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2 / R / June 6, 2024

The week in random review

The annual crime rate in Sandpoint usually ranks below the national average, but one item stolen regularly is the bicycle. I’ve had a few taken over the years, and chances are you or someone you know has seen one go missing, too. One Sandpoint resident (who wishes to remain anonymous) shared a story of his bike getting stolen that actually reaffirmed his belief in the beauty of small-town living. “Two years ago, I had a friend from Seattle visiting and he noticed I had a Yeti cooler on my front porch,” the reader wrote to me. “He said, ‘Only in Sandpoint can you leave something of value out and not worry about it getting stolen.’” They decided to test this theory by leaving an older cruiser bike unlocked on the front porch as a social experiment. How long would it take before someone stole the bike? It turns out the answer is two years. The bike sat there unlocked for two years before someone absconded with it. While most people would be angry at the theft, they weren’t. In fact, they were encouraged since it took that long for the bike to disappear. After reporting the theft to Sandpoint police, the reader said the responding officer listed bicycles as the No. 1 most stolen item in Sandpoint. Bike thieves, be warned: This resident told me they were already devising the next social experiment.


If you think spit-takes only happen in the movies, think again. I just experienced one the other day that was a doozie. I was drinking a glass of ice water and catching up on the news via YouTube when I saw a clip of three Fox News “journalists” interviewing former-President Donald Trump for the first time after he was found guilty of 34 felony charges.

“You famously said, regarding Hillary Clinton, ‘Lock her up,” Fox co-host Will Cain said to Trump. “You declined to do that as president.”

“I didn’t say, ‘Lock her up,’ but the people would all say, ‘Lock her up, lock her up,’” Trump replied, and I promptly spewed water all over my computer screen in a spit-take that would’ve made Danny Thomas proud (the actor is widely credited with making the spit-take famous).

What kind of ridiculous revisionist history is this?

Trump didn’t just say, “Lock her up,” once or twice. He said it dozens of times. It was a central part of his campaign. His supporters regularly broke into chants of, “Lock her up,” during his rallies. Not surprising that all three Faux News journalists failed to push back on his blatant lie.

Trump’s followers will now echo his statements, claiming Trump never said, “Lock her up,” even though there is ample video evidence that proves otherwise.

“The past was alterable. The past never had been altered,” George Orwell wrote in 1984. “Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” Indeed.


Hey there, folks.

Have I ever told you how much I love Thursdays?

Not only is Thursday the day that the Reader hits the streets, but it’s also the furthest away from the next deadline for us, which means I can often turn off my phone, play nine holes of golf, go for a hike or go sailing and, for a brief period of time, not feel like I’m missing anything important.

Thursday also happens to be the day when a lot of our readers pick up the paper and, as a result, call to share a story, an anecdote or a complaint with us.

It’s tricky, because I always try to make myself available to our readers, but I also know the value of stepping away from the front lines. Thursday is my day to step away and you bet your butt I take advantage of it when I can. Sometimes it’s as if I’m a dog that has just been let off leash to run in a field.

Here’s to you, dear readers. We appreciate you and hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


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

Publisher: Ben Olson

Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor)

Soncirey Mitchell (Staff Writer)

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Contributing Artists: Makaia Knepper (cover), Ben Olson, USACE, Bill Borders, Soncirey Mitchell, Woods Wheatcroft, Dylan Soukup

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About the Cover

This week’s cover photo by Makaia Knepper. Good job!

June 6, 2024 / R / 3

Sandpoint council OKs off-leash dogs — with a permit — at City Beach to ward off geese

After years of discussion, the city of Sandpoint is going to allow off-leash dogs at City Beach with the express purpose of harassing — and hopefully frightening off — the population of Canada geese that congregate in the park.

Meanwhile, the city also approved allowing dogs on-leash on the pathways through Travers, Centennial and Great Northern parks year-round, rather than only during specific months.

Sandpoint Community Planning and Development Director Jason Welker presented the amendments to existing code regulating leash laws and dogs in public parks, which city councilors unanimously approved at their regular June 5 meeting.

“We’ve worked out what we think is a pretty good proposal to take care of some geese mitigation,” Welker said.

The previous statute made exceptions for service dogs “under the constant control” of their owner or handler and “dogs utilized by the city for the purpose of controlling waterfowl.”

The new code allows dogs to be off leash “for waterfowl control as part of city-sanctioned groups,” and further stipulates that, “Handlers must have an off-leash permit applied for and in possession and ensure dogs are under voice control at all times.”

In addition, the amendment states that handlers must carry a leash and be prepared to restrain their dog if necessary, while, “All waste must be promptly removed by the handlers.”

Other “specific conditions” — including “times, locations, and any additional rules and regulations” — will be posted by the city.

Welker emphasized that the new ordinance did not give dog owners “carte blanche” to bring their dogs to City Beach and would rely on a permitting process to vet dogs to ensure their safe behavior, and require them to wear a special vest to indicate that they’re permitted and performing work.

The off-leash permit application included in the council’s agenda packet specifies that it is to be given for “waterfowl mitigation at City Beach” and asks for information about dogs including a license number and vaccination records. Welker said that the city has a dog licensing program but compliance is very low; however, participants in the City Beach off-leash program will have to secure a license for their dog before obtaining a permit.

Details of the permit include whether it is to be issued for an individual or group — including relevant names and contact information — as well as the time period during which it will be active, ranging from single event to annual permits.

Applying for the permit will be free of charge, and other than managing the permitting would not be a city effort — rather, the idea came from a group of citizens including Matt Lome, who spoke about the concept before the council earlier in the spring. In the meantime, he said the group has connected with local businesses and organizations such as Shakapaw Pet Market and the Better Together Animal Alliance to help set up the program.

Lome characterized the permitted off-leash concept as resting “somewhere smack in the middle” of goose mitigation efforts, which have ranged from using predator decoys to capture and release, capture and euthanasia, and

controlled hunts.

“It’s up to Sandpoint — how do you want to be known?” he said, later adding, “We’re not going to be able to please everybody, but we’ve got to meet halfway.”

Allowing dogs to roam offleash at City Beach has long been considered by some to be a viable response to what the city described as the “health hazards, beach contamination and maintenance costs associated with waterfowl waste.”

As the city noted in its agenda packet materials, other attempts to clear the geese from City Beach “have proven to be either insufficient or overly invasive.” Those efforts have even included hiring professionals to bring dogs to the beach during certain times to haze the geese. However, as Welker pointed out, that method didn’t work because hazing would take place early in the morning and, almost immediately after the dogs left, the geese would return.

Under the new program, permitted dogs would be allowed off-leash at random times throughout the day.

“The vision here is to have: A., more dogs; B., it’s not going to cost the city any money; and C., it’s going to be random,” he said.

The city launched a survey in summer 2020 that drew 655 responses from more than 800 visitors — described at the time as the most heavily trafficked survey ever run by the city — which showed that 56% of respondents favored allowing dogs at City Beach “with restrictions” while 18% expressed unqualified support for the idea.

Amelia Boyd, who has volunteered with parks and recreation and planning and zoning, said that based on her past experience with the goose issue at City Beach, “I’m all for this program because I’m all for dogs,” however,

she added, “not everyone loves dogs and there’s a lot of people — and children — that are afraid of dogs. ... The reason we didn’t recommend that to council at the time was because of that.”

She referred to the 2020 survey suggested to councilors that not enough public outreach had been undertaken prior to considering the permitted off-leash program.

“If it works, I think it would be great, but I think you’re going to get a lot of backlash and you’re going to get a lot of complainers,” she said before encouraging more public input before a decision.

Longtime vocal goose advocate Jane Fritz thanked the mayor and council for allowing the off-leash idea to be presented on the agenda — something that she said had been resisted by officials over the past five years.

Ultimately, she said that previous plans ignored wildlife biology and were unscientific, and, “the geese problem started when we banned dogs in the city parks and that was now about 30 years ago.”

However, Fritz added, dogs are only one part of the solution, which should include non-lethal deterrent technology as well as landscaping like boulders, flower boxes and changes to the habitat at City Beach.

Finally, the rule change regarding dogs at the Sports Complex was relatively minor in scope, stating that dogs could be on-leash on the pathways — though prohibited outside those areas — anytime throughout the year, rather than just from Sept. 15-April 15, as had been in the prior code.

Again, Welker underscored that the change did not mean residents can bring their dogs into the park areas — just the pathways.

“This has been a very regular request from residents,” he said.

NEWS 4 / R / June 6, 2024
A couple walks along Sandpoint City Beach amid Canada geese. Courtesy photo.

Parking lot tussle following May 21 primary leads to battery, property damage charges

Fight involved current, former legislative candidates and disgruntled citizen

Drama followed swiftly after the May 21 primary election, when reports surfaced online of a physical altercation involving Spencer Hutchings, who had just failed to win the Republican nomination for Idaho Legislative District 1A representative; Dan Rose, an Independent candidate for Idaho District 1 Senate in November; and Mike Franco, who described himself to the Reader as “a grassroots volunteer” with the local Republican Party.

According to footage shared on YouTube, Hutchings and Franco tussled to the ground in the parking lot of Hutchings’ gun store — Sheepdog Supplies in Sagle — while Rose was apparently on his cell phone. At one point during the incident, Franco stamped on an object on the ground, picked it up and threw it at Rose, who deflected it with his arm.

Bonner County sheriff’s deputies responded.

Now, Franco, who resides in Clark Fork, is under a no contact order from both Hutchings and Rose, and has entered not guilty pleas for two counts of battery/willful and unlawful use of force or violence against a person and one count of malicious injury to property.

“It is an unfortunate event that was not staged for political effect, and which did result in real medical injuries/ complications and property damage,” Rose said in a statement shared with the Reader on May 29. “Limits of appropriate and lawful civil interaction were allegedly transgressed and will be handled in the appropriate venue of the First District Court of Bonner

County in the months ahead.”

Hutchings did not respond to requests for comment.

Interpretations of the altercation by multiple parties have suggested that it stemmed from political disagreements between the men, with Franco allegedly unhappy with Hutchings and Rose for not supporting his preferred candidate or candidates. At least one individual — unidentified but for being described by a right-wing blog as “one of the higher ranking members” of the Politically Active Christians PAC — which reports suggested Franco supports — suggested that the fight had been a “staged event” for purposes that were immediately unclear.

The fracas hints at deeper divisions within the local conservative political community.

Rose had been a member of the Bonner County Republican Central Committee, representing Grouse Creek as a precinct committeeman, but according to the BCRCC website that position is now vacant. Rose has also publicly sparred with Scott Herndon, who serves as chair of the central committee and lost his primary bid to Jim Woodward on May 21. Rose will run against Woodward for Idaho District 1 Senate in the November general election.

Hutchings lost his District 1A House race against incumbent Republican Rep. Mark Sauter, and had served as treasurer of the BCRCC until the membership voted to remove him in September 2023. He also unsuccessfully ran against Cornel Rasor for the Southside precinct committeeman position. Rasor won his primary race for House District 1B.

In a May 16 letter to the Bonner County Daily Bee, Rose made no secret of his support

for Hutchings’ legislative bid as “conservative to the core” and his disagreements with the BCRCC, writing that its endorsements had been “driven” by what he referred to as the “Fight Club” — “a Christian political group that has already proven unconstitutional activity” and had therefore “lost immense credibility.”

Rose has also referred to “Fight Club” in letters to the Reader, claiming in one instance in December 2023 that, “Herndon and his ‘disciples’ — self-identified affiliates of the local political Christian organization ... solicit and select political candidates from their religious clan, or attempt to convert non-clan candidates with the leverage of prematurely bestowing a prized BCRCC recommendation/endorsement.”

For his part, Franco has spoken publicly twice at business meetings of the Bonner County commissioners about the incident involving Hutchings and Rose.

On May 28, he participated in the meeting remotely, saying, “for the record very clearly that I am innocent and the very extreme, violent person is still at large. That’s all I have.”

He spoke again on June 4, repeating that, “I am still an innocent man.”

“We need to ask ourselves why an extreme man — an extreme, violent man — is walking amongst us, and further ask ourselves why people ... like state Rep. Heather Scott and the sheriff’s department for Bonner County continue to protect the guilty party.”

When asked May 29 by the Reader to identify the “extreme, violent man” to whom he referred, Franco wrote in a Facebook message that the altercation had been “mostly political except for the ex-

treme violence perpetrated [by] Spencer. Dan and I are not violent. Spencer to my dismay is. He tried to hurt me bad, and could have killed me inadvertently.”

Hutchings has featured in more than one highly visible instance of heated words — the first time in an expletive-laced verbal altercation with a restaurant server in Ponderay in 2018 while running for a position on the Lake Pend Oreille Hospital Board as well as frequently sparring with Commissioners Steve Bradshaw and Luke Omodt during the public comment portions of Bonner County board of commissioners business meetings.

screenshot from a

During his June 4 comments before the BOCC, Franco suggested that he and Rose had been friendly since 2003, when they were acquainted and supportive of the same political candidate in Massachusetts, from which both Franco and Rose came to North Idaho.

“[W]hat I was doing with that individual in Sagle [Rose] was trying to locate him to give him one last chance — to encourage him to leave a cultlike entity,” Franco said.

He told the Reader that he is “caught in between at least two political power structures here. But I’m only a grassroots volunteer with very little means ... I have no official capacity with any groups. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I’m just a traditional Republican, from a family supporting Reaganism since 1980.”

The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office declined a request from the Reader for a copy of the arrest report, as the case is ongoing.

NEWS June 6, 2024 / R / 5
A video showing the fracas in the parking lot of Sheepdog Supplies in Sagle. Video courtesy of

One of the most popular campgrounds and recreational sites on Lake Pend Oreille will be closed until December 2024. The U.S. Forest Service announced the Green Bay Campground and Forest Service roads leading into the campground and Mineral Point trailhead are closed to camping and any other use to allow for the reconstruction and redevelopment of roads, parking areas and campground sites.

“Heavy equipment will be operating in the area and significant construction activity is expected,” USFS stated in a news release. “The work may cause unsafe conditions associated with the

construction, and the described area and roads must therefore be closed to promote public health and safety.”

Forest Service roads 2672, 2672A, 2672B and 532A will be closed, as well as FSR 532 from the junction with Garfield Bay Cutoff Road to Mineral Point Trailhead and the Green Bay Campground are all included in the closure.

Violating the closure order is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

Contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at 208-263-5111 for more information about the order.

Green Bay closed until December Ponderay seeking input on updated Comp Plan

One of the most popular campgrounds and recreational sites on Lake Pend Oreille will be closed until December 2024. The U.S. Forest Service announced the Green Bay Campground and Forest Service roads leading into the campground and Mineral Point trailhead are closed to camping and any other use to allow for the reconstruction and redevelopment of roads, parking areas and campground sites.

“Heavy equipment will be operating in the area and significant construction activity is expected,” USFS stated in a news release. “The work may cause unsafe conditions associated with the

construction, and the described area and roads must therefore be closed to promote public health and safety.”

Forest Service roads 2672, 2672A, 2672B and 532A will be closed, as well as FSR 532 from the junction with Garfield Bay Cutoff Road to Mineral Point Trailhead and the Green Bay Campground are all included in the closure.

Violating the closure order is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both.

Contact the Sandpoint Ranger District at 208-263-5111 for more information about the order.

Dover preparing to construct new post office

Visitors and residents in Dover will start to see work commence on the construction of a new post office in the city, as crews mobilize equipment beginning Monday, June 10 and start preparing the site for work that is expected to continue through the spring of 2025.

Dardan Enterprises is handling the project, which will mark the newest location for Dover’s post office, which has been housed in a handful of buildings during its 100 years of operating

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:

As reported globally, Donald Trump was recently found guilty by New York jurors of 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide information and illegally influence voters prior to the 2016 election. After the presentation of five weeks of evidence and fewer than 12 hours of deliberation, Trump is now the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a federal crime. A list of the counts can be found at Sentencing is set for Thursday, July 11.

Trump called it a rigged trial. He used the verdict for campaign fundraising, claiming he’s a “political prisoner,” even though he went home to Trump Tower. He also said the conviction means, “I’m supposed to go to jail for 187 years.” But as a first-time non-violent offender, The Guardian reported that he’s unlikely to receive any jail time, and instead faces fines, probation, community service or a combination of punishments. As a convict, Trump nonetheless remains eligible to run for president and to serve if he wins, even if he is incarcerated, The Atlantic wrote.

Several political commentators observed that while Trump’s lawyers have said he had no chance at a fair trial — and will appeal his conviction — those same lawyers agreed to the jury selection.

Post-verdict polls show 10% of Republicans are less likely to vote for Trump, 54% of registered voters approved of the verdict and 39% disapproved. A former White House adviser to Barack Obama said the impact of the Trump verdict on voters may be minimal, since voters have “short attention spans.”

in the community.

However, the site of the new facility at 105 Fourth St. is actually a return to the past, as the post office had been located there from the 1930s until 2009, when the former building was demolished and the current site chosen at Jackson Avenue.

Local business and the bus stop will remain open, according to a news release from the city, and no road closures or detours are anticipated. The property will not be available for parking for the duration of the construction timeline.

Online comments included evangelist Franklin Graham urging followers to pray that jurors would have “wisdom and insight to know the truth.” That was countered by Republican George Conway: “Please pray that God restores our right to pay off porn stars to hush them up and create fake records to cover up the payoff. Amen.”

Extremism trackers saw an uptick in violent rhetoric following the Trump verdict, including doxing of possible jurors, CNN reported.

MAGA Republicans predicted a guilty verdict for Trump would crash the stock market. Instead, reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose, making it their best day of the year so far.

For more than three years, Trump’s

legal costs have averaged $90,000 a day, according to The New York Times. In a recent CNN appearance, Republican National Committee Co-chair Lara Trump would not say how much of campaign fundraising is used to help pay Trump’s legal bills.

The New Republic has shared messages from a global chat group composed of 650 wealthy and influential individuals called “Off Leash.” Topics in the group included plans for global fascism, including wars, invasions, coups, assassinations and extermination of enemies. A common refrain: the dangers of allowing everyone to vote, and electing Trump as their path to victory.

A recently proposed plan by President Joe Biden to address the Israeli-Hamas conflict calls for a “complete ceasefire,” a six-week withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza’s populated areas and an exchange of hostages. A ceasefire would allow more humanitarian aid to Gaza, the BBC reported, and a “major reconstruction” of the devastated region. Israeli leadership indicated opposition to ending the war as part of a ceasefire deal, but is also cautiously expressing support for Biden’s plan.

Meanwhile, two more U.S. officials have resigned over the Biden administration’s handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict, The Guardian reported. So far, nine Biden administration officials have publicly resigned.

The Federal Trade Commission alleges a former American oil CEO attempted to collude with OPEC to inflate prices, numerous media reported. The purpose was to boost profits “at the expense of U.S. households and businesses,” the FTC claimed. CNN explained that U.S. oil production is supposed to be decided by the free market, and not by coordination with other producers.

Venezuela has become the first nation in the Americas to lose all of its glaciers, Axios wrote.

Blast from the (recent) past: In 2016, Trump accused then-opponent Hillary Clinton of committing crimes, and said it “would create an unprecedented constitutional crisis” to have a sitting president under felony indictment “and ultimately a criminal trial.” If Clinton were elected, he said, “it would grind government to a halt.” Now that he’s a convicted felon, Trump denies saying he advocated locking up Clinton. But The Atlantic has documented the numerous occasions when he did so.

6 / R / June 6, 2024

Albeni Falls Dam meeting draws contentious crowd

In the first of two public meetings offered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to explain restricted operations at Albeni Falls Dam, representatives engaged with hundreds of concerned residents May 30 at the Ponderay Events Center, answering questions and interacting with locals alarmed about Lake Pend Oreille reaching summer pool later than normal.

Officials also spoke to members of the public about dam operations May 31 at the Camas Center for Community Wellness in Cusick, Wash.

After delamination of the steel in a spillway gate was discovered in April 2024 as part of a dam rehabilitation contract started in June 2023, the U.S. Army Corps removed spillway gate No. 3 on May 14, and reduced powerhouse flows to mitigate flood risks that might arise during storm events in the immediate future.

As a result, Lake Pend Oreille is slated to reach its summer pool level of 2,062.5 feet later than usual — probably at the end of June, Corps officials told the audience. But they were quick to point out that reaching that target was a goal, not a promise.

“It could be earlier, it could be later,” said USACE Col. Kathryn Sanborn.

Almost every seat was full at the Ponderay Events Center, with another 50-75 people lining the back and side walls at the May 30 public meeting, putting the total attendance at around 250 people.

Sanborn led the meeting, with a dais filled with Albeni Falls Dam personnel, structural engineers and water managers occasionally fielding questions from the audience. She shared background information on the defective gate, and explained why operations were restricted at the dam.

“Albeni Falls is a multipurpose project,” Sanborn said. “It’s not just for one thing. It’s

used for many different things. In our case: hydropower, flood risk management, navigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife conservation,” later emphasized that the list was not in order or priority.

Under normal operations, spillway gates could be moved at the same time as others using a gantry crane that sits on the spillway decks. The gates could be moved up to release water or down to store water. Under restricted operations, as the dam is now, gates are only moved one at a time when necessary to control lake refill and manage flood risk. Also, when possible, thegates will only be moved to fully open or fully closed.

Since spring flood risk is still in effect, storing too much water might lead to Albeni Falls becoming unable to mitigate flood risks, should significant weather events send too much inflow for the restricted dam to manage. With the Pend Oreille basin stretching throughout North Idaho and western Montana, comprising 24,000 square miles, it’s extremely complicated to manage inflow risks, officials said. The Corps said they could make use of lake storage up to the minor flood stage of 2,063.5 during a late season and high inflow event if necessary.

“We are operating to avoid the worst-case scenario,” said Upper Columbia Senior Water Manager Leon Basdekas. “The inflow is much higher in Albeni Falls than its storage versus Libby Dam or Hungry Horse Dam or Dworshak Dam. ...

Refilling Lake Pend Oreille, we need to maximize what storage we have. We can help shave the peak off of an inflow event, but we just can’t store that much water compared to other dams. ... We’re trying to avoid losing the ability to control the gate.”

If there were to be a worstcase scenario of a gate failure during high spring inflows, Sanborn said the danger to crane operators could result in injury or death. Also, dam officials would lose the ability to control the lake level all season, if not longer.

Basdekas told local boaters they would have plenty of notice to pull out their boats before the level dropped after a gate failure, usually about a foot every week or two. Then, the lake would slowly drain to 2,057 feet and continue to drop through the fall.

Those in the audience expressed a number of concerns, sometimes erupting in loud commentary and condemnations. One man stormed out of the meeting after shouting accusations at representatives that they weren’t taking the situation seriously enough. Most, however, were respectful — if not frustrated — in their questioning of officials.

One asked why the Corps took 10 months to identify steel defects on the gate, when work could have been started

during winter pool months.

“I know you guys are frustrated,” Sanborn said. “I’m frustrated, too. Ten months is unacceptable and it’s something we’re dealing with within the bounds of our contract.”

Because every gate was manufactured when the dam was built in 1955, Sanborn said they all potentially have the same defect in the steel — a problem that will not go away quickly.

“We are trying to cut down the time, but the reality is, it’s going to be years, not months,” Sanborn said, when asked what kind of timeline fixing the spillway gate metal defects will have. She said the gates had a lifespan of about 50 years when constructed, and are now almost 20 years past that lifespan. Sanborn said her team is investigating every short-term solution in the meantime.

She was asked if there are spare gates available to borrow from other dams, but since each dam was built with its own design and measurements, that isn’t an option.

“We need to look at the

rest of the gates. I need a short-term solution I can safely put in place without an elevated risk of gate failure,” Sanborn said.

Several in attendance said the local economy is being negatively affected by the delay in reaching summer pool, and that their businesses are suffering. They urged the Corps to take quick action.

Some urged the Corps to bring the lake to summer pool now, either for economic or recreational purposes, but Sanborn said the top priority for the dam remains, “life, health and safety.”

“We are actively developing a temporary engineering solution for short-term corrective action to provide limited gate usage,” she said. “This is 11 gates, which is not an insignificant rehab. That’s not going to have an insignificant price tag. We’re working on these actions in terms of long-term planning solutions.”

Sign up for updates on Albeni Falls Dam operations by emailing mil or calling 206-764-3750.

June 6, 2024 / R / 7 NEWS
Top: Almost 250 people turned out for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public meeting May 30 in Ponderay. Photo by Ben Olson. Right: A view of the defects found in gate No. 3 (the defects were found in the girders circled in red). Photo courtesy of USACE.



• “I want to publicly thank the staff at Life Care Center of Sandpoint for the excellent care that I received there. I’m especially grateful for the kindness, cheerfulness and attendance to detail of Crystal, Josh, Iris, Diane, Alex, Kristen and Briget. Thanks again!”


• In the wake of the verdict in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York, Idaho politicians fell over themselves showing fealty to the now convicted felon. Gov. Brad Little wrote, “The American people will deliver the only verdict that matters in November. #TRUMP2024,” which elicited this response from his Democratic opponent Terry Pickens: “It would have been courageous for Little to condemn Trump. It would have been reasonable to simply stay silent. By endorsing a felon for president, Mr. Little chose to betray his own oaths to defend the rule of law. To be clear, he made the cowardly choice to fend off radical, mean, anti-democratic members of his party.” Meanwhile, Congressman Mike Simpson said, “It is crystal clear Democrats have weaponized our judicial system against President Trump.” Sen. Jim Risch riffed about “due process” and claimed the judge donated to President Joe Biden’s campaign, concluding that “This is what we expect from third-world countries,” and called the New York court case a “mock trial.”

It’s downright embarrassing to witness the depths of depravity our elected leaders will sink to in order to kiss Trump’s ring.

‘Live as one’…

Dear editor,

After reading a recent newspaper article about Coeur d’Alene Tribal School students on an outing to McEuen Park in Coeur d’Alene being jeered at and harassassed for simply being Native American, I literally feel sick to my stomach. This is so painful. I do not understand the little minds and cold hearts that can hurl words meant to demean an entire group of people based on the color of their skin. Why treat anyone as less than, when we are in actuality one, united in our shared humanity? Why?

I stand with those who are standing up to bigotry, racism and discrimination. This is not the first incident of this nature in the Coeur d’Alene community. This nonsense needs to stop. In the words of John Lennon, “You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.”

5) Could this be just another example of the interests of the citizens and taxpayers being ignored in favor of revenue and payoffs to the appropriate players? After all, the rules are for the little people.

6) Is it really true that you can tell that those dispatched to blather and obfuscate are lying because their lips are moving?

‘It’s not the inflation rate’…

Dear editor,

It’s not just the inflation rate! That only tells us how fast prices are rising. It’s the cumulative effect, month after month, that determines how far prices go up. Just since January 2017, food is up 32%. Shelter: +34%. Energy: +35%. And transportation services: +36%. We know that when we shop.

Annual KNPS native plant sale slated for June 8

The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s annual sale will take place this year on Saturday, June 8 from 9 a.m. to noon, located in the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum, between the South Ella Avenue parking lot and the History Museum at 611 S. Ella Ave., in Sandpoint.

in the Idaho Panhandle will be on sale, and attendees can learn how to preserve the iconic pollinating monarch butterfly species at the Mighty Monarch Conservation Group table. Meanwhile, at 11 a.m., information and a demonstration on composting at home will be offered.

A few ‘inconvenient’ questions to ponder…

Cynthia Mason Hope Dear editor,

1) State and federal laws guarantee a 2,062.5-foot (full pool) for six months of the year. The reality for recent years is that we have been lucky to see this approximate level for four months (June through September) or less. Why?

2) The contract to rehabilitate the dam was issued in June 2023 and the defects were discovered in April of 2024. What was happening in the intervening 10 months, especially those months (including a very mild winter) where the lake was not at full pool and therefore spill gate usage would be minimal?

2a) Think there’ll be any consequences for poor planning or incompetence in this matter?

3) The argument can be made for a cautious lake refill in heavy snowfall/wet years, but this year is certainly not one and current lake level is at five feet below full pool. Could the bleating about “safety,” “flood control” and “unpredictable weather” be a bit overdone and diversionary?

4) Does the increased demand for electricity in the region served by the hydropower the dam produces and the large revenues for suppliers of power have anything at all to do with the manipulation of lake water levels or is that just another conspiracy theory?

If we are not among the wealthy, most of us have not had similar increases in income — certainly not those on fixed incomes. When they say “inflation is falling,” they want us to believe that prices are coming down. That is misleading; it only means that they may not keep increasing as quickly as they were. Most folks think of “inflation” as rising prices, but in reality prices are a symptom, not the cause. Inflating the money supply reduces the value of our dollars, which means they buy less — the inevitable result, sooner or later, is higher prices. There are two reasons that our government inflates the money supply: 1) in reality it is another tax, a regressive tax that impacts the lowest-income folks the most; and, 2) that is how they finance unfettered spending and debt. As always, we wind up paying the price(s).

A few points about Seinfeld…

Dear editor,

As Sandpoint’s self proclaimed No. 1 Seinfeld fan and advocate, I had to write in about your recent article concerning Jerry Seinfeld’s Unfrosted movie (and his comedic credibility). [Stage and Screen; “Unfrosted is not grrreat! Jerry Seinfeld’s first (and hopefully last) film proves why we shouldn’t listen to him about comedy; May 30, 2024.]

I couldn’t agree more, Unfrosted is god awful and Jerry should probably find better things to do

On sale will be a selection of North Idaho native trees, shrubs and flowering perennials produced by Cedar Mountain Perennials in Athol. Quirky yard art, birdhouses, native plant and heirloom vegetable seed from Snake River Seed Co. will also be available, along with homemade treats.

Experienced native plant gardeners will be on hand to help patrons choose the best plants for their location and answer questions about native gardening. Copies of Landscaping with Native Plants

“In recent years, more and more gardeners are discovering the many rewards of cultivating our native flora,” KNPS stated in a news release. “Adapted to the ups and downs of the local climate, native plants usually require less watering and maintenance. They are hardy and often less bothered by disease. As an integral part of our ecosystem they provide food and shelter for birds, wildlife and beneficial pollinating insects, attracting them to your yard.”

The KNPS annual native plant sale is co-sponsored by the city of Sandpoint.

Gardenia Center soup kitchen moves to First Presbyterian Church

The Gardenia Center soup kitchen reopened June 5 during its usual operating hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but at a new location — the First Presbyterian Church, located at 417 N. First Ave., in Sandpoint.

The soup kitchen was in need of a new location following the sale of the building

with his time and obscene wealth. However, I completely disagree with some of the comments made about the Seinfeld show and its lack of challenging anything. That show was pushing boundaries back in the ’90s and had to do so tactfully being on a mainstream network. Masturbation, feminism, homosexuality, abortion and antisemitism were all themes addressed through a comedic (and at the time progressive) lens, most of which got significant pushback from network executives who thought these areas were too controversial for TV. Jerry getting his own show at the time was expressed as a risk because of it potentially being “too Jewish.”

where the Gardenia Center had operated on Church Street since the mid-1980s. Homemade soups and bread are always available, plus desserts and often homemade salads at the new location.

“Please come and join us as we look forward to serving the community with good food and lots of love,” organizers stated in a news release.

Additionally, the “about nothing” approach isn’t as shallow as it sounds, but is rather a look at general social norms and making a mockery of them. Which is fantastic, because honestly I think the world takes itself too seriously. The reason my friends and I gravitated to Seinfeld so strongly in our youth was because at a vulnerable time in our lives it gave us the ability to laugh off the pressures and expectations cultural norms demand by putting them into a more accurate perspective, which is to look at the mundane, minutia in our day to day and joke about it rather than stress over it.

Kaleb Keaton Sandpoint

8 / R / June 6, 2024

Bizarre Bazaar will move to new location in late August City breaks ground on skatepark expansion

Community members gathered May 30 for the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase 2 of the skatepark expansion at Travers Park. Sandpoint Community Planning and Development Director Jason Welker estimates that the $402,000 project will be complete before schools open in September, giving beginners and pros alike the opportunity to hone their skills on the new “street” skate area.

“When people think about

who uses city parks, they might think of kids or adults playing softball, football, soccer or lacrosse, but we know that over any 12-month period the skatepark will see more total hours of use than any other sport-specific field or facility,” Welker told the Reader

The expansion comes nearly 20 years after the city broke ground on the original “Concrete Lake” skatepark. Dreamland Skateparks co-owners Danyel and Mark Scott, whose company created the original park, have returned to complete Phase 2.

“Opportunities for mentorship are plenty, as younger skaters have the chance to observe and learn from the older skaters, who in turn look out for the younger kids,” said Welker, later adding, “By building facilities like skateparks and bike parks, cities create opportunities for new communities to form and thrive. That’s really what our city parks are about.”

Upscale resale store Bizarre Bazaar is preparing to move to a new location toward the end of the summer, announcing June 2 that it would pull up stakes from its longtime home on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Church Street for a new address at 114 S. Boyer Ave. — adjacent to Smokesmith Barbecue and across Highway 2 from Dub’s Drive-In.

According to the Community Assistance League, which operates the store, the move won’t happen until the end of August. Until that time, Bizarre Bazaar will continue to be open Monday-Saturday, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at its current 504 Church St. location.

“We still look forward to seeing you there as a shopper, donor or maybe even joiner — we love getting new members,” CAL stated in a news release.

The non-profit raises funds — primarily through sales at Bizarre Bazaar — to support a range of grants benefiting local organizations and scholarships for area students.

The grand opening on Boyer is set to take place after Labor Day, but CAL stated that it’s planning a sneak peak in late August.

“Along with maintaining normal operations until the end of August at our current location, we will be working throughout the summer remodeling the new location to create an attractive retail space from its former use as a physical therapy studio,” the

organization stated. “There will be improved interior display areas, better lighting, no stairs to climb to discover treasures on a second floor, and more parking spaces reserved for our customers.”

The store is continuing to accept donations at the Church Street location from 11 a.m.-2:45 p.m. until the final move takes place.

“We are fully operational this summer and continually need new inventory to sell to generate funds for our grants and scholarship programs,” stated Bizarre Bazaar Manager Cherie Warber.

CAL, which has operated in Bonner County for almost 50 years, decided to move to the Boyer location in order to secure a long-term lease and greater stability for its fundraising efforts, which have totaled more than $2.3 million in grants and scholarships to date.

“After nearly 15 years at the current location, we are feeling a tad bittersweet about leaving the Church Street space; it’s been home for a long time,” the organization stated. “But at the same time, change can be exciting and we look forward to creating an inviting, fresh retail space. Bizarre Bazaar has been a fixture in greater Sandpoint and we intend to continue that tradition. Your donations and your purchases allow us to continue to serve Bonner County.”

For more information, visit

June 6, 2024 / R / 9 NEWS
Bizarre Bazaar employees at their current location on Fifth Ave. and Church St. Courtesy photo Top: Residents gather to celebrate breaking ground for Phase 2 of the skatepark expansion. Photo by Soncirey Mitchell. Bottom: A rendering of the skatepark expansion plans, courtesy of city of Sandpoint.

Science: Mad about

ciphers and encryption

Information is the most valuable currency available to humankind. Gold and silver are great, but the information of how to steal someone else’s gold and silver while protecting your own is far more valuable than the resources themselves.

This has been understood by powerful people for as long as we’ve known how to write things down. Being clear and concise in your directives is important, but it’s even more important that your enemies can’t easily read your plans.

The solution for this begins with ciphers. A cipher is a means to disguise or code your written messages to obfuscate information to those outside of the know. The simplest form is a Caesar cipher, named after Julius Caesar, who used them regularly in his written communication.

A Caesar cipher is completed by offsetting a letter a certain number of spaces to substitute it with a new letter. As an example, let’s use a Caesar cipher +3 on the word “soap.”

V is the third letter after S, R is the third letter after O, D is the third letter after A and S is the third letter after P, so your coded cipher becomes “vrds,” which looks like gibberish.

That being said, Caesar ciphers are so commonplace that using very simple logic or a prebuilt graph can make deciphering super simple — barely an inconvenience.

What about encrypting numbers?

A Caesar cipher handles changing numbers a little differently than you might expect. Rather than adding to a number such as 7, you’re instead converting it into a Roman numeral and then shifting those letters. In this case, 7 is

VII which becomes ZLL.

In some instances, the principle of a Caesar cipher is used at its core; but, instead of shifting to letters in the pre-existing alphabet, a user will convert them into letters or symbols of a constructed language such as Tolkien’s Elvish.

As Elvish isn’t a perfect oneto-one match for English, this can create a unique challenge to someone seeking to break your cipher. Additionally, placing another layer of protection by creating a numerical shift or offset can make things more complicated for prying eyes.

This form of cipher — similar to virtually every other form of cryptography — suffers from one major weakness: human pattern recognition. Humans are very adept at recognizing patterns, and particularly in a visual format such as writing. As soon as someone discovers a pattern in your text, it becomes very easy to decipher the rest of the message.

Ultimately all patterns can be identified and broken using mathematical processes.

This was made abundantly clear when the Allies cracked the Enigma machine in World War II.

Invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius in 1918, the Enigma machine was essentially a typewriter with a set of rotors, a plug board and each letter of the alphabet with a light behind it.

The Enigma machine was simplistic compared to modern encryption techniques, but it was still an extremely complicated device. Operators were sent code books every month with values that would shift every day to keep messages secure. Aside from the rotors scrambling letters on input, the plugs would allow users to swap letters, such as A/P so that any input of A would actually be the letter P and vice

versa. In this instance, if you typed the word “APPLE” it would appear as “PAALE.”

The complexity was compounded by the configuration of the three rotors, each of which had the full 26-letter alphabet on them. All components together allowed for more than 158 quintillion different ways you could set the machine to encrypt messages, which changed on a daily basis.

Sounds unbreakable, right? It wasn’t.

The Allies discovered a few key elements to cracking the code without codebooks or even using an Enigma machine themselves. The first was that the Nazis always started their messages with a weather report. Identifying words such as “rain” helped break a huge chunk of the code. Second, they reliably ended messages with the phrase, “Heil Hitler,” which gave Allies even more of an insight to the overall code.

Another major component and a critical flaw of Enigma was that a letter could never be encoded as itself. Pairing this with the previous information allowed codebreakers to decipher and disseminate information very efficiently.

Another key development was the Bombe machine, a very early computer developed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. This computer was basically 36 Enigma machines put together. The machine employed a tactic similar to a technique used by modern cyber criminals called “brute forcing.”

Have you ever seen a TV show in which someone tries to guess a password by starting with 0000, then 0001? This is brute forcing, but a computer does it many millions of times per second.

The Bombe machine would assume the position of a plug, such as A/P, and another plug

would be set to B/K, as an example. It would run all possibilities until it ran into a contradiction where A and P could not be swapped, and would switch to a different plug pair.

It was able to do this very quickly, slamming through all 158 quintillion possibilities in about 20 minutes.

This device is essentially the basis for all encryption we use today. We have vastly more processing power than Turing did in the 1940s, which has allowed for vastly more complicated encryption.

In the simplest terms,

encryption is using layers of math to switch letters into other letters. Decryption is throwing the same kind of math many times over until a pattern is recognized. Cryptography is a very complicated process and simplifying it in that way really doesn’t do it justice. If this subject has piqued your interest, consider stopping by the library’s nonfiction section at 652.8 and see if you can discover a book that does a considerably better job at describing the process than I have.

Random Corner

• Mary Anderson, the inventor of the windshield wiper, caught her inspiration while riding in a streetcar on a cold New York City day around the turn of the 20th century. Anderson noticed automobile drivers stopping to clear their windshields from freezing rain and sleet. Others had tried, and failed, to develop a windshield clearing device, but Anderson’s patent was of a spring-loaded, lever-operated system that the driver could operate from within the vehicle.

• Though Anderson filed for a patent in 1903, wipers didn’t become standard equipment in automobiles until well into the 1940s. Unfortunately, by this time, Anderson’s patent had expired.

• The next big development in wiper technology happened in the 1950s. Prior to then, wipers could only be turned on or off. There weren’t speed or intermittent settings. In 1953, Detroit-based inventor Robert Kearns was celebrating his wedding when a champagne cork struck him in his left eye. He struggled for years with vision, especially while driving in the rain. When examining his predicament, he came to the realization that humans

have a “wiper” of their own: eyelids. However, we don’t blink constantly to clear our vision — we usually blink every few seconds. In 1962, Kearns applied for his patents for what he nicknamed the “Blinking Eye” wipers.

• Things didn’t go well for Kearns. He installed the invention in his Ford Galaxie and showed it to Ford scientists. While they were impressed, the company passed on the design. Or so it seemed. Ford installed intermittent wipers into its car models in 1969 — without the help of Kearns. It wasn’t until 1976 that Kearns disassembled the mechanism and found the invention had been entirely stolen from his design. A bruising court battle ensued, costing Kearns nearly everything, including his family. In 1995, after a prolonged battle that led to a mental breakdown, Kearns was awarded $30 million from Chrysler, but that was a far cry from the $325 million he requested (the court cases were so onerous that he was unable to keep paperwork straight and lost the claim to his patents). The heartbreaking story eventually was made into the 2008 film Flash of Genius starring Greg Kinnear.

10 / R / June 6, 2024
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Sandpoint City Council nixes remote testimony on Zoom

Sandpoint Mayor Jeremy Grimm announced June 5 that the City Council would no longer accept public testimony via Zoom.

The move is intended to “encourage predominantly local participation” in person, he said, and also avoid incidents such as at the May 15 meeting when two individuals launched into comments that Grimm shut down for being inappropriate and in violation of the city’s policies against threatening and derogatory remarks.

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

Grimm added that the city will continue to offer the ability to view meetings remotely, as well as record and post them on YouTube, “however, with limited exceptions we will no longer be accepting public comment from those attending remotely.”

Council President Deb Ruehle pushed back against the new policy, saying that “changing the opportunity for the public to comment on Zoom [without conferring with council] is somewhat inappropriate.”

“Last meeting was just the second time we’ve had to turn the volume off on very inappropriate comments,” she said.

The offending comments at the May 15 meeting were similar to others made at the Nov. 15, 2023 meeting, which all featured disparaging statements about Israel, people of the Jewish faith and others. The statements in November were allowed to proceed for some length before being shut off by I.T., while Grimm silenced the May 15 comments shortly after they began to veer into “derogatory” territory.

One speaker challenged Grimm’s authority to cut off his commentary, stating that he would not use any threats or vulgarity before proceeding to threaten a lawsuit if his “political opinion ... involving the state of Israel and Jews” went unheard. He then referred to the mayor as “a punk,” which resulted in his microphone being muted.

“The former speaker was shut off for calling me a punk,” Grimm said

at the May 15 meeting.

Ruehle said she understands the pros and cons of regulating public comment, and requested of Grimm “that in future there’s some more in-depth conversation with your council.”

For his part, Grimm countered that “there is the opportunity for residents in our four-square-mile city to attend and also arrange in advance if they have special needs to comment via Zoom.”

What’s more, he added, “many employers are having employees come back to work” in what’s referred to as the “return to work” movement, and other cities have taken similar steps to reorient testimony back to in-person attendance.

Ultimately, though, Grimm returned to the “totally inappropriate” nature of the comments at the May 15 meeting.

“I can’t tolerate that kind of disturbance. I had a hard time paying attention to the rest of the meeting because those comments were disturbing,” he said.

Ruehle argued that “being a representative of the public, that’s part of our job ... and it might not feel good.”

Amelia Boyd, who has served on the Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission and ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2023, spoke during the public forum portion of the meeting about the importance other candidates placed on public comment and transparency during their campaigns last year.

“I remember four of you — plus myself — when we were campaigning about getting the voice out of our citizens,” she said, later adding, “Deb is right — you all are the voice of the people.”

She encouraged the council to put the matter up for more consideration at a later meeting, which Grimm said earlier he’d be happy to do.

However, he reiterated, “there is the opportunity to speak on Zoom prearranged.”

“This is a four-square-mile area. ... We will make reasonable accommodations,” he said, adding, “This is strictly to restrict outside comments that are inappropriate in any situation.”

June 6, 2024 / R / 11 NEWS

Fundraiser aims to help young local dancer attend Boston Ballet summer program

Xadrian Knepper started her dance journey at the age of 6, learning the art form and performing at Allegro Dance Studio in Sandpoint. She’s come a long way over the past nine years, and most recently earned an opportunity to go even further — literally and figuratively, with her acceptance to the Boston Ballet’s prestigious summer intensive program.

“In Boston I would like to gain a better understanding of the art. Challenge myself to learn more and take risks in trying new things,” Xadrian told the Reader, adding that someday she’d like to open her own studio and teach others.

To help get her on her way to the program in Boston, Xadrian’s friends and family are hosting a fundraiser Sunday, June 9 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bluebird Bakery (329 N. First Ave., in downtown Sandpoint).

For a suggested donation of $15 a person, or $45 for a family of four, attendees will enjoy all-you-can eat soups and salads from Beet and Basil. Sunshine Goldmine, where Xadrian works part-time, is sponsoring the event, which also includes no-host beer and wine. Cash and Venmo are both accepted, and additional donations are welcomed.

Tuition and board for the five-week program runs to $6,500, with other

needs like five pairs of ballet shoes, travel expenses and “things to keep the mind busy to avoid homesickness,” said Jon Knepper, Xadrian’s father.

The estimated goal to fully fund the experience is $10,000, with $2,300 raised to date. Regardless, Xadrian’s

mother, sister and grandparents are traveling with her on a cross-country motorhome trek beginning Thursday, June 17, which will get her to Boston

in time for classes to start.

“Xa has spent countless hours online researching summer intensive programs. Talking with her coaches seeking their advice and direction,” Jon said. “After learning of her options, she asked to attend tryouts for various programs in Seattle late last fall. On the top of her list was Boston Ballet. Upon hearing she was selected, she then had the hard decision of how she would like to spend her summer — in Sandpoint with family and friends at the beach, or in Boston dancing six days a week including the Fourth of July.”

The choice was pretty clear for Xadrian, whose commitment to her art has already filled many of her days. In 2022, at the age of 13, she moved from Allegro Dance Studio to the Expressions School of Performing Arts (ESPA) in Post Falls. She started performing competitively with the Expressions Team X last fall, has already tried out for the next season and is a member of the Sandpoint High School dance team — all that on top of attending classes four nights a week at ESPA.

“I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to attend Boston Ballet,” Xadrian said.

Her parents are, too.

“We are extremely proud of her commitment to dance,” Jon said. “She sacrifices birthday parties, sleepovers, concerts and couch time to pursue her passion. We couldn’t be any happier or more excited for what’s to come.”

Grab the sneakers and sunscreen Bonner County Museum Historic Walking Tours begin

The Bonner County History Museum and Sandpoint Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Division have once again joined forces to lead weekly walking tours, making the area’s history fun and accessible. Tours meet in front of Elevate Real Estate Group, 212 N. First Ave., every Friday at 11 a.m. from June through August.

“With history collected from the memories and deeds of thousands who’ve lived before us, there’s an endless supply of uniquely Sandpoint stories to tell,” said Bry Ells, the museum’s administrator and program coordinator.

“This tour covers a mix of need-toknow history and unusual anecdotes drawn from early newspapers,” she told the Reader, adding that, “While all of the content will likely wow visitors

from out of town, we’ve specifically searched for obscure recollections to intrigue the locals too,” who are invited to chime in with personal anecdotes or history throughout the tour.

Tours last around an hour each and cover one square block of downtown Sandpoint, with an optional, additional 15-minute trek farther down First Avenue that covers historic buildings such as the 219 Lounge, Powerhouse and McFarland house.

“The Newcomer Cucumber Tour will cover all of the stories you want to know and share with friends and family. It will tell the stories of the people who have lived here, how the community grew during the early settlement of Sandpoint, early businesses and delightful anecdotes like a particularly polite grocery store pup,” said Ells.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for youth and free for children 6 and under.

12 / R / June 6, 2024 COMMUNITY
Xadrian Knepper is onto great things with her acceptance to Boston Ballet’s prestigious summer intensive program. Photo by Makaia Knepper.

Pro-Voice Project, Humanities Council host discussions on ‘The Worth of a Woman’

The Pro-Voice Project, in partnership with the Idaho Humanities Council, is hosting three community conversations centered on the topic “The Worth of a Woman.” The first conversation is on Thursday, June 13, from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner County Library.

Free and open to all, the discussions are part of IHC’s program Human Ties: Conversations That Matter, which provides opportunities for communities to come together and have respectful and civil conversations about challenging topics that are meaningful to Idahoans. The conversations are rooted in a humanities-based text and moderated by trained facilitators. Organizers stressed that the event is “not a lecture, panel, town hall or presentation; this is a conversation requiring active participation from everyone. No expertise is needed to participate.”

The Pro-Voice Project is organizing these conversations in concert with

its Worth of a Woman exhibit, which explores the connections between women’s health and community health, the barriers that stand in the way of women accessing care, how the care system is currently failing us, and our hopes for what lies ahead. Worth of a Woman will be on display at Matchwood Brewing as part of the Pend Oreille Arts Council ArtWalk, starting on June 14.

Participants must register by visiting The second and third conversations take place Monday, June 24, and Thursday, July 11, all at 5 p.m. at the Sandpoint library. Each conversation will involve different prompts, perspectives and facilitators; thus, participants are encouraged to register for more than one event.

The IHC provides opportunities to deepen public understanding of human experience by connecting people with ideas. For more information, visit or

June 6, 2024 / R / 13 COMMUNITY


Idaho celebrates 15th annual Wine and Cider Month

Educational website Wine Folly launches wine region guide for Idaho

Rowing and paddling club launches 2024 season

Idaho’s up-and-coming wine and cider industries are achieving growing recognition among experts, earning an official wine region guide on the educational website Wine Folly alongside established regions like Napa Valley, Walla Walla and Bordeaux. The complete guide went live at on June 4, ringing in the start of the 15th annual Idaho Wine and Cider Month.

“Idaho’s wine industry is an integral part of our state’s agricultural heritage and continues to be an economic and tourism driver,” said Moya Dolsby, executive director of the Idaho Wine Commission, in a recent news release. “Our industry is a story of resilience and growth, evolving from 11 wineries in 2002 to 65 wineries and eight cideries today.”

Wine Folly’s guide covers Idaho’s varied terroir, wineries and history,

beginning with the first royal muscadine grape vines planted in Lewiston in 1894. Idaho’s three current American Viticultural Areas — Lewis-Clark Valley, Snake River Valley and the Eagle Foothills — specialize in syrah, merlot, riesling, chardonnay, tempranillo and malbec.

The IWC’s most recent study estimates that the Idaho wine industry generated $314.2 million for the state’s economy in 2022 — a massive increase compared to the $210 million raised in 2017. The 890,000 visitors to Idaho’s wineries and tasting rooms are estimated to have spent $173.1 million at other local businesses.

“We encourage everyone to experience what Idaho has to offer and support the winegrowers and makers who are the heart of Idaho’s accessible, welcoming wine community,” said Dolsby.

Visit for a complete overview of Idaho’s wine region.

The Pend Oreille Rowing and Paddling Association will kick off its season of rowing and other non-motorized water sports with a weekend of maintenance and team building on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9.

Members of the club will gather at 324 Rivers End Drive in Priest River from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to prepare and inspect boats and equipment and set up for the new season. The community is also welcome to attend and learn about adult and youth rowing programs.

Upcoming PORPA events in clude a celebration of the inaugural row held on July 13, 2014 from Thama Shores to Riley Creek in Laclede. Rowers will gather Satur day, July, 13, 2024 to row and later

celebrate with food and refreshments.

The annual PORPA Sprints on the Priest River at the Priest River Recreation Area (a.k.a. “The Mudhole”) will take place on Saturday Aug. 3, with a day of non-motorized races for standup paddle boards, kayaks, canoes, rowing shells, water bikes and even boats made of cardboard. All ages and abilities are welcome. PORPA encourages at least 10-20 additional youth to participate in 2024.

Donations are welcome and help cover the costs for free youth registrations. Families with kids 12 and older are encouraged to try rowing as a family event. The organization offers a free Introduction to Rowing program. Visit for more information or contact secretary@

14 / R / June 6, 2024


A vehicle accidentally crashed through the front wall of the Sandpoint Post Office on June 1. The driver mistook the gas pedal for the brakes while pulling into the parking lot. The driver was not injured, but was taken to the

hospital as a precaution. The post office has since reopened, with mail delivery and services unaffected by the incident.

Photograph by Woods Wheatcroft.


Blues Traveler with Justyn Priest


Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors + The National Parks


Jason Mraz & The Superband with Molly Miller Trio


Violent Femmes An Evening With JULY 27

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue with Big Boi


Maren Morris with Delacey


Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw


Lee Brice with Madeline Merlo


to Train Your Dragon - In Concert

- AUGUST 4, 2O24

The Bogey Room offers year- round, 24/7 virtual golf

It’s a common complaint among golfers in the Pacific Northwest that the first few rounds of the already short season are usually spent knocking the rust off their swing from a long winter away from the links. With The Bogey Room in Ponderay, however, there is no off-season.

Featuring more than 300 courses offered in a member-only format, The Bogey Room has become a popular local hangout since opening last August.

Virtual golf makes a lot of sense in North Idaho, where the season lasts roughly half the year on average, but can be shorter depending on if it’s a wet spring or the snow flies early in the fall.

“We know it’s dark and gloomy in Sandpoint in winter,” said Ty Wilson, who co-owns the business with Ben Hammond. “We’re here to give the city something to do when it’s not great out.”

Wilson and Hammond decided to take virtual golf and tweak it a bit, offering a members-only format that ensures the two golf bays remain available for tee times on a consistent basis, which are booked online or using a mobile app. Plus, Wilson said, if members swing by and notice nobody is playing, they can just walk on without booking in advance.

“You can log into the app and see all the available tee times for the day, and you can book them 24/7,” Wilson told the Reader

Not only can golfers book times any hour of the day or night, the facility is operated using a mobile access on members’ phones, which allows them to play whenever it’s convenient

— even at 3 a.m., if that’s the only time available to hit some balls.

“We have groups of people who play like 9 p.m. to midnight,” he said. “There are a lot that like to play in the 5-8 a.m. hours. ... One of the more surprising things we realized when we flipped the switch and opened is how strong the golf scene is. It’s also not the demographic that you think it might be. There are teachers, everyday workers; everyone trying to find ways to play golf. This makes it feasible for them.”

Memberships are $150 per month, which gives members all the golf they can handle without restrictions, and there is an initiation fee of $200 for new members. Recognizing the fact that 10-20% of their membership falls off whenever the weather turns warmer, Wilson said there is no minimum period of membership. The fact that the facilities go unstaffed except for cleaning crews helps keep prices low, Wilson said. Currently, membership is capped at 60 to ensure everyone has the ability to play as much as possible.

The Bogey Room uses the Uneekor Simulator Technology virtual golf system, which uses GS Pro simulation software. Sensors are mounted overhead, as opposed to behind the golfer, which makes them versatile for rightor left-handed players.

“We also went all out with our projectors using 4K on everything,” Wilson said. “You won’t find that on a lot of sims. It makes the images pop a little better.”

The golfer tees up on an artificial mat before a large projector screen, hits the ball into the screen where sen-

< see BOGEY, Page 18 >

16 / R / June 6, 2024 COMMUNITY
It’s always golfing weather at The Bogey Room. Courtesy photo.

Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra presents Spring Concerts

The Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra will present its spring concerts Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 at 3 p.m., with the free performances to be held at the First Lutheran Church (526 S. Olive Ave., in Sandpoint).

The program will feature a variety of composers and styles, including 16th century madrigals focused on the fickleness of love that open the concert. Following those selections will be a lyrical piece by the romantic composer Johannes Brahams, again about love. Then the chorale shifts to a well known traditional spiritual “Hold On!”

Flute soloist Alisha Dawson, with accompaniment by Caren Reiner will follow, playing “Fantasy” by Gabriel Fauré closing the first half.

After a brief intermission, the middle movement of the Italian Symphony, No. 4, by Felix Mendels-

sohn, opens the second half. This is followed by a newly written trio by Mark Reiner again featuring flutist Dawson, violinist Gayle McCutchan and violist Marcy Hogan.

Two pieces from “Frostiana” by Randall Thompson use the evocative poetry of Robert Frost. The men’s chorus will sing “The Pasture,” and the women’s chorus will sing “A Girl’s Garden.”

Ending the concert is the premiere of “Be Still” for chorale and orchestra.

“This piece represents humanity’s overcoming of the frantic, anxiety producing mindset prevalent in the world today,” composer Reiner stated. “The orchestra takes the part of the restless, anxious mind while the chorale symbolizes the stillness and peace of spiritual perception.”

The Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra has presented free classical concerts in the community for more than 30 years.

June 6, 2024 / R / 17 COMMUNITY

Send event listings to

Live Music w/ Marcus Stevens

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Cribbage Club


Turbo Trivia ($5)

7pm @ Connie’s

7pm @ Connie’s Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan Bingo Night 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Country and rock

Live Music w/ Gain Of Funktion

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts (country)

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Kerry Leigh 6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

Live Music w/ Sydney Dawn

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Live Music w/ Suspicious PKG

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Sheldon Packwood

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon

6th annual Sandpoint Renaissance Faire

10am-6pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Costumes encouraged and admired.

See Page 19 for full info. $18/adults, $14/seniors and under 18. Free for kids 5 and under.

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

6th annual Sandpoint Renaissance Faire

10am-6pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

See Page 19 for full info

Ponderay City Clean-Up Day

8am-2pm @ Ponderay City Hall

BBQ in Triangle Park at 12:30pm

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

June 6-13, 2024

Aquatic noxious weed informational meeting 5:30pm @ Bonner Co. Admin building Meeting on aquatic noxious weeds and invasive species

FriDAY, June 7

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 8-10pm @ The Back Door

Live Music w/ Mike Wagoner

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Country, rock, Americana w/ Utah John

Live Music w/ BC/DC

8:30pm @ The Hive

A tribute to AC/DC. 21+. Super fun


KNPS annual Native Plant Sale

9am-12pm @ Arboretum (by museum)

This year’s offering includes a great selection of trees, shrubs and flowering perennials. No early sales please

Live Music w/ Courtney and Co.

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Sasquatch Baseball 11 and under takeover 5-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

A restaurant takeover w/ Sasquatch Baseball team, sales donated to team

Live Music w/ Working Spliffs

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge (21+) free With their roots in reggae, this 5-piece now plays a hybrid of reggae, ska, blues, psych rock, jazz, even Grateful Dead

SunDAY, June 9

Music Matters! The Tale of Peter Rabbit

2:30pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

Musical based on Beatrix Potter’s classic tales. $10 tickets

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Magic with Star Alexander 5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

monDAY, June 10

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

< BOGEY, con’t from Page 16 >

sors read the trajectory, spin, direction and other data to project a virtual ball onto a virtual hole. Shot by shot, the golfer plays through 18 holes, or it can be used with a driving range background to keep up with swing maintenance through the off season.

Sandpoint Soccer Assoc. fundraiser 4-7pm @ Barrel 33

Drinks, food and live music by Fiddlin’ Red. 20% of proceeds go to SSA

Live Piano w/ Peter Lucht

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Cribbage Club 7pm @ Connie’s Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan

Outdoor Experience Group Run

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

wednesDAY, June 12

Live Music w/ Kyle Swafford 5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh local produce and artisan goods

ThursDAY, June 13

Turbo Trivia ($5) 7pm @ Connie’s

BoCo Museum Historic Walking Tours 11am @ Elevate, 212 N. First Ave.

A historic walking tour of Sandpoint with all the stories you’ll want to tell friends. Tours every Friday through August. $12/adult, $5/kids. <6 free

Karaoke Night 8pm @ Tervan Tavern

Bridges Home concert

7pm @ Pearl Theater (Bonners Ferry)

Join high energy Celtic, old-time and bluegrass trio. $5 (kids <13 free)

Music Matters! The Tale of Peter Rabbit

2:30 & 6:30pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

Musical based on Beatrix Potter’s classic tales. $10 tickets

Live Music w/ Monarch Mountain Band 6-8pm @ Create Arts Center (every Monday) Talk on thought-training methods, Q&A and group discussions. (Newport, Wash.)

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 6-8:30pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante

Choosing Harmony: A Series of Talks by Monastics at Sravasti Abbey

2:30 & 6:30pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

Musical based on Beatrix Potter’s classic tales. $10 tickets

The Shape of Trees film premier 7pm @ Panida Theater

A short film by local Willie Wittezehler

tuesDAY, June 11

Live Piano w/ Sean Bostrom 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Classical piano at the Winery

Benny on the Deck concert series 5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge Special guest Kyle Swaffard

Open Mic Night 6pm @ Tervan Tavern

Bingo Night 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Kerry Leigh 6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

“The feedback we’ve been getting from our members is that it doesn’t take so long at the beginning of the golf season to break off the rust,” Wilson said.

Putting is the only downfall to virtual golf. Players putt balls from the tee box into the screen and usually call anything within five feet a “gimmie.” The putting function can be — and has been — turned off, but members requested it to be turned on again.

“You’re not coming here to get better at putting,” Wilson said. “This facility is meant for someone who wants to elevate their game a little bit.”

Golfers can play any one of the more than 300 courses, from Pebble Beach to TPC Sawgrass to Augusta. Or, as Wilson noted, they can also play courses closer to home.

“You’d think they’d want to all play Pebble Beach, but we see them playing the Coeur d’Alene Resort and other local spots a lot,” Wilson said.

Once per quarter The Bogey Room hosts tournaments, and they also have PGA pros who are available, like Jeff Gove from The Idaho Club. Wilson said The Bogey Room has even been utilized by the Sandpoint High School golf team when their own practice facility is unavailable.

“It’s meant to feel like a community here,” Wilson said. “Everyone knows each other. You feel like you’re at the barber shop. People feel comfortable leaving their clubs here and coming back the next day. That’s the feeling we wanted to have.”

To learn more about The Bogey Room, visit or call 928-205-7090.

18 / R / June 6, 2024

Hear ye! Hear ye! The Sandpoint Renaissance Faire returns

Come one, come all — be ye knight or bard — to the fifth annual Sandpoint Renaissance Faire at the Bonner County Fairgrounds (4203 N. Boyer Road) on Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9. The faire, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, is set to be bursting with pirates, dancers, mermaids and feasts fit for kings.

“I think Renaissance Faires offer a unique and diverse historical, theatrical and fantasy form of entertainment all in one, creating a pleasurable experience for all,” Her Majesty Tanya Anderson, queen and vice president of the faire, told the Reader. “Many Ren Faire goers like to travel to the multitude of over 200 renaissance faires across the United States, finding each one with its own unique qualities, yet a familiar essence of home to the historical era they seek.” Audiences will enjoy the return of local favorites in-

cluding Knightly Ventures, Wild Heart Equestrian Connections and Vertical Elements, as well as touring theatrical group the Seattle Knights, who will perform this year’s joust. All in all, the musicians, magicians, actors and dancers will pepper the faire, bringing non-stop entertainment alongside a host of specialty vendors.

“This will be our biggest and most entertaining year. Prepare thyself for merriment,” said Anderson.

Organizers anticipate approximately 4,000 visitors and have rented the entire fairgrounds to ensure adequate parking.

Tickets are $14 for children ages 6 to 17 and seniors 65+ and $18 for adults per day, or $24 for children and seniors and $32 for adults for the entire weekend. Children 5 and under get in for free.

Visit to purchase tickets in advance and see the complete schedule of events. Attendees can only purchase tickets in cash at the front gate, 4203 N. Boyer Road; however, due to limited entry, tickets

may sell out prior to arrival.

“We have an amazing group of people who, by working together, are able to bring such a joyous event in such a big way to our little community. The patrons who come in to support the faire are [the ones] who make it special for us and with every smile or ounce of enjoyment created,

our hearts are warmed with gratitude,” Anderson said, adding, “I think Sandpoint is just special in general — a little town with some of the biggest hearts, a community that truly knows how to come together.”

Iconic satire BlazingSaddles to screen as $5 film at the Panida

Among the many iconic comedy films of Mel Brooks’ career, Blazing Saddles could fairly be described as a high point not just for the writer-director-actor, but for the genre of satire as a whole.

Set in 1874 in the small Western town of Rock Ridge, the film centers on Bart — a railroad worker who through happenstance ends up being named as the town’s first Black sheriff. His hiring couldn’t have come at a worse time — not only is he a Black man living in the 1870s, but there’s a plan in the works by corrupt Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) to depopulate the town so he can capitalize on the land as it’s needed for a new railroad line.

Bart, played by Cleavon Little, needs to overcome Rock Ridge residents’ racism then marshal his forces to fight off Lamarr’s henchmen with the help of boozy gunfighter Jim, a.k.a., the “Waco Kid” (Gene Wilder).

The send-up of Western films also serves as a piece of social commentary on contemporary racism, and features a cast of greats like Madeline Kahn as cabaret singer Lili Von Shtupp, Slim Pickens as hired tough guy Taggart, Dom DeLuise as Buddy Bizarre (the

fictional director within the film whose own musical gets interrupted by the actors in Blazing Saddles) and no less than Count Basie in a cameo appearance.

Brooks plays dim-witted sleazeball Gov. William J. Lepetomane (a riff on the stage name of the late-19th and early-20th century French performer who made his fame by farting for an audience) and a deeply politically incorrect tribal chief.

Practically every scene in the film is a masterclass in subversive humor, which should come as no surprise since Richard Pryor was among its screenwriters. The film is such an icon that the Library of Congress consid-

ered it “culturally historically or aesthetically significant” enough to warrant inclusion in the National Film Registry.

One thing’s for certain: They don’t make them like Blazing Saddles anymore, and the Panida Theater will host a special $5 screening of the film on Friday, June 7 at 7 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the show. Get tickets at or at the door, 300 N. First Ave., in downtown Sandpoint.


Local short film TheShapeofTrees premieres at Panida Little Theater

What can a story tell us beyond its basic details? That’s the overarching philosophical exploration at play in The Shape of Trees, a locally filmed, produced and cast short film premiering Sunday, June 9 at the Panida Little Theater.

The debut narrative short film from Willie and Jamie Wittezehler,

is described as a dark comedy that “delves into the intricate interplay between storytelling, identity and self-absorption.”

At the center of the film is one man’s experience with meeting an elusive filmmaker and telling the story in parts and pieces of how it profoundly affected the trajectory of his life — and even his perception of reality.

The premiere will feature behindthe-scenes footage providing a glimpse

into the creative process that brought The Shape of Trees to the screen, and is free and open to the public with a general-audiences rating.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the screening begins at 7 p.m. Donations are encouraged to support local filmmaking. The Panida Little Theater is located next to the main theater at 300 N. First Ave., in downtown Sandpoint.

June 6, 2024 / R / 19 STAGE & SCREEN
President Jeremy Smith, Member Sarrah Morton, Vice president & HRM Queen Tanya Anderson, Secretary Cassandra Robinson and member Shaun Chaffe are resplendent at the Sandpoint Ren Faire. Photo by Dylan Soukup, PEUR Photography. Courtesy

The city of Dover becomes a Monarch City

Congratulations to the city of Dover for becoming a “Monarch City” — the second community in the state of Idaho to proudly carry that title. The Dover City Council unanimously voted to accept this decision at their May 9 council meeting. Dover has also adopted the first week in June as “Pollinator Week,” which is included in the recent proclamation signed May 9 by Mayor George Eskridge. This is part of Dover’s longstanding commitment to protect and promote its natural environment.

Dover is one of the few cities nationwide that has more than 20% designated open space and which is home for many native plants, animals and beneficial insects. Last year, The Mighty Monarchs Conservation Group planted seven monarch waystations in the meadow area of Pine Street Woods located in Dover, with the support of Kaniksu Land Trust. This group has also been engaging with the city of Dover and other surrounding communities to share information about the

monarch butterfly and other native pollinator insects and plants, as well as creating monarch waystations and milkweed propagation gardens.

The western monarch butterfly begins its migration each spring in Baja and the California coast and travels north to Canada. These incredible butterflies will complete approximately three life cycles and the offspring will arrive in Idaho during the month of June. They will then propagate during the summer, using milkweed as their only food source in the larval stage. The monarch will complete a couple of 30-day reproductive cycles and then begin its migration back to the warmer climates in early September.

However the monarch has been severely affected by the growth of housing and commercial development, changes in weather, pesticide use and diminishing sources of milkweed vital to their reproduction. There has been up to a 97% decline in the western monarch butterfly population since the 1980s and a total of 233,394 monarchs were counted at 256 overwintering sites from 2023-’24, according to the Xerces Society.

The city of Dover and its residents, along with local businesses, environmental groups and surrounding communities can make a positive impact on protecting the monarch butterfly and other pollinators and promoting a native pollinator environment. One of the most important ways is to plant native milkweed, as the monarch will only lay her eggs on milkweed and it is the sole food for the developing caterpillar. Planting other native plants such as aster, narrowleaf penstemon and goldenrod will help the monarch and other pollinators’ nectar source. Equally important is becoming educated about the devastating effects of pesticides to our pollinator population.

Ask your local nurseries if the plants are pesticide free. Establishing a pollinator-friendly pesticide regimen will help protect the monarch and other vital pollinators.

You can read Dover’s Pollinator Week proclamation on the cityofdover. website and make an important decision to help the monarchs return to our area and support other pollinators to thrive.

Plant native milkweed and other native and flowering pollinating plants, learn about the effects of pesticides and commit to a pollinator-friendly regimen, and support your local organizations working to protect the environment for all to enjoy.

Area residents are encouraged to visit Dover City Hall for additional educational information or contact The Mighty Monarchs Conservation Group at

Congratulations to Dover for making this important commitment to protect and support our monarch and entire pollinator population!

Delia Trenbeath is a Dover resident and a member of The Mighty Monarchs Conservation Group.

Clark Fork HS to host youth volleyball camp

Camp slated for June 20, open to both girls and boys

The Clark Fork High School volleyball program will host a youth volleyball camp on Thursday, June 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the CFHS gymnasium (502 N. Main St.) The camp is open to all students entering third through eighth grades in the upcoming school year.

Program coaches Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey and Tracy Andersen Olson will host the camp, with assistance from current high school players. Campers will learn the fundamentals of passing, setting and hitting through fun games and one-on-one coaching. Participants should bring court shoes, a water bottle and a sack lunch. Sign-in begins at 9:30 a.m. The cost is $40 per camper, with each receiving a custom-designed Clark Fork volleyball sticker for their participation.

Deadline to register is Thursday, June 13. To sign up, go to bit. ly/45a4aM0 or email

20 / R / June 6, 2024 FOOD


The age of Spotify

For the most part, GenZers who grew up using streaming services like Spotify understand music in terms of individual songs and moods rather than traditional albums, which has shaped the music industry in unforeseen ways.

The Swedish streaming service Spotify came to the U.S. in 2011 after years of financial uncertainty in the music industry. Digital music began to surpass physical mediums around the turn of the century, leaving musicians vulnerable to piracy sites like Napster and unable to rely on their conventional income stream.

Beginning with the first iPod in 2001, Apple moved to monopolize the industry, accounting for 69% of all digital sales by 2009, according to Variety. With copyright infringement lawsuits taking out the larcenous competition, Apple proved that the industry could still be profitable as long as music was as easily accessible as it had been on file sharing websites.

Spotify took this idea a step further, opening a global music catalog for a fixed price (or free with ads), rather than selling individual items.

Streaming revenues sur-

passed those of downloads by 2016, with Spotify accounting for 44% of the global market, according to Variety. The Michigan Journal of Economics estimates that Spotify still maintains control of 30% of the market, meanwhile piracy rates continue to drop.

Not only did this supercharge the industry, it affected what kinds of music people listen to. Audiences could afford to be more experimental because they didn’t have to commit to buying an entire album, allowing unknown artists and obscure genres to find their audiences.

Listeners are exposed to new artists through personalized or public playlists, which means they’re only likely to hear one song off an album at a time. This change in listening practices shifted artists’ focus away from creating cohesive albums and toward tailoring each song to suit certain types of playlists.

Playlists can be categorized by genre, but Spotify’s curated playlists like “Feelin‘ Good,” “Villain Mode” and “Getting Ready” are preorganized by ambiance, vibes or their associated activities. In order to reach “Feelin‘ Good’s” audience of 3,622,793 users, musicians have to embody the target emotion well enough

How streaming shaped the music industry

to be picked up by Spotify’s algorithm or team of editors, who essentially function as international DJs.

Editors create those playlists by analyzing music trends and location-based data while the service’s algorithm generates personalized recommendations based on users’ Spotify search history, time spent listening, saved music, skipped songs, age, language and approximate location — as well as the behavior of similar listeners.

Targeted playlists give musicians the freedom to seek out extremely niche audiences rather than attempt to conform to a particular genre.

With the skip button quite literally at their fingertips, users are far less likely to listen to a song that doesn’t immediately resonate with them. Therefore, in order to achieve the number of plays needed to make a profit — defined by Spotify as a user listening to a song for at least 30 seconds — modern musicians tend to frontload their songs, as seen in Billboard’s Song of the Summer contender “Espresso” by Sabrina Carpenter, which opens with the chorus.

The Michigan Journal of Economics estimates that entertaining a listener for those coveted 30 seconds still only turns a profit of $0.003 to $0.005.

The intros and overall lengths of songs have also grown shorter. Only 23 of 50 songs on Spotify’s “Today’s Top Hits” playlist breach the three-minute mark, and the ones that do are largely produced by superstars like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Beyoncé, whose name recognition attracts listeners.

In the ’90s, before the rise of streaming, songs averaged around four minutes and 14 seconds, according to The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry’s “2024 World Music Report” revealed that streaming accounted for 67.3% of the industry’s global revenue in 2023 — an increase of 10.4%, or approximately $19.3 billion, from the previous year. By comparison, physical sales made up 17.8% and performances accounted for only 9.5%.

One day the question, “What’s your favorite album?” might stop haunting Gen-Z altogether because artists could exclusively release singles and EPs in an attempt to appeal to multiple types of playlists in the shortest amount of time. When the day comes that releasing full albums is considered “retro,” though, I’ll know it’s time to shuffle off this mortal coil.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Gain of Funktion, Connie’s Lounge, June 7

The band Gain of Funktion is playing the back patio at Connie’s on Friday, June 7, but we can find out precious little about them. Here’s what we know: They have a website — — but all it includes is an ad for the Connie’s show, an email address and a link to a promo video. We sent an email but received no response. We watched the video, and can report that this band is a stone-cold solid funk machine.

Mixed in with a couple of expertly executed classic funk

numbers is a rendition of the Ghostbusters theme that frankly kicks ass, but they really had me with their cover of the Night Court intro. Only 44 people have viewed the video since it was posted in late April, so it looks like we’ll all have to show up to Connie’s to find out what gives with Gain of Funktion.

— Zach Hagadone

5 p.m., FREE. Connie’s Lounge back patio, 323 Cedar St., 208255-2227, Go to

The Working Spliffs, 219 Lounge, June 8

The last time we wrote about Spokane-based fivepiece the Working Spliffs, it was to hope that the band would return every mid-August to the 219 Lounge. Looks like we lucked out and won’t have to wait that long, with the Working Spliffs headed to the Niner for a Saturday, June 8 show. Playing reggae, funk, ska, R&B, punk, psychedelic rock, jazz and a touch of Grateful Dead, the Working Spliffs have had a long time to

This week’s RLW by Soncirey Mitchell

Ordinarily I maintain that there are too many good books in the world to read the same one over and over again; yet, I recently read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë for the fourth time and found it just as rewarding as I did at 13. The gothic romance explores the eponymous heroine’s life from her childhood in an abusive home to her time as a governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochester and beyond. If you found Jane Austen pompous and boring, try this instead.


Indie singer-songwriter Mitski writes songs ranging from grungy garage rock to ethereal acoustic, somehow maintaining her uniquely poetic voice throughout. Her albums The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We and Retired from Sad, New Career in Business are among my favorites and seemingly capture the full spectrum of human emotion. Listen to her for your daily dose of longing and existential dread.


broaden their musical horizons and perfect their sound. The band can trace its roots back 25 years, when it formed out of the past members of the Dead Flowers, The Splifftones and Fear Politik. That makes them a bona fide Inland Northwest institution.

— Zach Hagadone

9 p.m., FREE, 21+. 219 Lounge, 219 N. First Ave., 208-263-5673, Listen at workingspliffs.

A group of questionable, somewhat incompetent law enforcement professionals find themselves in a battle of the sexes when the body of a local man washes ashore in the sleepy town of Deadloch, Tasmania in Amazon Prime’s dark comedy series Deadloch Unlikely partners Dulcie and Eddie must contend with toxic masculinity, homophobia and exceptional idiots as they stumble through a murder investigation that threatens to destroy the entire town — but, like, in a funny way.

June 6, 2024 / R / 21

From Northern Idaho News, June 3, 2024


What in ordinary parlance would be called a meeting but which in its own vocabulary, we suppose, might be termed a klonvolocation, or a klonfabulation, appears to have been held at the Odd Fellows Hall Friday evening at which an address was made by a speaker from Spokane. A great air of mystery surrounded the whole affair, which offered a “straight” talk on “real Americanism.” No one was inclined to talk, however, either before or after the meeting, or whether he attended or not. By deduction rather than statement, it was found the meeting was to promote the Ku Klux Klan.

A reporter for the News tried the door at Odd Fellows Hall but found it was locked. A letter penned by a well-known professional man declared it a invitation lecture.

However, there did not appear to be much of an audience. Outside, there were five cars parked — four Fords and a Dodge. The speaker inside talked and talked and talked. The locking of the doors may have been to keep the people out, but then again, it may have been the other way.

The Klan varies considerably from one state to another. At its worst it resembles the Molly Maguire organization which had to be suppressed in the coal regions of Pennsylvania in the 1870s. It has been denounced by several organizations and the American Federation of Labor has advised its members to stay out of the Klan.

The Klan always makes special efforts to get law enforcement officers in the organization. Klan members deny membership, even under oath in court. Members deny being “Klansmen” but rather are “citizens of the Invisible Empire.”


Recently, one of the young people in my life shared that they had been experiencing significant bullying in school. It broke my heart to hear how cruel kids can still be. More importantly, it unearthed complex emotions I never knew were still dormant inside me.

School districts around the nation have launched countless campaigns to bring attention to the devastation bullying can cause. While I applaud those efforts, I’m also a bitter realist. I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that while everyone seems to agree bullying is wrong, we have become a nation that rewards, applauds and even elevates bullies to its highest offices.

With an army of sycophantic minions who applaud every vile attack former-President and now-convicted felon Donald Trump wages on his perceived enemies, we’ve become a nation that turns its back on human decency — just so long as we’re entertained.

I’ve seen clips from the rallies where Trump picks on disabled reporters, army veterans, respected political opponents, people who identify as transgender or gay and, frankly, anyone who dares not drink his particular brand of Kool-Aid. If someone in our community said the things Trump says on a daily basis, they would be ostracized. Instead, Trump’s supporters buy MAGA propaganda, send him millions in donations, repeat his slogans and emulate his bullying on others.

It’s a cycle that needs to stop.

One reason that bullying is such a sensitive topic for me is because I was a bully. Of all the horrible things I’ve done in my life, I feel the most shame

STR8TS Solution

for several instances when I was less than kind to my fellow students just because they were different. It wasn’t until I was well into college when I realized how much of a jerk I had been.

One thing to remember about bullies is that they only pick on others because they are afraid of being picked on themselves. I hate to use the word “coward,” but there’s really no other term sufficient to describe a bully. Instead of, “Treat others like you would like to be treated,” they adhere to the more Machievellian mentality of, “Treat others the way you are afraid to be treated in the hopes that they won’t treat you that way.”

School is a social minefield where these soon-to-be adults walk a tightrope every day. If you’re quiet and distant, you don’t exist. If you’re loud and outgoing, you’re an attention hog. You can’t be too fat, too thin, too tall, too short or too anything without someone picking on you. When kids leave the house to attend school, parents often have no idea what kind of struggles they endure in the classroom.

Of course, bullying isn’t isolated to the classroom or school grounds, but exists on every page of the internet. Where bullies in the classroom might leave lasting memories on those they pick on, cyberbullying leaves a record online forever, and can lead to depression, trouble with schoolwork and even thoughts of self harm.

There are some glimpses of hope, though. In 2019, the National Center for Education Statistics released a survey that showed about 22% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school, which was lower than the 28% reported in 2009. The survey also found that students in rural areas suffered from bullying more than those in suburban or urban areas. Perhaps that

Sudoku Solution

means as we become exposed to more people who are different from us, the more accepting we might be of their differences. (Oh no, is he talking about diversity?) Yeah, I am. Deal with it.

Whatever the case may be, bullying is wrong. It was wrong when I was in school and it’s wrong today. It doesn’t matter if it’s your next door neighbor doing it or the former president of the United States. Bullying is the sign of weakness, not strength.

I wish I could personally apologize to my fellow students for every taunt, joke or statement of ridicule made at their expense back in school. I wish I could take some actions back that I’m still ashamed of. I wish we could all just respect each other for what’s inside.

For now, just know that inside every bully is a lost and lonely person unable to come to terms with their own emotions. It’s the ones who are bullied who are the true heroes, because they have the potential to turn these struggles into a fantastic origin story for a future life that will hopefully bring happiness and contentment.

The old pool shooter had won many a game in his life. But now it was time to hang up the cue. When he did, all the other cues came crashing to the floor. “Sorry,” he said with a smile.

22 / R / June 6, 2024

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter



1. Majestic

Mild expletive

Epic fail


Allied 16. Prospector’s find 17. Put ____ words 18. Muse of poetry

19. Double-reed woodwind 20. Scallions

22. Switchboard workers 24. Propagates




Animals 35. Alpha’s opposite

Browning of skin

Be similar



Not oldest




Legal wrong




Was laid up

Corrections: The article about Carol Deaner retiring from her position as POAC’s longtime president was missing its last line in the May 30 edition. Apologies for the mishap. We love you, Carol!

Cash drawer

Anagram of “Site”

Colonial reporter


Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22






Durable wood



East southeast

Form of money



Floating wreckage of a ship

Timber wolf



Column style

Hit hard

Designed for flight

Flower stalk

Play parts

Muscle spasm

Chapter in history


Cast out

Hog’s home


Adhesive strip

Used in advertising signs


Glacial ice formation


Salami shops


Be aware of

Type of fastener





Picnic insects 39. Cygnet’s father 40. Ache

June 6, 2024 / R / 23
transfer 7.
Week of the
Librocubicularist [noun] 1. A person who reads books in bed
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