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2 / R / January 19, 2023

The week in random review



There are people who use bookmarks that were designed and painstakingly crafted to serve as pieces of utilitarian art. There are also people who use candy wrappers as bookmarks. Each of these tendencies tells me something about the person. I find myself in a gray area, where not just anything can be a bookmark, but spontaneity is key. Among the bookmarks populating the half-read novel collection on my bedroom dresser: a ticket to a basketball game; a sticker from the bagel shop where my sister works; the cardboard backing to some earrings I got for Christmas; an old Festival at Sandpoint patron gate bracelet; and a postcard from my mom, purchased from an Arizona airport during a layover but mailed from Chicago in the year 2000, that reads: “Dear Lyndsie, I love you and miss you. I hope you are having fun! Love, Mommy.”

women of the capricorn-aquarius cusp

Both Janis Joplin and Dolly Parton were born on Jan. 19 — the former in 1943, the latter in 1946. This makes a lot of sense to me. To celebrate, I recommend listening to Parton’s cover of Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”

january: worst month?

January is the Monday of the 12-month calendar. I harbor mixed feelings toward January. It is a reintroduction into the rhythm of real life after the piecemeal nature of the holiday season, which is all at once comforting and a big, fat bummer. The weather is pretty much a drag (I don’t ski, sue me) and the mud (spongy and slick one day, frozen into deep ruts the next) might kill me. It still gets dark too early. Come to think of it, I don’t think I like January all that much.

no context iphone notes, 6/4/20

“The more hate I get the longer I stand. It’s real. It’s loathing. It’s unbelievable panic I have going everyday.”


We’re starting to put out some feelers for an intern to join us this summer. The Reader is looking for someone — preferably a junior/senior in college or post-undergraduate — who is returning to Sandpoint for the summer and would like to gain some experience writing for a weekly newspaper. Having no journalism experience isn’t a dealbreaker, but it would certainly put you ahead of the rest.

Parents of budding writers and journalists: If you have a son or daughter who is already planning to return home to Sandpoint for the summer, this is a perfect opportunity for them to get their feet wet in journalism. There is some pay involved, but the ideal candidate won’t have to search for housing (i.e. they’ll room with friends or family). The time committment is very minor — perhaps two days per week. If you impress us, there’s always the chance for a more permanent position with the Reader

If anyone is interested, please send Publisher Ben Olson a note and tell us a bit about yourself: Cheers and beers.

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January 19, 2023 / R / 3
“The deepest love is giving each other the benefit of the doubt.”
Bendigo Fletcher

Council votes to table approval of downtown design competition to Jan. 25

The city of Sandpoint has been working toward hosting a “design competition” to determine the future development of downtown since late September — and took in a presentation on the process at their Jan. 11 meeting — but voted unanimously Jan. 18 to table approval of the contest for a special Wednesday, Jan. 25 meeting.

Councilor Justin Dick urged his colleagues to consider holding off on opening the competition to entrants until opportunities for public involvement could be more clearly identified and highlighted in order to “ease the fear of the public.”

“What do we hear from the developers all the time? ‘You stop us from developing.’ What do we hear from the community all the time? ‘You’re moving too fast,’” said Dick.

“We’re taking a large bite out right now, we’re taking a leap of faith,” he added. “Uncertainty leads to panic. … In such a large undertaking, I want to have the community with us at every step we take in this process.”

Councilor Justin Welker agreed, putting a finer point on it when he noted that the phrase “public observation” — as it was described in the draft 40-page competition solicitation document Envisioning Place — is a far cry from “public input.”

“If we don’t incorporate into this competition plenty of oppor-

tunities to hear public input, then it’s all going to get pent up and we’ll hear it on June 21,” he said, referring to the date when a final report on the winning design is due to go before the City Council for approval.

The competition would invite design teams to submit proposals intended to address the objectives laid out in the solicitation manual, which include informing the Comprehensive Plan update and future zoning and other code changes, as well as finalizing concepts for the Sand Creek waterfront and City Beach.

Teams would be winnowed down through a three-stage process of submissions, presentations and reviews with a jury of experts and a panel of technical advisers until one entrant is selected and approved by the council.

The jury members — who would not be responsible for final decisions; rather, making recommendations to the council — consist of Han-Mei Chiang, project manager of Portland, Ore.-based Hoffman Construction; Katie Egland Cox, executive director of Kaniksu Land Trust; Herb Fricke, CEO and president of AKANA professional services in Portland; Steve Gill, brownfields analyst with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality; Brian McCormack, principal landscape architect with Lapwai-based McCormack Landscape Architecture; Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad; Robb Talbott of Mattox

Farms Productions in Sandpoint; and Karen Whitman, executive director of Portland-based Halprin Landscape Conservancy.

Stapleton described the goal of the contest at the Jan. 18 meeting as representing a master planning effort that would “coalesce” all the currently existing master plans into “an overarching vision for downtown.”

“What also drives this is we have seen a lot of development occurring, a lot of properties changing hands downtown, and heard a lot of feedback from the community regarding what that development looks like,” she said.

By bringing in a number of design teams, the intention is to encourage a plethora of ideas that can be weighed, mixed and matched for a final product in a more robust process than would be possible by selecting a single consultant, as would traditionally be the case.

“It allows for more innovation and creativity and really looking at a broader range of professionals,” she said.

Welker raised another concern about the eligibility requirements for those professionals, which

in the contest manual described teams whose members are drawn from upwards of 10 disciplines and can provide examples of up to five comparable projects completed within the past 10 years.

“We’re requiring an incredibly high level of background, experience and expertise,” he said, which he feared would at best discourage local teams from forming, and at worst make it impossible for them to submit proposals.

Portland-based architect and master planner Don Stastny, who has managed design competitions around the country and was contracted by the city to manage the process, said some “wordsmithing” could be done to stipulate that teams “may include” members from those disciplines, and could be made up of a combination of locals and non-locals — some

with more project experience than others.

Finally, Dick questioned what exactly the community would be getting out of the process at its conclusion.

“What is the next step in terms of how are we providing funds for these specific projects to go up? How do we choose which concept we start with?” he said.

Stapleton said the object would be to establish “a master vision and a concept” upon which further strategies could be developed, from funding to implementation.

Rognstad agreed that “it isn’t really explicit what the deliverables are,” and suggested more clarity in the form of a statement at the end of Stage 3 of the contest.

“Make it crystal clear to everyone what we’re getting and how we go forward with that,” he said.

The City Council will review the further revised design competition manual at a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers (1123 Lake St.). To view recordings of the Jan. 11 and Jan. 18 meetings, go to the city of Sandpoint’s YouTube channel. Read a draft version of the manual at SandpointDesign.

Officials unseal search warrants in Moscow quadruple murder case

Court documents unsealed Jan. 17 in Whitman County, Wash., describe why law enforcement officials believe there is probable cause to believe that Bryan Kohberger, 28, murdered four University of Idaho students in November, and what was discovered following searches of his graduate student office on the Washington State University campus and apartment in Pullman, Wash.

Kohberger, a former Ph.D. student in criminal justice at Washington State, is accused of breaking into a Moscow house Nov. 13 sometime between 4 a.m.

and 4:25 a.m. and killing Ethan Chapin, 20, of Mount Vernon, Wash.; Kaylee Concalves, 21, of Rathdrum; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Post Falls; and Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d’Alene.

He is currently being held on charges of felony burglary and four counts of first-degree murder in Latah County, Idaho, where he is awaiting trial after being taken into custody Dec. 30 at his parents’ home in Pennsylvania.

According to the recently unsealed search warrants, one nitrate-type black glove, receipts from Walmart and Marshalls, a vacuum dust container, more than a dozen possible hair strands, a

Fire TV stick, computer tower, sample of a “dark red spot,” two cuttings from an uncased pillow bearing a “reddish/brown stain” and a pair of mattress covers with “multiple stains” were taken from Kohberger’s residence.

Nothing appeared to have been taken from the on-campus office he shared with two other graduate students.

Authorities had been looking for evidence in Kohberger’s apartment such as blood, skin or hair from the crime scene; trace DNA from either human or animal sources; and physical evidence including the clothes, mask or shoes he may have worn while allegedly

committing the murders, and the presence or evidence of ownership of any knives, sheaths or other sharp tools.

Evidence from the crime scene and subsequent autopsy reports showed that the victims had been killed using a sharp object, and a knife sheath was recovered at the scene bearing DNA evidence from one male.

Officials also sought digital or other media evidence that could suggest pre-planning, such as reviews of murders or violent assaults including stabbing or cutting people, methods of avoiding detection following a crime, and any details about the Moscow

residence and the victims.

Kohberger has already been allegedly tied to the case based on vehicle sightings and cell phone records — all detailed in the court documents — that indicate he drove in the area of the Moscow residence at least 12 times in the months leading up to the murders, and all but one of those incidents took place in the late evening or early morning hours.

Law enforcement officials are still accepting tips, particularly from anyone familiar with the suspect. Share tips by calling 208-833-7180, emailing tipline@ or send digital media to

NEWS 4 / R / January 19, 2023
The proposed focus area of impact of the Sandpoint Design Competition. Courtesy image.

New commissioners emphasize county transparency at weekly meeting

Bonner County Road and Bridge enacts weight limits, accepts $1.5 million grant for Spirit Lake Curves Safety Project

In the first weekly business meeting featuring all three members of the newly configured board, Bonner County commissioners approved a slate of department requests, elected a vice chairman and made clear that “transparency” would be a guiding principle for the county moving forward.

Before approving the consent agenda for the Jan. 17 meeting, the board heard concerns from resident Dan Rose that the way the county agendizes its executive sessions fails to meet state code.

“Inserting the word ‘regarding’ before ‘personnel’ and the word ‘regarding’ before ‘records exempt’ and inserting the word ‘regarding’ before ‘hiring and personnel’ does not satisfy the reason for executive session,” Rose said. “I would say that those three executive session items are lacking the notification necessary under code and I would ask that, if it can’t be done today, that at least in the future the reason be added in addition to the claiming of exemption under code.”

Commissioner Asia Williams echoed Rose’s concerns and turned to Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Bill Wilson for an explanation as to why the agenda lacked detail.

“The balance we want to strike is that we want to provide some level of detail to allow people to understand the subject matter without giving away the reason that we go into executive session in the first place: for confidentiality purposes,” Wilson said. “If this is

a point of emphasis for the new board, we can definitely explore changing the language to accommodate those concerns.”

Following approval of the consent agenda, Williams shared a new addition to the board’s Tuesday business meeting: the District 2 Commissioner Report.

“My goal every week is to give a summary of what I’m working on, what I’m doing so that there’s transparency and you guys feel like you know what’s going on with your District 2 commissioner,” she told the audience at the well-attended Jan. 17 meeting.

Williams made note of workshops and department meetings she attended over the past week; detailed inquiries she received from constituents and which department heads she had working on finding answers; and noted an upcoming workshop following the board’s business meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24, during which Williams invites the community to bring input on the Hazardous Areas and Special Areas or Sites sections of the Comp Plan — particularly regarding wetlands.

Following Williams’ update, Commissioner Luke Omodt shared that Bonner County’s nine elected officials would soon begin holding regular public meetings “to figure out where we’re at, what we’re all working on and how we can best serve Bonner County as we move forward.”

He said that details for the first meeting, which will be held in February, are forthcoming.

Also at the Jan. 17 meeting, Commission Chairman Steve Bradshaw made a motion to

elect Omodt as vice chairman of the board. Omodt seconded the motion and, during a roll call vote, both Bradshaw and Omodt voted in favor while Williams remained silent. Asked about her actions after the meeting, Williams told the Reader: “I formally abstained from voting for the motion that was put forth.”

The role of a vice chairman, according to commissioner’s office administrator and Deputy Clerk Jessi Reinbold, is to preside over meetings should the chairman be absent. Reinbold told the Reader that all previous boards she has worked with have had vice chairmen.

The board went on to act on a number of requests from department heads at the Jan. 17 meeting, among them the approval of a medical director consent and dispatch agreement with the West Pend Oreille Fire District; the transfer of a vehicle from Bonner County Public Works to the motor pool; a request to recruit for positions in both the Planning Department and Prosecutor’s Office;

and allocating a $300 monthly vehicle allowance to a prosecuting attorney, which is an agreement Risk Management Director Christian Jostlein said “six or so” other county employees currently use that costs the county less than paying for mileage or giving the employee access to a county vehicle.

Bonner County Road and Bridge Director Jason Topp brought two items before the board, first asking for a resolution to enact weight limits on county roads through the spring breakup season. Commissioners approved the resolution unanimously, allowing the department to post pound-perinch and speed limits on roads that could be damaged by heavy trucks as temperatures fluctuate and roadbeds thaw.

Topp also requested approval to accept a $1.5 million grant from the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council to partially fund the Spirit Lake Curves Safety Project.

“We’ve seen a trend of roadway departures and accidents [on Spirit Lake Cutoff Road], including two fatal accidents

in the past five years at corners which are too sharp for the 45-mile-per-hour speed limit, especially in adverse conditions,” Topp said. “This grant project would realign the sharpest of the corners to substantially increase its radius, add guardrails to the outside edge of the two sharpest 90-degree corners, and improve the ‘curve ahead’ and chevron signs at all of the corners in the corridor — including progressive LED-lighted, radar-activated chevrons that will increase driver awareness of the approaching sharp curves after a long straightaway.”

Bonner County is estimated to contribute up to $677,100 to the project. Topp said most of that county match would be paid from funds in fiscal year 2025.

Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the LHTAC grant.

NEWS January 19, 2023 / R / 5
The Bonner County Admin Building in Sandpoint. Courtesy photo.

BoCo tables updates to Hazardous and Special Areas Comp Plan chapters

Bonner County commissioners heard and ultimately tabled recommendations from the Planning Commission to update the Hazardous Areas and Special Areas or Sites components of the Comp Plan on Jan. 11, opting instead to host a public workshop to address and incorporate concerns from various local and regional agencies.

Planner Swati Rastogi presented the recommendations to the board, noting that neither component had been updated since 2002. While the Hazardous Areas section is meant to address geological features and threats such as slopes, ground failures, floodplains and wildfire, the Special Areas or Sites component includes county data on archeological monuments and structures, cultural and ecological resources, architectural significance and more.

Idaho Fish and Game was the only agency to provide comment on the recommended updates, expressing concern about there being no mention of wetlands.

According to Planning Director Jacob Gabell, “the Planning Commission decided that Hazardous Areas wasn’t the most appropriate place for [wetlands], but the better spot to analyze and include it was Natural Resources.”

He said that wetlands aren’t “inherently” a risk or hazard in the same way as a cliffside, for instance.

“It’s more of a natural area to preserve or protect,” he said of the former, while the latter is “more of a natural resource than a risk or hazard.”

Several individuals commented with concerns echoing IDFG, including representatives of the Idaho Conservation League and the Lakes Commission. Jennifer Ekstrom, the North Idaho lakes conservation associate with ICL, called the chapter under Special Areas or Sites covering ecological significance “woefully inadequate.”

“A total of three sentences describe the ecological significance of Lake Pend Oreille, which is embarrassing, at best, to have in our county’s guiding document,” she said.

She recommended that the board start the Comp Plan rewrite over and include a professional planning consultant in the process. She also welcomed the county’s new commissioners, Luke Omodt and Asia Williams, to the board.

“I’m glad to be entering hopefully into a new era where stakeholder and public comments are considered and given due respect and consideration,” Ekstrom said.

Molly McCahon noted that the Hazardous Areas component should include shorelines, which she said are under increased threat along local waterways, and recommended that wetlands be included under that same component due to their relationship to floodplains.

Susan Drumheller, who serves on the board of local nonprofit land use and planning watchdog group Project 7B, said that the new board had the opportunity to reject the previous commissioners’ philosophy regarding the county’s lack of purview over natural resources.

“I’ve heard this justification over and over from the previous commission to justify controversial developments that could negatively impact our water quality, wildlife and quality of life in general,” she said. “I hope that this commission will take a little bit more responsibility for how land use decisions can impact our natural resources.”

During deliberation, Williams advocated for continuing the file in order to give IDFG, ICL, the Lakes Commission and other community members a chance to weigh in on how to best address wetlands and waterways in the Hazardous Areas or Special Areas sections of the Comp Plan.

She said that while the Comp Plan rewrite has been going on for years, it makes sense to try to address concerns to the furthest extent possible so that the document is a true “representation of the people.”

She compared the way the county solicits comments from agencies to a “robocall,” and questioned the system’s effectiveness — a critique which drew pushback from Commission Chair Steve Bradshaw.

“If they don’t respond, how is that our fault?” he said, adding later: “I can’t tell you how many of these I’ve sat in on and people who come and comment never bothered to go and get involved in any of [the prior hearings].”

He said interested parties should get involved as soon as a file is noticed, adding that the people of the county need to “live in real life and use our brains.”

“I’ve heard from this board two things at the same time: nobody responds, but when they do respond, then we ignore the response when we feel like it,” Williams replied.

Commissioners voted unanimously to continue the file to Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 1:30 p.m. A workshop to consider wetlands and waterways is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 24 following the commissioner’s weekly business meeting, which starts at 9 a.m.

Both meetings will be held at the Bonner County Administration Building, 1500 Highway 2 in Sandpoint.

Bits ’n’ Pieces

From east, west and beyond

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling:

“The evidence that the U.S. economy may skirt a recession is mounting,” according to Daleep Singh, a former Fed staffer, now chief global economist at PGIM Fixed Income. Inflation appears to be “trending downward,” he said. AP noted that inflation has also been dropping in Europe and the U.K.

The national and global economy may be jeopardized, however, by House Republicans’ efforts to renege on paying the federal debt. Various media claim Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless cuts are made to social programs and regulatory agencies. Failure to meet debt obligations includes a depression that the U.S. Treasury Department warned could span “more than a decade.”

New Republican-instigated House rules appear poised to weaken the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent non-partisan watchdog separate from the House Ethics Committee. Former OCE Chair David Skaggs told NPR that the new rules will be “terribly destructive” to the office’s ability to perform, and, “One has to assume that was the intention.”

Continual atmospheric river events in California show no sign of letting up this month, Axios reported. Torrential rains have closed roads and schools and caused deaths, flooding and landslides. The weather extremes are in line with climate scientists’ predictions.

A South Korean solar panel maker plans to invest more than $2.5 billion in factories in Georgia, which are expected to supply about 30% of U.S. solar power demand by 2027, ABC News reported.

New York City employees recently protested the city’s plan to put municipal retirees into private Medicare Advantage plans. The move would save the city $600 million a year, but for the retirees, choice of doctors is restricted under the Advantage plans. As well, referrals are typically required by Advantage plans, as opposed to traditional Medicare.

Medicare Advantage is private health insurance paid for by Medicare, and can be difficult to disengage from, according to author and historian Thom Hartmann. He sees it as a potential avenue for privatizing Medicare.

Advantage plans may also refuse paying for tests and refuse to authorize life-saving procedures. “The more they can deny care and claims, the more profit

they make,” Hartmann pointed out.

Lawyers for President Joe Biden recently found “a small number” of classified documents from his vice presidential years in a locked closet at a former Biden office. The New York Times reported that the Department of Justice is “scrutinizing” the Biden findings.

As his first act in U.S. Congress, Georgia Republican Rep. Buddy Carter proposed the Fair Tax Act, which would abolish the IRS and create a flat 29.8% tax on all purchases, except for used items. Example: a $77 purchase would have $23 in tax added.

The “abolish” language is misleading, since the IRS would be replaced by an “Excise Tax Bureau,” Forbes reported. For example, with no taxes on land or a used vehicle, Forbes suggested that price tags on those could rise. One way the proposal favors the rich: There is no sales tax on what is earned in the U.S. and “consumed elsewhere.”

With the planet’s protective ozone layer healing due to a phase-out of ozone-eating chemicals, 2 million people annually will be saved from skin cancer, according to the U.N. Environment Program.

Political and business elites meeting in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum heard a pointed message from anti-poverty organization Oxfam: During challenges like climate change, a pandemic, Russia’s attack on Ukraine and surges in living costs, the ultra-rich 1% have gained twice as much wealth as the other 99%. Meanwhile, billionaire fortunes are rising by $2.7 billion daily.

According to Oxfam, large food and energy companies are engaging in crisis profiteering, which can be addressed by windfall taxes, as well as higher tax rates on the wealthy. In its analysis of 95 companies, Oxfam found 84% of their profits were paid to shareholders while higher prices were laid on consumers.

To address the issue, Oxfam cited Portugal: This January, the country’s windfall tax was activated on pertinent food and energy companies. They now pay a 33% tax on profits that are at least 20% higher than the average of the past four years. The new federal revenue will help small food retailers and welfare programs.

Blast from the past: “The comfort of the rich depends on an abundant supply of the poor.” — French author and philosopher Voltaire, a.k.a. Francois Marie Arouet (1694-1778).

6 / R / January 19, 2023

Idaho Senate committee advances bill that would change legal definition of abortion

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted to introduce one of two abortion-related bills sponsored by Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle, that would change Idaho’s legal definition of abortion in what Herndon said was an attempt to address concerns from medical professionals around ectopic pregnancies and other certain medical circumstances.

Herndon’s bill to remove the rape and incest affirmative defenses under the state’s abortion ban failed to advance to a print hearing.

Herndon told the committee Senate Bill 1002 would change the legal definition of abortion from the intentional termination of a pregnancy to the “intentional killing of a living human embryo or fetus in utero.” In a newsletter sent to his subscribers in late December, Herndon wrote that the bill would make the law clearer and refute arguments from opponents who say anti-abortion activists “want pregnant women to die in medical emergencies.”

Herndon said the language also makes it clear that the abortion definition would not include the unintentional death of any embryo or fetus or any action occurring “after the natural death” of the embryo or fetus. Herndon said he was contacted by medical professionals after Idaho’s abortion ban went into effect who were concerned about handling ectopic pregnancies, which occur when an embryo implants outside of the uterus and is not viable.

“Ectopic pregnancy, by definition, is outside of the uterus so basically it offers clarity to our medical community that we are not talking about treatment in an ectopic pregnancy when we are talking about our criminal abortion ban,” Herndon said. “You have to have intent, used with malice of forethought, and the fetus has to

be living.”

The change would ensure health care professionals would not face prosecution or other legal consequences for handling certain common complications during pregnancy, Herndon said. It would clarify that the Legislature’s interest is in the living child, he said.

“I have run this by several in our medical community, this language has been reviewed by a number of pro-life physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists and they agree that this offers some clarity for them as to legitimate medical practice,” Herndon said.

The new language would actually be closer to the definitions that existed in the late 1800s, when many states outlawed abortion, he said.

Sen. Ben Toews, R-Coeur d’Alene, said the bill is a “great solution to a real issue” and thanked Herndon for sponsoring it.

“I have doctors in our community that I know have expressed concern that they could be working to save the life of a mother and there could be an issue where they would feel like they were stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Toews said. “This type of legislation is what we need to address that situation.”

The two Democratic members of the committee, Sens. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, and James Ruchti, D-Pocatello, voted against introducing the bill, but the rest of the committee voted in favor. It could receive a committee hearing in the coming weeks of the session.

North Idaho senator: Removing rape and incest exceptions from ban is a civil rights issue

Herndon’s second abortion-related bill sought to change Idaho’s abortion ban to allow an abortion to occur only in the scenario when the pregnant person’s life is in jeopardy based on a good faith medical judgment. The current law allows affirmative defenses in court for those who were victims

of rape or incest and can produce a police report showing they reported the alleged incident.

The bill is in line with the Idaho Republican Party’s most recent adopted platform, which states that abortion is murder from the moment of fertilization and “all children should be protected regardless of the circumstances of conception, including persons conceived in rape and incest.”

Herndon said the legislation would provide equal protection under the law and recognize a constitutional right to life and compared it to the civil rights issues honored Jan. 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“It’s kind of auspicious that today is Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and he spent 13 years advancing the civil rights of people based on certain characteristics, and this does the same thing,” Herndon said.

Wintrow asked Herndon if the bill would force a hypothetical 13-year-old girl who was raped by a male family member to carry the child to term. Herndon said the state of Idaho has nothing to

do with forcing anyone to carry a child and those are merely natural circumstances.

“Some people could describe the situation that you’re talking about as the opportunity to have a child in those terrible circumstances if the rape actually occurred,” Herndon told Wintrow. He told the story of a person in Montana who wrote a book about how her

stepfather raped her and forced her to have an abortion the first time she was pregnant and the second time she had the child.

“That child that she actually had proved to be incredibly cathartic for her and a huge blessing in her life,” he said.

Ruchti motioned to return the bill to the sponsor rather than print it for a full hearing, and four other committee members who were present voted in favor of that motion. Toews was the only “no” vote, and three senators were missing with excused absences — Sens. Kelly Anthon, R-Burley; Abby Lee, R-Fruitland; and President Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise.

Without a print hearing, the bill will not advance in the Senate.

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

Innovia Foundation’s Community Grants Program open for application

The Innovia Foundation, which serves 20 counties in eastern Washington and North Idaho, is accepting applications for funding through its annual Community Grants Program. The grants, totaling more than $1 million, will be awarded in the areas of arts and culture, health and wellbeing, economic opportunity, education and youth development, and quality of life.

The maximum award amount is $20,000, with most grants ranging from $2,500-$15,000. Applications are due by Thurs-

day, Feb. 16, and awards will be announced on Monday, May 22.

The Community Grants Program is supported by donors who have established funds at Innovia for the purpose of addressing “critical needs and compelling opportunities” in communities across the region, with input from local advisory committees.

According to the foundation, “this year’s primary focus will be to support proposals that have the potential to increase social connections and help communities develop more supporting, caring and inclusive


“While we are committed to funding projects across all our impact areas, our local community partners recognize the need to re-establish community bonds after the isolation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as widening political and social divides,” Innovia CEO Shelly O’Quinn stated in a news release.

More information about the program, including a recorded video webinar, is available at Find grant guidelines at

January 19, 2023 / R / 7 NEWS
Committee did not advance bill that sought to remove rape, incest defenses from abortion ban
Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle. File photo.



•“Last Wednesday, my husband, Ed and I broke our roof rake. We made a trek to CO-OP where we purchased it years ago, only to find there are no replacement parts for it. This roof rake is a quality one that has been discontinued. CO-OP employee Michael assisted us, while a customer named Alan overheard our conversation. Alan happens to be Mike’s neighbor and an equally kind and caring human. Alan is a metal fabricator who offered to repair our roof rake free of charge! He lives far north of town, so to save us a trip picking it up, Alan offered to send it with Michael on Thursday morning, the very next day!

We’re quickly approaching the 29-year mark for residency here and still find joys around every corner, from perfect strangers! We love it here. Just wanted to uplift someone today.”


• “As our city streets get smaller and smaller due to the snowpack on the sides of the streets, I appreciate how drivers watch out for each other, pull over and wait for the oncoming driver to pass by safely, and (mostly) always with a smile and a wave. Just wanted to share.”


•“The Community Assistance League of Sandpoint together with their upscale store, Bizarre Bazaar, would like to thank all their customers and volunteers for making 2022 their best year ever. This means more money for grants and scholarships will be returned to the community. Thank you.”

Dear editor, According to the Idaho Journal this week our state senator, Scott Herndon, proposed removing the exceptions for rape and incest from Idaho’s current abortion law.

The paper reported that “Minority Leader Sen. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, asked about situations in which teenage girls were raped by an uncle or father and if that girl would be forced to carry her pregnancy to term under Herndon’s proposed legislation.” Herndon replied that “some people could describe” the situation of rape/incest as “an opportunity” to have a child.

This situation occurred in our district last fall.

While the committee voted not to introduce Herndon’s bill, the Idaho Republican Party platform endorses his idea that there be no exception for rape or incest. This is a decision that belongs to a woman, the father and the expertise of her doctors, and, if they wish, the advice of a faith counselor. It is not one that the Legislature should decide, or even can decide reasonably, without the medical and legal experience they do not have.

To learn more about local, real-life abortion situations and the medical and legal implications, I invite you to attend the [Pro-Voice Project] stage production Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Heartwood Center 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., with stories from local women performed by our local theater group, and a doctor/lawyer panel to answer questions afterward.

Dear editor, Barbara Russell (Perspectives, “A rule in common: The practice of kindness,” Dec. 29, 2022), links Christianity to the Golden Rule.

Christianity is about Christ. The Golden Rule is about self.


Festival at Sandpoint 2023 lineup announcements coming soon

The Festival at Sandpoint will be announcing its lineup earlier than ever before. Rather than follow a strict schedule of announcements ahead of the 2023 summer concert series, acts will be revealed as artists allow.

“Although this means that announcements will be more spread out, we will be able to start letting the fans in on the amazing acts coming to our 40th season even earlier,” Executive Director Ali Baranski said. “To stay competitive in the market, it is also important for our nonprofit to announce as soon as we are allowed.”

To stay up to date on all future lineup announcements, subscribe to the Festival’s email newsletter at and follow the Festival at Sandpoint on Facebook and Instagram.

The first lineup announcement for the 40th season has yet to be made, but the Festival underscored a few important updates to know before the 2023 shows, which are scheduled from July 27-Aug. 6.

Season passes will now be “season pass badges” — a single, transferrable barcode to be reused each night, similar to a ski badge. Season pass holders will not receive individual tickets for each night.

A good deal of the New Testament deals with early Christianity’s struggle to separate itself from the Law. Paul devoted Galatians to the issue. This struggle continues today with the preaching and teaching of the Golden Rule in the modern Christian church.

“With the price of season passes being so low, we often find scalpers taking advantage of the offer and not only taking these tickets away from locals but turning around and selling these discounted tickets for astronomical prices,” Baranski said. “The change to season pass badges is to deter these scalpers and continue to make music accessible and affordable to our community.”

There are only a few season passes still available for the 2023 concert series, and the last day to purchase a 2023 season pass is Friday, Jan. 20 — unless they sell out first. It will be the last chance to take advantage of the discounted rate of $299 (not including fees and taxes).

The most significant venue change for the 2023 concerts will be no guest re-entry. Once guests have scanned their tickets and entered War Memorial Stadium, they will not be able to return upon exiting. Refunds and exchanges will not be given to patrons leaving and attempting to come back into the venue.

“Eliminating re-entry will offer a better experience for all of our guests by offering reduced entry times

therefore compromises disciple making (The Great Commission). For the link to discipleship, see John 13:34-38.

and supporting a fair ‘first come, first serve’ seating arrangement,” according to Festival organizers.

Additionally, hard-sided coolers, rolling coolers, wagons and strollers will not be permitted. Soft-sided coolers are still allowed into the venue. Although not required, clear bags are encouraged to expedite the security scanning process.

“Aside from the improvements these updates make to overall customer safety and security, these changes will also improve line lengths and expedite wait time so customers can spend more time enjoying the music and less time standing in line,” organizers stated.

To stay updated on 2023 lineup announcements and learn more about venue and policy changes, visit for more information.

the Community Assistance League


• No room at the inn for Barbs this week. Bah.

“Love one another as you love yourself.” The best non-Christian philosophies and religions do is the Golden Rule because they don’t have Christ. Christ lived a Godly life, then He gave us, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

But didn’t Christ preach the Golden Rule? It’s mentioned in Matthew 19:16-20, Matthew 22:39 and in a number of other places. Here the Golden Rule is used to summarize the Law.

The great conflict of man’s Biblical relationship with God is self vs. God. Eve, in the Garden, put herself in God’s place to judge that the forbidden fruit would be good for food and wisdom. She acted on self-love. We all know how that went down. And so it goes throughout the Bible.

As a criteria for discipleship, Christ speaks of denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following him. The Golden Rule deflects us from loving as Christ loved and

Church leaders, especially pastors, need to push back against “Golden Rule” Christianity. Christians need to be “loving one another as Christ loved,” not “loving one another as they love themselves.”

Without Christ, self is a universal standard. But when you follow Christ, He is the way, the truth and the light. The Christian Gospel is: Christ.

C. Good

8 / R / January 19, 2023
‘Putting Christ back in Christianity’...
Another ‘opportunity’ to learn about ‘abortion situations’…

Emily Articulated

Ignorance and engagement

There are periods of time when I allow myself to “check out” of current affairs. It’s a purposeful ignorance I adopt when heaviness is already in my day-to-day — needing no encouragement to derail my sense of ease and wellbeing — or when my thinking simply requires recalibration to a perspective on the world that isn’t colored by doom and gloom.

I recognize my incredible privilege in being able to turn off engagement with big issues; these colossal affairs that so often become the molds in which many people must fit their entire lives. I’m lucky because I am able to — and routinely do — create distance between myself and the kaleidoscope of headlines, scandals and breaking stories that can so easily inundate my life.

In these periods of ignorance, I invest in the rituals and connections that make me feel good, repairing and reinforcing my cocoon of worldly rightness before re-engaging with a planet-worth of problems. I start my days with gentle books and hot coffee; take long walks with friends discussing childhoods, big dreams and business ideas; seek out acts of service and examples of everyday kindness; and spend introspective time reflecting on what’s important to me and the kind of life I want to continue forging.

Inevitably, though, these periods of ignorance are meant to be temporary. As much as

there is goodness, beauty and peace to be found and created, there is also injustice, tragedy and unrest. Remaining permanently isolated from the plights of others and the state of the world is the irresponsible edge of privilege.

I’m either nudged out of my ignorance gently — intentionally dipping into engagement by tuning in to a local news story or listening to a human-interest or narrative-based podcast (their scale entirely more digestible than national and global news headlines). Or I’m jarringly ripped from apathy by a story too pervasive to be ignored, a first-hand interaction with injustice or witnessed bigotry, or by an obstinate debater too eager to flood a conversation with controversy to consider if it’s welcome.

When I am afforded the space to be intentional about my engagement with current affairs, I follow a set of prompts to guide my thinking — a playbook to cope with the fact that there are simply too many problems in the world for me to hold, let alone impact.

I first ask myself, “Does [insert problem here] affect me?” Because of the ease in which we can receive news — from all corners of the world (and beyond) — we are often presented with problems as if they all have equal relevance to our lives. As social creatures, we have evolved to care about the plights of others. But this evolution hasn’t accounted for our relatively recent ability to tune in, not just to the hardships facing us and our close neighbors, but for an entire population well beyond our reach. So, being mindful of a problem’s actual — rather than perceived — proximity to our lives, becomes an essential first step in engaging with it.

To this question of a specific problem’s effect on me, I can answer, “Yes”; “No, but I still care”; or “No, and I give myself permission to move on.” If my response is either of the first two, my next question is, “What can I do about it?”

In this, there are two factors to consider: how much bandwidth I am willing to allocate toward this problem and at which scale I can have the most effect.

Bandwidth is the amount of time and energy I have available to direct toward influencing a problem, and scale is the level at which I can direct that bandwidth. On the low end and at a small scale, I may only have the bandwidth to hold space for grief, anger or sadness toward a “big issue,” or to donate to a local organization dedicated to addressing that problem in my community.

On the high end, and at a large scale, I could apply for a job at a national organization and devote my life to creating global change around that problem.

So, finally, when engaging with the big issues and current affairs, I ask myself, “What’s my move?”

Creating boundaries around how I participate in issues, making space for both action and impact and reflection and

inaction, helps make engagement feel a little less nebulous and little more productive — all until I retreat again into a cyclical and sometimes necessary bubble of blissful ignorance.

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

January 19, 2023 / R / 9
Emily Erickson. Retroactive

Science: Mad about

Wood stoves are common in North Idaho. Throwing combustibles into a metal bin and setting them on fire for heat seems like a straightforward idea, but there’s a surprising amount of science and optimization that goes into heating your home.

The premise of how a wood stove works is straightforward. You ignite flammable material inside a metal compartment, which then radiates heat as the metal cools over time. However, there are some hidden science facts tucked away in this simple design.

The basis of the wood stove is that warm air rises and cold air sinks. This is because of the properties of thermal expansion. Warm air expands and takes up more space, which makes it lighter than the cold air that is closer together. A wood stove heats your home by offering the warm air a place to go: up your stovepipe and into the upper levels of your home. This is why most two-level homes with a wood stove will have it somewhere near the center of the dwelling, so that it can heat the area equally.

This is less important in a single-level home, and popping the stove in the corner will achieve the desired goal, though some rooms in your house may be a bit chillier than others, depending on air flow through the abode.

The interior of your stove’s design is also important. A wood stove is calibrated to achieve a near-perfect equilibrium. If your stove is too large, it will require a much greater amount of fuel in order to heat your home. If it’s too small, you won’t be able to fit very much in the stove and

the fire will burn slowly and it won’t put off enough heat to warm its surroundings.

A good fire needs three components in order to burn: fuel, air and heat. In a wood stove, your fuel is wood, obviously. While it seems logical to cram as much wood into a stove as you possibly can in order to start a fire, you’re depriving the fire of a crucial component: air. Ever wonder why wood shavings catch fire a lot faster than a log does? It’s all about the air.

Unless you’re blasting it with a high-powered laser, wood only burns on the surface. As the surface is burned away, lower layers of wood fibers are exposed and begin to burn. One large, solid log will burn slowly over a long period of time; but, if you break that log up into several pieces and create much more surface area, it will burn faster.

If you want a fire to burn overnight, put smaller pieces of wood in the middle with two larger logs on opposite sides of your pile. The middle will burn out quickly while the two exterior logs will burn slower, keeping enough heat in the morning to easily rekindle the flame.

Most stoves are lined with bricks along the bottom, with more bricks keeping the stove off your floor. The bricks act as insulation, keeping heat where it needs to go and minimizing heat leak. Dirt works similarly for campfires, though it’s recommended to avoid using river rock for insulating your fire, as moisture trapped inside the rocks becomes steam and escapes the stones with violent cracking.

You might be wondering how air gets into an enclosed space like a woodstove, and why smoke doesn’t just billow out

and throttle your house. This occurs primarily through the damper, which is a mechanism that’s usually located at the top of the stove or on the stovepipe itself. When open, the damper allows air to flow in to fuel the fire. The trick is allowing enough airflow in to ignite the fire and keep it burning without causing a rapid burn and wasting all of your fuel. Generally, you’ll keep the damper open while you’re starting the fire to maximize airflow, and once the flame catches, you’ll want to only have it about one-quarter of the way open. Check the literature your stove came with, as this varies by model. Hopefully you didn’t use those instructions to kindle your first flame.

The color of your stove will also determine its ability to retain and radiate heat. The color black absorbs light and converts it to heat, while the color white reflects most light and reduces the amount of heat retained in an object. This is why black rubber water barrels are often placed in a greenhouse — they absorb light, convert it to heat and transfer that heat to the water, which keeps the ambient temperature in the greenhouse stable after the sun has gone down and the heat slowly radiates off while the water cools.

The most critical part of your stove is the stovepipe. Its length and placement is dictated by a range of factors, including which parts of your house you’re trying to heat, which direction the wind blows over your roof and the size of your house.

As wind blows over your roof, it creates eddies, which can cause a disruptive flow into the chimney that pushes smoke back down into your home. Even

worse, smoke and ash will cause carbonate buildup in your chimney over time as the hot air and smoke makes rapid contact with cool air that causes carbon material to cake onto surfaces and water to condense. This material is practically pure carbon and extremely flammable, so make sure you get some help to clean your chimney regularly.

A fun bonus for the firebugs: If you’re camping and you can’t find any suitable kindling to start

a fire, corn chips make for a potent firestarter. Corn chips are essentially dehydrated hydrocarbons dipped in oil, and while it may smell awful while they burn, you’ll be able to start a fire with ease and even have a snack to fuel your belly while you wait.

Stay curious, 7B.

This week’s article was suggested by Reader News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey. Thanks, Lyndsie!

wood stoves Random Corner

Don’t know much about tuesdays? We can help!

•The word Tuesday originates from the Old Eng lish word Tiwesdæg, which directly translates to “Tiw’s Day.” The usage of Tiwesdæg traces back to before the end of the first millennium. Tiw, or Týr, is a god in Norse mythology representing courage and combat, also ruling over law, justice, victory and war.

•Black Tuesday, Oct. 29, 1929, was the opening of the Wall Street Crash that began the Great Depression, which lasted until the end of WWII.

•Releasing new video games on a Tuesday has become an industry standard for U.S. gaming companies. This began when Sega released a sequel to the hit game Sonic the Hedgehog. The marketing director at the time believed Sega should release the game on Tuesday to call it “Sonic 2sday.” The coordinated release was highly successful and would later become a common practice for succeeding video game releases.

•Taco Time legally owns the rights to the phrase “Taco Tuesday.” The fast food franchise trademarked

the phrase in 1989 in every state except New Jersey, where another restaurant had already trademarked it. Since then, the taco joint has regularly issued cease and desist orders to other companies for them to stop using Taco Tuesdays. What a bunch of jerks.

•There’s a funky tradition among the residents of a neighborhood called Lappis near Stockholm University in Sweden. The neighborhood is primarily made up of college students, and the tradition is for the residents to shout a chorus of screams for several minutes every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. Anyone in the area is welcome to join in the screaming, but only if they do so at the designated time.

•Election Day falling on a Tuesday isn’t arbitrary. It dates back to the nation’s more agrarian past, when people often had to travel up to a full day to reach their polling places. Holding elections on Tuesdays allowed ample travel time without interfering with the Sabbath on Sundays or market day on Wednesdays.

10 / R / January 19, 2023
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The Pro-Voice Project, a stage production of personal stories of reproductive choice, hits the Heartwood Center stage on Saturday, Jan. 28. I invite you to attend and listen deeply. As an act of community. And empathy. And generosity. The area residents who submitted their stories to this project are courageous. I bow deeply to them. In support of their chorus of voices — to make it louder and stronger — I now add my story.

At the age of 25, I found myself engaged to a much older man. A controlling man. A man I believed was teaching me how to be an adult. With sharp words and judgments, he surgically sliced the youth out of me. I told him I was grateful. I needed to grow up, after all.

He was also a man not much into contraception — control of me being more enjoyable than control of his semen — so, in his infinite wisdom, he taught me about my body’s cycle of fertility.

I previously thought pregnancy was magic. The vagina was the top hat, the unprotected penis the wand. Tap, tap, tap. And, voila! A cute little baby gets pulled out by the ears. <Applause> Thank you, thank you, folks. Let’s come again soon.

The fact that pregnancy couldn’t happen any time, but just certain times? My 25-five-yearold, raised-with-abstinence-onlysex-talks mind was blown.

We charted my cycle for a few months. And then we unceremoniously chucked the box of Trojans. No one likes them, anyway. Especially men. Men hate the effing condom.

Soon after retiring the prophylactics, I missed my period.

Imagine that.

Reproduction is a little bit

magical after all.

Magical, as in, beyond the control of even the most controlling men.

And so I engaged in the distinctly female ritual of surreptitiously buying a pregnancy test, spiriting it to the bathroom unseen and peeing at the altar of the Clearblue oracle.

The lines appeared in a configuration not desired.

I emerged from the bathroom sobbing, holding the sodden stick in the air. As if it were a letter informing me of a loved one’s death. As if it were a dagger plucked from my heart post-duel. As if it were something far more painful than proof of new life.

It did, in fact, feel deadly. That test was a killer of futures.

My betrothed did not want me to be pregnant (not a fan of kids, that one). I did not want to be pregnant with him. There would be no escape with a baby. Though we were engaged, my survival

instinct recognized the need for escape. Someday. Somehow. Perhaps when I was more mature.

Streaked with urine and tears, I approached my partner, sitting at his computer. He did not turn to me when my voice quavered with his name.

Bill? I’m pregnant. Don’t worry. We’ll take care of it, he said, still facing his laptop. End of conversation.

This man made a decision about my pregnancy while reading The New York Times online. That shining screen was more interesting than the rapid division of cells occurring just then in my uterus.

We’ll take care of it, he said.

Such casualness was made possible by the fact that this wasn’t his first rodeo. It was, instead, roughly his seventh. If Planned Parenthood had a customer appreciation punch card, he was well on his way to a free abortion.

This irked me. Shouldn’t he have known better? What’s the phrase? Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me? When one’s inadequate contraceptive approach has fooled him seven times, causing seven women to endure a pregnancy’s termination, who’s the fool? Who should feel shame?

Fool me seven times, sterilize me, for the love of God.

But he wasn’t into vasectomies. They mess up a guy’s flow of chi, after all. Heaven forbid.

An abortion, I’m sure, has little effect on a woman’s chi.

I could have used that customer appreciation punch card. Abortions aren’t cheap. And I was flat broke. When it came time to pay, my beloved made a production of going to the nearest ATM, withdrawing the funds, pointedly counting all the 20s in front of

his gut-punched audience of one, remarking that he didn’t really have the cash to spare and this was a hardship for him and we should really be splitting the cost of this procedure.

I marched somberly back to Planned Parenthood to pay the fee and get the pills.

Before the pills, though, there was the clinical visit. The one wherein it is ascertained that you really — reallyreallyreally — do not want to have this baby. Look at this state-mandated ultrasound! Look at this life! Look our counselors in the eye! Look, do you still want to do this?

I looked, and I managed not to cry. I swallowed the tears, along with the first round of abortifacients. I took the second round with me in a paper bag. I took them upon getting home. They took the pregnancy from me. It took a full day of cramping, a full week of bleeding.

My memory of the abortion — the actual passing of the embryo — is of a dark room, shades drawn, me curled against the wicked pattern of pain bludgeoning my insides. Me in a dark room alone. My partner is not part of that memory at all. I only remember his absence. I remember the lack of a protective and loving presence curled around me. It took two of us to get there, but I was in the trenches alone.

And then it passed.

And then we never talked about it again.

I don’t regret the decision. Not for a moment. That decision saved me from a much diminished life. A life as small as the confines of my partner’s distrust. A life wherein shame was my constant and freedom a distant land. A life with no real magic, only illusions. Like the

illusion of love.

I don’t regret the decision. I only regret how we arrived at it. There was no tenderness. No ceremony. No heart.

There was no room for me.

He said we’d take care of it. And I simply nodded in assent.

Prior to the abortion, he told me, It’s a simple procedure. Just some pills. It’s no big deal.

I trusted him that it wasn’t a big deal. I trusted the man telling me that abortion wasn’t a big deal. Just like I trusted that man to tell me about my body and its cycles.

And now there are men — so many, all of them older and ostensibly wiser — in positions of power, telling me about my body. Telling you about your body. Telling us where our agency ends and theirs begins. They are masters of illusion, speaking for bodies they do not have.

Taking your rights… it’s a simple procedure, they seem to say, from courthouses and statehouses across the land.

This time, however, I will not nod in assent. This time, I have a voice. This time, I will be heard.

My body is beyond the control of even the most controlling of men. My body — my mind, my heart — are magical, after all. Magical, as in, free and ungovernable. Magical, as in, mine.

Jen Jackson Quintano writes and runs an arborist business with her husband in Sandpoint. Find their website at See more of Quintano’s writing at jenjacksonquintano. com. For more information about The Pro-Voice Project, go to

January 19, 2023 / R / 11
Jen Jackson Quintano.

POAC to host Dreams Illustrated exhibit reception

The gift of reading

What seems like several eons and another planet ago, I worked in a men’s correctional facility — in short a prison. One of those great big acre cages, topped with accordion wire where we store other humans for a variety of reasons.

I hadn’t been employed there long when I discovered a tragic reality about our country and that was, its horribly high illiteracy rate. Too many of our inmates could not read or write, a stigma which a frightening number of the prisoners would hide. More than one individual would sit with a paper or magazine and slowly turn the pages creating the illusion that they were actually reading the material. Or they would request a oneon-one interview with me to explain their sentencing with the bottom line question, “When can I go home?”

The work of nine local artists will be on display Friday, Jan. 20 with the Dreams Illustrated exhibit reception 5-7 p.m. at the Columbia Bank Community Plaza (231 N. Third Ave.).

Hosted by the Pend Oreille Arts Council, the exhibit features contemporary pieces by Foster Cline, Peggy Compton, Susan Gallo, Suzanne Jewell, Penny Ottley, Teresa Rancourt, Rob Turnlund, Lucy West and Kendall Wishnick-Adams.

Attendees are invited to enjoy complimentary wine while getting a much-needed dose of color during the grays of January. Licensed massage therapist Lillian Lassen will offer 15-minute massages during the reception, time permitting.

All donations and a portion of sales go to supporting POAC’s mission to bring arts to the community.

Get more information at the POAC office (110 Main St., Ste. 101), by calling 208-263-6139 or visiting

One of the teachers, yes we had a school, devised a way for these men to begin reading phonetically. It was brilliant. Tiny little stickers of tool pictures were painstakingly placed over a word corresponding with the sounds. A small image of an anvil over the words “and,” “an” and “animal.” This was pre-computers — late-’70s and early-’80s.

I became a volunteer who would take the reading material home and work after hours coordinating stickers of pliers over appropriate words. You can’t start these men out with children’s books. That would never work.

One day, while returning some of the completed material to the Education Department, an ebony inmate, the size of a football lineman, was sitting in the doorway with a book. There was no way around him. Truth be known, he scared me — I was a little white marshmallow country girl standing in front of a Black felon whose mere presence (in my ignorance) I found scary.

Before I had a chance to react, his face opened like a child’s and he asked if I wanted to hear him read. Of course I did. I would have purchased anything illicit he offered or done anything asked.

My unfounded fear jittered an affirmative nod while I stood frozen in position. The man began reading, his face glowing with pride and eyes twinkling as he struggled with each word, each sound, but by

God, he was reading. My heart melted for both of us. This man, this grizzly bear of a man, was intent on self improvement and proud of each step forward. Improvement through literacy. He knew I had been a small part of his journey and was showing his appreciation.

I learned that day that I carried a bag of preconception with me, and of prejudice about the individuals I was helping. I was enlightened and ashamed of my own ignorance.

Illiteracy is not to be confused with intelligence. Apparently there are eight types of intelligence. Literacy is how well you read, write and can do simple mathematics. It is estimated that between 54% of U.S. residents between the ages of 16 and 74 read below a sixth-grade level. Scarier still is roughly between 36 million and 43 million folks read below a thirdgrade level.

Idaho is calculated to have about an 89% literacy rate. That means when you are standing in a supermarket line, sitting at a ballgame or watching your kid at the park, roughly one out of the 10 adults there are functionally illiterate.

And where can these good people, who are now adults, go to get help? Their local library. The hangout for people of all ages, sizes, shapes and colors. Books are free with a small, plastic library card. Even in a prison. Fiction is great, but the shelves are lined with creative thoughts and stimulating texts, videos and sound. Yes, you can check out music, too. You can stretch your imagination, feed your intellect and stimulate your brain — all for free. Embarrassed? The Bonner County library has a tutoring service.

It costs nothing to be literate, but the cost of illiteracy is staggering. The Read Ability Matters Organization has determined that it costs the U.S. about $2.2 trillion a year. I can’t count that high.

Children who are read to — even for 15 minutes a day — show remarkable progress over children who are not. That investment of 15 minutes out of a day can mean a lifetime of achievement and a gift that money literally can’t buy.

My mother, with a hint of a Scottish accent, frequently read to all her children, changing her voice with each character. She went on to give the gift of storytelling, reading aloud on a radio station specifically for the blind.

One statistic I found stated that the U.S. is ranked 36th globally in literacy, with the majority of literate countries being in Europe. Let’s join hands like a chain and pull ourselves up. Support bills promoting education, read to your children, turn off those beautiful electronic devices (including your televisions) and read, even if only for 15 minutes.

Statistically, the higher the literacy rate in an area the lower the crime rate. We should really think about that. If we want safe communities then we need to put an emphasis on education in our schools and continue supporting free libraries.

Eventually, fully realizing that literacy and education were the keys to improving our society, I changed careers from criminal law to education. And thanks to a felon the size of a linebacker and a few encouraging friends, I got a teaching credential and embarked on the happiest career yet: I became an elementary school teacher.

12 / R / January 19, 2023
“Nicole’s Garden” by Suzanne Jewell is one of many bright paintings included in POAC’s Dreams Illustrated exhibit at the Columbia Bank Community Plaza, 231 N Third St. Courtesy photo.

Mayor’s Roundtable:

This is the sixth and final article in a series detailing recommendations that came out of the city of Sandpoint’s Housing and Economic Study, developed by Leland Consulting. In this edition, I will discuss Leland’s suggestion to create a housing authority (HA) to support workforce and affordable housing in our community.

The first recommendation in Leland’s report is to create a multi-jurisdictional HA, which would be responsible for planning and securing funding and developing a policy and program framework that can support housing affordability in the jurisdictions it serves.

Ensuring housing for Sandpoint workers also supports economic stability and strength. Employers reported housing to be their greatest impediment to hiring and retaining workers when surveyed by the Mayor’s Housing Task Force.

In the report, Leland recognized that Sandpoint is unique in that it has a well-diversified economy with a healthy manufacturing sector and strong wages relative to other resort communities. It also acknowledged that, even with the significant wage increases that workers experienced over the past couple years, increased pay is not

enough to house most workers without being rent stressed. Prospective owners in this environment also may never have the opportunity to buy a home and take that fundamental step toward financial security: home

ownership. This too impacts a family’s ability to take root in the community and fully participate as engaged citizens.

If we are to adequately house our workforce, we have to create a significant amount of housing that is priced so that the lower- and median-income earners in Bonner County can afford. Multifamily and missing middle housing offers a lower price point. But even that, without some kind of subsidy, is too expensive to build in today’s economy and meet the lower-income earners with a product they can afford to rent or own.

An HA brings a number of tools to the task of supporting Sandpoint and the region to take advantage of public funding programs and offer mechanisms to leverage existing resources. There are grants and tax credit financing programs offered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban

The Leland Report: Housing authority

Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Idaho Finance and Housing Association. Developers and local agencies like Bonner Community Housing Agency (BCHA) or the HA can leverage these programs to bring down housing costs.

As a public entity, an HA can purchase and sell land, convey land with other public agencies and engage in public-private partnerships. Together, these powers enable an HA to facilitate developments in partnership with other public agencies, private businesses or even independently.

There are many jurisdictions across the state and the country that have been successful using these funding tools to create affordable and middle market housing. However, there is a problem with most of these programs. The subsidy runs out after a period of time — typically 20 years — at which time the housing returns to market rate.

What if there was a way to permanently reduce the cost of housing? One way to do this is to permanently take the cost of land out of the equation. A community land trust is one way this is done. Another can be the HA.

The city and the city utility have considerable land resources that are underused. One such example is the 20 acres owned by the water utility on Woodland Drive. About an acre of the property is being used for a water storage tank and the Mickinnick trailhead.

The city utility could leverage these land resources by providing a long-term lease

With elections in the rearview, it’s time to get to work

The year 2022 in Idaho brought with it long campaigns and high-profile races in the May primaries and November election. As a result, three of Idaho’s statewide offices have new leaders this week, including the office I now hold, superintendent of public instruction. With the rallies, speeches and debates of campaign season behind us, the real work must begin.

We celebrate our elections because they are the moments when we as voters pick our leaders. But for successful candidates truly dedicated to public service, today is also a day to celebrate. This day is special for me because I can finally start to work toward the positive changes I envision for students, educators and parents. In other

words, the talking is over and the doing begins.

If you heard me on the campaign trail, you know my to-do list is long and there’s an urgency to the work ahead. Our kids don’t have years to wait for a system to catch up to their needs. It is time to pivot Idaho K-12 to fit the needs of our students right now.

You will notice many changes in the look, function and work of the Department of Education and in the state superintendent’s role. There’s a purpose to all of it. I want you to notice many differences in how we do business and how we serve schools. Some changes will be big and bold. Others will be smaller and less noticeable, but will be designed to get results all the same.

My vision for education is to prepare students so they can live meaningful and prosperous lives. Starting today, I pledge to put

in whatever work is necessary to make Idaho kids successful. Of course, this work won’t be done alone. It will take a true team effort with involvement from numerous partners.

There are many important connections that must be strengthened for our education goals to be realized. While we connect students to opportunities, we must connect educators to practices and resources that help them work with all students. We must connect schools to families by building trust and transparency. Success comes when we provide our communities with a skilled workforce and active citizens who will help shape a more prosperous Idaho.

The trust Idahoans showed in me in 2022 was humbling. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and I intend to honor that trust by putting in the work necessary to create the very best educational system Idaho can offer. Our kids, teachers and parents deserve nothing less.

Debbie Critchfield is Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction.

to a developer to build workforce housing. The HA could facilitate the partnership and oversee the project, as well as ensure that the developer follows through with its commitment.

In this way, the cost of the housing could be reduced by the cost of the land — say by 20%. This cost reduction carries over to the renter or buyer and can last into perpetuity, not eclipse in 20 years. Instead of paying millions of dollars for land, the developer could pay a modest annual lease rate that would support the water utility and the ratepayers. This would be a win-win for the workforce and the ratepayers, and it would be a cheap solution to finding buildable land.

The city is currently taking steps to initiate a housing authority for this purpose. Neighboring cities, the county and school district will be encouraged to join.

Previous installments of this series published in the Dec. 15, Dec. 22, Dec. 29, Jan. 5 and Jan. 12 editions of the Sandpoint Reader. Find them all at sandpointreader. com.

January 19, 2023 / R / 13 PERSPECTIVES
Mayor Shelby Rognstad. Courtesy photo. Debbie Critchfield. Courtesy photo.

dumb of the week

A newly elected Republican lawmaker had one of those “open mouth, insert foot here” moments while introducing himself Jan. 10 at the first meeting of the year for the Idaho Agricultural Affairs Committee. Rep. Jack Nelsen, of Jerome, in Idaho Legislative District 26, compared women’s reproductive rights to milking cows and, quite appropriately, found himself lampooned by the national media.

In his introductory remarks, Nelsen told his fellow committee members, “I’m a lifelong dairy farmer who retired, still own part of the dairy; grew up on the farm. I’ve milked a few cows, spent most of my time walking behind lines of cows, so if you want some ideas on repro and the women’s health thing, I have some definite opinions.”

After a swift backlash against his remarks, Nelsen apologized and acknowledged his comments were “inappropriate.”

Women’s reproductive rights in Idaho are nothing to laugh about, especially after a tumultuous year in 2022. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June to allow individual states the power to regulate abortion, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade. Idaho later passed a bill making it a criminal act to perform an abortion, unless medically necessary or in the case of rape or incest.

After his remarks, Nelsen gave a lame chuckle, scanning the room to see if his “joke” landed. It didn’t. Because there’s nothing particularly funny about women losing reproductive rights over their own bodies, especially at the hands of ignorant old men like Nelsen who believe milking a cow somehow makes them an expert on “repro,” as he called it.

Nelsen joins the ranks of other dunderheaded Republican Idaho lawmakers who have embarrassed themselves on the national stage.

This includes Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, who suggested in 2015 that women could swallow a camera to check on their pregnancy, believing there was a special thoroughfare between a woman’s stomach and her uterus.

Or Rep. Charlie Shepherd, R-Pollock, when he argued against an early literacy grant in 2021 by saying it, “makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let others raise their child.”

Who in the world keeps voting for these people?

14 / R / January 19, 2023
Rep. Jack Nelsen, R-Jerome. Courtesy photo.

Idaho students invited to submit entries for annual Junior Duck Stamp art contest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife office and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation are encouraging all Idaho school-aged students (K-12) to enter the annual Junior Duck Stamp art contest. Entries must be submitted by March 1, 2023 to qualify. One student design will be selected as “Best of Show” from the state and will go on to compete at the national level.

Winners of the national competition receive scholarships funds, with a top prize of $1,000.

To learn more about contest rules and how to enter, visit

The program began in 1989 as an extension of the Migratory Bird Conservation and Hunting Stamp. The art contest officially began in 1993. Since the inauguration of the program 30 years ago, the Junior Duck Stamp has raised more than $1 million. Proceeds

from Junior Duck Stamp sales are invested into conservation education and providing recognition for contest participants and winners.

“The program crosses cultural, ethnic, social and geographic boundaries to teach greater awareness of, and increase respect and appreciation for, natural resources,” according to contest organizers. “The nontraditional pairing of science and visual art strives to initiate curiosity in both subjects. Students are provided an

“Natural Heritage,” the winner of the 2020-2021 New York Junior Duck Stamp competition. The acrylic painting of a hooded merganser was done by Chowon Kim, age 17, of Bayside, New York.

opportunity to artistically express their knowledge of the diversity, interdependence and beauty of wildlife.”

Homeschool and private school entries are welcomed.

January 19, 2023 / R / 15

‘You really have to know this bird’

Raptor Freedom Project combines medical knowledge, falconry training to give N. Idaho birds of prey a fighting chance

For Mya Jinright, knowledge is power, and that power gives her an even greater chance at doing what she loves: rehabilitating and releasing injured and sick birds of prey.

Jinright, a certified veterinary technician and lover of winged creatures, runs Raptor Freedom Project in Clark Fork with the help of her husband, Tyler, and mom, Judi. At its core, the program aims to rescue, rehab and release birds of prey that have been hurt by a variety of causes, including lead poisoning, rodenticides, in-air collisions, poaching, starvation and more.

Raptor Freedom Project currently boasts the ability to perform X-rays on site, as well as two aviaries where birds can heal. Jinright hopes to build a new, larger aviary in the near future in order to better serve the birds in her care.

“Part of the reason that I do this is because I am very concerned with conservation and the huge decline in birds of prey. You can see it in our area,” she said. “With population growth — whether it just be people moving in or housing expansion — we’ve lost a lot of the breeding grounds, hunting grounds and home ranges.”

Red-tailed hawks, for example, used to be far more prevalent on the Rathdrum Prairie, Jinright said.

“They’re now trying to hunt in more urban areas,” she said. “They’re in people’s chicken coops, and there’s a lot more humans clashing with birds of prey than there used to be … and that leads to trouble. It leads to hurt or injured or ill animals, and then they end up with me.”

Jinright told the Reader that she’s spent the past year “chasing knowledge and experience” — much of that knowledge being sought in the field of falconry.

A falconer herself, Jinright connected with Montana’s Eagle Experience in Noxon, Mont., and has been able to expand her skills

with the help of veteran falconers Anne and Paul Schnell.

“A lot of people think that falconry is having a bird and then taking it out and flying, but it really is helping condition the bird, teaching them to hunt and helping them get that stamina that’s required of an apex predator,” Jinright said. “What I want to do is bring that into my rehab.”

Her ultimate goal is to mesh her medical knowledge with the technical knowledge of falconry to better prepare raptors for release.

“You have to really know this bird, its habitat and its hunting style in order to rehab all the way to release it,” Jinright said.

Another part of her mission with Raptor Freedom Project is to facilitate outreach in the broader community. Jinright will partner with Anne Schnell of Montana’s Eagle Experience to teach an eight-week course called “Understanding Birds of Prey” at the Noxon Fire Hall. The first class is Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 1-4 p.m. (Mountain Time) and subsequent classes will take place at the same time each Tuesday. To sign up, call 406-847-2442 ext. 2. This is an adult-only class, and live birds will be present.

“You can talk about a bird all you want, but they want to see it,” Jinright said. “They want to connect with that entity.”

Jinright, who only works with birds of prey, said there is a desperate need for more wild animal rehab resources in the area. She hopes that people with the time and capabilities will step up to fill the growing need, and that everyone else will remember that there are ways to coexist with their wild neighbors.

“We all come here for the wildlife,” she said, “and now we’re in this Catch-22 of living in a beautiful area but fighting [for] territory with animals, too.”

To learn more about the Raptor Freedom Project, report a grounded bird, or donate to the rehab’s food and aviary building funds, call 509-590-9437.

16 / R / January 19, 2023 FEATURE
Top: Mya Jinright stands with Ellis, a golden eagle from Montana’s Eagle Experience. Above: Jinright releases a rehabilitated hawk. Courtesy photos.

For the love of thrifted threads

Tips and tricks for successful second-hand shopping

I’ve shopped for clothing in thrift stores all my life.

As I grew older and some of my friends considered my hobby with poorly concealed disgust, I let it phase me very little. I couldn’t understand why they’d pay full price when a few bucks and a washing machine brought me the same results. To this day, many of my closet staples had a life before me, only adding to their appeal.

Thanks to lots of practice and plenty of sage advice from my mom, thrifting remains a steadfast love. Here are some of my biggest tips.

Know your brands

I learned early on in my shopping days that the only thing between me and the latest, trendiest fashions was my ability to find them for an affordable price at the second-hand store. Today, some of my favorite clothes boast big brands like Columbia, Levi’s, Nike, Eddie Bauer, The North Face and Lululemon — but very rarely have I paid full price.

There is something to be said for the increased life expectancy of clothing from high-end brands over the stuff we could buy at a large chain store, but not everyone has the privilege of dropping $200 on a single jacket. The answer: thrift stores. It turns out that a lightly used winter coat is just as warm as a new one, and will wash up just fine.

Consider local demographics

In a single visit to a thrift store in Missoula, Mont., I found my two favorite flannel button-downs: one by L.L. Bean and one a vintage Cabela’s brand. Both had unique prints and were made from wool blends, and were among a treasure trove of flannels dedicated to their own extensive section in the store.

Whether due to the population of affluent fishermen or tasteful college students, Missoula knows a good flannel, and I benefited.

The demographics’ influence on thrifting goes deeper than a single location, too. Within a region or town, different people donate or consign at different places. In the same vein, some shops only accept a certain style of consigned goods. Each of these characteristics mean a different shopping experience, and specialties soon make themselves clear.

I’ve heard time and time again that Bizarre Bazaar in Sandpoint is the best

place to find professional clothing. Beau Monde in Coeur d’Alene is a great place to find trendy brands and athletic clothing for women. Boundary Consignments in Bonners Ferry and Clothing Closet in Priest River both offer a great selection of kids’ clothes. I used to love frequenting The Storm Cellar in Moscow to find funky vintage pieces, like a teal leather jacket that I misplaced and dream about to this day.

The more you thrift, the easier it is to find these patterns and plan your shopping accordingly.

Base your shopping style on your allotted time

There are some professional thrifters who promote skimming aisles for statement pieces, and others who preach that leaving no hanger unturned is the only way. Let’s be realistic: It really depends on what kind of time frame you’re working with.

On days when the agenda is to to thrift and only to thrift, I find myself checking between every item of clothing to ensure I didn’t miss a new favorite sweater or pair of perfect jeans. When hitting the thrift store is just one stop on a full day’s adventure to town, I stick to particular sections of the store or only pause at a rack when a floral print or shade of mustard yellow hits me just right. Thrifting can be done at any pace, but I will admit that my most successful finds have happened when I have nowhere else to be and can take my time.

It also depends on the type of thrifting establishment you’re visiting. A well-vetted, upscale resaler won’t feature the same crowded racks as a small town, mom-andpop shop, but both places might be home to a pair of those Hunter rain boots you’ve been drooling over.

Remember: finders keepers, and finders simply take the time.

Celebrate the cyclical nature of thrifting

One of the most fun things about being able

to find new clothing for fair prices is the chance to bid farewell to those pieces you haven’t worn in months. If I don’t wear something during the entire season during which it was appropriate — such as jean shorts in summer or boots in winter — then it’s time for them to find a new life in someone else’s closet.

You have the opportunity to either consign and make some money back, or simply donate. There are local causes that depend on donations of clothing and household goods to support their work — think the Community Assistance League and Bizarre Bazaar, or the Better Together Animal Alliance Thrift Store in Ponderay.

Remember: Thrifting is good for the earth, and for each other

Just like donating clothing to thrift stores with nonprofit fundraising goals supports the local community, don’t forget that purchasing pre-loved items is a very real way to take some burden off Mother Nature.

In the era of fast fashion and worldwide shipping, resist the urge to buy that $2 T-shirt online and shop local thrift stores instead. The options will be plentiful, oneof-a-kind and, best of all, nothing you buy will shrink in the dryer.

January 19, 2023 / R / 17 FEATURE
Photo by Becca McHaffie.


January 19-26, 2023

THURSDAY, January 19

Live Music w/ Aaron Golay and the Original Sin • 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Listen at

FriDAY, January 20

Live Music w/ Devon Wade

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Sandpoint’s independent country artist

Live Music w/ Copper Mountain Band 9pm @ The Hive

A big country classic rock sound from this Montana band. $10/advance, $15/door

Live Music w/ Headwaters

5:30-8pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. Bluegrass from Sandpoint’s bluest grasses

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-7:30pm @ Drift (in Hope)

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

4:30-7pm @ Barrel 33 Jazz cures all that ails you

Live Music w/ Zach Simms Trio 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Souful favorites performed to perfection

Banff Mountain Film Festival (Jan. 20-22)

7pm @ Panida Theater

One of the largest and most prestigious mountain festivals in the world. Outdoor films that inspire you. Tickets

SATURDAY, January 21

Live Music w/ Lauren and Chris

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Lauren Kershner and Chris Lynch

Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Live Music w/ Boot Juice

7:30pm @ The Heartwood Center

With Headwaters opening! This is a fundraiser for the Reader See Page 21 for info

Live Music w/ Nick Weibe

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

The perfect energy to enliven this night

Banff Mountain Film Festival

7pm @ Panida Theater

“Can Kids Save a Glacier?” 2pm @ Sandpoint Library

“Mountain Goats: A Wilderness Icon” 4pm @ Utara Brewing Co.

KNPS Program: Creating a Monarch Butterfly Waystation in North Idaho 10am @ Sandpoint Library (Room B)

Join Gail Bolin, a member of the Master Naturalist Program and works part time for BoCo Soil and Water Cons. District

Anniversary Dance and lesson 7pm @ Ponderay Events Center One-hour lesson covering the basics of the nightclub two step, followed by general dancing from 8-10pm. $9/person

SunDAY, January 22

Sandpoint Chess Club

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

Banff Mountain Film Festival 6pm @ Panida Theater

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

monDAY, January 23

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s “Taking the Bible Seriously”

Group Run @ Outdoor Experience

6pm @ Outdoor Experience 3-5 miles, all levels welcome, beer after

tuesDAY, January 24

wednesDAY, January 25

Live Piano w/ Peter Lucht

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Music w/ John Firshi 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

ThursDAY, January 26

18 / R / January 19, 2023

Panida to introduce new managing director

Lauren Sanders takes over as steward of the historic theater

The Panida Theater announced Lauren Sanders as their new managing director, who will begin duties in early February. The move comes after former Managing Director Veronica Knowles resigned in late 2022 to begin working for the Festival at Sandpoint.

“The board welcomes Lauren as the Panida moves forward with the Century Fund,” said Panida Board Chairman Jim Healey. “Her experience with marketing, volunteer coordination and contracts will serve her well in the managing director position.”

Sanders told the Reader that while she wasn’t born and raised in Sandpoint, her family history reaches quite a ways back in North Idaho — and there’s a pattern of high-achieving women in her family tree, also.

“All of my mom’s family is from up here,” Sanders said. “It actually goes back seven generations. My great-greatgreat-great-grandma founded the first library in Coeur d’Alene and one of my great aunts was the first woman to graduate from the University of Idaho as an attorney.”

While attending North Idaho College, Sanders lived with her grandparents and saw firsthand their involvement with the community. It instilled in her the importance of serving the place in which you live.

“I realized how accessible being involved with the community is,” she said. “I always thought you couldn’t access community involvement easily, but really, if you lean in a little, what you put into your community, you get out of it.”

Sanders graduated from both NIC and U of I, holding a degree in public relations. She also brings 10 years of experience

working in marketing in communication for a variety of industries, including RM2, which manufactures “smart pallets.” Sanders was integral in guiding the company through a rebrand and helped increase its industry recognition by developing campaigns with businesses such as AT&T and Covestro.

Sanders was attending law school in Oregon when a series of events opened her eyes to higher priorities in life, culminating in a change that led to her family moving to Sandpoint.

“When I was pregnant, we had a couple we were friends with who were parallel to us in life,” Sanders said. “He got diagnosed with cancer, then there was COVID and one of my really close friends’ nephews was also diagnosed with cancer. When you have a baby, your perspective changes. Time and energy are really big new values.”

After those events, Sanders said she took a hard look at law school and reevaluated her goals.

“Being an active community member and advocating for those who need a voice is always important to me,” she said. “We were always going to move here, but it was like five years away. Seeing all that stuff, we said, ‘Let’s just push forward,’ and we decided to move here.”

After settling in Sandpoint, Sanders was hired at Kaniksu Community Health, which again gave her a changed perspective.

“That job really opened up my eyes to the needs of the Sandpoint community — especially the different populations here and the struggles people have,” she said. “It was a really great experience working for Olivia [Luther, marketing director] and Kaniksu Community Health.”

Meanwhile, Sanders is energized by transitioning into her role as steward of a beloved historic institution.

“I see the Panida as a beacon and I see it as a place that is

really familiar with everyone,” she said. “I see it as a place where we can come together as a community and share experiences. It’s cathartic. I think going through COVID and quarantine and these different changes we’ve seen in our community structure has shown us that we love each other and we need this place. … Even if we might align differently with certain beliefs, we can still sit together at the Panida, laugh together and cry together in the same space. The Panida is a safe space for people to come together.”

As for her goals in her new position, Sanders said she’s primarily interested in learning the ropes and helping foster the

Panida’s Century Fund campaign, which aims to generate $1.9 million in donations by the theater’s 100th anniversary in 2027.

The fund received a shot in the arm when Ting Internet pledged to match donations under $2,000 for a total of $200,000. The funds will help pay for necessary repairs to the building. With the first year goal within spitting distance, Sanders hopes to guide the subsequent phases to success before the centennial in 2027.

“I also want to get out into the community and see what they need,” she said. “We’re here to serve. I’m also here to support the vision of the board and where we’re going. I want

to keep that Century Fund going so we can meet that goal. I also want to lean on more of our board members, like Katelyn Shook, who has been an incredible ally to have.”

With her background in marketing and communications, Sanders said she’s eager to improve the Panida’s interaction with the community.

“I want more consistent emails, surveys, social media and to be present at community functions,” Sanders said. “We’re here on a day-to-day basis, and we want the Panida to be part of your day as well.”

When asked what changes she’s keen to embrace, Sanders said, “I actually don’t want to change much. I just want to support the energy. People have put in so much work for this theater, so I want to push forward to our 100-year anniversary.”

In her spare time, Sanders is raising her almost-2-year-old daughter Gwen with husband Dylan Armstrong. The couple also have two dogs, Nika and Sticks.

Sanders said she used to be a yoga teacher and still loves being involved with that world. She enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, paddle boarding and taking walks with her daughter to explore nature around Sandpoint.

“I’m honored to be in this role at the Panida and I take it seriously,” Sanders said. “I want to honor people’s experiences here while supporting this place to move forward so our community can enjoy it for the next 100 years.”

For more information about the Panida, including how to donate to the Century Fund, visit All donations $2,000 and under will be matched 100% by Ting Internet.

January 19, 2023 / R / 19 STAGE & SCREEN
Lauren Sanders, center, was hired as the new managing director of the Panida Theater. She stands here with husband Dylan Armstrong, right, and daughter Gwen. Courtesy photo.

Banned Books in Review: ThePerksofBeingaWallflower

More than 1,600 books across 32 states were banned during the 2021-’22 school year. In Idaho, 26 titles were banned across three school districts, underscoring a trend spearheaded primarily by right-wing religious groups pushing for censorship of books that feature LGBTQ+ characters, as well as sexual and racial situations they deem inappropriate for students.

In an attempt to shed light on this development, I have pledged to read all 26 books banned last year in Idaho and share with our readers what they are all about, why they were likely banned and what we are missing by promoting censorship of the written word.

The author

American writer and director Stephen Chbosky has only penned two novels in his career, each separated by two decades. After graduating from the University of Southern California Filmic Writing screenwriting program, Chbosky wrote, directed and acted in the 1995 independent film The Four Corners of Nowhere, which was accepted by the Sundance Film Festival.

Trained as a screenwriter, Chbosky began working on what he called a “very different type of book” in 1994. He had written the line, “I guess that’s just one of the perks of being a wallflower,” and suddenly realized that “somewhere in that [sentence] was the kid I was really trying to find.”

The novel became The Perks of Being a Wallflower, published by MTV Books in 1999. It was an immediate success with teenage readers, who found his raw, unvarnished writing style refreshing, albeit melancholic.

After Wallflower, Chbosky returned to the film and television world, ultimately writing and directing the film adaptation of his debut novel in 2012, as well as spearheading several other popular works. More recently, Chbosky directed the coming-of-age musical film Dear Evan Hansen.

The book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books you read and feel the weight of each printed word. Styled as an epistolary novel — that is, consisting of a series of letters — the story follows Charlie, an introverted kid starting his freshman year of high school sometime in the 1990s. We gather immediately from his letters written to an unknown recipient that Charlie is a very observant teenager — literally a wallflower who watches everything from the sidelines. Crippled with the weight of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, Charlie also battles with a couple of dark events in his past: the suicide of his only friend Michael and the death of his favorite aunt Helen.

Thanks to a caring English teacher who insists Charlie call him Bill, Charlie leans into a passion for reading. Bill assigns him books and reports outside the scope of the class, and Charlie devours them all.

Along the way, Charlie befriends two upperclassmen — stepsiblings Patrick and Sam. Patrick is gay and secretly dating a football player. Sam is Patrick’s stepsis-

ter. The seniors unlock Charlie’s potential by welcoming him into their group of “others,” which they refer to as “wallflowers.” Neither of them are “cool” by any metric, because they refuse to play the popularity game that overshadows most high school experiences. But they’re authentic and recognize Charlie as one of their own.

At the end of the year, faced with losing his only two friends as they are graduating, Charlie pines after Sam, who eventually shows him affection back. The physical interaction between them unearths uncomfortable childhood memories for Charlie, and we learn that his favorite aunt Helen actually molested him when he was a child.

This is a pivotal moment for the reader, as we understand that Charlie’s stress and anxiety — as well as his discomfort with physical affection — stems back to his aunt.

The novel ends with Charlie entering a catatonic state, being admitted to a mental hospital and coming to terms with his childhood abuse. By the last page, he has taken control of his life, promising to “participate” instead of just being a wallflower.

Why it was banned

There is little doubt in my mind the reasons why The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been banned by many school districts across the nation. While I don’t agree with banning books, I do believe this book is best suited for older teenagers or adults, because the themes can be dark at times. There are references to date rape, masturbation, childhood incest, the glorification of alcohol and drug use, as well as suicide and homosexuality.

It’s a very raw, moving story — especially for anyone who felt like an “other” during their high school years. It’s also a triumphant tale of someone overcoming their own anxiety, PTSD and awkwardness to become a functioning member of society.

Should a young child read this book? Nope. The themes are too advanced for anyone who isn’t at least in high school to fully understand what they’re reading. But banning this book only limits those who might find their own strength through Charlie’s story, because there is hope in this book. Sometimes that’s all we need.

If Chbosky had watered down

his writing to be more widely accepted, this novel wouldn’t be as widely acclaimed, because there is nothing more cringeworthy than attempting to tell a poignant story with surface-level, G-rated concepts. It’s like the cast of Full House trying to act out the Broadway play Rent — it just wouldn’t work.

Final thoughts

Our high school years are often filled with disturbing themes and melancholy — like a song that makes us sad but we don’t really understand why. There’s a perpetual need to be cool, to be popular, to be likable. There’s a desire to stick out enough to get noticed, but not enough to ostracize yourself. It’s a fine line many walk every day, and it can be emotionally, physically and mentally exhausting to finally make it through high school and get out once and for all.

Some thrive during these years. Others just want to experience a moment without the pervasive judgment of their peers.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower captures this weariness with expertise, as if Chbosky only had to tap into his feelings just beneath the surface to find the pathos that defines his existence. Through Charlie’s letters, we discover he’s a smart, sensitive and driven teenager, but he doesn’t relate to the football players, cheerleaders or popular kids. He feels lost and somewhat hopeless, as many of us have when we’re unable to relate to anybody else going through something similar. But he’s not just another lemming. He has something inside him that is compassionate, funny and yearning for acceptance.

I felt what Charlie was feeling when he wrote those letters. I understood his conflict, his desires and his hopelessness. And I also smiled whenever he overcame these crippling emotions, because it proved to me that Charlie — who could be any one of us — has found a way to live that isn’t the cliché existence everyone pushes, but a more honest, even if flawed, version of himself. That’s a fate I think any of us can get behind.

20 / R / January 19, 2023 LITERATURE
3 of 26
Stephen Chbosky, right, and his 1999 debut novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Courtesy photos.


‘Music is joy’

There will be ripping guitars, soaring horns, thumping bass, polished three-part vocal harmonies, some of the most versatile, swinging drums on the West Coast and, above all, lots and lots of dancing — coming from both crowd and the stage.

This is the promise of Boot Juice, a robust Americana band hailing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains set to play the Heartwood Center on Saturday, Jan. 21. Doors open at 7 p.m., with local favorites Headwaters kicking off the night of music hosted by Mattox Farm Productions and benefiting the Sandpoint Reader.

The ingredients that go into Boot Juice include seven band members, an array of acoustic and electric sounds and a whole lot of friendship, all stemming from the childhood bond of Connor Herdt and Evan Daly.

“We have a wide variety of influences in the band and I think that is represented well in our music,” Herdt said, listing rock, bluegrass, folk, metal, swing and big band music among those influences. “We just try to keep an open mind and not follow a play-

book for what the music should sound like.”

As for the lyrical side of songwriting, Boot Juice’s songs are at once personal and deeply relatable. Band founders Herdt and Daly are still the project’s primary songwriters, but Herdt said that Boot Juice’s growth — both literally and figuratively — has allowed them to take advantage of “more tools in our toolbox.”

“We don’t really start with a specific vision of what the final song will be, and just try to speak our minds and be real with the lyrics,” he said. “Some songs are joyous and others are sad or angry or melancholy. Regardless of the content, we want the songs to be a positive force and leave people feeling good after listening to them.”

Americana rockers Boot Juice to bring energetic live show to the Heartwood Center

Boot Juice

Saturday, Jan. 21; doors at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.; $12 for adults in advance at Eichardt’s or online at bootjuiceattheheartwood., $15 at the door, youth tickets are $8 in advance and at the door. Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St., Listen at

Boot Juice is currently working on its third LP, due sometime this year. Herdt said it differs from the band’s previous releases because every song was written “from scratch” — all of the current band members collaborated to create concepts for each track with that full-band sound in mind. Each one of the forthcoming songs will also feature the horn section, which is the band’s newest addition.

Herdt called the new album “a

timeline from the last two years — from songs written during pandemic isolation, [to] the joy of returning to the road and playing live again, and everything in between.”

“It covers a wide range of emotions and energy,” he added. “We are really proud of this record, and think that it is the most representative example of the sound we’ve been developing.”

Energy continues to prove itself a guiding force for Boot Juice, which was on the road for 200

days playing 140 shows across the West in 2022. Herdt said the band holds firm to a philosophy that live shows should “just be fun,” which it accomplishes with a genre-bending, dance-inspiring sound and not infrequent crowd mingling.

“It’s a visual experience as much as an auditory one. If folks see the musicians dancing on stage, they want to dance,” Herdt said. “Music is joy, and we just want everyone that walks out of the venue to feel that and take it with them.”

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Jan. 21

Calling Big Sky Country home, the Copper Mountain Band boasts a big country-classic rock sound with its six members — extra fitting that it should play the biggest stage in Sandpoint, with a Friday, Jan. 20 throwdown at The Hive.

Fronted with high energy guitar and powerful vocals by Jacque Jolene, CMB has been on the road off and on over the past 15 or so years, with dates across the U.S. and as far afield as France. Lucky for us that this rollicking outfit shares our

backyard, and Sandpoint is most definitely in for a big night when CMB rolls into town.

Contact The Hive for presale tickets and email to inquire about VIP seating.

— Zach Hagadone

Doors at 6 p.m., show at 9 p.m.; $10 advance, $15 at the door; 21+. The Hive, 207 N.First Ave., 208-457-2392, Listen at

We’re not sure what’s going on in Montana these days, but the Big Sky state seems only to be getting cooler and cooler, and we couldn’t be happier that it appears to be sharing its musicians with us with greater regularity.

Now comes the Kalispell-based Kenny James Miller Band, which is bringing its rock-solid sound to the 219 Lounge for a set that will be the epitome of solid rock. Fronted by guitarist Ken Sederhal, the band consists of Mark Meznarich on bass

and Greg Sewell on percussion, and all three members contribute vocals to what can only be described as one of the Inland Northwest’s true powerhouse blues-rock outfits.

Thank Montana, and the Kenny James Miller Band, for what we expect will be a stellar Saturday show at the Niner.

— Zach Hagadone

8-11 p.m., FREE, 21+. 219 Lounge, 219 N. First Ave., 208-2635673, Listen at

I read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life in junior high, and it served as a major catalyst in my development as a writer. Lamott’s voice sets her apart, and continues to be an inspiration in my own work. I am now delving into her other books, starting with Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year. The 1993 work of personal nonfiction features the journal entries Lamott wrote as a 35-year-old single mother just after welcoming her first child. It’s raw, funny and has already made me cry several times only 80 pages in.


I’m not sure if my Spotify algorithm is unintentionally pushing me toward Australian artists, or if some of the best indie music is currently coming from kangaroo country. Regardless, RICEWINE is my latest go-to artist creating bedroom synth-pop perfect for daydreaming. The solo project of Talae Rodden, RICEWINE avoids the try-hard tendencies of some upand-coming, independent projects by keeping it simple and sweet. My choice tracks are “Summer Spent,” “Maybe” and “Avenue.”


With my appetite for new TV at an all-time low, I am often subjected to whatever my husband has decided to watch. This time, my apathy landed me watching Bruce Almighty for the first time. I think it’s safe to say that Jim Carrey is an acquired taste, and one I never really had, save How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In Bruce Almighty, Carrey is a narcissistic TV reporter who gets the chance to “be God.” I’m not sure how Bruce Almighty landed among actual Christians in the early aughts, but this agnostic really liked it. Plus, I can’t stop saying “and that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

January 19, 2023 / R / 21
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Copper Mountain Band, The Hive, Jan. 20 Kenny James Miller Band, 219 Lounge, Boot Juice will play The Heartwood Center Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m., with local string band Headwaters opening. Courtesy photo.

From Kootenai County Republican, January 16, 1903


*This flowery love letter to early “Sand Point” was written 120 years ago.

Sandpoint is a flourishing lumbering town of about 1,200 souls, located on Lake Pend d’Oreille and promises to be the leading metropolitan inland industrial city of Northern Idaho, and abounds with unlimited resources and gifts of nature that must naturally attract the best element of citizens from every part of the country. The mining resources of the Blacktail district, around Bottle bay and along the Kootenai river, together with the vast operations in timber and lumbering, with the promise of the erection of the Panhandle smelter in the near future and a new railroad from the Canadian Pacific via Sandpoint, predicts for our city a coming metropolitan commercial center of the inter-mountain west.

We take special pride, and rightly so, in our public schools. There are none better elsewhere. Our teachers are efficient, enthusiastic and conscientious, and the school building does the people of the town credit. “Progress” is our watchword and our citizens cannot take too keen an interest in all that pertains to educational matters.

The various religious denominations are represented and our town officials are men of integrity, zeal and capacity, and the honest and industrious newcomer is made heartily welcome. Sandpoint needs no boom, but we are progressing very fast, and all values both in town and country property are now on a legitimate basis, and the future holds much in store for us. For the investor, the manufacturer, the capitalist, we challenge the Union to present better opportunities than are presented by Sandpoint and Kootenai county.


An old dog tries (and fails) to learn a new trick

Here is a list of “North Idaho activities” at which I suck, am mediocre or lack experience in, and have tried but frankly don’t like doing (in some kind of rough order): swimming, felling trees, building things, playing a stringed instrument, piloting any non-human-powered watercraft, ax throwing, backpacking, adventure camping, strenuous biking, cornhole, golfing, hunting, identifying plants and animals, running for “pleasure,” court or field sports of any kind, ice skating, skateboarding, flying around in small aircraft and mud-bogging.

Having been born here into a family of multi-generational locals, this is a record of blasphemous incompetencies and outright failures. But perhaps the biggest among them is my almost complete unfamiliarity with any snowports other than sledding, snowshoeing and driving on the ice (the last one I’m very good at).

That’s right: I can count on two-fifths of one hand the number of times I’ve been to Schweitzer with the intent to descend a slope at speed. They happened in the years 1990 and 1993, and I did not enjoy them — to say the least.

The first time was when I rode a bus to the mountain with all the other fourth-graders to learn how to ski. I remember that day as a series of terrifying, violent wrecks, followed by my decision simply to sit on my skis and slide down the bunny hill. That resulted in the most severe muscle aches I’ve experienced to date. The second (and I believe last time) was when a friend’s dad took us night skiing in sixth grade, and I ended up nearly concussing myself on a mogul somewhere near the top of Midway.

In the hope that my own kids won’t also miss out so thoroughly on the many joys of living in a “resort town,” my wife and I

STR8TS Solution

have encouraged their participation in many of these activities from a young age. This winter, they’ve become adept at cross-country skiing; and, 30 years after my rejection of anything involving waxed sticks on snow, I decided to give it a go.

I was even a little excited about it — it’s supposed to be an excel lent beginner’s sport and akin to taking a walk in the woods, which I’m actually good at. I worked up the notion that I would provide a good example at the same time: “See, kids, it’s a good thing to try stuff you’ve never done before.” Also something about “old dogs” and “new tricks.”

We went up to Pine Street Woods, which is a fabulous place any time of the year, and rented me a pair of boots, skis and poles. I know how much my wife and kids have grown to enjoy cross-country skiing, so it felt good to let them take the lead and teach me the ropes — my 10-year-old son even clipped me in.

Things went OK for the first 30 minutes or so, until I started to feel the slightest bit confident and picked up some downhill speed. That almost immediately turned into a careening nightmare, and every rotten 30-year-old skiing memory came rushing back. Any attempt at stopping — or even slowing — failed. I started to flail left and right, just as a nice lady and her young son were coming up the hill. In an emergency effort to avoid plowing into them, I threw myself off the trail, directly toward a tree, and made peace with the fact that I was almost certainly going to break something.

They glided past as I lay there — looks of concerned pity on their faces — and asked if I was OK. I laughed it off and waited for them to pass, then struggled back up the hill to my family.

By then I was full of anxiety, reacti-

Sudoku Solution

vated childhood trauma and middle-aged embarrassment. My son had disappeared, swooshing off on some trail by himself. My wife and daughter were compassionate and we turned back.

I tried to regain some composure on my own, taking what I thought would be an easier route back to safety. I wrecked again. Then once more and another time. When we all met up again, I was in the middle of saying something about how I couldn’t figure out how to control my speed and fell over from a stationary position.

That was it. I took off the skis and started the walk of shame back to the rental center. It was a pathetic sight: a 42-year-old man huffing and wheezing through the snow on foot, while his 8-yearold daughter skied slowly alongside him, trying to cheer him up.

Both the kids were sympathetic and supportive all the way home, even as my hands shook with adrenaline and shame, reminding me that at least they’re something I’ve done right.

22 / R / January 19, 2023
If they ever build a statue of me, I hope they don’t have me with my mouth wide open and holding a sign that says, “I love rotten eggs.”
Crossword Solution

Solution on page 22



Solution on page 22

January 19, 2023 / R / 23
1.Fragment 6.Old Jewish scholars 11.Kind of beam 12.Gallivant 15.Photographer’s device 16.Male horse 17.Sphere 18.Conceit 20.Purge 21.Afflicts 23.Wealthy 24.Knights 25.Flower stalk 26.They come from hens 27.Fretted instrument 28.Apprentice 29.Dike 30.Perception 31.Abductor 34.Magical being 36.Letter after sigma 37.Blockheads 41.Skin disease 42.Tube 43.Look at flirtatiously 44.Blockage 45.Extent 46.Nourishment 47.Ever last one 48.Smiled scornfully 51.Holiday drink 52.Piano or organ 54.Choose 56.Intestinal 1.Transparency 2.Gadabout 3.Employ 4.Nothing more than 5.Boast 6.Area under roofs 7.Offensively bold 8.Emollient DOWN
59.Terminated Word Week of the Corrections: Nothing to report this week, folks. dithyrambic /dith-UH-ram-bik/ [adjective] 1. of, relating to, or of the nature of an impassioned oration. “Barack Obama was known for his dithyrambic declarations encouraging people to be better Americans.”
Solution on page 22
bedridden 10.Apparitions
event 14.Stops 15.Seashore 16.Accuse or condemn openly 19.Musical instrument 22.Using cigarettes 24.Type of car roof 26.Countercurrent 27.Downwind 30.Eject 32.Anger 33.An essay 34.Cascaded down 35.Devotee 38.Struggle with decision-making 39.Inundated 40.Marsh plant 42.Puncture 44.Birthday dessert 45.Symbol of slowness 48.Fern clusters 49.Border 50.College bigwig
Roman magistrate
Laughing Matter


Far North Idaho