Where kids can get free lunches By Ben Olson Reader Staff Whoever said “There’s no free lunch” obviously doesn’t know the heart of this community. The reality is that many schoolchildren rely on school for a hot, nutritious lunch every weekday. With school canceled district-wide until at least April 20, there have been several organizations and businesses that have stepped in to make sure no child goes hungry during this outbreak. The Lake Pend Oreille School District announced it would provide free sack lunches to anyone 18 years and under on school days at the following three sites: Clark Fork Jr./Sr. High School from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Kootenai Elementary School from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Farmin Stidwell Elementary School from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The youth themselves must be physically present to pick up a sack lunch, per federal law. The Pack River Store has partnered with The Burger Dock to make hundreds of sack lunches available for children to pick up seven days a week with no time restrictions. Pack River Store owners Alex and Brittany Jacobson said they felt a need to make sure local schoolchildren were getting enough to eat during school closures. “Alex and I have two kids, and the
/ March 26, 2020
thought of them not having food to eat during this time of financial uncertainty brought me to tears,” Brittany Jacobson told the Reader. “So I asked Alex how many lunches he wanted to offer and he said, ‘You know me, I like to go big. 100.” It turns out “big” was just a start. The Jacobsons posted on their social media about the program and were blown away that it was shared 800 times. “People started calling the store and messaging us, asking how they could help,” Brittany said. “So far, folks have donated over $7,000.” What started small with once a week lunches has now morphed into seven days a week, with multiple pickup locations scattered about the county and hundreds of free lunches available. Brittany said Savannah Clark from the Burger Dock reached out to see how she could get involved, too, which helped them reach more students and locations. “The amount of support and community involvement has been overwhelming,” Brittany said. “It has been a pleasure witnessing the love and kindness in our small town firsthand. During a time of utter uncertainty, it’s nice for something to feel ‘right’.” Lunches are available to pick up seven days a week from the porch of Pack River Store, located at 1587 Rapid Lightning Road east of Sandpoint. Brittany said offering
lunches to be picked up on the porch avoids families having to ask for lunches inside – they can just pull up, grab however many sacks they need and be on with their day. Aside from Pack River Store’s regular porch pickups, lunches will be made available Mondays at Sagle Conoco starting at 8 a.m., as well as porch pickup at Burger Dock starting at 8 a.m., and Fridays at Arnie’s Gas Station in Kootenai starting at 8 a.m. “There is no shame in making sure your children are fed, and your bills are paid,” she said. “Everyone is in the same boat right now. Thanks to generous donations from people near and far, food from Schweitzer Mountain Resort and volunteers, we have the funds to provide lunches seven days a week. “We are all in this together.” Arlo’s Ristorante has also offered free lunches for schoolchildren Monday through Friday with no questions asked. They offer curbside pickup between 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. with a rotating menu of grilled cheese sandwiches, ravioli, pasta dishes and more. “We really want people to take advantage of this,” said co-owner Jessie Guscott. “We’ve gotten several donations from the community to help keep this going.” Guscott said to pick up a free lunch just call Arlo’s Ristorante at 208-255-4186 and they’ll meet you at the curb.
PEOPLE compiled by
SOCIAL DISTANCE EDITION: “What’s the weirdest part of this whole outbreak?”
“Teleworking… And the idea of avoiding the same people I’ve been working with for the past few weeks.” Ed Ohlweiler US Forest Service Sandpoint
Carrie: “Watching our idiot president mismanaging this crisis.” Dan: “Understanding that something so tiny and invisible to us can cause such havoc in modern times.” Carrie and Dan Logan Retired Sandpoint “If there’s a silver lining to this epidemic, I hope it makes people realize that, despite our differences, we are better when we work together for a greater good.” Steve Sanchez Pend Oreille Surgery Center Hope, ID “The weirdest part is how widespread the impact has been despite not knowing anyone who’s had significant health issues due to the virus.” Justin Landis Solving tech problems and making music Sandpoint
“How dystopian this all feels. And also, toilet paper? Really?” Britta Mireley FSPW Sagle
We’ve had to endure some rough changes since last week (“Thanks, Captain Obvious.”). Our current delivery locations are as follows:
Sandpoint: Super 1, Safeway, Sandpoint Super Drug, Winter Ridge, Joel’s Mexican Restaurant (rack outside), Sandpoint Exxon Express (gas station by the Long Bridge), Conoco (rack outside the other gas station by the Long Bridge), red newspaper box on Second Ave. and Cedar, red box outside of Eichardt’s Pub, green box at Farmin Park (behind the pavilion) or on the front step of the Reader office at 111 Cedar St. Ponderay/Kootenai: Yoke’s, Kootenai City Hall / Post Office. We will revert back to our usual delivery schedule and locations when this is all over, but for now, that’s where the physical Reader can be picked up. If we’re out at any of those locations, feel free to email me and let me know so I can re-stock them. I want to urge you all to heed the advice of our health care professionals and keep up the good work social distancing. As of press time there are still no confirmed cases in Bonner County. Let’s keep it that way! I’m seeing a lot of chatter online (especially in the dreaded Facebook local forums which spread misinformation faster than wildfire), and a lot of it is rumor and conjecture. Just because we are in the midst of a viral pandemic doesn’t mean that the Reader is abandoning our ethical standards. We don’t publish rumor, we don’t publish gossip and we don’t publish fake cures and deliberate misinformation. I will also eliminate comments from our Facebook page immediately that try to incite panic or deliberately misinform the public. I’d like to offer a special thanks to all the many people who have reached out with kind words and donations to our paper since our last issue. I’m trying to help out our laid off staffers with some of this donation money, and using the rest to keep us functional and printing each week. I really, really appreciate your kindness, Sandpoint. As I wrote on last week’s cover: we will get through this. Let’s keep our heads about us and continue socially distancing ourselves. We’ll be back to bickering about nonsense in no time, I swear! One method we’re rolling out this week to help alleviate the financial burdens for Reader staff members who have had to be laid off is a Sandpoint Reader Video Podcast Series. You can read more about it on page 11, but real quick: the videos can be accessed from our YouTube account called “Sandpoint Reader Podcast Series.” Here’s a direct link: bit.ly/ReaderPodcast-1 Subscribe to keep current with new uploads. These video podcasts will cover news, history, humor, and will even feature live streamed music from our amazing local musicians currently on furlough. Best of all, if you like the videos, you can donate a buck or two to our dedicated new PayPal account with all donations going to our laid off staff members: PayPal.me/ReaderPodcast We will be broadcasting our first ever Friday Night Live music concert video podcast Friday, March 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. We plan have three different acts playing this first week: Cedar and Boyer (Justin and Jen Landis) from 7-7:30 p.m., Harold’s IGA from 7:30-8 p.m. and Josh Hedlund from 8-8:30 p.m. Watch by tuning in at the Sandpoint Reader Podcast Series channel on YouTube. com. Any musicians that would like to get in on the action, please email me at ben@ sandpointreader.com. You can either sign up for a Friday Night Live set, or film yourself and send me the video, which we’ll be happy to upload to our YouTube channel. Like a lot of other people, musicians are out of work right now for the foreseeable future. Let’s give them a virtual venue! Finally, while we’re all practicing social distance right now, it’s also important to support businesses like our amazing restaurants that are still open for take-out and curbside service. Follow CDC guidelines when picking up your food and hopefully we’ll be out of the woods soon. Take care please help those who may need it.
-Ben Olson, Publisher
READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724
www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson email@example.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org Lyndsie Kiebert (Staff Writer) email@example.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Lyndsie Kiebert (cover), Ben Olson. Contributing Writers: Ben Olson, Brenden Bobby, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie Submit stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org Printed weekly at: Griffin Publishing Spokane, Wash. Subscription Price: $115 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: email@example.com Check us out on the web at: www.sandpointreader.com Like us on Facebook. About the Cover
This week’s cover photo was taken by beloved Reader staff writer Lyndsie Kiebert, who is currently on furlough from the Reader but can’t stay away from the action, so she sent us this cool shot. Thanks LK!
March 26, 2020 /
Gov. Little issues stay-athome order for entire state
‘Leave home only to obtain essential services’
By Ben Olson Reader Staff Gov. Brad Little issued a “stay-at-home” order for the enter state of Idaho at a press conference in Boise on Wednesday, March 25. “Today I will be issuing a statewide stay-at-home order for all of Idaho,” Little said at the press conference. “The statewide stay-home order is in effect immediately and will remain in effect for 21 days.” Little ordered all Idaho citizens to self-isolate at home if they can, not just if they are sick. He said officials will reevaluate the order in two weeks. “Leave home only to obtain essential services,” Little said. “If you’re high risk, avoid leaving home. Employers that do not provide essential services must make steps necessary to work from home. Grocery stores, medical facilities – these are all essential businesses. Restaurants across the state are ordered to close dine-in, but drive through and pickup orders are still available.” Nonessential businesses will include bars, nightclubs, gyms, recreational facilities and others not included in the essential category. A full list has been posted to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s dedicated COVID-19 website here: coronavirus.idaho.gov. Blaine County in southern Idaho issued a stay-at-home order on Thursday, March 19 after a spike in positive test results for coronavirus. This marks the first time Gov. Little has issued a statewide stay-at-home
order since the coronavirus outbreak. Little also activated the Idaho National Guard to help support civil authorities and local municipalities if it is needed. “Given the spread of coronavirus in Idaho, today I’m signing a new extreme emergency declaration,” Little said. “Our state and our country are going through difficult times. The state and me as your governor need to be able to react quickly and effectively to combat the growing emergency to proect you and your neighbors.” Little said the extreme emergency declaration will allow the state to more effectively increase health care capacity, as well as to “take steps to reduce or slow the spread of the virus so as few Idahoans are infected as possible and the health care system is not overwhelmed. [It allows for] rapid and
Gov. Brad Little give a live streamed press conference in Boise on Wednesday, March 25. Photo courtesy Facebook. decisive steps to improve the conditions of Idahoans whose jobs and incomes are being harmed by the pandemic. I will exercise these powers carefully and honestly, with the goal to protect the citizens of Idaho.” When asked to clarify what essential businesses are, Little said it includes anyone “that serves in the food chain,” as well as anybody in the public safety area. He said to consult the full essential business list for further clarification. “I’m proud of Idaho and the way we support and love our neighbors,” Little said. “My fellow Idahoans, we will get through this together, as long as we play an active part in fighting the spread of coronavirus.”
School closures extend until April 20
By Ben Olson Reader Staff
The Idaho State Board of Education directed on March 23 that all school districts in Idaho implement a “soft closure” through April 20 to help fight the spread of the coronavirus. This directive includes charter schools as well as public schools within Idaho school districts. “During this soft closure period, local districts should follow national CDC guidelines pertaining to large gatherings and social distancing,” the Board wrote in a statement. “While students are not permitted in schools, the State Board expects efforts to continue facilitating essential services and student learning.” 4 /
/ March 26, 2020
The Board said it came to the decision to extend reopening schools after consulting with Gov. Brad Little, the Governor’s K-12 Emergency Council members and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare on the ongoing extent of the coronavirus outbreak and the impact to Idaho school districts. During the soft closure period, the Board asks school districts and charter schools to focus on developing and implementing a continuation of essential services to local communities. These plans include providing food service to Idaho’s underserved populations and childcare for community members that provide critical services. The Board recommends also implementing remote learning strategies to benefit all K-12 students in school
districts and charter schools. “These plans should be designed in the event that a community needs to maintain closures for an extended period or the remainder of the school year,” the Board wrote. “Though the distant instruction is not of the same quality as face-to-face intstruction, I am very proud of all LPOSD employees for being dedicated, flexible and caring during these trying times,” LPOSD superintendent Tom Alberton told the Reader. LPOSD schools will be on spring break March 30-April 3, so no distant learning will be delivered. Distant learning will continue starting April 6.
Legislative session ends By Ben Olson Reader Staff The Idaho House of Representatives voted to end its legislative session Friday, March 20 amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The House voted 32-28 to end the session a day after the Idaho Senate went home. There was some debate on ending early from several lawmakers concerned they wouldn’t be around to exercise veto override should Gov. Little veto two bills passed by the House and Senate. The two bills in question currently awaiting Gov. Little’s signature or veto include one that would bar transgender individuals from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates and another that would ban transgender women from competing in women’s sports. HB 509, which was approved March 17 by the Senate and House, is currently on Little’s desk. It would allow for changes to be made to a birth certificate only up to one year after a child’s birth if the change is made to correct an error. The legislation argues that allowing people to change their listed sex “undermines the government’s interest in having accurate vital records.” Opponents argue it would unfairly target people looking to obtain accurate documentation in a move that will result in a costly legal challenge if the governor signs it. HB 500 also was approved by the House and Senate and is currently awaiting a signature or veto by Gov. Little. If signed into law, the bill would apply to all sports teams in Idaho sponsored by public schools, colleges or universities. A girls’ or women’s team would not be open to students who were born as male, even if they identify as female. The bill does not apply to transgender students wanting to participate in boys’ or men’s sports. Furthermore, if a girl’s sex is challenged by an opposing coach, administrator or parent, it can be proven by presenting a signed physicians statement after a genital exam of the student. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office issued an analysis of both bills to Idaho lawmakers that claimed both were possibly unconstitutional and open to costly legal challenges if signed into law. Idaho Attorney General Assistant Chief Deputy Brian Kane released an opinion Feb. 25 claiming he had “concerns about the defensibility of the proposed legislation.” Kane detailed several points of weakness in the bills - specifically by requiring gender identification for only some athletes, not all, would be “constitutionally problematic.” Kane also found issue with the fact that the bill’s impact would justify the invasion of privacy required to establish an athlete’s gender.
Council opposes motions granting mayor ‘emergency powers’
By Ben Olson Reader Staff The Sandpoint City Council held a special meeting Wednesday, March 25 at 5:30 p.m. to consider an ordinance granting Mayor Shelby Rognstad “emergency powers to provide for the safety and health of Sandpoint residents.” The council voted 5-1 to oppose the ordinance after discussion. Rognstad began the meeting by commending Gov. Little on his leadership in issuing a stay-at-home order earlier Wednesday, as well as recognizing the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on Sandpoint residents and business owners. City administrator Jennifer Stapleton stated that the city will continue providing essential services to the community. “We want to remind our community
members how to access our commununity services online,” Stapleton said. “Building and planning permits can be also be applied for over the phone.” Stapleton said city offices would close at the direction of Gov. Little effective 8 a.m. March 26. “We will to a great extent be a virtual City Hall,” she said. Rognstad said the ordinance was introduced due to a large number of emails and requests from the community to take more stringent action to guard against the impending threat. “Things have changed with the governor’s announcement this afternoon,” Rognstad said. “My feeling is that the governor’s stay-at-home order has taken every action that I would conceive of, right now, and that this council would have taken through this ordinance.”
Rognstad said the motion could have potential value if the governor changed his mind in two weeks and it would allow the city to remain “nimble and responsive” to a situation that changes daily, if not hourly. Councilwoman Deb. Ruehl made a motion to table the ordinance to next week’s meeting, as the council has adopted weekly tele-meetings during this crisis. It was seconded and discussion centered around the fact that the community at large was mandating itself without an edict from the city. “I’d rather not pass the ordinance tonight, but move on week by week,” Councilman Joel Aispuro said. The motion to table to ordinance was opposed with a 5-1 vote, with Ruehl being the only yea. Councilman John Darling then made a motion to deny the ordinance, after discussion acknowledged the ordinance could be
brought up again as further situations call for. “I believe we have all the guidance in place at the state level,” Darling said. “I think this ordinance is out of date ... and I’m not comfortable moving forward with any kind of mandate at a local level yet.” Council President Shannon Williamson agreed the motion should be opposed, but expressed concern that she didn’t want to “take any tools off the table we may need in the future.” The motion to oppose the ordinance granting emergency powers to the mayor was opposed after a 5-1 vote, Councilman Andy Groat being the only nay vote. The Mayor, the city administrator and all councilmembers expressed pride in the community for their continued diligence in helping to fight the spread of coronavirus. The special meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Rep. Scott posts article to FB labeling COVID-19 a ‘hoax’ By Ben Olson Reader Staff
Scott posts blog by anti-government pastor Chuck Baldwin
Task Force, as the “chief fearmonger of the Trump administration.” Baldwin goes on to write, “If it’s not a hoax, the virus IS being As the coronavirus used as a completely exaggerated, outbreak reached North super-hyped, super-inflated psychoIdaho last week, Idaho state logical ops campaign against the Representative Heather American people – a coordinated Scott, R-Blanchard, posted full-court press of intimidation and an article on her Facebook fearmongering by the government, page Friday, March 20 labeling the virus a “hoax” Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard. the mass media and the CDC. And disgustingly, many so-called patriot as well as “exaggerated, subloggers and broadcasters have also given per-hyped, super-inflated psychological ops themselves to grotesque fearmongering.” campaign against the American people.” In the blog article, Baldwin also encourThe blog Scott posted is titled “A ages people to ignore warnings from the Contagion of Fear,” authored by a far-right government and CDC to socially distance anti-government pastor named Chuck Baldwin, whose Liberty Fellowship church in the Flathead Valley of Montana has drawn such extremists as Randy Weaver and neo-Nazi activist April Gaede. Baldwin has become a fixture of the so-called “Patriot” movement who was a vice-presidential candidate of the Constitution Party in 2004 and its presidential candidate in 2008. The Southern Poverty Law Center has listed him as an “anti-government extremist” on their website. The preacher often rails against homosexuality, Islam and Zionists, peppering his online sermons with anti-government ideas. “Today, there is a contagion sweeping the country alright,” Baldwin wrote in the article posted by Rep. Scott. “It’s a contagion of FEAR.” Baldwin outlines several ideas labeling the coronavirus as a “hoax” and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus
themselves to avoid spreading the virus. “The government has no authority to dictate how many people choose to congregate for any peaceful purpose,” Baldwin wrote. “... what we are witnessing is Medical Martial Law. It is unadulterated, unabashed government tyranny. … We have far more to fear from Big Government tyranny than we do from any virus.” When asked for comment as to why she posted a message that contradicted the Trump administration and CDC’s guidelines to avoid further outbreak, Rep. Scott did not respond after multiple attempts. Those on her page, however, didn’t take long to hold her to task. Dian Welle commented “Ma’am, I voted
for you. I had intended to vote for you again. This irresponsible post has guaranteed I will not.” “Pushing unfounded conspiracy theories to create wedge issues, and misinforming those you supposedly represent,” wrote Dennison Webb. “That’s grossly negligent.” Carol Stefanich Quinn wrote, “I am a person of faith and I would like to be with my congregation today, however, these are not fear-based messages we’re getting – these are safety-based messages. An ounce of prevention is going to go a long way.” Orin Moses of Spirit Lake summed it up with, “Wow, I just wasted 20 minutes of my life reading. How brilliant your stupidity is!”
City closes playgrounds, public restrooms
By Ben Olson Reader Staff The City of Sandpoint Parks and Recreation announced it would be closing its playgrounds effective March 24 to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Playgrounds affected include those located at Travers, Lakeview and Hickory Parks, as well as Sandpoint City Beach. “These measures are not being taken lightly,” said Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad. “We understand the impacts on parents trying to keep children busy and entertained. It is a matter of public health and ensuring the safety for the community as a whole.” According to the press release, the City of Sandpoint is closing playgrounds to follow COVID-19 social distance and disinfection guidelines established by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Panhandle Health District. Public restrooms at Jeff Jones Town Square, the Interpretive Center and Mickinnick Trailhead have also been closed and the portable restrooms are being removed. “The health of the Sandpoint community is extremely important,” said city administrator Jennifer Stapleton. “In order to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the virus into our community – particularly by parks users coming from communities with a known COVID outbreak – we deemed this a necessary measure.” The city of Sandpoint launched an online form for businesses to announce if they have closed or plan to close to provide that information to the Sandpoint Police Department, which is increasing its security patrols at closure sites. The form is available at sandpointidaho.gov, or accessed through the city’s
Engage Sandpoint mobile app or on the city of Sandpoint Facebook page. The form will also ask businesses if they are providing takeout/delivery service and/or taking phone or online orders. The city will launch an online directory of this information in the coming days. City officials said they believe restaurant dine-in, bar and venue closures are near 100%. Officials and public health partners continue strongly encouraging service businesses who cannot maintain the recommended social distancing to also close in the coming days, including hair salons and barber shops, fitness centers and personal treatment services. “We would like to again recognize the responsible, proactive, but difficult decisions the owners have made this week to protect their employees and the broader community,” Rognstad said. March 26, 2020 /
Judge rules in favor of district in levy suit By Ben Olson Reader Staff A decision has been reached in a case brought by a Bonner County taxpayer challenging the validity of the Lake Pend Oreille School District’s $12.7 million permanent levy. First District Judge Barbara Buchanan issued a 16-page decision and order Monday, March 16 granting the district’s motion for summary judgment and denying a competing summary judgment motion filed by Bonner County resident Don Skinner, who argued the levy’s outcome should be voided because the ballot didn’t include mandatory language disclosing the tax impact on landowners if the levy passed. On March 12, 2019, LPOSD submitted to voters a two-year supplemental levy for $12.7 million per year for two years. The levy was approved by district voters in a 4,265-4,034 vote Nov. 5, 2019. The ballot did not include a newly required disclosure setting forth the estimated average annual cost to taxpayers. The requirement was made valid by an amendment to Idaho code on July 1, 2019. Skinner filed an instant action Dec. 23, 2019 seeking a judicial judgment declaring the results of the vote void on the grounds that the election ballot did not disclose the annual cost to taxpayers. Buchanan’s decision cited case law spanning back to 1922 which stated that regulating statutes are mandatory if invoked prior to a vote and merely directory if invoked after ballots are cast. “Idaho Supreme Court set forth the standards of statutory construction in election challenges almost a hundred years ago,” Buchanan wrote in the judg-
ment. “…if, as in most cases, [the] statute simply provides that certain acts or things shall be done within a particular time or in a particular manner, and does not declare that their performance is essential to the validity of the election, then they will be regarded as mandatory if they do, and directory if they do not, affect the actual merits of the election.” Buchanan said for Skinner to prevail on his motion, he would have to present evidence to show that the omitted language from the ballot would have affected the outcome of the election. “The court … concludes as a matter of law that the plaintiff has failed to meet his burden of presenting some evidence to show that the omission of the statutory disclosure language affected the merits or outcome of the election,” Buchanan wrote in conclusion to the judgment. LPOSD Superintendent Tom Albertson said he was pleased with the ruling. “The Lake Pend Oreille School District is pleased that the District Court ruled in our favor and agreed that once an election has been held, the will of the voters should not be overruled except in a situation where it is clear the outcome would have been different,” Albertson wrote to the Reader. “As always, we remain steadfast in our commitment to quality eduation and remain focused on our mission to ensure the success of our students. During this state of emergency our focus is providing a continuation of education best possible, keeping students fed and providing support to the students and their families.” Additional reporting by Zach Hagadone.
Downtown road construction update By Ben Olson Reader Staff
City of Sandpoint construction crews are continuing with the Downtown Revitalization Project, currently working along First Avenue. According to city officials, sidewalks have been removed along First Avenue and pedestrian access is provided on a 6 /
/ March 26, 2020
temporary gravel surface. Occasional road closures may occur throughout the week. Crews will be installing storm service connections from the curb to the buildings. All business entries will be accessible. Additional work this week includes excavating for conduits and installation of electrican and irrigation. Concrete work is scheduled for the week starting March 30.
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 goings-on, including the upside of the pandemic: Harbor Freight announced they will donate their entire stock of personal protection equipment, including N95 masks, to hospitals with 24-hour emergency rooms. As well, KPTV reported that a number of alcoholic beverage distilleries have converted their operations so they can produce and give away hand sanitizers in an effort to get the cornonavirus under control. In Minnesota, after COVID-19 (C-19) forced the cancellation of a bar mitzvah, the family contacted the event’s small catering business; they asked for the food to instead be delivered to friends in quarantine and to others who would have attended, Mother Jones reported. Before the White House asked states to not share their unemployment statistics, Sen. Sherrod Brown stated via Twitter that on March 8 Ohio had 536 unemployment claims. On March 16 there were 36,645 filings. Economists have warned unemployment could go as high as 20%. Between 1931 and 1940, during the Depression, it averaged above 14%, with a high of 24.9% in 1933. Social distancing when enjoying the outdoors, courtesy of Conservation Northwest: stay local to avoid unwittingly carrying C-19 to a new area; maintain a sixfoot distance from others; bring your own lunch to limit stops; postpone outdoor group activities, and reserve outdoor trips for only family or house members; don’t take risks — hospitals and emergency rooms need space for the sick; if you’re feeling unwell, even slightly, stay home, and of course, follow C-19 hygiene recommendations. For out-of-school kids, Ranger Rick Magazine is free online through June. In D.C., Chef Jose Andres closed his restaurants due to C-19, and is converting some to community kitchens “for people in need of a plate of food...” Andres’ World Food Kitchen is taking action elsewhere, such as feeding quarantined cruise members in California, CNN reported. Beyond fever, shortness of breath and coughing, other signs of C-19: digestive symptoms (including diarrhea says CBS News) and losses of sense of smell and taste, according to The New York Times. The less noticeable symptoms may be signs of being a C-19 carrier. All that hoarded toilet paper: At 4% of the world’s population, Americans use 20% of tissue papers, with just a small amount
By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist
from recycled paper, The Guardian reports. In the last two decades boreal forest area the size of Pennsylvania has been turned into pulp for bathroom use. This has impacted Canada’s boreal forests, which absorb massive quantities of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Rasmussen Report, labeled a “right wing pollster,” reported that 25% of “likely voters” think it’s okay to delay the November election due to C-19; 62% opposed a delay. The rest were undecided; 48% said the primaries should be postponed. Meanwhile, in Congress there are bi-partisan efforts to create vote-by-mail for all states, but some Republicans are resisting. Elections were on time during the flu pandemic of 1918: election volunteers wore masks and voters spaced themselves as they queued up. AARP members who help others with tax preparations say most people fear what they will owe, but typically about 90% had refunds, primarily due to rules and programs they weren’t aware of. As long as the Electoral College stays in place, Republicans are favored to win 65% of future elections, even without a majority voting for them, according to a study from University of Texas-Austin. The EC gave the current president his win, despite his opponent having three million more votes. Blast from the (near) past: “We have it [C-19] totally under control.” President Trump, Jan.22. And, not to be forgotten in the future: Weeks before schools closed due to C-19, and after numerous displays of Republican lawmakers downplaying C-19, Republican Sen. Richard Burr, with info gleaned from chairing the Senate’s Intelligence Committee, told his top campaign donors at a luncheon that “It [C-19] is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history…It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.” He said the donors should alter air travel plans, be ready for closed schools, and be aware that the military could be mobilized as part of the C-19 response. One of the donors quietly recorded the private warning and turned it over to National Public Radio. The worldwide 1918 flu infected 25.8 million in the U.S.; 670,000 died. In the U.S. military, 50% of soldiers died from the flu, numbers driven by the Sedition Act, which threatened a 20 year sentence for “pessimistic” stories about the war. Thus ports ready to receive soldiers were not warned about flu cases on board. Business Insider says this year’s flu season has infected 32 million and killed 18,000.
Longtime Sandpoint employee announces retirement City building inspector Don Carter packs it in
By Ben Olson Reader Staff Don Carter has seen a lot change in Sandpoint in the 42 years he’s worked as the chief building inspector for the city. He’s gone through 14 mayors and 56 city council members and watched the population nearly double in his tenure. When Carter announced he would be retiring from his long-held position in Sandpoint city government, city administrator Jennifer Stapleton and public works director Amanda Wilson planned a big party to celebrate his career of service with the city. Then the coronavirus outbreak happened, causing virtually all events to cancel overnight for the near future. Stapleton said they will “drag Don back in” when this is all over so they can properly toast him at a party in the future. “Don is our institutional knowledge here,” Stapleton said. “We have two people with that level of tenure here: Don and Jackie Hanson with the Sandpoint Police Department. We will never see someone with that tenure in Sandpoint city government probably ever again.” Carter began working for the city in 1977 under an employee training program. “I started here plowing snow, doing water/sewer lines for about a year,” Carter said. When the program ended, Carter took a job at Bonner Concrete Products for a few months before he was approached by Sandpoint’s city engineer at the time. “He said there was a job open for someone to do drawings for the engineer,”
Carter said. “I had mechanical drafting in high school for a couple years and I knew the public works director too, so he said, ‘Sure come on in Monday morning, I’ve got a job for you.’” Over 42 years later, Carter has interacted with countless homeowners and contractors. His position as building inspector meant reviewing plans to make sure they met current building codes as well as inspecting buildings to make sure they meet those codes. “I really see Don as a mentor, not only for our staff in many regards, but also to the construction community as a whole,” Wilson said. “It isn’t just an enforcement matter. He educates builders about the code and the value of the code, as well as how to implement it. The code is fundamentally rooted in health and safety, so he’s the liaison between all of that.” Wilson, who served as Carter’s direct supervisor since she joined Sandpoint government, said she couldn’t help but notice that the building community in Sandpoint has always had a tremendous amount of respect for Carter. “In my perspective, he approaches things as a partnership,” Wilson said. “I’ve worked with a lot of inspectors in my career and there’s all different kinds of them. It’s an art to enforce things in a manner that is proactive and positive. I feel that Don has done his best and been successful in that.” Wilson said it’s evident that many contractors feel the same way because they constantly pop in to see him at City Hall. “People come by City Hall with no reason for a permit, they just want to see
Don,” she said. “They see him as a partner in their success as well. I think that’s pretty cool. It doesn’t come overnight.” Carter plans to finish remodeling his home and clean up his property, and said he is looking forward to riding his motorcycle and going fishing. The party originally planned for Carter’s retirement was going to be a large affair held at Matchwood Brewing Co. before the coronavirus canceled everything. Stapleton said Carter is too important to let him retire without a party, so they’ll reschedule it for when this ordeal is over with. “Don has kept us grounded,” Stapleton said. “More importantly, he’s kept us
COVID-19 response fund established for North Idaho
By Ben Olson Reader Staff A coalition of philanthropic and business partners has joined together to create a COVID-19 Response Fund that will rapidly deploy resources to community-based organizations at the front lines of the region’s coronavirus outbreak in North Idaho. The fund is anchored by the following initial donations: $50,000 from Innovia Foundation, $30,000 from Equinox Foundation and $50,000
from Avista Foundation (allocated between the Eastern Washington and North Idaho Funds). Additional funders include BNSF, Bank of America and LC Valley Healthcare Foundation. The COVID-19 North Idaho Community Response Fund will provide funding to organizations working with people disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak. This includes the elderly, the homeless, residents without health insurance and/or access to sick days,
To learn more:
communities of color, healthcare, hospitality and gig economy workers, and low-wage employees among others. Funds will not be awarded directly to individuals, but instead to support organizations, resources and efforts that help individuals and communities weather the impact of this pandemic. Grants will be administered in partnership with an advisory group to help identify organizations aligned with the priorities of the fund. Individuals and organizations interested in donating to the fund can visit www. innovia.org/give-now and select North Idaho Fund to learn more. Contributions are eligible for a charitable tax deduction.
Don Carter stands outside Sandpoint City Hall on Tuesday, March 24. Photo by Ben Olson. rooted. When I came here a little over 4 years ago and did the analysis of our workforce, we found that 60% of our workforce would be retiring over the next 5 years, and we’ve definitely seen that play out. As we’ve gone through those changes and shifts, Don has kept us rooted in the who, the what and the why of Sandpoint. That’s what’s important.”
SPOT bus routes will continue operations By Ben Olson Reader Staff
The SPOT bus system will maintain its normal Blue and Green Route schedules to transport riders to essential destinations, consistent with Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order. Paratransit services are also operating normally. “Following Federal Transit Administration guidelines, we have implemented enhanced bus cleaning and disinfection procedures to help ensure the safety of our riders and drivers,” the SPOT bus wrote in a press release. “We are asking all riders to follow social distancing guidelines when enterting and exiting the buses and when selecting a seat on the bus.” March 26, 2020 /
How you can help make masks for health care workers in need Bouquets: • The outpouring of support for the Reader has humbled me to no end. So many of you have called or emailed to offer your words of encouragement or donations, and for that I thank you immensely. I’m currently working on ways to help provide income to my staff, which all had to be laid off since our advertising revenue has mostly dried up. For anyone who has expressed interest in helping us, I urge you to not give anything you can’t afford. We will get through this, one way or another, and your donations certainly help, but I know we’re all hurting right now from this pandemic. I appreciate you all and encourage you to support whatever businesses have remained open for takeout in the near future. And again, if anyone needs help and have nowhere else to turn, please email me at ben@sandpointreader. com or call 208-265-9724 and I’ll do what I can to direct you to the proper place for assistance or help you myself. Take heart, dear readers, we’ll bounce back. • A big bouquet to all the businesses that have stepped up to provide free lunches to schoolchildren during this time of crisis. The Pack River Store and The Burger Dock have joined forces to offer bagged lunches seven days a week at a variety of locations (check page 2). Also, Arlo’s Ristorante is giving out free lunches to schoolchildren Monday through Friday, no questions asked. Uptown Bagel also offers free lunch for students Mon.-Fri, no questions asked. Way to step up, guys, especially when we’re all hurting right now. GUEST SUBMISSION: • Big shout out to Paul with the Idaho Department of Labor for responding quickly and cordially to my questions through their website’s support chat room. I know those folks are working hard right now and Paul was a great help. -submitted by Lyndsie Kiebert. Barbs: • None this week, except for my general disappointment in those who choose to hoard items that others less fortunate may need. 8 /
/ March 26, 2020
By Ben Olson Reader Staff One question that gets asked quite a bit during this coronavirus outbreak is, “How can I help?” While practicing social distancing guidelines, regularly washing your hands and avoiding touching your face are the best ways to help mitigate the spread of the virus, there still remains a nationwide shortage of protective gear for health care workers on the front lines, including gloves, gowns, face shields and glasses. Both Bonner General Health in Sandpoint and Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene have appealed to the community to help them make masks to help protect their staff during this pandemic. Erin Binnall, community development manager for Bonner General Health said sewing face masks will help keep their health care workers safe during this outbreak. Binnall shared a quick guide on how you can make a face mask and where you can drop off finished masks. What you will need:
• Cotton fabric. Tight weave like quilter’s cotton – two (2) 9-inch by 6-inch pieces. Light-colored fabric is preferred over dark-colored, as it shows soiling. Use two layers of tightly woven cotton, no flannel. Please prewash/preshrink fabric as it will be going through a commercial wash/dry. • Rope elastic. Beading cord elastic will work (you may also use 1/8” flat elastic) Cut the elastic 7 inches long and tie a knot at each end. Don’t knot the flat elastic. Instructions:
1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together.
2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the knot out in the corner. A few stitches forward and back will
3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of that same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back. 4. Now sew across the top of the mask to the next corner. Again, put an elastic with the knot out.
5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic. 6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5- to 2-inches open. Stop. Cut the thread. Turn inside out.
7. Pin three tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction. 8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice. Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.
Bonner General... Day Spa? Dear editor, I just had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff at Bonner General Hospital. So many people involved – from registration and admitting, taking vital signs, anesthesiology, the actual procedure, all the way to recovery and discharge. A lot of hoopla just to put some tendons back where they belong. Yet everybody involved acted as if their job was customer service. All introduced themselves with a smile, explained their responsibilities thoroughly and asked if I was comfortable. Am I warm enough? Do you need this? That? Um, this is a hospital. I should expect a bit of discomfort. Not according to this staff! Later that afternoon, home with my arm comfortably resting in a sling, I mentioned to my wife: “Like a day spa with a heart monitor.” To Dr. Leedle (highly recommended!) and everybody else working that morning, I cannot thank you enough for making what could be a difficult time, a pleasant experience. While I don’t recommend any-
For a full tutorial, please search “The Turban Project” on Google (note, they use flannel fabric, but cotton fabric is preferred for both layers).
If you are unable to obtain elastic, double-wide bias tape (1/2-inch wide) can be substituted. Sew the mask sandwich above without elastic. At step 8, sew around the mask once, and then sew bias tape along each side, leaving 16 inches above and 13 inches below the mask body take a tumble off the mountain bike and end up needing surgery, if something unfortunate happens, it’s nice to have such excellent care available, right here in our little gem of a town. Dan Antilla Sagle
He Can’t Weasel Out of Responsibility... Dear editor, As amazing as it is, it seems as if our President might just be able to weasel his way out of his incredible irresponsibility in dealing with the Coronavirus crisis during the weeks and months when his administration should have been doing any number of things to prepare the country. On January 22 he told CNBC that “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Now he says it’s bad, really bad. In his typical dog whistle xenophobic mode, he now calls the Novel Coronavirus the “Chinese virus”, implying that this crisis is the fault of the Chinese. Yet back in January
Mask made by Lynn Pietz. for ties. This will mimic a type of surgical mask with ties. Anyone interested in joining a list of people with info, materials and patterns, send name and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finished masks can be accepted at the front entrance of BGH between the two sliding doors. Please don’t go in the hospital. There is a clipboard to sign your name and a box to place masks inside. he wrote on Twitter that he wanted to thank President Xi for China’s hard work and transparency in dealing with the virus. Now the President says that no one could have known about the pandemic, and even says that he could have predicted the pandemic. “This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic”. Why is it that countries such as South Korea, Singapore and a huge city such as Hong Kong are able to provide tests to practically their entire populations yet the US seems incapable of even testing all those with symptoms of the disease? While the federal government obviously doesn’t bear the entire responsibility, the lack of leadership from the White House, especially in the early days of the crisis, must be a central concern. I can’t help but think that in his usual narcissistic fashion, everything the President says and does is motivated by concerns about his reelection rather than the health and safety of the population. Daniel Sherrard Sagle
Mad about Science:
Brought to you by:
video game achievements By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist Whether you love them or hate them, video game achievements have had a remarkable impact on our modern lives even to people that don’t really play games. Achievements, trophies, badges, or whatever your console of choice calls them, are essentially rewards for completing a task a developer wanted you to complete. Traditionally, video games were fairly linear products: You have a goal, which is to beat the game. Once you’ve beat the game… then what? Achievements muddied those waters, expanding on “Then what?” as well as what qualifies as “beating the game.” With the help of a little psychological trickery, video game developers bamboozled us all into going the distance and obeying orders, despite believing we had been fighting the system the whole time. These achievements generally come with a point system attached to them, a virtual measuring stick we can hold against our friends to evaluate our superiority at conquering predetermined challenges. However, it’s more complicated than just “showing off.” Researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh held an experiment in the 1960s, offering students challenges to solve puzzles. After a brief window of solving puzzles, the researcher would excuse themselves and offer the students 13 minutes of unsupervised time in the room. Research showed that the students would spend an average of 4 minutes of that unsupervised time completing more puzzles. Later, the researchers would perform the same
experiment, but offer a $1 reward for each completed puzzle in that time. The promise of a reward showed a 26% increase in time spent working on these puzzles. Achievements in video games offer developers a means to artificially increase longevity in their product while presenting a reward that’s meaningful to the player, but financially useless. It’s not feasible to offer real cash rewards for game completion, but fake rewards for numeric prestige come with very little expense, and is a generally gratifying experience for the consumer. The presence of a finite number of achievements in any given game also plays on the human brain’s desire to see tasks through to completion, a trait many erroneously cite as “OCD” or “obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Humans like to complete tasks – it’s hardwired into our DNA. So long as the task still provides an ample challenge or some level of prestige in its completion, humans are always willing to see it through. Achievements do a tremendous job of playing off that innate human desire to increase the longevity of a product. Video game achievements fulfill a similar function in our brain as food and sex, pinging the reward center of our brain, the nucleus accumbens, to release dopamine into our nervous system that makes us feel good. This release of dopamine pushes us to repeat these tasks to create a cycle called Pavlovian reward learning – named for Ivan Pavlov and his famous bell (which, by the way, may not have existed at all). Between 1886 and 1921, Pavlov performed a number of physiological experiments on dogs in a laboratory, measuring the effects of conditioning on the canines’
cerebral cortices. Basically, when the dogs performed an action, like pressing a buzzer after a prompt, the dogs would be rewarded with a treat. Over time, the dogs would begin salivating in anticipation of the treat any time they hit the buzzer, not only when the treat appeared. It’s actually considerably more complex than that, but I’m on a word count. Returning to the topic at hand, video game achievements and the influence they play in your life, most of us have spent a considerable amount of time on social media. Every time you put a piece of yourself out there for the world to see, your heart swells and your mind races with every thumbs up, heart and poop emoji. On the internet, likes are their own digital currency, displaying your marketability, reach and influence among peers. There are real-life monetary rewards for digital popularity, from increased business presence to the ability to directly sell yourself to advertisers – up to $550,000 per Instagram post. While the initial inspiration of the “like” was likely rooted in the emoticons of early-2000s instant messaging, the way in which the likes are now presented – filling your screen, blowing up your notifications with every new like, comment and subscription – are totally influenced by video game achievements. The in-your-face pop ups of video game achievements (referred to typically as “toasts”), have wriggled their way into most of the apps on your phone from banking to purchasing and most strangely, bill-paying. They make us feel good and accomplished, but most importantly to sellers: they make us want to buy more. It’s a small and inexpensive cerebral trick, playing
on one of the most primitive parts of our brains that helped us evolve into the globalized species we are today. Video games and psychology have a brief but storied past, so trust me when I say this won’t be the last time I throw some sneaky video game science in your face. While video game achievements didn’t rise to popularity until 2005, the concept was actually theorized in 1982,
initially implemented as the high score ladder that would fill so many arcades across the world. Nowadays, achievements often offer a special in-game unlock for completing them, such as a new character skin, a new mount to ride into battle upon or some other cool cosmetic effect you can tout to your friends. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s supper time and I’ve got a bell to ring. Stay curious, 7B.
Random Corner u vs. covid-19?
Don’t know much about the fl There is an effort going around attempting to downplay the COVID-19 coronavirus, with some comparing it to the common flu. Here is how it’s different: •A person with COVID-19 will currently on average infect 2 to 2.5 people. For the seasonal flu, it’s around 1.3 people. •The incubation time, defined as the time from first exposure to first symptoms, is different as well. The flu’s incubation time is 1 to 4 days with most people showing symptoms in about two days. For people infected with COVID-19, the virus can remain in a person’s body for up to 14 days before they experience any symptoms. Five days has been shown to be the median, leaving people at risk to go in public without knowing they are infected.
We can help!
• The CDC shows that the hospitalization rate is 20.7% for people infected with COVID-19 compared to just 2% for people infected with the flu. •According to the CDC, the fatality rate for confimed cases of COVID-19 is currently from 1.4 to 3.4%. The fatality rate for the seasonal flu is around 0.1% or less. This means the coronavirus is at least 10 times deadlier than the seasonal flu. Worldwide, 291,000 to 646,000 die of the flu each year, according to Johns Hopkins. •Both COVID-19 and the flu are spread through droplets from an infected person who coughs, sneezes or talks. People can catch both by inhaling the invisible droplets in the air or touching the droplets after they land on surfaces around the person. March 26, 2020 /
/ March 26, 2020
MUSIC, STAGE & SCREEN
Reader launches video podcast series
Video podcasts will feature news, history, features and live music
By Ben Olson Reader Staff With the world changing daily, we recognize that a printed weekly alternative newspaper doesn’t exactly cut the mustard during times of quarantine and social isolation. One of our sole purposes, after all, is to inform you of local events and happenings. But what happens when all the events go away and we isolate ourselves at home? We have developed the Sandpoint Reader Podcast Series to both
Photo by Ben Olson
provide online content for social ject matter for an upcoming show distance guidelines as well as ofand stay tuned for Ben and Zach fer a way to help support our staff, Drink Whiskey where we’ll talk since I’ve had to lay everyone off about whatever subject comes to to keep the paper alive through mind - and drink whiskey (when this period of uncertainty. the rest of you were panic buying The series of video podcasts toilet paper, I was laying a stock will touch on a plethora of topics, of cheap rye). including news, On the music side of things, history, humor, the Reader will also be hostfeature stories, ing a series of live concerts and community pre-recorded videos from local engagement and musicians who have seen all of live music. their gigs get canceled due to the The first vid- coronavirus. eo has already The plan is to have a Friday been uploaded, Night Live concert each week called 13 Minfrom 7-8:30 p.m. where two or utes of History three bands/musicians play a live with Zach Haga- streamed show for those of you done. In this hungry for live music again. first installment, The first Friday Night Live is Hagadone, who scheduled for Friday, March 27 holds a masfrom 7-8:30 p.m. featuring three ter’s degree in local bands: Cedar and Boyer history, touches (Justin and Jen Landis) from on our very first 7-7:30 p.m., followed by Harold’s pandemic: the IGA from 7:35-8 p.m. and finally 1721 smallpox Josh Hedlund from 8:05-8:30 p.m. outbreak in If there are any musicians or Boston. bands that would like to sign up The plan is for a future Friday Night Live to release new set, email ben@sandpointreader. videos at least com to let me know. You should once a week, have the ability to live stream with probably more. a phone or camera and a decent Reader staff internet connection. writer Lyndsie Long live music and art! Kiebert is still Watch Zach’s first video here: formuhttp://bit.ly/ReaderPodcast-1 lating her sub-
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert
During the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I tend to fall into the same pattern of meals: tacos, spaghetti, tater tot casserole, repeat. Meanwhile, cookbooks collect dust in the corner of my kitchen. I’ve made a concerted effort to open them more often in recent days, and the results have been more varied dinners and less waste — I’m actually using what I have, rather than running to the grocery store.
I love Phoebe Bridgers. Her new single, “Garden Song,” is the first taste of her upcoming LP, which will no doubt be my musical highlight of 2020. Bridgers is a gifted lyricist, painting scenes of contentedness and angst all at once. “Garden Song” highlights her airy vocals layered on top of soft synth and guitar. It’s a dream. Check it out.
My recent infatuation with the Fast and Furious franchise is three-fold. First, the original movie is a nostalgia-inducing snapshot of early-2000s Los Angeles — the fashion, the cars, the vernacular. Second, I may or may not be completely sucked in by the franchise’s basic premise: It’s fun to go fast, and especially in a really cool car. And third — Paul Walker was so, so fine.
March 26, 2020 /
The Sandpoint Eater
Quarantined in the kitchen
By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist I’ve been hitting “Mimi’s mysteries” from my freezers pretty hard this week. It’s just me and my three-legged, insulin-dependent cat, Laurel, and we’ve both been grateful for all the foiled wrapped bits and pieces buried in my freezers. He needs lots of protein, and once I have unwrapped and thawed a small package that looks remotely like fish or meat, I sacrifice it for the kitty. I’m so thankful for my freezers and the stockpile of food I always have on hand. I have been able to cook and deliver some porch meals to friends who have been short on food or time or both. I’m lucky for my good physical and mental health, and the projects I have to occupy my solitary self. I’ve been diligent about my isolation (for almost two weeks now) because I have been worried about Casey, my youngest daughter, who is pregnant in Chicago. She’s not due to have her baby for six weeks, but because her first delivery was not easy, I need a solid plan in place. If she needs me, I will get in the car and drive, drive, drive to Chicago! I have all my essentials, packed and ready. Nonperishable foods, winter gear, mattress, office/ electronics, sanitation supplies. I will sleep in safe spots, like friends’ driveways, or next to fire stations, as motels might be closed. I feel so much better having this plan in place. Whether it’s a necessary road trip, or your family’s next meal, it’s important to our mental, physical and spiritual well-being to have these plans in place. Lots of people are stressed and anxious about food right now. And even though the U.S. food supply is not in danger of being depleted, hoarders have made it difficult for us to forage the markets for simple ingredients, like flour, sugar, eggs and milk (not to mention all of the 12 /
/ March 26, 2020
paper and cleaning products). In the past couple of weeks, I have been invited to join a couple Facebook groups focused on food and isolation time spent in the kitchen. We are all good for each other. Many members in one group are professional chefs and cookbook authors who are just as worried as the rest of us. I forgot that many of these new friends live in small apartments in cities, with no freezers at all. Trying to feed their families takes even more creativity and tenacious effort while planning and shopping for meals. One thing we all have in common is making sure we waste nothing. Members often post photos of foodstuffs, looking for recommendations of what can be created from practically nothing and then stretched into another meal. There are no rules: it’s time to be creative. I recommend a complete inventory of your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer(s). Organize them by expiration date and use them up accordingly. If dried or canned goods are expired, they are often good past the date. I give mine a taste test before I pitch them. Tired looking produce? Give it a good wash and pick off the dead or wilted parts. You can blanch most everything in the produce drawer and freeze it for soup or sauces. Lots of folks (including me)
had all the makings for a festive St. Patrick’s Day dinner that didn’t happen. Consequently, I have seen myriad pictures and recipes for those untouched briskets, corned beef coleslaw, corned beef potato cakes, pot-stickers and hand pies. For new starts of sourdough, we offer up recipes and suggest names (my submission was Jane Dough). I also had a stockpile of potatoes, and a couple days ago sliced one up for frying. When I reached to the back of my fridge for the omni-present bacon grease and discovered it was actually spun honey, it put me into a funk for the rest of the day. Talk about food insecurity. Ryanne is mailing me some today and my fingers are crossed that it actually arrives before a hungry critter catches wind of it along the way. Many of us are turning to the kitchen for comfort, which is why the baking shelves are often depleted. Can’t find what you’re looking for? When it comes to baking, there are a plethora of substitutes out there, and I’ve included a link of the ones I find the most useful. There are many resources for getting your goods, too. Several of the local stores offer online shopping and pickup. I always thought of myself (shame on me) as too much of a food purist to let someone carelessly pick my produce. But this week, I placed my first
ever order, through Walmart, and it was quick and painless and the produce was nearly perfect. They had everything I ordered except garlic and I was able to stay in my car the entire time, handing my credit card through a crack in the window. When I got home, I thoroughly washed and sanitized my cache. These are the current store hours, which, like everything else in our lives these days, are subject to change, so give them a call if you need an update: •Davis Market in Hope Hours 8 a.m.-7 p.m. M-S (closed Sunday) 208-264-0539 •Miller’s Country Store Hours 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., M-F (closed Sat and Sun) – Call in order and they will fill, no minimum and no fee. 208-263-9446 •Safeway 208-263-9638 Hours 7 Days a week 6 a.m.-10 p.m. – Senior days are Tuesday and Thursday 6 a.m.-9 p.m. No online ordering. •Super 1 Foods 208-255-2417 Hours 24 hours a day - No set Senior Hours – Online ordering, pickup service minimum $30. •Walmart 208-265-8332 Hours 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m. - Seniors Tuesday 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Online ordering, pickup service minimum $30. •Winter Ridge 208-265-8135 Hours 7 Days a week 7 a.m.-8 p.m. - call in order, please limit to
under 15 items fee is $5 per order •Yokes 208-263-4613 Hours 7 days a week - 6 a.m.8 p.m., Senior Day Wednesday 6 a.m.-9 a.m., Online ordering and pickup service, minimal service fee for orders under $50 I won’t offer any recommendations about food safety because they are constantly updated, but here are some really useful links: https://www.fda.gov/food/ food-safety-during-emergencies/ food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19 https://www.seriouseats. com/2020/03/food-safety-and-coronavirus-a-comprehensive-guide.html https://www.consumerreports. org/healthy-eating/how-to-cookfrom-your-pantry/ Please take good care of yourselves and your families. Be brave, eat well and stay home. Bake up a therapeutic batch of bread. I’m low on yeast, so I’m stirring up a batch of beer bread. No self-rising flour? No problem, just refer to this substitution chart: https://www.thespruceeats.com/ingredient-substitution-chart-3054056 If you have questions or need suggestions for recipes, I am happy to help you. Email me at email@example.com - We’re all in this together, readers.
Cheddar and Chive Beer Bread Recipe
This bread is delicious, warm from the oven, slathered in butter. It’s good grilled, too. You can add other savory ingredients to suit your taste and the type of beer you use will change up the taste, as well. Good served with soups and stews.
INGREDIENTS: 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer 3 cups self-rising flour 3 tablespoons white sugar 1 tbs minced, fresh chives 1 cup small, cubed Irish or English cheddar 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add beer and continue to mix, first using a wooden spoon, then your hands. Stir in the chives and cheddar. Batter will be sticky. Pour/pat into a 9 x 5 inch greased loaf pan (or line with parchment paper). Drizzle melted butter over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. The top will be crunchy, and the insides will be soft.
March 26, 2020 /
A grain of salt
From Northern Idaho News, October 22, 1918
FIRST DEATH FROM SPANISH INFLUENZA 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, but opinions are divided as to whether it is on the increase or decrease. Two deaths from the influenza, or rather from pneumonia following influenza, has occurred in Sandpoint and one Charles Becker – and at least one other death in other parts of the county – Mrs. Paul Anderson of Laclede, though there are rumors that other deaths have occurred in other places, but they could not be verified. Dr. McKinnon, the health officer, states that reports are not made to him as promptly as they should be, accordingly to law, and consequently he cannot get as accurate information as to conditions throughout the county as he should have. Ordinarily physicians report once a month to the county health office, but during an epidemic such as the present they are required to report once a week. Charles Becker, who died Sunday at the hospital, had been working at Bolin’s camp and came in to Sandpoint and took sick after he arrived here. He was discovered ill in his room at the Wisconsin house and sent to the hospital Friday and died Sunday. Another timber worker, who is seriously ill, is a man named White, who was at the Eagle Rooming house. Although he was a pretty sick man, he could not be persuaded to allow them to take him to the hospital. 14 /
/ March 26, 2020
A health column... sort of
Our love measured in six feet By Ammi Midstokke Reader Columnist
I was heading to a friend’s house to go for a run - one of the few socially sanctioned outings we can still cling to without guilt. “Okay,” she said, “but I’ll meet you on the porch. We’re not letting anyone inside anymore.” I am not anyone, I thought. Because I like to believe that I am always the exception to the rule. My feelings were hurt. Was I not in the Circle of Trust? We were like best friends! I regularly expose my rear end to this human as I squat behind a tree. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get more intimate than that. Now I was being excluded. I could be a cootie carrier. The rejection and shame were palpable. The reality of epidemiology is that the rules of “innocent until proven guilty” are simply not applicable. By then, it’s too late. The fact that one owns and operates a human body means they could be carrying, unbeknownst and against best intentions, an infectious disease that we as a globe are combating. We can all be accidental lethal weapons these days, and wouldn’t we just feel awful if we were the demise of Nana? I catch myself saying selfish things like, “We’re not an at-risk family,” when I try to calm the hysteria. But this is an embarrassment and makes me part of the problem. It’s not an Ammidemic. It’s a pandemic. Being socially responsible does not make us socialists. Conversely, behaving as if we as individuals are exceptions to the rules, or as though our liberties are be-
ing infringed upon, makes us narcissists. As far as I can tell, that doesn’t get us an ICU bed any faster than anyone else. On my way home, another friend called me, choking back tears. “I am not invited to my niece’s birthday party. I thought I was family.” The emotional and mental impacts of this experience are unforeseen. We cannot confuse social distancing with rejection. When our families, our dearest friends, our colleagues - seemingly healthy or otherwise - set boundaries around their homes and activities, it’s not because we’re naive petri dishes. It’s not because we are personally seen as a threat or because we didn’t make the cut. These are measures of love and accountability, doled out in six foot increments. I hear my friends conditioning their carefully explained protocols with apologies. It’s because my mom’s health is fragile, or, We have a young baby. No personal explanation is necessary. Those of us who can social distance are doing it because it’s how each of us can contribute to the solution rather than exacerbate the problem. If we are feeling excluded, or as though we’ve been marked with a scarlet letter, let’s reframe our thoughts and support each other in these efforts. They are ultimately born, not of fear, but of the best intentions to keep each other safe. When this all passes, we’ll be invited to Pictionary Night again. In the meantime, let’s thank each other for setting boundaries, encourage them with understanding, and pick up the phone to remind our friends and family that they are dear to us, even from six feet away.
Ammi Midstokke and Freya the Brown Dog.
Sudoku Solution I think there probably should be a rule that if you’re talking about how many loaves of bread a bullet will go through, it’s understood that you mean lengthwise loaves. Otherwise it makes no sense.
Bored at home? Here’s a new puzzle. Let me know if you like it and we’ll continue publishing it. -Ben O.
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. A male college social club 5. Long-tailed parrot 10. “Where the heart is” 14. Relating to aircraft 15. Slack-jawed 16. Not under 17. Showy bloom 19. Close 20. Black gunk 21. Wall climbers 22. Brass musical instruments 23. Become looser 25. Russian emperors 27. Snake-like fish 28. Anagram of “Toeholds” 31. Loans 59. Swift 34. Open grassland 60. Collections 35. Mineral rock 61. Hearing organs 36. Found in some lotions 62. Woman’s 37. Old photo color undergarment 38. Roman robe 63. At one time (archaic) 39. A leg (slang) DOWN 40. Frenzied 41. Stench 1. Abstains from eating 42. Snuffled / LUHNG-ker / 2. Kidney-related 44. Not near [noun] 3. A kind of macaw 45. More recent 1. something unusually large for its kind. 4. Not bottom e of th 46. Wood-eating insect “Carl pulled a lunker out of his favorite fish5. Be amazed at 50. Statistics ing hole and fought it for an hour.” 6. Another time 52. Operatic solos 7. An enclosure Corrections: We’re operating without an editor, staff writer or ad salesper54. Henpeck 8. Pontifical son, so Ben is busier than a one-armed paper hanger, as the saying goes. 9. A common cyst There will be mistakes made in the coming weeks. Please let him know about 55. Car 56. Enthusiasm the serious ones, but have a little patience with the rest. Thanks. 10. Awards 58. A flat mass of ice
Solution on page 22 11. Aim too high 12. Average 13. Makes a mistake 18. Sea barriers 22. Stop 24. Formally surrender 26. Fizzy drink 28. Lukewarm 29. Therefore 30. Costly 31. Falls behind 32. Dash 33. Proposer of a candidate 34. Profoundly honored 37. A period of discounted prices
38. School session 40. Kittens’ cries 41. The language of Persia 43. Votes that block a decision 44. Loyalty 46. Covered with linoleum squares 47. Not outer 48. Sensitivities 49. Excrete 50. Not in danger 51. A city in western Russia 53. Regretted 56. Eastern newt 57. East southeast
March 26, 2020 /
Listen to the Experts, Social distancing is working so far.