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PEOPLE compiled by

Susan Drinkard


“What’s your favorite piece of art in your home?” “My favorite painting is of a woman in Uganda carrying water on her head. It was painted by a local (Ugandan) artist. It reminds me of my trip.” Debbie Van Dyk Civil engineer Sandpoint

“It’s a picture of one of (local artist) Ward Tollbom’s birds. Also, another favorite is an old photograph by W. H. Chamberlin of a country snow scene.” Vince Musser Retired Sandpoint “I have a lot of art. My favorite is a photograph of my grandmother, who was in Vaudeville. It was probably taken in 1910.” Sue Koller Retired from public accounting Cocolalla “I have a painting of two Napoleanic sailing ships exchanging cannon fire that I like. My wife bought that for me 40 years ago.” Steve Adams Retired teacher Sagle “A painting of a full moon with a purple flower. My daughter was depressed one day because she missed her mom and grandmother, so she decided to paint me a picture.” Shannon Johnson Janitor at Encoder Sagle


This is our first edition of 2021, and we thought it appropriate to put a symbol of luck on the cover. What, you don’t know pigs are lucky? Read Zach Hagadone’s article on Page 15 to get the skinny on good-luck New Year’s food traditions. In the meantime, we wish you all a prosperous – and safe – new year. At press time, we’re still watching the consequences of a heavy day in Washington, D.C., as rioters breached the U.S. Capitol in support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election. I wrote some thoughts about these actions on Page 9, so I’ll let those remarks stand for how I feel. In the meantime, I hope we can all take a deep breath and bring down the temperature. Life is too short to be filled with such violence and anger. Love your neighbor, stay safe and be well. – Ben Olson, publisher

READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, Susan Drinkard, Guy Lothian, Samantha Hellman, Lyndsie Kiebert, Zach Hagadone, d’Zine Group Architecture, Bill Borders. Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Emily Erickson. Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $115 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

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

This week’s cover features a sign of good luck – a pig. Here’s hoping you all have good luck in the new year. Thanks for reading. January 7, 2021 /


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Top Idaho health officials outline COVID-19 vaccine rollout First round of vaccinations expected to be complete by end of January

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine begins to ramp up in Idaho, state health officials and Gov. Brad Little offered a pair of briefings Jan. 5 focused on presenting a tentative timeline for who will get the two-dose vaccination, when and where. Calling the vaccine “a real turning point” and “a modern medical miracle,” Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen told reporters that already more than 20,800 doses of the newly approved Pfizer BioNTech treatment have been administered in the state over the past three weeks. That number was updated the morning of Jan. 6 to 22,833 total vaccine doses administered. Those doses have gone to Idahoans in so-called Phase 1A of the distribution schedule, which comprises health care workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities. So far Idaho has received 83,475 doses of the vaccine, with 20,000 more expected each week, on top of 20,000 held in reserve each week for use in the second dosage. Idaho health officials reported 1,263 new cases of COVID-19 as of the afternoon of Jan. 6, bringing the statewide total to 146,106 confirmed and probable cases since virus tracking began in the spring of 2020. In that time, 1,488 Idahoans have died as a result of COVID-19. The Panhandle Health District logged 213 new cases in the five northernmost counties in the state Jan. 6, including 27 new active cases in Bonner County for an active total of 601. Meanwhile, the PHD announced Jan. 4 that it would be hosting vaccination clinics for “dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants and other frontline health care workers who have direct contact with COVID positive patients,” in accordance with the Idaho COVID-19 4 /


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Vaccine Advisory Committee’s Phase 1A guidelines. “We are excited to provide this service to this important group of health care providers that work in very close contact with the public every day,” said PHD Health Services Administrator Don Duffy in a news release. “Our community is making good progress working through the Phase 1A group. … [A]nd we recently deployed teams with the help of our Medical Reserve Corps and National Guard to vaccinate emergency medical services teams in all five of the counties we serve.” The vaccine clinics will be hosted in Sandpoint, Hayden and Kellogg on Jan. 6, 7 and 8, and PHD is working to provide details to every dental office on where, when and how to access the clinics. According to its Jan. 4 statement, PHD had received about 11,500 doses of vaccine, and distributed around 6,500. PHD reports that 4,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being allocated for the health care worker clinics starting this week. A federally-managed pharmacy partnership program is working to get “strike teams” into long-term care facilities to administer vaccines, PHD reported, and those numbers are not counted among the aforementioned dose counts. “Panhandle Health District will continue to communicate with the community as greater supply of the vaccine becomes available,” officials stated. “If you are a part of the first priority groups, the health district and community partners enrolled to administer the vaccine will coordinate with your employer as [the vaccine] is made available.” PHD also noted that “once there is enough supply,” vaccination providers can list their location on the VaccineFinder website — an application the general public will be able to access to find out where they can

access the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC will direct the public to use VaccineFinder once doses are available, according to PHD. State health officials noted that vaccine availability and data tracking is subject to a period of lag between receipt of the doses and their delivery to local providers, as well as the necessary steps to establish proper storage, medical staff training and setting up vaccine clinics. Yet, DHW Public Health Administrator Elke Shaw-Tulloch said, “We feel very pleased with how the vaccine clinics are going and how the vaccine doses are being administered.” According to Little, vaccinations for all members of the Phase 1A group — which totals about 130,000 individuals statewide — are expected to be complete by the end of the month, after which doses will be available to those in the Phase 1B group. The second group includes school teachers and staff, nonEMS first responders, non-medial correctional facility staff, food processing workers, grocery and convenience store workers, non-medical Idaho National Guard members, other essential workers who are unable to work remotely or distance from others while on the job, and adults 75 years of age and older. Administration of the Phase 1B group vaccines is expected to run from February to April, after which doses will be offered to adults 65 and older, individuals over the age of 16 with medical conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 complications and all other essential workers. If vaccine supplies

are available, members of the general public are able to receive doses beginning in May. State epidemiologist Christine Hahn said at a news briefing Jan. 5 that to reach so-called “herd immunity” will require at least 60% of the state population to receive the vaccine. That would require nearly 1.1 million Idahoans to get vaccinated, though should the new and apparently more contagious strain of COVID-19 come to the state, Hahn cautioned that as much as 80% of the population may need to receive the vaccine. That goal may be out of reach, however, not only because of vaccine refusal but the availability of doses. In response to a question about distribution of the vaccine from federal health authorities, Jeppesen acknowledged that Idaho’s allocation of 20,000 doses per week plus 20,000 held back for secondary doses “is a lower amount than we had anticipated.” However, he said state officials hope that production ramps up even as additional vaccines from other pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca become available. “Do we wish it was more? Yes. Do we have conversations with our federal partners about it? Absolutely,” Jeppesen said, adding that the timeline may be altered should more doses be allocated to the state. Another concern is just who is included in the various phases of the vaccine rollout timeline. As noted in a tele-town hall Jan. 5 between Little and AARP-Idaho, essential workers

Image courtesy CDC. such as grocery and convenience store workers are currently slated to receive vaccines in Phase 1B — ahead of Idahoans aged 65 to 75, which comprises the group with among the highest risks for COVID-19 complications. Some participants on the AARP call pushed back at that classification, pressing the governor and his COVID-19 committee to move that older age group into an earlier phase. Explaining the rationale for the phases, Little said, “Some of those essential workers are vectors for spread that have been exposed all along in this. And that is why those essential workers who have had that exposure are in that group. But believe me, senior citizens are a top priority.” Speaking to reporters later in the day, Hahn said the governor’s virus committee could decide to put the 65+ age group into an earlier phase when it meets Friday, Jan. 8. In the meantime, Jeppesen underscored that, “It still remains extremely important that we wear masks, maintain six feet of distance from people who are not your family members and washing hands. … It’s more critical than ever that we follow those simple measures.” Find more information about Idaho’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout at coronavirus.idaho.gov and on the Panhandle Health District’s website, panhandlehealthdistrict.org/covid-19. Additional reporting by Lyndsie Kiebert.


Idaho Legislature 2021: How to keep up on what’s happening under the rotunda By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff When the first regular session of the 66th Idaho Legislature gavels into session Monday, Jan. 11 at the Statehouse in Boise, it will be a reflection of the strange COVID-19 days in which we live. Though Idaho lawmakers will meet in person in the Capitol — unlike in many other states, which have delayed their sessions or gone remote to mitigate the spread of the virus — they will be taking some precautions. Plexiglass barriers will separate the legislators at their desks, social distancing will be maintained in committee rooms, free masks will be available and legislative staffers — though not legislators — will be required to wear face coverings while outside their offices.

Among the primary concerns for legislative officials both in Idaho and elsewhere is how to conduct the people’s business in public, providing equal access for all, while doing so safely. Luckily for Idahoans, and especially those who live far from Boise, the Gem State has long boasted a robust platform for live streaming the proceedings in the capital city. Idaho Public Television hosts every committee meeting and floor session of the House and Senate at its Idaho in Session website: idahoptv.org/shows/idahoinsession/Legislature. Not only does IPTV feature live video of the proceedings, the Idaho in Session website includes legislative calendars, agendas and archived footage so even if viewers miss a vote, debate or testimony, they can return to it and stay informed.

The first item on the Legislature’s agenda, of course, will be Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address — his third — which will serve to open the session with a joint gathering of the House and Senate. Also find regular analysis on Idaho Reports, IPTV’s long-running public affairs program available at idahoptv.org/shows/ idahoreports, as well as in the pages of the Sandpoint Reader as we follow what is sure to be an historic session. How to contact your legislators District 1 Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle: JWoodward@ senate.idaho.gov; P.O. Box 151, Sagle, ID, 83860; home: 208946-7963; Statehouse 208-3321349 (session only)

The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise. Courtesy photo. Dist. 1A Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard: HScott@ house.idaho.gov; P.O. Box 134, Blanchard, ID, 83804; home: 208-920-3120; Statehouse: 208332-1190 (session only)

Dist. 1B Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay: SDixon@house. idaho.gov, sage@sagedixon. com; P.O. Box 206, Ponderay, ID, 83852; home: 208-610-4800; Statehouse: 208-332-1185 (session only)

Council hears presentation on draft Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Master Plan By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The Sandpoint City Council at its regular meeting Jan. 6 welcomed interim planner Daren Fluke, who began his work with the city around the first of year following the resignation of former Planning Director Aaron Qualls in late December. Fluke, who joins the city after a seven-year stint in long-range planning at the city of Boise, said he has “a really good understanding of the development process and the pressures that are both on city staff and the development community,” noting that Sandpoint is “drinking from a firehose right now” in terms of development activity. Among the big development efforts currently underway are the city’s various master planning efforts, including the Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Master Plan, a draft of

which consultants Lakota Group, based in Chicago, and Florida-based Surale Phillips presented to council members. The plan comes after months of public outreach; analysis of the city’s various arts, culture and historic organizations and assets; and a “state of the city” report delivered to council members by the consultancy firms in September. Now in its second phase, consultants Nick Kalogeresis, of Lakota Group, and Surale Phillips, who helms the cultural planning firm that bears her name, outlined a number of themes addressed by the draft plan. Overall, it is intended to build on the city’s own comprehensive plan, in that it supports Sandpoint’s community character and design — “retain[ing] and strengthen[ing] Sandpoint’s unique identity, character and sense of place in regard to cultural activity, cultural and

community events, public art and historic preservation,” Kalogeresis said. To accomplish that, the plan first recommends combining the Arts and Historic Preservation commissions in order to broaden participation between the city and local arts entities — hopefully expanding to include homeowners, tribal groups and businesses. Other themes, goals and initiatives include strengthening Sandpoint’s identity as an arts and culture destination by helping workers and businesses in the creative sectors with access to outside funding, opportunities to access additional space and marketing efforts. To “promote and tell the many different aspects of Sandpoint’s history,” the plan also suggests establishing an official Sandpoint historical marker program to denote important places, homes and commercial

buildings, as well as pursue “heritage tourism activities” — specifically, Kalogeresis said, the opportunities presented by the Carousel of Smiles project. “We think the carousel project is really a fantastic community opportunity,” he said, adding that “maybe instead of permitting the carousel to locate at City Beach, maybe look at a downtown location. … You’d think you’d want that located closer to your business district.” The plan goes on to recommend pursuing individual property listings in the National Register of Historic Places, updating the Historic Preservation Ordinance to permit local landmarks and districts and consider neighborhood conservation programs that would help protect historic areas that may not rise to the level of the National Register. Finally, among other key recommendations, the plan floats the idea of establishing the new

city position of “administration for creative vitality” — a “convener and facilitator,” as Phillips described it, who would be responsible for bringing together the entire arts, culture and preservation sector. “I really appreciate your emphasis on collaboration and opportunities for funding,” said Council President Shannon Sherman, who led the council meeting in the absence of Mayor Shelby Rognstad. “I was really impressed by the thoughtful way this was all put together,” added Councilmember Kate McAlister, who also serves as president and CEO of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. The final 120-page plan is due to go back before the council “in the next couple of weeks,” according to Kalogeresis.

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Bits ’n’ Pieces

LPO to see flexible winter operations

From east, west and beyond

Lake level could raise up to five feet in effort to produce more power

Courtesy photo. By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began Flexible Winter Pool Operations (FWPO) on Lake Pend Oreille Jan. 1 at the request of the Bonneville Power Administration, meaning that lake levels could rise up to five feet and then be dropped when needed in order for the Albeni Falls Dam to produce more power. “Although FWPO may fluctuate Lake Pend Oreille between elevations 2,051 to 2,056 feet at the request of BPA, the current operation plan utilizes a small portion of this range,” Corps officials stated in a Jan. 4 update. The winter lake level on Lake Pend Oreille is typically 2,051 to 2,051.5 feet, measured at the Hope gauge, with summer pool measuring between 2,062 and 2,062.5 feet. On Jan. 5, under FWPO, the lake sat at just below 2,052 feet. “We store water in Lake Pend Oreille for FWPO when power demand is low relative to the amount of water flowing through the system, then release that water at a future time when power demand is higher,” USACE Senior Water Manager Jon Moen told the Reader in an email. “For this past weekend we were storing water in Lake Pend Oreille; this operation

reduced power generation at a time when it was not needed as much, and saves that water to be released at a later time when the power generation would be needed more.” Moen added: “We plan to hold this stored water in Lake Pend Oreille until BPA requests we release it for power generation,” but did not share when BPA might be making that request. Lakes Commission Coordinator Molly McCahon suggested waterfront homeowners and those looking to utilize local boat launches take steps to stay informed about the Corps’ flexible operations. To track Lake Pend Oreille’s levels and see forecasts, visit nwrfc.noaa.gov and select the plot point for the “HOPI1” gauge, located in Hope. Beneath a graph of the current and predicted lake level, there is a link reading “For Data Used In Plot.” Click there to access a complete list of elevation readings. People can also sign up for email updates from the Corps by contacting UpperColumbiaWM@usace.army.mil and requesting to be put on the mailing list for daily Albeni Falls Dam updates. McCahon also suggests that “if you have infrastructure on the lake bed within that five-foot elevation rise, secure it if not already secured.”

Free Christmas tree disposal for city residents By Reader Staff The city of Sandpoint recently announced its free Christmas tree disposal program, available to residents throughout the month of January. Those who live within city limits can drop off their Christmas trees anytime 6 /


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this month in the lot behind the City Shop on Airport Way. Turn into the second driveway on the south side of Airport Way and, after entering the driveway, look for a sign to the left indicating where to leave your tree. For questions, call 208-263-3428.

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: B.1.1.7. is the official name of the new coronavirus variant first found in Great Britain in September, which is now appearing in the U.S. Speaking to The New York Times, a Harvard epidemiologist recently described this development as “pretty grim.” While B.1.1.7. is not yet regarded as more deadly, it does appear to spread more rapidly, leading to potentially even higher rates of infections and subsequent deaths. As well, with every new person infected, the novel coronavirus has more chances to mutate. Last weekend President Donald Trump tried to pressure Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to change the outcome of the presidential election in the state. Soon after, The Washington Post released the audio recording, in which Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Trump that the state had done both a hand re-tally and a recount of ballots and all the numbers matched the initial count that favored President-elect Joe Biden. Trump insisted that “I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.” The audio also includes Trump saying Georgia voters have lost faith in their voting process, so many would not vote in the Jan. 5 run-off U.S. Senate election there. If the run-off vote goes to both Democratic candidates, congressional Republicans will lose their edge, allowing advancement of Biden administration plans. Trump’s phone call to Georgia is an impeachable offense, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington stated. It amounts to trying to rig an election. CREW has filed a criminal complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice and Georgia’s Fulton County district attorney. Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse stated on Facebook recently that not a single congressional Republican appears to think the election was fraudulent. “Instead, I hear them talk about their worries about how they will ‘look’ to President Trump’s most ardent supporters.” A dozen Republican senators plan to reject the electors from some states won by President-elect Biden. The Washington Post reports GOP lawmakers are asking for an emergency 10-day audit of election results, citing polling that says 40% of Americans believe the election was rigged and their effort intends to restore trust in U.S. elections. Republican Senate

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he is not sympathetic to the move to reject electors. If the Republican movement delays the election count, and it is unresolved by noon on Jan. 20, under the Presidential Succession Act the speaker of the house (currently Nancy Pelosi) becomes acting president until the dispute is resolved, according to Common Cause. COVID-19 has triggered rethinking workplace routines: According to TIME magazine, a New York marketing firm cut meetings by 50%, kept salaries the same and, within two months, employees had more creative work and increased productivity. Ideas being experimented elsewhere include office space as a retreat from working at home, taking off one Friday a month, encouraging entry into the more focused “flow” state (such as less time with emails and “do not disturb” notices), cutting meeting times in half and structuring meetings so more dominant personalities don’t take over. Congress has overridden Trump’s veto of the $741 billion National Defense Authorization Act. The president objected to contents that would rename military bases named for Confederate leaders. He also demanded repeal of Section 230 because it disagrees with his contention that social-media companies are biased against conservatives. The bill includes a 3% pay increase for service members, higher pay for hazardous duty and new benefits for Vietnam-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange, as well as tightening up prevention measures that target shell companies that evade anti-money-laundering rules, according to The New York Times. Blast from the past: The current congressional challenge by Republicans to the outcome of the 2020 presidential election is said to be inspired by the chaos of the 1876 election. Yet, historian Heather C. Richardson says there are no strong parallels: In 1876 both parties were corrupt and voters were not easily able to conceal how they voted. Ballot boxes could be stuffed or broken into prior to reporting the results. There were accusations of voters being terrorized at some polling places to deter them, and, in at least one state, 101% of all voters cast a vote. Today the election process has evolved so that both parties observe the process, and certified results are (and have already been) delivered to Congress.


Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

My ‘Midnight Library’ By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist

I finished my first book of 2021. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig had been sitting in my audiobook queue since it came out in August, but slid continuously down my reading list. At first, it was Irish murder-mysteries by Tana French that postponed my listening, with The Searcher and The Trespasser sweeping me up in crime, mystery and, of course, the rain-soaked charm of the Irish countryside. Then, I waited on The Midnight Library at the discovery of a couple of books from returning and precious (to me) authors, like To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini and The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd. My queue was further stymied by a trip to Vanderford’s, wherein I picked up a few choice paperbacks, like Creatures, The Silent Patient, The Ventriloquists and The Vanishing Half. Adding these books to my shelves prompted a long succession of slush-season mornings slipping away into another-pot-of-coffee afternoons spent in my reading corner. But for all my waiting, I finally clicked play on The Midnight Library on Jan 3. And it turned out to be the perfect book to begin the new year — specifically, this new year. Without giving too much away, The Midnight Library follows its lead character, Nora

Emily Erickson.

Seed, into the space between life and death, which, for her, is a vast and intimidating library with unending shelves of large, green books. Each book in Nora’s purgatory-style collection is a different version of her life; the storied outcome of who and where she would be if she made different choices throughout her root life (her past). By reading a book’s first sentence, she is plunged into that tome’s parallel universe, in which her life took her to a different place, with different people and a different story. She’s allowed access into all the different versions of who she could have become, based on her alternative everyday choices. This premise prompted introspection for me. Like Nora, I was plunged into daydreams of what my life would look like if I had made different choices — especially in those major tipping points of life-altering decisions. If I had a Midnight Library, one of my books would be the story of a life in which I

continued with high-caliber competitive running. After high school, I would have sought attendance at an elite cross-country university, and perhaps, would have made the team. Surrounded by the best coaches and talented peers, I’d achieve a nearly unfathomable level of fitness, and maybe even find some success in the professional running world. Or, maybe, like my root life, the pressure of competition would have been all-consuming and I’d simply be in a different place, with different friends and the same affinity for long, slow trots on trails. Another book in my in-between place would be one detailing my life if I had stayed in Alaska, making a home for myself in the little town at the tip of a Pacific canal. Instead of driving back south after the last cruise ship left its port (a signal for seasonal workers to return to their other lives), I would have sold my car and used the money to put a downpayment on a small A-frame on the edge of town. I’d have calloused hands from my ax’s worn wood handle and would have the scattered pages of my half-finished novel sitting next to used coffee mugs. Or maybe, I’d have hopped on the first ferry back to the Lower 48 in the spring, weather-worn after my winter of nearly complete darkness. I wonder what my book would look like if I stayed in Wisconsin and never found this little North Idaho dot on the map. Or if I took that job in Seattle. Would I love my life

as much as I do right now, or would I be an alternate, perpetually-searching version of who I am today? The beautiful thing is, by spending time considering the multiverse of possible ways my life could have turned out, I have to acknowledge that the same amount of possibilities are in my future as well. Every day I’m faced with an infinite amount of choices that

have the potential to dramatically alter my world, shaping who and what I’ll become. So, in kicking off 2021, a year marked by hope and potential, I’m filled with the renewed belief in the weight of my choices, and an understanding that how I spend my days will inevitably, and irreversibly, shape how I spend my life.



January 7, 2021 /


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What’s up...?

Bouquets: • We have so many wonderful readers out there. I appreciate all of you, especially those who sent us holiday cards and donations over the past couple weeks. One card came from Malcolm and Pam (last names withheld to avoid embarassing them), with a very generous donation to the Reader. Thank you so much! We couldn’t do this without all of your support.

Barbs: • See my opinion piece on Page 9.

Dear editor, Whilst building the morning fire today, I happened to read Ben Olson’s “Happy [bleep] Year column from February 27, 2020. In it, Ben attacked one of my favorite pastimes (numerical palindromes), in addition to dismissing pseudo-science and conspiracy theories having to do with leap year bad luck. The column ended like this: “Though I don’t give any truck to conspiracy theories or pseudoscience, I am convinced this leap year will indeed live up to the hype and prove to be unlucky on all fronts. The best thing to do is hole up, drink whiskey and wait for 2021. Or 2121 – when, hope against hope – we’ll have survived ourselves, much less evolved out of silly calendar superstitions.” Seems to me the only ways

that Ben could have made that sweeping prediction involve either conspiracy theories or pseudoscience. How about it, Ben? Did you just for a moment channel Nostradamus? Or did you use your powerful government contacts to engage in a little insider-trading and buy Pfizer stock? And, while you’re at it, what’s going to happen to us this year? Happy New Year from your friend, Nancy Gerth Sagle

Publisher’s note: Gosh, after reading Nancy’s letter to the editor, I went back and re-read my column from Feb. 27, 2020 and agree with her wholeheartedly: I am some kind of supernatural prognosticator. Wading through the salty scraps and misanthropic

Hike Scotchman Peak’s winter wonderland By Reader Staff Hiking in wintertime is a rewarding experience in its own right, but once you get back home, warm food and a hot drink taste even better. The best part? For those who live near the Scotchman Peaks region, there’s no shortage of amazing places to explore. Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness has launched its winter hiking season and there are already plenty of outings to add to your schedule. The scheduled hikes provide a chance to explore the region’s wild backyard on snowshoe with fellow nature lovers. FSPW volunteers will be leading snowshoe hikes around Spar Lake, up Star Peak and in the Ross Creek Cedars. Visit scotchmanpeaks. org/hikes-events-schedule to keep an eye on upcoming hikes as we

A limited number of 2021 Community Garden plots will open for online reservation at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Intrepid North Idaho gardeners may begin gardening as early as they wish, once a plot has been reserved and paid for. For the fair-weather gardener, March and April are great months for soil prep. May is generally a safe bet 8 /


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Consider donating funds to area food banks… Dear editor, Food insecurity is a critical

Dave Niesen leads the way in a snowshoe hike from early 2020. Courtesy photo. add dates. You can count on hikes being fun, socially distanced and safe for everyone. As always, remember to dress warmly with good snow boots when hitting trails in wintertime. Visit scotchmanpeaks.org for more

information on all our upcoming winter events and exploring the Scotchmans.

Community Garden plots open for 2021 reservations By Reader Staff

statements of my column about leap year (of all things), I did indeed predict that 2020 would be “unlucky on all fronts.” This a mere three weeks before everything came crashing down due to COVID-19. In the spirit of soothsaying, I hereby announce the following predictions for 2021: I will win the Powerball jackpot and quit my job to tend to my private island living, an invention will cure stupidity once and for all, every mean-spirited a-hole will move away from Sandpoint after their first winter in town left them in tears, home prices will return to normal so even locals (gasp!) will be able to afford to live in Sandpoint and Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, will fall off a table, spraining her ankle while checking her committee room for bugs and listening devices. Take that, Nostradamus. – BO

to begin seeding or planting out tender varieties. A plot map, depicting available plots can be found on the Sandpoint Parks and Recreation online facilities catalog at secure.rec1.com/ID/ city-of-sandpoint/catalog. For questions or additional information, call the Sandpoint Parks and Rec. office at 208-263-3613. Plot fees are non-refundable: 4-foot by 8-foot plots are $25 each; 7-foot by 7-foot plots are

$30 each. The City of Sandpoint Community Garden is located within the Old Ninth Grade Center Park at Highway 2 and Boyer Avenue in Sandpoint.

issue in our country and our own community. People may ask the question, “What can I do to help?” We are fortunate that in Bonner County we have a dedicated group of people who work and volunteer at Bonner Community Food Banks both in Sandpoint and Priest River. They need our help to continue to provide needed items for struggling families. Many of us are receiving checks as part of the COVID Relief Bill. If you are a recipient that has the means and the heart to do so, consider donating all or part of these funds to the Bonner Community Food Banks. Each of us can make a difference and be part of the solution so that no child goes hungry in our community. Lynn Bridges Sandpoint


A dark day in our nation’s history As rioters breach the U.S. Capitol, democracy holds on by a thread

By Ben Olson Reader Staff As Reader staff members were preparing our first edition of 2021 before press time on Jan. 6, pro-Trump extremists in Washington, D.C. breached the U.S. Capitol building in what unfolded as one of the darker days in our nation’s history. To start with, I have always supported the right for Americans to protest and use their First Amendment rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Even when I do not personally agree with certain causes brought forward, I have always stood by their efforts as long as demonstrations are conducted in a peaceful, nonviolent manner. This was not the case in our nation’s Capitol on Wednesday. At least four people have lost their lives and, according to multiple news outlets including ABC and D.C. local News 10, at least two dozen law enforcement officers were injured in the melee that took place in D.C. The damage that has been done to the integrity of our nation will be measured for years to come. Let’s be clear about what caused this, or rather who caused it: President Donald J. Trump. After speaking to a rally in the morning hours, the president told those in attendance in very clear terms to “walk down to the Capitol” to protest what he has repeatedly — and falsely — claimed is an effort to “steal” the election. This followed months of stoking division and outlandish conspiracy theories in the months following his loss in the election, an effort that has so far resulted in 61 lost court cases and zero credible evidence offered to support his claims of widespread voter fraud. Blame does not lie squarely on the president’s shoulders, but is shared in part by House and Senate Republicans — including Idaho Reps. Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson, who both signed the amicus brief to overturn the election a few weeks ago. Also by elected officials such as Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz and the rest of the people duly elected by American voters who have degraded our Constitution with their insidious efforts to attempt a coup. In the morning hours, before the mob breached the Capitol, Fulcher appeared on Fox and Friends to speak about filing objections to the Electoral College vote count, telling Fox hosts that “this is going to be a monumental day in America’s history, make no mistake about it.” Hours later, after rioters pushed their way into the Capitol and a

woman was shot, Fulcher tweeted, “I will always respect our citizens’ First Amendment rights — and the rule of law. The violence seen today, and this past summer, is unacceptable. It does not move us closer to solutions.” Among a barrage of critical responses to Fulcher’s tweet, one user commented, “Clearly trying to thread the needle between, ‘well, you have to say something’ and remembering to not piss off the Alt Right white supremacists in Idaho...” Rep. Mike Simpson tweeted at noon, “We have a constitutional right to peaceful protests but the clashes with police and destruction of property must stop now. We can disagree in a better way.” Sen. Mike Crapo tweeted an hour later: “The violence we are seeing at the Capitol is wholly unacceptable. It must be stopped immediately and all perpetrators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law...” Sen. Jim Risch added a few minutes later: “This nonsense and violence needs to stop now.” These statements of disdain were all devoid of any share of accountability after months of stoking these actions into reality. I have never supported or condoned violence, whether it comes from the left or the right. I didn’t support it when rioting and looting occurred in the wake of the George Floyd protests this summer. I also didn’t support it when extremists led by Ammon Bundy broke windows and shoved their way into the Boise Capitol building to protest COVID-19 lockdowns. Insurrectionists supporting President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election — egged on by months of dangerous rhetoric by the president — swarmed the U.S. Capitol, eventually forced their way into the building. These Trump supporters quickly became rioters as they tussled with police officers, broke windows and illegally entered the building, shouting violently to law enforcement tasked with keeping the Capitol and its occupants safe. One woman was reportedly shot and died later in the evening. Right before press time, ABC announced one additional woman and two additional men had all died after “medical emergencies.” Two pipe bombs was also reportedly found near Capitol grounds, one each at Republican and Democratic National committee headquarters near the Capitol. Calling these people rioters is even a bit mild; domestic terrorists is more appropriate. Waving Trump flags, Gadsden flags and

calling law enforcement officers “traitors,” pro-Trump rioters gained access to the U.S. Senate floor as well as congressional offices, some of which were vandalized. Rioters occupied and took photos inside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office before looting and vandalizing. The scenes that unfolded on the morning of Jan. 6, as Congress began officially counting the Electoral College votes, looked more like scenes from a country in the throes of social and political collapse, with broken glass everywhere, angry mobs shouting for blood, law enforcement officers with guns drawn to protect members of Congress and flash bang grenades going off throughout the National Mall. The entire grounds resembled a war zone for hours until a 6 p.m. city-wide curfew went into effect and authorities began pushing rioters back from the building. Where was the president during all of this? He was reportedly hunkered down watching it all unfold on television — seeing the results of his years-long barrage of un-American rhetoric playing out in real time, meanwhile doubling and tripling down with tweets that again claimed the election was “stolen.” This could have been avoided months ago if he would have conceded the election instead of his baseless fight to overturn the results. Hours after the Capitol was breached, Trump released a video on Twitter which he began by claiming the election was “stolen from us,” but “you have to go home now, we have to have peace.” He also said it was a “fraudulent election,” and, “We love you, you’re very special.” He later tweeted, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” No, this is what happens when a delusional demagogue stokes anti-government feelings based on zero evidence for years. And I’m sorry, but “We love you”? The president loves an angry mob that actively and violently attacked the U.S. Capitol? “Patriots”? There’s a good reason that shortly after this video, Twitter flagged his tweet, claiming that it couldn’t be replied to, retweeted or liked “due to a risk of violence.” An hour later, Twitter completely locked the president’s account for 12 hours. There is no widespread voter fraud.

The courts have proved that, time and time again. The president and his supporters are intentionally dividing and inflaming the populace because his ego is too fragile to accept losing a free and fair election. This is the consequence of all of those who have enabled the president’s lies for too long. I know there are a lot of our readers who support the president. We are a nation of diverse opinions, and at our best we are able to communicate our different opinions in a mature, nonviolent manner. But we are not at our best right now. There comes a time when we have to embrace reality and realize that we have been manipulated by bad actors in our nation’s top offices. There comes a time when we have to give up the ghost and realize that we are fighting a battle with no path to victory, a battle which is weakening the honored tenets of our republic every day we allow the president to lie without challenge. For months, those on the far right have condemned angry mobs, rioting and looting, but where are those voices now, as our nation’s Capitol suffered an assault by an angry mob of Trump supporters? Almost four years ago the president stood on the Capitol steps at his inaugural address saying the era of “American carnage” was coming to an end. It’s come almost full circle at the end of his presidency that such carnage came to the very steps on which he stood four years ago — but by those who support him. This is not an authoritarian banana republic. This is the United States of America. It is incumbent on all of us — Democrat, Republican and otherwise — to condemn these attempts at a coup and stand behind our American institutions that are hanging by a thread right now. This is not a joke. This dangerous, misguided behavior is not “patriotic.” This is a disgusting example of how bad these authoritarian, fact-free policies and beliefs have rotted our nation from the inside out. Trump will no longer be president in fewer than two weeks, and we will pick up and move forward as a nation. It is my hope that cooler heads will prevail, that all of us can be proud of our nation again instead of horribly embarrassed by these violent, anti-democratic actions in the heart of our nation’s government. The events that unfolded today will reverberate throughout our history. It is my biggest hope that we can learn from this dark period of American history and come back from the edge before it’s too late. Additional reporting by Zach Hagadone. January 7, 2021 /


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Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

houseflies By Ben Olson Reader Columnist Editor’s note: Brenden Bobby is taking this week off, so Reader Publisher Ben Olson is filling in with a topic suggested by Kim Woodruff. It’s a quiet Saturday morning. The rest of the family is out for the day. Sounds of the outdoors are muted as you situate yourself on the couch under a blanket to read a book in rare solitude when you hear a distracting noise. Zzzt. ZzzzZZZZt. Zzzzt. Instead of relaxing with a book, the next 15 minutes are filled with wild swats at windows and lamps with a rolled up newspaper until, panting and sweating, you stand victorious over the squashed remains of a housefly. We’ve all been there, but what exactly are houseflies? How long do they live? And why are they always annoying us as they buzz around light fixtures and windows? Well, the truth is, we only have ourselves to blame. The common housefly has been around for more than 60 million years, possibly originating in the Middle East, but has since spread to every corner of the globe. Because they are attracted to food matter created by humans, houseflies and various species of fly are one of the most ubiquitous bugs on the planet — so prevalent that forensic investigators can even determine the approximate time of death in a human based on the development of fly larvae found on the corpse. Forensics have shown that certain species of fly are attracted to a corpse at certain stages of decomposition, so by recording 10 /


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which species are present, as well as the age and developmental stage of the maggots, observers can determine an accurate time and date of death. The only time this method isn’t useful is when the corpse is found in a rare place where flies don’t live, such as underwater. Flies are known to be commensal of humans, which means one species gains benefits while those of the other species neither benefit nor are harmed. But that’s not entirely accurate, since houseflies can spread diseases due to their proclivity for feeding on rotting food matter. But compared to insects like mosquitoes, which spread deadly diseases like malaria and dengue fever, houseflies are relatively harmless. They do come in contact with a range of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli, so they can aid the spread of these bacteria by contaminating food and cooking utensils. In other words, don’t smooch one on its proboscis. Houseflies have large compound eyes that can see virtually 360 degrees and they process visual information about seven times more quickly than humans, which is why they’re so darn hard to swat sometimes. Because of their reaction time, they essentially see human movements in slow motion, utilizing what’s called a higher flicker fusion rate. Their eyes are structured like a honeycomb containing 8,000 lenses, so good luck sneaking up on these little buggers. In a single second, the human brain processes about 60 images, while a fly can process around 250. Flies live on a liquid diet, using a flexible proboscis with an enlarged fleshy tip to suck up

fluids. To ingest solid objects, flies inject saliva into the food to break them down into liquid, and suck the loose particles up the proboscis like water. Flies even have taste organs located on the tips of their legs, so they can identify foods they like — such as sugars — just by walking over them. This is why you often see a fly rubbing its legs together, which is like a fly’s way of cleansing its palate between meals. Tiny claws at the end of each leg are paired with adhesive pads, which enable flies to walk up smooth walls and ceilings much like some species of lizards. The claws help unstick the leg for the fly to take its next step. Flies don’t live a particularly long time, with life cycles that last an average of 30 days. But, in that short time, they can lay up to 500 eggs, usually in batches of 75-150 each. Flies often lay their eggs in feces, rotting carcasses and decaying fruit to help preserve the larvae, or maggots, with something to eat when they hatch. Remember, every time you see a fly, it was recently rooting around in something nasty. Flies enter homes for a number of reasons, but they are drawn to windows simply because they want to escape. They’re often easier to swat when buzzing around a window because their senses are confused when encountering glass. Flies may have 8,000 lenses in their eyes, but they aren’t able to focus them, which is probably why they cannot see well enough to escape simple window glass. Some flies found in windows may not even be the common housefly, but a cluster fly, which looks similar but is

larger and makes a more ragged buzzing sound, flying in a sluggish manner. The best time to sneak up on a fly is after dark, as they rest at night, congregating on ceilings, beams and overhead wires when inside, or inside foliage or long grass if outdoors. For all of their annoying habits, houseflies play an important ecological role in breaking down and recycling organic matter. Housefly larvae are quite

nutritious for use as insect-based animal feed for farmed fish and livestock, and make great bait for anglers. In the 1970s, an aircraft modeler named Frank Ehling even constructed a miniature balsa-wood airplane powered completely by tethering live houseflies. Perhaps someday a fly-drawn carriage might arrive to buzz you downtown for a night on the town. Er, probably not. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner azon rainforest?

Don’t know much about the am • 9% of the Earth’s oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon rainforest represents more than half of the Earth’s rainforests. • During the past 40 years, about 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down. If the clearing reaches 25%, experts say there won’t be enough trees to cycle the moisture through the rainforest, causing it to dry out and eventually degrade into a savannah. • The Amazon rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years. • 1 in 10 known species in the world lives in the Amazon rainforest. More than 2,000 new species of plants and vertebrates have been discovered since 1999 alone. • A study in 1999 found 247 acres of Amazon rainforest can contain about 90,790 tons of living plants. • There are no bridges over the Amazon River. All crossings are conducted via ferries.

We can help!

• Amazonian butterflies drink turtle tears. The tears contain sodium, which is scarce in the Amazon. • The Amazon River discharges five times as much water as any other river on the planet. The discharge at the mouth is enough to fill 83 Olympic sized swimming pools every second. • As many as 60 tribes remain largely uncontacted in the Amazon, or live in voluntary isolation. • Iquitos, Peru is the largest city in the world inaccessible by road. It’s located deep in the Amazon rainforest and has a population of more than 400,000 people. • There is an “endless” wave called a pororoca that exists on the Amazon that surfers have salivated over for years. Every spring, around the equinox, a single huge wave surges from the Atlantic Ocean down the Amazon and its tributaries, running for hundreds of miles inland. The wave can reach heights of up to 15 feet and is usually brown because of all the sediment it contains.

It’s a new year, and we’re pleased to keep publishing photos of the week whenever we get good submissions from our readers. We consider any subject matter for photos of the week, but we always give precendence to pictures that are funny, colorful, outdoorsy, action-oriented or highlight a worthy cause. To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to ben@sandpointreader. com.

Top left: A fire on New Year’s Eve in Dover to bring fortune for 2021. Photo by Samantha Hellman. Top right: John Hagadone, 8, poses with some bones he found at Pine Street Woods. Hagadone enjoys his time at PSW with Kaniksu Land Trust’s instructional outings. Photo by Zach Hagadone. Middle: The Windbag Marina in Sandpoint, taken at just the right moment to take advantage of the sunset lighting. Photo by Guy Lothian. Middle: Cadie Archer enjoys a beer on the last run of the day on Schweitzer Mountain on New Year’s Eve. It was a day of fresh powder and sunshine – a pairing that is heartily enjoyed on Schweitzer. Photo by Ben Olson. January 7, 2021 /


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From the ground up Idaho Panhandle Habitat for Humanity builds its 22nd home, continues legacy of providing hope to families in need

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff


t’s a balmy 40-degree January morning in Sandpoint, and Dan Wimberly and his volunteer construction crew are hard at work building a Habitat for Humanity home for a local family in need. A peek inside the half-finished house on Sequoia Street reveals that the sounds of hammers on nails and boots on plywood is coming from five men, taking the occasional break to enjoy a sip of coffee or contemplate light switch placement. As president and construction coordinator for the Idaho Panhandle Habitat for Humanity affiliate, Wimberly can speak to why, exactly, these retirement-aged men are spending a weekday morning with tools in their hands. “After you retire, you think ‘I’m really bored, I need something to do,’” Wimberly joked. “But also, you look around at 12 /


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all these other nonprofits and you think, ‘Where could my skills be used?’ All of us said, ‘Habitat.’” The crew on that damp Tuesday morning consisted of volunteers from all walks of life — former marine engineer Don Hutton; Bob Bianchetti, who used to work in commercial real estate; and 86-year-old Dick Ensminger, an IPHFH volunteer since 2000, who was an aeronautical engineer before dedicating his time to carpentry. In the words of volunteer and retired contractor Jim Cornwall: “It takes all kinds.” Wimberly, who is retired from the Air Force and Boeing, said IPHFH is a flexible volunteer gig, with some workers being snowbirds who pitch in while they’re in Sandpoint during the warmer months. More than anything, the Habitat crew minces no words when

it comes to their work. “What we do is build houses,” Wimberly said. “It’s a bunch of guys. We’re not worried about tooting our own horn — we just do this.” How it works In order to receive a Habitat home, families must need housing, be employed, be willing to accept the publicity of owning an IPHFH home and “have enough income to support a small mortgage, but not enough to qualify for a conventional loan,” according to the affiliate’s website. The family that receives a Habitat home will be expected to contribute a certain number of hours of “sweat equity” into their house, as well as into other Habitat projects — 300 hours for a single parent, 500 hours for a couple. Once completed, the family buys the

home from IPHFH at 0% interest and makes mortgage payments that also cover estimated property taxes and insurance costs for the year. An applicant family has already been selected for the home currently under construction — IPHFH’s 22nd home, which has seen some delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and the single mom who will receive it spends her Saturdays helping the crew to earn her hours. Those families — who put themselves out there and are willing to put in the work to make their Habitat home a reality — are who inspire Wimberly’s crew to volunteer their skills and time. “It’s because of the kids,” Cornwall said. “They need to have a decent place to live in order to have a better chance at being successful in life.”

Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert. Building her family’s future Christine Poulin said her future was clear until a spinal cord injury changed her life forever. “I thought my whole life was planned out,” she said. “I knew what kind of house I could afford, what my pension would be — and then this happened, and everything went off the rails.” After leaving an unsafe living situation, Poulin — who now uses a wheelchair to get around — found herself in a home that was not handicap accessible and lacked adequate space for her family. She said she slept on the couch in the living room for six years. Still, she was thankful.

< see HOUSE, page 13 >

< HOUSE, con’t from page 12 >

“It was not a great situation that we gram. had to leave, so I was grateful that the “I remember painting the window kids were safe, and I was safe,” she said. sills in what would become the little At the suggestion of a mentor, girl’s room, and I remember thinking, Poulin applied for a home through ‘She’s going to go to this window sill IPHFH. In the spring of 2015, she got and I painted this for her,’” Poulin said. the news: she and her children would “It’s that spirit of giving forward and receive a Habitat home in Schissler that spirit of participating in your own Meadows, a development in Kooteblessing.” nai named for affiliate founder Mike Schissler, a much loved local builder Keeping the cycle going who passed away in 2002 at age 47 Idaho Panhandle Habitat for Humanafter a long battle with cancer. ity relies on donations of both money “I sometimes still have a hard time and volunteer time to make affordable wrapping my head around it, I do — housing a reality in Bonner County. that I can wake up in my own bedroom The affiliate’s ReStore, located at and I can look out and see Schweitzer 1519 Baldy Park Road in Sandpoint, and I can say … I’m paying for this,” sells donated home improvement maPoulin said. terials, with profits benefiting construcPoulin invested tion of new Habitat her share of sweat homes. Financial do“What we do is build equity and then nations can be mailed some, working with to P.O. Box 1191, houses. It’s a bunch of Wimberly and his Sandpoint, ID 84864, guys. We’re not worried crew to accomplish or made online at tasks adapted to her iphfh.org. Wimberly about tooting our own abilities: filling in said IPHFH is always horn – we just do this.” nail holes, painting, in need of “people – Dan Wimberly learning about how in excavation” to to place electrical help develop land for wiring, baking treats for the volunteers future homes, and that his crew will and more. welcome anyone who has a skill. “The thing that was so awesome was “We can also use people that don’t that I was participating in building my have a skill,” he said. “We’ll teach family’s future,” she said. “I wasn’t just them.” an observer — I was participating, and Community members can also help I think in doing that, there was more by spreading the word to local families investment in the home. I feel like this whose story could be changed with the is something I helped build.” help of IPHFH. Poulin also helped with the Habitat “If there’s anybody that thinks that home under construction before hers, they need a safe home, and they’re willpaying it forward as part of the proing to work really hard for it and they

Top left: Don Hutton, left, Dan Wimberly, right, discuss lighting placement in the Habitat home currently under construction. Top right: Dick Ensminger prepares to install ducting for bathroom fans. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert.

want to meet some amazing individuals who — you’ll love them for a lifetime — then this is definitely the place to apply,” Poulin said. She emphasized that the chance to work with Wimberly’s crew is an experience unlike any other, calling the volunteers her “favorite people in the whole world.” “Their hearts and their skills — you’re not going to find better people,” she said.

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Winter Ecology Class in planned for Libby area By Reader Staff Venture into the wintery landscape for a relaxed, safe-space day studying the interactions of plants, organisms and aquatic habitats. Participants in the Winter Ecology Class, sponsored by the Libby Hostel Base Camp and set to take place Saturday, Jan. 16 in the Libby, Mont., area, will include winter birding, winter botany, and the science and art of animal tracking and sign interpretation. The small group, which will meet at 9 a.m. (Mountain Time) at Riverfront Park in Libby, will be limited to eight participants who will visit private land sites, roadside locations, birding viewpoints, and riverside and creek habitats. Participants will explore diverse locations by caravaning in their own vehicles, stopping and hopping out at roadside stops, and taking a few short walks or mini-hikes of less than one mile round trip. During the day, the class will also briefly discuss the history of David Thompson and the Salish-Kootenai in the area.

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The class will be led by an instructor with more than 43 years of field experience in forestry, wildlife research and land surveying, and more than 20 years of teaching outdoor educational classes. Riverfront Park is located where Highway 37 begins to cross the bridge in Libby, Mont. There are blue and white signs to the turnoff before you cross the bridge heading up towards Eureka. Organizers ask that participants meet under the large timber frame shelter and that they arrive with a full gas tank; water; lunch; appropriate layers and boots for the weather; hats and gloves; binoculars; cameras; and any bird, track and plant field guide books they might have. Snowshoes are recommended, in case of deeper snows. Wrap up time will be approx. 3 p.m. (MST). For more information and to register, email b_baxter53@yahoo. com or call 406-291-2154. For more information on the Libby Hostel Base Camp, visit libbyhostelbasecampairbnb.com.

A Nordic goal reached

Generous XC ski enthusiasts and SKIATHON help Sandpoint Nordic Club reach 2020 matching grant goal

By Reader Staff The Sandpoint Nordic Club this fall received a matching grant proposal from a local foundation, to match a raise of $10,000. The club knew it might be tough to raise that kind of money in a year during which the pandemic created many empty pocketbooks. Nordic Club board members and supporting parents of skiers contributed to raising funds to meet the match, as the need for youth skis, scholarships and youth coaching increases significantly every year. The goal was to reach the $10,000 mark by Dec. 31, 2020 and what a happy New Year’s Eve it was — not only with the matching goal reached, but surpassed by another $2,000. Close

to 100 individuals donated to the goal during the fall and, on Dec. 30, the Sandpoint Nordic youth Race and Devo teams completed the first ever “Skiathon,” in which nine skiers were sponsored to ski a total of 114 kilometers and raised more than $2,000 to add toward the match. “SNC wants to say a big thank you to all donors and supporters of

Sandpoint Nordic Club members show their thanks at Pine Street Woods. Photo courtesy Sandpoint Nordic Club. the Nordic community,” the club wrote in a news release. “It is with great thanks to volunteer efforts, donations and participation from the community that we are able to provide groomed XC ski trails, programs and low cost rental equipment for youth and adults.”


Eating for good luck all year long Keep ringing in the new year with foods to bring on the best in 2021

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Unpopular opinion: I’m not a super big fan of most of what we eat during the holidays. I like turkey and all the trimmings, but it’s more to do with ritual and nostalgia than actual preference. I’ll eat turkey sandwiches all year long, but there are some pretty darn long odds of me cooking a full bird and chowing down on stuffing in, say, mid-August. Combine that with the general freight — financial, emotional and physical — that comes with the weeks between mid-November and Dec. 31, and that’s a lot of stress eating of buttery meat. All this is to say that New Year’s Eve and its accompanying day after is high in the running for my favorite holiday — I love its secularism and freedom from dubious history, its mingling of self-reflection and celebration, and its better-than-average food and drink. Given all that, it doesn’t seem fair that Thanksgiving and Christmas — the latter especially — get to eat up weeks on the calendar while New Year’s is essentially one and done. This year, more than most, feels like we need to lean on as much celebration and superstition as we can to launch us clear of the events of the past 53 or so weeks — and really the events going all the way back to 2016. In that spirit, I’m going to eat good-luck foods at least through the end of this month, stretching out the hope and celebration of the new year for as long as possible.

Pork Pigs have long been symbols of prosperity and good luck for the new year — the obvious, though frankly grim, reasons for this being that they are fat and tasty, and the ownership and slaughter of them by humans has always been highly beneficial to the humans. Another reason, which I find compelling, is that while barnyard animals like chickens and sheep dig backward with their hindlegs, pigs are ever and always rooting forward — an earthy reminder to do as Winston Churchill recommended and “keep buggering on.” For 2020 New Year’s Day I cooked a 2.3-pound pork loin, rubbed in olive oil; spicy English mustard; and salt, pepper, rosemary, parsley, garlic powder and a few pinches of crushed basil; then wrapped it with strips of bacon and drizzled with honey. Cover it with foil in a deep glass baking dish, then bake it at 325 degree Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half, slice it up and serve. Fish Alongside pigs, fish also have old associations with abundance and, according to some sources, our finned friends are likewise known for their perpetual forward motion. There are too many ways to prepare fish to mention here, so I will stand up for one of my favorite ways to consume ichthyoids, which almost no one else likes: pickled and/or tinned. As it turns out, preserved fish have a proud place in new year cuisine. Scandanavian peoples, in particular, traditionally eat pickled herring, in particular, to mark the

Free caregiver workshop

By Reader Staff Do you take care of someone with memory loss and live in a rural area? Have recent months left you stressed and isolated? The University of California, San Francisco is offering a free online workshop to help rural caregivers. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health. The workshop includes training on how to reduce stress, manage

the difficult behaviors of your friend or family member with memory loss, and plan for the future. You will also get support from other caregivers and trained staff. Because it is online, the workshop is accessible to caregivers whenever they want it, day or night, accessed on computer, tablet or smartphone. Caregivers are eligible if they live in a rural area, care for

turn of the calendar — the dish symbolizing hopes for a robust catch and drawing on the preserved stock of fish meant to tide folks over during the long dark of a far northern winter. I like to put pickled herring on squares of toasted rye bread or English muffin bread, topped with a spritz of lemon and some cracked pepper. I also love a sandwich of sardines, spicy mustard and arugula.

Cabbage In large part because of Americans’ immigrant history, cabbage often gets a bad rap as a low-rent vegetable whose boiled stink filled the stereotypical cramped hallways of 19th-century tenement buildings. True enough, cabbage has been a staple food for poor people for a long time, but that also means it’s a crop whose abundance can be relied on, making it a good-luck food that even my soon-to-be 6-year-old daughter enjoys eating raw. I, too, like to munch on raw cabbage — particularly in a salad of mixed greens and dressed with balsamic glaze (not vinegar, because it’s too runny). I’m an even bigger fan of sauerkraut, though, and that too is an aged traditional new year food in central and eastern Europe. As with pickled fish, sauerkraut combines the hopes for a healthy upcoming harvest and celebrates the foresight to lay in a stock of preserved sustenance for the winter. Escargots OK, this might just be in my house, but this year we decided to bring snails into the pantheon

someone with memory loss, have internet access and provide care for at least 10 hours per week. Those who participate will be asked to complete four surveys on their caregiving experiences and will receive up to $80 in compensation. For information, go online to caregiverproject.ucsf.edu and complete an eligibility survey, or call toll-free 1-833-634-0603 or email caregiverproject@ucsf.edu.

of our good-luck foods. I was embarrassingly old when I first tasted escargots, which happened about three years ago on a visit to Montreal, Quebec. There I had it served on a bed of paper-thin sliced jambon (ham) and lacy strips of parmesan. To introduce my kids to snails, I sauteed three or four diced cloves of garlic with a hefty handful of diced crimini mushrooms, juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper, and rosemary, then dropped in the snails. I used a can

A feast of pork loin wrapped in bacon, served with mashed potatoes, escargots and pickled herring on toast. Photo by Zach Hagadone. of one dozen snails (no shells), drained them and patted them dry before cooking and serving on a crostini with grated parmesan. As for their significance to celebrating the new year, I’ve decided snails are lucky because they’re slow and steady, and we all know that wins the race.

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Screen print your own T-shirts at home Embrace 2021 by learning new artistic media By Ben Olson Reader Staff

A common lament among those who feel the need to express themselves artistically is having a lack of inspiration, as well as a lack of time to create. We can’t help free up more hours in your days, but hopefully this and future articles about learning new media will spur an idea or two to help inspire artists to continue creating. This week’s article focuses on creating own screen printed T-shirts at home. Stay tuned to future editions of the Reader for more artistic instructionals. If you’ve ever seen a unique T-shirt design and wondered if you could make your own someday, you can. It’s actually quite easy once you learn the proper techniques to silkscreen printing. There are a few different methods to employ when screen printing but here we’ll discuss the stencil method, in which an artist creates a reusable stencil to print an identical image on multiple objects, usually clothing. If you are adept with computer graphics programs, look into

screen printing using photo emulsion; but, for now, this is the quick and dirty way to make unique clothing. If you’re mass-producing shirts, or have mastered the stencil method, by all means hone your skills using photo emulsion printing. The following method, however, is the easiest DIY style to embrace. You’ll only need a few supplies: a screen printing frame and mesh screen, fabric ink, a transparent sheet of plastic, an X-Acto knife, masking tape, a scraper, an iron, a few pieces of cardboard and some T-shirts. Artists can purchase pre-made screen printing frames at art stores (aluminum frames last longer than wood), but if you’d like to build your own, simply purchase a cheap canvas stretcher wooden frame and some mesh to let the ink bleed through onto the cotton shirt. For a classic “athletic” look that is more worn/speckled, shoot for a loose 85-mesh count. For a “do-it-all” mesh, aim for a mesh count between 110-130. For fine printing on paper or plastic, mesh counts of 200-250 work best. Pull the mesh tight and staple

Lost Horse Press poetry title longlisted for 2021 PEN in translation category By Reader Staff Lost Horse Press is thrilled to announce that a title from its Contemporary Ukrainian Poetry Series — A New Orthography by Serhiy Zhadan — has been selected for the longlist for the 2021 PEN Literary Award for Poetry in Translation. The local publishing company extends its congratulations to the author, Zhadan; translators Ostap Kin and John Hennessy; and series editor Grace Mahoney. The 2021 PEN America Literary Awards will confer more $380,000 to writers and translators. “Spanning fiction, nonfic16 /


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tion, poetry, biography, essay, science writing, translation and more, these longlisted books are dynamic, diverse and thought-provoking examples of literary excellence,” wrote PEN officials in their announcement of the longlist. Finalists for all PEN book awards will be announced in February 2021. To order a copy of A New Orthography from Lost Horse Press, visit the online catalog at losthorsepress.org, or contact LHP’s distributor, the University of Washington Press, at 800-537-5487 or email hfscustserv@press.jhu.edu. The University of Washington Press’ online catalog is washington. edu/uwpress.

it to the frame. You want it as tight as possible without ripping. Buy extra mesh if you’re clumsy. Stretch the mesh across the frame and staple every inch or so. To create a stencil, sketch a simple shape or outline on drafting paper and, once you’ve got your design in mind, get started making a reusable stencil. Stenciling can seem odd at first, as you are removing the “positive” parts of the design (i.e. anywhere you cut out will allow ink to bleed onto the shirt). We recommend contact paper or hard plastic transparency slides like teachers used with overhead projectors years ago, as they can get wet and be reused. Do not use paper – it will curl when wet and won’t hold up even after the first use, ruining the design. When designing a stencil, remember not to be too intricate. The smaller the openings, the less likely a defined bit of ink will transfer through. Also, only one ink color can be used at a time, so if you’re interested in creating multi-colored T-shirts, you’ll have to do further research on your own. Trace the design onto the transparency sheet and use an X-Acto knife to cut out wherever you’d like the ink to appear on the shirt. When finished, take the sheet and place it on the mesh frame on the outside of the frame (the part that

will be placed against the T-shirt). Hold it up to the light and make sure everything looks as you want it to look on the shirt, because this will be how it transfers. Make sure it isn’t backwards — especially if you have incorporated words into the design. Block any other parts of the mesh screen that aren’t covered by the transparency sheet with masking tape (this avoids any ink leaking through) and you’re ready to get started. Take your preferred color of fabric screen printing ink (remember to use light ink on dark shirt colors and vice versa for better contrast) and a special screen printing squeegee that spreads the ink evenly on the mesh screen. Prepare T-shirts by inserting cardboard between the front and back of the shirt to avoid ink bleeding through the back of the shirt. Lay out the shirt and place the frame with the design taped onto the mesh screen where you’d like it to appear on the shirt. Spread a small amount of ink on the mesh and use the squeegee to evenly coat the screen with ink. There is an art to this technique — too much pressure bleeds ink through the stencil and sometimes gets messy; too little pressure doesn’t transfer enough ink, but also gives a more “distressed” look. Just be sure to use enough ink.

Tools of the trade include frame with mesh, fabric ink, squeegee, X-Acto knife, masking tape and media to create stencils. Courtesy photo. Once the ink has been transferred, carefully (and quickly) peel the frame off the shirt and let the shirt dry to the touch, then use a spare piece of fabric over the inked portion and iron this to “heat seal” the design. After it is dry to the touch, put the shirt in the dryer and the ink will remain on the shirt indefinitely. Artists can screen print multiple shirts at a time with a wet screen, just take care not to smudge the ink when placing the frame on a new shirt. When finished with the run of shirts with this stencil, simply spray the frame, mesh and transparency sheet stencil with water until the ink has been washed away and allow the pieces to dry. Without a thorough cleaning afterward, mesh screens will harden and won’t be able to be reused. Start simple with your first design and, after learning the techniques, work on more intricate designs for your next ones. Once a shirt is dry, you can use another stencil on top of it with different colors, or you can experiment mixing colors onto one stencil. The sky’s the limit.


Words to abolish in 2021 Too many of the words we used in 2020 need to be shown the door By Zach Hagadone, Lyndsie Kiebert and Ben Olson Reader Staff Far be from us, of all people, to remotely suggest impoverishing or even diminishing the English language, but some words — especially this year — we can’t wait to see the back of. We selected these words because of their rank partisanship and divisiveness, their blinkered anti-scientism and, in many cases, simply for their overuse. Believe us, we get just as sick of hearing (and writing) some of these words as you do. And there were many, many more we could have included in this list. Regardless, here’s hoping for a better nomenclature in the year to come. Zoom I get it that remote conferencing is an essential part of our “new normal” (see below), but I’m sick to the teeth of saying it. “Let’s Zoom”; “What time should we Zoom?”; “I just Zoomed with s/ he”; “Come to my Zoom happy hour.” Aside from the ubiquitousness of this word right now, which is grating in itself, it just sounds so… silly. I feel the same way about Twitter and Tweet and Insta and FB and DM and Google and a host of other tech babble terms that sound like they came from the offices of Boss Baby. And, no, I don’t have an alternative; I’m just sick of Zooming to nowhere. ‘New normal’/‘normalcy’/‘normality’ The only constant is change, people, so there is no such thing — and never has been — as “normal.” Suggesting that there’s a state of existence that is “normal” is dumb in the first place; to extend that into the notion that there can be a “new” version of such a state falsely chops up all human history into periods of discreet “normalness,” or “normalcy,” as too many people like to say. First of all, that latter word only gained popularity, if you can call it that, when one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, Warren G. Hard-

ing, uttered it in his 1920 campaign — promising Americans a “return to normalcy” after World War I. See how that worked out? As for “normality,” it just sounds like an awkward attempt to sound smart, like people who refer to Americans as “Usonians.” Covidiot This word does no one any favors. A cousin to the term “snowflake,” the moment this term enters a conversation that conversation is over. I’ll grant that it’s somewhat clever, and while I have no evidence of this, I’m almost positive it had its inception in the primordial ooze of Twitter; that is to say, it’s too cute by half. It’s also just mean. Think: “libtard,” and you’re on the right track to understanding how toxic this word is. — Zach Hagadone WFH The shorthand for “work from home” needs to be abolished simply because the novelty of working from home has worn off. According to an October Gallup poll, about half of the American workforce does at least some of their job from home, and about two-thirds of remote workers plan to continue working from home. At this point, the qualifier is pointless — we are all just working. The “WFH” acronym was always off-putting and now essentially useless. Maskne Acne caused by frequent mask-wearing is just an unfortunate reality made at least 10 times more unfortunate by the invention of a cute mash-up word to define

it. I just know this one was born from the depths of beauty influencer Instagram hell. Grab some salicylic acid, treat those pimples and continue masking up — just keep the English language out of it. Karen I’ve cringed and rolled my eyes each time someone has called a woman a “Karen” during the past year to describe, according to the internet, “an obnoxious, angry, entitled and often racist middle-aged white woman who uses her privilege to get her way or police other people’s behaviors.” I know a lot of nice women named Karen and I hate to know what 2020 has done to their self-worth. Can we go back to calling entitled white women other trusted pejorative terms? — Lyndsie Kiebert

Sheeple Anyone who uses the term “sheeple” to describe a cowed, compliant public willing to do anything their government asks of them is tipping their hand, so to speak. It’s not a straight flush or a three of a kind they’re holding either, but a two of clubs, a joker card, a coupon for 20% off a gallon jug of mayonnaise, a Magic the Gathering card and a photograph of what they believe is chemtrails. Fake news This has got to be the most overused, corrosive term ever to come out of President Donald Trump’s tenure in office. It’s a catch-all ejector seat phrase used by those who are lacking in intelligence. Instead of addressing the question or the issue, those who utter “fake news” when faced with a tough question or issue are attempting to alter reality to fit their

own fantasy world where the news is fake, but only if you don’t agree with what it’s telling you. Personal responsibility This overused euphemism has become a darling for those who believe the pandemic to be fake or overblown. Like many euphemisms, having “personal responsibility” sounds like an honorable goal. If only more of us actually practiced what we preached. In resisting mask mandates or lockdown ordinances, many claim that people should have the “personal responsibility” to defy social distancing guidelines, not wear a mask and infect whomever they wish. In their view, if you don’t like it, stay home. The problem is that there is very little personal responsibility in openly defying laws you don’t believe in, spreading false information and subscribing to a worldview that is at odds with reality. — Ben Olson January 7, 2021 /


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events January 7-14, 2021

THURSDAY, January 7 FriDAY, January 8


Kaniksu Health Services breaks ground on new clinic

Live Music w/ Nick Wiebe of Weibe Jammin Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery 7:30-9:30pm @ The Back Door Good wine, food and live music Sandpoint blues fusion artist Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness winter hikes (Jan. 8, 10, 23, 29) @ Star Peak Free hikes let by FSPW volunteers. Check website for future hike dates.

SATURDAY, January 9

Live Music w/ Dallas Kay 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Spokane-based acoustic set playing favorite oldies, country, alternative and originals

Live Music w/ Chris Lynch 7:30-9:30pm @ The Back Door Sing us a song, piano man!

SunDAY, January 10

Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am

Piano Sunday w/ Tom Pletscher 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Jazz and original compositions

monDAY, January 11

Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant ““Stem Cells: The Miracle Cure You May Be Missing Out On.”

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

tuesDAY, January 12 wednesDAY, January 13

ThursDAY, January 14

Live Trivia 5:30-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Trivia like you’ve never played it before. Play solo or bring a team. Prizes

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By Reader Staff Three of the five Kaniksu Health Services clinic locations will soon be combined into one, purpose-built clinic. Designed to be more focused on health care integration and the patient experience, the new 26,200-square-foot Victoria McClellan King Memorial Clinic will be located on a 2.66-acre site to the east of Super One Foods in Sandpoint. Clinic officials anticipate this centrally located site will provide easy access for residents of Bonner County as well as keep the close proximity to the hospital that is vital for pediatric support. Patients will be able to access the clinic via foot, bicycle, automobile, spot bus or just about any mode of transportation available. The Ponderay, Sandpoint Pediatric and VA clinics are all currently operating with limited space and parking, and a combined clinic, with fully integrated services, is hoped to benefit Kaniksu’s patients and the community as a whole. Funding for the project was procured by Joe Williams at Columbia Bank in conjunction with area specialists from the United States Department of Agriculture, which has a low-interest funding arm for rural projects. This will result in significant savings annually by consolidating multiple commercial leases into one low-interest mortgage payment, allowing more dollars to be invested into patient care.

This rendering of the Kaniksu Health Services Victoria McClellan King Clinic may or may not reflect final design and construction elements. Courtesy d’Zine Group Architecture.

The state-of-the-art facility will allow for full integration of Kaniksu’s family practice, pediatric, dental, behavioral health and VA services. The community focused design will also allow for spaces for group and nutrition classes, community presentations and more. Committed to utilizing local talent for this project, Kaniksu Health Services has spent the past five years working with local developers, engineering and land surveying companies. The project, which was recently open to bid as per loan guidelines, will be built by Spokane-based Meridian Construction. “We are excited to fully integrate patient care by joining our family medicine, pediatric, dental, behavioral health and VA teams together on one main campus”, said Kaniksu Health CEO Kevin Knepper. “Having all of our health care services together in this way creates ease of access for our patients and efficient service deliveries for our clinical teams,” Knepper stated. “Kaniksu will memorialize the legacy of former CEO, Victoria McClellan King, whose leadership was foundational in the health center’s evolution, by naming the new clinic in her honor.” Kaniksu Health Services broke ground for the new clinic in November 2020 with an approximate opening date in the fall of 2021.


Doomsday films that live a world apart By Ben Olson Reader Staff Stories of end times for humankind have been around for millennia. Likewise, generations of moviegoers have flocked to flicks depicting various apocalyptic scenarios. Whether they’re drawn to classics of the genre like Planet of the Apes, Dr. Strangelove and Blade Runner, or prefer more recent takes on doomsday like Waterwold, 12 Monkeys, The Postman, Armageddon or Mad Max Fury Road, this genre’s well runs quite deep. Here are a few of my favorites in post-apocalyptica that skirt the edges of the genre in an attempt to breathe new life into the end. Children of Men (2006) Decades of human infertility have left society on the verge of collapse. Meanwhile, asylum seekers flock to the UK in search of sanctuary, but are placed in cages by a police state unable to come to terms with the collapsing world.

Clive Owen plays a former activist-turned-burnt out-everyman caught in the middle of the unrest, as he is asked to aid a refugee to safety when she suddenly — and miraculously — becomes the first woman to become pregnant in two decades. There is a gritty, cosmopolitan veneer to this film, depicting end times not as a series of explosions and Hollywood catch phrases, but a contemplative attempt to find the humanity when all around you have lost theirs. The Road (2009) In this excellent adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book about a man and his son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, Viggo Mortensen’s chemistry with on-screen son Kodi SmitMcPhee still forms a lump in my throat. His fight against a dying world to make sure his son lives on is both realistic and terrifying, especially when coming to terms with what mankind will be like at the end. After an unnamed global cataclysm triggers an extinction

End of days By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff When Netflix hits me with a show descriptor containing words like “deadpan” and “cynical,” count me in. I’m a slave to the algorithm like all of us. The “Netflix comedy event” titled Death to 2020 delivers on every blackhearted front. To wit, I laughed like a loon in bitter tones that drew my family into my benighted home office several times, just to be sure I wasn’t having a stroke. Not yet… not yet. This is a mockumentary, but we may have finally reached post-post-modernism, in so far as mockumentary is better than documentary. In our “post-truth” era, this fake-truth carnival of temporal horrors has all the “truthiness,” as Stephen Colbert famously put it back in the G.W. Bush regime, of, well, truth itself. Samuel L. Jackson, portraying a fictional journalist, serves as one of the key talking heads around

event, father and son scavenge for supplies and head to the coast where it will hopefully be warmer, but roaming gangs and other dystopian characters lurking amid the rubble challenge them along the way. There is a subdued tone to this film that perfectly matches that dark western gothic cadence that is McCarthy’s style. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012) This film starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley sets the tone immediately when Carell’s character and his wife are sitting in a car together listening to a radio broadcast about an asteroid headed for Earth. After the broadcast, the wife takes one look at her husband, contemplates the future for a second, flings open the door and bolts at top speed with no goodbye or explanation. That sets up Carell’s character to meet a stranger (Knightley), who becomes, well, exactly what the title suggests. This is one of the first times I’ve watched a dooms-

day film that tried to honestly portray what social life would be like if such an event were to be announced. It avoided some of the most common tropes and instead showcased a strange 11th-hour relationship developing between two unlikely companions before the end of times. This is the End (2013) Some like Seth Rogen. Some despise him. I’m ambivalent, but he did succeed in his directorial debut with Evan Goldberg in creating an end-of-the-world comedy that was unlike anything before it. Filled with cameos of the Judd Apatow/Seth Rogen crew of ne’erdo-wells who all play themselves, the story takes place when Jay Baruchel arrives to visit Rogen and ends up tagging along to a housewarming party hosted by James Franco. When Baruchel and Rogen step out for a moment, beams of blue light stream from the sky and start sucking random people into the void. Then an earthquake strikes and the partygoers scram-

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road. Courtesy image. ble outside to see that a sinkhole has swallowed L.A., which is apparently unharmed except for Franco’s house. End of the world hilarity ensues, with the highlight being a coked out Michael Cera’s roundhouse kick of a performance that had me in stitches.

Netflix mockumentary Death to 2020 is as hilarious as it is desperately dark

which the show revolves. From the outset, he questions, rightly, the purpose of such a retrospective enterprise of 2020; the “year so momentous they named it twice,” as narrator Laurence Fishburne puts it. “Why in the fuck would you want to do that?” Jackson asks. Why indeed? The pervading mood of this hour-plus-long chronicle of human wreckage, stupidity, mendacity and cupidity is weariness, tinged with sublimated rage and a giddy kind of absurdity. It’s “the definitive story of the most historic year in history,” Fishburne intones as Jackson kicks off the chronicle of pain, starting with the 2020 meeting of world leaders at Davos, Switzerland — the “Coachella for billionaires,” he says, keynoted by Greta Thunberg, a “teenage girl who’s famous even though everything she says is depressing.” Other pop culture moments are brought up, laughed at, and set back down — such as Prince Har-

ry and Megan Marckle moving to the U.S. to escape prejudice (because, America is a place “where race has never been an issue at all,” Fishburne states flatly) — but the vast majority of Death to 2020 turns on the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 election and the messy götterdämmerung of the Trump administration. Teeing off on the presidential race, Fishburne’s narrator set the stage for the election bringing together such contenders as “president and experimental pigman Donald Trump,” “prehistoric concierge” and “Civil War hero” Joe Biden, and “anarchist grandpa” Bernie Sanders. Kitted up with tweeds, tortoiseshell glasses and a unkempt, wispy “mad professor” hair, Hugh Grant’s historian character, “Tennyson Foss,” says in offhanded fashion, “Polarization is the problem of our age, and not just in America, in the actual world, too.” Meanwhile, Leslie Jones, as a psychologist who spends the entire

show sitting at a bar with a glass of whiskey in hand, puts a finer point on the American mood, with “shit-nose extremists” and their “clown house reality” on the right vs. “whiny wokelords” who cancel each other for “daring to take a dump at the wrong time of day.” All this polarization feeds into the paralytic response to COVID-19, which “even as it inches towards them, millions persist in going about their every day lives,” Fishburne says with a note of tired disbelief. Referring to COVID-19 denial and disbelief, Jones’ psychologist sums up the central factor: “We’re fucking imbeciles.” Alongside Jackson, Grant and Jones, we spend some time with Queen Elizabeth II (played wonderfully by Tracy Ullman), a suburban soccer mom who doesn’t seem to be aware that she’s been radicalized as a white nationalist, a brilliant scientist whose nuanced explanations of COVID-19 are ignored by the filmmakers them-

selves, an insufferable social media influencer who has leveraged all the crises of the year to benefit his brand, a shady billionaire who also has profited off the human misery of 2020 and a Kellyanne Conway-esque White House spox (Lisa Kudrow) whose gaslighting is positively blinding. Joking about the awfulness of 2020 does get old, and will only get more hackneyed as we sail on into 2021; even these comedians — some of the finest in a generation — couldn’t get past the seriousness of some of the gags they were running. The George Flloyd protests and Black Lives Matter marked moments of seriousness and genuine pain in Death to 2020. Likewise, the mounting rage at the Trump administration’s assault on democracy following the election felt all too real. Regardless, it’s a laugh-outloud retrospective that gleefully hammers all the final nails in the year’s coffin. January 7, 2021 /


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Studio 1 Dance Academy expands offerings Rhythmic gymnastics, prop handling and acrobatics classes now available to local youth

By Reader Staff Deanna Benton, a 30-year veteran of competitive gymnastics, recently joined Studio 1 Dance Academy in Sandpoint, expanding

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its programming to include rhythmic gymnastics, prop handling and acrobatics classes for students 5-18 years old. A full complement of classes began Jan. 5, with beginner level classes on Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and intermediate/advanced combo classes on either Wednesdays or Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Contact Studio1 Dance Academy at 208-610-1944 for more information or to register. Rhythmic gymnastics uses the props of balls, clubs, hoops, ribbons and ropes to create beautiful dance-based routines while manipulating the props and includes less modified tumbling and acrobatics. Prop handling can involve a

variety of other objects such as canes, hats, veils, fans, swords and more. Acrobatics involves two or more participants executing lifts, balances, tosses, tumbling and some dance elements. The program offers three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginner level students must be a mature age 5. Intermediate and advanced level prerequisites are minimum of age 6 and must pass a skills test. Instructor Deanna Benton has been involved in various styles of gymnastics and acrobatics for more than 30 years. She was a high school and USA Gymnastics competitive gymnast, competed at the NCAA collegiate level and had

training under NCAA and Olympic-level artistic and rhythmic coaches. Benton has instructed recreational classes for many years; been an artistic director for a dance/gymnastics show troupe; a choreographer for community theaters; and has state, regional and national level qualifiers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as well as award winners â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to her credit. Benton has also performed on stage for several community theaters, dance theater companies and at the National Spotlight Dance championships. Studio 1 is located at 521 Cedar St. Learn more at studio1sandpoint.com.


The pipes, the pipes are galling Adventures in trying to learn a seemingly impossible instrument

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Over the past 30 or so years I’ve been playing music — which began with recording fart sounds on my Casio SK1 — I seem to have acquired a small rogue’s gallery of some of the least universally loved instruments. It started with the saxophone, which I played on alto in my elementary and middle school years, followed by tenor from freshman year of high school until I drifted away from it during my junior year of college. A few years later, following an offhand comment to my mom, I received a lovely little blue and white 12-button Marotta accordion — dubbed “Pearl” and a frequent guest around backyard fires. Most recently I acquired an autoharp, which I was just starting to get the hang of before its ancient chord bar fell off, and, the pièce de résistance, unwrapped a set of bagpipes on Christmas Day 2020. To be clear: I am profoundly mystified by the bagpipes. Unlike those other instruments, which make some basic intuitive sense in terms of their operations, I can barely even hold the bagpipes. When I do pick them up, it’s with the awkwardness of a man trying to handle an enormous dead jellyfish with harpoon shafts sticking out of it. When I put my mouth on the blowpipe — a term that sounds disturbingly organic — it feels like I’m romancing a giant extraterrestrial spider. The whole thing is a complete mystery to me and the other parts of bagpipe anatomy are equally strange sounding: there’s a non-return valve; a chanter with a chanter reed; the bass drone and tenor drones, with their drone reeds, tuning slides, ring caps and projecting mount, all of which fit into a set of stocks protruding from the bag

original text): “Put the bag under your fit elbow and the drones over your left Shoulder. Support the bag with your left Shoulder. Support the bag with your left hand but don’t squeeze it. Blow into the mouthpiece to inflate the bag under zero pressure whilst covering the top holes (front and bach) of the chanter with your left hand. Now thump the bag whilst continuing to blow.” Correct me if I’m wrong but, based on this tutorial, bagpipes are essentially a one-man-band for your left arm, though I’m not sure it’s physically possible to simultaneously support something with your left shoulder and left hand — all while fitting it under your elbow, regardless of whether it’s your “fit elbow.” Anyway, despite these mind-bending obstacles, I managed to put together my pipes and even make a sound, though by “sound” I’m speaking in the academic sense. I and other people around me could hear the result of all those reeds vibrating from the air I was forcing through the bag — which I tried hard to “thump … whilst continuing to blow” — and what they heard can be described with 100% accuracy as a group of no more than four Zach Hagadone tries out his new bagpipes on cows suffering in extremis. Am I daunted by this? A Christmas morning. Photo by Ben Olson. little. Am I irritated by this learning curve, which is steeper than like aortae from a deflated heart. including the chanter reed — is the crags outside Edinburgh? You have to whip the stocks — mind-boggling. I may have bitten Absolutely. But I will persist. that is, tightly wrap them with off more than I can blow. And if ever you felt intimidathemp string — and there’s a part And this is all just the coned about trying a new musical of the drones called a ferrule, struction of the bagpipes — a instrument — even one that was process that took up about an which I suspect is some Gaelic seemingly invented by those word thrown in just for fun. hour of my Christmas mornextinct aliens in Prometheus — Compound all that with the ing, as I navigated the included then think of me and my modest drones reeds, three of which need instruction documents that read herd of sonic bovines, which to be inserted into the bottom of as if they’d been translated from I will continue to thump from the drones and pushed into the pre-15th century Scots into Chimy bag until I can make people stocks, and I marvel that this nese, then Portuguese and into weep with “Amazing Grace.” instrument was ever even created. modern English. Don’t believe me? Try this As a former player of a reed instrument, the idea of having on for size (all the following four reeds to deal with at once — spelling and usage appears in the

This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert


Since I discovered her around the November election, I spend a little time every day reading through ex-government teacher-turned-social media personality Sharon McMahon’s Instagram stories. There she also answers people’s questions about current events, with a special emphasis on separating fact from bias and disinformation. She rocks. Check her out: @sharonsaysso


Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny is on the rise, and for good reason. His music has been gaining steam around Spanish-speaking countries in recent years, but 2020 proved to be a breakthrough year for the artist across the world. He takes the reggaeton genre — that is, Latin rhythms and hip-hop style — and makes it all his own. Check out tracks “Dakiti,” “Un Dia” and “Antes Que Se Acabe” to hear the flexibility of Bad Bunny’s addicting sound.


Supernatural just aired its final episode after 15 seasons, and all of the hype and distress from dedicated fans has me revisiting this show from my tweenhood. Basically, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester fight monsters, spirits, demons, etc. It is exponentially more complicated than that, but the premise remains: humankind, and especially the concept of family, are worth fighting for. I’ve only seen about half of the series, and I’m nervous for the impending finale.

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Sticking it to the new year From Northern Idaho News, Jan. 11, 1921

LAKE MAY REMAIN CLOSED ANOTHER YEAR Representative A.R. Derr of this county has taken up with the state fish and game department the question of commercial fishing in Lake Pend d’Oreille and he finds that the department is inclined to keep the lake closed for another year in order to allow the fish to increase. In a letter, Representative Derr says: “I have taken up with the fish and game department the matter of opening up Lake Pend d’Oreille and its tributarites to commercial whitefishing, and I find that department is disposed, in the interest of the conservation of the whitefishing industry, to have it remain closed for at least another year. “I understood that Lake Pend d’Oreille was closed to commercial whitefishing on a petition signed by the business men, sportsmen and fishermen, asking that it be closed because of the claim that it was being depleted. A remonstrance was filed, asking that it be opened, but it was headed by a man who had been fined for violation of the law relative to shipping trout. “This matter is entirely within the province of the fish and game department. I might say, however, that they seem willing to reopen it as soon as the majority satisfy them that the fish have been restored. They are now propagating 500,000 Lake Erie whitefish in the Sandpoint hatchery to restock the lake.” 22 /


/ January 7, 2021

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff New year, new me — right? Everybody loves a good New Year’s resolution. On second thought, everybody loves the idea of a New Year’s resolution. There’s something so hopeful and comforting about a genuine attempt to improve oneself and, better yet, being given a natural start date to make it happen. I will admit that I’ve fallen prey to the prospect of a 2021 New Year’s resolution or two. I fell prey to the concept of a new year altogether. I manufactured some artificial finish line in my mind over the past three months, preparing for Christmas and looking forward to Dec. 31 for no reason other than it was sure to pass. Miraculously, the new year came without incident. I watched TV with my dog while eating chicken taquitos and drinking Sierra Nevadas, went to bed with some serious heartburn and woke up in 2021. We’re about a week in, and the satisfaction of a finish line was exactly what I knew it to be all along: a figment of my imagination. Life carries on as it did in 2020 — pandemic anxiety, dreary North Idaho winter, daily routines, etc. Through this reality check, I discovered the actual magic of New Year’s resolutions. Better than the hope and positive outcomes that come with breaking bad habits, losing weight or reaching financial goals is the simple fact that resolutions are something we can control. If 2020 taught people anything, it is how little control we really have. Whether it’s a virus, election or a natural disaster, we are at the mercy of other people’s actions and the great beyond when it comes to most things. It is exhausting and unfair, and nothing is likely to change.

STR8TS Solution

In 2021, it’s almost as if setting a New Year’s resolution is a small but useful way to stick it to the man. “Look, I can control one thing,” says my snide inner monologue as I work toward my resolution. “Suck it.” Let me be clear — I am not a disciplined person. I am nearly 25 years old and only managed to quit biting my nails to nubs for one month in seventh grade. I ignore the “time limit” I’ve set for myself on my social media apps every single day. I am lactose intolerant and can’t resist cheese. I am not someone who typically makes resolutions and, the older I get, the more surly I am about such optimistic undertakings. However, this year I am making an exception and channeling the most disciplined parts of myself. In 2021, I have vowed to dedicate more time and effort to making dinner. This seems silly, but it might actually change my life. I am vocal about my absolute disgust in the school system for failing to adequately convey how much adult brain power goes into this seemingly simple task, but I digress. I know that when I plan ahead, make food I like and have leftovers, other aspects of my life fall into place. Gone are the days of cursing when 5 o’clock rolls around, rummaging frantically through the freezer and defrosting something for 10 minutes — I’m becoming a mindful chef in 2021, and I started a Twitter thread to prove it. My social media usage might be a good project for 2022. A resolution can be anything. Make it quantifiable, or don’t. Use it to improve health, make money or simply to make you

Courtesy photo. smile every day. Hell, start in February — time isn’t real. All I know is that setting my mind to something I can control has been a good thing for me. I recommend it. Also, feel free to email me your best (simple) dairy-free dinner recipes.

Crossword Solution

Sudoku Solution As the evening sky fadfascinating to color think edIt’s from a salmon that us gray, there’sI to a all sortaround of flint an invisible can’t thought backworld to thewe salmon even see.that I’mmorning, speaking,and of I caught course, of he thewas, World the how gray andofhow Invisible ScaryFlint. Skeletons. I named him

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22


Woorf tdhe Week

By Bill Borders

/ni-MAHY-i-tee/ [noun] 1. excess; overabundance.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The American nimiety of the past century has created a country of oversaturation and apathy.â&#x20AC;? Corrections: None to note this week. Be safe out there, folks.

Copyright www.mirroreyes.com

Laughing Matter

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Tired 6. Units of distance 11. French farewell 12. Hard to pin down 15. Pertaining to a bride 16. Stiff hairs 17. Not on 18. Withdraw 20. S 21. Nonclerical 23. Grasped 24. Stake 25. Killer whale 26. Found in a cafeteria 27. Leader 28. Dribble 29. Crimson 30. Got along 31. A crystal of snow 34. Attempted 36. Record (abbrev.) 37. Not the sciences 41. Exude 42. Cooking fat 43. Adolescent 44. Boorish 45. Fashionable 46. Beige 47. Card with one symbol 48. Expresses a doubt 51. Sphere 52. Insulin gland 54. Departs 56. Implore

Solution on page 22 57. Burdened 10. Quiet 58. An electronic 13. Fixed and musical instrument absolute 59. Surplus 14. To be, in old Rome 15. Style of neckties 16. Large round DOWN fruits 1. Armed conflict 19. Tossed 2. Building 22. Tip over 3. Abet 24. Golden 4. Back 26. Stepped 5. Christmas season 27. East Indian tree 6. And nothing more 30. Proven information 7. Homeric epic 32. Born as 8. Craving 33. Bloodsucker 9. Eastern 34. Brilliantly Standard Time colored bird

35. Rats 38. Recuperate 39. Terrestrial 40. Spurns 42. A protective covering 44. Sexual assault 45. Swindle 48. Small songbird 49. L L L L 50. Harvest 53. Weep 55. American Dental Association

January 7, 2021 /


/ 23



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Idaho health officials detail vaccine roll-out. Lake Pend Oreille on flexible winter operations. Sandpoint City Council sees arts and cultur...


Idaho health officials detail vaccine roll-out. Lake Pend Oreille on flexible winter operations. Sandpoint City Council sees arts and cultur...

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