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2 / R / February 29, 2024

The week in random review

social animals

I don’t know about you people, but I became really antisocial beginning in 2020. Maybe I was always that way, but the COVID-19 pandemic and all its associated inconveniences and idiocies took every single last little bit of fun out of being around other folks, and I haven’t even come close to regaining an unguarded enjoyment of company. That said, I recently experienced what it used to feel like to be happy and see people out and about when my daughter and I attended the K-9 Keg Pull at the Winter Carnival. My daughter, Eleanor, is 9 years old and absolutely adores dogs, which is too bad for her, because we don’t have one and I won’t let us get one unless we move out of town and somewhere far from hillbilly neighbors whose defining personality trait and main pastime is shooting stuff. But that’s not to say we can’t enjoy other people’s dogs, and even enjoy those dogs’ people. We saw a lot of friends, some friendly pooches and I was reminded that it’s good to be in fellowship with other animals, be they human or not, though I’m still not too sure about the former.

jon stewart rides again

It’s been a pleasant, though complicated, experience to see the return of Jon Stewart to The Daily Show, which airs Monday-Thursday on Comedy Central and streams on Paramount+. For many of us Gen-X/Millennial cusp people, who were born in the late-’70s and early-’80s, Stewart’s brand of wounded wiseass cynicism while delivering the satirical news basically kept us sane as we realized that the 21st century was going to be a 24/7 waking nightmare. Stewart helmed the desk from 1999 to 2015, leaving just as we needed him the most. Successor host Trevor Noah was OK, but to be honest, I stopped watching after he came on board and I don’t watch the other hosts today — just Jon, who’s only on the show Mondays. All that said, he’s gone fully gray and his face is lined not just with 61 years of age but the kind of muted rage and ennui that many in his “younger” audience (we late-30- to 40-somethings) have pretty much accepted as their default emotional state for the past 20 years or more. I don’t find The Daily Show as funny as I once did, but I don’t think Jon Stewart does, either. I’m still watching, though.

start date

Against what I would have thought to be long odds, it has been about two months since I quit smoking cigarettes. I didn’t record the exact date or time, nor even set a specific date or time on which to quit. I didn’t want to make it into a thing over which to obsess. I just reckoned one day I wouldn’t buy another pack. I bummed a few here and there, and smoked some buttends from the porch ashtray, but once those were out I was finished. Yet, I’m going to admit that I don’t feel much better. I’m not coughing all the time, which is nice, but I 100% miss every other thing about the habit and understand Leonard Cohen a little better now. He quit in 2003 and hated not smoking so much that he vowed to pick it back up again at the age of 80, which he did in September 2014. Then he died in 2016. So I guess I’m here to make my official proclamation: I will resume smoking on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2061.


While many of us gave up on winter already, Mother Nature had other plans. There are still more than three weeks left on the calendar before the first day of spring, but it looks like we’re going to go out with a bang. Forecasts are calling for a week of snow (hooray) and possibly rain (boo). If the meteorologists are right, the mountains are going to get absolutely hammered over the next week, so don’t take down your ski racks yet, folks.

The Angels Over Sandpoint’s annual risqué variety show fundraiser The Follies is this weekend, so we hope you’ve secured your tickets. It’s the 20th anniversary of The Follies this year, which means the Angels have been changing our community for the better for two decades.

Finally, this is the first edition of the Reader to fall on a leap day, which only occur every four years. Thanks to Woods Wheatcroft for another excellent cover, and for Suzanne Waldrup for the excellent flying leap kick.


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About the Cover Woods Wheatcroft photo.

February 29, 2024 / R / 3

Sandpoint business owner files tort against city of Sandpoint

September police raid on business has yet to produce charges

A Sandpoint business owner has filed a tort claim against the city of Sandpoint five months after a police raid on her business has yet to result in criminal charges.

The tort involves an incident with Sandpoint Chocolate Co. owner Julie Breuer, alleging Sandpoint police raided her chocolate factory on Sept. 9, 2023 after what the filing describes as a “disgruntled” ex-manager gave the police a tip that Breuer had laced her chocolate bars with marijuana and cocaine, as well as allegations of “sex trafficking children.”

Breuer flatly denies the claims.

“We had terminated an employee that was stealing from us,” Breuer told the Reader. “Three hours after we terminated him, we got raided by the police.”

The complaint, filed by Breuer’s attorneys at Davillier Law Group, names the city of Sandpoint, the Sandpoint Police Department, SPD Chief Corey Coon and three Sandpoint police officers as defendants, as well as several “John and Jane Does.”

Sandpoint Chocolate Co. sells novelty chocolate bars to regional stores, with varieties decorated with candy toppings, fruit, cookies and other confections.

Breuer said she learned the chocolate-making trade after living in Hawaii and discovering kava, an extract made from the ground roots of a tropical plant historically taken as a drink or supplement to relieve anxiety.

After moving to Sandpoint in 2004 and returning to raise her children several years later, Breuer said her mother was

diagnosed with cancer.

“It was a terminal diagnosis,” she said. “I felt really hopeless, and when you can only go so far with doctors, you take to the internet.”

Breuer said she researched cannabidiol, or CBD, which is derived from hemp. CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the chemical in cannabis, which produces a high when ingested. CBD contains only trace amounts of THC and does not result in a high.

“I was able to secure some CBD out of Colorado,” she said. “I gave it to her and four months later, she scanned clear of any cancer.”

While she acknowledged that her mother’s situation might not always happen for everyone who uses CBD, Breuer said she “believe[s] in CBD and its natural healing properties.”

In April 2023, Breuer said she met with city of Sandpoint officials to discuss steps to employ in order to begin manufacturing chocolate within city limits. After meeting with city employees, she “received a list of items to complete to procure her change of use permit to operate light manufacturing,” out of the Lake Street facility, according to the complaint. At issue were several points to satisfy before the city would issue a business permit, which included establishing a retail space, as well as paving the parking lot — improvements Breuer said she supported.

“We had a conditional use permit,” Breuer said. “We asked them, ‘Can we still make chocolate, since it’s going to take a while to build out, pave the lot, etc. to get the retail store built?’ They said, ‘Absolutely.’ We were making chocolate all summer. We were selling it in Winter

Ridge and other stores all over town.”

Along with novelty bars, Breuer began a medicinal line of chocolates, manufacturing bars with kava and CBD derived from industrial hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act — which is the same type of hemp Breuer claims she uses in her CBD derivatives. The bill defines “industrial hemp” as cannabis that does not contain more than 0.3% of THC on a dry weight basis.

In 2021, Idaho became the 50th state in the nation to legalize hemp after enacting the Industrial Hemp Research and Development Act, which allows the cultivation and sale of hemp with THC not exceeding 0.3%.

Meanwhile, Idaho is one of only four states in the U.S. where marijuana remains fully illegal, along with Wyoming, Nebraska and South Carolina — all others have either permitted recreational use, medicinal use or have decriminalized possession.

“If you read the Idaho statutes, you’re allowed to have 0.3% or less of THC in any hemp product,” Breuer said. “I haven’t broken any laws.”

The raid

On the morning of Sept. 9, 2023, Breuer said she and

her then-business partner Brandon Miller terminated an employee.

After clearing the apartment and leaving the facility, Breuer and her employees began to salvage a chocolate pour already in progress. Meanwhile, according to the complaint, the ex-employee contacted the Sandpoint Police Department with claims that Breuer was making “‘weed chocolate bars’ from a massive grow operation, was putting ‘cocaine in chocolate bars’ and was ‘sex trafficking children.’” A search warrant for the factory was signed by a magistrate judge that same day.

Breuer told the Reader it was sometime in the early afternoon of Sept. 9, when four Sandpoint police officers raided her factory.

“They came into our facility without knocking, with guns drawn, wearing tactical gear,” she said. “They handcuffed me, my business partner and a 16-year-old employee; tore our facility apart; and confiscated a whole bunch of our stuff.”

Breuer and Miller were handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a police vehicle for about an hour as the police seized cell phones, three laptops, three Visa cards, multiple large plastic containers and totes filled with chocolate and ingredients, as well as 148 boxes of retail chocolate ready

for shipping.

“They finally let us go because they couldn’t find anything to charge us with,” Breuer said, but added that the police warned her if any THC showed up in the bars, she would be charged with the “full weight of the chocolate,” claiming that could result in a five-year prison sentence.

“I told them we didn’t have any THC in the chocolate,” she said. “We always get lab reports on everything we have; and, immediately after, we sent chocolate bars to two of the premier cannabis labs in California ... our bars came in way under the legal limit. The THC is so minuscule it shows up as ‘non-detected’ on the lab report.”

Breuer declined to share the lab report with the Reader on advice from her attorney.

A few days later, Breuer contends the city of Sandpoint “retaliated” against her business with the arrival of a letter under the door of her factory, which stated she was not permitted to operate her business within city limits.

Now, more than five months after the raid, Breuer is frustrated because she has yet to be charged with a crime, she’s unable to conduct business and her property has

< see TORT, Page 6 >

NEWS 4 / R / February 29, 2024
Sandpoint Police raided the Sandpoint Chocolate Co. factory on Lake Street on Sept. 9, 2023. Photo courtesy of the tort claim filed by Davillier Law Group.

BOCC weekly business meeting overshadowed by flurry of legal filings

Despite the deceptively ordinary agenda, the bulk of the Bonner County board of commissioners regular business meeting on Feb. 27 was devoted to arguing about freedom of speech and the legal ramifications of BOCC Chair Luke Omodt trespassing residents Rick Cramer and Dave Bowman on Jan. 26 — and beneath it all, the tensions simmering between some members of the board and the prosecutor and sheriff’s offices.

Attorney Daniel Sheckler, representing Cramer, issued a notice of tort claim against Omodt, Commissioner Steve Bradshaw and Bonner County on Feb. 26, which he shared with the Reader. Commissioner Asia Williams subsequently added four items to the Tuesday, Feb. 27 executive session agenda regarding the removal of the trespasses against Bowman and Cramer, as well as any potential settlements with the men.

“I guess I don’t understand why we would use public funds to have a settlement for political supporters of yours, Commissioner Williams,” said Omodt before the approval of the agenda.

According to the notice, Cramer requested Omodt, Bradshaw or the county as a whole pay him $750,000. It further specifies that he chose that amount to incentivize county officials to not deprive “citizens of their civil rights.”

Omodt trespassed Cramer and Bowman due to what he termed “disruptive and disorderly behavior [that] has interrupted the lawful meetings of Bonner County for months.” He subsequently placed the two men under citizen’s arrest, with the help of the Sandpoint Police Department, when they refused to leave a Jan. 26 meeting. The board officially voted to tres-

pass Bowman, but not Cramer, during the Feb. 6 business meeting.

The notice of tort alleges “deprivation of rights without due process,” “false arrest without probable cause” and “defamation by implication,” resulting in “reputational harm, public embarrassment, the loss of constitutional rights, the loss of liberty, mental anguish and other suffering.”

Sheckler argues that Cramer’s inability to give public comment infringes on his First Amendment rights, and that though he’s allowed to participate over Zoom, the fact that not all county meetings are streamed online further deprives him of his right to access government services.

Williams, who has a professional background in risk management, has repeatedly advised that the trespasses, and subsequent actions taken by Omodt, could result in future litigation.

“That wouldn’t matter who the person is — we are facing litigation, as it stands, for a decision that you [Omodt] chose to make in the absence of listening to our legal [advisers],” said Williams, later adding that the board has “no grounds to stand on at this time” to defend against the claim.

“[Y]ou have sent a correspondence to both parties saying that they were trespassed,” she continued. “You did it on the day that they were already in the building within five minutes, and then you told them that you would follow up with a letter to them, which has not happened.”

According to Williams, the “settlement” discussions she scheduled for executive session would not necessarily result in a monetary loss to the county, but rather, “It could be an apology letter from Commissioner Omodt and Commissioner Bradshaw for trespassing them — for having

somebody illegally arrested.”

She later clarified that it was unclear whether the trespasses were illegal.

“This should be mitigated before we end up with ridiculously high attorney fees that [people] are requesting to be recouped,” she said. “It wouldn’t matter if this case, from both of these, was only worth $10, I guarantee you the legal fees will topple that.”

After easily approving regular business like the alteration of a data entry administrator job description and Justice Services budget adjustments, the meeting transitioned to a contentious public comment section.

Resident George Gehrig argued for freedom of speech during business meetings, stating, “I have requested a levy of a civil penalty for Commissioner Omodt’s repeated Open Meeting Law violations.” He cited Omodt’s past decisions to allow or ban public comment depending on the meeting, and a revision made to a special meeting agenda on Feb. 23, which did not meet the required 24-hour advance publication deadline.

According to the Idaho Open Meeting Law Manual, “[T]he Open Meeting Law does not expressly require the opportunity for public comment,” and further stipulates, “A public agency may adopt reasonable rules and regulations to ensure the orderly conduct of a public meeting and to ensure orderly behavior on the part of those persons attending the meeting.”

Gehrig concluded his comment by reading an email from Omodt into the record, in which he stated, “Mr.

Gehrig, your comprehension of Idaho statute is probably similar to the other members of your merry band of malcontents and the driver of your clown car ... It’s my understanding that there are a number of transplants from more liberal, urban areas such as Western Washington who project virtue while being easily confused by facts, laws and ethics.”

Bonner County Republican Central Committee member Dan Rose — a vocal opponent of Omodt and Bradshaw — gave the two commissioners “Affidavits of Maladministration of County Officers Oath of Office,” signed by himself and Richard Gray. The affidavits — obtained by the Reader through a public records request — demand that Bradshaw and Omodt restate their oaths of office using the language from the Idaho Constitution as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator (or representative, as the case may be) according to the best of my ability.” The two affiants alleged that the commissioners added the words “and laws” to their oaths, undermining the authority of the constitutions, and are therefore not entitled to the “powers granted to [them] by the people.”

The meeting adjourned following testimony by resident Dave Bowman, who encouraged voters not to reelect Omodt in the upcoming May 21 Republican primary election. He touched on the

fact that County Prosecutor Louis Marshall, Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and Coroner Robert Beers served Omodt with a cease and desist letter on Feb. 21, following his decision to order I.T. Director Jacob Storms “to alter the credentials of Sergeant Marcus Robbins such that he can no longer safeguard certain digital public records legally under the authority and control of the Bonner County Prosecutor, Sheriff and Coroner, respectively,” according to the letter. The records in question include active criminal and death investigations and personal information on victims.

The letter went on to threaten legal action should Robbins’ security credentials not be restored, in what Marshall, Wheeler and Beers described as “gross overreach and abuse of power” by Omodt, who replied in a Feb. 24 letter to Marshall, citing Idaho Code 31-828 and 31-871, which stipulate the county commissioners are “responsible for the classification and retention of letters.”

He went on to list a number of claims, including that Storms had never been “commanded to alter the credentials” of Robbins, and that Wheeler had pressed for background checks on maintenance and custodial staff while refusing to conduct the same checks on I.T. staff. What’s more, Omodt wrote, Wheeler, Marshall and Beers chose not to attend monthly department head meetings at which cybersecurity upgrades were discussed.

Omodt concluded, “It is disappointing that in a world of Russian and Chinese cyberattacks the three chief law enforcement officials of Bonner County prioritize politics and who cleans the toilets over the cybersecurity protecting the elections, emergency services, finances and taxpayers of Bonner County.”

NEWS February 29, 2024 / R / 5

yet to be returned.

“It took us two days to get back results from the lab on our bars, yet it’s been more than five months now and still they don’t have an answer,” Breuer said.

Bonner County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Katie Sherritt told the Reader she’ll likely be assigned the case if charges are filed.

“I can offer that in general the Idaho State Police can only test for the presence of THC,” Sherritt wrote to the Reader. “Once an item has tested positive for THC it has to be sent to a private lab out of state to determine the concentration of THC in the item and that can take a fairly significant amount of time.”

Sherritt declined to comment further on the case since it is still an open investigation.

Sandpoint police denied a public records request for the police report, also stating it was an open investigation.

Sandpoint Mayor Jeremy Grimm provided a statement to the Reader, though the raid took place before his term began in January 2024. Former Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad did not respond to a request for comment.

“The alleged activity may represent one or more felony violations including those outlined in Idaho Code 37-2732,” Grimm wrote. “As such, our professional law enforcement personnel are not rushing to judgment and have engaged with an independent testing laboratory to verify what was found on the premises.”

Grimm said the “process takes time, and we are moving as quickly as possible to bring the situation to its rightful conclusion.”

In answer to Breuer’s claims that the city “retaliated” against her by denying a business license, Grimm wrote, “No license had been issued due to significant land use-related compliance issues.”

Grimm included correspondence between Breuer and Sandpoint City Planner Amy Tweeten after the police raid, the latter informing Breuer that she was unable to continue operating the factory until multiple issues were

resolved, including establishing a retail space and paving the parking lot.

“Although the timing of the independent events overlaps, the criminal investigation is entirely separate from the land use, building and business licensing matters,” Grimm wrote. “The city does not retaliate against business owners.”

Along with products seized in the raid, Breuer said the future of her business is in limbo. Most of the raw ingredients used to make chocolate are no longer suitable for sale, and she claims to have lost numerous contracts with customers she had obtained through “decades of hard work.”

The tort alleges 13 separate violations against the defendants, which include unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, retaliation, false imprisonment and others.

A notice of tort claim, emailed to the Reader on Feb. 7 from Breuer, concluded with a claim for “amounts that exceed” $5 million, stemming from “a proximate result of the above referenced actions and inactions” of the respondent — that is, the city of Sandpoint.

That document was dated Jan. 30. However, in the subsequent official filing, dated Feb. 21, the tort contained no dollar amount. Rather, Breuer requested compensatory damages as restitution for the costs associated with the destruction of her property, for loss of business contracts and income, for humiliation and emotional distress, and attorneys fees, as well as a declaratory relief requiring defendants to update training, policies and procedures.

Despite the setbacks and legal peril, Breuer said she’s continuing to fight.

“Nowhere in Idaho statutes does it say I broke any laws,” she said. “I’m not going anywhere. Sandpoint is my home, it’s where I’ve raised my kids. They’re not going to run me out of town.”

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:

“Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely,” stated Jack Posobiec, a MAGA influencer, on Feb. 21 — the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference. Democracy would be replaced with “this right here,” he said, holding his fist in the air. Mediaite indicated Posobiec’s comments were met with enthusiasm. On the social media platform “X,” Republicans Against Trump posted, “Trump’s Republican Party openly wants to end democracy. We must stop them.”

Top congressional leaders have met with President Joe Biden at the White House to yet again discuss avoiding government shutdowns that could occur as soon as Friday, March 1 and Friday, March 8. CBS pointed out that the funding deadline was dodged in September and November via continuing resolutions. Preventing passage are partisan policy riders related to abortion, a closed-door commission to cut programs like SNAP and Social Security, and border security issues. Hard-right Republicans previously rejected a bipartisan effort to address border issues, since former President — and 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner — Donald Trump wants to save that issue for his campaign. A GOP lawmaker told Axios a government shutdown is likely, but Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell — who announced Feb. 28 that he would step down as Senate GOP leader in November — said a shutdown is harmful to the country and “entirely avoidable.”

Historian Heather C. Richardson wrote that the Biden administration has opposed a ceasefire from Israel because it would allow Hamas to beef up its war against Israel. Biden and others in the Middle East, who now see the security and economic benefits of normalizing ties with Israel, are putting effort into a two-state solution that allows Palestinians a homeland, and that stops Israel from taking over the area that they have significantly bombed. That effort is challenged by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying to stay in power by pleasing political allies so he can avoid going to prison for corruption. Netanyahu has insisted he wants Israel to retain control of post-war Gaza.

In a reversal of Trump-era policies, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken now says the U.S. considers Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory to be “inconsistent with national law,” The

A magician was paid $150 to create a fake Biden voice for a robocall that urged people to avoid New Hampshire’s recent primary, The Guardian reported. Paul D. Carpenter said a consultant for Biden primary challenger Dean Phillips recruited him, while Phillips said he did not approve the robocall. For Carpenter, the creation of the call was “scary easy,” taking fewer than 20 minutes and costing $1.

The Federal Communications Commission subsequently ruled unanimously to either fine companies using AI voices in their calls, or to block service providers carrying them.

Biden announced 500 new sanctions against Russian interests for its war on Ukraine. The Guardian said the new restrictions will target Russian exports and outside countries that facilitate Russia’s access to desired goods. A former U.S. national security official stated that U.S. military assistance for Ukraine — which is currently blocked by House Republicans — matters far more than the sanctions.

According to Bloomberg, Trump is appealing his recent financial fraud case that resulted in a $355 million judgment. That amount could balloon with failure to pay, via interest accruing at $112,000 daily. Failure to pay will result in seizure of assets.

Despite Republican opposition, Biden announced $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for 153,000 borrowers, Business Insider reported. Specifics: those who took out loans of $12,000 or less and have made 10 years of qualifying payments are eligible for the relief, which will occur “automatically.”

In 175 U.S. cities surveyed by an independent criminologist, The Atlantic reported that violent crimes have dropped to a 50-year low, while murders have fallen by 13%. That fact has gone unnoticed by the portion of the public that relies on sensational and right-wing media sources.

Blast from the past: The 1862 Homestead Act promised 160 acres to those who built a home, cultivated the land and lived there for five years. In 1866, seeking freedom from Southern white violence, skilled Black people headed for the Great Plains to homestead. Their priorities included building schools and churches. The only surviving community founded by Black Americans during Reconstruction is Nicodemus, Kan. — a National Historic Site, which holds an annual reunion. There are as many as 250,000 living descendants of Nicodemus community members.

6 / R / February 29, 2024
< TORT, con’t from Page 4 >
Top left: Sandpoint Chocolate Co. owner Julie Breuer and daughter Gracie in their Sandpoint factory. Top right: A close-up of some of the varieties of novelty chocolate bars in the Sandpoint Chocolate line. Photos by Ben Olson.

Idaho Senate passes bill to create special ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ license plates

Idaho lawmakers are working to get an official state license plate featuring the Gadsden flag, the yellow flag from the Revolutionary War era featuring a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me,” serving as a popular symbol of opposition to the violation of personal liberties.

In an 18-15 vote, the Idaho Senate on Feb. 23 voted to pass Senate Bill 1317, which would give Idahoans the

option to choose the special license plate, of which some of the proceeds would go toward a firearm safety education program.

The bill sponsor, Sen. Tammy Nichols, R-Middleton, said there are 11 states with “Don’t Tread on Me” license plates, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Iowa.

“In essence, this legislation outlines a comprehensive approach to firearm safety, intertwining historical sym-

bolism with a contemporary commitment to education and responsible practices, all while giving Idahoans an amazing license plate option,” Nichols said.

Legislators in opposition to the plate said that while they support the symbolism behind the Gadsden flag, that they do not think funneling money through specialty license plates is the proper role of government.

Those in opposition included Sen. Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, who said she has never voted in support of the spe-

A novelty “Don’t Tread On Me” plate. Note: this is not an official design, but an idea of what they might look like. Courtesy image.

cialty license plates, and she plans to be consistent with her previous votes.

“I would encourage you to buy bumper stickers ... in a way to let everyone on the road know what you celebrate ... and then make a dona-

tion to many, many worthy causes,” she said. “This is a worthy cause, and you can do that directly without any government bureaucracy or administration.”

The bill is headed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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

City seeking bids and proposals for Travers playground art, water treatment plant work, City Beach snack shack

The city of Sandpoint is soliciting bids and proposals for a number of projects, including playground artwork at Travers Park, rehabilitation of the Little Sand Creek water treatment plant and a concessionaire for Martha’s Snack Shack at City Beach.

The request for proposal at the Travers Park playground, specifically includes four panels of a “We-Go-Round,” a trademarked style of merry-go-round designed to be inclusive to users of all abilities, including full wheelchair accessibility.

According to an announcement from the city, submissions may be filed for one panel or all four “in a story form,” with the final format to be determined. The project budget calls for $250 per panel for a total of $1,000.

Other criteria include that images must be original art — no AI-generated images will be allowed — and the city has stipulated that “we would like to see at least one panel with a reference to ADA access, for example, a child in a wheelchair.”

The city may give preference to illustrators who are Bonner County locals or who

have art that is featured in a local author’s book.

Questions about the call for artwork will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Monday, March 4 with the deadline for submissions set for 2 p.m. on Monday, March 11. For all inquiries and submissions, contact Sandpoint Arts and Historic Preservation Officer Heather Upton at Submissions must include name, address, phone number and email address, and resumes are encouraged but not required.

For the full request for proposal — including sample images, templates and all necessary forms — go to and click on RFP No. 24-5300-1.

The bid for the Little Sand Creek water treatment rehabilitation project is described as including concrete latex mortar spot repair, crack sealing, wall coatings, link-seal replacements and roof drain improvements, among other related tasks. The estimated cost for the project is less than $400,000.

Sealed bids will be received by the city clerk until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26. A pre-bid conference for the project will take place Tuesday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at

the treatment plant (856 Schweitzer Mountain Road).

Full bid documents are available at the city’s website under Bid No. 24-3457-1.

Finally, the iconic concessions building at City Beach is in need of an operator, with the city seeking RFPs from commercial tenants to provide services at Marsha’s Snack Shack from May 18 through Sept. 2 (Labor Day weekend), with the option to continue operations for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

The successful applicant will provide all staffing and equipment needed to operate the concessions stand, named in memory of late-Mayor Marsha Ogilvie, and which features a kitchen area of 400 square feet, 225 square feet of storage space and a 450-square-foot dining area.

Proposals will be accepted until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26 and questions — only to be directed in writing to — are due no later than 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18. Three hard copies and one pdf copy of the proposal delivered on a thumb drive should be sent to: City of Sandpoint, City Clerk at 1123 Lake St., Sandpoint, Idaho 83864.

Find all RFP materials

at under RFP No. 24-5180-1.

City of Ponderay Planning Commission to hold public hearing on rezone

The Ponderay Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Ponderay City Hall (288 Fourth St.), to consider a request by Mountain Scape, Inc. to approve rezoning a 1.87-acre parcel of land from residential to industrial.

The current zoning was established during a review of the greater McNearney neighborhood in 2021 (Ord. 156), when the zoning designation was changed from Industrial to Residential. The parcel abuts Industrial zoning to the south.

No construction is proposed at this time. The property is located on the west side of McNearney Rd. in Section 2, Township 57N, Range 2W.

Those who would like to participate in the hearing remotely can visit the project page planning-zoning/projects for information on how to register in advance of the meeting. Comments can be mailed to Ponderay: City Planning, P.O. Box 500, Ponderay, ID 83852 or email klmiller@ponderay. org. Written comments will be accepted up until one week prior to the hearing.

February 29, 2024 / R / 7 NEWS
Marsha’s Snack Shack at Sandpoint City Beach. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.


• Special thanks to Liz Stephenson for gifting the Reader with two historic window panes from the old corner cafe that used to be inside of Harold’s IGA (anyone else remember that cute little cafe/snack bar?). Also, thanks to Bev Kee for connecting me with Liz and the window panes. These will go nicely with the sign we have on display that used to hang over the aisle at the old Sandpoint grocery store, which was bulldozed in 2005 to make way for the Columbia Bank Building. Our outer office is becoming quite the museum lately, thanks to all these fun historic community items, as well as the two dozen manual typewriters scattered throughout the room. Finally, I’d like to extend our condolences for Liz’s husband Harold, who passed away just before Christmas. Harold and Liz founded The Paint Bucket in Sandpoint and have touched many peoples’ lives over the 33 years they ran the store.


• Why do slow drivers speed up when they reach a passing lane, then slow back down after it ends? We’ve all been there. You’re following behind someone going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit for miles and miles until you reach a passing lane. Suddenly, the slow driver has a lead foot and, if you want to pass them, you’ll have to gun it, too. Then, after the passing lane merges back to a single lane, the driver returns to driving 5-10 mph under the limit. One explanation I’ve heard is that when driving on a wider road, drivers will often feel like they’re going slower and will instinctually accelerate. The more likely answer is that most people have fragile egos and don’t like to be passed, possibly taking it as a critique of their driving. Whatever the cause, let’s work on this, shall we?

Climate concern and Christianity aren’t mutually exclusive…

Dear editor,

I am writing to express my disappointment in the advertised event “Climate Trojan Horse,” an event with a banner advertised by a local church. It is hard to miss the irony that an event based on disproving climate change is advertised in Sandpoint, in February, without snow on the ground and above average temperatures.

I support free speech, but not when the information is untrue and actively hurting people.

Climate change is very much a here-and-now issue, and without mitigation and adaptation efforts, more and more people will suffer.

This event mentions that efforts to lessen the impacts of climate change are “anti-Christ,” but I would ask what is more Christ-like than taking care of creation? What is more Christ-like than caring for our fellow humans and protecting them from the dangers of climate change?

Being concerned about climate change and being a Christian are not mutually exclusive. In fact, atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe explains that her Christian faith is the reason she became a climate scientist.

Our window to stop the most disastrous impacts of climate change is rapidly closing, and hosting events that aim to spread false information regarding climate change will do significantly more damage. We are all on this planet together, let’s take extra good care of our home.

Makayla Sundquist

It is inappropriate and inefficient for our legislators to micromanage details of state agency budgets. Agency leaders uniquely understand the needs of their departments better than lawmakers. For example, fire departments know their staffing demands and replacement vehicle needs. Does it make sense to put this thoughtful planning and management of budget details into the hands of lawmakers to “sift through”?

The same lawmakers who are also reading and voting on multipage, rapidly introduced bills each day (nearly 400 since January) of legislative marathon? Taking the decision-making out of the hands of people with deep domain knowledge and putting it into the hands of distracted politicians doesn’t make sense.

Cutting costs is not the only or best tool we have to improve the health of our economy. Scott Herndon told us in one of his speeches that the power of the legislator is the ability to withhold funding. Idaho has experienced amazing population growth and yet, we’ve underinvested in our schools and infrastructure. Sometimes reinvestment is necessary. Smart reinvestment requires complex thinking and modeling to focus efforts for maximum benefit.

Can we start talking about how to invest properly in Idaho instead of how to stop the money flow?

Kathryn Larson

Sagle, running for District 1A House as a Democrat

We need to elect more lawmakers who represent all of us…

The past three years since I’ve been involved with Reclaim Idaho (, I registered as a Republican and found that by voting in the primaries my vote can count to help get the best person on the ballot. I couldn’t keep our current senator off the ballot, but a lot of us tried!

Jim Woodward has many good points, one of them being his “May Matters” campaign. Find him at Have no doubt, Scott Herndon and his outof-state dark money supporters will not go away easily! The Heritage Foundation and the Idaho freedom foundation (I will capitalize Idaho, but not the rest) have deep pockets and seriously flawed plans. Google

“Heritage Project 25.”

However you do it, if you are not already registered as a Republican, do what it takes to get it done before March 16, so you can vote in the May 21 Republican primary election. Please try to keep the T-RUMP MAGAts off the ballot!

Trump again? Never!…

Dear editor,

Dear Republican caucus voters, there are some numbers to consider before voting for Donald Trump.

Trump called a rally for Jan. 6, 2021, stating it would be wild. On the morning of Jan. 6, multiple cars full of assault rifles and explosives were seized by police. Two pipe bombs were placed by Republican and Democratic Party offices, and a gallows was erected.

Finally, at 4:17 p.m., Trump told the rioters to go home. He never called the National Guard, never raised a finger to stop the violence he put in motion.

Five people died, one of them a police officer. Four more police would commit suicide, 174 officers were injured and so far 890 rioters have been convicted of federal crimes. Trump has been charged and is awaiting trial. Next president? Never!

Mary Haley


Vote Woodward in the May primary…

Dear editor,

The May primaries are getting closer. If you’ve noticed there are signs going up that state that “May Matters.” It certainly does, as it’s the way to get Jim Woodward on the ballot. He needs to be there so we, the voters, can work together to remove Scott Herndon from office — a place where he should never have been in the first place. The negative impact around him is like a dark cloud.

We need Jim Woodward. An honest man who cares about us and Idaho. He does not spew negativity by talking out of both sides of his mouth. He favors public education and will fight for it. He is known for trying his very best to uphold his oath. He will fight for schools, local businesses, among many other things and most importantly for us, his constituents. He is honest, loyal to Idaho and really cares about all of us. He is a native Idahoan, has fought for this country in the military and will fight for us.

Kootenai Dear editor,

Dear editor,

‘JFAC rule changes should concern voters’…

None of the articles about JFAC rules clearly outline why the changes should matter to voters.

These changes — limiting budgets to “keep the lights on” with a future promise to consider realistic maintenance budgets — do not increase efficiency and transparency. Agencies must scramble to create unrealistic budgets and a second realistic one. A “keepingthe-lights-on” budget, as defined by the architects of this JFAC change, cuts the muscle and resiliency from our agencies.

As an experienced business leader, I find this JFAC rule change troubling.

I have lived, worked, played and voted in Bonner County for 46 years this April. My only serious regret for 43 of those years was living in a state where my vote did not count, unless, of course, I knew the Republican candidate who would win was the best person to hold the office.

We have been blessed over the years to have had many competent, compassionate and intelligent legislators fully accepting the responsibility of serving all of the people in their district — people like Jim Stoicheff, George Eskridge, Shawn Keough, Jim Woodward and Mark Sauter. I hold great respect and appreciation for those who have shown clearly that they were there to serve us all as best they could. We need to be able to elect more of these sorts of people regardless of their party.

Trump spoke to over 10,000 people and told them to be peaceful, but his parting words were, “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Then he told them to march to the Capitol.

At 1:30 p.m., violent clashes started with the Capitol Police. Trump responded by tweeting his speech. At 2:11 p.m., the rioters broke into the Capitol smashing windows and doors. At 2:24 p.m., Trump tweeted that then-Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have the courage” to block certification of the election. The Secret Service moved to protect Pence as rioters chanted to hang him. At 2:38 p.m., Trump tweeted to respect the police but, only under pressure, added to be peaceful. He didn’t ask anyone to leave the Capitol area. At 4:05 p.m., President-elect Joe Biden spoke to the nation.

Please join me and many others to get Jim Woodward on the ballot by voting in the May primaries. May Matters. It surely does. Vote Jim Woodward. Sincerely,

Priest River

The Reader will only accept letters which are 200 words or less beginning March 7, due to the high number of election-related letters we receive. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we just don’t have the pages to print the volume of letters we receive prior to elections. The word limit will increase back to 300 words after the May 21 primary election.

Thanks for understanding.

8 / R / February 29, 2024

Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

Coffee (shop) filters

I had a thought the other day, and it was something along the lines of, “Do I even like the clothes I pick out for myself? I feel like I like them, but I also used to feel more certain that I liked them.”

I had the same sort of thought as I went with my partner to pick out countertops for our kitchen remodel. “Why can’t I picture what my kitchen would look like with countertops in this color? Do I really like this color?”

These kinds of questions have been cropping up more frequently, not because I’m suffering some sort of amnesia or identity crisis (at least I think I’m not), but because I was introduced to another question by Kyle Chayka, staff writer for the New Yorker, and author of several books on internet and culture.

Chaykra asked, “Why do so many coffee shops look the same?”

He was drawn to this question because he, like me, spends a lot of time in coffee shops. And he started noticing creeping similarities in aesthetics, both online and in person, in coffee shops around the world. He described these similar cafes with “plentiful daylight through large storefront windows; industrial-size wood tables for accessible seating; [and] a bright interior with walls painted white or covered in subway tiles.” They were places he, an “internet-brained millennial acutely conscious of his own taste — would want to go to.”

Adding to his mental image, my own imagination included Edison light bulbs,

exposed brick, viney-plants and an Instagram feature wall.

Chaykra’s observation-turned-obsession was that these cafes — built in disparate cities by unique individuals, often separated by whole oceans — were suffering from sameness. It led him to write Filterworld, How Algorithms Flattened Culture.

Published in January, Chaykra posited in the book that, “the growth of Instagram gave international cafe owners and baristas a way to follow one another in real time and gradually, via algorithmic recommendations, begin consuming the same kinds of content. One cafe owner’s personal taste would drift toward what the rest of them liked, too, eventually coalescing.”

He added: “On the customer side, Yelp, Foursquare and Google Maps drove people like me — who could also follow the popular coffee aesthetics on Instagram — toward cafes that conformed with what they wanted to see by putting them at the top of searches or highlighting them on a map.”

This combination of narrowing exposure to differing styles, while on a consum-

er-driven level also incentivizing a specific aesthetic, meant that coffee shops began unconsciously conforming to a standard — a standard that we, the consumers, hold them to. Coffee shop owners can’t just have good coffee and strong Wi-Fi, they have to signal they have those things with white subway tile backsplashes and reclaimed wood furniture, all beautifully captured in images shared online.

The same consumer- and algorithmic-driven pressures have seeped into almost all facets of culture to which we are exposed. The clothing brands I’m served on my feeds, the interior design products I’m sold, the movies I’m recommended on Netflix and the songs I’m nudged to listen to on Spotify are all carefully curated to capture my attention, keep me comfortable and (hopefully) engage me long enough to sell me something.

“The algorithm” and how it affects our engagement is far from an unexplored idea. But it’s also worth continuing to check in on, at a personal level. When we’re consuming so much, it’s important to ask, “Do I really like this, or have I just been inundated with it?”

The truth is, there’s discomfort in an un-algorithmic world. I might stumble upon a coffee shop — instead of searching for it ahead of time — just to learn that the beans are burnt. I might not like every song I hear when playing a whole album (instead of just listening to the one song I was served). I might watch a movie that makes me uncomfortable (because it’s not a feel-good quirky comedy with a 98% match to my existing taste). And the bed and breakfast I randomly pull into might end

up smelling like cat pee. But, also, it might not. I might find the perfect cafe with the unphotogenic nooks and crannies that feel so good to sit and read in. I might grow to love a song that felt odd during the first listen, growing my taste in music a little more with it. And I might end up sitting across the table from my bed and breakfast hosts late into the night, drinking wine and talking about life, travel and the wonder of meaningful, yet fleeting


I think this reflection might mean I’m one step closer to that off-grid, homestead life, where I knit all my clothes, start my own sourdough and spend my days caring for my herd of Highland cows... Wait, shit. I think that’s an Instagram account, too.

Emily Erickson is a writer and business owner with an affinity for black coffee and playing in the mountains. Connect with her online at


February 29, 2024 / R / 9 PERSPECTIVES
Emily Erickson.

Science: Mad about

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It’s difficult to pinpoint a video game franchise that’s had the most cultural contribution to human society globally. It’s easy to point at titles like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Dark Souls, Grand Theft Auto or Pokémon. I’d argue that if you raised your hand for any of those, you’re dead wrong.

It’s obviously Battletoads.

In all seriousness, it’s impossible to ignore the massive media juggernaut that is Final Fantasy. There isn’t a person alive in a developed nation above the age of 6 that hasn’t felt the influence of this franchise in one form or another. Famous for its staggering number of sequels and spinoffs, the crown victor of Final Fantasy’s epic reach is certainly Final Fantasy VII, released in 1997 for the Playstation game console. We’ll tackle the importance of this cultural behemoth later in this article — for now, it’s important to dive into its origins.

Much like Pokémon, the history of Final Fantasy began as a game that almost never was. Role-playing games (RPGs) weren’t very popular in Japan in the 1980s, especially on video game consoles. While America was enduring the “Satanic Panic” and Tom Hanks’ demonization of Dungeons & Dragons in the 1982 TV movie Mazes and Monsters, the father of Final Fantasy — Hironobu Sakaguchi — was pushing his parent company, Square, to develop a role-playing game. Square pushed back, certain that an RPG wouldn’t sell well enough to cover the cost of development.

Dragon Quest proved Square wrong by becoming an over-

night sensation and propelling role-playing games to the forefront of the collective Japanese psyche. Released May 27, 1986, Dragon Quest went on to define how RPGs would be executed on consoles for the next decade. The presence of an overworld for your sprites to explore was chief among the developments that titles like Final Fantasy and Pokémon would draw from later. Randomized battles to play in a new perspective, and even the method in which commands were issued in battle all stuck around for at least 10 years after its release. While 10 years doesn’t seem like much in the life of a game now (looking at you, 2011’s Skyrim), entertainment technology exploded between 1986 and 1997. Storage capacities alone grew by orders of magnitude and consoles evolved from 8-bit pixel art to a blend of photorealism and polygonal 3-D models.

notably featured the ability to freely choose the classes of your group to build your own adventuring party with a unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. Interestingly, this take was pared down in later installments by giving specific characters unique abilities and encouraging you to swap out party members to accomplish specific goals.

The irony of a game titled Final Fantasy is that it appears to have spawned dozens of sequels and continues to this day. It’s believed that the primary driving force behind the finality of the name was that Sakaguchi felt backed into a wall by Square and if the game flopped then he would have quit the industry forever.

soundtrack by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu, the man responsible for the fanfare heard ‘round the world, along with a cast of lovable misfits and a combat system that was hard to put down and Square Enix had a global hit on its hands.

In 2001, Final Fantasy stepped boldly into the realm of motion pictures with the ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. There’s not much to discuss about this movie beyond the herculean effort animators made to completely render a hyper-realistic human being in the

form of Aki Ross, dubbed the first “digital actress.” This experiment showcased the possibilities CGI held in reinventing cinema, which was later expanded on by titles like Avatar, and every dang Marvel movie that’s come out since Iron Man.

Though now under different leadership, Final Fantasy continues to this day with the hugely successful Final Fantasy XIV, a massively multiplayer online role playing game and one of the only juggernauts that’s reliably been able to rival World of Warcraft.

Stay curious, 7B.

final fantasy Random Corner

Dragon Quest’s success was a clear signal to Square that RPGs would sell in Japan. At this point, Square gave the green light to Sakaguchi to begin development of the first title, modeled heavily after western RPGs like Ultima.

Bonus fact: The 1997 smash-hit, Ultima Online — based on the world from the 1981 title — is still running. This makes it one of the oldest MMOs still online, beating World of Warcraft from 2004, Runescape from 2001 and Everquest from 1999.

The team behind the original Final Fantasy was quite small. Referred to as the “A-team,” Sakaguchi’s team of developers and creatives brought a unique twist to RPGs in Japan by introducing elemental weaknesses to monsters borrowed from Dungeons & Dragons. The game also

At first, it appeared it may indeed have been the sole and final installment in the series when the Japanese magazine Famicom Tsushin refused to review it and Square pushed to create only 200,000 copies. Something about the game spoke to Japanese consumers however, as it exploded in popularity and was translated into English for a North American audience in 1990. The first installment is still extremely rare stateside, especially in the form of an NES cartridge.

The series solidified itself in video game history in 1997 with the release of Final Fantasy VII, the first of the franchise to be released on CDs with the Playstation console. Previous CD systems, such as the Sega CD and Sega Saturn lacked the power the Playstation could provide. FFVII boasted a polygonal overworld and polygonal characters overlaid photorealistic pre-rendered artwork, something that had never really been seen before at that scale. Pair that with a phenomenal

•Vitamins are a group of substances that are necessar y for normal cell function, growth and development.

•English biochemist Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1929 for his discovery of vitamins.

•Along with vitamins, there are a number of minerals that are essential for good health, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, sulfur, cobalt, copper, fluoride, manganese and selenium.

•There are 13 essential vitamins, including A, C, D, E, K, B1 (thiamine); B2 (riboflavin); B3 (niacin); B6 (pyridoxine); B12 (cyanocobalamin); pantothenic acid (B5); biotin (B7); and folic acid (B9).

•Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) dissolve in fat and are stored in your body, while water-soluble vitamins (C- and B-complex vitamins) dissolve in

water, so your body can’t store these ones. As a result, the latter vitamins must be taken daily to ensure your body has enough to perform essential functions and prevent deficiency.

•Nutritionists often prefer their patients to obtain vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, rather than a pill bottle. For example, meat, poultry, fish and beans are a good source of iron and B12; green leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin A; and nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are a great source for vitamin E.

•Vitamin D can be produced in the skin from the sun’s energy.

•Drinking tea or coffee with meals makes it harder for the body to absorb iron from plant foods.

•Iron deficiency is the most common deficiency, with more than 25% of people worldwide not getting enough iron in their diets.

10 / R / February 29, 2024
Don’t know much about vitamins and minerals? We can help!
GOP needs to uphold the integrity of electoral process We can still save Trestle Creek and uphold Idaho’s Lake Protection


In a remarkable show of unity and determination last year, our community rallied against a proposed expansive marina at the mouth of Trestle Creek on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Despite ongoing complications, we can still stop it from happening.

Last summer’s saga involved three affiliates of the The Idaho Club submitting an application to the Idaho Department of Lands for a community dock. The application is part of the private club’s strategy toward their broader plan to build a 105-slip private marina covering 15,550 square feet, alongside a luxury residential development — all at Trestle Creek. More than 1,300 comments from the public flooded in and hundreds showed up at a public hearing, reflecting our community’s deep-seated disapproval of the project.

IDL has a legal obligation to protect public trust values such as water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, aquatic life, recreation and aesthetics. In order to carry out their plans, The Idaho Club wants to dredge nearly 14,000 cubic yards of dirt and lakebed, including the removal of an island, and discharge more than 10,000 cubic yards of this material into wetlands and waterways in order to straighten and harden the shoreline. This would dramatically diminish the quality of nature at the site and the public trust values. The development would cause significant impacts to water quality, spawning habitat for bull trout and kokanee, beavers that live there, and nesting and roosting habitat for eagles and other birds. This proposed large private marina is designed for exclusive use by The Idaho Club’s members and is not in the best interest of our greater community.

Despite the overwhelming objections and legal complexities surrounding the project,

IDL Director Dustin T. Miller approved the lakebed encroachment permit for the marina on Oct. 27, 2023. However, before that permit was issued to the applicants, a land transfer of one of the three parcels threw a wrench into The Idaho Club’s plans.

The change in ownership has rendered the application and its approval invalid.

According to Idaho’s Lake Protection Act, community docks require participation from three adjacent shoreline owners. The Idaho Club no longer meets the criteria at this location. Moreover, the transferred parcel’s shoreline was factored into the dock’s proposed size calculation, further complicating the issue. The two remaining shoreline owners who are affiliated with The Idaho Club could qualify for a “two family dock,” with a maximum of 1,100 square feet, in comparison to the 15,550-square-foot marina they are seeking to build for their members.

The Idaho Conservation League alerted IDL to the non-compliance in early December, prior to the permit being issued, but acknowledgement and action from IDL and Gov. Brad Little’s office has been lacking. This delay jeopardizes the integrity of Idaho’s environmental laws and undermines the community’s efforts to protect Trestle Creek.

Now, more than ever, we must voice our concerns and demand accountability from our state leaders. If we wish to see

Trestle Creek and other special places preserved for future generations, we must ensure that Idaho laws are upheld. No one is above the law — especially when it comes to our clean air, clean water and special places.

It is imperative that Little and Miller recognize the invalidity of the permit application and take immediate action to declare the application invalid.

As residents of this wonderful lakefront community, we have a responsibility to protect our natural assets and hold our elected officials and regulatory agencies accountable. We urge each and every one of you to reach out to Little and Miller, expressing your concerns about the non-compliance of The Idaho Club’s permit application. Together, we can ensure that Trestle Creek remains a symbol of our commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible development.

Use this link to easily send an email to Little and Miller:

Then call the governor’s office directly at 208-334-2100. Ask him to declare The Idaho Club’s community dock application for Trestle Creek invalid.

The time for action is now. Let’s stand together and safeguard the future of Trestle Creek and all it provides and represents.

Jennifer Ekstrom is North Idaho director for the Idaho Conservation League.

Data is important. Especially in the realm of Idaho politics, where fear and innuendo dominate the landscape.

A case in point is found in the recent release of the Ninth Annual Idaho Public Policy Survey by Boise State University’s School of Public Service. The voters surveyed — by a 3-1 margin — prefer presidential primaries over a caucus. Yet the state GOP leadership has foisted a caucus upon the voters.

I can understand why GOP Chair Dorothy Moon and her inner circle desire a March 2 caucus. They explain so in their propaganda: They want to be one of the first states in the presidential nominating process. They argue that the May primary is too late in the game for our state to be relevant. Never mind that eight years ago in May, the GOP nomination was still a contest between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

This cycle, only two candidates are left in the GOP race: Trump and Nikki Haley. But they’re campaigning elsewhere, places more relevant to them. Even so, the Idaho GOP is marching forward with a firehouse caucus on March 2 despite an apparent lack of interest by the candidates.

Republican voters have expressed doubt about the process, which many fear will be as chaotic and disorganized as the 2012 GOP presidential caucus. Firehouse caucuses are characterized by their limited accessibility and potential barriers to participation — all attributes that risk disenfranchising a significant portion of

Idaho’s Republican voters.

As I understand it, constituents have a slim window of time to arrive before doors lock. Inside, the GOP runs the show — not unbiased government officials. Caucus promoters have busied themselves over the past several weeks, going on the defensive with opinion pieces and attacking those who ask questions. Ironically, while the party argues how the process will be legitimate, they are barring the media from attending, which raises more questions.

The bottom line for me, however, is that the survey data shows voters overwhelmingly want a May primary. They want the process run by trusted officials who oversee our regular elections. This desire is bolstered by other public policy survey data, which shows increased pessimism that the state is going off on the wrong track. You would think this would be a priority.

I encourage all Republican voters to attend the caucus. Show up and observe. My hope is that things go well and the public’s voices are heard. But the state GOP must also hear the voices from the survey results as well as those already disenfranchised by the caucus — including our first responders and overseas military.

The state GOP can save time, money and effort by restoring the May primary. Let’s not disenfranchise voters for the sake of party leadership desperate for national relevancy.

Dan Gookin works as an activist for transparency and accountability in local government. He is a member of the Coeur d’Alene City Council.

February 29, 2024 / R / 11
Paddlers explore the serene water near the mouth of Trestle Creek and spot two bald eagles resting in the trees. Courtesy photo.

Those **** Californians!

We love to complain about newcomers. After all, they’re loud. They drive too fast. They think they own the place — and they probably do. They’re changing our town. **** Californians!

The Kalispel people might have voiced the same complaints when the first Californians arrived in 1881. That’s right — some of the earliest non-native settlers in Sandpoint were from California.

The Idaho panhandle was a lively place during the early 1880s, with thousands of men building the Northern Pacific Railroad. Moving from west to east, crews cleared, graded, built bridges and laid rails.

Lake Pend Oreille presented a major obstacle to progress until 1882, when the wooden trestle — stretching more than a mile and a half across the lake outlet — was finished.

All of this railroad construction required massive numbers of ties and bridge timbers, along with lumber for everything from railroad buildings to water tanks. Here’s where those Californians came in.

Robinson Jones Weeks, a rancher near La Honda, Calif., contracted to mill timbers and ties at the north end of the long trestle. He and his sons, Burt and Asa, packed up their sawmill equipment and headed north in the spring of 1881 for an adventure in the sparsely populated Idaho Territory. They had the mill running by mid-summer. Other family members joined them later that fall, including Cordelia and Ella (Robinson’s wife and daughter) and Emma and Percy (Burt’s wife and 2-year old son).

Within a short time, the massive railroad construction project moved eastward into Montana, leaving behind the tiny settlement of Sandpoint. At that time, the town consisted of a handful of wooden buildings lining the

railroad tracks on the narrow spit of land between Sand Creek and the lake. The enterprising Emma Weeks served as postmaster, agent for Wells Fargo & Co. and proprietor of the general store that bore her name. The Weeks family also owned and operated the Lake View Hotel.

Three other Californians arrived in 1881: James and Mary Baldwin and their adult son Harry. After moving from the San Francisco area, James established a stage line connecting railroad camps across the Idaho panhandle and into Montana. Harry worked at a number of jobs before opening a restaurant in 1885 and later a hotel.

While the Baldwins remained in North Idaho for the remainder of their lives, the Weeks family returned to California. Robinson and Cordelia were the first to leave, departing sometime in 1883 after complet-

ing the contract with the railroad. The elder Weeks sold his sawmill to two men from Spokane Falls and transferred his interest in the hotel to his son Asa.

Burt and Emma Weeks remained in Sandpoint for 10 years. During that time, their family expanded with the arrival of a daughter, Rena Idaho Weeks, in 1888. Three years later, Burt and Emma were ready to return to California so they sold their business to Ignatz Weil, another former Californian. He and his wife Irene had recently moved to Sandpoint from Helena, Mont. Weil was born in Austria but immigrated to the United States at the age of 18.During much of the 1870s and into the early 1880s, he lived in San Francisco with his brother, Leopold, working primarily in sales. Irene was born in Kentucky but her family relocated to the Ukiah area of California when she was a small child.

After settling in Idaho, the Weils became well-known citizens in Sandpoint and Bonner County. In the early 1900s, Weil platted his

large land holding for an addition to Sandpoint that includes much of the southern part of town. Their handsome home remains a local landmark on the corner of First Avenue and Superior Street. In 1907, Ignatz was appointed the first clerk and recorder for the newly formed Bonner County. Although their fortunes collapsed in the early 1920s, the Weils remained in Bonner County for the remainder of their lives.

These early Californians laid a strong foundation for the community, contributing to the economy, infrastructure and government, and helped chart the course of development for Sandpoint and North Idaho.

Nancy Foster Renk grew up in Southern California but hopes that more than 50 years of living in Bonner County, working and raising a family, have helped to lessen the taint.

Read more of the author’s work at

12 / R / February 29, 2024 HISTORY
E.L. Weeks & Co. store in the original townsite of Sandpoint, c. 1880. Image courtesy Bonner County Historical Society. Mary Baldwin. Photo courtesy of An Illustrated History of North Idaho, 1903.



Want to take your own adventure with a Florida Man? It’s simple: just type in “Florida Man” and your birthday into a search engine and prepare to be entertained by the results. For this new column, we will plug in the date of the edition and share with our readers what follows.

Florida man threatens family with Coldplay lyrics, ends standoff after SWAT promises him pizza

Florida man Evan Charles McLemore — who was accused of threatening his family by texting them Coldplay lyrics and warning them of retribution from his “Nazi prison associates” — was persuaded by police to end a standoff in return for a slice of pizza. The SWAT team took McLemore into custody after a four-hour standoff.

“Never underestimate the power of pizza with flavored crust,” the Pensacola Police Department wrote on Facebook following the incident. “Yes, it’s true. We ended a standoff with a barricaded suspect by delivering him a pizza.”

It’s not clear if SWAT officers actually gave McLemore a slice, but they did end up charging him with resisting an officer without violence and aggravated stalking, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

The number of minutes the Feb. 13 Bonner County Board of Commissioners weekly business meeting lasted. Chair Luke Omodt was absent from the meeting, and, after Commissioner Steve Bradshaw failed to second Commissioner Asia Williams’ motion to add public comment to the agenda, Williams then refused to second Bradshaw’s motion to approve the agenda. With no agenda approved, the commissioners then adjourned the meeting.


The proportion of Americans who say social media has a positive effect on mental health, as opposed to 27% which say social media’s effect is negative. Around 90% of the total U.S. population uses social media actively, with Facebook as the most popular platform with 74.2% of adults using it.

3.263 trillion

The number of miles motorists traveled on U.S. roads in 2023, a 2.1% increase from the year prior and a new yearly record.


The average amount that renters who made less than $30,000 had left each month after paying for rent and utilities. About 40% of those facing eviction each year are children, amounting to 29 million kids. Since 2001, median rents have risen by 21% while the median annual income for renters has risen by only 2%.


The approximate number of 18-year-olds who were registered to vote in the state of Ohio as of Jan. 6, 2024 — a 35% increase compared to late August.


The number of cyclists attacked by at least one cougar last weekend in Fall City, Wash.

February 29, 2024 / R / 13
A photo from the Pensacola Police Dept. showing a “reenactment” of the incident. Courtesy Pensacola Police Dept. Facebook.

Daydreaming in Bonner County POAC opens new exhibit

Local artists dove into the subconscious for the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s upcoming exhibition, Abstract Dreamscape, which promises to share the private world of dreams with the public. POAC will unveil these glimpses into the human psyche at an opening reception on Friday, March 1 from 5-7 p.m. at the POAC Gallery, 313 N Second Ave., Suite B.

“The theme, deliberately left broad, invited artists to unleash their creative spirits and transform the intangible into tangible expressions on canvas,” wrote Claire Christy in a recent POAC news release.

POAC chose this prompt knowing it would inspire pieces that draw viewers in, allowing them to connect with and interpret the art on a deeper level.

Artists weren’t limited to the abstract genre — works include im-

pressionist paintings and mixed-media art using doll heads, which display the breadth of the artists’ interpretations and understandings of their dreams.

Those attending the opening will gain even more insight by speaking to artists Barry Burgess, Tessema Compton, Bruce Duykers, Molly Gentry, Jacob Greiff, Daris Judd, CJ Kovalchuk, Sheila Newenham, Cynthia Oliver, Teresa Rancourt, Michael Smith, Amy Stephensen and Penny Ottley.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see the art through its creators’ eyes.

“This show is an adventure,” Christy wrote to the Reader. “Thinking about dreams is fun and the possibilities are endless. If you think you know what to expect, I encourage you to come in and be proved otherwise.”

Abstract Dreamscape will be on display March 1-29. Learn more about POAC at

14 / R / February 29, 2024
“Wisdom from One Much Wiser” by Michael Smith

Follies returns to the Panida Theater for 20th anniversary variety show

Returning to the Panida Theater main stage for its 20th year, the Angels over Sandpoint’s Follies variety show is on tap for Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2, with doors at 7 p.m. and the show beginning at 8 p.m. each night.

Well known for its “R” rating of “risque, racy and ridiculous adult content,” the show is reserved for attendees 21 and older and not for the easily offended. This year’s theme is “circus party,” and as always the audience is encouraged to dress up in their most exuberant fashion.

There are still tickets available at Eichardt’s Pub for the March 1 show, but the March 2 installment is sold out. You can also check for availability. Tickets cost $30, with a limited number of VIP tickets going for $50, granting early entry and reserved seating at 6:30 p.m

The event invites the community to gather together and “laugh and to raise money for the Angel’s mission of helping those in need in our community.” The Angels are a service organization that

supports local nonprofits and individuals in the community who are in need, with The Follies representing the group’s largest fundraiser each year.

Go to for more info.

February 29, 2024 / R / 15 COMMUNITY Community Sandpoint Writers on The Lake presents…
Bonner County Library Saturday, March 23, 2024 Sign-ups begin at 8:30 a.m. Readings begin 9:30 Categories & Prizes: One Grand Prize: $100 Adult – 18 & Up: Best $50; Runner-up $25 Youth –17 & Under: Best $50; Runner-up $25 Any unpublished fiction, non-fiction, or poetry eligible (keeping in mind our youthful audience) ~ All contest entrants get a free book from a selection by published authors of Sandpoint Writers on the Lake For more information contact Jim Payne 208-263-3564;; or Read your original writing to an appreciative audience of friends and fellow writers! ~ Readings are 5 minutes each. ~ Audience members vote for prize winners! Snacks for everyone!
Writing Contest
Courtesy photo.

Kaniksu Community Health welcomes

Joseph Wassif as director of psychiatry

Kaniksu Community Health recently announced that Joseph Wassif will serve as director of psychiatry, leading the development of its Psychiatry Department, which is part of KCH’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic program.

The program is designed to deepen and expand the range of mental health and substance use services KCH already provides — especially for individuals who have the most complex needs.

Wassif is a graduate of Penn State University and, during the past 18 years, has worked in a variety of mental health settings, including outpatient care, residential treatment, universities and a VA medical center — providing service to individuals, families and groups across all ages.

Wassif emphasizes that mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being and must be evaluated through a holistic lens. Mental health treatment involves multiple tools, such as psychiatry and psychotherapy, which help remove barriers to personal growth and optimal health.

According to KCH, Wassif is “committed to being present for each patient and making their needs a priority. He takes pride in advocating for patient needs and prefers to take a team approach, utilizing a shared decision-making model with his patients.”

Wassif moved to Sandpoint in 2015 and began working at Bonner General Behavioral Health six years

ago, introducing neuropsychological evaluations to the community. He completed a post-doctorate master’s in psychopharmacology from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2020, and became one of Idaho’s first prescribing psychologists. He sits on the board of NAMI Far North, and is also a voting member of the Idaho Psychological Association’s subcommittee on prescribing psychology.

“In a time where we are seeing mental health agencies close at an alarming rate, I chose to join Kaniksu because of the rare opportunity of an institution in a position to expand services,” he stated in a news release. “After spending a majority of my professional career helping address the needs of our community, one patient at a time, I will now be in a position to broaden my scope as director of psychiatry by strengthening existing resources, developing new programming, and forming new partnerships in North Idaho”

Visit for more info.

16 / R / February 29, 2024
Joseph Wassif. Courtesy photo.

Area nonprofits invited to apply for $10k grant from 101 Women

Local funding organization 101 Women Sandpoint is offering a $10,000 grant opportunity for area nonprofits that focus on “basic human needs and/or social services,” according to a news release.

Part of 101 Women’s biannual giving campaign, the grant application is available online and opens Friday, March 1. The deadline for submission is Monday, April 15.

Three of the groups that apply for the grant will be invited to present their organization’s project and need

for funding at the 101 Women’s spring membership meeting on May 16.

101 Women Sandpoint awards two $10,000 grants annually to nonprofit organizations located and operating in Bonner County. The organization is a membership group of 101 Bonner County women. The group leverages smaller donations from the membership to create the sizable grants that are awarded to two worthwhile nonprofit organizations each year.

Since its formation eight years ago, 101 Women Sandpoint has presented 15 area nonprofits with grants totaling $150,000. Winners have included:

Bonner Partners in Care, Sandpoint Area Seniors, Food for Our Children, Book Trust, Community Cancer Services, CASA, North Idaho Aerospace, Sandpoint Community Envision Center, Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, Priest River Ministries, UCAN, Panhandle Special Needs, Idaho Conservation League, Sandpoint Nordic Club and Bonner Community Food Bank.

Find grant application and membership information at or email

Forrest M. Bird Charter School announces open enrollment period

Forrest M. Bird Charter Schools will be taking applications for the 2024-’25 school year until April 18, with open spots for Grades 6-12. If more applications are received than spots available, a lottery will be held on April 18 after 3:30 p.m. Families who win a place at FBCS will be noti-

fied shortly after the lottery date.

This free, public charter school provides students with a project-based education with a mastery focus to meet their educational goals in class sizes that range between 10 and 20 students.

During the 2025-’26 school year, FBCS will implement a Grade 6-8 math program to support students. This program will place students in

either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3, rather than grade-level math. Students will be evaluated for their math skills and will be placed in the tier that fits their skills to help grow their math understanding more quickly and effectively.

To apply to attend FBCS for the 2024-’25 school year, pick up a packet at the school front offices or apply online at

Help the Panida celebrate its first 100 years

The Panida Theater will celebrate its first 100 years in 2027 and — in honor of the auspicious anniversary — the Panida Centennial Celebration Committee has been busy creating an archive chronicling the theater’s illustrious past.

The committee, composed of Katelyn Shook, Susan Bates-Harbuck, Donna Guthrie, Jana Shields, Jim Healey, Gail Trotta, Doug Jones and Karen Davis, is reaching out to the community for items dealing with

the Panida’s rich history. Items may include (but are not limited to) programs, posters, photographs, ticket stubs, newspaper articles and anything else that deals with the theater.

If you choose to donate the items, they will be added to the Panida archives. If donors want to retain possession of the item, they are asked to make a photocopy of the item. The photocopy can then be donated to the Panida. Alternatively, the original can be brought to the Panida office and the staff will make a copy for the archives.

If photographs are being donated,

please identify the people in the photographs, the event and the date.

Items can be dropped off in the Panida office between noon and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Or they can be mailed to the Panida Theater, P.O. Box 1981, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864.

Email with questions or for more info.

Jim Healey is a longtime member of the board of directors for both the Panida Theater and 88.5 KRFY Panhandle Community Radio.

Sandpoint Little League sign ups end Saturday

The sign-up period for Sandpoint Little League’s 2024 season will end Friday, March 1.

For those interested in signup up their kids, Sandpoint Little League is accepting T-ball and baseball for boys and girls aged 5-14 as well as girl’s fastpitch softball for girls aged 5-14.

There will be mandatory evaluations for all AAA, Majors and Juniors baseball, as well as Majors and Juniors softball.

Sandpoint Little League is not affiliated with Lake Pend Oreille School District.

All evaluations will be held from 9 a.m. - 5 pm. on Saturday, March 2 at the Sandpoint High School gym. Softball evaluations will begin at 9 a.m., followed by AAA baseball at 11 a.m., Majors baseball at 12 p.m. and Juniors baseball at 1 p.m.

Visit to register and for more details.

February 29, 2024 / R / 17 COMMUNITY


Send event listings to

A Taste of Indonesia

6pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

An authentic three-course Southeast Asian meal, including app, main and dessert. $30/person. Seating limited: 208-265-8545

Cribbage League

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Endless Switchbacks

5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Local bluegrass band

Live Music w/ Molly Starlight and the Sputniks (rockabilly)

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ TJ Kelly

7-9pm @ The Back Door

Blistered Earth concert

8:30pm @ The Hive Renowned Metallica tribute band. $25/$30

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon

Double feature snowboarding films

5:30pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Showings of Knights of the Brown Table and Arigato Bruh

Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Live Music w/ Double Shot Duo

6-8pm @ Connie’s Lounge

A night of rock and soul

Speakeasy Series: Marty O’Reilly

7pm @ Panida Theater

Folksy, bluesy genre-defying performer. See Page 19 for more info.

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

3-6pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s

THURSDAY, february 29

Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music & Happy Family Hour

4:30-5:30pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

Live Music by Buster Brown

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

FriDAY, march 1

The Follies 2024 (March 1-2)

8pm @ Panida Theater

The Angels Over Sandpoint’s annual raunchy variety show celebrates 20 years! Help raise money for the Angels’ mission of helping those in need

Live Music w/ Jake Robin

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

SATURDAY, march 2

Friends of the Library book sale

10am-2pm @ Sandpoint Library

Deals on books and other media

Kaniksu Folk School: Birch Wood Jars

10am-4pm @ Big Red Shed, 11735 W. Pine Learn to carve a wooden container from birch branches. $60.

Live Music w/ Left On Tenth

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

If you caught Snacks at Midnight last Halloween at the Niner, Left on Tenth opened for them and rocked the house. Horns, funk, boogie, dancing, reggae... everything you could want. No cover. 21+ See you there!

SunDAY, march 3

Sandpoint Chess Club

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


8pm @ Tervan Tavern

monDAY, March 4

Outdoor Experience Group Run

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome

“Parables as Lures: Historic context of Jesus”

The Sweet Remains concert

7:30pm @ The Panida

tuesDAY, March 5

All independent band with nearly 60 million streams and counting. Part of POAC’s Performance Arts Series. $30. Tickets at

ThursDAY, march 7

February 29 - March 7, 2024

Sand Creek Clubhouse Project fundraiser

6-7:30pm @ The Heartwood Center

NAMI Far North presents a fundraiser for the Sand Creek Clubhouse project. Refreshments provided. For more info: or 208-290-1768

dumb of the week

I’ve seen self-serving Idaho lawmakers before, but Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle, sure takes the cake.

Cribbage League

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music & Happy Family Hour

4:30-5:30pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

Live Music by Buster Brown

Opening reception: Abstract Dreamscaspe

5-7pm @ POAC Gallery, 313 N. 2nd Ave.

A show with 12 local abstract artists

Gun ’n’ Horn Show (March 1-3)

12-6pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Back for its 41st year


8pm @ Tervan Tavern

The Follies 2024 (March 1-2)

8pm @ Panida Theater

Gun ’n’ Horn Show (March 1-3) 9am-6pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Kaniksu Folk School: Spoon carving 12-4pm @ Big Red Shed, 11735 W. Pine

Must have taken a previous wood carving class. $80.

Sun Daddy Sandpoint Drum Circle

3-5pm @ Embody, 823 Main St. Held 1st and 3rd Saturdays. FREE

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Magic with Star Alexander 5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

Up close magic shows at the table

Gun ’n’ Horn Show (March 1-3) 9am-2pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Hosted by a revolving cast of characters

Health Hikes

8:30-9:15pm @ Pine Street Woods

First Tues. of every month, 45-min hike with a local health pro. Walk-ins OK

Documentary film: Kikkan • 5-7pm @ Evans Bros Coffee Sandpoint Nordic Club is showing Kikkan, a documentary about Kikkan Randall’s journey from a young Nordic racer to Olympic champion to cancer survivor. Proceeds benefit American Cancer Society and Nat’l Nordic Foundation. for info. $15

Before he was elected as District 1 state senator in 2022 — but after years spent harassing people in public spaces with giant, lurid photos of aborted fetuses — Herndon led a failed effort to sue the city of Sandpoint because of the Festival at Sandpoint’s no-weapons policy at its summer concert series.

The lawsuit, as well as one that preceded it, failed, but not before costing Bonner County and Sandpoint taxpayers about $320,000 in fees and attorney bills. Herndon appealed the decision and was again smacked down by the Idaho Supreme Court in June 2023.

Now, in his position in the Legislature, Herndon is back with a spiteful bill that he claims would “clarify” the Legislature’s policy following the Idaho Supreme Court’s decision.

Senate Bill 1374, which Herndon co-sponsored, attempts to “establish provisions regarding concealed weapons on certain property,” as well as to make “technical corrections” that would ultimately force organizations like the Festival to allow weapons inside their events.

There is no need to “clarify” a decision issued by the highest court in Idaho. This is simply a sour-grapes attempt to overturn a legal decision that painted Herndon as an impotent gun rights activist.

It’s the political equivalent of moving the goal posts for yourself, and voters should be made aware of the self-serving nature of their state senator.

We saw it last year, as well, after Herndon co-sponsored a bill that would criminalize false reports of child abuse, after Herndon’s household was visited by child protective services. (Big surprise: Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, was one of the other co-sponsors.) It was a bill that nobody asked for, which only seems to make it more difficult for people to report child abuse when they witness it.

The Festival has an annual direct economic impact of $3.8 million in Bonner County. It generates more than $200,000 in Sandpoint, Bonner County and state taxes, and creates up to 40 full-time equivalent jobs throughout Sandpoint. If Herndon’s spiteful bill succeeds, he will be responsible for what happens next: whether the Festival moves to a venue on private land or ceases to be altogether.

I wonder how many District 1 voters truly care about this issue, or if it’s just another one of Herndon’s personal vendettas, using his position as a state senator to promote self-serving legislation.

Either way, he and his neck beard receive the Dumb of the Week award.

18 / R / February 29, 2024

STAGE & SCREEN Festival announces Trombone Shorty & Orleans with Big Boi for July 27 show

The Festival at Sandpoint will welcome a towering icon of the blues with Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Big Boi on Saturday, July 27. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 1.

Trombone Shorty’s Grammy-nominated sound is well displayed on the album Lifted, his second release for Blue Note Records, which is full of characteristic raw, ecstatic energy, channeling funk, soul, R&B and psychedelic rock — all components of the band’s legendary live show.

According to Shorty, “I think this is the closest we’ve ever gotten to bottling up the live show and putting it on a record. Normally, when I’m in the studio, I’m trying to make the cleanest thing I can, but this time around, I told everybody to really cut loose, to perform like they were

onstage at a festival.”

And Shorty has spent a lifetime perfecting his stage presence. Born Troy Andrews, he got his start (and nickname, teeing off on the fact that his instrument was about as tall as he was) at the 1990 New Orleans Jazz Fest at 4 years old, performing with no less than Bo Diddley. At the age of 6, he was leading his own brass band. By his teenage years, Shorty was hired by Lenny Kravitz to join the band he assembled for his Electric Church World Tour.

In short: Trombone Shorty is a living legend.

Since 2010, he’s released four chart-topping studio albums; toured with everyone from Jeff Beck to the Red Hot Chili Peppers; collaborated across genres with Pharrell, Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson, Foo Fighters, ZHU, Zac Brown, Normani, Ringo Starr and many more; played

Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk, Newport Jazz and nearly every other major festival; performed four times at the Grammy Awards, five times at the White House and on dozens of TV shows; launched the Trombone Shorty Foundation to support youth music education; and received the prestigious Caldecott Honor for his first children’s book.

Trombone Shorty even appeared on the star-studded Sesame Street Gala, where he was honored with his own Muppet. Repeat: He has a Muppet.

Meanwhile, in NOLA, Shorty leads his own Mardi Gras parade atop a float crafted in his likeness, and hosts the annual Voodoo Threauxdown shows, which has drawn guests including Usher, Nick Jonas, Dierks Bentley, Andra Day and Leon Bridges to sit in with his band. What’s

more, Shorty has taken over the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival’s hallowed final set,which has seen him closing out the internationally renowned gathering after performances by the likes of Neil Young, the Black Keys and Kings of Leon.

Also taking the FAS stage on July 27 will be Big Boi, the artist who indisputably set the pace for modern hip-hop. That’s a big claim, but backed up by the facts. As the L.A. Phil states on its website, “If the genre of hip-hop ever gets its own ‘Rap Mount Rushmore,’ a legacy as the region’s foremost wordsmith, funkiest gentleman and resident ATLien certainly guarantees a place for the diamond-selling artist, rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, philanthropist born Antwan André Patton.”

Big Boi made history as the preeminent spitter of the Dungeon Family and one-half

of OutKast. The legendary duo sold 25 million albums and garnered seven Grammy Awards, becoming the first and only hip-hop artist in history to win the Grammy for Album of the Year upon release of the 2003 RIAA Diamond-certified Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

Big Boi made his debut as a solo artist in 2010 with Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 and landed on Pitchfork’s “100 Best Albums of the Decade ‘So Far.’”

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Big Boi will be a standard show, meaning the area in front of the stage is standing-room only. General admission is $59.95 (before taxes and fees). Gates will open at 6 p.m. and the music starts at 7:30 p.m. More info and tickets at

February 29, 2024 / R / 19

Medieval eats

Taste perhaps brings on the strongest evocation of memory, which, if you want to get all woowoo, makes it the closest we can get to a mode of time travel. We all have tastes that return us to an earlier era; but, what if we were to sample the tastes of bygone centuries?

That’s the challenge posed by The Forme of Cury (a.k.a. The Method of Cooking), a compilation of more than 200 recipes from the “master-cooks” of the court of English King Richard II, circa 1390, then presented to Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century and subsequently republished in the early- to mid-1700s by British antiquarian and scholar Samuel Pegge into our present day — whence came my copy, from the publishing house Forgotten Books, purchased on Amazon about a week ago.

In effect, it’s said to be the oldest extant cookbook in the English language, albeit in Middle English, which was really just “English” from about 1150 to 1470 C.E.

Reader Publisher Ben Olson contends that I’m going through a midlife (or Medieval-life) crisis — to which I can’t wholly disagree — and that has so far manifested in me cooking an awful lot of weird things at home. This is what happens when you’re slouching into your mid-40s in a failed state and you picked that time to quit smoking (going on two months strong!).

I took things to another level the other day when I ordered The Forme of Cury, and figured “why not make food from the court of Richard II?”

Why not, indeed. Who wouldn’t want to travel back in time to taste the flavors of the 14th century? Well, probably most people, but I’m here to report: They knew how to eat back in those days.

Combing through the many pages of recipes — none of which contain measurements and all of which are written in Middle

English — I settled on three dishes to prepare for my wife and kids, and later serve to my Reader colleagues on a recent Monday lunchtime (which included some excellent Hierophant brand offdry mead, available at Winter Ridge for about $22 a bottle).

Below is what I made, accompanied with pronunciation/ translation guidance from Reader Staff Writer Soncirey Mitchell, who is wholehearted in her support of my medieval culinary fixation. Reader readers may not know it, but Soncirey studied Middle English in college, and was so enthused when I mentioned I’d purchased The Forme of Cury that she took it on herself to produce a handwritten pronunciation guide to the recipes therein. And, I’m told, bought a copy for herself.

Adventures in the oldest known English language cookbook

Second course — caboches in potage (/kabaʃɛs ɪn potaʒə/ ‘kah-bah-ges in potahg-uh’)

From the text: “Take Caboches and quarter hem and seeþ hem in gode broth with Oynouns y mynced and the whyte of Lekes y slyt and corue smale and do þer to safroun and force it with powdour douce.”

mylke & hony and flour of Rys, safroun and powdour fort and salt. and seeþ it stondyng.

Translation: Boil whole apples in water, then dump them into a strainer. Mix with almond milk, honey and rice flour, add saffron and “powder fart” (I know, right?), then cook it until it’s thick.

First course — egurdouce (/ egərdusə/ ‘ay-gur-doosuh’)

From the text: “Take Conynges or Kydde and smyte hem on pecys rawe. and frye hem in white grece. take raysouns of Courance and fry hem take oynouns parboile hem and hewe hem small and fry hem. take rede wyne sugar with powdour of peper. of gynger of canel. salt. And cast þerto. and lat it seeþ with a gode quantite of white grece and serue it forth.”

Translation: Get some raw rabbit or lamb meat and cut it into small pieces, then fry the meat in lard. Throw in some dried currants. In a separate pot, boil some whole onions, then chop them into small pieces and fry those with the meat and currants. Then pour some sugary red wine on the whole thing and season with pepper, cinnamon and salt. Let the mixture fry (or “seeþ” — a.k.a. “seeth”) in more lard until it looks done. Then serve.

How it turned out: In a word: delicious. I was unable to find rabbit at our local stores, so went with a full leg of lamb that I got at Super 1 (about $30). I also couldn’t secure any dried currants, so bought elderberries at Winter Ridge (in the bulk foods aisle). Also, I warmed 2 cups of cheapish Bordeaux and a ½ cup of sugar almost to a boil to make my “red wyne sugar.”

My wife and kids devoured this dish and found it to be complex. My wife compared it to Ethiopian flavors, with its seesaw of sweet and savory, which turns out to be a feature of medieval cooking.

In the office, I served leftovers to Ben and Soncirey, with the former describing it as “rustic” and containing an “earthiness” with “an approachable sweetness.” Soncirey called it “Christmassy” and “well balanced,” and noted an apple cider tone due to the spices (no apple cider was used in the recipe).

At home, I served this in a bread bowl — as the old timers would have — to soak up the various greases, of which there were plenty.

Translation: Quarter a head of cabbage and boil it in broth with minced onions and the white portion of leeks — the latter which you’ve cut into small pieces. Season with saffron and “powder doosah,” which is a mixture of spices with various ingredients, but generally regarded as containing flavors like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and sometimes cloves ground in a mortar and pestle.

How it turned out: I went off-piste a bit with the ingredients. I didn’t do cabbage, but made leeks and onions my base. For a “good broth” I used regular old vegetable stock, and boiled it with mushrooms, celery, watercress, parsley and thyme — all ingredients I found in other pottage recipes from such sources as the Society for Creative Anachronism. I did use saffron, which is stupidly expensive — about $15 for a tiny packet of about 75 individual strands. This was clearly a way for King Richard II to show off how rich he was. The “powdouer douce” is weirdly complex and, while I was nervous about adding it, leant a sweet/spicy undertone to what is essentially a veggie stew. Medieval people ate this almost every day, and I can see why. It’s a hearty, fortifying winner.

Third course — appulmoy (/ æpəlmai/ ‘ap-uhl-mah-y’)

From the text: “Take Apples and seeþ hem in water, drawe hem thurgh a straynour. take almaunde

How it turned out: This is not “applesauce” as we post-post-modernites might know it. I used four Pink Lady apples from Super 1, cored and then boiled them until slightly mushy. Then I mashed them in a bowl, adding 1 ½ cup of unsweetened, regular almond milk; a generous layer of wildflower honey (available at Winter Ridge); and 1 cup of rice flour (also at Winter Ridge in the bulk foods aisle). Once I had my mash, I poured that back into the pot I used to boil the apples and brought up the heat again, adding the saffron (maybe 8 or 10 strands) and a liberal sprinkling of salt, stirring until it seemed “stondyng” enough. About 10 minutes. As with “powdour douce,” “powdour fort” is a go-to medieval spice mixture composed of the “harder” flavors, including cloves, ginger and pepper. I was super worried about this ruining the recipe, but one must trust in the wisdom of the past sometimes and it turned out being a toothsome and (admittedly weird) compote that I would probably not make again but still enjoyed.

As Soncirey said: “It makes my tongue feel strange.”

Final verdict

Medieval cooking has an undeserved bad, bland reputation. Look close enough at even these three recipes and you’ll see the outlines of what we’re all told we’re supposed to be eating. If nothing else, medieval cookery is an experiment in improvisational time travel.

Editing and translation — as well as mead — provided by Soncirey Mitchell.

20 / R / February 29, 2024 FOOD
Zach’s medieval life crisis, er, I mean feast. Photo by Zach Hagadone.


POAC presents acclaimed indie rockers The Sweet Remains

The Pend Oreille Arts Council presents indie folkrock band The Sweet Remains on Tuesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Panida Theater.

The Sweet Remains is a rare, all-independent band with nearly 60 million Spotify streams (and counting) and also unusual for being helmed by three singer-songwriters — each contributing to threepart harmonies, which define the band’s sound.

Driven by strong lyrical and melodic writing, The Sweet Remains’ songs appeal to fans of modern folk-rockers like Jason Mraz, Ray Lamontagne and John Mayer. However, it is the harmonies that distinguish this trio and harken to supergroups of the ’60s and ’70s like theCrosby, Stills & Nash; the Eagles; and Simon & Garfunkel. The band released its fifth major release in February 2020, the studio album, Music Fills the Spaces.

er-songwriters who have come together with an amazing synergy,” stated POAC Executive Director Tone Stolz. “All fans of meaningful song writing and lush harmonies should not miss this gem of a performance!”

When Rich Price, Greg Naughton and Brian Chartrand (of Vermont, New York and Arizona, respectively) met for a chance jam session in a Rhode Island hotel room in 2007, the three instantly recognized a musical blend and kinship that would eventually overcome geography and solo careers to form The Sweet Remains.

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


The Sweet Remains

Tuesday, March 5; doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.; $30 adults, $10 youth. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-2639191, Get tickets at or by phone at 208-263-6139.

“We are so excited to fill the Panida Theater with the beautiful music of this trio of accomplished sing-

Price and Naughton started out writing songs for Price’s 2004 Geffen Records debut — a CD that spawned his single, “I’m on My Way,” featured on the multi-platinum Shrek 2 soundtrack. Price has released four solo albums and written music for many high-profile film and television projects.

Hailed by Performing Songwriter Magazine as, “a magnetic writer and performer,” Naughton’s debut indie release, Demagogue & the Sun Songs, was co-produced by late Gram-

my-winning recording artist Phoebe Snow. Also an accomplished actor and director, Naughton wrote and directed the soon-to-be-released feature film The Independents, inspired by his experiences with Price and Chartrand in the music business.

Chartrand grew up in Massachusetts, but has called Phoenix home since 2003. In addition to his work with The Sweet Remains, Chartrand has independently released numerous albums as a solo artist and with his Arizona-based band The Project, and regularly tours in Europe. He is the creator and co-front man of the touring musical review Live From Laurel Canyon, which celebrates the songs and legendary stories of artists who lived in Laurel Canyon, Calif.

— a rock ’n’ roll neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills — between 1965 and 1976.

After that first jam session in 2007, Price, Naughton and Chartrand began writing and recording together during breaks in each of their solo touring. They eventually played these new songs for Grammy-winning producer Andy Zulla, and together set about recording The Sweet Remains’ debut CD, Laurel & Sunset.

Four studio albums, one live album/DVD and a feature film later, The Sweet Remains has won fans all over the globe and been featured in commercials, feature films, television, as well as having their songs covered by numerous artists.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Marty O’Reilly, Panida Little Theater, March 3 Blistered Earth, The Hive, March 2

California blues-folk artist Marty O’Reilly will give the inaugural performance in the Speakeasy Series, put on by the Panida Theater, which is set to feature talented soloists and small ensembles twice a month. O’Reilly doesn’t just blend blues, folk and soul — he transcends the boundaries of genre, crafting a sound that’s unique to him. Performing live is a crucial element of his creative process,

allowing him to reshape his originals to tailor the experience to each audience.

Get swept away in O’Reilly’s musical medicine, which helps people “feel good and digest some melancholy,” according to his website.

— Soncirey Mitchell

Doors at 6:30 p.m., show a 7 p.m.; $15. The Panida Theater, 208-263-9191, Listen at

Calling all metalheads — grab your denim and leather and prepare yourselves for a night of headbanging with Metallica tribute band Blistered Earth. Jared Kiess, Shawn Murphy, Cody Davis, Jesse Jensen and a host of other passionate artists emulate the energy and look of Metallica, performing authentic renditions of the greatest hits from heavy metal’s Golden Age. This unforgetta-

I don’t know if I’ve ever recommended this before — and if I haven’t, it’s been an error of omission — but everyone needs to read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Unlike so many other books and/or irritable mental gestures regarding the concept of “tyranny,” this comes from an actual, real-life historian, who has actual, real-life expertise in the actual, real-life ideas in play. In only about 130 pages he manages to distill all the warning signs of creeping dictatorship. By my count, we’ve hit at least 10 of them. You be the judge. Buy or borrow it where you buy/borrow books — preferably locally.


What kind of music did you not know you needed? Electronica/ trap/dubstep backed by a full orchestra? Well, meet John De Buck, a.k.a. Apashe. Born in Brussels, Belgium, now living in and working in Montreal, Quebec. I’m obsessed with Apashe’s oeuvre (which features tons of other artists). His album Renaissance and EP Requiem (the latter a bass-resonant reimagining of frickin’ Mozart) are on constant repeat in my headphones. Of those, the tracks “Devil May Care,” “Lord and Master,” “Witch,” “Dead,” “Good News,” “I’m Fine,” “Work” and “Uebok” are especially excellent. Tell me I’m crazy after you check him out on YouTube.


ble show will impress even the most die-hard Metallica fans and deliver a powerful sound to excite and delight. Book your tickets in advance and party down at The Hive on Saturday, March 2.

— Soncirey Mitchell

Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8:30 p.m.; $25 in advance, $30 at the door; 21+. The Hive, 208920-9039, get advance tickets at Listen at

I’ve been on a medieval kick lately, and so have been casting about for scholarly treatments on the subject. I found an excellent fix with the Great Courses lecture series on Amazon Prime titled The Medieval Legacy, given by Carol Symes, associate professor of history, theater, classics and medieval studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Despite that ludicrous mouthful of an intro, Symes’ lectures (36 of them!) are easily digestible and worth the listen. Find it where I already told you to find it and thank me later.

February 29, 2024 / R / 21
Courtesy photo.

BACK OF THE BOOK To all the books I’ve loved before

the magical interplay between characters in a novel.

These early years were also filled with page after page of Bill Watterson’s famed comic Calvin and Hobbes, as well as Gary Larson’s The Far Side, both of which I purchased book collections of and read often.

Hornblower series, The Sea Wolf by Jack London, Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr., Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum and so many more.

Otto Laufer, who resides at Jennings, Mont., swore out a warrant the first of the week in Justic Costello’s court against Forest Balding, charging adultery.

Officer Traue served the warrant Monday night, finding Balding and Mrs. Laufer registered as man and wife at a loding house. Laufer states that he gave his wife $40 to go to Spokane to have her teeth fixed and the next he knew he found that Balding and his wife had decamped together.

The guilty pair, it appears, had been having clandestine meetings at Jennings for several months. When the case came up in Justice Costello’s court Monday, continuance was had until this afternoon.



The Sandpoint Mill company have now moved into their new place of business on the Spokane International railroad, where they in the future will endeavor to meet all the requirements of the building trade. Call and see them. The factory will start Monday.

After Ötzi the Iceman was discovered frozen in the Eastern Italian Alps, scientists examined the contents of his stomach to learn what types of foods he ate 5,300 years ago. They found that Ötzi had chowed down on muscle fibers and fat tissues from various animals just before dying, along with some einkorn wheat and other plant matter as a side dish.

I’ll bet those same scientists wished they could do the same with Ötzi’s brain and discover what this man thought about, what made him tick and, perhaps, what he dreamed about those millennia ago.

If my brain were preserved in a jar and future scientists crammed anodes into the matter to discover what made me me, I’ll bet more than anything, they’d find a swirling sea of information gathered from thousands of books I’ve read over the years. More than any other medium, books are responsible for informing my character, which isn’t uncommon for writers. We are sponges, and oftentimes some of what we’ve gathered leaks out into what we write.

If these future scientists really dug in, they’d find some of the first bibliographic entries were from the National Geographic magazines and Encyclopedia Britannica, which I read cover-to-cover as a child. It was this early curiosity that set the foundation for a lifetime of interest in learning new things.

They’d also find some of my first “adult” novels, which I picked off my parents’ bookshelves and read one by one, though I didn’t understand many of the concepts until later. These include books like Giant by Edna Ferber and The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, which helped me begin to understand

There were my horror years when all I wanted to read were Stephen King novels like The Stand, The Shining and others, as well as works by Thomas Harris such as Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs.

There were the picaresque years, when I couldn’t get enough of those rough, yet appealing heroes discovering the world. Titles include Don Quixote, On the Road, The Adventures of Augie March and many of Mark Twain’s works.

I was introduced to the art of gonzo after discovering Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, then soon fell into a pit of reading everything he wrote from behind those strange aviator lenses, as well as others of the time period including works by Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey, Henry Miller and William S.Burroughs.

My love of place and story can be traced back to the many books of John Steinbeck, who told such round, impactful stories filled with symbolic characters who jumped off the page.

The science fiction portal to my soul was satisfied with Philip K. Dick’s entire collection, as well as Jules Verne novels. The day I first opened J.R.R. Tolkien was an important one.

The anti-authoritarian, fiercely independent side of me was born after reading George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka and others.

I became enamored with the sea after reading dozens of nautical novels, such as Moby Dick, the Horatio

The analytical part of my brain was activated when I started reading old noir detective novels by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, later augmented by more modern entries by Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly and Elmore Leonard.

I discovered humor was integral to happiness after reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, among others.

Each of these stories entered into the logbook of my brain over the years has added a certain flavor to the soup. I have no regrets. These books are former, current and future lovers all wrapped into one, always ready for me to bring them off the shelf for another tryst.

To all the books I’ve loved before: thank you. Life wouldn’t be the same without you.

February 28, 1907
22 / R / February 29, 2024 A good way to keep a mob of peasants from killing your monster is when they break into your castle, make them be real quiet, then open a door and there’s the monster, sound asleep.
Sudoku Solution STR8TS

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter

oblique /oh-BLEEK/


Week of the


1. indirectly stated or expressed; not straightforward.

“She tactfully made oblique references to his recent mistake during the staff meeting.”

Corrections: I listed an incorrect date for the Eichardt’s K-9 Keg Pull in my “Dear Readers” box last week. Good thing we had the correct date listed about a half dozen other spots in the paper. Apologies. —BO



1.How we communicate





16.Look at flirtatiously

17.Australian “bear”

18.Decorative case









33.Think likely



39.Breathed in


42.Derived a conclusion

44.Ancient Dead Sea kingdom




51.Dad’s 2nd wife


57.Take as a bride

58.Antlered animal


Solution on page 22


60.Anagram of “Sale”

61.Sheriff’s group





1.User-edited website


3.Towards the back

4.Broad valley

5.Someone who is owned




9.Narrow opening







25.Dry riverbed

26.Baking appliance


28.Stick-shaped roll

30.Paving material

32.A small island


35.Pertaining to flight

36.Primordial matter


41.Most profound



46.Washer cycle

47.Go inside



52.Sound a horn



55.Marsh plant

February 29, 2024 / R / 23
on page 22
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