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2 / R / May 23, 2024

The week in random review

The Unread States of America

When I come across a social media post laying out statistics that are supposed to “really make you think,” I either roll my eyes and scroll on or look them up to see how incorrect or misleading they actually are. I saw one the other day that immediately sent me on a Google quest for truth, and I found it, much to my chagrin. Here’s the gist of the original post: 21% of U.S. adults read below a fifth-grade level and 50% of U.S. adults can’t read a book written for eighth-graders. “Yeah right,” was my first thought. Then I looked it up. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, it is true that 21% of adults aged 16 to 65 have “difficulty” completing “tasks that require comparing and contrasting information, paraphrasing or making low-level inferences.” That’s about 43 million American adults “who possess low literacy skills,” including 8.4 million who are considered “functionally illiterate.” The data shows that “the largest percentage of those with low literacy skills are white U.S.-born adults, who represent one third of such low-skilled population.” (Look it up at Meanwhile, APM Research Lab reported in 2022 that a full 54% of Americans between the ages of 16 and 74 read below a sixth-grade level ( and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy reported in 2020 that those numbers line up with the U.S. Department of Education, stating that 130 million American adults “lack literary proficiency.” (Find the full report at Good news for Idaho, though: “Only” 16% of our adult population performs at or below Level 1, which is the threshold for functional illiteracy.


There’s nothing like a perfectly deployed cuss word to elevate any statement. But the standard curses get boring — I like to broaden my repertoire with more inventive expletives. To my delight, I recently found a list of “kid-friendly” swear words from Europe, which I will be adopting as necessary from now on. The following is a sampling of my favorites. From Denmark: for hulen! (“by the cave!”); from Sweden: järnspikar! (“iron nails!”); from the Czech Republic: kurník! (“henhouse!”); and from Italy: cavolo! (“cabbage!”). Some others that are less functional but still amazing come from Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina: kvrapcu! (“go to the sparrow!”); Germany: Scheibenkleister! (“window pane glue!”); and the epic Lithuanian phrase: kasyk sliekui pažastis! (“go scratch the armpits of an earthworm!”). Funny enough, the French and Spanish both use their word for “Wednesday” as a malediction (mercredi and miércoles, respectively), which seems more than appropriate for use around the Reader office, as it’s our deadline day.

Time warp

Fun fact: The first Lost in the ’50s took place in 1987 — 28 years after 1959. In 2025, we’ll have been celebrating Lost in the ’50s for 38 years, which means we’ll be a full 10 years further in time from the founding of the event than its first edition was from the end of the 1950s.


Congratulations to all of the candidates who won their primary races on May 21 and a hearty handshake to those who lost their campaigns. Politics is never an easy game, so I applaud those who ran honorable races and avoided slinging mud. I was just having a conversation with someone in my office about how one of my biggest desires in life is for politics to return to some semblance of civility again. We may have different views on policies that affect us, but we should never abandon the fact that we have more in common than we do that divides us. My message to those who won their races: Should you win the general in November, you’ll represent not just the base that elected you, but all Idahoans. Find a way to serve them all. Final thought: Facts always matter. Let’s never abandon them.

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About the Cover This week’s cover by Andy Romens, taken at Round Lake State Park.

May 23, 2024 / R / 3

Army Corps expects 2,057-ft. lake level by Memorial Day

Hopes are to reach full summer pool by end of June

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Kathryn Sanborn visited Albeni Falls Dam near Oldtown on May 21 to tour the site and answer questions about spillway operations that have delayed the lake reaching summer pool level.

After flaws were discovered in April 2024 as part of a major gate rehabilitation contract initiated in June 2023, the U.S. Army Corps removed spillway gate No. 3 on May 14, and reduced powerhouse flows to mitigate flood risks that might arise during storm events in the near future.

“We have a good level of confidence that we’ll get to 2,057 feet by Memorial Day,” Sanborn told the Reader “Our goal — very important to note that it’s a goal — is to be at [summer pool] 2,062 feet by the end of June. But I don’t want to overpromise ... conditions with respect to the runoff can require us to adjust that goal and we’ll be in communication as we have to make those adjustments.”

Sanborn said a multitude of factors play into reaching full lake elevation for the summer, including balancing water storage, peak inflow passage, real-time weather, streamflow and flood risks.

“It’s in our favor that we don’t have a lot of snowmelt to try to manage,” she added. “We’re not as worried as we might be on a regular snow year about how quickly it is going to warm up.”

Sanborn said the hardest part of managing the inflow is when spring rain falls on snow, which quickly melts snowpack and releases an uncontrollable amount of water. Also, heavy spring rains add considerably more water volume to the area, and when it falls on snow while the ground is still frozen, it doesn’t seep in, elevating flood risks.

“There’s no model for

predicting rain on snow,” Sanborn said. “It’s something we’ll have to continue to monitor and will definitely be a part of our equation as we figure out managing the water in the future while we also manage this infrastructure situation and work through the restricted operations.”

Sanborn said after the spillway gate was pulled and replaced with a spare maintenance gate, contractors stripped away the paint and found a metal defect. Because the gates are original from the 1950s when the dam was built, Sanborn said the need to perform a closer inspection of all the gates was paramount, since they are made of the same metal and endured the same wear and tear as the defective gate.

“We have subject matter experts from the Army Corps Center of Expertise for Welding that observed this metal defect ... in a critical portion of the gate that could lead to a fracture of the gate, which would be a catastrophic failure

of the gate,” Sanborn said. “The gate would no longer function as a gate in the dam and it would happen with little to no warning. The impact would be very, very quick once it started to fracture, and there would be no way to stop it and control or manage that water flow.”

Under normal operations, the spillway gates could be moved at the same time as others, and might only open or close slightly to reach the desired level. Under restricted operations — as the dam is now — gates are only moved one at a time and, when they are moved, they are moved all the way open or all the way closed.

“The movement of the gate, given what we’re seeing for the metal defect, is really where we run the highest risk of that metal failure,” Sanborn said.

Local business owners and recreational enthusiasts have lamented the delay in reaching the summer pool, claiming the delay will have a detrimental effect on the local economy.

“You can guarantee a few

of us are going to end up bankrupt if we miss out on July and miss out on our summer guests — the Canadians and all the folks that live on the lake and use it as an amenity,” said Justin Dick, who owns Trinity at City Beach, which just announced it would reopen for the season (see Page 15 for more on that story).

“We had the worst winter in years and most hospitality and service businesses have been dying since President’s Day,” Dick added.

Pam Auletta, who owns and operates the Hope Marina with her husband Rick, said the delayed summer pool along with cooler-than-average temperatures have also affected their business, as well as the seasonal waterfront rentals they operate.

“If I was a private owner and resident on the lake and paying 12 months of land taxes and I only got two months of water, I’d be the first one screaming,” she told the Reader. “It’s affecting us, but we do have deep water here year

round, so I can juggle a little bit more. Sandpoint’s in the mud, though.”

District 1A Republican Rep. Mark Sauter toured the facility May 22 and said while he respects and appreciates the public safety issues involved, he is hoping for more options that can help the lake reach summer pool soon.

“For me, it’s property values,” Sauter told the Reader “It’s our local economy. The uncertainty is the one thing that is harmful here.”

Sauter said a delayed summer pool level affects more than just boaters who are unable to access the lake.

“It’s the fuel they buy, the hotels, the vacation stays, restaurants, food purchases, you name it,” he said. “You know that old saying, ‘Our economy rises and falls with

< see LAKE, Page 5>

NEWS 4 / R / May 23, 2024
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Kathryn Sanborn answers questions about spillway operations with Albeni Falls Dam in the background. Photo by Ben Olson.

City Beach lifeguard program will again be paused for summer 2024

It will be another summer season without lifeguards manning the stands at City Beach, with officials citing “the demographic and shifting employment environment over the last few years.”

That was according to Sandpoint Recreation Supervisor Katie Bradbury at the May 15 meeting of the Sandpoint City Council. Jason Wiley left the position of recreation supervisor in December 2023, and Bradbury has been on the job for about a month.

Wiley painted a similar picture related to the lifeguard situation last year, telling the Reader that the beach needs to have between 11 and 16 lifeguards on duty to adequately operate at full capacity.

The COVID-19 pandemic upended the lifeguard program, with no students in the training pipeline during those years. That resulted in an acute shortage by 2023, leading to the program being paused.

“Recognizing the larger challenges faced by not just Sandpoint, but cities all over the country, in recruiting and retaining lifeguards, the city has decided to put the lifeguard program on pause again in 2024,” Bradbury told the council.

Rather, the city will transi-

the level of the lake,’ and I believe that. ... I talked to business owners on First Avenue the other day and there are places that are down 20% this year versus last year. I think we do have to have a concern and there should be some urgency to figure it out.”

When asked about rumors making the rounds on social media about Flathead Lake in Montana either “taking water” from Lake Pend Oreille or giving it from a surplus, Sanborn said there was no connection at all.

tion its resources to providing aquatics-based instruction and supervised free swim opportunities at City Beach, including activities such as games, crafts and sports geared toward local youth between 5 and 12 years of age.

“This lifeguarding program typically takes many weeks and months to train lifeguards appropriately and there simply wasn’t time to do that or staff to oversee it,” Sandpoint Mayor Jeremy Grimm said. “So I take my hat off to Katie because she has come up with an interim solution.”

The program is planned to run in July and August as a half-day summer camp with room for about 60 students per day attending separate morning and afternoon sessions of three hours.

The city is currently looking to recruit instructors or counselors, and aims to have a participant-to-staff ratio of 1-10.

Grimm said he’d received “a lot of feedback from the public” about the shortage of lifeguards — specifically related to liability. According to Grimm, the American Red Cross requires one lifeguard per 25 swimmers.

“Some days we have upwards of 300 swimmers, so that would be like 12 lifeguards on duty,” he said. “I can only imagine that if we don’t meet those standards we would probably expose

“I don’t think anything going on at Flathead Lake has anything to do with our situation here,” she said. “We’ve got nothing to do with it.”

Sanborn said one other reason the Army Corps is so cautious about instituting restricted operations after the malfunctions is because of the immense size of the basin from which inflows come to Lake Pend Oreille and then downstream to Albeni Falls Dam.

“We need to keep storage space available to guard against the potential for rain

ourselves to liability for not meeting standards.”

Because of that, Grimm added, other waterfront communities in Idaho have also moved away from lifeguard programs.

“It’s an expensive and challenging and time-consuming subject, and we’ll discuss it further during the budget sessions that we’ll go through, but this at least gets kids and families introduced to the skills they need to swim independently and I think it’s going to be very popular,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bradbury said that other programs offered by the YMCA and Schweitzer were already fully booked and with waitlists for the summer, making the city’s program even more necessary.

Christine Moon and Re-

and snow events that can lead to sudden spring high inflows,” said Albeni Falls Dam Operating Project Manager Amanda Smith. “The basin is extremely large so there is a lot to consider when monitoring the conditions. These rain events can happen in any year, so we are being cautious during refill operations.”

“It was two years ago that Yellowstone had that significant storm event,” Sanborn added. “It doesn’t take but one storm in a single watershed to really be impactful to that en-

becca Holland were the only citizens to sign up to speak on the agenda item — which was informational only and required no action by the council. Moon asked councilors to consider “reprioritizing” lifeguards, saying that lacking them at the beach is “shocking” to many residents.

“This is a public safety issue; the largest portion of the general fund is public safety, and it seems a little incomprehensible that there wouldn’t be enough resources to be able to prioritize this public safety issue,” she said. “We shouldn’t be relying on attentive bystanders to handle a potential crisis or a potential tragedy.”

Holland said that the council in July 2023 “made a commitment that they were going to improve the wages, saying

tire water management chain.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has scheduled two public meetings, in Ponderay and Cusick, Wash., to inform the public about the current restricted dam operations. The Ponderay meeting will take place on Thursday, May 30 from 6-8 p.m. at the Ponderay Events Center. The Cusick meeting will be Friday, May 31 from 9-11 a.m. at the Camas Center for Community Wellness.

While the Corps recognizes that a later lake refill affects

that that was the reason they were unable to hire kids; that it was less than flipping burgers.”

Wiley told the Reader in May 2023 that the city had already raised wages, but that the problem remained a lack of trained lifeguards, who must undergo a 20-hour class through the Red Cross.

“I think it’s a huge liability for the city to be just backing away from this commitment that was made and is so much needed,” Holland said. “Please don’t just drop this. I think this would be something that will have a real impact on our community, so please let’s try to get it going because there is the money there.”

recreational opportunities and local economies, Sanborn said the No. 1 priority is always safety.

“Our primary consideration operating Albeni Falls Dam is to minimize risk to human life, health and safety, but we also work to meet the project’s other purposes, which include environmental stewardship, recreation and flood risk management.”

NEWS May 23, 2024 / R / 5
An unattended lifeguard stand at Sandpoint City Beach. Photo by Ben Olson. < LAKE, con’t from Page 4>

Tervan Tavern goes non-smoking

The Tervan Tavern, one of Sandpoint’s oldest bars, is making a change. Starting June 1, the Tervan will transition to non-smoking, leaving the Sand Bar the only bar left in Sandpoint that allows inside smoking.

Owner Daniela Caniglia said most of her regulars have been open to the shift after she broke the news.

“I have about 90% of the people I have talked to be supportive and actually excited about the change. I know I am,” Caniglia told the Reader. “I explain to the reg[ulars] that have been coming since the dawn of time that, ‘No, I am not changing the bar, but the bar air quality must change for the times.’”

Caniglia said that owning a bar that allowed smoking inside has presented several challenges since she purchased it in 2016.

“It’s extremely difficult to hire bartenders and keep them,” she said. “Twenty-five or 30 years ago, it was normal to smoke in a bar or restaurant and employees put up with it. The sign of the times dictates that not many people are willing to work for eight to nine hours in a smoky environment.”

Caniglia said she has developed a cough herself, which was disconcerting since she’s not a smoker. That helped inspire her to make the transition.

Going non-smoking will be the only substantial change at the bar for the time being.

“I won’t do much to scrub and clean after, just because the bar earned that yellow color,” she said. “It’s a dive bar. It still has to have a little dodgy dive feel. Maybe at a later date I’ll take down the dollar bills, turn them into local charities and paint the walls and ceiling, but for now it’ll remain as is.”

Caniglia said a couple of regulars did express alarm at the change, but she said she is sticking to her guns, telling them, “If you want the beer to stay cheap, I need more customers.”

The night crowd, which frequents karaoke and open mics, are “ecstatic,” she said, “because it’s so much easier to sing without the added pollution.”

Plans are in the works to install a small smoke shack outside with a heater for wintertime, which “eased some of the pushback from the ol’ timers,” Caniglia said.

The Tervan was traditionally a blue-collar watering hole for loggers, railroad workers and miners who frequented Sandpoint nearly a century ago. First opened in 1932 as the Tam O’Shanter, the Tervan operated under the same name until Caniglia bought it in 2016, altering the name to the bar’s moniker, which was always Tervan. It survived the Great Depression, several wars, a town transitioning to tourism, one buyout attempt from a hotel that wound up building around the dive bar and thousands of thirsty Sandpoint locals coming through its doors every day and night.

As far as the origins of the iconic misspelled sign out front — which reads “tavern” on the west side and “tervan” on the east side — the unofficial story goes that two proprietors of the Tam O’Shanter had spent some time with a whiskey bottle the day they elected to mount the bar’s sign. With one of the inebriated men affixing the letters and the other holding the ladder, they finished the job and looked up at what they had done.

When someone pointed out they bungled the spelling of the word “tavern,” the men just laughed and said, “Well, that’s about right,” and went inside the bar, leaving the sign hanging that way going on nearly a century.

Bits ’n’ Pieces

From east, west and beyond

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

According to The Lever, 60% of Americans lived paycheck-to-paycheck last year. Meanwhile, a report from Equilar showed executive compensation packages rose 11% as employee pay declined.

Both the Social Security and Medicare are strong and solvent — for now, according to the 2024 report by the trustees of the funds. But that depends on this year’s election results. The Alliance for Retired Americans points out that the current president wants to strengthen both programs with laws that make the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share, while Republicans want to cut $1.5 trillion from Social Security. Without an influx from the wealthy, Social Security payments will be at 79% instead of 100% by 2033.

Last year was the hottest ever recorded. The “Banking on Climate Chaos” report, endorsed by 589 organizations and 69 countries, stated that Wall Street funded $347 billion for new fossil fuel projects in 2023.

Following former-President Donald Trump’s offer to aid fossil fuel executives by dismantling climate regulations in exchange for $1 billion in campaign contributions, various media reported that House Democrats are launching an investigation, as is CREW — Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Scientists told The Guardian a reintroduced herd of 170 bison in Romania is helping store carbon equal to 43,000 fewer cars on roads.

At the urging of a bipartisan congressional letter, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy will pause USPS austerity reorganization efforts for the rest of the year. According to Sen. Susan Collins’ website, Congress made it clear they want to review DeJoy’s plans to ensure no harm to mail delivery services. She says the pause should be permanent, not temporary.

Former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen testified recently in Trump’s trial regarding 34 counts of falsifying business records, various media reported. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax fraud and lying to Congress about Trump’s Russian real estate plans. He told jurors Trump directly authorized him to pay $130,000 to stop a campaign-damaging sex story. He also admitted to stealing

from Trump and to lying under oath in the past on Trump’s behalf. Closing arguments are likely on Tuesday, May 28. One day after posting an ad on Trump’s Truth Social referring to “creation of a unified Reich” if he’s elected, there were second thoughts about the campaign’s Hitler-tainted statement. It was removed. Trump’s former deputy press secretary commented that “Trump’s continued use of Nazi rhetoric is un-American and despicable. Yet too many Americans are brushing off the glaring red flags about what could happen if he returns to the White House.”

According to The Guardian, Trump said at a recent NRA meeting that he could eliminate presidential term limits. A far-right Republican who won a Texas school board seat devoted herself to examining school curriculum for “rampant” leftist indoctrination. ProPublica reported that Courtney Gore found no “Critical Race Theory,” sexualization of children or dangerous “social-emotional” teachings. Gore was stunned to find that fellow conservatives were indifferent since “it didn’t fit the narrative they were trying to push.”

Senate Judiciary Chair Sen. Dick Durbin said Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito should recuse himself from any 2020 election case, following The New York Times report of an upside down U.S. flag flown at Alito’s home days before Joe Biden was sworn in. Alito blamed his wife for flying the flag. The symbol was used by Trump supporters claiming the presidential election was stolen.

One case Alito may hear is that of Trump having criminal immunity for interfering with 2020 election results.

Online comments urged impeachment of Alito, as well as recusal; it was pointed out that the Supreme Court’s Code of Conduct calls for recusal to “avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

Newsweek reported that impeachment requires a House majority vote, followed by a Senate trial.

Blast from the past: According to the U.S. Constitution, justices “shall hold their Offices during good behavior.”

The last time a justice was impeached was in 1805. Associate Justice Samuel Chase was impeached under the Sedition Act for partisan and “intemperate” comments during trials. It takes a twothirds vote of the Senate to impeach. Chase was not convicted in the Senate.

6 / R / May 23, 2024

2024 Idaho primary results: 15 incumbent GOP legislators lose re-election campaigns

Fifteen incumbent Republican legislators, including Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise; Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle; and Rep. Julianne Young, R-Blackfoot; lost their re-election bids May 21, according to unofficial primary election results released by the state and counties.

Winder, the highest ranking member of the Idaho Senate, lost to Republican challenger Josh Keyser in the District 20, Idaho Senate Republican primary election. With 100% of Ada County precincts reporting, Keyser secured a 281-vote victory over Winder, according to the Ada County Elections Office:

• Keyser: 3,207 votes, 52.3%

• Winder: 2,926 votes, 47.7%

On the other side of the state, Young, who is the vice chair of the Idaho House State Affairs Committee, lost to Republican challenger Ben G. Fuhriman of Shelley in the District 30, Idaho House Seat B race by the slimmest of margins. With 100% of Bingham and Butte County precincts reporting, Fuhriman won by less than 10 votes, according to unofficial results released by the two counties:

• Fuhriman: 3,763 votes, 50.1%

• Young: 3,753 votes, 49.9%

With 100% of precincts reporting in Bonner and Boundary counties early May 22, Herndon was defeated by Republican challenger Jim Woodward, also R-Sagle. Unofficial results released by the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office showed Woodward win-

ning the primary election by 613 votes shortly before 2 a.m. Mountain Time:

• Herndon: 7,606 votes, 48%

• Woodward: 8,219 votes, 52%

Several other incumbent legislators lost as well:

Reps. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett; Matthew Bundy, R-Mountain Home; Chenele Dixon, R-Kimberly; Melissa Durrant, R-Kuna; Jacyn Gallagher, R-Weiser; Linda Wright Hartgen, R-Twin Falls; Tina Lambert, R-Caldwell; Gregory Lanting, R-Twin Falls; Kenny Wroten, R-Nampa; Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell; and Sens. Geoff Schroeder, R-Mountain Home, and Chris Trakel, R-Caldwell, all were defeated in their primary elections.

Other incumbent legislators had more success in their primary election campaigns. With 100% of Bonneville County precincts reporting, incumbent Rep. Wendy Horman, R-Idaho Falls, held off two Republican challengers — Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti and Republican National Committee member Bryan Smith:

• Coletti: 2,522 votes, 35.5%

• Horman: 3,236 votes, 45.5%

• Smith: 1,352 votes, 19%

Horman is the co-chair of the Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee, which sets each element of the state budget.

2024 Idaho primary election voter turnout

This year, all 105 seats in the Idaho Legislature are up for election, even though not all of the races are contested. In addition to legislative elections,

the May 21 primary election also featured congressional primary elections, races for county positions such as sheriff, county commissioner and prosecutor, as well as hundreds of races for neighborhood level political positions called precinct committeemen, which make up the grassroots of the state’s political parties.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. local time across the state on May 21 and initial results were first posted by the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office at about 9 p.m. Mountain Time.

During a conference call with news reporters as the final polls closed, Idaho Secretary of State

Phil McGrane said more than 150,000 voters had voted in-person. That number did not include voters who voted by absentee ballot or participated in early voting. McGrane estimated the percentage of voter turnout could land somewhere in the mid 20% range. If that estimate holds true, McGrane said turnout would surpass the 2016 primary election turnout of 23% but would fall short of turnout from the 2022 and 2020 primary elections.

During the most recent primary election in 2022, turnout was 32.5% in Idaho, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.

“There have been no real issues. It’s been a very smooth election from the county perspective,” McGrane told reporters May 21.

GOP chairwoman: primary election has been ‘pretty doggone brutal’

Hundreds of Republican candidates, voters and boosters gathered

at the Riverside Hotel located just outside of Boise for the Idaho GOP’s election night watch party. At the May 21 event, Idaho Republican Party Chairwoman Dorothy Moon told supporters this year’s primary election was one of the most divisive in recent years.

“It’s been pretty doggone brutal,” Moon said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

This primary season, hundreds of contested precinct committeeman elections are being staged between competing factions that are battling for control of the Idaho Republican Party. A group of traditional establishment Republicans is seeking to take back control of the party from Moon, who gained power at the 2022 Idaho Republican State Convention, and her supporters. The chairmanship of the Idaho Republican Party will go up for a vote again this summer at the Idaho Republican Party’s upcoming state convention in June.

The May 21 primary election results won’t become official until the State Board of Canvassers certifies the election results. The canvass is scheduled to occur at 11:15 a.m., Wednesday, June 5 at the Mountain America Center in Idaho Falls, McGrane said.

The winners of the May 21 primary election advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

This story was produced by Boise-based nonprofit news outlet the Idaho Capital Sun, which is part of the States Newsroom nationwide reporting project. For more information, visit

May 23, 2024 / R / 7 NEWS

Local results for the 2024 May primary

Woodward bests Herndon for Dist. 1 Senate

Idahoans around the state went to the polls May 21 to select candidates who will appear in the November general election. The primary in District 1 — which includes both Bonner and Boundary counties — featured high-profile campaigns for Idaho Senate and two seats in the House. In Bonner County, six Republicans were in contested races for two seats representing Districts 1 and 3 on the board of county commissioners, while the sheriff’s race drew two Republican contenders.

Voters in West Bonner County also had an almost $4.7 million, one-year supplemental on the ballot — which failed 54.24% to 45.76% — and some voters in East Bonner County weighed in on an $18.5 million measure to improve wastewater treatment, which passed almost 74% to just over 26%.

Bonner County Clerk Michael Rosedale, who oversees county elections, told the Reader that nearly 15,200 votes were cast May 21, representing about 46.7% of registered voters — an increase from the 43.8% who participated in the 2022 primary.

“It was a little bit more well attended, both percentage wise and absolute,” he said, noting that the number of early voting ballots was 1,125 while returned valid absentee ballots totaled 2,201.

Overall, the election process went without incident, Rosedale said, noting that the count was finished by about 12:30 a.m. on May 22 and staff headed home by 1 a.m. Meanwhile, poll workers — many who are in their 70s and 80s — put in a long day, starting at 7 a.m. and finishing as late as 11 p.m.

“I am so appreciative of our poll workers,” Rosedale said.

All results are unofficial until canvassed on Wednesday, June 5.

The results By far the highest-profile primary legislative race in Idaho ended May 21 with a close win by Jim Woodward over incumbent District 1 Republican Sen. Scott Herndon, of Sagle, who also serves as chair of the Bonner County Republican Central Committee and received its endorsement.

Woodward, who previously served two terms in the Idaho Senate before being bested by Herndon in the 2022 primary, regained the seat with 8,219 votes district-wide, compared to Herndon’s 7,606 — or 51.94% to 48.06%, respectively.

Incumbent District 1A Rep. Mark Sauter, R-Sandpoint, prevailed over challengers Jane Sauter (no relation) and Spencer Hutchings with 7,622 votes district-wide for 49.8%. Endorsed by the BCRCC, Jane Sauter drew 4,828 votes, or 31.6%, and Hutchings took 2,830, or 18.5%.

BCRCC-endorsed Cornel Rasor won the primary for the District 1B seat formerly held

by Sage Dixon, who declined to run for another turn. Rasor took 7,623 votes for nearly 52% while Chuck Lowman earned 7,042, just more than 48%.

Democrat Kathryn Larson won with 987 votes for House Seat 1B, amounting to almost 92% compared to Bob Vickaryous’ 87 votes, or 8.1%. Vickaryous is a well known John Birch Society activist who routinely enters local Democratic primaries though does not campaign.

Woodward will be opposed in the general election by Independent candidates Steve Johnson and Dan Rose.

Democrat Karen Mathee ran unopposed for House Seat 1A, and will go on to face Sauter in the November election. Larson will contend with Rasor for House Seat 1B.

In the Bonner County Republican primary for the board of commissioners District 1 seat, Brian Domke prevailed with 6,668 votes, or just shy of 54.3%. Brian Riley earned 4,868 for 39.6% while James Burroughs — who did not actively campaign — took 749 votes, for 6.1%.

Incumbent District 3

Commissioner Luke Omodt did not retain his seat through the primary, with challenger

Ron Korn taking 6,356 votes, or 48.8%, to Omodt’s 5,023, or 38.57%. Dimitry Borisov came in third, with 1,643 votes, or 12.6%.

Meghan Yeats ran unopposed in the Democratic primary for District 1 county commissioner and will go on to face Domke in November. Korn will be up against Independent candidate Glenn Lefebvre in the general election.

Finally, in the Bonner County sheriff’s race, incumbent Daryl Wheeler prevailed by the biggest margin in the Republican primary, with 9,822 votes or 77.17% of the vote to Steven Bradshaw’s 2,906, or 22.8%. Bradshaw declined to seek another term as District 1 Bonner County commissioner, instead throwing his hat in the ring for the sheriff’s office.

Wheeler will be unopposed on the general election ballot. Meanwhile, Bonner County Assessor Dennis Engelhardt and Prosecutor Louis Marshall both ran unopposed primary campaigns and will not face a reelection challenger in November.

Reactions to L.D. 1 results

The Herndon and Woodward campaigns drew state-

wide as well as national attention, in part because of the aggressive messaging involved, as well as the enormous war chests compiled by the candidates. Woodward pulled in nearly $130,000 for his rematch against Herndon — the third time they’ve squared off in a primary since 2018 — while Herndon’s contributions totaled almost $116,000, ranking them firstand second-place for funds raised among all the primary legislative races in Idaho.

Many observers also saw that contest as emblematic of the broader rift in the Idaho GOP between self-identified hardline conservative “Freedom Caucus” members like Herndon and those like Woodward, who are generally described as more “traditional” or “moderate” Republicans.

In a piece published May 19 by Politico and shared throughout Idaho, the sub-headline referring to Woodward reads, “One candidate is testing the power of a moderate coalition to stand up to extremism in a region that has been powerless to its advance.”

The Washington Post followed on May 20 with another report on the District 1 Senate race, writing that the primary represented an “internal Republican battle” and illustrated the “stakes” for the statewide party as a whole.

Herndon’s campaign leaned on partisan affiliation with many of its materials — including mailers to area residents — labeling Woodward as “Liberal Jim” and mirroring a broader narrative throughout the Idaho Republican primaries that sought to paint certain candidates as “Republicans In Name Only.”

As he did in the 2022 primary, Woodward exerted energy in his 2024 primary

8 / R / May 23, 2024 NEWS
< see RESULTS, Page 9 >
Jim Woodward, left; Mark Sauter, center; Cornel Rasor, right. File photos.

campaign pushing back against the Herndon camp’s characterizations of his voting record and party affiliation.

In a statement to the Reader emailed May 22, Woodward emphasized working beyond partisanship to serve the district as a whole — a message he shared at multiple forums and other gatherings in the runup to the May 21 election.

“I appreciate the support of so many throughout the community in this primary election campaign. I hope to garner your support in the November general election. For those I have yet to earn your trust, I look forward to more conversations as I work to dispel the misconceptions created during a contentious primary election,” he wrote.

“My goal is to serve and represent the community, which requires listening to and understanding the thoughts, needs and desires of all,” Woodward added. “I promise to do that and more. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions: jim@, 208946-7963.”

Incumbent District 1A Rep. Sauter has been similarly characterized as a “moderate” Republican, whose campaign signs were often seen in the company of Woodward’s. Both candidates also earned endorsements from the 501(c)(4) non-profit North Idaho Voters Services, which leverages voter research to assess candidates’ qualifications beyond single ideological

issues or campaign rhetoric.

“I’m grateful for all of the help that I’ve had from all of the people who have contributed — whether it’s time or treasure, and it feels good to have my community pass me through the primary,” Sauter told the Reader following the election.

“I’m not reelected yet, but it’s nice to come home and have some good support,” he added. “I’m probably going to take a break. ... I’ll go to all the community events that I can, but I’m going to slow it down for at least a couple of months.”

In an email to the Reader on May 22, Rasor wrote that his “first vote of gratitude goes to God. Whether I won or lost, He is good.

“I would like to thank all the folks who worked so hard for this win. Thank you to all of you who so generously contributed to the campaign, we couldn’t have done it without you,” he added.

“I would like to thank Chuck [Lowman] for running a good campaign,” Rasor wrote. “And truly, thank you to the good people of Legislative District 1. Should I win the general election, I will do my best to represent all of you.”

Larson, whose primary win means she’ll be on the November ballot against Rasor, told the Reader in a post-election statement, “I’d say thank you to the voters. Seems like the Idaho voters are ready to elect candidates who will represent them.”

Reactions to Bonner County results

While Rasor was the only Bonner County Republican Central Committee-endorsed candidate to succeed in the top-of-the-ballot L.D. 1 races, the committee’s picks for District 1 and 3 commissioner seats made it through the primary with comfortable margins, despite being in three-way races.

Domke mustered strong financial support for his District 1 commissioner race, with campaign contributions totaling about $20,000. Korn did, too, with more than $13,000 raised for his bid for District 3 commissioner.

Should both prevail over their general election contenders, Domke and Korn will represent a distinct shift on the Bonner County board of commissioners, which has since January 2023 been embroiled by a running series of conflicts that have, at various times, included almost every county department and both elected officials and staff.

In an April 29 candidates’ forum, Domke described himself as a “Christian conservative” with “constitutional values” and pledged to invite comment on every agendized item before county commissioners at their regular Tuesday morning business meetings.

“It’s critical that we incorporate the extra time that might be needed in a business meeting to accommodate those comments from the public,” he said at the forum.

That issue has proved to be the source of fierce contention from District 2 Commissioner Asia Williams, who since taking office in January 2023 has made public comment and the rules regarding testimony a consistent theme in criticisms of outgoing BOCC Chair Omodt.

Domke did not respond to a request for a post-election statement by press time.

In a statement to the Reader on May 22, Korn thanked “everyone who worked so hard on my campaign and for all of the community support! It is overwhelming!

I am honored, humbled and blessed with your support! I’ve met some great people during the campaign that I never would’ve known otherwise.

“I cherish these new relationships as well as my existing ones and look forward to serving you all if elected in November as your District 3 commissioner, Lord willing. My goal is to return Constitutional government and representation to our Bonner County republic, as the People evidently do too, per their votes,” he added, signing off with the phrase, “In Liberty.”

In a statement posted on his campaign website and later shared with the Reader, Wheeler wrote, “I am honored by your vote and grateful to God for the victory!”

How the precinct committeeman races played out Finally, among the unusual aspects of the 2024 primary

was the amount of attention and emphasis placed on Republican precinct committeeman positions. While the Democrats had 15 candidates on the ballot, they were all unopposed. Of the 30 Republican precinct committee positions, 15 were contested — another element of the wider competition between hardline and moderate factions within the party.

Of the 12 candidates for GOP precinct positions endorsed by North Idaho Voter Services, eight were successful, including Butch Horton for the Baldy precinct, Dave Britton for Beach, Sauter for Dover, Jeff Connolly for East Priest River, Richard Townsend for Gamlin Lake, Tanner Linton for Oldtown, Andy Kee for Sagle and Tom Bokowy for Washington.

Woodward faced Herndon for the Westmond precinct, though Herndon won that race with 337 votes, or 61%, compared to Woodward’s 215, or 38.95%.

Other precinct wins included Borisov, who ran unopposed for Clark Fork; Korn, who bested Barbara Schriber and Kathy Rose with 64% of the vote for the Grouse Creek precinct; and Rasor, who took nearly 77.3% of the vote for Southside against Hutchings, who drew about 22.7%.

View all statewide election results at Results are preliminary until canvassed and certified.

May 23, 2024 / R / 9
< RESULTS, con’t from Page 8 >
From left to right: Kathryn Larson, Brian Domke, Ron Korn, Daryl Wheeler. File photos.


• “Kudos to the lovely lilac bush on Main Street in front of the U.S. Bank. The bush dares you to walk by without burying your head into the lilacs. The aroma is absolutely intoxicating. Many thanks to nature for sharing its spring gifts with us mere mortals!”

— By Jim Healey


• “A huge Bouquet to H2o Well Service in Sagle. After our family had a water emergency, they got us on the schedule immediately and had their technician, Damon, out with a smile. The job had a few unexpected twists, but they stuck to their quote and got our water running again in a few hours. Every step of the process was friendly, professional and done efficiently.”

• A Bouquet goes out to all the polling center volunteers who work long days to ensure our votes are collected accurately. Also, three cheers to Bonner County Clerk Michael Rosedale and his Elections Department staff.


• Here’s a Barb to all the crybabies on social media complaining that Sen. Scott Herndon lost the primary to Jim Woodward because of mail-in voting. Ever notice every time a right-wing extremist wins, it’s the “will of the people,” but when they lose it’s some nefarious fraud? I have too. It would be funny if it wasn’t so damned tiring to see every election. Here’s a Kleenex, whiners.

Lifeguards at City Beach aren’t optional — they’re public safety…

Dear editor,

City Hall’s suspension of the City Beach lifeguard program should be reversed. See the May 14 New York Times for: “The Increase in Drowning Deaths Should Be a National Priority.” My childhood in a family of Sandpoint funeral home owners may give me unusual awareness, but any longtime resident can tell a drowning story about a local tragic loss.

Public safety is a social contract between the city and its residents and a rationale for paying taxes. Mayor Grimm stated that a low ratio of lifeguards-to-swimmers could create vulnerability for lawsuits. Do “Swim at Your Own Risk” and removal of lifeguard stands mean a city that profits from lake recreation is free of legal responsibility? What about moral responsibility?

Adequately funding lifeguards at City Beach is not an optional recreation function. It is a public safety function, no less than police, fire and EMT programs. Funding and staffing such a program should not be a back-burner, low-wage teenager program, but rather a fully realized and ongoing program that happens to be seasonal.

If Sandpoint City Hall desires to continue the longstanding City Beach summer lifeguard program but is incapable of doing so, it is a signal to local residents who will believe that the city prioritizes amenities at the expense of necessities. It is a bad look for City Hall to tell us that we cannot support a lifeguard program or that no staffer could successfully mount one, meanwhile touting fancy new racquet, bicycle and playground facilities.

A pleasant visit to Sandpoint…

Christine Moon Sandpoint Dear editor, My wife and I stopped by Sandpoint on the way back to Canada to see Terrapin Flyer at The Hive, which, it turns out, is a fabulous venue. We were leery as to what Idaho would be like, considering it’s neanderthal state Legislature and governor, who couldn’t wait (literally) to start a local war on pregnant women the second Roe v Wade was reversed — which brings to mind a line from a Bob Dylan song, “Money

doesn’t talk; it swears” — as it must have been the extent of campaign contributions, rather than quality of character, that got the governor and many of the state legislators elected. Seeing a poster from a female candidate advertising her commitment to continuing that war didn’t ease our apprehension.

So we were quite pleasantly surprised to discover, not only that Sandpoint is one of the nicest towns we’ve visited during our travels in the States, but it’s full of nice people.

Many thanks to the sheriff who apprised us of the BLM site at Grouse Creek and Kayla at the police station, who helped us work out where to park overnight in the downtown core, as we didn’t want to have to be driving anywhere in our RV at midnight.

By the way, we noted with some amusement the reference to a Bertha in the same issue of your paper advertising Terrapin Flyer [“Random Corner: Don’t know much about cows? We can help”; reference to “Big Bertha” the 48-year-old cow; May 16, 2024]. But since Big Bertha died, I guess there’s no need to beg. She won’t be coming around here anymore in any case.

‘What a weekend’...

Dear editor, It was another great weekend at the 37th annual Lost in the ’50s celebration in Sandpoint. Great music, hundreds of classic cars and just a great all around gathering of our community near and far. Thank you Carolyn Gleason, the sponsors and all the volunteers.

Bill Litsinger Sandpoint


response to ‘Steady As She Goes,’ by Tim

Dear editor,

Yes, it was a paid advertisement. But man, what a well written and inspirational article.

My dad was a pilot in the Air Force and my wife Suzanne’s dad was a WWII submariner in the Pacific.

When I was 21, I was more or less a hippy and interested mostly in riding my motorcycle and flunking out of college. (Both of which I did.)

Next thing I know I’m carrying an M-16 to the rifle range every

day in January in New Jersey! It (mostly) wasn’t fun and never easy. But it slowly got better and I had some amazing experiences in my two-year career as an Army military policeman.

That day in 1971 when I was “see-lected” into the military I thought it was the end of the world. Turns out, it was the beginning of the world.

That two years and the things I learned about myself and many other things set me up for all the successes I’ve had in my life since then.

I’ve often thought about what a perfect solution it is for any young person struggling with what to do with their life and needing some direction. (Not to mention serving your country in maybe the most fundamental and historical way possible.)

Thanks for publishing Tim’s “article” and, yes, good luck Jim Woodward. We need more like you. And thank you, Tim for writing it.


Got something to say? Write a letter to the editor. Our word limit is back up to 300 words or less. Please elevate the conversation. Trolls will be turned away and sent to live under a bridge.

Sandpoint Elks Morning Ladies League begins

The Wednesday morning ladies league at the Sandpoint Elks Golf Course began play on May 22 and will continue throughout the golfing season. Interested players are invited to sign in at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings at the Sandpoint Elks course, with play beginning at 8 a.m.

“We are inviting all women golfers to join our league,” the

group wrote in a statement. “Any level of golfer is welcome.”

Those interested in joining can leave a message with Loris Michael at 208-610-5914 and she will reply with further details.

The week of May 29 will feature a scramble, followed by brunch and the club’s first meeting of the year.

“Don’t miss out on some fun golf this summer!” league organizers wrote.

10 / R / May 23, 2024
Henney… Buh-bye… Dear editor, Scott Herndon… see ya!!! Helander Sandpoint

Can you hear it? That’s the sweet sound of silence descending like springtime fog, blanketing the earth after the torrential downpour of primary election messaging. We’re nearing the few months when our mailboxes won’t be stuffed with those too-long postcards (does each candidate get an “I’m running for office” discount code at Staples?) that still don’t manage to say anything meaningful with their extra four inches of cardstock.

It’s that brief, yet impending window between robocalls and unsolicited texts, wherein we can reclaim joyful, mindless driving — not involuntarily tallying candidate yard signs or attempting to predict election outcomes (or is that just me?). We’re not there yet, as the election results still require debriefing, but soon, we’ll be in the sweet spot between selecting weekend beach locations and deciding which fall vegetables to plant and where.

In this vein, before I close the book on Civics (or whatever class this shit-show now resembles) and break for the summer, I want to reflect on politics, the news and the way we describe these subjects — currently, and in the past. Because lately, I’ve felt like modern words don’t do these topics, and the experience of them, justice. So here are some old English words, long out of use, that somehow describe politics and the people making headlines more perfectly than any modern-day language I’ve been able to muster.

Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

New(s) and old words

The first term I’d like to revive is the 18th-century verb “fudgel,” or the act of giving the impression of doing something when, in fact, you really are doing nothing.

Like any English ace, I know that committing a word to memory requires using it in a sentence, like, “Were the Supreme Court justices listening or simply fudgelling when they heard the federal government’s case against Idaho’s near-total abortion ban?” or, “Will they consider or fudgel through the real-time impact of their decision on women (especially pregnant women or women hoping to safely start families), physicians and hospitals in the state and around the country?”

In this case, the jury is — quite literally — still out.

Then, there’s the term “snollygoster,” which first gained popularity in the mid1800s, but experienced a resurgence of use in the 1940s and ’50s, when Harry S. Truman used it in a speech to taunt “Republican snollygosters.”

Meaning “a clever, unscrupulous person,” but with synonyms like “fox” or “snake” falling a bit short, I’ll again turn to its use in a sentence to

drive home its meaning:

“As incumbent candidate Scott Herndon engaged in yet another petty smear campaign of his opponent Jim Woodward, I can’t tell if he’s a snollygoster or simply a welltrained puppet for out-of-state money and interests.”

Another great word due for a revival is “jargogle,” meaning to confuse or jumble, especially as they relate to thoughts. Like, when Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker addressed the newly graduated women of Benedictine College with a commencement speech in which he explained, “Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world. But I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world,” he was surely jargoggled in thinking that anyone — especially young women — wanted to hear his thoughts on their futures.

Next up on English words due for a comeback is “ultracrepidarian,” or a person who gives opinions on subjects they know nothing about.

I certainly don’t have to dig far to find a good use of this term (here’s me adding it to my list of “sick burns”), but I like, “Although amateur ultracrepidarians are ubiquitous on social media platforms, with people sharing their (in)expert takes on everything under the sun, a far more problematic population of ultracrepidarians are flooding positions of power — especially those who think women’s stomachs are connected to their vaginas, or that injecting bleach will save you from infectious disease.”

The final term I’d like

to revive is “uhtceare,” or the act of being awake and anxious before sunrise. This term is primed for use in our post-election come-down, like, “After a full month of sporadic news and election-related uhtceare, I’m excited to put this impending doom and myself to bed.”

And with a ring of the pro-

verbial bell, class is dismissed (for me, anyway). I hope you all have a blissful, election-free summer.

Emily Erickson is a writer and business owner with an affinity for black coffee and playing in the mountains. Connect with her online at

May 23, 2024 / R / 11 PERSPECTIVES
Emily Erickson.
Retroactive By

Science: Mad about

shaving cream

What is this mystical substance that squirts out of a can and foams up on your face, legs, pits or bits to make shaving a breeze? How did human beings survive in a time before shaving cream? Is this stuff safe to eat?

Modern shaving cream is a detergent, though it comes with some added benefits and exclusive applications. Most shaving cream since 1949 is aerosolized and comes out of a can, foaming on contact with anything it touches and producing a fragrant chemical smell. Magically it facilitates easy hair removal anywhere you spray it while lessening the chance of you cutting and injuring yourself — but how does it do all of this?

Soap and detergent are two distinctly different compounds that fulfill the same function. First, let’s take a look at soap.

Soap was produced for thousands of years by mixing alkaline materials, such as ash from wood fires, with rendered animal fats and other oils. The substance produced by mixing these worked well when lathering and scrubbing to remove grease and grime from surfaces and cloth as well as our own bodies. People discovered they could mix herbs, flowers and other fragrances with this substance to make soap and everything it touches smell nice.

Mass production of soaplike materials is a far cry from how soap is traditionally made. The next time you’re in the bath and beauty aisle at your local store, take a quick look at labels and see what is and isn’t actually

referred to as “soap.” Many mass-produced products are detergents, but not soap, as they tend to use purely artificial chemical compounds to produce something with the cleansing properties of soap for far cheaper. On paper, this sounds great. In practice, it could be a major factor as to why certain people have strong skin reactions to certain types of detergent projects but not others.

This might sound like arguing about the difference between Oreos and Hydrox cookies, but there is a distinctive difference between soap and detergent. Soap is produced by a process called “saponification,” which happens when natural fats are cleaved in a process called hydrolysis by alkali materials. Detergents are synthetic mixtures of artificially produced chemicals. In order for a product to be legally called soap on promotional packaging, the FDA specifies that it must be composed mainly of “alkali salts of fatty acids.” If you’re having skin troubles, rashes or irritation, check what you use in the shower — if it doesn’t say “soap” anywhere on the package, there’s a chance you’re having a reaction to synthetic detergents.

Whether shaving cream is considered a soap or a detergent depends on the brand. Most canned-based creams are synthetic detergents. Shaving cream fills a special niche within the cleaning world — it doesn’t act as a simple degreaser for breaking up grease and grime. Shaving cream is designed to act as a hydrating lubricant that creates a layer between your skin and the edge of a razor while simultaneously hydrating the

hair you’re trying to shave. This layer helps the blade glide across the surface of your skin without digging in as easily while simultaneously slicing through hair.

However, this isn’t the only use for shaving cream. Being a fairly powerful detergent, did you know you can use it as a low-cost cleaning agent as well? The foamy nature of shaving cream delivers volume when applied to something like a stain on a countertop. It works shockingly well to clean flat surfaces like counters, tabletops or the external surface of your toilet tank. It also doesn’t require much elbow grease to activate as opposed to liquid soaps.

One major drawback of shaving cream when used for cleaning spills is its nature to act as a hydrator for your skin. This allows for a rapid transfer of some chemical substances if you’re cleaning with your bare hands to your skin — dyes and food coloring in particular rapidly stain your skin when used this way.

You may be wondering how the substance foams up when squirted from a bottle. The substance is compressed into the can and pressurized with butane gas. When you press down on the cap to release the valve you open a channel between the pressurized can and the outside air. Gas will always work to equalize pressure, so the high pressure of the butane in the can will rush out and carry some of the soap or detergent with it. The gas rushing through the compound will create bubbles and create the foam — simple as that. Butane is extremely flammable, so if the integrity of the can is

compromised due to heat, the equalization of pressure will be an explosive event.

One very fun application for shaving cream is to create paper marbling. This is an art form that dates back to at least the 16th century. Artists would suspend paint and pigment in oils and swirl them around with the base of a brush to create wild patterns. They would proceed to dip the surface of something like a book jacket into the oil and allow the paints to transfer the pattern onto the paper, which would remain after the oil was drained.

You can actually perform this with shaving cream, food coloring dye or water-based paints on a sheet of printer paper. Just be sure to have a sharp paint scraper to wipe off the foam once the color has soaked into the page.

This is a fun activity you can do in fewer than five minutes with your family to create psychedelic artwork that is truly unique — due to the capillary action of the paper, you will never be able to perfectly duplicate any one piece of art you create with this method.

Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner

Don’t know much about snails? We can help!

•Snails belong to a group of sof t-bodied animals called mollusks, which also includes oysters, clams and squid.

•All terrestrial slugs evolved directly from terrestrial snails, the main difference being that snails have a protective shell while slugs don’t (slugs actually have a vestigial shell, a remnant of their past evolution).

•While most people think snails feed exclusively on plants, some are omnivorous and a few are even carnivorous, as long as they obtain the nutrients necessary to have a hard and healthy shell.

•Snails’ shells are made mostly of calcium carbonate. Snails retreat into the asymmetrical spiral shapes of their shells when in danger; and, as the snail grows, so does its shell.

•Most snails are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs, which allows them to self-fertilize.

•Snails have evolved over about 550 million years and have adapted to living on both land and water.

•Snails have teeth. A lot of teeth. Through a structure called a “radula” in their mouths, snails pry off pieces of what they’re eating and further break it down. The radula features up to 12,000 teeth.

•Not keen on those 12,000 teeth munching on your garden vegetables? There are a zillion methods, but the most popular for snail and slug abatement is beer. Bury a tuna fish can in the dirt up to the rim and fill the container with beer — the older the better. Snails and slugs are attracted to the yeasty aroma, then fall in and drown.

•A “snail’s pace” is actually about a half-inch per second.

•Some have claimed to use the mucus of the garden snail to treat wrinkles, spots and scars on the skin.

12 / R / May 23, 2024
to you by:
May 23, 2024 / R / 13

Nonprofit heals with horses

Local Laura Nass grew up with a deep love of horses, which followed her through her training as a social worker and her time working for the Idaho Children’s Developmental Disabilities Program. She had the idea to combine her passions in 2021, founding the 501(c)(3) nonprofit North Idaho Therapeutic Horse Riding, which promotes physical and emotional healing in kids of all ages.

“Horses and humans are seeking the same feelings of trust and connection, and once a person realizes this similarity, he or she is able to form a connection that is uplifting and inspiring,” Nass told the Reader

These communal animals are ideal partners for individuals working through physical or mental differences for a number of reasons — in Nass’ words, when you’re riding a horse you’re not “just sitting there.” Balancing on the saddle builds core strength, while the horse’s gait moves the rider’s pelvis in a way that simulates walking.

Nass’ programs also

utilize sensory integration treatment, which “lead[s] to improvements in attention, speech output (articulation and volume), motor planning and body awareness and decreas[es] sensory defensiveness” through a combination of tactile and visual stimuli — like grooming the horses and observing their emotions.

“A horse will react with fear to any expression of anger, bullying or frustration, functioning as a mirror in which a person can immediately see the effect of their emotions and attitudes,” said Nass.

“Students learn how to control and redirect their anger because they have a stake in the outcome; they do not want to upset or hurt a horse they have come to care about! The intrinsic innocence of the horse reinforces the need for students to behave in a positive manner,” she added.

Horses further reinforce good behavior by triggering the release of the neuropeptide oxytocin, which helps humans form relationships and emotional attachments as well as decreases anxiety and stress levels.

Prospective families can register online at nitherapeu-, over the phone at 208-553-3590 or via an email to northidahothr@ Over the course of each hour-long session, students bond with, groom and saddle their horses and then practice their riding skills and play games.

One hour sessions are ordinarily $60, but K-12

students are eligible for $1,000 scholarships through Idaho’s Empowering Parents Odyssey Program and families who are a part of Family Directed Support Services pay nothing.

The nonprofit also hosts birthday parties, trail rides and horse swimming experiences for kids and adults to support the costs associated with car-

ing for the horses.

“Being in the presence of a horse brings an overwhelming sense of peace. Any bad day can be made better by simply spending time with a horse,” said Nass.

14 / R / May 23, 2024
Courtesy photo.

Trinity at City Beach set to reopen for summer Festival at Sandpoint awards $9,000+ in scholarships to local students

The Festival at Sandpoint has granted six local highschool and college students scholarships for accomplishments in music and the arts.

Evan Schwenk was selected as the winner of the $2,500 Instrumental Scholarship. Though a violinist beginning at age 8, it wasn’t until middle school that Schwenk discovered his passion for the cello, which he performs in area chamber orchestras and teaches at Sandpoint Christian School and the Suzuki String Academy.

Schwenk plans to attend the University of Idaho and pursue a double major in music education and cello performance. After college, he hopes to become a professional cellist and music educator.

Instrumental Scholarship runner-up saxophonist Keane Haesle also received an award

of $1,000. He has played the instrument for eight years — beginning in fifth grade — and has led the alto sax section in both his school symphonic and jazz bands for the past three years.

Haesle plans to attend Stanford University and pursue a degree in bioengineering. Outside of studies, he hopes to join the Stanford Marching Band and Wind Symphony to continue performing.

Titus Tucker received the Festival at Sandpoint’s new $2,500 Vocalist Scholarship. Tucker’s singing journey began in the Sandpoint High School men’s choir, to which he belonged for four years. He has been awarded first place at choir districts for both baritone and bass solo and ensemble, received a certificate of excellence from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and was named “Outstanding Soloist” at Washington State University’s Jazz Festival Competition.

Tucker plans to attend Lewis-Clark State College and pursue a degree in radiographic science, with plans to become a radiologic technologist.

Gavin Nicholson received the $1,000 Charley Packard Memorial Songwriting Scholarship with his original song “Lean Into It” performed on

guitar. Aside from songwriting, Nicholson can play violin, guitar, piano, upright bass and ukulele. He plans to attend Boise State University and pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Outside of his studies, he hopes to gain more experience with music production and engineering and release his original music to streaming platforms.

Charley Packard Memorial Songwriting Scholarship runner-up Emmett Adams received an award of $750, with his performance of “The Silence” on the guitar.

Adams plans to attend Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and pursue a degree in music, with the goal of becoming a professional musician.

Finally, winning artist of the Festival’s 2024 Series Lineup Poster Contest Magdalena Idzikowska received a $1,000 scholarship to be applied toward continuing her education in graphic and web design at North Idaho College.

To learn more about the Festival at Sandpoint’s 2024 scholarship winners, visit

It was a sad day for many regulars of Trinity at City Beach when owner Justin Dick announced the popular restaurant and bar beside Lake Pend Oreille would close its doors in November 2023. Dick said at the time that Trinity was closing after 14 years due to the uncertainty of its future at the current location, since the adjacent hotel currently operating as Best Western Edgewater changed ownership and planned for a complete overhaul of the hotel.

Now, Dick announced Trinity would open its doors again Friday, June 7 for the season.

“We’re going to soft open June 7 and we’ll have our grand opening June 13,” Dick told the Reader. He said the hours would remain the same as before: Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“It’s been wild,” Dick said. “I never realized how hard it was to shut it down.”

Shortly after Trinity closed, Dick opened the doors of 113 Main, which occupies the old Truby’s building on Main Street and Second Avenue. Dick said he’s unsure of the future of 113 Main now that Trinity is coming back for the season.

“I’m still trying to figure it out,” he said. “I’ll be taking the whole 113 Main staff down because I’m going to need everybody. We’re looking at maybe running it as a bar this summer and then maybe shutting down until Labor Day. We’ll hope to have it open for lunch and dinner, with breakfast on the weekends.”

Dick said the impetus for reopening Trinity came after having a chat with the new owners of Best Western Edgewater, Averill Hospitality.

“We sat down and had a

few conversations and they wanted to get us back in for summertime,” Dick said.

Plans to demolish the existing Edgewater structure and rebuild the hotel have been in the works for several years, but the pandemic cooled those talks until recently. Now, the issue is coming before the Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission on June 18 to discuss the forthcoming hotel and restaurant, which residents will likely see coming to fruition beginning this fall.

“That should move forward either tearing down in fall or this time next year,” Dick said. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Dick said the position of Trinity right next to the lake and City Beach made it a perfect spot for locals and visitors alike, and he’s missed being involved with the numerous events that frequent the establishment, along with his many longtime regulars.

“That spot is like Schweitzer in reality,” he explained. “The community kind of owns it, you know? They own it not by deed, but it’s their place, which I think is really cool.”

Trinity regulars can breathe easy knowing that Dick plans to bring back all the “old classics and favorites,” as well as adding some dishes from 113 Main that did particularly well.

Dick said anyone interested in joining Trinity’s staff are invited to apply for any position from kitchen to front of house. Go to or call 113 Main at 208-946-5309 to ask about employment. In the meantime, Dick said it might not be a bad idea for regulars to make reservations after Trinity reopens due to the demand that is sure to come.

“Let’s give Trinity a good sendoff for this last summer,” he said. “It’s been an amazing place for the community to gather with family and friends.”

May 23, 2024 / R / 15
2024 Festival at Sandpoint scholarship winners (from second on left to right) Gavin Nicholson, Evan Schwenk, Keane Haesle, Titus Tucker and Emmett Adams receive their awards from Festival at Sandpoint Education Manager Paul Gunter (first on left) at the Sandpoint High School Scholarship Night on May 21. Courtesy photo.

Right: “Even with a little rain, Lost in the ’50s was a great success!” wrote photographer Rich Milliron, who snapped this photo on May 18 during the Vintage Car Show in Sandpoint.

Bottom left: Mayor Jeremy Grimm presented a proclamation at the May 15 Sandpoint City Council meeting honoring Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc. for 50 years of dedicated service to Sandpoint. Pictured are Mayor Grimm, Nancy Savage, Wesley Kary, Sue Poppino, Lisa Bond, Judy McCommish and Loris Michael.

Bottom right: Pam and Cliff Lawrence took the Reader along on their trip to a small island in Fiji called Tuberua.

According to Pam: “We spent an afternoon visiting a local fishing village on the mainland. It is very isolated and poor. The government gives them almost nothing toward education and health. We contributed to the school fund and bought several of the local crafts from the woman (pictured). The kids have to walk about 30 minutes each way to school because they don’t have resources for enough life jackets to take a boat. The men fish and the women garden and make crafts to sell. Any money collected from tourists goes to the village. They get one tourist group visit weekly.”

To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to

16 / R / May 23, 2024

Ribbon cutting and grand opening of The Forge Artisan Pizza

The Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce welcomed The Forge Artisan Pizza, celebrating the grand opening of the new member business over the Lost in the ’50s weekend.

Owners Mike and Sandi Johnson started out in Sandpoint as a pop-up, serving all-organic, sourdough pizza under the name of Panhandle Pizza Kitchen. As their popularity grew, a brick-and-mortar location became a reality.

The Johnsons found a location at 306 Pine St.,between Third and Fourth avenues, and spent many months renovating their new home until they opened their doors in May.

Chamber of Commerce welcomes Aspen and Stone

Aspen and Stone Interior Design and Construction officially opened its doors at 201 Cedar St., in downtown Sandpoint, with a May 11 ribbon cutting by the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce.

Owners Ike and Stacey Salter offer a variety of services, including interior design, new construction, renovations, sales of home decor and accessories to both commercial and residential clients.

Visit for more info.

Lasagna dinner to raise funds for Sandpoint Teen Center

The Sandpoint Teen Center will host a lasagna dinner fundraiser on Wednesday, May 29, where teens will prepare lasagna during after-school hours and serve it with salad and dessert for their families and community members from 5:30-7 p.m. Desserts will be donated by Confectionary Chalet and Home to Soul Baking.

Teens will incorporate the Eat Together Idaho campaign with the dinner, which is a program to promote families eating a daily meal together. Studies show that family time spent over meals reduces teen substance use, supports better academic outcomes, and bolsters teen confidence and success.

The dinner fundraiser will also feature a silent auction from many generous local businesses. RSVP to

The suggested donation is $20 for the lasagna dinner and will raise funds for the center’s Healthy Teens After School program, which provides healthy food, activities, homework help, community service and more to all Bonner County teens every day after school.

The Sandpoint Teen Center has 115-150 teens currently attending every afternoon at two locations: The First Lutheran Church (526 S. Olive Ave., in Sandpoint); and Portable No. 1, behind the Sandpoint Middle School (310 S. Division Ave.).

Donations are always accepted at or by mail to Sandpoint Teen Center, P.O. Box 1066 Sandpoint, ID 83864. Contact Joan Avery for questions or more information 208-946-1087.

May 23, 2024 / R / 17
Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo. While the front deck is a big draw, the focal piece of the interior is an authentic, wood-fired pizza oven, straight from Naples, Italy. For more info — including a menu — visit

Send event listings to

THURSDAY, may 23

Live Music w/ Ben Breiding Band

8-11pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Formerly known as Parade of Bad Guys

Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s

Bingo Night

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Music w/ Traveling Huckleberries

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Devon Wade Band

8:45pm @ The Hive

Sandpoint country band. $5. 21+

Live Music w/ Hannah Meehan

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Jacob Robin

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Truck Mills & Carl Rey in concert

7pm @ Create Art Center (Newport, Wash.)

Traditional blues, country, ragtime jazz and amazing vocal harmonies. $12/$15

North Idaho Chamber Ensemble

7pm @ Little Carnegie Hall

Feat. pianist Daniel Beal performing Mozart and Beethoven. $25/$10

Live Music w/ BTP

9pm @ 219 Lounge

Classic rock that rocks

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

3-6pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Pool League

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

tuesDAY, may 28

Live Music w/ Sean Bostrom

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Classical piano in the tasting room

Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Cribbage League

7pm @ Connie’s Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan

Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

FriDAY, may 24

Legally Blonde: The Musical 7pm @ Panida Theater

A night of laughter, love and unforgettable songs. Presented by LPO Repertory Theatre. $25

Live Music w/ Nights of Neon 8-11pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

SATURDAY, may 25

Legally Blonde: The Musical 7pm @ Panida Theater

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Live Music w/ Dave and Ray 6pm @ Connie’s Lounge Country music through the ages

Sun Daddy Drum Circle

4-7pm @ Sandpoint City Beach pavilion

Open to all. Bring your own chair

Live Music w/ Tom Catmull

5-8pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Blues and folk originals from Missoula

SunDAY, may 26

Magic with Star Alexander 5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s Up close magic shows at the table

Legally Blonde: The Musical 2pm @ Panida Theater

monDAY, may 27

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

May 23-30, 2024

Paint and Sip

5:30-8pm @ Barrel 33 $45/person, use link from their website

Live Music w/ Jason Perry Duo 5-8pm @ Barrel 33

Live Music w/ Tim G. 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Justin Lantrip

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes 5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon

“Dance Into Summer” event 7-10pm @ Sandpoint Community Hall Starts with one-hour country two step lesson at 7pm, followed by general dancing 8-10pm. $8 entry. All welcome

MCC: The Gardener’s Gathering 10am @ Hope Memorial Community Center Beginners and experts welcome to talk gardening for an hour

Free Community Track Meet 8am-noon @ Clark Fork High School Register online by visiting Sandpoint Parks and Rec’s Facebook page

Live Music w/ Brandon McCoy 6-9pm @ Barrel 33

High Country Cider Tap Takeover 12-6pm @ Barrel 33

North Idaho Chamber Ensemble 5pm @ Little Carnegie Hall $25/$10

Weekly Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

wednesDAY, may 29

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh local produce and artisan goods

Live Piano w/ Paul Taylor

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Accomplished pianist and vocalist

ThursDAY, may 30

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public meeting

6-8pm @ Ponderay Events Center

Live Trivia ($5/person)

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Benny on the Deck concert series

5-7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Back for its seventh season, this weekly concert series hosted by Benny Baker and a special guest is always great fun. This week: BTP

Representatives from the Army Corps will inform public on current restricted operations at Albeni Falls Dam, with topics including current operations, snowpack and inflow forecasts. 401 Bonner Mall Way, Suite E

18 / R / May 23, 2024

Channeling authenticity

Legally Blonde The Musical coming to the Panida main stage

When choosing Legally Blonde The Musical for her fifth production, Lake Pend Oreille Repertory Theatre founder Keely Gray said the choice came down to authenticity.

“One of the reasons I connected with the show is that Elle, the main character, is a very strong reminder of being authentic,” Gray told the Reader. “It’s kind of coming off the skirts of Barbie, how difficult it can be to be a woman — both an assertive woman and a girly girl.”

Gray and her cast of local actors will bring Legally Blonde to the Panida main stage Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m. with a matinee scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 26. The following week, the show will conclude with performances on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. and final matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2.

LPO Rep, as it’s known, has been on fire since its founding in 2019. With an emphasis on high-quality plays and musicals that a wide swath of theatergoers will enjoy, Gray continues to outdo herself with each new production.

“So many people who had never been to theater before said Young Frankenstein felt immediately accessible to them,” Gray said. “Legally Blonde popped up in my mind because it’s such a cult classic favorite and the music was so fantastic.”

The play follows a similar plot to the popular film, with the biggest difference being the introduction of music to tell the stories that emphasize the emotions each character goes through. The musical follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s boyfriend Warner dumps her so he can attend Harvard Law, Elle is determined to get him back, ingeniously charming her way into the prestigious law school. While there, she struggles with peers, professors and her ex, but with the support of some new friends, Elle quickly realizes her potential and sets out to prove herself to the world.

It’s a story that resonated with Gray.

Legally Blonde

The Musical

Friday, May 24-Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m..; Friday, May 31-Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m; $25. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-2639191, for tickets. Visit for more information.

With music and lyrics written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin and a book by Heather Hach, the play was based on the novel Legally Blonde by Amanda Brown, which also spawned a 2001 film of the same name starring Reese Witherspoon.

Gray said the choice to produce Legally Blonde came after the strong positive reception of LPO Rep’s 2022 production of Young Frankenstein.

dropped,” Gray said. “We were asking her about her schedule before she even read the monologue because her singing was out of this world.”

“I promised myself two years ago that I was never going to apologize for being myself,” she said. “I needed Elle to remind me of that promise for myself, to be the whole capacity of who I am.”

While there are several familiar faces in the cast from past LPO Rep performances, Gray said there are a lot of newcomers who wowed her during auditions.

Married couple Connie and Stefan Kien play Elle Woods and Emmett Forrest, respectively.

“They both kind of came out of the blue, showed up last on one audition day and when she sang, our jaws just

Then, when told the production was looking for a few good men to round out the cast, Connie suggested her husband Stefan. His singing also drew an enthusiastic response from the crew, and the pair were chosen for lead roles — with Connie also stepping in as choreographer.

Sydney Carlson, Hana Luttman and Britt Hagen are “scene stealers” as three Delta Nu sorority girls, Gray said.

“They’re so funny, coming in as a Greek chorus during the show,” she said. “They have some of the funniest numbers.”

Fellow newcomer Liberty Becker plays Brooke Wyndam, the exercise queen who helps Elle in prison, and Erich Shrack returns to the stage for the role of Professor Callahan.

The rest of the cast includes Holly Sharp, Myla McKechnia, Chris Jones, James Riddle, Mary Ann Kutzleb, Sarah Morgan, Orion Ettinger, McCallum Morgan, Alex Jones, Dustin Borg-

es, Nicole Buratto, Natalia Lemley, Cory Repass, Terry Owens and Shelly Johnson.

Gray serves as director, among all the other hats she wears, with Katie Skidmore as musical director, Kehle Hatch as stage manager, Vicky Turnbull as costume designer and Corinna Lockwood as props mistress.

Producing high-quality musicals like Legally Blonde is rewarding, Gray said, but it takes a lot of practice, planning and funding to make it happen. The script and music alone cost $6,000 — and that’s before accounting for theater rentals, props and costume costs, among others. Funding for these performances generally comes from

annual Speakeasy parties held at the 219 Lounge, for which Gray is grateful.

“This is a big dance show, with two huge dance numbers,” she said. “It’s a very big beast to conquer, but nobody is going to take us seriously as a company unless we do something big and slap them in the face with it. That’s what we did with Young Frankenstein and that’s what we’re missing in Sandpoint, I think.

We’re hoping Legally Blonde helps meet that need.”

May 23, 2024 / R / 19 STAGE
Cast members of Legally Blonde The Musical, from left to right: Sydney Carlson, Britt Hagen, Stefan Kien, Connie Kien and Hana Luttman. Courtesy photo. It’s not a production of Legally Blonde without Bruiser! Courtesy photo.
20 / R / May 23, 2024


Festival at Sandpoint offers spring masterclasses

This past fall, the Festival at Sandpoint began partnering with Lake Pend Oreille School District to provide instrumental support for beginning band students.

In conjunction with its Instrument Library Program, the Festival purchased 14 new Eastman student model trombones to outfit all seven LPOSD elementary schools.

Alongside the trombones, this spring, the Festival will also provide students with section-based, small-group instruction focusing on percussion and woodwind instruments, as part of the organi-

zation’s ongoing Masterclasses Program.

The Festival at Sandpoint’s Education Department works closely with local music and band instructors to tailor the masterclasses to the needs of the students. Education Manager Paul Gunter coordinates with local active and retired instructors to provide small group and one-on-one support.

These programs will provide more than 75 hours of support to more than 350 students across LPOSD Band programs.

To learn more about the Festival at Sandpoint’s elementary outreach and other year-round, no-cost education

programs, visit

MCS presents North Idaho Chamber Ensemble concerts

The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint will host the North Idaho Chamber Ensemble for performances Saturday, May 25 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 26 at 5 p.m., both held at Little Carnegie Hall inside MCS (110 Main St., in downtown Sandpoint).

Young pianist Daniel Beal is the featured guest artist, who will perform Mozart’s E-flat Major Piano Quartet and Beethoven’s C-Major Piano Quartet No. 3.

The ensemble will also feature Gayle McCutchan on

violin, Marcy Hogan on viola and Christine Alexander on cello.

Alanna Dixon, soprano and Jubilant Duvall, mezzo-soprano will join the ensemble on May 25, while Zoë Miller, soprano, will perform on May 26.

The North Idaho Chamber Ensemble is a collective of distinct professional musicians dedicated to providing inspiring performances for the community to sustain the heritage of chamber music.

Tickets are $10 for students, $25 for adults, $60 for a table of two and $90 for a table of three.

For more information, go to

Tom Catmull, Pend d’Oreille Winery, May 25 Benny on the Deck, Connie’s Lounge, May 29

If Sandpoint audiences aren’t already familiar with Tom Catmull they should be. Regardless, they’ll have a golden opportunity to enjoy his alluring acoustic guitar-and-harmonic-powered Americana sound when he journeys from Missoula, Mont. to the Pend d’Oreille Winery for a Saturday, May 25 show.

Catmull’s storytelling and finger-picking style has been featured on seven full-length

albums; TV appearances including 11th and Grant on Montana PBS; performances at festivals, honky tonks and hundreds of theaters; and as the supporting act for Robert Earl Keen, Charlie Musselwhite, Junior Brown, Asleep at the Wheel and many more.

— Zach Hagadone

5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., Ste. 101, 208-265-8545, Listen at

Benny Baker is back for his seventh season as host of Benny on the Deck, a live music concert held every Wednesday night on the back patio at Connie’s Lounge.

The fixture of the local rock scene begins each weekly event with an hour of tunes, then turns it over to a rotating special guest to play the second hour, usually joining in along the way for a few songs.

The special guests on

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


Reporter Daniel Walters, who writes for InvestigateWest, has performed indispensable coverage of the far-right wing of the Idaho GOP for years. Check out his latest piece on Rep. Heather Scott and Freedom Caucus Network “power broker” Maria Nate, which is making waves around the state: “Secret recording shows how a right-wing Idaho lobbyist tried to keep a legislator in lockstep.” Meanwhile, support InvestigateWest at


May 29 will be BTP — one of Baker’s many local bands — in which he plays with Ali Thomas and Sheldon Packwood. The trio plays classic rock favorites that we all know and love.

— Ben Olson

5-7 p.m., FREE. Connie’s Lounge back patio, 323 Cedar St., 208-255-2227, Next week’s guest: Jake Robin.

There are certain musical mashups that no one knew they wanted, but, once discovered, seem like total no-brainers. One such piece of sonic perfection is the “One Hour of Medieval Eminem” video on the Beedle The Bardcore YouTube channel. It’s pretty much exactly what it claims to be: covers of Eminem’s greatest hits performed on the lute, flute, harp, chimes, sackbut and somehow managing to make these songs feel epic. Visit Beedle The Bardcore for even more selections, including a masterful version of Sisqo’s immortal “Thong Song.”


I wasn’t sure whether the Netflix series Outer Range would return for its second season — not unlike some streaming shows that trail off to the dustbin of small-screen obscurity with little fanfare. Color me pleasantly surprised when I saw Josh Brolin, Lili Taylor, Imogen Poots and Will Patton return for another glance into the literal and figurative abyss of the Wyoming wilderness. It’s an eerie sci-fi/western hybrid that’s well worth the investment.

May 23, 2024 / R / 21
A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint
Festival at Sandpoint Production & Education Manager Paul Gunter delivers 14 new Eastman trombones to Lake Pend Oreille School District band programs. Courtesy photos. Pianist Daniel Beal will perform both nights with the North Idaho Chamber Ensemble. Courtesy photo.

From Northern Idaho News, May 18, 1915


John Berg, mat favorite throughout the northwest, easily defeated Daviscourt, the Ellenberg policeman, at Bernard McFadden’s physical culture style of wrestling, in a match put on at a business men’s special smoker at the Sandpoint Athletic club rooms last Saturday evening.

It was the first match of this kind ever staged in Sandpoint and met with the hearty approval of those who witnessed it.

Daviscourt, who is touted as the coming heavyweight champion of the world at catch-as-catch-can wrestling, took the first and third falls, Berg taking the second, fourth, fifth and sixth.

In the preliminary event, Lake Morrow and Young Denman, the newsboy detective, fought a four-round draw. The bout was fast and well received by the crowd who like to watch the pickle-weights battle.


The Farmers’ Percheron Horse Co. have an excellent Percheron stallion, which they are now offering for service. He was imported from France in 1912 and has a splendid pedigree.


Love in the time of smartphones

“There was a tiny dance of melody in the air, her Seashell was tamped in her ear again and she was listening to far people in far places, her eyes wide and staring at the fathoms of blackness above her in the ceiling.”

Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Dystopian novels always leave out how helpful technology is before it destroys humanity. It’s understandable — those stories are meant to teach us about the perils of unchecked advancement — but reality is far muddier, and the good and the bad are packaged together.

Most nights I listen to ASMR videos on YouTube to quiet my mind as I fall asleep. (If you’re unfamiliar, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a tingling sensation along the scalp and spine, triggered, in this case, by visual and auditory stimuli like lights and tapping.)

ASMR helps regulate my sleep schedule and reduce anxiety, but while laying with my headphones on listening to a YouTuber whisper and crinkle tape, I can’t help but feel like Mildred in Fahrenheit 451. Mildred spent her life watching, listening and often participating in immersive, plotless TV shows with characters she called “family.” In Bradbury’s story, her dependence on technology is both the result and cause of her depression.

If it were that simple, TV, film, VR, video games and social media might show signs of dying out. Instead, platforms like TikTok spread mind-numbing videos pushing consumerism and celebrity worship, while also providing an avenue for the free exchange of information, linking indi-

STR8TS Solution

viduals with similar goals and helping them enact real change.

For good or ill, technology has redefined intimacy and human connection.

I sometimes listen to the channel Batala’s ASMR, which has a dedicated fanbase that the YouTuber calls her “buttercups.” She begins each video with the words, “Hello my buttercups, my life, my family, my world.”

I find it off-putting.

Such strong terms of endearment should be, in my mind, reserved for close loved ones. Referring to faceless strangers on the internet as “family” waters down the term, calling into question the importance of her actual family and overstepping the distant relationship between YouTuber and viewer.

Then again, who am I to say that her online followers aren’t her loved ones?

Reader Editor Zach Hagadone and I were recently talking about all the personal information we knew about ASMRtists from their videos. They keep their audiences updated on major life events, their emotional state and even the mundane workings of their lives in the same way anyone might chat with a friend over coffee. Viewers respond in kind in the comment sections, announcing everything from the deaths of family members to recent medical issues.

Batala — and nearly every ASMRtist — receives an outpouring of love from viewers thanking her for getting them through such dark times. This intimate relationship is akin to a patient and their therapist or a patron and their bartender, but uniquely requires no in-person or one-on-one connection outside of the artificial group setting.

If terms of endearment or affirmations spoken into a camera can positively impact people’s lives, I can’t safely say that this virtual intimacy is

Sudoku Solution

fake. At the same time, the ASMRtist could be replaced by an A.I. generated voice sharing fake life stories and the effect might be the same.

It’s an oversimplification to equate our reality with Bradbury’s dystopia because the technology in Fahrenheit 451 serves no purpose. The falsified intimacy between Mildred and her “family” doesn’t bring her joy and isn’t rooted in any genuine exchange of experiences or emotions.

Even if Batala’s opening declaration is hollow, her comment section proves that her viewers find the words meaningful and comforting. The videos are both a modern form of human connection, and a gateway to isolation that may, as in Fahrenheit 451, supplant the small, face-to-face interactions of everyday life.

In this instance, I can’t tell if technology has crossed the line from helpful to nightmarish, and that makes reality far scarier than fiction.

Crossword Solution

If you ever get some outer-space guy in a headlock, and his head starts throbbing and glowing different colors, don’t let go. That just means the headlock is working.

22 / R / May 23, 2024

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter





10.Carve in stone



16.Not false

17.An outstanding feature


20.Snake-like fish




25.Daughter of a sibling

27.What we breathe

28.Under pressure



35.Word of possibility

36.Bee home

37.What we think with


39.Air hero




Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22



61.Where the sun sets


63.Constructed Word Week of the

1. tending to promote peace or reconciliation; peaceful or conciliatory.

“Her irenic approach to conflict resolution often diffused tense situations in the office.”

Corrections: In last week’s edition, we wrote that NFL legend Jerry Kramer graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1958, when he actually graduated in 1954.


44.US spy agency

45.Nymph chaser


50.More than once

52.Ancient Roman magistrate

54.Type of snake



58.Coastal raptor



2.Picture element

3.Parental brother

4.East southeast

5.Bank employee


7.Litter member



10.High standards



13.Pay attention

18.In accordance with law



26.Weightlifters pump this

28.Iberian country

29.Hearing organs

30.Physics unit

31.Carpet type


33.Intense dislikes

34.Botanical garden


38.Unable to hear

40.Give as an example

41.Femme fatale

43.Tennis tool

44.Crunchy vegetable

46.Plays the bagpipes

47.Deadly virus

48.Was able to

49.Thigh armor

50.Believe or trust (Scottish)

51.Had on


56.South southeast


May 23, 2024 / R / 23
irenic /ahy-REE-nik/

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