty Perron and Doug Bond. Learn more about the CHAFE 150. Raffles, appetizers, prizes and more

April 20 - April 27, 2017

A weekly entertainment guide to keep you on your toes. To list your event free, please send an email to Reader recommended

Bonner County Gardeners Association Sip & Shop 4-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Ten percent of all proceeds for the evening will be donated to the Bonner County Gardeners Association prizes and more

Girls Pint Out Night 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Grab a beer with the girls! Belgian-style beer is the order of the night Poetry Writing Workshop 3pm @ Sandpoint Library For elementary school aged kids

“Life Animated” film Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 6:30pm @ Panida Theater 6-8pm @ Cedar St. Bridge Public Market Support Team Autism 24/7 Live music, Free and open to the public by watching this acclaimed Strike Out Hunger Fundraiser film. $7 suggested donation @ Huckleberry Lanes Computer Class: Take part in a three-person bowling compeBasic Computers tition to help fund the Food Bank. $200 per 8:15am @ Sandpoint Library team. Call 263-3663 to register pring for Sandpoint Special Olympics BBQ Fundraiser l day @ Downtown Sandpoint 11am-3pm@ Sandpoint VFW Hall hop locally to give locally during The Sandpoint Special Olympic Team is pring for Sandpoint! More than raising funds to attend state games in Ida0 Sandpoint merchants team up ho Falls this June. Holy Smoke BBQ will ith local non-profit organizations provide the smoked brisket and pulled r a day to celebrate our vibrant, pork, and Egger’s Better Meats in Spoving community. Participating kane has donated some of the pork ores will offer sales and specials l day, as well as a variety of ac- BYOB (Blend Your Own Bistro) vities for kids, product demon- @ Pend d’Oreille Winery rations, and food and beverage Spend an afternoon with friends and staff mplings from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. creating your own special blend of Bistro Rouge. This event fills up fast; make your ve Music w/ Chris Lynch reservation by calling 208-265-8545 m @ Arlo’s Ristorante

Live Music w/ Truck Mills 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Live Music w/ Bridges Home 5:30-8:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Americana, Celtic and Roots

Live Music w/ Brandon & Cole Show 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall With Brandon Watterson and Cole McAvoy, who are teaming up

Swing Dance with Carl Rey and the Blues Gators 7pm @ Pearl Theater (Bonners) A local band from Oldtown, Carl Rey and the Blues Gators are known for their strong vocals and clean harmonica sound. $16/advance, $18 at the door. Get ready to dance the night away!

Lost in the ‘50s Fundraiser Breakfast 7am-1pm @ Second Ave. Pizza Enjoy a great breakfast and support the annual Lost in the ‘50s event in May

Auditions • 3:30-5:30pm @ Farmin-Stidwell Elementary roles available for students in grades K-12 for the upcoming pre” Sponsored by the Pend Oreille Arts Council. 208-263-6139

Life and His Music

Special Money Smart Week Storytime 10:15am @ Sandpoint Library ndpoint Community Pro- Money Smart Week joins the regularly scheduled Mothduring the Music Matters er Goose and Preschool Storytimes with a special piggy ldren under 12 bank painting activity

our Authority the Washington er will be on tap, ers, raffle prizes om local vendors

19 Lounge andle Animal music, a fenceds, and food and for purchase

Crafternoon – Poetry Journals 2pm @ Sandpoint Library Open Mic Night Celebrate National Poetry month 5-8pm @ SKåL Taproom by making a handcrafted journal to keep your works! Free family fun Thursday Night Solo Series w/ Brian Jacobs 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Jacobs, his guitar, great tunes and great brews ... hope to see everyone there! Free and open to the public

1319 Hwy 2 Suite C Sandpoint, ID April 28 Festival at Sandpoint’s Wine Festival @ Bonner County Fairgrounds

Mon-Thur 11-9 Fri-Sat 11-10 Sun 12-9

April 29 People’s Climate March @ Farmin Park April 29 Missoula Children’s Theatre’s “Gulliver’s Travels” @ Panida Theater

st e t n o c g n i r o l o c adult onth of April during the m

April 20, 2017 /


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7B Drug Free presents Reality Party By Reader Staff

Listen in Sandpoint to KPND @ 106.7 in HD

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/ April 20, 2017

Teenagers today face increasingly dangerous situations at parties, no matter where they live. Bonner County is not exception. In an effort to increase parental awareness and to initiate dialogues with their kids about the dangers of the current party scene, 7B Drug Free will present a Reality Party for Parents on Wednesday, April 26. Parents will get two chances to tour a home set up as a teen drinking party, with youth actors portraying common party activities. The first session is at 5:45 p.m. and the second at 6:45 p.m. A question and answer session will immediately follow each session. This year’s Reality Party will take place at the Talus Rock Retreat at 291 Syringa Heights Road in Sandpoint. From happenings derived from real parties, actual high school students will depict scenes all too familiar to both local law enforcement and hospital officials. Bragging about fake IDs, stealing alcohol from parents and boasting about the stimulating effects of energy drinks might not seem like cause for alarm, but by the end of the pretend party, teens posed as passed out as well as puking in

wastebaskets, alcohol overdoses, drug use, random hook-ups and acts of sexual assault, all demonstrate the dangers of today’s teen world. “We want parents to be informed and talk with their teenagers about the real risks involved in participating in parties where drugs and alcohol are available.” says Tammy Palaniuk, Bonner County Youth Court Coordinator and 7B Drug Free coalition member. “The 7B Drug Free coalition started the Reality Party in 2015 as a way to educate parents on the current realities of teen parties,” said 7B Drug Free Executive Director, Erika McCall. “Parties have changed over the past decade and things like social media, expanded access to street drugs and lower perceptions of risk have contributed to a spike in violence, overdoses and other consequences during parties. This ‘mock party’ is designed to bring awareness and open the dialogue between parents and teens about risky behaviors.” 7B Drug Free is a local nonprofit organization partnering with law enforcement, educators, the medical community and Bonner General Health. Contact Executive Director, Erika McCall at (208) 699-0919 for more information.


This open Window

Vol. 2 No.8

poetry and prose by local writers edited by Jim mitsui

destination: tule lake relocation center by Jim Mitsui

She had raised the window higher

the tarpaper walls and tin roof, she had

than her head; then paused

been able to carry away so little.

to lift wire spectacles, wiping

The fingers of her left hand

sight back with a wrinkled hand-

worried two strings attached

kerchief. She wanted to watch the old place

to a baggage tag flapping

until the train’s passing erased

from her lapel. -Jim Mitsui

COMMENTS: My first great influence in poetry was William Carlos Williams, one of the pioneers of free verse. He believed in concrete imagery---“No ideas but in things.” He also was a proponent of what he called ‘vertical flow’, formatting his poems in short-line 2 or 3-line stanzas, rather than writing a solid block of text. This style put a premium on line-breaks, ones that either surprised the reader of led him on to what was next. Example: In my poem above I end line 8 with a hyphenated word “hand-“ and ask the reader to trust the process and read on to the next line to find out that it’s a wrinkled handkerchief. But of course it works to show that she is older, that her hands are indeed wrinkled also.

Using Williams’ vertical flow technique I hope to move the action down the page, in some cases isolating a single word for emphasis. I also utilize an active verb, “worried” which can mean that she was and clutching a tear-stained handkerchief, but that she obviously has to be worried about what was happening to them as the family is being ‘relocated’ to the Tule Lake Relocation Camp. How a poem ends is probably the most important place in a poem, and I chose to close with the symbolism of the authorities identifying us with handwritten & numbered baggage tags like some luggage. In many ways free verse poetry is more difficult than writing traditional rhyming verse because the poet has to decide and judge if everything


by Jennifer Passaro Brushed sweet potatoes rest in a glass dish. The house sits at the side of the lake wearing our stories like months. The dog pouts, you let him out, he waits on the ice patch, I let him in. The cat crawls across the chair. Golden the freeze across the dirt yard. Sun flowers stalked in shadow against the shed. The greenhouse purrs. Where you pulled the sweet potatoes the ground dims with freeze, dipping its chin. Winter talks, feeding the wood stove. The hot plate crackles the coconut oil that sheens the egg’s bottom brown. My mother cooks an egg this way in the evening to eat from a bowl like ice cream. The sun creams the window. The dog rests his head in my lap. You pick up the orange cat, swiftly, his nimble hairs searching the line of your sweater, a run of light in the crocheted puddle that walked this morning beneath the dark cedars, pausing where the roots lift the silt like zinnias running in the August yard.

-Jennifer Passaro Jennifer continues to write from her new place in Eastern Montana. Her unique imagery and imagination gives us a fresh perspective of a typical Sandpoint afternoon.

April is National Poetry Month and the Friends of the Library are celebrating by participating in Poem in Your Pocket Day. Be alert on Monday the 24th, FOL members with baskets will be out in the community delivery poem scrolls along with many participating local business. Enjoy! is working: the language, the concrete images (so the reader can ‘see’ what’s going on), the stanza (or not) format, the way the lines “break” or end. Williams tended to stay away from end-stopped lines--in traditional verse each line ends with a ‘stop’, a period, a comma--some sort of punctuation---and the effect is like a sing-song nursery rhyme instead of the natural flow and rhythm of language. Contemporary poetry is not made up of prose paragraphs just broken up into lines. There is always a purpose or reason to end a line with a certain word (I was taught to hardly ever end a line with a connective like “and” or “but”, or an article (a, an, the), or a preposition.) And formatting is

important. During the process you can find yourself writing in 2,3 or 4-line stanzas instead of a solid block of text. And the length of lines will vary from short to long, depending on the type of rhythm and flow that you want to create. But writing contemporary poetry is not difficult; it really follows a natural process. About the only rule that you should follow is “it has to work and it should have something to say.”

my grandfather loved a practical joke by Brenda Hammond

Like the time my grandmother brought home a chicken for Sunday dinner in a wooden crate from the market on the corner. She put it in the basement but when she went to get it-- even the cage was gone. Of course she asked Grandpa, who said he hadn’t seen a chicken--and so she went back to the market and bought another. When she returned, there was a chicken in the basement -- Grandpa was chuckling and ready to run as she chased him with a frying pan. His sense of comedic timing was superb. I remember an Easter breakfast with aunts, uncles and cousins sitting around the big dining table with a crocheted tablecloth on top of white linen, laden with a huge ham, home-made horseradish, braided bread and bowls of colored eggs. The uncles were telling ethnic jokes and had gone from Polish jokes to Jewish. In the pause that followed their laughter, grandpa looked up with that twinkle in his eye and said, “My mother, she vas Jew.” The stunned silence of the grown-ups was delicious to me-- as was the flurry of questions that followed. Grandpa said very little. He seldom talked of the “old country” that he and grandma had escaped in a wagon under a load of straw. He’d never told his children that his mother was a Russian Jew. But the best practical joke was the last. Grandpa would have loved his funeral. My father and his brothers arranged to have him buried in one of the two plots he had purchased in the Catholic cemetery-- but were told since Grandpa hadn’t gone to church or confession for many years that he wasn’t eligible. He’d said about confession, “Why should I confess to God? God knows.” So his sons arranged for him to be buried in the large Woodlawn Cemetery near downtown Detroit. Following the funeral, performed by a Protestant Minister one of the brothers had found, we got into cars to follow the hearse. Tears streamed down my face as I looked out my window in the back seat. I was angry because the pastor talked more about Jesus than he did my grandfather, a carpenter whose name was Joseph. He didn’t even mention how brave he had been to come to this country, to work in the coal mines until he had the money to build a house, and how he raised his children to become doctors, lawyers and successful business men and women. He didn’t know he grew the most beautiful dahlias in all of Hamtramck, and how he studied hard to pass his naturalization exam and become an American citizen. We were winding through Detroit when I noticed that people, instead of going about their business, were lining up along the sides of the street and watching our procession as it passed. As we went further, there were barricades set up on the side streets so other cars were kept from turning onto Woodward Ave. More and more people lined the street-two and three deep in some places. Some of them were crying. There was a boy scout troop that saluted as we drove by, then the procession stopped in front of a Catholic school. All of the students were outside with the nuns, and we rolled down our windows as a great sound rose up, filling the air, the sound of a hundred rosaries. We continued on to the cemetery, the crowd thinning out as we approached. When we stopped at the gate, my father got out and, describing what we’d witnessed, asked if they knew what was happening. He was told, “Oh, you just preceded the procession of Cardinal Mooney, the Archbishop of Detroit, by about twenty minutes. People must have thought this was his funeral.” -- My tears dried, as I was certain I could hear Grandpa chuckling. And saying, “God knows.”

-Brenda Hammond Brenda is a long-time member of the Board of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force. She’s making plans to work less and spend more time with her four beautiful grand-girls.

Send poems to:

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Spring backcountry touring tips By Jeff Thompson Reader Columnist

Jeff Thompson from the Idaho Panhandle National Forest Avalanche Center here. This is our last update of the season. Spring is generally a safer time to travel in the mountains, but there are some rules to live by. The following are some helpful hints to guide you in your spring trips to the mountains. •The safest and best conditions will exist after a good nighttime freeze. Dig a pit to see how deeply the freeze penetrated. This will give you an idea of how quickly the snow will become slushy and unstable. •Get on the slopes early before the temperatures get too warm or the sun gets too intense. Mountain temperatures above 50 degrees should be an indicator that conditions are becoming unstable. Strong radiation can penetrate deep into the pack and destabilize weak layers. •Steep south-facing slopes are affected most rapidly by strong sun. If you are into the slush up to your boot-tops or you’re laying on the throttle to move, it’s time to get off the slope. By planning your route to take you to slopes just as they come into the sun and begin to thaw you can enjoy good, safe sliding. •Always be careful around rock outcroppings because they hold heat and weaken the snow for some distance around them. •Rain always weakens the snow pack, and this time of year rain can lubricate ice crusts making the overlying layers more prone to slide. When we do get new snow watch for the type of surface it is bonding to. New snow on an ice crust that is experiencing melting during the day 16 /


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can be extremely unstable, especially if it is wind-loaded. •Finally, keep track of extended periods of thawing, not only during the day but most importantly overnight. This will also decrease snow stability. Night-time temperatures below freezing are a must for good sliding conditions, and safe sliding conditions. The more nights in a row that freezing conditions occur, the more stable the snow is likely to be. Freezing conditions will usually accompany clear nights while overcast nights tend to trap heat. •On your ventures into the high country remember to respect old terra firma, the brown stuff, that sticks to your boots. Don’t rut up the roads and trails in your truck or ATV trying to get an extra 100 feet. Park before you get to the muddy sections and try to avoid them as much as possible. Just like your tracks in the snow, leave no trace. •Backcountry users can reduce their exposure to avalanche hazards by utilizing timbered trails and ridge routes and by avoiding open and exposed terrain with slope angles of 30 degrees or more. Backcountry travelers should carry the necessary avalanche rescue equipment such as a shovel, avalanche probe, a rescue beacon and a wellequipped first aid kit. •The high country in the Panhandle is sitting at 98 percent of average for snowfall. The pack may stick around for a while this season. Avalanche conditions change for better or worse continually. Backcountry travelers should be prepared to assess current conditions for themselves, plan their routes of travel accordingly. We’ll be back next year with the first sign of snows. Have a good spring!

Just another day on the mountain with the Joneses; full time ski swingers.

It’s almost mushroom-harvesting time By Reader Staff As the snow finally recedes and the temperatures warm, it is time to start thinking about harvesting mushrooms. The Idaho Panhandle National Forests welcomes mushroom harvesting, and offers some tips and information. Mushroom harvesting on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests requires a permit if you are harvesting more than one gallon of mushrooms a day, or more than five gallons a season. This free personal-use permit allows harvesting up to 20 gallons, or 50 pounds, of mushrooms per season. In an effort to provide opportunities for recreational pickers, commercial harvesting is not authorized on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests. Picking mushrooms with the intent to sell them is considered commercial harvesting. Slicing mushrooms in half, lengthwise from stem to cap, before leaving the harvest area distinguishes personal use from unauthorized commercial collecting. Mushroom permits are available weekday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at any Idaho

Panhandle National Forests’ offices, except for at the Coeur d’Alene Forest Nursery. Issuing permits ensures the sustainability of mushroom harvests and helps the Forest protect resources. It is important to understand the permit conditions and mushroom harvest limits. Mushroom permit requirements may vary between national forests. More information about mushroom harvesting is available at http://www.fs.usda. gov/main/ipnf/home or at your local Forest Service office. Forest Supervisor Mary Farnsworth stresses the importance of correctly identifying mushrooms. “Poisonous mushrooms can be difficult to distinguish from edible varieties. Please learn what is safe and what is not before consuming any wild mushrooms,” said Farnsworth. Mushrooms may be harvested anywhere on the Idaho Panhandle National Forests unless otherwise restricted. It is always recommended to check with your local ranger station for any road or area closures. In burned areas, visitors should be aware of falling snags and burned stump holes.


A photo essay of

Beautiful, vibrant, bustling charm

Next week, I’ll share some stories from the month I traveled with Cadie in Vietnam. This week, I’ll just tease some photos. --Ben Olson

Top Left: A man on a motorbike smiles as his two children stop to say hello. Ho Chi Minh City. Left: The bustling Old Quarter of Vietnam’s capital city, Ha Noi. Bottom Left: amidst the botanical gardens of Hue’s Imperial City.

Top Right: A beautiful older women selling trinkets in Hoi An, in the central part of Vietnam Bottom Right: The view from Monkey Island near Cat Ba Island, part of the 300+ limestone karst island chain that makes up Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam. All photos by Ben Olson.

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Defining achievement and success is easy. Mapping out your family’s goals and staying on track to reach them takes determination, planning and a team you trust. The Gibson Wealth Strategy Group can partner with you on your path to success at many different stages: from wealth accumulation through retirement, and into legacy planning. We would love the chance to become part of your team.

805 Pine Street | Sandpoint | (208) 263-2010

We are a weekly pop–up take–out restaurant offering authentic Indian cuisine every Monday in Sandpoint, Idaho. •Open from 12–6 every Monday •Walk–in lunch special: 2 curries + rice, $8 order online at: 723B Pine Street • (Pine Street Alley) •Sandpoint, Idaho

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Left to Right: Candice Nelson, RP®, Senior Registered Associate; Tom Gibson, CPA, CWS®, Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor; Emma Gibson, RP®, Associate Financial Advisor

STAGE & SCREEN Team Autism 24/7 presents:

Letters to the Editor

Mr. Trump - Words Matter... Dear Editor, Recently, the Reader reported that racist flyers were thrown into the yards of South Sandpoint residents and that those flyers promoted a white supremacist website. Such groups are tracked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) which, in its spring reports, has documented that as a result of the presidential election, there has been an increase of hate groups and encouragement to racists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, as well as encouragement to white supremacist, skinhead and neo-nazi groups. They report that immediately after the election, hate-fueled violence and intimidation broke out across the country. These groups feel they now have one of their own in the White House. What should also concern parents and grandparents, are the results from recent SPLC surveys of educators, who said that during and after the presidential campaign, there was an increase of bullying, racial slurs and extremist symbols in their classrooms, causing heightened anxiety and fear to those targeted. In a smaller number of cases, intimidation also targeted students whose parents were Trump supporters, but represented a minority in some school districts. It is my opinion that the encouragement given to these groups and the hateful atmosphere we are witnessing falls directly into the lap of Mr. Trump, whose vile campaign rhetoric of fear, hatred and promotion of violence has seemingly made this country “safe” for fascism. If we want to keep our democracy, we need all of our civic groups, all faith groups and their leaders, as well as our elected officials, as our city has done, to speak out against the rise of blatant, fascistic, anti-democracy in our country. Philip A. Deutchman Sandpoint

By Ben Olson Reader Staff April is National Autism Awareness Month, which is intended to shed light on the growing issue of autism around the world. Locally, Team Autism 24/7 has worked hard to promote autism awareness in Sandpoint. They have had teams compete in the grueling 3,000-mile bicycle Race Across America. They have hosted speakers and special summer programs which help those falling on the autism spectrum. They also host special films from time to time, with proceeds going toward furthering their mission. You can support Team Autism 24/7 by attending “Life, Animated,” an Academy Award-nominated documentary film directed by Roger Ross Williams. The film plays at 6 p.m. Friday, April 21 at the Panida Theater. Based on the best-selling book by Ron Suskind, “Life, Animated” is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was a non-verbal child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic

Owen Suskind, the subject of “Life, Animated” which will show at the Panida Theater on April 21.

Disney animated films. Both a coming-of-age tale and educational opportunity for viewers to understand autism more clearly, “Life, Animated” follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. According to their website, Owen was a thriving three-year-old until he suddenly and inexplicably went silent. He was unable to communicate with other people until, after repeated viewings of Disney classics like “The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid,” Owen was able to find useful ways to help understand complex social cues. Through the viewing of these films, he was able to re-connect with the world around him. “Life, Animated” beautifully interweaves Disney sequences with scenes from Owen’s life, helping the audience to understand the connection he has with characters like Ariel, Simba and Jafar. Proceeds from the film will benefit Team Autism 24/7. For more information about autism, please see their website at

APRIL 20 @ 7:30PM w/ live Q&A with producer brad cummings after show APRIL 22 @ 3:30 & 7:30PM | APRIL 23 @ 3:30PM


Friday, April 21 @ 6:30pm Team Autism 24/7 presents:

“life animated”

Tuesday, April 25 @ 6pm

Children performing for children April 28 @ 7:00pm – Little Theater Sat. April 29 @ 7 pm

Live Q&A  with Writer/Director Ryan Graves April 30 @ 3pm | May 1-4 @ 7pm


saturday, april 29 @ 2 & 6pm Missoula Children’s theater and POAC present:

“gulliver’s travels”

May 4 @ 7:30pm | may 5 @ 5:30pm May 6 @ 3:30 & 7:30pm | may 7 @ 3:30pm

“The zookeeper’s wife”

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Living Life:

Jeff D. versus Otter:

who is he and why is he important? By Dianne Smith Reader Columnist Jeff D. was a 15-yearold who, after being declared emotionally disturbed and mildly mentally disabled, was placed in the custody of the state of Idaho. The problem was, the state did not have the mental health services to provide what Jeff needed. He was held against his will in a state institution with adults, some of whom were convicted sex offenders and other criminals. In August 1980, a federal class action lawsuit, Jeff D. versus Otter was filed on behalf of indigent Idaho youth with severe emotional and mental disabilities. Thirty-five years later the lawsuit is finally settled. Now, children in Idaho who are identified as emotionally disturbed will have access to multiple services provided in their community to be able to stay in their own home and school. Once fully implemented the settlement from the lawsuit could provide as many as 9,000 Idaho children with improved access to community-based mental health services. Howard Belodoff, the Boise attorney, was just two years out of law school when he first took on the case in 1980. He has pursued it ever since on behalf of the children of Idaho. He met Jeff D. at the state hospital when Jeff was just 17. He learned that Jeff had received little if any mental health services or education while being housed there. The youngster begged the lawyer to get him out and to get him the help he needed. His troubled life had included seeing abusive foster parents beat his 4-year-old sister to death when he was just two years old. He never received any help to deal with the trauma he endured at such a young age. Belodoff recognized that the earlier you intervene the better results you get and you reduce the risk of bigger problems later on. As early as July 2017 children who meet eligibility criteria under the terms of the Jeff D. Settlement Agreement will 20 /


/ April 20, 2017

be entitled to comprehensive community-based mental health services and supports. New and enhanced services will be made available across the state in a phased approach. New services will begin with respite care and newly developed partial hospitalization. One of the most exciting things about this lawsuit is the involvement of the family including the child in the decision making around their treatment through a model known as the Child and Family Team. The goal is to empower them in their own recovery to health. This team approach will involve a meeting of all those invested in the child’s well being to provide a collaborative treatment plan. Over the next four years the state will develop a system in all child-serving systems including public education to screen children for unmet mental health needs. There will be services put in place to meet the needs of these children with the goal being to prevent mental health struggles as an adult. Once the services are in place the comprehensive plan will be monitored for another three years before the lawsuit is dismissed. The hope is that with additional support and services children who are struggling with mental health issues will get the help they need to be able to become adults who contribute to the community and do not become part of the adult legal system. If you have a child who is struggling, there are wonderful counselors in town who provide mental health services under Optum and can help link you with services. For parents who have struggled with getting their child the help they need this may be the beginning of getting that help. Dianne Smith, LMFT is a licensed counselor who works with both children and adults. She has offices in Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint and can be reached at 951-440-0982.

What about


By Jodi Rawson Reader Contributor

Controversies surrounding medicinal and recreational marijuana are as prevalent as ever. While our Boise lawmakers have shown no interest in changing the Idaho laws, our neighboring Washington is deciding what to do with all of the millions in marijuana tax. Over half of the states in our union now offer marijuana legally. Many of those states, including Washington, offer the female buds of cannabis to those 21 and older, but that same product could land a customer in jail across the border in our state. With the controversy comes contradictions. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, for instance, used to advocate legalizing marijuana, but now he is adamantly refusing the most uncontroversial extraction: CBD (containing no psychoactive THC), which is used to treat people with intractable seizures. According to the blog Reason: “Otter had a chance to sign a CBD oil bill for Idaho in April 2015, but he vetoed it. He is still the only governor in the country to veto such a bill.” Medical patients claim that marijuana is used to lessen the pain and digression of Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and IBS, can heal the brain from trauma, lesson anxiety and aid in healing victims of PTSD. CBD can drastically decrease severe seizures and has been used to treat young children with no side effects. Idahoan Josh Phillips is one example. He has suffered from relentless seizures since the age of 10 and has tried dozens of pharmaceuticals to no avail. He questioned why Otter did not help when he had the chance. “I am deeply saddened at the freedom Butch Otter continues to deny extremely ill Idahoans,” said Idaho resident Katie Donahue last January. “I am devastated for the children who will continue forced suffering from diseases as well as stigma. I am sickened to think of families from other states having success with cannabinoid therapy not being able to experience the beauty of Idaho because freedom has been replaced with fascism.” Donahue has even prayed to die as a result of her painful and debilitating seizures. Aside from the billions in taxes and

the people whom are crying out for relief, let us talk about hemp. Marijuana, with all the controversy surrounding its medicinal strengths (including but not limited to CBD) and psychoactive powers (including but not limited to THC) are only half of the story, limited to cannabis that is mature and female. The other half of the story is hemp: the tall green plant that produces seeds. I buy these seeds in bulk from Yokes and make delicious, Omega 3-packed shakes. Even though hemp can grow in all 50 states (unlike cotton, which requires more water as well), the seeds I buy are imported from Canada. Hemp has the power to revolutionize our economy in the way of fibers, food, fuel and even building materials. It can be grown annually and produces up to four times the amount of paper or building materials per acre that a 20-year growth of trees can. This plant that can grow where others cannot, while enriching the soil with nitrogen. There is no controversy where the plant is concerned (when it can grow in all 50 states and has a plethora of uses) but the law’s views about it are filled with contradictions. In 1937 it was unlawful to cultivate hemp, but only five years later the same lawmakers were saying the opposite: “Hemp for victory!” About 400,000 acres of hemp were grown to meet the demand for parachutes, uniforms, ropes and other textiles needed for WWII. What about hemp? While medicinal and/or recreational marijuana is legal in over half the states, hemp grown for food, fuel and fibers is still illegal. Why?


This week’s RLW by Jen Heller

Earth Day Celebratory Concert

with Neighbor John Kelley and the Atomic Blues Band

By Reader Staff Celebrate Earth Day and support your community’s public trail—the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail—with a special evening of fantastic music and food. The Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail invite the public to a celebratory concert featuring Neighbor John Kelley and the Atomic Blues Band at Di Luna’s Café in Sandpoint. Neighbor John and his band have been perfecting their musical talents for over 30 years. The group plays to sold out audiences all over the Northwest, and this show is expected to sell out as well. The band will perform live on Saturday, April 22, at Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar street in Sandpoint. The group will rock the house at this benefit Earth Day concert hosted by the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. Pick up your tickets at Di Luna’s in advance or at the door as supplies last. There are a very limited number of tickets available. Tickets are just $13 and do not include dinner or drinks. Doors to the event open at 5:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Come early to get a table and order dinner or just come for the show. The Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail was purchased from private landowners six years ago and opened to the public through the collaborative efforts of the cities of Sandpoint, Ponderay, Kootenai and Bonner County. One and a half miles of stunning waterfront shoreline is open to the public for non-motorized recreation and commuting. Funds from the Earth Day concert will aid the Friends of


I don’t often choose to read books that have a known bias. But, after “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires behind the Rise of the Radical Right” wound up on a number of 2016’s Best Books lists, I gave it a gander. Jane Mayer’s research is dry, thorough and impressive. While it’s obvious from page one who she’s going designate as today’s “bad guys,” Mayer does a good job at underscoring the inappropriate use of corporate and nonprofit campaign funding on all extremes of the political spec-trum. (Plus, it turns out the “bad guys” re-ally are kinda bad.) A mustread.


My consistent top pick for “favorite local background music” is the playlist at Evans’ Brothers. After years of wondering how I could learn the secret to their sound, I finally, uh... just asked. (It didn’t even take bribery.) “I think this is the BitterSweet station on Pandora,” Daniel said, while steaming my dirty chai. Aha! Now I can enjoy my Granary District beverage and its corresponding soundtrack from my desk at work. Those smooth, jazzy, world-genre tunes, that warm, tasty drink... it makes me feel like I’m cheating on my work day.

Top: The Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail stretches for 1.5 miles along the shorelines of Lake Pend Oreille. Right: Neighbor John Kelley will be performing with his Atomic Blues Band at Di Luna’s Café on Sat. April 22. Courtesy photos

the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail in their efforts to expand the trail into Ponderay with an underpass under the railroad tracks. It will also help fund improvements to the trail (interpretive signage) and overall stewardship of the trail. More information about the trail, the Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail and the upcoming Earth Day concert can be found at the Friends website: or by calling the Friends at (208) 946-7586.


A broad and often deep selection of quality fiction in a post-truth time. And lots of other good books. Main Street Downtown Bonners Ferry 267-2622 30 years of improbability We buy used books

A few weeks ago, a BBC commentator’s children barged into his interview on live television. The resulting footage went viral, and if you didn’t see it, you missed a chance for a good laugh. April 20, 2017 /


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New book explores the efficacy of religion in the current age Blue Creek Press announces the publication of “All Fish Have Bones: A Recovering Catholic’s Advice on Living a Good Life Without Religion.” By Reader Staff Dick Sonnichsen grew up Catholic in Coeur d’ Alene, eating fish on Fridays, most often out of a can. It’s a long way from the mountains of Idaho to the ocean. “I always believed.” Sonnichsen says in his introduction, “that a best-selling book for Catholics living in the Northwest would be ‘101 Ways to Disguise the Taste of Tuna.’” That same sense of humor is sprinkled over the top of the ample evidence supporting the thesis contained in “All Fish Have Bones,” evidence gathered over a number of years of exhaustive research. Sonnichsen’s 30 years as an FBI special agent served him well in gathering supporting substantiation for the book, as he systematically and quite thoroughly debunks Christian religious mythology in favor of the methods and conclusions of modern science. Sonnichsen was educated in Catholic elementary and high schools and faithfully attended Mass and myriad Catholic Church functions and ceremonies for decades. He learned, “. . . we were all sinners and only through contrition, humble obedience to Church rules and regulations and the benevolence of our Creator would we ever enjoy a pleasant afterlife.” Eventually, he decided that there was “something wrong with this picture,” and began to explore the origins of and motivations for his beliefs. What he discovered is the subject of “All Fish Have Bones,” an in-depth look at the dogmatic, paternalistic, outmoded and virtually unprovable doctrine of the Christian

Church—Catholicism in particular. The “fish” metaphor is based on conversations he had as a child with his father on occasions when fresh fish was substituted for canned tuna on Fridays. Inevitably, he would ask, “Does this fish have bones?” and his father would answer “All fish have bones.” Over time, Sonnichesen took this to mean, “See for yourself, and make up your own mind,” a philosophy that finally led him to explore his own faith. In “All Fish Have Bones,” Sonnichsen tracks his life journey from committed Catholic to skeptic, explaining in scholarly detail why he has come to be an “unbeliever” and what it has done for him emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Sonnichsen confesses early that he is not a theologian, nor was it easy to come to his conclusions. “Several years of copious reading, research, and considerable contemplation preceded this decision,” he writes. “I have not formally studied theology, except for religion classes in high school, nor do I have access to any special revelation. However, for seven-plus decades I have participated, observed and experienced the effects of religion and I believe that background, coupled with research, gives me some standing to write about it.” Sonnichsen reveals his logical approach to exposing and exploring the myths of the Christian religion in favor of the realities of common sense and science. The good life is not about “being good.” Meeting the rigid and illogical demands of an unknowable Creator does not necessarily lead to being happy


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Dick Sonnichsen at Harrison Lake. here and now. He is not unsympathetic to the plight of the struggling church and offers some interesting and relevant insights: “The survival of Christianity may depend on its ability to reexamine ancient Dick Sonnichsen’s new book, All Fish Have Bones, doctrine, determine its relevance to explores living life outside the constraints of modernity, and reinterpret its meaning religious dogma and myth. and application in the 21st century. “De-emphasizing Original Sin, softening the portrayal of a vengeful God and reinventing the Christian church as a sympathetic, caring, neighborhood institution may aid in its survival . . . “ If you harbor doubts about your religious beliefs and feel confused and alone in your disbelief, “All Fish Have Bones” is a book that can help resolve your uncertainty. “All Fish Have Bones: A Recovering Catholic’s Advice on Living a Good Life Without Religion” (Nonfiction, 248 pages, $17.95, ISBN 978-1544283-005) is available on Amazon, at and will soon be in local bookstores as well.

Crossword Solution

Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you’d look out your little window and think, “Boy, I’m glad I’m not out in that.”

Pet Photos I have gorgeous golden eyes. Perhaps that is why they call me Nugget. I am a bit shy and it will take me a little while to warm up to you, but I am worth the wait! Come and look me up! I am a 3-year-old girl. For more about Nugget, please go to and click on the “Adopt” tab. Panhandle Animal Shelter


compathy /KOM-puh-thee/ Wofothre d [noun] k e e W 1. feelings, as happiness or grief, shared with another or others.

“In travel, the most valuable asset upon returning is the compathy felt with different cultures and people.” Corrections: In last week’s paper, we ran a column by Tim Henney about the Follies that was intended to be humorously hyperbolic, much like the show itself. However, local business owner Fiddlin’ Red didn’t appreciate being referenced in the article, given that the author didn’t secure his permission first. At Red’s request, we want to make it clear that the circumstances described in the article, including Red smashing a fiddle over the author’s head, did not actually occur.

This crossword was hand-crafted by local cruciverbalist Charity Luthy. Charity plans to submit crosswords every week from now on, so direct any edits, changes or complaints to her at April 20, 2017 /


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Call Your Local Authorized HughesNet Retailer Today! 208¡263-7BTV (7288)


a Hesstronics Inc company

105 S. 3RD AVE. â&#x20AC;˘ SAtllPOINT


New residential subscribers only. Save $20/month on the 20 GB or save $30/month on the 30 GB and 50 GB plans. Savings applies to your first 12 months of service. After 12 months, all service plans revert to the standard monthly fee for the remainder of the term. Offer ends 6/30/17. Cannot be combined with any other service plan offer. Restrictions may apply. Offer void where prohibited . .. The HughesNet Gens service plans are designed to deliver download speeds of 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps, but individual customers may experience different speeds at different times of the day. Speeds and uninterrupted use are not guaranteed and may vary based on a variety of factors including: the configuration of your computer. the number of concurrent users. network or Internet congestion. the capabilities and content of the Websites you are accessing, network management practices as deemed necessary, and other factors. When you connect to the HughesNet service using Wi-Fi, your experience will vary based on your proximity to the Wi-Fi source and the strength of the signal. Offers void where prohibited. Other restrictions may apply. Minimum term required. Monthly service and early termination fees apply. Visit for details. HughesNet is a registered trademark of Hughes Network Systems, LLC. an EchoStar company.

Reader April 20, 2017  

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