/ April 22, 2021
PEOPLE compiled by
“The police officer who killed George Floyd was found guilty. What is your response to this verdict? Do you think the way policing is done in our country needs to change?”
“I would say that we are still dealing with the effects of an historical system when African-Americans were considered 3/5ths of a human being. It’s time policing moves forward to more fair and equitable ways.” Mary Ellingson Waldorf teacher Sandpoint “Blind justice is served. Yes, I believe policing in our country should be changed. Monies could be better spent by having professional people help police in neighborhoods, and with help from psychiatrists... people who are trained to work with people in stressful situations.” Phil Levesque Disabled veteran Sandpoint
“I’m so relieved about the verdict. We have to hold police accountable and we would’ve had a huge surge of violence on both sides if he had been acquitted. We’ve had a little calm lately and I’d like to see that continue. Policing changes depend on where you live. Police in big cities have a lot of stress. I have observed violence on the part of police on more than one occasion. I believe there’s always room for improvement in every profession.” Vickie Graeff Retired, Sandpoint
“I have heard the story both ways. I don’t know whether he’s actually guilty or not, but I do believe that police work should be done differently—with more thoughtfulness. Not everyone is a criminal.” Ashley Zimmerman Guest ranch wrangler Sandpoint
“From what I saw, it seemed he was guilty. I believe most police officers want to help and serve people, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement in the way we operate. We need to aspire to the highest possible standards in our public services. All violence is wrong, no matter whether it is committed by police officers or citizens at large.” John Firshi Musician, construction Naples
If you’re picking this up on Thursday, that means it’s Earth Day. One of our readers Cynthia Mason sent this week’s cover photograph of a cool design she made with trash picked up from the beach. Way to pitch in and make something beautiful out of litter, Cynthia. My mission to all of our readers out there today is to do one small thing for the Earth today. You can pick up a piece of trash on the ground, bring reusable grocery bags to the store instead of relying on plastic, air your tires to the proper PSI (which helps your fuel economy), volunteer to help clean up the beach or a public space, take a shorter shower, purchase energy-efficient light bulbs to switch out the next time yours go out, plant a tree, ride a bike or walk to work, splurge by switching to a reusable water bottle instead of using single-use bottles all the time, unsubscribe to wasteful catalogs you don’t need mailed to your address and call your mother. OK, that last one doesn’t really help the Earth, but it sure feels good. Have a great one!
– Ben Olson, publisher
READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724
www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) email@example.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Cynthia Mason (cover), Ben Olson, Susan Drinkard, Lyndsie Kiebert, FSPW, BCHS, Karley Coleman, Dr. Mark Cochran, Tricia Florence, KLT, Clint Nicholson, Bill Borders. Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenda Hammond, Phil Hough, Hannah Combs, Marcia Pilgeram, Patty Hutchens, Ed Ohlweiler. Submit stories to: email@example.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $135 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 300 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Check us out on the web at: www.sandpointreader.com Like us on Facebook. About the Cover
This week’s cover photo was taken by Cynthia Mason, featuring a design she made out of trash collected at the beach. Thanks Cynthia! April 22, 2021 /
City to revisit dog policies
Survey respondents favor loosening leash laws, including at City Beach
By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff In a presentation to the Sandpoint City Council at its regular meeting April 21, City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton presented a range of proposed policies to expand dog-friendly areas at several local parks, including City Beach. Specifically, Stapleton said staff recommends allowing dogs on-leash at the beach — both on the grass and paved pathways — seasonally from Sept. 15 to April 15; dogs on-leash year round on the pathways at Travers and Centennial parks; and to proceed with design and funding for a dog park as envisioned at Memorial/ Lakeview Park. “We were probably conservative with some of the recommendations relative to the feedback we received,” Stapleton said, while also noting, “there were a fair amount of concerns relative to people not picking up after their dogs.”
Feedback came from a survey on dog policies launched last summer, but which the city held until after completion of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. According to Stapleton, the survey “was actually one of the most successful surveys we’ve done,” drawing around 700 respondents. Among the results of the survey were that a majority of residents felt the city’s dog policies are somewhat or “too” restrictive. Meanwhile, 50% of all respondents — which included Sandpoint residents and non-residents, as well as dog owners and nondog owners — said they favored allowing dogs at City Beach with restrictions, while 18% supported allowing dogs at the beach with no restrictions. Overall, City Beach was far and away the most popular option for allowing dogs on a seasonal basis, followed by Travers/Centennial. The latter was characterized as an attractive site for loosened dog policies in large
part because its pathways are maintained by the city year-round and are frequented by elderly residents who use them to get exercise both for themselves and their dogs — despite it being technically prohibited. “Honestly, we don’t enforce it,” Stapleton said. Likewise, at City Beach, many dog-owning users already consistently flout the no-dogs policy. “It’s pretty much constant,” Stapleton said, adding that despite posting between 15 and 20 signs stating the policy, as well as enlarging the sign at the beach entrance, the city could probably post an employee there full time just to deal with the complaints from other users unhappy with scofflaw pet owners. “We’re looking for a way to thread the needle,” she said, giving dog owners more freedom while also providing for enforceability and — perhaps just as important — keeping public areas sanitary.
Councilmember Deb Ruehle, who said she was “neither here nor there with it,” wondered whether the city even has the staffing to handle that enforcement and cleanup. “We already know that the Bay Trail is problematic, so we can assume that anywhere we open this up will immediately become just as problematic,” she said. Noting that 78% of survey respondents said they’re willing to
A local pooch at Dog Beach in Sandpoint. Courtesy photo. drive more than a mile to access dog-friendly facilities, Ruehle also questioned “are we creating a problem on some levels that maybe we don’t need to create?” Stapleton said city staff will continue to gather feedback and go back before the City Council for a final decision at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, May 5.
BGH defers local vaccine efforts to pharmacies, other providers Idaho COVID cases trending at lowest point since June
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Novel coronavirus vaccination appointments opened earlier this month for anyone 16 and older across Idaho. Meanwhile, in Bonner County, providers are seeing a decrease in demand — so much so, that Bonner General Health will no longer be offering the shots. Bonner General Health administered its most recent round of first vaccine doses April 5, with the second doses in that series scheduled for May 3. “Bonner General Health took a leading role in vaccinating the community as soon as they were available,” Trish Mayhew, registered nurse and COVID vaccine clinic coordinator, told the Reader. “We were able to be on the front lines due to pharmacy and storage capability while our community partners developed processes and 4 /
/ April 22, 2021
resources.” After having delivered more than 8,000 vaccinations, Mayhew said “requests have declined, with many spots remaining open, including many no-shows and cancellations.” Now that doses are available at “most local pharmacies,” as well as from Panhandle Health District, Kaniksu Health Services and Family Health Center, she said BGH is transitioning away from being a COVID-19 vaccine destination. “BGH has opted to step back from distribution now that more providers are up and running,” Mayhew said, “but we remain available if the demand increases in the future.” Pharmacies where the COVID-19 vaccine is available in Bonner County include Sandpoint Super Drug, Safeway Pharmacy in Sandpoint, White Cross Pharmacy in Sandpoint and Priest River, and
at Wal-Mart Pharmacy in Ponderay. It is recommended to call or visit your desired location to inquire about vaccine availability and set up an appointment. As of April 21, state health officials reported that 577,149 Idahoans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Bonner County, Panhandle Health District reported that 13,482 people had received at least one shot. According to Idaho’s coronavirus reporting website — coronavirus.idaho. gov — those numbers come out to 41.2% of people 16 and older halfway through their shot series, and 30.5% fully vaccinated. Officials announced April 13 that the state has set a goal to vaccinate 80% of Idaho citizens by September. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine remains out of circulation, due to a April 13 federal recommendation to put the shots on “pause” after six women
across the U.S. developed rare blood clots within two weeks of their vaccination. In a joint statement, CDC and FDA officials said, “[p]eople who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.” As for statewide coronavirus case trends, there appears to be
Courtesy photo. good news across Idaho as a whole. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare reported April 19 that the state’s seven-day moving average for new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases hit its lowest point since June 2020, with an average of 219 new cases each day over the past week. The Idaho Statesman reported that in mid-December 2020, Idaho was reporting up to 1,600 new cases per day.
Here We Have Idaho By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff As the Idaho Legislature steams toward meeting or exceeding its previous record for number of days in session — reaching 101 days on April 21, nearing the 118-day mark set in 2003 — key budgets such as education and transportation remain unsettled as lawmakers spar with Gov. Brad Little over the powers of the legislative branch. The power struggle has centered on two pieces of legislation: House Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1136, both of which would both curtail the governor’s authority in times of emergencies. Calling it “just plain irresponsible,” Little vetoed SB 1136 on April 16, prompting an attempt to override his decision in the Senate. That vote failed 23-12 — short by just one vote to meet the necessary two-thirds majority. Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle, was among those who opposed overriding Little’s veto, telling the Sandpoint Reader, “I am always supportive of making our Idaho laws better. However, I voted not to support the veto override because of the potential unknowns with the proposed changes. “We heard a myriad of legal opinions as to what the changes would or would not do,” he added. “Just as folks were frustrated this year to find that Idaho law allows some of the actions that were taken during the pandemic response, we could find ourselves in a worse predicament with a new section of code.” Woodward said that the existing code addressed by SB 1136 “has served us well since 1927.” Meanwhile, Little vetoed HB 135 on April 20 — spurring lawmakers on April 21 to mount an override effort. House members met the necessary two-thirds majority, with 48-19 voting in favor of overturning the governor’s veto. Three members were absent for the vote, according to reports, including Lewiston Republican Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger, who is currently at the center of an escalating scandal over rape allegations brought against him April 16 by a legislative staffer.
Compounding the controversy, supporters of von Ehlinger — including Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird — publicly revealed the name of his accuser, with Giddings saying the accusations are a “blatant liberal smear job,” according to the Associated Press. Republican Reps. Sage Dixon, of Ponderay, and Heather Scott, of Blanchard, both voted in favor of the override. Neither responded to a request for comment on a number of legislative topics prior to the vote, but in her remarks on the floor — quoted by the Idaho Press — Scott said, “We need a rebalance of these powers. This is something I believe our body really needs to do is stand up against tyranny.” Scott made headlines around the country last spring, when she referred to the governor as “Little Hitler” for his use of emergency powers — including business closures — in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the veto override is official, it will also have to pass the Senate by a two-thirds majority. “I believe our current law will continue to work until we come to widespread agreement on any changes,” Woodward told the Reader. “We are looking for a balance between the duties of the executive branch, responsible for day-to-day operation of our system of self-governance, and the duties of the Legislature, our policy-setting body which must write law worthy of the ages.” In approaching how best to balance the powers and duties held by the executive and legislative branches, Woodward said he has sought the counsel of the Idaho adjutant general and director of the Idaho Office of Emergency Management. “Both expressed concerns with the proposed changes and how it would affect their ability to respond to emergencies,” he said. “These two Idaho National Guard generals are the boots on the ground in Idaho emergencies. I trust their assessment of the bill and, having worn the U.S. military uniform myself, I trust their loyalty to this state and the country.”
What’s happening at the Legislature this week
Budget bills According to the Boise-based Idaho Capital Sun news service, both the House and Senate adjourned early for the day on April 20, with the former deferring action on four education budgets and the Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Welfare budget that they scuppered on April 6, resulting in a rewrite from the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee. The Idaho Press reported in the afternoon of April 21 that the House Ways and Means Committee was due to take up a bill on “public education, non-discrimination,” along with another piece of legislation on effective dates for the legislative session. On the education budget — which consists of several budgets covering the full range of the state’s public education system — a major sticking point, especially for House members, has been the issue of funding for “critical race theory and social justice” being taught in public schools. Scott, in her April 19 newsletter, decried SB 1193, which passed 18-17 in the Senate and would allocate $6 million to the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children, which she characterized as “an activist nonprofit” that would use the money for “a federal program to indoctrinate children from birth to 5 with critical race theory and social justice.” Yet, as Idaho Education News reported on April 19, “lawmakers offered no specific examples of social justice or critical race theory instruction in K-12 schools.” Likewise, in an email to the Reader, Woodward wrote that the ed budgets have spurred “significant pushback from a special-interest lobbying group in Boise that alleges our Idaho education system is rife with social justice and critical race theory teachings. “For those of us with children in the public schools, I believe it is fairly clear to see this is not the case in our local districts,” he added, going to state that, “I find it unfortunate the statewide education community is suffering in the meantime.” Among the bills being held up
— or killed outright — amid the so-called “social justice” debate were a $1.1 billion teacher salaries budget and the $315 million higher ed budget. Legislators are required by the Idaho Constitution to both pass a balanced budget before adjourning and “to provide a general, uniform and thorough system of public, free common schools” — neither of which can be accomplished without agreeing on education funding. Meanwhile, Woodward said he is hopeful that increased transportation funding will be approved without raising taxes by drawing on sales tax money that has already been collected. He also said he hopes to see a property tax bill to increase the homeowner’s exemption and legislative approval to allocate some one-time monies to the budget stabilization fund in order to help return the state to its pre-recession level of rainy-day savings. The initiatives bill After much controversy, Little signed SB 1110 into law on April 17, much to the consternation of some legislators, citizens and advocacy groups alike who decried the legislation as effectively curtailing Idahoans’ constitutional right to put forth citizens’ ballot initiatives. The measure requires that 6% of registered voters in all 35 of Idaho’s legislative districts sign on to a petition even before an initiative can appear on the ballot. Previous law required signatures to be gathered from 6% of registered voters in 18 of 35 districts, which supporters of SB 1110 said gave more power to populous parts of the state. Opponents of the bill — including Reclaim Idaho, which led the successful initiative effort to expand Medicaid — said the 18-of-35 districts requirement was difficult enough; raising the standard to include all 35 districts would make signature gathering all but impossible. Woodward voted against SB 1110, telling the Reader, “I have been supportive of increasing the number of districts where signature gathering must take place, but I saw the proposed requirement
for all 35 districts as too onerous. After all, we all get to vote on an initiative when it does make the ballot. The petition process is not the vote.” In a letter April 17 announcing he had signed SB 1110, Little noted that he vetoed two similar bills in 2019 and, while he has “similar concerns” about this bill’s “constitutional sufficiency,” applauded the effort of “ensuring that initiatives have a minimum level of support throughout all of Idaho before they are placed on the ballot.” In a news release April 17, Reclaim Idaho stated, “We are angry and deeply disappointed by the governor’s failure to uphold the Constitution.” The grassroots nonprofit went on to announce it will sue based on the unconstitutionality of SB 1110 and, failing that, has filed the Initiatives Rights Act, described as “a ballot initiative that will give the people of idaho a chance to protect their initiative rights in the event that the courts do not decide in the people’s favor.” End game? It’s anyone’s guess when the 2021 legislative session will end. Woodward said that while, “we are slowly moving toward some of the goals of the 2021 legislative session … Right now, I don’t know when we will finish the session. “Typically, we are in session January through March. We find ourselves in late April with no clear path to the finish line,” he added. “Last week, we ran out of work in the Senate as we waited for bills to move through the House. The Idaho Constitution allows one body to recess for no more than three days at a time without the consent of both bodies. You may see the Senate meeting just a few days a week to meet this requirement while we wait for the budget bills to move through the House.” Until then, check back for more updates in next week’s Reader, tune into Idaho in Session on idahoptv.org or follow events at legislature.idaho.gov. April 22, 2021 /
Final deadline for 2021 health insurance is April 30
Last chance for Idahoans to receive enhanced subsidies
By Reader Staff The state health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho, has announced the final day to enroll in 2021 health insurance — without a qualifying life event — is Friday, April 30. “This is the last chance for Idahoans to take advantage of the increased tax credits and enroll in 2021 coverage,” said Pat Kelly, Your Health Idaho executive director. “These savings can be significant for Idaho families who may have thought health insurance was out of reach prior to the American Rescue Plan Act.” After extending the special enrollment period deadline from March 31, exchange officials are urging Idahoans to apply for savings from a health insurance tax credit and make their final plan selection by 11:59 p.m. (Mountain Time) on April 30. “More than 3,600 Idahoans enrolled in a health insurance plan in March, and April is just as busy,” continued, Kelly. “We encourage everyone to make the most of the enrollment process by using one of the free local experts available to them on the Your Health Idaho website.” Your Health Idaho is the only place where Idahoans can use tax credits to lower monthly insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs. More than 80% of currently enrolled Idahoans
qualify for financial assistance and, in 2020, one in three paid $0 per month for coverage. With the enhanced discounts. More than 90% of current Your Health Idaho customers may qualify for assistance. After open enrollment ends, Idahoans will not be able to enroll in health insurance coverage unless they experience a qualifying life event, like a change in household size or losing employer-sponsored coverage, and become eligible for a special enrollment period. Idahoans who want health insurance coverage beginning May 1, must enroll by the deadline on April 30, and make their first premium payment as soon as possible. For help enrolling visit yourhealthidaho. org to shop for plans and enroll; contact Your Health Idaho by phone at 1-855-9443246 or submit a support request online; or visit yourhealthidaho.org/find-help to get free, expert advice from a Your Health Idaho-certified insurance agent or broker Your Health Idaho was established by state law in 2013 to provide an online marketplace where Idaho families and small businesses can go to compare and purchase health insurance. Your Health Idaho is governed by a 19-member board authorized by the Idaho Legislature to set the rules and regulations for implementing a state-based health insurance exchange.
Rock Creek Mine approval determined unlawful By Reader Staff Backers of the Rock Creek Mine, proposed near Noxon, Mont., and the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, will need to go back to square one, as a federal district court judge halted the project April 14 due to unlawful initial approval from federal agencies. The decision is a victory for the conservation and tribal groups that brought the suit, arguing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and U.S. Forest services failed to adequately consider environmental impacts before approving the mine, which is proposed by Hecla Mining Company. In the case of the Rock Creek mine, legal counsel for the plaintiffs argued that USFW approved a biological opinion based only on Phase I of the mine’s plan, which included only an evaluation adit, ignoring the biological impacts of Phase II: the actual construction and use of the mine. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy determined that the onephase analysis approach was not lawful. 6 /
/ April 22, 2021
Opponents of the project — which has been in the works for more than 20 years — have long argued that mining would cause detrimental effects to local endangered wildlife populations. “We are gratified by the court’s decision, which affirmed that the agencies cannot gamble with the fate of imperiled grizzly bears and bull trout by ignoring the full impacts of the Rock Creek Mine,” said Earthjustice attorney Katherine O’Brien, who represented the plaintiffs in the case. Another longstanding concern is the possible negative effects to local rivers and lakes — including Lake Pend Oreille, which is downstream from the proposed mine. “We are thrilled with this decision as it represents an important and timely reprieve for grizzly bears, bull trout and clean water that would be irrevocably harmed by the Rock Creek mine,” said Mary Costello, executive director of Sandpoint-based conservation group Rock Creek Alliance.
Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond
East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: The End Polluter Welfare Act has been introduced to Congress by Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders. If enacted, it would end, over the next decade, the $150 billion in tax loopholes, subsidies and special interest giveaways to the oil, gas and coal industry. Wall Street is aware of the risk of doing nothing about climate change: it could get pricey, and it is likely to trigger an economic crisis, The Guardian reported. The paper noted that since 2015, 338 companies have already reduced their emissions by 25%, equal to removing 78 coal-fired power plants. After spending $2 trillion in Afghanistan, losing 2,488 troops and personnel and nearing the 20-year marker for when the war began, President Joe Biden announced that it’s time to end the “forever war.” Withdrawal will begin May 1 and be completed by September, close to the Sept. 11 date when almost 3,000 people died on U.S. soil after the 2001 terrorist attack. Three U.S. presidents have tried to strengthen the Afghan government so it would not be a “staging round” for terrorists. Responding to those who say Afghan diplomacy depends on the presence of U.S. troops, Biden said that line of thinking would keep us there “indefinitely,” and, given there is no clear answer on when is the right time to leave, there is no clear mission in staying. Info gleaned from numerous news sources. Since 1994 the planet has lost 28 trillion tons of ice, Mother Jones reported. Modern pesticides are more toxic to invertebrates, bees and other pollinators, and populations of these insects are plunging, despite a decline in the amount of pesticides used (with the exception of GMO crops), the journal Science has shared. The study, based on U.S. government data, noted that some replacement pesticides, like neonicotinoids and pyrethroids, are more toxic. The European Union has banned the outdoor use of neonics, and Pesticide Action Network states that some neonics are 10,000 times more toxic than DDT, “the most notorious insecticide in history.” Pollinators aid one-third of world food crop production. According to ACS Publications, neonics damage baby bee brains, weaken their immune systems and hinder bee’s ability to locate their hives.
By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist
After former-President Donald Trump and “key allies” were suspended from using a number of social media sites, online misinformation about election fraud dropped 73%, according to research firm Zignal Labs. Recently YouTube announced that the ex-president will be allowed back on its platform. Minority rule in U.S. politics is new since World War II, but did exist before that, The Atlantic has pointed out. This century two presidents did not get elected by the majority; they gained office via the Electoral College. And in 2020 Republicans made up the majority of seats in the Senate, but represented 20 million fewer people than the Democrats, who made up the minority of Senators. Historically, a party elected by a minority does not reach across the aisle, but instead works to “consolidate their power.” Based on past observation, The Atlantic said that when minority parties have been removed from power “the backlash against them was swift and strong.” The current influence of minority rule has resulted in a Supreme Court where conservatives have a 6-3 majority, but, says The Atlantic, they are likely to oppose issues the majority of Americans favor, such as health care and abortion rights. Novel defense: After being sued by Dominion, a voting machine company, for publicly claiming the machines used technology that could switch Donald Trump votes away from him, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell’s attorneys are claiming on her behalf that “no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” The Guardian says the defamation suit seeks $1.3 billion in damages. The U.S. Treasury Department last week announced sanctions against entities and individuals working with the Russian government to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election, CNBC reported. The sanctions included expelling 10 Russian diplomats, and also prohibiting U.S. banks from investing in Russian bonds and making it harder for Russia to borrow money. The department documented that Russian intelligence services were provided with secret polling data and campaign strategy information by former partners in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Blast from the past: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Aldous Huxley, 1894-1963, author, including the satirical novel Brave New World.
In response to hate mail By Brenda Hammond Reader Contributor The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force sends its deepest sympathy to the victims of hate mail received recently by neighbors in our community. We are appalled by the hateful language in the letter and the people who feel empowered to issue such threats. The local Democrats have sent out a strong statement against the letter — and we are certain that many others in the community, regardless of political persuasion, also condemn the thinking behind it. The idea of turning this corner of the Northwest into an all-white state is abhorrent and unfathomable to most of us — even though this idea has been promoted by white supremacists at least since the ’70s. It’s referred to as the “Northwest Imperative,” and has been the vision of the Aryan Nations, the National Socialist White People’s Party, the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Northwest Concern and the American Front — to name just a few. The hate mail sent recently was from the “Northwest Front” and stated, “White people need a country of our own for white people ONLY!” It also contains statements that purport patriotism, including quotes from President Thomas
Jefferson and early U.S. political leader Alexander Hamilton. However, most of us hold dear a vision of a United States of America based on the Declaration of Independence, which states, “All men are created equal,” and recite the Pledge of Allegiance to a country based on “liberty and justice for all.” We must acknowledge that those who don’t understand this to apply to everyone are certainly not without precedent. Looking straight into the face of our history, we must acknowledge the genocide of Indigenous peoples, the institution of slavery, the prohibition against women and black Americans voting, segregation, Jim Crow laws, the continuing lack of equal pay for equal work, etc. Yes, this too is America. And the ideas of white supremacy are still alive and well. For those of us who believe that “the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice,” there is still much work to be done — to eliminate prejudice, discrimination and oppression. For those of us, specifically, who live in the Northwest, we have a special mission. It is up to us to counter the idea of an “all-white Idaho” with our actions as well as our words. Let us uphold and honor the rights of the native people who loved and inhabited this beautiful region long before a white man
set foot here. Let us examine our businesses, our schools and our institutions for remnants of bias and discrimination. Most of all, let us examine our own thinking and acknowledge the stereotypes and labels that live in our minds and cause us to be critical of those we perceive as “different.” The BCHRTF will be holding an Anti-Racism Workshop
in the next few months. If you would like to join the workshop please become a member of BCHRTF (membership is $1) by visiting our website: bchrtf.org/join. We will be sending out information to our members about the workshop as it develops. Let us celebrate our differences, our diversity, and open our eyes to the beauty and
A snippet of one page of hate mail sent to a Bonner County resident last week. Courtesy photo. richness it adds to the tapestry of our lives. North Idaho is known for its “live and let live” philosophy—let it be known that it is welcoming to all. Brenda Hammond is president of the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force.
April 22, 2021 /
‘Rational thought has no place in Idaho politics’…
Bouquets: • A Bouquet to the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner County Library for continuing to do what is right for employees and patrons, instead of bending to the will of the angry minority. Just because voices are loud doesn’t mean they represent the will of the people. Barbs: • I have a mission for someone out there who might be tech savvy and cares about our out-of-control housing prices in Bonner County. I’ve had dozens of conversations with longtime locals who are unable to secure a home because they are selling to out-of-state buyers, often with cash offers that come in over the asking price. If I had the time, I’d do this myself, but instead I’d like to give my idea to someone else to move forward. What if there was a local website — similar to Craigslist — where people who are interested in selling their homes are able to list them for locals to view before they go out on the wider market? I know several people who have sold their homes recently only to later lament that their properties didn’t sell to a local family, so this would be a way to let locals get “dibs” on houses before out-of-state buyers are able to view the listings. Speaking as someone who will likely never be able to afford to own my own home in my hometown, I would be very interested in a system like this that gives people who have established themselves in the community a chance to buy before homes are scooped up so quickly — frequently sight unseen. It’s just a thought; do with it what you will. This I know: The housing situation we’re seeing right now just isn’t sustainable and is untenable for first-time buyers and locals who are being priced out of the market. 8 /
/ April 22, 2021
Dear editor, The Idaho House just enhanced its reputation as the “Worst Legislature in History.” They accomplished this feat by not passing the teacher’s pay increase. What’s the reason that it didn’t pass? It was because the Aluminum Foil Hat Contingent of the House wanted to prevent critical race theory from being taught in Idaho’s schools. Briefly, critical race theory is the thinking that race affects society, culture and laws, and how they all evolve. Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last few years you should be aware that race does affect just about everything in our daily lives. Politics, society and laws have become decidedly race centric. Ignoring these facts is the political equivalent of closing one’s eyes, sticking one’s fingers in their ears and screaming “la-la-la-la-la.” Our stalwart band of North Idaho representatives — Scott, Giddings and Dixon — have once again revealed that rational thought has no place in Idaho politics. Anyone that believes we can ignore today’s reality and still effectively lead our country is truly delusional and does not deserve to be in positions of power in any governmental entity. We must elect people who live in the 21st century. Our current “representatives” sure don’t represent us. Gil Beyer Sandpoint
Library staff, administrators deserve kudos… Dear editor, The East Bonner County Library deserves high praise for its tireless protection of us throughout this pandemic. Instead, they have been vilified by a few loud self-centered people who insist that wearing a mask is somehow hurting them. A mask? Seriously? If that is the case I don’t know how surgeons have survived all these years. I have heard people in the building call the staff horrible names and even threaten them. It isn’t right in any way that staff have to work under such conditions. When did it become OK to verbally attack people at a whim to the point of bringing them to tears? When did people become so mean and bad-mannered? Especially when the mask policy is there to protect us? The library has worked hard to serve those that don’t want to abide by this healthy policy by offering curbside pick up among other services. The library is not the problem. Masks
are just a little uncomfortable, yes, but they aren’t the problem either. The pandemic is the problem and it is being made worse by those that refuse to wear a mask to protect our town. So, a big thank you to our beautiful library for putting up with the nonsense and caring enough to make a visit to you safe for all of us. Cynthia Wood Sandpoint
Jalon Peters will be your voice on the library board... Dear editor, It’s too often the case that once elected, our officials become protective of the entity they are tasked with overseeing, rather than working on behalf of those who voted them in and to whom they are accountable. This is the case with the current library board. The board has the power to run levies that increase our taxes. And it has done so. Yet, more than a year later, its imposed mask mandate remains in place, and the board continues listening only to voices with whom it agrees, and ignores the taxpayers who ask that it be lifted. That fact was obvious during their last meeting, where their constituents — those whom they represent and gather taxes from — were made to stand outside in the biting wind, necks craned, in an effort to listen in on the meeting we couldn’t attend unless masked, regardless of whether we have medical issues that make breathing in one difficult. It’s idea of inclusion? A tiny screen, outside, with a nearly inaudible speaker. This is not what representative government looks like. And it’s not how a district that operates on our tax dollars should treat its constituents. And it’s why our community needs fresh voices, representatives who’ll consider a diversity of perspectives. Jalon Peters will be your voice on the library board. He believes in personal freedoms, reduced taxation, and a government that works for the people and not for the bureaucracy. Please vote for Jalon on May 18. Jodi Giddings Sagle
Time for a change on library board… Dear editor, The board members of our library have made it clear that they feel no obligation to represent all of the property tax paying people of Bonner County. The most recent example is their refusal to end the mask mandate despite the fact that there is no state or county mask mandate. Rather than giving library patrons the option of wearing a mask or not, the Library Director Ann Nichols has been quoted in local publications demeaning and belittling those who are against the Library’s mask mandate. She said, ”They think it’s unconstitution-
al but it isn’t. Libraries can set their policies when it comes to health.” I find this attitude interesting as she clearly has no interest in serving all of the people in Bonner County and the divisive “they” comment is telling. I think it’s time to make some changes on the Library Board and we can do that on May 18. Jaylon Peters is running for the Library Board. He has worked in administration in the private sector and
understands that treating all customers (a.k.a. taxpayers) with courtesy, common sense and in a manner that doesn’t infringe on their Constitution rights helps the library to function in a way that is inclusive rather than exclusive. This is the reason I am casting my vote for Jalon Peters on May 18. Anita Aurit Sandpoint
BGH Foundation Board presents ER Dept. with $200K check
By Patty Hutchens Reader Contributor It was with great pleasure that the Bonner General Health Foundation Board recently presented the Emergency Department with a check for $200,000 to help fund recent improvements and upgrades. The proceeds were a result of the 2021 Heart Ball, the Foundation’s Annual Fundraiser. “We are thrilled to be able to present this check to our incredible caregivers at Bonner General,” said Heart Ball Chairperson and Board Member Georgia Simmons. “We had no idea what to expect this year since we had to hold our fundraiser virtually. The support of this community again continues to amaze me.” The Heart Ball took place Feb. 6, with more than 75 people in attendance virtually. The popular dessert auction was held online before the event, with the 21 desserts being delivered the morning of the Heart Ball for the winning bidders’ enjoyment that evening. “It was wonderful to see all the restaurants and private individuals donate to our dessert auction, especially after a particularly challenging year for them,” said Simmons. During the 75-minute event, there were video testimonials by people whose lives have been positively affected by their care at Bonner General Health. “It was powerful to witness people we know in the community who may not still be with us if it wasn’t for the incredible care they received at our hometown hospital,” said Board President Justin Dick. The event also featured a live
auction of packages donated by individuals and businesses and a virtual “paddle raise.” The Emergency Department had not been upgraded in over 30 years, and the Bonner General Health Foundation Board was pleased to help contribute not only to its aesthetic appearance but upgraded equipment for even higher quality of care. “The remodeled Emergency Department has helped improve patient confidentiality and provides more area for movement and flow of patients on stretchers and in wheelchairs,” said Marian Martin, Emergency Department manager. “The new department has provided for a more professional appearance to our patients and families as well increased morale for the staff. We are grateful for the support from the Hospital Foundation and the community for the funds that are contributing to finishing up the remodel and allowing us to purchase new equipment, such as stretchers, blood pressure machines, cardiac defibrillators and much more.” Bonner General Health Foundation strives to be a key developer and trustworthy steward of the resources and goodwill that enable Bonner General Health to provide the highest health care quality to the community. Through its philanthropic support of the hospital, the foundation works to enhance the quality of life for those who trust Bonner General Health care for them. To learn more about Bonner General Health Foundation and how you can support their mission, go to bonnergeneral.org/ bgh-foundation.
A love letter to Mother Earth By Phil Hough Reader Staff Dear Mother Earth, What a year it has been. Last April as the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up, many of us went home in isolation from each other and, at first, from you. We struggled with adapting to new ways to work, to attend school, to have dinner and to pursue our happiness amid a cloudy future. Individuals living alone became isolated, living like hermits. Families and their new-found closeness brought both joy and struggles. Unsure of when, where and whether we could go out, we stayed close to home, working and worrying. Days were filled with uncertainty, stress and sadness. Last April most people simply sheltered in place to ride out the COVID storm. Many did not venture far from their own backyards. In those early pandemic days you didn’t see much of us. So, you may have felt a bit lonely, too. But we knew you would be there when we needed you most. Last summer you opened your arms wide — especially the public lands you hold. From your lakes and rivers to your forests, canyons, mountains we found safety, solace and sanity in getting out of doors. With conferences, concerts, sporting games and other large events canceled, we had more time to explore the wonders of
your creation. We returned to favorite places and sought out new ones. Many of your children discovered your trails for the first time. You were there for us when we needed a place to restore our sense of balance, reduce our stress and connect to others in small groups in safe ways. We know that this took a toll on you, although you did not complain. I am hoping my siblings will join me in helping to restore you in the coming months. You deserve some special treatment for all you have done in the last
How to help your m ther Here are some thoughts on how we can all help out Mother Earth to make sure she stays in good shape to help us. Participate in an Earth Day event, whether it’s online or outside. Take a personal action that makes a difference. If we all do something — no matter what it is — it will make a difference. A good practice for us all is to learn more about the Leave No Trace principles: lnt.org/why/7-principles/. Consider volunteering for a trail project to restore your favorite trail. Here in our neck of the
woods we have many local trails organizations to choose from. Montana Wilderness Association, the Cube Iron Cataract Coalition, several Backcountry Horsemen of America Chapters, 9B Trails, Pend Oreille Pedalers, Idaho Trails Association and the Washington Trails Association, to name a few. Close to my heart is the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. You can lead a hike, help maintain trails or educate others about wildlife as a Trail Ambassador. Learn more at scotchmanpeaks.org.
Phil Hough and Deb Hunsicker operate a crosscut saw on a downed log. Photo courtesy FSPW. year. If we all do our part to help keep you in good shape, then I know we can continue to count on you in the months and years ahead. Last year most events for Earth Day — your birthday — were canceled. It’s not that we didn’t care, we just couldn’t gather together. Like so many other relatives you had to put up with the “Zoom” parties held in your honor. We know it’s not the same; and, for some, Zoom will need to continue to be the way that they wish you the best. But, this year it also looks like we may be able to hold a few smaller gatherings. And we can keep the celebration going all summer. — Your devoted son Phil Hough is an accomplished thru-hiker, having trekked some of the longest trails in the United States; is a founding board member of the Idaho Trails Association, along with serving in numerous current and former leadership positions on several outdoors and natural resource groups; and serves as executive director of Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. April 22, 2021 /
Mad about Science:
Brought to you by:
paint By Ben Olson Reader Staff As the weather turns warmer, more of us are out there working on projects that might involve paint. Have you ever stopped and thought about what exactly paint is and why we use it? Have no fear, that’s exactly the topic for this week’s column. There is a certain freshness that a new coat of paint provides. It can turn a dreary room into your favorite space, or make an old car look like it just came off the line. But paint is more than just fancy color, it’s actually protection from the elements. We paint metal to keep it from rusting or wood to prevent rotting. Think of paint as a skin you’re placing over your car, fence, house or boat that helps protect the vital organs inside. Humans have used some form of semi-permanent markings to memorialize their lives since at least the Stone Age. The earliest “paint” supplies found were abalone shells full of ground ochre and charcoal, used in the Blombos Cave in South Africa, which are dated to be around 100,000 years old. Unfortunately no paintings were found in this cave, just the supplies. To see the first images still evident on cave walls we must travel to about 44,000 years ago when individuals in Europe, Australia and Indonesia painted images of hunters and herders on cave walls, expanding the color palette considerably. Paints then, and now, are 10 /
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all basically made up of three components called the pigment, the binder and the solvent. Pigments used in prehistoric times included blood, sap, berry juices, dried plants and roots, and minerals. Artists would mix their pigments into paint using water, saliva, urine or animal fats, then apply them with fingers, brushes or by blowing them through hollow bones. Ancient Egyptians advanced the medium considerably by mixing paints with binding agents like egg and began painting on plaster. Greeks and Romans expanded on these techniques until the Renaissance, when Italian artists painted with plant oils to create works containing a wide spectrum of color and depth that still wow museum-goers to this day. “Modern” premixed paints didn’t evolve until the mid19th century, when Shermin-Williams sold the first premixed wall paints in 1867. Before that, people had to mix their own wall paint from powdered pigments. Since the 1940s, paint has advanced to produce the right type for the right job. Synthetic pigments were introduced, leading to easier preparation for artists and house painters, expanding the once mineral-based limited color palette to any color you could imagine. Paints today stick to the same formula of pigment, binder and solvents. Pigments are, of course, the color of the paint. A specific color is produced because the pigment reflects some wavelengths of
light and absorbs others. Traditionally, metal compounds have been used to produce certain colors. Titanium dioxide — a bright white chemical often found in sand — is used to make white paint. Iron oxide — or rust — makes yellow, red, brown or orange paint. Greens were more difficult to produce, with some using verdigris or ground malachite. Blue pigments were introduced by the Egyptians, who mixed ground limestone with sand and a copper-containing mineral such as azurite, which made an opaque blue glass that had to be crushed and combined with thickening agents to create a glaze. Black hues are made from carbon particles, and so on. Because pigments are usually solids, they won’t bind to a surface by themselves, so a binder additive is needed. A binder’s job is to glue the pigment particles to one another, but also to make them stick to the surface that’s being painted. Some binders are made from natural oils like linseed oil, but most modern paints use synthetic plastic binders, such as latex. Mixing pigment and a binder only makes a thick substance that’s difficult to spread. By adding the third component — a solvent — paints are made thinner and flow more like a liquid, which helps to spread the paint evenly. Once the paint spreads out, the solvent evaporates into the air, leaving the paint evenly applied and dry beneath it. Paints that use water as a solvent are easy to clean up if you spill them,
and don’t smell so much like chemicals. Oil-based and glossy paints use solvents made from strong organic chemicals extracted from petroleum. If you find an old can of oil-based paint, you will recognize the solvent as the thin fluid sitting on top of the pigment. That’s why it’s important to mix paint well and often — the three
components like to separate if left idle. Next time your honey-do list includes painting the fence, take a moment to think of how far we’ve come, going from ground ochre in abalone shells to paints that glow in the dark. Stay curious, 7B.
Random Corner Don’t know much about bones? • The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones. Of this total number, 106 bones are found in the hands and feet alone. • Each bone plays an important role in making all the mechanics of your body function properly. If a bone is broken, all the bones around it can’t perform their duties. • There are two types of bones in the human body — the dense, hard bone that we usually think of is called a cortical bone. These types of bones are primarily “structure” bones. The second type, trabecular bones, are soft and spongy. They are often found inside large bones and in the pelvis, ribs and skull. Trabecular bones are less dense than cortical bones, but they are still quite hard and protective. • Bone marrow is a spongy substance found inside large bones like your hips, pelvis and femur. Bone marrow houses stem cells, which are responsible for producing many of your body’s most important cells, including blood, brain, heart and bone cells.
We can help!
• Human babies are born with 300 bones. These bones don’t disappear as we grow older, but the tiny bones fuse together to form larger bones of the skeletal system. • The smallest bone in the body is the stapes, located in the inner ear. This bone is also called the stirrup because of its Y shape. Together with the anvil and hammer bones, the stapes helps translate sounds you hear into waves for your brain to understand. • The largest and longest bone in the body is the femur, or upper leg bone, that goes from your hip to your knee. • Bones are designed to take quite a beating. They can break, but they’re designed to stand up to daily wear and tear. Some bones can absorb two- to three-times your body weight in force. • One bone in the human body isn’t connected to any others — the hyoid bone, in your throat, is responsible for holding your tongue in place.
It’s been glorious the past week or so, except for another one of our wind storms that knocked the power out over the weekend. Here are a handful of photos submitted by our awesome readers — thanks for your submissions. Keep them coming! To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to ben@ sandpointreader.com.
Top: A quiet morning at Sandpoint City Beach, taken Saturday, April 17 by Karley Coleman. Bottom left: Three tom turkeys fanned, puffed and strutting on Saturday, April 3. “Spring is in the air!” wrote photographer Dr. Mark Cochran. Bottom right: The noble skunk cabbage: a sign of spring in North Idaho. Photo by Tricia Florence. April 22, 2021 /
History on ice
The story of Sandpoint Ice & Fuel — one of the longest-operating local businesses
By Hannah Combs Reader Contributor
In the summer of 1930, Mr. Selle’s shop was swarming with boys for whom the novelty of the new freezer hadn’t yet worn off. They were no bother to him — he loved telling jokes and stories, and if the kids got too pesky, he had plenty of odd jobs to dole out. But before he could get out the first few words of his favorite joke that ended with the punchline, “It’s only the iceman!” he was met with groans and, “We’ve heard that one a million times! Tell us the story about the runaway wagon!” Selle pointed to the gas-guzzling delivery trucks in the yard. “We think we have troubles now with automobile wrecks, but we used to have our share of runaways in the early days,” he said. “I remember one time the team that Eddie Merton was driving on the ice wagon ran away. Some boys [here he glared at them for dramatic effect] scared the horses and they spooked. They took off down the street… south Boyer, and headed for the barn. They missed the corner, banged up the wagon, lost the ice and crippled one of the horses.” Selle gave them a moment to gasp in horror, then went on: “But the story really goes back to long before any of you were born…” Charles Wood, then 14 years old, first fell in love with Sandpoint on a horse herding expedition with his father in 1898. They had traveled from Spokane up to the Pend Oreille River, crossing north at Seneacquoteen and eventually camped in Sandpoint. Young Charles liked the area so much that he vowed to return and settle there. He was only 17 when he fulfilled his dream and started the “Sandpoint Ice & Fuel” company in 1901. Over the next few years, he developed a threefold business model that outfitted households with all of their heating and cooling needs, using inexpensive products that were cheap to source. 12 /
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Wood leased a small property on the southwest corner of Lake Street and Third Avenue. On this “wood yard” he set up a steam-powered wood saw that chopped four-foot cordwood into appropriate lengths for wood and cook stoves. He sourced scrap wood from local mills, including snags and other undesirable byproducts of the industry. Additionally, he sold coal out of two sheds on the east side of the Northern Pacific railroad track, and he stored ice blocks in a shed on the west side of the tracks. Each winter a team of men would cut blocks of ice from the lake, then packed them in sawdust in a dark, cool “icehouse” until the following summer, when folks would buy the blocks to keep their perishable foods cold. An Ice & Fuel punch card from 1934 guaranteed 1,000 pounds of ice delivered on demand for $8. According to his daughter, Roxie Wood Critchell, at some point in the early years Wood “had a partner who stole all the money, took off, was caught and sent to jail.” He then ran the operation solo until 1906, when two brothers, John and Henry Selle, bought the property leased by Wood. The following summer,
John Selle paid Wood $1,100 for a half-interest in the business, as well as full ownership of most of the tangible property. Selle invested in a third wagon team to help manage deliveries and started adding on to the buildings on the property. Selle and his young son, Charley, lived in a back room of the office for several years until they built a large house on the other side of the block. In January 1911, Selle bought the rest of the business from Wood, and his ambitions only grew from there. The following year, he installed a public scale at the wood yard and built a 3,500-square-foot icehouse next door, which greatly expanded his harvest potential. However, while lumber was in seemingly endless supply — and while coal could be shipped in from Wyoming, the Dakotas or even Alberta — the ice was a finicky business partner. Selle tried to put away 2,000 tons (4 million pounds) of ice each winter and occasionally the conditions exceeded his expectations. Over the winter of 1923, he remarked, “It is the best ice in 16 years, clear as glass,” and up to 18 inches thick — though 12 inches was optimal for most home iceboxes.
Harvesting ice on Lake Pend Oreille was by no means an easy sport. Over the two coldest weeks of the winter, 25 to 30 men and nine horse teams would go as far as a mile and a half from shore to find clear ice. They would score the ice with iron spikes then saw individual blocks free. Each 250-pound block would be hauled out by a horse team and put on a sleigh. The horses would drag the ice to where the Third Street Pier is today and up Third Avenue to Selle’s icehouse. By the late 1920s the lake became a more dangerous and unreliable source of ice, and Selle had to pivot quickly. He bought a new lot on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Oak Street and invested in modern equipment that allowed him to freeze water on site. The city water he used in this process was considered safer because it contained less sediment than lake water. Horse-drawn wagons were exchanged for orange trucks, the facility grew and technology continued to improve. However, the improvements that made Selle’s business easier to run also meant that households were becoming less dependent on him as home refrigeration became more
Left: Sandpoint Ice & Fuel horse team on their delivery route. Photo donated to BCHS by Charles Selle. Right: Sandpoint Fuel & Ice adapted to changing demands by renting out cold locker space. Here, Harold Marley and Kathryn Coker from the IGA grocery make ice cream in the locker building in 1968. Photo donated to BCHS by the Sandpoint News Bulletin.
affordable. In 1938, Selle leased part of his property to “Ira’s Cold Spot,” which rented “refrigeration lockers” to households that were eager for the convenience but weren’t ready to take the plunge and buy their own refrigerator. By 1943, Selle sold part of the property to the Farmers Union Co-op for an ice cream and milkshake counter. Despite the shifting demands, Selle held onto the Sandpoint Ice & Fuel company until his retirement in 1944. His successors Emmett Marley, Loren Book and Clyde Marley kept it running for 47 more years, until Emmett Marley died in 1991. Their combined efforts make the Sandpoint Ice & Fuel company one of the longest-operating businesses in Sandpoint. Research provided by the Bonner County Historical Society.
Earth Day tree-planting event at Pine St. Woods By Reader Staff Sandpoint Medical Massage and Bodyworks recently purchased seedlings and coordinated a volunteer effort to give a little back to Pine Street Woods on April 15. Volunteers included therapists, clients and friends of SMMB. “It’s important for us health care providers to take care of our ecological landscape since it is a foundational component of health,” said owner Kirsten Longmerier. The seedlings consisted of western white pine, western red cedar and western larch (all native species). They were planted on and around the acoustical berm in the PSW parking lot in an effort to naturalize and beautify this area while also preventing soil erosion and the spread of noxious weeds.
Photo courtesy Kaniksu Land Trust.
Photos courtesy Kaniksu Land Trust, which owns and maintains Pine Street Woods for all to enjoy. Call 208-263-9471 for more information on how you can help support this community forest. April 22, 2021 /
Sandpoint Showstoppers offers drama opportunities for local youth By Reader Staff If you know a third- through sixth-grader with an interest in learning about the dramatic arts through entertaining, interactive activities with their peers, check out Pend Oreille Arts Council’s new after-school theater program: “Sandpoint Showstoppers.” POAC’s newest educational outreach is a five-week session starting Friday, May 7 and continuing weekly on Fridays, 3-4:30 p.m., through June 4. This initial session is the first in a threepart series to be offered throughout the 2021-’22 school year, designed to prepare students with an understanding of the dramatic arts before they have the opportunity to audition for a Showstoppers’ play in the future. A chief goal of the program is to present annual theatrical performances involving local students in all aspects of the productions. “We are excited to kick off this educational pilot program with instructor
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Courtney Roberts, who brings a wealth of theatrical experience and a passion for working with young people,” said POAC Executive Director Tone Lund. “Kids will enjoy expressing themselves creatively and have fun learning new skills.” In addition to in-class activities each Friday, students will keep a drama journal to keep track of lessons and complete small homework assignments given at the end of each class. “I am overjoyed to partner with Pend Oreille Arts Council to create our Sandpoint Showstoppers program,” Roberts said. “Theater and performing arts give young people the opportunity to break out of their shell, build new friendships and embrace their creative side. It is a dream come true to provide that exact opportunity for youth in Sandpoint.” POAC is dedicated to providing quality educational experiences in the performing arts for students who may otherwise not have these opportunities.
While this program is free and open to Bonner County students currently in the third through sixth grades, class size is limited, with registration acceptance on a first come, first served basis. Applications are available online at artinsandpoint.org, or at the POAC office at
Instructor and program founder Courtney Roberts. Courtesy photo. 110 Main St., Suite 101 in downtown Sandpoint. For more information call 208-2636139.
April 22, 2021 /
End of season report: By Ben Olson Reader Staff
All good things must come to an end, and what a glorious end it was at Schweitzer on Sunday, April 11. The sun was shining, there was a fresh inch of wet powder to play around with and skiers were out in droves to celebrate a great year of skiing. The season began under slightly different ticketing parameters than years past, with day passes limited due to COVID-19. “Heading into the winter season, I’ll admit that I was skeptical that we would make it through the full length of our projected ski season,” CEO Tom Chasse wrote in an end-of-year report. “The pandemic certainly challenged all of us as we were forced to adapt our business protocol with little notice.” Chasse said a conversation with a father from Spokane helped remind him of the mental health benefits associated with skiing. “With all the challenges his family was facing — from virtual schooling, the mask mandate, no sports or the option to even go out to dinner — their time at Schweitzer was the only activity that brought them any sort of normalcy this past year,” Chasse wrote. “I’ve often said over the years that the skiing and snowboarding experience we provide at Schweitzer exists as an escape from the challenges in our everyday lives and this season proved, more than ever, how important that escape is.” The season got off to a straitened
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start after a mask mandate was ordered by the Panhandle Health District in November 2020. Because early-season operations only accounted for the front side of the mountain, Chasse sent out a notice claiming that Schweitzer was “willing to shut down the entire operation” until additional lifts and terrain were opened if guests did not wear masks. According to Chasse, the result was that the following weekend after his release, “90% of our guests were masked up when I was in the lift line — a huge improvement from opening weekend.” Schweitzer announced progress on its new Humbird Hotel in the village, which broke ground in spring 2019 and is slated to open for the 2021-’22 ski season. The 31-unit hotel complex will be a ski-in, ski-out property located directly in the village along the upper parking lot. The complex will also feature a 50-seat restaurant and bar. In April, Schweitzer announced it was debuting a new logo and dropping “Mountain Resort” from its name. “When we examined our logo, which is intended to visually communicate Schweitzer’s unique identity, we realized it wasn’t adequately reflecting who we are today, nor symbolizing the future we aspire to create,” the resort wrote in a statement. The new logo — a green S in a Bavarian-style font — met with a deluge of online criticism. Some commenters on social media likened the new logo as too similar to Seattle’s new hockey team, or that they thought it looked “too corporate.” Chasse was quick to respond that the logo had generated quite a stir, but that was nothing unusual. “Every decision Schweitzer makes — a new lift location, glading cut, hotel built and obviously a new logo — generates a ton of opinions, feedback and ways we could have done better,” Chasse wrote. “Fifteen years ago when I started at Schweitzer, the snowflake logo with ‘mountain resort’ was just launched and people hated it! They called it ‘starfish,’ ‘cat butt’ and a whole bunch of other things.” Chasse acknowledged that change was “hard to accept, but it is also an
Schweitzer wraps up winter activities for 2021
inevitable part of life.” In other words: haters gonna hate. The past two seasons have seen increased brush cutting and glading on some of the slopes, most notably the backside of the mountain around the old chair 6 line. Marketing Manager Dig Chrismer said more clearing is in the cards for the 2021-’22 season. “Having a true, go-to spot for intermediate tree skiing off Cedar Park is a fabulous addition and so many people were blown away by the experience,” Chrismer told the Reader. “This summer, we hope to work on roughly 350400 acres in bounds and out of bounds from the Outback to the T-Bar. Our intention this summer is to be more selective, thinning rather than full logging on areas between Detention, Recess, Study Hall and Colburn.” Snowfall this season was a bit below average, with Schweitzer finishing the season with 204 inches of snowfall in the village, which is down from an average of around 300 inches. “That being said, the snow we did get was consistent and good, providing great coverage all season long and a few spectacular powder days in January and February,” Chrismer said. Chrismer said it may have seemed like Schweitzer was logging record numbers of visitors this year, but the appearances were a bit deceiving due to a change in how people accessed the mountain. “[T]he growth we did see was all midweek, where we have plenty of capacity,” Chrismer said. “COVID really
Skiers gathered at the Outback Inn on Schweitzer for closing day to listen to the Miah Kohal Band play live music. Photo by Ben Olson. changed the way people accessed the mountain this past winter — not using SPOT, not carpooling, etc. — causing congestion in the parking areas, so that had a huge impact on the perception of how busy we were. Once you got out on the slopes, though, Schweitzer skied like Schweitzer: uncrowded with minimal lift lines all season.” Changes for next year include an increase in season pass prices, with an adult unlimited pass going for $799 and the adult Sunday-Friday pass selling for $649 — both early bird pricing if purchased by May 31. Regular prices are $949 and $799 if purchased by Oct. 31, respectively. “We try hard to keep our pass pricing reasonable and haven’t had any major increases in the last few years,” Chrismer said. “As any business does, we do need to take into account changes due to inflation or cost of goods so small increases happen. Overall, we believe we offer a great product at a reasonable price and locals know to take advantage of the early bird pass pricing to get the best deal.” “Our mantra for the winter has been, ‘Be Kind. Be Compassionate. Have Patience.’ Thank you for taking that to heart,” Chasse wrote. “Your support has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m as proud as you are to be part of this amazing Schweitzer family.”
A reel sign of spring Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club to host 2021 Spring Derby April 24-May 2
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Nothing says a good, spring day on the lake quite like soaking up warm sunshine and catching a glimpse of a rainbow — a rainbow trout, that is. The Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club is serving up its annual cash incentives to hit the water as it hosts the 49th annual Spring Derby, starting Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, May 2. Barb Gillespie — a longtime LPOIC member who now serves on the board of directors and manages the club’s newsletter with her husband, Dave — said that she looks forward to the Spring Derby each year because “it is a sign of the end of winter, and being cooped up.” “The local snow has melted. Flowers are starting to bloom and everything is starting over,” she continued. “The fishing season is starting anew, also, and that is a good thing for people that love being on the water and having fun with family and friends.” It’s also a good thing for people itching to catch a fish fit for champions, seeing as the Spring Derby is boasting more than $22,750 in cash and prizes. The derby has divisions for adults as well as for younger folks: junior (13-20 years old) and youth (0-12). As for tickets, adults must pay $50 to enter, juniors $10 and youth can participate for free, though they still have to preregister. Anglers can earn cash for catching both Gerrard rainbows — the gargantuan trout for which Lake Pend Oreille is known — as well as for catching mackinaw. Top prizes for each type of fish are $4,000 and $1,200, respectively. Weighmasters will be located at the Garfield Bay public dock, Holiday Shores Marina in Hope, and at MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort in Bayview. LPOIC will also continue promoting catch-and-release practices in the Rainbow Division as part of an ongoing effort to keep the big, unique fish in the lake. “Adult Rainbow Division anglers who safely return their fish back into the lake and finish in the top five places will
Owen Peterson poses with his happy catch in 2018. Photo courtesy Clint Nicholson. receive a $500 release bonus,” derby rules read. “The released rainbow must swim from the weigh bag on its own without assistance from the angler.” The catch-and-release incentive is part of the club’s mission to “protect and enhance Lake Pend Oreille.” Current efforts to keep big rainbows alive and catch as many mackinaw as possible is part of a larger scheme to help restore prey-predator balances in the lake — particularly, to help the kokanee population recover. “Fish and Game and the anglers of [Lake Pend Oreille] have worked hard for many years to get the kokanee back in the lake,” Gillespie said, adding later: “If it means that we as a club have to change how we conduct our derbies and ceremonies, then that is what we are willing to do.” LPOIC is putting a pause on traditional ceremonies for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Gillespie said she hopes they can get back to hosting end-of-derby celebrations later in the year. For now, all winnings, trophies and prizes will be mailed to the triumphant anglers. Regardless, the promotion of catchand-release practices means there may be fewer monster rainbows shown off when ceremonies are brought back, but Gillespie said that’s OK with the club. “We would rather have the fishery healthy,” she said, “with nice, healthy, big rainbows.” Find a complete list of rules and ticket outlets for the Spring Derby on the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club Facebook page at facebook.com/lpoic. Learn more about the club at lpoic.org. April 22, 2021 /
events April 22-29, 2021
THURSDAY, april 22
Keep it growing
Sandpoint Library needs help replenishing its seed library
Throwback Thursday • All night @ The Longshot ’80s throwback music all night - happy hour 4-6 p.m. Thursday Night Solo Series w/ Brian Jacobs 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall
Live Music w/ Alex & Maya 7-9pm @ The Back Door
FriDAY, april 23 Swingin’ in the Rain dance Live Music w/ Truck Mills & Carl Rey 7-10pm @ Ponderay Event Center 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Learn the East Coast Swing at 7 p.m. Masters of the blues taught by pro instructors, followed by Friday Night Wine Flight genreal dancing and door prizes. 4-11pm @ The Longshot Flight of 3 natural wines for $15 Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin Live Music w/ Mike Thompson 8-10pm @ The Back Door 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Live Music w/ Baker | Thomas | Packwood 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall
SATURDAY, april 24 Live Music w/ Justin James 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Nationally-recognized fiddler Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 8-10pm @ The Back Door Live Music w/ Weibe Jammin 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall
Live Music w/ Jackson Roltgen 7-9pm @ The Longshot Sandpoint Street Scramble 10am @ Lithouse YMCA Walk, run or bike to find checkpoints with different point values around a map of Sandpoint. Info at email@example.com
Shoreline Clean Up hosted by Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper 10am-1pm @ Sandpoint City Beach pavilion Join Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and the city of Sandpoint as they host their annual Shoreline Clean Up. Everyone is invited to help pick up trash and litter along the Sand Creek adn City Beach shorelines before it gets washed into the watershed. LPOW and the city will provide free gloves and bags. Participants can show up any time between 10am-1pm at the pavilion. Local coffee and treats will be available. 208-597-7188
Earth Day Clean Up Event at Pine Street Woods 10am-12pm or 1-3pm (two sessions) @ Pine Street Woods Enjoy camaraderie, snacks and Kaniksu Land Trust merch while admiring the fruits of your labor. Guided teams will work together beautifying the trails and grounds we love at Pine St. Woods. Two sessions to choose from. Meet at the lot. 208-263-9471
SunDAY, april 25
Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am
Piano Sunday w/ Dwayne Parsons 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Bingo at the Winery 6-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery
Sunday Brunch and Lawn Games 11am-3pm @ The Longshot Bike Rodeo • 1-4pm @ Travers Park Bring your bike or scooter and helmet! Bike safety check with minor repairs. Learn about bike safesty and practice your skills. Participants can enter a drawing to win a bike!
monDAY, april 26
Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant “Surrounded by Stuff: Understanding the Hidden World of Hoarding,” Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub
tuesDAY, april 27 wednesDAY, april 28 ThursDAY, april 29
Thursday Night Solo Series w/ Benny Baker 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall 18 /
/ April 22, 2021
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Beyond books, movies and other media, the East Bonner County Library District is also proud to boast a resource of a more natural sort: seeds. Patrons are able to “check out” seeds from the seed library and grow their own plants at home. Ideally, the borrower then returns with seeds to replace those they took, completing the circle of life that is a functional seed library. However, the final step hasn’t been happening. “Unfortunately, people have taken the seeds and not replaced them,” said Library Director Ann Nichols. “We had a lot of donated seeds from companies, but have stopped getting them now.” Without contributions, the seed library’s future is uncertain. The program is entirely volunteer based, according to Volunteer Coordinator Ashley Thacker, who said sharing seeds with the library is as simple as filling out a small yellow
envelope, which can be found on top of the seed catalog. “They take those, fill out as much information as they can and place them in the seed donation box,” Thacker said, noting that next, a dedicated volunteer named Duane collects the donations “to process and record them.” Those who wish to take seeds out of the library are asked to note what they take in the seed library binder. Nichols estimates that the resource has been available to the community for about a decade. “The benefit to the community was to have people start their own gardens,” she said, “to become more self-sufficient and to learn how to garden.” Now, the seed library needs a little boost from the community to make it through the next 10 years. To learn more about the seed library or inquire about how you can help, call the East Bonner County Library Sandpoint branch at 208-263-6930.
STAGE & SCREEN
O.G. in all ways By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The curse of comedians — especially as they approach iconic status — is the desire to be taken seriously without qualification. Tracy Morgan may have a harder path than many, requiring him to step from behind the outsized clown prince persona of Tracy Jordan, with which he stole episode after episode of 30 Rock for seven seasons. Damn if he hasn’t done just that in the TBS series The Last O.G., the first two seasons of which are on Netflix while a fourth season was renewed in October 2020 for network cable. Morgan plays Tray, the titular O.G., a charismatic nice-guy crack dealer in early 2000s Brooklyn who goes to prison just as he’s contemplating a major life change to become a gourmet cook. Sentenced to 15 years, he leaves behind a devoted girlfriend, Shay — played by Tiffany Hadish — whom he pines for throughout his incarceration. In the meantime, he develops his cooking as a jailhouse gourmand, winning friends and influencing fellow inmates. The series opens with Tray finally getting out, traveling back to his old neighborhood in Brooklyn only to find that it has transformed from the mean streets to the gentrified hipster destination we know today. Not only that, Shay has moved on to a successful career as a philanthropist, fashionista and community leader, living in an elegant brownstone with her husband Josh, who makes his money writing for Anthony Bourdain, and twin daughter and son, who it becomes immediately clear are Tray’s kids born soon after he went to prison. Tray is committed to putting his life back together, living in a halfway house with a bunch of oddballs lorded over by Miniard Mullins — a crusty, blowhard
wannabe stand-up comedian played to perfection by Cedric the Entertainer, whose cantankerousness is leavened by a clear care for his charges. On the most basic level, this setup could be a wacky-saccharine sit-com about second chances and the constructed nature of family. But Jordan Peele and John Carcieri co-created The Last O.G., both also serving as executive producers alongside Morgan and Lonely Island savant Jorma Taccone, among others. With Morgan and Haddish anchoring the cast, and brilliant creators like Peele, Carcieri and Taccone at the helm, The Last O.G. transcends its formulaic “fish-out-of-water” premise to become a finely crafted, meticulously paced, wry, witty, wise and frequently affecting dramedy that rivals anything for its commentary on and exploration of race, class and gender — all while being consistently warm and funny. Check that — “funny” is a lame descriptor. The greatness of The Last O.G. lies in making the accomplishment of its humor, rooted in real pain mingled with aspiration, knowing cynicism and optimism, look easy. View-
TBS series The Last O.G. — now on Netflix — is a triumph for Tracy Morgan
ers of this show are in the hands of some of the best writers and actors working on the big or small screen. They make putting a show like this together look far, far easier than it is. (Other writers on the show have included Keenan Ivory Wayans.) Are there missteps? Sure. The prison rape jokes routinely come off cringey. As the series navigates the notion of masculinity thwarted by the strictures of the prison-industrial complex and street rules, it sometimes slouches into lazy borderline homophobic territory. (The idea of cooking as “gay” becomes tedious. Also, is it necessary for
Mullins to refer to ex-felon Tray as “dick-licker” all the time?) These aspects tend to distract from the overall sophistication of the plot layering and real human connections between characters — and viewers. Beyond all that, Morgan and Haddish transcend these minor quibbles. As many reviewers have noted, the two evoke real chemistry, which is made all the better by the chemistry between Haddish and Ryan Gaul (husband Josh). As a love triangle it works more than most — in large part because of Morgan’s performance. If anyone has any doubts about taking Tracy Morgan
Courtesy photo. seriously, The Last O.G. should disabuse them of their qualifiers. After a car accident in 2014 very nearly took his life — putting Morgan into a coma at the height of his residual 30 Rock cachet — The Last O.G. is not only his return to on-screen work after years of physical therapy, but finds him presenting his acting with world-weariness but also love for life that can’t be faked. Morgan is to be believed — not as an avatar for Tracy Jordan or Tray — but as an artist whose timing in both comedy, drama and pure emotion is second to none.
Preservation Idaho calls for Orchids and Onions Awards nominations By Reader Staff For 44 years, Preservation Idaho has hosted the annual Annual Orchids and Onions Awards, celebrating individuals and organizations that have made a positive contribution to historic preservation — as well as bringing awareness to projects statewide that have shown insensitivity to Idaho’s cultural history. This year, nominations are due by Friday, May 7, with an awards ceremony planned for Saturday, June 26 at the Black History Museum located in Boise’s Julia Davis Park.
Orchids are granted to outstanding examples of preservation projects or practices in the following categories: • Excellence in Historic Preservation; • Contribution to Historic Preservation; • Distinguished Preservationist; • Friend of Preservation; • Cultural Heritage Preservation; • Heritage Stewardship; • Preservation-Sensitive New Construction; • Scott Chandler Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship.
Onions, meanwhile, are dubiously awarded to projects that jeopardize Idaho’s cultural resources. Nominations are reviewed by an impartial jury empaneled by Preservation Idaho. The jury, consisting of preservationists, historians and architects from around the state, will assess each nomination for suitability in their category. A number of Sandpoint entries have been honored over the years, including the Northern Pacific Railway Depot — awarded for Excellence in Historic Preservation — and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, for
Contribution to Historic Preservation, both in 2015. In the same category, the Sandpoint Events Center drew accolades in 2014. The nomination form, as well as criteria and past recipients, can be found at preservationidaho.org/orchids-onions. Nominations cost $53.50 (including fees and handling) and can be paid online at ci.ovationtix. com/34774/store/products/62523 or by check mailed to P.O. Box 1495, Boise, ID. 83704. For event information call 208-424-5111. For more info on nominations, email kathleen@ preservationidaho.org. April 22, 2021 /
The Sandpoint Eater Harvesting helpers
By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist
Why do weeds grow like, well, weeds and vegetable seedlings grow like premature, orphaned rescue babies? I had no idea these minuscule little green stems would be more labor-intensive than a threelegged, twice-daily insulin-dependent cat. I have learned more than a few things about seedlings. Just like cows, they love to die (a well-known rancher fact). Take your choice: you can kill them by underwatering, overwatering, (some even succumb to overwatching), transplanting and thinning. I’m not sure why it’s recommended to drop two to three seeds in each little Jiffy pot and when they finally start to grow, you’re supposed to pluck the little runts right out of the pot. I tried transplanting them with little success, but I sure feel bad when I have to abandon them. I’ve also lost the rooming list of who’s bedded where, and I now have 72 Jiffy pots surprises, which hopefully will be identifiable when the occupants grow a few more leaves. I feel like everyone thinks they’re an expert in gardening, and I’m learning that there are more old wives’ tales associated with propagating plants than there are even with childbirth. A few to note: take them outside to “harden” them, leave them inside but exposed to fans, you must have grow lights, you’ll need a humidifier, a mister, don’t forget to fertilizer. Oh my! 20 /
/ April 22, 2021
Every single time I try to take them out for a bit of sunshine, it’s like I have summoned Father Wind to join us. Even the lightest of breeze causes them to sway, though I am not totally convinced they aren’t shivering. Our outdoor “hardening” adventures tend to be short-lived (measured by the time it takes to polish off a cold beer). I’m looking forward to getting these little guys in the ground next month. I’ve also ordered (too) many packets of seeds to plant post-frost. Oodles of colorful radishes, beets and carrots for my “other” little guys, a.k.a. the city grandchildren, who are moving west this summer. While daughter Casey and SIL John make the long,
hauling everything-they-own road trip from Chicago to Spokane, I’ll be here, keeping a pair of never-been-awayfrom-the-parents’ toddlers busy (3-year-old Sam and 1-year-old Runa). I have visions of sweet little Sammy and Runa, armed with pint-sized watering cans and little wicker baskets, tottering barefoot in the grass, plucking fresh, crisp vegetables from our delightful little garden (in between the inconsolable, wehave-been-abandoned sobs). Fortunately, their cousin Miley is coming to give me a hand (my 13-year-old baking protégé from Montana), and the Moscow cousin cavalry will be on high alert, ready to advance north at the first
sign of trouble (or troubled little hearts). It’s not the first time I’ve provided a temporary home for my in-transit children’s children, and I have outdone myself gathering toddler goods to make them feel at home. It’s a privilege to have them entrusted to my care, and so far, I have returned them (mostly) unscathed. Even children raised in a vegetarian household cannot live by vegetables alone, so besides gardening, I have lots of big plans for the littles while they spend some of their summertime in Sandpoint. You’ll catch us wiggling our toes in the lake, dashing through the squirt fountains at Down Town Square, U-picking (and eating as we go) blueberries at
Shingle Mill and strawberries at Hickey Farms. We’ll spend some time crafting a keepsake (for the parents) at Creations, licking on kid-sized cones from the cute window seat at Panhandle Cone and Coffee, and hopefully taking our turns as Captain of the Shawnodese. Have I forgotten anything we shouldn’t miss? Depending on the success of my garden, you might also find us (frequently) foraging at the Saturday Farmers Market. I can barely wait for summer, and Sammy and Runa and the early vegetables that make this vegetarian pasta dish so darn tasty. For now, I’ve had to settle for store-bought peas.
Pasta with spring asparagus and peas
Serves 6-8 as a nice lunch, along with French bread This pasta dish tastes like spring — fresh asparagus, green onions and young peas are the star ingredients. The sauce is light and doesn’t overpower the vegetables. Don’t overcook the pasta — or the vegetables. I like to use small pasta shapes (like bowties), so along with the small-sized vegetables, it’s easy for little fingers to pick up and eat.
• 2 tbs butter • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 3/4 cup fresh (or frozen) petite peas • 1/4 scant cup fresh spring onions (discard green ends) • 1/2 pound asparagus, ends snapped, tips snapped, and middle chopped the same size as the green onions • 1 tsp sea salt flakes • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese (save a little for the top of the pasta bowl) • 1 cup whole fat Greek yogurt (I recommend Fage) • 3 tbs fresh minced parsley
Add 2 tbs oil to a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Dice the onions and asparagus, leaving the asparagus tips whole. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook, according to directions, until al dente. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and peas and cook 1 minute.* Continue stirring, add asparagus and onion, cook another 2-3 minutes only. Season with salt and pepper; set aside Drain pasta — don’t rinse (retain a cup of water) and immediately toss pasta with vegetables, Parmesan, Greek yogurt and parsley. Add up to a
cup of pasta water if creamier pasta is desired. Garnish with a shaved asparagus stock and parmesan. Season with
salt and pepper as needed. *If using frozen peas, cook with the garlic; if fresh peas add them with the asparagus and onions.
Ageless ambition By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Luckily for aspiring cellists of the Idaho Panhandle, Suzuki String Academy is now home to Bianca d’Avila do Prado — originally of Brazil, but who moved to the U.S. to study for her master’s degree in cello performance and string pedagogy at Illinois State University. She made her way to Sandpoint in early 2021 to start Suzuki String Academy’s cello program. Aside from her work as the instructor for all of the academy’s traditional school-aged cello students, d’Avila do Prado can also be found in the classroom on Saturdays as she instructs the Vivace Cello Ensemble: a group of adult cello students of varying experience levels who have gathered for an hour each weekend since January to improve their skills and celebrate their love for the instrument. The Vivace Cello Ensemble will play its first ever public concert at the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market on Saturday, May 1 at 3 p.m. “Our main goal with our concert is to share the joy of our cello playing with the Sandpoint community,” d’Avila do Prado said.
The group currently has six members: Kim Grillo, Jamie Davis, Charla Freeborn, Mich Lewis-Sorensen, Doug Pierce and Jason Grace. Each participant joined for a different reason. For Pierce, playing cello is spiritual. For Lewis-Sorensen, it’s about expressing feelings that only the cello can emote. Grillo is fulfilling a childhood dream by learning to play cello, while Davis decided to take the leap after becoming involved with Suzuki String Academy through her son’s violin lessons. For Freeborn, her connection to the cello is simple, but profound. “It is the voice of my heart,” she said. Regardless of motivation, ensemble members’ unified purpose comes through in their music. On a sunny April afternoon on the lawn outside of the academy, the group could be heard rehearsing for its upcoming performance. The sometimes sorrowful, sometimes joyous voices of the cellos drifted in
This week’s RLW by Ed Ohlweiler Adult students of Vivace Cello Ensemble prep for May 1 performance at Cedar Street Bridge
the spring air as the musicians worked through their catalog, hitting on traditional concert pieces, such as Beethoven, then seamlessly transitioning to more familiar tunes, like the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.” The repertoire, d’Avila do Prado said, has been specially created to help students with technical development, while also hoping to create an engaging set for their May 1 audience. A typical Vivace Cello Ensemble practice also includes lessons in posture, tone and scales. So far, d’Avila do Prado says she’s found Sandpoint to be very supportive of the arts, and that she feels lucky to be a part of the community.
Members of the Vivace Cello Ensemble and their instructor, Bianca d’Avila do Prado (far left), practice outside Suzuki String Academy on April 17. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert.
“It is a gift to me, having such motivated and committed students,” she said, “but most importantly, they are a very inspiring group of people with beautiful hearts.” Those with questions about the Vivace Cello Ensemble or Suzuki String Academy (102 S. Euclid Ave., Suite 106) can email ruth@suzukistringacademy. com or call 208-304-9085. Also find more information about the academy’s offerings at suzukistringacademy.com.
Maya Goldblum, as Queen Bonobo, to release EP May 7 By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Born in Sandpoint, Maya Goldblum, a.k.a. recording artist Queen Bonobo, drew on her experiences abroad in Ireland to create her latest EP, Sail From This Life, which is due to be independently released Friday, May 7. The three-track EP encapsulates themes of leaving behind feelings of fear and doubt to find love for yourself and others, as Goldblum was able to do when she relocated to the Emerald Isle in 2016 to study the music of her ancestors.
The musical arrangements behind Queen Bonobo’s unique vocals build a feeling of exploration reminiscent of the literal and figurative exploration Goldblum undertook in her Irish adventure. The instrumentation travels through sequences both jazzy and folksy, seemingly without traditional aim, creating a jam-band feel reminiscent of the trust and improvisation required to embark on a life-changing journey. Goldblum recorded Sail From This Life a week before leaving Ireland, making it a true souvenir of her time abroad — complete with sounds of the ocean and the voices and instruments of
the people she was fortunate to befriend while there. The EP serves as a snapshot of an artist at a crucial turning point in her creative life, finding herself as both a musician and a person of the world. Listen to Queen Bonobo at queenbonobo.bandcamp. com, or on Spotify. Also find the artist on Facebook: facebook.com/ queenbonobo.
In 1926, a young Antoine de Saint-Exupéry began flying in the tumultuous and dangerous arena of international postal delivery, covering parts of Africa, Europe and South America when navigational instruments were scarce — and forced landings were not. Wind, Sand, and Stars chronicles these (mis)adventures with the wisdom and pithy insight that he’s famous for and is among NatGeo’s “Best Adventure Books of all Time.”
I treasure those CD’s on which every song is moving, yet each is completely unique from the others. Beth Orton’s Central Reservation strikes me in this manner and makes it hard to categorize. Is it folk? Soft rock? Old-timey? Country? What I do know is that it invariably has me reaching for “11” on the volume knob — a rarity for an album on the mellow side of rock.
Concerts — be they real or virtual. Musicians have taken a big hit from a combination of the pandemic and streaming services, which pay a fraction of the amount of actual CD sales or downloads, according to Patreon founder (and half of Pomplamoose) Jack Conte. Time to show them we care. Plus, we all benefit from the time musicians spent in lockdown, creating new material and honing their craft — time they weren’t paid for.
The album cover for Queen Bonobo’s (aka Maya Goldblum) album Sail From This Life. Courtesy photo. April 22, 2021 /
BACK OF THE BOOK
Looking at Sandpoint’s housing market gives me the ‘Sunday Scaries’
From Northern Idaho News, April 18, 1916.
NO BIDS TO BUILD BOTTLE BAY ROAD LACK OF BIDDERS CAUSES ANOTHER DELAY IN MUCH–TALKED–OF ROAD When the time came for the county commissioners to open bids for the construction of the proposed Bottle Bay road Wednesday it was found that no one had the temerity to bid on the proposal and consequently people of the peninsula will have to wait still longer for their road. As originally surveyed by the county engineer, the road would cost in the neighborhood of $23,000. Several changes have since been suggested but no great reduction in teh cost could be made, although a delegation of Bottle Bay ranchers appeared at the meeting with a plan for the cutting out of the overhead crossing near the Watt ranch. The route was originally laid out by business men of this city and Bottle Bay residents. Later a survey was made and since the route was first viewed a number of changes have been talked of. As the route now stands a crossing had been planned at the Watt ranch which would necessitate the constrcution of a bridge some 600 feet in length. A grade crossing further north was suggested but was not incorporated in the route prior to call for bids. 22 /
/ April 22, 2021
By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Sundays, which some people seem to think are “Fundays,” have long been for me periods of slow-mounting anxiety frequently dipping into bouts of depressive self-loathing as I contemplate the many failures and missed opportunities of my life. That sounds over-dramatic, but I recently learned there’s a term for this chronic state of weekend despair: the “Sunday Scaries.” According to healthline.com, this phenomenon is “a form of anticipatory anxiety” — a “dread” of the future. The Atlantic, meanwhile, contends it’s “feeling an overwhelming sense of pressure” to accomplish great feats of excellence in work, life and financial success in the unknown landscape of the week ahead. Sure, I’ll buy that. However, knowing this, I’ve recently made the inexplicable habit of compounding these mental contortions by cruising local real estate websites. Like I said — I don’t know what’s wrong with me. If there’s an exercise in futility more futile than looking at Sandpoint real estate, I don’t know what it is. To be clear, this is not necessarily a complaint. I have moved away and come back to Sandpoint six times since 1999, in the interim somehow managing to construct a marriage, family and career. Yet I freely admit that this nomadism has severely affected the nature of my roots. Stunted perhaps? Gnarled? It’s hard to say. In some ways I feel just as connected to places I’ve lived like Boise and Pullman, Wash. That said, the most recent return — to take this job in 2019 — has been intended to be the last. Looking over the past year, I can see it was naivete to believe it possible to lay down some permanence — at least anytime soon.
Here’s an example: I saw a crackerbox house on a busy local street the other day. It looked nice enough, with a decent-sized yard and modest, pleasant facade. Certainly nothing special; it’s like all the other crackerbox houses built here in the beginning decades of the 20th century, often put together by the owner themselves with too many nails and not enough insulation. This particular place, built during the First World War but recently renovated, is currently selling for nearly $480,000. For comparison, $480,000 in the 1910s would be the equivalent today of nearly $10 million. That’s an inflation rate of almost 2,000%. If my wife and I were to buy this place — and intending to pay around $1,700 per month for the mortgage (within the recommended percentage of monthly income that should go toward housing) — we’d need to put 25% down, or thereabouts of $120,000. Not too long ago, my wife and I owned a home in Boise. It was a great place: three bedrooms, 1.5 bath with a finished basement on an oversized lot on a deadend street a few blocks south of the Boise Depot, meaning we could walk into downtown. We had a canal running through the backyard — the equivalent of waterfront property in the high desert. The yard itself was like a pocket park, complete with a rundown little shed in which I could write. We put a lot of work into that place, tearing out the 1960s green carpet and restoring the hardwood floors. We stripped seven layers of wallpaper, a trek through time that took us to the 1930s, and repainted the interior with an airy shade of gray-blue (with a few rooms in the same teal green that Mamie Eisenhower selected for parts of the White House). We xeriscaped the front yard and ran a luxurious, productive garden. We grew cherries and pears and picked quinces from the big bushes that grew wild
along the canal. In the backyard, I spent long blissful weekends pruning and trimming until it felt like a faux English garden. We loved that place — loved it, in fact, because it was so quaint and tidy, so woody and watery, all while existing in the midst of a busy neighborhood of a busy city, that it felt like our idealized image of a South Sandpoint sanctuary. But it wasn’t Sandpoint. That’s been the problem, at least for me, with every place I’ve ever lived. It wasn’t Sandpoint. Now, after a year of pandemic-enforced rumination, I’m not even sure if Sandpoint is Sandpoint. If we’d put $120,000 down on that place in Boise back in 2013, it would have been 63% of the total loan amount. We’d have been spending more on groceries and Netflix each month than our mortgage payments. (Of course, today, that same house in Boise is estimated to be worth upwards of $580,000… talk about a missed opportunity.) Again: This is not a complaint, it’s mathematics, but damn if the equation isn’t dread-inducing to contemplate.
Love is not something that you can put chains on and throw into a lake. That’s called Houdini. Love is liking someone a lot.
Solution on page 22
Solution on page 22
Woorf tdhe Week
By Bill Borders
[noun] 1. patient endurance of hardship, injuries, or offense; forbearance.
“Americans today have very little longanimity when it comes to things like the coronavirus pandemic.”
Corrections: Nothing to note this week, friends. Now go out there and enjoy your weekend. You earned it.
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. A steel wire rope 6. Corrosives 11. Submarine 12. Piece of furniture 15. Very sad 16. Relaxation 17. American Sign Language 18. Opportunities 20. Request 21. Cow sounds 23. Auspices 24. Anagram of “Seek” 25. Sea eagle 26. District 27. Ends a prayer 28. Colors 29. Be victorious 30. Beach 31. Powerboat 34. Anagram of “Diets” 36. Shade tree 37. Small island 41. Ship’s front 42. Broth (Scottish) 43. Not closed 44. Scheme 45. Operatic solo 46. Badgers 47. 52 in Roman numerals 48. One who bestows 51. 19th letter of the Greek alphabet 52. Hardworking
Solution on page 22 54. Disprove 56. Celebrated 57. Young woman 58. Answer 59. Jaegers
DOWN 1. Perfunctory 2. Snail 3. Mire 4. Nonclerical 5. Carve in stone 6. Sweet wattle
7. Crates 8. Nile bird 9. Cacophony 10. A canvas shoe 13. Ancient ascetic 14. Sounds of disapproval 15. Domesticated 16. Generating 19. Eagle’s nest 22. Conference 24. Feeling 26. Blown away 27. “Eureka!” 30. A few 32. Church bench 33. Sheep sound
34. Broken bone support 35. Betrayer 38. Food turner 39. Emissaries 40. Follow as a result 42. Cognac 44. Add 45. Disney mermaid 48. Handle 49. Spheres 50. Need a bath badly 53. Fury 55. Grippe
April 22, 2021 /
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