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/ March 16, 2017

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(wo)MAN compiled by

Ben Olson

on the street

This week, I stopped by one of my favorite restaurants, Joel’s in Sandpoint, and asked their dedicated employees what their favorite item on the menu was. “Oh man, how can you ask me that? I love steak, I love chicken. I like the blackened chicken burrito and the steak fajita burrito. The salmon burrito, too.” Joel Aispuro, Sr. Owner Sandpoint “Probably the salmon burrito. It’s a healthier option. It’s fish, and it’s not fried, and it also doesn’t weigh you down. Everything about it is fresh and delicious. A very vibrant burrito.” Miranda Schofield Joel’s employee Sandpoint


As you read this, I’m probably in a jetliner flying over the Pacific Ocean, heading toward my month away in Vietnam. This vacation has been a long time coming. I love bringing you this newspaper every week, but there comes a time in everyone’s life when they need to get the hell out of Dodge. This has never been an easy job (or a lucrative one), but I believe it’s absolutely necessary to have an alternative voice in Sandpoint. Cameron and I, our ad director Jodi, as well as our stable of writers, work hard every week to bring you insightful, interesting content. We’re already overworked, but when one of us leaves, it becomes an even more difficult job to keep up. As I’ll be gone the next four issues, I’ll ask you, dear readers, to cut us a little slack if we make a mistake. Our standards are always held high, because I believe if you’re going to run a newspaper, you’d better damn well do it right and give your readers a polished product. It pains me every time I see a typo or a flub in an issue, but it will probably happen over the next few issues. It’s simply too much work for one person to do. I’ll ask all of our advertisers to also have a kind heart when it comes to any mistakes that might occur. Remember, if we screw up, we’ll make it up to you! That being said, we’ve got some excellent issues ahead. I’ve been working the past two months filling the pages with content (after all, a vacation is never really a vacation when you own a small business—you simply work double time in the months leading up to it). This week, the first of five profiles of Vietnam veterans kicks off with an interview with Seth Phalen, who served in the Marine Corps. Cameron will take over this space while I’m gone, and will take over many of my duties. If you need to reach me for any reason, you won’t be able to. Please email for any editorial needs, and Jodi Taylor at for any advertising questions. I’ll see you all in mid-April!

-Ben Olson, Publisher

“My favorite is the steak fajita burrito.”

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Umberto Naverro Joel’s employee Sandpoint

“Blackened chicken burrito. I love the seasoning on the chicken. I love everything about it.” Sara Webley Joel’s employee Sandpoint



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READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724 Publisher: Ben Olson Editor: Cameron Rasmusson Zach Hagadone (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Taylor Contributing Artists: Jodi Rawson (cover), Ben Olson Annie Terry Contributing Writers: Cameron Rasmusson, Ben Olson, Tim Henney, PollyAnna, George Rickerts, Rev. Bob Evans, Brenden Bobby, Bill Harp, Kathleen St. Clair-McGee, Marjolein Groot Nibbelink, Mimi Fueling, Marcia Pilgeram. Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Griffin Publishing Spokane, Wash. Subscription Price: $95 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 400 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: Like us on Facebook. About the Cover This week’s cover was painted by Jodi Rawson, an avid contributor to the Reader. Thanks for the great artwork, Jodi.

A SandPint Tradition Since 1994 March 16, 2017 /


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By Tim Henney Reader Contributor Editor’s Note: This is the second in a two-part series by one of our favorite writers, Tim Henney. The early part of 1942, as noted, was a terrifying time for the United States. To calm down people went to the movies. Between features, Pathe News would show Nazi U boats sinking American ships with impunity. In the first four months of 1942 German subs sank 87 American tankers, troop and warships off our Atlantic coast. The Axis had been building their military might for years, slaughtering millions in Europe, China, Indonesia, a murderous tide. That changed in June at the Battle of Midway in the Pacific. American dive bombers sank four Japanese aircraft carriers, several cruisers and other warships and crushed the invincible Japanese Navy in the empire’s first naval defeat ever. Two months later (Aug. 7, 1942, my 11th birthday) Marines landed on Guadalcanal. First step on the long, island-hopping battle toward Japan. That bloody jungle fight lasted six months. The Japanese lost 24,000. Some 1,800 U.S. Marines died. (The first book I remember voluntarily reading, post Dick & Jane epics in elementary school, was “Guadalcanal Diary,” published January 1,1943. The author was a Marine veteran of that fight). At home we 11-year-old patriots sang “Praise the lord and pass the ammunition, praise the lord, we’re on a mighty mission...”. We “transitioned” the lyrics of the seven dwarves song from the 1937 movie, “Snow White,” to “...we’ll slap the Jap right off the map, heigh ho, heigh ho...”. And we lustily sang the songs of our armed forces. Our favorite was the Marines’ “From the halls of Montezuma, 4 /


/ March 16, 2017

That Earlier Era Of Part two National Dread to the shores of Tripoli ... we will fight our country’s battles, on the land and on the sea...”. We listened to Bob Hope on the radio, with sidekick Jerry Colona, sponsored by Pepsodent toothpaste. And to Jack Benny broadcasts, with chauffeur Rochester, singer Dennis Day, wife Mary Livingston and jolly announcer Don Wilson. Under the guise of patriotism, the show’s sponsor, Lucky Strike cigarettes, changed the color of its package from green to white and told us that “Lucky Strike Green Has Gone To War.” Early corporate bullshit. The American Tobacco Company claimed the copper used in the green color was needed for the war effort. Truth was, the company used chromium, not copper, to produce the green. Lucky Strike green went to war because research showed women bought more cigarettes if they were in white packages. Cigarettes, not women. Nestled hard by the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach was one of those scenic beachfront communities (today indistinguishable from seething Los Angeles) whose Japanese Americans, Nisei, including thousands of produce farmers, were shipped to internment camps. This writer’s grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. T.G. Harriman, in whose home I was reared until 12, employed a Japanese-American gardener named Frank. Another Japanese-American owned a laundry and delivered cleaning on a weekly basis to Margaret, the live-in family cook. He would then conduct long, animated conversations in Japanese over a wall-mounted back porch telephone. Margaret, from Glasgow, knew in her Scottish heart that he was a saboteur, probably passing military secrets to General Hiedki Tojo. I thought so too. Whether he was we never knew. Both Frank the gardener and the laundry owner vanished when FDR authorized the incarceration of nearly 130,000

A truck hauls Japanese-Americans to internment camps during WWII. Photo courtesy of the Creative Commons. Japanese Americans who lived on the Pacific Coast, or near it. Many of today’s fat and sassy California opportunists launched their fortunes gobbling up Nisei-abandoned farms and businesses at fire sale prices in 1942. In those pre-suburb times, malls and big box stores were unheard of. People of all ages shopped and hung out in the downtowns of the nation, Sandpoint included. Just up Pine Avenue from the venerable C.C. Lewis Jewelry Company, my family’s business for some 65 years, were clothing stores, sporting goods stores, shoe stores, drugstores, music stores and the Long Beach Press Telegram. The city’s major churches and department stores were downtown in 1942. The banks were downtown. So were the movie theaters. Speaking of which -- I had a crush on fifth grade classmate Barbara Fawcett. On my first and final “date” until high school, my mom drove Barbara Fawcett and me downtown in her blue 1940 Oldsmobile sedan to the State Theater on Ocean Boulevard. A gentleman wannabe, I let Barbara Fawcett stand in front of me in line. To my horror, when she beat me to the cashier she paid her own 10 cents admission. I spent the movie holding in my sweaty little hand the dime I had

planned to spend on her. Too embarrassed to apologize, I don’t think I ever talked to Barbara Fawcett after that early romantic disaster. Although ancillary to the lure of fake SCMA rifles, it was a factor in my leaving Longfellow school to attend the military academy. Oh, my. There were no turn signals on cars in those primitive times. Drivers stuck arms straight out to turn left, straight up to turn right. Everything from gasoline to butter was rationed. Billboards cautioned citizens that “Loose Lips Sink Ships!” Almost as often as people of a certain vintage today say “awesome,” in early 1942 my buddies and I said, “You’ll be sor-r-r-y” if someone seemed on the brink of a risky decision. Like eating a squishy fig from the backyard tree. The catchphrase had originated on the radio quiz show “Take It Or Leave It” when giddy contestants either chose $32 in winnings or gambled for the life-altering sum of $64 or nothing. Douglas Aircraft had a massive factory in the new, neighboring city of Lakewood. Bobby Watkins and I spent many afternoons on the brick front steps of my house next door watching freshly minted Douglas transports, bombers and fighters thunder high over our homes. Headed

for enemy targets via Air Corps bases in Europe and the Pacific. Dear “Grandma Mary” cultivated a victory garden and grew, among other things, persimmons. She insisted I taste one. It was my first and last persimmon. Counting all deaths from fighting, famine and disease, some 80 million military and civilians perished in World War II. Total U.S. deaths from the war numbered 419,000. Additionally, 672,000 American military and civilians were wounded. Some 130,200 Americans suffered as Japanese and Nazi prisoners of war. I’m tempted to say the risks were higher in early 1942 than now, but I’m not sure. We and our allies were battling for our lives. But a key difference between then and today is that in the early 1940s America was united. Thanks in the main to one creepy malcontent, today we’re divided. And he has the keys to the nuclear codes. Irrational and paranoid, if someone insults him he might just punch the button. So you tell me which is scarier. The months of murderous Axis triumphs following Dec. 7, 1941? Or right here at home today? I’ll opt for the glass half-full. We made it then. We’ll make it now.


Rent-a-Child By PollyAnna Reader Columnist At a potluck over the holiday season, I found myself engaging in my favorite holiday activity -- stuffing crumbly sweets in my face, while trying to sound intelligent and extroverted for a socially-appropriate amount of time. I was wearing this bright red, super-soft sweater dress that I had scored at the Panhandle Animal Shelter’s thrift store. It’s what women call a “cowlnecked” sweater -- meaning, it’s got that slouchy bit in the front, kinda like a turtleneck with a middle-aged midsection. (This is one of the few things I learned about fashion during my six months of working for Coldwater Creek. The other thing I learned was not to work in clothing retail. Retail sucks the soul out of your body, and then nicks your funny bone to pick its teeth clean.) So, halfway through this conversation at this holiday shindig, I looked down and realized that my super-soft, slouchy-necked sweater was serving the same purpose as a hipster’s beard. That cowl-necked collar was a crumb catcher. I might be noshing away quite happily, but it was collecting a wonderful stash of leftovers right under my chin and parading my sins about quite happily and publicly. The cowl-necked sweater’s failure is why I would like to submit a proposal that we all embrace renting in 2017... and here’s my reasoning for it. I hate shopping. Hate hate hate shopping. But I love nailing a good bargain, so when it’s time to replace my heavily stained, holey and besainted work clothes every few years, I spend a Saturday hitting up the thrift store circuit. We Sandpointians love bargains. This is why our thrift stores do big business -- it’s not because we want to throw away less stuff and save the planet, that’d be too logical. It’s because we either don’t have the money for new stuff; or, we do, but we want to smile modestly and say, “I got that at the

thrift store” when someone notices our outstanding new rags. It’s the modern equivalent of the fish that was “this big,” except that for the right price, you do get to bring it home! On my most recent rally through the newly-expanded aisles of the PAS thrift store, I was struck by the idea that we really should embrace long-term clothing rentals. Sometimes, you just don’t know how a pair of pants or a dress behaves itself after it’s been worn and through the wash a few times. Plus, let’s be honest, once you’ve owned something for six months, it just doesn’t have that glow of specialness to it. Even thrift store items are exciting when they’re new to your closet… but, if they last too long, chances are I’ll be taking them back to the exact same place I bought them from, and then heading straight in to the clothing racks for something to replace it. That’s not a purchase. That’s a rental — “I claim one-and-a-half years of use of this black pencil skirt for $3.50, and then when I put on or take off 10 pounds, I’ll return it to you for resale.” Done. Check. I like the honesty of it. Rentals aren’t just for prom! They’re for all your clothing needs! So, while we’re being honest, let’s talk about the other rental that’s drastically needed in our North Idaho society. I’m talking about children rentals for undecided parents-to-be. I’m in that magical age group where all my conservative friends are two-tothree kiddos deep, and all my liberal friends are just starting to decide that marriage could be an attractive thing. What this means is that reproduction is on the mind, and none of us quite know how to handle it. On the one hand, this planet is far too densely populated for our children to have much hope of maintaining our current standard of living. On the other hand, religion tells us to “go forth and multiply,” and science tells us that our deepest desire is to pass on our genes. So, somehow, chillin’s just keep on happening. But they happen slowly, and they’re scary, and some

of us weren’t born with an innate desire to forgo sleep and mountain biking for five years for the privilege of rocking a squirmy black hole that ejects foul matters of all types. Thus: the child rental. For a pittance an hour, the dating/engaged/married couple can check out a child at the local child library and live with it in a carefully monitored and climate-controlled room for as long as they wish. It’s like Parent Swap, but the prequel. Or, like a much more effective version of sex ed. If you have terrible taste in sweaters, but you can only discover it by wearing a few of them, renting rather than investing in your clothes is a good solution. Likewise, paying for your teenager to rent a child with his high school crush may be the best way to teach both of them the joys of birth control.

I realize that people are a wee bit touchy these days about pretty much anything, so, yes, I should underline the fact that I’m joking here. But at least I’m joking, unlike a girl my boyfriend flirted with when he first moved to town. She told him she wanted lots of kids, and that the earth wasn’t overpopulated because “if you stood the entire population of the world shoulder-to-shoulder, they would fit in the state of Idaho.” Rentals, folks. Rentals. And, let’s increase funding for our public schools. That’s no joke. PollyAnna lives, loves, and writes from Sandpoint, home of the brave.

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Idaho Writer’s League POAC celebrates artist hosts contest, breakfast members with huge exhibit Bouquets: •While I’m away, Cameron will take over this little rant and rave sliver. We might repurpose it for the month, but rest assured, it will return when I’m back from Vietnam. For this week, however, I’d like to give a bouquet to Tom Prez, who will take over my paperboy route every Thursday morning. Tom generously offered to do the weekly chore so Sandpoint can continue to enjoy uninterrupted delivery of the Reader. If you see him wheeling around on my blue bike on Thursday mornings, say hello! Also, it’s a difficult task taking over deliveries since there are so many spots to be aware of. If Tom neglects delivering your copy of the Reader, please don’t hold it against him—it is a tough job to step into. Barbs: •As someone who just recently signed up for health care, I am dismayed by the Trump Administration and its efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Since unveiling its version of a “repeal” plan last week, it seems just about everybody— from conservatives to progressives—don’t like what they see. Write your congressmen and tell them what you think of the plan. So far, it looks like the ones that will be hurt the most are those who have low incomes and the elderly. It should be no surprise that those who earn in the top 1 percent will benefit the most from this plan. So much for a man of the people. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that over 14 million people will lose their health coverage if we adopted the GOP-led health care plan. How much do you want to bet it’s small fries like me that end up without coverage? I’d bet my meager salary. 6 /


/ March 16, 2017

By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff Nothing whips a writing project into shape faster than friendly critical feedback. And hey, the Idaho Writer’s League even offers breakfast on top of that. The Sandpoint chapter of the statewide writing group welcomes newcomers to its Community Writing Contest and Breakfast, set for 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Sandpoint library. Attendees are invited to read up to five minutes of their latest fiction, non-fiction or poetry and earn a chance to take away top marks for the best work of the morning. The Community Writing Contest and Breakfast is a chance for both writing veterans and budding talents to expand their capabilities and get fresh eyeballs on new work. The morning begins with sev-

Scotchman Peaks... Dear Editor, A recent edition of the Bonner County Daily Bee contained an opinion by Pete Thompson, Nancy Hadley, Tony McDermott and Brad Corkill suggesting that wildlife will be in peril if S.3531 (introduced by Idaho’s U.S. Senator Risch in December 2016) passes. To make their case, they build upon numerous questionable presumptions, starting in the first paragraph in which they speak for a dead person. In the second paragraph, they state unequivocally that “the U.S. Forest Service … will continue to manage it as wilderness regardless of the designation.” The “it” in this bold statement refers to the Idaho portion of the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. I wish that were the case, but it most assuredly is not. The remainder of the letter speaks to two lawsuits in which plaintiffs (environmental groups) sued for actions performed by Idaho

eral group members providing breakfast, but the real stars of the show are the many writing samples that receive a hearing. The audience later votes on the pieces they believe to be the best. One of six chapters around the state, the Idaho Writer’s League of Sandpoint features about 30 regular members. The group meets at the library every first and third Saturday of the month at 9 a.m. A group for both published authors and teenagers who have caught the writing bug, the Idaho Writer’s League couldn’t be easier to join. Simply attend one of its regular monthly meetings and speak to someone about becoming an active participant. League members have access to exclusive opportunities, including entry into the statewide league writing competition. Fish and Game and by Federal Wildlife Services Agency. Thompson et al must find these actions deeply offensive, as each served on the Idaho Department of Fish & Game Commission. I suggest that thorough research on both these actions will offer a better understanding of the particular issues and will demonstrate that wilderness designation does not preclude wildlife management as long as both agencies follow proper guidelines and procedures for planning and permitting. Thompson et al. cast a wide net in their accusations, trying to gather up the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness (FSPW) into a category of “extreme environmental organizations” whose goal is “to limit the state’s ability to adequately manage its wildlife and other resources through the use of endless lawsuits.” This will come as a surprise to many folks as FSPW, in carrying out its mission, has acted collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including individuals, businesses and state and federal agencies in both Idaho

By Reader Staff

For almost 40 years, Pend Oreille Arts Council has been the premier arts organization in Bonner County. Membership has steadily grown over the years, and now our population of talented artists has hit the century mark. Yes, over 100 local artists are now members of POAC and exhibiting their art at various locations around the area. To celebrate this milestone, POAC is exhibiting at least one piece of art from each of its participating artist members at Columbia Bank, 414 Church Street, opening on Friday, March 17 with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to see this diverse, multi-media show. “It’s rewarding for POAC to have this many artists exhibiting together,” Carol Deaner, POAC President said.

“I’m excited to see so much diversity. From fiber art to print making to collages to sculptures intermingled with traditional oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, this show is phenomenal. We have a stable of tremendously talented artists in this small town!” Arts Administrator Hannah Combs agreed with Deaner and suggested that with so many artists participating in this town that just about everyone should know one or two. “Come see their work and show your support for the arts community,” Combs said.

and Montana. It may also surprise the many hunters and anglers who support wilderness designation for Scotchman Peaks, evidenced by endorsements from the Back Country Hunters and Anglers, Bull Lake Rod and Gun Cub, Libby Rod and Gun Club, and the Idaho Wildlife Federation. And here’s a particularly tangible tidbit testifying to FSPW’s collaborative efforts with Idaho Fish and Game: FSPW’s support of IDFG’s “Multispecies Baseline Initiative Program” (MSBI), consisting of recruiting, training, and organizing 200-plus volunteers to run forest carnivore bait stations in the West Cabinet Mountains, has resulted in $300,000 in-kind matching funds. These dollars represent over 10 percent of the entire MSBI budget and they helped secure 1.2 million federal dollars for IDFG, enabling baseline data collection of nearly 200 under-studied species and associated micro-climate data at over 2,000 sites across the Idaho Panhandle and adjoining mountain ranges.

Finally, S.3531 merits a reading. It’s short and sweet, and here is a direct quote from section (c): “FISH AND WILDLIFE.—Nothing in this Act affects the jurisdiction of the State of Idaho with respect to fish and wildlife on public land in the State.” The act can be found easily on the website There may be issues, past and present, with wildlife management in Idaho. It’s not accurate to blame designated wilderness for them or to assault a campaign that has been transparent and collaborative. Better coordination between IDFG and the USFS would help to solve many wildlife management issues both in, as well as outside, wilderness areas.

For more information about the show or how to become a POAC Artist Member go to or call the office at 263-6139.

Lexie de Fremery Sagle, Idaho

Got something to say? Write a letter to the editor at Under 400 words, and please elevate the discussion.


Itch’n for Activism? If just half... By George Rickert Reader Contributor

By Rev. Bob Evans Reader Contributor

I went to the Commuabout 20 people (this is nity March at the Panida a grassroots movement. Theater in January. The Yes, GRASSROOTS one that was held the day MEANS YOU!). after Trump’s inauguraWhat happened tion. There were hunnext? In just a couple dreds of people, standing of weeks I found myself room only. Your neighspending hours of my bors were there. People day working on topics you’ve worked with were concerning 350sandthere. Donald might say, point. Before this I was “Millions turned out! It really never an “activwas beeaauuuutiful!” ist,” although in the ‘60s George Rickert.. I went because I felt and ‘70s I did attended that I had to “do something.” Trump protests and rallies to support the Civil had come to power. I could feel the tide Rights, Equal Rights and the fight to turning, and not in a good way. I could end the Vietnam War (I am a Vietnam sense that corporate America, with its War Era veteran). mission of making money at all costs, While marching down to City Beach had taken control of the government at with the hundreds (Ahm, I mean, thouthe cost of despoiling our blue planet. sands!), of community members supIn the intervening time since the Womporting the Women’s Movement, those en’s March, it has only gotten worse. dormant feelings of making a change What could I do? As the march was through participating in a community leaving the Panida, headed toward City action came back to life. You could see Beach, I was handed a postcard-sized it in the eyes and faces of the particpiece of paper that said: “350sandpoint. ipants. No, we don’t have to sit back org, Community Action for a Safe, Just and watch civil rights and the right to Climate.” It stated that: “350sandpoint. clean air and water be taken hostage by org, …is a local global grassroots cligreedy corporations! We (ahm, YOU!) mate movement that holds our leaders can do something about it! accountable to the realities of science is a young orgaand the principles of justice.” nization. We’re just getting the ball Its stated goals are to keep fossil rolling. The website is not fancy. There fuels in the ground, build a new, more are two important links: “join” and equitable low-carbon economy and “upcoming events.” pressure all levels of government into To me the most important link is action. I had to know more, so I logged “upcoming events.” This is where onto when I got you can find things to do. Remember, home and found out they were having a grassroots means you. Yes, some of meeting in a couple of days in the Rude the meetings are at dinnertime, or on Girl’s Room at the East Bonner County a Saturday. Participate when you can. Library. I decided to go. Let your voice be known (by the way, What can I say? There were about “all voices” are welcome… check your 20 people present (I was hoping for anger at the door!). There is no cost to many more). People were given an opjoin (you just need an e-mail address). portunity to speak their mind and join Think about “action” instead of committees that were loosely organized just complaining. Action might create around topics that concerned them (e.g. change. Complaining just fosters misercoal/oil, education, economic justice, ableness. Join and/or politicians/agencies, human rights, etc.). to participate! I was disappointed that there were only

I have never seen so much deception, in-yourface lying, bullying, namecalling, divisiveness and goading by the federal government go unchallenged by those who are supposed to have our backs as citizens of the US. If just half of the news we are hearing about Trump, his family, advisors and appointees is true everyone should be running Trump out of office. Just look at the destructive ideas Trump has: more N-bombs, raise taxes on the poor and middle class, eliminate the EPA and Department of Education while giving tax dollars to private schools, ban abortions, defunding Planned Parenthood and denying climate science. If Trump really wants to put in place an inhumane immigration policy that seems to be against everyone but white, fundamentalist Christians, if every one of us can see what is taking place in the White House with Russia and white supremacists and the effect it is having on the nation’s social fabric and the world, then our national representatives should be taking this man out of office. “Whew!” Our elected officials no longer have our backs, but they are gaining more control over our wallets, our freedoms and our press while they live high off the tips of special interest groups, or hope to by supporting them. Who can we depend on to protect us, the Constitution and the principles of humanity that the U.S. is supposedly so fond of? Where are those voices that were yelling about following the Constitution, seems like just a few seconds ago? There is no doubt that every one of us, whether we voted or not, is responsible for the shape of our government. We are all so busy thinking about, “What’s in it for us?” This way of thinking is just great if “us” means everyone in the U.S., and by way of the U.S. Sadly, this is not the case. What’s

in it for us means for some particular group that is over and against some other group or groups. This fracturing of wishes and wants without seeing the whole picture continues to divide and even conquer us, or make us weak enough to be conquered. This is Rev. Bob Evans. just what the Trump bunch wants! We must ask ourselves, “Why?” There is some hope in the air, and it is taking shape at the grass roots. Trump’s attempt to marginalize Muslims has only worked to bring the three religions of the “Book” closer together, protecting and praying for each other. Yes, there are those in the religions who are still at war, but they are fast becoming the minority. This is also true with the immigrants from south of the border, as churches and other organizations and cities offer themselves up as sanctuaries and vow to restrict ICE from inflicting inhumane treatment on our fellow human beings. People everywhere are standing up for the marginalized and objecting to the ideas of religious favoritism, while standing up for ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community. Trump’s actions are igniting the good in people, and faith is being translated into action. We, the people, are doing our job and we are getting better at it because of the danger that Trump is. This spells doom for many elected officials who are only in it for themselves at the cost of our precious democracy. Now we need our representatives in Congress to join us. If just half of what we are hearing about Trump and his friends is true, our senators and representatives should be shutting them down in every way every day. This is not a partisan issue, it is a United States issue and a humanitarian issue. March 16, 2017 /


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LPOSD levy passes with strong support

By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff

Voters turned out in huge numbers Tuesday to pass a two-year, $17 million Lake Pend Oreille School District Supplemental Levy by a comfortable margin. Of the 7,799 votes cast in the local education referendum, 4,991 voted yes and 2,806 voted no, according to the preliminary Bonner County Elections results. “We are very excited and grateful to the community,” said LPOSD Superintendent Shawn Woodward. “This was our highest turnout for a supplemental levy ever, our second highest passage rate.” Compared to the 2015 levy, this year’s effort brought over 2,700 more people to the polls. On the other hand, turnout was just a shade lower than the vote on last year’s LPOSD school plant levy, a $55 million proposal to reconstruct school buildings. It was defeated with 5,493 votes against and 2,953 in favor, representing a 50.5-percent turnout of registered voters. Likewise, voters in the West Bonner County School District approved a two-year, $6 million levy with 58-per-

cent support. Nervousness over the security of the supplemental levy following the defeat of the plant facilities levy likely provoked more spirited advocacy from LPOSD supporters. Discussion took place every day for weeks over social media, and supporters marshaled volunteers for door-knocking campaigns and parades. Opponents, meanwhile, questioned the school district’s trustworthiness and balked at its increase from the previous levy of $15,767,484. They argued that the levy request should be turned down and replaced by a levy proposal with a zero-percent increase. Now passed, the 2017 supplemental levy will collect $17 million over a two-year period from property taxes within the district. That totals to a $0.50 per-month increase on a $250,000 property with a homeowner’s exemption, meaning a current annual levy bill of $264 would increase to $270 in fiscal year 2017-18 and $276 in fiscal year 201819. Upon its expiration in two years, the district school board will have to pass another levy should it decide that local

School district supporters hold a parade days before the levy vote. Photo by Clint Nicholson funding remains necessary. The levy money will fund one-third of district staff— both full- and part-time positions—and all academic and athletic extracurricular activities. It also supports professional development for teachers, technology and curricular materials, student wellness programs and reduced class sizes.

“We are thrilled with the show of trust from the community,” Woodward said. “In return, we will maintain our focus on continuous improvement.” It was altogether a good day for supporters of school bonds and levies across Idaho. According to Idaho Education News, a vast majority of the proposals passed, totaling

to $695 million for Idaho schools. Boise voters passed a $172.5 million bond by an 86-percent landslide of 22,084 to 3,595 votes. Likewise, a 10-year, $160 million plant facilities levy passed in West Ada, and both a $35.5 million bond and two-year, $32 million supplemental levy passed in Coeur d’Alene.

County urges caution on damaged roads BID decision set for July

By Don Hutson Bonner County Road and Bridge Director

All Bonner County roads are now compromised to some degree and are posted with weight and speed restrictions. Paved roads have frost heaves that can test the suspension of vehicles and the patience of drivers. The condition of gravel roads vary from not-so-great to terrible. Yes, we understand the number and severity of potholes is increasing exponen8 /


/ March 16, 2017

tially. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot the county can do to improve the gravel roads at this time. Despite soft and slimy road surfaces, gravel roads are still frozen a few inches down meaning moisture is prevented from passing through the road surface and can only run off the sides of the roads. If we grade the gravel roads now we make the slimy mess worse and pull up ice chunks that make huge holes we will chase for weeks to come. We also don’t want to grade off the soft road surface as that material

represents tax dollars and will take significant equipment time and man-hours to recover or replace once the frost leaves the road. Asking residents to wait just a little longer until the frost melts isn’t what anyone wants to hear. But the County Road and Bridge Department asks just that. As soon as road surfaces start to dry, all our graders will be out until every road is graded and restored to good condition. In the interim, feel free to report serious issues by calling 208-255- 5681.

By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff The fate of the Sandpoint Business Improvement District will be decided this summer. Council members approved a revised BID policy on Wednesday with another council decision set for mid-July. The timetable will allow city staff to collect pertinent information and detail possible outcomes for the BID, whether that

be abolishing it entirely or replacing it with a different system. The timing will also allow for a public forum set for April 19. The decision comes in the wake of a Boise State University survey on the BID. The study found that while a majority of respondents opposed the BID, specific programs like flower baskets and downtown Christmas decorations were widely supported.


The return of Yonder Mountain String Band By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff Yonder Mountain String Band is no stranger to the Inland Northwest. With a new year ahead, the well-loved and innovative bluegrass outfit, hailing from Colorado, returns to Sandpoint next week. Band member Dave Johnston is excited to team up with Montana bluegrass extraordinaires The Lil Smokies at The Hive for a night of high-energy music. We caught up with Johnston to learn about the band’s latest projects and the recent life on the road. SR: I understand you’re no stranger to Sandpoint, so it must be exciting to be coming back. DJ: I’ve only been there one time, but I thought it was a really charming place. I’m excited to be back again. It’s a charming place, and I really enjoyed it. SR: Is this a regularly scheduled tour, or do you have some new music you’re supporting? DJ: We typically go on tour this time of year, typically in the Northwest, so in that regard, it’s not too different from what you would expect. But we did just finish mixing and mastering a new record. So there’s plenty of new music, and there’s plenty of new musical energy that’s happened because of that. We’re looking forward to [bringing that to Sandpoint.] SR: And you’re returning to The Hive for your second show in Sandpoint. DJ: We had a really good time [at The Hive]. It’s a great-sounding room. It’s the second time we’ve played there, and you know, we didn’t really know what to expect the first time. But [owner Jeff Grady] is really hospitable, and there’s a really nice green room. It’s a great place to hang out and play and practice and rehearse. The room itself is really cool, and it just sounds really good for a room that size. I remember the crowd being pretty rowdy as well. SR: Rowdy in a good way or a bad way? DJ: Oh, in a good way! It’s like the perfect storm, you know? It’s a really great place. SR: For those who haven’t been to a Yonder Mountain String Band show, what kind of experience can they expect? DJ: Well, you’re going to hear something that sounds kind of like bluegrass, and as the night progresses you’ll hear us delve into different grooves and harmonic things, none of which we have really

Yonder Mountain String Band plays The Hive next week, and they’re bringing new songs with them. Photo by Jay Blakesberg planned. It’ll kind of move in and out of all these different beautiful motifs and ideas. As far as what to expect, I’d tell you to expect the unexpected. SR: Your music certainly is a unique take on bluegrass. Can you tell me how you carved out that space for yourself within the genre? DJ: None of us really came from playing bluegrass in a really strict manner. Even though bluegrass isn’t super harmonically complicated, it’s a very strict musical form. And that’s one of the beauties underlying it for me: how good a band can sound playing bluegrass-type music, because it is ensemble music after all. It takes a high level of musicianship to make it sound right, so when you get that level of musicianship surrounding a band idea, you have a lot of different sorts of input. We’re always trying to find ways to include things that we feel either comment on bluegrass or musical ideas that aren’t necessarily in the folk tradition … When we started working on it, it was just people putting together their own interpretations … of all these different kinds of musical ideas. The main idea was to include things that could create some kind of spark or musical momentum. There was definitely no strategic plan for doing anything. It was just paying attention to what felt right and what felt like it had a lot of energy behind it.

SR: The band has been together for a number of years now. Can you tell me how the creative process has settled out in that time? DJ: The great thing about any real creative process is … it’s hard to nail down. It doesn’t really settle anywhere. At times you may be working on developing something, and at other times you might just have things simmering or letting them sink in and waiting to work on things. As far as efficiency goes, though, it feels like you’re getting more work done when you break off into smaller groups or smaller collaborative—well, committees if you want to sound smarty pants [laughs]. … Then we just try to coordinate and bring all those pieces together to see how well they fit. SR: Tell me about the tour you’re on now. What has that experience been like? DJ: We just finished a big chunk of our winter tour. That was about five weekends, and this is about four weekends. And it feels good out there, you know? It feels like the energy is really palpable and the fans still really enjoy it. There’s a good communion between fan and band. That’s how you make powerful experiences. They almost feel otherworldly when there’s that really tight connection between the fans and the band. So it feels like that, and it hasn’t been as taxing as you think it would be if you looked at it [laughs].

SR: Yeah, it’s easy to see you have a very dedicated fan base in this area of the country. DJ: Absolutely. I love the Pacific Northwest. We all do, and we feel lucky to be able to come and spend a lot of time up there. SR: Going back to the record you’re working on, is there a title or a release date that people can look forward to? DJ: The title of the album is “Love. Ain’t Love,” and it’s coming out around June, I think. You know, the songs from the record have made their way into a lot of shows, so fans can expect to hear a lot of those songs that were fleshed out in a studio setting. It was really a fantastic album to make, and I think everyone is going to be pretty excited, because there’s more of a psychedelic impulse on this record. So it feels really cool. SR: Thanks for taking the time to talk, Dave! We’re looking forward to seeing you at The Hive. Catch Yonder Mountain String Band and The Lil Smokies at The Hive on Wednesday, March 22. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. The show is restricted to ages 21 and up. March 16, 2017 /


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Mad about science By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist Whelp, we did one on sea pandas. Might as well run an article on land pandas too, right? Giant pandas are one of the most well-recognized, yet rarest animals in the world. After a recent census, scientists counted about 1,800 pandas in the wild. That sounds bad, but it’s about 800 more than they found in the ‘70s, and it’s not just because the pandas are good at hiding. The human effort to revive the giant panda is probably one of the greatest and most expensive conservation feats the world has ever pulled off. And how could we not save them? Just look at that face! Ever wonder how scientists count pandas? You can bet they don’t mail the pandas any census data. No, their job, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is much more nasty than sending out mail. Teams of researchers comb the forests, mountains and valleys of southern China looking for poop. Yep, I couldn’t make that up: They look for poop. It goes deeper than that. When they find poop, they sift through it to find undigested bamboo and reference the bite marks left behind by the panda. Pandas don’t have access to orthodontic care, so scientists are able to differentiate pandas based on the teeth marks they leave behind on the bamboo. That’s some serious dedication. Pandas, like other bears, are classified as carnivores. This seems pretty odd when its diet is primarily bamboo. The average panda eats a lot of bamboo every day. We’re talking 44 pounds worth, about a fifth of the average panda’s body weight (depending on its sex). 10 /


/ March 16, 2017

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giant pandas Speaking of weight, you might like to know about a little something called a bite force quotient. This is a cool number you get when you divide an animal’s bite force in newtons by its total weight. A tiger, one of the most feared predators on the face of the planet, has a BFQ averaging at 127. A panda, one of the most lovable and goofy animals in the world has a BFQ averaging 292. That left me… bamboozled. More like bam-BOOOOOO! There’s no way I could fit any more bad puns into this article. Ever look at a panda claw? Oh man, that would make an awesome name for an Oreo-flavored donut. Make it happen, Sandpoint! But seriously, it wasn’t until I started writing this article that I looked at a picture of a panda claw. It just looks like a normal bear foot to me, until I looked at the skeleton. These buggers have six digits! A Panda’s claw is a unique structure. It has an extra bone one could mistake for a digit that juts out of the side, right where you’d expect a thumb to be. This is an anchor point for tendons to reduce stress while bending, and also act as a catch that allows the panda to grab bamboo. It’s called a radial sesamoid. Other bears have it, too, but it’s much, much smaller. You wouldn’t expect it just by looking at one, but pandas are amazing climbers. They can climb trees, mountains, rock faces, you name it. Their claws are retractable, and that extra digit helps them grip onto surfaces without injury. They’ve been reported to climb over 12,000 feet of mountains to reach more favorable feeding sites.

If the pizza crust is more than an arm’s length away, I usually let that one go as a casualty of war. Talk about dedication. Ever wonder how something so cute and lovable could become so endangered? No ifs, ands, or buts about it, humans are to blame. This is most certainly not one of those “they would probably be endangered if we weren’t in the picture” sort of arguments. Humans are to blame. Logging for lumber and fuel has caused massive swaths of deforested wasteland in China. These are lands that are struggling to recover, and lands the panda once used to graze. Lands have been cleared for agriculture, because the human population of China and the world at large is exploding. Infrastructure to get these products from logging and farming sites to shipping hubs, such as highways and railroads, carve through the pandas’ habitat, isolating genetically diverse individuals from one another. Who hasn’t hit a deer around here? It’s the same thing, except with pandas. Luckily, it’s not too late for them. The panda was blessed with a unique cuteness that has helped fund the massive conservation effort to save it, which has given people the resources to convince China’s government to protect lands specifically for pandas and allow populations to link back together, even as the world industrializes around them. National parks did wonders for us! China has officially declared the panda to be a national treasure. For some time, the Chinese government actually made a staggering profit by loaning

pandas out to foreign zoos on 10-year contracts, netting $1 mil a year per panda. The WWF worked hard to make sure that wasn’t just exploitation money, and actually managed to coerce the Chinese government into using more than half that money for conservation efforts. That $500K a year saves a whole lot of trees. Multiply that by however many pandas are out on loan around the world and you have a lot to work with. Some people may argue that the gratuitous amount of money thrown at pandas is a waste. I believe it is not. Money spent on advertising the cause alone heightens societal awareness of the need for

conservation. Money spent actually conserving land for the pandas helps more than just the pandas. It helps countless other, lesscute but very important species by ensuring they have a home to continue pollinating plants, fertilizing soil and maintaining a healthy ecosystem which also helps us out. A healthy forest makes for an awesome carbon vacuum, and given how much carbon is in the air now, we need all of the carbon vacuums we can get. So thanks, pandas. Thanks for being the face of hope for a better, cleaner world. Now about that donut…

Random Corner ?

Don’t know much about ants

We can help!

• “Ant hill garnets” are small gemstones that are “mined” by ants in a few places in Arizona. Ants find the garnets while digging their anthills, drag them out, and discard them on the surface. • When skydiver Joan Murray’s main parachute and backup parachute failed, she approached the ground at 130 kilometers per hour, landing on a mound of fire ants. Doctors believe that the shock of being stung over 200 times by the ants released a surge of adrenaline, which kept her heart beating. • Only two species on earth have learned to domesticate other species: humans and ants. There are 14 species of ants that can also enslave other ants. • An ant mill is an observed phenomenon in which a group of army ants, which are blind, are separated from the main foraging party, lose the pheromone track and begin to follow one another, forming a continuously rotating circle. The ants will eventually die of exhaustion. • Queen ants have one of the longest life-spans of any known insect, up to 28 years. • After an ant colony is well established and has enough resources to spare, winged ants start to emerge.


Random Digital Madness

Regional technology news and commentary

The Telecommunication Revolution in Sandpoint

By Bill Harp Reader Columnist Have you followed what’s happening in local telecommunications? If not, here are some facts: Broadband fiber optic cable and associated internet services are the single most important factor for technological economic development besides, say, quality of life, affordable housing, a cool lake and perhaps low electrical rates. Internet service alone is the single most important resource for a host of businesses from banking to warehousing. Even traditional retail companies require huge amounts of bandwidth. A Walmart store consumes enough bandwidth to power a town. In a connected world, it is fiber optic cable that provides the underlying network, and fiber has done so for decades. Our elected officials, in both the county and city, have transformative fiber initiatives in motion that will ensure a plethora of connectivity options for business, agencies, NGOs and citizens. This means schools and libraries too. For technology businesses, it is not just enough to just have “connectivity options.” These options must be robust, dependable, redundant, priced well and easy to acquire and use. Rural cities, like Sandpoint and the surrounding areas, are often left out of this digital revolutions and are stuck with expensive and unreliable options. That is going to change!

Years ago, the county and city govgov ernments recognized that there were not sufficient telecommunication options to require power their existing and future requiretelecommunica ments. Appeals to the telecommunicaaccept tion providers did not deliver acceptable results. So, they started on a path of building their own fiber networks. Call it the “last tactical mile.” This is not that unusual as many local governments are successfully buildbuild ing, owning and operating their own telecommunications infrastructure. In Sandpoint’s case, the county needed to connect their administrative offices on Highway 2 to the sheriff and 911 complex on North Boyer. Also, the county needed connectivity to the Courthouse, to Frontier for 9-1-1 and access to wholesale internet services near the railroad station. The county runs the bandwidth intensive 911 Center and the public safety network that serves the entire county. They knew that the next generation of 911 would be very bandwidth-intensive, and fiber would be the only reasonable route. The city, on the other hand, had wisely built has some existing fiber conduit during downtown road improvements. They recognized, early in the game, that they could deploy a fiber network in key areas of downtown Sandpoint that would connect county and city facilities alike. At the same time, the city recognized it could foment the next wave of economic development. So, the city rolled up its sleeves and built a large bandwidth fiber optic network in downtown Sandpoint. And the county just recently approved a contract to build a very large bandwidth, 144-count fiber cable this spring. It will run from the administration building to the sheriff complex and supply enough bandwidth for many years to come. This is all ah… ah... may I say “huge?” Furthermore, the city and county agreed to permit transport on each other’s network. This is documented in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that can be found at By the way, all this fiber infrastructure lasts over 20 years since it is buried, low maintenance and secure. The county is just trying to connect its facilities, but its project also provided the city, per the MoU, with an empty fiber conduit to deploy city-owned fiber for economic development purposes. Many

companies could deploy their own fiber in such a conduit or alternately the city could deploy fiber and lease it. Once the conduit is in the ground, slipping in fiber is very low-impact and easy. The city network is now open for business with respect to supporting economic development. It now has massive bandwidth in the existing city fiber network, and with the county’s new empty conduit and fiber cable under construction, this triples the city’s geographic reach. This will create a buzz of business interest anywhere near these fiber paths, like the airport and all the commercial operations around it. The city has additional phases of fiber deployment to extend their existing currently operational fiber network to additional Sandpoint areas. The ultimate winner is going to be everyone locally who uses telecommunications. I am sure that many of us, especially those of us who live out of town, hope that this connectivity wave will creep beyond the city boundaries into the bandwidth impoverished hinterlands. Ponderay, wisely looking for ways to join the revolution, placed empty conduit in some of their recent utility construction runs. These potential conduits for network paths in Ponderay could expand the city and county fiber runs and create a greater Sandpoint fiber optic ring. This is critically important because if part of the network is bisected by a backhoe, a reasonable possibility in northern Idaho, the other side of the ring can carry the digital traffic. Oh, and by the way, note that the county and city are collaborating to broker the mutual benefits of their resources by sharing access to their networks with one another. Working together to enable economic opportunities for all citizens—that is a strategy that has my vote. This has all been a dream of many organizations in town for years including the Bonner County Economic Development Corporation. So, what is specifically happening? First off, the city approved the MoU with the county in February. Second, the city established very competitive pricing for leasing one or more existing or future fiber strands an attractive prospect for many businesses, not just for internet services. Third, the city approved competitive lease rates for empty fiber conduits for any company that might want to deploy their own fiber. Collectively, these actions transformed our infrastructure from almost nothing to a highly capable and functioning network within a few months. These measures were

passed by a unanimous vote in the City Council. The council apparently all share the potential positive value of the fiber vision. Businesses are already lining up to supply service in this now-favorable and dynamic connectivity landscape. Ting is setting up shop in Sandpoint, as you may have noticed with their on-going flurry of marketing. And Fatbeam and Intermax, two regional telecommunication companies, have also shown keen interest in coming to town and others are taking notes. Ting is leasing some city lands near City Hall for a network operations center approved by the council. Ting also announced it will deploy basically everything you might want: gigabit Internet connections, Amazon Fire TV Stick, DVR and multiscreen support, high definition at no extra cost and video on demand later in the deployment, all very favorably priced. The neighborhoods with the highest pre-order demand will be the first deployed. It’s time to watch telecommunication capitalism blossom in Sandpoint. Network connections and Internet services are some of the most important resources that our schools and jobs need. If we want to keep our young adults in the neighborhood, we must take aggressive steps to create the jobs that pay more than near minimum wage. Attracting technology companies can, in part, provide that. It would be a shame to see Bonner County become a place for richer, older folks in or nearing retirement as current statistics indicate. That is just downright sad and unnecessary. However, we have already seen telecom suppliers dropping their bandwidth pricing by a whole new magnitude of lower pricing. And that is just the beginning. So, what does this mean to you? By the looks of it, this year, Sandpoint—or at least certain areas of Sandpoint—will have Ting options, including gigabit internet services for under $100. That will be huge. And Ting will have more moderately priced options and business packages too. Note that a gigabit (Gb) is approximately 1,000 megabits (Mb). To provide you with a comparison of the significance of this transformation, most of the county facilities operate with a single 50 Mb of internet connectivity, and it currently costs the County far more than Ting’s gigabit package. So, the local digital telecom revolution is on; long live the revolution!

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event Great Coffee. Fantastic Views.

located on the historic

CEDAR ST. BRIDGE in Sandpoint, Idaho

t h u r s d a y


f r i d a y


s a t u r d a y


s u n d a y


m o n d a y t u e s d a y

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Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall One of the most original voices you’ll ever hear at Thursday’s Solo Series Learn to dance the Country Two-Step 7pm @ Sandpoint West Athletic Club With instructor Diane Peters. 610-1770

‘Once Upon A Mattress’ musical 7pm @ Panida Theater Growing Dreams Production presents this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. $15. Info: 267-1325

Live Music w/ The Powers ‘Unplugged’ Bridges Home: 5:30-8:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery The Celtic Concert Indie folk/country group based in CDA 7pm @ Bonners Books St. Paddy’s Day Brewery Bash Take in rich harmonies, Celtic harp, Irish 8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall whistles and more. only 30 seats will be sold Listen to the Dodgy Mountain Men, who for this one-time, all-acoustic ‘unplugged’ play home-brewed Montana stompgrass concert in the wonderful space at Bonners hat goes down smooth but packs a bite Books in Bonners Ferry. 267-2622 for tickets Live Music w/ Chris Lynch Live Music w/ Browne Salmon Truck 6pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ musical St. Patrick’s Day w/ Truck and the gang 7pm @ Panida Theater Live Music w/ Devon Wade and 11th Anniversary Party 5-10pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Celebrate 11 years of MickDuff’s! Brewery tours from 5-7 p.m. and Devon Wade’s country music from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Free and open to the public Live Music w/ John Hastings and Sandy Compton 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

‘Once Upon A Mattress’ musical 2pm & 7pm @ Panida Theater Growing Dreams Production presents this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. $15. Info: 267-1325 “Nobody’s Safe Here” book signing 5-7pm @ Hope Marketplace and Outskirts Market Bill Percy will do a reading and signing of his new novel, “Nobody’s Safe Here.” Wine and cheese will be available

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Cedar 10am-2 Come the brid Live M 6pm @

Sandpoint Chess Club Game Night with Rachael 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee 9pm @ 219 Lounge Meets every Sunday at 9am. All are welcome Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7:30pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Fit and Fall Proof Class • 11am-1 This fitness class for seniors is spon older adults to improve flexibility, m

Night Out Karaoke 9pm @ 219 Lounge Teen Tech Week - 3D Design with Fusion 360 4pm @ MakerPoint Studios Learn the basics of this industry standard software with experts Matt and Mike. Pre-registration required-263-6930

Team POWine Sip and Sho 4-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Win Winemaker Jim Bopp and E Hours of Schweitzer relay co for cystinosis research during

Yonder Mountain String Band in Concert (with the Lil’ Smokies) 8pm @ The Hive For nearly 18 years, Yonder Mountain String Band has redefined bluegrass music, expa traditional acoustic genre by steadily pushing the envelope into the realms of rock ‘n’ roll an visation. Doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 a

Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Live Music w/ Benny Baker 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Thursday solo series with Benny Baker - he rocks, he rolls. Don’t miss!

“All Nighter” film pre-release 7pm @ Panida Theater Come see the pre-release in the New York Film Critic Series. Stick around for interviews with the stars after the movie.

Tee 4pm Lea Pre


March 16 - 23, 2017

s this rolof royal for some 267-1325

Irish e sold gged’ nners ckets


Girls Pint Out 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Cool Chicks! Great Beer! No Dudes! Join Vicki at the big table for an evening of Belgian beer tasting Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

A weekly entertainment guide to keep you on your toes. To list your event free, please send an email to Reader recommended

Little Mozart Music Class 9:45am @ Sandpoint Library An 8-week series with instructor and Spokane Symphony Flutist Jennifer Slaughter


POAC 100 Member Celebration St. Patrick’s Day Benefit for 24 Hours for Hank 5:30-7pm @ Columbia Bank 5-8pm @ 219 Lounge Enjoy live music by Marty Perron and Doug Bond, Irish The show features work by 100+ artist memcocktails, green beer, complimentary Irish appetizers, raf- bers. Free admission and open to the public fles, prizes and more. Stop by and help raise money for Annual 219 St. Patrick’s Day Party cystinosis research! Free and open to the public. 21+ 9pm-12am @ 219 Lounge St. Patrick’s Family Fun(draiser) Night With live music by Still Tipsy and the Hang5:30-7:30pm @ First Presbyterian Church overs. Green beer and Irish cocktails galore All are invited to the celebration, featuring an Irish dinner Vikingfest: Norwegian Independence Day of corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings. Irish 6-8pm @ Sandpoint Sports singalongs and an active cake auction! 263-2047 for info Sandpoint Sports will Co-host a scavenger Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 6-8pm @ The Wine Bar, Cedar Street Bridge Soulful tunes for your Friday

l e Cedar St. Bridge Public Market 5 10am-2pm @ Cedar St. Bridge Come enjoy indoor shopping on t the bridge spanning Sand Creek s Live Music w/ Chris Lynch d 6pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante

hunt bike ride through Ponderay, and back to SKaL for Grub and Gruel and awards. Costumes not required but encouraged

Live Music w/ One Street Over 5:30-8:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Dynamic father-daughter duo from Nashville

Community Writing Contest and Breakfast 9-11am @ Sandpoint Library Read your own fiction, non-fiction or poetry. Open to everyone of all ages. 208-263-3564 Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes 6-8pm @ The Wine Bar, Cedar Street Bridge


• 11am-12pm @ Cedar Hills Church ors is sponsored by the Panhandle Health District, and is designed for exibility, mobility, balance and strength. Free and open to the public

p and Shop Oreille Winery opp and Event Coordinator Jenn Ellison will be racing for a cure during the 24 er relay coming up March 24-25. Come help support their efforts of raising money rch during a Sip and Shop. 10% of all proceeds will be donated to their team

usic, expanding the k ‘n’ roll and improand $30 at the door

Hiawatha Drum Circle! Unite the Tribes! 6:30-8pm @ Memorial Community Center (Hope) A journey through the spirit world. Not a class! Try to bring your own drum. For more info contact Jack (208) 304-9300 or

Teen Tech Week - Laser Engraving and Cutting 4pm @ MakerPoint Studios Film Learn to design an object for engraving and cutting. with Pre-registration required-263-6930

Little Mozart Music Class 9:45am @ Spt. Library For more info, call 265-4444

March 24-25 24 Hours of Schweitzer @ Schweitzer Mountain March 24 Women of the World @ Panida Theater March 25 Tour de Thrift @ participating Sandpoint and Ponderay Thrift Stores

WILDWOOD GRILLING IS HIRING. We’re on the hunt for a few extraordinary people. Are you looking for a fast-paced and exciting place to work? If you are, we have compelling career opportunities, so keep reading. Do you have strong communication skills? Like, seriously strong. Are you a self-starter? Do you like really terrible jokes? Do you ask interesting and engaging questions? Are you ready to tuck in your flannel and come to work looking sharp? shar Is your spirit intrepid, mind logical and palate adventurous? Would you enjoy working with nice people who smell like cedar? If you answered “yes” to the questions above, go check out our Jobs page at You may have found your tribe.    We are currently looking for the following positions: Sales Coordinator AR/AP Specialist- Part Time Production Team Members   Wildwood Grilling is, and always will be, an EEO Employer.

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Wildlife superstitions: Fact or Fiction? By Kathleen St. Clair-McGee Reader Contributor We have all heard the fallacies, stories, tales, myths, legends, folklore about wild animals. Where is the line of fact or fiction? Superstitions are delusions, fallacies are misinformation, myths are traditional stories of supposed historical content, folklore is a retelling of traditions. In 200 A.D., Clement of Alexandria wrote that there were heathens amongst them. They were worshiping sticks and stones, making idols. This practice was the source of all superstition, so he said. Time marches onward but the stories of magic and folk customs persevere; glamorous and gruesome tales of witchcraft, vampires, zombies, werewolves remain. Once the wild animals were revered, now they are often vilified. Some Common Myths: Cougars eat a deer a day. They threaten livestock. Lynx and bobcats are the same animal. Black bears hoot like an owl and often attack people. Raccoons make good pets. They do not have salivary glands so wash their food. Bats are blind. Bats carry the disease rabies. Skunks cannot spray if picked up by the tail. They are ruining my lawn. Gray squirrels live in peace with the pine squirrels. Beavers can build a dam overnight. Porcupines shoot their quills. Deer are fragile and make good pets. Fawns that are found are orphaned. Small dogs are not a threat. Moose are slow moving and do not harm deer. Toads cause warts. Owls can swivel their head all the way around. Hunting causes a huge threat to the populations of wild animals. Predators are causing havoc on our native habitat. There are good animals and bad animals. Trap and release of wild domestic cats is humane. Live traps are a humane way to get rid of unwanted wild animals. Wildlife rehabilitation can be successful for any animal all that is needed is the internet. Facts: Cougars take large prey such as elk, or big horn sheep. A single cougar takes only one deer every 16 days. Lynx are threatened in the lower 48

states. They are a specialty feeder and have one litter of two kits every year. Bobcats are diverse in prey choice. They have two to four kits per litter. Numbers are stable. Black bears growl, grunt, rumble, snort, woof and whuffle but they do not hoot. They have poor eyesight but great smell and hearing. Raccoons are a wild animal, never an appropriate pet. They are not the anomaly of the animal kingdom; placing items in water is just their thing to do. Bats can see in low light. They are not a rabies carrier. Less than 1 percent of human cases are attributed to bats that have contracted the disease prior to being handled. Bats consume 50 percent of their body weight each night. A colony of 1,000 bats weighing 10 grams each could consume 22 pounds of insects nightly. Using echolocation they can identify items as small as a piece of thread in total darkness. Skunks have poor eyesight and spray if startled. They spray only reluctantly to a distance of about 12 feet and consume insects mostly—the harmful ones that are ruining your lawn. Gray squirrels are not native to the Inland Northwest. The little black pine squirrels are the native tree dweller. Beaver dams are built by the entire family over many months. They are vegetarians. Porcupines quills are like hair. They are ripped out by the attacker. Deer are strong, agile-bodied wild animals. Fawns are left alone while the mother feeds. Small dogs will chase and run down the deer until exhausted where they then chew on ears and tails. Moose can travel 44 feet per second when in a hurry. The deer actually harm the moose when they defecate roundworm eggs that ultimately ingest the parasite which causes death. Toads warts are glands. Human warts are caused from viruses. Owls swivel their head 270 degrees, not all the way around. Statistics and surveys show licensed hunting is only a minor

reason of mortality. Loss of habitat, domestic and feral cat predation are the two major threats to wildlife. Eradication of predators will not stabilize a healthy ecosystem. A 20-year survey demonstrated the removal of thousands of wolves, cougars, coyotes from an area of 4,000 deer caused the deer to explode. In one year 60,000 deer starved to death and additional deer were struggling while the vege-tation recovered. A healthy ecosystem requires all native species of flora and fauna. Domestic cats are responsible for the death of 4 billion animals annually. Outdoor cats are the single greatest source of human caused mortality for birds and mammals. Feral cats still suffer from the harsh environments as well as many diseases (including those that can be transferred to humans). Live traps are not humane. Studies have shown that 75 percent of the relocated animals died of starvation. The website has articles on how to humanely evict the unwanted native neighbor. Wildlife rehabilitation should be performed by trained professionals only. It is illegal in Idaho and it is not in the best interest of the wild animal.

Kathleen St. Clair-McGee is the founder and Board of Directors President of the American Heritage Wildlife Foundation, which works towards the preservation of all wildlife through rehabilitation and community education. Check out for more information.

Listen in Sandpoint to KPND @ 106.7 in HD March 16, 2017 /


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Life At The Rainbow Inn

An intimate report on cheap US motels

By Marjolein Groot Nibbelink Reader Contributor A black family is packing all they have into a small car, ready for yet another hopeless opportunity. During the day people ignore each other, but after sundown they mumble greetings to assure there is no threat. Young night owls move in small packs, their backs curved like frightened cats. An estimated 3 million people in the United States face homeless every year, a group that grew from an unnoticed minority into a fullblown class. The main causes of homelessness are mental illness, substance abuse and financial strain. Welcome to America, the first-world country leading in homeless population L.A. – City of Angels. Yeah Right. On a road trip through the western U.S. in 2014, I stayed in the cheapest motels, run almost exclusively by immigrants from India. The worst of them promote ‘Weekly Rates,’ and once I rented Room 237 for three weeks at the Rainbow Inn — 831 South Beach Boulevard, Anaheim. These are the kind of digs where you want to keep your flip-flops on in the shower and smudgy windows hold the daylight back. The walls have stains of suspicious origin and the blanket in a non-smoking room is freckled with cigarette burns. Don’t look under the bed. It hasn’t been vacuumed in years. Most eight-dollar accommodations in Bolivia are more pleasant. Cheap barbecues dominate doorsteps and trash bins are full of microwave meal boxes. A sign instructs me not to hang 16 /


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clothes to dry on the balcony. The snack machine isn’t quite cold enough to keep chocolate from going soft and shopping carts collect dust under the staircase. The manager tells me, “I don’t let the walking people in.” Not “homeless” or “addicts,” but “walking people.” This confuses me at first, but then makes complete sense— bicycles and shopping carts provide their mobility. The rest of America owns a car. Room 217 hosts a skittish, balding man who only comes

out to dispose of his trash. When I walk by the door, I can smell his cigarettes. Room 117 occasionally dispenses an old lady in a blue nightgown who shuffles across the parking lot, clenching a coffee cup. I say “hello,” and she just stares at me uncertainly, then looks away. In front of her room is a neatly stacked pile of pinecones. Arguments regularly wake me. At 2 a.m., a couple starts a fight that keeps increasing in intensity. I worry that it might get out of hand. What could I

do if it did? She finally runs off. He leans over the balcony rail and closes the morning’s disruption with a sincere “Go to hell, bitch!” In the morning, a black mom yells “Stupid nigger!” at her 4-year old son for dropping something. A tall black man wanders out front, red-eyed and twitching uncomfortably. Fresh bandages make me wonder what happened to his arm, and who applies them daily. A skinny woman with wild hair sits on the sidewalk, wailing hys-

terically. He studies her with bewildered attention. I meet Mr. Tsing from Pakistan. He objects to the homeless fornicating in the open, forced to experience a shred of human connection in public bathrooms or behind some bushes. “They cross the line of respect and spend money on wasteful things like drugs and alcohol.” One woman screams, “My husband hits me for methamphetamine!” every time I see her. Some days she illustrates this by thumping herself in the

< see MOTEL, page 17 >

< MOTEL, con’t from page 18 > head. On an evening stroll, I am approached by several men who are more than just polite. I want to stay out longer to enjoy the cool, dark air. It’s the only escape from the pressing California heat that lingers in my stuffy room, but I quickly learn that L.A. after dark is for the homeless and hoodlums — and some better-kept younger ladies who are looking to make $30 to pay for their room. A cruising car slows down, a window is lowered and interest is expressed with a short honk. In a way, this is a very stimulating environment. At the end of a day, I sit down with my journal and ask myself, What did you see today? But the unpredictability of these people makes me jumpy. The crowd colonizing the intersection of South Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Street often seems intoxicated or mentally ill. Social frustration intensified by psychological instability needs little provocation to turn into violence. I never know what to expect. John and Julius John lives in Room 109 with his wife and two cats. He is a friendly, thoughtful older man, sporting an outstanding beard. Julius—one of the cats—is orange, sleeps atop the air-conditioner and drinks from the swimming pool. Like all long-term residents, John and his wife open the door at night to let clean air in. “We’re all in the same boat, so let’s be neighbors,” he suggests after he hears I’m staying for several weeks. The chance at connection in an overnight guest environment is scarce. John and his wife used to share a large house with several others, but when everyone else moved out, they wanted to downsize. They found a smaller place nearby for a very good price and went to look at it. The ‘owner’ had given the address but never showed up to give a tour. Nonetheless, they decided to invest the last of their savings into a place with bad walls and an overgrown garden. It was the best deal in town. Too good to be true? It was. The ‘owner’ didn’t own it, ran off with the money, and our friends were evicted. The deposit for an apartment is three times the monthly rent and prices in southern California are some of the

highest in the world. There was no choice but to “temporarily” move into this motel. That was a year ago. John is working a simple job, and I am left to wonder how people can possibly get out of a situation like this. The United States:: a Modern Class Society I have seen a side of America most people choose not to be exposed to: the homeless, mentally ill, addicts, prostitutes, swindlers, drug dealers and thugs. For the middle and upper classes it’s easy to say the disadvantaged people I describe are lazy or dangerous. That way, they can ignore them without feeling responsible. Being acknowledged as a human being when living as a ghost can mean a lot. I found that a greeting and a smile easily cracks their dark stare. Consider this the next time you come across one of these discarded people. I can never again see them as a nuisance after living among them. These people hang their head in embarrassment while trying to crawl back into society. They suffer a culture that idolizes wealth and dislikes the impoverished. They are treated as the dirty feet of America. The richest country in the world could use a pedicure.

Top: Lyndy’s Motel in Anaheim, Calif. Bottom left: a series of close up photos of the Motel Life. Photos by Marjolein Groot Nibbelink

Marjolein Groot Nibbelink was born and raised in the Netherlands. She is interested in culture, language, psychology, socioeconomics and political history. After 8 years of traveling the world, she settled in Sandpoint. She is marketing director at MulitLingual magazine as well as Blue Creek Press and volunteers for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

March 16, 2017 /


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IN COUNTRY Vietnam Veterans living in Sandpoint


By Ben Olson Reader Staff Author’s note: This is the first of five profiles of men living in Sandpoint who fought in the Vietnam War. When I booked my trip to Vietnam, I immediately thought this would be a great time to give some attention to those brave men in our community that fought in this terrible war. I got in touch with a few men who were grateful enough to sit down with me. Here are their stories, in as much detail as space will allow. I do not censor my interviews, so if you are offended by language, please overlook it. I thank all of those who allowed me to interview them, as well as the rest of the generation who served in Vietnam. Seth Phalen grew up in upstate New York on a farm. He grew up introverted and awkward—a scrawny, 140-pound teenager that wasn’t good in sports. “I was a country kid,” said Phalen. “I couldn’t relate to the whole high school clique thing. In our school it was the farmers versus the kids who lived in town. I sort of exiled myself.” Phalen knew early on that he wanted to serve his country. “I was always so impressed by all the movies about World War II,” he said. “I was obsessed by this idea of a man’s duty. It was something that I thought I had to do to be a man.” In the spring of 1966, while he was still in high school, Phalen enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. 18 /


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“I grew up in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s,” he said. “We were indoctrinated about the communist threat. There were always these horror stories. I felt that this was my generation, my time, I needed to go out there and fight communism.” Immediately after graduation, Phalen went through boot camp, where he felt satisfied that he became equal with all the other grunts. “But I was a loner all through the Marine Corps,” he said. “All the conversation was braggadocio about hot cars and women, and I was a shy adolescent. I didn’t have any of that experience. I was just a callow rural kid.” Nonetheless, Phalen’s sole purpose of enlisting was to fight for his country. “What was the whole idea,” he said. “I wanted to go fight, to put myself in the firing line. I volunteered for the Marines, I volunteered for Vietnam and I volunteered for the bush when I got there.” Phalen shipped out from California, but not before talking with some soldiers who had been in country. “The old hands would just shake there heads and say, ‘You don’t want to go there,’” said Phalen, who freely admits that he may jumble some impressions from time to time. “I’m not used to thinking about Vietnam,” he said. “In fact, I’ve only recently begun to process it all. As soon as I got out, I pushed it away all my life.” First impressions

The first smell that came to Phalen’s mind when remembering arriving in country was the “smell of burning shit from the shitters and diesel fuel.”

Phalen remembers the stink of the Marine Corps base, the gunpowder fumes, the godawful heat and humidity: “You stepped onto the land and it just penetrated you,” said Phalen. “How could you possibly function? It was just a forbidding, toxic environment. We didn’t go in as a unit, we were all just fuckin’ new guys. We all had to face the newness pretty much on our own.” Though he desired to be a rifleman, Phalen scored well on combat aptitude tests and was given a job carrying a radio. In Dec. 1967 he was stationed at an artillery base where he would receive incoming fire missions and relay them to the guns. He also recalled riding shotgun on convoys and Med-Caps where he would help distribute medicine and food to villagers. “I always enjoyed that,” he said. “I had very little interaction with villagers. We were up in the boonies most of the time.” The artillery base was located outside of Dang Ha village, near the DMZ. Phalen spent five months there until an opportunity came his way. “The attrition rate on Marine radiomen was pretty high out in the field,” said Phalen. “I jumped at the chance to go out there.” Phalen became a member of a Forward Observer Team, working under a Lieutenant. He was originally part of the 4th Battalion 12th Marine Regiment, but while in the bush was attached to the 2nd Battalion 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division. He had risen to the rank of corporal, and was now taking part in active patrols and search and destroy missions where he would call his own targets. “We were north of Dan Ha, just a few miles south near Kan

Tien,” said Phalen. “The big battle was there, before I’d been there.” The constant barrage of artillery remains a strong memory for Phalen. “There was 155mm, 105s, there was Naval gunfire, which was notoriously inaccurate, and fuckin’ air strikes,” he said. “A whole world of high explosives from any source would rain down on whatever target found important enough. It was surreal.” These various high explosives reminded Phalen of the awesome destructive power available on call to Forward Observers, a power that he could dial up instantly from his radio. While in combat, Phalen carried a PRC-25 radio with two spare batteries, ammunition belts, smoke grenades, frag grenades, extra mortar rounds, field gear, gas mask, entrenching tool, bayonet, sleep gear, extra shirts and socks and the AR-15 rifle. The gear weighed around 60 pounds. “We were all young and strong, basically,” he said. “We had good chow and all the pills we needed, salt tablets and stuff. It’s just so hard for humans to operate in that heat and humidity. The biggest battle was just dealing with the elements; the country, humping, humping the shit.” During his tour, Phalen remembers a general sense of futility among the soldiers. “We had a job to do, and we were willing to do it, but we were caught up in the green machine,” he said. “There was no sense that we were really accomplishing anything.” Phalen remembers procedures like body counts as another surreal part of the war. “One of the absurd things we

had to do was make estimates of body counts, killed in action, wounded during our target missions,” he said. “But because it’s jungle and scrub brush, and you were sometimes miles away, you could only see mere glimpses of a few people now and then. But headquarters demanded a body count, so we’d have to invent something.” A nation at war

One of Phalen’s strongest aversions to the war was the atrocities that happened on both sides—atrocities that were consequences of war. “I don’t want to impugn anyone’s sense of duty, honor or bravery,” he said. “When we were out there, we were always trying to do our best. But, there was a sense of not being able to separate the good guys from the bad guys sometimes. The common saying was ‘Nuke ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.’ But there was also a lot of sympathy for the Vietnamese people. I encountered a lot of racism and hatred, too.” Phalen recalls stories of how American troops would take fire from a particular village, and later, they’d pass by and see the villagers face to face. “The villagers were all terrified because of the Viet Cong,” said Phalen. “And then atrocities happened.” Over the months, Phalen recalls a sense of futility building up inside of him. “There was no successive taking of ground,” he said. “We just went out in the busy, got shot at, kill or be killed, come back, go out the next day the same place, take casualties. What did it accomplish?”

< see PHALEN, page 19 >

< PHALEN, con’t from page 18 > Face to face Around nine months after he joined the Forward Observer Team, Phalen was on patrol with his company on a search and destroy mission. As the name implies, the objective of these missions was to seek out and engage enemy units. “We got to our objective, whatever it was on the side of a hill,” said Phalen. “We were setting up our bivouac and digging foxholes and we were ambushed with mortars, just a huge, dense mortar attack.” It was the closest attack that Phalen had experienced. He remembers he was down at the creek getting water when the attack began. “You heard ZZZZST and you learned to get down,” he said. “I remember the mortars, it was like they were walking down to where I was laying. I could hear them getting closer, boom, boom and then BAM.” That was when Phalen and a sergeant that was with him were both hit by the same mortar shell. Phalen was hit in the ankle with deep shrapnel, and his face and arms were peppered with shrapnel wounds. The man with him ended up with a plate in his skull but otherwise recovered from the attack. “I remember feeling that extreme moment of terror, feeling like that next mortar was going to be the one that got us, but it didn’t come,” he said. It was a screaming soldier that snapped Phalen into action after the injury. “The wonderful thing about being scared is when you see someone who’s more scared than you, it takes your mind off your own fear,” said Phalen. “There was this screaming corpsman, so, even though I was wounded, I could still get about, so I helped him bandage up his arm and got him under cover, picked up a rifle and looked out toward the perimeter and waited.” He remembers being in a total state of shock after the attack commenced. Twenty of his fellow Marines were killed. But overall, Phalen felt regret that he was now being forced to leave. “My ankle was basically ruined, but I hung back, I didn’t want to go,” he said. “That band of brothers thing, it’s very real.

You have to experience it. You bond with these guys and go through shit, you don’t want to leave them.” It is in leaving his outfit that Phalen still struggles with feelings of remorse. “I still feel these residual emotions of shame,” he said. “Why should I feel shame? But it’s there.” When Phalen joined his outfit, they were just recovering from heavy combat. They were just getting back on their feet again when the mortar attack brought Phalen out of the fight. “I heard stories later about how my outfit got into some really severe close quarter firefights, fights at pistol range, and I felt so guilty for having missed out on that,” said Phalen. “It’s weird. I know it’s dysfunctional, but it’s there.” After spending a few days in a triage unit south of the DMZ, Phalen was quickly flown to Japan, and later stateside to St. Albans VA Hospital in New York. He remembers these days in a negative light. “The hospital experience there was really traumatic,” he said. “There were lots of guys that were really messed up, guys that had got shot, that had colostomy bags, they were emaciated.” Because he had less than six months left in the service, the Corps sent Phalen to Camp Legeune in North Carolina for the remainder of his duty. Returning to a divided nation

During his final six months in the Marine Corps, Phalen began to see the effect of the war on his country. He saw a deepening divide within the ranks of the Corps on racial lines. “Morale was so low in the Marines during this time,” he said. “I started reading about the experiences of the black soldiers, who had gone off to fight and come home maimed to the south and experiencing harassment and the same old shit. All of a sudden, it as a black and white Marine Corps.” The feelings of grief and disillusionment built inside of Phalen. He began finding alternative ways to expand his consciousness. “I started awakening,” he said. “The Doors were playing, Eric Clapton, the Beatles. There was a whole new consciousness coming, and I wanted to be part of that.”

Seth Phalen shares his experiences in the Vietnam War. Photo by Ben Olson. Phalen got out of the Marines in 1969 and went to college on the GI Bill. “I wanted to go out west, to canoe and hike and be in the mountains,” he said. “The means to that was to go to college and get a degree in natural resources and become a park ranger or something. So that’s what I did.” Phalen obtained his degree and took a lucky job at Yellowstone as a temporary park ranger, later cementing a permanent post at Zion National Park in 1972. Though he enjoyed the natural setting, Phalen opted out of wearing a uniform of law enforcement and returned to school at Utah State, obtaining a degree in Range Science. He then began his career in the U.S. Forest Service. “Once I got established, it was a matter of where I wanted to go,” he said. “You waited for an opening and you put in for it.” After working stints in the Kootenai National Forest and Point Reyes seashore, Phalen found a home in the Sawtooth Recreational area for 13 years in Stanley, Idaho. He was a GS-11 in charge of grazing and noxious weed management, as well as various work in botany and wildlife management.” The hidden casualties

While he was still in college, Phalen experienced his first symptoms of PTSD. It was during an LSD trip that the feelings first manifested themselves. “I had horrible hallucinations for hours,” he said. “I was going through this severe panic, the

panic that became the experience of being wounded and all that grief and panic and feeling that I was going to die and figuring out that I wasn’t ready to die. It was an epiphany of the waster of it all, the futility of dying at a young age, the horror of my imminent death. It all came back to roost during that acid trip.” A state of unrest dominated Phalen for the next couple of months, but he didn’t seek treatment because he was experimenting with illegal drugs. Over the years, he’d learned to manage the condition, but the episodes came back, progressively worse. It wasn’t until a chance visit with a psychologist in 2000 when Phalen finally began seeking treatment for PTSD. “We had a work function at the station to teach us how to work better together,” Phalen said. “There were psychologists there to help us, and we also had one on one interviews. During my interview, he suddenly said, ‘Have you been to Vietnam?’ and I immediately went to pieces.” The psychologist turned Phalen onto some options to deal with his panic attacks. Phalen began taking medication, undergoing counseling and making regular visits to the Boise Veterans Center. It is only in recent years that Phalen has come to terms with his experiences in Vietnam. “Despite my best idealistic intentions, I was stung by the realization that I had only contributed to the net misery of that poor, strife-torn region of the world,”

he said. “This was a painful load to carry until I learned the spiritual truth about forgiveness... for myself, as well as others.” When he retired and built his log home near the Kootenai Wildlife Refuge outside of Bonners Ferry where he now lives with his wife Joyce, Phalen began turning over the rocks in his soul, searching for answers for what his experience might mean. “I met a Nez Perce man one time who told me, ‘You need to tell your story,’” said Phalen. “I think there’s a call of duty to go to war, to protect my tribe, my country. But there’s a more important duty to come back and report on how it was, what I’ve learned from the experience, for the benefit of my tribe.” Phalen doesn’t know yet what the outcome of his story will be, but he is determined to sort it out. He said he would like to return someday to Vietnam so that he may make a small gesture of repentance, respect and compassion for the Vietnamese people. “I haven’t sorted out what I’ve learned yet,” he said. “I’ve forgotten so much, and it’s hard for me to think about it, but I feel compelled to tell my story in as coherent and awkward way as possible - as long as it’s honest.”

Opposite page: Seth Phalen’s Marine photo after graduating Boot Camp. March 16, 2017 /


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‘Once Upon a Mattress’ hits the Panida

By Mimi Feuling Reader Contributor

Hear Ye, hear ye! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Once Upon A Mattress” is coming to Sandpoint March 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18! Join in on all the fun featuring the work of a cast and crew of over 100 Sandpoint youth and a good-sized group of youthful adult volunteers! With six shows to choose from over two weekends, there’s sure to be one for you to attend. Director Jeannie Hunter and Musical Director Jon Brownell of Growing Dreams Productions, Inc, and Choreographer Laurie Buck of Studio 1 Dance Academy have teamed up with the Panida Theater this year to bring you this rollicking family show. Those of you who have seen Growing Dreams collaborations in the past know this show is a definite mustsee. Costume Director Angie Aller and her Dream Seam Team are once again outdoing themselves, prepare to be amazed and delighted. Reviewers have this to say about this zany musical:

March 16-18 @ 7pm

“Once upon a mattress” musical a rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance thursday, march 23 @ 7pm

New York Film Critic Series: “all nighter” saturday, march 25 @ 7pm

2017 Fly Fishing Film Festival

Come and see amazing rivers and adventures along with great raffles and giveaways!

sunday, March 26 @ 3:30pm

“8 DAYS” film

Free and open to the public. Not appropriate for children under 12

Friday, March 31 @ 3:30 & 7:30pm

illusio: tour of illusion

“Once Upon a Mattress” cast on stage. Photo by Annie Terry. “If you thought you knew the story of the ‘Princess and the Pea,’ you are in for a walloping surprise.” Did you know that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken’s love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn’t the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.

Crossword Solution

The show highlights local favorites, including a few new faces, such as Riley Anderson, Saharah Chalupny, Alexander Riach, Hope Ambridge, Burton Anderson, Zane Rasor, Devin Fredericks, Renee York, Tristan Authier, Bob Stevens, Jasmine Mearns, Zoe Miller and many more. There will be plenty of dancing and singing and surprising plot twists in this zany rendition of the classic tale of the “Princess and the Pea.” There are two special shows planned during the run – Student Night on Thursday, March 16, and The Family Show during the matinée on March 18. Student Night tickets are discounted for students 18 and under with ASB card. The Family Show is sponsored by Dr. Joseph Johnson and Aspire Dental in Ponderay and will feature extra fun events and photo opportunities with the cast on stage for your favorite princess, prince, lady or knight. Children 12 and under will enjoy $10 tickets for this show. “Once Upon A Mattress” will be presented at The Panida Theater on March 16, 17 and 18. All shows are at 7 p.m., plus a matinée at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 18. Tickets can be purchased from cast and crew, on the Panida’s website and via email at growingcreamsproductions@ Tickets are $15 each, except at the special shows listed above.

Come see Illusio, a show the whole family will enjoy, one day only!

Saturday, april 1 @ 8pm

Alive She Cried: The Ultimate Doors Tribute Alive She Cried is honored to carry on this legendary music for a new generation and provide a nostalgic glimpse back to a time when conventions were being tested and revolution was in the air. Tickets $25 General admission, $35 VIP

april 2-5

Animation Show of Shows 20 /


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I think that a hat that has a little cannon that fires and then goes back inside the hat is at least a decade away.


This week’s RLW by Ben Olson

Best Irish songs to play on St. Patrick’s Day By Ben Olson Reader Staff We may not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with as much pomp and gusto as they do in eastern cities with large Irish populations, but we still know how to guzzle a green beer like a champ. In preparation for a Friday night St. Patrick’s Day, here are some of my favorite Irish songs that will help amp you up for a night of kissing the blarney stone. “Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly Among the best of the modern punk Celtic bands, Flogging Molly’s endlessly enthusiastic songs are great foreplay for a night of pub hopping. This seven-piece Irish-American band has been playing their infectious tunes for over 20 years, and rumor has it that they are in the studio working on a forthcoming album to be released at some point in 2017. In “Drunken Lullabies,” Flogging Molly sings about common themes in Irish music: drinking, poverty, politics, drinking, memories and... drinking. Notable line: “Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess / singin’ drunken lullabies.” “Shipping Up To Boston” by Dropkick Murphys Like Flogging Molly, the Dropkick Murphys have been doing the Celtic punk rock thing for a couple of decades. Based out of Quincy, Mass., the band broke through with the hit song “Shipping Up To Boston,” which was featured on Martin Scorsese’s Academy-Award winning film “The Departed.” Known for raucous live performances, Dropkick Murphys’

just released their ninth studio album, “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” in January. The lyrics to “Shipping Up To Boston” are actually based on an unpublished Woody Guthrie poem. The band was given the honor to go through Guthrie’s archives by a family member and picked out a song or two of unpublished lyrics, landing on the poem in question simply because it had the word “Boston” in it. Notable line: “I’m a sailor peg / And I’ve lost my leg / Climbing up the top sails / I lost my leg! / I’m shipping up to Boston whoa / I’m shipping up to Boston whoa / I’m shipping up to Boston whoa... to find my wooden leg.”


As I am on much-needed vacation in Vietnam for the next month, I have read a lot of books to prepare me. One that I thoroughly enjoyed was Graham Greene’s novel “The Quiet American.” The pre-Vietnam war novel delves into French and British colonialism in Vietnam being uprooted by Americans during the 1950s. It is especially haunting to realize that Greene essentially predicted the dastardly war that dominated a dark time in history.


“Whiskey in the Jar” by Various Artists

“Irish Drinking Song” by Buck-O-Nine

Who hasn’t covered this song in the lexicon of Celtic music? The Dubliners are perhaps the band that brought this song back into popular culture. Their recording is often cited as the most traditional sounding of the hundreds of recordings. Other notable versions include the rocking cover by Thin Lizzy, the jam band treatment by the Grateful Dead and the folk version by The Highwaymen. “Whiskey in the Jar” is an old, old song, written about a highway man who is betrayed by his wife. While the original lyrics speak of Irish locales and people, the song has often been covered by U.S. bands, who changed some lyrics to place the location in the South. Notable lyrics: “Now there’s some take delight in the carriages a-rollin’ / and others take delight in the hurling and the bowling / but I take delight in the juice of the barley / and courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early.”

I’m not usually a big fan of Ska music, but the band Buck-ONine’s version of “Irish Drinking Song” gets me going strong. The song, which takes its cue from every other Irish song, talks about drinking, fighting, pub crawling and unfaithful women. Though Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly are often given credit for this song, sometimes mistakenly called “Drink and Fight,” BuckO-Nine originally recorded the song on their 1994 album “Songs in the Key of Bree.” Notable lyrics: “Oh, we’ll drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and fight / and I might see a pretty girl, I’ll sleep with her tonight / yes, we’ll drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and drink and fight!” “Danny Boy” by Various At the end of the night of St. Patty’s Day, you have a couple of options. You can pass out, get mean and yell, or wax

sentimental and sing a song of sorrow and history. If you’re interested in the latter option, there’s not a more sentimental song to sing while swaying on a street corner than “Danny Boy.” Written to the tune of “Londonderry Air,” the song was first written by an English lawyer named Frederic Weatherly in 1910. Weatherly gave the song to the vocalist Elsie Griffen, who turned it into one of the most popular songs of the century. While some in Ireland claim the song is not in fact Irish (it was written in England), the musical story of “Danny Boy” has roots in the terrible 1690 siege of Derry in Northern Ireland. Nonetheless, the song is firmly entrenched in St. Patrick’s Day traditions and will probably be sung every March from here to eternity. Notable lyrics: “Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling / From glen to glen, and down the mountain side. / The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling, / It’s you, it’s you must go and I must bide.”

When I listen to Crosby Stills Nash and Young’s song “Ohio,” it always fills me with a mixture of sadness and hope. The song discusses the Kent State shooting when the Ohio National Guard gunned down four unarmed students who were peacefully protesting the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia. Guardsmen fired 67 shots in 13 seconds, killing four and injuring another nine students.


“Apocalypse Now Redux” is an extended version of the acclaimed epic film by Francis Ford Coppola. “Redux” offers nearly an hour of extra footage to the already long film. While it slows the pace of the film down somewhat, the audience is allowed to go deeper into the darkness that is Coppola’s vision of the Vietnam War. To this day, “Apocalypse Now” is a film that has affected me greatly in its pace, thematic elements and outstanding acting by Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall and Marlon Brando. March 16, 2017 /


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The Sandpoint Eater Love of the Irish (coffee)

By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Food Columnist In great anticipation of St Patrick’s Day, a couple of Irish-Sandpoint pals and I are headed to Butte, Mont., (sometimes referred to as Ireland’s fifth province) to celebrate in true Irish fashion! In preparation for our voyage I’ve been making Blarney Stones (small, crushed-peanut rolled confections) by the dozen, to share with my Butte friends. We’ll line up, schooners of green beer in hand, cheering on the iconic parade, participants marching strong for more than 80 years. Massive stainless steel pots of corned beef and cabbage will simmer all night long, to be heaped upon plates and served to the masses. In the old days, the festivities lasted for an entire week, with plenty of celebrating Irish. At one-time Butte boasted more than 1500 Sullivan’s and 1300 Murphy’s (my clan). Growing up in rival Helena, we made many trips over the hill to Butte and always made sure our cars (with the telling “5” on our license plate number), were tucked away in a quiet neighborhood and well off the beaten path. Those raucous Butte boys were not above leaving their mark on our (parent’s) cars. Besides corned beef and cabbage, Butte was famous for pasties. Pasties are “hand pies”, filled with seasoned beef, potatoes, onions and carrots, wrapped, then baked, in pie dough. Packed in a graniteware pail, these were standard fare for every Irish miner. Cocktail pasties, a miniature version, were perfunctory at weddings, funerals and baptisms. The 22 /


/ March 16, 2017

Butte Italians had their meatballs but the Irish owned the pastie and every housewife worth her weight in pastry had a secret ingredient or a special technique and she was deft at turning out several dozen with little more than a day’s notice (for my own daughter’s wedding I prepared more than 200). While most of the mining immigrants subsisted on hearty stews of mutton or beef, back in the old country, on that small green island surrounded by water, fish and seafood was the diet mainstay. Today, seafood continues to dominate menus, in trusty old pubs and trendy restaurant that have popped up along every Irish coast. Bantry Bay is world famous for their mussels and

the best crab rolls to be found hail from the Beara Peninsula of West Cork. Likewise, no trip to Ireland is complete without a heaping bowl of Dublin Shrimp, simmered in a savory beer stock, served up with a side of caper mayo and washed down with a stout. There are a lot of great stout beers in Ireland, and some regions have their own version, like Murphy’s which hails from County Cork, or Dublin’s Guinness – Ireland’s most popular beverage, crafted for more than 250 years. A relative newcomer to the Irish beverage scene is the celebrated Irish Coffee. Many are surprised to learn that this beverage hasn’t been around all that long, and came about purely

by accident. In 1942, a group of American passengers returned to Foynes airbase in the west of Ireland, cold and wet from an aborted flight, and were in desperate need of hot food and warm drink. The young chef, Joe Sheridan, heated some cold cups, brewed some strong coffee, added a bit of brown sugar, poured in a good dose of potent whiskey and topped it with thick cream. As Irish luck would have it, one of the stranded travelers was Stanton Delaplane, an American travel writer from San Francisco. Upon returning stateside, with recipe in hand, he convinced the owners of the Buena Vista Café to serve this delicious hot toddy. Chef Joe eventually left Ireland, wound up running the Buena

Vista Café and the Irish coffee’s fame and popularity spread throughout the U.S. You don’t have to be Irish to love this spiked coffee, but purist agree that there’s an art to the perfect Irish coffee. Once floated at the top of the drink, don’t stir or disturb the cream, and the coffee should be sipped through the thick cream. Where ever you gather on Saint Patrick’s Day, I hope your bowl is heaped with Dublin Shrimp and your mug is filled with spirit, because: Is deacair amhran a radh gan gloine (It is hard to sing with an empty glass).

Dublin Shrimp INGREDIENTS:


•2 cans or bottles of a good light beer •¼ cup minced onions •2 crushed garlic cloves •2 bay leaves •2 ribs of celery with leaves •head of dill (fresh or dried) •a pinch of salt • 2lbs jumbo shrimp, cleaned and deveined (leave the tail on) •1 lemon, sliced thinly

•In two cans of good light beer, simmer all ingredients except shrimp and lemon, for ten minutes. Add lemon slices and top with shrimp. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until shrimp and pink and firm. Drain well (but do not rinse) and chill 2 hours to overnight. Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce: •1 cup mayonnaise •1tbs fresh lemon juice •1 tbs finelychopped cucumber •1 tbs chopped capers •1 tsp anchovy paste ª1 tsp chopped parsley

A proper Irish Whiskey INGREDIENTS: •1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee •1 tablespoon brown sugar •1 jigger or so (or more) good Irish whiskey •Heavy cream, slightly thicken by hand whisking.

DIRECTIONS: Fill footed mug or glassware with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3⁄4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Float about a half inch of whipped cream onto coffee, pouring slowly over back of spoon. Never stir the cream into the coffee! Serve hot and sip the coffee through the cream. Sláinte.




Woorf tdhe Week


[noun] 1. a beginner in learning anything; novice.

“Musical tyros have no fear; it gets easier with practice.” Corrections: In last week’s letters to the editor, Shelby Rognstad’s letter was intended to be written as a personal letter, not in his capacity as mayor of Sanpdoint. The error is ours, and we regret the mistake. Also, even though I was trying to be punny, I realize the joke didn’t work last week in my Dear Reader’s section. I wrote that I was a “produce” of public schools - thinking that there would be a few that would realize I was trying to misspell “product” on purpose. Anyway, I’ve beet myself up enough and I don’t carrot all anymore. Peas -BO

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1. Caused by streptococci 6. Breezed through 10. Cheek 14. Crown 15. Schnozzola 16. Diva’s solo 17. Grain disease 18. Not a single one 19. A box or chest 20. A toy that fires pellets 22. 19th Hebrew letter 23. Ironic 24. Anagram of “Wanes” 26. West Indies music 30. Gloss 32. Each and all 33. Shoestrings 37. Italian for “Wine” 38. Noise 39. Sit for a photo 40. Snooping 42. Make fun of 43. Manicurist’s concern 44. Frittered away 45. Unwarranted 47. Bar bill 48. A Freudian stage 49. Freeing 56. 53 in Roman numerals 57. One who accomplishes 58. A sudden forceful flow 59. Eve’s opposite 60. Pitcher 61. Weeps 62. Catch 63. Information

Solution on page 22 64. Beginning

DOWN 1. Stair 2. Rubber wheel 3. Indian music 4. God of love 5. Foot trail 6. Bore 7. Codger 8. Feudal worker 9. A bushlike herb 10. Whippersnapper 11. Heavenly hunter 12. Tufts 13. Strip of wood

21. Mineral rock 25. Snake-like fish 26. Guns an engine 27. Wicked 28. Heredity unit 29. A bottom fish 30. Avoids 31. ___ Kong 33. Dirt 34. Jacket 35. Being 36. Sow 38. Screened 41. Letter after sigma 42. Hot sauce 44. Armed conflict 45. Labor group 46. Nigerian monetary

unit 47. Latin name for our planet 48. Charity 50. Hawkeye State 51. Red vegetable 52. Change direction 53. Colored part of an eye 54. Curved molding 55. Where a bird lives

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Reader March, 16 2017  
Reader March, 16 2017  

In this Issue: LPOSD levy passes with strong support; The return of Yonder Mountain String Band; Life At The Rainbow Inn, An intimate report...