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READER December 22, 2016 |


| Vol. 13 Issue 51

Merry Christmas!

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/ December 22, 2016

December 22, 2016 /


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READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724 Publisher: Ben Olson Editor: Cameron Rasmusson Zach Hagadone (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Taylor

(wo)MAN compiled by

Susan Drinkard

on the street

What do you want for Christmas? “On my want list is a Fossil Smart Watch. On my general list of wishes is peace on earth, of course.” Jason Leiber Mill worker Kootenai

Contributing Artists: Jodi Rawson (cover), Susan Drinkard, Bill Mitchell, Ben Olson. Contributing Writers: Cameron Rasmusson, Ben Olson, Sandy Compton, Pastor Bob Evans, Scarlette Quille, Ellen Weissman, Vicki Longhini, Jeff Thompson, Brenden Bobby, Jodi Rawson, Dianne Smith, Marcia Pilgeram. Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Griffin Publishing Spokane, Wash. Subscription Price: $95 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 400 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to:

“I want the roads to be clear so my fiancé can make it home safely from Moscow for Christmas.” Laurel Presser Student Lewis-Clark State College Sandpoint

DEAR READERS, ‘Twas the issue before Christmas and all thro’ the Reader Not a creature was stirring, except for our heaters; Our computers were clacking out stories with care, In hopes that our deadline would not soon be near; Cameron was nustled all snug in his cardigan, With visions of microbrews and stories well-written.; I with my head in this infernal machine, Dreaming of powder days and rye whiskey neat; When out on the street arose such a clatter, Our paper arrived from our dear, dear printer; We bundled the sheaves and skirted ‘crost town, We delivered our news and completed our rounds; The issue arrived, we now have awhile, To rest our dumb bones and relax by the fire; I swear that I heard, on that last paper drop, A well-wisher saying, M “ erry Christmas, you flop.” And I unto you, dear readers of ours, I wish you the best, may your days not be sour.

Merry Christmas and happy new year! -Ben Olson, Publisher “A motorized scooter, Nerf guns, and Legos.” Donovan Daly Third grader visiting dad Bremerton, Wash.

“For my cancer to go away so I can stop chemo treatments.” Mary Jo Hunter Sandpoint


HOLLY McGARRY 6;30-9:30pm

BEN OLSON 7-10pm

Check us out on the web at: Like us on Facebook. About the Cover Jodi Rawson painted this week’s special Christmas cover, featuring Santa Claus catching some serious air at Schweitzer. Jodi has been a contributor for the Reader since the beginning and we appreciate her input.

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“New football gear. My dad would say I need the ability to make better choices.” Dylan Peterson SHS freshman Sagle

BREWERY & BEER HALL 220 Cedar St. 209-6700 FAMILY FRIENDLY BREWPUB 312 First Ave.


New Years' Eve group dinner sitting upstairs! Call Pub to



One More Christmas Eve Or

An 11-year-old Ponders December 24


By Sandy Compton, Reader Contributor

Can you smell it? You remember. Rows of magic electric embers glow on verdant tinseled boughs. The fragrance fills the winter house. Gifts piled on the felted cover Carefully wrapt by loving mother ‘Round thawing stem of sacrificial tree. Hunted down through frozen fields, an ermine forest finally yields a balsam fir with perfect top to grace a house with Christmas. Dragged by father for yards — or miles through billowing, glittering frozen piles, Stood against the parlor wall, Braced against some sudden fall, Flat side in to hide its faults, Underneath it, St. Nick’s vault, Perfection in imagination. The loveliest tree to proclaim salvation, Ever. There are cookies on the shelf For the jolly scarlet elf, But doubt is planted wide and deep For want of knowing, you cannot sleep. You sit sentry on the stairs.

The clock in the hall marches on marking every moment while in your prepubescent brain, sacrilege is foment. Midnight. All is still. You have never heard such silence, And likely never again will. You wait. Dawn. The cookies are gone. You wake on the landing at first light. Someone’s covered you in the night. The stockings are full and much more. A boot print on the parlor floor? And there is that thing you asked for, Parked beside the tree. The younger siblings descend with glee, Singing Santa’s praises. Could it be? You guess you’ll see What doubt next Christmas raises. Caught between Magic and pragmatism, Truth calls like steel to magnetism, But you decide that you’ll believe For at least one more Christmas Eve.

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The Inoculant

Fear in the Air By Pastor Bob Evans Reader Contributor North Idaho has unfortunately been saddled with the ugly image of being a hideout for white nationalists/supremacists. There are still Confederate flags waving on poles and stuck on trucks in certain areas, as ignorance is displayed with pride. I attended a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) event at the Gardenia Center in early December to be an advocate for human beings of differing sexual identities. I felt deeply some of the fear that resides in the hearts of our brothers and sisters. Immigrants are worried, Muslims are terrified and women see a brand new assault on their bodies and human rights. All the anxieties that exist in these areas that were finally being resolved somewhat, have now been rekindled and quickly nourished into a worrisome flame. For the majority, it is impossible to think that we would relapse in our hearts to a place that would allow bigotry— much less sanctioned bigotry. Bigotry, fear of the other and the absolutely furious idea that one religion is better than another has no place in the world at all. If they did have a place in the world, they would not cause any problems. There is a line in “The Star Spangled Banner” that refers to the U.S. as the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” We are not free unless all are free of every stripe and color, except those who are thieves, murderers, haters and predators of all kinds. We are not brave if we are afraid of our neighbors because of ethnicity, sexuality or religion. I know that there are many who actually believe that their beliefs are sanctioned by God, while others beliefs are looked at as evil. This kind of thinking in the 21st century would be laughable if not true. As it is, any kind of world peace seems to be undone by the very religions that are supposed to be bringing peace, as they become the bedfellows of those seeking power and domination; Humanism and atheism, or any other “isms,” are not exempt from this accusation either. If it is basically “fear” that is at the

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Bob Evans. Courtesy Photo.

root of our anxiety towards each other whom we may deem different. We must ask, “What is my fear of the other?” and we must answer this question honestly. If we do not ask ourselves this question and respond honestly, sooner or later we will find ourselves to be the object of suspicion and hate. Here in the West, a perfect example of this is portrayed in the voices of those Evangelicals that feel Christianity is under attack. It is not under attack, rather it is feeling the outcome of building walls of exclusion. The majority of us in North Idaho believe in being, at least tolerant, of those different from us, if not being completely accepting and affirming. We are asking ourselves the important questions while holding ourselves responsible for the answers. In this all too obvious time of “gnashing of teeth,” we must pull together to stand in solidarity against hate of any kind, directed against anyone. We must be, and continue to be, proactive in our quest for equality and equity. We must all be a voice for those who have none, or whose voices are under threat of being silenced. Bob Evans is the pastor at Emerge ‘N See United Church of Christ in Sagle. To learn more about his church, check out

‘The Inoculant’ comic sponsored by:

The law firm of

Elsaesser Jarzabek Anderson Elliott Macdonald.

Letters to the Editor Thanks for Great Turnout... Dear Editor, On behalf of the City of Sandpoint Historic Preservation Commission please accept our most sincere thanks for the wonderful and generous turnout this Nov. 16 at Idaho Pour Authority. We raised $1,400 on our goal of $5,000 for a walking brochure of downtown. We couldn’t have done it without our contributors: Idaho Pour Authority, Laughing Dog, Amtrak (Rob Eaton), Jacqui Albright, Steve Garvan, Karen Robinson, Ben Olson at the Reader, Dave Gunter at the Daily Bee, Bonner History Museum, Dann Hall of Hallans Gallery, Leata Judd, Paul Rechnitzer. We couldn’t have been so successful without each and every one of you. Again, Sandpoint rallies for a good cause! Carrie Logan HPC member Sandpoint

by Lori Reid


Dear Santa,

Dear Santa, I am writing you this because you are the king of the season, and it’s been rumored that you read all of your letters. I know you are well aware of my naughty status. In fact, I am OK with being naughty and not receiving presents. I’m pretty sure you feel the same way. No one is stressing out over what to get you for Christmas or whether or not you are naughty in the off-season. Society pretty much gives you a break 11 months out of the year. Lucky. I’m just going to go ahead and say it, Mr. Claus. I think you’re a little more naughty than we give you credit for. Let’s point out the obvious: You spend your days wearing red velour, stroking a marvelous beard and ruling over a sweat shop. You encourage people to sit upon your lap and tell you their desires. You don’t give a shit about organic ingredients or gluten-free lifestyles. In fact, you are unapologetically overweight, happy and legendary. You have life figured out. Your lifestyle is basically a mirror to how society functions. We spend 11 months out of the year doing whatever floats our boat, and then in December we start being weirdly nice. We become more patient and giving and twinkly. We spend every last dime in our bank accounts trying to make Christmas nice for other people. I’ve never really understood this. I mean, receiving expensive gifts is pretty memorable any time of year. I don’t know why we have to blow our whole wads at Christmas. Let’s say someone wanted to buy me a new car. It would be a magical and memorable day even if it was July 28. Right? There are so many unspoken rules during Christmastime: You can’t break up with people or give them bad news or refuse to eat their homemade treats for fear that you might ruin the holiday. People go around saying it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and ‘tis the season, they empty out their pockets and open their hearts …but come Jan. 1 when the tree is a pile of needles, the bills are due and the hangover is fresh, no one’s giving you their spot in line or paying for your coffee. Even more confusing: Where does the baby Jesus fits into this whole picture? A great majority of people who celebrate Christmas (the ones I know) are not religious. Take me for example: I don’t attend church regularly. Or ever. I am just doing my best not to ruin anything important to anybody, at any time, even if I don’t necessarily understand it. I don’t want to be considered an asshole. I feel like a conflicted hypocrite, and it makes me secretly hate this season. It is this very reason that I decided to write you, Santa. I want to thank you for teaching by example. Your existence gives the outliers—the naughty and the skeptics—clues on how to exist in this world. Correct me if I am wrong, but as long as you take care of your responsibilities and step it up a notch in December by being extra jolly and generous, you can spend the rest of the time maintaining your personal lifestyle choice. Beards, velour, lavish snacks, whatever. And, as long as you do it well, people theoretically will let you be the rest of the year? I’m in. Santa, I didn’t write this to be judgmental, or call you out, or point out that it would be a better world if people would give a shit about other people more than a couple weeks out of the year. I’m just writing to say, thanks. I get you. It’s OK to be extra nice one season and extra naughty the next. People aren’t perfect. I hope you and the Missus enjoy the off season, in whatever way you choose. Also, if you have any room in your sleigh for an extra pair of red velour pants with matching suspenders, I know this bearded guy who lives on Lower Pack River Road, he would really look sexy—I mean like a pair. He’s been pretty good at being both naughty and nice this year. Just throwing that out there. Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho,

Scarlette Quille December 22, 2016 /


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Study finds land use agreements, divisions By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff A newly released report finds both disagreements and common ground among Bonner County property owners when it comes to land use issues. Conducted by the University of Utah’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Program and paid for with $12,000 in university grant funds, the survey is intended to establish common ground in dialogue over land use policies. The project was commissioned by Project 7B, an organization aiming to drive discussion over land use policy, and completed with cooperation from the cities of Dover, Priest River and Sandpoint, as well as the Selkirk Realtors Association and the Kinnickinnick Native Plant Society. A 26-page report based on interviews with 30 individuals of diverse backgrounds, political leanings and profes-

sions, the assessment goes into extreme detail on preferences over regulation levels and county protections. According to Molly O’Reilly of Project 7B, the survey will be a valuable tool in moving conversations forward. “We feel that the Situation Assessment shows a lot of areas of agreement on which to potentially find our way forward in Bonner County,” O’Reilly said in an email. The assessment finds several overriding themes in landowners’ valued Bonner County traits. The small community nature of the region was widely praised, and interviewees

want to see Bonner County kept affordable for all income levels and age groups. They emphasized the need to develop a thriving economy while maintaining Bonner County’s rural nature and lack of urban sprawl. Environmental factors like water quality and green spaces were also widely valued. “Interviewees commonly said they would like to see development happen in such a way as to: avoid sprawl; leverage existing services, such as water and sewer systems; and avoid unnecessarily increasing the financial burden on local government and tax payers,” the assessment states. Interviewees also brought several concerns to the table, including perceptions that the Bonner County Planning Department has been diminished by last year’s shake-ups to department staff and procedures. Some worried that the influence of potentially feckless planning would create a “buyer

beware” situation for prospective property owners. They also feared the influence of unsustainable growth and the caustic influence of divisive politics, the assessment states. The assessment also touched on key disagreements that could make consensus-building difficult. Interviewees said there are fundamental disagreements among county residents over property rights, freedom and personal responsibility. Locals also have very different ideas about promoting and managing growth and economic development, as well as governmental fiscal responsibility. The influence of powerful political ideologies has also made conversation difficult. “A number of interviewees said there is a faction of very conservative and very pro-private property and anti-regulation folks residing in Bonner County, and that more people with this ideological leaning are moving into the area,” the

report states. “They felt this group tends to be very politically active and divisive, and expressed concern that the growing presence of this contingent is causing additional tension in Bonner County.” Sure enough, far-right conservatives may be taking an interest in Project 7B, with Idaho Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, serving as a galvanizing influence. In an email to supporters, Scott urged supporters to attend a Project 7B presentation at a Dec. 12 Clark Fork City Council meeting, saying the group has “a potentially strong socialist, liberal and environmental agenda.” “According to a current county commissioner, this group has also had conflict with Bonner County planning and zoning’s attempts to reduce regulations for property owners,” Scott wrote in the email. To read the entire report, visit

Warm Hearts drive aids City focuses efforts on invasive species fight homeless shelters By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff

By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff For its second year, Columbia Bank is helping keep the holidays warm for local homeless individuals. Launched last week, the drive is collecting donations of both cash and winter attire through Columbia Bank locations across Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The donations will then be funneled to homeless shelters located in the same donation locations. According to bank spokesperson Olivia Gust, Warm Hearts raised over $157,000 and nearly 12,000 items for 53 Northwest homeless shelters last year. To participate, simply drop off donations to Columbia Bank before Dec. 31. The contribu8 /


/ December 22, 2016

tion will help address a growing homelessness problem in Idaho. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Northwest has increased six percent since 2015, and 42 percentof the homeless population in Idaho is considered chronic.

The never-ending battle against invasive aquatic species saw both successes and frustrations this year, according to city officials. According to Sandpoint Urban Forester Jared Yost, the 2015 management program fighting the spread of flowering rush and eurasian watermilfoil collected a total 18,425 pounds of wet biomass throughout the season. Nevertheless, flowering rush in particular continues to be persistent in its spread, he said. “It’s a very difficult battle to win against that flowering rush,” he added. This year, the city contracted the services of Aquatic Weeds Solutions to keep the invasive species at bay. According to company CEO Mat Lawrence, Aquatic Weeds Solutions got a

late start in the season but nevertheless charted a successful year collecting weeds primarily through diver-handled aquatic vacuums. “In terms of keeping recreation levels to where kids can still go out and play, it’s definitely working,” Lawrence said. Aquatic Weeds Solutions will follow up its work in 2016 with an earlier management start next year. Their efforts will focus on limiting invasive plant growth in city properties like Windbag Marina, City Beach, the boat launch at War Memorial Field and Third Avenue Pier. According to City Councilwoman Shannon Williamson, the

Erin Mader digs up flowering rush at the City Beach. Courtesy photo.

management program is guided by a commitment to avoid the use of herbicides. She is hopeful that a combination of local volunteers and city efforts will help keep Lake Pend Oreille waters safe and enjoyable for the public. “Your efforts combined with [volunteer] efforts to hand-pull in low water have been a huge success,” she told Lawrence.


2016: A Good Year? By Ben Olson Reader Staff

Let’s face it, 2016 pretty much sucked. Or did it? From day to day, we all seem to suffer from the same bad habit of neglect-

ing the good news—allowing it to be overshadowed by the darkness, the fear, the grimmest depths of humanity. There’s no doubting the fact that we live in strange and loaded times. There is a lot of anger out there. A lot of division. A lot of wounds still healing. But

•After traveling 1.8 billion miles, NASA’s Juno spacecraft reached Jupiter on July 4. Its five-year journey completed, Juno will study the planet for 37 orbits over 20 months. Mission objectives are to determine how much water is in Jupiter’s atmosphere, which helps determine which planet formation theory is correct; measure Jupiter’s atmosphere, temperature, cloud motions and other properties; and to map Jupiter’s magnetic and gravity fields, revealing the planet’s deep structure. •After being told by the aviation industry that flying day and night without a drop of fuel was impossible, two pilots circumnavigated the globe in a solar-powered plane. Solar Impulse 2 flew more than 26,000 miles around the world and landed in Abu Dhabi to prove that clean technologies could be used in flight. •President Barack Obama announced in September that the U.S. would provide an additional $90 million to help Laos, heavily bombed during the Vietnam War, clear unexploded ordnance that has killed or injured over 20,000 people. From 1964 to 1973, U.S. warplanes dropped more than 270 million cluster munitions on the communist country—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24 hours a day for 9 years. One-third of the bombs dropped did not explode. The new resolution is part of an ongoing commitment the U.S. has made to Laos so their farmers— comprising more than 80 percent of the population—will be able to work the land without fear of digging into a bomb.

there is also a lot of good, too. Let us not forget about the stories that demonstrate the best of human nature. Let us not forget about the advancements we’ve made in science, in technology, in the medical fields. In a nod to the holiday spirit, I’d

•In August, at UCLA, 25-year-old man in a coma may have had his recovery kickstarted after scientists excited a specific part of his brain with ultrasound pulses. The man regained complete consciousness and language comprehension after three days of this treatment. This isn’t the first time that ultrasound waves on brain tissue has been investigated. In 2013, researchers at the University of Arizona found that by applying ultrasound waves to specific parts of the brain they were able to alter a patient’s mood. This research could lead to the development of non-drug based treatments for conditions such as depression. •After a 108-year drought, the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians to defy all belief and win the World Series. It is estimated over 1 million people attended the Cubs rally and parade celebrating their win.

•Scientists at CalTech found a way to link robotic limbs with the part of the brain that is associated with intent, so people don’t even have to think about how they will move the limb, it just happens. Current neuroprosthetics produce motion that is delayed and jerky—not the smooth and seemingly automatic gestures associated with natural movement. Now, by implanting neuroprosthetics in a part of the brain that controls not the movement directly, but rather the intent to move, the motions produced are more natural and fluid.

like to share some of these highlights of 2016. To hell with the rotten parts of 2016. Let’s move forward into 2017 with the same determination to move forward as a people, to leave the world a little better for our grandchildren.

•As part of its annual tradition of giving away eccentric Hanukkah gifts, the makers of the raunchy game Cards Against Humanity purchased an original Pablo Picasso print and let people vote on whether they should shred it and distribute the tiny pieces or donate it to a museum. Fortunately for the art world, and our opinion of human nature, the vast majority of the 50,000 people who voted said to keep it intact. Whew!

•More than 800,000 volunteers in India planted almost 50 million trees in a single day in July to help fight climate change. The feat smashed the world record for most trees planted in a single day. The previous record holder was Pakistan, who planted a mere 847,275 trees in a single day in 2013. The effort is part of the commitment India made at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. •The population of wild tigers rose to 3,890 from fewer than 3,200 six years ago. It’s the first time in decades that the steadily declining tiger population has increased. Though tigers still have a long way to go, the increase gives hope that people may be able to save endangered species if governments and local communities work together.

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Free nordic ski day at Schweiter roundabout By Vicki Longhini Reader Contributor Bouquets: •Congratulations to Schweitzer Mountain Resort for the completion of the Sky House at the summit. I’d love to name all of those who helped make this newest addition a reality, but it would take this whole column just to list them all. I was really impressed with the quality of construction, the design and the functionality of the lodge. Looking forward to drinking many beers there at the top of the world. •I’d like to give a bouquet to my staff, editor Cameron Rasmusson and advertising salesperson Jodi Taylor. I couldn’t make this newspaper happen every week without the diligent work that they both do on a daily basis. Also, thanks to Keokee for the constant support they give us here at the Reader. Finally, we wouldn’t be who we are without the contributions of dozens of people throughout the community. •Finally, a bouquet to you, dear readers, for picking this rag up every week. Our circulation is ever-increasing, our distribution is widening and I rarely go an entire day without hearing from someone in the community that they appreciate the newspaper. I truly appreciate you picking us up, and wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Barbs: •Slow down out there, daredevils. Driving up to Schweitzer on Monday morning, I watched incredulously as a guy passed four cars on a windy part of the road, narrowly missing a truck heading down in the other lane. When we all pulled up to the lot, I noticed that the driver that was in such a hurry was still putting on his boots. Look, we all love getting first tracks, but it’s not worth getting in an accident. Think about those other drivers out there who might suffer the consequences of your own impatience. Please drive carefully up the mountain. 10 /


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What do you get when you combine snow, a groomed trail, free cross country ski equipment and free cross country ski lessons? Sound too good to be true? It is true and it all happens at the Learn to Ski Free Day, held Saturday, Jan. 7, at the roundabout off Schweitzer Mountain Road. If you find yourself thinking: “I should probably try to learn how to cross country ski. It would be easy on my joints and it would definitely improve my fitness,” this is your chance and it couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is call the Schweitzer Mountain Ski and Ride Center at 208-255-3070 and sign up. There are three teaching sessions on Jan. 7, so it’s easy to find a time slot that fits into your schedule. The ski lessons are held on a beginner-friendly trail groomed by Schweitzer, and the friendly Sandpoint Nordic Club volunteers will help you fit your equipment and teach you the basics of classic or skate skiing. Classic skiing is usually the easiest for folks to learn. The skis we use to teach have fish scales on the bottom, so it makes it easy for the skiers to kick and glide in the groomed tracks. Skate skiing is a little tougher for beginners to learn, but we always have a lot of skiers who want to learn this technique. The Learn to Ski Free Day is always a fun community event where Schweitzer Mountain resort and the Sandpoint Nordic Club team up to introduce Nordic skiing to almost 200 newbies. I get pretty excited seeing all the new skiers having fun learning a new sport, and one that I appreciate so much. If you like to exercise, love to be outdoors, appreciate snow and are looking for some winter cross-training, Nordic skiing is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Learn to Ski Free Day is part of a national “Winter Trails” celebration. This month-long celebration of trails is an effort to encourage people to discover the great fitness and social benefits of snowshoeing and cross country skiing. These two winter sports are perfect for families and groups to do together while getting some exercise. The Learn to Ski Free day on Jan. 7 is the kick-off to this celebration. There are many ways to describe cross country skiing. It’s truly a sport that transcends the ages, where you can see kids as young as three years to folks in their 80s doing the same sport. Nordic skiing is a sport where you can get close to nature and go exploring; you can go easy, or push hard; there is always a guarantee of fresh air and scenery; and it’s a sport you can do all your life. Join us on Jan. 7! Find more details at www. or lessons@schweitzer. com.

Follow the leader! Courtesy photo.

The Health and Safety Specialist is a member of the Mountain States Early Head Start Leadership Team who provides consultation with families and staff as requested and identifies or develops educational materials related to healthy pregnancies, children and families, nutrition, safety, and wellness. This person also updates program materials (policies, procedures, forms, guides, etc.), monitors health services and outcomes, participates in community collaborations, oversees safety items related to facilities, and provides staff training and support as needed. This position is also responsible for working directly with community medical, nutrition, and dental providers serving as di the liaison in order to remove barriers to accessing records and getting documentation, increasing communication and collaboration, and providing positive outcomes for children and families. TO APPLY: Complete the Jannus Employment Application available at or and send with your cover letter and resume to Or fax to 208.664-4683 or mail or deliver to 411 N. 15th St., Ste 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties of this job.

DayBreak High Tea fundraiser a success

SASi volunteer Linda Melia, left and SASi board member Loris Michael, right, pose during the High Tea fundraiser last week at the Sandpoint Senior Center. Courtesy photo. By Ellen Weissman Reader Contributor The High Tea fundraiser for the DayBreak Center last Sunday was an extraordinary event with a sold-out crowd. Betty Overland played piano as the guests arrived while Sandy Jamieson, Darleen Coon and the volunteers served up a British feast served with beautiful china tea cups and saucers. Mary Faux gave a rousing show of (a small part of) her hat collection with an uncanny sense of intuition for matching the right hat for each recipient. Safeway and Walmart donated food and organizers paid for the rest of the food so all of the

$1,555 raised went directly for helping participants at the DayBreak Center, Sandpoint Area Seniors’ daytime care center for families dealing with Alzheimer’s and memory loss. Thank you to our awesome volunteers: Sandy Jamieson, co-coordinator; Darlene Coon, co-coordinator; Joan Butcher; Barda Cameron; Gladys Englen; Mary Faux; Michelle Harcourt; Nancy Katona; Linda Melia; Loris Michael and Betty Overland. For information about SASi’s DayBreak Center, call 208-265-8127 or check us out on the web at

SASi volunteer Linda Melia serves cake to some lovely ladies at the Sandpoint Senior Center. Courtesy photo.

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208-627-4200 for tee times


•Play over 90 courses, such as: •Golf Year Round! •Great for kids and beginners, as well as experienced players Pebble Beach •New lighting and new St. Andrews cameras providing •Use your own clubs, or borrow Bandon Dunes 100% realistic spin a set at no extra charge Spyglass Hill •Authentic playing •Ask about our 2-person leagues experience on 3 •Indoor Putting Green forming in December high definition screens Monday-Saturday

9am - close

(Last tee time @ 7pm)


9am - close

(Last tee time @ 6pm)

Also available for birthdays and private parties

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75 McGhee Rd.

(across from Litehouse)

Photos ofThe the Week: Sky House Lodge at Schweitzer Dec. 16

From top right, moving clockwise:

•A skier walks up to the Sky House lodge at the Schweitzer summit on Friday. •A view of the Red Hawk cafe and kitchen in the lodge. •One of the many delicious plates at the Sky House lodge: chicken wings with an amazingly spicy sauce. •The view from the deck of the Sky House lodge. The railings are repurposed chairlift cables from decomissioned lifts. •Tom Chasse and Kate McAlister lead the official ribbon cutting in the doorway of The Nest bar and restaurant at the Sky House lodge. The Nest bar and restaurant was aglow with people on Friday. From left to right: Architect Tim Boden, Utilities president Tom Trulock, Engineer Dave Thompson, Co-owners of Idagon homes Collin Burnett and Justin Schuck. Photos by Ben Olson.

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event t h u r s d a y


f r i d a y

s a t u r d a y


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

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Live Music w/ Holly McGarry 7-10pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Smoky-voiced songwriter Holly McGarry returns from Boston!

‘Ch 8pm The old

Live Music w/ Ben Olson Live Music w/ Mike and Sadie Wagoner 7-10pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Ben Olson plays with himself... uh, 5:30-8:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Mike and Sadie Wagoner are a father I mean, plays solo at the Beer Hall daughter duo. Mike plays the guitar while Sadie rounds things out on a djembe drum. ‘Christmas Carole’ - The Musical 8pm @ Panida Theater Live Music w/ Marty Perron & Doug Bond The Panida presents Dickens’ age 5:30-7:30pm @ Idaho Pour Authority old story with a twist and a kick! Mandolin/guitar duo

Live Mus 9pm @ 21 Devon W great old a

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


Cedar St. Bridge Public Market 10am-2pm @ Cedar St. Bridge Come enjoy indoor shopping on the bridge spanning Sand Creek. Free and open to the public

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Live Musi 7-10pm @ Have som food while

Santa’s Balloon Parade 2pm @ Schweitzer Santa leads a Balloon Parade the Basin Express chairlift. To to op, arrive by 1:45 p.m. The Midway, then at 3 p.m. Santa lobby to hear last minute wis off to the North Pole

Merry Christmas to

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



Karaoke Night at the Niner 8-11pm @ 219 Lounge Know what’s a good way to get over the holidays? Have a few beers and sing some terrible songs Crafternoon: Animal Tracks 2pm @ Sandpoint Library Make animal track casts and learn how to identify animal tracks in the wild

Live Music w/ Harold’s IGA 3-6pm @ Taps at Schweitzer Indie rock on the mountain!

Art on the Go with Jules 4-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Join Julie Ellis for a few hours crafting art from recycled materials

Twiligh Snowb 3-7pm Schwei skiing Check sports p get $10

Free Avalanche Awareness Seminar 5pm @ Schweitzer Village Alpine Shop Selkirk Powder Company and the Alpine Shop team u a seminar on avalanche awareness. Join Ken Barrett, ch of Selkirk Powder, and Kevin Davis, avalanche educato discuss weather influences and the snow metamorphosis enon. Free and open to the public

Dollar Beers! Beer Hall Thursday Night Solo/Songwri 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub 7-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Good until the keg’s dry With live music by Brandon Watterson Winter Holidays Family Activity 1pm @ Sandpoint Library Bring the family to the Sandpoint Library, for a fun time learning about holidays such as Kwanzaa and Hannakkah with games and crafts


December 22 - 29, 2016

‘Christmas Carole’ - The Musical 8pm @ Panida Theater The Panida presents Dickens’ age old story with a twist and a kick!

Live Music w/ Devon Wade 9pm @ 219 Lounge Devon Wade is back with his great old and new country tunes!

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

Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 9pm @ 219 Lounge Along with music, it’s skier and boarder appreciation day! Anyone with a season pass, day pass or employee ID from any Mountain in the U.S. or Cananda gets a 219 pilsner or a PBR plus a shot of our well liquor for $4!

Live Music w/ Truck Mills 5:30-8:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Truck is a master on the slide guitar along with a variety of other instruments

Men’s Shopping Night All night @ Downtown Sandpoint Enjoy late-night shopping and comLive Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz Santa Visits Schweitzer plimentary gift wrapping during 1-3pm @ Schweitzer -10pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Men’s Shopping Night, held in Have some brews and some great Catch the man in red hitting the downtown Sandpoint. Plus, enjoy slopes at our favorite ski hill ood while listening to jazz $3 drafts at Pend d’Oreille Winery

sandpoint’s premier

craft beer store


Gift cards make great last minute gifts! Give the gift that keeps on giving!


n Parade to Schweitzer Village from the top of hairlift. To get a balloon and be part of the pho5 p.m. The parade leaves at 2 p.m. to ski down .m. Santa makes his way to the Selkirk Lodge minute wishes from all the kids before heading e

op team up to host Barrett, chief guide e educator, as they morphosis phenom-

/Songwriter Series


g about s



s to all!

Twilight Ski and Snowboarding 3-7pm @ Schweitzer Schweitzer opens for twilight skiing and snowboarding. Check out SandpointOnline’s sports page for info on how to get $10 lift tickets

2O3 CEDAR STREET Dec. 31 Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs @ Pend d’ Oreille Winery

Dec. 31 David Raitt and Baja Boogie Band New Years’ Eve Concert @ Di Luna’s Cafe Dec. 31 3rd Annual Hive New Years’ Eve Ball @ The Hive

Dec. 31 Live Music w/ Brown Salmon Truck @ Idaho Pour Authority


located on the historic

CEDAR ST. BRIDGE in Sandpoint, Idaho

David Raitt and the Baja Boogie Band

Dec. 31 “An Affair to Remember” @ The Panida

Dec. 31st New Year’s Eve Concert

Dec. 31 Riff Hangers NYE Bluegrass Bash @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Jan. 1 Polar Bear Plunge @ Sandpoint City Beach

Dinner @ 5:30 p.m. • Concert starts 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6-8 “Seed - The Untold Story” @ The Panida Theater

Di Luna's is excited to have David Raitt & The Baja Boogie Band return this year on New Year’s Eve, for our first ever New Year’s Eve Concert. If you want an early night and love rocking blues this is the concert for you. David Raitt comes from a genetic line of musical heritage. His father John and sister Bonnie Raitt are both international mega-stars. David has 16 albums to his name and has recorded and performed with multitudes of international artists including his sister Bonnie Raitt and Jimmy Thackery. Call Di Luna's 263-0846 for tickets and reservations. Tickets $20

207 Cedar St.

• 263-0846 • December 22, 2016 /


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2016: The carnival of errors

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/ December 22, 2016


Illustration by Bill Mitchell

December 22, 2016 /


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Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist I don’t always write about huge, profound, galaxy-moving revelations. Sometimes I just like to make you reexamine stuff in your daily life, or learn about something that seemed mundane, but was really interesting. Sometimes I just throw that all out the window and go for a completely random topic. This is one of those days. Which? Take your pick. A banana. Gosh, that’s a funny word. No matter how you say it, it sounds funny. Buh-na-na. Boona-nuh. Buh-nah-nuh. It’s a silly yellow fruit that Americans just can’t get enough of. Did you know that botanically, it’s considered a berry? Every time you drink a banana smoothie, you’re technically eating berries. Ever wonder where your banana came from? Your first thought is probably Central or South America. You’d be right, partially. Between Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia, these three countries produce about 21.16 million tons of bananas per year. That’s pretty cool. And then there’s India, producing 29.82 million tons of bananas per year alone. That’s 65,741,768,400 pounds of bananas per year. Presuming bananas are an even 50 cents a pound, that’s 33 billion dollars of revenue per year from just bananas. That’s a whole lot of green for a whole lot of yellow. So what are the health benefits of the humble banana? It doesn’t have a whole lot to it. It’s mostly starch, though a single banana packs 20 percent of your daily Vitamins B6 and C. The rest is basically processed as potassium and 18 /


/ December 22, 2016

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sugar, giving an average of 105 calories per banana. While definitely not detrimental to your health, a diet of pure bananas would be a pretty terrible idea. Ever wonder why they turn bright yellow? It turns out it’s a very similar process to leaves turning yellow during the fall. As the banana ripens (due to having been, you know, severed from its nutrient-giving body by a machete), the chlorophyll is expended and the peel is starting to deteriorate, infusing sugar into the fruit inside. The yellow color itself comes from a pigment called a xanthophyll, which is the same pigment that makes egg yolks appear yellow. Bananas don’t only come in shades of yellow and green. Our favorite fruit has breeds that showcase deep purples, reds and browns as well, they just aren’t as widely cultivated or consumed in the Western world. Travel to most markets throughout Asia and you’d be able to find rainbows of colorful bananas. Another breed in the banana family we consider exotic can be found in grocery stores just a few steps away from our favorite treat. Plantains. If you’ve ever tried to eat a yellow plantain then spit it out with a look of disgust, you shouldn’t banish the thought of eating one ever again. If I learned something from my time in the produce section (mostly by asking “What in the hell is that thing?”), it’s that the best time to eat a plantain is when the peel is very, very brown. That’s gross, Brenden. The browning isn’t rot like you’d see in meat. It’s called sugar spotting. It’s what happens when the other nutrients in the peel start turning into

sugar and infusing the fruit with sweetness. When it comes to plantains, they’re best used in cooking rather than eaten straight out of the peel like regular bananas, but everyone has their own unique taste. Unfortunately for the yellow bananas we buy at the store, excessive sugar spotting makes it unpalatable. Bacteria like sugar even more than we do, and once the amount of sugar gets too high the bacteria begin to break the banana down and have a field day, one of the reasons that overripe bananas taste miserable and get all mushy. A little known fact on our side of the hemisphere will bring a whole new level of joy to many readers. Bananas apparently make really good alcohol. In the Philippines and parts of Africa, where bananas are natively grown, they are mashed up and distilled with water. The brewers then add yeast and more sugar and let the magic of fermentation go wild. Unfortunately, the finished product isn’t cautionary yellow; It’s clear just like vodka or moonshine. Besides, when was the last time someone handed you a glass full of transparent-yellow liquid and told you in good faith to take a drink? During my stint in departmental retail, there was one item that was consistently at the top of the sales charts. In fact, it sold so much, and in so much volume, that even the electronics department was consistently trailing at #2 to #5 (except when our crew rocked it on Black Friday.). You guessed it: Bananas. Bananas are a powerful impulse item. They’re almost guaranteed to sell fully no matter how many you put out.

While I worked produce, the only, and I mean only time we ever threw out bananas were if something terrible happened like a box falling off the pallet into a vat of spiders or if clowns were using them to make each other slip through the department. Neither of those things happened, ever. At least not while I was there. Imagine my surprise when I saw that last year, 1.4 million bananas in the UK went wasted. You don’t have to be bipedal to enjoy bananas. They’re actually one of the few safe items for our four-legged friends of the dog world to enjoy. I mean, don’t feed them to them all of

the time or anything, but they can be a fun snack, especially if you put peanut butter on them. One of the perks of being an item made almost exclusively of sugar! Hopefully you learned something about bananas today. And before you send mail to me about which way to peel a banana: No, monkeys don’t peel them backwards because there are spiders in the peel. There aren’t. Peel the things whatever way you want to as long as you end up eating the fruit inside. Heck, I’ve seen people Incredible Hulk those bad boys open from the center. It was awesome.

Random Corner ? Don’t know much about milk We can help! 1. Twenty-eight U.S. states have an official state beverage, and 21 of those 28 chose milk. Alabama chose whiskey. 2. Farmers who called their cows by name reported 258 liters in higher milk yield than those who did not. 3. Al Capone, an American gangster, was responsible for expiration dates on milk bottles. 4. As a result of Breyers adding excessive amounts of additives in their ice cream to cut costs, Canada has determined their product no longer contains enough milk and cream to meet labeling requirements for ice cream, and must be labeled “frozen dairy dessert,” or “frozen dessert.” 5. Companies use Elmer’s Glue as milk in cereal commercials so the cereal won’t look soggy, and so they can strategically place the cereal in the bowl. 6. Until 11,000 years ago milk was toxic to humans. The only way we could consume it was lowering the lactose levels by turning it into cheese. 7. Out of 70 missing children whose photos were publicized on milk cartons in America, only one was found alive.

A column all about snow safety By Jeff Thompson Reader Columnist

Have you been out enjoying this new snow we’ve been getting? We have! And we at the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center thought it’d be the perfect time to talk about early winter season conditions and some avalanche safety tips! Shallow Snow Does Not Equal Safe Snow Even though the snow pack is still relatively shallow, there are still potential avalanche hazards in the backcountry. If you’re skiing, snowboarding or snowmobiling, make it a habit from the start of the season to carry the appropriate avalanche rescue gear. At a minimum every backcountry user should have with them: •Avalanche Transceiver •Probe •Shovel •The know-how to use them Know Your Angles in the Backcountry Knowing the steepness of a slope is one of the best tools you have for avoidance. A 30 degree pitch is generally the slope angle where avalanches start occurring. So if you travel in snow on slopes less than 30 degrees steep, you’re usually safe from avalanches. With that said, you always need to be aware of adjacent steep slopes that can slide into flat areas. Once you enter slopes above 30 degrees, you should consider yourself in avalanche terrain. Get Educated There are many opportunities for Avalanche Education here locally: everything from a two-hour Avalanche Awareness course to a full blown

Avalanche safety tips four-to-five day Level Two Avi course. For more information go to: If you’re looking for a multi-day course: SOLE and Selkirk Powder are putting on AAA and AIARE Level One and Level Two Avi courses. If you’re looking for shorter overviews: IPAC is conducting Avalanche Awareness classes every other Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. Where? At the Sandpoint Ranger District. The next IPAC class is Dec. 20, and the topic is “Reading the Avalanche Advisory.” We’re also hoping to have our new IPAC website up by then, so we can show everyone the new look and cool features of the website. Could I Survive the Night with What I’ve Got? Avalanches are certainly one of the things Mother Nature can throw at you in winter, but don’t forget all of the other basic survival stuff you would normally carry in your backpack. A couple of things I always carry in the winter: •extra layer •water •map •communication to the outside world (if possible) •first aid/gear repair kit There are many things you could add to this list, depending on what you’re doing, but be sure that you’re preparing for winter conditions when you go out. Before you go into the backcountry, ask yourself “Could I survive the night with what I’ve got?” Things would have to go really wrong for you to get stuck overnight, but you should always be prepared for it.

Some Slopes Are Better Skied Later Most of us that play in the forest in the summer also play in the forest in the winter, right? Remember all of those stumps, shrubs, and creeks that you scrambled around this summer? They’re still there. Early season can be challenging, with all the stuff lurking under the surface. We’re lucky that we have a long season here. Consider dialing it back a notch early season. You don’t want to end it before it begins!

We’re glad winter is finally here, and look forward hearing about what you see out there! Submit an observation on our website if you see anything interesting with the snow in the backcountry. With such a big forecast area, we need as many eyes and ears on the snow as

we can get, and we really like hearing about what you backcountry enthusiast are seeing out there. You can also find the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center on Facebook, Instagram, and mtn hub. Stay warm and we’ll see you out there! Jeff Thompson Director of Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center / Schweitzer Ski Patrol

Know Before You Go The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center puts out an Avalanche Advisory each Friday morning by 7 a.m. during the height of the winter season. Read the forecast, make informed decisions, and know before you go. I’ve had the chance to dig some in the snow recently, to see how we’re looking heading into the season. So far, the biggest problem in the snowpack is about 12 inches down: the interface between some older snow and some new snow has sandwiched a small layer of weak snow, commonly called “facets.” Right now, the buried facets aren’t too much of a concern, but if we get back into a storm cycle and put more weight on that layer—plus throw in a little wind loading—and those facets could turn into a problem. Keep an eye on our Avalanche Advisories every Friday morning, and we’ll keep you informed about what happens with that layer and the rest of the snowpack. December 22, 2016 /


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The Elvin King of the Mountain Schweitzer’s CEO Tom Chasse shares his passion for people, skiing, and Christmas

By Jodi Rawson Reader Contributor When Tom Chasse moved to his Sagle home in 2006, he was on a 10-year career plan. This is his 11th season as Schweitzer President and CEO, but Chasse isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. “One thing that sets Tom apart is his level of involvement,” said Mike Bannon. Bannon has known Chasse since the late ‘70s when they were ski instructors together in New Hampshire. Bannon says that Chasse has a gift for “assessing the vibe of the mountain.” “He lights up the mountain... He makes me feel proud to work here,” says Carol Harder, who has worked in the Schweitzer Kinder Kamp day care for 16 years. Kinder Kamp manager Debbie Foster has been an employee with Schweitzer for 23 years. She has served under five different CEOs and says Chasse is “by far the best, he is awesome.” “I try to create opportunities to spend as much time as I can with the staff,” said Chasse, who knows the names of hundreds of employees. “I intentionally try to think about those things that allow me to connect a little bit deeper with people.” In letters to employees and guests Chasse writes, “we are all one,” “never regret a smile,” and he lives by lines like, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” “He is a great delegator,” says Bannon, “[Chasse] has recruited a team of capable people under him” and has empowered them. Chasse sums up his leadership philosophy in one word: “Listening.” In 1999 Schweitzer went bankrupt, unable to pay the bills and generate income in the community. “The number one priority for me was the company culture—you know, working with our staff just to make sure everyone was proud to work for the company... after a couple of years [by 2008], I think we were able to achieve that goal,” said Chasse. Chasse contracted a company to compile the data from guest surveys: “In my third year here we were number one in the nation [in survey ratings].” Many Schweitzer employees were in disbelief, but the next year Schweitzer was number one again. As a result of improving company culture and advertising the positive data from guest surveys, “people were like, ‘You gotta go to Schweitzer,’ and our financial performance improved... so we went up 30,000 visits within my first five years,” Chasse said. Far from bankruptcy, Schweitzer is now able to help those in need. The “Communi20 /


/ December 22, 2016

Tom and Donna Chasse at the 2016 Schweitzer employee Christmas party. When asked “Why an elf?” Chasse replied, without hesitation: “Why not?” Photo by Jodi Rawson.

ty Ski Day” at Schweitzer was spearheaded by Chasse. Originally he wanted to offer a free day, but he took the creative advice to sell cheap tickets and raise money for charity instead. This year $23,750 was raised for community nonprofits. Since then, according to Chasse, there has been a “slow methodical growth,” but he always wants to maintain a “homey feel.” He says that Schweitzer breaks down barriers, and he loves to see people with high profile jobs and images relaxing, dancing in their ski boots at Taps: “Schweitzer gives people a chance to live the way they aspire to.” One great investment in Chasse’s legacy is the new “Sky House” or Summit Lodge. The next investment, according to Chasse, will be to replace “Snow Ghost,” or Chair 6, and he hopes to have that accomplished

before retirement, which could be in “five to six years, but I will continue to be involved,” he said. He has made this area home and has no plans of moving after retirement. His passionate involvement is driven by his life-long love of skiing. Some of Chasse’s earliest memories were spending the night in the first aid room with his ski patrol father and skiing all weekend at Whittier ski resort in New Hampshire, when he was only three years old. Now, at 60, Chasse still skis at least four days a week at Schweitzer, obtaining a personal assessment of the conditions on the mountain. With a goal of making the Olympic team, and his racing on track to achieving that goal, Chasse flew into a tree during a race in January 1976. He asked the doctor when he could begin training to race again

and the answer devastated him. Chasse’s knee was shattered and he would be lucky to walk without a cane. Thankfully, Chasse healed well and continued to ski, but his racing days were over. Instead, he grew to be an outstanding ski instructor. In 1992 he was chosen out of thousands to represent the East Coast in the American Teaching Method. Chasse was not, however, chosen to represent the entire country in the final selection process in 1996, but when one door closed another opened. “Do you have that out of your system now?” asked a mentor, who was rooting for the end of Chasse’s skiing and coaching ambitions. “We have a new path for you.” He saw a smart, capable and passionate leader in Chasse: “Look, I am going to tell you... I am not going to tell anyone else,” his mentor told him, “but I am going to retire New Years of 1999, and I think you could be my successor.” He groomed Chasse for those two years, to take over as President of Attitash ski resort in New Hampshire, where he succeeded until he took the position at Schweitzer in 2006. “I could not have done any of this without the support of my wife,” said Chasse. He met Donna early in high school, dating her by riding his bike to her house. Married for 38 years, the Chasses now have three children and three grandchildren they adore and visit often. Chasse believes there is victory in unity, which may be why he brought the annual Christmas party to the mountain. Fancy dinner, drinks and entertainment are offered to honor the 500-plus Schweitzer employees with the addition of their guests/families. The employee Christmas parties holds some of Chasse’s fondest holiday memories: “I love the energy in the lodge... the kids’ excitement,” he said. His passion is as genuine and contagious as an elf. In elvin fashion, Tom and Donna Chasse set up a makeshift cookie making factory in their garage, where Donna creates loads of fancy gourmet cookies packaging them in tins for each department at Schweitzer. Also, the Chasses are “Santa and Mrs. Clause” of the mountain, choosing gifts for all of the employee’s children. Chasse is a loyal family man who loves people, skiing, Sandpoint, Christmas, baseball, and the list goes on and on. The energy of the president up the mountain trickles—even avalanches—downhill into the valley. With a compassionate leader like Tom Chasse, the impact has been awesome on our community’s culture.

Sky House:

A warm place at the top of the world

A skier makes his way to the Sky House on Friday. Photo by Ben Olson. By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff Gorgeous vistas, rugged trails and access to the best skiing for miles: the Schweitzer Mountain summit is already famous for these qualities. Amenities like a fully stocked bar, sewer and water systems and television service are a bit more unexpected for such an isolated environment. But Schweitzer Mountain Resort’s new Sky House offers that and more, all married to the most enviable views for miles. “We know the lodge will become a destination attraction during the summer and winter seasons, providing another reason for outdoor enthusiasts to add Schweitzer to their ‘must visit’ lists,” Schweitzer CEO Tom Chasse said in a press release. Rustic and brimming with earthy tones, the lodge has the look of a classic mountain getaway. The effort to construct the 9,300-square-foot building, however, was anything but intuitive. When the project was announced last year, architects and engineers faced the daunting task of constructing

a luxurious structure at 6,400 feet above sea level without the benefit of existing infrastructure. From the beginning, operations director Bill Williamson, project manager Michael Lusich, architect Tim Boden of Boden Mountain Architecture and engineer Dave Thompson of DGT Engineering had a major challenge on their hands. “A lot of people will come up here and say, ‘Wow, what a great building!’” said architect Tim Boden. “But building in the city is one thing. Building in Schweitzer Village is another thing. And building on top a 6,400-foot-elevation mountain is yet another thing.” The first challenge was to establish sewer, water and power systems. According to Tom Trulock, president of Schweitzer Utility Company, the team first investigated the possibility of digging a well to meet water needs. While they did eventually discover a water source, it wasn’t large enough to meet the facility’s needs. Instead, they decided to pump water to a midway station, where they then routed it to a reservoir on the side of the building. The sewer line was constructed to travel in

the opposite direction toward Schweitzer Village. Finally, the team used power sources to establish a loop feed, providing electricity to the lodge. Meanwhile, the engineering team planned the lodge’s structure to endure the rigors of the mountaintop setting. The Sky House uses construction materials and steel bracing tested to endure 120 mph winds, while its heat retention and efficiency standards are more than sufficient to blunt the summit’s most bitterly cold nights. Schweitzer Mountain officials contracted Sandpoint-based company Idagon to handle construction. According to business co-owner Colin Burnett, it was a chance for Idagon to establish itself as a key presence in regional construction. “Schweitzer gave us the opportunity to do the type of project traditionally given to a Spokane or Coeur d’Alene outfit, and we’re grateful for that,” he said. As construction advanced, Burnett said worries grew about whether the project would be completed on schedule. While the weather was mild, the team enjoyed a steady pace. But as

autumn deepened, the temperatures dropped, the snow started falling and drivers faced the challenge of trucking materials up hazardous mountain roads. “Toward the end the weather—the wind, the cold and the rain—really became a problem,” Burnett said. The worries proved unfounded. Schweitzer introduced the completed Sky House to regional business and media figures last week in a special sneak preview. And the lodge opened to the public this Wednesday right in time for the Christmas crowds. The debut establishes the lodge as a new home for Schweitzer Ski Patrol dispatch, a valuable restroom location for full-bladdered skiers and boarders, a venue for weddings and other events and a foodie destination thanks to The Nest restaurant and the Red Hawk Cafe. Last week’s event was an opportunity to show off the lodge’s many features. Attendees first gathered in a main dining hall on the second floor, where they were treated to the spectacular summit vistas that dominated the project’s raison d’être. From the beginning, the lodge was planned to maximize this asset, with huge windows

dotting every face of the building and outdoor decks offering unique vantage points. “Just getting above the treeline [of the summit] offers a new perspective on a familiar view,” Boden said. After the initial socializing, guests proceeded into the bar area for drinks and a sampling of the small-plate dishes from a menu curated by chef Pete Tobin. The wait staff paraded out a series of tempting offerings available at The Nest restaurant, from spicy barbecue chicken wings to baked spaghetti bites to diced potatoes with raclette cheese and bacon bits, while diners enjoyed beer and wine from regional providers. Indeed, the Sky House is something of a showcase for Sandpoint talent, from the Evans Brothers coffee to the local MickDuff’s and Laughing Dog beer and Pend d’Oreille Winery wine. Locals also benefit from the 30 new jobs added during wintertime operations, according to Chasse. And then there’s the lodge itself: the product of hard work from hundreds of individuals, most of them local. “Big thanks to Schweitzer for keeping it local and giving us a solid chance,” said Burnett. December 22, 2016 /


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This week’s RLW by Ben Olson


I love books that make me think. I also love books that make me scratch my head. I love books. Before it was a popular film, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by first time author Ransom Riggs was a novel that I enjoyed. Following a horrific family tragedy, a boy is sent to an abandoned children’s home. The novel is interspersed with macabre photographs that really tie into the narrative. Check it out.


Submitted by Ed Ohlweiler: Readers might be interested in the eTown podcast which features kick ass music, humanitarian awards and great interviews. Also, this week stars Gregory Alan Isakov with some backup help from The Ghost Orchestra and Sandpoint’s own Shook Twins, who sound amazing. Well worth checking out.

Living Life:

Looking Forward to 2017

By Dianne Smith Reader Columnist “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” — Stephen Covey Life where you take the test before you have learned the lesson can be daunting at times, depending on how we look at life and choices. The power of positive thinking can make all the difference in our journey and our successes. As we look forward to 2017, we have time to look at how we can do things in a way that adds to our life journey by making positive lifestyle decisions and choices. When we set goals there is an opportunity to create habit changes to better help us manage the bumps in the road of life. The new year gives each of us the chance to look at the previous year and determine what we would like to create for the future. Remember that change takes time, and if you fall off track or lose momentum you simply refocus. Long term lifestyle changes need consistency and practice until over time they become part of who we

are. The best path for most people is to find a strategy that encourages us to live the change. That experience of living the change is what gives us the energy to continue. One day we realize, “Oh wow, I’m really doing this! This is me. I am doing it!” Before you actually change, you’ll think about it and wonder if it is possible. But, once you change, it becomes real and exciting as you actually live the change as a lifestyle. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes and the more it becomes part of who you are. Don’t expect to see changes quickly and all at once however,

Seeking opinion writers WATCH

There are so many Christmas films out there, but some of my favorites are the ones that never get old. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “A Christmas Story” and “Bad Santa” are all hilarious. For nostalgia hounds, “Miracle on 34th St.” and “It’s a Wonderful Life” always tug at the heart strings. Oddly, I always enjoyed watching “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” too, but don’t tell anyone.

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/ December 22, 2016

By Ben Olson Reader Staff Let’s face it: 2016 was a year full of opinions (among other things). Here at the Reader, we don’t shy away from opinion editorials. I have always believed a community is strongest when people are given a space to speak their minds in a civilized manner. To that end, I’d like to encourage you budding opinion writers out there to submit your ideas/articles for publication in the Reader. We are interested in a wide variety of topics, including local politics, education, environment, land use and more. We’re specifically interested in having a conservative writer’s perspective in our newspaper. What we’re not interested in is name-calling, hate speech, opinions loaded with fake news statistics and any subject matter that is insensitive to race,

because you are changing what might be years of practicing it differently. If you practiced an old habit for 10 years, you cannot expect to undo all those years of practice by practicing the new habit for 10 days, or even 10 weeks. It takes a good year of practicing the new lifestyle change for it to become part of who you are. Expect to revert back to old habits especially when faced with life stressors. Simply recognize it, and return back to practicing the new habit. If you choose to see it as a failure rather than a momentary stumble, it is easy to give up and feel badly. Feel good about getting back up on the horse of life so to speak and get back on track and see the success in that. As you move forward remember, just like anything else the more you practice the easier it becomes. Most of us didn’t just get on a bike or skis and wiz away. It took practice and so that is true with lifestyle changes. Here is to a great 2017. Dianne Smith, LMFT is a licensed counselor who works with both children and adults. She has offices in Bonners Ferry and Sandpoint and can be reached at 951-440-0982.

Crossword Solution

religion or sexual identity. Ideally, we would like potential columnists to write their point in around 500 words and be able to write once or twice per month. If you or anyone you know might be interseted, drop editor Cameron Rasmusson a line at


Two evenings with Viggo Mortensen By Reader Staff The Panida Theater will host the Sandpoint premier of “Captain Fantastic” and two evenings with actor Viggo Mortensen on Friday and Saturday Jan. 13 and 14 at 7:30 p.m. Each evening will include a screening of the film followed by a question-and-answer session with the actor. The event will benefit Panhandle Community Radio (KRFY) and Team Autism 24/7. “Captain Fantastic,” starring Mortensen, tells the story of a father devoted to raising his six kids off-grid through rigorous physical and intellectual education in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. For example, instead of Christmas, the family celebrates Noam Chomsky Day. A family tragedy forces them to leave their paradise and enter the world, challenging the father’s idea of what it means to be a parent. Beautifully filmed largely in the forests of western Washington, viewers will be reminded of the local forests of North Idaho. Panhandle Community Radio brings commercial-free high quality, national news and information programming such as “Democracy Now!” to North Idaho, as well as cutting-edge general interest, perspective, independent and multi-cul-

tural music shows. Proceeds from the Evening with Viggo Mortensen will help fund operating costs. Team Autism 24/7 is a non-profit organization that provides support, education, and resources to families living with autism in North Idaho. Team Autism 24/7 hosts an annual cyclocross bicycle race event at the University of Idaho Sandpoint campus as its primary fund raising event. Proceeds from the Evening with Viggo Mortensen in part will help fund procurement of equipment needed to maintain the cyclocross

course. Tickets for “Captain Fantastic:” An Evening with Viggo Mortensen are $15 and can be purchased at Eichardts Pub and Grill, Evans Brothers Coffee, Syringa Cyclery in Sandpoint, at KRFY 208-265-2992, and at More information at 208-265-2992

Dec. 22 & 23 @ 8 pm

‘Christmas Carole’ rounds into final week By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff If you’re looking for a truly special way to enjoy the holidays with your family, remember to drop by the Panida Theater for the final week of “Christmas Carole” performances. Loosely adapted from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” “Christmas Carole” is a heartwarming and hilarious look at the spirit of the Christmas season. Written by Becky Revak and featuring original music by John Maio, this musical extravaganza tells the tale of Scrooge like you’ve never seen it before. A cast of favorite local actors rounds out a carefully crafted production de-

“Christmas Carole: a musical for the whole family” An original play based on the Charles Dickens Classic tale ‘A Christmas Carol,’ December date to be announced:

“Certain Women” film

Three strong-willed women (Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Michelle Williams) strive to forge their own paths amidst the wide-open plains of the American Northwest

sign. Meanwhile, Maio’s music flushes the performance with excitement and character. The final “Christmas Carole” performances take place 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23. Tickets are available online at or at the door before showtime. Online ticket sales cost $16.09 for adults or $10.83 for youth. Next week, keep an eye out for some classic cinema when the iconic romance “An Affair to Remember,” starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, hits the Panida Theater screen. The show takes place 8 p.m., Dec. 31. Online tickets cost $10.83.

mark your calendars for a classic New Year’s Eve at the Panida with

“An Affair to Remember”

12/31 @ 8:00 includes a champagne toast – dress to have a great time little r theate

Jan. 6 & 7 @ 7pm

“SEED: The Untold Story” Jan. 13 & 14 @ 7:30pm

A film and evening with viggo mortensen A special appearance by Viggo Mortensen, who will answer questions from the audience after the showing of his latest film, “Captain Fantastic.”

December 22, 2016 /


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The Sandpoint Eater Feliz Navidad

By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Food Columnist

It’s that time of the year and ‘tis the season. Some of us will experience a holiday steeped in years of tradition, and some of us will be creating new traditions that may have staying power. For the past seven years, my family’s Christmas Eve has been a Feliz Navidad feast that even José Feliciano would envy. Our first one was in Rochester, N.Y., where my son-in law Russ had just accepted an academic position, painfully far from family in Idaho. For more than 20 years, our Christmas Eves were filled with savory Swedish meatballs, iced jumbo shrimp, pastry-wrapped ham and international cheeses. Holidays can really bring out the homesickness, and by the time I arrived could sense the melancholy in this little family of three. We decided to forgo our traditional elaborate spread, and since the kids had yet to find a decent Mexican restaurant in the area, they were hungry for some much-missed Joel’s-type food. By the time Casey arrived to round out our Christmas quintet, the house was decorated, the kitchen filled with fragrant and piquant aromas and the Bûche de Noël replaced by a Tres Leche cake. This was also the year that Russ conceived our now annual winter “Feats of Strength” tournament, which included the cork toss, wall squats and bottled beer guzzling. What I lacked in coordination and strength I made up for in beer guzzling, and was surprised to learn I had a real aptitude for my newly discovered talent. Between our Mexican feast, Olympic-worthy competitions and helping 24 /


/ December 22, 2016

Santa assemble a train table for a toddler, we managed to get through Christmas Eve emotionally unscathed. Christmas Day was another story. When vegetarian (and non-foodie) Casey discovered Baked Alaska was not a fish entrée, but actually a wonderful dessert filled with cake and ice cream and topped with flames, she had begged for one as our dining finale. My motto has always been “more is better,” and so I made sure to have some Bacardi 151 for the dramatic ignition. The kids’ rental home was an old Victorian duplex with a beautifully carved wooden staircase and a landing with double stairs to the dining room and the kitchen. Russ met me on the landing, out of sight, to douse and light the cake

so I could make a dramatic presentation as I descended the sweeping staircase. “Momma,” shouted Casey, “your arms are on fire!” Yes. My arms were on fire, and wow, it felt like eternity before I reached the table with my blazing creation. “My god, Mother, I thought you were going to burn my house down,” scolded Ryanne. The same thought had entered my mind. That I made it to the table with only singed arms was truly the Christmas miracle. For the remainder of that trip I kept a low profile and refrained from serving any additional flaming foods, especially after Russ threatened to display his collection of “things my mother-in-law has burned.” I think he overreacted, for it was just little things, like oven

mitts, tea towels and such… Apparently I’m not the only person who likes a good flambé and who’s had dire pyrotechnic experiences with Bacardi 151, because today the bottle includes a label with five different warnings to avoid using as an ignitor for food or drinks, and it also comes with a flame arrester in the cap (because they just know). Lucky for me we only spent one Christmas in Rochester. Just seven months later, I drove to the Spokane airport to pick up Ryanne (several months pregnant), two cats and a toddler while Russ drove cross country with an old lab, a young bunny and new jobs awaiting at the University of Idaho. They’ve been teaching at U of I ever since, and each

Christmas Eve the tradition we began as displaced Idahoans in Rochester continues as they host a Feliz Navidad not only for family but also for many academic friends, far from their homelands and families. And the winter “Feats of Strength” tournament continues. In fact, I’ve remained undefeated in Moscow, and since many of their friends hail from other countries, I think I’m now considered an International Champion of bottled beer guzzling or something. Whether you celebrate a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah or a Joyous Kwanzaa, you’ll love this recipe for Chile Rellenos Casserole—it’s become a signature dish on our Christmas Eve table. Feliz Navidad, friends!

Chili Rellenos Casserole Bake

serves 8-10

This is great dish that travels well. You can it ready and refrigerate overnight before baking. (Be sure and get the large can of green chilies at Yokes, it’s a great value)!

INGREDIENTS: • 2 cups half and half • 4 eggs, separated • 1⁄2 cup flour (plus a little for dredging) • 27 oz cans whole green Las Palmas chilies (Yokes’ bulk aisle) • 1 lb. Monterey Jack cheese, half cut into finger-sized strips and half grated • 3⁄4 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated • 1 (24 oz) can green enchilada sauce, divided in half • Small bunch chopped cilantro or fine chopped green onions

DIRECTIONS: Whisk egg whites until frothy (do not beat to peaks), set aside. Beat half and half with egg yolks, flour and half of the green enchilada sauce until smooth. Dredge cheese fingers in flour, and place one into each chili. Pat chili around the cheese. Mix grated cheeses. Grease 9 x13 glass or enamel baking dish, and pour thin layer of egg mixture on bottom. Place chilies on top. Cover with half of the cheese. Pour remaining egg mixture over top. Cover with remaining cheese. Pour green sauce over top and rest for 15 minutes. Bake in 350-degree oven about 45 min hours or until cooked and set in center. Cut into squares and serve. Garnish with cilantro or green onions.

w o N & Then compiled by

Ben Olson

Each week, we feature a new photograph taken from the same vantage point as one taken long ago. See how we’ve changed, and how we’ve stayed the same. Historical information provided and verified by Bonner County Museum staff and volunteers. The Museum is located at 611 S. Ella — (208) 263-2344.

The beloved Wang Shack, which served metric tons of PBR and spirits atop the Schweitzer summit for the better part of a decade. The Wang Shack was torn down last year both to make room for the new Sky House lodge on the summit and because it was probably going to fall down on its own.

The Wang Shack is gone now, but trust me, once you check out the Sky House at the summit, you’ll agree that all those sweaty hours you spent shooting tequila in that plucky little shack were just an appetizer to the main course.


Wortdhe of




[noun] 1. something to be thankful for; blessing; benefit. 2. something that is asked; a favor sought. “Schweitzer is a boon to Sandpoint’s adventurous nature.”

Corrections: In the article about local play “Christmas Carole,” a quote attributed to Becky Revak was in fact spoken by Patricia Walker. [CR]




ACROSS 1. Vipers 5. Pursue 10. Iridescent gem 14. Heavy, durable furniture wood 15. Fancy 16. Common hop 17. Decorative 19. Give temporarily 20. 56 in Roman numerals 21. Malicious burning 22. Past tense of “will” 23. A teaching discourse 25. Mends 27. Old World vine 28. Defamed 31. Redress 34. Fortuneteller’s card 35. Mistake 36. Relocate 37. A group of lions 38. Largest continent 39. Era 40. Trolleys 41. Pantywaist 42. Spears 44. Faster than light 45. Upper-class people (British) 46. A woolen fabric 50. French farewell 52. New Zealand native 54. An Old Testament king 55. Flippant 56. A 20th century art

Solution on page 21 movement 58. Clairvoyant 59. List components 60. Curved molding 61. Countercurrent 62. Monster 63. Low in pitch

DOWN 1. Coral island 2. Wait on 3. Terror 4. Calypso offshoot 5. Bright red 6. A German medieval guild 7. Car 8. Criteria

9. Snake-like fish 10. Elongated square or circle 11. Piety 12. A Freudian stage 13. Extend credit 18. Purple shade 22. Court order 24. Prong 26. Found in some lotions 28. Wounds 29. Twin sister of Ares 30. Heavy cart 31. Nursemaid 32. Roman robe 33. Overly fatigued 34. Transubstantiate

37. Academician 38. Afflicts 40. Curdled soybean milk 41. Stripes 43. Verse 44. Woods 46. Nematodes 47. Subarctic coniferous forests 48. S S S S 49. Gentlewomen 50. Church alcove 51. Accomplishment 53. District 56. Bro or sis 57. Toss

If I ever get rich, I hope I’m not real mean to poor people, like I am now. December 22, 2016 /


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/ December 22, 2016

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December 22, 2016 /


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Reader december22 2016  

In this Issue: 2016: A Good Year?; Study nds land use agreements, divisions; Warm Hearts drive aids homeless shelters

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