/ March 19, 2020
PEOPLE compiled by
‘What words of hope can you offer people right now?’ “I know in hindsight this will be a small obstacle compared to what we’ve been through already in the past. We will overcome.” Jon Weber Security Contractor Texas
“We’ve encountered so many challenges in the past. We’ll get through this one, too.” Lorry Arellano Medical coder for hospital Texas
When the going gets tough, the tough think about Voltaire: “Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.” Be good. Zach Hagadone Editor-in-Chief Sandpoint
“Take a deep breath. This too shall pass. Hang out with your dog. Bake cookies and eat them all. Tell people you love them. Times are tough, but so are we.” Lyndsie Kiebert Journalist Hope “We will rise to meet this challenge. While many of us are hurting right now, we must never let the love and human spirit we share with one another diminish in any way. I love you, Sandpoint.” Ben Olson Publisher Sandpoint
First of all, I hope you are all safe, warm and well. This has been a trying week for our community, with the devastating wind storm hitting last weekend and the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic affecting every one of our lives. The coming weeks will test us in many ways. For the past week we have followed the advice of the health professionals and practiced social distancing. Moving forward, we ask that anyone wishing to visit the Reader office to call first to make an appointment. Luckily, we have the ability to do this job remotely, so let’s continue to connect via phone and email. Now the bad news: Because events have been canceling left and right and the incredible amount of uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, most of our ad revenue has dried up. This week, I watched as event after event was canceled, and as a result, ad after ad was canceled, too. As many of you know, our sole source of revenue is advertising, so when this stream dries up, there’s little we can do. Unfortunately, I told my amazing and talented staff this week that we would have to lay everyone off for the next two to three weeks, potentially longer depending on what the coming weeks bring. I will stay on and keep producing the paper, though it may contain less pages than you are used to. If worse comes to worse, we will move to publishing an online-only model, but for now we plan to continue printing each week until normality returns. This is hard for me to say, because I rely on Zach, Lyndsie and Jodi so much, as do our readers. They are my family and I feel so terrible that our business is one of the many that is being affected by this pandemic. If you know of any part-time work any of them could possibly do, please let me know as soon as possible. One way or another, we will make it through this, even if I have to pump every last dollar of my savings to keep the Reader afloat. I believe this newspaper is an important source of information for this community and I’ll be damned if I let this pandemic destroy, especially after everything we’ve been through over the past 5 years. In the meantime, please send your story ideas, press releases and any other business info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please have patience: I will be working alone for no pay (as I have the past month), so our coverage is going to suffer a bit, but the news must continue to go out. Also, we are cutting back our print circulation for the first time ever, since many of our distribution locations will be closed for the coming weeks when this is printed Thursday morning. We will focus delivering the Reader to locations that will remain open, such as grocery stores. I know this is an inconvenience and we apologize for it, but we’re doing the best we can to survive this. You can always access the Reader online every Thursday morning at sandpointreader.com In the meantime, Please follow the advice of health professionals and limit your contact with other people for at least the rest of the month. The CDC recommends limiting social interactions to under 10 people. I urge you all to heed their advice. Please patronize whatever local businesses you can during this trying time (we have several stories this week on what you can do to help under social distancing guidelines). We’re all going to need a lot of help to get through the coming weeks, so please continue to help those in need if you can. If anyone needs something and they have no one else to turn to, please email or call me (email@example.com – 208-265-9724) and I’ll do my best to help however I can. We will get through this, Sandpoint. Until then, stay healthy. -Ben Olson, Publisher
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March 19, 2020 /
Idaho cases stands at 9
No reported cases of coronavirus in Bonner or Boundary County
By Ben Olson Reader Staff
There have been nine lab-confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reported statewide in Idaho as of Wednesday, March 18 at 10 a.m. All confirmed cases have stemmed from the southern part of the state, affecting Ada, Blaine, Madison and Teton Counties. No cases have been reported in central or North Idaho counties. According to the state website dedicated to tracking the virus — coronavirus. idaho.gov — there have been 343 people tested through the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories and another 125 tested through commercial laboratories. Of the total number tested, 78 people have been reported to have been “monitored by Idaho public health,” which includes past and present, and 43 people “no longer being monitored by public health.” Visit coronavirus.idaho.gov to receive up-to-date information about the spread of coronavirus in Idaho, as these numbers change daily. More than 7,321 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported throughout the United States, with 107 deaths as of March 18. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all reported cases. More than 214,552 cases have been reported worldwide, with 8,774 people dying from the disease. Currently, 147 out of 195 countries have reported cases of coronavirus. Locally, Bonner General Health erected a tent south of its emergency room as 4 /
/ March 19, 2020
a precautionary quarantine measure amid the ongoing spread of coronavirus across the globe. “The tent is set up for us to be prepared,” said Erin Binall, BGH Community Development manager. “It’s for prevention purposes only. We want our staff to feel comfortable and prepared for any scenario that comes our way.” Binall confirmed that while there have not been any cases of coronavirus reported in Bonner County, there have been tests taken — none of which have so far returned with positive results. Binall said BGH has contracted with the Mayo Clinic to offer commercial testing for patients with insurance. “That may be an option if the state lab decides not to test a patient due to low risk,” Binall said. “Part of this is the fact that the cost of the test is pretty high.” The hospital implemented a “high-alert” procedure for the emergency department on March 16, which means all patients will be triaged before entering the building to protect staff, patients and visitors. Gov. Little has hosted numerous press conferences over the past week, in which he has given updates on the coronavirus situation in Idaho. “The situation with coronavirus is changing hourly, and history will remember our reaction to it,” Little said in a statement released March 17. “Individuals should not hoard groceries and household products. America’s supply chain is the strongest in the world. Grocery stores will stay
open and will be continually restocked.” BGH committees working on the virus are also meeting frequently to help keep ahead of the information curve. “Right now our incident command is meeting weekly and subcommittees are meeting multiple times a day,” Binall said. “We’re working close with Panhandle Health District and Kootenai Health so everything we’re doing aligns with our regional partners.” Binall said the situation is “changing daily,” and urges anyone experiencing symptoms to first call ahead to the emergency department at 208-265-1020 to receive instructions about where to get tested and treated. Meanwhile, Lake Pend Oreille School District schools remain closed until April 5. LPOSD Superintendent Tom Albertson told principals, teachers and stakeholders March 16 that mindful of the “strain on the community,” “we need to do our part with social distancing.” “It’s going to be a little bumpy,” he said, describing the transition from classroom to online and distance learning. “Given the times we’re in, it’s the right thing to do,” he said. Even on Monday, March 16, Albertson said absenteeism had risen to 1,333 or about 3,800 students district wide — a total of about 27% or, in some schools, between 25% and 35%. “I don’t see that changing; we’d probably still see a very high absenteeism rate,” he said. Symptoms of COVID-19
include a fever greater than 101 degrees, lower respiratory illness, a new cough, new shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or travel to an infected area within 14 days. BGH has implemented “soft visitor restrictions” out of an abundance of caution to help mitigate the spread of the disease. The soft visitor restrictions prohibit visitors under the age of 18 to BGH unless they have a scheduled appointment, procedure or need emergency services. Only one visitor is allowed per patient in ICU, medical surgical and surgery departments. Two visitors are allowed for OB patients. Panhandle Health District Public Information Officer Katherine Hoyer said PHD is following the guidance and messaging that recently came from the White House, urging those in the district to limit
A map of Idaho coronavirus cases using data supplied by Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare.
social gatherings to fewer than 10 people. “We’ve also expanded the hours to our call center,” Hoyer said. “We will have someone available from Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and we’ll be open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.” The dedicated helpline set up by the Panhandle Health District can be reached at 877-415-5225. Those seeking information about coronavirus in Idaho can also visit the new state website coronavirus.idaho.gov for real-time updates on the spread of the virus. “The most important thing is, if you’re sick, don’t go to work,” Binall said. “And don’t forget to wash your hands.” Additional reporting by Zach Hagadone.
Council approves COVID-19 emergency declaration Bar and restaurant closures remain voluntary
By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff
The Sandpoint City Council unanimously approved Mayor Shelby Rognstad’s declaration of local emergency March 18 — the last day the body will meet in person for the foreseeable future amid a cascade of public restrictions intended to manage and mitigate the global spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. “This is to enable us more flexibility and access to greater funding to address the situation,” Rognstad said, going on to refer to a $1 trillion stimulus package being considered by Congress that would make available direct payments to U.S. citizens affected by the mass closure of businesses, cancelation of events and limitations on public gatherings nationwide. City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton outlined the strategy for City Hall to maintain critical functions while limiting the amount of face-to-face interactions — a policy of “social distancing” recommended by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meant to lessen potential exposure to the virus. Going forward, the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and various city commissions and committees will only meet electronically. Citizens are invited to watch proceedings remotely via the city’s website, sandpointidaho. gov, and can call in to provide testimony at 208-946-2092, extension #1738. Starting Thursday, March 19, permits will be processed online and the city will host a special web page devoted to COVID-19 updates as well as
information on resources for businesses, citizens and community members at sandpointidaho.gov/your-government/ covid-19. “This has obviously been a challenge for us to keep up with as a city,” Stapleton said, noting that guidance and events have been in a constant state of flux in recent days, shifting hourly in some cases. Idaho Gov. Brad Little hosted a teleconference March 17 with mayors and city administrators across the state, emphasizing that business closures and the enforced curtailment of public gatherings are a matter for local governments to determine. As such, Rognstad’s declaration of local emergency strongly urges local bars and restaurants to cancel in-house seating and limit service to curbside pick-up — that includes sealed alcoholic beverages as well as food, though “a paper cup with plastic lid doesn’t count,” he said in a rare moment of levity at the otherwise somber meeting. Travis Thompson, owner of First Avenue bar and grill A&P’s, testified about his concern over his employees’ financial security — “it’s paycheck to paycheck,” he said. “How long is [the state of emergency] going to last? How are we going to plan for it?” he added. “There’s a lot of questions we have and none of the time to plan.” While the declaration will last at least until the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting April 1 — at which time the body would have to vote to either lift or extend the emergency measure — Rognstad emphasized that the recommendation to close in favor of curbside pick-up is not a mandate. “It’s your business, it’s
your call,” he told Thompson, though reiterated the latest guidance that closure is the best policy to limit potential spread of the novel coronavirus. “That is going to be your call to make.” That said, Rognstad cautioned that conditions could change: “I can’t sit here and promise you there won’t be a mandate tomorrow or next week. … If we see a community outbreak here in Sandpoint, things are going to change. It’s going to get more intense.” Currently there are nine confirmed cases of the virus in Idaho — all in southern Idaho — and no reported infections in Bonner County. That’s exactly why Rognstad said it’s
important to follow the kinds of restrictions and recommendations contained in the emergency declaration. “I think all the precautions we’re taking now are very proactive,” he said. Resident Brent Heiser testified to the Council that being cautious is one thing, but asked the Council to “keep sober decision making in this and not go over the edge.” “I think we’re well ahead of the curve, being very proactive,” he said. “What concerns me is businesses in Sandpoint potentially being shuttered due to a hypothetical issue. If there is a necessary time to come to that point, I would applaud that decision to be made, but to go
ahead and close restaurants, gathering spots … I don’t think we’re there yet.” Councilwoman Deb Ruehle spoke through mounting tears when talking about the likely effect on local businesses from COVID-19. “I became overwhelmed,” she said, relating a walk she took around downtown the morning of March 18, thinking “it is imminent at some point that I will have to tell them they can’t have their business anymore.” Regardless, “I would rather be chastised for overreacting than underreacting,” she said. “It’s not about economics when it’s about life and death.”
Bonner County declares coronavirus disaster
Commissioners: Declaration is ‘just a financial thing’
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Bonner County commissioners approved a local declaration of disaster emergency on Tuesday, March 17 following a recommendation from Bonner County Emergency Management regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic. The resolution detailed Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s state of emergency proclamation, and acknowledged that while COVID-19 may not yet be
detected in the community, “the imminent threat of [a] public health emergency is expected to affect Bonner County’s ability to protect, maintain and deliver critical services to citizens.” Emergency Management Director Bob Howard said the declaration covers all municipalities in the county, and that all agencies under that umbrella should “hereon track their expenses related to the COVID-19 situation so that potentially there could be some reimbursement”
from state or federal entities once the emergency passes. Commissioner Dan McDonald characterized the disaster declaration as “primarily just a financial thing.” “Basically, it gives us the ability, if we have to spend any money on this issue, which we may or may not, it will be reimbursable,” he said. “If, in fact, we have to engage this, then it changes a little bit of the way the county operates. It allows us to spend money out of budget.” March 19, 2020 /
Future of Lost in the ’50s in limbo By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff A post in the Sandpoint Local Forum Facebook group on March 11 created a firestorm of concern over the future of the annual Sandpoint event Lost in the ’50s. The post claimed that founder and organizer Carolyn Gleason, longtime owner of Second Avenue Pizza, had officially announced that this year’s Lost in the ’50s — the 35th annual — would be the last. The post garnered more than 100 comments, most expressing shock and dismay at the so-called announcement. Some offered ideas for fundraising, moving the car show and even transferring organization of the event to another entity, such as the city of Sandpoint. For Gleason, it’s an announcement that’s been in the making for some time, but that also has been blown out of proportion. “I have said for years: ‘I will do this until I cannot do this, but I have to have enough money,’” Gleason told the Reader. Gleason does not want to name names or call out any specific industry for the rising cost of putting on a multi-faceted event such as Lost in the ’50s. She said she has
always been transparent about the event’s large price tag, which she covers primarily with an annual breakfast fundraiser, T-shirt and ticket sales, car show registrations, and a rapidly shrinking pool of business sponsorships and donations. As far as whether this year’s Lost in the ’50s — slated for May 14-16 — will be the last, nothing is set in stone. Gleason said she currently has no plans to cancel the 2020 event, but that could change as the event grows closer, considering the current COVID-19 guidelines and other factors outside her control. She said people have been calling all week asking whether the event will happen given the current novel coronavirus outbreak. “Everything is kind of up in the air,” she said. Looking ahead to Lost in the ’50s in 2021, Gleason said the closure and remodeling of the Best Western Edgewater Resort and possibly the former Quality Inn on Fifth Avenue — currently not in operation — would make hosting a massive Sandpoint event nearly impossible. “It’s circumstances — you don’t have all the answers,” she said.
County road crew helps save Sagle child during storm By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff The Bonner County commissioners’ regular Tuesday business meeting erupted in applause on March 17 after District 1 Road and Bridge foreman Jason Topp detailed how local agencies responded to the weekend’s devastating wind storm — including a call that an 11-year-old Sagle boy was trapped beneath a large tree that had crushed his home. Road and Bridge personnel — in conjunction with local fire and EMS officials — utilized one of the county’s John Deere front end loaders to lift the tree, which was 30 inches in diameter, from the boy’s abdomen. Topp, who is the acting Bonner County Road and Bridge director while Steve Klatt is on vacation, said that last he heard, the child was in stable condition at Kootenai Health. “I spoke with an officer the next day who said he was in serious but stable condition. He said that the boy may not have lived had we not been there to help, and he thanked the road department for our assistance,” Topp said. “This was just the beginning of what was about to happen with this storm.” 6 /
/ March 19, 2020
The high winds, blowing snow and temperatures as low as 9 degrees Fahrenheit proved brutal across Bonner County. Northern Lights and Avista dispatched dozens of crews to help restore power to thousands of residents in the perilous conditions. “As the power companies were trying to put all this back together, lines were literally being ripped out of their hands by other trees that were falling,” Topp said. Topp said the storm raged throughout the night and into Saturday, with Selkirk Fire responding to 76 callouts in an 11-hour period. “I want to give a shoutout to dispatch,” he said. “They had their hands full.” The commissioners expressed their gratitude to Topp and his crews for their quick and decisive response during the emergency involving the child in Sagle. “That call that you made to me sent chills down my spine,” Commissioner Jeff Connolly said to Topp. “You had to make that call that might have put you in trouble but you did the right thing by getting out there and getting it done. It still sends chills down my spine right now.”
Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond
East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact — which COVID-19 has illustrated so well. A recent sampling of events elsewhere, much of it about the coronavirus pandemic: Over the weekend, Mother Jones reported that more than half of those in intensive care for COVID-19 in France were under age 60. The nation is shutting down restaurants, bars, theaters and other “non-essential” businesses. Two weeks ago, President Donald Trump said the U.S would soon have no cases of coronavirus; as of this week there are 7,038 confirmed cases and 97 deaths, according to the CDC. U.S. prisons house 2.2 million people and are prime locations for spreading COVID-19, the ACLU points out: inmates are in close proximity, have poor health care, poor ventilation, and an inadequate amount of soap and cleaning supplies. To avoid accelerated spread of COVID-19, Washington Sen. Patty Murray introduced a bill requiring employers to allow workers seven days of paid sick leave annually — and to provide 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a health emergency. The Republican-dominated Senate rejected the bill. With untold numbers of workers unable to work during the pandemic, the Trump administration says it still plans to move forward with eliminating food stamps for 700,000 people on April 1. The U.S. Department of Defense budget was $580 billion in 2016. This year it is $738 billion, The Nation reports. According to militarybenefits.info, that’s a $22 billion increase over last year’s figure. Dropping the payroll tax from 14.4% to zero is one of the president’s solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic, Fox News reports. A Trump administration source told the media outlet that the president would like to make dropping the payroll tax permanent. It funds Social Security, Medicare and unemployment. In lieu of workers paying in directly, Trump wants funding to come from general revenue. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that tax revenues as a share of the U.S. economy have fallen. Meanwhile, the L.A. Times suggests that dropping the payroll tax could destroy Social Security. Voting and COVID-19: A bill proposed in the U.S. Senate would require all states to allow voters a vote-by-mail op-
By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist
tion, with federal funding of $500 million to aid state election departments. Pets and COVID-19: There is no evidence at this time that companion animals can spread COVID-19, according to the CDC, WHO and World Organisation for Animal Health. People with COVID-19 are advised to limit their interactions with pets, and service animals should remain with their handlers. James Dannenberg, a member of the Supreme Court Bar since 1972, recently submitted his resignation. In a lengthy letter he explained his dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court, including his loss of respect for the court for its current inclination to side with wealthy interests. He also wrote, “You are allowing the Court to become an ‘errand boy’ for an administration that has little respect for the rule of law.” The letter was printed in full at slate.com. The Dutch company Lightyear has created an electric vehicle that has solar panels built into its body. The car has a 450-mile range with a single charge; that range increases with panel input. As part of its updated energy policy, JP Morgan Chase has announced it will not fund drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Goldman Sachs says it will decline to fund oil projects anywhere in the Arctic. More than a dozen banks from Europe and Australia are also declining. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in the environmental sustainability realm were quadruple in 2019 what they were in 2018, The WEEK reports. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, testified to the U.S. House on March 11 that COVID-19 is 10 times more lethal than a standard flu; he also noted that the swine flu epidemic of 2009 was less lethal than COVID-19. Blast from the past: The first case of swine flu was identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on April 14, 2009. Twelve days later, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency. Two days later the FDA approved a rapid test. And another blast: “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today.” Spoken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first inaugural address on March 4, 1933.
A column by and about Millennials
A shift in perspective By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist This past weekend was, well, you all know, tumultuous. Lending a backdrop of unease, the stores were eerily swept clean of essential supplies and the thinly peopled streets and restaurants showed the first signs of social distancing. Then, in its dramatic opening act, the first swirls of an abnormal wind began tossing around the snow and dirt in angry spurts, with frigid air riding in on strong gusts. As the sunlight faded into Friday dusk, the first cracks and creaks of trees sounded in the background; their strong roots coming loose in the spring-dampened dirt. Laying in bed, in our small house tucked under a swath of tall cedars, we began to hear the thunder of falling trees. Unsure of the direction of their tumbles, we raced to our cars to head to a safer sleeping space — struggling to find a route unblocked by downed trees or waving power lines. After the storm eased, the following days flew by in a flurry of humming generator engines, buzzing chainsaws and the chaos of collective damage control by the community; all ending with a Monday morning coffee conversation between my boyfriend and me. He said, “You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about the madness of the weekend, and the sort of survival state I
Emily Erickson. mentally entered to get through it. And, it just made me think of people living in areas of conflict or disaster, where they feel like that all the time.” After a pause and a sip from his mug, he continued, “There’s just very little room or mental capacity for anything non-essential — especially luxuries like creativity, music or art. And, I guess I’m just grateful to get to experience those things.” His perspective struck me, unclenching a tightness in my chest that I didn’t realize I’d been hosting, and replacing that lingering anxiety with a grateful ease. I felt clarity about my current circumstances, and how truly good they are, in comparison to so many others. Now, sitting here writing this, the understanding that I’m so fortunate to have the time and headspace to put words to paper, is not lost to me. This mental shift has been so liberating in a time of unease, that I’d like to share
another story demonstrating the strength and beauty of a clear perspective. In the spring 2010, my mom left the hospital with a diagnosis she never expected: pancreatic cancer and months to live. This news came to her at a time when she was in the middle of reclaiming her zest for life after a long divorce, at an otherwise incredibly healthy 55 years old. Although my mom didn’t simply arrive at a clear perspective, in the weeks following her diagnosis, I remember her sitting on the river bank in the sun, behind the little house she fixed up herself, undoubtedly reflecting on her life and circumstances. After she died that fall, my siblings and I found an email my mom had written to her best friends, informing them of her diagnosis. The email, sent at the same time of her riverside-sitting spring, concluded with the perspective on which she had arrived during her reflections. My mom wrote: “I smile and laugh, I love my little house on the water, and I’m so grateful for the fabulous children and best friends the world has to offer. I have always enjoyed the very simple things like the sun on my face, sitting by the water, [and] going for a walk. I’ve never needed or wanted for a lot of material possessions, and have never been truly envious or jealous. “While I’ve had some dark parts in my life and some bumps in the road, those are
behind me and I am truly happy. Many people never find that kind of happiness in their entire lifetime, so I am grateful each and every day. “So I plan on taking this one day at a time, being grateful for each day I am given, living each day I am alive.” Taking my mom’s lead,
I’ve come to realize that even though there are a lot of unknowns in our current circumstances, and it is easy to get lost inside the swirling fear, taking the time to find clarity, gratitude and perspective can offer reprieve, even in the most trying times. Be well, Sandpoint.
March 19, 2020 /
More options for the geese…
Bouquets: • A special Bouquet of thanks to all of the crew members who worked their butts off this frigid, blustery weekend to restore power to the county. It was a rough weekend with lots of trees down, roads closed and homes dark and cold. When the rest of us hunker down for the storm, these folks go to work. My hat is off to them and everyone else who pitched in last weekend. GUEST SUBMISSION: • A HUGE thank you to the skilled and dedicated folks who helped restore power to all of us after Saturday’s storm. We live on Sagle Road, and all around there were huge trees uprooted, power poles snapped off and lines laying hither and thither. The power company crew (some brought in from Washington) worked for MANY hours on our rightof-way (which has lines feeding power to many of our neighbors) to get everything back together, even in the dark and cold. Our gratitude is boundless! — Submitted by Denise Zembryki Barbs: • I know very little of what I say in this column will persuade people to stop hoarding certain items, but if I reach one person, it’s to say this: There is no reason to panic buy at the grocery store. The supply chain is fully intact and operational. Please use common sense and restraint and don’t fill your cart with items that others might also need. Practice restraint. By filling a grocery cart with hundreds of rolls of toilet paper, you realize you’re depriving someone else from buying some, right? That someone else could be a fragile senior citizen or vulnerable family — or simply someone who happened to run out of toilet paper during the worst week to run out of toilet paper in the history of the world. We’ll get through this if we keep our heads about us. Let’s work together and follow the advice of health professionals. 8 /
/ March 19, 2020
Dear Editor, The city having exhausted its options for the geese is untrue. Companies that sell the plastic dogs say they’re only effective for short, intermittent periods. An uninterrupted summer was useless. PETA tells us that birds have a different breathing apparatus than humans, and gassing, as is planned, is extremely slow and painful. The two border collies reportedly used reduced the geese population by 80%. The efforts lost luster due to inconsistency. Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, B.C. — a much larger (and more coiffed) park than City Beach — handles its goose population with ease, moving them every spring/fall without incident. The park manager takes his one dog every evening and early morning for a week or two, and lets him run around the park. That’s it. No one gets hurt and the agitated geese leave and nest elsewhere. No need to wait for the babies to hatch then catch the entire flock as the parents would never leave their offspring, then gas them off site. No need to muse about what to do with “the meat.” There are other untried humane methods: a harmless fume, sprinklers, glow rocks, edge grasses. Oiling the eggs is a last option. Canada Geese are an internationally protected species and a permit does not allow eradication or ecological domination. Death should not be an option. The water is not polluted (Dr. Ford, Harvard, Public Health), bacteria is harmless (Dr. Hicks, U of Min), poop 1/100th of the claimed amount (Dr. Manny, U.S. Geological Survey). Try again Sandpoint. Be better. Is it really any worse than the multitudes from Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls visitors who left their Costco garbage along the beach? At least the geese live here and invest in the local economy and aesthetics with their natural beauty.
writes a letter to the editor either here or in the Bee, one should be doing so with more than one brain cell engaged. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic. The Republicans are getting desperate, as they know 10 months from now we’ll be saying President Biden. Lawrence Fury Sandpoint
Despicable behavior... Dear Editor, In the case of Swinomish Indian Tribal Community v. BNSF Railway Company, a court of law last week finally held BNSF accountable for failing to honor its commitments to a Native American tribe. In 1989, BNSF sought permission from the Swinomish tribe to operate trains through its reservation in western Washington. The Swinomish agreed but with conditions, including that BNSF limit trains through the reservation to one eastbound and one westbound train per day, and that BNSF submit an annual report to the tribe identifying the cargo being transported through the reservation. Not only did a federal court find that BNSF has been violating these commitments for years, the court described a pattern of despicable behavior, in which BNSF regularly ignored the tribe’s requests to honor their agreement. The court even
Matt Nykiel Sandpoint
Thanks for your service… Dear Editor, In this time of health crisis, I would like to give a great big thank you to all in our community who continue to provide us with services. It may be a health danger to them as they do so. Thanks to postal deliverers, teachers, all in the medical world, grocery clerks, elected officials, clerks in every kind of store, the electric company, our churches, our volunteer organizations, our library, our internet providers, the propane truckers and all others whose tasks help us all. Living in a smaller community than a large city does make us all aware of how they impact positively on our daily lives. Thank you. Marty Browne A fortunate senior citizen resident in Bonner County
Lori Reid Ponderay
Think before you write... Dear Editor, A Bob Johnson had a short letter in the March 10 edition of the Daily Bee, in which he blamed the coronavirus on China and the Democrats trying to win the election. Trying to refute such nonsense is like trying to punch a hole in the air. Let’s just say that when one
admonished BNSF’s attorneys, who were caught misrepresenting the law in this case. BNSF’s disgraceful treatment of the Swinomish people is shocking and yet another example of corporate greed selfishly pursuing its own interests at other people’s expense. The Swinomish tribe’s courage to stand up to BNSF and steadfast demand for justice is truly inspiring.
Cash out amid COVID-19?... Dear Editor, Because the coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to three days, people who live in an area where the virus is known to be present should consider not dealing with cash or coin when they are out and about, and use debit or credit cards to complete transactions. After inserting their card, they should wipe it off with an alcohol disinfectant. I guess you could ask a doctor if this is a valid idea. James R. Johnson Clark Fork
Editor’s Note: Reports on this are somewhat divided. The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Business Insider, USA Today, CNBC, the U.K.based Telegraph and others have all carried stories about concerns that bills and coins can transmit COVID-19, with some claiming the risks are higher than others. Reports that the World Health Organization has advised consumers to use “contactless” forms of payment – i.e., Google Pay or Apple Pay – to avoid exposure from cash have not been confirmed, and even denied by at least one WHO spokesperson. Ultimately it matters more that you wash your hands and avoid touching your face, whether you’ve handled cash or not.
By Bill Borders
Mayor’s Roundtable: COVID-19 state of emergency By Mayor Shelby Rognstad Reader Contributor We are seeing COVID-19 continue to spread in our neighboring states and we now have nine confirmed cases in southern Idaho. Fortunately, there are currently no reported cases in Bonner County. In an effort to do everything within our power to flatten the curve, or slow the spread of this pandemic, it is incumbent upon all of us to do what we can to protect our community. For this reason, I am declaring a state of emergency for the city of Sandpoint. The goal of which is to protect the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus. By practicing good hygiene, staying home while sick and limiting our social contact, we reduce the strain on our limited health care resources and we save lives. I encourage everyone to visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website to learn more about the coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and your loved ones. The CDC has clear guidelines for 15 days to
slow the spread of the virus. Make a plan to address sanitation and safety in your home and workplace. Gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people. Everyone should practice social distancing of six feet or more in the workplace and in public. For restaurants and bars, I strongly encourage you to limit your operations to curbside take-out only. In-house seating is not recommended for the health and safety of everyone. Take-out service of sealed alcoholic beverages will be allowed for licensed businesses in an effort to support local business to the greatest extent possible. City Council and Planning and Zoning meetings will be limited to necessary staff and public who are presenting to council only. All of our meetings are streamed live on our website (sandpointidaho.gov) and we have opened up a conference line that will let you call in and share your thoughts/comments during the open public forum and on agenda items. The number to call is 208 9462092. The host extension number is 1738#. City Hall will remain open and continue
to provide the necessary services expected by our residents. That said, all non-critical staff will work remotely and conferences will happen electronically to reduce the risk of spread. I am confident that our community will remain resilient in the face of this challenge. We are fortunate to have the benefit of learning from other cities that have developed processes to mitigate community spread. In taking these precautionary steps, we are well ahead of the curve and are well poised to minimize the impact of COVID-19 in our community. The reason we are taking these measures is to save lives. Now is the time for all of us to check in with friends and loved ones, reach out to neighbors and practice kindness by offering a helping hand at any opportunity. The closure of schools will necessitate many parents staying home with their children. There will also be a significant impact on local businesses who will see less economic activity and may need to reduce workforce for a period of time. The federal government is working on a $1 trillion federal relief package to aid everyone impacted by this emergency. Congress is currently considering a $2,000 direct deposit into the bank accounts of every American within a few weeks. Similarly,
Idaho has released a $4.5 million relief package to help fund the fight against coronavirus throughout the state. The city of Sandpoint already provides qualifying seniors with a discount on utility service through the SCRUB program and, as of March 19, the city will put a freeze on all water shutoffs through April 30 to give all residents a reprieve on utility payments. I’m incredibly proud of businesses and individuals who have stepped up to serve our city and county residents. Arlo’s Restaurant has offered free lunches to kids until school reopens. The Pack River Store has also offered free lunches to kids on Fridays. I’ve reached out to numerous other businesses and nonprofits to identify ways that we can work together to meet the needs of residents during this time. Sandpoint is a community known for its strength and tenacity. We are a resilient people who know how to take care of each other through difficult times. Our city and the Regional Task Force will continue to work together to address COVID-19 and share resources to meet the needs of our most vulnerable. We are in this together, and we will get through this together.
including after school programs, social and emotional counseling, advanced placement courses, and career and technical education programs. Without the levy our district would immediately fall to the bottom of the chart in terms of per-pupil funding in the United States. Since 2009, when lawmakers in Boise slashed state funding for education, the burden of paying for our childrens’ schooling has been placed more and more on local property owners, meaning districts across the state have turned to local levies. On one hand, the local funding model, which puts Idaho at the bottom of national rankings in per-pupil funding by the state, fits well with the ideologies of area residents who oppose regional, state and federal government overreach. Local levies allow voters in each community to demonstrate the degree to which they value education, and for 20 years Bonner County residents have shown their support for schools by approving levies every two years — with some of the highest performing schools in the state to show for it. Yet, even while local stakeholders repeatedly vote to fund schools, those who wish to undermine both civil society and democracy itself cry foul. When levies fail, schools fail. Just last year, Kamiah Middle School, near Lew-
iston, was forced to close its doors when a $500,000 local levy failed to gain voter support. The result? Consolidation: middle school students were squeezed into the already crowded elementary and high school buildings, and cheap modular units were brought in to accommodate dispossessed students. There are those in our community — prominent elected officials, in fact — who would argue that consolidation is just what LPOSD needs: “Learn to do more with less,” they argue. In a recent Facebook post, one elected county official argued that district administrators should be “looking at doing more with ... efficiency, review programs that the schools may not need and eliminate them, etc.” To be sure, without levy funds, there are many programs that the district would be forced to cut, along with one-third of district staff, all extracurricular academic and athletic activities, teacher professional development, and most of the technology budget. Consolidation would undoubtedly occur, as our small rural schools would be shuttered and their students packed into already crowded schools closer to Sandpont. Combine the vocal minority in our community that opposes stable school funding with the efforts by Representative Heather
Scott to further stymie democracy at the state level through Idaho House Bill 347, which would prohibit taxing districts (including schools) from rerunning a bond proposal for 11 months after one fails at the ballots, and we find ourself in a frustrating situation in which those whose ideologies argue that communities should have more sovereignty over their own political, economic, and social lives than state or federal government, are turning to state law to try and undermine the democratic will of local voters. According to Scott, “The purpose of HB 347 [which passed the House in late January] is to protect voters from aggressive taxing districts that can and do continually run bonds over and over again when they fail at the ballot boxes.” In other words, our state representative believes that voters need to be “protected” from themselves. So much for the sovereign citizen. An educated workforce is the foundation of every community and the future of every economy. Let your county commissioners, Heather Scott, and others trying to defund our schools that our community values education, and that we will continue to fight for stable school funding despite their efforts to undermine civil society and democracy itself.
In defense of civil society Anti-LPOSD levy efforts help undermine democracy itself By Jason Welker Special to the Reader
The attack on civil society continues with a barrage of letters to the editor in recent weeks attacking the hard working educators in Lake Pend Oreille School District, accusing them of acting in bad faith in their campaign to pass the recent school funding levy and of squandering taxpayers’ money in their defense of the levy’s approval by voters from a lawsuit that is attempting to invalidate the results of last November’s election. The fact is the district was transparent about the cost of the levy to taxpayers, through both its language on the ballot — which articulated the exact amount voters were approving by voting “yes” — and in their public outreach campaign, which provided even more details about the cost per $100,000 of property value. The levy that voters approved in November 2019 did not increase taxes on Bonner County property owners, it only made permanent a previously approved annual amount that otherwise would have had to be renewed every two years. Without levy funds, schools in Bonner County would not be able to deliver the services that thousands of children depend on,
This week’s Mayor’s Roundtable has been canceled until further notice.
March 19, 2020 /
event Dear Readers,
The usual calendar page we run every week on these pages is sort of a wa future. Instead, we will use this space to highlight news about how our re ic. We don’t know what this means for the near future, but expect events t bring back the calendar as soon as we have enough events to populate it.
Local restaurants, pubs feeling effect By Ben Olson Reader Staff Restaurants and bars in Sandpoint are facing a stark new reality under the new guidelines recently issued by the Trump administration to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19. Trump announced March 16 that Americans should “avoid gatherings of 10 or more people” and “avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants and food courts” for the next two weeks. As a result, local restaurateurs and bar owners have begun announcing how they will face this challenge. While some establishments may end up closing temporarily, quite a few have announced their plans to continue serving their customers in a manner to help curb the viral spread of coronavirus. “We saw a pretty big slow down in business over the weekend, although some was likely due to the storm,” 219 Lounge owner Mel Dick told the Reader. “I would expect that business will continue to decline.” Dick recently decided to cancel music at the 219 for the remainder of March, while acknowledging that a more sustained closure could take effect soon. “I think we will have significant declines in sales and will likely close within a day or two,” he said. “There are numerous states that have required restaurants and bars to close. Take-out is not an option for us, nor is it really economical for most restaurants.” Most of the larger-attendance events have been postponed at the Panida Theater, said Executive Director Patricia Walker. “We have several rental events in April
/ March 19, 2020
and May that are still in place,” Walker said. “A great deal of it will depend on the safe number to gather. At this time our movies are not near that level, and we have 500 seats for you to pick your level of social distancing.” Walker said the Panida will continue with movie programming, as typical attendance falls below meeting thresholds, but she acknowledged the virus will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the theater. “Sadly, this will greatly impact our community theater, as will the start of construction again,” she said, referring to the second phase of downtown street construction, which commenced March 16 and is scheduled to conclude in time for Lost in the ’50s. Numerous community events have also canceled — some that were scheduled well into May. The Sandpoint Rotary Gala, the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, announced it would postpone due to the virus. The Tour de Thrift tour of area thrift stores scheduled for March 21 also canceled. The East Bonner County Library District announced it would be closing its Sandpoint and Clark Fork branches “indefinitely,” as well as the Bookmobile effective 7 p.m. March 17. The Friends of the Library monthly book sales have also been canceled. Some Sandpoint restaurants have instituted new take-out procedures to keep serving their customers during this life-changing series of events. The Burger Dock in Sandpoint announced it would be offering curbside take-out only starting March 17 to help prioritize the health and wellbeing of its team and guests. The revised hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Friday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
March 19-26, 2020
A weekly entertainment guide to keep you on your toes. To list your event free, please send an email to email@example.com. Reader recommended
of a waste of space since most every event has canceled for the immediate our restaurants, bars and other organizations are reacting to this pandemevents to be at a standstill for at least two weeks, maybe longer. We will late it. Thanks for your understanding. -Ben Olson, publisher
ffects of coronavirus ‘cancel culture’ Idaho Pour Authority announced March 16 it would be open for to-go sales only from Monday-Saturday from noon-6 p.m. “We are canceling all events and music for the rest of the month, including Girls Pint Out, the Angels Over Sandpoint fundraiser and Pass The Torch Party,” owners Jon Hagadone and Vicki Reich announced in a newsletter March 16. To help mitigate the change, Idaho Pour Authority will offer 10% off mixed six-packs and $1 off all growler fills. The Fat Pig restaurant has also begun offering curbside pickup at their restaurant. Owners Kelley and Brett Kennedy encourage their customers to call in a to-go order, after which they’ll get instructions on where to park so The Fat Pig staff can bring the food right to the waiting car. “We still want to spoil our amazing customers while we all stay healthy!” the owners wrote in an Instagram post. Pend d’Oreille Winery announced it would be offering to-go food and wine only during their open hours from noon-6 p.m., and that they have canceled all live music, trivia, piano and public events indefinitely. Beet and Basil also plans to open only for take-out orders beginning March 18 for their hours from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. They plan to update the menu daily at beetandbasil.net/menu. Ivano’s Ristorante switched to a call-in / togo orders only model starting immediately, with regular business hours remaining the same. Schweitzer Mountain Resort announced that March 18 would be its last day of the 2019/2020 ski season. “The issues we are all facing from the COVID-19 pandemic have proved challenging and for the safety of our guests and employ-
ees, we know that this is the best decision to limit the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable members of our community, both on and off the mountain,” Schweitzer CEO and president Tom Chasse said in a statement. Idaho State Parks announced they have remained open for day use and camping, though any hands-on activities and large group events have been discontinued. Premium cabin rentals and picnic shelters have been closed. The Bonner County History Museum is currently closed to the public, but is still “operational.” MickDuff’s restaurant is currently still serving inside, but they have taken tables away from both the restaurant and Beer Hall to allow for adequate social distancing as recommended by the CDC. As of Wednesday, March 18 the Beer Hall still plans to have live music with Devon Wade from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Pack River Store owners Alex and Brittany Jacobson have instituted a heartwarming program to provide 100 free sack lunches on Fridays to kids in the community while the school district is closed. Anyone interested in donating to their mission can donate via PayPal at packrivercatering@ gmail.com. Also, the Jacobsons encourage people to donate the Bonner Community Food Bank. “Please continue to stay safe and support small businesses and restaurants during this scary time,” the Jacobsons wrote. This is not a comprehensive list, as the coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every corner of our local economy.
OPEN 11:30 am
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208.263.4005 A SandPint Tradition Since 1994 March 19, 2020 /
Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist I’ll be frank, it’s been a rough week and we could all use a good laugh right about now. While the world is panicking about the coronavirus outbreak, stop for a moment and chuckle at the absurdity of... the catfish. “Catfish” is a broad term for a group of scaleless fish toting what appear to be mustaches or cat whiskers. These are called barbels, and are a fairly common feature among fish. Most barbels are located somewhere near the mouth of a fish, which makes sense, as it’s a sensory organ loaded with sensors for taste. The barbels are used by catfish to taste their surroundings in murky water and better locate food. Some catfish are considered detritivores, which is a fancy way of saying “bottom feeders.” These catfish trawl along muddy river bottoms searching for all manner of scraps from decaying meat, plants and even feces. These catfish are the underwater world’s garbage collectors and help maintain a balanced ecosystem so that disease doesn’t run rampant in what can sometimes be a very isolated body of water. Not all catfish are bottom feeders, however. Consider the dreaded candiru, or “vampire fish,” of the Amazon Basin in South America. Candirus have a bad reputation for swimming up the urethra of unsuspecting men relieving themselves in the river. Despite being famous for this, there has only ever been one modern case of such an instance, and the accuracy 12 /
/ March 19, 2020
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of the patient’s claims has been highly suspect and contradictory since the incident. The primary food source for the fish is blood taken from the gills of larger Amazon River fishes. Ranging from seven to 16 inches long, they don’t look like your typical catfish, appearing translucent with distended midsections that inflate like the abdomen of a tick while siphoning blood from a host. Some catfish can reach monstrous proportions. The Mekong giant catfish lives up to its name, capable of growing to a weight of more than 400 pounds in six years. Native to the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, the Mekong giant catfish is critically endangered as dams popping up throughout the region begin to isolate populations of this freshwater titan. Most attempts at breeding the species in captivity have met with critical failure, leading to many carcasses being harvested to feed local villages. As a North Idaho point of reference: A fish that large is capable of providing a similar amount of meat as a small elk. Another type of catfish has a very unique trait among fish. The walking catfish is capable of surfacing from water and “walking” across the land with its pectoral fins, providing a bizarre and comical sight to anyone lucky enough to witness it. Unfortunately, this trait has also helped it become an invasive species that is extremely challenging to remove. Initially imported from Thailand to be used as a food source in the United States as far back as the 1960s, the walking catfish has
made its home in waters from Florida to California and even Connecticut. If you’re fortunate enough to cross paths, you don’t even need a rod and tackle to catch one of these bad boys — just some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease. Interested in owning your very own catfish? The plecostomus is a breed of catfish commonly sold to aquarium hobbyists as a cure-all for troublesome algae clouding up your aquarium. This is not correct. While some plecostomus, often referred to as “plecos,” do feed on algae, they can’t clean out a tank on their own. The widespread presence of algae in your aquarium is usually indicative of a greater imbalance of nutrients or lack of cleaning that won’t be solved simply by adding another fish. In addition, despite having a unique sucker mouth that allows the pleco to adhere to surfaces (and seemingly suck-up algae from the walls of aquariums), not all plecos are algae eaters. Some exclusively consume wood while others are carnivorous. There are many hundred different breeds of plecostomus, many of which look very similar to one another but harbor very different needs — because of this, it’s always good to consult a professional. The library has a number of great books for the hobby aquarist, but if you have no idea where to start, ask a librarian (but you may have to wait until after the coronavirus pandemic, as the Library announced it would be closed starting March 17). Before I go, I thought I’d
go over one last type of catfish: the social media kind. Popularized by the 2010 documentary (and later TV show), Catfish, the term refers to someone who is pretending to be someone entirely different on social media, generally engaging in a long-term relationship with someone representing their real self online. Supposedly the term came from when commercial cod
from Asia would be shipped to America, the flesh would be mushy and tasteless. Once people started introducing catfish into the vats, the cod would stay agile and alert, improving the taste of the meat. I can’t tell you with absolute certainty that there is any truth to that statement, so you’d better call a librarian. Stay curious (and healthy), 7B.
Random Corner Don’t know much about soap?We can help! • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following tips for hand-washing to be the most effective: 1. Wet hands with clean, running water. Apply soap; 2. Lather backs of hands, between fingers and under the nails for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Yes twice; 3. Rinse hands well under clean, running water and dry using a clean towel or air dry them. • For those suffering from “restless leg syndrome,” there may be some relief in the form of soap. While there has been no scientific research backing the claims, online communities have buzzed with testimonials about RLS sufferers placing an unwrapped bar of soap near their feet and reporting an absence of symptoms. Dr. Mehmet Oz, of The Doctor Oz Show, claimed lavender-scented soap might work because lavender has a calming effect on the body and mind. • In 2019, Dutch artist Julian Hetzel created an art display called Schuldfabrik, which means “Guilt
Factory.” The exhibit’s mission was to point out the wasted excess in so-called First World countries. At the start of the tour, people are asked to wash their hands with a frothy soap made from the fat of liposuction patients, who can then buy a bar for $35 if they like it. • Soap carving has become a mainstay in the ASMR YouTube scene. People can trigger their “autonomous sensory meridian response” (a.k.a. “brain tingles”) by watching videos of soap whittlers, who claim the sound of soap being carved by a cutting tool helps them sleep and handle stress better. • Soap-making is reported to have begun as early as 2,800 BCE in ancient Babylon. Today, the global soap-making industry is estimated to be worth around $18 billion and expected to rise to $24 billion by 2022. • William Colgate’s company, started in 1806, is considered the first major soap manufacturing company in the U.S. The company pioneered perfumed soap as early as 1866.
A North Idaho pandemic:
Then & Now
Century-old newspapers detail the local social climate during the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff For everyone alive in North Idaho today, the novel coronavirus outbreak is uncharted territory. Across the world, leadership is suspending gatherings, closing schools and encouraging “social distancing” — in some places even enforcing it. At no time in recent memory has such a climate of precaution and fear reached the Idaho Panhandle, but nearly 102 years ago, Bonner County citizens found themselves in a similar situation: taking drastic measures to mitigate the spread of the Spanish Influenza. Comparing COVID-19 to the 1918 flu pandemic is a false equivalence — in the century since, science and medicine have made leaps and bounds to better understand viruses and how best to contain and vaccinate against them. However, looking at the local responses to such emergencies reveals eerie similarities and, if anything, provides a compelling glimpse into the local past. The first record of the Spanish Influenza making an impact on the lives of North Idahoans appeared in the Sept. 27, 1918 edition of the Pend d’Oreille Re-
view. A brief article announced that all movement of World War I military camps had ceased. Bonner County had 14 men slated to head to various training camps, who were now told to stay home. Northern Idaho News ran the announcement on its Oct. 1 front page: “The epidemic of influenza over the country is responsible for the postponement of the October call of drafted men until further orders.” Things ramped up in the days to follow, not unlike the pace at which things are currently moving with the COVID-19 response. By Oct. 11, 1918, the lead story in the Review ran with “Public meetings under state ban: County physician McKinnon receives order from state board of health.” The remainder of the headline highlighted the impact on local business — “Picture houses feel force of blow” — and directly beneath, an ornate printed box labeled “Sandpoint’s first case,” complete with a woman’s name and address. The article details the public meetings ban, which closed churches but not yet schools, and shared the importance of staying home to avoid getting others sick. “As in most other catching diseases, a person who has only
a mild attack of the disease himself may give a very severe attack to others,” the article stated, underscoring “social distancing,” circa 1918. It appears the sensibilities of basic pandemic lockdown have remained the same over the past 100 years. A frequent column, titled “Uncle Sam’s Advice on Flu: Latest word on the subject,” shared tips from national agencies for fighting the virus in a question-and-answer format. “It is very important that every person who becomes sick with influenza should go home at once and go to bed,” one October column stated. “This will keep away dangerous complications and will, at the same time, keep the patients from scattering the disease far and wide.” By Oct. 22, 1918, the front page of Northern Idaho News featured, “First death from Spanish influenza: Lumberjack from camp is first to succumb in this city.” The headline trickled down the page in partial sentences: “Many cases reported. Several cases are critical. One death at Laclede. Schools closed indefinitely. Difficult to get accurate figures as to number of cases owing to slackness in reporting.” “The influenza situation in Sandpoint and Bonner County is
much more serious at the present writing than it was a week ago, when only a few cases had appeared,” the body of the article continued, “but opinions are divided as to whether it is on the increase or the decrease.” Where social briefings once lived, news of the local influenza fight began to take over. The “City Brevities” section in the Nov. 1 Review detailed both loss of life and showed a community rallying to protect itself: “B.H. Hornby, head of the Dover mill, is among the influenza victims of the week”; “Miss Carnes, Miss Pederson, Miss Thatcher and Miss Mason of the city teaching staff have responded to the call for nurses, and are assisting wherever they can be of most service in the homes of influenza patients.” An initial announcement that schools would be reopened in early November proved premature when 10 new flu cases cropped up in a week. When the state ban on public gatherings was finally lifted on Nov. 24, 1918, public gathering places had been closed for six weeks, and schools for about five weeks. The Nov. 22 Review reported that “during the epidemic 14 deaths occurred in Bonner County directly traceable to the influenza” and “there were five
residents in other parts of the country including soldiers from this county who died at campus.” The newspapers continued to follow the flu outbreak closely through December and into January. Both Bonner County and the city of Sandpoint teamed up in December to fund a nurse who would make house calls specifically for suspected flu cases. The Red Cross was still seeking local volunteers around Christmas, one organizer quoted in the Review: “The women of Sandpoint must respond to the appeals made to them to nurse the sick or the city and county will see many people die with influenza and its complications.” However, based on the newspaper coverage of the time, it appeared that the brunt of the pandemic had passed. A special thanks to the East Bonner County Library District’s digital newspaper archive for making this story possible. Though the physical library branches may be currently closed in response to COVID-19, the newspapers — as well as the entire digital library — are available at ebonnerlibrary.org.
March 19, 2020 /
History will remember our reaction to coronavirus, so let’s be there for each other By Governor Brad Little Special to the Reader
I’ve been talking to many Idahoans about the 2019 novel coronavirus. Everyone has an opinion, and most people are doing their best to stay healthy and prevent others from getting sick. The situation with coronavirus is changing hourly, and history will remember our reaction to it. I want history to remember that Idahoans were there for each other during this very challenging and uncertain time. Let’s be mindful of our neighbors and thoughtful of our actions. If your neighbor is in the vulnerable population – the elderly or health-compromised – ask them how you can help. If you know a healthcare or public safety worker who needs childcare or help taking care of things at home, reach out to them. We absolutely need to maintain a strong healthcare
/ March 19, 2020
Idaho Gov. Brad Little. and public safety workforce right now. Individuals should not hoard groceries and household products. America’s supply chain is the strongest in the world. Grocery stores will stay open and will be continually restocked. Shop for your needs and no more. You are potentially harming your neighbors when you take more than you
need. I applaud Idaho businesses, which are being as flexible as possible with their workers at this time. State and federal emergency funds are available to help businesses deal with unexpected losses. I want businesses to communicate their challenges to my office so we can work through it together. Most people will not contract coronavirus, and the majority of those who do will experience mild symptoms. Our focus is two-fold: to prevent spread of coronavirus to the elderly and health-compromised – who can get seriously ill from coronavirus – and to preserve capacity in
our healthcare facilities. If we don’t all do our part to control the spread of coronavirus to the vulnerable population, then our healthcare facilities will be overrun with too many patients in a short period of time. That’s precisely what we’re trying to avoid through all these preventative steps. Idaho and public health officials have been preparing for coronavirus since January when the first case was confirmed in the United States. Our public health system and healthcare system is strong. It is not perfect, and every day we are improving access to coronavirus testing and getting closer to a vaccine. But we are far better off here than elsewhere in the world, and we
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
need to be grateful for that. My fellow Idahoans, let’s keep everything in perspective and take a deep breath. Keep doing your part – listen to our public health experts about what to do and, most of all, “love thy neighbor.” History will remember how we dealt with coronavirus. Let’s make sure future generations use it as a model for calm and compassion in a time of uncertainty. Visit coronavirus.idaho.gov for all the up-to-date information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Idaho.
STAGE & SCREEN
‘Social distancing’ doesn’t mean you have to be distanced from civilization
By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Regardless of whether you’re on COVID-19 quarantine at home, most of the world’s premiere art galleries, museums, libraries or exotic places are, or probably will soon be, on public health lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus. Hell, unless you have unlimited time and money, it wouldn’t matter if there was a global pandemic — you couldn’t afford the travel, admission or lodging anyway. For as much as this day and age seems like a dystopian dumpster fire, one thing we have going for us is the ability to digitize and make available some of the greatest works of human genius and examples of natural splendor — what the internet was supposed to deliver, instead of the means to commit mass civic suicide with only our thumbs as weapons. Here are a few examples of how far you can go from the comfort — and viral safety — of your couch. You might even learn something, rather than spending an hour scrolling through Netflix only to rewatch The Office/ Friends/Parks and Rec for the 50th time. A world of art As reported in early March, Google Arts & Culture has brought together more than 500 museums and galleries from across the planet to open their collections for the casual peruser. It’s a stunning achievement that, in better times, would have to be ranked among the great cultural events of the century. Check out the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which features a staggering 42,462 items drawn from across the world, spanning centuries and artistic styles. This one alone could keep you occupied for days. Meanwhile, MOMA includes hundreds of items organized in categories ranging from contemporary and installation to sculpture, abstract and performance art. You’ll recognize names like Cezanne, Van Gogh and Dada, plus discover many others. Go to the Musee d’Orsay for all the French impressionists and stylistic pioneers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Looking for the classics? The Uffizi Gallery in Firenze, Italy offers a breathtaking catalog of Renaissance and Baroque works from the greatest names in Western art history. Some other highlights include The Met in New York; The National Gallery and Tate Britain in London; The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg; the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece; The Israel Museum in Jerusalem; the National Museum
in New Delhi; Hong Kong Museum of Art in China; Tokyo National Museum in Japan — it’s literally the world’s greatest collection of masterpieces, all accessible for free and, bonus, each item comes with a zoom function powerful enough to see those tiny brush strokes that add up to genius. artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
The Smithsonian Open Access The Smithsonian Institution has for 174 years been the United States’ top scientific, historical and cultural repository. Up until recently, however, you had to go to Washington, D.C. and plan a solid three days to wander through its exhibitions. That changed Feb. 25, when the Smithsonian announced a “gargantuan data dump” of 2.8 million high-resolution images — both two- and three-dimensional — on its new Open Access platform. Not only is the collection completely free to view, visitors may also download images that include everything from photographs, documents and art pieces to interactive 3-D models of things like dinosaur skeletons, historical artifacts and pieces of game-changing technology. All of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives and the National Zoo are in on the project, which is only just beginning. Another 200,000 such images are slated to be digitized and made available throughout the year, as part of an ongoing effort to broaden the availability of its collection of more than 155 million items. This is a website you’ll want to bookmark. si.edu/openaccess Library of Congress children’s books In all likelihood, at some point you will find yourself sequestered at home with some kid(s) and, odds are, they’ll be even more bored than you are. As anyone who has ever spent time around bored kids knows, there’s nothing worse than bored kids — and nothing better for them having an adult read to them. The Library of Congress in May 2019 made available 100 historically significant kids’ books spanning the eras, from classics that are still standards today to those that were published and disappeared from print in England and the U.S. before 1924. There’s The Book of the Cat, published in 1903; Children of Our Town, 1902; Gobolinks, or Shadow-Pictures for Young and Old, 1896; and sure-to-be-a-hit The History of Insects, 1813. Not only are many of the selections interesting for their age, but the digitizations are immaculate, giving readers the
opportunity to experience both the text and the often incredible illustrations. We find Denslow’s HumptyDumpty, 1903; and The Cheerful Cricket, 1907, of particular charm. loc.gov/collections/childrens-book-selections
The Remote Scream. Courtesy.
East Bonner County Library digital collections We would be sick in the head not to give a nod to the East Bonner County Library’s Digital Library offerings, which — with your library card, of course — give access to everything from books, music and videos to magazines and homework help for kids. Here, too, we’ll have to give props to the library’s amazing database of historical newspapers (eastbonner.advantage-preservation.com), which range from the 1890s to 2009 — perfect to catch up on your local genealogy project or just get a fascinating peek at area history. ebonnerlibrary.org/index.php/eresources Open Education Database If you still can’t find anything to pique your interest among these selections, take a random chance and hit up any of the “250+ Killer Digital Libraries and Archives” curated by the Open Education Database and offered — mostly — for free to the general public. Organized by state, the list runs the gamut from university libraries to research institutions, state agencies, nonprofits, local libraries, specialist archives — if you have an interest, you name it and it’ll be somewhere in there. oedb.org/ilibrarian/250-plus-killer-digital-libraries-and-archives
March 19, 2020 /
Ways to support local businesses and artists while practicing social distancing
By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff It’s never so apparent how much the local economy relies on people’s social nature until it becomes necessary to remain isolated. Restaurants, small shops, artists and service workers are going to be hit hardest by this period of so-called “social distancing,” so it is important to be deliberate in supporting them in times like these. To those who are fortunate enough to receive a paycheck in the age of the novel coronavirus — here’s how to make a difference for everyone else. Avoiding dining out? Buy gift certificates Though many restaurants will offer curbside pickup options during this time, a large portion of the population — especially those with a high risk of experiencing a severe case of COVID-19 — might prefer to stick to home-cooked meals for the next few weeks. Rather than simply looking forward to that first meal out on the town after self-quarantining and eating pasta for days on end, make it a sure thing by purchasing a gift certificate right now — something that most places will transact over the phone. The funds will help keep the establishment afloat during this downtime, and it means all that’s left to pay later is a generous tip for the hardworking server. Show canceled? Buy merch Performers across the world are canceling tours in an effort to slow the spread
/ March 19, 2020
of the virus. Many musicians, comedians and theater troupes rely on ticket sales as their main source of income, and now find themselves giving refunds for tickets already purchased. Whether fans have already purchased those tickets or intended to in coming weeks, they can support artists in a different way: merchandise. Many bands have online stores where they sell T-shirts, hats, stickers and more, which can be shipped straight to people’s doorsteps. In lieu of seeing a show, support artists in the meantime by repping their names. Rather than that, consider donating to a Kickstarter or Patreon account an artist may have set up for a particular album or project. Want to shop small from home? Inquire about shipping or pick-up options When it comes to social distancing, online shopping seems like the go-to method for scratching the shopping itch or replen-
The specials board at Spud’s in Sandpoint. Photo by Ben Olson. ishing the cabinets. However, and especially in these trying times, small businesses need a boost. Many small businesses will offer shipping specials during this time, and allow the purchase of gift cards over the phone. In the case of groceries, those looking to shop small should inquire with their nearest family owned grocery store about pick-up and delivery options. Davis Grocery & Mercantile in Hope is currently offering custom grocery ordering and pickup for those who want to minimize their time in public places. Call a favorite local establishment to find out if these options are available. Had to postpone that haircut? Pay anyway It makes sense in the current climate that some people may choose to cancel appointments that involve close contact with others. A haircut can certainly wait until this period of social distancing is over. The same goes for manicures, massages, music lessons and the like. However, people working in those industries rely on individual appointments for financial stability, and a slew of cancelations all at once is devastating. When canceling, consider paying for that service in advance and make the appointment once things return to business as usual. Have other ideas for helping out small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Italy, they bang on pots and pans to show solidarity. Let’s do the same here in Sandpoint
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert
There are a lot of great coronavirus FAQ articles circulating out there, addressing questions like: “What does ‘flatten the curve’ mean?”; “Do I still need to socially distance myself, even if I’m young and healthy?”; “How does a ‘mild’ case of coronavirus present?” NPR and The Atlantic both offer great pieces on the topic. The Centers for Disease Control also offers an FAQ page (though a lot harder to sift through): cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.
By Ben Olson Reader Staff
The human spirit is a resilient, powerful thing. As more and more of us are coming to grips with what may be a long period of uncertainty and economic downturn, we need to begin finding ways to reach one another on a human level. This is especially important if the virus reaches Bonner County and we have to implement shelter in place orders in the future (thankfully it hasn’t come to that yet). Several reports have come from Italy – currently under lockdown to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus – that homebound residents in increasing numbers tromp out to their front porches and open windows every evening to bang on pots and pans with others in the neighborhood. I love this. Not only is it a way for folks to communicate with their neighbors, but there’s something uplifting about drowning out our collective sorrows with a healthy yawp of noise – be it from pots and pans or musical instruments or our own voices.
Let’s do this, Sandpoint. Friday, March 20 at 6 p.m., let’s make some noise. Open up the windows, head out to the front porch, build up that bonfire in the backyard and make some noise. Let your neighbors know you’re there. Let your friends and family know that you are not going to let this pandemic – nor the economic tailspin it has caused – take away your beautiful human spirit. Musicians, take out your instruments and make some noise. Singers, serenade us
you know of anyone who needs with your songs of love and loss. Woodworkers, clack tohelp in any way, please let me gether your scrap wood pieces. know. My email is ben@sandKazoo players, blast that kazoo pointreader.com. We’ll get through this, to the heavens. It doesn’t need Sandpoint. Now make some to last long - just a minute of mirth will likely bring smiles. noise! It is easy to lose hope in times of Head out to your front porch, or open crisis, but up your windows on Friday, March 20 at it’s even 6 p.m. and let your neighbors know you’re easier to lift there. Bang on pots and pans, blow on a someone trumpet, howl at the sky. It’s your world. else up that Let’s celebrate our resilience needs it. If
Make Some Noise!
The Killers’ acclaimed 2004 album Hot Fuss is one of the first albums I loaded onto an iPod. Since then, I’ve kept a soft spot in my heart for everything the band creates. The Killers dropped the single “Caution” on March 12, the first track off their upcoming album Imploding the Mirage. It’s an upbeat track, reminiscent of the euphoric pop for which the band has become best known. I know it will be in my frequent rotation as the days grow longer and warmer.
For only being a six-episode series, the PBS Masterpiece production Press packs a punch. The show, which aired in 2018, details the rivalry between two British newspapers. The complexity of the characters really makes this mini-series, especially the strong female leads. The setting and journalism-driven conflicts might be especially appealing to those of us who understand newsroom jargon; nonetheless, Press is a worthwhile glance into the cutthroat world of news.
March 19, 2020 /
Taking a shot — Part 2 By Marjolein Groot Nibbelink Reader Contributor
From Northern Idaho News, March 13, 1923
CABINET CABLE BRIDGE COMPLETED LAST WEEK LONG BRIDGE BEING REPAIRED AND OTHERS INSPECTED BY AN EXPERT The bridges of the county have received an unusual amount of attention from the county commissioners since the first of January, and the result, when all plans are carried out, will be better and more substantial service than for some time past. The first demand for bridge attention came immediately after the commissioners had taken office in January, when the Cabinet cable footbridge across the Clarks Fork river was carried out in a storm. The bridge has a span of 476 feet and to replace it with material sufficiently stronger to withstand future storms, has been no small undertaking. The work was completed only last week. The commissioners also found the long wagon bridge in need of immediate repairs, and all winter a crew has been at work replacing the stringers on which planking of the bridge rests. It was found that many of these stringers had rotted so badly that they had ceased to afford any support. Since the work of replacement has to be done from underneath the bridge on a moveable scaffold, only a small crew can be worked, and it is expected the job will require another motnh for completion. All other bridges in the county are undergoing a thorough expert inspection by Harry Nesbitt, with a view to making all repairs needed to place them in an absolutely safe condition. 18 /
/ March 19, 2020
I thought about getting a gun last year. I’d been feeling vulnerable after a physical altercation in my home and, when nine month later a grizzly considered stepping into my tent, I suddenly felt bear spray and a machete just didn’t cut it (pun intended). I had to be aware of my reasons and purposely pondered the responsibility of owning a firearm. I asked others why they had their guns and applied these reasons to myself. When I realized my desire was tied to fear and a need to feel stronger, I talked it over with some friends. They reinforced what I already knew: If you wish to feel confident in protecting yourself, there are many ways to do so that don’t involve firearms. It became clear that I wanted it because it was cool. A gadget to show off. A skill to add and a sure trip to paranoia. I finally decided the danger of having a deadly weapon around far outweighed the sense of security it would give me. I can see how the idea of standing your ground became ingrained in American society. The hardships of North America served as a filter to deliver a first wave of outcasts and adventurers from Europe. That group was narrowed down again to a concentration of self-sufficient settler colonists who moved Westward in the 1800s. Life was rough, people unpredictable and the landscape unknown. But do we need to go around brandishing our steel like it’s 1852 and your neighbor doesn’t speak your language and the shopkeeper might steal your horse? I understand the danger was real in 1852, but we’ve come a long way since then and I’m unconvinced the same suspicions can be logically applied in 2020. Consider that the FBI reported 94 murders associated with burglaries in 2013, out of an estimated 3.7 million home invasions. If you feel confident you should shoot any stranger in your house, this means you believe that breaking and entering justifies the death penalty and that you are dealt the extreme privilege of carrying out such a sentence. Sure, there are felons who run amok with the intent to leave a trail of violence and society is better off without them, but most intruders are people failed by the system — poor, mentally ill, unemployed — looking for easy money. Regardless of who comes into my home, I believe the only correct way to deliver justice is for law enforcement to take evidence and bring the alleged perpetrator to trial. I would rather suffer the assault than take a life. It’s simply not my place to inflict gun violence on anyone. I completely endorse the right to own
Stand your ground
Photo by William Greenway. a firearm — I just think it comes with the responsibility not to threaten other people with it. What does it take for a country to sway from ignorance to epiphany? Does it take tens of millions of deaths, like those incurred during slavery or World War II, before we see how wrong that is? Do we need to reach a 20% threshold, equal to the estimate of women raped in the U.S., before we start to see it as a problem? Isn’t it concerning enough that more than 572,000 people died by firearms in our country between 1999 and 2016? It won’t be long before all of us will know someone affected by gun violence. So, I found myself trying to make sense of all those dead people while staring at my bedroom ceiling at 2 a.m. If that many of us have been hurt by a behavior pattern, why do so many of us deny it is absolutely prudent to address? We have been working hard to get rid of racism since the ’60s, and more recently are tackling sexual violence with the #MeToo movement. But when will we gain the same insight around these offhand gun threats; for screaming “shots fired” into an infant’s face; for pretend-shooting strangers or gunning down that drunk neighbor who haplessly stumbles into the wrong house? Also, if people truly do not see the logic in keeping guns away from a fenced-in crowd of people, children and alcohol, I suggest they go get a brain transplant. I am very impressed with the ability of Americans to adjust their attitude in little time. The rapidity of change on race and gender issues is astonishing. When I travel through Europe every June, I am amazed by the resistance to revisit sexism and racially insensitive customs. I think this is due to that culture being older and traditions are an important way to preserve an identity on a crowded continent. Our culture in the U.S. is comparatively new and we’re remarkably open to new ideas and serious self-reflection. I applaud this flexibility and think it’s unique. This
keeps me optimistic that change is inevitable, and we will see it happen. Hopefully it won’t take too much longer. Marjolein Groot Nibbelink is a transplant who left The Netherlands looking for a place to live that suited her personality better. After an intentional search covering more than 30 countries and four continents, she chose Sandpoint in 2014. She shows her love and care for this place by being engaged in local and national issues.
I’m telling you, just attach a big parachute to the plane itself! Is anyone listening to me?!
SCIENCE FAIR HIGHLIGHTS
Top: Sandpoint High School junior Riley McEvily demonstrated the flammable characteristics of methane March 12 at the 2020 Science Circuit, soaking his hands in a tub of soapy water that had been pumped full of the gas before senior Conrad Becker set the liquid alight. Bottom: Juniors Keegan Nelson and Nikolai Braedt (L-R) showed many of the 580 LPOSD fifth- and sixth-graders in attendance the power of electrolysis to create hydrogen fuel. “It’s great to see it all come together,” said SHS science teacher Mike Martz.
Woorf tdhe Week
[adjective] 1. subject to being revised, improved, or made more accurate
“His corrigible theory was dissected by the panel.” Corrections:
1. Fathers 5. Urarthritis 9. A small wooded hollow 13. Way out 14. Shot from a bow 16. Double-reed woodwind 17. As well 18. Lava 19. Killer whale 20. Darlings 22. Water tight 24. Tears 26. Water vapor 27. Marked by stripes 30. In a forward direction 33. More pleasantly warm 35. Horse 37. A large vase 38. Short person 41. African antelope 42. Loose-fitting 45. Fierceness 48. Announce 51. Rifle knife 52. S-shaped moldings 54. Distribute 55. Apparently 59. Scrawny one 62. Streetcar 63. Ancient Celtic priest 65. Fit 66. Brute 67. Leaky 68. French for “State”
Solution on page 18 69. Publicize 70. To be, in old Rome 71. D D D D
DOWN 1. Fathers 5. Urarthritis 9. A small wooded hollow 13. Way out 14. Shot from a bow 16. Double-reed woodwind
45. Fierceness 48. Announce 51. Rifle knife 52. S-shaped moldings 54. Distribute 55. Apparently 59. Scrawny one 62. Streetcar 63. Ancient Celtic priest 65. Fit 66. Brute 67. Leaky 68. French for “State” 69. Publicize 70. To be, in old Rome 71. D D D D March 19, 2020 / R / 19
17. As well 18. Lava 19. Killer whale 20. Darlings 22. Water tight 24. Tears 26. Water vapor 27. Marked by stripes 30. In a forward direction 33. More pleasantly warm 35. Horse 37. A large vase 38. Short person 41. African antelope 42. Loose-fitting
We will get through this, Sandpoint.