/ February 18, 2021
PEOPLE compiled by
“The Gonzaga Bulldogs are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Do you think this is the best team Mark Few has ever coached?” “That’s tough. I would say they are one of the best. I thought last year’s team was better, actually. By the way, two of my brothers are Gonzaga alumni.” Chris Hunt Head custodian at SHS Kootenai
“I do think this is Mark Few’s best team. Depth wise, they have as much talent as I have seen in the past two-decade run.” Who is your favorite player? “I think Andrew Nembhard is smooth as a player—to integrate so well into the team as he did.” Will Love Cedar Post newspaper adviser and girls basketball coach, SHS Idaho basketball podcaster Sandpoint “They are undefeated, so I’d say so.” Rachel Akre Accountant Priest River
“Yes. They are the best team in the nation. They are going all the way this year.” Greg Barreth Retired Sandpoint
“Absolutely. Even though I am a Jayhawks fan, the Zags have some great shooters this year, like Kispert, who hits the threes, and the center, Timme, who averages in double figures. I don’t think they’ve had so many good players at once before.” Lukas Carson Heavy equipment operator Sandpoint
This week’s cover photo features another fun one from Sandpoint photographer Woods Wheatcroft, who recently helped some local youths relocate a free-pile couch onto the ice outside the Third Street Pier. According to Wheatcroft, the couch has been a hit with ice skaters and those venturing out onto the ice south of Sandpoint. Great job, Woods and crew! Also, I have a few birthday wishes to extend. First, the Reader’s own Lyndsie Kiebert turned 25 last week, which makes her officially the oldest 25-year-old in Sandpoint. Lyndsie is not only an excellent employee to have on staff, but she’s a gem inside and out. We’re so happy to have her voice in our newspaper. Finally, former SHS art teacher Dan Shook celebrates a birthday Feb. 18. Speaking as both a former student and friend, I can attest to the fun that “Pa” Shook brings to this town. We’re a better place for having him here in Sandpoint. Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a great week and catch you all next time.
– Ben Olson, publisher
READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724
www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) email@example.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Woods Wheatcroft (cover), Ben Olson, Cole Golphanee, Susan Drinkard, Bill Borders, Tyler Long, Lyndsie Kiebert, IDFG. Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Emily Erickson, Steve Holt, Rep. Greg Chaney, Rep. Brooke Green, Brenden Bobby, Sandy Compton. Jill Trick. Submit stories to: email@example.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $115 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.
Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org Check us out on the web at: www.sandpointreader.com Like us on Facebook. About the Cover
This week’s cover is by Sandpoint photographer Woods Wheatcroft, who always has a fun photo for the Reader covers. Thanks Woods! February 18, 2021 /
COVID milestone: More Idahoans vaccinated than infected Officials report that 31% of people 65+ have received a dose
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Idaho reached a major milestone last week when the number of residents with at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 surpassed the number of Idahoans who have contracted the virus. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen told reporters Feb. 16 that 31% of Idahoans in the 65+ age group have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — including many people living in long-term care facilities. Thanks to an increase in doses distributed by the federal government, as well as a boost in enrolled providers scheduling vaccine appointments, the state is inoculating Idaho’s senior citizens at a faster rate than initially anticipated. People older than 65 living independently were given the green light to schedule vaccine appointments on Feb. 1. Reporting on Little’s AARP tele-town hall Feb. 16, Idaho Education News reported that the governor “seemed his most optimistic … since he announced the first confirmed COVID case in Idaho nearly a year ago.” During the call, Idaho officials answered questions from
citizens about Idaho’s COVID-19 response. “We’ve made just incredible progress on the viral loading in our communities and infection rate and we’re all excited about that,” Little told those listening in on the call. The Idaho Statesman reported Feb. 16 that “Idaho averaged just under 160 new cases of COVID-19 per day” over the three days leading up to the report, including catch-up data from over the holiday weekend. The data marks a major change, as many days throughout the pandemic have seen more than 1,000 Idahoans reported having new cases of the virus. IDHW officials reported 408 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 across the state Feb. 17, bringing the new statewide total to 168,353 since tracking began in March 2020. According to state records, 1,817 Idahoans have died of the virus to date. In Bonner County, Panhandle Health District reports that 2,921 people have had the virus, 394 of those cases being currently active. PHD also reports that 30 Bonner County residents have lost their lives to COVID-19 as of Feb. 17. Meanwhile, CBS2 Idaho News reported Feb. 17 that wastewater
samples from Boise, Eagle and Garden City had tested positive for low levels of the California and UK variants of COVID-19. Little tweeted the link to the news story, along with a statement: “The confirmed arrival of the COVID-19 variant in Idaho reinforces the need to continue to practice safety measures & choose to get the vaccine. The safe, rapid, fair, and transparent rollout of the vaccine continues to be my #1 priority!” Emerging evidence suggests that vaccines currently in use “may be somewhat less effective against some of the new variants” of the virus, according to NPR, but “even against the variants, the vaccines do prevent a lot of mild and moderate cases ... and are very effective, health officials say, against preventing severe cases, hospitalizations and deaths.” State vaccination data shows that 196,332 Idahoans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 17, while 71,679 people have received both doses and are considered fully vaccinated. According to local data, 2,810 people in Bonner County have received one dose of the vaccine, and 2,016 are fully inoculated against the virus. While PHD is handling dis-
tribution of the health district’s allocated doses, it is not currently hosting any vaccination clinics in Bonner or Boundary counties, but instead letting local health care providers coordinate clinics of their own. According to PHD’s latest report, enrolled providers in the two most northern counties include Bonner General Health, Sandpoint Family Health Center, Kaniksu Health Services, Boundary Community Hospital, Sandpoint Super Drug, White Cross Pharmacy and Medicine Man Pharmacy. Those providers are currently seeing people who qualify under phases 1a and 1b of the state’s tiered vaccination plan,
Gov. Brad Little. Photo courtesy Idaho Education News. including health care workers, first responders, K-12 teachers, people over the age of 65 and more. A full list of who qualifies for vaccination and when can be found at healthandwelfare.idaho. gov/covid-19-vaccination. To inquire about how to schedule an appointment, contact your desired provider. Those in North Idaho without internet access can also request assistance in scheduling a vaccination appointment by calling the PHD COVID-19 hotline at 877415-5225.
Here we have Idaho: What’s happening this week at the Idaho Legislature By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The 2021 Idaho Legislature has reached its halfway point, with little to claim as an accomplishment. As reporter William L. Spence wrote Feb. 17 in the Lewiston Morning Tribune — his oped also carried on the front page of the Idaho Press — the Republican supermajority in both House and Senate has spent the past six weeks unsuccessfully tilting at the governor’s emergency powers and throwing up roadblocks to the disbursement of Idaho’s federal COVID-19 aid monies. “We’re trying to get something that works and that doesn’t upset the apple cart,” Spence quoted House 4 /
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Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, referring to legislation that limits the executive branch’s authority. Yet, as Spence wrote, “House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel [D-Boise] said upsetting the apple cart is pretty much the only thing Republicans accomplished during the first five weeks of the session.” As Rubel said, “From my perspective, just about everything they’ve done has been singularly unhelpful.” The governor’s own legislative agenda has gone untouched, Spence noted, writing “As the session enters its sixth week, only a handful of appropriations bills related to the [‘Building Idaho’s Future’ oneoff $450 million tax relief and $360 million transportation, education
and infrastructure funding] effort have come out of committee, and no significant tax relief legislation has even been introduced.” Republican lawmakers — including Blanchard Rep. Heather Scott — spent part of Feb. 17 arguing about why federal funding for the senior citizens’ “meals on wheels” program should be delayed or foregone entirely. Scott stated, “I’m not against the aging, but what I am against is moving supplemental money around so it’s … hard to find for citizens,” according to Idaho Press. She added that she is opposed to “too much money for the government to take care of the aging when it should be coming from our neighbors and our churches.”
House Bill 123, which would appropriate $862,400 to the Idaho Commission on Aging under the federally approved COVID-19 aid bill, passed on a vote of 57-11. It now moves to the Senate. Meanwhile, hundreds of Idahoans signed on to testify for and against a bill brought by Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, that would make the Idaho ballot initiative process harder, requiring 6% of all qualified voters in 18 of 35 legislative districts to approve of any such measure before it goes to the polls. Senate Bill 1110 has drawn support from those who argue it evens the field for rural districts, while others say it makes a difficult citizen-led effort even more difficult. The measure will be up for further testimony
Friday, Feb. 19. Finally, as Idaho Press Capitol correspondent Betsy Z. Russell put it Feb. 17, “things are getting tasty here at the Statehouse,” as an unruly crowd of protesters filled the Garden Level of the Capitol building in opposition to the “targeted picketing” bill fronted by Republican Rep. Greg Chaney of Caldwell and Rep. Brooke Green, D-Boise, that would prohibit individuals from gathering at elected officials’ homes to demonstrate their grievances. Idaho State Police made one arrest — David Pettinger, who had an outstanding warrant, and was also taken into custody on Day 1 of the 2021 session after a previous demonstration at an Ada County commissioner’s home.
Idaho politicos react to Trump impeachment trial Crapo, Risch, Idaho GOP stand by constitutional argument, won’t comment on McConnell’s speech saying Trump is ‘practically and morally’ responsible for Jan. 6 Capitol mob attack By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff
For the second time in his so-far single four-year term, former-President Donald Trump weathered an impeachment trial, being acquitted Feb. 13 by the U.S. Senate on a 57-43 vote — 10 shy of the two-thirds majority of 67 needed to convict. Trump’s impeachments centered on national security, both foreign and domestic: His first trial in December 2019 revolved around alleged influence peddling with Ukrainian political leadership intending to destabilize his opponent in the 2020 election, now-President Joe Biden, and the second focused squarely on the attack by a pro-Trump “Save America” rally mob against the U.S. Capitol that intended to overturn by disruption and violence the certification of Biden as the 46th president of the United States. Congress acquitted Trump both times, though he stands as only the third president to face charges on “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 had previously been the only chief executives to suffer the ignominity of such a trial — the former for alleged abuses of power amid the so-called “reconstruction” of the South following the Civil War and the latter for alleged sexual misconduct with a White House intern. No president has ever faced two impeachments during their time in office. After five days of impassioned argument — and not a little acrimony between House impeachment managers and the ex-president’s counsel — seven Republican senators bucked the GOP party line, put forth the day before the vote by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McCo-
nnell, R-Ky.: Because Trump is no longer president, he cannot be tried for impeachment under the U.S. Constitution. Yet, the Republican Senate leader said in a blistering after-trial speech from the Senate floor that despite his vote to acquit Trump, he believed the former-president had “fed [the mob] wild falsehoods” about the legitimacy of the 2020 election — claiming dozens of times that it had been “stolen,” despite more than 60 court cases finding no substantial irregularities — which had emboldened rioters to use “terrorism to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like.” As the House managers vividly put forth during the trial, that “terrorism” included the desire, armament and proximity to commit acts of mass violence. Hundreds of investigations are ongoing related to what the House termed an “insurrection” against the Capitol, with many participants — including Sandpoint man Michael Pope, and his brother William, the latter who was arrested by the FBI in Kansas — facing charges ranging from disorderly conduct to disruption of official proceedings to trespassing and more. Josiah Colt, of Boise, also made international headlines with his “fist pump” captured by numerous social media, news and security cameras as he occupied former-Vice President Mike Pence’s seat in the Senate — which he mistakenly assumed was California Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s. Pelosi was a target of especial ire by rioters, who vandalized her offices even as they chanted “hang Mike Pence.” Those involved in that incident are also facing federal charges. The video presentations by House managers portrayed a level of violence that shocked and sickened even those who
experienced the attack — many who were unaware how close they came to bodily harm at the hands of the rioters, some of whom went so far as to erect a gallows on the Capitol grounds. Yet, as prosecutors argued, Trump did little to quell the unrest, waiting hours on Jan. 6 to issue a statement. When he did, the former-president told the insurrectionists to, “Go home. We love you,” while doubling down on his baseless claims of election fraud. Meanwhile, lawmakers, Capitol staffers and police had been under violent siege — along with his own vice president — fearing for their lives. Five people, including rioters and police, lost their lives during the Jan. 6 assault, with hundreds more injured. “Former-President Trump’s actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty,” McConnell said, though while casting doubt on the House’s accusation that Trump “incited” the mob added, “There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. “The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their president,” he said. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., appeared on “Fox News Sunday” a day later, Feb. 14, telling hosts, “I think Sen. McConnell’s speech, he got a load off his chest, obviously, but unfortunately he put a load on the back of Republicans. That speech you will see in 2022 campaigns.” Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo were among the 57 who voted to acquit Trump, both echoing McConnell’s constitutional argument in prepared statements Feb. 13, but declining to the Sandpoint Reader to comment further on his after-trial
remarks — specifically whether they agreed that Trump, while constitutionally protected from indictment as a private citizen, was still “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day.” According to Risch: “The purpose of the constitutional authority of impeachment is to remove the president from office. The person Democrats attempted to impeach was no longer in office. The United States Senate has no jurisdiction over a private citizen and thus impeachment was and is impossible. “It’s time we stop the political hate and vitriol and move forward wiser and stronger just as America has countless times before.” According to Crapo: “This week’s trial was unconstitutional. The House’s impeachment proceeding blatantly violated established guarantees of due process. Furthermore, the plain text of the Constitution limits impeachment to current civil officers of the United States, specifically stating that, ‘The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Both by text and by precedent, the Constitution does not allow impeaching private citizens — even those who formerly occupied federal office. Private citizens are subject to accountability for their actions under our legal justice system. We must not dismiss the foundational tenets of our Constitution, particularly in the heat of the deep divisions we face in America. “The violent, despicable acts of Jan. 6 have shaken our republic to its core and must not go unpunished. Investigations, arrests and court proceedings are already underway for those
responsible, and law enforcement and the National Guard are vigilant in maintaining order on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in our country.” Asked by the Reader for its reaction to the impeachment trial and McConnell’s statements, specifically, the Idaho Republican Party responded, via Idaho GOP Director of External Affairs Tyler Kelly: “The IDGOP believes this second impeachment trial, like the first, is a waste of taxpayer money and Congress’ time. The actions on Jan. 6 were abhorrent, and they will always be condemned. We stand with Idaho’s federal delegation who unanimously voted to acquit President Trump. While Democrats continue living in the past, Republicans are focusing on the future and that future is actively defending our rights against the newly-elected Democrats and their socialist, big-government policies.” For his part, Trump — now breaking his silence in the weeks following his suspension from social media platforms Facebook and Twitter and refusal to attend both the Biden inauguration and his own impeachment trial — has taken several shots at McConnell, who for much of his term in office served as a loyal ally. “Mitch is a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack, and if Republican Senators are going to stay with him, they will not win again,” the ex-president wrote in a Feb. 16 statement. “He will never do what needs to be done, or what is right for our Country. Where necessary and appropriate, I will back primary rivals who espouse Making America Great Again and our policy of America First. We want brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and compassionate leadership.”
February 18, 2021 /
Idaho health insurance marketplace Your Health Idaho will reopen March 1 By Reader Staff The Biden administration in January announced a special reopening of the federal health insurance marketplace, which consumers can access through May 15. The enrollment period, authorized by an executive order from President Joe Biden, is intended to offer some measure of relief to uninsured Americans and those wishing to change their coverage amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise in Idaho, which operates its own health insurance marketplace separate from the federal Affordable Care Act program, the Your Health Idaho insurance exchange is opening a special enrollment period, set to begin Monday, March 1 and run through March 31. “As we approach the one-year mark of COVID-19 in Idaho, too many Idahoans are still uninsured and in need of coverage,” Your Health Idaho Executive Director Pat Kelly stated in a Feb. 15 news release. “Reopening the marketplace and providing Idahoans with a path to comprehensive health insurance is simply the right thing to do.” All other state-based health insurance marketplaces are reopening enrollment,
though timelines and rules vary. In addition to providing a path to coverage for uninsured Idahoans, Your Health Idaho is also the only place to receive the health insurance tax credit. Based on household size and income, the monthly tax credit acts like an instant discount and reduces the cost of health insurance premiums. “Most people are surprised to hear that more than 80% of those enrolled with Your Health Idaho are eligible for lower-cost insurance, with many paying $0 per month” stated Kelly. “I would encourage anyone who is interested to visit YourHealthIdaho. org and at least complete the eligibility screening to find out if you could qualify. It never hurts to check.” Although the Your Health Idaho special enrollment period does not open until March 1, Idahoans can apply for a tax credit at any time to determine if they are eligible. Idahoans who enroll by the March 31 deadline will have a coverage start date of April 1, 2021. Visit YourHealthIdaho.org to shop for plans and enroll in coverage and contact Your Health Idaho by phone at 1-855-9443246 or submit a support request online.
BoCo seeks improvement grant for Sandpoint Airport
Funds would go to “relocating” part of N. Boyer Avenue
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Bonner County commissioners approved a grant application Feb. 16 seeking nearly $800,000 to relocate a portion of North Boyer Avenue and attached infrastructure outside of the Runway Object Free Area of Runway 20 at the Sandpoint Airport. Bonner County Airport Manager Dave Schuck presented the memo at the commissioners’ regular Tuesday business meeting, stating that the grant was part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program. If approved, the county would receive $797,520 from the FAA, and be required to put up $55,826 in matching funds. The project would include relocating 600 linear feet of North Boyer Avenue beyond the Runway Object Free Area, which is the area around a runway where objects not tied to aerial navigation are disallowed. 6 /
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“This is not new, it has been this way since Boyer was re-routed many years ago,” Schuck told the Sandpoint Reader in an email Feb. 17. “The FAA wants to clean this up for safety reasons.” According to Schuck’s memo, “associated work elements” for the project also include installation of about 200 feet of culvert, relocation of about 800 feet of airport fencing and relocation of approximately 400 feet of trail on the east side of Boyer, along with the existing trail crossing sign. About 160 feet of fill or retaining wall will also need to be engineered and constructed on the road’s easterly right-of-way, Schuck told commissioners. “This grant is part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which is funded completely by user fees in the form of passenger fees on airline tickets and taxes on aviation fuels,” the memo concludes. The board unanimously approved the grant application.
Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond
East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: The first COVID-19 case was reported Jan. 19, 2020, but Red Cross blood samples, from Dec. 13, 2019 to Jan. 17, 2020, revealed COVID-19 antigens in 106 of more than 7,000 samples, The Week reported. The B 1.1.7 variant out of the U.K., according to government scientists there, is not only more transmissible but also likely to be more deadly (it’s now in 82 countries). And, according to Business Insider, new data suggest up to 50% of COVID-19 cases are transmitted by people who are infected but symptom-free. The U.S. assistant attorney general said calling the Jan. 6 Capitol crowd a “mob” is inaccurate, since it was well-organized, including swapping out fresh people and passing weaponry to the front line to use against officers. Politico reported the FBI and the Justice Department are considering charges of seditious conspiracy for those involved. Along with being organized with communications systems and issuing orders to rioters, according to an FBI affidavit Proud Boys wore black, hoping to frame so-called “Antifa” for their actions. Forbes reported that some of those involved in organizing the “Stop the Steal” protests Jan. 6, which resulted in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, had been paid more than $3.5 million from the Trump campaign and “associated fundraising committees.” The information was gleaned from recent Federal Election Commission filings. The amount of funding from Trump resources may be larger, according to Open Secrets, because of the use of shell companies. Impeachment recap: House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, during last week’s trial, explained former President Donald Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 insurrection: “This is much worse than someone who falsely shouts fire in a crowded theater. It’s more like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell fire in a crowded theater, but to actually set the theater on fire.” The Trump campaign organization spent $50 million on “Stop the Steal” ads, which stopped Jan. 5, according to impeachment managers. Surveillance, mob-recorded video and on-site journalists’ footage showed rioters hunting Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who
By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist
would have been in line as president if Trump were removed from office. Chants of “hang Mike Pence,” and photos of a gallows erected on the Capitol complex provided evidence of deadly intent, along with footage of hand-to-hand combat with police. One rioter had a 950,000volt stun gun (capable of causing brain injury, heart attacks and death, according to Medical News Today). Impeachment managers made it clear Jan. 6 was well planned with intent to interrupt the count of valid Electoral College votes. Trump singled out Pence numerous times that day for overseeing the count, which was the vice president’s constitutional duty. A YouTube video, now in the federal records, shows a rioter saying, “Once we found out Pence turned on us… the crowd went crazy. I mean, it became a mob.” Pence and his family were removed from harm with minutes to spare. After adjournment on Feb. 12, news media broke the story of a call between House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Trump, wherein president, responding to being begged to call off his supporters (who targeted both parties), reportedly said, “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.” It was several more hours before Trump took action to halt the chaos. Following the trial, House Speaker Pelosi, D-Calif., criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for blaming Trump but refusing to convict him before he left office, and then saying he could not be convicted because he was no longer in office. Five Republicans joined Democrats in a vote to call witnesses, but when proTrump Republicans threatened to call 300 witnesses, which could have dragged the trial into spring, both parties agreed to end the trial; that appeared to be further influenced by Republicans threatening to filibuster all of President Joe Biden’s nominees and legislation if the trial was not quickly concluded. As well, many lawmakers had already scheduled flights home for the weekend. At Saturday’s U.S. Senate impeachment vote, 57 Senators found Trump guilty (seven were Republicans); 43, all Republicans. Blast from the past: “Democracy is not a static thing. It’s an everlasting march.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president, re-elected three times.
A column by and about Millennials
Words By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist
There are a lot of things I’m just really not good at. Cars and their complex mechanics, for example, transform from user manuals and routine maintenance schedules to science-fiction inside my brain. Aside from knowing to fill my gas tank and to regularly change my oil (when prompted by yellow blinking lights), there is very little to do with cars about which I feel confident. These practical things are things I know I should invest time into understanding, but they don’t come easy to me. Words come easy to me. For all the things I find difficult, I’m comfortable in the process of using words to capture my ideas and feelings, as well as using metaphors to bring others into those thoughts with me. I may not know why my exhaust spontaneously changed from white to black, but I can use words to capture the feeling of being exhausted by a year; by a moment in time that is exactly like the spinning of tires in snow — grasping at the bits of gravel scattered on the ground beneath. I get lost in descriptions of spark plugs, engine blocks and suspension, but can discuss the intricacies of the spark that lives inside every person; the little fuse that infuses joy into what would otherwise be a monotonous existence. I
Emily Erickson. understand that writer’s block, like an engine block, is a space for internal combustion; the heat of thoughts and ideas whirling inside our heads until they build into a force ready for bursting. And suspension, well, that’s just a state of existence in which we all get a little closer to finding the answers we haven’t yet admitted we’re seeking. No, I’m not good at a lot of things, especially sending and collecting the mail. I drag my feet at the thought of simply going to the post office; of standing in line and discerning the best size and shape of container to fit my parcels. Yet, those same metaphorical feet can get carried away inside a Word document, my cursor blinking to the cadence of a million ideas splashing across a page. And those ideas have the same potential for travel as a postage stamp, capable of being delivered to anyone with a desire to open up and listen. Yes, I’m terrible at doing the laundry, with the whole process
feeling like it stretches across days and weeks of washing, drying, folding and replacing. But, like an oversized woolen sweater being tumbled on high heat, I can use words to shrink big, complex ideas into snug little terms, like “trickle-down economics” and “groupthink psychology.” And the catharsis of wearing words on my sleeve is as close to becoming proficient with a stain-remover as I’ll likely ever get. An ability to use words can’t help me fix my car or send a letter or finish my laundry within a reasonable time frame, but they do have the power to connect me to others — to craft little olive branches of thought that just might resonate with someone else’s existence. These same words, when wielded by a master, can resonate with the masses. When National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman put her words to paper and created her encomium to the struggle for American self-improvement, titled “The Hill We Climb,” she demonstrated the magnitude of one person’s ability to incite widespread inspiration. At the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harrais on Jan. 20, she read, “We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour. But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves. So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could
catastrophe possibly prevail over us? We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.” And through her words, a country was moved; a broken population glued together in awe and wonder at the force of a poet and a perspective so
perfectly communicated. So no, I’ll likely never understand what’s happening behind my illuminated check engine light, but I will be in perpetual pursuit of the thoughtful illumination that comes from crafting thoughts into words.
February 18, 2021 /
An open letter to Sens. Risch and Crapo...
Bouquets: • Last week’s Reader distribution around town coincided with a blustery cold day that wreaks havoc on newspaper delivery. Some businesses aren’t open when I deliver early in the morning, so I usually fold the copies of the paper and wedge them against the door to keep them from blowing away. As you might imagine, this is difficult with high winds, so I have to be inventive to make sure they don’t blow away. While dropping papers at the Library last week, a trio of teenagers were waiting outside the doors for the Library to open in 20 minutes. One of them noticed I was having trouble finding a place to put the papers out of the wind and offered to hold onto them until the doors opened so they could drop them inside safely before the wind took them away. I don’t know why this simple act of kindness struck me. Maybe we’re all a little too used to people being jerks nowadays, or at the least ignoring the plight of their fellow humans. For what it’s worth, thank you to that young man who offered to help. Barbs • When I go up to ride at Schweitzer, I do it to experience the beauty of the mountain. I go to sweat a little bit, to yell from the trees and seek out those powder stashes wherever they may be hiding. We have enough b.s. to deal with on a daily basis with our workaday lives, so going up to snowboard Schweitzer is mainly an escape into nature with some like-minded people who are all – usually – there to have some fun. Which brings me to my point: I don’t ride the mountain because I want to have a political discussion on the chairlift. Treat the chairlift like an elevator or a taxi cab. Talk about the weather, talk about the sick run you just took, talk about a good film you watched recently. Talk about anything you like, but leave politics and religion out of the discussion. 8 /
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Dear editor, On Jan. 6, 2021, a new “date which will live in infamy,” a sitting president incited violence against your branch of government, while you were carrying out your constitutional duties of counting the Electoral College votes. President Donald Trump’s incitement to change votes was an egregious act of treachery and sedition against our form of government. If you do not convict Mr. Trump, nor disqualify him from ever holding, “any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States,” he will remain a present danger to our democratic republic. If you set the wrong precedent, then any future president could incite violence against another branch of government at any time. If you do not hold Mr. Trump responsible for his actions, you will forever carry an excremental stain upon your reputation, as well as the Republican Party for its silent complicity. If you are afraid of the “base,” then you succumb to the historic example of fascism’s use of intimidation. You are a co-equal branch of government, not a subservient branch to the executive. You can avoid sullying your reputation, and that of the Republican Party by not putting Mr. Trump above the law. I urge you and your Republican colleagues to carry out your oath of office to, “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Muster the courage, in concert with your fellow Republican senators. Show leadership by repudiating the acts of violence that occurred and call for peace. By doing so, I believe that you will begin to extinguish the fires of hate and violence in our nation. Take the honorable action and hold former President Trump accountable for his attempts to destroy our democracy. Show that you are stewards of the rule of law and justice. Phil Deutchman Sandpoint
Flagging patriotism… Dear editor, OK, we all get it. It’s hard to accept when your guy is the
loser in an election. However, the whole flying an “upside-down American flag” at homes around the area is a bit on the extreme side, don’t ya think? First of all, while what you think you are doing is so clever, you are actually just incredibly disrespectful to our flag, our country, our citizens, and both active and veteran military service people. Second, are you really that sore of a loser that you want to throw a childish temper tantrum for all of us to see, while you flush any semblance of patriotism down the toilet? And third, if you or yours are ever truly in danger and you wanted to signal that rare display of our flag upside down, like the boy who cried wolf, everyone will just think, “Oh it’s just that old fart who doesn’t get the whole meaning behind the upside-down flag.” And finally, for that guy who is flying a confederate flag above our U.S. flag (you know who you are and most of us driving by do, too), how utterly disrespectful, unpatriotic and sick that your top display of the flag of treason against the United States is, as well as insulting to every American — particularly our veterans. How ironic that you exercise your “right” to do that by insulting our flag, which stands for those very rights. Why not just cut to the chase and fly a swastika? Pierre Bordenave Sagle
Idaho ballot initiative process must be defended… Dear editor, Idaho Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, recently introduced a bill that would make future citizen initiatives nearly impossible. Idaho already has some of the most restrictive initiative rules in the country. Idahoans must maintain the right to create initiatives when a reasonable percentage of voters agree that an issue should stand for a vote. Vick’s supporting argument that rural voters don’t have a voice in the current process is misguided since the Medicaid expansion initiative — the only Idaho initiative to be enacted in the past 18 years — received signatures from all 44 counties. The campaign began here in Bonner County and was joined
by teams of volunteers in rural communities statewide. Medicaid expansion won with a majority of voters in 35 of Idaho’s 44 counties. The real intent of Vick’s bill has nothing to do with rural voters. It’s most likely an attempt to silence the will of the people. Vick’s bill will make it virtually impossible for any grassroots campaign to qualify another initiative for the ballot. The bill amounts to an attempt to revoke one of Idahoans’ most cherished constitutional rights and silence their voices. Idaho citizens’ voices must be heard, especially if our elected officials make decisions not in our best interest. The current initiative process supports our First Amendment rights to be heard — and heeded. Please email one (or all) of the following key members of the Senate State Affairs Committee and ask them to kill Vick’s bill: Sen. Jim Guthrie, R-McCammon: JGuthrie@senate.idaho.gov; Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise: CWinder@senate.idaho.gov; Sen. Kelly Arthur Anthon, R-Burley): KAnthon@senate.idaho.gov; Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland: ALee@senate. idaho.gov; Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls: LHeider@senate.idaho.gov; Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Caldwell): PALodge@senate.idaho.gov. Amy Flint Sandpoint
An open letter to Senate State Affairs Committee members... Dear editor, I am writing to ask that you please consider killing the initiative bill being presented to you by Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens. It is already extremely difficult to qualify an initiative in Idaho, and Sen. Vick’s bill would make it much, much harder — if not impossible. His bill would require signatures from 6% of registered voters in all 35 of Idaho’s legislative districts, an increase in the number of required districts from 18 to 35 with no additional increase in the timeframe of 18 months to collect the signatures. Please consider the fact that the ballot initiative is a constitutional right that is guaranteed by the Idaho Constitution. It was enshrined in our state constitution to give ordinary citizens a voice in their government over a
century ago. Please help preserve the rights of ordinary Idaho citizens and do not allow this bill to proceed. Thank you for your consideration. Tari Pardini Sandpoint
Treasonous flags begone… Dear editor, I watched the Biden/Harris inauguration — what a huge, positive change from the last four years. The four-year nightmare that our country just endured; four years of MAGA supporters hijacking our country, while flying their Confederate flags along with a variety of other treasonous flags and claiming that if you do not support the Trumpian agenda you are not patriotic. To the contrary, I consider that many, if not most MAGA followers that have been displaying Trump flags along with “Confederate,” “Don’t Tread on Me” and any number of other flags to be anti-patriotic, treasonous actions. The Confederate South was a complete and treasonous act against our U.S. Constitution and a united states. If extremist, racist, MAGA people continue to insult our country, we need to treat them as treasonous, unpatriotic outcasts. True patriots do not lie or accept lies or ingratiate treasonous flags with our democratic stars and stripes. If you fly the American flag along with any or all the other flags (Confederate, Trump, Gadsen, QAnon, etc.) you are not a true patriot, as these other other flags signify your opposition to the American flag as well as the U.S. Constitution. Marty Stitsel Sandpoint
GOP is devoid of principle… Dear editor, With their failure to convict Donald Trump of insurrection (and treason) the Republicans have demonstrated that, like their leader, the GOP is totally devoid of principle. Ted Wert Sagle
Water meets politics By Steve Holt Reader Contributor We are certainly living in an odd time. We are in the midst of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we have people relocating to our area at what seems to be an alarming rate and our political climate is more divisive than I can remember. All of this, believe it or not, has an effect on water quality. Our water — Lake Pend Oreille in particular — is not only a place to boat, swim and fish, but is also a major source of drinking water for many in our community. A friend of mine who happens to be the mad professor of all things “lake” says, “Lakes are like human beings, they’re born, they have a good life and then they die,” oddly enough with or without human activity. Succession of a lake is caused by the filling of sediment and organic matter. Human introduction of nitrates and phosphates accelerate the decomposition of organic matter, dramatically decreasing the life expectancy of a lake. All humans depend on freshwater for survival. Yet, while our impacts on such an essential resource can be devastating, it’s difficult to dedicate the amount of time and energy necessary to protect it. For 12 years, the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper has worked to protect the water quality of the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille Watershed and keep it swimmable, fishable and drinkable. And it’s not always easy — believe me. As we all know water tends to flow downhill and eventually to the ocean. However as time goes on it seems to run more and more into a dam of political bureaucracy. Sometimes it gets through the dam a bit cleaner, unfortunately many times not. Occasionally we get to use existing laws to our advantage, but more and more it seems industry and developers get to either, skirt and/or successfully lobby to change existing laws. Poorly constructed environmental policies inevitably end up contributing to the slow degradation of our waterways. Whether or not your water gets through the dam a bit cleaner, stays the same, or ends up even more polluted or degraded in the process largely depends on our local political climate. Yes, we have the EPA, Army Corp of Engineers, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Lands, Fish and Game, etc., but where most of the benefit — or
damage — is done is at the local level with codes adopted by jurisdictions in close proximity to our waterbody. And it doesn’t even have to be that close. Everything that happens on Schweitzer essentially ends up in our lake, period. We have multiple municipalities in our area that affect the water quality of Lake Pend Oreille, such as Priest River, Dover, Sandpoint, Ponderay, Kootenai, Hope and Bayview — all of which, with the exception of Bayview, are in Bonner County. Common sense would indicate that a thoughtful and coordinated effort to preserve water quality among all the stakeholders would give us our best chance at producing comprehensive policies, enabling us all to preserve one of our most valuable resources. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case. More than 90% of the shoreline of Lake Pend Oreille is in Bonner County. Its current leadership, while speaking to the values of water quality, is seemingly headed in the opposite direction. County government will soon be holding workshops and hearings in an attempt to allow development within the current shoreline setback. This is one of the only codes that helps us to protect our waterways by preventing development within our sensitive shoreline areas by maintaining a vegetative buffer — a critical element in protecting water quality. The shoreline setback has been in place for more than 40 years. In 2008 the county formed a task force, with a variety of stakeholders to discuss, debate and develop specific language for new environmental standards for Title 12 of the Bonner County Code. While much of the science pointed to an increase of the existing 40-foot setback — including an extensive list of counties in the Northwest produced by DEQ that indicated the average setback was 100 feet — the 40-foot setback remained. This new effort on the part of our county commissioners to ignore scientific rationale in favor of additional development needs to be watched carefully and the voices of our local residents need to be heard if we have any hope of protecting our waterways into the future. In stark contrast, the city of Sandpoint is seemingly taking some steps in the right direction. By adopting Chapter 16 under Title 7 of the City Code for Watershed Protection, and subsequently ap-
Lake shoreline development should not trump water quality concerns
proving the Little Sand Creek Watershed Management Plan, the city is acknowledging its responsibility for protecting our valuable drinking water sources. The city is also planning for a state-of-the-art stormwater management system for War Memorial Field, as well as committing significant resources to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility. This proactive approach is exactly what’s needed; and, as water quality advocates, we appreciate any effort made in this direction. So often in the urban centers of our nation one person’s voice can easily be drowned out among the Goliath of political power and bureaucratic red tape. We must always remember that one of the many benefits of living in a small rural community is that everyone’s voice can be heard and everyone can make a difference. Remember, you are only a phone call, email or letter away from your legislator, commissioner, mayor or city council member, who can all help protect a resource that is becoming more and more scarce: clean water. Whether you choose to support LPOW or another organization whose mission is to protect water for the benefit of us all, it’s important to support those organizations as well as inform the youth of
Photo by Cole Golphanee.
today — the leaders of tomorrow — how critical our natural resources are to our long-term well-being. People often ask me, in my dream of dreams, what would the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper look like in 10 years. My hope would be that the efforts of LPOW wouldn’t be needed. That everyone in our community became Waterkeepers, insisting their voices be heard, standing firm and advocating for what we all own and is rightfully ours: clean water. As one of the leading voices on water quality advocacy, of course we’ll be here if needed, but with your added help we can focus more of our energy on educating the next generation of environmental stewards and less on project-specific issues. We feel honored and appreciate all the community support we’ve received to date and look forward to working with each and every one of you to protect this magnificent waterway. Steve Holt is a founding member and executive director of the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper, which was established in 2009. February 18, 2021 /
Mad about Science:
Brought to you by:
the internet By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist If you’re reading this, you’re probably familiar with the frustration involved with a slow internet connection. Fiber optic networks are still being actively developed in Sandpoint, but if you’re outside of city limits or the expansion zone, you’re pretty much out of luck and left paying an inflated bill for outdated technology. I’m not calling anyone out here, I get it: Building communication infrastructure is expensive. Our devices are getting smaller and smaller, but our bandwidth requirements are getting bigger and bigger. How many hours have some of you spent Facetiming with your significant other(s) across the planet in quarantine? Traditionally, our digital media has been delivered through cables. Think of these cables like a pipe delivering a nonstop flow of delicious smoothie juice to your house from a vat across town. This is wonderful! Smoothies for life! Not being a greedy sort, you tell your neighbor about the magic smoothie pipe, and they hook up to it as well. Some of the smoothie juice is now being diverted toward their house — you probably won’t notice a change. Now that your neighbor has started talking about the smoothie pipe, everyone in your neighborhood wants to get hooked up to it. Suddenly, you’re only able to squeeze out a smoothie a day, if you’re lucky. When it comes to the internet, this is called bandwidth, and it’s the amount of data you can send or receive at any given 10 /
/ February 18, 2021
time. If your kids are watching Netflix while you’re trying to play World of Warcraft, your connection will be devoting most of its resources to the streaming service, as it’s actively consuming the most data, which will cause your actions in WoW to be delayed — pushed to the side until your network can send and receive that “less important” data. This is referred to colloquially (and sometimes screamed through a headset) as “lag.” The internet comes in a lot of different forms, as there are numerous ways data can be transferred. Those of us born in the olden days are familiar with the 1990s theme song of the dial-up modem. Dial-up utilized phone cables to transfer digital information, though it was laughably ineffectual by today’s standards, delivering speeds of 12kbps (kilobits per second) up to a blistering 56kbps. As a reference, a 10-minute video on YouTube is about 160 megabytes, meaning it would take about six and a half hours to download on a high-end dial-up connection. Most internet nowadays is delivered by fiber optic cables and coaxial cables, respectively. Coaxial cable uses an electrical current that travels along a heavily insulated copper wire to transfer data. Generally, it’s buried and reliable, but it’s not nearly as fast as fiber optic, which uses directed light that is bounced like a pinball down the interior of the cable. The inside of a fiber optic cable is reflective, and designed to keep photons from escaping until they reach their destination. Neither of these forms of internet are common if you live out of town, like I do. Many folks have had to settle for sat-
ellite internet providers, which have earned a reputation for being slow, unreliable and limited by extremely tight (and quite frankly, unrealistically low) data caps, allowing you to download only a very small amount of data throughout the month before your provider begins to slow you down dramatically. Additionally, satellite internet has traditionally been problematic for gamers, as it has a dramatic upload relay every time you click on something. This delay occurs because your modem is sending a radio signal to a satellite in orbit, which then relays your signal to up to four other satellites, which will be relayed to a ground station that processes your request, retrieves and sends the data back via the same relay. However, the true potential of satellite internet has yet to be realized. You’ve probably heard a lot of hullabaloo about Starlink, by SpaceX. Starlink operates a little differently from traditional satellite providers, yet acts much in the same way. SpaceX launches dozens of satellites at a time with one Falcon rocket launch — up to 60 or more. Starlink operates similarly to traditional satellite internet providers, but considerably faster. Generally, Starlink satellites will communicate with a ground relay station very near to you, which means the distance the radio signal has to travel is much shorter than traditional satellite internet. There is virtually no upload delay with Starlink — somewhere around 20 milliseconds, as opposed to the 800- to 1,500-millisecond delay associated with traditional satellite internet. The largest drawback of Starlink currently is the low number
of satellites available. Around 800 Starlink satellites are orbiting Earth right now, which sounds like a lot, but in practice creates numerous and unpredictable outages that can last several seconds. This makes online gaming virtually impossible. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has stated that his goal is to have at least 42,000 Starlink satellites orbiting at once, which will smooth out the problems with sporadic disconnections, as well
as bringing high-speed internet to corners of the world that don’t even have dial-up yet. Additionally, this mega-constellation of artificial satellites can dramatically impede the pursuit of amateur stargazers, while also contributing to Kessler syndrome, which could potentially ruin our chances of ever becoming a spacefaring species… But that’s a topic for another day! Stay curious, 7B.
Random Corner Don’t know much about wind • Wind chill can be defined as the cooling effect of the wind and temperature combined. When determining the wind chill factor, one must measure the heat loss rate from the skin that is exposed to the air. In other words, it is the decrease in air temperature felt when the wind touches our body. • This mathematically derived number approximates how cold your skin feels. When the wind blows across the exposed surface of our skin, it draws heat away from our bodies. This is the reason it makes us feel so cold. • The wind chill factor is the same effect that causes you to blow on hot soup to cool it down. When you blow on hot soup, it cools the soup down faster because movement of air increases the soup’s heat loss. • While wind chill can help facilitate your body losing heat faster, our actual skin temperature cannot be lower than the temperature of the surrounding air. • American explorer and geographer Paul Siple and his fellow
We can help!
explorer Charles Passel first came up with the idea of calculating wind chill. Siple took part in six Antarctic expeditions, five of which occurred under famed explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd. Siple and Passel based their wind chill factor on the cooling rate of a small bottle as its contents turned to ice while suspended in the wind on the expedition hut roof, at the same level as the anemometer. They coined the term “Windchill Index” to provide an indication of the severity of the weather. • There are numerous formulas that exist to determine the wind chill factor because, unlike temperature, wild chill has no universally agreed upon standard definition or measurement. All the formulas attempt to predict the effect of wind on the temperature humans perceive. • One of the coldest wind chill indexes recorded was from Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. The temperature read -35 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind speed of 95 mph, which created a wind chill index of -102 degrees. Brrrr.
Intimidation is not democracy — it is mob rule By Reps. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell, and Brooke Green, D-Boise Reader Contributors Our democracy relies on freedom of expression, including protest. It also depends on an open, productive and civil discourse, where everyone can be heard and policy is set based on a rational assessment of available options. Setting policy based on who can act most intimidating is anti-democratic and anti-American. Sadly, the past year has seen a dramatic increase in the instances of protest crossing lines and engaging in strong-arm intimidation tactics to make their point. In early December 2020, an Ada County commissioner was forced to leave her office in the middle of a health district meeting, panic-stricken, due to a mob of angry people outside her home, with only her 12-year-old son inside at the time. In late April 2020, an agitated crowd assembled outside a Meridian police officer’s house to protest an arrest he had made earlier that day. The officer’s address was publicly disseminated, encouraging a group to gather there and harass the officer and his family. Another incident took place in late August 2020, when several of the Boise City Council members woke to find drawings of butterflies on the bottom of
Rep. Greg Chaney, R-Caldwell
Rep. Brooke Green, D-Boise
their driveway from activists who, in the midnight hour, found it appropriate to express their displeasure of their recent vote to increase spending for the Boise Police Department. This is not protest, it is intimidation. Making one’s point does not require holding civil servants captive in their homes while instilling fear for them and their families’ safety. Showing up at someone’s home is an attempt to accomplish political ends through intimidation — as history
has documented — and this is true whether the crowd arrives carrying torches or daisies. Crowds outside of homes pointed out vulnerabilities that such picketers could exploit long before the assault on Congress on Jan. 6 reminded us of the danger angry mobs represented. Intimidation isn’t a form of democratic expression — it’s mob rule. That’s why we came together to introduce bipartisan legislation to draw a distinction between protest and vigilan-
discoveries, we learn they were considered fringe by the majority of people and science at the time. A local example is geologist and high-school science teacher in Washington, J. Harlan Bretz, who in 1923 suggested a gigantic flood created the scablands of eastern Washington, and whose idea wasn’t accepted by “mainstream” scientists until the 1970s. Now we in North Idaho know this as the draining of Lake Missoula when it broke through the ice dam on the Clark Fork River. Your article makes the good point that we need media literacy. We could add that part of media literacy is understanding the history of our media. In the U.S., thousands of previously independent media voices across the country have more recently been bought up and run by a few corporations intent on profits. We also need to look at who sits on the boards and who votes for or against funding of our public broadcasting corporations, and where additional funding comes from for public broadcasting.
You quote Professor Joseph Uscinski’s writings on conspiracy theories and theorists where he says, “We live in a complicated world and common sense really isn’t that good ... That’s why we have experts ... we’re able to get by because we rely on other experts.” It’s my opinion that this is only partly true. “Experts” also get stuck in their particular viewpoints and often have a stake in keeping their own “theories” intact. They also run the risk of becoming entrenched in the dogma of the day. It’s my opinion that common sense is often pretty good. Also, as you say in your article, “skepticism is not necessarily a bad thing ... [it] allows scientists to consider all possibilities and ... question all information.” You quote Uscinski saying “some amount of skepticism is healthy in a democracy.” I would say skepticism is the essence of democracy, as well as the essence of discovery. The late-philosopher Alan Watts said, “One of the real reasons why people can
tism by criminalizing targeted picketing of people’s homes. Intimidation has become the weapon of choice of the fringe elements on the right and the left and it affects more than just civil servants: these bullies make the political process an unwelcome place for any of their fellow citizens who might disagree with them — silencing the voices of the strong majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents who don’t share their extremism. Our traditions of civil discourse are incompatible with mob rule; defending every citizens’ right to have their voices heard requires a bold stance against the intimidation tactics that threaten that right. Together, we’re proud to take a meaningful step in defense of rationality by protecting the sanctity of the home through our shared legislation. Rep. Greg Chaney is in his fourth term representing District 10, Seat B in Caldwell. He serves as chair of the Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee and as a member of the Revenue and Taxation Committee. Rep. Brooke Green is in her second term representing District 18, Seat B in Boise. She serves on the Appropriations, Business and Local Government committees.
On conspiracies: truth and relativity
By Jill Trick Special to the Reader I appreciate the Reader including complex topics in your paper. Your article “Down the rabbit hole,” (Feb. 4) addresses some that definitely deserve discussion. I have numerous comments, my first regarding use of the label “conspiracy theorist.” This labeling, similar to when we say “communist,” “socialist” or “Trumpist,” tends to cause people to make huge assumptions instead of examining specifics of the ideas behind the label. In the same vein, I would object to describing someone’s ideas or viewpoint as “fringe beliefs.” If this term is used, it should be with great caution. Reasons for my objections become obvious when we remember the history of many of our scientific discoveries that we all hopefully learned in high school (i.e. Galileo accused of heresy for suggesting the Earth revolves around the sun). And if we research the history of other important
manipulate ... why some totalitarian states can get away with re-writing history ... is because people are accustomed to thinking there is some such thing as ‘the truth.’ And the moment we are, as it were, suckers in this sense, for ‘the truth,’ someone can simply misrepresent it and say ‘on the contrary, the truth is this and so.’” Watts also points out that, “anybody who writes history is presenting a point of view. In other words, what is true is always relative to a way of looking at things and an intention to do something.” So that, when we examine what someone is saying, we need to assess: 1) what is his/her point of view?; 2) what does he/she want to achieve?; 3) where do they get their facts and what source do those facts come from? (This last somewhat paraphrasing Alan Watts). There is plenty more to say on these topics — maybe someone else will chime in. I hope the Reader will continue to provide us with these thoughtful articles. February 18, 2021 /
Drifting along in the wild
Restoration efforts at the Clark Fork Driftyard aim to aid wildlife habitat while offering year-round access
By Ben Olson Reader Staff At the mouth of Lake Pend Oreille, where the Clark Fork River drains its clear water into a collection area carved out by a great glacial flood over 10,000 years ago, there lies a special area known as “the Driftyard.” Serving both the useful purpose of collecting floating debris harmful to navigation, as well as providing a wetland habitat for dozens of native plants and animals, the Driftyard is also an important place in history for local Indigenous populations. Oral histories passed down from the Kalispel Tribes to Allen H. Smith in the early 1930s recounted fishing for bull trout — or “char” as they referred to them — from seine nets placed between canoes at night during spring flow. “They pull the net out onto the shore to empty it,” wrote Smith. “Then they warm themselves at the big bonfire because they get wet and cold and they give the fish time to come in again. Then they do it again; they do it about six times on one night. They work all night.” During this two-week window in spring, Indigenous fishermen would redistribute the catch to families back at camp where it was consumed as an in-season staple, rather than smoke-cured and stored for winter needs. In fall, tribal members would again fish the delta, this time using torches from canoes and spearing shoals of fish that made “flapping” noises close to shore, indicating they were possibly spawning. It is not surprising that soon after his arrival at Lake Pend Oreille in 1809, David Thompson established the North West Company’s Kullyspel House trading depot immediately north of Memaloose Island, which was in close proximity to an Upper Kalispel band’s winter village at Ellisport Bay. It was also a short canoe trip from Kullyspel House to the fishing grounds in the Clark 12 /
/ February 18, 2021
Fork and Pack River deltas. In 1853, George Suckley, an assistant surgeon to the U.S. Army’s exploration of the western states intending to find the most economical route to the Pacific Ocean, wrote about another method the Kalispel Tribe used to gather fish. “Just above Lake Pend d’Oreille the Clark Fork river divides into three streams, which again unite, thus forming two or three large islands,” Suckley wrote. “One of these streams is wide, shallow and swift. Here the Indians annually construct a fence, which reaches across the stream, and guides the fish into a weir or rack, where they are caught in great numbers.” Seasonally rich in necessary resources, the delta provided Kalispel people food, medicine, recreation and easy access to trade with neighboring communities who wintered in the Kootenai, Coeur d’Alene and Bitterroot valleys. A fluctuating history The modern era for Lake Pend Oreille began in the early 1950s, when construction began on the Albeni Falls Dam and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started regulating water levels on Lake Pend Oreille. Prior to the dam, the lake level was regulated by the seasonal melt water that flooded the 226 miles of shoreline that encompass Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River. Navigation before the dam was made easy because debris passed through the lake and river during high water season, and accumulated on the lakeshore when the waters receded. But after the dam created a new fluctuation of water levels, the lake level held higher in the summer following spring snowmelt, which caused floating debris to linger on the water surface longer, increasing navigational hazards for boaters. Enter the Clark Fork Drift Facility in the Clark Fork Wildlife Management Area, a 1,300-acre parcel of land in the river del-
An aerial photo of the Clark Fork River delta courtesy Idaho Fish and Game. ta that is home to meandering channels and marshy islands with pockets of wetlands, abundant cattails and extensive mudflats during drawdown. The site is just part of the more than 4,000 acres of land acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the Albeni Falls Dam construction. According to Taylor Johnson, chief of Natural Resources with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, “The WMA is managed to protect wildlife habitat and provide public access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational pursuits.” As part of its mission to help facilitate the best use of the land, the Corps outgranted — akin to a lease or easement — management of some parcels of land to the Idaho Fish and Game to manage several areas around the lake and river, including the Driftyard. Through their coordinated efforts, the Corps and IDFG maintain these public access areas for recreational use, at the same time protecting sensitive habitat areas for local wildlife. On Feb. 1, IDFG announced that access to the Driftyard would be open year-round, marking a change in its long-standing policy of closing gates to the boat ramp and motorized access area during waterfowl season into late spring.
Evan DeHamer, staff biologist with IDFG, said previously the gates were locked to reduce wildlife disturbance, especially during nesting season for tens of thousands of migrating waterfowl that utilize the area each year. “But it was also to make sure people weren’t mudbogging out through the wetlands,” DeHamer told the Reader. “I think where we stand now is that there aren’t any nesting species of concern in the springtime in that boat access area. … We don’t want people to go tromping around out there willy nilly, but we’ve also seen for the most part that people that use that area for recreation will drop a boat at the ramp and fish on the delta and do whatever they’re doing out there.” DeHamer said there have been instances in the past where people have operated motorized vehicles past the gates on the mudflats — an activity Fish and Game frowns upon. “That’s a disturbance we want to keep down,” he said. “Other gates we’ll keep closed in the springtime to avoid damage of those soft areas, but the straight shot into the boat ramp and that parking area will remain open for the rest of the year in order to provide additional access for folks.”
What goes on at the Driftyard In 1954, the Corps began building a system of booms on the lower portion of the Clark Fork River that directed floating drift and debris into a holding facility where it could be contained without presenting navigational problems on the lake. The holding facility is what passing motorists on Highway 200 see as they look east toward the collection of driftwood nestled into the cattail-strewn wetlands and low-lying islands at the mouth of the Clark Fork River. It is this position at the mouth of the river that also makes the area a great fishing hole. Bonner County native Tyler Long told the Reader he’s been frequenting the area to fish with his family ever since moving to the east side of the county some years ago. “We utilize that area off and on all year,” Long said. “Over the years I’ve hunted waterfowl out there, but most recently I’ve been pike fishing early, when the gate is closed. It made for a longer walk, but that didn’t slow us down because part of the adventure is getting there.” Long said he’s caught some big 20-pound pikes out there in the channels, and always appreciates the area because it’s easy to find your own place to recreate. Of course, like any public access area, he has noticed the usual droppings from human hands (and other body parts). With more than 19,000 visitors to the Driftyard in fiscal year 2020, it certainly sees its share of traffic. “Some people abuse it,” he said. “They’ll run motorized equipment behind the gates and stuff, and people leave garbage down there. … Last year with COVID stuff, people were just getting out more. … We went out on a Saturday after the gate had just opened and we fished all day until dark — there were already piles of human shit in the parking lot and beer bottles. But we pick
< see DRIFTYARD, page 13 >
< DRIFTYARD, con’t from page 12 > up garbage everywhere we go. It’s a sad deal to have to do that, but we do it.” While it’s a perfect location for anglers, the Driftyard also provides excellent kayak access to the meandering islands of the delta, where great blue heron wade in wetlands, bald eagles and ospreys hunt the shallow water and countless small mammals like river otters and beavers do their bidding undisturbed. In drawdown, old-growth tree stumps emerge on the shoreline, resembling some type of crawling creatures frozen in time. As the water rises and summer nears, the delta is alive with birdsong, with the wind blowing dry cattail fluff into the marshes. Sharp-eyed bird watchers can spot owls, hawks, bald and golden eagles, osprey, blue heron, ducks, geese and sometimes swans to name a few. Land mammals also frequent the area, including black bear, elk, moose, mule and white-tail deer, mountain goat and bighorn sheep. Holding the line In the late 1980s, it was noticed that there was a net wildlife loss due to the construction of the Albeni Falls Dam due to fluctuating water levels affecting the shoreline. By 2008, a partnership was formed between IDFG and Avista Corporation, Ducks Unlimited and others to initiate a pilot restoration project in the Pack River Flats area to help positively impact local wildlife habitats. In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management and other cooperating agencies began a large restoration project in the Clark Fork River delta that “proposes to protect, improve and restore key riparian, aquatic and wetland habitats, improving their ecological functions in the Clark Fork River delta by increasing sediment deposition, increasing emergency wetland habitats, capturing woody debris and reducing bank erosion,” according to the Corps’ Master Plan. Divided into phases to meet this goal, the restoration project had two main focuses: first, to protect existing areas within the delta from further erosion using environmentally compatible stabilization methods; and, second, to restore and enhance the edge and interior areas, promoting diverse native riparian vegetation
growth such as black cottonwood, dogwood and willow, and reducing non-native invasive reed canary grass. Phase 1 was completed in 2015, with Phase 2 seeing significant work in early 2019, as well as upgrades to the Johnson Creek Access site in Clark Fork. “Phase 2 was the main construction accomplished a year ago,” DeHamer said. “The main shoreline protection came from building the breakwaters, which are constructed of riprap and smaller rock, gravel, also integrating willow and dogwood into those structures.” The idea is that when these woody plants mature, the roots will hold the rocks together on the breakwater, staving off some erosion from the prevalent southwest winds that buffet the shoreline. DeHamer said the highlight of Phase 2 was when the Northwest Youth Conservation Corps group came out and helped him plant 8,000 sedge and rush plugs, which are grassy plants native to this region that also help bolster the shoreline against further erosion. “Once established, they’ll help outcompete reed canary grass — a bad invasive wetland grass that is all over the Pacific Northwest,” DeHamer said. “Restoring that lost habitat is the whole purpose of this restoration project,” he added. “The goal is to stop existing erosion and then from there, help reestablish areas of wetland vegetation so that tens of thousands of waterfowl that use it can have a little bit more available habitat. Every species that uses that area will benefit.” DeHamer emphasized that Lake Pend Oreille is a very important stopover twice a year for migrating birds of all kinds. “You see all kinds of species going through,” he said. A 2018 survey conducted by the Intermountain Bird Observatory through Boise State University detected 91 total species in the delta area alone, including dozens of different songbirds migrating through the region. DeHamer said IDFG hopes to enter Phase 3 in winter 2021-2022, “but we have a lot of planning that needs to happen first,” he said. The next stage of restoration will continue shoreline mitigation and construction in the Driftyard area, as well as the island directly
south of the access ramp, which includes building more breakwaters. “It’ll be a lot more of the same efforts trying to shore up those banks that have been eroding the last 60 years now, maintaining what still exists there and trying to improve what we can. It costs a lot of money to move that much dirt and rock, and we’re trying to do it in the most cost-effective way. We also need to remove about seven acres of reed canary grass and plant all that area back with a mix of native species. We’ll be doing a couple of little features to help out recreational access there, too. We know a lot of people use it for fishing, for taking kayaks out and wildlife watching and such. We want to try to facilitate some of that activity. “Bottom line, besides being extremely important cultural areas for local Indigenous nations, the Clark Fork and Pack River deltas are very valuable and unique habitats for the wildlife that makes North Idaho a special place to live,” he continued. “We’re doing our best to keep those areas viable for generations to come.” For fisherman Tyler Long, as well as countless others in the region, these efforts are much-appreciated as they help ensure the Driftyard and the greater delta area continues to be a place to recreate outdoors in North Idaho. “I follow a lot of the Fish and Game issues,” Long told the Reader. “I’m guessing working with those agencies, they’ve got a pretty tough job to balance everything and keep everybody happy. Overall, most of my experiences are positive there at the delta. I just hope the general public can respect it enough so we can all keep using it.”
Top: Tyler Long and his two boys enjoy a sunny day of fishing at the Clark Fork Driftyard. Photo courtesy Tyler Long. Middle: A glorious sunset as seen from one of the islands inside the Clark Fork River delta. Photo by Ben Olson. Bottom: A successful day’s catch of a couple of pike at the Driftyard. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert. February 18, 2021 /
Taylor and Sons continues long history of family ownership in Sandpoint Longtime dealer Greg Taylor passes the torch to his son Brett at Taylor and Sons Chevrolet By Ben Olson Reader Staff In the age of corporate ownership and chain stores, a family-owned business that spans generations is a rare accomplishment. When Greg Taylor announced to employees at Taylor and Sons Chevrolet on Feb. 17 that his son, Brett, would be taking over as principal dealer, it marked the end of a long career in Sandpoint for Greg, but cemented that the family-owned Chevrolet dealership — an institution in Sandpoint — would remain in the family. “It’s a little bit difficult to give up on something you’ve lived with for so long,” Greg told the Reader. “But I think Brett has added to the development of this dealership over the last 15-plus years and I feel comfortable that he will continue to do what we’ve established — both our family and the Parker family before.” The Chevrolet auto brand has held a storied history in Sandpoint for almost 100 years, when a man by the name of Wells obtained a Chevrolet dealership in 1922, calling it Inland Empire Chevrolet. Back then, when Warren G. Harding was president, a brand new Chevy off the line would run a Sandpointian about $1,000. The Inland Empire Chevrolet dealership was located on the 200 block of Cedar St., where Di Luna’s and Idaho Pour Authority are currently located. Wells took on a partner named Billy McDonald a few years later, but in March 1927, O.B. Parker — Jack Parker’s father — bought out the half interest of Wells and the dealership was renamed Sandpoint 14 /
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Brett Taylor, left, stands with his father Greg Taylor, right, behind an iconic 1967 Chevrolet Corvette – one of three on display inside Taylor and Sons Chevrolet in Ponderay. Photo by Ben Olson. Motor Company. A year later, O.B. Parker became the sole owner of the dealership and began constructing a new building across Cedar Street, eventually moving operations in 1929 where the dealership remained for 83 years. That location is now home to the new Bonner General Health Services expansion. Jack Parker graduated from University of Idaho in 1955 and went to work for his father, who passed away in 1957. Jack became the dealer in 1959 and continued in that role until 1988 when he and Greg Taylor became partners and Taylor was named local Chevrolet dealer. Greg’s career in auto sales began much earlier, in 1970, when after college he began working for GMAC in Spokane, Wash. The arrangement between the Taylor and Parker families continued until 1994, when the
Taylors bought out the Parkers’ interests and continued to operate at the Sandpoint location until 2011, when they built a new facility in Ponderay where it currently operates to this day. The dealership then underwent another name change to Taylor and Sons Chevrolet. Over the years, Greg built on the family legacy instilled from the Parkers and passed it on to his own son, Brett, who graduated Sandpoint High School in 1997 and University of Montana in 2002. These tenets include trust, hard work, consistency and care for the community that has supported them in Sandpoint for decades. Brett started working fulltime at Taylor and Sons in June 2002, but he put in his time with the family business well before that. “I’ve washed thousands and thousands of cars,” Brett joked to the Reader. “I’ll put it this
way, I’ve done every crummy job that exists within this dealership and, frankly, so has Greg.” “Except now I get to get him back,” Greg laughed. Brett said he’s learned a lot from his father over the years, especially about working hard and taking care of their customers with honesty and integrity. “Early memories are that family always came first — there was no question about that,” Brett said. “But the operation of this business and the responsibility toward the customers that would choose to keep this place open, choose us over someplace else, that was always a high priority within our family. Success was generated by hard work.” Brett graduated from the NADA Dealer Academy in McLean, Va., in 2005 and took over as general manager of the dealership. With Greg officially handing over the reins this
week, Brett aims to continue the legacy with his own family; wife Sara and three daughters, Jane and twins Claire and Charlee. As for Greg, though he’s no longer the dealer, he has no plans to retire. “Greg works seven days a week,” Brett said. “I don’t anticipate that changing until the day he dies. What this allows is … he works seven days a week, but he does whatever he wants, rather than being obligated to solely work with customer interaction, or human resources, or other elements of the job that are not necessarily more difficult, but not quite as much fun. “I think that having a sounding board — someone with a lifetime of experience who has been through recessions and high interest rates, manufacturer difficulties and the like — is great to have.” Greg said that he has confidence in Brett’s close-learned knowledge of the operation. “He is well respected by his fellow employees and dealers and is genuine in his interactions with customers and should enjoy many years as the newest Chevrolet dealer in the nearly 100-year history of Chevrolet in the greater Sandpoint area,” Greg said. “The thing about dealerships is, there’s not necessarily one way to do it,” Brett said. “But there’s a right way and a wrong way, and I think Greg has done a good job of setting the example of what the right way is.” Taylor and Sons Chevrolet is located at 476751 Highway 95 North in Ponderay, just north of the Bonner Mall. To contact them for sales, call 800-793-8420 and for service, call 208-578-4612 or visit them on the web at tschevy.com.
The stories a building could tell
BoCo Museum asks community to share memories of former federal building
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Sandpoint’s first federal building, a grand spectacle of brick done in the Spanish Colonial Revival style located at 419 N. Second Avenue, has been home to the post office, library, museum, various shops and administrative offices over its storied lifetime. In an effort to capture that history, new building owners Mickey and Duffy Mahoney of MickDuff’s Brewing Company enlisted the help of Bonner County History Museum Executive Director Heather Upton to curate a historical display inside their new brewpub. “Buildings are amazing, and they are visually incredible,” Upton told the Sandpoint Reader, “but it’s what existed in that building that brings it to life in my eyes.” While exploring the museum’s archives in order to create a display for the brewpub, Upton said she found photos of the building under construction in the 1920s, as well as more than 200 original blueprints. “We have this really strong history of
the beginnings, but as I became well aware, that structure has held so many different businesses and there are so many events that have happened [there],” she said, adding later: “I have a great preliminary overview of the history of what existed in that building, but the heart of exhibits are the stories and the memories of the community, and I don’t have that.” Upton is putting a call out to the community, urging people who were able to experience the building in its many phases to share those memories with the museum so that those oral or written histories can be added to the archives. Photos are also welcome, which Upton said can be scanned and given back. She said her hope is that over time, she can “layer in” more written accounts, photos and objects to the display at the brewpub, filling in the gaps of the building’s history one community contribution at a time. “So the patrons that walk in have a beer or a great bite to eat will be able to truly understand the space that they’re in,” she said. Mickey Mahoney told the Reader that he and his brother “had a wonderful time”
working with Upton and the museum to get the first stage of the photo installment hung in the new MickDuff’s Brewpub. He said the photos currently on display — which Upton called some of the museum’s “most charming, mid-century” shots — help tell the story of Sandpoint. “I believe our location is the perfect place to do so, because it’s one of the most historic buildings in the area,” he said. “The exhibit has been a great conversational piece. Since opening our new space, I have already met friends and relatives of some of the people pictured in the photos.” Mahoney said he hopes people will share their personal stories about the building with the museum “because it’s important that the memories are not forgotten.” “Just think of all the memories made here in the last 90 plus years,” he said. “Pretty neat.”
A few historical photos inside the new MickDuff’s restaurant building in Sandpoint. Courtesy photo. To contact the museum and share a memory about Sandpoint’s first federal building — now home to MickDuff’s Brewpub at 419 N. Second Ave. — call 208-2632344 or email info@bonnercountyhistory. org. Also feel free to visit the museum, located at 611 S. Ella Ave., during business hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and the first Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
February 18, 2021 /
Sandpoint Nordic Club posts Hill Climb results
By Reader Staff Every first Wednesday in February the Sandpoint Nordic kids Recreation, Development and Race ski teams — 63 strong this season — embark on a competition on the Schweitzer Nordic trails. If anyone
has ever skied those trails, you know that you will definitely climb a hill, likely several. This season has been a challenging one for the kids to train for this event with copious amounts of rain in the valley making the ski trails at Pine Street Woods barely skiable.
The team has done some training lately at the Roundabout off Schweitzer Mountain Road that Schweitzer grooms each week. The Recreation team coaches do all the planning for the event and do their best to get their teams ready and lined up to ski.
Come rain, shine, snow, wind or whatever conditions, skiers of all abilities and experience participated in the Hill Climb and finished with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. It helps too that the Hill Climb is always followed by treats provided by dedicated
Left: Hill Climb participants race down the Nordic trails at Schweitzer. Right: The winners of the Hill Climb (names were not made available at press time.) Courtesy photos. moms and hot chocolate provided by Schweitzer.
Schweitzer’s new hotel slated to open for 2021-’22 ski season ‘Humbird’ to offer ski-in/ski-out lodging in the Village
By Reader Staff Since breaking ground in the spring of 2019, Schweitzer Mountain Resort has been working to complete the new hotel project in the village. The 66,580-square-foot, 31-unit hotel complex will be a ski-in, ski-out property providing arrival services and slopeside accommodations for Schweitzer’s year-round destination guests. In tribute to the area’s logging history, Schweitzer has chosen to name the new hotel after the Humbird Lumber Company, once the economic lifeblood of the Sandpoint area. “In the early 1900s, the Humbird Lumber Company provided steady employment and an all-encompassing community for its workers,” stated Schweitzer CEO and President Tom Chasse. “The 16 /
/ February 18, 2021
mill transformed Sandpoint from a male-dominated logging settlement of 400 people to a bustling small town of 3,500 brimming with families. The spirit of Sandpoint and Schweitzer is rooted in the foundations laid by these persevering characters and our new hotel celebrates that history.” Humbird, designed by Portland-based SkyLab Architecture, will feature cross-laminated timber, board formed concrete and large expanses of glass permitting the natural views to frame the experience in each guest room and in the 50-seat restaurant and bar. “The addition of Humbird will enable us to address the lack of accommodations on the mountain,” Chasse added. “It’s challenging at best to find a room over weekends and holidays so the additional units will help ease that lodging crunch.”
The Humbird logo draws inspiration from stacks of skis, Bavarian alpine themes and Schweitzer’s historical logos. According to mountain officials, “It’s a unique in-
terpretation of the rhythm of Schweitzer’s past, present and future.” Schweitzer anticipates Humbird will be available for guests during the 2021/’22
A rendering of the Humbird arrival area from Lakeview Parking Lot at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Courtesy image. winter season. For more details, visit schweitzer.com.
STAGE & SCREEN
Panida Board elects new chair, discusses marquee repairs By Ben Olson Reader Staff Members of the Panida board hosted a virtual meeting Feb. 17 to discuss recent changes in leadership, as well as upcoming repair projects to the community theater. Board Chair Lenny Hess submitted his resignation Feb. 6, bringing the number of board members down to six, after Carol Thomas resigned in late 2019 and Kevin Smith stepped down in January. “On Feb. 6, 2021 I made the difficult decision to resign as chairman of the Panida board of directors,” Hess told the Reader in an email. “I hope to continue supporting the theater in other ways in the future. I wish all the best to the staff and the board.” Vice-Chair Keely Gray took over duties as interim chair until she was voted in unanimously to complete Hess’ term at the meeting. “I think [Keely is] an ideal choice, and we will all benefit from your leadership,” said member of the board Ron Ragone. One of the “Panida moms,” who pulled together to save the theater from ruin in the 1990s, Susan Bates-Harbuck gave a short update on a project she has taken on to return commemorative Panida bricks to donors that expressed interest in obtaining them. “We started out with 400 bricks, and due to some hard work, we’re now down to 135 bricks,” she said. “All the rest have been picked up or delivered to people that wanted them. I know of at least $350 donated, so it has been a very worthwhile project.” Panida Executive Director Patricia Walker shared information with the board about potential renters interested in the Little Panida Theater, an update on switching ticketing system processors and upcoming events that are interested in renting the Panida. She reminded everyone that the Banff Mountain Film Festival — which had gone virtual this year due to COVID-19 — will be offering downloads to watch films at home until Oct. 24. “Michael Boge is donating all the proceeds of the Sandpoint viewing if they go through mountainfever.us and pick Sandpoint,” Walker said. Boge, who serves as the longtime host for Banff Mountain Film Festival in Sandpoint, told the Reader in an email that the festival had sold 297 tickets thus far, which includes all three cities that he hosts: Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Sun Valley. Boge said the bulk of sales came from Sun Valley, which had promoted consistently,
and Sandpoint. “Out of the 142 hosts listed, we have sold the 12th amount of tickets for online, so I am pleased with that,” Boge said. “Bottom line, last year we sold close to 4,000 tickets and this year with a pretty hard push on our end we have sold 297. Not stellar numbers but still worth it as it is better than nothing.” Boge said the online experience is “fine … but the reality is it just proves to me that people come out to view the films as it is a community event and not just movies. That has been so much of the appeal to me from the very beginning with the Banff Mountain Film Festival.” Walker also updated the board on the upcoming marquee restoration project. According to Walker, the Panida has received two bids for the repair, with the recommendation to replace all the neon at one time instead of piecemealing it together. “The idea is that the new neon would look so much different than old neon if we don’t do it all at once,” she said. Walker also clarified that the bids are not discussing taking out the neon, but rather replacing the parts that are broken.
Courtesy photo. “Some units are so old they can’t be repaired or replaced,” she said. “We’re looking at the area behind the letters, the white neon, for better visibility to replace that with LED and retrofit behind there. None of the neon that is showing would be made LED, only the ones behind that people don’t see.” Gray discussed streamlining the board application process applications and orientation to make it “as painless as possible” for both existing and future board members to get up to speed with board functions. Walker informed the board that several organizations were interested in booking the Panida in the coming months for various shows, including school functions, live comedy and a concert. The board agreed to continue limiting capacity to 150 people and requiring masks while inside the building, with some expressing hope that with vaccine numbers rising and COVID-19 cases declining, they’ll see a return to more robust in-person attendance in the spring and summer.
February 18, 2021 /
February 18-25, 2021
THURSDAY, february 18
Friends of the Panida Meeting • 1:30pm @ Columbia Bank Atrium A quarterly meeting of the Friends of the Panida. Masks required. Live Music w/ Chris Lynch Trivia at the Longshot 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall 6pm @ The Longshot Live Music w/ Maya and Alex Trivia night every other Thursday 7-9pm @ The Back Door
FriDAY, february 19
Live Music w/ Doug Bond and Marty Perron Live Music w/ Devon Wade 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Sandpoint’s guitar and mandolin duo is back! Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7:30-9:30pm @ The Back Door
SATURDAY, february 20
Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Blues from a fresh perspective Live Music w/ Chris Lynch 7:30-9:30pm @ The Back Door
Live Music w/ Eclectic Eclectic 7-10pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Live Music w/ Pamela Jean 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall
SunDAY, february 21
Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am
Piano Sunday w/ Peter Lucht 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery
Bingo at the Winery 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Bring a group of friends, order dinner and wine and win prizes!
monDAY, february 22
Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant “Conquering Conflict: Healthy Ways to Tackle Disagreements”
Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub
tuesDAY, february 23 wednesDAY, february 24 Live Music w/ John Firshi 7-10pm @ Eichardt’s Pub
ThursDAY, february 25
KNPS to host ‘Ferns of North Idaho’ presentation By Reader Staff The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society and Sandpoint Parks and Recreation will present “Ferns of North Idaho,” on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. The presentation will be given by Derek Antonelli from the Calypso Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society. This program will be presented live on Zoom and recorded for later viewing on the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s YouTube channel. When viewed live, there will be opportunities for audience Q&A. To register for this program, go to this link: bit. ly/39WVMV8 Ferns are a fascinating and diverse group of plants. In many ways they are very much like the flowering plants we are all so familiar with, but they have some striking differences. Derek Antonelli with the Idaho Native Plant Society will cover the natural history of this group of plants and describe anatomical features that make the group special. This knowledge will make identifying ferns a whole lot easier. North Idaho, with its higher levels of precipitation,
has the highest diversity of fern in the state. Derek will show photos of a number of these ferns and fern allies. Derek Antonelli is the president of the Calypso Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society serving the Coeur d’Alene area. He leads the North Idaho Rare Plant Working Group for INPS. Derek is a charter member of the Pend Oreille Chapter of the Idaho Master Naturalist Program serving the Sandpoint area. A retired U.S. Air Force officer, Antonelli is an amateur botanist who has been studying and collecting plants for 40 years.
Community Assistance League grant applications now available By Reader Staff Applications for the Community Assistance League 2021 grants program will be available March 1 in the following locations: the libraries in Sandpoint, Priest River, Old Town and Clark Fork; the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce; and Bizarre Bazaar, 502 Church St., in Sandpoint. Grant information and the application may be downloaded from the CAL website: CALsandpoint.org. An applicant must be a nonprofit organization without political or religious affiliations and funds must only be applied within Bonner County. Some of the criteria for evaluation include having a significant impact on the community, being an innovative idea and
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The maidenhair fern is native to North Idaho. Courtesy photo.
involving important issues. The Community Assistance League contributes the profits from its shop, Bizarre Bazaar, directly back into Bonner County via grants and scholarships. The shop thrives from the enthusiastic support of volunteers, shoppers and those who donate their quality used items. This allows CAL to contribute financially to many local area schools, organizations and services that enhance the quality of life for Bonner County residents. If you know of a worthy organization, please encourage its members to apply. Grant applications must be postmarked or returned no later than Wednesday, March 31. For additional information, contact CAL Grants Chair Tracy Gibson at CALSandpointGrants@gmail.com.
STAGE & SCREEN
What would Mister Rogers do?
Nostalgia, empathy and the power of friendship make for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff
Fred Rogers — or, as he was known for more than 30 years on his PBS show, Mister Rogers — remains a guiding light for people who grew up during his reign over children’s television, whether they consciously recognize it or not. Rogers, a minister-turnedTV-personality, was a radical in an unassuming red cardigan, leaving behind a legacy of treating his young viewers as equals with complicated feelings and unbounded aspirations. It’s no wonder that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a 2019 film about the man and his poignant kindness, would strike exactly the right note amid the cruelties of the present day. The story is based on a 1998 Esquire article by journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a profile of Rogers as part of a series on heroes. While names are fictionalized (the Junod character in the movie is named Paul Vogel) and main plot drivers are different (Vogel is struggling to reconcile his relationship with his alcoholic father), the message remains the same: Rogers wasn’t pretending to be anyone while on screen, just using his platform to teach kids that big feelings are OK. As Beautiful Day makes abundantly clear, those lessons were not limited to television, or even to children. By utilizing miniature townscapes and upbeat piano tunes, director Marielle Heller makes Beautiful Day feel like a story within an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and the nostalgia that results is genius. Some question the decision to cast Tom Hanks as Rogers, with The New York Times going so far as to argue that the character felt “miscast” at times due to the seeming conflict of Hanks’ naturally outgoing persona set
against Rogers’ docile introvertedness. The opposite feels true — Hanks is a veteran of his craft, using his incredible ability to slip into someone else’s mannerisms and idiosyncrasies with ease. If anything, the beef should be that Mister Rogers couldn’t still be around to play himself; after all, can he really be replaced? No, but Hanks had the verve and talent to do it, and the result is every warmfuzzy possible without watching Neighborhood reruns. The chemistry between Hanks and Matthew Rhys, who plays Vogel, propels the film in a way typically only possible with drama and action. The tension in early scenes — Vogel skeptical of Rogers’ sincerity, but Rogers inevitably able to make Vogel feel as though he is the most important person in the world in that moment — creates a relationship that would seem far-fetched, had most American children not already felt that connection through their television sets. Rogers shared the same fears and frustrations as his viewers, and gave kids the tools to face big issues like race, war, anger and grief. He does the same with a salty journalist in Beautiful Day, only this time, the lesson is forgiveness. The film sees very few bumps in the road, though it does come to a slightly jarring climax. Vogel experiences what can only be described as a psychotic breakdown when a health emergency lands his father in the hospital, and it forces Vogel to confront the complicated feelings he has toward the man. He seeks out Rogers — the most stable and understanding person currently in his life — and on his panicked, midnight quest to Pittsburgh, Vogel’s consciousness devolves into imaginative chaos, complete with childhood flashbacks and unnerving piano music. I understand the purpose that such an extreme change of tone
Tom Hanks playing Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Courtesy photo. serves in the film, but still, it didn’t feel quite right. Luckily, Vogel wakes up from his tumultuous episode to find himself in the Rogers’ home, witnessing Rogers and his wife Joanne playing beautiful piano music side by side. It is then that the real appeal of the film — Mister Rogers’ comforting quirks and all we can learn from them — quickly retakes the reins. The conclusion of the film focuses on honesty and peace, so get the tissues ready. Vogel is about to become a new man, and the final sequences paying tribute to Rogers — complete
with scenes of him swimming laps, praying for individual people and sitting alone at a piano as his studio goes dark — do all they can to pluck at the viewer’s already-taut heartstrings. A review of the film from rogerebert.com frames Beautiful Day as “a companion piece” to the 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which utilized interviews with Joanne Rogers and many people who worked with the man to paint a complete picture of Rogers himself. That observation is absolutely correct — Beautiful Day does wonders in further preserving his legacy,
this time not by attempting to understand the man behind Daniel Tiger, but by reflecting some of the countless lessons he was able to teach during an incredible lifetime. Mister Rogers did not shy away from hard things, and neither should we. With imagination, empathy and grace, people can go a long way in understanding one another. Watch A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or a number of other streaming services. Also find it on DVD at the library. February 18, 2021 /
The Valentine’s dinner crawl
Beer, sushi and ice cream highlight a perfect February night in Sandpoint
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Amid the coldest stretch of weather North Idaho has yet to offer this winter, my fiancé Alex and I made the half-hour trek from our home to downtown Sandpoint on a recent Friday afternoon with plans to celebrate my birthday and Valentine’s Day with one of our signature multi-tiered dates. These events are just that — events — since our proximity to town makes trips for anything other than groceries a major treat. We dressed up and braved single-digit temperatures in pursuit of three of our favorite things: craft beer, sushi and — perhaps not our most weather-appropriate craving — ice cream. We’d embarked on the same mission almost exactly a year before, when the evening became the last “normal” thing we did before the global COVID-19 pandemic began to affect our corner of the world in earnest. The 2021 installment of the Valentine’s dinner crawl started at MickDuff’s Beer Hall around 3 p.m. The Beer Hall remains a staple in our life together, as a place we meet up with friends or simply grab a beer before dinner. Don’t tell Alex, but my favorite memory is from 2017, when on his 21st birthday, I suggested his first legal drink be at the Beer Hall. We sat at the bar, he nonchalantly requested a Coors Light, and the bartender very politely informed him that this was a brewery — they didn’t have domestics. He settled on a blonde ale. So imagine Alex’s excitement when we arrived at the Beer Hall Friday and discovered a new option: Mickduff’s Light. I ordered A Great Day For Hop — a hazy IPA with fruity tones. Side by side, our pints showcased the true his-and-hers nature of our relationship — Alex’s beer reflected the sunshine from our tableside window beautifully, while mine looked as though I might need to chew it. Alex chose La Cerveza for his second round, a refreshing Mexican lager served with a lime. I went for a MickDuff’s staple I’d somehow never tried, the Lupulicious IPA, and holy cow — I found a new favorite. Rich without being heavy, I could have had three. Luckily, we didn’t have time
/ February 18, 2021
— we wanted to get to Thai Nigiri right when it opened for dinner at 4 p.m. We settled our tab — about $20 at around $5 a pint — and decided to drive the two blocks to dinner thanks to Mother Nature’s chilly wrath. While Thai Nigiri is traditionally a sit-down-and-get-served establishment, we walked in to discover that guests now order before sitting down at one of the well-spaced tables in the dining area. The whole process was quick and COVID-responsible, which was awesome. We ordered a beer each along with five sushi rolls to share, bringing our total to almost $65. If you’re thinking “that doesn’t sound like a lot of food for that price,” you’ve never stared at a platter of half-eaten sushi rolls, approaching full but nonetheless unable to stop picking up pieces of the stuff because the flavors are out of this world. For such small portions, sushi is wonderfully filling. We ordered four of our standby favorites: the Philedelpia roll, which has salmon, crab, cucumber, avocado and cream cheese; the shrimp tempura roll, featuring fried shrimp wrapped with crab, cucumber and avocado, then covered in yum yum and eel sauces; the Green Monster roll, which has spicy tuna and cucumbers topped with avocado, yum yum and eel sauces; and the spicy tuna tempura roll, which has spicy tuna and avocado deep fried in a whole roll and topped with yum yum and eel sauces. We asked the hostess which sushi people are afraid to try, but then love when they do. She suggested the Alaska roll: crab, cucumber and avocado topped with salmon, lemon, green onion
and tobiko — the Japanese word for bright red flying fish caviar. Our food came quickly on one large platter, perfect for sharing. None of the rolls disappointed, with the Alaska proving to be the most refreshing of them all. Still, I let Alex eat most of it, since he was a little more enthusiastic about the fish eggs. The Philadelphia remains a favorite — who can say no to cream cheese? — and I love the Green Monster. Fried rolls disappeared the quickest, winning our hearts with their crunchy texture. Sushi consumed and the winter sun on its way out, we
hopped across First Avenue to visit Panhandle Cone and Coffee. I’d already cheated my lactose-free diet once with the cream cheese in my sushi, so I got a scoop of non-dairy peppermint mocha. Alex opted for a split scoop of Not-So-Hot Buttered Rum and Salted Caramel & Brown Butter Cookie. While I appreciate non-dairy options, nothing compares to perfectly blended, locally made, dairyfilled ice cream. After sampling our choices, the rum flavor was my favorite, while Alex said the cookie batter chunks in the salted caramel flavor won his heart. The evening ended just as
Top left: A pair of pints at MickDuff’s Beer Hall. Top right: A hearty sampling of sushi rolls at Thai Nigiri. Above: Capping off date night with ice cream from Panhandle Cone and Coffee. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert. we’d hoped it would: home by 6:30 p.m., with enough time to get the wood stove back to peak heating capacity and watch an episode or two of a TV show before bed. With the dog in my lap and the cat in his, we reflected on the delicacies of our adventure, agreed we were stuffed and began to ponder what we might try on our next dinner crawl.
A redo, and a radical reclamation
Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albums, becoming the latest artist to take a stand against record label norms By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff
Taylor Swift shocked fans with two unannounced albums in 2020, but ended the year with an even bigger surprise: she’s begun re-recording all of her albums from before 2019, the first of which — Fearless (Taylor’s Version) — will be released in early April. “This process has been more fulfilling and emotional than I could’ve imagined and has made me even more determined to re-record all of my music,” Swift wrote on social media Feb. 11, also announcing that “Love Story (Taylor’s Version),” the first re-recorded track off the album, would drop at midnight. “I hope you’ll like this first outing as much as I liked traveling back in time to recreate it.” To understand Swift’s latest musical endeavor is to understand the ins and outs of record label politics, specifically the concept of a master recording: the version of a song recorded in the studio, from which every copy — whether it be on streaming platforms, in television shows or simply sold on a CD — is made. Under traditional contracts, artists typically agree to be paid an advance for their work, while the label maintains control of the actual art. When Swift signed with Big Machine Records in 2004, she agreed that the label would own the masters for her first six albums in exchange for a cash advance. When Big Machine sold to Ithaca Holdings in June 2019, those six albums — Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), Red (2012), 1989 (2014) and Reputation (2017) — landed in the hands of entertainment businessman Scooter Braun. Despite several attempts to purchase her masters from Big Machine, Swift claims she was unable to secure a deal and found out about her music’s new ownership when the sale
went public. Swift is with a new label and owns all of the rights to her albums since Reputation; but, still, the repercussions of the Big Machine ownership change rattled the artist to her professional and personal cores. She called the sale her “worst case scenario,” and Braun an “incessant, manipulative bully.” Braun served as Kanye West’s manager in 2016 when the rapper released the song “Famous,” a track featuring the lyrics: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” This all stems from a 2009 award show mishap in which West stole the mic out of Swift’s hand during her acceptance speech, launching a feud too complex to fit into this article. All you need to know? Braun and Swift don’t see eye to eye, and he’s the last person she’d want in control of her legacy. So, Swift has decided to re-record her first six albums in an attempt to make Braun’s versions obsolete and regain control of her intellectual property, with each album and track aptly labeled “Taylor’s Version.” Though other artists have had similar problems with ownership of their work, this particular method has never been attempted before. Stevie Wonder paved the way for such radical change in 1971, gaining ownership of his masters with Motown Records. Beyonce, U2, Metallica and Rihanna are also among the elite group. Those anticipating the release of Fearless on April 9 — which will feature six unreleased tracks — are wondering how those beloved songs of their adolescence might sound redone. Will there still be an innocent little voice warble on the bridge in “Fifteen”? Will the stacco strings on “You Belong With Me” evoke the same feelings of relief in those who heard it for the first time in 2008, finally understood
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert
Amanda Gorman knocked the world’s socks off when she delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. As the country’s first national youth poet laureate, Gorman was only the sixth poet to perform at a presidential inauguration and the youngest at 22 years old. I revisited her poem this week, interested to see whether her words hold up after the grandeur of the moment has worn off, and they certainly do. Learn more about her work at theamandagorman.com.
as Swift sang of unrequited love between a nerd girl and her jock best friend? Probably not, but Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is not meant to be a carbon copy of the youthful original. Sure, the heart of the songs will remain, but as can be heard on “Love Story (Taylor’s Version),” these re-recordings are tributes to Old Taylor, an actual persona that the star herself declared “dead” on 2017 track “Look What You Made Me Do”: “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now / Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead.” As the Atlantic observed, Swift “misses” Old Taylor, too, and these re-recordings are a “love letter” to the Fearless era: When a young country singer, not yet in her 20s, had the audacity to rewrite Shakespeare, sing of devastating heartbreak in high school hallways and put words to leaving behind love and life in a small town that turned out to be too small as she launched into a level of generation-defining stardom no one
Australia’s Tia Gostelow is a rising star among female indie singer-songwriters, leaning heavily into a dream pop sound with her 2020 album CHRYSALIS. Her more mellow 2018 release Thick Skin combined surf-rock guitar with melancholy vocals to create a feminine indie punk sound somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Wild Nothing. I recommend tracks “Vague Utopia” and “Always” to hear the scope of her developing style.
Top and bottom: Artwork for Taylor Swift’s remake of “Love Story,” juxtaposed with Swift’s album art for 2008’s release Fearless. Courtesy photos. could have predicted. Now, in her 30s and able to look back on her naivete with affection, Swift is prepared to redefine what it means to own one’s art. New Taylor will raise Old Taylor from the dead with the kind of gentle assuredness Swift does all things, and the fans will weep — myself included. Listen to “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” now on your preferred music streaming service. Pre-order Fearless (Taylor’s Version) at taylorswift.com.
Netflix must have known that I was knee-deep in wedding planning and in need of a feel-good movie, because the algorithm recently suggested My Best Friend’s Wedding. The cellphones, the clothes and the casting are all peak 1997, with the adversarial pairing of Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz proving to be genius. Basically, Roberts’ male best friend is marrying the young, perky and rich Diaz just as Roberts realizes that she wants to be the one in the white dress. Hilarity ensues.
February 18, 2021 /
BACK OF THE BOOK
... On surviving COVID-19 From Northern Idaho News, March 2, 1909
STABBING AFFRAY MAY PROVE FATAL What may result in a fatal stabbing affray occurred this morning on First street between the hours of 9 and 10 o’clock, the principals of the brawl being an intoxicated lumberjack named Neil and the night cook at the Silver Club Cafe, Dan Coffee, who lies at the City hospital with his abdomen badly lacerated. Neil made his get-away before the police arrived on the scene. It is claimed that he was seen going towards Ponderay. The police hastily organized a posse and started out to find the fugitive, but have been unsuccessful up till the time of going to press. As near as can be learned, the trouble started last evening at the Silver Club Cafe, when Neil came into the restaurant, ordered a meal and then refused to pay for the same, and was roughly handled by one of the employees. It is claimed that the waiter was the man who had the trouble with Neil and not Coffee. About 9:30 o’clock this morning, after Coffee had gone off shift, he met the lumberjack on the street and commenced to abuse him. Coffee did not pay much attention to the man, but Neil became so enraged that he pulled out his jackknife and with a vicious plunge shoved it to the handle in Coffee’s stomach. In the confusion that followed, Neil slipped away and started east along the Northern Pacific tracks. The police alone the line have been notified to keep on the lookout for him. The doctor has high hopes for saving Coffee’s life. 22 /
/ February 18, 2021
By Sandy Compton Reader Columnist I promised myself I would write something light and funny this month. But then, I went to town. I hadn’t been for a while. I’d been pretty much holed up at home for a couple of weeks, since a few days before I tested positive for COVID-19. I am very grateful that my bout with it was somewhat of a nonevent. I started monitoring myself after the onset of what I hoped was a mild case of sniffles. I had no other symptoms. After those few days, though, it came time to fuel up the snow-blower. I couldn’t smell the gasoline. I put my nose right in the container. Nothing. I couldn’t smell anything else, either. Off to get a test I went the next day. The exam was simple and basically painless and, fewer than 48 hours later, I was notified that I had tested positive, which in itself is sort of weird. I’ve always thought of “positive” as a reference to something, well — positive. For me, the result was positively negative. Following that came a flurry of phone calls and emails to people I had been in close contact with during the preceding 10 days. That list isn’t very long, thank goodness. I’ve been pretty diligent about following the advice of the medical world and science when it comes to staying safe and keeping others safe as well. None of the people I knew to contact tested positive, which was positively great. I could say that I have no idea where I contracted COVID, but that wouldn’t be completely true. I have a short list of possible situations in which I might have been exposed. All but two were situations that I chose to be in with people I know.
Two were not my choice; the result of the behavior of a couple of folks I don’t know. Let’s just say that they were clueless about masks and social distancing. I was very uncomfortable during those encounters, but I was too polite to tell them to back off. I will not be so polite next time. Two weeks after my test, my sense of smell has returned, though oddly modified. I can smell at what I think of as the top of the scale — stuff like gasoline, mayonnaise, citrus, Ivory soap. Coffee and red wine, not so much, dammit. But, still. Whew! By all the information I can gather, I have survived the disease nicely. It’s been more than three weeks since I noticed those sniffles. And, because I have been cautious and diligent about distancing, wearing a mask and keeping unnecessary exposure to others at a minimum, to the best of my knowledge, I didn’t give it to anyone else. I am grateful. And probably very lucky. So, having good assurance by the guidelines posted on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov) and a few other sources that I have recovered, I took a cautious trip to town for supplies. It was with a growing sense of anger that I shared store aisles with many folks who don’t seem to give a good goddam about themselves or their fellow passengers on this orb. They don’t seem to care about their neighbors and they don’t seem to care much about the kids in their care, either. Some of them even glanced at me — behind my mask — with a look that said “pshaw.” What does it take to get people to get it about not getting it? Or giving it. In reality, I know that the unmasked people care about their friends and families as much as I do. However, the same swirling storm of bullshit misinformation, lies and
acrimony that has been accruing in our politics and American culture for the past 20 years — since the Bush-Gore election of Y2K, I believe — obscures any clear path to recovery from the pandemic. And most of our other national problems, as well. Twenty-eight million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. A large minority of us seems to think COVID is not a personal problem because they believe certain “leaders” and media sources who tell them it’s a plot, or of no real consequence to healthy people; 485,000 — and counting — of their friends, family and neighbors would tell them different, if they weren’t dead of the disease. It will approach 600,000 by spring. If we could unite to beat COVID, imagine all the other things we might be able to unite to accomplish. Wear your masks! And get your vaccinations.
Sudoku Solution If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.”
Solution on page 22
Solution on page 22
ACROSS By Bill Borders
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Solution on page 22 8. Crony 9. Zero 10. Pluck 13. Vocalizations 14. Way out 15. Lava 16. Folding portable ladders 19. Step 22. An opera glass 24. Terminate 26. Felines 27. It is (poetic) 30. Italian for “Wine” 32. Wild blue yonder 33. Trainee 34. Toxin
35. A moderately slow tempo 38. Famous 39. Chest armor 40. Aware 42. Jubilant 44. Dash 45. Big name in computers 48. Collections 49. Cards with 1 symbol 50. Exploded star 53. Spy agency 55. Russian fighter
February 18, 2021 /
BONNER GENERAL HEALTH �•-·Foundation
COVID milestone: More Idahoans vaccinated than infected. IDLeg update. Idaho politicos react to Trump impeachment trial. BoCo seeks improvem...