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The week in random review

is this real life?

As with 51.27 million other Americans, I watched the first (maybe last?) 2024 debate between President Joe Biden and former-President Donald Trump on June 27; and, as with an unknown but no doubt sizable number of them, I did so while consuming almost all the alcohol in my house and looking like the physical embodiment of Edvard Munch’s 1893 painting “The Scream.” I’ve seen the event described as a “car wreck.” For that metaphor to be apt, we need to elevate it to Mad Max-levels of carnage. Trump practically exhaled lies — at least 30 of them during the 90-minute ordeal (according to fact-checkers from CNN, which hosted the debate) — and no one of good faith can argue that Biden didn’t come off as a corpse who had been reanimated with two AA batteries. Even Anthony Scaramucci, the sentient loogie that Trump once hired as his communications director, said his former boss “told a lie every 100 seconds” while on stage. Meanwhile, The New York Times Editorial Board called on Biden to bow out of the race for the sake of the country and make way for a younger Democratic nominee. As Jon Stewart howled in a primal scream of despair and rage during the live post-debate broadcast of The Daily Show, “This cannot be real life.”

drink like a journalist

Perhaps due to the lingering effects of absorbing the mental poison of the 2024 presidential debate, I figured “why the hell not?” to some physical poison in the form of a new martini recipe tried on a recent Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Shared with me by long-time friend of the family Forrest Schuck (both a friend of the Reader family and my actual family), it’s called “The Journalist.” According to drunkardsalmanac. com, this “drink of the day” for June 30 (the birthday of Superman/reporter Clark Kent, which I tried a day early to get ahead of the deadline) dates to sometime in the 1930s and represents an example of a “perfect” martini — that is, one that contains equal parts dry and sweet vermouth. In this case, we’re working with: 2 oz. gin, 1/2 oz. sweet vermouth, 1/2 oz. dry vermouth, 1/4 oz. Curacao or other orange liqueur, 1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice with a lemon twist for garnish, shaken and served up. As it happened, I had all of those ingredients on hand except the Curacao/orange liqueur, but I substituted that with a few dashes of bitters because... well... journalism and bitters just go together so well. The result was light and lively — almost effervescent. I recommend it without qualification, other than to maybe avoid mixing it during the noon hour.


you shut up, man.”

— President Joe Biden in the first 2020 debate, back when he didn’t just stare at Trump all slack-jawed while the latter spewed falsehoods like a Vesuvius of raw sewage.


Before you check your calendar, no, it’s not Thursday. Every so often, due to a holiday falling on a certain day of the week, we hustle to produce the paper a day early. That’s why you’re seeing the Reader on a Wednesday.

Happy Independence Day to everyone. Check out Page 16 for a full rundown of holiday festivities in Bonner County, and don’t forget our events page on Page 18 for all other events. It’s a busy summer here in Sandpoint — here’s hoping you find something fun to do with your time.

Please use care and caution when lighting off fireworks for the holiday. Clear skies and an absence of wildfires is a wonderful way to start the summer. Let’s keep it up.

Enjoy the holiday weekend, folks. Stay classy out there.

111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-946-4368

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About the Cover

This week’s cover photo by Karley Coleman:

‘We trust our librarians’: Demonstration shows support for libraries

About 70 people gathered July 1 at the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner County Library to express their support for the library and opposition to House Bill 710, which went into effect on that date as Idaho Code 18-1517B.

The new law enables lawsuits against Idaho school and public libraries if minors are found to have accessed materials deemed “harmful” under a set of definitions that many critics on both sides of the political spectrum have described as overly vague.

Idaho Democrats organized similar demonstrations of support around the state on July 1. Karen Mathee, who is running for Idaho House Seat 1A as a Democrat against incumbent Rep. Mark Sauter, R-Dover, helped organize the local event and spoke to the crowd, saying, “There is nothing good about H.B. 710.”

Specifically, Mathee referred to the definitions in the law that regard depictions or homosexuality and homosexual relationships as “obscene.”

“I find that obscene,” she said.

She asked attendees, “Do you trust our librarians?” To which they responded “yes” in unison, followed by chants of,

“We trust our librarians.”

Steve Johnson announced his bid for a seat on the Bonner County board of commissioners, said H.B. 710 “has this chilling effect. We don’t know what’s going to come next.”

“All of us — especially librarians — are sensitive to young people ... They are the best guardians we could have,” Johnson added, going on to say that his hope is for the law to be overturned.

Writer and activist Adrian Murillo also spoke, delivering a message about “the bullying of libraries and librarians” and what it means for LGBTQ people who have for decades suffered hostility and neglect, and find opportunities for self-discovery and understanding in the books made available by libraries.

He said that while “the far-right is toning down its racism,” it is “ramping up its homophobia.”

“Their tactic of pathologizing queer and trans lives, loves, relationships, sexuality, is not just an outright lie but a dog whistle message to justify harming LGBTQ people — particularly youth, often under the guise of protecting youth.”

Murillo stressed the importance of LGBTQ literature and nonfiction writing, describing its power as “emo-

tional learning, how to deal with hopelessness and despair, and libraries offer sources for that. Stories are instructions for agency.”

A number of other attendees also took the mic to express their solidarity with the library and librarians.

Following the gathering, which included participants holding signs on the sidewalk along Division Avenue, the Bonner County Democrats stated that the party “is proud to support our libraries in Sandpoint and in Boundary

County, today and every day. Libraries across the state fill vital roles teaching, fostering curiosity, growing empathy and creating connections in communities just like ours.

“We know we’re a bit biased, but we think that East Bonner County Library is one of the best of them, and we’re thrilled to be able to stand with them today and cheer on the important work they do.”

In a statement emailed to the Reader, House 1B Democratic candidate Kathryn Larson wrote, “H.B. 710 has

put an artificial spotlight on the library that implies a real problem. Anyone who frequents the library knows this is not true.”

Meanwhile, the “Library Love Letters” initiative seeks to solicit stories from residents in Bonner and Boundary counties about what their local libraries have meant to them.

Go to and submit a written story and post a picture.

Paving project delays Mudhole opening

An extensive paving project at the Priest River Recreation Area known as “The Mudhole” will result in further delays to opening the campground for the 2024 season.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials originally expected to open the recreation area for the season in mid-July. However, there is currently no expected opening date.

While there is a chance the day-use area will open sometime in August, the campground will not open in 2024.

“After the old pavement was removed, our contractor discovered sections of the

base layer under the pavement that were unforeseen and unsuitable for supporting new pavement,” said Albeni Falls Dam Chief of Natural Resources Taylor Johnson.

“That discovery required removing more material than originally expected. We’re hoping that after removing the unsuitable material and replacing it with new material, this will allow our new pavement to last much longer. While we’re disappointed this finding is going to further delay opening for the season, we want this

new pavement to last as long as the old pavement did,” said Johnson.

Reservations made after Monday, July 15 will be canceled and visitors will be fully refunded. Email taylor.m. with any questions.

About 70 people gathered at the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner Library District to oppose House Bill 710. Photos by Zach Hagadone.
The Mudhole near Priest River. Courtesy photo.

Council preview

While the agenda for the Wednesday, July 3 meeting of the Sandpoint City Council contains no new business, it does feature a number of items related to high-profile projects and issues ranging from the city’s development impact fees to the recent policy all but eliminating public comment delivered via Zoom.

First, the Better Together Animal Alliance will provide a presentation on its 2024-’25 contract and costs associated with housing stray animals in its service area. BTAA Executive Director Mandy Evans went before the Ponderay City Council on July 1 to make a similar presentation, during which she lobbied for more municipal funding to effectively provide animal control services.

Staff will later provide a report on the city’s development impact study, which is entering its beginning phase with fiscal, economic and planning consultant firm TischlerBise Inc. hired to gather the data necessary to assess the current collection of development impact fees and provide recommendations on improving the system.

Development impact fees are defined by the city as “one-time payments used to construct system improvements needed to accommodate new development. An impact fee represents new growth’s fair share of capital facility needs.”

The last time Sandpoint conducted a study of its impact fees and adopted a fee structure was in 2011.

According to the staff report, the preparation of an updated development impact fee study will cost $76,790, paid to TischlerBise, with a draft study slated for presentation by February 2025.

Councilors will also consider a change order with Ginno Construction related to the

playground and splash pad project at Travers Park.

According to the staff report, the change order is for $106,000 added to the original contract amount of $881,000, bringing the new total to $987,000.

Specifically, the city is considering whether to spend an additional $70,000 on an alternative reusable water system for the splash pad, which would store and filter greywater for reuse in irrigating the landscaping.

The change order states that the recirculating system originally included in the design “would result in significant staff maintenance and added costs,” leading Mayor Jeremy Grimm to direct project coordinators to include the new irrigation booster pump.

In addition, the contract change includes a total of $15,000 for construction of an asphalt pathway and berm featuring a plaza — as well as installation of outdoor music equipment — in order to provide “an optional ‘natural play area,’” according to the staff report.

Related to the “north hillberm landscape feature,” as it’s described in city documents, will be installation of an ADA accessible slide, a boulder retaining feature and a concrete curb with engineered wood fiber safety surfacing to frame the “nature play area.” Those components of the project will cost an additional $21,000.

Overall, the original playground and splash pad project budget came to just more than $1.1 million, but with the addition of $192,706 in park funds, the new budget comes in at just more than $1.3 million.

Finally, Councilors Pam Duquette and Kyle Schreiber have placed an item on the agenda to reopen the discussion about limiting public testimony on Zoom. According to the agenda request form, it will be a “Chance for councilors to be afforded a respectful discussion opportunity after mayor’s

City to take up development impact fee study, increase contract for Travers playground and discuss policy limiting remote testimony

decision. Recent campaign platforms promoted improved public engagement opportunities, not limited ones.”

Grimm announced the new policy at the beginning of June, saying that testimony would not be taken via Zoom at council meetings without prior arrangements. He said the move was intended to “encourage predominantly local participation” in person at meetings, as well as stop disruptive incidents of inappropriate, threatening or otherwise derogatory remarks. Twice since November, individuals have registered to speak on Zoom, then launched into racist, homophobic and antisemitic speech before being cut off for violating the city’s decorum policy. The most recent such incident occurred on May 13.

“I’m not dealing with that kind of stuff anymore,” Grimm said at the June 5 meeting.

However, the policy has

spurred some pushback, including from Council President Deb Ruehle, who expressed frustration that the policy hadn’t first been discussed with members of the council.

Others, including Planning and Zoning Commissioner Amelia Boyd, have testified that limiting remote testimony runs counter to the city’s goal of being accessible to citizens.

View the full council agenda and supporting materials at the city’s new online information portal at sandpoint-id.

Recordings of Sandpoint City Council meetings are

posted to the city’s YouTube channel, and meetings can be viewed live on Zoom at the city’s website.

Submit comments in writing by emailing cityclerk@ or delivering to City Hall at 1123 Lake St. Public comment is also accepted in person at council meetings, with seating available on a first-come, firstserved basis.

Contact the city clerk with questions or requests for special accommodations, either by email or calling 208-2633310. The city makes listening devices available in chambers.

Idaho logs highest percentage of monthly nonfarm job growth in the nation

State unemployment rate remains 3.3%, though Bonner County reports 4.8% joblessness

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has remained both low and consistent, with the Idaho Department of Labor reporting that the May unemployment figure came in at 3.3%, which has not changed since September 2023.

Meanwhile, the state logged the largest percentage increase in nonfarm jobs in the nation in May, adding 7,600 such jobs, or 0.9%, for a total of 871,000.

Overall, Idaho’s labor force grew by 1,679 people (0.2%) to 975,713, while the labor force participation rate — the percentage of people 16 years of age or older who are either employed or looking for work — remained at 62.7% between April and May.

Industry sectors with the greatest over-the-month increases included arts, entertain-

ment and recreation (10.4%); transportation, warehousing and utilities (3%); private educational services (2.9%); state government (1.5%); wholesale trade (1.4%); professional and business services (1.2%); durable goods manufacturing (0.9%); health care and social services (0.9%); real estate rental and leasing (0.9%); and construction (0.7%).

Natural resources, information and federal government sectors experienced job losses in May, declining 2.3%, 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively.

The Lewiston and Pocatello metro areas tied for the largest increase in nonfarm jobs at 1%, followed by Boise (0.9%) and Idaho Falls (0.7%). Twin Falls saw a decrease of 0.4% while Coeur d’Alene was unchanged.

Though the 3.3% unemployment rate has held steady since last September, it’s up from 2.9% in May 2023. Howev-

er, the labor force grew 1.7% year-over-year, representing an increase of 16,258 people.

The Northern Region — which includes Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties — experienced 2.2% labor force growth from May 2023 to May 2024 but saw unemployment increase 14.3% during that time, resulting in an overall unemployment rate of 4.4%. The national unemployment rate is 4%.

Bonner County grew its labor force by 1.5% year-over-year in May, but its unemployment rate increased 9.2% during the yearlong period for an overall rate of 4.8%. Benewah and Kootenai counties registered unemployment rates of 4.5% and 4.2%, respectively, while Boundary and Shoshone counties had jobless rates of 5.3% and 5.4%, respectively.

Learn more at

Photo by Ben Olson.


Bits ’n’ Pieces

From east, west and beyond

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

After President Joe Biden’s poor showing at the June 27 presidential debate with former-President Donald Trump, Democrats wrestled with whether he should make room for a younger candidate, various media reported. Speculation was that Biden had a debilitating reaction to a cold medication, since his cognitive abilities quickly returned. His family and high-profile Democrats have stood behind Biden staying in the race.

During the debate, Trump said he’s been rated by historians as the best president in U.S. history, however, a survey of 154 scholars connected with the American Political Science Association actually rated him the “worst” as recently as February 2024. Meanwhile, Trump said the U.S. had the greatest economy ever during his administration. However, Trump’s GDP was 2.49% compared to 3.4% under Biden. Trump created twice as much debt ($8.4 trillion) as compared to Biden, under whose administration the deficit has actually been reduced by $1.7 trillion.

Biden falsely claimed that he’s the only 21st-century president under whom no troops have died anywhere in the world, but CBS reported at least 16 service members have died overseas during his administration. Biden also said illegal border crossings are now lower than when Trump was in office. CBS called Biden’s statement “partially true,” since illegal crossings have fallen 47% since June to 2,000 daily, whereas, under Trump the average in 2019 was 4,300 illegal crossings daily, though that number dropped to 2,000 during the pandemic.

Regarding Trump’s claim that migrants are “killing our citizens” at a never-before seen level, stats show they commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans.

Trump falsely claimed “everyone” wanted Roe vs. Wade gone, and that Democrats want after-birth abortions (infanticide is illegal in every state).

Among other false claims, Trump said that he offered the National Guard to help on Jan. 6, but Nancy Pelosi refused and that his administration had the “best environmental numbers,” though The Guardian compiled 75 ways Trump’s presidency made the environment dirtier and added to climate change.

The Supreme Court has been active

with a volley of high-profile decisions.

The court approved gerrymandering of Black voters in South Carolina, with the conservative majority saying it was OK because the gerrymandering was “politically motivated” and not “racially motivated.” (Voting rights advocates had sued after voting district lines were redrawn to dilute the Black vote.)

Lacking an “established legal blueprint” for dealing with an assault on the nation’s democracy, justices ruled 6-3 to declare that prosecutors misused an obstruction law when charging Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol rioters. The ruling could make it more difficult to prosecute Trump for his role.

A ruling June 28 appears to shift decision-making from agency expertise to the Judiciary, compromising federal oversight — a move that appears poised to pleasure corporations. The right-leaning ruling could have a vast impact, including on consumer protection, health care, banking and labor rights. Environmental organizations pointed out that the effect on climate change efforts by non-scientist justices could be grave.

The most significant ruling related to Donald Trump vs. the U.S. came on July 1, with a 6-3 decision that Trump cannot be prosecuted for any actions that were taken within his constitutional powers as president — but he can be prosecuted for private acts.

Three of the deciding justices were appointed by Trump, and two — whose impartiality had been questioned and were encouraged to recuse themselves — chose not to step aside from the decision. Condemnation of the ruling was swift.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “In every use of official power, the president is now a king above the law ... With fear for our democracy, I dissent.”

Former-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated democracy has been “gravely wounded” by the ruling, and allowing a president to violate criminal law is “absurd and dangerous. There is no basis in the Constitution for this court-constructed monstrosity.”

Common Cause (an organization working to ensure voting access): “The Supreme Court has effectively ignored a central pillar of the American system of justice, that no one in this country is above the law.”

Blast from the past: In the 2011 book Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, author Margaret Heffernan advises “questioning the questionable.”

Steve Johnson announces bid for Dist. 1 BOCC seat

Four months ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 5 general election, the race for Dist. 1 Bonner County commissioner took a turn with the announcement July 2 by Steve Johnson that he would seek the seat against Republican Brian Domke, who won his party’s primary in May.

In the announcement, Johnson’s campaign pointed to “several years of controversy, accusations and shutting down public input during commission meetings” as the reason why he is seeking the Dist. 1 BOCC seat, “vowing to return common-sense leadership to Bonner County.”

“I believe in open communication in order to move forward with any public policy,” Johnson stated in the announcement. “Government is ‘for the people,’ after all. Also, I am strongly committed to planned growth, conservative fiscal policy and a strong work ethic. I’m a proven attentive listener and I pledge to treat everyone with respect.”

A lifelong Bonner County resident, Johnson is no stranger to local voters. In 2022, he initially filed as a Democrat for Dist. 1A Idaho House, then dropped out to register as an Independent write-in candidate against Republican Scott Herndon in his bid for Dist. 1 Idaho Senate.

Johnson’s effort in 2022 was one of the most visible and well-supported write-in candidacies in recent memory, drawing 9,025 votes to Herndon’s 13,064.

He entered the 2024 election as an Independent — again running for Idaho Senate — and would have automatically appeared on the November ballot, but withdrew on June 10, which leaves that race between Republican Jim Woodward and Independent Dan Rose.

According to filings, the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office approved Johnson’s appointment of a treasurer on June 21, officially indicating he’d appear on the ballot for Dist. 1 Bonner County commissioner.

Meghan Yeats had been the Democrats’ standard-bearer for the Dist. 1 BOCC seat, running unopposed in the May primary. However, she is now

listed as Johnson’s treasurer.

Johnson grew up on his family’s farm in Sagle and went on to graduate from Sandpoint High School. He worked as an educator and school administrator for more than 40 years, while also owning and operating several small businesses, including as a farmer. His children and grandchildren remain in the area, as well.

He is a member of Sandpoint Rotary, and past member of the East Bonner County Library Board and the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

The campaign highlighted Johnson’s experience, touting “a professional career of proven administrative success, an in-depth knowledge of both the history and growth of the county, and a commitment to provide citizens with openness and two-way communication through the commissioners’ office.”

In his announcement, Johnson returned to the theme of dysfunction within the BOCC.

“I’m shocked and embarrassed by the lack of respect displayed by the current commissioners,” he stated. “They have consistently disparaged each other and the public, and, in the process, have literally stood in the way of moving our fast-growing county forward during a critical time when attention needs to be paid to citizens’ needs — affordable housing, property rights, the comprehensive plan, roads, bridges, law enforcement, quality health care, education and so much more.”

All registered voters are eligible to vote for county commissioner candidates, regardless of district.

Learn more about Johnson at

Steve Johnson. File photo.


• A Bouquet goes out to the Sandpoint Lions Club for their efforts putting on festivities for the Fourth of July, including the parade and fireworks show. The Lions have made Independence Day one of their missions for more than 70 years and we thank them for it.

• Another Bouquet goes to the city of Sandpoint staff members who take care of the hanging flower baskets around downtown. The baskets are hard to miss — they’re so beautiful and healthy. Thanks for keeping them watered and blooming!


• “Thanks to Bonner County Road and Bridge Department and trimmer operator Matt for a timely and excellent job of mowing the tall grasses along the roadsides on the Hope peninsula before the massive influx of campers and tourists descend upon the area. With summer, the roads will again become congested with vehicles, joggers, bikers, dog walkers and deer lookers. Tall grasses along the roadways create dangerous conditions for the deer and their newborn fawns on this game preserve, as well as for the visitors who are often so absorbed in their activities, they aren’t aware of their surroundings. Thank you for helping to create a safer atmosphere for all.”

— Jane Holzer

Democracy requires participation…

Dear editor,

First let us congratulate the 27% of registered voters who cast ballots in May. They performed the most important duty of citizens in our republic. The primary is the most critical part of our election process. Primary elections determine which candidates go forward to the general election. Those candidates selected should represent the majority views of their constituencies, but seldom do.

Now let’s talk about the 73% of registered voters who didn’t go to the polls. Because of this inaction, it is certain that some unsuitable candidates were allowed to go forward to November — those candidates who want to decide what all of us are allowed to do, read and learn. Candidates that want to force their biased and/or narrow views on all of us.

Now, let’s talk about the real problem. That is the difference between the number of age-eligible population and number of registered voters. Individual circumstances related to criminal conviction notwithstanding, every Idahoan is eligible to vote if they are 18 years old or more, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Idaho for more than 30 days. In the 2022 general election, the number of ballots cast was 599,493 — just shy of 44% of the total number of age-eligible voters in the state (based on 2020 census data).

It is your duty as a citizen to become knowledgeable about the issues involved, the views and positions of each candidate, and vote! Without active participation by all we do not have a democracy. By not voting we are getting exactly what we deserve — denial of our constitutional rights through minority rule. Regardless which way you lean, register, learn and vote! Plato said it almost 2,400 years ago, “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men.” Boy was he ever right.

Gil Beyer Sandpoint


• Be considerate to your neighbors when lighting off fireworks. Clean up after yourselves, don’t be a jerk and please don’t burn down our forests. We’re quite fond of them.

If so, it serves to illustrate the total absurdity of the political philosophy as being for family and faith. Without repeating every point, what it basically tells the average person is that if you’re with child you have to carry the pregnancy to full term, no matter the consequences. And then once you’re born, well, you’re completely on your own. No help at all from anyone else except your family, no ability to read what you want, no life out of constant work just to make it. Giving your money to private well-off persons or entities to do with what they please (privatized Social Security). Then in old age or economic distress, no Medicaid or Medicare. You’re just cast to the wolves.

Is this what conservatives and their religion stands for? Well, you can have it because it just appears to be a way for the well off, well connected and the influential to have a master/slave relationship with the average citizen.

Lawrence Fury Sandpoint

‘Quit your bitchin’’...

Dear editor,

Thank you for the quote/observation in the June 20 issue, “A Gentle Reminder” about our history [“Junk Drawer”]. We have always been a nation of doers, roll up your sleeves, pitch in and help solve the problem. Now it is just protests and grumping. Come on America, quit your bitchin’ and start stitching.

Betty Faletto Sandpoint

‘Birthing option’...

Dear editor,

‘Is this what “conservative” means?’…

Dear editor, Even if Lauren Necochea’s short column in “Perspectives” last week was only partially accurate, is this what “conservative” means? [“Republican party bosses double down on extreme agenda,” June 27, 2024.]

our midwife. Outside the Panida Theater her water broke. The girls walked to the bridge to “check things out” and suggested I fetch the “birth pack” and meet them on the second floor. I found them in the empty — and clean — handicap stall of the women’s bathroom. The stall came equipped with handy rails for good leverage. Twenty minutes from the Panida incident, I caught the child before it went down the drain. For a brief time, that bathroom became a warm and holy place.

We went downstairs and had a cold beer before heading home. Note: You might have to walk a couple hundred feet to get that beer today.

At that time, she was truly a modern child: She came in a can.

Whose jobs?...

Dear editor,

In the presidential debateThursday night, Trump said Biden was allowing thousands of immigrants through the southern border and they were taking away “Black jobs” and “Hispanic jobs” and putting them out of work.

The ex-president may have been trying to gain votes, but I do not believe that there are jobs in America today which, by definition, call only for Black workers or Hispanic workers to fill the positions. I thought anyone could apply.

James Richard Johnson Clark Fork

Treating librarians like babysitters…

Dear editor,

Ben Olson’s mention of the town’s choice public toilet [“Junk Drawer,” June 27, 2024] being the second-floor bathroom in the Cedar Street Bridge sparked a memory. In light of our extremely oppressive state abortion laws that have scattered our baby birthing doctors away, I offer a helpful suggestion to pregnant women to avoid the time, cost and stress of traveling to Spokane for delivery.

I don’t call that room on the Bridge a bathroom; to me it is a shrine. My daughter was born in that room in 1987, and I think she turned out reasonably well.

My pregnant and overdue wife and I were strolling downtown with

I also realize the difficulties of finances and travel.

So I oftentimes decide on a different venue. I refer to it as “the cheap seats”: the homemade picnic table in our front yard where my granddaughter re-enacts the joyous experience of shelling peas that my daughter delighted in just a few short years ago; my sweetheart’s contented, subtle smile as we turn the pages of the photo album; the local sages’ morning coffee banter at Connie’s Cafe about last night’s storm and new fishing rods; the large excited eyes of the brother and sister draped in red, white and blue as they rearrange the flags on their wagon. The parade of life’s beauty. I’ll take the cheap seats.

Steve Johnson Sagle

Consider the Constitution…

Dear editor,

The U.S. Constitution preamble begins, “We the People,” a philosophy that has inspired my many years of military, state law enforcement, BoCo Republican Central Committee and the Pend Oreille Hospital Taxing District duty and public service.

On this Independence Day, my prayer to all is for safety and conviction of this year’s 248th celebration. I read the U.S. and Idaho constitutions with strict interpretation. I encourage everyone who celebrates Independence Day to read and contemplate a portion of the Idaho Constitution. I suggest, Article III, Section 24, Promotion of Temperance and Morality: “The first concern for all good government is the virtue and sobriety of the people, and purity of the home.”

Regarding H.B. 710, here’s an idea: Since those parents who feel it’s fair to fine librarians for doing your job, perhaps you as parents should be charged “babysitting” fees, since apparently you don’t want to take the time visiting the library with your children; so, in all fairness, you should be paying them! That’s no more ridiculous than this stinking bill! Thank you!

Jo Reitan Sandpoint

‘Cheap seats’...

Dear editor, Magnificent concerts at the Gorge and exquisite plays on Broadway. Cultural events that create joy and lifelong memories. I encourage you to attend as many as you possibly can.

In consideration of the above, “We” must take act prudently on various matters, including: presidential incapacitation, U.S. reserve currency challenge, genocide and more war, statewide library and water use restrictions, grocery tax repeal or modification, accountable education funding, and lastly a November election and its aftermath.

Fortunately, “We” in North Idaho understand and value our common interests of morality, independence, liberty and that freedoms need not be negatively impacted by an overreaching and untrustworthy government and its representatives. Learn more at

Dan Rose Samuels

Emily Articulated


It’s Fourth of July week, and I watch familiar scenes unfold like a Wes Anderson film, one whip pan after another. The woman stocking up on cheese in the refrigerator aisle, the boy grabbing handfuls of sparklers while surreptitiously eyeing a large Roman candle, the man heaving another bag of charcoal into his cart, and a solitary stars-and-stripes napkin package remaining on the shelves. Then there’s me, a trazodone prescription for my dog in one hand and a dictionary in the other — the camera suddenly static as I silently mouth the word “freedom,” its definition pinned beneath my thumb.

That definition reads, “Freedom is the power to act, speak or think as one wants, without hindrance or restraint.”

It’s a simple enough idea when considered on its own. I’m free to guzzle as much coffee as I’d like, jitters-bedamned, because I’m an adult (albeit one in denial of caffeine contributing to my anxiety). I’m unrestrained in my ability to sit in this cafe and write my thoughts on the page; unhindered in my all-caps exclamation that FIREWORKS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO ONE DAY PER YEAR, because I’m a curmudgeon, goddamnit, and I have a right to my own opinion.

But that freedom gets complicated when considered in relation to others’. My freedom to drink coffee stops

at my ability to pay for it, and my freedom of expression extends only as far as someone else’s right to exist peacefully (because how long could I get away with shouting these words into someone’s face instead of typing them before I am restrained, if not physically, then through the shame of public reproach?).

There’s an overlap between personal freedom and the liberties it removes from others in my taking it. This makes the concept of personal freedom held by all — the power to act, think and speak without restraint, regardless of its effect on others — paradoxical by definition.

Yet, we hold this shaky idea of freedom as though it were concrete, or simple, and compensate for the contradiction by ascribing hierarchy to its application. (This is freedom and that is something else). We marry “freedom” with larger ideologies to create a sense of which freedoms are most important, and to whom they should apply — adding asterisks to liberties based on personally held beliefs.

“Freedom of choice,” *unless you’re choosing to marry

a person of the same sex.

“Freedom of bodily autonomy,” *unless you’re changing your appearance to match your gender.

“Freedom to quality health care” *unless you have complications requiring an abortion.

“Freedom to bear arms,” *unless you’re a Black man in a public space.

“Freedom to an education,” *unless you’re learning LGBTQIA or social justice themes, but the Bible is OK.

People bang the drums of freedom, without stopping to question if their version of it is warped by other systems of belief. Instead, they draw a hard line around their interpretation, exclaiming, “If you don’t like it, you can leave,” making their claim on freedom a requirement for being a “good American.”

But I don’t think patriotism was meant to be donned like the jersey of my favorite sports team — blindly and unconditionally — without a constant evaluation of our ideals (especially freedom) and how they fit into the paradigm of an ever-changing society.

The United States was founded on the principles of liberty, opportunity, democracy, rights and equality, and we do those principles a disservice by reducing them to their simplest conception, making them static by encircling them with unrelated or conflicting belief systems.

Instead, when those principles by which we define ourselves as “Americans” are understood as aspirational moving targets toward which we should always recalibrate

— always expand to include more people, more exhaustively — then we can reframe what being a “good American” looks like.

A “good American” becomes someone who believes in our founding principles, expects our leaders to uphold them and holds those leaders accountable when they fall short. They’re a person who can have beliefs while still questioning how those beliefs affect others’ liberties.

They’re a person who understands that more people in conversation makes the most representative, collective voice, and they’re a person who believes that freedom is best — and most potent — when shared.

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

Retroactive By BO

Emily Erickson.

Science: Mad about

damascus steel

It’s likely that you’ve heard the term “Damascus steel” at some point in your life — particularly if you’re a fan of swords. Beautiful marbled patterns rippling across the surface of a steel blade are a telltale sign of Damascus steel... or are they?

Metallurgy is a lot like baking: the collision of science and artform. The only difference is, you don’t want to eat what you make with metallurgy. This is a very complicated subject with thousands of years of history and discovery. To this day, as many as 44% of blacksmiths hold a bachelor’s degree. Don’t take anything I say in this article as gospel, because there are a lot of folks a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than me actively working on this stuff.

That being said, let’s learn about the manipulation of steel.

The creation and manipulation of steel is one of the most important building blocks of human civilization. Steel has a high melting point, between 2,500 and 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. These kinds of temperatures cannot be achieved in a traditional wood fire or even in a charcoal-fed forge. Steel requires a crucible to focus enough heat to separate impurities from the metal and become soft enough to manipulate. This is currently accomplished on a large scale using an electric arc furnace that uses graphite tubes charged with electricity to heat a chamber filled with material to incredible temperatures. In the medieval era, this was impossible.

Patterned steel as we know it today is created by folding

and hammering the metal to create layers, not dissimilar to folding and flattening filo dough to create a light and flaky pastry. A stack of steel billets would be heated and held together with a clamp and then hammered down. While it’s still hot, the blacksmith would use a power hammer or similar device to cleave the flattened billets in half and then fold the end of the stack back over the core and hammer it down again. If you start with eight layers, by folding it you create 16 layers. This can be done an unlimited number of times, but in the case of modern replications of Damascus steel, the process is generally repeated eight times.

This folding method was commonly applied in Japan to create everyone’s favorite pop culture sword: the katana. To this day, Japanese blacksmiths are world famous for their skill in manipulating steel to create some of the finest blades the world has ever known. There’s more to this than exotic mysticism — the core of Japanese metalsmithing is creating excellence out of necessity. What do I mean by this?

Japanese pig iron was a notoriously poor metal, particularly when blacksmiths were first learning how to create a furnace that could turn it into steel. Folding the steel was imperative in order to keep the weapons from being so brittle they’d break on first use. Japanese swordsmiths became the best at their craft because they had no alternative but to achieve excellence by using the poorest material available, as it was the only material available.

That being said, the idea that the katana is the greatest type of sword to ever be

forged is a myth. The katana is an excellent slashing weapon that was perfectly suited to the environment in which it was used. Had feudal samurai and medieval knights come into contact with one another, the katana would have been a liability on the battlefield. European armor was designed to deflect slashing and piercing weapons at every level.

Regardless of what your anime-obsessed cousin may tell you, a human wouldn’t be able to deliver the required force to put a katana blade through a knight’s armor deep enough to deliver a fatal blow, if at all. Damascus steel as we know it was likely developed somewhere in the Levant, which is the eastern Mediterranean coastal region of what we today call the Middle East. Named after the Syrian capital of Damascus, it’s unknown if this was where the technique was first developed or simply where the bulk of these weapons were sold. Unlike the Japanese katana, Damascus steel weapons display a unique pattern running throughout the metal, which is a byproduct of the pattern welding technique. To create waves and curves through the blade, smiths took an extra step by twisting the hot metal into a screw shape and then hammering the layers down over themselves. This wasn’t done simply for aesthetics, but was likely because the metallurgical technology for refining steel wasn’t advanced enough to completely separate impurities from the iron, leading to layers with different properties that were then welded together.

There is a critical reason this isn’t seen outside of decorative blades today, and it’s the fact that we’ve devel-

oped more efficient methods to liquefy steel that allow it to be poured into molds with few impurities. A homogenous billet of steel is favored for uniform productions, as it’s less likely to crack or fracture unexpectedly under stress. Uniformity also makes things cheaper, allowing builders to rely on homogenized metal beams, rivets and other structures while buying multiples that are easily replicated.

The process for creating

authentic Damascus steel was lost to time, though some close approximations have been achieved in recent years. True Damascus steel isn’t available outside of special archaeological and private collections, so if you see a patterned knife at your local store claiming to be Damascus steel, now you know the actual term: pattern-welded steel. It still looks pretty cool, though.

Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner

• As early as 200 B.C.E., the Chinese were writing on green bamboo stalks and heating them on coals to dry. Sometimes, if left too long over the heat, the bamboo expanded and burst with a bang. Chinese scholars noticed the noises effectively scared off village intruders who The Smithsonian cryptically refers to as “abnormally large mountain men.” Later, they used firecrackers to scare away evil spirits.

• Between 600 and 900 C.E., Chinese alchemists accidentally mixed saltpeter (potassium nitrate) with sulfur and charcoal while searching for an elixir for immortality. They inadvertently stumbled upon the crude chemical recipe for gunpowder, which they called huo yao, or “fire drug.”

• Huo yao became an integral part of Chinese cultural celebrations, with gunpowder stuffed into bamboo tubes to create a sort of sparkler. Military engineers used the chemical concoction in weaponry as early as 1046 C.E., when references were made to a crude gunpowder catapult.

• Fireworks produce different colors based on the metallic elements contained in the gunpowder mixture, since different chemicals burn at different wavelengths of light. Reds are achieved by using strontium and lithium compounds, copper produces blues, titanium and magnesium burn silver or white, calcium creates orange, sodium produces yellow and barium burns green.

• China invented fireworks, but it was Italy that developed the aerial shell and began to make fireworks colorful in the 1830s.

• The booms, hisses and crackles we hear during fireworks displays are also achieved by layering different chemicals and substances in the gunpowder. Layers of organic salt combined with the oxidizer potassium perchlorate burn one at a time. As each layer burns, it slowly releases a gas and creates a whistling sound. Aluminum or iron flakes can create hissing or sparkles while titanium powder produces loud blasts.

Top left: Steve and Gwen Archer brought the Reader to the Loarre Castle and Abbey, which is one of the oldest castles in Spain.

Top right: Sylvie Quintano and Autumn Perkins Baker brought the Reader up to a mountain lake in the Selkirks. No, they won’t tell you which one! Photo by Jen Jackson Quintano.

Middle: Local kids go wild over bubbles at SummerFest in Sagle last weekend. Photo by Katie Botkin.

Bottom left: Patty Turinsky was lucky enough to see this young fawn by her house. “We were cutting a piling brush at the time,” she told the Reader. “Mama came and got her a while later.”

Bottom second from left: A close up view of a peony from Karen Hempstead’s garden in Sagle.

Bottom third from left: Brenden Bobby’s dog Odie dares you to steal the pine cone out of his mouth. C’mon, please?

Bottom right: Hula hoopers and good tunes; that’s what SummerFest is all about. Photo by Katie Botkin.

To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to

Discovering England — without a cell phone

In which the author tests a theory in his new book that smartphones are no good for us

“I’m sorry, sir, we’re fully booked,” said the smiling, white-haired woman busily tending luxuriant purple flowers in front of Wheatleys Farm B&B in Ashton Keynes, England. This was my third failure to find accommodations on the gray, blustery afternoon, and I was getting worried.

It was the first day of my hike along the Thames River. Twelve years earlier, I had kayaked this waterway from start to finish, and wrote a book about it, Discovering England. Now I’m retracing the route on foot, following the famous Thames Path.

This isn’t the only tale I’m re-enacting on this expedition, however. I’ve just published another book, Being Human Being, a novel that explores how technology — especially smartphones — might be taking away from the fullness of life. My idea is to test this idea by going without a phone and getting lodgings the old-fashioned way, by knocking on doors and asking people. So far, the

results have not been encouraging.

I walked back down the High Road toward the village, passing the two older women from whom I had asked directions to Wheatleys Farm.

“They’re fully booked,” I called out to them.

“Oh, that’s too bad,” said one, who turned to her companion, asking something I didn’t hear. “Yes, maybe she does,” the other woman said. She called to a woman working in her garden at the house next door. “Pat, we’ve a question.”

Pat came over. “This gentleman is looking for lodgings, but Wheatleys is booked and he’s without a phone. What about Yvonne, her Airbnb?”

Pat frowned. “Can’t be. It’s closed this week. She’s gone to Spain.” She looked firmly at me. “You know what I’ll do? I’ll take you to the White Hart in Cricklade. They’re likely to have a place.”

I made a polite protest about not wanting to trouble her.

“No, no trouble.” Then she added, a twinkle in her eye, “It’s a chance to do my good deed for the day.”

We walked to the tiny white car in her driveway. “Now, you just sit over there” — she pointed to a chair by the garage — “while I clear the passenger seat.” This took a few minutes since the seat was piled high. Eventually, we were underway, Pat skillfully guiding the vehicle on the non-American side of the narrow lanes to Cricklade, four miles away.

“So why is it you don’t have a mobile?” she asked, using the English term for cell phone. “That’s unusual.”

“Well,” I said cautiously, “I have an idea that they might not be all that healthy for us.”

“You’re so right!” she said, thumping the steering wheel with the heel of

her hand. “People are so occupied with them! They take away connection. People don’t get together anymore.”

She shook her head. “It’s sad, really.”

“Well, er, you know,” I said with barely suppressed excitement, “I’ve just published a book about this idea. If you’ll give me your mailing address when we get to the hotel, I’ll mail you a copy when I get back to the States.”

“Oh, that would be lovely!”

After signing in at White Hart Hotel, I turned to Pat. “Thank you so, so much!” I said, giving her a big Idaho hug.

“Well, I’m just so glad it all worked out for you!” She held out her hand and gave me a firm British handshake.

Yesterday, I mailed the copy of Being Human Being to Pat, the saint I never would have met if I had taken a cell phone on my trip to England.

Jim Payne returned from his Thames adventure on June 1. His book, Being Human Being is available at Vanderford’s (321 N. Second Ave.) and The Corner Book Store (405 N. Fourth Ave.).

Sandpoint library offers senior fraud prevention workshop

Fraud is everywhere on the internet, at the other end of an unsolicited phone call or in the attachment of an email from an unrecognized source. And scammers specifically succeed in preying on seniors, who lost an average of $34,000 per person in 2023 to fraudsters.

Learn how to protect yourself or the seniors in your life at a free Senior Fraud Prevention Workshop from 10

a.m.-noon, Thursday, July 11 at the Sandpoint library (1707 Cedar St.). Topics will include computer and internet scams, telephone scams, tax and debt collection scams, grandparent/ imposter scams, lottery and sweepstakes scams, and identity theft.

Seating is limited, so call Family Stewardship Services at 208-627-6851 to register. Or visit

Courtesy image.

Society vs. boys

As a high-school teacher, father of one boy and one girl, and just someone who is curious about society, the statistical decline of young men has intrigued me for years, so when a recent “Emily Articulated” column addressed the TikTok sensation of “bear vs. man,” I felt compelled to gather and share some of the evidence I have compiled.

In my 12-year career at Sandpoint High School, I have been on the frontlines of what author Dr. Warren Farrell calls “The Boy Crisis.” With extensive interaction with both teen males and teen females, the following statistics are sadly unsurprising. Most of these are from either Dr. Farrell or Professor Scott Galloway and are from studies on American students.

In recent years, seven out of 10 high-school valedictorians will be female. Over the next five years, for every one male college graduate, there will be two female college graduates. In any advanced placement or honors class, the males are likely to be outnumbered by up to 33%. Boys are almost three times more likely to be expelled and around twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Male students tend to do better with male teachers, yet 80% of primary and secondary teachers are female. At my kids’ elementary school, the only male on staff is the P.E. teacher.

There are many, many more stats like these, and they paint the story that after the societal and legislative shift to, quite rightly, elevate females with Title IX in 1972, they’ve left young males in the dust.

And it’s not just academics where males are struggling. Ninety-three percent of mass shooters are male. Men are three times more likely to overdose and four times more likely to commit suicide. Men are 12 times more likely to be incarcerated (and many of those inmates grew up without a father, which is obviously related but a story for a different day).

Today, a third of men under 30 won’t have had sex in the past year. Farrell’s research indicates that the average American male has logged over 14,000 hours of video gaming before they turn 21 (it takes a third of that

time for most people to earn a bachelor’s degree). According to a study done in 2022, in the U.S., 45% of teens (males and females) report that they are online on a “near-constant” basis.

The proliferation of online pornography means that for some males, they’re getting enough dopamine hits in their bedrooms from video games, social media and pornography that many don’t see the point in attempting to achieve anything beyond that.

Unfortunately, some see these statistics as justified compensation for all the years that women were cast aside. Unfortunately, if one stands up and advocates on behalf of males, they are often seen as sexist. Unfortunately, females still battle glass ceilings, good-old-boys’ clubs and pay gaps. But two things can be true at the same time, and neither gender wins if one is failing so miserably.

Males who aren’t having success finding a mate are statistically more likely to begin to access online content that’s further right-wing. This leads to misogynistic viewpoints, nationalist viewpoints and tends to lead them even more into social isolation. Female college graduates are statistically far less likely to date/marry a male without a college degree. On dating apps, the top 10% of males get 80-90% of all the swipe-rights, which leads to unsavory behavior by that 10% of attractive males, and means that the vast majority of the rest are completely shut out of the online dating scene.

These unfortunate statistics are not the fault of females’ steady progression of success. But the “bear vs. man” moment reminded us that many females are feeling the effects of having to deal with a group that has been steadily underperforming, and is now bitter and at times lashing out in frustration.

So, how do we fix this? Like most complicated subjects, the answers are also complicated. I like the idea of less screen time, in general, but specifically no social media until, at the earliest, high school. On that front, I have been advocating for a no cell phone policy at the high school. I like the idea of allowing young kids — male and female — to have unstructured play time where they’re forced to work out their own rules, settle arguments, create, mess up. And lastly, I like the

idea of male-to-male mentorship.

There’s been a somewhat recent stigma of older males spending time with anyone younger than them. It’s seen as creepy, and unfortunately anyone who caught the “bear vs. man” trend on TikTok could rattle off statistics that would prove that it’s creepy.

But the relationships between two people that don’t end in tragedy are so abundant that they are literally countless. They’re unquantifiable and therefore less newsworthy. I have had so many positive male role models that have shaped me into an attentive husband, extremely involved father and a man that would 100% not be creepy

in the woods. But every single positive relationship I have had is never going to become a statistic because from a headline standpoint, they’re not interesting enough.

But as we all know, while our positive relationships don’t make headlines, they should be the most important aspects of our lives. Our young men need help, they need guidance from those wiser and if we can help them out, we all stand to benefit.

Conor Baranski is a social studies teacher at Sandpoint High School.

Courtesy photo.

‘Back to Our Roots’

When choosing the theme for the 2024 Fourth of July parade, the Sandpoint Lions Club decided to honor Sandpoint’s history with the theme “Back to Our Roots.”

“Sandpoint has a rich history as a timber town, and we would like to take this opportunity to honor our past and present contributions of the logging industry to our community,” the Lions stated in a press release.

“Back to Our Roots,” gives a nod to all the hard working residents of Sandpoint’s past who helped shape it into the community we see today.

The Lions are no strangers to history, having taken on the responsibilities for the Fourth of July parade and fireworks show for close to seven decades.

When selecting the honorary grand marshal to lead the parade, Lions member Eric French said the club looks for people who have impacted the community in a positive way.

“We look for outstanding individuals in the community that not only represent our theme, but also are an amazing example of what the people of Sandpoint truly are — compassionate, kind, respected and deserving of praise,” French said.

“The entire Sandpoint Lions Club comes together with ideas of who we feel is the best fit for the year and discusses why we believe it should be them,” he added. “Then we all vote on who we feel should have the honor that year.”

This year, the Lions chose not one, but three grand marshals.

“As a club, we had decided on three individuals, but unfortunately one couldn’t do it because of being out of town,” French told the Reader. “The two individuals we have chosen are Shirley Stevens and Norma Laude, two absolutely amazing women of timber. They both have come from logging backgrounds and have raised children to follow in their ancestors’ footsteps.”

Patty Irish was also selected as a

Shirley Stevens and Norma Laude chosen as grand marshals of Fourth of July Parade

third grand marshal, but will be out of town during the parade.

Stevens and Laude join an elite group of residents who have served as grand marshal of the Sandpoint Fourth of July Parade (see table for the past 10 grand marshals).

For French, being a part of the town’s observance of Independence Day isn’t a task he takes lightly.

“Having grown up here, along with my wife, we have always looked forward to both the parade and fireworks,” French said.

activities and even riding in the parade, the smiles seem even bigger.”

Sandpoint Grand Marshals over the past decade:

French said the only rain on his parade right now is the fact that it costs more and more to put on Fourth of July festivities every year.

2024 — Shirley Stevens and Norma Laude

2023 — Wendy Frank

2022 — Kim Woodruff

2021 — Essential workers of Sandpoint

2020 — N/A

2019 — Joyce Spiller, Marcella Nelson and Cindy Chenault

2018 — Mike Gagnon, Justin Penn, Michael Hutter

2017 — Mike Reeb

2016 — Wendy Sater

2015 — Sandpoint High School student body

2014 — Dr. Jerry Lewis

“To see the patriotism and the camaraderie that is shown on a very special day for our great nation is surreal. And now to be a part of a club that has taken over the responsibilities for the city for the past 71 years is exciting, tiring, but oh so rewarding. There is nothing like putting smiles on kids’ faces and even the adults that you see smile and wave. And now that our Lions mascot is out there for our

“It’s getting harder to raise the funds and to put on our celebration,” he said. “Raffle ticket sales are way down, contributions are in the tank and sponsorships are nonexistent, but we will continue to push on and try to make everyone’s Fourth even better.”

The Sandpoint Lions Club began selling fireworks from the booth at Safeway to help bridge the funding gap.

“As a club, we just want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July,” French said.

To learn more about the Sandpoint Lions Club, and to help support their worthy efforts, visit

Tuesday Mysteries in the arboretum

Turn your favorite elementary-age kid — or kids — into detectives as they discover the fascinating world of pollinators. Presented by the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society, Tuesday Mysteries in the Arboretum kick off on July 9, from 9 a.m.-noon in the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum on South Ella Avenue. There will be additional sessions — same time and place — on July 16 and July 23.

To participate, come to the arboretum shed in Lakeview Park anytime between 9 a.m. and noon and pick up that day’s clue. Each Tuesday there

will be a new mystery to solve by finding the answer in the informational posters along the arboretum’s paved path. The first week focuses on solitary bees. On July 16, butterflies will take center stage and on July 23, moths will be under the spyglass.

Nature sleuths can bring the results of their search to the arboretum shed for a cookie and another fun activity.

Last year’s Tuesday Mysteries focused on spiders, beetles and ants. This closeup look at insects develops understanding of how ecosystems work and how the lives of plants and insects are integral to each other, and to humans as well.

Get more info at

MiniatureMasterpieces at POAC Gallery

The Pend Oreille Arts Council will host a new exhibition entitled Miniature Masterpieces, showcasing a collection of small-scale works from local artists.

With an opening date of Friday, July 5, the show will run through Tuesday, July 30 at the POAC Gallery (313 N. Second Ave. Ste. B).

POAC invites the public to an opening reception on July 5 from 5-7 p.m., where attendees can meet the artists and be among the first to view the miniature works. Each piece in the exhibition is no larger than 16 inches by 16 inches (including the frame), “making them perfect souvenirs that are easy to pack in a suitcase or ship home,” POAC stated in a news release.

Leadership Sandpoint raises $15,000+ for NAMI Far North Sand Creek Clubhouse Creations adds educational art classes and workshops to summer lineup

With the support of the Kinderhaven and a partnership with the University of Idaho AmeriCorps 4H STEAM program, Creations has added educational art classes and workshops this summer for youth through adults.

Daily drop-in art at Creations continues every day of the week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with rotating art project ideas as well as help from AmeriCorps art instructors, who are at Creations most days of the week to assist drop-in art users.

Summer art classes at Creations focus on fun and education, teaching a variety of art mediums and techniques. Let’s Learn to Felt with Sarafina-trained felting instructor Rae Lin Aller will take place Mondays at 3:30 p.m. The class is open to students aged 7 to adult to learn wet felting and needle felting techniques to produce felted animals, landscape scenes and more. Creations has also restarted a longtime class for adults with Panhandle Special Needs Inc. This class was one of the founding classes 14 years ago and shares the joy of art while practicing social skills and fine motor skills. Special-needs adults interested in this class can contact PSNI to sign up. Every other week on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m., AmeriCorps Art Instructor Hali Murray will teach an art class for older adults and seniors, where the results will be practical and usable, but also decorative. Upcoming class dates include Tuesdays, July 9 and July 23.

A felting class at Creations is a great way to tap into your artistic side. Courtesy photo.

Tuesdays continue with For the Love of Art at 3:30 p.m. with Anna Protsman, who will teach a different art medium each week to students aged 7 to adult. Learn a variety of art mediums and techniques including charcoal drawing, watercolor, Mexican yarn painting, broken stained glass art and more.

For elementary school-aged youth on summer break, Creations has a Kids Art Class on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. with AmeriCorps Art Instructor Lanie Allen. Youths aged 6-11 years old are invited to create 4H Visual Arts projects.

Preschool Story & Craft will continue Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. with Allen. The family-favorite parent-child class features a story and art craft with a different theme each week and is geared toward children age 6 and under (older siblings can join in as helpers).

The popular STEM Make-it Class with Hali Murray takes place Fridays at 3:30 p.m. This class is open to youth aged 6-14 years old where participants can build gliders, carts and more.

For more information, visit Creations at the back of the Cedar Street Bridge in downtown Sandpoint or visit

The 2024 Leadership Sandpoint class, assembled annually by the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, recently donated more than $15,000 to NAMI Far North’s Sand Creek Clubhouse Project. The funds were raised at Leadership Sandpoint’s annual Cinco de Mayo fundraiser hosted in downtown Sandpoint.

NAMI Far North, the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is nearing its goal of opening the Sand Creek Clubhouse. The facility will provide psychosocial rehabilitation for community members living with serious mental illness in Bonner and Boundary counties — a critical need in the region.

The Sand Creek Clubhouse will model the success of Clubhouse International, which has more than 300 accredited clubhouses across 33 countries.

Employing 37 specific standards and a work-ordered daily structure, the program aims to help members recovering from various mental health conditions reestablish three social elements: people, place and purpose.

“When you have a physical injury, we understand you need time and therapy. What is not as well understood is that a mental injury takes even more

recovery time and support. This is what Clubhouse specializes in,” stated NAMI Far North President Dawn Mehra.

According to the organization, “Members collaborate with staff and each other on the clubhouse’s operations, fostering connection and purpose. Through this work and employment programs, they can heal, reconnect with the community and return to productive, fulfilling lives after isolating mental health challenges.”

Data shows that such recovery-focused programs help reduce the cycles of rehospitalization and incarceration that individuals may otherwise continue facing without proper psychosocial rehabilitation.

With the donation from Leadership Sandpoint and other community support, the Sand Creek Clubhouse is now seeking an executive director, with a $50,000 goal to launch the clubhouse.

“The community, including police, judges and jail staff, understand this facility is badly needed to decrease hospitalizations and incarcerations. There is nothing like this in Bonner or Boundary counties — it will be the first in our state,” Mehra stated.

To learn more about the Sand Creek Clubhouse project, visit sand-creek-clubhouse.

Courtesy photo.

Bonner County lights up for Independence Day

A guide to local Fourth of July celebrations

Communities across Bonner County are coming together under canopies of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day on Thursday, July 4, with each city putting their unique spin on this year’s festivities. If you’re trying to plan the ultimate Fourth of July celebration, here’s a list of some local events happening July 4 and throughout the holiday weekend.

Clark Fork

Clark Fork kicks off celebrations early on July 4 with the 12th annual Freedom 5K Fun Run — formerly known as Haden’s Heart — beginning at 7 a.m. at the Filling Station Youth Center (108 E. First Ave., in Clark Fork). To participate, register at for $15 for stu-

dents, $25 for adults or $15 for adults running with a student.

Proceeds from the race fund scholarships for Clark Fork graduates as well as the nonprofit Christian youth center.

Following the race, the Clark Fork Junior-Senior High School (502 N. Main St.) will host the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ flag raising ceremony at 8:30 a.m. followed at 9:30 a.m. by the parade, led by Grand Marshal Shirley Dawson Crawford. The parade is free to enter and runs down Highway 200 from Stephen Street before turning right on Main Street and coming to an end at the school.

Foot races and all manner of activities will take place on school grounds alongside pop-up food vendors from 10:15 a.m. to noon, when the celebrations move to Veterans Memorial Field on the corner of Cedar Street and Ninth

Avenue. Before sitting back to enjoy the fireworks display at dusk, attendees should check out the beer garden, 1 p.m. airplane candy drop, 1:30 p.m. turtle races, watermelon eating contests and games, as well as timber-themed competitions, including ax throwing and log sawing at 3 p.m.


Bring a blanket and chairs and find a place on the shores around Ellisport Bay in Hope to take in a fireworks spectacular beginning at 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4.


The Laclede Community Center (24 Moore Loop Road) is again hosting its Fourth of July Pancake Breakfast on July 4 from 8-10 a.m. Featuring pancakes, sausage, coffee and juice, plates cost $5 each for adults while kids 12 and under eat for free. The parade will begin at 11 a.m., proceeding from the community center to the Riley Creek Recreation Area and back. Everyone is invited to participate.

Priest River

The Priest River Chamber of Commerce has prepared an evening of celebration at Bonner Park West (514 Railroad Ave.) and invites the community to a night of revelry culminating in the fireworks show, which begins at 10 p.m.


In Sandpoint, the morning begins with a pre-parade breakfast from 8-11:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 4 at Matchwood Brewing, featuring a special menu tailored to the event. The Lions Club will then host a day of celebrations beginning downtown at 9:30 a.m. with the Children’s Parade, followed by the Grand Parade at 10 a.m.

This year’s grand marshals, Shirley Stevens and Norma Laude, will oversee the parade, which will celebrate the area’s logging history with the theme “Back to our Roots.” (To learn more about

the Sandpoint grand marshal tradition, see Page 14.)

To embody the theme, organizers are still on the lookout for log trucks, equipment, horse teams and anyone working in related fields like logging, mechanics and firefighting to join the parade. Applications to participate in the Grand Parade are available on sandpointlions.wixsite. com/website for a $45 registration fee. After the parade, celebrations move to Sandpoint City Beach (58 Bridge St.) for food, drinks and games for the whole family.

“Our club is most excited for our celebration at City Beach. Our members love spending the day with our community, playing games with kids, handing out goodies and selling raffle tickets,” said Lions Secretary Goldie Rader.

The day will culminate in the traditional fireworks show at dusk. Arrive at the beach early with blankets and chairs to ensure a good view. The following Saturday, Jackson Roltgen Band will perform an Independence Day weekend concert at Matchwood Brewing from 6:30-9 p.m. to round off the celebrations.


The annual Bayview Daze festivities kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 6 with a parade featuring the Western-themed dance group North Idaho Sparklers. The nonprofit performers will pay tribute to famously patriotic country singer Toby Keith as they dance down Main Street.

“Hopefully, we will have ‘The Tank’ again — a restored tank from World War II. As always we have the grand marshal of the parade; this year we invited two people, who lead a rather quiet life but have always been involved with the community, volunteering wherever needed,” said Norma Jean Knowles, president of the Bayview Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s grand marshals, Don and Cindy Gardner, will take center stage alongside Uncle Sam and his Bucket Brigade, who pass out candy and collect donations for future fireworks shows.

The Children’s Fun Place at the Bayview Community Center (20298 E. Perimeter Road) will have games, sack lunches and strawberry shortcake from noon to 5 p.m., after which families can break for dinner before snagging a spot along the shores of Scenic Bay to take in the fireworks.

“Our pyrotech Kevin Elmore will produce a fantastic show with whatever dollars he gets to spend,” said Knowles. “In 2015 we added the ‘Remembrance Tribute’ at the end of the regular display. These shells are purchased by individuals who may want to commemorate a lost loved one or celebrate a special event.”

The 30-minute display will be shot from a barge in the center of the bay, ensuring everyone gets a great view.

No matter where you find yourself on the lake, stay safe and enjoy the celebrations. Happy Fourth!

Photo by Ben Olson.

Growing inspiration

Bonner County Garden Tour showcases our beautiful local gardens

For green thumbs across the county, the first week of July is not only a time to recognize our independence, but also a time to celebrate gardening. The Bonner County Gardeners Association is hosting its 22nd annual garden tour Saturday, July 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

This self-guided tour has showcased the unique and stunning variety of landscapes that can be found within the vicinity of Sandpoint since 2002 and has a loyal following. Owners open their garden gates to the masses, allowing attendees to walk through and observe where the owners’

hard work led and perhaps gain some new ideas for their own gardens.

For the association’s president, Karen Bennett, the tour is not only a time to show off the best gardens in the region, but a chance to find inspiration in others that have made great strides with the space they are allotted.

“You can find some beautiful gardens where people have spent tens of thousands on landscaping, but sometimes that’s not as inspiring as someone who has a small yard in Sandpoint and put a lot of love and care and creativity into it,” Bennett told the Reader. “That’s what we hope to capture with this tour. We want people to walk away saying, ‘We can do that.’”

Bennett said inspiring fellow gardeners is at the top of the priorities for the tour, and part of that inspiration is showing them that weeds do, in fact, exist.

“These gardens aren’t always perfect,” Bennett said. “Sometimes you’ll find weeds. We tell the hosts not to worry about that because they’re not getting paid for letting us parade 300 people through their garden. ... These are people who are being extremely generous with their space.”

The tour is casual, with attendees paying $15 to see up to eight participating gardens. Tickets are available at or in person at any of the participating gardens.

While last year’s tour was divided into flower and

Can you pass a boater inspection on Lake Pend Oreille?

Lake Pend Oreille reached summer pool elevation on June 19, which means we have now entered the official “lake days” of summer.

With all that fun and sun, though, it’s important to remember that safety is always the first priority when you’re heading on the water.

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office has a Marine Division dedicated to keeping boaters safe on the water. There are six sheriff’s boats in the county operated by a staff of about 15 deputies, with one boat on Priest Lake and the others stationed at various locations on Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River. There will be an extra emphasis on patrols during the Fourth of July weekend to ensure boaters are safely operating their vessels.

Lt. Douglas McGeachy told

the Reader the sheriff’s office offers free boater safety classes every summer and encourages everyone to attend — not just novices, but also experienced boaters who might need a refresher on safety rules.

The free boater safety classes will be offered on Saturdays, July 13 and Aug. 3, both at 9 a.m. at the Marine Building at the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office (4001 N. Boyer Ave.). There will also be a class on Saturday, July 20 from 1-5 p.m. at the Priest River Yacht Club (468 Railroad Ave., in Priest River).

Those interested in attending can RSVP by calling 208-263-8417 ext. 3125. Some boaters may even see a reduction in their insurance upon completion of the class.

All boaters on Lake Pend Oreille and surrounding waters are subject to a stop and safety inspection by the Marine Division to ensure they are carrying all the required equipment.

When stopped by marine deputies, boat owners should be prepared to show that they have personal floatation devices on board for all passengers, a Type IV throwable PFD like a square cushion or ring that can be tossed to someone in the water, a noise-making device like an air horn or whistle and a working fire extinguisher. Also, the marine deputies look for valid registration and invasive species stickers, and small items like ski flags and engine cut-off switches.

McGeachy said boater safety comes down to using common sense.

“If there was common courtesy, we wouldn’t need to be out there most of the time — on the road or the water,” he told the Reader. “Be a good neighbor out there. Don’t drive too close to shore or blare your music too loud. Be aware of your surroundings. Those will impact not only safety but quality of life.”

food gardens, this year’s tour features a mixture of both — and attendees shouldn’t stress about trying to fit every location into their day.

“A lot of times you don’t have time to visit all eight,” Bennett said. “Pick and choose which ones you want to see, either by location or interest.”

Garden locations this year include six Sandpoint gardens: 508 N. Forest Ave.; 618 N. Sixth Ave.; 1526 Nicholas Way; 1611 Spruce St.; 1407 Cedar St. (Sandpoint library)

and 161 Indian Meadows. There is also one location just across the Long Bridge south of Sandpoint at 111 Greenwood Ave., and another garden on the Sunnyside Peninsula at 325 Deer Ridge Road.

In addition to touring the gardens, there will also be a raffle for a garden-themed gift basket, with tickets available for purchase at each garden the first day of the tour.

Visit to buy tickets or for more information.

Courtesy photo.

Send event listings to

Pinochle Wednesday

9:30am @ Sandpoint Senior Center

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Live Music w/ Rhys

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Soul, jazz and alternative music

Live Music w/ Light on the Water

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

8-10pm @ The Back Door

Live Music w/ Snacks at Midnight 8:45pm @ The Hive

wednesDAY, July 3

Live Piano w/ Bob Beadling

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Music w/ Sammy Eubanks

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Bill Price & Grover Parido

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Also joined by guest Frank Moore

Friends of the Library Monthly Book Sale

10am-2pm @ Sandpoint Library

Sci-fi books, 4 for $1, cooking magazines a dime each. Large print novels, jr. and children’s books aplenty

Live Music w/ The Sevens

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Double Shot Band 6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Benny on the Deck concert series

5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge w/ Sammy Eubanks

FriDAY, July 5

‘Newcomer Cucumber’ History Tour

2:30pm @ 212 N. First Ave.

Guided tours highlighting key historic families, businesses and stories. $15/ adults, $12/locals, $5/youth

Live Music w/ Right Front Burner

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Live Music w/ Liam McCoy Band 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub


6th annual BeerFest

12-5pm @ Sandpoint City Beach

This popular event features handcrafted beers from regional breweries, cider and seltzers. Entry fee gets you tastes, plus a souvenir glass. Live music by Right Front Burner. 21+

Live Music w/ Jackson Roltgen Band

6:30-9pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

Outdoor live music at Matchwood

Live Music w/ Hannah Meehan

8-10pm @ The Back Door

SunDAY, July 7

Magic with Star Alexander

5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

Up close magic shows at the table

Live Music w/ Larry Dalke

3-5pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Mystery in the Arboretum: Solitary Bees

9am-12pm @ Native Plant Arboretum

July 3 - 11, 2024

Open Mic Night 6pm @ Tervan Tavern


Fourth of July festivities

See Page 16 for a full list of events

Fireside Dance w/ Lindsey Hoyer

7-9pm @ Pine St. Sled Hill

Every 1st/3rd Friday, $5 donation, learn bachata, salsa, tango and more

Live Music w/ Brendan Kelty & Friends

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Hot Cheetos

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Truck Mills

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Bonner County Garden Tour Find tickets at

Tailgate sale

8am-1pm @ Hope Memorial Community Ctr.

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

6-8:30pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante

Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts 6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts 5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Cottage Market

10am-4pm @ Farmin Park

Every Sunday until Aug. 25. See up to 40 unique vendors in this laid-back outdoor shopping experience. New vendors welcome: 509-319-9493

monDAY, July 8

Outdoor Experience Group Run

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome

tuesDAY, July 9

Bring elementary aged kids to the arboretum in Lakeview Park to hunt for clues about our native solitary beers and their important role as pollinators

African Dance Class w/ live drummers

6-7:30pm @ Sandpoint City Beach

Meet on grassy part of City Beach near the pavilion. Donation based: $5-$25. Hosted by Embody

Benny on the Deck concert series

5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Featuring guest The Meat Sweatz

Pairings in the Pines

A progressive tasting event with locally crafted food paired thoughtfully with selected wines, while at nature’s edge

wednesDAY, July 10

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Live Piano w/ Dwayne Parsons

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Enjoy beautiful stories on the piano

Spt. Soccer Assoc. fundraiser

4-7pm @ Barrel 33

With live music by Jim Brown

ThursDAY, July 11

Artist reception: Jennifer Benoit

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Live Music w/ Marcus Stevens

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Piano w/ Carson Rhodes

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Inspired by Billy Joel and Elton John

Music of the West African Kora

3:30pm @ Farmin Park

Check out a performance and educational demonstration by Sean Gaskill sponsored by the Sandpoint Library at the Farmers’ Market

Open Mic Night 6pm @ Tervan

Pinochle Wednesday 9:30am @ Sandpoint Senior Center

$5 movie: The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert 7pm @ Panida Theater

Three drag queens take their act on the road across the Australian desert performing for enthusiastic crowds and homophobic locals.


Big dumb beasts

The newest Godzilla/King Kong flick is on Max; here’s how it stacks up in the MonsterVerse

Anyone who’s listened to me go on about movies knows of my disdain for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there’s another “MCU” that I actually do enjoy — probably more than I should admit — and it’s the “Monster Cinematic Universe,” or “MonsterVerse,” with no less than Godzilla and King Kong at its center.

As a kid, I watched the old rubbery Godzilla as he kicked and stomped his way through various cities while deflecting bullets and tank shells from the hordes of puny humans below. Of course by then the scenes of Kong bursting his chains and batting away biplanes from atop the Empire State Building were well embedded in my cultural DNA.

Though my affection for watching huge monsters lay waste to each other and Earth’s most treasured landmarks never went away, it did go dormant for a few decades until the revitalization of the kaiju genre — a Japanese word meaning “strange creature” — with the 2014 Godzilla directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn.

That cast alone was worth the price of admission, but what set this new era of Godzilla apart was the sumptuous set pieces, world-spanning scope and actual plotting. Then came Kong: Skull Island in 2017, reimagining the King Kong story through the lens of a mid-20th century government coverup that becomes revealed amid the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War and delves deeper into the shady crypto-zoology agency Monarch. That installment featured

Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, John C. Reilly and John Goodman — another stellar cast providing an A-list sheen to what are otherwise big dumb popcorn-y movies about big dumb beasts.

What followed were two installments establishing a new present-day timeline and cast of characters, with Godzilla: King of the Monsters in 2019 and Godzilla vs. Kong in 2021. The former brings Godzilla into earth-shaking battles featuring fellow kaiju Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah, while the latter throws a giant “Mechagodzilla” into the mix with a dust-up (finally) between its titular titans.

Meanwhile, in Godzilla vs. Kong, the story veers into “the Hollow Earth” — an interior global ecosystem filled with ancient exotic creatures from the dawn of the planet, including evidence of Kong’s ancestry. It ends with Kong relocated to the Hollow Earth and Godzilla stationed on the surface to avoid further runins with his mammalian counterpart and serve as a kind of bodyguard for humanity against whatever might decide to crawl up through any of a number of portals between the inner and outer worlds.

That’s where the 2024 film Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire comes in. Though Kong is free to live as the apex species in the Hollow Earth, he’s lonely and seeking fellow ape companionship. Godzilla is a lizard, and so doesn’t give a crap about anything other than messing up other kaiju, and if he happens to decimate the center of Rome (for instance) that’s all the better for his own entertainment. Humanity doesn’t seem to mind too much.

However, Kong’s depressing inner life isn’t the only thing amiss in the inner world — there’s a mysterious energy signal emanating from deep

within the deeps and, after some cursory exploration, it’s determined that whatever’s going on down there isn’t good. So not-good that it’s going to take a teamup between two of history’s most reluctant allies to sort it out. In the meantime, the planet’s cities and major cultural sites are in for an ass-whoopin’ too.

Ranked as a whole, Godzilla x Kong is a low-to-middling offering in the MonsterVerse. While you’ll most certainly eat at least one whole container of popcorn and want to crank up the volume on your sound system, you’re not going to come away with any sense of deeper plot development or even connection between the characters. For that, I recommend Kong: Skull Island, followed by Godzilla and Godzilla: King of the Monsters

I don’t pretend to under-

stand what it is about this genre that I find so appealing. Maybe it’s something to do with contemplating our faults in defining the human and animal within us, or ruminating on whether the fantastical can

live alongside the mundane or must subsume it. Maybe it’s just the thrill of seeing a titanic struggle.

Stream Godzilla x Kong — and the rest of the MonsterVerse — on Max.

Courtesy photo.

Sandpoint’s favorite frothy festival

Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce hosts 10th annual Beerfest

The year’s tastiest celebration, Beerfest, returns for its 10th anniversary Saturday, July 6 at Trinity At City Beach (58 Bridge St., in Sandpoint) from noon-5 p.m. Festival goers can relax in the sun and enjoy live music as they sample more than 20 craft beers, ciders and seltzers.

“Like most events since [the pandemic], Beerfest has been growing in attendance each year. We are excited to have more breweries represented this year than we have had in the past. All four of our local breweries are participating this year: MickDuff’s,

Laughing Dog, Matchwood and Utara,” said Mickey Quinn, executive director of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Regional breweries such as Timber Town, Trail’s End, Cabinet Mountain, Brewscape and One Tree Hard Cider have also offered up their most delicious drinks.

Tickets are available for $50 at sandpoint-beerfest, which includes unlimited seven-ounce pours as well as a commemorative Beerfest glass. All ticket holders must present a valid ID before entering the venue, where they’ll enjoy carefully selected pours in addition to food, water and soda available

for purchase.

“This allows the attendees to get small tastes of all the beverages they are curious about, and then go back for more of their favorites. We do encourage moderation, of course, and planning ahead for transportation after the event,” said Quinn, adding that organizers have partnered with Bonner Taxi to ensure everyone has access to a safe ride home.

Designated drivers can join in with root beer and other sodas provided by MickDuff’s, though there will be no discounted tickets this year. Children may attend with an adult 21 years of age or older. Bring sunscreen, chairs and blankets,

Kaleidoscope program brings art to the kids of Sandpoint

Kaleidoscope, a children’s art program supported by the Pend Oreille Arts Council, was able to bring art experiences to more than 850 students during the 2023-’24 school year in seven Lake Pend Oreille School District elementary schools and Idaho Hill.

The program began in 1992 as a collaboration between POAC and the Community Assistance League. Deb Lafrenz and Kathy Borders developed the program as an answer to the lack of art teachers in area elementary schools. The program began for third-graders only, but grew to include fourth, fifth and sixth grades by 1999.

As the curriculum was developed in conjunction with the high school’s curriculum, it has also been updated and modified over time to meet the learning targets of art education. During the most recent school year, students in third through sixth grades benefited from art lessons taught by

31 dedicated volunteers from October-May.

The lessons are designed on a year-to-year continuum to teach the elements of art, such as line, color and shape.

“I’ve worked with kids that have an incredible talent for art,” said one volunteer. “We also provide an opportunity for kids to feel success where they might not otherwise.”

“I feel such pride when seeing kids who have struggled overcome frustrations,” stated another volunteer. “I see happy kids being able to show their Art with confidence.”

The Pend Oreille Arts Council provides all the ma-

but leave pups at home.

Local funky favorite Right Front Burner will perform throughout the day, bringing more good vibes to the festivities.

“They play a mix of funk, disco, rock and groove, and they have a combined 86 years of music experience. Their music is sure to make your booty shake,” said Quinn.

With the Best Western Edgewater Resort slated for demolition, this may be the last Beerfest held in the

shade of the current hotel.

“We will be partnering with Averill Hospitality to review plans for future Beerfest events,” Quinn said, referring to the new owners, who are planning a sweeping redevelopment of the waterfront property. “They have been great to work with already and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with them as they build the new resort. Stay tuned!”

WaFd Bank donates $1k to Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc.

terials needed for the lessons as well as lesson plans and volunteer training.

According to POAC, many of the volunteers have been involved with the program for multiple years and often parents or grandparents of the children in the program. Many local artists volunteer, although an art background is not necessary.

The Kaleidoscope Program needs more volunteers for the 2024-’25 school year. Those interested and would like more information may contact the Pend Oreille Arts Council office at 208-2636139 or

WaFd Bank Branch Manager Danielle Resso and Community Business Banker Gavin Butterfield on July 2 presented Loris Michael with a check of $1,000 for the Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc., whose mission is to provide residents over the age of 50 with nutritional meals and serve as a gathering

place and informational site for social, recreational and wellness programs.

Funds from WaFd Bank’s Foundation will go toward overall operations costs to help keep SASi’s mission and services active to the senior community in the area.

For more info about SASi, call 208-263-6860 or email

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.


The gift of music

Nonprofit organization

Music Bridges Borders will welcome the community to its sixth annual Local Artists Showcase highlighting the talents of 12 Sandpoint-based groups and solo musicians beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6. Organizers hope to give back to the community that offers them so much support with this free, all-day event outside the Heartwood Center (615 Oak St., Sandpoint).

“Come down and enjoy the music and relax. It’s going to be a beautiful day, so come see what the musicians in Sandpoint have to offer — they’ve got a lot to give,” said volunteer Rick Reed, who founded the organization along with his wife Elinor.

The musical extravaganza will promote local musicians and artisans selling jewelry, crafts, art and books. Businesses and community sponsors have also donated prizes for a silent auction, including tequila, handmade goods sourced from Mexico and gift certificates to local businesses like Evans Brothers Coffee and The Little Christmas Store.

All proceeds spent on food and drinks, as well as at the event’s silent auction, will go directly to the nonprofit to

Music Bridges Borders hosts 6th annual Local Artists Showcase

offset the cost of the showcase. Any excess funds will go toward the organization’s free music camp, which runs from July 29 through August 1.

This year, Music Bridges Borders will sponsor eight students who will travel from Mexico to teach approximately 50 Sandpoint students before participating in the Spokane Youth Symphony’s summer music camp in early August. The students will give free performances throughout Sandpoint in July and August, including at the First Presbyterian Church (417 N. Fourth Ave.) on Saturday, July 27.

“Everything we do is free and all our events are heartwarming. Nothing else in Sandpoint is free — everything else you have to pay a ton of money,” Reed said. “We have

a number of children who would otherwise never get an instrument in their hands.”

Carys Perilloux will kick off the July 6 show at 11:30 a.m. with piano solos, followed by the Sandpoint Old Time Fiddlers group. Murry Butler and the L&M Review will share the stage with the Fiddlers until Noelle Bastow and the Sandpoint Violin School take over.

The day will also include performances by Natalie Miller, Sarah Kugle, Chris Paradis, Max Reed, Buster Brown and the Karen Atkins trio, with a dance party featuring Accidental Harmonies Contra Dance Band. Local favorite John Firshi will bring it home at 6:15 p.m., ending the evening with soulful blues.

“We’re just really lucky to have the people we have in-

volved, and the businesses that donate for the silent auction are a huge help. It’s definitely a community project with people coming up and saying, ‘What can I do?’” said Reed. Bring low-backed lawn chairs and blankets, kick up your feet and enjoy music from Sandpoint’s most talented individuals while supporting an organization that promotes music and cultural exchange in the community. For more information, visit facebook. com/musicbridgesborders/.

“It’s like a gift to the community that does so much for us. It’s our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and celebrating these wonderful artists that we have in our midst,” said Reed.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Snacks at Midnight, The Hive, July 5

Starting out as a basement band of high school friends, Snacks at Midnight has evolved into one of the more prolific groups playing in the Inland Northwest.

Their indie rock style is accented by occasional punk ballads, softened by a folk turn and brought back around with a rock finish.

DJ OJ Trailblazer, 219 Lounge, July 6

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


A friend pushed Made in America my way the other day; and, while I’m only on the first chapter, I’m already the better for having read it. Written by Bill Bryson and published in 1994, the book is a treasure trove of wit and humor — and endless fascinating tidbits of history — centered on tracing the origins of our American form of English. Check it out at the Sandpoint library.

Ben Olson

8:45 p.m., $5, 21+. The Hive, 207 N. First Ave., 208-920-9039, Listen at

The Spokane-based fivepiece has played everywhere from street corners to large venues, enjoying the ride along the way. Their album Mom’s Proud dropped in 2020 and has been followed with several singles that show the versatile nature of this band.

The 219 Lounge is mixing up its music schedule with a Saturday night set from DJ OJ Trailblazer, who blends house, soul, jazz and early hip hop into an infectious groove.

OJ Trailblazer, a.k.a. Joe Vitello, has also been known to spin a little lakeside reggae in Coeur d’Alene, and if you were up at Schweitzer during the closing weekend of the most recent season you probably saw him — or heard him

— outside the Crow’s Bench or at Pucci’s Pub.

The outdoor bar at the Niner will be open for the July 6 show, and Killer Tacos will be serving up eats all night.

As the 219’s promo promises, “The energy and creativeness Joe has is just what the doctor ordered.”

— Zach Hagadone

9 p.m., FREE, 21+. 219 Lounge, 219 N. First Ave., 208263-5673,


It’s fair to say that Andrew Bird is something like the sonic incarnation of Wes Anderson, and at no point has that been more apparent than with his May 2024 release Sunday Morning Put-On. The album features nine tracks, all mid-century jazz classics reimagined in Bird’s own style and presented as if they’re being broadcast on a “golden era” radio show. It’s gimmicky as hell, but Bird somehow manages to spin schmaltz into gold. Buy it on or stream it on YouTube.

It seems almost too obvious of a premise, but in director Lance Oppenheimer’s hands, Max docu-drama Ren Faire is orders of magnitude more riveting than any episode of House of the Dragon. The series throws viewers into the political rats’ nest that is the Texas Renaissance Festival, where a trio of oddball employees jockey to become the successor to 86-year-old “King” George Coulam, who has ruled the faire like a Viagra-addled Lear more than 50 years.

Past Music Bridges Borders participants perform with fellow members of the Spokane Youth Symphony. Courtesy photo.

From Northern Idaho News, July 1, 1924



The pool table license, which is $5 per quarter per table, of the Class A pool hall expired on May 26, and because they had failed to have the license renewed the proprietors of the Class A establishment, Thomas and Mike Panagos, were gathered in by Deputy MacKay, of the sheriff’s force and taken to jail yesterday morning. They were taken before Justice of the Peace Bowden and, on their pleading guilty, were assessed a fine of $5 each with costs.

However, Class A is still without its license and so cannot operate tables, as the sheriff declined to renew the permit.

The proprietors of Class A pool hall took the matter of the license up with the prosecuting attorney and his opinion was that failure to take out a license was not an offense under the statute sufficient to justify refusal to issue license. As the county treasurer is authorized to issue license, it may be that Class A pool hall will get its license from that source.


I’ve not been writing a lot of late — mostly, just this column. The best days of writing are dark and wet, when I’m glad to be inside and gladder still to have something to do that I love to do. But now, the long light of the season demands to be used. Lingering day calls, “Don’t just sit there. Do something!” Not that writing is not doing something. It surely is, but a window in my writing room frames a green hodgepodge of trees, a wild bit of lawn that needs taming, wilder roses, blooming dewberry vines, the beginning of a trail to the river lined with blood-orange honeysuckle clusters and a pile of cardboard that needs to be recycled. I can’t see my eternal house project from here, but I surely feel its presence.

It all calls to me. “Come outside. Go for a walk. Work on the house. Mow the lawn.” The recycling can wait, but if I don’t mow the lawn soon, I won’t be able to find it to recycle.

Today, spring is waning spectacularly and summer waits to pounce, but by the time you read this, the solstice will be passed. Past or not, the solstice is a precision celestial event defined by culture in an arbitrary manner. If we were to give up our version of time and skip leap years, the precise moment of the solstice would move backward — occur earlier — on our unadjusted calendar at a rate of about six hours per solar cycle. Our rotation around the sun takes just a bit more than 365 days, so the world loses 24 of our sort of arbitrary hours to the universe every four years. Modern humans figured out how to get them

STR8TS Solution

On time, new works and short-lived famous folks

back. We gave ourselves an extra day to catch up, or more accurately, wait up. (Don’t think about this too much. It’ll make your head hurt.)

Related question: Why is Leap Day in February? Why not add a day to June, when the weather is a hell of a lot better than February’s almost anywhere above the 30th Parallel. February un-Leap-Dayed is also a nearly perfect month — four weeks and no extra days. March follows it exactly for much of the way to April, which is cool, especially if a Friday the 13th is involved. But every four years, Leap Day comes along and screws things up.

Of course, with no Leap Day, the Solstice would be in February about 8,500 years in the future. At some point, the solstice and Valentine’s could be on the same day. Party central!

Why do I know this? I’m a curious sort (smart-ass friends can keep your comments to yourself) and I like learning new stuff, though I can go for weeks sometimes without remembering that. Life and stuff I already know about gets in the way. But there’s always something new (to me) if I go looking.

One place I go looking is the American Heritage Dictionary. I’ve been reading it word-by-word for about two years — I can’t remember when I started. It’s a source of many interesting words. It’s a dictionary, right? To me, it’s also an inexhaustible supply of weird and wonderful ideas. Who made some of this stuff up? Medical terms and chemical compounds make me glaze over. I don’t try to comprehend them, much less pronounce them. Well, maybe if they’re less than four syllables. The occupants of Greek mythology, which is not so much about happy endings,

Sudoku Solution

seem to rate a lot of exposure, as do kings, queens, famous scientists, explorers, writers, etc.

Speaking of happy endings, why did so many famous people die relatively young? And what got them? Alexander the Great didn’t see 35. This is not completely morbid interest, but one held in search of better understanding of who the less-than-old mortalities were.

Unless the life-defining moments of someone are exceptionally juicy (Marie Antoinette, for instance), the dictionary generally just tells the dates of birth and death and something of their accomplishments. For instance: Flannery O’Connor; (1925-64), U.S. novelist and short-story writer; full name Mary Flannery O’Connor. Her short stories are notable for their dark humor and grotesque characters.

So, what happened when she was 39? That is the question. And to tell you the truth, I don’t know. But, it’s a start; a reason to dig deeper. Let the research begin.

I’ll keep you posted on Flannery and Alexander. And, maybe even “antiferromagnetic.”

Crossword Solution

Instead of having “answers” on a math test, they should just call them “impressions,” and if you got a different “impression,” so what, can’t we all be brothers?

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter




Writing table

Woman of rank

Hawaiian veranda


Computer symbol

Another time

On top of

Wall upright





He writes in stanzas


Without a weapon

Think likely



Gun holder

Scatter about

Week of the


1. sudden and overwhelming in effect; stunning; dazzling.

“The foudroyant storm lit up the whole sky.”

Corrections: Norman Semanko, legal counsel for the Five Lakes Estates community in Sagle, is based in Boise, not Coeur d’Alene, as we incorrectly reported in the June 27, 2024 paper. Semanko also misspoke when he said the average rate of injuries per 1,000 hours of downhill mountain biking was 6.8, which we then printed. The actual number should be 16.8, as was written in his presentation. We regret the errors.







Legal claim

Eagle’s home

Citrus fruit


Solution on page 22






Shredded cabbage

Wise men

Nitpicky to a fault





Very drunk

Knows (Scottish)

Acts of lying







Aware of



Cheese dish


Your majesty

Gulf port


Dangerous current

Elongated crescent-shaped fruit 43. Swerve wildly

Graven images

Old Persian coin





Colored part of the eye



JULY 25 Blues Traveler with Justyn Priest


JULY 27 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Big Boi

JULY 31 Maren Morris

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