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The week in random review

airport friends

Living 90 minutes from the nearest major airport creates an interesting dynamic with the ones you love. There are friends, there are old friends and, finally, there are airport friends. These are the people you rely on to give you a lift to the airport, no matter if it’s late at night, early in the morning or right in the middle of a busy work day. Partly, they give you a lift because they want to be a good friend, but really, deep down, they do it because they know at some point in the future, they’ll need a lift to the airport, too. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch your back. Here’s to the airport friends in your life. Next question is, what shortcut do they take to the airport?

the fifth season

Some parts of the country only have one season, where a temperature swing of 20 degrees in any direction has the local residents talking about it at gas stations and diners across town. Other regions, like North Idaho, have a full four seasons and even a secret fifth season that many townies aren’t aware of: Mud Season, which occurs in regions where the ground freezes over winter and thaws in spring. Dirt roads become muddy because the frozen ground thaws from the surface down as the air temperature warms above freezing. Translation: mud holes that are big enough to hide a car. My favorite mud season story from childhood is when my mother was driving up to my friend’s place in Westmond to pick me up and stopped right before an obvious mud hole one house down from my friend’s place. The neighbor called over and told her she’d better not try it, but my mom is stubborn (where do you think I get it from?) and drove into the pit of despair. When I finally came outside, I walked down the road to look for her car and saw just the top three feet of her Toyota wagon sticking up above the road. The mud had swallowed everything below the door handles. That was a fun day.

spring cleaning surprises

Spring cleaning is an annual ritual many of us practice to knock the dust bunnies back into submission after a long winter. It’s always fun to find old relics that got lost in the clutter when you’re cleaning the house. Like an old shirt you forgot you owned, a ticket stub from a fun concert or a Polaroid photo you took with your friends while camping. If not to declutter, spring clean just for the chance you might find something fun that was misplaced in the past.


“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still the rat.”


I’m always impressed to see young artists throwing themselves headfirst into creative endeavors. This week’s cover teases the premier of The Fade: Rebellion, the second film by Tim Bangle’s troupe of young, talented actors and filmmakers. Read more about the film on Page 19, and if you can, go check it out at the Panida on April 6.

Editor Zach Hagadone got to escape to Canada this week with his family, so we were happy to welcome back Editor Emeritus Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey to sit at Zach’s desk and help edit this beast. It’s always a pleasure to reconnect with Lyndsie and see how big her son Liam is getting.

Finally, here’s another reminder about our upcoming candidates’ forum at Sandpoint High School audiotorium on Tuesday, April 30. We’ve invited candidates in District 1 Legislative races, as well as Bonner County, so please mark the date on your calendars. Ta ta for now.

111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-946-4368 Publisher: Ben Olson Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) Soncirey Mitchell (Staff Writer) Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (emeritus) Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Kelsey Kizer Contributing Artists: Tim Bangle (cover), Aleksandra Shira Dubov, Otto Kitsinger, Spinney family, Teresa Rancourt, GetRel Photography Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Soncirey Mitchell, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, Clark Corbin, Lauren Necochea, Steve Sanchez, Idaho Leaders United, Jack T. Riggs, Marcia Pilgeram, Sandy Compton Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $185 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. SandpointReader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 200 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: About the Cover Cover photo by Tim Bangle.
April 4, 2024 / R / 3

Idaho’s growth is slowing, but some counties — including Bonner — outpace the state average

The Idaho Department of Labor reported in January that the state’s population growth had slowed in 2023 to 1.3%, though still outpacing the national growth rate of 0.5%.

However, new numbers released March 27 showed that almost half of Idaho’s counties grew faster than the state average — including Bonner County, which is ranked eighth in overall population

among the 44 counties.

Bonner County grew 2.2% from July 2022 to July 2023, for a total of 52,547 residents, ranking second on a percentage basis among the top-10 most populous counties, behind only Canyon, which grew by 2.7% year-over-year.

The Labor Department

has previously reported that in-migration, rather than natural increase, has fueled Idaho’s increase in residents over the past eight years — 78% of the growth statewide from 2022 to 2023 resulted from residents moving to the state from elsewhere, while only 22% of growth came from births counted against deaths.

In Bonner County, net in-migration accounted for

1,246 new residents, which ranked as the fourth highest statewide.

“Reduced fertility rates have negatively affected natural change, and analysts point to generational challenges like the high cost of housing, medical care, child care and post-secondary education as reasons younger people are delaying household formation,” the Labor Department reported.

As has been the case historically, southwestern Idaho

continued to contribute the most to the state’s overall population growth, with the region accounting for 46% of the state’s total population and 57% to its overall growth from July 2022 to July 2023.

Despite Idaho’s reputation as a primarily rural state, its urban areas account for 72% — or 1.4 million — of residents, while the rural population accounted for 28%, or 542,000 residents.

Full tables are accessible at

Work nears completion on EMS Station 1

Work is nearing completion on the new Bonner County Emergency Medical Services Station 1, a project that has been in progress since 2020 under the previous board of county commissioners.

The building, situated at 1314 Ontario St., is set to open in fall of 2024 and will feature office and storage space as well as quarters for on-call EMS workers and much more.

“The facility will include a modern examination room for the coroner, a new Veterans Service Office and office space

to better serve the needs of Bonner County as it continues to grow,” wrote current Commission Chair Luke Omodt in an April 2 email to the Reader

The county leases the current EMS facility at 521 N 3rd Ave. on a year-to-year basis, costing an average of $10,000 per month in rent, utilities and maintenance, according to Omodt. Though it’s done the job for years, the former hotel is made up of multiple buildings, meaning crew, administration and medical supply areas are all separate.

“We’re most excited about being able to call something our own and not worry about

potentially losing it,” Bonner County EMS Chief Jeff Lindsey told the Reader. “Having everything under one roof and having a facility that’s more tailored also helps with

communication and all sorts of things.”

“Just being able to put the crew in new facilities means, to me, that the county is standing behind us and is sup-

Updates on the state of Lake Pend Oreille Refill begins;

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the spring refill of Lake Pend Oreille on April 1, with the goal of raising the water from the average winter levels between 2,051 and 2,052 feet to 2,055 feet by the end of the month. Outflow from the Albeni Falls Dam has slowly decreased from 20,000 to 10,000 cubic feet per second as of April 1.

Typically, the lake begins refilling in early April and reaches peak summer levels in mid-June to early July.

“It always varies depending on weather conditions and snowpack,” Leon Basdekas, Upper Columbia Senior Water Manager for the Corps, told the Reader. “It’s a dry year for snowpack, but we often have big rain events on top of the existing snowpack, so we monitor everything closely until the flood risk has passed.”

The Corps lowers Lake Pend Oreille each winter in an effort to mitigate soil erosion and flood risk; generate additional power at downstream dams; and to provide optimal habitat for spawning fish such as indigenous kokanee and bull trout, the latter of which is listed as a threatened species in all of its known habitats, including Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Those interested in the status

of the lake and its fish populations should attend the State of the Lake meeting, hosted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s Panhandle Regional office, on Thursday, April 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the Ponderay Events Center (401 Bonner Way). The event includes a question-and-answer session and presentation by IDFG staff on upcoming 2024 fishery activities.

“The State or the Lake is focused on all species, with a

portive of EMS and vested in keeping us around,” he added.

particular emphasis on gamefish species,” said Carson Watkins, Panhandle Regional Supervisor for IDFG. “It’s really just an update on our management programs, the tributary work that’s been done to improve habitats and fishery projects.”

There’s no need to register — interested parties can simply attend or watch a recording of this and past presentations on under “Lake Pend Oreille Fisheries.”

NEWS 4 / R / April 4, 2024
A rendering of the forthcoming Bonner Co. EMS Services Station 1. Courtesy image. IDFG to host presentation on local fishery

Republican Idaho legislator introduces late-session Texas-style immigration bill

Bill would allow local law enforcement to arrest non-U.S. citizens for entering Idaho without legal authority outside of ports of entry

Even as the annual Idaho legislative session enters perhaps its final days, a Republican legislator introduced a new unfunded Texas-style immigration bill on March 27.

Rep. Jaron Crane, R-Nampa, sponsored House Bill 753, which includes lengthy sections that are a word-for-word copy of Texas’ Senate Bill 4, which the Texas Legislature passed during a special session in November 2023. If passed into law, the Idaho bill would allow local law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people and arrest them or detain them for entering Idaho without legal documentation outside of an official port of entry. The bill also allows magistrate judges to order people who violate the bill to return to the foreign country that they left Idaho for.

Like the Texas law, the new bill in Idaho makes it a state crime for a person who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national to enter the state directly from a foreign country at any location other than a lawful port of entry. There are exceptions in the bill for people who have a lawful presence in the U.S., people who were granted asylum and for people who were approved for benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program between 2012 and 2021. A first violation of the bill would be a misdemeanor, while subsequent violations would be a felony.

The bill also makes it a crime for non-U.S. citizens who have been denied entry into the U.S. or who have

been deported to attempt to enter the state of Idaho or to be in Idaho.

Idaho’s new bill also gives magistrate judges the authority to order anyone who violates the law to return to the foreign country from which they attempted to enter the state.

“If someone was found to be illegally in this country, they can go before a magistrate, a judge, and then they have the option to be immediately deported back to their country of origin,” Crane said during the March 27 meeting of the Idaho House State Affairs Committee.

The Texas law upon which the Idaho bill is based is the subject of legal challenges. On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit extended a hold blocking the Texas law from taking effect while a legal challenge plays out, Politico reported.

Back in Idaho on March 27, Crane said the Idaho bill is necessary because the federal government is not doing enough to enforce federal immigration laws.

“So there are millions upon millions of people that are flooding into this country and nothing is being done about it on a national level,” Crane said.

Idaho legislators take issue with fiscal note attached to Crane’s immigration bill

However, legislators from both major political parties said that there are problems with the cost estimate in the fiscal note attached to Crane’s bill. Crane’s fiscal note now states, “This legislation causes no additional expenditure of funds at the state or local level of government ....”

However, Crane admitted March 27 during the House State Affairs Committee meeting that either the county sheriff’s or the state would have come up with funding to pay to send people back to their country of origin.

“We will have to set up some sort of funding,” Crane said. “Whether that is handled by the county sheriffs or whether we set up a state fund in order to get them sent back, we are going to have to — hypothetically — put them on a bus or transportation, so to speak, back to the border to get them back to their country of origin. So, yes, we will have to figure out what the funding is going to look like.”

The March 27 hearing was only an introductory hearing, which does not include public testimony.

Boise Democratic Reps. John Gannon and Todd Achilles voted against introducing the bill, but the Re-

publican supermajority on the committee outvoted them.

“You just told us that the fiscal note is incorrect ...”

Achilles told Crane during the March 27 meeting. “Why do we have a fiscal note on this that says there is no fiscal impact when you just said that it’s going to cost the state to send people out?”

Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, also told Crane to correct the fiscal note on the bill, but Barbieri voted for introducing the bill. Crane did say he would provide an updated fiscal note in time for the bill to receive a full hearing.

Given the lateness of the legislative session, the prospects for Crane’s immigration bill are unclear. It usually takes two weeks or more for a bill to be introduced, heard in committees and then sent to both legislative chambers for a vote. Legislative leaders still appear to be working toward wrapping up the session for the year by

March 29.

The nonbinding deadline to transmit bills between legislative chambers came and went back on March 4. Often, legislators introduce bills late in a session simply for the purposes of starting a conversation or planting a seed for a future legislative session. However, during the frenzied final days in session legislators frequently suspend their own rules and are capable of fast-tracking bills.

At any rate, introducing the new immigration bill on March 27 clears the way for it to return to the House State Affairs Committee for a full public hearing.

This story was produced by Boise-based nonprofit news outlet the Idaho Capital Sun, which is part of the States Newsroom nationwide reporting project. For more information, visit

NEWS April 4, 2024 / R / 5
The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise on Jan. 23, 2024. Photo courrtesy of Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers treating invasive flowering rush on local waterways

To selectively manage the invasive weed flowering rush, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Albeni Falls Dam staff are performing herbicide treatments at six separate locations on dewatered portions of Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River.

The staff plan to treat the dewatered areas between April 8 and May 20 on up to 21 acres at the following USACE-owned locations: Riley Creek (up to 1 acre), Clark Fork Drift Yard (up to 1 acre), Hoodoo Creek Wildlife Management Area (about 2 acres), Mallard Bay Wildlife Management Area (up to 1 acre), Oden Bay Wildlife Management Area (about 8 acres) and the Pack River Wildlife Management Area (about 8 acres).

They will treat the flowering rush with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Idaho State Department of Agriculture-approved herbicide isopropylamine salt of Imazapyr (Alligare), at application rates and

concentrations allowed on the label.

Treatment timing selectively targets young flowering rush shoots as this invasive plant breaks winter dormancy, before any non-target native vegetation begins to grow and will allow 14 days prior to springtime lake re-flooding of the flowering rush-infested littoral zones.

The staff will not apply the herbicide in or over water. Dewatered applications eliminate potential environmental impacts to water quality and non-target aquatic organisms because surface water is not present during the applications.

There are no fishing or swimming restrictions for any chemicals in the treated plots, and there are no restrictions on livestock consumption of water from the treatment areas after the herbicide applications.

For more information, contact Andrew Huddleston at 208-437-3133 or Andrew.J.Huddleston@usace., or Taylor Johnson at 208437-3133 or Taylor.M.Johnson@

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:

Nearly half of senior Congressional staffers contemplate leaving, primarily due to safety concerns. Republican staffers — 59% as compared to 16% of Dems — cited “heated rhetoric from my party” as prompting them to think about a job exit. Only 20% of staffers think Congress is “functioning as a democratic legislature should.” Data is from a recent Congressional Management Foundation survey.

A human rights official at the State Department is the second to resign over the Biden Administration’s actions regarding Israel and Gaza. Annelle Sheline told media she saw no way she could influence the concerning flow of arms to Israel, and said many colleagues would prefer to resign, but can’t afford the job loss. A new Gallup poll shows American support for Israel’s conduct of the war has dropped to 36%

“Tens of thousands” of protestors in Israel demonstrated last Sunday, calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be removed, saying he is an obstacle to the release of hostages taken Oct. 7 by Hamas. Vox says the risk of famine in Gaza due to Netanyahu’s war strategies “is accelerating faster than anything we’ve seen this century.”

NBC News says they will not hire Ronna McDaniel, the former head of the Republican National Committee. NBC staffers and others raised the issue of McDaniel’s history of using false information.

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk says Europe is entering a “pre-war” era, is not prepared and should increase defense investments. He’s been urging better support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia. In The Guardian Tusk said the next two years of the Ukraine war will decide everything, and “we are living in the most critical moment since the end of the second world war.”

A federal judge rejected Elon Musk’s lawsuit against the Center for Countering Digital Hate, saying it was purely punitive and did not protect X’s security and legal rights or demonstrate any defamation, CNN reported. The CCDH research documented increases in hate speech on X, formerly Twitter, after Musk purchased it. Musk plans to appeal.

The theft of $8 billion from cryp-

to-currency customers has netted former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried a 25-year prison sentence, CNN reported. Prosecutors wanted 40 to 50 years.

A planned ban on toxic PFAS chemicals used in containers, cleaners, cosmetics and pesticides has been nixed by a conservative fifth circuit court, The Guardian reported. The judges said the EPA could not regulate under the statute it had used. PFAS do not naturally break down and are linked to cancer, high cholesterol, liver disease, kidney disease, fetal complications and “other serious health problems.”

The Lever has closely investigated events leading to a mega-cargo ship that recently decimated Maryland’s Francis Scott Key Bridge. Although only going 7.8 mph, it was so heavy the impact was that of a “rocket launch,” The New York Times estimated. The bridge loss disrupted a main trade route, and is expected to impact delivery of items to supply chains. Six people died. An insurance firm had warned about the hazards of larger cargo ships, and the International Trade Forum had warned against using public money to retrofit ports for larger mega-container ships. (Large cargo vessel mishaps include the 2020 Suez Canal ship incident that cost the global economy up to $60 billion.) The larger ships are prized for needing less fuel per container hauled, but environmental issues remain due to ship exhaust and associated toxic dust from cargo. The Key bridge, which took five years to build, survived a collision decades ago, when ships were smaller.

Investigation of the crash will include whether the use of “dirty fuel” played a role, which some say may impact ability to control navigation speeds. Insurer Lloyds of London says the bridge’s collapse is likely to result in the largest single marine insurance loss ever. Damages include wrongful deaths, business disruption and bridge rebuilding, The Guardian reported. The company that chartered the ship had recently been sanctioned for blocking employees from reporting concerns to the Coast Guard.

Blast from the past: Donald Trump said he aced a “difficult” Montreal Cognitive Assessment in 2020 that had “advanced” math: “multiply 3,293 times 4, divide by 3.” CNN factchecked Trump’s claim: the test does not have that math challenge. Trump claimed only 2% of his followers could pass the test.

6 / R / April 4, 2024
Flowering rush. Courtesy image.


This is no time to sweep a looming health care crisis under the rug

All Idahoans want to know their families can access health care when they need it; yet, we are living under a dangerous abortion ban that denies medical care even when health risks are present and threatens doctors with prison time. The criminalization of medical care has damaging consequences that continue to multiply while GOP lawmakers sit idly by.

Idaho has lost 22% of its practicing obstetric gynecologists since the Republican supermajority’s abortion ban took effect. Over half of the maternal-fetal medicine specialists — doctors trained to manage high-risk pregnancies — have left the state. Labor and delivery services have closed down in Sandpoint, Emmett and now Caldwell. Today, only half of the 44 counties across Idaho have access to practicing obstetricians.

While this might not yet feel like a crisis to everyday Idahoans, the impacts have been harsh. And the looming crisis will be felt broadly as

more physicians leave Idaho and few are willing to replace them.

This session, doctor and patient advocates hoped they could persuade Republican leaders to create an exception to allow abortion care when patients face health risks — not just imminent death. Our remaining doctors are watching closely to see what will pass as they make decisions about continuing to practice in Idaho.

But the odds are stacked against common sense and decency. An exception to preserve patient health goes against the Idaho Republican Party’s

platform. Last year, a health exception bill got pulled from the agenda suddenly after outcry from the party chair, Dorothy Moon. Meanwhile, Attorney General Raúl Labrador has blocked the narrow allowance we had for abortions in certain medical emergencies due to a court ruling while he appeals that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Last week, when it became clear we were poised to adjourn with no movement on this urgent issue, Democratic lawmakers pleaded for action in a press conference.

What happened when we highlighted a serious problem voters want us to address?

Republican politicians canceled the measly bone they had thrown to health care advocates: an informational meeting about our women’s health workforce shortage. Republican leaders blamed Democrats for their decision publicly. Still, this was a decision to

bury information about the terrible fallout from their laws.

Nevertheless, there is hope. That hope rests with voters. Across the country, abortion rights have won everywhere they have been on the ballot since Roe v. Wade was overturned, even in red states. Notably, a Democrat running on safeguarding abortion and IVF access just won a special election for the Alabama Statehouse in a district Trump carried.

Idaho’s Republican politicians continue to sweep their healthcare mess under the rug. Idahoans must elect leaders dedicated to solutions, not cover-ups.

April 4, 2024 / R / 7
Rep. Lauren Necochea. File photo. Rep. Lauren Necochea is the House assistant Democratic leader, representing District 19 in Boise on the Environment, Energy and Technology; Resources and Conservation; Revenue and Taxation; and Ways and Means committees.


• “Bouquets to the tireless Ting employees who worked day and night this week to get our internet service repaired and back up and kept us updated as we waited.”


• It’s no secret that I loathe people who lie for political gain. They always follow a similar format: tell the lie, watch it spread, get called out for lying, then issue a quiet correction that 1% of those who saw the original lie actually pay attention to. We saw it happen during the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last month. Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., gave a laughably dramatic speech where she shared a brutal story of sex trafficking and seemingly laid the blame on Biden, though the actual incident took place not in the U.S., but in Mexico, and not during Biden’s term, but rather George W. Bush’s presidency. We saw it again when right wing media attacked Biden for proclaiming Easter Sunday as the Transgender Day of Visibility, though the two days coincide this year by chance. Transgender Day of Visibility has been held annually on March 31 since 2009, and since Easter’s date changes from year to year, it fell on the same day this year (I can’t wait to see the faux outrage next year when Easter falls on 4/20). Finally, thanks to a now-retracted story by right wing fever site The Daily Caller, conservatives erupted at Biden because the story erroneously stated his administration had instituted a new ban on religious symbols on Easter eggs during the White House’s annual holiday celebration (in reality, the ban of religious symbols on eggs has been in place since 1978, even during the Trump administration). These lies whip up fury among the ignorant for no good reason, then quiet corrections are offered with a shrug. The cycle repeats until they find another shiny object to throw at one another. Ignorance is no excuse for lying, and we’re all getting a little sick of the lies.

Herndon campaign relies on misleading narratives…

Dear editor,

In response to Anne Wilder Chamberlain’s letter [Daily Bee, “Herndon supports children, families and parents’ rights,” March 26, 2024], it’s important to correct some inaccuracies. Jim Woodward did not vote to allow high school boys in girls’ sports. His vote against House Bill 500, which is not yet in effect due to legal challenges, was not in support for its opposite. Voting against a bill doesn’t automatically mean supporting the contrary; law drafting requires precision.

Anne’s assertion that Jim opposed mandatory parental opt-in for sex education is misleading. The bill mandated teaching on human sexuality, gender identity and orientation. Jim voted to uphold Idaho law, which assigns primary responsibility for sex education to families and religious institutions, with schools in a supportive role (Idaho Code 33-1608).

Anne also misstates Jim’s stance on “Common Core” standards. The state’s $2.5 billion public education investment demands clear educational directives. Jim worked with Idahoans to develop the Idaho Content Standards, specifying educational goals like math for third grade and English for seventh grade. He voted for these standards to ensure accountability and protect our educational investment.

The Herndon campaign seems to use misleading narratives, but facts matter. With the Republican primary approaching on May 21, informed voting is crucial.

Darrell Kerby Bonners Ferry

Reasons to support Woodward for Dist. 1 Senate…

Dear editor, Top reasons to support Jim Woodward for senator — I have known Jim for over a decade:

1. I have found him to be honest, trustworthy and transparent in the actions he takes; 2. He will represent the community’s interests and not personal ideology; 3. He will communicate year round and not just at election time to gauge what is important to his constituents.

Please join me in sending Jim back to Boise to represent the interests of all residents of Bonner and Boundary counties.

Bob Boeh Sandpoint

‘Why you should vote for Herndon’…

Dear editor,

Scott Herndon will continue working to reverse some of the evil, or questionable, Idaho laws recently passed. He will continue to propose changes and new legislation in keeping with conservative views. Herndon’s current republican opponent was his predecessor. I will refer to him as his opponent here; his voting record will testify to the differences between the two.

Examples of the differences between Herndon and his opponent, based on legislative records:

Herndon’s opponent voted to fund LGBTQ DEI staff at universities in 2022; Herndon proposed legislation to remove funding.

Herndon opposes the teaching of critical race theory; his opponent approved a $6M grant to a group that teaches CRT to children ages 5-7.

Herndon opposed bloated state budgets in 2023 and helped revamp the budget committee process. Scott’s opponent never said ‘no’ to more spending from 2020-2023, when state spending grew by 43.3%.

Herndon voted for medical freedom in 2023; his opponent supported mandatory COVID vaccinations for certain workers.

Herndon protected the Idaho border by voting to strengthen Idaho’s law against driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. His opponent voted to begin the process of granting licenses to illegal, even criminal, immigrants.

Publisher’s note: This letter contains several misleading claims. First, Herndon’s opponent Jim Woodward has stated he opposes teaching critical race theory in schools and voted “yes” for H.B. 377 in 2021, which prohibits teaching CRT in Idaho public schools.

Second,regardingthestatement, “hisopponentsupportedmandatory COVIDvaccinations,”thislikelyrefers to Woodward’s position on S.B. 1381 in2022,whichwasultimatelyvetoed byGov.BradLittlebecauseheclaimed itwould“expandgovernmentoverreach into the private sector.”

The last paragraph is also misleading. Woodward actually voted for a study to examine the problem of unlicensed and uninsured drivers who cause damage to Idaho residents with no means to recoup the losses; something that 19 states have enacted. Idaho lawmakers

explored the idea, but did not move a bill forward.

Olson, publisher

‘Facts are vital’...

Dear editor, I met Jim Woodward when he was first running for office. He impressed me with his kindness and genuine interest in my thoughts and opinions. This was true even after his election. A lifelong resident of North Idaho, Jim truly cares about his neighbors. He listens and represents us well in Boise. I tried to converse with our current senator and was abruptly dismissed if/when our views didn’t align.

The RCM today, with its extreme ideas and attempts to sidestep the constitution (taking away rights and choices) wasn’t the intent of our forefathers. I appreciate that Jim believes in the value of public education and freedom for libraries to offer a variety of choices. Jim recognizes the importance of our state and federal constitutions. He won’t support attempts to re-write them simply to serve his own personal agenda.

If you care about our community, please mark your calendars to vote in the primary election on May 21. Herndon’s past campaign strategy relied on misleading narratives — but facts are vital. Explore the facts, be well-informed, VOTE! If you want to see Jim Woodward take back his North Idaho Senate seat, tell all your friends and family to vote. MAY really MATTERS for us all Whoever wins this race will be on the November general election ballot. I urge you to get out and vote for the best Idaho Senator candidate, Jim Woodward!

Tari Pardini Sandpoint

Dear editor,

My wife and I are part-time RINOs. Come primary time, we switch our political “non-affiliated” status to “Republican” so we can vote for responsible, more traditionally conservative Republicans than currently make up the county Republican Central Committee (BCRCC).

There are growing numbers of part-time RINOs because that’s the only game we can play if we want common-sense Republicans to win the primary.

Speaking of labels, RINO might be twisted around to fit the members of the BCRCC also. Current BCRCC strategies suggest its members have veered far enough

away from traditional, conservative Republican principles that it might be fair to call them RINOs too. Three of the many traditional GOP principles might illustrate my point:

1. FREEDOM for all persons, not just those who can pass any kind of “political purity” test.

2. LIMITED GOVERNMENT when it comes to decisions on personal matters – like how we live, reproduce, love and worship. County and state Republicans seem to favor imposing rules that deny limited government.

3. QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION is a long-valued Republican principle, but not in our State Legislature.

We support responsible representation, so we support Mark Sauter (House) and Jim Woodward (Senate). At primary time, part-time RINOs, let’s vote!

You can’t have it both ways...

Dear editor,

The hypocrisy of our state GOP lawmakers is extremely disturbing. On one hand, they pass a near-total abortion ban. Yet they do next to nothing to support children and young mothers who choose to keep their babies.

The most recent example of this neglect is Idaho senators voting down a program that could have helped feed more than 136,000 low-income kids this summer with millions of dollars in federal funding. The cost to the state: $0.

And last session, Idaho’s GOP turned away millions in federal childcare grants — paid for by our tax dollars — putting local childcare centers in financial jeopardy and further limiting care options for parents.

Additionally, income cutoffs for pregnant women and children have not been addressed in decades. Our eligibility bar for children in particular is much higher than that of many other states.

Finally, House Republicans recently approved a period from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day as traditional family values month, which celebrates families with a “natural female mother and male father” only. Ask yourself how this — and any of these actions — would make you feel if you were a young, single mom who had chosen to have her baby despite the hardships that entailed.

8 / R / April 4, 2024
A twist on labels…

What is a local?

A local is someone who lives here — really lives here.

A local is invested in their community. They work here and volunteer here. They pay taxes here, they buy groceries here, they attend church or school here (or know those who do).

They have an opinion on who makes the best hamburger and where to get the coldest beer or the best coffee. They choose to shop local before going to the big box stores, or ordering online.

They read the local newspapers and know the current events. They tithe to their church or donate to their favorite nonprofit(s). They join a club. They recognize their neighbors not only in their neighborhood, but when out and about around town. They cheer for not only their own kids or grandkids, but also their friends’ and coworkers’ kids.

They know when the farmers market opens, when Lost in the ’50s weekend is and when The Festival at Sandpoint starts. They can tell you when opening day and the last day on the mountain will be, as well as what time they ring the bell for first chair. They can tell you where to go to get away from the crowds, but will never tell you where they go to pick huckleberries, morels or their favorite hunting spot or fishing hole.

They will pause to hold the door open for a stranger, and wave another driver through a four-way stop even though they have the right-of-way. They will turn in a lost wallet or a lost set of keys at the front desk. They drive slower than the fastest drivers, but faster than the slowest drivers. They put snow tires on during snow season, have mud on their vehicles during mud season, and have dust on their vehicles the rest of the year. They will give the “two finger salute” when approaching another driver on a county road. They wave at their delivery driver, the police officer, the fire truck and the ambulance driver either because they recognize them or as a silent thanks for their service.

They know the attendant at their local transfer station, the barista at their favorite coffee shop and the server at their favorite restaurant — maybe not by name, but by their face. They know at least one person who plays in

a local band or acts in a local play.

They will rush to help someone else in need. They won’t hesitate to use their chainsaw to clear a fallen tree across the road, or their snowblower to clear their neighbors’ driveway.

They will pay too much for a spaghetti dinner and raffle fundraiser to help with someone’s medical bills or funeral expenses, but will complain when their favorite restaurant has to raise their prices. They will buy a box of cookies, a pizza or a raffle ticket, not because they need them, but because they know the money goes to a good cause.

A local reads the ribbons at the county fair and recognizes some of the names. They vote. They are polite to

those they disagree with. They want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

A local can give you a recommendation for everything from who can fix your truck, to where to get the best load of gravel or firewood. They can tell you the first time they drove across the Long Bridge.

A local could have recently moved here, or moved back here, or lived here their whole life. A local not only lives here, but loves it here. They want to live here. They choose to live here.

April 4, 2024 / R / 9
Courtesy photo.

Science: Mad about

Strap yourself in, dear reader. The future is here.

The idea of 3D-printed food isn’t a particularly new one, but the means by which we apply it now is stuffed to the gills with science. As 3D printing with plastic in the home sweeps the globe, so too is an inventive new way in which we can enjoy previously unpalatable foods.

Squirting emulsified food through a tube and forming it into a desired shape is a pretty old process. While bakers have been piping sugar through bags since at least 1769, humans have been pushing squishy meat into tubular intestines to create sausage since at least 2,000 BCE. A more modern form of extruded — dare I say 3D-printed — meats can likely be found in your cupboard collecting dust as we speak.

Spam first came onto the market in 1937. Spam is ground up pork shoulder and ham packed with salt and water and bound with potato starch to give it that famous gelatinous texture everyone associates with the product. While deemed revolutionary for its convenience, portability and long shelf life in the wake of World War II, the idea of creating gelatinized meat was hardly new.

Spam is essentially just a reformulated aspic, a savory meat-based jelly dish that’s usually stuffed with other savory ingredients like fish or eggs.

Aspic has been around since at least 1375 CE when medieval chefs learned how to gelatinize savory meat-based broths to both create artistic delights and

longer lasting meals.

Aspic dishes became even more popular in the 1800s, particularly in France. However, aspic’s true moment in the spotlight was during the 1950s in America. Burgers, cars, poodle skirts and greasers all played second fiddle to the country’s favorite meat jelly as cheap gelatin became easily obtainable throughout the postwar nation.

It was in the 1950s and 1960s when aspic began to take a very weird turn. Bright and colorful Jell-O had hit the market and companies were eager to shovel vintage food porn down the hungry gullets of Americans far and wide. Glamor shots of Spaghetti-Os suspended in sugary cherry red Jell-O graced catalogs and magazines of the ’50s and ’60s. While many of these weird recipes have thankfully vanished into the annals of history, some vintage Jell-O cook books can still be found by keen eyes trawling the aisles of thrift stores and used book stores.

You’d be right to point out that aspic is not exactly a 3D-printed food. However, its development was an important step toward the idea of squirting edible things out of a tube and forming it into a desired shape.

True 3D printing innovation in the culinary world began in 2006 when Cornell University created Fab@ Home, a multi-material and open source 3D printer not unlike the Prusa MK3S+ at your local library. 3D printing at this time was still extremely expensive and difficult for the layman to use. Most 3D printers still required manual coding of coordinates by the user at this time, which vastly raised the bar for entry into

hobby 3D printing.

One key difference between the Fab@Home and the Prusa we use at the library is that developers were able to attach a syringe to the Fab@ Home in the place of the printer’s extruder. This gave it two distinct advantages over a traditional FDM printer. One was that virtually any liquid could be utilized for the purposes of 3D printing. The other was that you could easily make an item food gradeready by simply installing a fresh nozzle.

The 3D printer at the library is not food grade, and yes, we have been asked to print utensils in the past. I cannot overstate the importance of you not doing that.

The Fab@Home was used on several occasions to create elaborate chocolate sculptures. Chocolate is a fantastic medium for 3D printing since it can be reliably liquefied at a higher temperature and reused for as long as it isn’t burned or mixed with other ingredients such as flour. This was only the first step in 3D printing unique foods. Other types of 3D printers use blasts of hot air to fuse sugar molecules together into shapes, a process similar to selective laser sintering in manufacturing.

In 2024, 3D-printed food has gone beyond just confections and squirting ham into tin cans. European companies have begun creating 3D-printed food that looks like other food to cater to vegan customers and customers with dietary restrictions or allergies. Revo Foods uses a mixture of pea protein and mycelium fibers to create faux-salmon filets and octopus tentacles. These items are sustainably grown and look remarkably similar to actual

fish — and while it costs a bit more for the quantity you get, the price will only ever go down over time as it becomes easier to produce, unlike actual seafood.

Looking toward the advent of bioinks and other 3D printing developments in the biomedical sphere, it’s easy to see its applications toward creating better food for us in the future. Most biological food contamination happens

when waste from the meat industry ends up in the water supply of vegetable farms. Lowering the demand for large-scale meat operations can lead to better protections for consumers, higher quality meats and much higher quality alternatives, and who doesn’t like safer and healthier food, so long as it still tastes great?

Stay curious, 7B.

• More babies are born during spring than any other season. This doesn’t just apply to humans, either. Many animals experience increased birth rates during spring. One possible reason for this increase is the pleasant weather making it so that mothers have access to more nutritious food, which allows them to produce healthier breastmilk.

• The term “spring fever” might refer to an increase in sexual appetite, energy and vitality. Conversely, it can also bring on feelings of restlessness or laziness.

• In the 17th and 18th centuries in Australia, spring fever (or “spring disease”) would describe an often fatal condition associated with skin lesions, bleeding gums and lethargy. However, the disease was later identified as scurvy, which was cured by adding fresh vegetables and fruit to the diet.

•The first modern usage of the term “spring cleaning” goes back to the 1840s in the London Daily News. However, spring cleaning as

a practice stretches much further back to the Jewish festival of Passover, with the 16th century rabbi Arizal stating, “One who is careful about the most minuscule amount of chametz on Pesach is guaranteed not to sin the entire year.” Translation: clean every spring to remove any leavening agents so that you might not inadvertently eat or derive benefit from them during Passover, when Jewish people are forbidden to eat leavening agents.

• Before it was called spring, it was known as Lent, from the English word lencten, referring to the longer days in the season. It was during the 14th century when lent was replaced with “springing time,” referring to the emergence of plants.

• Every spring, crowds flock to see the ancient Mayan temple Chichen Itza in Mexico, because on the equinox the shadow of the Mayan serpent god Kukulkán appears as if by magic on the temple stairs. It only happens that one time of year.

10 / R / April 4, 2024
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3d printing food Random Corner

Introduction of domestic terrorism bill should be cause for deep concern for Idaho’s residents

The proposed legislation sought to narrow the scope of Idaho’s Terrorist Control Act, effectively limiting its application, writes the Idaho Leaders United Board of Directors

The Idaho Legislature recently made the prudent decision to uphold the integrity of our state’s laws by rejecting a bill that would have dangerously redefined domestic terrorism.

Idaho Leaders United applauds the legislators who voted against it for their commitment to safeguarding the principles of justice and fairness in our state, but the mere introduction of a bill such as this should be cause for deep concern for Idaho’s residents.

The proposed legislation sought to narrow the scope of Idaho’s Terrorist Control Act, effectively limiting its application to individuals associated with foreign terrorist organizations. Nar-

rowing this definition would render the act ineffective in addressing domestic threats. The Terrorism Control Act was crafted in response to a very real and serious threat posed by white supremacist groups. Redefining domestic terrorism in a way that excludes such threats would undermine the law and compromise public safety. Furthermore, the involvement of known figures associated with militia-movement groups in shaping this legislation raised serious concerns about its intentions.

While we commend our elected officials for their efforts to ensure this bill was not passed into law, the domestic terrorism bill getting as far as it did in the lawmaking process is deeply concerning. In allowing such self-serving and dangerous legislation to even

be granted a hearing, it undermines the very essence of the lawmaking process that is supposed to reflect the will and values of the people of Idaho. This attempt to narrow the definition of domestic terrorism not only disregards the legitimate concerns of our communities but also threatens to embolden extremists within our state.

It is imperative that we remain vigilant against any attempts to manipulate our laws for personal or political gain. The involvement of individuals in shaping this legislation with known ties to extremist ideologies and history of lawlessness is deeply troubling and serves as a stark reminder of the importance of maintaining rigorous oversight over the legislative process. We cannot allow the voices of hate

and intolerance to dictate the direction of our state’s laws.

Idaho Leaders United calls on all Idaho residents to hold our elected officials accountable and insist that they act in the best interests of the people they serve. We must continue to champion policies that promote inclusivity, fairness and the safety of all Idahoans, rejecting any measures that seek to divide us or compromise our fundamental rights and freedoms. Together, we can ensure that Idaho remains a beacon of democracy and justice for generations to come.

The Idaho Leaders United leadership team includes Cortney Liddiard, Gary Raney, Bill Shawver, Odette Bolano, Doug Gross and Tommy Ahlquist.

Rejecting racism and the status quo

As President Ronald Reagan once said, “Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.’”

As a lifelong resident of Coeur d’Alene, and a Republican who has had the honor of serving in the Idaho legislature and as Idaho Lieutenant Governor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of our party’s principles in shaping a just, prosperous and inclusive society. However, recent events and developments within Kootenai County have compelled me to speak out, not just as a former public servant, but as a concerned citizen deeply invested in the welfare of our community.

I am truly disappointed by recent events where female athletes and other students from visiting universities were verbally harassed in downtown Coeur d’Alene. I fear these incidents are not just isolated problems; they point to a bigger, underlying issue in our community. They remind us of the worst parts of our past, like the 1920’s Klan and two decades of local Aryan Nations activities — times

we’ve worked hard to leave behind.

Pointing out the existence of racism doesn’t make you “woke” — it makes you a good Republican, and a good citizen. Let us not forget: the freedom to enjoy our beautiful surroundings; to live, work, raise a family; or attend a basketball tournament without fear of harassment is a right that belongs to every member of our community.

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, founded on the rejection of bondage and discrimination, is clear in its denunciation of bigotry, racism, anti-Semitism, ethnic prejudice and religious intolerance.

Yet, it appears that some elements within the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) have deviated from these foundational principles. The KCRCC’s and the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s association with individuals and outside consultants who promote divisive hate-fueled ideologies is not just troubling; it’s a betrayal of our core American values of freedom, liberty and justice for all.

These consultants promoted campaign promises involving culture war issues at North Idaho College,

our libraries and schools, and the legislature. There is very little insight if these consultants are even Republican. Some openly align with white nationalists like Nick Fuentes. Others have been involved with terror watch list groups and attended the racist “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

This is not merely a matter of political disagreement; it’s a question of right and wrong. The empowerment of bigotry and racism within our ranks threatens the very fabric of our community and the integrity of the Idaho Republican Party. It transcends political loyalties and challenges us to uphold our moral convictions over partisanship.

As Republicans, we must do more than merely point to “platform statements” on racism; we must act decisively to root it out where it exists within our organization. This means holding our party leaders accountable and ensuring that their actions reflect the values we profess to hold. There is simply no place for racism anywhere, within our party or society.

This is why Precinct Committeeman will be the most important race on your May 21 primary ballot. Pre-

cinct Committeemen (PCs) make up the central committee, and it is these committee members that elect their leadership (i.e., Brent Regan). This year, Republican voters will have a choice in almost every precinct across the county to chart our own course for the future of our local GOP central committee. It is time for change, so please vote for change.

Ask your friends to reject the status quo of division and discord that ultimately harms our party, our community and our state, and instead embrace the American principles of freedom, integrity and respect for all.

Better yet, let them know how easy and reliable it is to request an absentee ballot at

As the Republican Party of Kootenai County and Idaho moves forward, it must rededicate itself to the inclusive values championed by Abraham Lincoln, ensuring no barrier based on color, creed or religion stands in the way of our God-given inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Jack T. Riggs, M.D., is a former Idaho Lieutenant Governor and founding member of the North Idaho Republicans.

April 4, 2024 / R / 11 PERSPECTIVES

That one time I was a chess champion

An ode to the Lou Domanski Chess Festival and the man who started it all

I’ve done a lot of dumb things in my life, but no matter what, I can always rest on my laurels as a fifth-grade chess champion.

The Lou Domanski Chess Festival will take place on Saturday, April 6 at the Sandpoint Community Hall, beginning at 9 a.m. and usually concluding by 5 p.m. Divisions include Elementary (entering grades 1-6), Middle/ High School (entering grades 7-12) and Open, for $7, $10 and $12 respectively.

Formerly known as the Sandpoint Chess Festival, the annual competition was renamed in honor of founder and coordinator Lou Domanski.

Born in Poland in 1918, Domanski enlisted with the 18th Infantry Division Cadet Officers School as war loomed closer in 1938. He advanced to the rank of corporal warrant officer, and was initially captured by the Soviets, but escaped from the prisoner train. He was later captured again by the Soviets and sent to a slave labor camp until the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union allowed him to be released.

In 1942 he reported to Glasgow, Scotland, for intensive training at an Royal Air Force base. In 1944, he was promoted to the officer rank of aircraft commander, taking part in many airdrops to assist the Warsaw Uprising. Eventually his aircraft was shot down during a night mission over Hungary

and he was captured once again, this time by the Nazis and spent the remainder of World War II in captivity.

For his wartime efforts, Domanski was decorated with the Virtuti Military Cross, three times with the Cross of Valor, the Polish Air Force Medal, Gold Cross of Merit, the Home Army Medal and the September 1939 Campaign Medal. He also received five decorations and medals from England’s Royal Air Force.

Domanski moved to Sandpoint in 1988 and immediately started the chess program, which continues to this day and has taught thousands of North Idaho children how to play chess. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 92.

I remember Domanski as a gentle, soft spoken man who was passionate about the game of chess. With his shock of bright white hair and Polish accent, Domanski shared his love of the game of chess with rural schoolchildren who might never have played without his guidance.

Chess was kind of a big deal while I was in elementary school, no doubt thanks to Domanski. This was years before the pandemic and The Queen’s Gambit brought chess back into popularity. Back then, we would often play games at lunch recess when the weather wasn’t great, or even if it was. We were hooked.

Each year would culminate with elementary school students busing down to the Silver Lake Mall in Coeur

Got projects?

The North Idaho Building Contractors Association returns to the Bonner County Fairgrounds (4203 N. Boyer Road, in Sandpoint) on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7 with its annual North Idaho Home and Garden Show. The event will bring together 70 vendors, including experts in everything from construction to finances to garden design.

“There are two great things about attending this event. One is that you can come and get ideas you’ve never thought of for ways you can improve your home. The other is you have

d’Alene for a chess tournament that took up the entire middle part of the walkway. One year, when I was in fifth grade, I wound up winning my division and received the coolest prize I could imagine: a ride in Domanski’s glider. It was the first time I’d flown in my life, and I still remember vividly being towed into the air from Sandpoint Airport, Domanski’s gentle voice explaining everything along the way, then that beautiful first moment the tow cable parted and we were gliding.

“Take the stick,” Domanski encouraged me, and for a brief moment I was flying the glider myself as he watched from the rear seat proudly. He taught flying the way he taught chess — letting the student jump right in and find their own style.

After a successful landing, I vowed

to improve my chess game so I could win the competition again the following year.

Registration for the Lou Domanski Chess Festival closed March 28, but if you’d like to show up April 6 to spectate and see chess masters of North Idaho do their thing, all are welcome.

In the meantime, speaking as a former student (and champion!) of Domanski’s, I am grateful this WWII veteran pilot shared his love of chess with us students.

To learn more about the Lou Domanski Chess Festival, visit

NIBCA Home and Garden Show returns to fairgrounds

face time with professionals to learn what the process is about and what it takes,” NIBCA Executive Officer Emily Bradley told the Reader Attendees have the opportunity to discover and connect with local businesses they may not have heard of, ensuring there’s always someone to call when the next home project comes up. The show also features seven informative seminars in addition to the detailed displays scattered throughout, which highlight the latest trends and advancements in home design and gardening.

“Each part of the home industry has unique and new trends like paint types, flooring, siding and roofing. They all bring the latest in their

respective fields and, most importantly, what works best in North Idaho’s climate,” said Bradley.

A large portion of NIBCA’s mission is to create local jobs and increase access to affordable housing, giving back to the communities its members represent. Bradley emphasized the organization’s gratitude toward their volunteers and sponsors who make the show possible each year.

Admission is $7 or free with the donation of a non-perishable food item for those in need.

“Whether you are looking to start a project immediately or you are just starting to think about it, the HGS is a great place to start,” said Bradley. Photo courtesy of NIBCA.

12 / R / April 4, 2024 COMMUNITY
Lou Domanski, middle, teaches Southside Elementary School students in the late 1980s. The author can be seen in white shirt with red writing on the left side of photo. Photo courtesy of the Spinney family.

Rowdy Grouse Rail Jam set at Schweitzer Chamber of Commerce welcomes SpringHill Suites by Marriott

There are still two weekends left to ski or ride at Schweitzer, and both are filled with spring skiing activities.

Head up the mountain Saturday, April 6 for a special Rowdy Grouse Rail Jam at the yurt, located off where the Cat Track and Down the Hatch intersect. Check-in will take place from 9-10 a.m., then the rail jam will go from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and

awards will be given on the Taps deck at 3:30 p.m.

For those wishing to participate who are under 18 years old, a parent or guardian must sign a waiver. There is a $20 fee to register, but it’s free to watch these talented athletes throw their best rail tricks, with an up-closeand-personal view of the contest.

For more information, visit

Idaho Trails Association teaching Backpacking 101 class

Idaho Trails Association will be hosting a free, three-hour class on April 6 from 2-5 p.m. about backpacking for beginners and seasoned hikers alike.

ITA Board Member and Crew Leader Tom Dabrowski will teach the basics of backpacking from his shop in Sagle. Participants will learn the general differences in backpacks

Grape to glass

Wine-lovers and anyone looking for a fun, intellectually stimulating night out are invited to attend the upcoming Winemakers Education and Tasting Class, hosted by the Pend d’Oreille Winery (301 Cedar St.) on April 9 from 5-7 p.m.

Winemakers Jim Bopp and Will Cannon will lead guests on a tasting of four to five wines while exploring the winemaking process from grape to bottle — but aside from that, the course of the night is in attendees’ hands.

“Sometimes it turns into something else, because we really try to inspire people to ask questions,” Bopp said. “If those questions take us in a differ-

and other gear; what to carry for an overnight up to a week-long trip; how to pack a backpack; tips for making loads lighter; and how to stay safe in the backcountry.

Dabrowski’s Shop is located at 877 Heath Lake Road in Sagle. RSVP for the free class here by going to

Pend d’Oreille Winery hosts

Winemakers Education and Tasting

ent direction that’s more interesting, we’re happy to talk about whatever people are interested to know about the wines and where the grapes come from.”

Bopp emphasized that the class will be entertaining and accessible for everyone, regardless of whether they’re new to wine tasting or old pros. The mix of red and white wines will be paired with light bites to enhance the flavor. Tickets are $40 and available online at

“For the people that haven’t been in — dont feel intimidated,” Bopp said. “It’s going to teach you the overall process of winemaking, and give you ways of talking about wine.”

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Sandpoint opened its doors Feb. 15 as the first Marriott product in the north Idaho area.

On March 27, the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomed SpringHill Suites by Marriott to the Chamber with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Located on US-95 in Ponderay, SpringHill Suites boasts 97 spacious studios equipped with high-speed internet, microwave, mini-fridge, large work desk and West Elm furnishings. Guests can enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast, lobby bar featuring local beer, wine and heavy appetizers while enjoying the views of Schweitzer Mountain on the outdoor patio with firepit.

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Sandpoint offers accommodations ideal for both business and leisure travelers with a state-of-the-art fitness center, saline pool and onsite market. The hotel features a 14-person boardroom for business meetings. Additional amenities like onsite laundry, pet-friendly accommodations and staff of local Sandpoint experts ensures visitors will feel right at home.

The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Sandpoint is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members unparalleled benefits including free nights, discounted rates, promotions and Elite status recognition. For more information or reservations, call the hotel at 208-255-1293 or visit the website

April 4, 2024 / R / 13 COMMUNITY
Courtesy photo. Courtesy photo.


‘It’s not easy bein’ green’ Native frogs in the garden

There are few things more evocative of a North Idaho summer than frog song in the evening, but these musical neighbors don’t just serenade passersby — they’re also an integral part of the ecosystem and can be valuable allies in the fight against pests in outdoor living spaces. If you have an unused corner in your garden, yard or patio, a few simple changes can transform it into an amphibian’s paradise.

Ribbit tidbits

According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, North Idaho is home to seven species of frogs. Bonner County amphibian enthusiasts will be most familiar with the spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), western toad (Bufo boreas) and Pacific cho-

rus frog (Pseudacris regilla) — whose famous “ribbit” film and TV use to represent quintessential froggy-ness.

These indigenous species are food for larger animals like snakes and serve as a gardener’s best friend by providing free pest-control, eating mosquitos, slugs, flies and much more. They may also eat beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, but it’s less common than one would guess — especially for the Pacific chorus frog, which only ranges from 3/4 to 2 inches in length. By comparison, monarch butterflies have an average wingspan of 4 inches.

Biologists consider frogs and other amphibians to be indicator species, meaning their presence and wellbeing speaks to the overall health of the ecosystem. Their permeable skin easily absorbs chemicals from the water and air, therefore the absence of frogs (or presence of dead frogs) usually signals pollution in the area.

Frogs hopping among the flowers or veggies is the mark of a healthy, balanced garden. In order to attract these natural exterminators, though, anyone maintaining an outdoor space should avoid synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and instead consider using organic methods to maintain their plants. According to research conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and “Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: an underestimated cause of global decline?” by Carsten Brühl et al., exposure to common pesticides can increase corticosterone levels — which regulate amphibians’ energy and immune and stress responses — and outright kills frogs, respectively.

Sadly, not all products marketed as organic are safe for frogs. Agricultural or household vinegars are often touted as safe herbicides; however, not only are they acidic enough to harm amphibians, neither kind is actually suitable for use in the garden. Household vinegar will injure animals but not weeds, whereas agricultural vinegar will kill anything it comes into contact with, from dandelions to prize-winning azaleas. Always research thoroughly before adding anything to the garden.

ter source should be around 6-inches deep and placed in full to partial shade, ensuring it never dries out.

To allow the frogs easy entry and exit, either choose a basin with gently sloped sides or place ladders made of rocks or logs along the shoreline of your minipond. Then, fill it with filtered water — this is different from distilled — or rainwater to avoid introducing any potentially harmful chemicals. Once it’s established, don’t clean the pond, as frogs and tadpoles will eat the algae and other organisms within.

To make your oasis more appealing, plant indigenous species of various sizes around the shoreline or in the water — these will not only attract insects for the frogs to eat, but will also provide necessary protection from predators. Small piles of leaves, rocks or twigs will give them additional safe nesting areas.

Do not add fish or moving water features, as frogs prefer to lay their eggs in stagnant water free from predators. As they are more active at night, decrease light pollution as much as possible to simulate their natural habitat and let them go about their nightly rituals in peace.

Toad tea party

Because frogs stay hydrated through their permeable skin, inviting them into an outdoor space is as easy as offering them a cuppa (water). Grab an old mixing bowl, bird bath or sink — or, if you’re feeling ambitious, start digging a pond — suited to the size of your garden, yard or planter. The wa-

Make a home for amphibians in your outdoor space because, as Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy bein‘ green.” Supporting these valuable members of the food chain keeps our local ecosystem balanced and, as a reward, you can enjoy their sweet chirps all summer long.

Frogs from top to bottom: The spotted frog (Rana pretiosa), the western toad (Bufo boreas) and the Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla). Courtesy images.

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On this day… in 2063

When the clock strikes midnight on April 5, Earth will be 39 years away from humanity’s first official contact with an alien race — at least, according to Star Trek.

Trekkers, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “(de voted or enthusiastic) fan[s] of the U.S. science fiction television series Star Trek subsequent associated series, films, etc.,” celebrate First Contact Day every April by practicing their Vulcan salutes, dressing up and, of course, watching Star Trek.

Though we’ll all have to wait until 2063 to offi cially meet our vulcan partners in space exploration, given that first contact will be made across the border in Bozeman, Mont., it’s only fitting that Reader readers learn a bit about the cultural impact of the Trek franchise and its accepting vision of the future.

Diversity and the cultural impact of Star Trek

George Takei and his family were imprisoned by the U.S. government in Japanese-American internment camps during the war under the bigoted suspicion that they would side with Japan in the conflict, despite being American.

The imagined, unified future broke down political and ideological barriers as well by including the character Pavel Chekov — played by Walter Koenig — a proud Russian and beloved crewmember, despite ’60s American fears regarding the Soviet Union and the spread of communism.

Star Trek: The Original Series first aired in 1966 to a U.S. audience in the midst of the Cold War and the civil rights movement. While contemporaneous sci-fi like Planet of the Apes and The Twilight Zone almost exclusively featured white men, TOS introduced Nyota Uhura, an African woman, and Hikaru Sulu, a Japanese man, as main characters.

Uhura — played by Nichelle Nichols — was famously a favorite of Dr. Martin Luther King, who only allowed his kids to stay up past bedtime to watch Star Trek, according to Nichols. At the time, her character was essentially the only representation for African Americans that wasn’t menial or vilified. Rather than a maid or racial caricature, Lieutenant (later, Captain) Uhura was the U.S.S. Enterprise’s communications officer, as well as a linguist, cryptographer and talented singer.

Likewise, Sulu’s portrayal as the ship’s trusted helmsman was especially meaningful for a country holding tightly to the mistrust and racial stereotyping of the Japanese stemming from World War II. Sulu’s actor

Star Trek’s representation not only paved the way for future diversity in film and television, and thereby in real-world workplaces, but also made history by spurning racist anti-miscegenation sentiment by depicting the first on-screen kiss between a European-American and African-American in U.S. media. The episode, titled “Plato’s Stepchildren,” aired just one year after the supreme court case Loving v. Virginia declared laws banning interracial marriage illegal.

People often refer to this kiss between Uhura and protagonist James Kirk as the first televised interracial kiss, though that accomplishment actually belongs to the series I Spy, in which Robert Culp kissed AsianFrench actress France Nuyen. Due to the legacy of slavery in the U.S., Star Trek’s kiss was far more controversial and almost wasn’t aired. According to William Shatner (Kirk) and Nichols, the studio requested two versions of the scene — one with the kiss, and one without. The two actors filmed the kiss, then deliberately ruined every other take to ensure it stayed in the episode.

The franchise’s diverse representation continues throughout the 10 sequel and prequel series and 13 films featuring people of color, LGBTQ and disabled characters in leading roles. Bigots and internet trolls have vocally criticized Discovery — the first new series since the cancellation of Enterprise — accusing them of “ruining the franchise” and “forcing diversity” for only starring two straight, white men. Of course, to those same fans, one woman or person of color is more

than enough representation for the rest of the world.

There’s no arguing against such intense stupidity. Star Trek has always depicted (or at least tried to depict — it still started in the ’60s) a bright future free from racism, sexism, homophobia and all other forms of bigotry. From portraying disabled, POC characters like Geordi La Forge in Next Generation or transgender characters like Gray Tal in Discovery, to plot lines revolving around women’s reproductive rights in TOS’ “The Mark of Gideon” or allegories of self-destructive racism in “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield,” Star Trek makes it clear that the only path forward is one of equality, peace and understanding.

Happy First Contact Day and may we all work to fulfill Star Trek’s vision for a kinder future.

April 4, 2024 / R / 15
16 / R / April 4, 2024

‘Found Fragments’

The POAC Gallery announced its latest exhibition, “Found Fragments,” featuring the works of Daryl and Judy Baird, Molly Gentry, Audrey Milch and Teresa Rancourt. This thought-provoking collection of fine art collage and assemblage pieces will be on display from April 5-30, with an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, April 5.

Collage as an art form is often associated with craft and DIY projects, but “Found Fragments” aims to challenge that perception by showcasing the elevated and intricate nature of fine art collage and assemblage. The works in this exhibition demonstrate a deeper exploration of composition, texture and concept than your typical “vision board” collage.

“Fine art collage and assemblage

are about more than just sticking materials together,” said Claire Christy, POAC Arts Coordinator. “They’re about creating visual narratives, exploring themes and engaging with the viewer on a profound level. ‘Found Fragments’ invites viewers to see collage and assemblage in a new light, as mediums capable of conveying complex emotions and ideas.”

One of the distinguishing features of “Found Fragments” is the use of found objects. From discarded packaging materials to vintage photographs, each piece incorporates elements sourced from the world around us, imbuing the artwork with layers of meaning and history. In “Found Fragments,” viewers will encounter works of art that challenge perceptions and spark curiosity.

The opening reception for “Found Fragments” promises to be an eve-

Ponderay Rotary selling hanging flower baskets for scholarships

The Rotary Club of Ponderay is selling hanging flower baskets to fund educational opportunities. This is the fourth year the club has sold these baskets.

Baskets are large, and feature a wide variety of different flowers.

“You would spend about $70 or more for this type of quality basket at a retail store,” said Tiffany Goodvin, Ponderay Rotary member. “We sell them for $45, which is a great value.”

The club usually sells out, so if interested, Goodvin urged those interested to place an order soon through the Ponderay Rotary website at or by mailing a check to: Ponderay Rotary Club, PO Box 813, Ponderay, ID 83852.

The baskets will be available for pickup in town on May 8 and details will be sent to customers closer to that date. The pickup location will be 506 S. Boyer Ave. in Sandpoint.

“The club enjoys this fundraiser because the customer is usually very happy to bring home beautiful flowers, and it reminds us that spring is here,” Goodvin said.

The Rotary Club has supported scholarship opportunities for local high school graduates and those who wish to continue their education for 17

years. Last year alone, they distributed over $35,000. Students wishing to apply for a Ponderay Rotary Scholarship should check their website and the Sandpoint High School website for the application. Applicants are not limited to college. Those interested in obtaining scholarships for trade schools and certifications are encouraged to apply.

Last year was the first year that Ponderay Rotary contributed to the Ted Farmin Aeronautical Scholarship, which they intend to continue this upcoming year.

Anyone who is interested in making a donation to the Rotary Scholarship Fund can also visit the Ponderay Rotary website and become a sponsor. By either donating or purchasing a flower basket, you can help our upcoming leaders and dreamers with the cost of education.

Art exhibit showcases fine art collage and assemblage at POAC Gallery

ning of inspiration and community. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists, explore the exhibition firsthand, and engage in dialogue about the intersection of art and found objects.

In addition to the artwork on display, the reception will feature a special demonstration by POAC art teacher Barry Burgess. Burgess will be showcasing his caricature drawing skills to promote his upcoming cartooning class, offering attendees a glimpse into his teaching style and creative process. Admission to the exhibition and opening reception is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit or contact Claire Christy at 208263-6139.

April 4, 2024 / R / 17
“The Rebirth of Venus,” by Teresa Rancourt. Courtesy photo.


Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Traesti Darling

April 4 - 11, 2024

Send event listings to

THURSDAY, april 4

Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s Lounge Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

FriDAY, april 5

Speakeasy Series: Lena Marie Schiffer

7pm @ Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters Bellingham-based folk duo Traesti

Luther and Alexandra Doumas with opener Dario Ré. Tickets by donation

Live Music w/ Marty and Doug 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Sandpoint mandolin and guitar duo

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

6-9pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Country and classic rock

Live Music w/ Miah Kohal

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Outlaw rock and country

Metal concert at Sandpoint Eagles w/ CobraJet, Lust for Glory & Devoured Soul

8pm @ Sandpoint Eagles, 1511 John Hudon

CobraJet is back, with special guests

Lust for Glory, and Devoured Soul delivering all the metal one man can handle. Free show!

Live Music w/ Aaron Golay & the Original Sin 9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Modern Americana rock and soul trio

Free songwriting workshop

2pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

Hosted by Karen Atkins

Live Music w/ Mike & Shanna

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Tunes from the 1970s-1990s

Live Music w/ Double Shot Band

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Dead & Down 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am

7pm @ Panida Little Theater

Join Schiffer (best known for her work with Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs) for an intimate concert featuring Ani Casabonne on fiddle

Live Music w/ Mike Wagoner & Utah John

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Country, rock, Americana

Karen Atkins Trio in concert

7pm @ Little Carnegie (Music Conservatory)

See Page 21 for more info

Live Music w/ Way Down North 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

SATURDAY, april 6

Film: Keep the Bike Moving

7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

A dirtbiking movie presented by North Idaho Racers. Free to attend

Rowdy Grouse Rail Jam

10:30am-2:30pm @ Rowdy Grouse yurt

Head up to Schweitzer for this excellent rail jam at the yurt by the Cat Track

Lou Domanski Chess Festival

9am-5pm @ Sandpoint Community Hall

See Page 12 for more info

Sun Daddy Sandpoint Drum Circle

3-5pm @ Embody, 823 Main St.

Hosted by Karen Atkins

The Fade: Rebellion (locally made film)

7pm @ Panida Theater

See Page 19 for full info

Cajun collaboration w/ Cajun Kettle and Smokesmith making jambalaya & gumbo 3-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

SunDAY, april 7

Magic with Star Alexander 5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s Up close magic shows at the table

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s “Demonstrations in Jerusalem”

Tapas Tuesday

4-6pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Free tapas! What could go wrong?

Live Music w/ The Cafe Gas Boys

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Bluegrass from the local boys

Live Music w/ Crooked Tooth and Brendan Kelty

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Infectious rock ’n’ roll shows, and Brendan Kelty will kick things off Found Fragments opening reception 5-7pm @ POAC Gallery, 313 N. Second Explore the world of fine art collage and assemblage, featuring the works of five talented local artists

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 7-9pm @ The Back Door

Live Music w/ TJ Kelly 6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

Friends of the Library monthly book sale

10am-2pm @ Sandpoint Library

Many new mysteries and sci-fi books

Old-Time Fiddlers Assoc. open jam

2-4pm @ Sandpoint Senior Center

Join local fiddlers, guitarists, banjo players and more for a free jam. Participate or just come to watch. Free!

Backpacking 101 class

2-5pm @ 877 Heath Lake Road (Sagle)

Free three-hour class for beginners and seasoned hikers to learn basics of backpacking. Idaho Trails Assoc.

Drum with Rhythm Boomers

10am @ Pearl Theater (Bonners Ferry)

Free drumming circle open to all

Sandpoint Home and Garden Show

10am-3pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

See Page 12

Live Music w/ Chris Paradis 6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Larry Dalke 3-5pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

monDAY, april 8

Outdoor Experience Group Run

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome

tuesDAY, april 9

Winemakers Education and Tasting

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Hosted by a revolving cast of characters

Course to provide knowledge and stories of the winemaking process and new perspectives on tasting wine. 208-265-8545

wednesDAY, april 10

Live Piano w/ Dwayne Parsons • 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Grand piano at the Winery

Artist Reception and live music w/ Matt Lome 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

See Lome’s illustrative paintings and listen to his live music

ThursDAY, april 11

Concert with Peter Rivera, David Raitt and the Baja Boogie Band 6:30pm @ Heartwood Center

Join Rare Earth drummer Peter Rivera and Grammy Award-winning artist Bonnie Raitt’s brother David’s acclaimed blues band for a special show

18 / R / April 4, 2024

Rebels with many causes

Student-made sequel film The Fade: Rebellion screening at the Panida

Tim Bangle and his prolific troupe of local actors are unstoppable. Following up on the success of their 2022 debut sci-fi film The Fade: Resistance, Bangle and crew offer a sequel called The Fade: Rebellion, which picks up right where the first film left off.

The Panida Theater will screen Rebellion on the big screen Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m., with a red carpet entrance scheduled outside the historic theater at 6 p.m.

In the first film, teenaged Sam (played by Alora Weisz) is kidnapped by some nefarious characters. When she returns home, Sam finds that two of her other friends have also been taken, so she sets out to get them back, discovering clues that point to the mysterious reason why these abductions have taken place. In Rebellion, we learn more about Sam’s abduction and relationship with Siberia, her mother (played by Holly Beaman). We also meet a new foe of the rebellion, Absinth (played by Meredith Field), who forces Sam and her mother to work together to save her friends.

Bangle said it became apparent that the troupe would work on a sequel after the first film gelled together instantly, all under the umbrella of his production company The Other Dog Films.

“After we did a screening of the first one, I asked everyone if they were ready to do another,” Bangle told the Reader. “With a resounding ‘yes’ from them, I started working on the second chapter that summer.”

Bangle wrote the first film, but enlist-

ed some help from a few other writers with Rebellion, including Lori Anchondo, Lexi Christie and Keely Gray.

Filming with children always presents challenges, and it was not any different for Rebellion

“The script for Rebellion starts the very next day that Resistance ended, but kids have obviously grown up significantly in the time between shoots,” Bangle said.

Everything from growth spurts to hair length and braces presented hurdles for Bangle and crew to clear, but they made it work.

Many of the actors returned to their roles from the first film, including Macy Korsten playing Tyler, Josiah Burkamp as Panzer, Natalia Lemley taking on the role of Coen, Wilhelm Anderson returning as Devlin and Crystal Pepperdine expanding her character as Young Sam.

“These actors grew by leaps and bounds from what we saw in the first picture,” Bangle said, whose son Lukas Bangle served as co-director with him. “We put these kids through an emotional rollercoaster. Alora became very

vocal this round in how she wanted to inflect dialogue. Josiah had some pretty intense scenes. Devlin, he liked to think of himself as comedic relief. I look at him as the heart of the picture.”

Bangle said he met with the cast before production began in spring 2023, outlining that while they always aimed to have fun while shooting a film, the gravitas of the subject matter required that everyone be aware of the emotional arc their characters would follow.

“Everyone understood and everyone performed,” he said.

The film was 100% filmed in Bonner County, with exterior locations spread across the county often exacerbated by North Idaho weather patterns.

“We dealt with rain, snow, humidity,” Bangle said. “You name it.”

When principal filming wrapped in June 2023, there remained only a handful of small scenes to finish that required snow on the ground, which the crew checked off by New Year’s Eve, 2023.

Now, facing their second film premier in Sandpoint, the cast and crew are excited to take viewers further

along on the ride. For Bangle, he’s immensely proud of his actors and encourages everyone to turn out to support their efforts.

“This is a small town and we’ve got a group of people who have come together and made a science fiction film,” he said. “There’s holograms, walls that people walk through, special abilities through implants. It’s sci-fi, but there’s also a human element to it, with subjects and themes in it like control. ... I find it’s good for the youth to explore these heavy themes through visual storytelling. I know I learn that way and I think that’s the case for a lot of people.”

Tickets are available for purchase for $20 at or on The Fade: Rebellion Facebook page. Any local businesses or individuals who would like to sponsor future efforts are welcome to contact Tim Bangle at:

April 4, 2024 / R / 19 STAGE & SCREEN
Screenshots from The Fade: Rebellion which premieres at the Panida Theater at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Tickets available at Photos by Tim Bangle.

Hopefully, all of my edible Italian treasures — carefully wrapped and crammed into every nook and cranny of luggage space — will find their way past U.S. Customs, and upon my return home these ingredients will provide me with a couple good meals to share with friends or family. This time, I even have a double-wrapped sack of flour in my bag.

I’ve always loved pizza, and after several days in Sorrento (prior to a travel conference I’m attending in Venice), I have a whole new love for this Italian mainstay. I just learned that pizza was invented in Naples, so it’s no wonder that it would be a staple in Sorrento, less than 30 miles away. And less (ingredients) is more. All the pizza I devoured was simply prepared with few ingredients, then cooked in a hot, wood-burning oven. The crusts were out of this world; light and airy, yet crispy, too.

I was part of a small group of travel advisors from the U.S., Spain, London and Toronto there to experience the sites and foods of Sorrento and surrounding areas. Beth from London told me that on her last visit, she bought every ingredient for dough making in Naples; salt, flour, olive oil and yeast. She couldn’t wait to get home and begin making pizza for her friends. She remarked that the taste didn’t come close to the pizza of Naples. Our host was quick

The Sandpoint Eater Benito & Nonna

to explain: “It’s all in the water.” Who knew?

Maybe Benito, an older, seasoned pizza maker, could have shared that secret, too. He has been hand-making the pizza at Hotel Mediterraneo (a five-star coastal hotel in Sorrento) for more than 50 years. The hotel was originally the villa of the current owners’ great grandmother. From kitchen duties to upper management, the operation involves many generations of famiglie. Pietro, the general manager of the hotel, was yet to be born when Benito began his pizza career at the hotel.

While I was a guest of the hotel, I was able to experi-

ence Easter and Easter Monday, known as La Pasquetta (little Easter). It is about celebrating Christ meeting his disciples post-resurrection. It’s also “Monday of the Angel,” about Mary Magdalene meeting an angel at Jesus’ empty tomb.

In Southern Italy, La Pasquetta is more celebrated than the Sunday holiday. We feasted on a sumptuous brunch that included lots of Benito’s pizza, tables laden with savory pasta, meat and fish dishes typical to the region, and varieties of traditional Easter dessert breads. Afterwards, the children gathered to crack open a huge chocolate egg, and

dig into all the treats to be discovered inside.

When we could eat no more, the music began, and everyone from young children to great-grandparents danced around the pool until sunset. Family is everything, and seniors are honored and well-loved (almost revered) by all. I dream that one day Pietro’s own adorable son Carlo (who was never far from his father’s side) might be hosting my great-grandchildren in Sorrento.

I came upon another fitting example of extended family in Amalfi. While touring a retail ceramic shop, our small group of ladies was invited to see the upstairs

workshop. While the others were inspecting brightly colored ceramics, I followed my nose to the aroma of a little kitchen where I came upon a tiny gray-haired woman stirring a simmering pot. Though surprised to see me, she was most gracious and allowed me to take her photo. When I returned to my group, I told the shop owner about my encounter. Proudly, he told me, “That’s Nonna, my 87-year-old mother. She cooks lunch every day for all 25 employees. The purpose of providing for all of us keeps her young.”

May we all find such purpose. Let’s start with the zucchini pizza.

Zucchini with Blossoms Pizza Pie

This recipe comes to you from Sorrento, and seems like the perfect pizza for us, too. Make this when your zucchini has blossoms and young squash. Good olive oil, mozzarella and fresh Parmesan are key! Makes four 12-inch pizzas.


• Four 8-oz balls of pizza dough

• 1 1/2 cups pancetta (omit for vegetarian)

• 1/2 cup good quality olive oil

• 3 peeled garlic cloves, chopped

• 4 small Zucchini, washed, trimmed and thinly slices

• 20 very small Zucchini flowers, stems and stamens trimmed off

• 2 cups mozzarella, shredded

• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

• Cracked black pepper

• Coarsely ground sea salt

• 1/2 cup pine nuts

Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.

In a skillet, sauté the pancetta to lightly brown (or just saute garlic).

Roll out dough balls one at a time to 12-inch diameter and place on a baking sheet or pizza pan that has been lightly sprinkled with corn meal.

Lightly brush the top of dough with olive oil and scatter 1/2 cup of mozzarella over dough. Place 1/4 of the zucchini slices, pancetta and garlic on top of the cheese. Top with 1/4 of the blossoms. Brush again lightly with olive oil, and top with black pepper, salt, pine nuts and Parmesan.

Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is lightly browned. Cut into 4 slices and serve immediately. There are no leftovers!

20 / R / April 4, 2024 FOOD


Panida Speakeasy Series: Lena Marie Schiffer

Anyone who has seen a live show in Sandpoint over the past decade has most likely crossed paths with Lena Marie Schiffer, best known for her work with Bozeman, Mont.based bluegrass band Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs.

Schiffer will play the Panida’s Speakeasy Series Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m., joined by


Ani Casabonne on the fiddle.

Schiffer has helped launch the Bird Dogs to national acclaim, serving as lead singer, rhythm guitarist, songwriter and manager.

As a solo folk singer and songwriter, Schiffer offers deeply personal reflections and insightful observations of the world. With each note, she invites her listeners into a shared experience and always

leaves a lasting impression on those in the room.

With influences like Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss, Schiffer’s many fans are always eager to join her for a unique sonic experience.

The Speakeasy Series is an ongoing concert series offering special access to notable performers in an intimate setting.

Tickets are available for $15 at

Object Heavy to play Heartwood Center

Hailing all the way from Humboldt County, Calif., the hard hitting soul sensation

Object Heavy will play a concert at The Heartwood Center at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 10.

Led by the nuanced and

powerful voice of Richard Love and composed of seasoned veterans of the West Coast soul and funk scene, Object Heavy plays a magnetic blend of classic Cadillac soul that provides contagious dance grooves to everyone within earshot.

Object Heavy has toured

extensively the last few years, earning themselves a reputation as a band that stands out in a live setting. They’ve shared the stage with Orgone, The Motet, Polyrhythmics, Turkuaz and more.

Tickets are $16 in advance, or $20 at the door, and the doors and bar open at 6:30 p.m.

MCS offers concert and songwriting workshop

The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint welcomes Karen Atkins Trio to Little Carnegie for a special concert from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, April 5.

Singer and songwriter

Karen Atkins has specialized in music and wellness for over two decades, sharing the stage with everyone from Lisa Loeb to Ziggy Marley to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Atkins won the John Len-

non Songwriting Contest and Global Music Award, and has had her music added to multiple feature films, including Winona Ryder’s Boys Atkins’ album In My Room was chosen as one of the top 10 albums of the year in Aquarian Magazine alongside Sam Smith and Van Morrison.

Atkins’ innovative approach to music combines her 20-plus years as a health practitioner with her passion for songwriting. She utilizes

lyrical precision, authoritative guitar riffs and poignant melodies that are enriched by her wisdom gained from experience guiding others toward self-healing.

Tickets are available for $30 each, or $15 for students. Visit sandpointconservatory. com to purchase tickets.

Following her concert April 5, Atkins will lead a songwriting workshop and masterclass at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 at Little Carnegie inside

the Music Conservatory, 110 Main St. Sandpoint. The workshop is free for all to attend. Bring an instrument as well as song ideas.

Traesti Darling, Evans Brothers, April 5 CobraJet and more, Eagles Club, April 6

Refreshing Bellingham, Wash. duo Traesti Darling has crossed the Cascades to bring their delicate music to Evans Brothers on Friday, April 5.

With their meaningful, layered lyrics and traditional folk melodies with modern beats, singer-songwriter Traesti Luther and saxophonist Alexandra Doumas’ original music is reminiscent of classic artists like Simon & Garfunkel. Their most recent releases — “Ceasefire Christmas” and

“Aaron Bushnell, 25” — protest the Israel-Hamas war, though their catalog covers a wide range of topics. Join them for a moving evening with opener Dario Ré — Soncirey Mitchell

Doors at 6:30 p.m., music at 7 p.m., tickets by donation. Evans Brothers Coffee, 524 Church St., 208-265-5553, Listen at

This spring is coming in like a lion with a face-melting triple-header Saturday, April 6 featuring “Sandpoint irregulars” CobraJet and Devoured Soul, joined by Spokane rough-edged lo-fi rockers Lust for Glory at the Sandpoint Eagles Club No. 589.

For the uninitiated, this is a rock and metal show with an emphasis on fast and loud — even “SuperHard Rock,” as CobraJet puts it

This week’s RLW by Soncirey Mitchell


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward is a heartbreaking story of generational trauma and racism in the U.S., with images and characters that will be shockingly familiar to anyone from rural Idaho — despite the fact that it’s set in Mississippi. A broken family, addiction, abuse and the ghosts of those who died violently mar protagonist Jojo’s childhood. Read this for the beauty and the pain and brace yourself for an onslaught of emotion.


on the band’s Facebook page. Though it’s an “adults only” show — age 21 and older — promoters write that concert goers “need not act your age.”

8 p.m., FREE, 21+. Sandpoint Eagles Club No. 589, 1511 John Hudon Ln. Listen at facebook. com/cobrajetsandpoint.

Joni Mitchell’s music is back on Spotify after a twoyear hiatus, much to the delight of her over 2 million fans on the platform. I’ve been listening to Blue and Court and Spark incessantly for the last week, especially the songs “A Case of You” and “People’s Parties,” which evoke the unique, poetic melancholy that defines Mitchell’s music. Enjoy a rainy afternoon drinking in her timeless catalog.


Springtime is the season of love, which is why it’s time to dust off a sci-fi romance that feels like a warm bowl of soup and a hug from your best friend combined — About Time. This 2013 movie, set in London and Cornwall, follows the sweet, awkward and “squee-worthy” lives of Mary, Tim and they’re eccentric family. Oh, and 21-year-old Tim can time travel. Romantic, funny and heartwarming shenanigans ensue. Stream it on Amazon Prime.

April 4, 2024 / R / 21
A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint
Photo by Aleksandra Shira Dubov. Photo by GetRel Photography. Courtesy photo. is best known for her work with band Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs


Sheriff Wm. Kirkpatrick was Friday morning summoned to the Priest Lake country to investigate the probable suicide of Elizabeth Walters. It appears that the girl, who was 18 years old, had been living with her father and brother in a cabin a mile this side of Coolin.

A few days before her suicide her father had left home to work in the Humbird camp No. 13. The brother was also away, and it is thought that lonliness perhaps brought on despondency. But whatever the circumstances leading up to her death were, the facts are that she was found dead in her cabin by neighbors on Wednesday. One side of her head had been shot away by the use of a shotgun which was found lying by her body. Indications are that the deed was committed three days previous to the finding of the body.

Evidence that the girl was mentally deranged, according to a deputy sheriff, was discovered when kerosene was found poured over bedding, floors and walls of the cabin. If the oils had been ignited, the blaze had gone out.

The dead girl, her father and brother, who formerly lived in or near Colfax, Wash. came to the Priest Lake country three years ago.

It seems to be spring. Winter wasn’t so great, as winters go; after too many days of skiing last season, I’ve not had enough this year. But I’m grateful my knees still work after 34 seasons of sliding downhill. Also, I only had to run the snow blower a few times. My doc tells me I’m good for another year. The new roof on my eternal rebuild project doesn’t leak. Plus, I live in the Northern Rockies — not Gaza, Ukraine or New York City.

I once thought we lived in the Inland Northwest, but Dick Wentz asserted, “Compton, we live in the #@*&%$^ Northern Rockies!” He gave me a guide book to confirm this. Yes, we do.

Our local rivers come from the Continental Divide. The Clark Fork and Kootenai are fed by Glacier Park; the Bugaboos; the Mission, Swan, Whitefish and Anaconda ranges; Bob Marshall Wilderness; and the peaks east of Canal Flats. The Cabinet, Purcell, Bitterroot and Coeur d’Alene mountains are nascent Rockies, pushing east and up as the Pacific and North American plates grind slowly and inexorably against each other at the western edge of the continent.

I live in the Northern Rockies because my grandparents bought a chunk of land on the Clark Fork and moved onto it in March 1917. They already had three kids, the oldest of whom was not yet 6 when they arrived. With help from neighbors, they moved stock from the railroad, across a swinging bridge and a canyon of considerable

On spring in the Northern Rockies

depth, and up a path through the snow to their land. It was a Herculean task that took Grandpa and several other men a few days.

These stalwarts held on in the Northern Rockies through the Depression, two world wars, a couple of “police actions,” six kids and living “off-grid” for 30 years in the Clark Fork Valley. We still own most of the original place, though the law of eminent domain took big chunks of it in the name of progress.

Grandpa was a farmer, stockman, dairyman, bee keeper, hunter, orchardist, blacksmith, woodworker, jack-knife carpenter and all-around tinkerer. He kept and knew horses and raised purebred Guernsey milk cows, grass hay, sheep, pigs and kids. Grandma was a teacher, baker, musician, fruit and vegetable canner, seamstress, stamp and coin collector, homemaker and amateur geologist. She raised chickens, ducks, flowers, eggs, vegetables and kids. She joked that she was a big-time gambler. She planted a garden every year.

Grandma never learned to drive, except from the right seat, which she did consistently. I’m not sure when Grandpa got his first vehicle, but he farmed with horses into the ’50s, and his hay wagon was built on a Model A frame. Grandpa lived for 15 years after Highway 10-A split his farm in two, and Grandma lived seven years past the first moon landing. We watched it on her black-and-white Zenith.

Grandpa wasn’t a hoarder, but he seldom got rid of anything that wasn’t completely worn out. He was a master at cobbling things together, and built several machines an OSHA inspector

would blanch at, but worked very well.

Grandma read and wrote voraciously — she authored three books. She was insatiably curious about everything, especially the natural world. She experimented with cross-breeding apples by using a cotton swab to move pollen of one variety to flowers of another. She was also a crack shot. A cousin once complained that the sights on our bolt-action Winchester .22 must be off (this was the rifle we were allowed to take target shooting and gopher hunting). Grandma took the rifle, aimed and sent a clothespin flying off the line yards away.

“Seems fine to me,” she said, and handed it back.

The world is much modified since these two “back-to-the-landers” landed in the valley. The REA brought electricity in the late ’40s. The phone arrived 15 years later. Two versions of the highway following the Clark Fork upstream from Lake Pend Oreille were built. A polio vaccine was perfected. Smallpox was nearly eradicated. Three dams were built within 60 miles. Things we take for granted were miracles for them.

As spring comes, I’m grateful Grandma and Grandpa settled in the Northern Rockies and that their children and a couple of strings of grandkids experienced growing up here. It’s a fine place to live. Let’s do our best to take care of it.

Sandy Compton’s latest book, Her Name is Lillian, explores the relationship between an anorexic teen and her therapist. It’s available at Vanderford’s, the Corner Bookstore, The Sanders County Ledger and on

22 / R / April 4, 2024
From Northern Idaho News April 3, 1923
Crossword Solution Sudoku Solution STR8TS Solution BACK OF THE BOOK

Laughing Matter


Instead of studying for finals, what about just going to the Bahamas and catching some rays? Maybe you’ll flunk, but you might have flunked anyway; that’s my point.

April 4, 2024 / R / 23
1. Letters and postcards 5. Elbowroom 10. Toot 14. Coastal raptor 15. Lone Star state 16. Spindle 17. Affection 19. Bridge 20. East northeast 21. Dispatches 22. Colossal 23. Think likely 25. Occurrence 27. A rotating disk 28. Earaches 31. Noble realm 34. Cigarette remains 35. Avenue (abbrev.) 36. Black-and-white cookie 37. Distributes 38. Put away 39. Petroleum 40. Roof overhangs 41. Scenes 42. Avoid responsibilities 44. Bowling target 45. Not over 46. LA baseball team 50. Chimes 52. Eagle’s home 54. Grassland 55. Largest continent 56. Soil and plant sciences 58. Against 1. Doled 2. Sporting venue 3. Not outer 4. Light Emitting Diode 5. Brook 6. One cent coin 7. Cut down 8. Magnetic tape containers DOWN
Copyright Solution on page 22 9. S 10. Establishing 11. Elaborate 12. Distinctive flair 13. Confined 18. English exam finale, often 22. Colloids 24. Bounce back 26. Tanks 28. Not inner 29. Affirm 30. Stitches 31. Ruination 32. Murres 33. Lumpy deposits of body fat 34. Drinks 37. A magician 38. Croon 40. Terminates 41. Not audio 43. Decorated 44. Sharp ends 46. Pilotless plane 47. Gentry 48. Happen again 49. Antelope of India 50. Bleats 51. Anagram of “Seen” 53. Ages 56. American Medical Association 57. Encountered 59. Had in mind 60. Decorative case 61. Sow 62. Donkeys 63. Anagram of “Rent” Word Week of the Corrections: Nothing to see here. Move along. connoisseur /kon-uh-SUR/ [noun] 1. a person who is especially competent to pass critical judgments in an art, particularly one of the fine arts, or in matters of taste.
connoisseur of fine cheeses, he could tell an authentic Parmigiano Reggiano just by smell.”
By Bill
Solution on page 22 Solution on page 22
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