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2 / R / February 15, 2024


The week in random review By Soncirey Mitchell Reader Staff

infant acrobatics

I was an especially talented baby who could injure myself in the most improbable ways. When I was barely crawling, my parents would often lay me down to nap in the center of their king-sized bed and then barricade me in with walls of pillows. One night, while they slept peacefully, I somehow managed to climb over my fortress and mom, launch myself a sizable distance to the nearby coffee table and slam my head into the wood. My left eyebrow is shorter than my right because of the scar. After the doctor pronounced me healthy I returned to my pillow fortress — this time with extra pillows — and did the whole thing over again. My parents even moved the coffee table farther away, but I was determined. The second battle wound is my favorite because it sits at the top of the same eyebrow and the added scar tissue makes it easy for me to imitate Mr. Spock when he judgmentally raises one eyebrow.

dream smaller

My sport of choice is sleeping. I can nap anywhere, and most importantly, I have vivid dreams that would put Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Inception to shame. I usually return to a set landscape that I’ve been building since elementary school — complete with tropical islands infested with jet-skiriding pirates; a nuclear power plant; a hobbit house where I keep my pet donkey, sheep, hedgehogs, horse, lynx, pig, kittens and three chihuahuas; my favorite swimming spot with excellent cliff jumping; a haunted Victorian mansion on the verge of collapse and much more. Some of my most memorable experiences have been nightmares, though. I was once paralyzed from the waist down by an Ozzy Osbourne-type character known only as “The Raven.” He wore all black leather except for the massive black feathers braided into his hair, and was hell-bent on eating my friends. I somehow knew that he was older than the universe, and though he was temporarily in human form, he could still remove his eyes to seek me out wherever I hid. Without the use of my legs, I had to roll off the roof of his house and into an alley to escape. On the other hand, my most terrifying nightmares recurred throughout elementary school. I would wander around a warehouse filled with tiny hot tubs. Eventually, I would poke one, and then all the hot tubs would grow and multiply until they filled the entire warehouse and crushed me. I had this dream no less than 30 times and it filled me with an anxiety I’ve never been able to replicate in the waking world. I don’t think it had anything to do with the infant head trauma.

What an amazing feeling it was to ride some powder at Schweitzer Monday morning. This season has been a snooze so far, but we’re catching glimpses of real winter again, and I want more. Please and thank you. The Sandpoint Winter Carnival kicks off this week, with festivities running through next weekend. Check out Page 15 for a full rundown of events for Week 1. Also, make sure to check the Feb. 22 edition of the Reader for a full listing of events during Week 2. Occasionally, Sandpoint artists and photographers reach out and ask what it takes to get their work on one of our covers. All one needs to do is send me a snapshot of their work — the higher the quality the better — and let me know you’d like consideration for a cover. If we like it, we’ll use it. Send submissions to I always look forward to seeing everyone’s creativity.

– Ben Olson, publisher

READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-946-4368 Publisher: Ben Olson Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) Soncirey Mitchell (Staff Writer) Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (emeritus) Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Kelsey Kizer Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, David Neiwart, Bill Borders Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Soncirey Mitchell, Lorraine H. Marie, Emily Erickson, Rep. Mark Sauter, Daniel Walters, Jim Healey Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $165 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternativebyofferinghonest,in-depthreporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the aboverequirements.Opinionsexpressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: About the Cover

This week’s cover has no context, no purpose and achieves nothing except creeping out anyone who is fearful of clowns. Blame Zach and Soncirey. February 15, 2024 / R / 3


Possible asbestos discovered at Sandpoint Middle School House Bill 451 could help repair issues affecting student safety

By Soncirey Mitchell Reader Staff While fixing the second water line leak in three months at Sandpoint Middle School — this time outside the lunchroom — on Feb. 13, staff discovered what could be asbestos insulation in the ceiling. Students attended their Wednesday classes online and were scheduled to take over Sandpoint High School on Thursday, Feb. 15 to avoid the potential health hazard. High-schoolers, meanwhile, would attend classes remotely using Schoology. Asbestos fibers were frequently used in insulation and fireproofing in the U.S. until the Environmental Protection Agency officially banned it in 1989 after linking it to mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the lining of vital organs like the lungs, heart and stomach. “I can’t tell you how impressed and humbled I am to watch this bullpup family come together, yet again, and persevere through tough times out of our control,” SMS Principal Geoffrey Penrose wrote in an email to students’ families. He went on to ask parents and guardians to prioritize education by not taking their children out of school while classes are held online. “Before the leak the insulation was enclosed and undisturbed,” Lake Pend Oreille School District No. 84 Superintendent Becky Meyer wrote in an email to families. “However, the uncovered insulation is from the era when asbestos was used. Several years ago [in 2008] SMS was abated for asbestos, but out of an abundance of caution, we have completely sealed off the hallway and an abatement expert is coming to inspect the insulation.” In a follow-up email to the Reader, Meyer confirmed that the abatement expert removed the insulation and 4 / R / February 15, 2024

took samples for testing on the afternoon of Feb. 13. The district requested expedited results to confirm the presence or absence of asbestos. “We will make a plan as soon as we have received all of the information,” said Meyer. Sandpoint’s aging facilities are indicative of the wider issue of Idaho’s underfunded schools. In his 2024 State of the State address, Gov. Brad Little described school buildings as “crumbling, leaking, falling apart” and “neglected,” conditions that necessitated House Bill 521 — part of Little’s Idaho Works budget proposal — that could potentially provide $2 billion in funding for school facilities over the next 10 years. House Speaker Mike Moyle, R-Plummer, and Rep. Jason Monks, R-Meridian, introduced HB 521 to the Revenue and Taxation Committee on Feb. 9, though it’s unclear when it will be taken up. Rep. Mark Sauter, R-Sandpoint, explained that the specifics of the bill remain up in the air, as it’s undergone several amendments since January. “I do know the governor’s

staff is forecasting LPOSD will receive $14 million in 2024 if the bill passes as it is written. LPOSD will also get another $1 million each year afterward for another nine years,” Sauter told the Reader in an email Feb. 14. “Like many changes, it’s hard to forecast the long-term results. There is always a considerable amount of compromise required to get things done here,” he added.

If approved, schools will see funding from HB 521 later this year. However, officials must work to balance the differing needs of highly populated areas like the Treasure Valley — which have successfully supported their schools through bond and levy efforts — and small, rural districts struggling to pass maintenance and operation levies. “The draft school facility bill is a start. It has been said

An aerial view of Sandpoint Middle School. Photo courtesy of SMS Facebook. Idaho schools need $1 billion for repairs and replacement. I’m not sure if this number is reflective of the current condition of schools or construction costs,” wrote Sauter, who serves on the House Education Committee. “Delaying repairs and maintenance is generally not a wise choice.”

City to host open house on Fifth and Pine stoplight project By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The long-running — and frequently controversial — East-West Connection project between U.S. Highway 95 and U.S. 2 is getting underway with an open house Thursday, Feb. 22 at City Hall Council Chambers (1123 W. Lake St.). Members of the public are invited to attend the open house, which will take place in two “drop-in” sessions from noon-1 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. with city staff on hand to answer questions. The overall project is intended to ease traffic flow and improve the connection

between U.S. 95 and U.S. 2 — focusing specifically on the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Pine Street. The traffic signal currently located at Fifth and Church Street will be relocated a block to the south at Fifth and Pine and converted into a full-access, signalized intersection. The intersection at Fifth and Church will then be controlled by stop signs. Meanwhile, Pine will revert to two-way travel between Fifth and Fourth avenues and the U.S. 2 intersections at Euclid and Sixth avenues will only allow right turns in and out. “This adjustment aims to

improve safety at these key junctions,” the city stated in an announcement for the open house. The changes come after a lengthy and contentious public conversation that kicked off in February 2023 when the council considered changes to the “long-term” East-West Connection concept that included a major realignment of U.S. 2 from North Boyer Avenue to Fifth and Cedar Street via the “Couplet” or “Curve,” as it was also known. Following widespread opposition, the council agreed to shelve the long-term concept in favor of the “short-term” version, and voted in August

to enter a memorandum of understanding with the Idaho Transportation Department to make the stoplight relocation from Fifth and Church to Fifth and Pine. “Community feedback has played a pivotal role in shaping this project, with concerns about cut-through traffic in south Sandpoint, signal timing on Church Street at Fifth Avenue, and the one-way section of Pine Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenue being addressed,” the city stated in a news release. For more info and updates on the project, go to under the “News & Announcements” section.


City Hall holds work session on revised Comp Plan By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The revised Sandpoint Comprehensive Plan took a step toward completion Feb. 13 with a joint work session of the City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission. Officials gathered to parse through the 138-page document “chapter by chapter,” as Sandpoint Mayor Jeremy Grimm said, discussing what language may need to be modified and addressing public comment received on the plan since early December 2023. It has been a long process. Work began on the revised document in 2019 — 10 years after city officials adopted the current plan — but that effort was paused when the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced in spring 2020. P&Z and the City Council resumed the project in 2022 with a focus on community vision, housing and neighborhoods. A series of open houses, workshops and even a full public hearing took place throughout 2023, and the council seemed poised to ap-

prove the final draft in October 2023, but opted to table it to seek further public feedback. Two additional town hallstyle workshops were hosted in late-November and early-December, during which time citizens could leave comments on the digital version of the plan on the city’s website. The Feb. 13 joint work session represented a continuation of that outreach. Grimm, who served as the city planner during the crafting of the current Comp Plan in 2009, noted that it took 22 special meetings before adoption, but, in the case of the revised version, “I don’t think this is going to take that long.” About a dozen residents gathered in City Hall Council Chambers on Feb. 13 to weigh in as well, with the biggest discussion points surrounding removal of the Downtown Waterfront Design Competition report from the appendices of the Comp Plan, the addition of language surrounding a “sustainability commission” and the inclusion of protections for “heritage trees” in

the body text of the plan, as opposed to what one resident referred to as “a footnote.” Grimm kicked off the session with the suggestion that the design competition report be stricken because it isn’t a “plan” in the same way as the adopted Multimodal Transportation; Parks and Recreation; Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation; and Little Sand Creek Watershed master plans, among others. “I guess my concern with including it in the Comprehensive Plan is it suggests we’re going to have a whirly-goround and ice skating rink,” Grimm said, adding, “Putting it in the Comp Plan gives it an elevation and direction that I don’t think we have come to as a community.” Councilors Joel Aispuro — who participated remotely — Justin Dick, Pam Duquette and Deb Ruehle agreed. Councilors Jason Welker and Kyle Schreiber were absent. “I kind of perceive the downtown plan as an unfinished plan — something that’s still in motion,” Ruehle said,

adding that the Comp Plan is a “fluid” document, and whatever comes of the design report’s recommendations relative to establishing historic district boundaries, height restrictions and other downtown design guidelines could be added later as amendments. Meanwhile, Duquette advocated for including language in the revised plan that addresses the future effects of climate change such as reduced snowfall and precipitation, and what they might mean for future development. Aispuro and Dick both said they felt that would be inappropriate for the longrange planning document, which is intended to “guide Sandpoint’s development and growth patterns for the next 20 years,” according to its introduction. A handful of residents said they felt that it would be a useful topic to address, and the council added a bullet item in Chapter 2 to support the creation of a sustainability commission. Overall, public comment

on the document leaned against downtown building heights of 65 feet and emphasized the importance of retaining the community’s “unique character.” Elle Susnis, who serves as the chair of the Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Commission, said she was “really pleased with how arts, culture and historic preservation is woven throughout this document.” Resident Mary Wilkosz applauded city officials for hosting a work session that was “functional, calm and boring in a good way.” Ultimately, the work session parsed through the first three chapters, and will take up the remaining eight chapters at a subsequent meeting, with date to be determined. After that, the plan will return for a public hearing — “the big show,” as Grimm put it — followed by final adoption. Find the document at bit. ly/3OaBXxH.

Area Gray wolves denied Endangered Species Act protection

Conservation groups to file second lawsuit against FWS

By Soncirey Mitchell Reader Staff The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a decision Feb. 2 denying wildlife conservation groups’ petition to protect northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act, which would have safeguarded them from potentially devastating state hunting and trapping laws. The Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society, Humane Society Legislative Fund and Sierra Club notified FWS of their intention to sue Feb. 7, giving the agency a 60-day window to reconsider the decision before taking the matter to federal district court. Gray wolves — with the exception of those in the northern Rocky Mountains

— have been listed as threatened or endangered in 44 U.S. states and Mexico since Feb. 10, 2022. The wolves lost their protected status in Idaho, Montana, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and northern Utah in 2011 and in Wyoming in 2012. “I’m incredibly disappointed that the Fish and Wildlife Service is turning a blind eye to the cruel, aggressive wolf-killing laws in Montana and Idaho,” stated Kristine Akland, northern Rockies program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, in the nonprofit’s recent news release. “By denying protections to these beautiful creatures, the Service is letting northern Rockies states continue erasing decades of recovery efforts.” According to the CBD,

hunters and trappers in Montana and Idaho killed well over a 1,000 wolves from 2022 to 2023 due to those states’ aggressive laws. The FWS estimated that, as of 2022, there were only 2,797 wolves spread across seven western states. Idaho currently allows hunters and trappers to kill an unlimited number of wolves — which they can chase down using all-terrain vehicles and hunting dogs — and not only permits year-round trapping on private land, but also allows the government to hire private contractors specifically to kill wolves. Between hunting and trapping, licensed individuals in Montana can kill up to 20 wolves a season. The state allows for the use of strangulation snares and baiting, and private

groups may even reimburse people for their hunting costs. “The regimens these states have pursued are reminiscent of the 1800s effort to eradicate wolves, and they have no place in modern wildlife management. No other species is treated this way, and it’s reversing what was a great conservation success story,” stated Nick Gevock, Sierra Club field organizer for the northern Rockies, in a joint news release with the CBD. According to the organizations, wolves are again in danger of extinction in Yellowstone National Park just 30 years after their reintroduction. Conservation efforts in neighboring states rely on northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf populations for genetic diversity to ensure the

health of the species. Conservation groups initially petitioned FWS to extend federal protection to northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves in 2021 and were forced to sue in August 2022 when the service failed to deliver a decision. The Feb. 2 denial stems from a court-imposed deadline, and utilized federal, state and tribal data, as well as an assessment of threats like human-caused mortality and disease — what CBD called “outdated and unambitious recovery goals.” “Unlike the Fish and Wildlife Service, we refuse to sanction the annual slaughter of hundreds of wolves,” stated CBD Carnivore Conservation Legal Director Andrea Zaccardi in the Feb. 7 news release.

February 15, 2024 / R / 5


USFS, BLM considering wildfire prevention work on 11,000+ acres southeast of Bonners By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are proposing a range of “treatments” on 11,300 acres of forested public land near Bonners Ferry in order to reduce wildfire danger and “improve overall forest health into the future,” according to a Feb. 9 announcement. The so-called Katkee Fuels Project is part of a larger Wildfire Crisis Strategy developed by the Forest Service amid a dramatic upward trend in large-scale wildfires across the West. According to the project’s scoping documents, 4,684 acres would undergo “regenerative treatment,” meaning trees would be harvested to create openings in the forest canopy to establish new stands of fire-adapted species such as larch and ponderosa pine. A further 4,349 acres would undergo a combination of pre-commercial thinning, low thinning and commercial thinning. Pre-commercial thinning means harvesting trees before they reach merchantable size — about six inches in diameter — in order to reduce the density in crowded stands and increase the growth of remaining trees, while low thinning is the removal of trees whose crowns, or tops, are below those of surrounding trees in order to benefit the growth of the taller trees. The BLM would harvest merchantable trees on 732 acres and perform regenerative harvests on a further 316 acres. Finally, fuel breaks will be established along powerline corridors and private land boundaries on 300 acres — intended to reduce fuels in strategic areas that will provide better opportunities for fire suppression — and 900 acres will be established as “burn only areas,” where vegetation will be ignited to reduce the natural fuels that carry fire across the landscape. The total proposed project area encompasses 20,000 acres within the Idaho portion of the Kootenai Complex Wildfire Crisis Strategy Priority Landscape, and includes Two Tail and Katka peaks, as well as the Clifty and Black Mountain areas — all located entirely within Boundary County about seven miles southeast of Bonners Ferry. Officials stated that in addition to reducing the amount of hazardous 6 / R / February 15, 2024

fuels, the project is intended to make forests more resilient to the stresses of climate change, insect infestation and disease outbreaks. “The resultant landscape would remain healthier for a longer period and provide firefighters with greater opportunities to manage wildfires,” USFS stated in its news release. Agencies developed the Katkee Fuels Project in coordination with the Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative — a citizen collaborative group — to dovetail with landscape restoration work elsewhere in the Lower Kootenai River Valley on public and private lands. The need for the project was highlighted by the wildfires that burned on tens of thousands of acres in Boundary County in late-summer and fall of 2022. Though they started as individual blazes in late-August and early-September, several of those fires merged and were reclassified as the Kootenai River Complex. All of the fires required months of intensive suppression efforts and created smoke-choked skies until unseasonably late in the year. Though the vast majority of those fires burned to the northwest of Katka Peak, that fire presented significant challenges due to its rugged, steep terrain, poor access and accumulation of fuels. According to Katkee Fuels Project scoping documents, “Direct suppression tactics had limited effectiveness on this fire and potential future wildland fires under these conditions.” Because of those conditions, the blaze generated spot fires and burned downhill toward private property, causing residents to fear for their safety and homes. The Katkee proposal includes plans to work with landowners in the Bonners Ferry and Moyie Springs areas, and the public is being asked to provide feedback on the project, including elements that should be examined in the environmental assessment. Comments should be submitted by Saturday, March 2. To submit written comments, mail them to the Bonners Ferry Ranger District, Attn: Doug Nishek, 6286 Main St., Bonners Ferry, Idaho 83805. For further questions or to provide verbal input, call Nishek at 208-267-5561. Find the project documents at

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: Former-President Donald Trump recently caused a diplomatic stir with his comment, “I would encourage [Russia] to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries, which includes the U.S. Politico reported that Poland’s deputy prime minister called Trump’s stance “completely incomprehensible.” But Trump has documented ties to Russia, including the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee finding that Trump’s 2016 campaign team worked with Russian “operatives,” as well as testimony including a Trump adviser advocating for Russia’s control of Ukraine’s industrial heartland. The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about whether Trump is disqualified under the 14th Amendment from holding office for attempts to subvert the 2020 election. Attorney Jason Murray represented Colorado voters, where the 14th has been cited as reason to keep Trump off the state’s primary ballot. A ruling by the high court is expected to be “prompt,” according to The New York Times, instead of the usual three months. Trump-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested Trump wasn’t given due process in Colorado, but Murray said Trump’s attorneys did not use all their allotted court time, such as for calling witnesses, and Trump declined to testify in Colorado. Murray further argued that resolving the issue now avoids a constitutional crisis later should Trump win and the issue isn’t resolved. To settle how each state makes decisions about an insurrectionist on the ballot, Murray said the court could write an opinion about insurrection against the Constitution being rare and requiring an assault on not just application of law but on constitutionally mandated functions, such as on Jan. 6, 2020, after which SCOTUS declined Trump’s request to intervene in his election loss. According to NPR, Trump will appeal the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejecting his claim of blanket immunity for acts he allegedly committed while in the White House — including the accusation that he conspired to obstruct the 2020 election certification. The former president’s lawyers want that appeal to take place before the Supreme Court. Court watchers say Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself due to his wife’s support for debunked claims of

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

election fraud in 2020. PBS noted that Thomas has deliberated on several 2020 election-related cases; in one case he was the only justice to side with Trump. After investigating President Joe Biden following the discovery of classified documents at his home, Special Counsel Robert K. Hur cleared him of wrongdoing. CBS reported that Hur found Biden had instances of poor memory: When investigated he could not remember dates of key events during his time as vice president (2009-2017). According to CNN, classified documents were also found at former-Vice President Mike Pence’s home but there were no charges. Trump faces 40 federal charges for having classified documents at his public residence. Hur noted that Trump did not cooperate with investigators. The response to accusations of Biden having a poor memory included critics pointing out that Hur, a former Trump official, has no expertise in age-related memory loss. Biden supporters also noted Trump’s apparent age-related decline, such as mistaking photos of his ex-wife for E. Jean Carroll, confusing basic facts and gaffes like advising “get over it” when students are shot at school. House leaders, unwilling to pass legislation to beef up southern border enforcement that would have also allowed aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and Palestinians, instead proposed $17.6 billion for Israel. That vote failed. Punchbowl News said Republicans knew the proposal would fail. Blast from the past: “The first wish of my heart was, if parties existed, to reconcile them.” — George Washington (1732-1799), writing to Thomas Jefferson. Initially Washington claimed allegiance to no political party; he tended to be exasperated and distraught by lawmakers’ temperaments. And another blast: President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), said one of the most influential books in his life was Capt. Riley’s Narrative, about white men enslaved in Africa. The book caused Lincoln to say, in jest, that lighter-skinned people have the right to enslave, and therefore if someone has lighter skin than yours, he can enslave you. But if it’s about intelligence, and you meet a person more intelligent than yourself, that person can enslave you. Then he surmised that it’s a matter of self-interest as to whom one can enslave: If it’s in your own interest, you can enslave another. But then that person could enslave you. His thinking evolved to see such hierarchies as a slippery slope.


Emily Articulated ChatGPT

By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist “In an era dominated by screens and characterized by fleeting attention spans, the written word stands as an enduring testament to the depth of human expression. Join me on a journey through the paragraphs of this article, where I unravel the threads of Millennial experiences woven into the rich tapestry of words, exploring the profound impact that writing has on our lives and the world we inhabit.” This was the answer generated by ChatGPT, a generative AI chatbot, responding to my prompt, “Write an introduction to my Millennial-focused column ‘Emily Articulated’ that talks about why writing is important.” And although the introduction is a bit more self-aggrandizing than I’d be comfortable writing for myself, I don’t think it reads half-bad, and certainly not like a robot. ChatGPT’s human-like writing capabilities come from how the bot was built, and how it continues to evolve. Based on a large language model, ChatGPT utilizes a deep-learning algorithm to summarize, predict and generate human-sounding language. In other words, ChatGPT was “fed” large samples of writing — from websites, articles, books and other language-based, human-written documents — and learned to recognize patterns within those samples as they relate to language. From those patterns, it can mimic human answers to common language problems, like writing prompts from Millennial columnists and other content-creation-related endeavors. Its creators continue to fine-tune its capabilities, making its results increasingly better, and its use ever more

A column by and about Millennials

whose writing it learned from). Using ChatGPT, I can write a stanza by and about Moire Rose from Schitt’s Creek:

From ‘bébé’ to ‘fold in the cheese’, Her lexicon weaves an eccentric frieze. In the pantheon of wit, she reigns supreme, A Moira Rose poem, a lighthearted dream.

Emily Erickson. ubiquitous. Released to the public in November 2022 by OpenAI, ChatGPT’s usership skyrocketed, reaching 100 million active users in two months, making it the fastest growth of any consumer application in history, according to a 2023 study by UBS. It had near-immediate implications on education, marketing, media and writing in general, making me (along with everyone else) wonder about the long-term impacts of its use on creative endeavors. Personally, I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to be someone who shies away from technology and progress, nor did I want to be the kind of person who is defined by it. I want to perpetually hold my own in the in-between spaces, involved and removed enough from both that I can understand technology and how to use it, while also being able to exist outside of it (thus capable of bearing witness to its smalland large-scale implications). From this “one-foot-ineach-world” place, I can consider what ChatGPT is, and what it isn’t. Currently, ChatGPT can pull from existing ways of thinking about and describing the world, synthesizing the most common answers to frequently asked questions. It can reference pop culture, generate metaphors and describe human emotions (as described by the humans

I can also generate a metaphor about the experience of “drawing a conclusion” as good as a synthesized version of everyone’s previous attempts to do so can hope to be: “Drawing a conclusion is the art of weaving disparate threads into a cohesive tapestry of comprehension, where clarity unfurls like the petals of a bloom, illuminating the once-shadowed landscape of uncertainty.” But I can’t use ChatGPT to replicate the experience of writing something for myself. For example, to me, the experience of drawing a conclusion has more urgency than ChatGPT’s favored, “weaving of threads.” Instead, my metaphor has less agency and more reaction, like the “thwap” of a snapped guitar string, mid-song, or the feeling of turning the wrong way down a one-way street — where a drawn conclusion disrupts the way you were previously inhabiting the world. Beyond its lackluster metaphor-building capabilities (yes, I just had a metaphor battle with a chatbot), ChatGPT will never be able to replicate the use of writing to better understand and process my own experiences. It can’t replicate my response to what’s happening in real-time, nor can it create from a place of instantaneous inspiration (as it is unable to reference something it hasn’t been introduced to yet). Even as this technology advances, as it is sure to, where our AI-assisted world is built on ChatGPT-generated blog posts and books, screenplays and song lyrics, it will never be able to replace the insights and

introspection that come from sitting down and thinking about how to word something; how to describe something. Typing a prompt into a text generator will never help me learn more about myself or achieve the kind of growth that’s built from contemplation, discovery, failure and effort. At its core, ChatGPT is a tool — one that we can still decide how to wield. And hopefully, as we continue to shape it, we remember that technology, and the power we give it, is also irrevocably shaping us.



February 15, 2024 / R / 7

‘WBCSD: Finish the forensic audit’...

Bouquets: GUEST SUBMISSION: • “A big bouquet to the young couple sitting at the next table at 113 Main on Saturday night. The four of us old-timers did not know them and we only exchanged a couple of laughs and some banter. When they finished and left, we wished each other a nice evening. Then, to our astonishment, our waiter informed us that they had paid for our meal! We were, and still are, flabbergasted. What a lovely surprise! Thank you to that couple for restoring our faith in humanity.” — By Ron and Ranel Hansen, Rick and Debby Price Barbs: • I received a thoughtful note from a local server who wanted to share their story about an altercation they had with a customer over an order that was delayed. The worker, who acknowledged the delayed order was due to human error, said the customer was very hateful, swore that he “hated all people under the age of 30” and used several slurs against the worker that left them feeling scared for their safety. “I work in the service industry; dealing with irate customers comes with the territory. At previous jobs, I have been insulted, threatened and even spit at — yet none of these incidents have had a lasting effect on me ... I was under the impression that he was going to hit me! ... I don’t go to work to be attacked; I go to work to make a living,” they wrote. I’m glad the server wrote to me, because their story is important for all of us to read. No one should feel unsafe at their place of work. Shame on this customer for making the server feel threatened. Orders get messed up — it’s a common occurrence — but it’s no excuse to act like a jerk and start berating someone. I’m refraining from using the customer’s name, because I’m not into publicly shaming people who aren’t politicians, but if I hear about this happening again, I’ll gladly include their name and photo in the next Barb. 8 / R / February 15, 2024

Dear editor, As a taxpayer in the West Bonner County School District, I am convinced all phases of the forensic audit must be completed. Some people say the discrepancies found by the auditor seem minor and of no consequence. However, in reviewing the summary of Phase 1 from the auditor, I am concerned that 16% of the checks reviewed had issues. As we know, bookkeeping is a very detailed job and errors should necessarily be few and small. One or 2% of checks with issues might be expected. With a 16% error rate, corrective action must happen, or the bookkeeper(s) need to be fired. It is my understanding the district is working through these issues and has been able to fill in a number of the missing pieces of data. My question is, why was the bookkeeping so poor during that time period? Here are a few of the issues with checks noted by the auditor: 1,343 checks for a total of $8,305,033 had no vendor name listed in the general ledger (yes, over $8 million worth); 269 checks for a total of $772,625 were found in the bank statement and general ledger with no canceled check provided or identified; two checks with a combined amount paid of $217,733 were found in the bank statement with no canceled check provided and no check number in the ledger. As a concerned tax-paying citizen, I want a full audit completed prior to any talk of a levy. Kathryn Barlow Spirit Lake

‘Vote against IFF candidates’…

Dear editor, The Idaho Freedom Foundation (IFF) sent me an urgent but misleading message as follows: “DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] ... divides the world into aggrieved minorities and oppressive majorities, reducing people to a group identity grounded in immutable characteristics … focused on group identity and discrimination such as a Black Student Center, LGBT center, or women’s center ... engrain DEI in campus policies through speech codes or race and gender quotas among other discriminatory practices ... revolutionizing American higher education for at least the last two generations.” Well, we all agree that black skin, for example, is an immutable characteristic. But far from “reducing” people and “discriminating” against them

by considering this fact, DEI presents the idea that the human right to be treated equally is also immutable. The “E” in DEI (“equity”) means “equality.” Defending the equality of people is the very description of not discriminating among them. American higher education (not to mention the United States) has always stood for equality, even before independence. Then, it was a revolutionary idea, not anymore. Teaching equality costs money. But what could be more worth teaching than that “all men are created equal”? And I don’t mean just men. The IFF attack on DEI is part of their aim to do away with public education. Vote against IFF-supported candidates, such as our own Bonner County Republican Committee Chair. Nancy Gerth Sagle

concerning this budget mess. The voters spoke last May and said we will not support another levy until the district gets its financial act together. But the majority of the present board still does not appreciate the concerns of their constituents. Indeed, this blindness can be illustrated in the request by the unelected trustee, Paul Turco, who later in the meeting asked the attendees to put together their “wish lists” for the board to consider! In the present circumstance, self-awareness is obviously far from the board’s concern and is being duly noted by those of us who said “no” last May and demanded accountability and change from the status quo. West Bonner School Board, we are watching. Alan Galloway Priest River

WBCSD Board doesn’t appreciate constituents’ concerns…

‘I don’t want a snake oil salesman for senator’…

Dear editor, The subject of another levy came up at last week’s West Bonner School Board meeting, Feb. 6. Prior to this, in the same meeting, the ongoing forensic audit was discussed to include many discrepancies and missing information between invoices, checks and vendors. Over the past year or so, parents and concerned citizens have tried to get answers and have sought resolution and transparency

Dear editor, What’s the difference between a “conservative base budget” and a “bare-bones budget”? It depends on whether the information comes from the Idaho Freedom Foundation and Sen. Scott Herndon or from traditional Idaho Republicans. The Groundhog Day explosion in JFAC (a.k.a. the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which reviews

and makes budget recommendations) was no surprise to me. Sensible Republicans saw the looming shadow of a committee held hostage by unworkable rules. They recognized the folly of making funding decisions before revenue targets are set. They knew separating budgets into two categories is too rigid and simplistic. Yet despite the warning signs, Sen. Herndon has extolled the new JFAC rules. He claims that in previous years, JFAC rubber-stamped budgets. Minutes from previous years contradict that. Sen. Herndon also claimed that the new process is more transparent and budgets are set weekly and moved to the floor. I beg to differ, as few committee minutes are available and what used to be a three-hour public hearing is now a 90-minute public meeting followed by a 90-minute private working group meeting. So much for increasing transparency. The new process is like that used by the federal government — a process widely criticized by those who are politically aligned with the very groups supporting Idaho’s new JFAC process. I value transparency and common sense when it comes to budgets. I don’t want a snake oil salesman for senator. That is why I am supporting Jim Woodward. I hope you will join me. Mary Ollie Sandpoint


Legislative update

Concerns over the 2024 Legislature’s budget-making process

By Rep. Mark Sauter Reader Contributor Greetings. I hope all is well. We finished the fifth week of the session on Feb. 9, and I’m concerned about the way this session is progressing. There have been changes to our state budget system that have yet to play out, and mid-session changes to the leadership team that don’t typically happen. There are some strong differences of opinion among the Republicans as well. Some are hoping the change in leadership will help to heal some of the divisions. Developing and adopting a state budget is the constitutional duty of the Legislature. Last week we started voting on a new style of appropriations bill. In the past, these bills were agency specific and generally included personnel; benefits; contracts; replacement equipment; carry forward funds; non-discretionary spending (differences in the costs of doing business, such as the number of students for the student funding formula, for example); salary adjustments; cost of living adjustments; budget shortfalls; and new equipment or agency functions. It was the job of those in the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC) to sift through the agency budget requests and apply conservative budgeting principles. Not all agency requests were approved. The JFAC bills — more than 100 of them — were then sent to the House and Senate for debate and confirmation votes. Some of the bills were sent back for more trimming and adjustments. The agency budgets are again being reviewed by JFAC, but this time the JFAC co-chairs have done considerable preliminary work, redefined what it means to fund agencies and decided to split the budgets into two bills. Budget decisions are policy decisions. The co-chairs say the first bills are bare-bones budgets — what’s needed to “keep the lights on” is how they are being presented — while the second bills will reportedly encompass the rest of the budget request. The co-chairs have also decided what the bare-bones budgets will not include: replacement equipment, non-discretionary costs, carry forward funds, new equipment and functions. The barebones budgets will not include the full

cost of living employee progress.” I prefer more wage adjustments, either. votes on budget deciWe’ve been told the sions, not less. Legislasecond budgets will be tors and the public have developed and presentthe same access to all ed sometime before the state budget information Legislature adjourns. this year as last. The Another change to difference is that this our budgeting process is year, it appears, we will how items are bundled have fewer opportunities together. Previously, to vote on budgets. most agency budgets I will return to were a single bill. LegDistrict 1 for meet-andislators knew that they greets on Feb. 17. Please were generally voting see the ad in this week’s on a complete agency Reader for places and budget. This year, for times. Thoughts? Feedexample, the Idaho DeRep. Mark Sauter. File photo. back? Concerns? Email partment of Correction, the Departme at ment of Juvenile Corrections and the Idaho State Police have been bundled Rep. Mark Sauter is a Republican legtogether. islator representing District 1A. He serves Last year this was three separate on the Agricultural Affairs; Education; processes with three separate preand Judiciary, Rules and Administration sentations and debates. This year the committees. omnibus bill is one “up or down” vote for a half billion dollars in spending for “keeping the lights on” with the above-mentioned exclusions. The “drill-down” possibilities for concerned legislators during a bill debate are very limited by the bill carriers when they advise, “The missing funding will be before you in another bill, later in the session.” It has not yet been explained how the second bills will be presented, whether they will be bundled with other agencies or carried separately, and whether the second bills will be required to be passed so an agency will have a complete budget. Many legislators question the purpose of the “keep the lights on” budgets if they don’t really do that. Will passing these budgets be considered the end of the Legislatures’ constitutional responsibility for budget making? There are concerns that if there is no requirement for the “second budgets,” will the foregone money from the second budgets then be used for property tax relief or school choice tax credits (or both) in an election year? The JFAC co-chairs have said there should be no concerns. I remain concerned and skeptical of the JFAC changes thrust upon us. Basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Don’t confuse activity with February 15, 2024 / R / 9

Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

silver By Ben Olson Reader Staff Publisher’s Note: Brenden Bobby is out this week, so you’re stuck with me. In the world of precious metals, silver often plays second fiddle to gold. The latter is much rarer than silver, with estimates that the entire volume of gold on Earth can fit into just over three Olympic-sized swimming pools. This represents about 244,000 metric tons. Silver, on the other hand, has an estimated 1.74 million metric tons mined to date, with much more yet to be unearthed. But, while 78% of the total gold mined is utilized for jewelry, silver has a wide variety of industrial uses, which make this metal extra precious. Industrial uses of silver accounts for about 58% of its annual demand, while gold has only about 8% of its demand driven by industrial use. Silver is the single most conductive metal, thanks to its unique crystal structure and single valence — or outer — electron. Silver contains a higher number of moveable atoms, or free electrons. The more free electrons in a metal, the greater its conductivity. It’s because of the conductive property of silver that it’s used in almost every electronic device. If something has an off-on switch, it probably contains silver inside of it. For example, more than 36 million ounces of silver are used each year in auto manufacturing alone. Every electrical connection in a modern car is activated with a sil-

10 / R / February 15, 2024

ver-coated contact. Whether starting the engine, adjusting power seats, opening power windows or closing a power trunk, every one of those activities is accomplished using a silver membrane switch. The solar industry also relies on silver quite a bit. Silver powder is turned into a paste that is loaded onto a silicon wafer. When light strikes the wafer, electrons are set free and silver carries the electricity for immediate usage or storage. Even the lines on the rear window of a car that defrost ice are made from silver. The aviation industry also relies heavily on silver. Because jet and helicopter engines run for long periods of time and at high temperatures, they require stronger silver ball bearings than other types of machinery. Silver is also used in medicine. During WWI, battlefield wounds were wrapped in silver foil and silver sutures closed deep wounds. Silver coatings are applied to medical devices like catheters and breathing tubes to help combat germs, along with silver-embedded equipment like needles and stethoscopes. Whenever metal pieces like pipes, faucets and electrical wires are joined, the process is known as either soldering or brazing. The processes are the same, but soldering takes place at temperatures below 840° Fahrenheit while brazing occurs at a temperature above 840° F. Meanwhile, silver ions have been added to water purification systems in community water supplies, pools and spas as a disinfectant. Many of the higher-end

telescopes and microscopes also coat their mirrors with polished silver, which reflects 95% of the visible light spectrum, making it the most reflective metal. Silver is extracted from the Earth through both open-pit and underground methods. Once extraction is completed, the ores are crushed, ground and separated through a process called “flotation” to achieve high mineral concentrations. Mexico is by far the world’s leading extractor of silver, followed by Peru and China. (Fun fact: Mines in the Silver Valley in North Idaho have pulled more than 1.2 billion ounces of silver, 3 million tons of zinc and 8 million tons of lead out of the ground since the 1880s, ranking it among the highest-producing mining districts in history. As recently as 2021, Coeur d’Alene-based Hecla Mining Co. alone was reported to have been responsible for more than 40% of the U.S. supply of silver.) Mining silver isn’t a recent human invention, either. Silver was one of the first five elements discovered, along with gold, copper, lead and iron. It has been mined for more than 6,000 years, with silver objects found dating as far back as 4,000 B.C.E. Part of its prevalence in ancient cultures may have to do with how malleable it is. A single ounce of silver can be made into a wire 8,000 feet long. Along with the aforementioned uses, silver has been used for currency purposes for thousands of years. The Lydians, living in present-day Turkey, are credited as the

originators of gold and silver coins, which influenced the Ionian Greeks to their west, who adopted the practice. Silver is so attached to currency that the words for “silver” and “money” are the same in 14 languages. Until 1965, coins minted in the U.S. contained about 90% silver, but much smaller amounts of the metal are used today. Sadly, most industrially

used silver ends up in landfills after use and is permanently lost as a result. Don’t bother sifting through the dump looking for “poor man’s gold,” however, as the recovery process would require far more effort than it’s worth. Finally, the word “silver” is one of the few common English words that have no rhyme. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner ops? Don’t know much about gumdr can help! We

• Feb. 15 is also known as National Gumdrop Day, proving there is, in fact, a day for everything. • While popular legend has it that the gumdrop was created in 1801 by a man named Percy Trusdale, that story turned out to be a bogus internet meme. There was, however, a man named Percy Truesdell who became known as “The Gumdrop King” and was credited with enhancing the texture of gumdrops in 1915, using a formula he developed while conducting experiments at Ohio State University. Truesdell’s obituary in 1948 claimed the gumdrop had previously been a hard-candy jawbreaker, but these claims weren’t consistent with earlier descriptions of the candy. • Original gumdrop varieties derived their flavors from real spices: orange (clove), yellow (allspice), red (cinnamon), green (spearmint), purple (anise), white (peppermint) and black (licorice). • The name “gumdrop” wasn’t documented until the 1850s, when it appeared in the Illinois State

Chronicle in a report on a candy shop owned by George Julier. • NASA nicknamed its Apollo command modules “gumdrops” because of their conical shape. • Candy only accounts for 6% of the added sugar in the American diet. Soft drinks and juice account for 46%. • The record for largest gumdrop ever is held by Brach’s Candy, which created one that weighed more than 10 pounds and contained 15,127 calories. • The phrase “Goody, Goody Gumdrops,” was first popularized in the 1930s by a cartoon strip called “Harold Teen,” which was written and illustrated by Carl Ed. • The 1945 board game “Candyland” immortalized the candy with the inclusion of the “Gumdrop Mountains.” Jolly, the official greeter of the Gumdrop Mountains, lived there. It was Jolly’s job to mine gumdrops from the mountain, as well as greet visitors.


Tyler Boeh to headline Comedy Avalanche show at the Panida By Reader Staff

Nationally touring stand-up comic Tyler Boeh will make a return visit to the Panida Theater on Saturday, Feb. 17 as the second Comedy Avalanche show of 2024. Described as a “vocal percussionist,” Boeh infuses his energetic blend of comedic storytelling with beatboxing, punctuating his quick-witted takes on life’s funny problems. Boeh’s career began in his hometown of Portland, Ore., but with finalist accolades from comedy competitions in Seattle, San Francisco and Boston — not to mention the World Series of Comedy in Las Vegas — he pulled up stakes for Los Angeles. Settled in Hollywood, Boeh was quick to establish himself in the top comedy clubs of Tinseltown, worked on two television pilots and released his debut comedy album, Carpool

Companion in 2012, which LaughSpin Magazine named its album of the year. In the following years, Boeh appeared on Craig Ferguson’s show Celebrity Name Game, appeared in three episodes of Laughs on Fox, was featured in numerous BuzzFeed videos and embarked on a tour to almost 40 campuses around the country. His second album, Full Circle, released in 2018, was selected as the SiriusXM 98 artist of the month and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Comedy Charts. The same year, Boeh released his Dry Bar Comedy special “Wait For It,” which has since been viewed more than 5 million times. The show will also feature Ryan McComb, who made a name for himself in his hometown of Spokane, where won the Valleyfest Clean Comedy Cup in 2018 and was a regular at the Spokane Comedy Club,

going on to perform Tyler Boeh. Courtesy photo. at clubs around the country and as far afield as Boston. McComb took his act — peppered with narrative gems — to Nashville about a year ago, where he and fellow-former local comic Rob Wentz have continued to build their stand-up careers. McComb recently filmed a Dry Bar Special and Wentz will return to his hometown of Sandpoint to serve as the special guest host for the Feb. 17 show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission and $55 for VIP, which includes immediate entry, reserved seating and a swag bag. Tickets are available at the door (300 N. First Ave.) or online at

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How local Idaho prosecutors lost the case against Patriot Front’s white nationalist leader

Caught with a ‘little army’ and plans to provoke confrontation at a gay pride event, the white nationalist had his charges dismissed

By Daniel Walters InvestigateWest Nearly two years ago, police in North Idaho had the leader of America’s largest white nationalist group and 30 of his followers unmasked, zip-tied and in custody. They’d been caught on June 11, 2022, based on a tip that said a “little army” of masked men had been seen filing into the back of a U-Haul truck. Coeur d’Alene police pulled open the back door and found a squadron of men equipped with white masks, metal flag poles, homemade sheet-metal riot shields and a smoke grenade. And on the group’s leader, Thomas Rousseau, police found a note laying out a detailed plan to establish a “confrontational dynamic” at that day’s gay pride festival. Rousseau is the head of Patriot Front, a secretive racist organization of young men that has been running a guerrilla marketing campaign for white nationalism since the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Patriot Front frequently targets minority communities with racist propaganda vandalism against minority communities, said Jeff Tischauser, research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center, an anti-hate organization. They spray-paint over gay pride murals. They deface George Floyd memorials. And they show up to events like Coeur d’Alene’s Pride in the Park with masks, shields and smoke bombs in an attempt to intimidate participants into staying home, he said. But this time, every one of them was arrested, booked into jail and charged by local prosecutors with conspiracy to riot by disturbing the peace. Anti-extremism experts have been watching the case closely ever since, hoping Patriot Front would face consequences. “The prosecution in Coeur d’Alene finally had an opportunity to hold them accountable for their harassment and their intimidation of the diverse community,” Tischauser said. Instead, Rousseau’s case never got to trial. While most of Rousseau’s underlings have either been found guilty 12 / R / February 15, 2024

The 2022 Coeur d’Alene police arrest of Patriot Front members had immediate consequences for the group, unmasking and exposing the identities of 31 members. (David Neiwert photo) of conspiracy to riot or pleaded to a lesser infraction, Judge John Cafferty dismissed the case against the white nationalist leader in November. “This is an important case. It should not be dismissed lightly,” Cafferty said, according to court transcripts. “I tried to do what I could to not get to this point.” But after a year and a half of delays, lost evidence and failures of prosecutors to follow court orders, he said he didn’t have a choice. The prosecutors, on the other hand, blamed judges and defense attorneys for the case devolving “into a forum for fishing expeditions justified by nothing more than bumper sticker claims.” In all, it highlights just how difficult it is for an overwhelmed and understaffed team of prosecutors to take on a case involving so many extremists at once. It’s one reason why Kris Goldsmith, head of an anti-fascist research organization, said the Patriot Front case should not have been handled by local prosecutors to begin with. “Expecting a city prosecutor to take on a national white supremacist organization is disappointing,” Goldsmith said. “The FBI is just sitting on their hands.”

In fact, court documents suggest, the FBI made prosecuting Patriot Front a lot harder.

Overloaded, understaffed

The Coeur d’Alene community has already had plenty of practice defying hate groups. More than two decades ago, community members stood up to white supremacist Richard Butler and the other neo-Nazis on his Aryan Nations’ compound in nearby Hayden Lake. And Patriot Front had targeted the city repeatedly with graffiti and racist propaganda fliers. “We need to catch these people,” Steve Widmyer, then mayor of Coeur d’Alene, wrote in 2021 after a local college was targeted that August. “Disgusting.” In 2022, police caught 31 of them at once. Yet, the size of the catch, ironically, may have helped the biggest fish get away. Even the limited size of local courtrooms quickly became a problem. “We could have asked to join all 31 cases, but the reality is that Kootenai County does not have a facility to handle something like that,” Wes Somerton, the head of Coeur

d’Alene’s criminal prosecutors, later told the court. Instead the prosecutor’s office initially charged all the cases separately, though they later tried to combine them. While prosecutors did not return interview requests from InvestigateWest, court records show how the sheer size of the caseload quickly clogged up the local judicial system. The city prosecutors handling the cases had to pinball between the courts of nine judges. Scheduling alone was a nightmare: One week, there were two different Patriot Front trials scheduled before two different judges in two different courtrooms, involving the same witnesses. As a small city, there are only four attorneys in the city prosecutors’ office, tasked with handling all misdemeanors and infractions within city limits. And then, in the middle of the Patriot Front prosecutions, one of the four went on paternity leave, meaning prosecutors were left pulling double-docket duty. A prescheduled summer vacation meant every case on the docket had to be handled by two prosecutors. In July 2023, neither remaining city prosecutor showed up for a scheduled hearing in one Patriot Front case. Judge Destry Randles was unsympathetic. “The court is not in the business of tracking down attorneys when they are not where they are supposed to be,” Randles said, according to court transcripts. Similarly, after Deputy City Attorney Ryan Hunter was chastised for failing to get the defense some court-required information, he pointed to the short-staffed prosecutor’s office for why it slipped his mind. In court documents, he wrote that he’d fallen “victim to the ever-present cracks into which things fall for every person, attorney and judge alike at some point.” A number of Patriot Front members, meanwhile, were represented by aggressive private attorneys, paid at a rate of $150 an hour by the Kootenai County taxpayers, instead of a harried

< see FRONT, Page 13 >

< FRONT, con’t from Page 12 > public defender’s office. The public defender’s office had concluded they’d only be able to represent one of the 31 defendants without there being a conflict of interest. So for the others who couldn’t afford an attorney, the county recruited other local private lawyers to pinch-hit. After trying to represent himself for six months, Rousseau applied for a public defender in December 2022. Instead, he was handed private attorney Kinzo Mihara. Mihara was a Marine veteran who’d been given a Carnegie Medal for dragging a man from a burning helicopter cockpit, and not afraid to brag about it in court. He worked evenings and weekends to get caught up on the Patriot Front case, according to an affidavit. He unleashed repeated salvos of bombast against the prosecutors, declaring in one court document that the prosecution team “spits upon the grave, and defiles the memory, of the Patriots who gave their last drop of blood and dying breaths in support of our great Constitution.” In court filings, Hunter accused Mihara of “hyperbolic hostility and vitriol,” of being “self-congratulatory” and “braggadocious,” and of abandoning “professionalism in favor of performative advocacy.” But ultimately Mihara’s tactics worked. He managed to turn a key collection of evidence — what may have seemed like a massive coup for law enforcement — into the prosecution’s downfall.

Lost cellphone

After officers had arrested Patriot Front members, they’d hauled away a potential treasure trove of evidence: 37 Patriot Front devices, according to police records, including cellphones wrapped in signal-blocking foil, SD cards, GoPro cameras and a USB stick. In all, there were roughly 3,500 gigabytes worth of everything from Hitler pictures to swastika logos to — in one case — child pornography. It was like opening Pandora’s box, one judge later said. The Patriot Front cases ground to a halt as defense attorneys demanded time to sift through all the new information. The data didn’t help the prosecutors. Some judges had ruled the police didn’t have probable cause for the July 11 arrest of Patriot Front and barred them from using it. But the defense thought it could help them. If one of those cellphones had information that could help prove a defendant’s innocence, then the de-

fense was legally entitled to see it. Mihara argued there just might be. In court documents, he wrote that the cellphone of a Patriot Front videographer potentially contained a video of Patriot Front leadership instructing members to refrain from violence and to be respectful while protesting Pride in the Park. Just one problem: The police had already handed all 37 devices over to the FBI, before a sealed federal warrant had been signed. Mihara called the move “ludicrous.” In an email to InvestigateWest, the Coeur d’Alene Police Department said they would have likely sent them to the FBI anyway, as they “have an electronic forensics lab that could process the phones in a timely manner whereas our agency resources would have taken months to complete.” But that analysis took more than seven months to complete, according to court records. And when they were finally done, the FBI wouldn’t give back the actual phones. (The FBI declined to comment for this story.) Mihara was incensed. The idea that a prosecutor could simply hide evidence by sending it to a federal agency, he wrote in a court filing, “embodies the very tyranny our forefathers saw in their British masters.” At one moment, the runaround turned into a full circle: The prosecution encouraged defense attorneys to reach out to the FBI. The FBI told them to talk to the city prosecutors. And even when the city shared the FBI’s electronic copy of the data, it wasn’t good enough, Mihara said. His digital forensics expert testified that the data was wildly incomplete. They needed to see the physical phone itself. That was impossible, as prosecutors formally acknowledged in court on Aug. 2. They didn’t have the power to tell the FBI to give back the phone. Legally, at least, the evidence was lost. Several judges weren’t happy. “There is no faith in the process when the prosecutor can play hide the ball with evidence,” Judge Randles said. Hunter had argued that even if a cellphone video of Patriot Front leaders urging nonviolence did exist — and that was doubtful — it was irrelevant. Patriot Front wasn’t even being accused of planning violence, just of “disturbing the peace.” Yet the frustration in courtrooms over the prosecution’s approach was building. Court transcripts show a litany of complaints from several judges: Prosecutors had released evidence to the defense in “drips and drabs.” Filings were coming in late. Necessary

objections weren’t being properly filed. Court orders to disclose weren’t being followed. The city would claim they’d turned over everything, only to announce they found more they needed to turn over. Finally, one judge had had enough. “I have never, in my 10 years, seen anything that even approaches this level of failure to properly disclose evidence,” Randles said, according to court transcripts. In August, he dismissed the case against one Patriot Front defendant, Richard Jessop of Idaho. In November, Judge Cafferty followed suit, dismissing the case against Rousseau. When judges did allow the Patriot Front cases to reach the jury, however, the Coeur d’Alene prosecutors had been undefeated. Juries were convinced by the prosecutors’ arguments that while Patriot Front had the free speech right to protest, their “anarchist tactics of unlawfully violating other people’s First Amendment rights should not be tolerated.” Seven Patriot Front members were convicted of conspiracy to riot — sentenced to a few days in jail, a year or two of probation, a $1,000 fine and were banned from the area around the park. (Mihara is representing four of them on appeal.) Twenty took plea deals, copping to participating in a parade without a permit and getting off with a fine. Four, including the videographer, have bench warrants out for their arrest. And the Patriot Front phone with the child porn on it? It belonged to Patriot Front member Jared Boyce of Utah. He was convicted on multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and sentenced to a year in jail. Coeur d’Alene is appealing two cases that had been dismissed, though Somerton, one of the two prosecutors overseeing it, is retiring in April. “My client looks forward to the day that this case is ultimately put to rest in his favor,” Mihara wrote in a statement to InvestigateWest. But for now, Rousseau — the man behind everything — has been able to walk away.

Civil action

This January, 19 months after police caught him in the U-Haul, Rousseau marched through New York wearing sunglasses and a cowboy hat — no mask, no Idaho criminal conviction — and shared a message of defiance. “Every day, every year we’re going to stay out here,” Rousseau told onlookers in a video shared on social media. “We’re going to keep doing

demonstrations. We’re going to keep making ourselves known.” Rousseau did not respond to an interview request InvestigateWest sent to his phone number listed on court documents. Goldsmith, from the anti-fascist research organization, has argued that there’s a slew of strategies the FBI could take against Rousseau, including getting him on tax evasion. “The FBI has everything they need to take down this little gangster-wanna-be and his crew of neo-Nazis,” Goldsmith said. But Coeur d’Alene’s history suggests another course, which has often been the more reliable route for those aiming to take on extremists. Ultimately, it was a civil lawsuit, brought by the Southern Poverty Law Center nearly 25 years ago, that bankrupted the Aryan Nations and forced them to sell their compound. In fact, civil cases, with their lower burdens of proof, have often been the more reliable route for those aiming to take on extremists. They were used against the organizers of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. And they’re already being used elsewhere against Patriot Front. Less than a month after being arrested in Idaho, Patriot Front marched in Boston, where they allegedly kicked, punched and beat with their metal shields a Black musician who confronted them. Today, he’s suing them. While Patriot Front may gloat about its victory in Idaho, Tischauser, with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that the white nationalist group appears weaker these days. Even in Texas, Rousseau’s home base, he said, the amount of Patriot Front fliers being distributed has fallen by 30%. He believes the culmination of all the litigation is taking its toll. Even a failed prosecution can be valuable in the long term, Goldsmith said. “The evidence that comes out in discovery is enough to establish what will be criminal and civil liability in other jurisdictions,” Goldsmith said. “Tom Rousseau will fade into irrelevance and will spend the rest of his life in debt... And those around him, the top lieutenants in Patriot Front, will be tied to him like an anchor.” InvestigateWest ( is an independent news nonprofit dedicated to investigative journalism in the Pacific Northwest. A Report for America corps member, Daniel Walters covers democracy and extremism across the region. He can be reached at February 15, 2024 / R / 13


POAC launches new teen art program ‘Expressions’

Chamber of Commerce honors Amelia Boyd as February Volunteer of the Month

By Reader Staff

By Reader Staff

Responding to the need for specialized art programs tailored to middle and high school-aged youth, the Pend Oreille Arts Council, in partnership with Kaniksu Folk School, is rolling out a new initiative to address the unmet demand. The Expressions program will include two six-week sessions per semester, each focused on a different theme, such as introduction to drawing, exploring color, handbuilding with clay and more. Classes will be capped at 10 students, take place once a week and last between 60 and 90 minutes, led by trained instructors with support from POAC and KFS. “Numerous families in our community have expressed keen interest in art classes and workshops that go beyond traditional educational settings, aiming to nurture their children’s artistic talents and complement their school curriculum,” stated program director Amy Stephensen. “As an artist and certified visual arts teacher in Idaho, I’ve had numerous conversations

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with parents who are eager to provide additional opportunities for their child’s artistic growth.” The upcoming winter session is slated to run Thursdays from March 7 to April 18 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and cover drawing from observation, value, perspective, proportions and foreshortening, life drawing from a model/figurative work and self-portrait, complemented by critique sessions. According to organizers, the program is designed to “foster creativity, critical thinking and a supportive learning environment,” as well as offer constructive feedback and collaborative learning. “With a commitment to making art education accessible, POAC is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of talented artists in the community,” stated POAC Executive Director Tone Stolz. “This program not only perfectly aligns with our mission but also fills us with tremendous excitement.” For more info and enrollment, visit the POAC website at, call 208-263-6139 or visit the POAC Gallery and Studio at 313 N. Second Ave., Ste. B in downtown Sandpoint.

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce honored Amelia Boyd as the February Volunteer of the Month at its February General Membership Luncheon. Since moving to Sandpoint in 2016, Boyd has been a weekly volunteer for the Cottage with Panhandle Special Needs, a volunteer commissioner on the city of Sandpoint’s Parks and Rec. Commission, a weekly volunteer at Bonner General Hospital and at the Kootenai Cancer Center, and a member of the Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission. Boyd has also been the race director for the BGH Foundation Find Your Strength Family Fun Run since its inception in 2022 and serves as a trustee with the Foundation. In addition to these volunteer activities, Boyd has donated her time for City Beach clean-up days, Healing Garden clean-up, has baked goodies for the BGH Women’s Auxiliary Group and volunteers at the Sandpoint Chamber Beerfest event every summer.

February volunteer of the month Amelia Boyd with Bob Witte. Courtesy photo. For more info on the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, visit


Winter Carnival 2024: Week 1

Celebrate the season with events from Sagle to Sandpoint to Schweitzer

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

The Sandpoint Winter Carnival celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and, despite the noticeable lack of snow, is swinging into its second century with a blizzard of events happening over the course of two weeks. Here is a sampling of what’s happening during Week 1:

Friday, Feb. 16 Parade of Lights Sponsored by Ting, this just-forfun parade is the official kickoff to the Winter Carnival, rolling through downtown Sandpoint with a small flotilla of floats representing local groups and businesses. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m., following a route from the City Parking Lot at Church and Second, to First Avenue and back via Cedar Street. Winter Carnival chili cook-off Back for the second year in a row, tasting starts a little after 3 p.m. First place wins the Golden Ladle prize of $200, second place wins $100 and third is $50. Judging is by popular vote and everyone is welcome to enter. Bring your entry between 2 and 3 p.m. on the day of the competition. The event will take place at Pierce Auto Center (30 Gun Club Road, Sagle), which sponsors the cook-off. Live music w/Paper Flowers at The Hive North Idaho-based Paper Flowers will bring iconic hits from the ’70s and ’80s to The Hive with its multimedia Remembering Fleetwood Mac concert, featuring the infamous and influential music of the band’s heyday. SOLD OUT. Live music w/Bright Moments at Pend d’Oreille Winery Eclectic jazz from 5-8 p.m. at 301 Cedar St. Live music w/Jason Perry Band at Connie’s Lounge Get into the funk vibe starting at 5 p.m. at 323 Cedar St. Peggy Reich solo recital The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint presents classical pianist Peggy Reich playing “Ostranenie Musicale.” Music from 7-9 p.m. at Little Carn-

egie Hall in the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint (110 Main St.). Tickets are $10 for students, $20 for adults, available at or at the door. Activities at Schweitzer Schweitzer kicks off Winter Carnival with tubing, twilight skiing, Starlight race series and a party at Taps, Yin Yoga at Cambium Spa and Kids Night Out. Events start at 11:30 a.m. and end at 8 p.m. Get more info at

Saturday, Feb. 17 More activities at Schweitzer It’s President’s Day weekend with a host of happenings on the hill, including the all-day Snow Bar featuring Radio Brewing, Grand Teton and No-Li; Vinyasa Yoga at Cambium; NASTAR; hosted summit snowshoe hike; tubing, kids crafts; Village campfire and treat roasting; Twilight skiing; music at taps with Adrian Xavier; and Kids Night Out. Events run all day until 9 p.m. Get more info at Eagles chili cook-off Enter your best chili recipe for $10 or just come hungry to assist in judging. Tasting begins at 5 p.m., at the Eagles Lodge (1511 Johnny Long Road). Sun Daddy drum circle Bring your own drums, rattles and a chair to the Embody Center (823 Main St.) to participate. Some extra rattles and drums will be available if needed. Get more info at Live music w/Weibe Jammin’ at Pend d’Oreille Winery Classic tunes with a reggae twist from 5-8 p.m. at 301 Cedar St. Live music w/Devon Wade at Barrel 33 Good ol’ country music from 5-8 p.m. at 100 N. First Ave. Live music w/Suspicious PKG at Connie’s Lounge Bonners Ferry-based rockers take the stage starting at 6 p.m. at 323 Cedar St. Live music w/Mia Kohal Band at 219 Lounge Sandpoint’s signature classic outlaw rock band from 9 p.m.-midnight, at

Fireworks at Schweitzer. Courtesy photo. 219 First Ave. Live music w/Hogwire at The Hive Country and rock lovers unite for this free show, with doors open at 7 p.m. and music starting at 8:45 p.m. at 207 N. First Ave. Sleigh ride, dinner and concert at Western Pleasure Horse-drawn sleigh ride through pines followed by a ranch-style meal and live music. Sleigh rides can be scheduled at 5 or 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. Call 208263-9066 for reservations. Get more info at

Sunday, Feb. 18 Activities at Schweitzer More President’s Weekend events, including all-day Snow Bar featuring Radio Brewing, Grand Teton and No-Li; hosted Hermit’s Hollow hike; NASTAR; tubing; kids crafts; Twilight skiing; Village campfire and treat roasting; music at Taps with Snacks at Midnight; and Coca-Cola’s “Let It Glow!” night parade and fireworks. Events run all day until 9 p.m. Get more info at Live music w/The Jauntee at 219 Lounge This Boston-based band pushes the boundaries of improvisational music with elements of jazz, funk, rock and psychedelic jams. The show is 8-11 p.m., tickets are $10 in advance or $15 day of show. Get tickets at (Read more about the band on Page 21.)

Monday, Feb. 19 More activities at Schweitzer Hit the mountain for NASTAR, hosted summit snowshoe hike, tubing and kids crafts. Events start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. For more info go to Tuesday, Feb. 20 Flow Yoga at Cambium Spa on Schweitzer 9:30-10:30 a.m. Get more info at Live music w/Jennifer Stoehner at Pend d’Oreille Winery Classical and contemporary piano tunes from 5-7 p.m. at 301 Cedar St.

Wednesday, Feb. 21 Live music w/Peter Lucht at Pend d’Oreille Winery Jazz piano from 5-7 p.m. at 301 Cedar St. Trivia night at Connie’s Hosted by Toshi and Austin at 323 Cedar St. Cost is $5 per person; can play as an individual or team of up to four. First prize is 70% off entrees and second place gets 30% off. Learn more about Sandpoint’s annual Winter Carnival at For even more events happening around Sandpoint this weekend, head to Page 18 to peruse the Reader calendar or head to

February 15, 2024 / R / 15

dumb of the week By Ben Olson Reader Staff It’s been a long time since we’ve written about former District 1 Rep. Heather Scott in these pages. Rep. Scott moved over to District 2 in 2022 after a new legislative map redrew a portion of Bonner County from District 1 to District 2. We have largely been free of her nonsense ever since. Readers might remember Scott for posing with a Confederate battle flag at a 2015 parade in Priest River. Reps. That same year, Reps. Caroline Nilsson Troy, R-Genesee, and Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, reportedly witnessed Scott climb up on her desk in to examine a small, black object that dangled from a thin wire from the ceiling, claiming it was a “listening device” before cutting it off with a knife she had on her (it turns out the object was part of the Capitol Building’s fire suppression system). Scott also once commented that female House members only advance to leadership positions if they “spread their legs.” During the pandemic, she called Idaho Gov. Brad Little “Little Hitler” and likened his stay-at-home order to the policies that led to the Holocaust. Once, prior to a candidate’s forum sponsored by the Reader, Scott took to Facebook to warn her followers from attending because the forum was a “trap” that would make Republican lawmakers look foolish because the answers they gave to questions would be reported in the newspaper. Scott once triggered a special legislative session of the Idaho Legislature after killing a bill that would have brought the state into line with federally mandated child support rules because she and other like-minded lawmakers feared it would lead to the practice of “Sharia Law.” She also claimed white nationalism is “no more than a Caucasian who [is] for the Constitution and making America great again.” Finally, Scott’s name appeared as many as 20 times in the 108-page Washington House report on former-Washington Rep. Matt Shea in which he was labeled a “domestic terrorist” for his anti-government rhetoric. She also attended the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by followers of anti-government activist Ammon Bundy in 2016. Perhaps in an attempt to return to her “greatest hits,” Scott made national news again last week for introducing 16 / R / February 15, 2024

a bill that she claimed would keep human flesh and bone out of the food supply. What’s more, the cannibalism bill appeared to be based on the proposal of a reality show prank. House Bill 522 would expand Idaho’s existing criminal cannibalism law to prohibit any person from “willfully provid[ing] the flesh or blood of a human being to another person to ingest without such person’s knowledge or consent.” It’s worth noting that Idaho’s cannibalism law already outlaws the willful ingestion of the flesh or blood of a human being. On the House floor, Scott noted that she had introduced this totally-not-satire bill to prevent human composting and to ensure that fooling people into eating human flesh is not “normalized.” “I know this seems a heavy topic,” Scott said. “It might seem kind of gruesome. It kinda is.” Scott apparently heard in 2019 that Washington state had started human composting, “and that disturbed me,” she said. “So I wanted to address this because what I didn’t want to see is bags of compost with human bone fragments. I didn’t want to see that in my Home Depot stores.” What Scott is referring to (we think) is that Washington became the first state in the country to legalize “human composting,” which is an environmentally-friendly burial practice that does not involve bagging or consumption of human remains, nor is composted human material used in food production. Scott said that she “watched a video of some food show,” on a flight where contestants were told that human flesh was a possible ingredient in the food they would be eating. “I thought — this is going to be normalized at some point,” Scott said. “The way our society is going, and the direction we’re going, this is going to be normalized.” The show, however, was most likely a decade-old episode of David Spade’s prank show Fameless, which used improv comedy to test “how far real people will go to be famous.” The 2015 episode showed a contestant serving sausage that the chef claimed was “human flesh,” but later informed the contestant it was a prank. We hope Rep. Scott avoids watching reruns of Squid Game, because the laws she’ll try to write after that one will be truly astounding.

COMMUNITY Idaho high schoolers encouraged to submit entries for Ninth Circuit Civics Contest By Reader Staff The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is encouraging Idaho high school students to participate in its annual Civics Contest, which invites teens to explore U.S. history and the Constitution through an essay or video submission. Participation is open to all Idaho high school students from ninth to 12th grade who are attending public, private, charter or parochial schools. Homeschool students are also invited to apply. This year’s contest theme is “70 Years Later — The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education,” which asks students to take a deep dive into how that pivotal Supreme Court decision has shaped the cultural and political landscape of the U.S. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 8. Students may work individually or in groups of up to three to produce a three- to five-minute video presen-

tation, or may work individually to submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words. Last year, Moscow High School student Ayden Kelly took top honors in the local essay contest and Delaney Blenkinsop, of Boise High School, won the local video portion of the contest. Local district winners in each category will receive cash prizes of $1,000 for first place, $500 for second place and $250 for third. Contest finalists will be announced in May. Idaho’s winners will be announced in June and their work will be submitted for consideration in the circuit-wide contest, which includes entries from across the western U.S. and Pacific Islands. The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho will conduct the local selection process to identify Idaho’s finalists for the circuit-wide competition. For more info and how to participate, visit the contest website at ca9.uscourts. gov/civicscontest.

February 15, 2024 / R / 17


Send event listings to THURSDAY, february 15

Live Music & Happy Family Hour 4:30-5:30pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. With live music by Buster Brown Bingo Night 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Sushi Rolling & Saketini Pairing 6-8pm @ The Hive Immersive 2-hour sushi and sakelover’s experience. $100/person

6-8pm @ Smoke Smith BBQ

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

February 15-22, 2024

Looking Back and Planning Ahead 5pm @ Sandpoint Library Join this conversation about recent climate history and the need for energy systems to adapt. No RSVP required

STAGE & SCREEN Panida continues series of Oscarnominated films with Past Lives By Jim Healey Reader Contributor

A film arrives at the Panida with no loud noises, no car crashes, no explosions, no fights, no mind-blowing comFriDAY, february 16 puter-generated graphics. The quiet Past Live Music w/ Headwaters Solo Piano Recital with Peggy Reich Live Music w/ Paper Flowers SOLD OUT Lives, a 2024 nominee for an Academy Award for Best Picture, is coming to the 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub 7-9pm @ Little Carnegie Hall, MCS 7pm @ The Hive Panida Theater on Friday, Feb. 16, at 7 Sandpoint string trio Concert pianist and piano professor Live Music w/ Boot Juice, Matt Mitchell p.m. (doors open one-half hour before). Peggy Reich presents, “Ostranenie 7pm @ The Heartwood Center Live Music w/ Devon Wade Admission fee — whether for youth, Musicale,” a recital at MCS Driving bluegrass and Americana into 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall adult, or senior — is $5. Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz cosmic rock’n’roll and swing. Indie Sandpoint country artist The film’s background theme is the 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery singer-songwriter Matt Mitchell opens Live Music w/ Jason Perry Korean concept of inyeon — a Buddhist Live Music w/ Hot Cheetos at 7, show at 7:30. 5pm @ Connie’s Lounge belief that a bond exists between two 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Reggae Music w/ Adrian Xavier people that goes back thousands of lifeBringing the funk! Live Music w/ Jackson Roltgen 6:30-8:30pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. times. Soulmates just don’t happen. Two Sandpoint Winter Carnival (Feb. 16-25) 6-8pm @ Smoke Smith BBQ Reggae artist out of Seattle people are destined to cross paths, bond See Page 15 for more info and unfold a life together. SATURDAY, february 17 Past Lives follows the relationship over a period of 24 years between Nora Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts Sun Daddy Sandpoint Drum Circle Live Music w/ Weibe Jammin’ Moon (Greta Lee) and Hae Sung (Teo 6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall 3-5pm @ Embody, 823 Main St. 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Yoo), who are childhood friends in Country Creative collection of songs and looper Held 1st and 3rd Saturdays. FREE Seoul. Nora’s family emigrates to CanLive Music w/ Suspicious PKG ada to pursue professional goals, leaving Eagles Chili Cook-off Comedy Avalanche: Tyler Boeh 6pm @ Connie’s Lounge Hae behind. Nora then moves to New 5pm @ Eagles Lodge, 1511 Johnny Long Ln 8pm @ Panida Theater Bonners Ferry group with a sax player! $10 entry fee. Tasting at 5pm York to become a writer. Nationally recognized vocal percusAfter more than a decade, Nora Live Music w/ Devon Wade sionist who brings an energetic blend Live Music w/ Hogwire reconnects with Hae on Facebook; but, 5-8pm @ Barrel 33 of comedy storytelling and beatboxing 8:45pm @ The Hive realizing that digital technology can only Sandpoint country night Country music that rocks Live Music w/ Zach Whipple go so far in a long-distance relationship, Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes Live Music w/ Miah Kohal Band 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority she parts ways once again with Hae. 5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon 9pm @ 219 Lounge They reconnect 12 years later, but in Country, folk and originals Classic rock, outlaw rock and more the meantime Nora has married Arthur, SunDAY, february 18 whom she has met at an artist residenMagic with Star Alexander Live Concert w/ The Jauntee cy. Hae wants to see how the inyeon 5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s 8-11pm @ 219 Lounge between them is continuing and decides to visit Nora in New York City. Up close magic shows at the table A nationally-touring group combining jazz, funk, Sandpoint Chess Club That’s the simple plot of Past Lives, rock and psychedelic jams, with every live show Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee but the joy is in watching the finely unique. You don’t want to miss this one! $10/ 3-6pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Meets every Sunday at 9am tuned performances by the main charadv, $15/day of the show. to buy tickets Country, folk and originals acters. Nora’s subtle facial expressions monDAY, february 19 contain depth of feelings and emotions. Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi Outdoor Experience Group Run Trivia Night The price of admission is worth the New 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub 6pm @ Outdoor Experience 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority York-park scene in which Nora and Hae 3-5 miles, all levels welcome Pool League Hosted by a revolving cast of characters meet each other again after 24 years. 6pm @ Connie’s Lounge Rather than a long-distance shot of the WildCrafting: Craft a Canoe Paddle Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s two of them running into each other’s 3-5pm @ Big Red Shed, 11735 W Pine “Collaborative Eschaton: the historical arms, the camera focuses on Hae’s face Learn to craft your own paddle! $100 context of Jesus” as Nora nears, slowly unfolding the joy he feels seeing her again. tuesDAY, february 20 wednesDAY, february 21 It is a shame that Greta Lee was not Community Networking Event — Pend Oreille Economic Partnership nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. The Live Piano w/ Jennifer Stoehner 4pm @ Timber Town Beer Company, 50 Main St. in Priest River same is true for director Celine Song 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Executive committee meeting and community networking session in the Best Director category. Song is Artful refined jazz piano making her directorial debut for a feaLive Music w/ Reese Warren • 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub ture-length film with Past Lives. One fine guitar playing mofo Past Lives comes to the Panida ThursDAY, february 22 through a generous sponsorship by Ting, the local internet service provider. Bingo Night Live Music & Happy Family Hour Live Music w/ Jacob Robin

18 / R / February 15, 2024

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Jim Healey is a longtime member of the board of directors for both the Panida Theater and 88.5 KRFY Panhandle Community Radio, as well as an avid film buff.


Mother, daughter, temptress, victim The fate of female characters in pop culture

By Soncirey Mitchell Reader Staff A writer, essayist, poet and professor at the University of Puget Sound, where I earned my English degree, gave an insightful lecture on representation and the nature of good writing. She was a Black woman speaking to an entirely white class, so she explored the anxieties and stereotypes writers fall into when portraying characters of other cultures, races and ethnicities. “Great writers,” she said, “can capture the essence of characters who are the complete opposite of themselves, because great writers all have one thing in common: empathy. All it takes to write meaningful characters is the willingness to learn and the understanding that your subject — or rather, the real people who will identify with your subject — are human beings.” It only takes a few episodes of Game of Thrones to learn that, often, male writers forget that women are human beings. Typically, these writers confuse strong female representation with representation of strong females — but women can’t be reduced to breasts, backflips and bench pressing. A character who can throw a punch is nothing without a personality. Game of Thrones included plenty of female fighters alongside 50 rape scenes. All of the main female characters were sexually assaulted or threatened with sexual assault at one point or another, and yet these statistics are actually an improvement from the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R.R. Martin, which contains 214 rape scenes to date — all supposedly included in the name of historical accuray in a fantasy series. Apparently, in Martin’s mind, every woman born between 400 to 1400 C.E. was a victim of rape. No one’s arguing that sexual violence against women doesn’t exist; its portrayal does have its place in fiction. However, if, like in Game of Thrones, the abuse is fetishized and serves only to shock audiences rather than meaningfully contribute to the female character’s story arc, it becomes nothing more than trauma porn. Though not all violence against women is inherently sexual, the graphic fates of female characters span all

genres and target audiences. Famously, comic book writer Gail Simon compiled a 1999 list of dead or brutalized characters, dubbed “Women in Refrigerators.” The title refers to Ron Marz’s Green Lantern Vol. 3 No. 54, in which the titular hero discovers his girlfriend has been strangled and shoved into a fridge. Audiences later adopted the term “fridging” to refer to female characters who were abused, raped, murdered or otherwise stripped of their power (in both a literal and fantasy sense) to further the development of the male characters around them. Think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, May Parker, Gwen Stacy, Meredith Quill, Gamora, Ayesha, Frigga, Ying Li and more were all killed for the benefit of a man. Now compare that list to all the male characters who died and came back to life, often with new powers. I was 14 and sobbing in the theater when I first watched Gwen Stacy plummet to her death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — a vicious ending that taught Peter Parker the dangers of life as a superhero. Gwen Stacy was as close as I got to the representation I craved as a kid. She was highly intelligent, witty, awkward and she even helped save New York multiple times. When Gwen follows Spider-Man to her death, she tells him: “Nobody makes my decisions for me. All right? Nobody. This is my choice, OK? My choice. This is mine.” The fact that writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner damned Gwen with those words made a mockery of her character. Whatever agency audiences thought she had — whatever power she claimed over the narrative — was thrown back in her face, and she was left with a snapped spine and a rushed funeral scene. Watching that, as a middle-school girl, was like having all my hope for the future ground into the dirt. The helpless, sexy Mary Jane in Spider-Man lives on while a woman who actually resembles reality leaks blood and brain matter from her nose. As someone who studied creative writing in college, I’ve had multiple men tell me it’s virtually impossible to write women without using stereotypes or making them tools for the male protagonist’s development. I’ve

never heard a woman say that about writing men. It’s not entirely their fault — film, TV and novels primarily center on men and portray a variety of character types. It’s far easier to write something that you see everyday. It’s made more difficult by the fact that men, in my experience, find traditionally “masculine” character traits undesirable or irritating in women. For example, most of the men I spoke to about Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny hated the character Helena Shaw, while all the women I met loved her. Shaw is a rogue with typical “bad boy” attributes: she drinks, fights, rides a motorcycle, ogles men, and overcomes her selfishness and greed as she bonds with the characters around her. Swap her gender, and Helena is essentially Han Solo, Captain Jack Sparrow or Star Lord. It isn’t fair to say that good representation is as easy as writing a male character and changing his name to Tina, but it’s certainly a step up from the battered, fetishized women that populate today’s media. Bad writers

Alexandra Dewitt is a character in the DC Comics Universe, who, in Green Lantern Vol. 3 No. 54, was strangled by Major Force and stuffed into a refrigerator. Courtesy image.

who lack empathy for their subjects, or at least refuse to learn about people unlike themselves, have become — or perhaps have always been — so common that pop culture mistakes their fetishes for talent. Generation Alpha — those born beginning in 2010 and who are now at their most impressionable — should not have to grow up normalizing Disney’s penchant for dead mothers or Marvel’s need to reduce women to sexual objects, reproductive organs or corpses. If you’re incapable of empathizing with and writing about half of the world’s population, save your mother, sister, daughter, aunt or neighbor the trauma — choose a different profession.

February 15, 2024 / R / 19


POAC offers adult art classes at Joyce Dillon Studio By Reader Staff Registration for the Pend Oreille Arts Council’s upcoming series of Joyce Dillon Studio adult art classes is now open, offering experienced artists the ability to hone their skills and beginners the opportunity to unleash their often unexpected talents. From classes in fiber art, watercolor and acrylic painting to forging copper and steel, classes are designed to bring out the creativity of each student. Find class details and registration info at the POAC website ( jds-student), including course dates, registration deadline, supplies if needed and a short bio of the instructors. Each

class is limited in size, so students will get individual attention, culminating with a finished — or almost finished — art piece at the end. Upcoming classes include forging at Dave Gonzo’s studio (1023 Baldy Mt. Road), where students will learn the methods needed to create ornate copper and steel ladles. Those classes are held on Thursday, Feb. 22 and Friday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 16. Jenny Barry will teach the Japanese fiber art form called Kimekomi, in which, “We cover basic cutting techniques for the foam, then cutting and tucking techniques for the fabric,” she said.

The workshop-type class will be held at the Joyce Dillon Studio (313 N. Second Ave. in Sandpoint) on Friday, Feb. 23 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Materials will be provided and the registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 19. Finally, Jenny Benoit will teach realistic acrylic painting on four consecutive Mondays starting on Monday, Feb. 26. That class will also take place at the Joyce Dillon Studio. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 20. “This is a flexible, self-improvement style course for all skill levels. Each class will build upon your previous knowledge and desired areas of growth, whether you are new to painting or well-sea-

soned and looking for some new techniques,” Benoit said. Other classes include wildlife and landscape acrylic painting with Dan Carpenter, jewelry making with Mary Gayle Yount, glass windchimes with Julie Ellis, oil and cold wax painting with Jan Rust, and metal sculptures

Dave Gonzo teaches a student the techniques of ornate forging in his workshop class, sponsored by POAC’s Joyce Dillon Studio. For class information and registration go to with Dave Gonzo. Visit the gallery at 313 N. Second Ave., go to or call 208-263-6139 for more information.

CAL gearing up to accept applications for grants to BoCo nonprofits

Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s Wythe Grant deadline nears

By Reader Staff

By Reader Staff

The Community Assistance League will begin accepting applications for grant funds on Friday, March 1, encouraging nonprofit organizations throughout Bonner County to seek funding to cover the costs of ongoing or special projects that have a positive impact on county residents. Applications will be available online at CALSandpoint. org on in-person at Bizarre Bazaar (502 Church St.) and libraries in Priest River (118 Main St.), Clark Fork (601 Main St.) and Sandpoint (1407 Cedar St). All applications must be either postmarked no later than March 31 if sent by mail or received at Bizarre Bazaar no later than 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. (The store is closed on Sunday, March 31.) CAL grants are awarded to a wide range of nonprofit organizations that offer programs that are open to the entire community. Political, sectarian or religious programs are not eligible to receive a grant. The organization has been 20 / R / February 15, 2024

dedicated to improving the lives of Bonner County residents through philanthropy for nearly 50 years. Although personal monetary donations are always welcome, the bulk of the dollars CAL is able to give back to the community comes from proceeds of its shop, Bizarre Bazaar. CAL has given more than $2 million in grants and scholarships to date. For more information, contact Ann Nichols at 208-946-6091 or email

The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society offers an annual grant of up to $500 for a group, class or individual to carry out a project in Bonner County designed to promote awareness and appreciation of native plants. The grant was established in honor of Lois Wythe, the founder of KNPS and developer of the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum. The application must be

received by the KNPS Grant Committee no later than Thursday, Feb. 29 and is available at nativeplantsociety. org/lois-wythe-grant. Recent grant awards have included Kaniksu Land Trust’s Re-wilding the Playground project in 2023; The Busy Buzzy Bombus Bee coloring and activity book by Patty Ericsson and Mary Toland, and illustrated by Hannah Combs, in 2022; “Floristic Survey in the Selkirk Mountains,”

by researcher Harpo Faust, in 2020; and Washington Elementary School’s lighted microscopes to study native plants in 2019. For more info, contact Patty Ericsson at 509338-5551.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint Boot Juice w/Matt Mitchell Music Co., Heartwood, Feb. 16

Wiebe Jammin‘, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Feb. 17

Hailing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Boot Juice is bringing its signature Americana-driven style of bluegrassy cosmic rock ’n’ roll back to the Heartwood Center, following a high-octane, party-sparking appearance last October. Filled to the brim with electric and acoustic guitars, three vocalists, bass, drums, trumpet and alto sax, Boot Juice is a sonic force to be reckoned with. Opening the show will be

Nick Wiebe of the oneman-band Wiebe Jammin‘ will stop by the Pend d’Oreille winery on Saturday, Feb. 17 for an evening highlighting a wide range of genres including rock, pop, reggae, latin, funk, soul, folk and country. Using his acoustic guitar and a loop pedal, Wiebe capitalizes on more than 30 years of experience to skillfully perform an ever-growing list of hits from artists like Green Day, Led Zeppelin and Ed Sheeran. Though he’s

the Pacific Northwest-based Matt Mitchell Music Co., with original Americana and “oldsoul, observational storytelling.” There’s no excuse not to put on your boots and kick off the 2024 Winter Carnival at the Heartwood. — Zach Hagadone Doors at 7 p.m.; music 7:30-11 p.m.; $15 adults, $8 youth. The Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St., 208-263-8699, Listen at and

already mastered nearly 260 covers, he’s always looking to learn new music. Listeners can submit requests over Facebook or Instagram using the handle wiebejams. Visit the winery to hear Wiebe’s takes on favorite chart toppers. — Soncirey Mitchell 5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., 208-2658545, Listen at


Touring funk, psych jam band to play 219 Lounge The Juantee is known for their unique, energetic live shows

By Ben Olson Reader Staff In the world of live music, there are occasionally bands that stand apart from the rest. Instead of playing the same set over and over again in every backwater town along the tour route, these outliers will cultivate unique set lists and live performances, punctuated by improvisational jams, spontaneous new directions and perhaps even something untested before an audience. Every show, in essence, is unique, which has a tendency to create a loyal fan base hungry for more. The Jauntee will bring their as Phish fans, in the way of unique blend of jazz, funk, nerdier fans who catalog your rock and psychedelic jams to live sets and are excited about the 219 Lounge for a special new versions of songs. show Sunday, Feb. 18 at 7 “When you know peop.m. ple are following your band, Originally hailing from Boston, this unique four-piece coming to multiple shows, you want to make it a unique sort band is now based out of of set,” he added. Colorado. Guitarist and voPrior to the pandemic, calist Caton Sollenberger told The Jauntee was touring 150 the Reader it was always The Jauntee’s intention to cultivate times a year, but the band has scaled back to a more mana close-knit fan group — even ageable number since then. from Day 1. Along with Scott “We were grinding on the Ferber on drums and vocals, road a lot,” Sollenberger said. Tyler Adams on keys and “It was the winter of 2021 vocals, and John Loland on when we said, ‘Let’s do a new bass, Sollenberger said their album.’” early fans helped the band That experience — along develop a tendency to create with Adams welcoming a baby unique set lists, instead of — helped the band put things relying on the same songs in into perspective a bit more. the same order. “As a result of that album, “We started in Boston and and that period of time, we’ve I think a larger portion of our been a little more selective early fans were friends that we’d see coming to the various about our tours,” Sollenberger said. “Instead house parties The Jauntee of going out we’d throw in for six weeks, my and Scott’s Sunday, Feb. 18; 7 p.m.; apartment,” tickets $10 advance, $15 now we’re just Sollenberger at the door. 219 Lounge, like, ‘Let’s go told the Reader. 219 N. First Ave., 208-263- to the Pacific Northwest “Over time, 5673, Listen to they spread out the band and buy tickets for a weekend and play some and moved to at shows,’ instead different places of always trying and expandto fill random Thursday nights ed from there. Our fans are passing through Wyoming definitely in the same vein

This week’s RLW by Ben Olson


Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series of nautical historical novels is in a class by itself in the genre. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, these 20 novels can be difficult to sink into, but once you’re in with the lingo, it’s hard to put them down. It’s a pity only one feature film was made from O’Brian’s novels (Master and Commander, featuring Russell Crowe), but maybe someday there will be others.


or whatever. It’s given us the opportunity to be more selective, and although we’re playing less shows per year, the quality of the shows has vastly improved.” While The Jauntee is popular on the festival circuit, Sollenberger said sometimes live shows at smaller venues and dive bars can be rewarding. “Playing festivals is great because everyone is there specifically to see bands they might not even know,” he said. “On the flip side, bars and small club gigs ... you just get the feeling you can stretch out a bit more, pick your time on those jams.” As a band known for its energetic live shows, recording an album can sometimes be a different experience, Sollenberger said. “The first album we released, we just started recording some new tracks with our buddy who had some nice gear,” he said. “The second time, we went into the studio ... but the downside is there’s no audience, so that energy isn’t really there.” It was during the recording of The Jauntee’s 2018 release Always Never Knowing that the band found a happy medium. “We thought it would be cool to record a good live

The Jauntee playing one of their signature live shows to a grateful audience. Courtesy photo.

album, so we used isolated recording techniques, but we also doled out, like, 40 tickets to our friends to come by and give the album more of a live feel,” Sollenberger said. “We played two nights worth of music and got two discs worth of our best songs released.” For the band’s latest release, 2023’s Anything, Sollenberger said instead of trying to capture a live feel, they wanted to make something that could only be created in a studio. “We did it ourselves, tracked drums here in my house and recorded songs together,” he said. “Basically, our goal was to get good drum sounds then build the rest on top of it. We left room for improvisational moments, and ended up turning the studio versions into their own versions.” This upcoming show will be The Jauntee’s debut playing in North Idaho. Sollenberger said they’re looking forward to it. “The Pacific Northwest vibe is right up our alley,” he said.

I’ve been exploring 1990s indie rock lately, and one of my favorite artists is David Bazan from Seattle. Playing under the banner of Pedro the Lion, Bazan’s output is impressive, also playing under his own name, as well as creating a truly unique side project called Headphones, which was years ahead of its time. His synth-laden 2017 release Care is the last we’ve heard from Bazan, but I’m hoping for more in the near future.


I was stoked to see Amazon Prime streaming Northern Exposure, one of my favorite shows of yesteryear. It’s quirky, clever and well-written, following the plight of a neurotic New York doctor sent to the wilds of Alaska to work off his medical school debt in the charming backwoods community of Cicely (the real-life Roslyn, Wash.). If you’ve never seen Northern Exposure, you’re in for a real treat. There’s a reason it is rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s that good.

February 15, 2024 / R / 21


Now that we’ve heard from the boys…

Yet another article about Taylor Swift

From Northern Idaho News, February 7, 1908

OPIUM SENT TO JAIL IN WALNUTS Thirteen walnuts, brought with a bag of peanuts and some apples and oranges to the county jail yesterday afternoon, were discovered to contain opium. The nuts and fruit, and incidentally the opium, were delivered to the jail office about 4 o’clock by a lad who told Turnkey Eaton he had been paid ten cents for delivering the articles to the jail. They were directed to George Newton, one of the two men recently arrested as a result of an opium joint raid by the city police. Newton’s partners, Harry Sinclair, served his sentence and was released the first of the week. It is supposed he sent the stuff to his former partner, as a letter was received at the jail Wednesday from Hope, and while signed by an assumed name, it was evidently, from its contents, from Sinclair. The opium, which was in the form of “yanahe,” which is the ashes of smoked opium, had been placed in the walnuts and the shells deftly glued together again. When the articles came for Newton, Jailer Eaton turned the nuts out on a table and Deputy Merritt saw the marks where the walnuts had been glued together. When one was opened the “dope” was found inside. The jail authorities have found that Sinclair’s right name is H. W. Price. Newton is under an alias but his right name has not been learned. 22 / R / February 15, 2024

By Soncirey Mitchell Reader Staff Now that Reader Publisher Ben Olson and contributing writer Sandy Compton have given their two cents about Taylor Swift and her worshippers (see Nov. 17’s “Celebrity worship is peak cringe” and Feb. 7’s “On Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and world domination”), I have a confession to make. I don’t regularly listen to Taylor, but I am a “Swiftie.” I grew up listening to music from the ’60s British invasion, classic rock and punk — all of which I still adore. None of those classic hits inspired an epiphany, but I still remember how my worldview shifted when I heard Taylor’s album Fearless for the first time at 8 years old. As a woman, the problem with growing up listening to albums that pretentious music connoisseurs dub “great” is that, for the most part, we don’t hear any other women. When I first heard Taylor’s “Love Story” — a retelling of Romeo and Juliet — I remember rushing over to my mom and yelling, “Girls can be in bands too! Did you know that?” It was the only song I had downloaded on my hand-me-down iPod Nano for the entirety of elementary school. In retrospect, it’s sad to know I spent the most formative years of my brain development believing that only men could be musicians. Taylor introduced me to Disney icons like Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, and from there I was on a 2010s pipeline to Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Kesha and Nicki Minaj. The

songs I listened to on repeat weren’t necessarily quality music, but they’ve become the embodiment of a joy that unites almost all women ages 20 to 30. In elementary school, singing along to Taylor became an avenue to form foundational female friendships. I recently returned from a bachelorette party full of anxious nerds — myself included — and despite our different backgrounds and ages, we were more unified than the Roman legions in testudo battle formation when we screamed along to Minaj’s “Super Bass” and the Hannah Montana soundtrack. I can unabashedly hum or dance along to any Taylor Swift song at the grocery store, bar or beach and feel the collective joy and support of the women around me. Until the music ends, we’re all friends giggling at a slumber party well past bedtime. Part of the power and appeal of Taylor Swift is that her music represents a return to innocence, before we women got older and realized that thousands of years of cultural norms and religious doctrine were working against us. When I hear “Love Story,” I’m an 8-year-old girl living in a new reality, because if Taylor can share her music with the world, what might I do? I will sit down and listen to her upcoming 11th album, The Tortured Poets Department, in honor of the optimistic girl I used to be and hope to be again. Whether or not I like the songs is inconsequential, because my friends and acquaintances and the little girls around the world that I may never meet will hear them and smile. When we have nothing else, let us have this

STR8TS Solution

Sudoku Solution

A 6-year-old Soncirey before her Swiftie epiphany. Courtesy photo. one innocent joy. Congratulations to Taylor on becoming the first artist to win the Grammy for album of the year four times, surpassing the likes of Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

Crossword Solution

It’s funny how annoyed people get when you carry around a bullhorn all the time, even if you don’t use it that often.

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22

By Bill Borders

quotidian /kwoh-TID-ee-uhn/

Woorf tdhe Week

[adjective] 1. daily

“The journalist’s task is to uncover the hidden stories within the fabric of quotidian life and shed light on important societal issues.” Corrections: Nothing to note this week. Thanks for playing.


Laughing Matter

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Containers 5. Act moody 10. Mimicked 14. Debauchee 15. Sound 16. What we’re called 17. Act of showing affection 19. Curtail 20. Hairpiece 21. Ice a cake 22. Gladden 23. Emblem of power 25. Example 27. Craving 28. Whiplash preventer 31. Go rapidly 34. Askew 35. Petrol 36. Heap 37. Leases 38. Financial institution 39. Every last one 40. The business of selling goods 41. Speaks 42. In a furtive manner 44. US spy agency 45. Pulverization 46. Cut 50. Pottery fragment 52. Not inner 54. Sash 55. Soft drink 56. Home improvement

Solution on page 22 10. Deer horn 34. Helpers or 11. Legal assistant benefactors 12. Broadcast 37. Precipitation 38. Bleats 13. Greek district 18. Not before 40. Lose traction 22. Countercurrent 41. Coronet 24. Combustible pile 43. Sets out 26. Anagram 44. Cunning DOWN of “Soak” 46. Rock 28. It comes 47. Raise 1. Beers from bees 48. Deadly virus 2. Style of building 29. Went under 49. Eatery columns 30. Sounds of 50. Sign of healing 3. Gentle prod disapproval 51. Vagabond 4. Observe 53. Module 5. Devoid of vegetation 31. Resorts 32. Pottery oven 56. Regret 6. Hearsay 33. In a criminal 57. Poetic contraction 7. Lyric poems manner 8. Salves 9. Tiny circle February 15, 2024 / R / 23 58. With competence 59. Pee 60. Small island 61. Young males 62. Aromatic compound 63. Asterisk

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