Page 1

• Arts, entertainment, bluster and some n�ws -=----- · May 11, 2!)23 I FREE I Vol. 20 Issue 19 • I • "
2 / R / May 11, 2023

The week in random review


“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”

out of my shower!

I remember a specific year during elementary school when the swing set was the hottest thing around. Kids would race outside when the bell rang for recess, fighting for first position to use the “big” swings at the far end of the playground. When swinging next to another kid, if your arcs matched in unison, one of us would usually yell, “Get out of my shower!”

As adults, we have our own “Get out of my shower!” moments, too. Like when you’re walking the opposite direction as someone else and you both meet at a doorway, then choose the same direction and do that awkward “dancing” thing a few times before deliberately choosing to step to the opposite side and continue on your merry way. Or when you’re talking on the phone with someone and both parties can’t seem to sync their timing. One will speak then get interrupted by the other, then both will stop to let the other speak and both will end up speaking again on top of one another. I’ve had entire phone conversations like this.

One of my least favorite “Get out of my shower!” moments is when you’re driving down a double-lane highway without a car in sight, then someone pulls into traffic going your direction and exactly matches your speed. You either have to slow down or speed up to shake them loose, otherwise you’re doomed to travel in awkward tandem until one side gives way.

sounds of spring

Sometimes it’s necessary to sit and listen to the sounds of spring. I’m talking about the piercing chirp coming from the osprey’s nest across the street from the Reader office — a sound that always makes me feel like I’m near water and near paradise. There’s also the sound of lawnmowers and string trimmers across town as people ready their gardens and backyards for summer. There’s the festive clinking of pint glasses touching outside bars around the community as people celebrate the first true warm days of the year with a cold one. There’s the quiet of downtown on a Monday night, weeks before the tourist season begins, amounting to some of the last solace many of us will experience until after Labor Day. There’s also the growing cacophony of construction vehicles beeping and revving their engines, hammer strikes and nail guns piercing the air from new developments growing from vacant lots like mushrooms, and the ever-present grumbling of road construction on our highways and byways. Spring is a busy time in North Idaho, but don’t forget to take a break to listen every once in a while.

words to live by

When you have so much stuff you have to pay a monthly fee at a storage unit to store all your stuff, you probably have too much stuff.

— Someone, probably. Definitely Ben Olson


There are two important dates to remember in the coming days.

First, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. While moms deserve to be treated like queens every day, on May 14 it’s especially important to call or visit your mom and let her know how much you love her.

Also, Tuesday, May 16 is Election Day, when Bonner County voters decide on candidates in the East Bonner County Library District Board of Trustees race as well as the Hospital Taxing District race.

As with all elections, your participation is vital. Elections represent the will of the people, and when many people don’t bother to vote, they only represent the will of some people.

These may seem like benign races to vote on, but they aren’t.

I urge you all to vote Tuesday, May 16 and participate in our system of government. It’s quick, painless and they even give you a free sticker.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! And to moms everywhere: thanks.

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

Publisher: Ben Olson

Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor)

Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (News Editor)

Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus)

Advertising: Kelsey Kizer

Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Bill Borders

Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, Emily Erickson, Jen Jackson Quintano

Submit stories to:

Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID

Subscription Price: $165 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

SandpointReader letter policy:

The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics.


–No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers.

Email letters to:

Check us out on the web at:

Like us on Facebook.

About the Cover

This week’s cover is a tribute to moms everywhere. We wish you all a happy Mother’s Day!

May 11, 2023 / R / 3

Library officials file police report, citing online ‘threat’ to staff E.BoCo library director, board trustee candidates weigh in

Amid the many claims and counterclaims regarding library materials considered “obscene” or otherwise “harmful” to minors — which have roiled controversy at the federal, state and local levels for years — the East Bonner County Library administration filed a report with Sandpoint police May 9 citing comments it found threatening toward library staff posted in early April on the “Rosebud” local Facebook discussion group.

In a statement to the Reader, Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon confirmed that an officer met May 9 with Library Director Viktor Sjöberg, who reported the threat, which was in a post “in reference to the library staff stocking bookshelves with ‘pedophilia material’ and using taxpayers’ money.”

Sjöberg in a May 10 phone interview with the Reader identified threatening comments made in a long thread originating April 6 with a post about the vote to overturn Little’s veto of HB 317.

Dozens of comments later in a subthread linking to the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a user wrote, “I bet if a librarian had to decide whether to take all them books off the shelves or visit her husband in a body cast the books would disappear.”

That post appears to have been removed from Rosebud, but is captured in a screenshot shared with the Reader. The user did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Immediately below the now-deleted post is a still discoverable reference to ostensibly objectionable material in the Coeur d’Alene Public Library.

“[W]ell I guess some of us need to make friends with school librarians, really get to know I’m up close and personal if you know what I mean [sic],” the user wrote. “Voting’s not working but I know

ways that do.”

Later, the user wrote, “get me a list of names of all Bonner county librarians please [sic].”

Sjöberg said a community member made the library aware of the comments at its May 8 board meeting.

“I think it is important to draw the line — whether or not this is keyboard warrior stuff or actual threats, it’s unacceptable,” he said. “We can’t have a climate where this is the type of rhetoric that’s being accepted.”

Rosebud page creator Mose Dunkel confirmed that he received notifications from fellow users about the posts that prompted the library’s police report, but has a policy not to remove comments unless they are being made by spammers, scammers or individuals using fake accounts.

“I’m happy that they did file something,” Dunkel said, “hopefully there’s a little bit of a wakeup call for the person who’s writing that stuff and it’ll send a message to other people that they should chill.”

According to Coon, “The Sandpoint Police Department takes all threats seriously and will investigate all reported crimes,” adding that Idaho Code empowers law enforcement to bring criminal charges against an individual “who with intent threatens another person.”

What follows is an investigation, followed by a determination by officers whether the threat supports a criminal charge, followed by findings from the prosecutor’s office to agree or disagree with filing the complaint with the courts.

“First, it’s important to understand most speech in the United States is protected,” Coon wrote. “The federal courts have been very clear about protecting free speech under the First Amendment, which includes some hate speech, but not libel, obscenity or what the Supreme Court has called ‘true threats.’ The growing issue we are now facing is, when does a statement on a social media

platform cross the line from being protected speech to becoming criminal. I believe the federal courts will be ruling on this subject soon. For now, we use the Idaho Statute.”

While Sjöberg said he tries to stay above the political fray, concentrating on his role as director of library operations and its staff, he added that the tenor of much of what’s been said about the library’s materials and policies at multiple levels has been unconstructive at best, misinformed and harmful at worst.

The issue of inappropriate materials has also been a central feature in the race for a six-year term on the East Bonner County Library Board of Trustees, which will be decided Tuesday, May 16 when voters choose between incumbent Susan Shea and challenger Stacy Rodriguez.

The latter’s campaign has stated Shea “believes that stripper poles and drag queens should be allowed in our community libraries,” that material in the library “would make a sex worker blush” and is being leveraged to “sexualize children,” and the goal should be “to refocus the library on its core mission of inspiration and education, not indoctrination!”

“I see direct connections between some of the rhetoric that’s been utilized in this campaign. If

one of the candidates is talking about getting the library away from ‘indoctrination’ and toward education, that sounds to me like she’s accusing the library staff of indoctrinating the community,” Sjöberg said. “And when the same candidate is talking about how Susan Shea is talking about putting stripper poles in the library, that’s heating up the rhetoric that results in this behavior, and that’s where I feel like I need to step in.”

The comments April 6 on Facebook predated the April 19 candidates’ forum featuring Shea and Rodriguez, where the notions of drag shows or “stripper poles” at the library entered the discourse.

In an email May 10 to the Reader, Rodriguez wrote, “My campaign and I condemn in the strongest possible terms any violence or threats of violence against anyone associated in any way with the library or this election. The posts and related comments from the Facebook page ‘Rosebud’ are in no way known to or associated with me or Readers 4 Rodriguez, and do not reflect the values of my candidacy or my campaign.”

Asked for comment May 10, Shea told the Reader in a phone interview that, “As a trustee, I want everybody associated with the library to feel safe coming to work and to feel that their families are safe.”

“It is a political climate where it’s suddenly OK to be disrespectful of people in the community that you don’t agree with, instead of having some kind of dialogue — you skip that whole step and you go straight to verbal violence or verbal threats of some sort,” Shea added.

Kirsten LeBlanc, a volunteer for Rodriguez’s campaign who identified herself as a coordinator, told the Reader in an in-person interview that harassing, threatening and otherwise abusive comments have been directed at both candidates — including references to Rodriguez and her supporters as “Christofascists” who want to ban books.

“I personally have never asked for a book ban, ever. Those words have never come out of my mouth,” she said, going on to claim that statements to the contrary have gone uncorrected or unchallenged by library board members when made in public meetings.

“Perhaps what you’re seeing is people responding to the lies that have gone uncorrected,” she said, adding that her proposal to the board to create age-controlled access to materials containing adult < see LIBRARY, Page 5 >

NEWS 4 / R / May 11, 2023
The East Bonner County Library District’s Sandpoint branch. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.

County solid waste improvement plan sees overhaul, contract awarded

BoCo commissioners also approve H.R. policy updates, reject proposal to stream special meetings

Bonner County commissioners addressed motions from a wide swath of county departments at the board’s May 9 business meeting, casting unanimous votes in favor of finalizing a contract for improvements to the county’s solid waste facilities as well as long-debated updates to human resources code.

It was the first meeting in weeks not dominated by discussion of the grant from the Idaho Department Parks and Recreation meant to fund an RV campground extension at the Bonner County Fairgrounds. The project’s possible location has been hotly debated for nearly a year, dividing elected officials and members of the public into different camps.

The RV park did not appear on the May 9 agenda, and, aside from a couple of mentions during the hour-long public comment period at the top of the meeting, Commissioner Luke Omodt addressed the issue briefly during his District 3 Commissioner Update, reporting that he is working on writing a grant extension request to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. He said the request will be brought before the board for a vote “when it is ready.”

The IDPR grant must see movement by June, according to county officials, in order for Bonner County to utilize the $473,000 in state funds.

< LIBRARY, con’t from Page 4 >

themes went unaddressed, though she was later met with hostility that prompted no pushback.

For her part, Rodriguez suggested that “inflammatory rhetoric” is on full display in letters to the editor in local publications — including the Reader — as well as comments and posts left on her campaign Facebook page.

“That is where you will find falsehoods and incendiary comments (from my opponent’s supporters — not mine), the likes of which should have no place in this process,” she said.

“It is our sincere hope that,

Elsewhere on the May 9 agenda, Bonner County Solid Waste Engineer Spencer Ferguson presented a contract with Bonners Ferry construction company S & L Underground, which earned the winning bid to apply major improvements to the Colburn Waste Transfer Site.

The contract is the latest step in a multi-year saga to update the county’s ailing solid waste system — particularly Colburn, where all waste is processed. In preparation for those improvements, the county approved a 62% rate hike for annual dump use in 2019 and voters approved a special bond in 2021 to allow for the county to apply for an $8.7 million USDA loan meant to fund updates at the Colburn, Idaho Hill, Dickensheet and Dufort dump sites.

Those updates were advised and outlined by outside consultant Great West Engineering in a 10year capital improvements plan.

Commissioners unanimously approved the S & L Underground contract May 9 for about $6.3 million, and Ferguson took the opportunity to update the public on what has changed in the two years since voters approved the $8.7 million bond. Most notably, Colburn will now be the only waste site seeing improvements under the loan.

“When we went to bid the first time, our bids came in double what our engineer’s estimate was, so we went back to the drawing board and we cut all those other sites out,” he said. “Then, we

once the election is completed, all parties can work together, peacefully and civilly, to ensure the library serves the best interests of the community as whole, young and old alike,” Rodriguez wrote.

The Reader received more than a dozen phone calls and emails on May 10 claiming to provide audio evidence and first-hand accounts from the April 19 candidates’ forum that Shea answered “why not?” to a rhetorical question posed by Rodriguez about whether drag shows and stripper poles would be installed at the library if the community wanted them.

Upon reviewing the recording multiple times, it is impossible

[considered] Colburn and we cut out as much as we could and broke it up as much as we could so that we could award as much as we could out of the budget we had set years ago.”

The discrepancy between the contract and loan amounts is due to the loan needing to also cover interest costs, which will depend on the timeline of the project.

“I will say we are comfortable,” Ferguson said. “We have some contingency and maybe a little extra. If we don’t have any surprises we can spend a little more and get more of what we wanted done. I’m pretty comfortable with our budget and where it’s at.

“The costs are always going up,” he added, “but, through the redesign process, we did a lot of cost-saving stuff there, and I think that if we look at the overall project — which we will plan on getting done in an incremental manner — I think we’re going to have a better product than our first bid.”

In other business, commissioners approved a slew of personnel code updates, including several items appearing on the agenda for the fifth time. Those changes — to the county’s grievance procedure, rules of employee conduct, discriminatory workplace harassment, employee discipline and whistleblower policies — were suggested by outside legal counsel and recommended by Human Resources Director Cindy Binkerd.

While Commissioner Asia

to identify whether the muffled statement came from Shea, while the Reader’s own reporting of the forum — collected from a vantage point immediately to Shea’s right among a crowd of more than 100 attendees — does not indicate that she made any such statement.

“No, negative,” Shea told the Reader. “There was no response to that. ... I never said that.”

Further addressing her opponent’s allegations regarding library drag shows, stripper poles and “indoctrination,” Shea said, “If you could just tell the world that, ‘No, Susan has no interest in drag shows or stripper poles,’ that would be great. …

Williams has consistent ly placed the items on the weekly agenda, Omodt and Chairman Steve Bradshaw have voted them down, citing a desire to meet with Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall to get his take on the updates.

Omodt said he’d had the chance to ask Marshall his questions, most notably: “Are we going to get sued and is this going to cost the taxpayer additional funds?”

According to Omodt, Marshall recommended the items be put back on the agenda for a vote. All of the updates were unanimously approved, as well as a motion to sunset the county’s COVID-19 paid leave policy since the national pandemic emergency is set to end Thursday, May 11.

Finally, Williams brought forth a proposal to stream all meetings — including special meetings outside of regular Tuesday business agendas — on platforms YouTube or Rumble. Currently, not all commissioner meetings are streamed, resulting in numerous public records requests, Williams said, as well as conflicts for county employees who have pre-scheduled commitments but who may still want to review the

“To say that we’re choosing books to indoctrinate children is just not correct, and this goes back to her campaign ideology, that’s basically saying the LGBTQ community is grooming children for sexual abuse, so her objection is to any books with an LGBTQ connection or storyline.”

Sjöberg said the controversy threatens the purpose and functioning of the library.

“One of my primary goals with working in libraries is to provide opportunities for people to meet and to gather and create these bridging experiences where you might meet someone who you don’t agree with and bridge that

board’s actions.

Omodt opposed the idea, stating he met with the county’s technology department and was informed it would require hiring another tech employee to ensure all meetings could be covered.

“I am opposed to hiring another staff member merely to facilitate this, because we are growing government, and I’m not prepared to do that,” he said.

Williams countered that, considering the cost of paying employees to fulfill records requests, paying for more streaming “would potentially be an exchange.”

Williams voted in favor of her motion while Omodt and Bradshaw voted against it. Bradshaw did not take part in the discussion.

Williams also moved to publish the informational packets commissioners receive ahead of business meetings to the county website for public access, as well as to mitigate public records requests. All three commissioners voted in favor, and BOCC Business Operations Manager Jessi Reinbold made note that her office would do its best to make the packets available online on Fridays when the Tuesday agenda is published.

understanding,” he said.

“This political division, which I think is orchestrated on a national level, is basically making that very, very difficult. And this whole thing about us having to play this game of the back-and-forth and dealing with this campaign and dealing with all these people who think we have pornography in the library is also making it difficult to do the really interesting work,” he added. “This is the most basic misunderstanding, and how are we supposed to do our job if this is what we have to deal with?”

NEWS May 11, 2023 / R / 5

The ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when,’ ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the May 16 election

The ballot for the Tuesday, May 16 election will ask Bonner County voters to weigh in on candidates for trustee positions on the East Bonner County Library Board and Pend Oreille Hospital District.

Incumbent Library Board Trustee Susan L. Shea is running for reelection to a six-year term, facing challenger Stacy Rodriguez. For Pend Oreille Hospital District, voters will cast ballots for four candidates, also serving six-year terms of office. Contenders are Cynthia Buse, Bart Casey (incumbent), Timothy Cochran (incumbent vice chair), Jim Frank (incumbent) and Dwayne Sheffler.

The five-member East Bonner County Library District Board of Trustees serves as the governing body of the library — including setting and overseeing the local library system’s budget; hiring, supervising and evaluating employees; working with the library director on policy and operations; and ensuring “its community is well represented and informed regarding their local library and

Bits ’n’ Pieces

From east, west and beyond

public libraries in general,” according to the district’s website (

The Pend Oreille Hospital District Board is a seven-member political subdivision of Idaho, which supports hospital facilities within Sandpoint and “approximately two-thirds of Bonner County, Idaho,” according to Current trustees include Chair Dr. Thomas Lawrence, Vice-Chair Timothy Cochran and members Dr. Scott Burgstahler, Bart Casey, James Frank, Helen Parsons and Dan Rose.

Early voting will continue through Friday, May 12, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Bonner County Elections Office (1500 U.S. Hwy. 2, Suite 124 in Sandpoint).

Meanwhile, sample ballots are available precinct-by-precinct at the Elections Office website, accessed by visiting and clicking on “Elections” in the menu.

Election Day polls will be open Tuesday, May 16 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Go to the Elections Office website to identify your polling place.

Sandpoint Travers Park ‘inclusive play’ presentation and playground tour

Sandpoint area residents are invited to attend an “Inclusive Play Presentation and Playground Tour,” set for Tuesday, May 16 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., hosted by the city of Sandpoint and featuring a presentation by inclusive play specialist Jill Moore, of Landscape Structures Inc.

Following Moore’s presentation, the tour will take place at the existing Travers Park playground (2102 Pine St.), where the city is planning to design and build a new play facility with features intended to meet the needs of children regardless of their physical abilities.

Sandpoint Parks Planning and Development Manager Maeve Nevins-Lavtar presented the inclusive playground concept in November 2022, telling the City Council at the time that while all every improvement on public property must adhere to federal Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, “inclusive design is above and beyond ADA.”

The new playground project is part of an ambitious overhaul of Travers Park, which includes the $7.5 million James E. Russell Sports Center as its centerpiece, alongside an expanded skatepark and bicycle pump track.

Plans to replace the current playground, which the city built in 2011, have spurred some pushback on the cost — $500,000 from a state grant and $500,000 in matching funds from the city — as well as the necessity and location, with opposition focused on whether the existing playground could be improved rather than replaced, and displeasure with the sports center being constructed on the site of the current playset.

City officials have repeated that while the playground had been compliant with ADA upon

construction 12 years ago, it no longer meets the standards — let alone considered “inclusive.”

The May 16 event will begin at 11 a.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall (1123 Lake St.) with a presentation by Moore, which “will provide community members with an opportunity to learn how inclusive playground designs can meet the unique needs of all children. Attendees will learn about the range of disabilities of playground users, and tips and strategies will be provided on how to make small to major changes in play spaces to make playgrounds not just welcoming, but engaging, challenging and therapeutic,” according to the city.

Moore has served as an inclusive play specialist with Landscape Structures since 2017, with the goal of incorporating disability inclusion into playground product development and design practices. She has also represented Team USA as a multi-sport athlete, emphasizing the importance of equitable access to opportunities for play.

“With a specific focus on merging lived experience with universal design principles, Jill promotes and educates on integrating inclusion in play, and bringing people with disabilities into the conversation,” the city stated.

Lunch will be provided for in-person attendees that RSVP for the presentation in advance — courtesy of PlayCreation, Inc., which is sponsoring the event — and a virtual meeting link is optional for the presentation portion of the event.

To attend in person and get a free lunch, email and add “RSVP PLAY” in the subject line. RSVP by Saturday, May 13 at 5 p.m. for guaranteed lunch, as space is limited.

To attend virtually via Zoom, register for the meeting at

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling:

Prescribed burn associations are spreading like wildfire to prevent catastrophic wildfire. According to the recent Smithsonian magazine, a group of property owners share equipment and labor, along with training and experience, for what is akin to a barn-raising. A “burn boss” plans and coordinates a controlled burn, assures proper weather conditions, then, with association members, helps a landowner who has already thinned out small trees and trimmed lower branch ladder fuels. Tasks include torching small piles of forest debris.

Does it work? One homeowner (who built with cement board siding and a metal roof) thinned and groomed his 10 acres of trees, used an under-burn cooperative to remove flammables, then evacuated when the 2021 Dixie Fire approached. That 103day fire, which swallowed 960,000 acres and destroyed 1,300 structures, did not damage the homeowner’s property.

Scientists are calling reports of “unprecedented” warm ocean temperatures a step into “uncharted territory.” They don’t know if the warmer waters are a short-term extreme or “the start of something much more serious,” The Guardian reported.

A man who attacked police officers at the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot has been sentenced to 14 years, the AP reported. Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is seeking a 25-year sentence against the Oath Keepers founder for “seditious conspiracy.” Other Oath Keepers face sentences ranging from 10 to 21 years.

According to federal statistics, 253,000 non-farm jobs were added in April, and unemployment fell to 3.4%. Average hourly wages rose 0.5%. Historian Heather Cox Richardson regards the numbers as a logical outcome of the current administration’s policies focused on bringing supply chains home, building infrastructure, boosting new manufacturing and the passage of various acts that invest in workers.

Prior to action that could result in national debt default, congressional Republicans introduced legislation that would add $5.3 trillion to the national debt, according to Americans for Tax Fairness. Included: making Trump-era tax cuts for the wealthy permanent (costing $3 trillion), and eliminating the estate tax (costing $1.8 trillion) — the latter applies only to 1,900 ultra-wealthy families.

Facing a June 1 deadline for resolution of how or if to raise the debt ceiling, a bipartisan meeting this week of House

and Senate leaders will explore Republicans’ demands. Republicans have said they won’t raise the debt ceiling, which allows for paying already incurred bills, unless their demands are met — erasing many of President Joe Biden’s accomplishments, including a healthy postCOVID economy and the lowest unemployment in decades. The debt ceiling was lifted three times when Trump was in office, which increased discretionary spending 16%.

The Biden administration is weighing whether to disregard Republican debt ceiling demands and instead rely on a 14th Amendment clause that says national debts must be paid, The New York Times reported. Problems to that include an “immediate court challenge,” creation of temporary bond market uncertainty and elevating government borrowing costs. There’s never before been a U.S. debt default.

The White House Council of Economic Advisors has presented three debt ceiling scenarios: if the issue is resolved before June 1, unemployment would rise 0.1% and 200,000 jobs would be at risk; if the default lasts less than a week, unemployment would rise 0.3% and there would be a 500,000 job loss; a longer default could mean 8.3 million people losing their jobs and a 45% stock market fall.

While Republicans are claiming inflation is due to injecting too much money into the economy via social welfare programs, The Wall Street Journal disagrees, recently reporting that the main factor in inflation has been price gouging by corporations.

A Texas student learned of books being removed from the English curriculum and started a Banned Book Club, ACLU Magazine reported. The club has grown and members say they appreciate defending their right to learn about society and the larger world.

Ukraine has suggested Russia is using phosphorous munitions in Bakhmut, a war crime in civilian areas.

A federal jury in New York City recently awarded more than $5 million to a woman who had accused formerj-President Donald Trump of raping her. The jury decided Trump had “sexually abused” the woman, according to Reuters.

Blast from the past: “Our Constitution does not start with ensuring tranquility. It starts with establishing justice.” — Rev. Dr. William Barber, a North Carolina pastor, in a conversation he had with Joe Biden before Biden became a presidential nominee.

6 / R / May 11, 2023
May 11, 2023 / R / 7


• A text message circulating from East Bonner County Library Board of Trustees candidate Stacy Rodriguez’s campaign, which claims to be from her husband Dan Rodriguez, suggests that her opponent, incumbent Susan Shea, “believes that stripper poles and drag queens should be allowed in our community libraries.” The text (which oddly includes a misspelling of “Rodriguez”) likely alludes to her own words in a closing statement at the April 19 candidate forum, in which she claimed, “My opponent said she would support drag story hours if there was enough community interest? What about if the community wanted stripper poles? Are we going to have stripper poles installed because the community wants it?”

When asked for evidence about her claim, Rodriguez told the Reader that Shea said, “Why not?” in response to Rodriguez’s question about stripper poles at the library. Rodriguez included a video clip of her closing statement, but the clip does not show Shea saying those words. When asked by the Reader if she said, “Why not?” in response to Rodriguez’s claims at the forum, Shea fervently denied the claim.

“No, negative,” Shea said. “There was no response to that. ... I never said that. What possible association would stripper poles have with a library?” When asked if she supported stripper poles installed at the library, Shea said, “No, and I don’t support drag queen story hour either. [Rodriguez] essentially doesn’t have a platform she’s willing to publicly admit to, so her whole campaign has been tearing down my reputation. ... Saying that I want stripper poles in the library is so absurd to me that anybody would believe that. My first inclination is to ask ‘Who is going to believe that?’ Sadly, the reality is that some people do believe.”

Rodriguez gets the Barb this week, if for nothing else than to waste my time having to ask grown adults if they support stripper poles in a library. There are so many other important things to talk about in this world, yet here we are.

Dear editor, I feel like the “pro-life” movement should be re-labeled as the “pro-human-life” movement, when you consider that every human will consume thousands of plants and animals in their lifetime (not to mention the competition for natural resources necessary for the plants and animals to exist).

It’s a pretty easy argument to make that the “pro-life” movement is actually anti-life, while being prohuman-life.

Regardless of your thoughts on abortion, the thinking that we are the only life form (or the only life form that matters) is dangerous, narrow minded and needs to end.

Dear editor, The BCRCC wants to control everyone else: “Follow our Party Line or we will destroy you politically.” Kind of how former-Sen. Jim Woodward was smeared and lied about by Scott Herndon and the advertising firm paid $80,000 by Herndon to buy his way into the Senate, through lies and innuendos.

Oh, by the way, guess who is chairman of the BCRCC — why, it’s Scott Herndon.

Rep. Mark Sauter is representing the majority of people who elected him, not a small group marching to their own ideology to make people think like them.

Can you say BCRCC is trying to move us all backwards? Controlling libraries, what can and can’t be read or even on the library shelves. Sounds like the “Coalition for Moral Order,” and they’re the biggest hypocrites who feel it’s up to them to make the general population follow their decisions — they decide what is acceptable reading material, who made you people God?

This is 2023, not 1944. And, yes, we need more tradespeople; without them things fall apart. Vote Herndon out, he has absolutely no business pretending to represent the people.

Dear editor,

The defining moments of our history

Share an essential commonality.

In 1776, with a bold Declaration,

Our founders courageously birthed a noble new nation.

The pursuit of happiness, life and liberty

Were radical ideals that sparked the Land of the Free.

“We the People” gave ourselves freedom to speak and bear arms, And other rights, and safeguards against authoritarian harms.

A stroke of Lincoln’s pen on the Emancipation Proclamation

Freed brilliant minds and passionate hearts to share in the dreams of our nation.

In another most worthy historical note,

The 19th Amendment granted women the vote.

Dr. King stood proud and raised our collective esteem

When he captivated and inspired us with “I have a dream!”

True strength has come not from defeating those fighting us.

But from the internal victories more deeply uniting us.

These movements were scoffed at and fought tooth-and-nail.

Yet America shines brighter when our better angels prevail.

Now, with gender identities we must move beyond strife,

To assure dignity and happiness in everyone’s life.

Yes, we’ll take this step forward, hopefully sooner than later.

More inclusive, America will grow stronger and greater.

Since the day we cast off England’s tyrannical yoke, Our finest hours have been, in today’s words: “Woke.”

Mark Cochran

Retired U.S. Marine, Sandpoint

Dear editor,

Thank goodness there is at least one elected state official representing Bonner County who is capable of thinking for themselves and doing what they feel is right, instead of what the Bonner County Republican Central Cult (BCRCC) or the Idaho Freedom Foundation Cult (IFF) wants to cram down everyone’s throats.

It is so very sad that we apparently only have one elected official from Bonner County who is not one of the sheep that is incapable of thinking for themselves and only doing the bidding of the BCRCC and IFF cults.

While I may not agree with everything that Rep. Sauter does, I do truly appreciate the fact that he does his homework, appreciates the

concerns of his constituents, actually is capable of thinking for himself and has found the way to be supportive of important things such as education, libraries and health care, instead of drinking the Kool-Aid that the out-ofcontrol cults are promoting.

Thank you Mark!

Dear editor, Enough is enough! I’m tired of these ideologues telling us what we can read, say or think. They’re trying to make their own morals and standards everybody’s morals and standards. That isn’t the way America works. The U.S. Constitution gives us freedom of speech and that means we can say, read or write whatever we please. Whether anybody else wants to hear or read what’s been said or written is personal choice.

These modern book-burners are nothing but hypocrites who are terrified of anything that is different from their opinions and views. They wrap themselves in cherry-picked holy book stories and political opinions that ignore facts. That’s what extremists do.

No one tiny segment of society can decide what can be read or said for all. The sooner this is accepted the better for everyone. The idea of libraries being limited to one set of truths is contrary to everything this nation stands for. Libraries are meant to expand horizons — not limit them.

Read Banned Books is Sept. 18-24 this year. Any attempt to ban books, or any other form of speech, is taking away more of our constitutional rights.

Dear editor,

Over the past few years we’ve had a library that seems severely out of touch with the residents of the county that fund it and that it is supposed to serve.

From ridiculous COVID-19 policies (that were unsupported by science) to a refusal to even consider keeping books that contain sexual material too salacious to print in this paper in an area inaccessible to young children without parental permission, the current board of trustees has demonstrated that it is out of step with the values that make Bonner County a special place to live and raise our families.

What’s worse is that the current board has voted unanimously on every measure in its recent term, including the decision to spend nearly $250,000 of taxpayer money on a Mercedes-Benz for the library. Clearly, we need a new face on the board who will better represent the entirety of East Bonner County, and not just fall into line with the minority special-interest clique that seems to be running our library now. If we want true representation of the whole district’s population, Stacy Rodriguez is the best choice for EBCL Trustee on May 16.

Publisher’s note: The “Mercedes-Benz” referenced by the above letter writer is in fact a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 170 WB Extended Cargo Van. The Sprinter van would replace the existing Bookmobile, which was unable to operate in some outlying areas of the community over winter due to its age and deteriorating condition.

Dear editor,

To those in our community who have been promoting a “restricted” section of our library, I offer my carrot analogy.

I don’t like carrots. I don’t like them raw, cooked or in a soup. I don’t even like carrot cake. I cringe at the crunch of raw carrots being chewed. I don’t like carrots.

If I had my way, there would be no carrots. No one would grow them, sell them or ruin my salad with them. I would like to ban them. Or possibly put them in a “restricted section” of the Farmers’ Market or grocery store.

But should I have the right to do that? I am sure that carrot-lovers will answer with a resounding “no.”

Of course I don’t have the right to police carrot eating! I don’t have the right to tell you what you and your family can grow, purchase or eat. And you don’t have the right to restrict or ban what is in our library. Reasonable people know that restricting what people can eat is unacceptable. And controlling what is available in our library is even more unacceptable.

You have a choice in the upcoming library board election. You can vote for Susan Shea, who steadfastly supports our First Amendment rights. Or you can vote for the other

8 / R / May 11, 2023
‘Are we pro-life...?’
‘The few want to rule the many’...
you Mark Sauter’... Current library board ‘out of step’…
for ‘free and unfettered access to our brain food’…
‘The Source of our Greatness’…
‘Modern book-burners’ are ‘hypocrites’…
< see LTE, page 9 >

< see LTE, con’t from Page 8 >

candidate, who wants to create restrictions in our library.

Please vote for free and unfettered access to our brain food. Don’t let anyone put some library materials in a restricted area. And please don’t let my dislike of carrots prevent you from freely enjoying them.

Dear editor,

We are all shocked by the recent actions of the board of trustees of North Idaho College. The five-member board has been controlled by three right-wing members, who are doing their best to insert their brand of politics into the school at all levels, which is bringing the institution to the brink of extinction.

And now, Stacy Rodriguez aspires to do the same with the East Bonner County Library District.

She says that she supports liberty and freedom, but what she means is that she supports her liberty and freedom to take away the liberties and freedoms of the rest of us. She’s the kind of lawyer that supports the old saw that asks, “How do you know when a lawyer is lying?” with the correct answer being, “Their mouths are moving.”

Ken Thacker Sagle

Dear editor,

In the spirit of Reader “mugrump” fairness, I comment on Tony McDermott’s diatribe on the Bonner County Republican Central Committee [Perspectives, “Dist. 1 Sen. Scott Herndon continues with dirty tricks as BCRCC chairman,” May 4, 2023]. In full disclosure, though I donated $100 to Sen. Herndon’s campaign, I’m not a Sen. Herndon lackey, just ask precinct committeemen within the BCRCC. However, undoubtedly, Sen. Herndon is the best elected Legislative District 1 senator in decades, as even some Boise elite will attest, only privately.

The BCRCC was delighted to see McDermott and the crash of RINOs quit and abdicate their duty to the BCRCC. Since that time, the BCRCC has gained trusted recognition with Republican voters for supporting dedicated, God-fearing, liberty-conservative Republicans.

Our BCRCC efforts assisted candidate Herndon’s election success and also denied a single vote of

endorsement to candidate Sauter, for obvious cause, as the BCRCC chairman’s press release itemizes [News, “Current, former District 1 officials respond to BCRCC ‘no-confidence vote on Sauter,’ April 27].

McDermott may not have read the press release with boot-camp attention to detail, but as a former precinct committeeman, he well knows that about 30 committeemen — the committee of the whole, not the BCRCC chairman — decide the actions of the BCRCC organization.

On April 18, the BCRCC, an unrepentant “cesspool,” unanimously voted to approve no-confidence of LD1 Rep. Sauter.

Tony’s attempt to rebrand the RINO into a conservative Republican in name only, CRINO, fools no one. The elected BCRCC represents the only “official” brand of the state Republican Party platform, and evaluates candidates and incumbents with principled scrutiny. The BCRCC shares very similar values to IDGOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon. The BCRCC differs greatly from the NIVS, a local lobby group of RINOs recently and acutely connected to former crash beneficiary Sen. Shawn Keough.

Thank God, Sen. Herndon’s anti-abortion, moral compass is not compatible with the good-ol’-boy, glass-house McDermott network.

Dan Rose

Former Pend Oreille Hospital District trustee and current BCRCC committeeman


Dear editor,

I’m writing in response to a letter published in the May 4 edition of the Reader that was titled “In favor of ‘banning’ books….” The editor’s note mentioned that this specific letter-writer was unable to supply a list of books deemed obscene or their shelf locations, but identified This Book is Gay as objectionable.

I’m writing to report that this specific book is only available as an ebook at the library and is not on the shelves for children to look through. I want to highlight this because it illustrates that this crowd in favor of separating “obscene” material has little idea of what books are actually on the shelves.

Furthermore, this entire idea of separating books is based on the fear of “sexualizing” children and, frankly, I’m tired of the pearl clutching. Kids can access far worse on the internet, which only cements that the responsibility falls on par-

ents to monitor what their child has access to, not a public library.

In addition, I hope more people read This Book is Gay, as it provides beautiful insight into the difficulties LGBTQ individuals encounter and, like it or not, gay children will continue to exist in our community.

We do not need to change our library. This is why I’m voting for Susan Shea for library board. I urge the residents of Bonner County to vote to re-elect Susan Shea on May 16 to preserve this exceptional resource.

Ann Warwick Sandpoint

“protect children from harm.” Wouldn’t that actively harm children in the community who need to see themselves reflected in media to let them know that they’re valid? Those kids aren’t harming the children of this community, they are children of this community.

Makayla Sundquist Kootenai

Leaders, gun lobby, don’t care about mass shootings… Thanking Sauter for ‘responsible, thoughtful’ representation…

Dear editor,

My thanks to Mark Sauter for being a responsible, thoughtful legislator. Thanks especially for resisting the Idaho “Freedom” Foundation and Scott Herndon’s efforts to impose their extreme-right, Christian nationalist agenda on all of us in North Idaho. Hopefully, reasonable voters will see through their facade and return other responsible legislators, such as Jim Woodward to office.

Dear editor, I love our library. I’ve had a library card continuously since 1974, and have checked out countless books and videos over the years. When a book was not available in the local library, the diligent librarians found it either through the inter-library loan program, or they bought the book if they thought it would interest local readers.

Our library provides all sorts of educational opportunities for us all, and offers space for community members to put on programs in many fields of interest. Our library is extraordinary in service to the people of our area and is, truly, the heartbeat of the city of Sandpoint.

Public libraries present materials expressive of many viewpoints. That is the reason they exist: to provide a diversity of topics and perspectives for everyone. It is not the job of the library to censor or ban materials. The library is for everyone, and we all have differing opinions on many topics.

It is the job of adults to select content that is appropriate for themselves and their children. People who do not like some of the materials can avoid them. Or, they can develop their own private collections in conjunction with their religious affiliation or interests.

Dear editor,

As to last week’s mass killing in Texas, this is the way the media should report these things from now on: “Today’s mass killing was in (fill in the blank), (fill in the blank) people were killed, (fill in the blank) were seriously injured. In other news...”

Why bother going into more detail? After all, thoughts and prayers are enough to compensate for those killed. It’s guns, guns and more guns. Guns for breakfast, guns for lunch, guns for dinner, take a gun to bed even, why not!

The NRA and the right-to-lifers like Scott Herndon don’t care, so why should we? After all, their positions are what count, not ours, right?

Dear editor,

You know, my curiosity was piqued when I saw a list float to the top of the outrageous debate surrounding our library. A “books to avoid” list from a Kootenai and Shoshone County-based group called CleanBooks4Kids — a list that should include a variety of topics that could potentially count as “obscenity,” right?

Let’s look at the numbers. As of May 4, there were 807 titles on that list. Of those, 620 are on that list because of gay, gender identity or transgender issue oriented content. That’s nearly 77%. For contrast, there are 19 books involving rape and one involving violence. That’s 2% and 0.1%, respectively.

I’ve been told that this whole effort is not motivated by anti-LGBTQ animosity, so I’m confused.

I latched onto something at the candidate forum, and that was the complaint about adults perceiving fewer books that reflect their politics and values on display. Imagine how much damage would be done to a gay or trans kid who finds that quite literally all of the books by and about people like them have been locked away in some room to

“Obscenity” is a smoke screen. I’m voting for the candidate protecting the children who need protecting. I’m voting for Susan Shea on May 16.

Dear editor,

On her website, one candidate for the library board says that she wants books “that reflect our community values.” After more than 50 years in Bonner County, working and raising a family, I find it hard to define “our community values.”

We are Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats, independents and non-voters. We are Christians (with more than two dozen churches), Jews, Buddhists, pagans and those who profess no spiritual beliefs at all. We educate our kids at public schools, private schools and home schools. We are urban, rural and far out. We are straight, gay and trans.

We get our news from mainstream media, Fox, PBS, Tik Tok, and endless other sources. We live in apartments, mobile homes, modest dwellings and mansions. We are omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. We travel by bike, old clunkers, EVs, SUVs and big diesel trucks. We say “crick” and “creek.”

I believe that we value this rich diversity in our people. We may not always agree, but we don’t try to force others to accept our beliefs. That’s why I’m voting for Susan Shea for the library board. She represents us — all of us — and will keep working to make sure the library reflects the diversity of backgrounds, beliefs and opinions that makes our community strong. I hope you will join me in voting for Susan Shea on May 16.

The Reader publishes letters to the editor on a first-come, firstserved basis. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of letters sent this week, we were unable to print all of them. Please be sure to submit letters early around election times.

May 11, 2023 / R / 9
Tired of the ‘pearl clutching’...
Library ‘obscenity’ worry is a ‘smoke screen’…
Susan Shea will represent all of us on the library board…
‘We do not need to change our library’…
‘Here we go again’…
Rebranding Sauter as a conservative Republican ‘fools no one’…

Science: Mad about

the space industry

This week’s “Mad About Science” article might be a little different from what you’re used to. Normally, we look at the science behind history or cutting-edge technology. Today, we’re going to look at the huge breadth of careers directly involved in the space industry.

It’s easy to imagine a bunch of scientists with white coats and clipboards being the only ones involved in building and launching rockets, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. This industry pulls from every other industry on Earth. Building and successfully launching a single rocket is the culmination of thousands of people with different backgrounds and specialties.

The metal alone needs to be mined or pulled from a recycling stockpile. It then needs to be refined into workable materials like sheets. It needs to be rounded, bent or molded by experienced metalworkers working closely with architects and engineers to ensure the structure is built to exact specifications.

The industry expands far beyond the construction of rockets, however. There are tremendous benefits to flinging objects into space, particularly when it comes to communications. Starlink internet is a great example of this, providing expanded high-speed internet access to areas that have traditionally been left behind by ever-advancing digital communication technologies.

While this type of connectivity does present problems — particularly for astronomers and amateur stargazers — it also has the potential to bring new communities online and connect them with resources they may otherwise never have had the opportunity to experience.

Developing and maintaining

a communications network from outer space requires even more jobs from information technology and cybersecurity specialists, to communications engineers and folks with the knowledge to design an object to survive the extremes of low-Earth orbit.

The surface of an object in low-Earth orbit is outside of the atmosphere, meaning it doesn’t receive any insulatory effects to protect it from the heat of the sun. The surface of the international space station provides a great example of this — while the sun-facing side can be as hot as 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the shadowed portion can be as cold as -250 degrees Fahrenheit. Any object designed to work in this environment needs to be able to survive in those extreme conditions, which requires the know-how of some incredible individuals.

Companies across the space industry involved in orbital transport require financially-minded individuals who have experience in corporate environments managing money, striking deals and marketing to large enterprises. These people may have virtually no technical expertise regarding how a rocket gets off the ground, but their roles are vital to sustaining a company that can deliver orbital internet, monitoring satellites and research projects for governments as well as private companies.

Web developers are required to create, present and maintain an online presence for orbital transport companies, so that customers can easily access the information they need to place orders and coordinate with the people necessary to undertake a project. Social media managers build a company’s brand just the same as any other enterprise on the planet, while raising awareness among the public and sharing the science behind what makes their company work.

Transportation and distribution

is also a vital component of the space machine. Virtually every component of a rocket has to be trucked to the launch facility before assembly. This requires dedicated and experienced truck drivers and logistics managers who can link up the product with its final destination. In the case of NASA, this involves working with government officials to acquire the proper clearances in order to transport pieces through areas to which the public might not have access.

In some rare cases, huge portions of the rocket — including boosters — may need to be transported either locally or between facilities. In 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour took a 12-mile drive through the city of Los Angeles aboard a massive crawler, creeping through the streets and making corners where there may have been mere millimeters of clearance between its wingtips and permanent structures. Ever backed up a horse trailer? Now try it with a vehicle that’s 78 feet wide and 122 feet long, weighing more than 178,000 pounds.

The space industry utilizes tradespeople that you normally wouldn’t think of as rocket engineers, but their knowledge and experience is invaluable in the field. An understanding of plumbing is required for pumping fuel through piping and hoses without compromises. An understanding of how air flows and can be directed through venting is required for crews to be able to breathe during the flight. Even something as simple as the design of the seat for the astronauts becomes vital when you consider a force of up to six times Earth’s gravity is being exerted onto the crew during liftoff.

These are just a few of the jobs required in the space industry, and if you’re curious for more, you should stop by the library on Saturday, May 13 at 9 a.m. to check

out Spacepoint’s rocketry challenge. The registration for the rocket building competition has closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate.

The event will begin with a lecture from Dr. Marty Weiser, the former head of Mechanical Engineering at Eastern Washington University. Dr. Weiser will cover the components of rockets and what makes them so awesome. Afterward, kids will get a chance to design and assemble their own rockets, which they’ll get to launch at the end of the event.

These things aren’t the typical straw rockets I’ve shown folks how to make at the library. These puppies can fly up to 350 feet vertically. Based on how many folks have registered for this program, it’s likely to be packed, but don’t let that deter you from stopping in to meet Dr. Weiser and Kyle Averill of Spacepoint. Averill has so much cool information to share about Spacepoint and the industry at large — trust me, you’ll want to check out this event.

Stay curious, 7B.

•A two-dimensional shape with eight sides is called either an enneagon or a nonagon, while a three-dimensional shape with eight faces is called an enneahedron or a nonahedron. Bonus fact: A group of any nine things is called an ennead.

•Most of us grew up learning that the solar system contained nine planets, but this number was reduced to eight in 2006 after Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet.

•The chemical element with the atomic number nine is fluorine. It belongs to the 17th group, the halogens, on the periodic table of elements. In its natural state, fluorine is a highly toxic gas and extremely reactive to nearly all other elements. Fluorine is found naturally within the mineral fluorite, which when refined is used to enrich uranium.

•Human pregnancies typically last for nine months, split into three-month stages, or trimesters.

This is just a rough guideline, though, as babies can be born from 37 weeks to more than 42 weeks. Those babies born closer to the 37week mark sometimes have more serious health issues than those born between 39 and 41 weeks.

•The words for “nine” in French, German and Spanish are all closely related to those languages’ respective words for “new.” In French, neuf is used for both nine and new. In German, neun means nine while neu means new. Finally, in Spanish, nueve means nine while neuvo means new.

•Around 750 B.C.E., in ancient Rome, November was actually the ninth month of the year while September was the seventh. This makes sense, since in Latin novem and septem denote “nine” and “seven,” respectively. The whole system was thrown out of whack around 700 B.C.E., when Julius Caesar came along and added the months of June and July, pushing the other months back by two pages on the calendar.

10 / R / May 11, 2023
Brought to you by:
Don’t know much about the number 9? We can help!
Random Corner

Emily Articulated


I’ve loved libraries my whole life, starting with the Lettie Jensen Community Library, perched picturesquely on a riverbank in my hometown. This library was a middle point on the path between my house and school, and was filled with even, colorful rows of Magic Tree House and Goosebumps books — titles often neatly stacked in threes and fours in my backpack.

I’d chatter with the library assistant about new releases as she stamped the little card on the inside cover of each new book, set to be returned in two weeks’ time, like a promise that all the stories I hadn’t yet read would still be there waiting for me when I finished the ones I’d checked out.

As I got older, libraries became spaces of learning just as much as they were places of escape and entertainment. They were refuges for quiet homework sessions, resource centers for subjects about which I was researching (as efficiently as my ability to navigate the card catalog system would allow) and, in college, spaces for my laptop and me to tuck into and write the essays that would precede this column.

It’s that college library, the Saint Norbert College Mulva Library, that so aptly defines the importance of these spaces, describing them as places “where people and ideas converge and spark the creation of new knowledge.”

This convergence and that potential for sharing ideas and sparking new knowledge is what so often makes libraries epicenters for cultural and political discord — a reality that is currently top of mind across the country, at state, regional and community levels.

In the New York Times article, “A Fast-Growing Network of Conservative Groups Is Fueling a Surge in Book Bans,”

writers Elizabeth Harris and Alexandra Alter describe the nationwide political action committees and funded campaigns seeking to influence the kinds of books and subjects to which people (specifically children) have access.

According to the article, “The materials the groups object to are often described in policies and legislation as sensitive, inappropriate or pornographic. In practice, the books most frequently targeted for removal have been by or about Black or LGBTQ people, according to the American Library Association.”

Similarly, a recent study by PEN America found that subjects of books most likely to be challenged focus on communities of color, the history of racism in America and, most frequently of late, LGBTQ themes and characters — which made up nearly a third of all challenged books in the 2022-’23 school year.

This targeted challenge holds true at the local level, with Stacy Rodriguez running to replace incumbent Susan Shea in the Tuesday, May 16 election for a seat on the Bonner County Library Board of Trustees.

Rodriguez outlined her local application of this nationwide campaign claiming at an April 19 candidates’ forum, “For the past several years, our library has adopted the radical dictates of the ALA,” an organization she also described as being run by a “Marxist lesbian.”

Similar to other popular tacts across the country (like those used by Texas school board candidates funded by Patriot Mobile or Moms for Liberty in Florida), Rodrigez positions her argument as fighting against “obscenity” and the sexualization of children, worrying that her own kids might stumble out of the children’s section and into books that depict, “little Johnny giving little Georgie a you-knowwhat,” as she said at the April 19 forum. Instead, she’s proposing an age-restricted

section of the library for such materials.

Stephana Ferrell, one of the founders of Freedom to Read, a Texas organization offering guidance to librarians tasked with standing up to these targeted campaigns, offers insight into the well-worn argument, sharing, “They don’t want to use the word ‘ban.’ Instead they ‘remove,’ ‘relocate,’ ‘restrict’ — all these other words that aren’t ‘ban.’ But it’s a ban.”

Personally, I’m weary of these thinly-veiled national campaigns making their way into our community conversations, let alone our elections. I question the frequency with which children are straying from the colorful rows of age-appropriate fiction to find themselves immersed in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, forever scarred by the content they weren’t

mature enough to consume while their guardians were in the bathroom.

Libraries are cornerstones of community; inclusionary spaces that should allow for unfettered freedom to learn and explore. They hold significance for people from all walks of life, and with varying means of accessing resources and knowledge.

Because of this, they’re the last places that should be hotbeds for political influence, especially when that influence is funded by the deep pockets and narrow points of view. They should be run by people who understand and respect the role of libraries, and who care about the real and relevant responsibilities of maintaining these precious spaces.

I hope you all get out and vote.

May 11, 2023 / R / 11 PERSPECTIVES
Emily Erickson.
12 / R / May 11, 2023

Once upon a time, I was a librarian. I came for the books — words are my jam, after all — but I stayed for the patrons. The patrons became my reference section. They filled my life with meaning and stories.

There was the destitute artist who inconspicuously made sculptures to rival Andy Goldsworthy’s. There was the woman who devotedly cooked meals for the town’s homeless. There was the boy who deposited lizards in the stacks and the man who pulled newspaper from said stacks to treat his incontinence.

There was the former world-renowned opera-singer-turned-desert-rat who occasionally broke out in song, shattering the library’s silence, finding no rebuke from the staff.

There were the Navajo kids and the Ukrainian service workers, the old cowboys and the young rock climbers, the people with nowhere else to go and some planning for world travels. There was the man who went a year without using money at all, and the woman who first put a face to my conception of the trans experience.

Libraries are non-partisan, non-discriminatory, doors-opento-all-peoples-and-beliefs kinds of places. No matter your problem, there’s a book for that. No matter your identity, you can find a reflection of yourself in the stacks. No matter your background, you are a patron. You belong.

Where else does that exist in today’s world? Libraries might just be the last best places, the final bastion of a shared sense of humanity.

One patron I remember with fondness is Henry, a precocious kid who grew up with us. We were

his refuge. I don’t think he had another. He was full of questions, especially related to the lives librarians lived after hours. In his mind, I think we simply powered down for the night, just like the computers he frequented.

One day, he approached me at the reference desk, agitated and in need of immediate help. He pulled me over to his screen and pointed.

“Miss Librarian, I need help! I can’t figure out how to kill the prostitute so I can get my money back! I need my money! Can you help me kill the prostitute?”

For real. In my capacity as a reference librarian, a 9-year-old asked me for help offing a sex worker to retrieve her hard-won earnings.

I don’t know how Henry accessed Grand Theft Auto on the children’s computers, but I do know that crafty kids will find ways around every well-intentioned roadblock. It’s why

childhood friends ended up with Playboys in their tree forts, or how some learned that the scrambled Cinemax channel occasionally allowed a boob peek through the static. Even in an analog age, there was a wandering-wide web of content available to us.

Kids, since time immemorial, have been curious about sex. And why not? It’s the very thing biology built our bodies to do.

I did not help Henry kill the scantily clad prostitute. Nor did I shame him for trying. Libraries are home to many things, but shame is not one of them. I simply redirected his attention. To have made a big deal of the game would have generated more allure.

In the wake of Henry’s virtual stint as a misogynistic murderer of underprivileged women, we librarians figured out how to keep GTA off the children’s computers. Was this a form of censorship? Yes, I suppose. However, this game is clearly marked for older users, and the children’s room was for the under-12 set. Our response seemed clear. Rational. It was specific to the issue at hand. We were responsive. As librarians are.

Less clear, specific or rational is the current push to banish entire genres of books — largely sex- and LGBTQ-related (see our current library board race for details. For further details, read the epitaph of House Bill 314, the library obscenity bill that may just rise from the dead next year).

For a moment, let’s set aside this effort’s bigotry. Let’s ignore the fact that broadly labeling entire segments of the population as “harmful” is, well, harmful. Let’s not yet unravel why learning about our own bodies is bad. Let’s instead consider this: What is a

child going to find in the stacks that he can’t immediately locate online, like Henry did? What are we actually protecting kids from? Is this about material dangerous to children, or is it instead about identities deemed a danger to the white, cis-het, elder male whose tenure as the apex predator is threatened by the elevation of diversity and inclusivity in our culture?

Turns out our leaders’ egos might be more vulnerable and in need of protection than our kids are.

Let’s also consider this: In order to find a book on human sexuality, a child would have to familiarize himself with the library catalog, with the Dewey Decimal System, with the arrangement of stacks and the relatedness of individual books. In seeking out a book on queerness, a patron will also thumb through tomes related to marriage, divorce, fatherhood and other family dynamics.

Rather than being dangerous, that is awesome (unless you’re of the knowledge-is-danger set). So, go forth and conquer, young (wo) man. Be an educated menace to the heteronormative status quo. (I recommend beginning in the 306s and the 611s.)

Really, bless the child who goes to the library to learn about sexuality. With graphic content just one click away on any computer or smartphone, seeking out such materials in the library seems an antiquated and, dare I say, safe pursuit. The library is, perhaps, the best place in which to learn about sex, gender, consent and diversity. In contrast, social media is, perhaps, the worst.

The same could be said for any subject. Better citizens are made

in the library than on Facebook.

On this issue, as with most others, I am not interested in co-parenting with the state of Idaho or any aspiring, overzealous elected official. I’m not a perfect parent, but I’m my child’s parent, and queerphobia and body shaming are not a part of our household. I want my daughter to read about sexuality and diversity. Knowledge is power. The more she can learn about her body and the world it inhabits, the better she can both embody and set boundaries for it. She doesn’t need a politician’s protection; she needs the information necessary to protect herself.

“I’m not raising children, I’m raising adults,” said Michelle Obama’s mom. I agree.

As such, I want to raise a well-informed adult. A compassionate one. One with a mind as inclusive and aware as the Dewey Decimal System. It turns out, though, in order to do this, it’s the library that needs protection from harm. It’s the library that is vulnerable to predatory ideologies.

I am no longer a librarian. I am now a library patron. And here I use patron in its original sense, as “one who protects, supports or encourages.”

Let’s all be good library patrons. Let’s support our community’s access to the full tapestry of knowledge. Let’s protect our library. Let’s all vote for Susan Shea on May 16.

Jen Jackson Quintano writes and runs an arborist business with her husband in Sandpoint. Find their website at See more of Quintano’s writing at

May 11, 2023 / R / 13
Jen Jackson Quintano.

Learning a love for the land

Southside Elementary class spends time in nature with Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society

There is nothing quite so magical as another season of growth shooting through the forest floor each spring. What began as a sapling might eventually grow into a towering tree providing shade for future generations, which then drops its seeds to the ground to start the cycle all over again. It’s hard to imagine a large tree originating from such humble beginnings, but it happens every spring to our shared delight.

It’s much the same with humans when we return to the locations where we were raised. I was fortunate to spend the afternoon of May 4 at my own beloved Southside Elementary School with Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society volunteers Bonnie Jakubos, John Hastings and Preston Andrews as they guided Terese Luikens’ fourth-grade class on a nature trail behind the school.

Jan Vann’s fifth-grade class built the

Southside School Nature Trail in 1992. I know because I was part of that class and remember establishing the half-mile long trail with guideposts built along the way to point out key landscape features. When Jakubos sent an image of a trail booklet with a handwritten entry by my younger self, a flood of fond memories came back about those early days when I learned to love and appreciate the natural world, thanks to teachers and other educators who took the time to pass down their love and knowledge.

The KNPS outing aimed to instruct the young students about the unique quality of our forests in this region. Specifically, KNPS volunteers talked to the students about the fact that we are surrounded by the Pacific Northwest Inland Temperate Rainforest.

“We’re special here and so many people don’t know that,” Jakubos told the Reader while navigating the nearly 30-year-old trail leading up a small hill overlooking the school grounds and back

down again on the other side of a creek.

Jakubos told Mrs. Luikens’ students about the roughly 700-mile-long rainforest that stretches all the way into northern British Columbia.

KNPS split the class into three groups, with each studying a different aspect of the environment as seen from the trail.

In one group, Andrews led the students along a small, dry creek bed to point out different species of trees to the students — emphasizing the fact that multiple species thrived in that particular location because of the proximity of a water source.

In Jakubos’ group, students sat in a hut erected alongside the trail with a pile of pine cones and local foliage next to them as they attempted to identify and draw each piece.

Finally, Hastings led his group with tape measures and yardsticks to gather transects, which are straight lines that cut through a landscape to make observations, take measurements and document

data — in this case, about vegetation growth in a particular area.

“When we take transects, it’s looking at the arrival of spring,” Hastings told the students. “This is a common way for scientists to collect data to share with others.”

This project was just one of the many ways KNPS reaches out to local students to help spread awareness and love for the natural world that surrounds us.

Speaking personally, it was a treat seeing the work I did with my classmates nearly 30 years ago is still being enjoyed by future stewards of our environment.

To learn more about KNPS, visit

14 / R / May 11, 2023 FEATURE
Top left: Bonnie Jakubos shows students different species of trees growing next to the nature trail behind Southside Elementary School. Bottom right: Preston Andrews, John Hastings and Bonnie Jakubos with KNPS prepare for the day. All other photos show Southside students in the field. Photos by Ben Olson.

‘Cornhole for a Cause’ features downtown tournaments benefiting youth baseball

7B Baggers Cornhole will host its first-ever “Cornhole for a Cause,” inviting kids and adults alike to take part in a slate of tournaments Saturday, May 13 in downtown Sandpoint.

Benefiting Sandpoint Sasquatch Baseball, the bags fly at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at MickDuff’s Beer Hall (202 Cedar St.), with all-ages singles tournaments for both experienced and beginning baggers starting at 10 a.m. Following that will be a Switcholio tournament format — a blind draw round robin for new partners in each game — and, if enough players are left in the beginners bracket, a beginners switch.

Pre-register online using the Scoreholio app or on the day of, with more info available at the 7B Baggers Cornhole Official Facebook page. Cost to participate is $20 per adult player, and $10 per player for kids, to be paid at the event.

An “Airmail Challenge” of 16 bags for $5 will go throughout the tournament, with the top two scorers winning cash from the total buy-in money. In addition will be a silent auction and 50/50 raffle, featuring prizes provided by a wide range of busi-

nesses and organizations.

“We are very excited to be a part of this fundraiser, to not only give back to our community but also hopefully inspire new people — kids and adults — to want to get into playing the game we all love so much,” 7B Baggers stated in a Facebook post.

Sandpoint Sasquatch Baseball is a youth travel baseball program that fields baseball teams for players 10 and under and 14 and under, which compete against other club teams across the Inland Northwest. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s mission “is to provide a fun and competitive baseball environment in which all of our players develop the highest level of skill, confidence and a winning attitude on and off the field.”

Participating businesses include: MickDuff’s Brewing Co. and Beer Hall, Stylebar Beauty Bar, The Hydra Steakhouse, Refined Aesthetics Med Spa, Papillon Beauty Boutique, The Pickled Kitchen, Sweet Lou’s, Lewis & Hawn Dentistry, Loop and Tie, Panhandle Driving School, Glamour +Grace, Panhandle Cone & Coffee, Pack River Store, RH Portrait Photography, Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant and Pend Oreille Veterinary Service.

May 11, 2023 / R / 15

If you know, you know

With a flavorful menu and open format, 113 Main aims to be ‘the community’s restaurant’

To some, being invited to meet a friend at 113 Main sounds like an invitation to meet on a street corner in downtown Sandpoint. To others, it means dinner and drinks at the latest restaurant to join Sandpoint’s downtown culinary scene.

When it comes to 113 Main, if you know, you know.

This has been largely by design, according to owner Justin Dick. The establishment only recently launched its social media presence, despite being open as a bar since May 2022 and a restaurant since January 2023. 113 Main still doesn’t have a phone, and has no plans to take reservations in the near future, opting instead for walk-ins only.

Dick, who also owns Trinity at City Beach and co-owns Jalapeno’s, said he hopes that this new venture will highlight and further encourage Sandpoint’s natural spontaneity and penchant for adventure.

With that in mind, executive chef Ryan Leggett seems destined to run the helm. Raised abroad in Egypt and Scotland, Leggett aims to blend international flavors with easy-to-recognize classics to give North Idahoans a rotating menu balancing familiarity with exploration.

“Ryan puts the artist in culinary arts, which has been fantastic,” Dick said, later adding: “We have a kind of limited menu, but ‘limited’ is the wrong word for how much goes into each of the dishes.”

Leggett gained his chef stripes by working in kitchens under professionals who were able to impart the tricks of the trade and allow Leggett to make them his own. For example, he learned the art of pasta making from a chef who trained in Italy,

and it’s a skill he’s utilizing at 113 Main, including on one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes: citrus pesto gnocchi with Chilean sea bass.

Scratch cooking is a staple of Leggett’s style, and prep work allows the kitchen to still turn out dishes in a timely fashion.

“I prefer doing things in that way,” he said. “I think it creates a more flavorful dish. I work to make dishes appealing to all the senses, which makes it much more enjoyable for people. It’s building an experience.”

That experience goes beyond the food to the hand-crafted cocktails and the restaurant’s open floor concept. Rather than the kitchen being walled off from the bar and dining room, guests are able to see the magic for themselves.

“I really enjoy that aspect,” Leggett said. “I know the staff enjoys that as well — to break away from a traditional kitchen where you’re behind everything and only hear when you don’t do well. It’s nice to receive positivity from people.”

“We’ve got great dialogue,” Dick added. “It reminds me a lot of the old Cafe Trinity,

which is really nice.”

Harkening back to the days of old downtown Sandpoint dining spots is a throughline of 113 Main’s mission. The location is best known as the previous home of Truby’s Health Mart, and the Bonner County Historical Society has been assisting Dick with painting an even fuller picture of the building’s history.

113 Main will eventually undergo a name change, Dick said, but not without the help of locals, who will be invited to weigh in sometime after the upcoming tourist season.

“Locals are the ones who know this building,” he said.

“One thing I’ve learned over the years is that it’s never our restaurant,” he added. “It’s the community’s restaurant.”

Find 113 Main online by searching for “113 Main Sandpoint” on Facebook or going to the restaurant’s Instagram: @113mainsandpoint. We’d normally include the address again at the end of the article, but we’re pretty sure you know where it is.

16 / R / May 11, 2023 FOOD & DRINK
A sampling of the appetizer, salad and cocktail selection, as well as a look at the open interior concept at 113 Main. Photos by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.
May 11, 2023 / R / 17


Live Music w/ Sheldon Packwood

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Trivia Night

5-8pm @ Paddler’s Alehouse

Cribbage Night

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ John Firshi

5pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

May 11-18, 2023

What’s Happening Up North Economic Summit

7:30-5:30pm @ Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center

After a pandemic-induced hiatus the past few years, the popular annual economic summit, What’s Happening Up North, is returning. This day-long summit features keynotes from distinguished economists, facilitated panel discussions, interactive group breakouts — plus meals and happy hour. Hosted by Pend Oreille Economic Partnership. Visit to register — space limited!

Better Together Animal Alliance Open House

3-5pm @ BTAA Animal Care Center, 870 Kootenai Cutoff Rd.

CHAFE 150 Happy Hour • 5-7pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co.

Join for drinks, music and food while you meet with other riders

FriDAY, May 12

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Molly Starlight Duo

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Into the Woods, the classic musical

7pm @ Panida Theater

LPO Repertory Theatre presents

Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical play on the Panida main stage. What happens after we make our dreams come true? $25 general admission

Live Music w/ Kenny James Miller Band

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Rockin’ rhythm & blues... and tacos

Into the Woods, the classic musical 7pm @ Panida Theater

Live Music w/ Weibe Jammin’

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Rock, classic and indie songs

Live Music w/ Dave & Rey

7-9pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ The Hereford

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Magic with Star Alexander

5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

Up close magic shows at the table

Sam Leyde Band in concert

8:45pm @ The Hive

An attention-grabbing, highenergy sound that blends the best of country and rock. Opener

Luke Yates starts at 7:30pm

Sandpoint Waldorf Annual Spring Auction (May 12-19)

6pm @ Sandpoint Events Center

Live and silent auctions as well

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ Drift


Paper Flowers in concert

8pm @ The Hive

Like Fleetwood Mac? You’ll LOVE Paper Flowers, a tribute band that pays homage to the Fleetwood Mac sound. $25/advance, $30/day of show

Bonner Homeless Transitions: Little Black Dress Gala

6-9pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Dinner at 6:30 followed by auction at 7:30. $50/person. To buy tickets:

SunDAY, May 14

Mother’s Day Sushi Class

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

An interactive, fun and educational way to share the evening with mom. 208-265-8545

monDAY, May 15

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Group Run @ Outdoor Experience

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome, beer after

Paint and Sip w/ Lisa Maus

5:30-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5pm @ Farmin Park

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Contra Dance

7-10pm @ Sandpoint Comm. Hall

Music by Accidental Harmonies and Susan Dankovich calling. All dances called and taught. New dancers welcome. $5 donation Bike Rodeo at Travers Park

3-5:30pm @ Travers Park

Bring your bike or scooter and helmet. Bike safety check with minor repairs. Learn about bike safety and practice your skills!

Ponderay Bike Rodeo and BBQ

11am-2pm @ McNearney Park

Bring your bike or scooter and helmet, learn about bike safety from 11am-1pm, then enjoy a community BBQ from 12-2pm

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh produce and artisan goods, every week! Live music by Oak St. Connection

Live Music w/ Frytz Mor

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Mother’s Day Handbell Choir

2pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint Handbell Choir will play Mozart, Strauss, some contemporary pieces and more

Festival at Sandpoint Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

6pm @ Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St.

Join in on an evening of classical, pop and seasonal favorites performed by the Youth Orchestra. Free to attend!

tuesDAY, May 16

KRFY Little Live Radio Hour with Bridges Home 8pm @ Live on 88.5FM (or attend in person: for info)

wednesDAY, May 17

Live Piano w/ Bob Beadling

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

ThursDAY, May 18

Trivia Night

5-8pm @ Paddler’s Alehouse

Line Dancing lessons 6:30pm @ The Hive (21+) $10/ea

Cribbage Night 7pm @ Connie’s Lounge Burger Dock 4th birthday! Free fries all day long!

18 / R / May 11, 2023

Musically ever after

LPO Repertory Theatre is back with Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning musical Into the Woods

In an age of endless sequels, prequels and reimaginings populating everyone’s streaming sites, it’s important to look back at some of the trailblazers that helped pave the way for other productions to follow.

Stephen Sondheim’s award-winning play Into the Woods, based on the book by James Lapine, deserves a mention for its imaginative take on the real wishes and dreams of popular characters from the Brothers Grimm fairytale world.

Lake Pend Oreille Repertory Theatre will present its take on Sondheim’s musical classic with a two-weekend run Friday-Saturday, May 12-May 13 and May 19-20 at the Panida Theater (300 N.First Ave.).

Into the Woods is the third production for LPO Theatre, a local stage troupe founded by Keely Gray in 2019 and which has found great success with past performances of Young Frankenstein and The Importance of Being Earnest.

This year, Gray will not only produce the show, but also serves as director and plays the role of Cinderella.

“My cast has a running joke,” Gray told the Reader. “I am no longer wearing multiple hats. I’m a hat rack.”

“It’s pretty awesome to prove to yourself that you can do stuff like this,” she added.

Into the Woods combines the fairytale stories of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Rapunzel and more, going beyond “ever after” to explore what happens next in their lives.

In the first act, those iconic characters play out their traditional roles. In the second act, the audience sees what happens after “happily ever after,” with a more modern and intense take on the story, according to Gray.

wrong, black or white, but it’s all in the gray. This musical will change how we perceive morality.”

Gray said multitasking is a lot to handle, but she wouldn’t want it any other way. It takes a lot of imagination and creativity, which are both attributes that attracted Gray to Sondheim’s work.

“We all love and hate Sondheim,” she said. “The music and musicality is so intense. There are changing time signatures multiple times in a single song. There are key changes. We all have to be really on our game as far as the music goes.”

Gray gives credit to Music Director Katie Skidmore for keeping everyone on the beat. In Into the Woods, actors not only have to keep pace with one another, they have to time their lines to coincide with sound effects that are already baked into the musical pieces. In other words, if they mess up their timing, the house of cards could come tumbling down.

The cast contains some of Sandpoint’s best known thespians, including Gray, Kate McAlister, Andrew Sorg, Holly Beaman, Nicole Buratto, Corey Repass, Threnody Hammond, Orion Ettinger, Katie Skidmore, Steve Neuder, Terry Owens, Brit Hagan, Mattie Patterson, Sarah Morgan, Ashley Lopez, Erich Shrack, Alex J. Jones, Chika Orton and Josephine Ryals.

“It’s in our own style,” she said. “The original piece stuck closely to the stereotypical fairy-tale image. Ours is a little more edgy.”

Into the Woods is an all-ages production that Gray said was, “the biggest, most difficult musical we’ve done so

far. I thought Young Frankenstein was difficult, but holy crap. … The people in this town, the talent that we have here, never ceases to amaze me. They always rise to the occasion.”

Into the Woods

Friday-Saturday May 12-13; Friday-Saturday, May 19-20; doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.; $25 general admission; Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191, get tickets at Learn more at

“This show will make you think of your journey through life,” Gray said. “It will show how it’s not just right,

The production is rounded out by an experienced crew, including Gray as director, Scott Doughty as assistant director, Michael Bigley as stage manager, Skidmore as music director, Orton as choreographer, McCallum Morgan as casting director, Myriah Belle as props mistress, Tim Bangle handling sound design, Wesley Hammond taking on lighting and Hagan responsible for make-up design. Lukas Bangle will act as assistant stage manager and Miriam Hammond is assistant props.

While Gray said she loves Sondheim’s original version, LPO Rep’s interpretation of Into the Woods is slightly different.

May 11, 2023 / R / 19 STAGE & SCREEN
Into the Woods cast members show their dramatic side. Courtesy photo.
20 / R / May 11, 2023


The Festival at Sandpoint’s Youth Orchestra will perform its spring concert at the Heartwood Center on Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m. All ages are welcome and admission is free.

Classes for the Youth Orchestra began in September 2022, and the spring concert will be the group’s first performance of the 2022-’23 season.

Created in 1998, the Youth Orchestra is intended to help students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to master their orches-

tral string instruments, and is the longest-running educational program offered by the Festival. More than two decades later, the Festival at Sandpoint continues to offer free string classes for students of any age.

The program is currently\ composed of two groups — a Beginning Orchestra and a Continuing Orchestra. Both groups are led by the Festival Youth Orchestra Conductor Karen Dignan.

The Beginning Orchestra Class is designed for students who are still getting started but have a basic knowledge of their instrument and

reading music.

“The Beginning Orchestra members are almost all new to ensemble playing, and this is their first experience in an orchestra,” Dignan said.

The Continuing Orchestra Class is for students looking to hone their skills and expertise and have some prior experience playing in a group setting.

Students in the Beginning Orchestra Class typically move to the Continuing Orchestra Class after one year, which results in a tight-knit group both socially and musically.

“The Continuing Orchestra students have been playing together for three years and are maturing in their musical awareness and capabilities,” Dignan said.

Both groups are open to any orchestral string players, including the violin, viola, cello, bass and more. Classes are free for all ages and held weekly on Monday evenings.

To learn more, visit, call 208-265-4554 or email info@

Festival at Sandpoint’s Youth Orchestra to perform spring concert Festival at Sandpoint announces Grand Finale concert

‘The Princess Bride in Concert’ will be led by Conductor Morihiko Nakahara

The Festival at Sandpoint announced its Grand Finale concert, which will take place Sunday, Aug. 6 and feature “The Princess Bride in Concert,” led by Conductor Morihiko Nakahara.

Directed by Rob Reiner, The Princess Bride is an iconic film that features an all-star cast telling the story of the beautiful maiden Buttercup and her one true love, a young farmhand named Westley. After he’s captured by a ruthless pirate and presumed dead, Buttercup’s unhappy marriage to the horrible Prince Humperdinck seems inevitable. But, before the wedding can take place, she’s kidnapped by three outlaws and it’s up to a mysterious Man in Black to come to her rescue.

Now for the first time, composer Mark Knopfler’s unforgettable score

has been specially arranged for a symphony orchestra. Missing this cinematic concert experience would be inconceivable!

Unfortunately, after 39 years of partnership between the Spokane Symphony and Festival at Sandpoint, the orchestra is no longer able to support presenting the Festival’s Grand Finale performance in their off-season.

According to Spokane Symphony Executive Director Jeff vom Saal, “After researching every conceivable option, we are just unable to make it work.”

Although one door has closed for the Festival’s traditioned past, this will create growth opportunities for the Festival, as it was originally founded as a symphony and conductor institute.

“As we approach our 40th annual Summer Series, we are excited to

honor the symphonic origins of the Festival at Sandpoint,” said Production and Education Manager Paul Gunter. “We are excited to highlight a diverse range of talent from the Inland Northwest with our Festival at Sandpoint Orchestra at this year’s Grand Finale.”

The 2023 Grand Finale will also mark the Festival at Sandpoint Orchestra’s inaugural performance with more than 60 musicians. The FAS Orchestra will feature talented instrumentalists from the Inland Northwest, many of whom have been featured as part of the Spokane Symphony.

“The Festival is proud to offer additional performance opportunities to these individuals as the traditional performing arts season winds down for the year,” FAS organizers stated in a news release.

Conducting this performance is

Morihiko Nakahara, who spent 16 years as resident conductor of the Spokane Symphony. He is also the music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic and the director of Orchestra Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is well known for his charismatic presence on and off the podium, his innovative and audience-friendly programming skills, and thoughtful interpretations of both standard and contemporary repertoire.

The Grand Finale will also include a performance from the Festival at Sandpoint’s 2023 Instrumental Scholarship Winner, as well as fireworks to conclude the night and the 2023 Summer Series.

Tickets are $44.95 for general admission and $12.95 for youth if purchased in advance. For tickets or for more information visit:

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Dario Ré EP release party, Evans Brothers, May 12 The Whags, Eichardt’s Pub, May 13

To call Dario Ré a man of many talents would be an understatement. His artistic life, according to his online presence, encompasses practices in “painting, assemblage, installation, video, performance, sound and songwriting.” Both art and music will be on display Friday, May 12 as Ré celebrates the release of his EP Colorwise at Evans Brothers Coffee.

While the EP release will highlight Ré’s solo work, the artist is perhaps best known as the lead member of Spokane’s world-music-inspired indie band Heat Speak. He splits his time between

both Sandpoint and Spokane. Spokane-based singer-songwriter Olivia Brownlee will open the evening’s entertainment. Brownlee began a project during the coronavirus pandemic to record and release an original song each month. That project endures, and the fruit of her effort is available for listening at soundcloud. com/olivia-brownlee.

7 p.m., donations accepted at the door. Evans Brothers Coffee Roasters, 524 Church St., 208265-5553, evansbrotherscoffee. com. Listen at

Like many musical groups around the world, Seattle-based five-piece The Whags endured a period of inactivity during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the group has been back with a vengeance since 2022, setting off on two West Coast tours; following their 2019 EP Smile Maker with a debut full-length release Routine for Now with Adam Burd (of Fleet Foxes, The Dip and Car Seat Headrest); and — fortunately for Sandpoint — a show Saturday, May 13 at Eichardt’s Pub.

Hailed by Northwest Music Scene as “another great exam-

ple of a band that destroys the so-called ‘Seattle Sound’ myth,” The Whags specializes in “an open-ended approach to Americana, funk and sunshine pop,” featuring layers of “vocal-driven pop harmonies, anthemic guitar riffs and jazz/funk rhythms that conjure swirly ballads amidst groove-heavy jams.”

7 p.m., FREE. Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St., 208-263-4005,

Do any of us really have all the answers in life? I think I can safely answer that: No. But there are people who have devoted their entire lives to tackling some of the larger questions and that’s why I am recommending self-help books. Many podcasts now are stressing not only our actions and habits when it comes to leading a virtuous life, but also what we read and choose to invite into our minds. Here are just a few ideas: The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz, Untethered Soul by Michael Singer, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman and anything by Eckart Tolle.


Once you dive deep into human optimization — especially in the podcast world — you’ll run into a lot of recommendations and cross-references to other sources that inspire people. One favorite that recently came my way is David Foster Wallace‘s commencement speech “This is Water.” In roughly 20 minutes, he seems to capture what is important in life with wit and empathy. Since then, he has expanded it into an entire book, but the original is still on the internet and a great listen.


In Ghana, a surprisingly large number of people have some sort of handicap — nearly 10%. The stigma that they face is so strong that often handicapped kids are abandoned or left to die. Emmanuel‘s Gift is a movie about one person who challenges all of that and is able to bring change, understanding, sympathy and ultimately new legislation to Ghana. Titular protagonist Emmanuel bicycles across the country using one leg and, as his notoriety grows, he uncovers his life’s mission. The film is narrated by Oprah Winfrey.

May 11, 2023 / R / 21
This week’s RLW by Ed Ohlweiler

From Northern Idaho News, May 7, 1943


Apparently timing their operations with the induction of new police officers, robbers entered the Eagle pool room and Herb Carlson’s early Thursday morning and took seven slot machines.

The thieves entered the Eagle by way of the back door and moved four slot machines and a quanitity of merchandise to a truck. They moved on to Carlson’s place, where entrance was made through the rear of the barber shop and took three machines. Nothing else was missing in the place, Mr. Carlson said.

The city street cleaner observed the flat bed truck moving from place to place with coverings over the loot. Unaware of the mission of the men, but slightly suspicious, he informed law enforcement officials. That was about 3 o’clock in the morning.

Sheriff Robert Ellersick responded immediately and an investigation is already under way. Proprietors of the places robbed expressed the belief that the men who did the “job” had spent at least a portion of the previous day in their places to get the “lay of the land.” The theory was presented that they may have hid in the places awaiting the early morning hours to commit the robbery.


On a plane to Hawaii

Just so you know, even if there’s nobody on the ocean to experience the waves, the waves are there. From 30,000 feet, whitecaps are still visible. And there are some big ones.

As we make our way at 600 miles per hour toward the Hawaiian archipelago, a freighter appears to starboard, giving a sense of scale to the world below. If it’s headed for Hawaii, we’ll get there long before — days in fact.

We live on an amazing world in an amazing time. I can haul myself out of bed in Montaho, land of not-quite-eternal snow and ice, at 2:30 a.m. — all flights to attractive destinations leave GEG at indecently early hours — and be in the tropics 11 hours later.

Jules Verne wrote Around the World in 80 Days in 1873. A century and a half later, with the right plan, it’s possible to travel around Earth in 80 hours — on commercial flights. Our warplanes and astronauts can do it in less time, but most of us aren’t Top Guns or John Glenn. We’ll have to stick to slower methods. Still, 80 hours is 1/24th of 80 days, and that increase in speed was accomplished in that same 150 years. To put that in perspective, between the invention of the wheel and the invention of the automobile was 6,000 years — 40 times longer. From humans harnessing fire to the internal combustion machine: 200,000 years, maybe much more.

Verne’s hero, Phileas Fogg, used extraordinary measures to circumnavigate the

globe. Anybody with a credit card can do it now, but they won’t be attacked by “ferocious Indians” in the American West or save a beautiful woman from being burned alive in Asia. Fogg’s trip might have been more fun. Or more exciting. At least, he didn’t have a screaming 4-month-old and her distraught mother with him. They happen to be in the seat in front of me. The tradeoff is that my window seat has an empty one next to it. Elbow room.

The last time I was anywhere near this line of flight was 50 years ago and the plane was not a Boeing 737 MAX8, but a 707, proud flagship of Pan American Airlines. It was a flying cigar tube by today’s standards of wide-body jets with six-across seats.

The air travel industry has changed a bit since 1973. There were 100-plus folks lined up for the Spokane TSA check-in at 4:45 this morning. The efficiency with which we were processed was heroic, but almost 22 years after 9/11, they’ve had a lot of practice.

There have been few masked passengers in terminals I’ve traveled through — fewer than 10%. COVID still lurks around the edges of our lives, but the adaptable human species has relegated it, if not to history, at least to the sidelines. It’s still a good idea to take precautions, maybe even get vaccinated. It’s your health, after all. Phileas would have more likely contracted typhoid or malaria on his journey, but we have figured out how to deal with those, as we are figuring out how to deal with COVID.

Our flight in 1973 featured a hot meal, well-prepared. This flight features a snack

Sudoku Solution STR8TS Solution

pack with Wheat Thins (luckily one of my favorites) some fruit gummies (not so much), and the standard Southwest Airlines pouch of pretzels and crackers. I have no recollection of what the price of our flight was in 1973, but my guess is that, adjusted for inflation, my “Wanna Get Away” tickets cost much less than the ride in the 707.

I seldom tire of looking out the window on a flight, but I expected that I might get bored of just the ocean for my view. However, the scene below is an intricate mosaic of blue and white. It looks to me like the sea is full of thousands of floating patches of melting ice. They go on to the horizon, emulating breakup on an alpine lake. Later, it will look like we are flying upside down under a cloud-flecked sky.

The child has quieted. Dad has her now, and mom is relieved. The flight attendants bring the next course, beverages of our choice, free unless you want alcohol added. Our modern metal-and-plastic galley sails on — the passengers don’t have to row — lifted by the laws of aerodynamics and human genius. We take all this for granted, or many do, but it occurs to me that Verne, even with his rampant imagination, could not have foreseen how the world has changed since his Phileas Fogg left London for London in 1873. We’ve figured out a lot since then. Maybe in the next 150 years, we will stop legislating issues that are personal matters, reel in the arms industry, regain a sense of civility, quit chasing unattainable lifestyles and learn to get along with our neighbors by applying the golden rule.

Crossword Solution

22 / R / May 11, 2023

Laughing Matter

Solution on page 22


Solution on page 22

pervicacious /pur-vi-KEY-shuhs/ [adjective]

Word Week of the

1. extremely willful; obstinate; stubborn.

“When the dog walker wanted to change direction, the pervicacious Yorkie dug her nails into the ground and glared.”

Corrections: In a story about the Sandpoint Songwriting Competition, Ben Olson misspelled one of the sponsor’s business names. The business is Rock It Records, not Rocket Records as Olson spelled it. We regret the error. Also, in the May 4, 2023 perspectives piece “Dist. 1 Sen. Scott Herndon continues with dirty tricks as BCRCC chairman,” we misidentified writer Tony McDermott as a member of “Reader Staff.” His contribution was an unsolicited opinion that we chose to publish, and he should have been identified as a “Reader Contributor.” Sorry for any confusion. — ZH

If I was being executed by injection, I’d clean up my cell real neat. Then, when they came to me, I’d say, “Injection? I thought you said ‘inspection.’” They’d probably feel real bad, and maybe I could get out of it.

May 11, 2023 / R / 23
1.We chew with them 6.Curve 10.Mormon state 14.Debate 15.Diva’s solo 16.Adopted son of Claudius 17.Tropical vine 18.Peaceful 19.Speaker’s place 20.Leather shorts 22.Being 23.5 plus 5 24.Concur 26.Roof projection 30.Secret group 32.French for “Airplane” 33.Follows too closely 37.Canvas dwelling 38.Wed 39.English royal house 40.They sailed with Jason 42.Sesame 43.Leases 44.Cared for 45.Desert plants 47.Band performance 48.Female aristocrat 49.Mixture 56.Majestic 57.Fertilizer component 58.Door pivot 59.Rind 60.Backside 1.Not short 2.A Great Lake 3.Mild expletive 4.Musical phrase 5.Cheer 6.Breakfast strip 7.Ages 8.Egyptian river 9.Cursedly DOWN ACROSS Copyright Solution
22 10.Carpet pad 11.Josh 12.Come up 13.Tube 21.Not him 25.Joke 26.Information 27.Completed 28.Finger jewelry 29.2-wheeled vehicle 30.Grocery carriers 31.Broadcasts 33.Tight 34.Units of 2000 pounds 35.Sea eagle 36.Lose traction 38.Nail care 41.Mesh 42.Meat retailer 44.Modern 45.Escapade 46.Farewell 47.Alarming 48.Variant of “Leapt” 50.Minerals 51.Half-moon tide 52.Rubber wheel 53.Hotels 54.Curved molding 55.Bird home 61.Anagram of “Sneer” 62.Not false 63.Glimpse 64.Adjust again
on page
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.