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2 / R / May 25, 2023


The week in random review

a priest who was also a paleontologist said this

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

— Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit priest and scientist, 1881-1955. I recently heard this on a random, recommended Facebook video featuring an actor from The Office. You just never know when or where a hot philosophical take will strike. As someone who has always felt trapped in my body and sure that I exist apart from my meat suit, this spoke to me.

I was shocked to learn

North Idaho’s thunderstorms have been something to behold this spring. I’ve always been afraid of lightning; but, since education is the antidote to fear, I was inspired this week to do some research into nature’s electricity. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of storm science, I will share a fact that shocked me: thunder is the sound of lightning. I always knew that you could track your proximity to a storm by counting how many seconds it takes the thunder sound to reach you after a lightning strike (five seconds per mile), but it never occurred to me what that actually meant. According to the National Weather Service, a lightning strike can reach temperatures as high as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit — five times hotter than the surface of the sun! — and that causes air to expand and contract quickly, resulting in booming sound waves. I am now no less afraid of lightning, but certainly more fascinated.

the unsung heroes of the review section

There is a special place in the afterlife for people who leave online reviews of clothing purchases listing their height and weight along with the size they bought, reviewing the exact fit. No one asked them to be so open about their measurements, but such selfless acts by women around the world have guided me to make better-informed online purchases over the years. May your karma reflect your kindness.

no context iphone notes 6/8/21

Story ideas:

•The politics of Idaho’s time zones

•Our dogs don’t need to meet

Greetings all.

If you’re curious why our cover is blank, it’s because we’re holding a contest for local artists to create their own Reader covers to celebrate ArtWalk, with the winning submission earning a front-page spot on the June 15 edition of the Reader, just in time for the opening reception on June 16. The winning artist will also win $50.

The rules are simple: either use the blank cover as a medium for your own artwork, or simply use the same dimensions as the Reader cover (10” wide x 11.5” tall) and leave the top two inches free for the cover flag (a.k.a., the place on the cover where you see “Reader” at the top). We accept any medium; photography, artwork, macaroni shells glued to the cover. As long as it’s the right size, we’d love to look at your work. Color is preferred to black-and-white, but there are no restrictions.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, June 12. Please email high-quality photos of your work, or drop them at our office at 111 Cedar St. Ste. 9 on or before June 12 to be considered for the cash prize and placement on our June 15 cover.

You have your prompts, artists, now get to work.

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

Publisher: Ben Olson

Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor)

Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (News Editor)

Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus)

Advertising: Kelsey Kizer

Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, Rich Milliron, Denise Zembryki, Gary Quinn, Bill Borders, Ron Bedford, Racheal Baker, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Tim Hutto, Jane Holzer

Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, Karissa Huntsman, Robin Campbell, Ranel Hanson

Submit stories to:

Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID

Subscription Price: $165 per year

Web Content: Keokee

The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, indepth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person

SandpointReader letter policy:

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


–No more than 300 words

–Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion.

Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers.

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About the Cover

This week’s cover is a canvas! Paint your own cover, slap a photograph on there, glue some macaroni down — it’s your world. Send submissions to by June 12 for a chance to win $50.

May 25, 2023 / R / 3

BoCo Fair Board says it ‘cannot accept the grant’ for hotly debated RV park

Grantor ID Parks and Rec: ‘Concerns about this project’s viability continue to grow’

It’s been nearly a year since a grant from the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation launched a debate over the future of property located between the fairgrounds and sheriff’s office. Would the parcel be home to an expanded RV campground, or a new-andimproved justice complex?

Now, the Fair Board has weighed in with an unequivocal denial of the $500,000 grant. In letters penned to the community, grantor IDPR and the board of Bonner County commissioners, the Bonner County Fair Board has announced that it will not accept the money or support any forward movement on the project as proposed. Whether the board has the authority to make such a move, though, remains up for debate among county officials.

In the letter addressed to the community and posted May 18 to the Bonner County Fairgrounds Facebook page, Fair Board members stated that “at this time, we have not had the opportunity to be a part of the planning for the proposed RV campground,” and therefore voted to send letters to IDPR and the county commissioners “informing them that the grant was not in our planning.”

“This is against the Idaho Code for Fairgrounds,” the letter concluded. “We hope you, as the community, understands why we cannot accept the grant and be a part of it at this point in time.”

In an email sent May 17 to IDPR North Region Grants Specialist Tiffany Brunson,

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bauer — who serves as legal counsel to the Fair Board — said that according to Idaho Code regarding “Duties of the County Fair Board,” the Fair Board “must conduct planning, including land-use planning as it relates to fair purposes.”

According to Bauer, the Fair Board “has had insufficient planning involvement in this proposed project to satisfy [the Code’s] planning requirements.”

“The [Fair Board] does not believe it is good practice for a state agency to move forward with funding a project that may otherwise be in violation of state law,” Bauer wrote to Brunson.

The Fair Board’s Facebook post garnered comments from community members who pointed to past agendas in which items about the RV park expansion did appear as evidence that the board was a part of the planning process.

Asked about this, Bauer told the Reader that in order for the Fair Board and BOCC to be in compliance with Idaho Code, a formal plan for the RV park would have needed to be filed with both the fair and commissioners’ offices.

“This is quite different than the Fair Board being informed and allowed to ask questions,” he said.

Bonner County Commissioner Luke Omodt, in particular, has been a vocal proponent of moving forward with the campground expansion on the contested parcel. He has pointed several times to a memorandum of understanding signed by both Fair Board Chairman Eddie Gordon and BOCC

Chairman Steve Bradshaw in March, which indicated that “as the fee-simple owner of the fairgrounds, the County shall be solely responsible for all grants which may affect or impact that property, and the Board of County Commissioners shall be the entity responsible for grant application, administration and compliance.”

Bauer said that the Fair Board has not breached that MOU by denying the grant because the MOU also notes compliance with the Idaho Code regarding “Duties of the County Fair Board.”

“IDPR will likely understand this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the county’s ability to access the grant at all. Despite Omodt and Chairman Steve Bradshaw voting May 16 to submit an extension request for the funds, IDPR Public Information Officer Craig Quintana told the Reader that as of May 23, no such request had

been received. In April, IDPR informed the county that the project would need to be out to bid and cost estimates obtained by June 2023 in order to stay within the grant’s budget and time constraints.

“IDPR is hesitant to approve a grant extension given the current conditions,” Quintana said, confirming that the department had received “communication from the Bonner County Fair Board expressing opposition to the campground project.”

“The letter from the Bonner County Fair Board, along with other recently received input, will be evaluated moving forward,” Quintana told the Reader. “Bottom line: No decisions have been made, but our concerns about this project’s viability continue to grow.”

Commissioner Asia Williams said the Fair Board’s letter to IDPR prompted her to place an item on the May 23 business meeting agenda to disengage from a contract with

engineers James A. Sewell and Associates for a boundary line adjustment meant to prepare the contested property for the RV park expansion.

“It is reasonable that given the fact that the Fair Board has indicated that they do not want to move forward with this request, that the board of county commissioners disengage the lot line adjustment,” Williams said, later adding: “Even if we were able to achieve the grant itself, there’s no way that this commission can force the Fair Board … to install an RV campground on that location.”

Williams’ motion to disengage from the Sewell contract died without a second, and drew no discussion from Bradshaw and Omodt.

NEWS 4 / R / May 25, 2023
Bonner County commissioners Luke Omodt, left; Asia Williams, center; and Steve Bradshaw, right. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.

Draft recreation plan for Little Sand Creek Watershed open for public feedback City anticipates final plan to go before council at June 7 meeting

After a year of planning among federal, state and local agencies, the city of Sandpoint is preparing to finalize its recreation plan for the Little Sand Creek Watershed, which not only provides the community with its source of drinking water but offers opportunities for hiking, biking and other backcountry activities.

Sandpoint Parks Planning and Development Manager Maeve Nevins-Lavtar presented the Little Sand Creek Watershed Recreation Plan to the City Council at its regular meeting May 17, emphasizing that it remains “a high-level master plan” with “several calls to action or action items for future work.”

Meanwhile, the community is invited to review the complete draft of the plan and share their thoughts, questions and concerns at Nevins-Lavtar said city staff will review public feedback before bringing the final draft plan back before council, which is anticipated to appear on the Wednesday, June 7 meeting agenda.

Encompassing almost 7,413 acres, the watershed is located south of Schweitzer Ski Resort and divided in ownership between the resort, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Idaho Department of Lands and Sandpoint — the city being the majority landholder with 3,921 acres.

The primary uses of the watershed have been as a water source, commercial timber harvesting and some recreation — the latter primarily consisting of a network of trails created by users, but which became formalized under a 2015 agreement between the city and local biking organization Pend Oreille Pedalers. Those trails amount to 13.15 miles — maintained by POP under the agreement — but as usage has grown, the city determined a plan was needed to guide future development.

Councilors adopted the Little Sand Creek Watershed Master Plan in 2021, which established the primary purpose of the watershed “to protect or enhance the quality of water generated by the Little Sand Creek Watershed and to insure an adequate and continuous supply of water, in perpetuity.”

In addition, the master plan established secondary goals, including, “To provide opportunities for compatible uses of the land that are in the public’s best interest and benefit.” The master plan addressed the recreational component by calling for the city to develop comprehensive guidance on how outdoor activities should be developed and managed in the watershed, which resulted in the draft document that Nevins-Lavtar presented May 17 to the council.

“We had a pretty monumental effort to bring together various entities,” she said, citing the various landowners in the watershed and adding, “During the initial processes we’ve been able to get all of those people and those entities in the room and we’ve continued to maintain relationships with them.”

Among the key recommendations in the draft recreation plan is exploring the creation of a cooperative agreement with those stakeholders “for the purposes of moving forward with recreation management and natural resource management and conservation efforts as an entire body, instead of one landowner here and one over there.”

Nevins-Lavtar said such an agreement would help to “unify and strengthen” management in the watershed, while reducing bureaucratic hurdles to inter-agency collaboration.

Turning to the plan itself, Nevins-Lavtar said an additional 52 miles of trails are envisioned, mostly located in the “lower basin” area, which is the location of the existing POP-maintained network. Uses on those trails range from biking to hiking to

backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing.

However, Nevins-Lavtar stressed, “While there are concept lines on the plan, they are concept only and that doesn’t mean that it’s a blueprint to go and develop those.”

Other sections of the plan address “passive recreation” such as berry picking and foraging, recommending the development of a management plan to preserve native plant species and provide educational and ADA-access opportunities.

A number of placemaking and educational concepts are included in the plan, including branding and signage, as well as interpretive and informational features.

Though it is a recreation plan, conservation remains the top priority, as the city has set buffer zone restrictions of between 75 and 150 feet on either side of streams throughout the watershed (depending on whether they are fish-bearing), as well as buffer zones of between 15 and 100 feet around wetlands ranging from ¼ acres to more than five acres.

The plan identifies a number of limited uses, including hunting, horseback riding, campfires and motorized vehicles — except on Schweitzer Mountain Road — which require a permit. A permit application, fee structure and procedure for allowing limited or regulated recreation in the watershed would be developed under the plan.

While camping is restricted, “the opportunity for a front-country, ADA-accessible family camping experience close to the road is desired by some in the community as an introduction to the outdoors,” according to the plan, and could be provided using a “hut or simple structure.”

Finally, a policy on dogs in the watershed is called for by the plan, noting that dogs are prohibited from or restricted to certain areas within many municipal watersheds, as they can cause offtrail erosion, damage vegetation, spread noxious weeds and — critically — pollute water sources with fecal waste.

Sandpoint doesn’t currently have a dog policy for the water-

shed, but “one is necessary as the trail system is developed to prevent impacts to the city’s drinking water,” according to the plan.

Councilor Jason Welker underscored his support for the overall plan, though as executive director of POP — one of the key recreational stakeholders in the watershed — he announced he would recuse himself when it comes before council.

However, he took the opportunity at the May 17 update presentation to make his position known, saying, “What makes Sandpoint truly unique is our geography and our location relative to this beautiful basin just two-and-a-half miles from downtown.”

“Trail systems bring in millions of dollars of revenue to communities,” he said, later adding, “a trail is a free amenity once it’s there — there’s never going to be an admission fee. … Once these trails are built they’re for everybody.”

NEWS May 25, 2023 / R / 5
An overview of the Little Sand Creek Watershed ownership. Courtesy image.

US-2 construction begins May 30

Drivers should be prepared for congestion as work continues through November

Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond

Construction will begin Tuesday, May 30 to widen U.S. Highway 2 south of its interchange with U.S. Highway 95 in Sandpoint. Crews will build another lane for southbound traffic between the interchange and the visitor center.

“Adding another lane will make the highway four lanes and consistent with other sections, removing the bottleneck drivers currently experience,” said Project Manager Erica Aamodt.

The project will also increase the clearance underneath the railroad bridge so that taller loads may pass underneath.

“U.S. 2 serves as an alternate route for U.S. 95, so increasing the clearance to the current standard of 17 feet will allow a greater range of commercial vehicles to pass through without difficulty,” Aamodt added.

Work will take until mid-November to complete. Drivers will be able to pass through the work zone with one lane in each direction, but should still plan for congestion.

Drivers can download the 511 app or check to stay ahead of traffic impacts on state highways and interstates.

De-annexed Priest River properties see zone change, end to land-use moratorium

Bonner County commissioners repealed a moratorium May 23 against land-use actions on property de-annexed from the city of Priest River.

A moratorium was placed on the approximately 875 acres in December 2022 because, upon de-annexation, the property lacked a zoning designation. Bonner County Planning Director Jake Gabell explained at an April 18 planning commission hearing that, without official zoning, Bonner County’s planners could not regulate what happened on the property. Because of that, a moratorium was placed.

At the April 18 hearing, the commission voted to recommend designating the land “Rural Residential” and zoning it to five- and 10-acre minimums. The planning department collaborated with landowners, Gabell said, to settle on the R-5 and R-10 zoning. Bonner County was the official

applicant requesting the changes.

Bonner County commissioners voted unanimously May 10 to approve the planning commission’s recommendations.

With the county’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning maps amended to reflect the changes, a moratorium was no longer needed in order to mitigate the “risk to the health, safety and welfare of neighboring residents” should property owners opt to take land use actions the county could not legally regulate without zoning in place. Gabell proposed an end to the moratorium at the commissioners’ May 23 business meeting, and the motion passed unanimously.

The property — located off Highway 2, Eastside Road and East Settlement Road just east of Priest River city limits — features flat, open areas as well as some sloped, timbered land, and is currently used mostly for agricultural purposes. At the April 18 hearing, landowner John Conolly said he did not have plans to develop the property, but was working with the county to “make it where it makes sense.”

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

With the end of the COVID-19 health emergency, Americans for Tax Fairness examined the wealth impact of those years: 700 billionaires saw their cumulative wealth go from $2.95 trillion to $4.65 trillion. Jeff Bezos gained $17 billion, while union busting; Elon Musk became $153 billion richer while also union busting and Warren Buffet gained $47 billion while denying rail workers sick leave.

According to an opinion piece in The New York Times by writer Ezra Klein, the debt ceiling may be our “single dumbest” feature, since Congress decides how to spend money and later votes on whether to pay those debts. Even a short-term ceiling breach could cause a recession, with 1.5 million lost jobs, the stock market falling and much higher long-term borrowing costs. Potential cures include following the 14th Amendment, which states that the public’s debt “shall not be questioned,” indicating the ceiling itself is unconstitutional. The other is to mint a large-sum platinum coin. The problem with either one: likely litigation, with the Supreme Court at this time a wild card slanted to favor Republican causes.

Klein concluded by saying the House Republicans are the ones creating the default scenario, and “they are pulling the pin on this grenade.”

Under the Republican-dominated Donald Trump presidency, The Week reported, the nation’s debt rose by $7.8 trillion, with three different votes to raise the debt ceiling. Biden’s plans to reduce the debt by $3 trillion, such as letting Medicare negotiate drug prices and taxing the ultra-wealthy, are adamantly opposed by Republicans in Congress. According to Newsweek, the debt is currently more than $31.5 trillion. The media source reported that Biden did reduce the national deficit between 2020 and 2022 by $1.7 trillion.

The BBC reported that House Republicans seek not only to sink Biden’s legislative priorities, but to increase spending on the military and border security. Meanwhile, the debt stand-off has “rattled” financial markets.

Social Security Works reported that the Biden administration has been examining selling some federal lands, selling gold reserves, halting Social Security checks for the first time ever, and delaying payments to veterans and active-duty military personnel. Stock market responses could include wiping out an estimated $12 trillion in household wealth, including retirement accounts.

According to SSW, partisans opposed to raising the debt ceiling aren’t concerned about the deficit; rather, they have targeted the poor and elderly for cuts, while protecting wealthy donors and defense contractors.

The U.S. has never defaulted on debt, and Biden says it never will. He won’t agree to “protect” the oil industry with Republican plans for them getting $30 billion in tax cuts (the sector made $200 billion last year), will not protect wealthy tax cheats with IRS funding cuts, and will not cut jobs for 100,000 school teachers and 30,000 law enforcement officers, which he says the Republican plan would initiate.

One of the demands made by House Republicans for raising the debt ceiling is to increase work requirements for food benefits, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Experts, according to CBS, find scant evidence that works. Arkansas in 2018 instituted work requirements, which resulted in 18,000 people losing health care coverage, leading them into medical debt or skipping medications. The Congressional Budget Office reported it did not increase employment. Republicans want to change food benefit rules, but the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities argues their plan could result in loss of benefits for 1 million older adults. Those not working are typically providing unpaid care for children or older family members, attending school or have health problems.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said his party’s proposed policy will help people get a job. The CBO’s research has not shown that to be the case. Data shows 97% of people receiving food benefits are already working.

“House Republicans have decided to hold the economy hostage to slash assistance for low-income Americans while protecting tax cuts for the wealthy. That’s a factual statement, not a partisan complaint,” wrote E.J. Dionne, of The Washington Post.

Blast from the (recent) past: Alexei Navalny, who challenged Vladimir Putin for the Russian presidency in 2018, has since had several “mysterious” poisonings. After his latest recovery in a German hospital, he returned to Russia, knowing it did not matter where he resided: Russian agents would find him. He was immediately arrested and wrote a friend: “Everything will be alright. And even if it isn’t we’ll have the consolation of having lived honest lives.” Recent reports indicate Navalny continues to suffer from his last poisoning, which appears to be slow-acting and “rotting his insides.”

6 / R / May 25, 2023
An underpass on U.S. 2 north of Sandpoint. Courtesy photo.

Living and recreating responsibly in bear country

If you live and recreate in North Idaho, you’re in bear country. As the seasons are changing, bears are emerging from hibernation, and are active from April 1 to Nov. 30. Idaho is home to both black and grizzly bears, so it’s important for both recreationists and people who live in areas with bears to know how to avoid an encounter.

If you live in an area with bears, there are many precautions you can take to keep your families, livestock and pets safe. It is imperative that you are aware of what scents could attract bears to your space. Trash, pet food and other scented attractants should be kept in a secure location, like your garage or shop. Grills and barbecues should be kept clean of food and grease, and also stored in a secure location when not in use. Bird feeders act as an easy food source for bears, and should be put away until Dec. 1. You never want to feed a bear, neither intentionally nor accidentally.

When it comes to livestock, beehives, gardens, orchards, berry patches and compost piles, it is important to construct a barrier

between them and bears. Electric fencing is highly effective in keeping bears out of these spaces. Dead livestock should be disposed of inside a boneyard that is protected by electric fencing or through sanitation services.

If you are recreating in bear country, there are many things you can do to keep everyone safe. First, adventure with friends. A good rule of thumb is to hike and camp in groups of two or more. Sixty-three percent of bear attacks worldwide between 2000 and 2015 occurred when the victim was alone. As you hike with your friends, talk to one another and make noise. Most bear attacks are defensive, and bears are less likely to get near humans if they know they are there. Making noise is especially important near streams or dense vegetation, where it might be harder for a bear to notice someone approaching. If you are alone, shout something like, “Hey bear!” at least once every two to three minutes.

Food, personal hygiene products, trash and other scented things all act as bear attractants. They should be properly stored in a bear-resistant canister. These canisters are made with heavy duty material and screw-top lids

that are difficult for bears to open. When camping they should be stored 100 yards from your campsite.

If you have a dog along for an adventure in bear country, it should be kept leashed. Dogs that are unleashed may run ahead on the trail and come across an unsuspecting bear. You don’t want your dog to have that encounter, or to have that bear chase the dog back to you. Keeping your dog leashed is the best way to prevent accidental conflicts.

Lastly, carry bear spray. Check your spray’s expiration date before you go, and make sure that your canister is accessible while you’re out — not tucked away in a backpack. Spray low, in one sweeping motion in front of you, and be aware of the direction of the wind so that the spray doesn’t immediately waft back to you. The Idaho Conservation League offers “bear aware” and bear spray training to the community and is happy to present to local groups who may be interested.

Bears usually do not want to encounter you any more than you want to encounter them. Living and recreating in bear country comes with responsibility. By planning ahead and preparing,

Tennis tourney, walk-a-thon and raffle to raise funds for ALS services

When a group of local women learned that one of their friends and fellow tennis players had received a diagnosis of ALS, they went beyond well wishes and sympathy — they organized a fundraiser to support services for those in the community suffering from the disease.

“Our dear friend has done so much for this community in regards to her nursing career, where she helped so many others who were sick, as well as raised two beautiful daughters here, so we wanted this event to not only honor her and her achievements but also bring the community together for a good cause,” said Carol Curtis, one of the event organizers.

The All In For ALS Tennis Tournament, walk-a-thon and raffle is set for Saturday, May 27, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Travers Park (2016 Pine St., in Sandpoint).

Participants are invited to join

the walk-a-thon around Travers Park at any time and walk as many laps as they choose. “No pressure — just fun,” organizers stated.

The tennis tournament will be a point-based quick game format called “fast four.” It’s a 32-player maximum, so participants are encouraged to make their reservations as soon as possible. The cost is $50 for the tennis tournament and $20 for walking ($30 for a family). T-shirts will be handed out to participants, as well.

All proceeds will benefit the ALS Association Evergreen Chapter, the local branch of the nationwide organization that provides critical resources for those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — a nervous system disease that affects cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing the gradual degeneration of muscle control necessary for mobility, speaking, eating and breathing. Medical science has yet to identify the specific cause of the

disease, which grows worse over time, and there is no cure — yet.

The benefit is a grassroots endeavor, in which event planning expenses and prizes are being covered by donations from local businesses and community members.

“ALS is a deal-breaker, and this clearly called for more than a potluck fundraiser or bake sale,” said Wendy McWalter, who brainstormed the idea of this fundraiser. “We wanted to make sure that whatever we were able to raise would benefit our community — with funds going to a local organization providing local support to local people. It’s also about our dear friend on her journey; to tell her that we, and the community, love her.”

Those wishing to make a donation can do so online or show up on May 27 to check out the raffle baskets. For more information, visit

Checks or cash donations will also be accepted at the event.

knowing the area and practicing these bear-aware behaviors, you can lessen the chances of encountering a bear on your next hike or camping trip. Using these preventative measures, we can avoid conflict between people and bears — ensuring enough room and safety for people and bears alike.

May 25, 2023 / R / 7 PERSPECTIVES
Retroactive By
Karissa Huntsman is North Idaho community engagement assistant for the Idaho Conservation League. A grizzly bear crosses the road from the forest. Courtesy photo.

Shea’s library board win a defeat for ‘extremism’…

Dear editor, Reason, common sense and the First Amendment won last Tuesday when Susan Shea was re-elected to the library board. Defeating anti-constitutional extremism and usurpers from out of state.


•Here’s a Bouquet to the cast and crew of Into the Woods, produced by Lake Pend Oreille Repertory Theatre. Cadie and I attended on May 19 and both remarked how amazing everyone did with this intricate musical.

•Carolyn Gleason and her army of volunteers receive a Bouquet this week for their tireless efforts promoting and organizing the annual Lost in the ’50s weekend in Sandpoint. It’s always a singular experience to see downtown Sandpoint transformed during the car show and parade.


• Barbs to this guy for taking up four parking spots on a busy Saturday in Sandpoint. Who parks like this and thinks it’s OK?

Don’t be this guy:

•There’s a special place in Cleveland reserved for people who commit what I consider one of the biggest sins, which is revising history to suit their own needs. I’ve been a history buff all my life and once even majored in it during college. Authors like Howard Zinn made a splash with books like A People’s History of the United States, which analyzed historical events not from the victor’s perspective, but from the vanquished, but all of the facts were indeed facts, not inventions. It seems we at the Reader get a similar email about once a month in which the author tries to convince us that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. With such limited space to make a point, the resounding answer is no, America wasn’t founded as a Christian nation. If it was, I highly doubt the Founders would have included in the following words in the very First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...”

views and opinions over the narrow views of the extremists.

Plato said, “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil men.” We have been ruled by evil men (and women) for quite a while. Maybe the results of this election are a tiny ray of hope that the majority are finally waking up to this reality. We can only hope this is so.

Lawrence Fury Sandpoint

Dear editor, Destruction and contention could not have been the legacy James E. Russel intended, and yet here we are talking about bulldozing irreplaceable public space, killing shade trees and breaking down an awesome playground. There exists safety, openness and beauty where a guardian can simultaneously watch multiple kids swinging, skating and playing baseball — don’t drop a warehouse on all of that. This would only be a victory for a hasty few compared to the thousands who love the park the way it is.

Save Travers Park!

Jodi Rawson Sandpoint

Dear editor,

Dear Ms. Gleason, thank you for another great weekend at Lost in the ’50s. As usual, all went off on schedule and the weather could not have been better. The entertainment was memorable and what a display of classic cars on Saturday. And let’s not forget all the volunteers that made this event possible.

Bill Litsinger Sandpoint

Dear editor, I’m delighted that Shea won in the library trustee election, but deeply disappointed that only 30.74% of the registered voters bothered to show up at the polls for this very important election. We are a representative democracy that currently is being dominated by a tiny minority of people. This is not what the Founding Fathers envisioned for our new republic.

I’m encouraged by the fact that the challenger was defeated by an 18% margin.

This could mean that thoughtful people are beginning to assert their

A cynical joke going around said, “When asked how he felt about the ignorance and apathy displayed in this campaign. The response was, ‘Don’t know and don’t care!’” We must overcome this mind set or we will continue to be ruled by evil people.

‘An example for all of us…’

Dear editor,

I purchased two pairs of glasses about a year and a half ago before moving from Sandpoint to Eugene, Ore. This week I received a refund check from Pend Oreille Vision Care, reimbursing me for money I had paid them and then was later paid to them by my health insurance.

The astounding staff did the detective work, sniffing around town to pick up my tracks. They found me! What a great example of integrity, professionalism and honesty.

Eugene, Ore.

‘Don’t believe the propaganda’…

Dear editor,

Here’s to our unsung heroes who serve, without an agenda and for no pay, on community boards for our sewer, water, libraries, bike associations, conservation groups and hospitals. I’ve seen firsthand the amount of work that goes into managing budgets, studying other communities, considering public input and planning. It’s a lot of work, particularly with all the high growth in our county.

So, why are these board seats sometimes hotly contested? Why yard signs, texts and flyers?

A small group seeks to concentrate power, control the narrative and drag national culture wars to North Idaho. They distract through fear with claims of porn in the libraries and a lurking cabal of liberal devils. Visit our libraries. There is no porn, just a joyful learning atmosphere.

This is not a battle of good vs. evil. It’s a battle to consolidate control into the hands of a few ambitious people. And they are activating good, God-fearing people

to do their bidding.

Idahoans are fiercely independent. Don’t let a small group of people control us, stir up neighbors to hate and drain our tax dollars with frivolous lawsuits. Don’t believe the propaganda. We protected Bonner County from the distractors in this election. Let’s keep protecting it.

Tests, compliance laws and other restrictions needed for gun ownership…

Dear editor,

People who relish their hobby as gun enthusiasts are as dedicated as other hobbyists, such as motorcyclists, golfers, target shooters, bowlers, etc. But, if Americans have a chance to stop mass shootings, gun owners need to join the demand for stricter controls over gun ownership. Because a motorized vehicle can be a lethal weapon, this nation has agreed it is a privilege, not a right, to operate one. Tests and compliance to laws are mandatory. This is the 21st century — not the 1700s. Ownership of a deadly weapon needs to have restrictions:

•Persons convicted of a felony, domestic violence or under observation for mental problems should not own a weapon;

•Lock boxes are mandatory for parents whose child has disciplinary problems or the parents may be liable for their child’s actions;

•All persons under 21 purchasing their first weapon should be required to take weapon safety classes. (Unless they are members of our military forces);

•A mandatory minimum three-day waiting period should be enforced for all weapon purchases;

•Large capacity magazines for all weapons should be eliminated — 10 rounds is enough;

•Ban the sale of weapons without background checks. This includes gun shows and one person who sells to another, or the seller may be held liable.

•If gun owners and the NRA would get behind the restrictions listed above, they would receive more respect. And, perhaps, this great nation that we all love so much would be a safer place to live.

‘Spoiled children’…

Dear editor, In case you missed the last West Bonner County School Board

meeting, it was an excellent example of what happens when the light of Truth shines too brightly. We the people spoke and voted down the levy, but some could not accept it. Pointing fingers and screaming idiocies, they reviled and said all manner of evil, falsely.

As it is said in the Bible, God’s holy word:

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Our school board sat quietly and honorably. They had allowed people to vote on the levy, but confidence in our schools is rightly lacking. It didn’t turn out the way some wanted and they didn’t want to accept it. They looked for someone to blame. Like spoiled children that are denied their lollipops, they stomped and cried out. Their true selves were demonstrated. You were lucky if you missed this show.

Where are you from?…

Dear editor,

I find it interesting some people move to North Idaho and, after just a couple years, they become experts on what it takes to be a real Idahoan — someone with real Idaho values. A good number of these “instant experts” happen to be from California, like the current leader of the local Republican Party. Evidently, he thinks lying about native Idahoans is a good value, because that’s how he won the primary election in 2022.

I would like to know how long the members of the Bonner County Republican Central Committee have lived here. In fact, I believe all political letters to the editor should include how long the writer has lived in North Idaho.

Maybe instead of bad mouthing and lying about people who have lived here a long time, they could keep their mouth shut, and learn how we got along just fine before they ever showed up.

Steve Johnson Sagle, my home since 1957

8 / R / May 25, 2023
‘Save Travers Park’…
‘Thirty-six years of enjoyment’...
We must overcome ignorance and apathy…

Growing native

Whether you lean green, are into buying local and living sustainably, or you’re just a little allergic to hard work, landscaping with native plant species has a lot to offer.

So, what’s a “native”? Natives are plants that thrived here before the arrival of Europeans — plants that Lewis and Clark would have encountered on their travels west. They grow in a location naturally, and have not been hybridized, selectively bred or genetically modified by man.

Why are natives good in your garden? Since they evolved in our area, native plants are an integral part of the local soil, climate and wildlife ecosystem. They get it! They have adapted to the highs and lows of local temperatures, and to the amount and seasonality of available moisture.

Native plants have developed synergistic relationships with native animals and insects. They provide food, such as seeds for birds and squirrels and browse for deer, and shelter for a variety of critters. They attract pollinating insects and have many ingenious ways of protecting themselves from harmful ones.

In your garden, natives require less watering and that means less hose dragging. Because they have deep root systems (up to 16 feet), natives increase the soil’s capacity to store water. And planting native ground cover species, like kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) or wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), also conserves moisture, prevents soil erosion and discourages weed growth. No need for purchasing and spreading traditional mulches!

With natives in the garden there’s no hurry with fall cleanup. Let annual and perennial flowers go to seed. The Nootka rose

The many benefits of fostering native plant species in your garden

(Rosa nutkana) reaches five feet tall and spreads into a thicket providing cover for birds and small mammals. Its fragrant, pink flowers are followed by pear-shaped red hips, an important source of grit for juncos, grosbeaks and thrushes.

Canadian goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) produces sprays of tiny, yellow flowers followed by lots of seeds for birds in the fall. Shrubs like mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) and blue elderberry (Sambucus nigra) are covered with white spring blooms then bountiful berries for local and migrating birds from late summer into winter.

Many perennials will dress the garden with winter interest. Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) sheds its leaves, but the bare red stems are striking against a snow-covered landscape.

What about the local critters that feed on native plants? Sure, everyone has to eat, but a number of natives have developed defense mechanisms against browsing deer, rabbits and other critters.

Nuttall’s larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) just doesn’t taste good (and it’s poisonous to domestic cattle and horses). Sticky geranium (Geranium viscosissimum) has leaves that are covered with sticky hairs; it’s probably the wildlife version of peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) smells bad to deer, but it reminds us humans of Thanksgiving turkey stuffing. The occasional deer will sample your deer-resistant plants, but they won’t take big helpings. They’re more likely to amble next door and munch on your neighbor’s hybrids.

Where do I get native plants? It’s not the best idea to go digging up natives in the wild, and it may be unlawful. To harvest native species on private land, you need permission

from the landowner. Natives growing in their natural habitat may have deep roots making them hard to transplant. You can collect seed in the fall. This doesn’t hurt the plant, but it’s a slow way to get your garden started. The easiest and most successful way to acquire natives is to let the professionals grow them, and you buy them.

With the blossoming interest in native plants, many nurseries now carry a small selection. A few nurseries specialize in native plants, such as Cedar Mountain Perennials in Athol. Founded in 2009 by Bob and Jill Wilson, Cedar Mountain Perennials has a broad selection of natives available in a variety of sizes. Current inventory is posted each spring and updated throughout the growing season on their website,

Each year, Cedar Mountain Perennials supplies plants for the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s annual plant sale. This year’s sale will take place Saturday, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the arboretum (611 S.Ella Ave., in Sandpoint). Plant experts

will be on hand for gardening tips and to help you make the right selection.

To get an idea of which natives would work best for the specific conditions of your yard, visit the North Idaho Native Plant Arboretum. Created and maintained by KNPS, the arboretum consists of eight different habitats. You’ll get a good sense of each plant’s characteristics, as well as what types of soil, light and moisture it likes.

KNPS has also published Landscaping with Native Plants in the Idaho Panhandle. Available in local book stores and at the Bonner County Historical Society and Museum, the book has color pictures and descriptions of more than 180 native plants, their favored habitat and appropriate landscape suggestions.

To learn more about KNPS, visit

Robin Campbell is a member of the board of directors for the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society.

May 25, 2023 / R / 9 PERSPECTIVES

Science: Mad about

peter jackson's lord of the rings trilogy

Disclaimer: This page contains behind-the-scenes information about the process of filming that could disrupt the immersive experience of watching these films. If that is a concern, please skip this page.

We are still talking about The Lord of the Rings trilogy more than two decades after the premier of The Fellowship of the Ring. This franchise succeeded in its mission to completely redefine cinema by upping the ante, creating an entire world of special effects that blended traditional techniques with computer-generated imagery that was cutting edge for its time.

Much of what made these films incredible has been adapted, recycled and improved upon in the past 20 years, but that hardly diminishes the herculean endeavor that was the creation of The Lord of the Rings. If anything, it should make one wonder how no one has quite tapped into the magic that brought this epic franchise to life since The Return of the King in 2003.

Credit is due at every level of The Lord of the Rings production, but the driving force behind the films’ staying power and popularity is undeniably the incredible work of Weta Workshop. While it’s easy to believe that the extent of the work in the film was done through computer imaging, an immense amount of production went into a mastery that is near and dear to my heart: miniatures.

Numerous shots of miniatures throughout the films included the epic city of Minas Tirith, the rain-slicked fortress of Helm’s Deep and the treacherous mines

of Moira, where fools would fly from the towering Balrog. Virtually all of the aerial and wide shots of these epic locations were swing-by shots of colossal miniatures built by Weta Workshop, with CGI imposed over the footage to bring them to life.

The composite technique of inserting one shot over another was nothing new to cinema. This was famously used when filming Metropolis, a German expressionist film released in 1927, to create vivid effects, movement and electrical surges during the transformation of the character Maria into the artificial body of the Maschinemensch. However, the level of detail and repeated use of this technique at different angles with minimal distortion in The Lord of the Rings was a legendary and expensive feat.

The level of skill and care is especially evident in moving shots, such as the Fellowship fleeing across the Bridge of Khazad-dûm while the camera zooms out, or the tracking shot sweeping along Minas Tirith as the forces of Mordor besiege the city.

Using the term “miniature” isn’t exactly adequate for some of the scale sets built for the films. The set designers lovingly referred to these creations as big-atures, and with good reason. The big-ature of the tower and ring of Isengard was well over 10 feet tall and more than 65 feet wide. By comparison, traditional wargaming miniature terrain becomes lethal for your soldiers after six inches.

Big-ature sets weren’t the only ones created for the films. Full-sized sets were built to match the minis exactly, with such an attention to detail that the lighting between more than three composite shots was compared and replicated to maintain

perfect cohesion and immersion. The difficulty of this must have been compounded by the use of forced perspective to maintain the illusion of dwarves, elves, hobbits and men all sharing a screen while appearing at vastly different sizes.

Forced perspective is most strikingly used during one of the early scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf enters the hobbits’ home of Bag End to enjoy a cup of tea with an old friend. The way that forced perspective works is that you place something you wish to appear larger closer to the camera, while tricking the viewer’s eye into thinking these two objects are side by side. In this case, Ian McKellen, playing Gandalf, sat nearer to the camera with scaleddown props while Elijah Wood, playing Frodo, sat at a larger table farther back.

The real trick behind utilizing forced perspective is to make a shot dynamic without breaking the illusion. How do you track an actor or swivel the camera without breaking immersion? The production team hooked McKellen’s portion of the set to an electronic dolly that moved in tandem with the camera. During a panning shot, he and half the table moved with the camera, and from that perspective it appeared as though nothing had changed.

Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the trilogy was the cast’s attention to detail when it came to combat. Many fantasy movies fall into the trap of employing flashy stage combat with flips, twirling flourishes and other acrobatic feats that make no sense in the context of martial combat; the cast of these films adhered closely to medieval military manuals, which can be seen in a number of scenes.

The sweeping actions Viggo Mortensen’s character Aragorn used on Weathertop to ward off the Nazgûl, while seeming aimless and chaotic at first glance, was a very common crowd control technique used by knights on a crowded battlefield. The sweeping actions are intentionally wide and erratic to keep swarming aggressors at bay and off balance, in hopes of forcing an opening in a line or lapse in judgment that can be

exploited. Another technique was Sean Bean, as Boromir, grabbing the haft of a swinging ax, which was another common tactic used on the battlefield that could stop viking axes or French halberds from delivering a coup de grace Orlando Bloom, as Legolas, surfing down the stairs of Helm’s Deep on a shield was certainly not pulled from any medieval war manual, however, so I have no explanation for that one. Stay curious, 7B.

•Ray Kroc didn’t found McDonald’s. He was a Multi-Mix salesman who met brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald and bought franchise rights to the restaurant in 1955, purchased the company in 1961 and turned it into the fast food empire it is today.

•The McDonald brothers actually started the restaurant in 1940 as a barbecue joint in San Bernardino, Calif., but switched to burgers and shakes eight years later.

•McDonald’s opened its first drive-thru window in 1975 in Sierra Vista, Ariz. The inspiration for the concept came from the restaurant’s close proximity to a military base. Soldiers weren’t allowed to leave their cars while wearing fatigues, so McDonald’s tried out the concept and found success.

•There are more McDonald’s restaurants in the United States than there are hospitals.

•Coke tastes different at McDonald’s. This is because the Coke syrup delivered to McDonald’s comes in stainless steel tanks to preserve its freshness. Everywhere

else, it’s transported in plastic bags.

•In the film Pulp Fiction, John Travolta’s character tells Samuel L. Jackson’s character that they call Quarter Pounders a “Royale with Cheese” in France. It’s actually called the “Royal Cheese.”

•The top selling item at McDonald’s is french fries.

•Menu items at McDonald’s often have dozens of ingredients. Chicken McNuggets have 40 ingredients, while the McRib has 70.

•A menu hack popular on the internet proclaims that one can order a McDouble without mustard or ketchup and add shredded lettuce and special sauce. The sandwich is identical to the Big Mac, minus the third bun, for half the price.

•After starring in a Burger King ad that bashed McDonald’s, actress Sarah Michelle Gellar was named in a lawsuit and ultimately banned from McDonald’s.

•At 1,880 calories, the 40-piece Chicken McNuggets meal is the highest calorie item on the regular menu.

10 / R / May 25, 2023
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Random Corner

Dirt-y Secrets

Welcome to the beautiful, busy garden season

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day. When it’s cold outside, I’ve got the month of May.”

If you are a gardener this month, you are busy. Planting, watering, fertilizing, mowing and weeding — then doing it all again. And what a lovely way to soak up that sunshine.

The soil is nice and warm and you can safely plant even the tenderest of flowers and vegetables. But pay attention to the weather forecast and keep plant coverings handy, because it has been known to freeze every month.

Insects are hatching now. That means bees, butterflies, moths, spiders and, yes, mosquitos are proliferating. They are all a part of our ecosystem and pollinate all of our ornamental and food crops. Except for mosquitos — they don’t pollinate. But, they do provide food for birds, fish, reptiles and other species. Still, they are a nuisance and nobody wants to invite more.

Mosquitos need to lay their eggs in water, so be sure to empty water-collecting containers and keep sources of standing water emptied. You’ll still have mosquitos, but not quite as many.

As for bees, they are busy, busy. My Mason bees have hatched and gone right to work. They appreciate the dandelions that I left for them before the trees and flowers were in full bloom. You may remember that I tried an experiment last year. Instead of emptying the nest tubes and storing them in the fridge, I left them in their nest tubes in the little bee houses outdoors. It worked, I think.

I’m not entirely sure, because some of the bees I see may be wild and appropriated the house. But I saw that most of the filled tubes had emptied. I reasoned that wild bees survive without a refrigerator during winter vacation and I was right!

Speaking of dandelions, after other plants are blossoming for the bees, I dig them out, burn them out and mow them down. I try to get them before they have seed heads so that their dominion is thwarted. Failing that, I admire their spunk and their beauty.

All of our native birds are in prime nesting time. The swallows, sparrows, finches, robins, hummingbirds, chickadees, crows, nuthatches, and even the osprey and eagles are laying eggs and watching over them as they wait to see them hatch and then fledge.

Their real work begins when those hungry chicks hatch and demand food constantly. Cue the mosquitos. And it helps all birds to have a bird bath or other freshwater source. Empty and clean it often. All of the birds really help to manage insect pests.

Monarch butterflies need milkweed — and only milkweed — for their caterpillars to eat. They lay their eggs there and, when the babies hatch, they are sitting right on their first meal.

Monarchs migrate huge distances and we are not in their flight path, but if some stray our way, it is good to have milkweed for them to find. And (bonus) all the varieties of milkweed have pretty little flowers that return every spring.

Another word about weed killers: Glyphosate is the culprit here and it is the main ingredient in many weed killers, Roundup being the best known — and no wonder. Advertisements feature lush, green, weed-free lawns and flower beds with nary a weed, and stacks of Roundup appear in the aisles of every hardware store.

However, here is the rub: Roundup stays in the soil for at least six months. In that time, birds eat the insects that contain the glyphosate and it negatively affects their health and the health of their chicks. When it migrates to the water, fish are also harmed. You can imagine that it is bad for our health as well. Very bad. It has been implicated in many diseases in humans.

There are safe alternatives, though. Vinegar mixed with dish soap and Epsom salt is very effective, as well as elbow grease and a trowel or other specialized weed-pulling tool.

If you have purchased or planted pots and hanging baskets, they

will flourish if you keep them watered and fertilized often. Hanging baskets in particular need regular fertilizer because the nutrients in the soil wash right out. Doing so weekly works best and a liquid fertilizer is most effective. I use fish emulsion in baskets and pots,

and organic granular in flower and vegetable beds.

Our town looks so beautiful right now with the flowering trees lining the streets. Pause and be grateful that we live here.

May 25, 2023 / R / 11 OUTDOORS
Courtesy photo.
12 / R / May 25, 2023
To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to Right: The Vintage Car Parade snakes down First Avenue on Friday, May 19 in Sandpoint. Photo by Zach Hagadone. Below: A series of close-up photographs of cars during the Car Show Saturday, May 20.Photos by Rich Milliron.

Top right: A view of the Pend Oreille River at low water in mid-April from the Memorial Field boat launch. Photo by Ron Bedford.

Top far right: Sunrise over the Scotchmans taken from the Mickinnick Trail. Photo by Tim Hutto.

Bottom left: Denise Zembryki brought the Reader on a river cruise on the Douro River in Portugal. “We enjoyed the beautiful country and some nice Port!” Denise wrote.

Bottom middle: Gary Quinn brought the Reader while “skiing a favorite area in the northern Selkirks. It was still winter at 6,800 feet and a warm cabin for the evening.” Photo by Gary Quinn.

Middle right: Selkirk Fire, Rescue & EMS crew perform maintenance on the osprey nest webcam in mid-April. A protective mother osprey can be seen buzzing the fireman while he works on the webcam. Photo by Rich Milliron.

Bottom right: A beautiful and oderific field of skunk cabbage outside of Hope. Photo by Jane Holzer.

May 25, 2023 / R / 13


June Parks and Recreation programming

Sandpoint Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces will be offering the following programming in June:

• Adult pickleball. Registration is open for both beginning and intermediate pickleball for ages 18+. All classes will be held 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays at the Lakeview Park pickleball courts. All equipment will be provided. Participants need to bring their court shoes, water, sunglasses, a hat and layers for cool weather. Each session is $25/ person ($5 non-resident fee). Register by Thursday, June 8 for Session 2 beginners, held on Saturday, June 17.

Arbor Day celebration. Hosted at Lakeview Park from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, June 3, the event will feature a native plant and bake sale from the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society, Angels Over Sandpoint yard sale, educational booths, self-guided arboretum tours, nature crafts and the opportunity to collect stamps in participants’ adventure passports for a free tree seedling. A tree planting ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m.

Sand Creek Paddlers Challenge. A four-mile paddle up and back on Sand Creek on Saturday, June 3. Divisions for SUP, solo and tandem races and a recreation division with first-place trophies for each. Ages 12 and up. Check in and late registration at City Beach Pavilion 9-9:30 a.m. Race starts at 10 a.m. Fee: $20/boat.

CPR/AED with optional first aid. For ages 16 and older or ages 12-15 with an adult guardian. American Health and Safety Institute class for those who need CPR/ AED and or first aid card for work, OSHA requirements, school or personal knowl-

edge. Register by Thursday, June 1 for the Monday, June 5 class. Located at Sandpoint City Hall Council Chambers (1123 Lake St.), class meets 4-6 p.m. for CPR/AED and 6-8 p.m. for first aid. Fee: $35 CPR/AED, with additional $25 first aid option.

Adult Coed Softball League. Coed season runs July-August. Each team will be guaranteed a minimum of 14 games. All games played at Travers Park (2016 Pine St.). To reserve a team’s spot in the league, $20 will be applied to players’ fees at time of online registration. Register by Sunday, June 11. To register and for details and fees, visit

Adult ladies golf. Session 1 of the fiveweek clinic with local golf pro Mike Deprez runs each Monday, June 12-July 17. Participants meet at the Elks Golf Course 30196 ID-200, in Ponderay. Register by Thursday, June 8. Fee $100 ($5 non-resident fee). Fees include range balls.

CHAFE 150 Family Fun Ride. This four-mile ride will start and finish Saturday, June 17 at Sandpoint City Beach with an out-and-back ride on the Sand Creek Trail. Check in and late registration at Trinity at City Beach 11:30 a.m. Ride starts at 1 p.m. Fee: $10/rider for those 13 and older, 12

and under are FREE. Hosted by Sandpoint Parks and Rec. and Sandpoint Rotary.

Contra dance. Parks and Rec. partners with Emily Faulkner to bring this series, which runs the second Friday of each month, except August.The Friday, June 9 dance at Sandpoint Community Hall (204 S.First Ave.) will take place 7-10 p.m. No experience necessary, all ages are welcome and no partner needed. Beginners are encouraged to attend introductory dancing at 7 p.m. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing and bring non-marking shoes to change into for dancing. No outdoor shoes on the dance floor. A $5 donation is suggested for each dance.

Sandpoint Parks and Rec. also acts as a clearinghouse to connect the public with other recreational opportunities in the community. Visit the online activity catalog to view listings. Outside organizations and individuals wishing to list their activities are encouraged to contact the department with their program information at recreation@

Register for any Parks and Rec. program at catalog, visit the office at City Hall (1123 Lake St.) or call 208-263-3613.

ITA’s ‘Pack Your Summer’ online auction to benefit trails

Idaho Trails Association is hosting an online auction through Wednesday, May 31, with all proceeds for the auction benefiting trails across the state.

The auction features experiences including a day paddle trip on Lake Pend Oreille,

trail and shuttle passes to The Route of the Hiawatha trail, a Wildlife Encounter Safety Course for two, tickets to a beachside dinner at Green Bay and many more adventures.

Bid online at

14 / R / May 25, 2023

Long live the cemetery

Volunteer efforts at the Hope Cemetery prove that burial grounds can be ‘living places’

In May, the Hope Cemetery puts on a show.

Thanks to volunteer clean-up efforts, the freshly-pruned lilacs are able to thrive. With undergrowth now tamed, some hidden headstones are now revealed; the bush, once a small tribute to a loved one, now grown into a centerpiece for the surrounding burial sites.

The week before Memorial Day, there are flower pots with American flags dotting the green hillside. Young native plants — roses, elderberries, syringa — flourish in their wire encasements, protected from resident whitetail and poised to line the revived pathways amid the graves.

Credit for the ongoing efforts to keep the area in tip-top condition can be given largely to Friends of the Hope Cemetery, a nonprofit volunteer group led by Chairman Brent Lockwood, who took the helm after the passing of his father-in-law Fran Schuck.

Schuck and a core group of Hopeites — the Butlers, Rameys, Dreisbachs, Dunns and many more — resurrected the defunct group in 1998 and began brainstorming ways to ensure future residents could secure their final resting place in the rapidly filling cemetery.

“There aren’t very many locations left to bury anybody,” Lockwood said. “[Schuck] was realizing that the cemetery, ironically, was going to die, and we needed some way to keep it going besides just taking care of what was already here.”

Thus, the idea for the Hope Cemetery Columbaria Park was born. Carved into what was once an impassible, overgrown

hillside is now a rocked pathway and state-of-the-art columbarium — a concrete structure holding niches in which the departeds’ ashes can be stored. Further along the walkway is a memorial wall, featuring a plaque for Friends of Hope Cemetery and plenty of open space for more dedications.

Facing the cemetery on the downward-sloping side, Lockwood said he reads the hillside like a book — completed on the left, and slowly seeing improvements as it progresses to the right. He has visions of additional parking, another access point, a second columbarium and more.

“For those that are unfamiliar with it, it’s hard to see an idea,” Lockwood said. “But, as it goes along, that idea becomes more and more visible.”

The improvements, from visual to practical, are all in an effort to encourage people to enjoy the cemetery for themselves.

“We would always make a ceremony of coming up to the cemetery and remembering,” recalled Susan Howard, also an integral member of the Friends nonprofit.

“The whole idea of going to the cemetery is becoming semi-obsolete,” she continued. “Hopefully this is an easy way for [young people] to connect.”

Lockwood said he recently spent some time in Germany and made an effort to tour cemeteries there. Seeing the vital role those places play in everyday life reaffirmed his dedication to making sure the Hope Cemetery will continue to thrive long after he takes his own place on the green hillside — looking out on one of Lake Pend Oreille’s best views for all eternity.

“There’s a playground next to every cemetery,” he said of his travels in Germany. “They’re living places. Cemeteries aren’t dying places — they’re living places,

as long as there’s someone to put life into them.”

To learn more about ongoing volunteer opportunities at the Hope Cemetery, reach Brent Lockwood at or 208-290-6892. For

information about purchasing a columbarium niche or memorial wall plaque, call 208-255-5333 or email hopecityclerk@

May 25, 2023 / R / 15 COMMUNITY
Susan Howard and Brent Lockwood of the Friends of the Hope Cemetery visit the Columbaria Park on May 23. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.

What I learned while interviewing Vietnam combat veterans

In 2017, my partner and I made plans to backpack through Vietnam for five weeks.

As many who own their own business can attest, there is no such thing as a vacation. Instead, you cram in as much work as possible before leaving the country, then deal with all the rest upon your return.

As part of my preparation to leave, for more than a month, I wrote several articles that could run in my absence, so as not to leave the remaining editorial staff with too heavy a workload.

Since I was headed to Vietnam, I thought it a worthy endeavor to reach out and talk with a handful of local veterans who fought in the Vietnam War. My plan was to share their unvarnished combat stories with our readers, shedding a light on the sacrifice and struggle our combat soldiers endured, and still endure today.

With Memorial Day on Monday, May 29, I found myself thinking of the five men I sat down with six years ago, some of their stories still reverberating in my brain.

Barney Ballard told me about how he watched the growing conflict in Vietnam while attending Occidental College in Eagle

Rock, Calif., feeling the obligation to serve his country building inside of him.

“I thought if I believed in any of these altruistic principles as stated by our country, then I felt I needed to serve,” Ballard told me.

Ballard shared stories of his flight training, flying everything from prop-driven Cessna T-41s to tandem T-38s to the F-5 jet. After some time spent in Korea, Ballard began his combat operations in Vietnam in 1972. As a forward air controller, his job was to coordinate air-ground operations. Almost immediately, Ballard began flying night missions over the Mekong Delta, conducting airstrikes in support of U.S. and South Vietnamese troops on the ground.

“There began a period of a siege of about 68 days,” Ballard told the Reader. “Because we didn’t have ground troops, we brought in lots of air support. A lot of airplanes and a lot of helicopters were shot down.”

Ballard flew an estimated 92 combat missions over the next three months, dodging anti-aircraft fire and flying low to attempt to evade detection. He laid precision airstrikes on the enemy next to friendly forces and watched with heartache as several of his fellow pilots didn’t return from their missions.

“It’s always been in my mind as to why

in the heck did I make it and somebody else didn’t,” Ballard said. “So I thought that if there’s anything that you need to do with your life, it’s to seek to serve.”

While Ballard flew missions overhead, Marines like Ed Karasek did the onerous work of ground combat against Viet Cong forces that proved to be formidable.

The Vietnam War was already raging when Karasek joined the Marines in 1966.

Karasek began his combat experience in July 1967, entering the conflict as an O311 infantry rifleman. He was attached to the First Battalion, First Division Marine Dylan Company and, after only six months of combat, found he was the most senior

“Then” photos come courtesy of the veterans. “Now” photos taken by Ben Olson. person in the group.

“That meant the guys I came in with were all rotated out for injuries or death,” he said. “We took shitloads of casualties.”

Karasek told me all about a particular offensive he remembers in Hoi An, the former provincial capital of Vietnam where heavy fighting occurred during the war. After a < see MEMORIAL DAY, Page 17 >

16 / R / May 25, 2023 MEMORIAL DAY
Sandpoint’s Vietnam veterans, then and now: Jeff Dunnum (top left) Bill Collier (top right) Barney Ballard (above left) Seth Phalen (middle right) Ed Karasek (above right).

shower and a hot meal following a grueling three-day patrol, Karasek was whisked into a helicopter and landed in the middle of a firefight to aid another battalion that had become overrun.

“The Fifth Battalion was pinned down by a heavy lot of what was believed to be the NVA soldiers, not the farmers that we had been mostly fighting up to this point,” he said.

Karasek and his fellow Marines were able to push back the offensive, but the unit they had come to relieve had taken about 80% casualties, with almost half the men dead by the time Karasek landed.

Marching to engage the retreating NVA, Karasek remembers a battle that raged well into the night, with fire coming from all points of the compass.

“We got overrun in the corner I was at,” he said. “There was a machine gun nest sitting right there to my side and the NVA threw a satchel charge and blew those guys up and came right through that hole. … I took one round right through the top of my head, one through my ear and out my neck. The Marine next to me just flopped over onto my lap, so I pretended like I was dead for a while and the battle just continued to rage.”

Karasek said he’s still haunted by the trauma.

“I was raised as a Catholic, although I became an atheist while I was over there,” he said. “But you thought you were really violating God’s orders in combat, that this was a horrible thing to be doing. But the next day you see some of your friends get killed and pretty soon, in all honesty, killing people becomes as easy as it is in the movies.

“I can’t tell you how many Vietnamese I came upon that were wounded and I just blasted them as we moved on and chased the rest of them,” he added. “There was no emotional feelings for those people at all whatsoever, which was sad.”

Another Sandpoint veteran I spoke with also served in the Marines. Seth Phalen grew up obsessed by the idea of a “man’s duty” and, when the war began to escalate, he volunteered, saying he wanted to put himself on the firing line.

Upon arriving in-country, Phalen said he remembers the stink of the Marine Corps base, the gunpowder fumes and the awful heat and humidity.

“You stepped onto the land and it just penetrated you,” Phalen said.

Phalen joined a forward observer team attached to the Second Battalion 26th Marines, Third Marine Division. He had risen to the rank of corporal and was now taking part in active patrols and search-and-destroy missions in which he would call his own targets.

Wincing under the constant barrage of heavy artillery, Phalen carried a PRC-25 radio with two spare batteries, ammo belts, smoke and frag grenades, extra mortar rounds, field gear, gas mask, entrenching

tool, bayonet, sleep gear, extra shirts and socks, and his weapon. The gear weighed more than 60 pounds.

It was about nine months after he’d joined the forward observer team that Phalen endured one of the most traumatic experiences of his life. He and his men were ambushed by a massive mortar attack while digging foxholes. Both Phalen and a nearby sergeant were hit by the same shell; Phalen taking shrapnel in his ankle, face and arms, and his sergeant taking damage to his skull, though surviving the attack.

Phalen said 20 of his fellow Marines were killed during that barrage. Even though he was injured, he remembered feeling regret that his injuries had forced him to leave.

“My ankle was basically ruined, but I hung back,” he said. “I didn’t want to go. That band of brothers thing, it’s very real. You have to experience it. You bond with these guys and go through shit, you don’t want to leave them.”

Jeff Dunnum also felt the weight of responsibility to serve when he joined the U.S. Army at the end of 1969 and began basic training at Ft. Ord, Calif.

“I felt I had a responsibility,” Dunnum said. “I went down to the draft board and said, ‘Take me.’”

Dunnum carried the M-60 machine gun while in combat, a weapon that weighed 26 pounds — not including ammunition. He was assigned to the Fourth Battalion, Third Infantry, 11th Brigade, Americal Division of the U.S. Army. His unit operated in what was known as a “free kill zone,” meaning the rules of engagement were different than in other areas.

or you shoot them down with your air-to-air missiles, or your gatling guns or whatever they have on the jets. My job as a Marine Corps helicopter pilot was saving lives. I feel really good about that.”

Collier arrived in Vietnam in July 1966, about 50 miles south of the demilitarized zone, with his first medevac mission serving as his “baptism by fire.”

“It was one of the scariest events of my life,” he said.

Collier’s mission was to fly into Mutter Ridge, where an ongoing battle had raged to gain control of a hill.

“We turned off all of our lights and spiraled down very carefully,” he said. “The Marines were shooting up the hill at the enemy and the enemy was shooting down at the Marines. The Marines had red tracers and the enemy had green ones, so it was like horizontal fireworks.”

It was when the tracers began pointing upward at his approaching helicopter that Collier realized his H-34’s floodlight made him the biggest target around.

“A helicopter is made out of magnesium,” he said. “And we had the highest octane fuel. All it takes is a few tracers to go through the fuel tank and it would explode. I knew I was dead, right then, when I hit that [floodlight] switch. I was only 23 at the time and I didn’t want to die yet.”

“I was raised as a Catholic, although I became an atheist while I was over there. But you thought you were really violating God’s orders in combat, that this was a horrible thing to be doing. But the next day you see some of your friends get killed and pretty soon, in all honesty, killing people becomes as easy as it is in the movies.”

“In a free kill zone, everybody was bad guys,” he said. “You’d drop in and just start searching and try to stay away from booby traps.”

Over the year that SPC Dunnum spent in combat, he keenly remembered rarely ever feeling at ease.

“You were always on alert, 100% of the time,” he said. “You never really knew where you were at from day to day. We were small and we’d get into a firefight and it would last maybe two or three minutes of total panic, then clean up and call the medevacs if we got hit, then search and try to find blood trails.”

When soldiers like Dunnum were injured, helicopter pilots like Capt. Bill Collier were tasked with flying in low to evacuate the wounded.

“I’m glad I flew helicopters,” Collier told the Reader. “The reason for flying jets is to kill people. You drop bombs on them,

As each veteran shared their stories, I realized they all had a similar characteristic: humility. These were young men who had faced more trauma before turning 25 than most people would encounter in their entire lives, yet they spoke only of the duty to serve, the commitment to their fellow soldiers and the realization that they probably weren’t going to make it out of that war alive. There was no bragging, no posturing, no embellishment for effect — these were real heroes who served their countries in a time of war and didn’t ask for anything in return except the chance to return home when the fighting ended.

Many of their fellow soldiers didn’t make it back. Still others returned so broken inside, it would take years of therapy and self-exploration to overcome the trauma they had experienced while fighting for their country.

And they are just a handful of veterans in this community who have similar experiences that still haunt them.

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country. For me, it’s also a time to honor those who made it back to tell their stories. I thank each and every one of them for giving me the honor to share their stories in the Reader. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

May 25, 2023 / R / 17
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con’t from Page



Live Music w/ Chris Paradis

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Live Music w/ Truck Mills and Global Gumbo

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Music inspired by Latin, Cajun and Southern music.

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

6-9pm @ Barrel 33

Country and classic rock

Cribbage Night

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Trivia Night

5-8pm @ Paddler’s Alehouse

May 25 - June 1, 2023

The District and Community Cancer Services fundraiser

6-9pm @ The District

A 5-course wine and food pairing for $125 to benefit CCC. Seating is limited. To sign up:

FriDAY, May 26

Live Music w/ Last Chance Band

8:30pm @ The Hive

It’s country night at the Hive!

LiteFeet teaching line dancing lessons from 6:30-8:30pm, with band starting shortly after. 21+ $15/day of show.

Local Cottage Market

10am-6pm @ Farmin Park

Grand opening

Songs in the Round concert

8pm @ Panida Little Theater

Join Katelyn Shook, Josh Hedlund and Larsen Gardens for a special intimate evening of songs and stories in the round. $25. Limited seating available:

Live Music w/ Luke Yates & Christy Lee

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall


Live Music w/ KOSH

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Songs through the decades

Live Music w/ Bethany Highley

7-9pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Joined by a special guest

All in for ALS

9am-5pm @ Travers Park

A tennis tournament and walka-thon raising money for ALS. Raffle prizes! 316-285-4144

Live Comedy Night

7:30-9pm @ Paddler’s Alehouse

Live stand-up comedy. Tickets on sale at the Alehouse

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

5-8pm @ Drift (in Hope)

Country and classic rock

Tacos and Tours 11am-2pm @ The Idaho Club

Celebrate the opening of the Oxbow development with free tacos and refreshments

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh produce and artisan goods, every week! Live music by Mobius Riff

Live Music w/ Marcus Stevens

Priest Lake Spring Festival

9am-3pm @ Coolin, Priest Lake

Check out vendor booths, food, a parade, a fun run, quilt shot and Lions Club pie sale over May 27-28.

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

SunDAY, May 28

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Magic with Star Alexander

5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s Up close magic shows at the table

Local Cottage Market

10am-6pm @ Farmin Park

monDAY, May 29

Group Run @ Outdoor Experience

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome, beer after

TuesDAY, May 30

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5pm @ Farmin Park

Live Piano w/ Peter Lucht

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

wednesDAY, May 31

Innovia Foundation Leadership Summit

5:30-8:30pm @ The Heartwood Center

Pool League

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Join dynamic and well-respected authors Mónica Guzmán and Erin Jones as they share the stage to offer their perspectives on building bridges to strengthen relationships and our communities. Event followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with audience. This is hosted by the Innovia Foundation

ThursDAY, June 1

Game Night

6:30pm @ Tervan Tavern

Cribbage Night

7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

BGH Community Hospice: ‘A Celebration of Life’

4pm @ The Healing Garden

BGH Community Hospice invites the community to join in the Children’s Remembrance Garden to remember and celebrate the lives of children who have left us too

Trivia Night

5-8pm @ Paddler’s Alehouse

18 / R / May 25, 2023

Festival awards 2023 scholarships

The Festival at Sandpoint announced May 23 that there are five recipients in the nonprofit arts organization’s 2023 scholarship program.

Violinist Hannah Adams was selected as the winner of the 2023 Festival at Sandpoint Instrumental Scholarship, recognizing her participation in community and school orchestras in Coeur d’Alene and Spokane — as well as the North Idaho Youth Symphony — and work offering private beginners’ lessons. She also performs in assisted-care facilities, and plans to attend Belmont University in Tennessee, after which her goal is to come home to Sandpoint and establish a program for string instrumentalists.

Cellist Evan Schwenk — who performs with several chamber orchestras, including the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, and teaches orchestra and cello at the Sandpoint Christian School and Suzuki String Academy — was selected as the runner-up for the Instrumental Scholarship.

Arie VanDenBerg received the 2023 Charley Packard Memorial Songwriting Scholarship with his original song “We

Ain’t Done,” performed on guitar. VanDenBerg has been primarily self-taught, and “uses songwriting as a creative outlet to decompress from school and sports,” according to the Festival. He anticipates attending Chapman University in California to study business.

The Festival at Sandpoint also partners with Angels Over Sandpoint to award an Arts Scholarship. The focus for 2023 was writing, with previous years geared toward visual arts, dance and theater, and vocal performance.

Winner Elizabeth Couch was selected for her diverse portfolio of creative writing featuring poetry, short stories and nonfiction. She also enjoys writing fantasy and literary fiction, crediting her teachers and the Sandpoint High School Creative Writing Club for her inspiration.

Finally, Max Bazler won the scholarship for the 2023 Lineup Poster Artist Contest, with funds intended to support continuing his education at North Idaho College, where he is pursuing a degree in graphic and web

design. See Bazler’s work at maxbazler. com and view the 2023 Festival at Sandpoint lineup poster at festivalatsandpoint. com/lineup-archive.

In addition to its annual summer concert series, the Festival supports music education and engagement year round through a variety of programs, including awarding more than $6,000 in scholarships to local students.

To learn more about our 2023 scholarship winners, visit scholarship-winners.

May 25, 2023 / R / 19 MUSIC
Left: SHS Assistant Principal T.J. Clary, SHS Principal Jacki Crossingham, Elizabeth Couch and Festival at Sandpoint Education Manager Paul Gunter. Right: Hannah Adams, Festival at Sandpoint Education Manager Paul Gunter, Evan Schwenk and Arie VanDenBerg. Courtesy photos.


Festival at Sandpoint auction features

VIP perks for summer concert series

The Festival at Sandpoint kicked off its third annual virtual auction May 17, taking online bids through 9 p.m., Sunday, June 4, on auction items including several VIP perks and packages for the 2023 Festival at Sandpoint Summer Performance Series.

Among the prizes for winning bids are sponsor entry tickets, front-row blanket placement, a reserved parking spot, an exclusive wine bottle signed by the 2022 lineup of musical artists and more.

The virtual auction is the only place where bidders will be able to find some of these items, including tickets to the soldout Saturday, July 29 performance by Train with Better Than Ezra.

All auction proceeds are donations toward the Festival, supporting its nonprofit mission to provide affordable and accessible music education and experiences to the community and surrounding region.

To learn more about the auction and register to place bids, go to fasvirtualauction.

20 / R / May 25, 2023


A celebration of songwriting

Katelyn Shook, Josh Hedlund and Larsen Gardens team up for Songs in the Round

For such a small town, Sandpoint attracts a lot of songwriters. Maybe it’s something in the water, we don’t know. Regardless, the best way to tap into Sandpoint’s songwriting community is at a smaller, intimate venue dedicated to the listening experience.

If that interests you, join Katelyn Shook, Josh Hedlund and Larsen Gardens at 8 p.m. Friday, May 26 at the Panida’s Little Theater for Songs in the Round for an intimate evening of songs and stories.

“I really want to give an opportunity for local musicians to have a listening audience and not have the huge pressure of selling a lot of tickets, like they would at a larger venue like the big [Panida] theater or the Heartwood,” Shook told the Reader.

Along with playing in the show, Shook produced and promoted Songs in the Round.

Shook is best known for her work with twin sister Laurie in the popular touring band Shook Twins, but she plans to tap into her solo side on Friday night. With her honey-pure voice and catchy

hooks on the guitar, Shook’s songs have helped sell out shows at the main stage of the Panida — among other venues across the country — for years.

said “I love hearing him play, and I especially love hearing him in a place with great sound and lighting. It’s the perfect way to experience his music.”

Songs in the Round feat. Katelyn Shook, Josh Hedlund and Larsen Gardens

Friday, May 26; doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m.; $25 general admission. Panida Little Theater, 300 N.First Ave., 208-263-9191. As of press time, there are only 20 tickets left, so check soon to get your tickets.

Hedlund’s songwriting has been lore in Sandpoint for more than a decade, as he has developed a following to his unique fingerpicking style on the guitar and raw, unvarnished lyrics that cut deep. His songs balance on the fine line between delicate, haunting and ethereal.

“Josh is one of my favorites, obviously,” Shook

Shook tapped Larsen Gardens to round out the night after hearing her play at a curated open mic night at Bluebird Bakery in February.

“She blew my mind,” Shook said. “She’s just so good. She just moved to town, so I’m excited to have a new songwriter in town. … She needs to be heard in an intentional space.”

Shook said the Little Theater has undergone a small makeover recently, with new murals painted on the walls and the addition of a green room and a functional bar to the venue.

“I’ve been working hard to give this Little Theater a makeover,” she said. “I want to do more little shows like this if the community supports it. I have this vision of bringing a lot of our friends from regional touring artists that I think Sandpoint would absolutely love. I want a space where people can have less pressure and I can easily produce a show in there.”

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Truck and Carl, Farmin Park, May 27 Strangerers, 219 Lounge, May 27

Among Sandpoint’s bestkept secrets are the worldclass musicians who choose our town for their home base. There’s something beautiful about the commonplace times and places these gifted artists share their work. In this week’s offerings, Truck Mills and Carl Rey will play an open-air, mid-morning slot at the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market, providing the soundtrack to strolling shoppers in Farmin Park.

The duo will play old-

style and country blues, along with some jazz and world-music stylings, brought to life with strings, harmonica and the voices of two of Sandpoint’s most seasoned performers.

10 a.m.-1 p.m., FREE. Farmin Park, Third Avenue and Main Street in Sandpoint. Listen at truckmills. com.

It’s kind of hard to top what’s already been written about Spokane-based trio the Strangerers. Whoever’s been doing their P.R. has a way with words.

For instance: “The Strangerers put the range in strange. They sound like a broken bottle bar fight and have recently expanded their gigging radius from Corby’s Bar & Grill in Post Falls to the one and only bar in Hunters, Wash.” Also: “Strangerers began regularly meeting to practice music, and would play electrified iterations of jazz standards in garages all over Spokane in the beginning of 2020 as guerilla jazz rats.” Also, also, Vinnie Nicholoff

(drums), Jacob Ayers (bass) and Eric Kegley (vocals/guitar/songwriter), have “expanded their range beyond backyards, garages and retirement homes.”

If that sounds intriguing — and it sure does to us — check out their alt-outlawcountry-jazz-rock Saturday, May 27 at the Niner. Hopefully they won’t stay Strangerers to Sandpoint.

9 p.m.-midnight, FREE, 21+. 219 Lounge, 219 N. First Ave., 208,

I was finally able to dive into local author Ammi Midstokke’s first book, All The Things, which she published through Spokane-based Latah Books earlier this year. The essay collection highlights all that is great about Midstokke’s voice. She makes her reader (or, at least this reader) laugh as often as they have to take a deep breath to digest a hard truth. She puts words to the North Idaho female experience, and I am grateful. Find All The Things in local shops or online.

Once upon a time in Bozeman, Mont., three high school friends joined forces to start a folk-rock band. That trio, known as Ritchy Mitch & The Coal Miners, has managed to amass 6.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify without a label and with only three rapid-release albums since the band’s 2017 formation. I’d venture to say it’s because they’ve managed to make something unlike anything I’ve ever heard — stripped down but absolutely full of life. Must-listen RMCM songs include “Subliming,” “Lake Missoula” and “WET SOCKS.”


My YouTube algorithm is a convoluted blend of government meeting livestreams, ASMR hair-brushing compilations and Taylor Swift music videos (enjoy that window onto my mind). How thrift shopping vlogs recently made it into the mix is beyond me, but I’m not mad about it. Basically, there are people with YouTube channels who film their second-hand shopping adventures and how they choose to style their findings. Videos on the channel @ thriftedbyryanne are perfect, bitesized catharsis.

May 25, 2023 / R / 21
This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Left: Katelyn Shook. Photo by Racheal Baker. Center: Josh Hedlund. Courtesy photo. Right: Larsen Gardens. Courtesy photo.

From Northern Idaho News, May 26, 1933


Mrs. Bessie Henry, librarian, was the principal speaker at the regular noon luncheon of the Kiwanis club Monday giving a report of the Sandpoint public library, its books and the appreciation the people are showing for it.

With more than 7000 volumes catalogued, as well as many hundred other volumes and magazines that are not catalogued, the Sandpoint public library is well supplied with reading material the speaker told the Kiwanians. The demand for reading matter of all kinds is increasing, said Mrs. Henry, adding that during the calendar year of 1932 there were 22,000 volumes taken out of the library, an increase of 4000 over the year 1931.

Penalties for the past year amounted to $80 and rentals on periodicals totaled approximately $70 said the speaker.

With many men and members of families out of work, the library has been the attraction for dozens who had little else to do except read. “The economic depression is a boon to the library business and we are trying our best with the limited amount of money at our disposal to keep the Sandpoint library up to standard in every respect,” said Mrs. Henry, who told of several needed improvements, one of which was an elevated desk.

BACK OF THE BOOK Nice work if you can get it…

And you can get it (maybe) at the Reader

One of the best parts of being a journalist — especially being a journalist for a really long time — is that you end up talking to a lot of classes. I’ve been grateful to be invited to speak to journalism students at high schools and universities from Sandpoint to Boise, and the inevitable question always arises: “How did you get into the newspaper business?”

My stock answer is usually pretty windy, but the short form is that sometime in the early-spring of 1999, when I was a senior at Sandpoint High School, I left my job at Serv-a-Burger, marched into the Daily Bee offices and asked then-Editor Kary Miller for a job. She and then-Publisher David Keyes agreed to hire me as a copyeditor, reporting to work after school and proofreading the paper until it went to press in the evening.

That was it. I returned to the Bee during winter, spring and summer breaks during my first year at college and, over that time, they let me draw editorial cartoons and even take on a little light writing — some profiles of my former high-school classmates, filler content in various special publications and even some sports (including turning T-ball scores into narrative capsules).

Three years later, college degree in hand, I was working at the Boise bureau of the Associated Press in the basement of the Idaho Capitol. A year or so later, in December 2004, Vol. 1 No. 1 of the Sandpoint Reader rolled off the presses.

I tell this story to students, many of whom end up hoping that they can follow a similar trajectory, but I’m always quick to tell them that it doesn’t normally work that way. I had no resume and no real experi-

ence, other than co-founding my sixth-grade class newspaper, The Sagle Chronicle, and a one-year stint doing layout and editorial cartooning at the Cedar Post in high school.

These days, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is landing an awesome reporting gig simply by walking up to the editor’s desk and asking for one. However, that’s exactly what might happen here at the Reader. You see, we’re in the active hunt to bring on a new reporter, effective as soon as possible.

Publisher Ben Olson referred to this in his “Dear Readers” note in the May 18 paper, but I’m repeating it here in the hopes that there’s some intelligent, eager, creative, current, former or would-be journalist out there who wants to join our little clubhouse in Suite 9 of the Farmin Building on Cedar Street.

We’re looking for someone who’s able to commit to a part-time position — up to about 30 hours per week — with the potential to go full-time, depending on how things go. We’re open to negotiating pay, but duties would be pretty open-ended.

Being such a small shop, our in-house staff has to do a little of everything: in any given edition, you may see your byline on a news report, an artist profile, a food review and/or write-up on a local band. You could end up filing public records requests, taking photos of a Fourth of July parade or sitting in on a local government meeting.

We have a flexible office policy — working from home is never a problem, as long as the work is getting done, because no matter what: You can’t hide from the Wednesday deadline.

An ideal candidate will be a self-starter who is curious and engaged not only with the process of reporting, but keenly interested in the subjects about which they’d be reporting. We’re collaborative and supportive of one another at the Reader, and take our

Sudoku Solution STR8TS Solution

mission as a reliable, insightful, provocative and community-minded media source very seriously (even if we’re not always so serious around the office. For real, the ideal candidate will have both a sense of humor and the ability to withstand some pretty salty banter).

While this is an entry-level position, it is not unskilled nor an internship-type deal. We’re looking for someone who has at the very minimum some experience with non-fiction writing for publication and a basic familiarity with the tenets and structures of journalism. We’re more than happy to provide some training and guidance, but our preferred coworker will come to us with enough basic newspaper know-how to hit the ground if not running, then at least walking at a brisk pace.

If that sounds like you, or someone you know, reach out to us. Email Publisher Ben Olson at or, give us a call at 208-946-4368 or stop by at 111 Cedar St., Ste. 9.

Crossword Solution

Instead of a bicycle built for two, what about no kinds of bicycles at all for anybody, anymore? There, are you happy now?

22 / R / May 25, 2023

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter



paronomasia /par-UH-noh-mey-zhuh/

Corrections: Corrections? Where we’re going, we don’t NEED corrections.

Solution on page 22

May 25, 2023 / R / 23
1.Catches 5.Quickly 10.Picnic insects 14.Unidentified flying objects 15.Costa Rican monetary unit 16.Debauchee 17.Instructions 19.Slave 20.Before, in poetry 21.Delineated 22.Particles 23.Snake 25.Deadly virus 27.Small piece of cloth 28.Green gemstones 31.Child 34.Itchy canine ailment 35.Sticky stuff 36.Ticks off 37.Plunges into water 38.Fowl 39.Immediately 40.Angered 41.Andean animal 42.Fixes in position 44.Life story 45.Ground beef with peppery powder 46.Worry 50.Sentry 52.A frame of iron bars 54.Twosome 55.Rear end 56.Some balconies or verandahs 1.Naked people 2.Ardent 3.Drill 4.South southeast 5.Temporary 6.Sharp end 7.Balm ingredient 8.Sentenced 9.N N N DOWN
Copyright Solution on page 22 10.Area around a nipple 11.Yearning for the past 12.Musical phrase 13.Notices 18.Cloudless 22.Extra 24.Not amateurs 26.Pleads 28.Roof overhangs 29.Dormitory 30.Fizzy drink 31.Short skirt 32.Component of steel 33.News broadcasts 34.One thousandth of a gram 37.Pickle flavoring 38.Alliance 40.Incursion 41.Protective covering 43.Impending danger 44.Plant science 46.Escapade 47.Elicit 48.Sometimes describes one’s nose 49.Connecting points 50.Long look 51.Component used as fertilizer 53.Assess 56.Tiny 57.Durable wood 58.6th Greek letter 59.Consumed 60.Skin disease 61.Where the sun rises 62.File 63.Lock openers
Word Week of the
1. the use of a word in different senses or the use of words similar in sound to achieve a specific effect, as humor or a dual meaning; punning. “The paronomasia in the line ‘I am too much in the sun’ (also heard as ‘son’) implies Hamlet’s continued mourning of his father.”