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2 / R / June 20, 2024

The week in random review

a gentle reminder

“History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, re-knitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always — eventually — manages to spring back into its old familiar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It’s been around a long time.”


maybe i’m the ghost

Like most institutions more than 100 years old, there were rumors that my college campus was haunted. It’s nonsense really. Just because the campus fills with an impenetrable fog almost every night, most mornings and frequently in the afternoon, obscuring buildings and curling like eldritch tentacles around your legs, it must be haunted? Just because famous serial killer Ted Bundy went to school there, grew up several blocks away and maybe murdered a child nearby, the campus must be haunted? Clearly college kids will believe anything. It did make for a compelling narrative when I frequently found myself walking at 2 a.m. through the patch of cultivated forest known to students as the “Murder Woods.” I had to turn in assignments hard-copy to the English building across campus before my professor arrived each morning, and when faced with the choice of either waking up at 6 a.m. or death by ghost, I chose the latter. One night I donned my knee-high rain boots over my penguin pajamas, grabbed a metal water bottle — the ideal weapon against dead serial killers — and wandered out into the mist. I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was following me, and the ominous thumps in the night weren’t helping. I dropped off my paper and began sprinting back to my dorm, following the winding path through Murder Woods, and finally burst into a clearing a few feet in front of a terrified freshmen couple stumbling home from a party. The girl jumped in front of her boyfriend, raised her fists like Popeye and I, not wanting to get punched in the face, shouted, “I’m not a murderer. I’m running for my life!” Not the most comforting statement in retrospect. I gave a little wave and sprinted away again before they could ask questions. I never saw those two students again, but I hope they got home and told the story of the pajama-clad ghost running from something hiding in the fog. It’s not a bad way to be remembered.

daily affirmations

“She walked quickly through the darkness with the frank stride of someone who was at least certain that the forest, on this damp and windy night, contained strange and terrible things and she was it.”

— Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters


Today (June 20) is the first day of summer. Huzzah!

Growing up in Sandpoint, summer was always my favorite time of year — full of campouts, lake excursions, baseball games, road trips, no school and lazy days.

As an adult who has accumulated a fair amount of salt on their skin, summer is still a great time of year, but it’s plagued by the chaos that surrounds this busy season in our growing community.

Summer now means walking downtown instead of driving. It means waiting for a table at a restaurant for a half hour or more. It means your favorite camping spot being taken, a popular back road closed for construction, weekends lost to smoky skies and utter exhaustion experienced by anyone who works in the service industry.

Summer is a vibe. Let’s all slow down and get the most out of it this year, because it’s a great time to be alive in Sandpoint.

– Ben Olson, publisher


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About the Cover This week’s cover by Bill Mitchell: @billmitchellart

June 20, 2024 / R / 3

Sandpoint P&Z recommendations open the way for new hotel project at City Beach

Averill Hospitality plan would replace Edgewater Best Western with $70M full-service resort

The biggest news to break over Sandpoint in recent months has been the announcement that Whitefish, Mont.-based Averill Hospitality is poised to begin redevelopment at the Best Western Edgewater Resort site adjacent to City Beach.

Long considered among the most desirable pieces of real estate in the county, the Edgewater has also long been slated for demolition and replacement with a new hotel under a different brand.

Averill purchased the property in the spring of 2022, though word had circulated through the community going back at least to 2017 that it would be redeveloped. After several rumor-filled years and through a high-profile land swap with the city of Sandpoint — which traded the grassy strip in front of the hotel for the RV park to the south — Sandpoint City Hall finally had the opportunity to look at a concrete plan for the approximately three-acre site, voting unanimously June 18 to recommend approval of a conditional use permit and variance for Averill’s proposed 296,260-square-foot hotel and resort.

The meeting lasted about four and a half hours with public testimony trending heavily in support.

Brian Averill, speaking on behalf of his family’s company, told commissioners that the hotel intends to employ about 400 staff members. The facility is planned to include 181 guest rooms, a 14,262-square-foot event space, two restaurants — one 4,600-square-foot eatery inside the resort and another 1,391-square-foot standalone restaurant on the southeast corner of the property — as well as 240 parking spaces and guest amenities such as a gym, pool,

recreational equipment rentals and curated retail spaces.

Averill also told city officials that the hotel would bring in $500,000-$600,000 per year in hotel property taxes and $2.5 million in additional annual “tourist tax” local option revenue. The Reader reached out to City Hall to inquire about those estimates, but city offices were closed June 19 in honor of the Juneteenth holiday.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jeremy Grimm told the Reader in an email that, “This scale of project is a once-in-a-generation investment in the community” and “an order-of-magnitude change in our ability to host state and regional gatherings.”

“Although change can be difficult, this is one element of change that will dramatically benefit Sandpoint in a variety of ways,” he added. “Being home to the only lakefront hotel within an incorporated city in all of Bonner County will position Sandpoint and our adjacent downtown in an advantageous position for the future. I am grateful to the Averill family for their commitment to making this project the best it can be and for their thoughtful and sensitive approach to the design.”

The project is estimated to cost upward of $70 million.

Developers of the site asked for a variance so that their proposed design could be set back from the property line — intended to avoid the impression of building mass and obstruction of views at City Beach Park, and provide a covered pickup and dropoff location on Bridge Street.

Averill said that the company is intent on making its resort hotel part of the community, helping foster events at the beach, and “looks forward to participating in the master plan for City Beach Park.”

“It doesn’t make any sense to me at all to prolong this process any longer,” Commissioner Amelia Boyd said, later adding, “Moving forward is the right thing to do.”

Averill’s proposal will now go before the City Council at a date to be determined.

NEWS 4 / R / June 20, 2024
Renderings showing the proposed resort-hotel project from Averill Hospitality, located at the current Best Western Edgewater site. Photos courtesy OZ Architecture.

Council to meet June 20 in recognition of Juneteenth Agenda includes a Comp Plan work session,

Proceedings of the Sandpoint City Council will be on Thursday, June 20 — a departure from the usual Wednesday meeting date, due to recognition of the Juneteenth federal holiday each year on June 19.

Juneteenth observes the date on June 19, 1865 when officials ordered the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation for the final time — in Texas — marking a day of independence for enslaved Black Americans in the former Confederacy.

The City Council will convene first at 4 p.m. at the City Hall council chambers (1123 Lake St.) to conduct a work session on the Comprehensive Plan.

Specifically, council and staff will review proposed edits to Chapters 6-12 of the updated draft of the plan, which is expected to be the final work session on the document before it goes before the City Council for a public hearing followed by adoption at a later date.

Public comment will not be taken during the work session, though residents can watch the proceedings live via Zoom at or in person in the council chambers at City Hall.

Find the draft version of the Comp Plan at:

The council will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. for its regular meeting, with an agenda including a presentation from Steve Gill, of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and Ponderay Mayor Steve Geiger on the Blackrock smelter brownfields cleanup, located on the shoreline at the northern end of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail.

Remediation of the site of historic mining pollution is a critical component of the Front Yard Project, which the

city of Ponderay is pursuing to connect the community to the waterfront and the Bay Trail. Construction and cleanup is slated to take place from the late summer/fall of 2024 to spring 2025.

Other items on the agenda include amending the services agreement with Logan Simpson Design for work on the Comp Plan update, a resolution for the award of an Idaho Gem Grant to the city for the Travers skatepark expansion and a second change order to the agreement with Dreamland Skateparks for the project.

Councilors will consider whether to extend the Logan Simpson contract through July 31 and increase the maximum “not-to-exceed amount” by $3,000, for a total of $138,600, “which will cover the costs of implanting the final edits and prepare the Comp Plan for its public hearing and adoption,” according to the agenda packet.

The city’s contract with Logan Simpson dates back to 2019, when it began working on the update to the Comp Plan — a process that was interrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Idaho Gem Grant award amounts to $50,000, which city staff recommends the council accept and put toward the $72,000 project of installing LED lighting at the ongoing Phase 2 expansion of the Travers Skatepark.

The remaining funds needed for the lighting project would be covered by community fundraising efforts led by the Bonner County Skatepark Association, which is also applying for an additional grant that will be put toward the overall expansion project, according to the city staff report.

Another agenda item addresses the Travers Skatepark project, asking councilors to approve a second change order with Dreamland Skateparks — which is developing

changes to contracts including Travers Skatepark

the site — asking for an additional $12,731 in order to deal with “unforeseen challenges with the existing soil,” according to the staff report.

“The contractor was unable to realize proper compaction and as advised by the geotechnical engineers, they are required to remove and replace the existing soil with a fill material and structural fabric that will support the load of the concrete skatepark and reduce any potential future cracking,” officials wrote in the agenda packet.

The original contract totalled $300,000 with a change order for an additional $52,000 from BCSA and $48,000 from the City’s Capital Improvement Fund. That brought the project to $400,000. If approved, the second change order would bring costs to $412,731.

The skatepark isn’t the only component of the wide-ranging Travers Park overhaul to see change orders related to rising costs.

Council approved the contract bid for the playground and splashpad to be located near the skatepark and James E. Russell Sports Center at its June 5 meeting, awarding the work to Ginno Construction — which is already building the Russell Center — for $881,000.

Community Planning and Development Director Jason Welker noted $328,000 are already “encumbered” for the playground/splashpad project, which has so far exceeded its

budget by about $86,000. The solution has been to reallocate about $250,000 from other projects and parts of the budget to compensate.

“We determined that fully funding the playground improvement, [and] the skatepark this year, were more important than resurfacing tennis courts,” Welker said, adding that the city was also moving funds away from a dog park and kayak launch projects to complete the playground.

“There’s always unknowns; there’s always change orders,” he said, going on to state that the original contingency cost planning for the project was insufficient.

“We ended up with no contingency funds,” he said. “We’re also facing the realities of construction costs today.”

Welker said that economic conditions in the construction industry demand that contingency funds cover between 10% and 12% of any given project, rather than the 5-6% that had been considered sufficient in the past.

In response to Councilor Kyle Schreiber, who raised questions critical of the budgeting, Mayor Jeremy Grimm referred to the previous city administration — which initiated the project — when he said, “We didn’t pick this location; we’re just trying to push this over the finish line. ... I pray that there are no unknowns.”

Grimm also said that it was his decision to forego the dog

park and kayak launch projects in favor of funding the playground.

Councilor Pam Duquette also expressed frustration with the overall Travers Park redevelopment project, which drew vigorous protests at its groundbreaking last year, saying, “You have designed beyond funds for this project and I don’t believe it’s fiscally responsible.”

To that, Welker said that failing to deliver the projects that the city promised its citizens using their tax dollars would be irresponsible, illustrating the point by adding that the previous administration had budgeted $60,000 for dog park designs for a project that likely would have topped $2 million, resulting in “more fuzzy watercolors” produced by a consulting firm to be contemplated by residents.

Fiscal responsibility also includes “giving the taxpayers their money back in the form of public goods,” Welker said.

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.

As of the beginning of June, comments are no longer accepted via Zoom. Submit comments in writing by emailing cityclerk@sandpointidaho. gov 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 208-263-3310.

The city makes listening devices available in chambers.

June 20, 2024 / R / 5 NEWS
Photo by Ben Olson.

Branden Durst sues West Bonner for ‘breach of contract’

Former West Bonner School District Superintendent Branden Durst has sued the district over the board of trustees’ termination of his contract last fall.

Durst appeared to resign from the district in September when he released a letter announcing his “decision to seek an amicable and fair exit from my role as superintendent.” And a month later, the West Bonner School Board voted to accept his resignation.

But the board “intentionally misrepresented the nature and purpose” of the letter, said Durst’s February legal complaint, which asked for more than $100,000 in damages along with attorney fees. Durst claimed the district breached his contract and violated “an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”

West Bonner denied the allegations, and both parties demanded a jury trial, which has yet to be scheduled.

Durst’s case against West Bonner could be one of two lawsuits stemming from his nearly four months as leader of the embattled district in North Idaho. Also in February, he filed a tort claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — notifying the State Board of Education and Department of Education that he intends to sue the agencies for $1.25 million after they denied him an emergency waiver to serve as superintendent.

Lawsuit centers on ‘exit’ letter

In his complaint against West Bonner, Durst offered two pieces of evidence: his one-year contract worth $110,000 and the letter announcing he sought an “exit” from the role.

West Bonner hired Durst in late June 2023 even though he hadn’t completed all five requirements for a State Board superintendent’s endorsement. West Bonner trustees hired Durst with the understanding that he would obtain an emergency certification.

The State Board denied that request on Sept. 13 — after a legal review showed the board doesn’t have the authority to waive the endorsement requirements for a superintendent. Durst released the letter on Sept. 25, which was addressed to the West Bonner community.

“I am announcing my decision to seek an amicable and fair exit from my role as the superintendent of the West Bonner County School District,” Durst wrote before listing his accomplishments and bemoaning his “naysayers.”

“I believe it is necessary for me to step aside as superintendent,” he wrote. “While my last day as superintendent will be up

to the board, until then, I will continue to work diligently to uphold the district’s mission and support students’ success.”

Several media outlets, including Idaho Education News, reported that Durst had resigned based on the letter. On Oct. 25, the West Bonner school board voted to accept Durst’s resignation and appoint a temporary superintendent to replace him.

But the letter wasn’t a resignation, and the district breached his contract by terminating it, according to Durst’s complaint. He also accused “certain members” of the school of publicly making “false claims about Durst being untruthful” and creating a “hostile work environment.”

“In order to address some of these issues, Durst wrote a letter to the board,” the complaint says. “The board intentionally misrepresented the nature and purpose of such a written correspondence and purported to treat the written correspondence as a letter of resignation from Durst.”

District denies allegations

Durst completed about one-third of his contract. He was paid $55,060.87 between June and December, according to payroll records obtained by Idaho Education News through a public records request. That included $14,208.31 for “extra days” in November and December, after the school board terminated his contract, the pay stubs show.

Durst declined to comment on the lawsuit, which he filed in the First Judicial District court in Bonner County. “At the advice of my legal representation I am not able to comment on pending litigation,” he said by email.

West Bonner did not respond to a request for comment.

But the district denied all of Durst’s accusations in an April response to the court and asked that his complaint be dismissed. Attorneys for the district offered 32 defenses, including that West Bonner is immune from liability per the Idaho Tort Claims Act.

The Boise-based firm Anderson, Julian and Hull is representing West Bonner. Shep Law Group of Meridian is representing Durst.

After leaving the school district, Durst unsuccessfully ran for Ada County commissioner as a Republican. He also lost the 2022 Republican primary election for state superintendent, and he was previously a Democratic lawmaker, serving in the Idaho House and Senate.

It’s unclear whether Durst intends to move forward with a lawsuit against the State Board and Department of Education. A search of court filings did not show that a complaint has been filed.

Idaho EdNews data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report.

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:

Small newspaper publishers in 11 states are suing Google and Facebook, saying their grip on digital advertising threatens the papers’ existence and violates federal antitrust laws, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The Supreme Court recently decided 6-3 to invalidate a Trump administration federal rule outlawing bump stocks used with semi-automatic weapons to increase rates of fire. CBS reported the Trump-era ruling came after a 2017 mass shooting in which the gunman used bump stocks to fire up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition in 11 minutes, killing 58 and injuring 500. The decision indicated that Congress could take up the issue.

The court also ruled unanimously that the abortion pill mifepristone will not be further restricted, numerous media said. Medication abortions account for 63% of abortions, up 10% from 2020. The nonprofit Institute for Labor Economics reported that states with abortion bans had an estimated 32,000 more births last year. Nationally the number of abortions has increased, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

A kids’ book about banned books has been banned in Florida, various media reported. Ban This Book follows a student who can’t borrow a banned book, but then creates a secret banned-book library.

The State Department has imposed sanctions on a “violent extremist Israeli group” that has been attacking aid trucks headed for Gaza. Unarmed Israeli counter-protestors have been intervening to thwart the extremist attacks, The Guardian reported.

Also according to The Guardian, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved his war cabinet that oversaw operations in Gaza, giving himself more decision-making power.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will order a ceasefire in Ukraine and start negotiations if Kyiv will withdraw troops from four regions that Moscow annexed in 2022. He also wants Ukraine to drop its efforts to join NATO, ABC reported. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky described the proposal as an “ultimatum” and compared it to actions by Hitler when he seized territory, leading to WWII.

Leaders of the seven wealthiest democracies have agreed to lend Ukraine $50 billion by using interest earned on profits from Russia’s frozen central bank assets, the Associated Press reported.

Trump, now 78, recently spoke to a group of CEOs who were not impressed by his performance. One attendee at the business roundtable told CNBC that, “Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Others described Trump’s talk as meandering and reminiscent of a “drunk uncle.” Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal recently published an article under the headline “Behind Closed Doors, Biden is Slipping,” featuring all-Republican sources. Democrats did provide on-the-record quotes about President Joe Biden, 81, but the WSJ did not use them, according to CNN. Sinclair network widely distributed the WSJ piece. Trump is challenging Biden to take a cognitive test after a video, widely circulated on right-wing media platforms, portraying Biden as wandering off at the G7 Summit. Business Insider reported that the edited video misrepresented the incident

A Florida court decided that Chiquita Banana must pay $38 million to families of eight Columbian men murdered by a paramilitary death squad they financed from 1997 to 2004, The Guardian reported.

The U.S. Surgeon General wants Congress to require warning labels on social media platforms, reminiscent of warnings on cigarettes. In The New York Times, Dr. Vivek Murthy wrote that social media is a contributing factor to young peoples’ mental health crisis, and is equal to other risks that are regulated.

Blast from the past: In 1999, America’s college debt burden was $90 billion. It ballooned to $550 billion by 2011. Why? As explained in After the Ivory Tower Falls, WWII veterans gladly used the G.I. education bill, which offered their first chance to go to college and spurred a national shift away from regarding college as being reserved for moneyed elites. Followed by that generation came another that saw U.S. democracy as riddled with hypocrisy. The resulting campus unrest threatened capitalism and the status quo, so conservatives began efforts to defund government support for colleges. Another defunding factor: Conservatives noticed better-educated people often voted for Democrats. With higher tuition, demand for student loans rose, and the often predatory student loan industry took off. For-profit colleges then entered the mix, delivering often useless degrees. Biden’s work on reducing overwhelming college debt has included forgiving debt to for-profit colleges that reneged on their job promises.

6 / R / June 20, 2024

Dorothy Moon reelected as chair of the Idaho Republican Party

Incumbent GOP leader defeated former Idaho legislator and challenger Mary Souza for party’s top job

Idaho Republican Party Chair Dorothy Moon was reelected to a second two-year term, as party members met at North Idaho College during the final day of the 2024 Republican State Convention on June 15.

Party Secretary Maria Nate announced that Moon, who lives outside of Stanley, defeated challenger Mary Souza. Souza, of Coeur d’Alene, is a former member of the Idaho Senate who announced her campaign for party chairperson the week before the convention.

The leadership election brought to a close the most secretive Idaho Republican State Convention in at least a decade. Reporters were not allowed to attend any committee meetings, business meetings or attend the convention’s general session during the afternoon of June 14 and morning of June 15. This is a departure from recent Idaho GOP state conventions, when reporters were allowed to attend and cover the general sessions, which is where delegates vote on the party platform, rules and resolutions.

All of those votes this year happened behind closed doors.

A Republican official led four reporters into the convention’s general session at about 1:30 p.m. on June 15, shortly before Moon was nominated for a second term as party chair. Moon received a loud standing ovation from many of the hundreds of GOP delegates, alternates and guests at the general session, who chanted, “Dorothy! Dorothy! Dorothy!” after Moon

delivered a short speech.

Moon won by a vote of 376 to 228, Nate announced.

In other leadership races, Nate announced that Mark Fuller of Bonneville County was elected first vice chair of the Idaho Republican Party, defeating Wayne Hurst of Cassia County by 382 votes to Hurst’s 223.

Other Idaho GOP leadership race outcomes include:

• Second vice chair: 403 votes for Viki Purdy, 186 votes for Billy Knopp

• Secretary: 387 votes for Maria Nate, 212 votes for Charlene Matheson

• Treasurer: 412 votes for Steve Bender, 187 votes for Brian Garrett

• National committeeman: 390 votes for Bryan Smith, 200 votes for Tom Luna

• National committeewoman: 396 votes for Vicki Keen, 191 votes for Shelley Blanchard

Moon says her emphasis is to honor the state GOP platform

Moon was first elected chair of the Idaho Republican Party in 2022, defeating for-

mer Idaho GOP Chair Tom Luna. Moon will continue to lead the party for the next two years.

In an interview with the Idaho Capital Sun on June 13, Moon described herself as a hard-worker and rule-follower, which she said are two traits that help her succeed in leading the party. Moon told the Sun she works about 120 hours a week and has been averaging three hours of sleep recently as she prepared for the GOP convention.

“People have told me they have never seen anybody work harder in this position, and I believe that,” Moon told the Sun.

“My vision has always been clear — just follow the rules, honor the platform,” Moon added. “That’s what I’ve always espoused.”

Delegates from counties across Idaho voted in the leadership races, which were conducted by written ballots, Nate said.

The leadership election was the final item on the agenda for the secretive, three-day convention. Reporters were blocked from attending all GOP Committee meetings on June 13 and June 14, and

blocked from attending the convention’s general session during the afternoon of June 14, which took place at North Idaho College — a publicly funded institution of higher education in which the Idaho GOP rented space.

Idaho Democratic Party Chair Lauren Necochea issued a written statement shortly after Moon’s reelection.

“Today’s reelection of Dorothy Moon further entrenched the extremists who have taken over the Idaho Republican Party,” Necochea wrote. “If my grandmother — a Reagan Republican born

and raised in Idaho — were alive today, she would not believe what has become of the party. While the Idaho GOP becomes unrecognizable to traditional Republicans, I invite voters of all political stripes to get to know their local Democratic candidates.”

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

Lake Pend Oreille approaches summer pool on June 19

After a slow refill due to metal defects discovered on a spillway gate at Albeni Falls Dam, Lake Pend Oreille approached summer pool elevation on June 19. By press time, the elevation was recorded at 2,062 feet, just a half foot below the “normal” summer lake level.

Albeni Falls Dam remains under restricted operations, with one spillway gate remaining fully open. Under restrict-

ed operations, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not move more than one spillway gate; and, if movement is chosen, will move the gate from fully open to fully closed, or vice versa.

The Corps announced the summer elevation band will be between 2,061.75 and 2,062.25, as measured at Hope, in order to not exceed historic high water elevations at the dam.

June 20, 2024 / R / 7 NEWS
Albeni Falls Dam. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Idaho GOP Party Chairperson Dorothy Moon announces the results of the Republican Presidential Caucus in Boise on March 2, 2024. Photo by Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun.


• “Holy cow! Here is a huge Bouquet to the city of Ponderay and the nonprofit North Idaho Ice. Their projects and progress are amazing. My wife and I rode our bikes out to the Field of Dreams on Saturday, expecting to see some leveled dirt. Crews were working, there are four playing fields graded in and artificial turf on two of them already. Light poles are up, the concession building is framed in and roads are graded. The community ice rink on Kootenai Cutoff Road has lots of fill material onsite, just waiting for the graders to start there. The Reader needs to take a break from that stuffy office and get us some pictures and info. The city and the nonprofit hosted a very successful fundraiser last week for the ice rink and sold out of tickets for the venue’s capacity. I have to believe that Floyd and Mickie McGhee are smiling hard at this real gift to our community. Sincerely,” — Rob Harrison

• A Bouquet goes out to the good folks at the Community Assistance League, or CAL as it’s more commonly known. CAL gives grants to local nonprofits and scholarships to local students every year, and they just had their June 19 ceremony awarding the recipients (see Page 16). Thanks for looking out for our community, CAL.


• It’s not a new thing that we must endure the occasional oddball while publishing a small town newspaper. Sadly, it’s a part of journalism nowadays. What gets old really fast is when the oddballs don’t slink away to their angry corners, but continue to pester and annoy us. If this sounds like you, just stop already. Nobody here is listening to anything you are saying, or rather, screaming

Mental acuity…

Dear editor,

As an old man myself, I feel people are right to be concerned about the mental acuity of the various geezers who want to be president.

Yet, please folks, consider their overall mental health.

Ask around — any honest psychiatrist can tell you, one of these geezers is profoundly and dangerously mentally ill! The other is absolutely complicit in genocide — a lack of courage and conscience hardly consistent with a healthy psyche!

We know this isn’t the best we can do…

Do you ever wonder if perhaps anyone who actually wants to be president isn’t someone to worry about?

Perhaps we might all propose and choose candidates from among the vast numbers of people who don’t want the job; yet, if drafted, might do it well… just a suggestion.

Democracy was once beautifully defined as “government of, by and for the people.” To experience this in reality implies discovering asking!) not “what’s wrong and who’s to blame,” but how would we like it to be?

Greg Flint Sandpoint



Dear editor,

We had to take down the old house

No concrete foundation

The floor joists rotted in the dirt

The sagging roof weighted down by three layers of shingles

What to save…

The old Monarch cookstove with its legacy of homemade bread and kitchen warmth,

The wooden screen door with that familiar bang as we rushed inside with some exciting news,

The Bathroom door jamb with the pencil marks and names and heights…

The old house did not have a concrete foundation,

But the Old House Foundation of Family and Love is with us every day.

Steve Johnson Sagle

‘R.I.N.O. R.I.P.’…

Dear editor, I first registered as a Republican to support former-state Sen. Shawn

Keough. I liked more (not all) of her values better than her Tea Party challenger’s. Some called me a hypocrite — a RINO (Republican in Name Only.)

Nothing is hypocritical about playing for a political team, just as Shohei Ohtani did not become a “Dodger in Name Only” when he moved to Los Angeles. He’s still a well-respected player.

Two hundred and seventy-eight people called “RINOs” voted for Jim Woodward because Jim is local, will protect our health care, our schools and other local values. Note that 8,219 “real” Republicans joined them. Herndon got 7,606 “real’” Republican votes.

Closed primaries attempt to keep us from deciding which person represents our interests most.

The Open Primary Initiative, on the ballot in November, allows everyone (including independents) to vote in the same election.We won’t have to agree with every single mandate of the Bonner County Republican Central Committee/ Idaho Freedom Foundation to have a voice.The winner will always have the support of the majority.

Hey — I have an idea — let’s stop calling each other names. Let’s elect legislators who focus on our needs, instead of denying us books, health care and school funding. Let’s vote for open primaries.

Shame on the book thief — or thieves…

Dear editor:

I have a Little Free Library packed with kids’ books for my neighborhood friends.

I cannot believe that someone came and stole at least 30 books, leaving the entire bottom shelf empty.

The point of a LFL is to share. Kids come by and take a book and leave one to share. Or they can borrow one and return it. Or if they love the book, they are welcome to keep it. Whoever stole my supply should be ashamed. If it was children, what is wrong with parents who see their kids coming home with 30 books and don’t question where they came from?

If it was adults, how pathetic. I am so disappointed and sincerely hope it was not one of my own neighbors.

Trine Grillo Sandpoint

An open letter to the community

Dear Sandpoint community, As I sit down to write this, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and pride. This past weekend, we witnessed an unprecedented CHAFE150 ride that, despite its challenges, showcased the incredible spirit of our community.

The CHAFE150 has been a part of my life for its entire existence. As a Sandpoint native, a daughter of the ride’s founder, a Sandpoint Rotarian and a ride committee member, I have seen firsthand the positive impact this event has had on our community. More than $1 million has been raised for education, directly benefiting generations of Sandpoint youth. This ride is a beacon of what it means to be part of this community.

This year, the ride was met with unforeseen weather conditions — heavy rain, strong winds, hail and even snow in some areas. These conditions led to an unprecedented number of riders needing to end their ride early. As an on-site coordinator at City Beach, I found myself, alongside our ride coordinator, stepping into emergency management roles to ensure the safety of our participants.

During a typical ride year, our support staff may transport a handful of individuals off the course for various reasons, such as mechanical issues or exhaustion. This year, we had to transport more than 70 riders from as far as 100 miles away due to the impact of the weather. Our usual infrastructure was not equipped for this, but our community showed up in a big way.

Volunteers on-site, other Rotarians and their family members stepped up to help. We mobilized dozens of volunteers (in addition to the 100 volunteers already working the ride) to travel the route and care for our riders. Examples of community spirit were everywhere — from the owners of Clearwater Realty at Highway 56/200 sheltering riders to rest stop volunteers warming up riders with their vehicles and providing toe warmers to riders from other routes who had already finished

jumping in to help.

When all riders were safely back to the beach and our after-ride celebration wound down, I went home and collapsed on the floor of my living room with my family. I was worried for the future of the ride and the public’s perception, given what had happened that day. I kept thinking: “What if we had done X,” and, “If only we had thought of Y in advance.”

On Sunday, emails, texts and calls started to come in from riders expressing their gratitude for our team.

On Monday, I braved opening the initial results of the rider feedback survey and teared up at my desk. Despite the adverse conditions, the riders were overwhelmingly positive and supportive, kind and grateful.

As a group, we learned valuable lessons on how to improve for the future. The 2024 CHAFE reminded me that growth and improvement often come from overcoming challenges and learning from failures, as these experiences teach us.

I am incredibly grateful for this community and this ride. The support and resilience shown remind me why we do what we do.

This is the true definition of the Rotary motto “service above self,” and overall just truly what it means to be part of a community.

Despite the challenges, the ride was a success in many ways. The funds raised will significantly impact the Pend Oreille School District’s Book Trust program and other Rotary Club of Sandpoint youth programs, benefiting a generation of young minds.

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s CHAFE150 possible. If I tried to list each of you, I would fill an entire edition on my own. Just know that your dedication, resilience, and support are what make this event special.

I look forward to many more years of riding together and the positive impact we will continue to have on our community.

Mariah Williams is a CHAFE150 Ride Committee member.

8 / R / June 20, 2024


Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

Bear vs. Man

“If you were alone in the woods, would you rather encounter a bear or a man?”

It was a prompt that started as a street interview on TikTok, but quickly permeated internet culture, as the answers from seven out of the original eight women asked were startling. They chose the bear.

Now, since its inception in April, millions of people have sat with and responded to this question — a contemporary repurposing of the “Me Too” movement, spurring conversations around sexual assault and women’s perceived and actual safety around men.

Of course, I’m far from the first person to reflect on this movement, as reviving something that started two months ago on TikTok makes me a veritable necromancer.

But after tuning in to the first wave of responses, and people’s — specifically men’s — reactions to them, the Bear vs. Man prompt has weighed on me long enough to precipitate sharpening my pencil.

First, in case you’ve been on an internet sabbatical (and if so I’m happy for you), some of the most profound and heartbreaking lines of reasoning women shared when reflecting on the prompt showcased the pervasiveness and complexity of the threats they face.

On one video that alone received more than 2 million likes, a woman explained, “The worst thing a bear could do to me is kill me,” and, “At least if I got attacked by a bear, people would believe me.” Another woman shared, “People won’t tell you you’re being paranoid for being afraid

around bears,” and, “I won’t be told I’m ruining the bear’s future if I report the attack.”

Arguably more startling than what these women were sharing were the responses to their sentiments. Popping into any comment section on one of these videos is a minefield of men personifying the very reputation that causes women to be fearful of them in the first place: “You dumb b*tch, you must not know how dangerous bears are”; “You’re an irrational man-hater, you leftist hag”; and, “Have fun dying alone.”

I happen to be surrounded by stalwart men, who not only exude safety, but would be the very people I’d turn to if I needed protection that I couldn’t provide for myself. I understand and empathize with the discomfort inherent in men sitting with these cultural reprimands (similar to the knee-jerk defensiveness the Barbie movie instigated for many people).

But it’s what men do with that discomfort that draws a clear line between “problematic men” and everyone else.

“As a man who walks in the woods, often alone, what can I do to make you feel more safe?” one man asked earnestly in an Instagram

Reel, prompting practical answers that highlighted the very un-hypothetical experiences women have while in the same places they’d encounter a bear: “Don’t ask my end destination or if I’m hiking alone,” and, “Don’t speed up or turn around to walk behind me.”

Another man shared a host of statistics debunking the notion that women are being irrational when “choosing a bear,” affirming that even after adjusting for bear populations, “Women are still 2.5 times more likely to be attacked by a man, not accounting for the fact that only one-fifth of attacks on women from men get reported.”

Most poignantly, however, was his conclusion, that, “The most important answer to ‘why it’s bear’ is women are telling you it’s bear.’”

I think this Bear vs. Man thought experiment is representative of so many things permeating our current culture. As a society, especially when it comes to “hot-button” topics, we have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees (how’s that for on-the-nose metaphors?).

We get so caught up in the details, not to mention our own defensiveness, that we fail to comprehend the large-scale issues at play. We lash out with sentiments like, “It’s not all men,” “It’s not all police officers” or “It’s not all white people,” without stopping to reflect on the fact that there shouldn’t be any man or any [insert aggressor here]. We don’t examine the systems that perpetuate anyone’s need to feel unsafe, instead shaming or blaming the people who speak honestly about their lived experiences within the systems we’re upholding.

The Bear vs. Man prompt also reveals how hard it is to talk about these deep-seated issues — not only that we require a TikTok hypothetical to discuss women’s safety — but the paradoxical relationship between these hard discussions and our ability to reach the people who most need to participate in them.

In this case, the men who are actually able to hear what women are saying when they choose “the bear,” were never the men who women had a problem with in the first place.

And the men (and women) too triggered by the question to absorb it in any meaningful way are the ones who need to hear it most.

Which begs the question, “How do we reach the unreachable, especially when it comes to hard, and necessary, conversations?”

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

June 20, 2024 / R / 9
Emily Erickson.

Science: Mad about

animal babies

Human beings spend a lot of time caring for their young. As a species, we officially consider our children to become adults at 18 years of age, when they can theoretically take care of themselves in the world. This age varies quite dramatically in the animal kingdom.

Humans care for younger humans for such an extended period of time for many reasons. Despite becoming capable of reproduction during puberty — the mark of adulthood throughout much of the animal kingdom — humans continue to care for their young into adulthood due to the amount of time it takes for our brains to critically develop.

The age at which this happens is believed to be somewhere in the mid-to-late 20s, but 18 was where society decided to land as a happy medium. After all, a human can’t fully develop into a rich and complex person until they’ve had some life experiences and mistakes, and 18 has provided enough time for the absorption of functional knowledge and practical experience to generally keep oneself safe and alive for at least another 15 years.

This long experience of childhood is linked to the high level of human brain development. Absorption of knowledge is an energy intensive process, which no other animal experiences in the same way as humans. We need to learn how to read, write and express ourselves through art, song and language. Humans need to understand how to decode problems in the universe through the use of math and how to utilize tools to create environments for ourselves in

ways other animals don’t.

The energy expended to bring an animal to adulthood is directly linked to the amount of time a mother in the wild will spend with her young. The larger or more intelligent the animal, the longer it will spend time being raised by its mother.

It should come as no surprise that primates spend a lot of time raising their young. Chimpanzees form lifelong bonds with one another and will even care for their aging mothers as time passes, creating a cyclical pattern that is reminiscent of some humans who care for their aged family members.

Gorillas share a similar gestational period to humans — between eight and nine months — and will care for their young for up to four years after birth. Orangutans may continue to nurse and raise their young for up to six years, which can be up to 20% of an orangutan’s life.

African elephants have the longest pregnancy of any land animal at 22 months. Baby elephants are born blind and completely helpless and rely on their mothers for everything. Mother elephants will nurse their young for up to six years and will accept help with mothering from other females in their herd. Male elephants will leave to spread their genes with other elephant herds between 9 and 18 years old.

The life of exotic animals probably isn’t very relevant to your day-to-day affairs. Closer to home, the North American elk (Cervus elaphus, Cervus canadensis or wapiti, depending on who you ask), are currently at the beginning stages of rearing their calves. Elk give birth in May and early June, roughly 250 days after the rut in the prior fall. During the

rut, bull elk compete over harems of cows by bugling and fighting for dominance and the opportunity to spread their genes through reproduction. This is also the time when humans prey on elk.

Calves born around this time generally weigh a little more than 30 pounds at birth. They are born spotted and completely scentless to mask them from predators. Cows will leave their herd in order to give birth, returning to the herd with their calves after more than two weeks. A calf may nurse for up to five months, though it will be eating grass by a month old. Young elk will leave their mother’s side once the mother is ready to give birth to new calves the following year.

A sexually mature cow will begin breeding after one year, while bulls will be ready at 2 years old. Males generally won’t have the opportunity to outcompete other males to reproduce until they’re at least 5, and by 11 years old won’t be capable of claiming their own harem. The average lifespan of elk is 12 years.

Mountain lions are much harsher mothers than their herbivorous prey. Female mountain lions reproduce every two years and may have litters of up to six cubs. They will nurse their young for seven weeks, at which point they will cut off their young and teach them how to hunt.

Despite their tough love, female mountain lions often spend as much as 75% of their lives devoted to their generations of cubs. Around the time a litter is ready to strike out on their own, the mother may be ready to reproduce or even already pregnant with another litter.

Mountain lions are very solitary and will mark their

territory in a manner similar to a house cat: through smell and scratching. Finding a pile of feces that smells strongly of cat urine denotes that you have entered a mountain lion’s domain and should proceed with caution — chances are, the cougar will see you and watch you well before you’ve even discovered the scent mound.

Another animal in our backyard is the osprey. Ospreys will lay their eggs in April with each egg being laid roughly three days apart

from each other. The parents will incubate the eggs for four to five weeks until they hatch and spend the next two months caring for their young. By September, the mother will have begun to migrate to warmer climes while the father will remain behind to continue training the offspring how to fish for themselves. Generally, the father will migrate with the young a few weeks after the mother.

Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner

• Scientists have measured that the average blink lasts 1/10th of a second. The average person blinks about 1,200 times per hour, or 28,000 times per day, meaning that our eyes are closed while blinking about 45 minutes every day.

• The most common eye color in the world is brown, because brown is a dominant gene, which means it gets passed down to the next generation far more often than the other eye colors. Brown eye genes are so dominant because that was the eye color of the original humans to walk the planet. Blue eyes, on the other hand, only came around about 6,000 years ago.

• Computer Visions Syndrome is when you spend too much time looking at a computer screen, which can lead to vision problems. This is because you actually blink less when staring at a screen and your eyes begin to dry out, leaving them feeling heavy and tired. One technique to avoid this is the 20-20-20 tactic: For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a computer screen,

you should spend 20 seconds focusing on something that is at least 20 feet away.

• Human eyes detect 36,000 pieces of information every hour. If you’re awake for 16 hours a day, that’s more than 576,000 pieces of information.

• Our bodies produce tears to clean the surface of our eyes, but scientists don’t know why we cry when we’re upset, excited or angry. They have yet to find a biological link between crying and emotions.

• Babies cry right from the first moment they are born, but that crying won’t produce tears until they are between 1 and 3 months of age.

• The so-called “perfect” amount of eye contact when meeting people is to look long enough to determine their eye color — about four seconds. This length of time is just enough to establish a connection without making the person feel uncomfortable.

10 / R / June 20, 2024
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A cow elk and calf. Courtesy photo.

Priorities for the 2025 legislative session

Last week the Reader ran an article about the Highway 95 reroute project. We learned the Idaho Transportation Department was abandoning its exploratory work on moving the highway path away from the existing route. For many, this was welcome news. For me, it’s a reminder that we need to stay engaged in our governance and how things work for our community.

It’s a given that we all have many responsibilities and duties we must perform. Being too busy or distracted takes us away from many other important things.

Idaho has a part-time legislature that meets for approximately three months each winter. This schedule has worked for governance issues but presents challenges for community issues. With the focus on getting a budget developed, passed and signed by the governor in about 90 days, there is short time to work on comprehensive bills to address issues that affect our community during the actual legislative session.

The time for brainstorming and developing bills is in the summer. Following up on current issues is also something that needs to be done now. Last year, I made a list of issues that I thought needed addressing through legislative action. I keep a list of items to follow up on as well.

This summer my draft bill and follow-up list includes:

• Doing more to address our ongoing lake level issue. We need assurance that our lake levels are predictable and consistent. A plan needs to be developed and implemented to address the needs of Albeni Falls Dam, now. I’ve met with several state officials and the governor, written my concerns and forwarded them to others, but we need more than this. Improvements at the dam will require funding. That process takes effort,

too. I’m concerned we could have the same experience next season (and for additional years) if we don’t get busy with this issue.

• Getting our backcountry access secured. We have been working with the Department of Lands, Idaho Parks and Recreation and Stimson to develop agreements for our outdoor enthusiasts.

• We need to address funding for school operations and facilities. The Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 521 this year. This bill sends a considerable amount of money to our schools for facility improvements and is a change from how schools have been funded. Our school districts are now prioritizing their projects. More needs to be done. We also have budget shortfalls due to levy failures and some changes to our

school funding formulas. These issues will be challenging but need to be addressed.

• Fire district and EMS issues are also in need of attention. Earlier this year, partners in the Selkirk Fire joint powers agreement could not come to an agreement to proceed. The city of Sandpoint pulled out of the agreement and chose to be independent. There is an interest in the formation of a “fire authority” that could address the concerns of all parties (and potentially provide better emergency service for all involved). However, there is no “fire authority” option in state code — only a fire district option. Consolidation of fire districts comes with a set of problems as well. Earlier this year, we presented a bill to make some EMS system improvements; that bill didn’t make it to the governor’s desk. Both issues need more research and ultimately, bills drafted to address the needs of our community and state.

• Issues that merit another try are bills to average out our property taxes, address the grocery tax process, update the homeowner’s exemption, better fund our courts, improve our community health care system and regulate out-ofstate campaign financing.

Have other ideas? Reach out to me at Or talk to me this summer at a community event. Have a good summer!

June 20, 2024 / R / 11 PERSPECTIVES
Rep. Mark Sauter. File photo.

Dark History Murder on the Monarchs

The rock beaches along the eastern shores of Lake Pend Oreille are an idyllic place today. With the Green Monarch Mountains rising more than 3,000 feet above the water’s edge and a clear view of the Selkirk and Cabinet mountains, this area has become a popular destination for boaters and kayakers to spend an afternoon basking in the sun.

But, more than 100 years ago, this same stretch of shoreline was the scene of a gruesome series of murders and strange deaths that alarmed the community.

‘Two old time miners’ Howard Shipley came west from his home in Iowa in

1889, bringing along friend Patrick Welch, who immigrated from Ireland while he was quite young. Shipley and Welch had been “partners and friends” for a decade before striking out from the Midwest, eventually settling in the Idaho panhandle to prospect for gold and silver.

Shipley first found work as a fireman on the Kootenai River between Bonners Ferry and Nelson, B.C., before settling about three miles south of where the Clark Fork River empties into the lake. Shipley and Welch built a small cabin, where they lived for more than 20 years.

The two lived quiet lives, but were well known in the growing nearby community of Hope. Newspapers at the

time occasionally ran small tidbits about the prospectors’ lives: “Howard Shipley was a visitor to Spokane Thursday on important business,” (1900); “Howard Shipley and J.F. Brown have been ill for a week or so, but are around again. Mr. Shipley attributes his illness to swimming too much in the lake the past summer,” (1906); and the Northern Idaho News mentioned in 1912 that Welch had been paid $2.25 for his work as a juror.

‘Cold-blooded assassination’

On June 18, 1914, J.J. Myers received a report at his home on Memaloose Island from a group of Hope residents led by a young man named Jimmy Simpson. Simpson told Myers he had

visited the old prospectors’ cabin on the Green Monarchs beach and felt that “all was not right,” according to the Pend Oreille Review, dated June 26, 1914.

Myers took his boat and millworker Al Leeman to investigate the situation. When they beached on the shoreline, the two men immediately saw blood in front of the miners’ cabin. They immediately traveled to the nearby Green Monarch mine and enlisted the help of Edward Higgins and his son William, returning to the grisly scene a short time later. They encountered a gruesome scene upon opening the door.

“The two murdered men stretched on the floor of the little cabin met their gaze,” stated the Review

The party returned to Hope and summoned the coroner and sheriff, who brought along the county attorney and undertaker, a Review reporter and photographer Dick Himes, who traveled to the scene via steamboat.

Observing the position of the bodies, the initial investigators theorized that Shipley had been sitting in a chair by the stove while Welch was lying on his bed to Shipley’s left. Blood on the floor suggested that Shipley had fallen face down from his chair, and Welch had had no time in which to make a struggle, “indicated by the fact that his

< see HISTORY, Page 13 >

12 / R / June 20, 2024 HISTORY
A photograph of the murder scene at the Shipley and Welch cabin near the Green Monarch Mine on Lake Pend Oreille. Photo courtesy of Bonner County Historical Society, donated by Paul Croy.

spectacles were still on and a magazine nearby indicated that he was in the act of reading when shot,” the article stated.

The bodies were then dragged a foot or two from where they fell, their heads placed alongside each other with their feet pointing in opposite directions. Finally, a quilt from a nearby bed was used to cover the bodies.

The coroner found that Shipley had been shot twice — once in the head behind the right ear and once in the right shoulder. Welch was shot three times — once in the right forearm, once in the right shoulder and another in the left shoulder, which traveled upward into his neck.

After speaking with local fishermen who had interacted with Shipley and Welch while out in their boat, the party deduced that the miners had been killed two nights before, and that the assailant — or assailants — had used an “automatic gun,” firing five bullets into the two men. Shipley’s boat was later found a mile west of Hope, indicating that the murderer had taken the boat and towed it behind a launch or rowboat and left it there to float ashore. Also missing was Shipley’s dog, which was never found, but investigators concluded had also been killed after they discovered a trail of blood from the dog’s bed into the water.

The double murder shocked the community, even in a time when murders, hangings and other nefarious activities plagued the roughedged logging and mining communities surrounding Sandpoint. County commissioners telegraphed Idaho Gov. John Haines asking that the state offer a reward for the apprehension of the killer or killers, stating that, “No more cold-blooded assassination has ever been committed in a civilized community.”

‘Escaped lunatic’

It was nearly three weeks later when a 50-year-old rancher — identified as a “socialist” named John

Rhodes — awoke at 3 a.m. at his Moravia ranch outside of Bonners Ferry. Rhodes heard someone trying to open his door, then flinched when he saw a stranger peering through his window. Rhodes coughed loudly, causing the man to flee.

In the daylight, Rhodes spotted the intruder’s tracks and followed them through a potato patch, where he was startled by the stranger jumping from behind a clump of bushes with a revolver in hand. The man demanded Rhodes put his hands in the air.

Rhodes didn’t obey, instead reasoning with the man and leading him back toward his cabin. The man grabbed a length of rope and told Rhodes to face the wall, but the rancher quickly jumped through his cabin door and slammed it shut. A shot came through the door and hit Rhodes in the right lung as he grabbed his 30-30 Winchester rifle. The assailant attempted to barge through the door; but, when he saw Rhodes was armed, ran around the house. Wounded in the chest, Rhodes followed him, going the other way and, “saw the fellow with his gun leveled and a smile on his face,” according to a Northern Idaho News article dated July 7, 1914.

With quick reflexes, Rhodes raised his rifle and got off a shot, striking the stranger in the heart.

“Death came so quickly that the smile still remained on the man’s face and the cocked gun did not go off,” the article stated.

Rhodes then walked three miles into Moravia, where he arrived “more dead than alive,” eventually taken to a hospital where he remained in critical condition but ultimately survived. Months later, Rhodes received the $500 reward that had been offered by the state, worth more than $15,000 in today’s dollars.

Letters found on the dead man identified him as Charles Lappel, an “escaped lunatic from the Warm Springs asylum of Montana,” according to the News. A Waltham watch was found on the dead man, which was positively identified

as the same watch owned by Shipley. Also, the rope that the dead man had in his possession belonged to Shipley’s boat, and shells from Lappel’s gun were found in the prospectors’ cabin. Finally, the sheriff stated the bullets fired from Lappel’s gun produced a “peculiar scratch,” that was also noticed on the bullets removed from the bodies of Shipley and Welch.

The community breathed a little easier, knowing they had caught the killer who dispatched the two prospectors, who were buried in the same grave after a funeral service that drew a capacity crowd.

‘Another tragedy’

In a strange twist, four years after being the first to discover the double-murder of Shipley and Welch, young Jimmy Simpson discovered another corpse just steps away from the location of the cabin where the two prospectors were brutally murdered.

Simpson was dispatched to search for J.A. “Al” Moore, an old-time Hope resident who was three days overdue from his expected return from work at the Green Monarch mine. Moore’s sister sent her son, Simpson, by boat and he found Moore’s body along the shoreline.

“He had not gone into the mine and had evidently gone to fix the water works pipe nearby when a rock came down from the hillside and struck him on the head, fracturing his skull,” the Pend Oreille Review reported on Aug. 2, 1918.

The coroner empaneled a jury, which viewed the remains and determined that Moore indeed died from a falling rock striking his head, but the coroner was “not entirely convinced that the man was struck by a rock and thought Moore may have been pitched from a ledge about ten feet above where his body was found.”

The death was eventually ruled an accident, but many in the community expressed concern about the strange deaths occurring on that particular stretch of strange, beautiful beach along the Green Monarchs.

Special thanks to the Bonner County Historical Society and East Bonner County Library for making the archives of local newspapers available online at

June 20, 2024 / R / 13
< see HISTORY, Page 13 >
Top: The entrance to tunnel No. 1 at the Green Monarch Mine, with two men examining ore samples from a mine car. The mine entrance is not far from where Shipley and Welch’s bodies were discovered. Photo courtesy Bonner County Historical Society, donated by Hazel Gabel. Bottom: The Green Monarch Mine from the water’s edge. Photo courtesy Bonner County Historical Society, donor unknown.

Radio club hosts Amateur Radio Field Day

The Bonner County Amateur Radio Club and Bonner County Amateur Radio Emergency Service will host the ARRL Amateur Radio Field Day from noon-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 22 at House of the Lord Church (Highway 41 Campus, 36254 Hwy. 41, in Oldtown). The event is free and open to the public.

Field Day is the most popular amateur radio operating event of the year in the U.S. and Canada, with about 35,000 radio amateurs (and the friends and families) heading into the field to make as many contacts as they can in a 24-hour period.

“We essentially take wooded areas, turn them into independent portable communications centers with world-

wide communications capabilities for the weekend, and then turn them back into wooded areas on Sunday afternoon,” organizers stated in a release. “It’s an amazing transformation.”

Attendees do not have to be a member of any amateur radio club or be licensed ham operators to participate. The Oldtown event will be used to introduce people to operating in the high-frequency bands.

“Last year, we had the pleasure of getting a young man on the air who was able to make contact with his grandmother in another station who was participating in Field Day with her club,” organizers said.

For more information, contact Mark Earls, 208-610-6510 or k7mee1@gmail. com.

Jacob Styer CPA, PLLC honored as chamber’s July Business of the Month


The Greater Sandpoint Area Chamber of Commerce stated that it is proud to honor Jacob Styer, CPA, as the business of the month for June 2024.

14 / R / June 20, 2024 OUTDOOR FESTIVALATSANDPOINT.COM BUY TICKETS AND LEARN MORE AT THE FESTIVAL AT SANDPOINT JULY 25 - AUGUST 4, 2O24 AUGUST 2 Jason Mraz & The Superband with Molly Miller Trio AUGUST 1 Lee Brice with Madeline Merlo JULY 26 Violent Femmes An Evening With JULY 27 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Big Boi JULY 25 Blues Traveler with Justyn Priest JULY 28 Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors + The National Parks AUGUST 3 JULY 31 Maren Morris with Delacey AUGUST 4 Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw PERFORMING DEBUT ALBUM & CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF HALLOWED GROUND How to Train Your Dragon - In Concert
Jacob Styer is a local CPA financial partner. Styer serves many local businesses as well as the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce. Courtesy photo.

Florida man flees cops so quickly some of his clothes came off. Police identify him with DNA from his sock

This story will really knock your socks off.

When St. Petersburg, Fla. police arrived on the scene of a shooting in 2020, they discovered a man had been shot multiple times and the suspects ran to a waiting car that sped from the scene.

One of the suspects ran away so quickly that some of his clothes came off while sprinting to the car. Officers located a pair of jean shorts, a sandal and a lone sock.

Nearly three months after the shooting, police announced they had made an arrest in the case using a key piece of evidence: The sock.

DNA pulled from the sock matched Octavius Jessie Henderson, 19, of St. Petersburg. Henderson was later booked at the Pinellas County jail on an attempted murder charge.

Florida man wearing shirt that says, ‘Who needs drugs? No seriously, I have drugs,’ arrested for drug possession

John Balmer didn’t exactly think his wardrobe through the morning he was arrested. Balmer was seen passing a bag containing a green, leafy substance,” to someone behind him in line at the K-Mart in Hudson, Fla. When police searched him, they found the bag contained marijuana and meth.

When the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office posted the arrest to Facebook with a photo of Balmer in the shirt, they included the simple message, “Pay close attention to the T-shirt.”


Innovia Foundation awards $1M+ to area organizations

Innovia Foundation has awarded $1,089,400 in grants to 112 organizations in eastern Washington and North Idaho through its annual Community Grants Program, including a number in Bonner and Boundary counties.

The grants support education and youth development, health and wellbeing, arts and culture, economic opportunity, and improved quality of life.

The Community Grants build on more than $100,000 already distributed this year in recognition of the foundation’s 50th anniversary theme of “Celebrating Community,” with funds going to provide free and low-cost, family-friendly events that showcase cultural diversity, parades, local musicians, art fairs, museums, carousels, historic movie theaters, outdoor recreation opportunities and more.

“As Innovia marks 50 years of community impact, we recognize the importance of programs and activities that celebrate the people and places that make our region special,” stated Innovia CEO Shelly O’Quinn in a news release.

In Bonner County, Innovia granted $10,000 to the Better Together Animal Alliance to support its volunteer program; $4,000 to Creations for its Creative Hands Expand the Mind program; $10,500 to the Carousel of Smiles for

its fun fair; $15,000 to Clark Fork-Hope Area Senior Services to fund its community meal site; $10,000 to Community Cancer Services for Harmony in Health: Bridging Support and Counseling; and $10,000 to the Festival at Sandpoint for its 2024 summer series and inclusive ticket outreach program.

Other Bonner County recipients included Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, which got $10,000 for its Take a Walk on the Wild Side! Program; $6,000 for Idahope Families for its family support initiative; $15,000 to NAMI Far North to support its Sand Creek Clubhouse; $10,000 to Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc. for ongoing operational support; $6,100 to the Selkirk Conservation Alliance for inclusive environmental education and youth development; and $8,000 to the Unique Center for Athletes of All Needs for adaptive fitness, therapy and recreation services.

In Boundary County, Innovia granted $10,000 to the Youth Crisis and Domestic Violence Hotline; $10,000 to the Community Coalition for Families, which offers emergency housing solutions; and $10,000 to Trinity Lutheran Church of Bonners Ferry for its weekend supplemental food program.

Each year, Innovia Foundation invests $10 million into area communities through grants and scholarships. To see the complete list of grants, visit

Chamber of Commerce welcomes

Sunny Days & Nights Tanning Salon

Sunny Days & Nights 24-hour

Tanning Salon is the newest member of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, after the organization welcomed the business to the community with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 29 at its location on U.S. Highway 95 in Ponderay.

Owner Kathryn Klepinger cele-

brated a soft opening over the first weekend in June, and will host a grand opening Saturday, June 8 at 476653 U.S. 95, Suite 2.

Sunny Days & Nights 24-hour

Tanning Salon offers tanning beds, standing tanning units and a red-light therapy bed. Visit for more info.

June 20, 2024 / R / 15
By Reader Staff Courtesy photo.

CAL awards grants and scholarships

June 19 was a giving day at The Heartwood Center. The Community Assistance League gathered to award a total of 69 scholarships to local students totaling $74,000. Recipients include students from Sandpoint High School, Priest River Lamanna High School, Clark Fork High School, Lake Pend Oreille High School and Tech Trep Academy.

CAL also distributes funds to local nonprofit organizations.

“Through the generous local donations and hard work of all the CAL volunteers, we awarded $150,000 in grants to 40 deserving nonprofit organizations,” CAL Grants Chair Ann Nichols told the Reader. “These organizations represent diverse causes — from health care and education to environmental conservation. These grants signify our support for their efforts in improving lives and strengthening our community.”

16 / R / June 20, 2024 COMMUNITY
Top: Grant recipients gathered at The Heartwood Center June 19 to receive $150,000 awarded by CAL. Bottom: Three recipients for CAL scholarships: William Clark, left; and Kody Bocksch, center; both students from Sandpoint High School; and Cheyenne Thompson, right, who attends Priest River Lamanna High School. Photos by Ben Olson.

Bottom left (upper and lower): Deteriorating road conditions on Sandpoint’s residential streets. Photographed by Ben Olson, who is now making it his mission to document the crumbling city streets in every edition until someone on the city staff starts fixing them.

Bottom middle: Fireworks over the Sandpoint City Beach sign during the Fourth of July celebrations in 2023. Photograph by Lisa Cirac.

Bottom left: Marlene

shows off her special bag while gardening in Sandpoint. Courtesy photo.

June 20, 2024 / R / 17
To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to
Right: Summer is coming to Sandpoint City Beach. Photograph by Rich Milliron. Rorke


Send event listings to

Paint and Sip

5:30-8pm @ Barrel 33

Cribbage Club

7pm @ Connie’s

Bingo Night

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan

Live Music w/ Matt Lome

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Turbo Trivia ($5)

7pm @ Connie’s

Live Music w/ Monarch Mountain Duo

6-9pm @ Barrel 33

Live Music w/ Devon Wade

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Country / originals

Live Music w/ Nobody Famous

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Music w/ Mobius Riff

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

6-9pm @ 1908 Saloon

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

6-8:30pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Live Music w/ Eli Lev

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Indie, Americana, folk and originals

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ Farmhouse Kitchen BBQ

Live Music w/ Erick Beavers

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Sandpoint Chess Club

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

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Pool Tournament

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Charcuterie Workshop w/ Graze & Rosé

5:30-7:30pm @ Barrel 33

Benny on the Deck concert series

5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge w/ Sheldon Packwood & Sam Puller

Open Mic Night

6pm @ Tervan

Summer Sampler

5-8pm @ Farmin Park

The finest Sandpoint chefs come together to offer sample bites of their best dishes. A popular annual event

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

5-8pm @ Pearls at Beyond Hope


Extreme Science

6pm @ Sandpoint Library

Enjoy Radical Rick’s science show

June 20 - 27, 2024

Patio Solstice Party

4-9pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

Welcome the summer season with all-evening happy hour and two live music guests: Brian Jacobs (4:30-5:30pm) and Camden Morris (6-8pm)

FriDAY, June 21

Live Music w/ Jason Perry 5pm @ Connie’s Lounge Country / originals

Live Music w/ Big Phatty & the Inhalers

6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

Rock, beer & BBQ - the perfect trio

Full Draw Film Tour

7pm @ Panida Theater

Original bowhunting films.

RFB Soulstice Super Jam w/ Special Guests

8:30pm @ The Hive


Live Music w/ Mason Van Stone

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Alternative / rock / originals

Live Music w/ Mike Wagoner

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Ponderay Paradox

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Live Music w/ The Strangerers

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Spokane trio playing alternative, country, outlaw, jazz, rock. Free! 21+

SunDAY, June 23

Magic with Star Alexander

5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

Up close magic shows at the table

monDAY, June 24

Outdoor Experience Group Run

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

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

tuesDAY, June 25

Live Music w/ Brad Peterson

5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

wednesDAY, June 26

Live Music w/ Oak Street Cafe

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Piano w/ Annie Welle

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Jazz piano

ThursDAY, June 27

Live Music w/ Cafe Gas Boys

5:30pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Adventures in Falconry

6pm @ Sandpoint Library

Check out some live birds with Birds of Prey Northwest as they introduce you to five regional falcons

BoCo Museum Historic Walking Tours

10am @ Meet in front of Panida Theater Covering general history of Sandpoint and Bonner Co. Free tours

Inaugural Make Music Day

10am-6pm @ Various Sandpoint Locations See Page 21 for more information

Fireside Dance w/ Lindsay Hoyer

7-9pm @ 11735 W. Pine St. Learn bachata, salsa, tango and more at the Sled Hill. $5/person donation

Whiskers & Wags Adoption Celebration

12-3pm @ BTAA, 870 Kootnai Cut-off Rd.

A day of adoptions, raffle prizes and food trucks to support the shelter

Junebug Ball dance

7pm @ Sandpoint Community Hall Rumba lessons at 7, general dancing 8-10. Refreshments, door prizes, all are welcome. $8/cash at the door

Festival at Sandpoint raises $18,000+ through annual online auction

The Festival was able to raise more than $18,000 through its 2024 online auction, in support of its year-round, no-cost youth music education programs.

In an announcement, the Festival thanked the 94 individuals who participated in the annual online silent auction from May 15 through June 3.

This year’s auction included 19 packages, including one VIP package containing six sponsor entry tickets and a blanket placement for each performance of the 2024 Summer Series.

Some new additions to the auction package lineup this year included a private sunset yacht cruise on Lake Pend Oreille with Great Northern Nautical, an Alaskan fish feast from Thunder’s Catch, a framed 2023 lineup poster signed by all 2023 Summer Series performers and a private sailing experience with Dogsmile Adventures.

Choosing Harmony: Monastic talks

6-8pm @ Create Arts Center A series of talks by monastics at Sravasti Abbey (Newport, Wash.)

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh local produce and artisan goods

Alone Family Camp

Do your kids have what it takes to be on Alone? Join Karie Lee Knoke for this family camp catered for Alone fans.

Participation in the nonprofit organization’s auction supports its mission to provide affordable and accessible music education and experiences to the community and surrounding region.

To learn more about the Festival and its year-round education programs, visit

18 / R / June 20, 2024
open dancing

Rebekah Little honored as volunteer of the month

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce celebrated Bonner Homeless Transitions Executive Director Rebekah Little as volunteer of the month at its general member luncheon on June 13.

With a background in special education, specializing in transitions, Little focuses on community based learning for 18- to 21-year-olds with medical and physical disabilities.

Little has been the executive director since July 2023. According to the chamber, Little is “deeply committed to the mission of BHT and is passionate about making a positive impact in our community and is dedicated to continuing to grow and improve Bonner Homeless Transitions.”

June 20, 2024 / R / 19

Full Draw Film Tour returns to the Panida with celebration of world-class bowhunting

The 2024 installment of the Full Draw Film Tour comes to the Panida Theater on Friday, June 21, featuring some of the best original, independent bowhunting films in the world.

Shot in some of the most rugged back-

Full Draw Film Tour

Friday, June 21; doors at 6 p.m., films at 7 p.m.; $22/adult, $11/ youth ages 4-17. Panida Theater, 301 N. First Ave., 208-2639191, Get tickets at the door or Learn more at

country, wilderness and public land around the globe, this year’s selections include The Unknown, from Forsyth Films; Among the Aspens, from The Void Media; She is Watching, from Ultimate Pursuit; I Have Proof, from Michigan Whitetail Pursuit; Pitchfork, from The Raw Hunt Experi-

What’s on?

As of the start of the weekend, Star Wars: The Acolyte, House of the Dragon and The Boys were the most popular topics on Rotten Tomatoes, with average critics’ scores of 86%, 90% and 93%, respectively.

Those are good numbers for what are two prequel spinoffs of iconic media franchises and a hard-R-rated comic book adaptation.

Both HotD and The Boys have established themselves with at least one previous season, and premiered their most recent installments with fans already waiting to see where those stories go. The Acolyte must still prove itself as yet another add-on to the Star Wars universe, which has grown ever-more cluttered by Disney over the past 10 years.

Meanwhile, like many other Star Wars offerings before it, The Acolyte has fallen victim to review bombing — that is, communities of outraged socalled “fans” activated by the online echo chambers of their own discontent who stream to sites like RT and IMDb to drive down the stats on how a given film or series has been received by viewers.

ence; Trust, from Suseworks Media; and Man in the Arena, from Battle Mountain Media.

Full Draw unites bowhunters and other outdoor enthusiasts for a night of adventure that will fire up audiences for the fall.

Presented by OnX Hunt, an app that provides mapping tools for hunters, film fest also includes door prizes from a range of sponsors.

Get more info and find film trailers at

Hot takes on a trio of new and returning streaming shows

While The Acolyte scores an 86% “fresh” rating from critics, it has only garnered a 17% from audience members. On IMDb, the series gets an overall rating of 3.8/10, but that’s because about 21,000 people have decided to give it “one star” — which is clearly the result of a smear campaign. Go to Reddit and you’ll come away with the idea that The Acolyte is a detestable piece of “woke” propaganda. Go to rogerebert. com, and you’ll read that the series “gives you more to think about than any recent Star Wars installment outside of Andor,” which scored near-universal acclaim.

It’s the same old beef: A bunch of internet dudes are unhappy that Star Wars media features central characters who are female, non-white and non-heterosexual, and are congenitally unable to handle any piece of media that passes the Bechdel Test — and The Acolyte does include all those elements.

Set a century before the rise of the Galactic Empire (and therefore a prequel of the prequel trilogy of films), The Acolyte revolves around a pair of twins — one who trained with, but later left, the Jedi Order, and the other who is

serving a mysterious master on a quest to kill four Jedi masters whom she contends did her dirty.

The series starts off as a detective story about a series of murders, but turns into a broader investigation into the fault lines of familial loyalty and what The Force means and who it’s even for.

After four episodes, this reviewer says it’s safe to ignore the madding internet hordes. Stream new episodes Tuesdays on Disney+.

House of the Dragon requires much less introduction, with its first season tapping into a modest but willing fan base and coming to audiences as a prequel to the events of Game of Thrones — itself the small-screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic and still unfinished Song of Ice and Fire novels.

Episode 1 of the second season of HotD puts us right back in the dim-lit corridors

of power in Westeros, where House Hightower and House Targaryen are vying for control of the Iron Throne and rule of the Seven Kingdoms in their fictional late-medieval world.

As with its first season, HotD S.2 E.1 has the curious quality of turning drama into white noise. There isn’t a single character worth rooting for in the (literally) incestuous infighting over who will rule, to the point that there’s no obvious reason why we should care about any of it at all. It could be called beating a dead dragon, but HotD was DoA and illustrates why this entire media property needs to go away.

The Boys, however, is grotesque, blasphemous, unpatriotic, so cynical it borders on nihilistic, deviant, depraved and — as one of its lead characters likes to say — “diabolical.”

You will find almost nothing on the big or small screen to rival its dark-hearted, disgust-

ing and hard-eyed portrayal of the emptiness of hero worship, which is a brutal tonic for this age of blind tribalism.

The new season, on Amazon Prime, hits MAGA so square between the eyes and in such ways that one wonders whether the Libertarian Party had a hand in inspiring it, though something tells me that the showrunners are too libertarian even to join the LP.

This show, and the comic on which it’s based, has never been for the faint of heart and should under no means be watched by anyone with more than one or two sensitivities. However, seen beyond its gory, sensational trappings, it’s a primal scream against the socio-political, economic, media and religio-cultural insanity of our current day.

Stream it at your own risk, but it’s worth the risk.

20 / R / June 20, 2024 STAGE & SCREEN
A screenshot from the film Pitchfork. Courtesy photo. The Acolyte, House of the Dragon and The Boys, respectively. Courtesy photos.


An international harmony Sandpoint’s inaugural Make Music Day

Thousands of cities across 120 countries will join together on Make Music Day, Friday, June 21, celebrating humanity’s shared love of music with free concerts and lessons. This will be Sandpoint’s first year participating in the global harmony, and stages and street corners across town will ring out with live music from local professionals, students and fans.

“Music enriches our lives and brings us together in a very human way. I’m just taking a risk to try and launch this in a new community where it hasn’t been done before,” said event organizer and life-long musician Gary Perless, whose love of music inspired him to learn guitar, piano, bass, drums and harmonica, as well as teach.

“There’s a feeling of inspiration and solidarity because it’s not just a local music celebration — or national — it’s international,” he said.

Make Music Day began more than 42 years ago as Fête De La Musique in France, but hopped the pond 25 years later, becoming a smash hit in New York and eventually spreading to the West Coast.

Nearly 120 cities in the U.S. hosted 4,791 free concerts in 2023 alone, according to

During a time of intense conflict and political division, Perless believes it’s more important than ever to celebrate our connection to one another through music.

“It’s about bringing world peace through music, so that we’re all a little part of the solution,” he said. “For thousands of years people have gathered together in little rooms to make music and no one was pushed away because they didn’t know how. This gives us a means to come together. It’s good medicine.”

Local events run from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Evans Brothers Coffee (524 Church St.); noon to 4:30 p.m. at Cedar St. Bridge; 1 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. at the Little Carnegie Theater (110 Main Street); 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Matchwood Brewing Company (513 Oak St.); and outside of Fiddlin’ Red’s Music (111 Church St.), beginning at noon. Times are subject to change.

Musicians will play a wide variety of instruments in genres including rock, jazz, classical, gospel and singer-songwriter — and everyone, regardless of their musical

background, is invited to participate by listening, dancing or playing along. Bring your own instrument or borrow one and perform on the sidewalk or ask to join ongoing shows.

Every show is free and family friendly, but kids will be especially excited about the 4 p.m. harmonica lesson and performance on Matchwood’s outdoor stage. The Make Music Day Alliance provided organizers with plenty of sheet music and 30 free harmonicas to hand out, so everyone can feel included and learn to play this beginner-friendly instrument.

The entire family is welcome to stop by before dinner and participate.

“There’s more music to

listen to than ever before in history, but what’s becoming more rare is actually making music, so we want to keep that alive. Everyone who’s interested should come, you don’t have to be a pro. The idea is people are free to walk up and say, ‘Hey, can I join you?’”

To donate time, money, talent or instruments — or to help ensure Make Music Day becomes an annual event in Sandpoint — email

Visit sandpoint for a full schedule.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Eli Lev, Pend d’Oreille Winery, June 22

Eli Lev, the self-proclaimed “Global Ambassador of Good Vibes,” hails from Boonsboro, Md., and is eager to share his songs and stories with a Sandpoint audience.

The singer-songwriter is known for his storytelling abilities, merging folk traditions with modern pop production and Americana sensibilities.

Lev is currently on a nationwide tour, sharing his upbeat tunes with future fans, which he has dubbed Levitators. Check him out — it’s free!

— Ben Olson

5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St. Suite 101, 208-265-8545, Listen at

Brenden Kelty and Friends, Little Live Radio Hour, June 25

Are you a fan of going out to watch live music, but want a more intimate environment in which to listen? KRFY 88.5 FM’s Little Live Radio Hour might just be your jam. The station will host Brendan Kelty and Friends on Wednesday, June 25 for the next Little Live Radio Hour. Join Kelty, along with Andry Ullrich on fiddle, Cale Kanack

This week’s RLW by Ben Olson


on electric bass and Dan Gilfellan on banjo for this upclose-and-personal concert at the Panida Little Theater, which will also broadcast on 88.5 FM and stream on

— Ben Olson

8-9 p.m., FREE. Little Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208263-9191. Listen at 88.5 FM or stream at

Chances are, you’ve read French philosopher Albert Camus’ flawless novel The Stranger. It’s one of only three novels published during his lifetime and will infuriate you with how perfect it is. Sadly, Camus died in a car accident in 1960, leaving only a short list of work. If you liked The Stranger, be sure to read The Plague and The Fall to complete the existential Camus trilogy.


I first heard Helado Negro opening for Beirut and was mesmerized by the hybrid sound that lives somewhere between electronica and experimental folk. He dropped a new album in 2024 called PHASOR, which is just as special as his 2019 album This Is How You Smile that captivated me. I just can’t stop listening to the song, “Best For You and Me.”

Saturday Night Live can be hit or miss nowadays, but I have to share a recent sketch that sent me into a fit of laughter. Comedian Nate Bargatze plays George Washington telling his soldiers his dream for the country, which devolves into a hilarious explanation of our system of weights and measures in America. It’s the best sketch I’ve seen on SNL in years and I highly recommend watching for a chuckle. Just search “SNL Washington’s Dream” on YouTube and you’ll find it.

June 20, 2024 / R / 21
A gathering of ukulele players in Raleigh, N.C. celebrate Make Music Day in 2023. Courtesy photo.

From Pend Oreille Review, June 19, 2024



Deputy Sheriff E.A. MacKay took advantage of a tip to put his old Ford on the trail of one of Tom Elliott’s taxis Tuesday afternoon and captured five suitcases of beer and whiskey.

The taxi passenger jumped and made a getaway, but the taxi, driven by Vern Boyington, was run down at the Selle wood yard and the booze confiscated. The deputy is still working on the case and expects to arrest and formally charge the men who were using the taxi to bring in liquor.

MacKay’s chase started on the highway north of town, where he was cruising along waiting for the Elliott taxi. As the taxi passed him, he gave chase and followed it into town. One of the taxi passengers jumped out on Lake street and ducked across a yard into the alley between Pine and Lake. The second passenger stayed with the car until they got in front of the Selle wood yard, when he jumped and ran into the brush between S. Fourth avenue and S. Third avenue.

Still, there is pizza BACK OF THE BOOK

We ate soggy, New York-style pizza at the strip mall after burying Nana. One minute I was scattering rose petals in the rain — a cinematic expression of grief — and the next I was plucking olives off of congealed cheese.

I loitered outside in the wind, waiting for the rest of my family to enter. I was terrified of walking into the parlor, with its peeling vinyl booths and formica tabletops that had hosted myriad little league lunches, and having to answer the question, “What are you all celebrating today?”

I didn’t know how to grieve, but I was convinced we were doing it wrong. My Nana was the first person to die whom I remember loving, and somehow I expected it to be more than it was.

My family sat around drinking Coke and glancing up at the muted TV playing ESPN. We talked about garden fencing and college. I mopped grease off each slice with a mountain of napkins.

Popular media always portrays death as a grand adventure — the ultimate sacrifice or at least an event that shakes the souls of everyone left alive. Reality is mundane.

Death is death just as pizza is pizza. Both are elements of our existence that make appearances in our lives at random with various levels of fanfare. On some level we understand that they’re always present, but for the most part we’re focused on work and vegetables.

STR8TS Solution

Humanity likes to pretend that dying is a monumental occasion because it’s the last thing any of us will ever do. There’s a terrifying amount of pressure to make it mean something and therefore claim a small measure of immortality.

But then, of course, we’re dead, and it doesn’t matter anymore. There are still pizzas and pigeons and birthday parties in the world we left behind. Life goes on despite our absence.

The dying can come to understand that death is really just another chore, but the bereaved rarely achieve the comfort of such clarity.

When a loved one dies in some unforeseen, unimaginable circumstance, there are clear steps to be taken by the grieving. You get angry at the drunk driver or you question why God brought on a stroke in your healthy sibling. Hysterics are appropriate, and you’re entitled to a breakdown or two in the grocery store.

There’s a comforting theatricality that comes naturally and shows the living — and the dead, if you believe that sort of thing — how much you cared. Following the familiar patterns feels like getting an A+ in grieving because it’s how our culture understands loss.

For those left behind, losing someone to a horribly ordinary death can be so much worse than the alternative. There was no one to curse when

Sudoku Solution

Nana died a perfectly fair death after a life well lived. There was no wailing to show the world how much I loved her, because we knew the end was coming and made peace with it long before we parted.

So Nana died laughing in bed, and I lived to stand on a curb and dread the judgment of strangers. It was nothing like the grief I’d prepared for. It was unsatisfactory. It was ordinary. It was the realization that people die every day — always have, always will — and there’s nothing anyone can do about it except keep on living.

We’re all just left with pizza and an unknown amount of tomorrows.

Crossword Solution

I hope if dogs ever take over the world, and they choose a king, they don’t just go by size, because I bet there are some Chihuahuas with some good ideas.

22 / R / June 20, 2024

Laughing Matter

Solution on page 22



1. Brute

Cuts off



Dugout shelter


Sporting venue

Metal money 19. Funnel shape




Flower feature





Choice word

Ancient Persian




Week of the


1. Commanding respect because of great age or impressive dignity.

“She was a venerable figure, known for her extensive knowledge and wise counsel.”

Corrections: As Vince Lombardi (supposedly) once said: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” That’s good enough for us.


Year-end reward


Nitpicky to a fault

Speaking to

Fifty-three in Roman numerals

Walk in water

Leg bone


Look at flirtatiously

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22




Adjust again




Long, long time


Hiker’s path

Make milk

Double-reed player

Not in cursive




___ bear

An alloy of iron



Not closed




What’s left



Hardly believable

Resorts 40. Distance in gridiron football

360 in a circle

Walk unsteadily


An aromatic flavorful vegetable

Nigerian money

Aromatic compound

Absent Without Leave


Nile bird

Pleasant 55. An international trade treaty

June 20, 2024 / R / 23
venerable /VEN-er-uh-buhl/

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