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/ May 26, 2022


The week in random review By Ben Olson Reader Staff

A red flag

Whenever someone refers to themselves in the third person, look out. Ben thinks that’s definitely a red flag.

A sandpoint mystery

The road has always been called Third Avenue, not Third Street, and the pier where everyone swims in the summertime is officially named Third Avenue Pier, but have you ever heard anyone call it that? It’s always referred to as Third Street Pier. This is a true Sandpoint mystery.

Don’t FEED the journalists

There are a few situations that have the potential to annoy journalists. Don’t ask to read an article that you were quoted in before it prints. Don’t send in anonymous letters and expect them to be printed. Don’t send letters to the editor via hand-written snail mail (we aren’t your stenographers). Don’t submit articles in PDF format — some of the characters don’t transfer when copying and pasting. Also, avoid writing in the first person when sending press releases. Finally, for the love of god, please stop double-spacing after a period. It isn’t 1975 anymore.

this horse sucks

One of the earliest known vacuum cleaners was so large it had to be hauled from house to house with a horse-drawn carriage. The giant hoses were popped through the windows and a gas-powered motor generated suction that pulled the dirt into a glass container where onlookers could gawk at the volume of filth coming from their neighbor’s home.

what’s in a name?

Many people believe the name Idaho was derived from a Native American word. While half of our states’ names derive from Indigenous peoples’ vocabulary, “Idaho” was wholly made up. When the Colorado region needed a name in 1860, a man from that part of the country suggested “Idaho,” which he claimed meant, “Gem of the mountains,” in an Indigenous language. A few days after voting for the name, the people were informed that “Idaho” didn’t mean anything, so they changed the name back to “Colorado” because they wanted to use a Indigenous name (“Colorado” is actually Spanish, but I digress). The name had caught on though. A steamboat on the Columbia was named “Idaho” and later, when gold was discovered in the Clearwater region, the mines were referred to as the “Idaho mines.” When the new mining country was made into a territory in 1863, Congress dug deep in its bag of tricks and chose to name it... Idaho. By that time, just about everyone forgot about the mixup in Colorado and most people still believed it meant, “Gem of the mountains,” when it really means nothing at all.

My heart goes out to the families of the 19 elementary school students and two teachers killed in a mass shooting May 24 in Texas. Just as it did after Sandy Hook, this completely breaks my heart. Eventually, we’re going to have to ask some hard questions of our leaders — most of all why mass shootings are happening primarily in the United States. I want to share some words from Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, who spoke on the Senate floor May 24: “What are we doing? Why do you spend all this time running for the United States Senate, why do you go through all the hassle of getting this job, of putting yourself into a position of authority, if your answer as this slaughter increases, as our kids run for their lives, we do nothing? What are we doing? ... This only happens in our country, and nowhere else. Nowhere else do little kids go to school thinking that they might be shot that day.” There is something broken in this country. We need to fix it.

– Ben Olson, publisher

READER 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: Jodi Berge Contributing Artists: Chelsea Mowery (cover), Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Bill Borders, Keith Bansemer, George Loustalet, Kally Thurman Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, Kelcie Moseley-Morris, Kevin Richert, Cate Huisman, Emily Erickson, Jim Jones, Jason Topp, Maureen Cooper, Andy Kennaly, Sandra Rasor, Amy Craven, Ed Ohlweiler Submit stories to: Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $155 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

Sandpoint Reader letter policy: The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: Like us on Facebook. About the Cover

This week’s cover photo is by Chelsea Mowery. May 26, 2022 /


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KBCR postpones hearing on county code amendment Amendment meant to stop local upzoning is ‘not forever dead’

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff

An amendment to Bonner County land use planning code meant to stop the rezoning of properties into higher densities saw its May 25 public hearing canceled on behalf of the applicants, members of the citizen watchdog group Keep Bonner County Rural. “Let’s just say that new information has come to light,” KBCR Chairman Dave Bowman told the Reader. “It’s not forever dead, but we’re going to push it back.” Applicants on the proposed amendment file include Bowman, Doug Gunter, Sherry Anderson and Jonna Plante. An earlier iteration of the file, submitted by Keep Bonner County Rural as a group, was pulled after county officials said that the application must be submitted by a named person or persons. The Planning and Zoning Commission then engaged in two workshops with KBCR in an effort to polish the proposed amendment changes, which were scheduled to go before the board of county commissioners on May 25 prior to the cancellation. “It was [meant] to counteract what the commissioners are doing, which is rubber stamping every single density increase that comes through the door at planning,” Bowman said, adding

later, “Our position is that [county code] was never intended for individuals to be able to walk in willy-nilly and just say, ‘I’d like my zone to be different’ and then get that. But that’s what the commissioners have been doing.” While it is unclear when the KBCR code amendment may again reach the commissioners, Bowman said that his organization will continue to be involved in county land use issues — particularly regarding what KBCR sees as “spot zoning,” or the act of allowing individual property owners to dictate their zoning. “The idea is to stop the rezones for individuals who simply want to come in and change their zoning so they can sell it for a higher profit,” Bowman said. The hearing cancellation comes two weeks after commissioners voted to approve an amendment to county code that would implement the option for zone change applicants to include a development agreement in their file to give the county an idea of what plans there may be for the property seeing the rezone. The amendment comes after months of public testimony arguing that potential impacts to public services — like roads, schools and water — should be discussed as early as the rezone stage, and that Idaho’s Local Land Use Planning Act actually requires it. Planning Director Milton Ollerton told commissioners at

the May 11 hearing that development agreements can serve as an opportunity to “negotiate” and “mitigate” impacts that might occur if the zone change is approved. “It’s not meant to promote growth,” Ollerton said, “but to promote that impacts are to be addressed with new growth and developments. It ensures that the county has a way to follow through with promises made by the applicant for a zone change.” Bowman and other members of KBCR spoke against the development agreement amendment during the May 11 hearing, arguing that because their amendment was filed first, it should be heard first. In addition, critics argued that the

development agreement system lacked adequate enforcement mechanisms. “It doesn’t have any teeth in it, period,” Bowman told the Reader. “Every bit of it is optional.” During deliberation at the May 11 hearing, Commissioner Jeff Connolly responded to accusations that the county was presenting the development agreement amendment to get ahead of the KBCR amendment, stating that he had been working with planning and legal counsel for years to find a way to address development impacts earlier in the process. “We’ve been highly criticized, year after year, for not having something similar in

Bonner County’s rural character is at the center of recent land use debate. Photo by Ben Olson. place. … This was something that was brought forth because of those concerns. We’re trying to find a way to fix it, right?” Connolly said. “Everybody’s bitching because they don’t like the way it is, so we bring something forward. Now everybody’s bitching because they don’t like what we brought forward. It’s really hard for me to understand, really, what people want these days.” “At some point, it’s pure politics,” he later said, “which is no way to run a county, in my opinion, and it pisses me off.”

Ollerton steps down as BoCo Planning Director By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff When Bonner County commissioners voted May 24 to approve a request from the human resources department to recruit for three positions, one in particular signaled a change of guard among the county’s top-tier personnel: the request to recruit a new planning director. Milton Ollerton, who joined 4 /


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Bonner County as the planning director in spring of 2016, told the Reader that he gave his notice to the commissioners on May 12. His last official day in the position will be Friday, June 3. “This is a full-circle decision, meaning that it was based on all aspects of my life, not just work,” Ollerton told the Reader. “I considered staying local, but have decided to move closer to family.” Ollerton said that he believes

“there has been a lot accomplished in the county” over the past six years. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working here with the county residents and the board,” he continued. “With new people come new ideas and new motivation. I am pleased with where the Planning Department has grown from and am excited to see where it will continue to grow in the future.” Commissioners unanimously

approved the request from HR, which will also seek employees to fill judicial assistant and clerk positions. “As the growth continues in Bonner County, I look for good things to happen,” Ollerton told the Reader.

Planning Director Milton Ollerton addresses the board of county commissioners during a public hearing in December 2019. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey.


Sheriff, prosecutor weigh in on Camp Bay Road dispute Second barbecue event, meant to raise public awareness, scheduled for June 11

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff The ongoing battle over 50 feet of Lake Pend Oreille shoreline at the end of Camp Bay Road on the Sagle peninsula has gained the attention of Bonner County’s highest law enforcement official, as Sheriff Daryl Wheeler and Prosecutor Louis Marshall released a joint media statement May 16 regarding an impending gathering on the site, which is the subject of a legal dispute between Bonner County, land developers and local residents. In a post on the sheriff’s Facebook page, Wheeler and Marshall shared in a signed statement that, “given the uncertain terminus point of Camp Bay Road, the county can neither permit nor prohibit a public gathering at that location, as its authority to do so has not been adjudicated by the court. “However, that uncertainty only relates to the 50-foot-wide strip of land beginning at the current endpoint of the road and extending to the water’s edge,” the statement continued, noting that all other adjacent property is private:

“As such, Bonner County strongly encourages the public to respect the property rights of adjacent neighbors and will enforce relevant trespassing and/or vandalism statutes, if forced to do so.” Advocates for recognizing the 50-foot strip of shoreline as public lake access first held a barbecue event at the site in February, prior to the county commissioners reconsidering an application from developer M3 ID Camp Bay, LLC to vacate a stretch of the road leading up to the shore. While commissioners ruled in April 2021 that vacating the road was “in the public interest,” Fred and Jennifer Arn — who live on the road — challenged that ruling in court and successfully had the matter remanded back to the board. When commissioners heard the application again in February 2022, they voted to deny it, citing inconsistencies in historical recordings of what was considered the “high water mark” and, therefore, whether the public has a claim to the lake access at the end of the road as part of the county right-of-way. M3 is now challenging the

February ruling in court, and the Arns are intervening in the case. Fred Arn told the Reader on May 24 that while he “would have liked” for the sheriff and prosecutor’s statement to “have been more balanced,” he felt it “does affirm our right to the 50 feet.” Susan Drumheller, with the nonprofit Project 7B, which is dedicated to keeping citizens informed about local land use matters, told the Reader on May 17 that her group thinks “it’s very clear that the [right-of-way] extends from the end of the road to the high water mark.” “Ample evidence provided by the applicant in their initial application and the first hearing, and the public documentation, shows the [right-of-way] extends to the high water mark, thereby making that 50 feet of beach public,” Drumheller wrote in an email. “It was ONLY the county

staff report that said otherwise at the time. Unfortunately, the county commissioners chose to declare it a legally gray area and invited M3 to litigate.” The media release, Drumheller said, amounted to the county’s legal figures “now also taking the stance that it’s a legally gray area,” and that plans for a second gathering at the end of Camp Bay

Supporters gather for the first Camp Bay BBQ in Feb. 2022. Photo by Keith Bansemer. Road — this time, on Saturday, June 11 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. — are unchanged by the statement. Because parking is limited alongside Camp Bay Road, organizers are urging people to carpool to the event. To learn more about the Arns’ movement, go to

Idaho Supreme Court denies state request to lift pause on Texas-style abortion law

Chief justice included no further information in the succinct decision

By Kelcie Moseley-Morris Idaho Capital Sun The Idaho Supreme Court on May 20 denied a request from the Idaho Attorney General’s Office to end its pause on implementation of an abortion law passed by the Legislature earlier this year. The law, Senate Bill 1309, is modeled after similar legislation in Texas and allows civil lawsuits against medical professionals who provide abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound, which is generally by six weeks of pregnancy. The bill passed the Idaho Legislature

and Gov. Brad Little signed it into law on March 23, but not without saying he had reservations about the lawsuit mechanism, and that he expected it would be challenged in court. A week later, a regional chapter of Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit challenging the law, and the Idaho Supreme Court granted a pause on the law’s implementation while the case is ongoing. If the court had agreed to lift the stay, the law would have gone into effect immediately. The state argued in court documents filed earlier this month that the order to delay the law’s implementation, which was grant-

ed in early April, was procedurally improper. Deputy Attorney General Megan Larrondo wrote in a brief that neither party in the lawsuit formally requested a stay and both parties had not agreed to it. She also said the court did not have the authority to grant a stay because the lawsuit was filed against the state of Idaho rather than a designated state official, such as Gov. Brad Little. Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan signed the order May 20 denying the motion. Bevan did not include an explanation of the denial, stating only that the court reached its decision “after due consideration”

of both parties’ arguments. A few days after the state filed its request to lift the stay, Politico published a leaked first draft of a U.S. Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that acknowledged a constitutional right to seek an abortion. If the U.S. Supreme Court does overturn that decision, a trigger law passed by the Idaho Legislature in 2020 would take effect 30 days later and make abortion a felony. The law only makes exceptions for rape, incest and to save the pregnant person’s life. A rape or incest victim would have to provide a copy of a police

report to the physician who would perform the procedure. The Idaho Supreme Court has not yet scheduled a hearing for oral arguments in the case. This story was produced by the Idaho Capital Sun, a Boise-based independent, nonprofit online news organization delivering indepth coverage from veteran Idaho reporters on state government and policy. The Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national nonprofit funded by tax-free donations in 22 states. Learn more and follow daily updates at and May 26, 2022 /


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After primary purge, JFAC calls off summer meetings By Kevin Richert Idaho Ed News Decimated by a series of startling primary losses, the Legislature’s budget-writing committee is taking a summer hiatus. The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee was scheduled to meet next month for field meetings in Moscow, Lewiston and Orofino. But the JFAC tour is, evidently, another casualty of last week’s GOP primary. “There weren’t enough members available to attend to make the trip worthwhile,” said Keith Bybee, head of the Legislative Services Office’s budget and policy analysis division, in a Tuesday email to JFAC members and legislative staff. Comprised of 20 lawmakers — 10 from the Senate, and 10 from the House — JFAC is arguably the most powerful committee in the Statehouse, responsible for writing budget bills for K-12, colleges and universities and all state agencies. But seven JFAC Republicans lost in the May 17 primary: Senate Chairman Jeff Agenbroad of Nampa; Sen. Carl Crabtree of Grangeville; Sen. Peter Riggs of Post Falls; Sen. Jim Woodward of

Sagle; Rep. Paul Amador of Coeur d’Alene; Rep. Ron Nate of Rexburg; and Rep. Scott Syme of Wilder. On top of that, four other JFAC members did not seek re-election to the Legislature. In other words, at least 11 of JFAC’s 20 members will be new when the Legislature convenes in January. JFAC routinely meets a couple of times during the legislative off-season. And the committee’s co-chairs — Agenbroad and retiring Rep. Rick Youngblood, R-Nampa — have expressed interest in a fall meeting sometime between late September and mid-October, Bybee said. Idaho Ed News senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; “Idaho Reports” on Idaho Public Television; and “Idaho Matters” on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at This article originally appeared May 25 on “Kevin’s Blog” at

City of Sandpoint seeking feedback on Urban Forestry Program

By Reader Staff The city of Sandpoint is inviting residents and visitors alike to participate in a survey on the health, diversity, coverage and policies governing its urban forest. Sandpoint has been a member of Tree City USA since 1996 and has maintained an advisory Tree Committee since 2008. Meanwhile, Sandpoint City Code contains an entire chapter dedicated to urban forestry, which is geared toward “encouraging and promoting the preservation, expansion, protection and proper maintenance of

the community forest within city limits,” the city states on the survey webpage. Fourteen years after Sandpoint’s Urban Forestry Program was developed, the city has undertaken a review of its strategies, programs, staffing and resources related to trees within the city limits. The 2022 Sandpoint Urban Forestry Program Master Plan review and update is ongoing, with feedback from the public being critical to moving forward with the project. The survey takes between five and 10 minutes to complete. Find the survey at under “News & Announcements” on the homepage.

State surplus could mean local bridge improvements

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Bonner County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution May 24 that signaled the county’s interest in taking part in the state’s Leading Idaho Local Bridges program — a $200 million investment meant to improve bridges across Idaho considered to be in “poor condition,” according to Bonner County Road and Bridge staff engineer Matt Mulder. The program, administered by the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, allows local jurisdictions to nominate up to half of their worn down bridges for repair. In Bonner County, Mulder said, that means five bridges are being nominated, including a bridge on Grouse Creek Road over Grouse Creek; Rapid Lightning Bridge No. 4, over Rapid Lightning Creek; Eastshore Road over Hunt Creek; and two bridges on Colburn Culver Road 6 /


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over Grouse Creek and Pack River. Mulder said he selected the five bridges “based on their condition and what I believe is their ability to score competitively in the program.” “Some of these only need repairs. Some of them could potentially be replaced completely,” Mulder told commissioners. “Ultimately, those decisions will be made through the process as LHTAC figures out how to most economically spend these funds and get the most bang for the buck.” There are about 400 bridges considered to be in “poor condition” around the state, Mulder said, and the Leading Idaho Local Bridges initiative is aiming to repair or replace about one-third of them using the $200 million in surplus funds. The resolution approved May 24 served to let LHTAC know about Bonner County’s interest in the program, and if any of the five local bridges are chosen, the work will not require any funding match from the county.

Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: Informed voters, or name recognition? An Indiana candidate won a primary, despite being jailed for murdering his wife, NBC reported. He remains eligible to run for office unless proven guilty. Monkeypox, a more benign version of smallpox, was discovered in 1958. It appears to have originated with monkeys used for research. The virus spreads via body fluids, objects, skin contact and respiratory droplets from an infected person. A case in Boston was recently reported, as well as a case in Austria, The New York Times reported. It’s not often seen outside Africa, but the World Health Organization reported that 92 cases were recently confirmed, primarily in Britain, Spain and Portugal. Two smallpox vaccines are approved for preventing monkeypox. Symptoms start with fever, head and body aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. According to the WHO, the recent fatality rate is 3% to 6%. In Africa the fatality rate can be up to 20%. The baby formula crisis: CNN reported that military aircraft have been ordered to expedite the delivery of baby formula in the U.S., where grocery shelves lack the product or are limiting purchases. There are numerous reports of children being hospitalized due to the shortage (caused by a factory shutdown when two babies apparently died from contaminated formula). Hospitalization has occurred for babies not tolerating replacement formulas or parents creating their own replacements, which have lacked necessary minerals. Parents are warned not to dilute formula. Now some parents are accusing formula companies of price-gouging, NBC reported. The claim made by Florida’s governor that textbooks were teaching radical race theories, lacked substance, according to a Popular Information investigation. Fifty percent of adults in the U.S. are unable to read a book written at the eighth-grade level, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on authorizing special offices within the government to investigate and monitor domestic terrorism, The Hill reported. The bill passed the House 222-203. The U.S. House has also passed a bill (207-217) to investigate allegations of price gouging at the gas pump. A

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

Republican filibuster is expected to kill the bill in the Senate. Ukraine-Russian headlines: “Russian sentenced to life in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial”; “U.S. and NATO pursue a full Russian defeat”; “‘Our Commander Is Leaving With Us’: Putin’s Troops Openly Plot to Ditch ‘Stupid’ War”; “Russia openly declares war in Ukraine as a war with the West”; “Russia paves way to sign up over-40s for army”; “Pro-Russian hackers spread hoaxes to divide Ukraine, allies”; “U.S. to arm Ukraine with advanced anti-ship missiles to fight blockade”; “Putin’s leadership is unraveling as he takes regular breaks for medical treatment and is constantly surrounded by doctors, says British ex-spy”; and, “President Biden signs $40 billion aid package for Ukraine.” Saying he’s never been “so ashamed of my country,” due to Russia’s war against Ukraine, a Russian diplomat to the U.N. resigned. He gave a statement to the Associated Press, which included results of sharing his doubts with fellow Russians. He said some agreed with him, others advised him to “shut up.” In his widely distributed statement, Boris Bondarev said those behind the war “want only one thing — to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity.” The number of people worldwide fleeing conflict, violence, rights violations and persecution has, for the first time, reached an unprecedented 100 million, according to the U.N.’s refugee agency. Of the 450 U.S. murders committed by political extremists over the past decade, 75% were attributed to far-right extremists, The New York Times reported. Another 20% were caused by Islamic extremists and left-wing extremists tallied at 4%. Are Americans getting a little (or a lot) crazy? The topic is explored in Robert Lustig’s highly readable book The Hacking of the American Mind, the Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains. Lustig also authored The New York Times best-seller Fat Chance. Blast from the past: Sixty-eight years ago this month, when deciding Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kans., the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional.


What we can do to address our housing crisis

By Cate Huisman Reader Contributor My earlier piece about what we can’t do to address our crisis in workforce housing [Reader, Opinion, “What we can’t do to address our housing crisis,” April 21, 2022] may have seemed like a bit of a downer. It is frustrating to see other towns striding forward to address the same issue we are experiencing, and to discover that we don’t have the options to do what they do. But we do have options. And several organizations are already acting on them. Schweitzer has long considered the distinct housing needs of its workers, many of whom are seasonal. It had a successful run this past winter with its eight-bedroom Hemlock House shared living site, where 14 employees lived during the ski season. The number of residents dropped when ski season ended, but will ramp up again as the summer season gets going. But Schweitzer has much bigger plans. It announced early in May that construction will begin this summer on an 84-unit employee housing village off Schweitzer Plaza Drive in Ponderay. Additional units are to be added in the future, as well as community facilities and even a child care program. Since the cost of child care is often the biggest monthly expense for young families after housing, this will be a boon for Schweitzer employees. Meanwhile, Kaniksu Land Trust is addressing the issue on a wider basis by working to become the first community housing land trust in North Idaho. To start, KLT has invited Michael Brown, who directs a comparable trust in Bozeman, Mont., to conduct a “conversation with the community” about what such a trust would look like here. This event will be held on Thursday, June 9, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Tango Café, inside the Sandpoint Center building at 414 Church St.

In the community land trust model, donors provide land for housing and buyers buy only the houses, not the land. Keeping the home designs simple and the land cost out of the housing price helps to make the pricing work. Owners accrue equity in their homes as they would with any other home purchase, enabling them eventually to jump into market-rate housing. A major contributor to housing solutions in our community is Bonner Community Housing Agency, a local nongovernmental housing organization. BCHA is certified by the state as a Community Housing Development Organization, which qualifies it for modest support from the state of Idaho to cover some administrative expenses (although nothing that BCHA can use to do its own housing projects). BCHA has played and continues to play a role connecting individuals and groups who want to work together to meet housing needs. It worked with landowner Nancy Hadley to create the Culver’s Crossing development, which has received initial approval from the city, to include houses that local workers can afford. A variety of other creative initiatives have emerged from BCHA that I hope to cover in a future piece. Finally, the long-awaited updating of the city’s Comprehensive Plan is apparently getting closer. City Planner Amy Tweeten has been working to bring the Planning and Zoning Commission up to speed on what has already been done, and she is in the process of reviewing a proposal from consultants to facilitate the update. The wheels of planning seem to turn slowly at City Hall, but the period for public involvement and interaction appears to be on track for late summer. Supporting the comprehensive planning effort, the city has a study underway to identify how much land it needs for housing, as well as for commercial and industrial purposes. The study, to be completed by the end of June, should give us a more accurate picture of our supply

of and demand for land for various uses. When we left off work on the Comp Plan two years ago, the average price of a home in Sandpoint was approximately half what it is now, so having the updated data from this study will be invaluable. Citizens will have an opportunity to hear about it when the results are presented to the City Council, perhaps as soon as their Wednesday, June 15 meeting. Check meeting-agendas to find out when it will be on the agenda. With the Comp Plan update, KLT’s conversation with the community and

the impending presentation of the land use study, there will be plenty of opportunities for citizens concerned about the affordability and availability of local housing to share their insights and hear those of others. Don’t be bashful — your city needs to hear from you. Our best hope for solving the housing issue will lie in hearing out our fellow citizens, speaking out ourselves and being open to new ideas and approaches. Cate Huisman served for 13 years on the city of Sandpoint’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

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Who is keeping an eye on Dover?...

Bouquets: • One thing I love so much about my job is that I never stop learning. Journalists are lucky because we get to dive in and learn so much about many different topics. We tell stories to our readers, but to tell an adequate story one must understand what they are writing about. In order to understand a topic, it sometimes takes a couple of hours sitting down with an expert. I was fortunate enough to spend time with Ken Hunt, the incoming commander of the Sandpoint VFW Post No. 2493, who told me all about his father for a story in our Memorial Day edition this week (see Page 16). A Green Beret like his father was, Ken held me mesmerized as he recounted how his dad, Master Sgt. William Hunt from Sandpoint, was listed as MIA after a particularly deadly few days of battle in the Vietnam War. My own father passed away in 2007, but before he did, I always enjoyed hearing him tell about his experiences in the service, including his darkest days recovering from multiple gun shots which almost killed him. Thank you, Ken, for the stories and for taking the time to speak with me. I no longer have my dad’s stories to listen to, but luckily I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. Thank you to all of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Please remember them this Memorial Day. Barbs: • Paul Herndon, the brother of Idaho District 1 Republican Senate nominee Scott Herndon, emailed me last week to complain about my harsh critique of Scott’s bruiser of a campaign. After gloating that his brother won the primary, Paul wrote that my “liberalism is a mental disease,” and encouraged me to “seek mental health treatment” with a snarky smiling face emoji. Is this what we are to expect if Scott Herndon wins the general election this November? Anyone who disagrees with the extremist party line championed by Herndon and others is labeled mentally ill? Reasonable people used to be able to disagree with one another about politics, but I’m afraid those days are just a quaint memory in the face of the new faction of the Republican Party. 8 /


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Dear editor, If there is a pot of money with a designated purpose and elected government officials think they have unbridled access to it, someone is going to be taken advantage of. The big pot here is the cash in the Dover Urban Renewal Agency (DURA), that the Dover City Council is raiding, and the recipients of this injustice are the property owners of Dover Bay. DURA is regulated by Idaho state law and two city ordinances. DURA currently has $1.9 million of Dover Bay residents’ taxes in its control with a bigger windfall coming. The DURA-specific projects outlined in the Urban Renewal Plan have been abandoned and all checks and balances for the authorized use of DURA funds are now subjectively determined by the Dover City Council and their handpicked DURA Board facilitators, making it a massive “slush fund.” The most recent raid came when the City Council asked for $335,000 dollars to reimburse the expansion of the Dover Water Treatment plant that was completed in 2006. What they are not disclosing is the developer of Dover Bay paid the city $1.8 million in capitalization fees, from Dover Bay that were used to complete this Water Treatment project. Now, 17 years later they want DURA to pay for this project again? It’s a “double dip.” Attempts to alert the Bonner County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office about this deception have fallen on deaf ears. Why are legal agreements, state laws and city ordinances not being enforced? Tom Lally Dover

Maybe support for Ukraine can help lessen U.S. partisanship… Dear Editor, “Go West, young man” was a popular slogan often attributed to newspaper editor Horace Greeley back in the 1870s. After the recent primary election, some living in Idaho might get the idea that the Western U.S. is dominated by Republicans. Instead, the West — including the mountain and coastal states — is dominated by Democrats. Of the 10 Western states, seven are controlled by Democrats and only three by Republicans. Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado all voted Democratic in the last presidential election. Only Idaho, Utah, Montana and Wyoming voted GOP, and the population of those states is small compared to that of the Blue states.

You must travel to the Plains states to find more Red-dominated ones, including the Dakotas and of course Texas and Oklahoma. If you count all the states in the U.S. you have a close contest between the number of Red and Blue-dominated ones, but the population, which decides the popular vote, remained Democratic in the past two presidential elections. With a population so evenly divided politically, it’s difficult for either party to achieve a mandate to pursue their policies. But there is a good example of the parties working together now — in helping Ukraine in its struggle for freedom. Perhaps we can build from this in the future. Jim Ramsey Sandpoint

Putting some numbers to outlawing abortion… Dear editor; As a pro-life proponent for over 30 years, I though the Emily Articulated article “Semantics” in the May 12 Reader was right! I challenge all my pro-life friends to read it. Let’s put a few more numbers to the cost of making abortion illegal. There are about 640,000 abortions in the U.S. each year. Some abortions are performed to save the life of the mother, so let’s guess making abortion illegal would result in about 600,000 new babies each year. It costs at least $25,000 for delivery, which means an extra $15 billion a year just for delivery of all those babies. Who will pay? Adoption? It costs $25,000 to $45,000 to adopt a baby. There are 153,000 adoptions a year, but only 40% are babies so about 61,000 babies are adopted. Even if you triple the babies adopted that still leaves over 400,000 babies who are not adopted each year. Fathers? How do we find them? DNA test every man then garnish his pay? Sixty percent of abortions are from married couples who are already making a “Sophie’s choice” of taking care of the children they have or the one she is pregnant with. That leaves the taxpayers. All women of childbearing age should have Medicaid with excellent pregnancy coverage. Of course, delivery is just the start — 600,000 new babies a year will need health care, daycare, housing, preschool and an excellent education. The real cost will be more like $150 billion a year. All this needs to be in place before any state outlaws abortion. Sincerely, Mary Haley Sandpoint


The Idaho Freedom Foundation’s bark is much worse than its bite By Jim Jones Reader Contributor The outcome of the primary election had to be a serious blow to the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Many of the politicians who have danced to its tune in recent years went down to defeat, including Janice McGeachin, Priscilla Giddings, Dorothy Moon, Branden Durst, Ron Nate, Karey Hanks and Chad Christensen. The IFF has stoked and thrived upon divisive, confrontational politics in Idaho ever since the Republican Party closed its primary in 2012. Using a suspicious rating system, the organization has sought to establish a reputation as a kingmaker amongst Idaho legislative candidates — score high on IFF’s “Freedom Index” and win, score low and lose. The more extremist IFF legislation a candidate will support, the better the rating. Many legislators were afraid to vote on a bill until learning how IFF scored it. This election had to be an eye-opener for those legislators who believed that IFF’s disapproval was the kiss of death. Several other organizations worked hard during this election cycle to show that candidates could think for themselves and overcome IFF’s scorn at the polls. The one I’m affiliated with, Take Back Idaho, endorsed a slate of candidates, including most of the statewide offices and 40 legislative positions. Only one IFF-supported candidate, Raul Labrador, won a statewide office. Its preferred candidates lost for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and superintendent of public instruction. IFF board member Bryan Smith lost his second bid for Congress. The candidates endorsed by TBI were just the opposite of those who would blindly follow IFF’s lead. They demonstrated a commitment to responsible, pragmatic representation, rather than inciting and profiting from hateful conflict. Of the 40 candidates TBI endorsed, 27 won and 13 lost. Some of the races were extremely close — Scott Syme, a stellar person, lost to IFF friend Judy Boyle by just six votes. Some of our losses were quite painful. Sagle Sen. Jim Woodward,

Jim Jones. Courtesy photo. a Navy veteran and excellent legislator, lost in a hate-filled, truth-deprived onslaught from his opponent. The loss of Lawrence Wasden as attorney general will be felt by the state for years. It is likely that IFF’s opposition to Wasden played a part in the outcome, but a number of other dark-money groups targeted him. The Club for Growth spent almost $300,000 on a scurrilous ad campaign against Wasden, falsely claiming he was a RINO (Republican in name only). Wasden’s problem was that he took his oath of office seriously — to support the Idaho and U.S. constitutions. When he was confronted with a situation where he could either serve his personal political interests by shading his legal opinions or honestly state the law as he was required by his oath to do, the rule of law always won. That takes true courage and dedication to his sacred duty. His detractors distorted his honest stands. In truth, Wasden was among the best AGs this state has had. TBI intends to take an active part in each and every future primary election until the malevolent grip of extremist groups like IFF and Club for Growth is removed from our great state. Now that legislators and prospective candidates know that IFF’s bark is much worse than its bite, that time may be closer than some think. Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran who served eight years as Idaho attorney general (1983-1991) and 12 years as a justice on the Idaho Supreme Court (2005-2017). He is currently a regular contributor to The Hill online news. He blogs at JJCommonTater.


Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

Representation By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist

Reader Publisher Ben Olson’s most recent “Back of the Book” piece, “The Morning After the Election” [May 19, 2022], had a phrase that I can’t get out of my head. Amid his decompression from reporting on the election day prior, Ben reflected, “In the blood sport that is politics, bullies tend to come out ahead because they believe their cause is righteous enough to trample anyone who gets in their way and voters reward this behavior with votes.” I have rarely felt fully represented by any Idaho candidate for office, tossing my support to the person handling themselves in the most respectful, articulate and moderate manner — even when their platform is far from what I consider inspiring. But this past election cycle, inundated as it was with smear campaigns, fear-mongering and bully behavior, I felt the bar of my expectations drop well below inspiration, to common courtesy and basic decency. My expectations may not match everyone’s, and my voice might not be in line with the Idaho majority. And frankly, I’m sick of talking about politics. But in fear of the beliefs of this community being pigeonholed into one-dimensional shouts by bullies or the misguided claims by those who moved here because they thought we were all the same thing, I feel compelled to talk about what representation looks like to me.

Emily Erickson. I want to be represented by people who have actionable ideas — plans for moving forward that are relevant and researched and inspiring. Being against things is easy. Looking backward, trying to rewind progress to restore a misremembered and nostalgic past, isn’t a solution for present-day problems. Platforms built on anti-ideas, fed by fear and misplaced anger, are not foundations on which communities can actually stand. Rather, they’re chasms that can only perpetuate the growing division between us all. I want to be represented by people who prioritize human lives over laissez-faire gun legislation. The interest of everyone lies in compromise, in the gray area between “freedom of anyone, at any time, to bear any kind of arms” and “taking away the guns” — not the trickled down logic from capital-at-allcosts organizations telling us there’s no in-between. There is bravery in addressing nuanced situations with collaboration, using both sides of a debate to arrive at the concessions worth making and the absolutes that

should never be compromised. I want to be represented by people who understand that the land we live on and the resources within them are precious and worthy of being preserved. North Idaho is one of the most beautiful backdrops in the country — a rare mix of lakes and mountains and rural charm. Yet, with development running rampant, shorelines being degraded, mines being championed and litter peppering the roadsides, the beauty we’re all so fortunate to live amongst risks being compromised beyond repair. I want to be represented by people who prioritize education, who don’t want our teachers to shy away from sensitive topics; but, instead, equip students with the tools to navigate the complex issues within our society. Understanding nuance, thinking critically, questioning absolutes, and learning to not only draw conclusions but rethink positions when presented with opposing information, are invaluable lessons that extend well beyond the time spent in a classroom. In contrast, those who champion banning books, sharing half-truths and omitting entire pieces of history, are trading short-term comfort with an increased likelihood of repeating the mistakes of our past. I want to be represented by people who strive to know the individuals who’ve become institutions within their communities — those who embody their surroundings because they both built and were built by them. There’s a well of wisdom in people with generational roots and knowledge that can

only be acquired by witnessing change first-hand. And there’s also wisdom in the values and ideas of the next generation — those who will inherit the reality that we’re creating for them, every day. I wanted to be represented by people who lead with kindness, who navigate the world with integrity and humility, who surround themselves with diverse perspectives and ex-

perts in various fields and who seek to positively impact their communities — considering as many people and lives as possible before making choices that affect them and, especially, reflect them. But these people seem to exist in the margins, their quiet voices drowned in the clatter of others climbing and clawing their way to positions of power.



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Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

big brain, little paragraph By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist Once a week you open the Reader, get to this article and probably do one of two things: eagerly anticipate what new information you might learn or turn the page because the author seems like a crazy person. Sometimes I like to give answers, and sometimes I like to ask questions and leave the rest to you. I’m going to rapid-fire some brain-bending examples of interesting concepts in math, science and engineering of which you may or may not be aware. If you want more complete answers on these subjects, I’d suggest swinging by the library and finding a whole treasure trove of knowledge. Chaos Theory a.k.a. ‘The Butterfly Effect’ This is a famous theory popularized by the 1993 Spielberg flick, Jurassic Park. The example is often quoted as: “A butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil and causes a tornado in Texas.” The gist of Chaos Theory is that small actions can have big and unpredictable consequences. A very good illustration of Chaos Theory in action is to track a double-jointed pendulum that is released to swing freely. Based on virtually unnoticeable differences in the height at which it was released and the amount of inertia applied during the drop, the outcome of its travel can be wildly different and may never repeat a pattern — even if you were to attempt this experiment an infinite number of times. When Chaos Theory is applied to larger, more complex systems like Earth’s ecosystem and climate, things get wild. Hungry for more interesting mathematics? Take a look at Visions of Infinity: The Great 10 /


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Mathematical Problems, by Ian Stewart, at the library. Endogenous retrovirus or ERVs Credit where credit is due: Despite appearing in the corner of the page below this article every week, I have absolutely nothing to do with the “Random Corner.” Nor do I compile the “Junk Drawer” column that appears on Page 3. Between the two, I delight to see what wild weirdness the Reader staff finds every week. Last week, in “Junk Drawer,” I learned that as much as 8% of our genome may actually be prehistoric virus fossils. While you might imagine a Neolithic man clubbing his neighbor over the head for a roll of toilet paper amid a global pandemic, in actuality the retroviruses that left fragments of themselves embedded in our genetic code were completely different from something like ebola or COVID-19. These ERVs were unable to reproduce in the way that viruses like influenza or coronaviruses can. Most viruses will infect a cell and reprogram it to start building more viruses. Instead, these ancient retroviruses converted their own RNA into DNA and embedded themselves into our genome — particularly into our sperm and eggs — to carry on to new generations. While this sounds scary, it’s likely that ERVs are one of the major reasons why our immune systems work as well as they do. This isn’t cut-anddried, however — some ERVs could also be responsible for a number of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, as well. Though not about ERVs, an interesting book regarding the role of the rabies virus throughout human history is Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus, by Bill Wasik. Have you found a book or movie about ERVs you’d like added to

the library’s collection? Fill out a request form on the library’s website or at either branch. Quantum Computers Computer technology has exploded in the past 30 years. In my lifetime, I’ve been wowed by 16-bit Nintendo consoles and complained of boredom while scrolling through a handheld device that could have calculated multiple moon missions simultaneously in the 1960s. Unfortunately, traditional computers are rapidly approaching their peak and, by 2040, may not be sufficient for processing the amount of information we’ll be using on a routine basis. A traditional computer calculates very rapidly by existing in one of two states, either 0 or 1, much like a lightswitch. A quantum computer can exist in both states simultaneously, as well as all states between 0 and 1, almost like a dimmer switch. This allows quantum computers to calculate in a multidimensional space and discover trends and patterns across multitudes of simulations simultaneously. Meanwhile, a traditional computer — only able to exist in one state or another at any given time — will start to bog down and stall under the immensity of the calculations. However, you probably won’t see a quantum computer in your phone any time soon, as their processors require a temperature of nearly absolute zero to function properly, allowing for frictionless travel for the electrons within. It’s more likely that large companies and governments will primarily utilize quantum computing for simulation and security, which will free up more traditional computers for the rest of us while also lowering the amount of energy consumed by those larger entities. Want more of this subject?

Take a gander at Super Cool Tech: Technology. Invention. Innovation, by Ian Graham, at the library. Are movies more to your taste? We’ve also got Making Stuff 2: Wilder, Colder, Safer, Faster, a documentary that includes some really amazing technology including quantum computers presented in a visual format that’s easier to process, so to speak.

The library has a plethora of items to help exercise your brain and broaden your knowledge horizons. Maybe you aren’t planning on applying for a job at IBM to create quantum computers, but you’ll at least have something new to dazzle your party guests with at your next wine-and-cheese gathering. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner ?

Don’t know much about money • You’ve heard the phrase, “penny for your thoughts,” but the first official coin of the United States was inscribed with a message that had the opposite meaning. Minted in 1787, the Fugio cent — a copper penny also known as the Franklin cent after its original designer, Benjamin Franklin — bore the phrase, “Mind your business.” It was intended as more of a literal financial instruction rather than a snarky saying. • Pennies and nickels cost more to produce than they are worth. Pennies cost 2.06 cents to produce, while a nickel costs 7.53 cents to make. • There is more Monopoly money in circulation than real money in the U.S. Federal Reserve. • Some consider $2 bills lucky, others believe them to be unlucky. The odd denomination bill was discontinued back in 1966, but it was reinstated in 1976 because the federal government wanted to cut down the number of bills being circulated.

We can help!

• The lifespan of a bill is surprisingly short, with most not reaching their teens. According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, the $1 bill lasts only 6.6 year, the $5 bill about 4.7 years, the $10 bill 5.3 years, the $20 bill 7.8 years, the $50 bill 12.2 years and the $100 is estimated to last 22.9 years. • The grooves on the edges of some coins have a purpose. They are called reeded edges and serve a defense against counterfeiting and fraud — including the practice of “coin clipping,” in which ne’er-dowells shave off the rims and sell the shavings of silver or other precious metals for profit. • There was a shortage of coins during the Civil War. Back then, coins were made of gold and silver, making them far more precious, which is why people hoarded them. The government addressed the shortage by letting people pay their debts using postage stamps. This, funnily enough, then caused a shortage of stamps.


Road Reflections By Jason Topp Reader Contributor

As I sit here working on the first go-around of a lengthy process to set our budget for fiscal year 2023, I thought I would give an update. These crazy times, with all this inflation, have really put a strain on the Road and Bridge Department as well as Bonner County residents. Inflated fuel, oil and land prices have been the main driver in a lot of these struggles. It has been a real struggle to find employees. A lot of the workers are moving to places they can afford, as we just cannot keep up with the cost of living here in Bonner County. To give some examples of what we are up against with our budget, I thought I would share some of the numbers we have been seeing now that most of our contracts have been bid out and awarded. It has been quite a reality check. Culvert prices are up 61% over last year and expected to experience another increase in the coming weeks. Chip seal oil (CMS2P) is up 74% from last year. We had

expected a 33% increase. Fuel prices are up 65% from last year. Asphalt prices are up 53% over last year. For crushed rock, we bid out early enough in the year that we did not see a huge increase from last year, however we will be expecting to see it increase and adjust accordingly while setting next year’s budget. Here’s an idea of what some of these percentages mean vs. actual monies involved: We budgeted $650,000 for fiscal year 2022 to complete around 65 miles of chip seal. This year the oil prices came back at $1.7 million to complete this work. We reduced the number of miles to 43, however, this barely covers a seven-year turnaround on our asphalt preservation program. This excludes any BST (bituminous surface treatment), which is a hard surface treatment over gravel using a high float oil (HFE150). These roads need to be chip sealed every three to five years. We really should be chip sealing closer to 55-plus miles to stay on top of our chip seal program. The 43 miles we are chip sealing will cost Road and

Inflation has thrown up a number of challenges for county Road and Bridge Department

Bridge $954,000. We covered this by tapping into several other object lines in our budget, as this is the most important upkeep that we do to preserve our current asphalt roads. With the winter we just had and the extremely slick conditions, our crews put in a lot of extra hours to keep up with the storms and try to keep the traveling public safe. This resulted in quite a bit of fuel usage. We budgeted only $505,000 for fuel, as we were not anticipating these high fuel prices. We are expecting to blow through our fuel budget and an additional $200,000 just to keep up with our current road maintenance and construction allotted for this year. Folks, we are all struggling here in Bonner County, and I do not foresee this ending any time soon. Road and Bridge will continue to do the best we can to keep up as our budget has been held flat with no increases for

Courtesy photo. the past several years. The commissioners have their work cut out for them on how to fund the fiscal year 2023 budget. Fortunately, Road and Bridge is expected to see some unanticipated funds coming in from the $200 million state surplus that the governor allocated to road maintenance — $80 million was held out for the Idaho Transportation Department and the rest

was to be distributed throughout the state to local government jurisdictions. The amount we may receive is still a mystery, but we are very thankful for any funds that we can get our hands on and I’m certain this will help this fiscal year. Jason Topp is director of the Bonner County Road and Bridge Department.

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A letter to lawmakers

‘There are too many guns in the hands of Americans’

By Liam Fitzgerald Reader Contributor Another in a long line of heartbreaking tragedies has occurred in Texas. And as with all the other horrific gun-related tragedies our country has witnessed in the past few decades, many of us are left asking the question: “How could this have happened — again?” Others, far too many of them, seem to have an answer to that question: “We need to arm more of our citizens to prevent things like this from happening!” This response helps to perpetuate the concept held by a segment of the population that believes the only future for America is to keep access open to as many weapons as the gun industry can produce, and to allow citizens the unfettered right to accumulate them. All of them. Painfully, there is little hope that any of this irrational thinking can be reversed. Those who passionately believe that they need to be well armed and ready to defend their homeland against some imaginary enemy, be it urban people of color or an authoritarian federal government determined to destroy their way of life, are unlikely to change their point of view. There are too many guns in the hands of Americans — Americans, who it seems, do not understand the fact that the more guns the citizens of this country possess, the more gun deaths there will be. This disconnect will perpetuate tragedies like the one that occurred on May 24 for the foreseeable future. Our pandemic of gun violence is unprecedented in any of the other industrialized countries of the world. Yet still, as a nation, we find reasons to stand idly by and watch stories unfold of third-graders being massacred. What’s keeping America from doing something about this? The answer is: conser-

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vative, mostly Republican, lawmakers who continue to block any significant legislation that may (even if there is only a chance of it working is it not worth giving it a try?) help reduce this unbelievable carnage. Do none of them have children? Can none of them understand what it would be like to see their child’s dead body, the result of another deranged individual who was able, or perhaps we should say encouraged, to obtain a deadly weapon? Weapons that many on the political right feel are not only their constitutional right to own, but also a necessity in order to preserve their version of freedom. In Texas, as in so many other parts of the country on so many different occasions, that right, that necessity became a deadly tool that allowed someone to carry out whatever they thought would be an appropriate expression of their own twisted aspirations. The gun lobby, and those who believe that they need guns (lots of guns) in order to express their freedom, their self-determination and their “Americanism” have a stranglehold on conservative politicians, none of whom it seems are willing to risk the possibility that this very vocal and powerful minority will be displeased with them for any attempt they might make to curtail the bloodshed being suffered by so many of their constituents — by supporting common sense gun legislation. It makes you wonder: Where are their values? Is their reelection the only thing that matters? Is maintaining power all that they’re concerned with? Power to do what? Obviously they don’t feel they have the power to protect innocent lives. Where is their compassion for the children who died and the families that mourn them? Do they have nothing more to offer other than, as they repeatedly proclaim, their “thoughts and prayers”? The answer unfortunately is, “No, they don’t.”


This open Window

Vol. 7 No.2

poetry and prose by local writers

edited by Jim mitsui

two good boys

(or Before Phil Donahue) If I turn around can they be there… please? Sturdy and smiling, one blond one brunette only two years apart. The first half of four children six years before the third arrived they were the trial run. Spankings were frequent practice made imperfect. Even I wasn’t spanked that much my parents worn out by a fourth girl. But those two unplanned and unexpected. Who could look away? They were so bright so busy. My past informed their present. Moments stretched out for hours while those two scrambled over and around the rules always challenging, leaning like new grass under late snow, toward the threatening world.

march 1, 2022 Over rolling hills far to the south lightning flashes low and ominous.

Fear yawned over me always.

Shuddering, I wait for the roll of thunder to ease my prickling skin and relax shoulders tense with apprehension. It is only a storm.

— Sandra Rasor, March 14, 2022

Sandra, a recent retiree, comes from an old Bonner County family. Here she talks about the challenge of raising a family and the challenges facing all of us.

driving by the old farmhouse in the palouse

I do not like this so early in the year. Flashes in winter skies bode ill, something is not right. Across the world worried Ukrainian mothers, children huddled around their knees, watch lights in the sky brighten this late winter eve. The rumble — crueler than thunder — draws ever closer, ground trembles under tread of tanks and missile launchers. Nowhere to run, no safe haven. What if it were me waiting in that shattered darkness? If I were the one who could not say, “Hush, it is only a storm, go back to sleep.” because they would see the lie in the eyes, the fear in the voice. The world waits, I wait for whatever must come next as storm breaks over Europe. — Maureen Cooper

Maureen is originally from Minnesota, has lived in Las Vegas and is now a resident of North Idaho. A talented musician, here she writes about the tragic situation in the Ukraine, as we all wait.

Overgrown lilacs bursting blooms

to write A command, a question Or a piercing through my awareness that I’m plain tired of everything All endeavors — All blank pages that present themselves inscrutably — All people who are industrious Beyond measure Beyond belief My eyes are heavy-lidded Still I stare into the western woods at the back of our house And I notice each day as the snow recedes a touch more of the lawn is revealed in scraggly streaks of dormant grass There seems to be one more raven that flies through the woods behind our house, its voice etches the air in monophonic cipher On one of the aspens a nuthatch takes its head-down stroll and delineates a quick line for my eye to hold The bird then moves into the pines, with staccato wings Nature stirs nature The sliding glass doors, an illusion of separation — Amy Craven, March 2022

Amy Craven still lives in Sandpoint but now she views deer outside her bedroom window instead of a dusty alley. The night brings sounds of coyote’s yips while the rumbling and whistling of trains are almost absent.

proof of the past planted with care by a building now shrouded, weathered wood weakened, winters pile up seasons rise and fall fragrances now declare her spring abounds — Andy Kennaly

Andy Kennaly is an author, pastor, spiritual director and beekeeper who lives in Sandpoint. Andy explores contemplative faith through sermon, poetry and story on themes of spirituality, beekeeping, life and nature. He and his wife Shawna have three grown sons. Honey Frame Place is the name of their home property, online at Sermon archives, articles and other information from First Presbyterian Church, Sandpoint are at

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Karen Applegate named a 2022 Woman of Wisdom By Reader Staff

Applegate has also served as a Girl Scout leader, been involved in PTA, and ParThe Women Honoring ents and Friends at the high Women were inspired school. by the nomination letters She often comments for Karen Applegate, on how fortunate she is to highlighting her longtime have her daughters, Lara commitment and positive and Kelly, and their families impact to Bonner County nearby, planning sleepovers — of which she has been and special activities in an avid and lifelong supwhich they can all share. porter in just about every Her son Brent lives in New way imaginable. York City. Born and raised in Applegate owned and Sandpoint, Applegate operated a local jewelry spent her earlier years parstore for many years, engagKaren Applegate. Courtesy photo. ticipating in Girl Scouts; ing in business associations book, ski and thespian and volunteering her time as well as wares clubs in high school; and taking piano lessons. for local fundraisers. She is a certified gemShe attended women’s private liberal arts ologist and talented engraver, and has gifted school Cottey College in Nevada, Mo., and more engraving work on local awards and graduated with an associate arts degree. trophies than she can count. Her musical talents have been a part of She also worked at UNICEF and as a her whole life, serving as the musician of record keeper at Dr. Cope’s office, and is the local Episcopal Church for many years.

presently employed at Dr. Crane’s internal medicine office. Applegate has given tirelessly to the community. She was active in parents’ groups when her children were in school. She has taken on leadership roles in Rotary as well as the Philanthropic Education Organization, which supports women with loans, grants, awards and scholarships, and with scholarships for Cottey College benefiting both local and international students. Sandpoint Rotary has been enhanced by Applegate’s membership and leadership. She served as Rotary secretary for a combined 13 years and as Rotary president for one year. She achieved many Paul Harris Awards, which support Rotary International Programs for literacy, wheelchairs for handicapped, cure for polio and water projects for safe drinking. “Karen is an inspiration to others and is dedicated and committed to live with grace, dignity, integrity and courage,” Women Honoring Women stated. “She is definitely a Woman of Wisdom.”

Community joins forces to feed kids while summer meal program is on hold By Reader Staff For local children, summer vacation is a time for swimming, biking and playing with friends. For the 40% of children in east Bonner County who depend on free and reduced-cost meals during the school year, summertime also means reduced access to food. The Lake Pend Oreille School District has provided summer meals to children in low-income households for many years through the USDA Summer Food Service Program grant. However, a one-summer pause has been put on the program locally due to the much-needed expansion of the refrigerator and freezer space at the Child Nutrition Warehouse, where inventory for all schools in the district is held. That means LPOSD is unable to serve and store meals for the program this summer. Several community organizations have come together to ensure that kids are nourished to play, grow and stay active during the summer. “Let’s Picnic!” is a partnership between Bonner Community Food Bank, East Bonner County Library District, Food For Our Children, Kaniksu Land Trust, LPOSD and the University of Idaho Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center, which was created to feed kids during summer vacation through a grassroots community effort. The partnership is pooling its resources to coordinate the project, while support from the community remains vital to its success. Multiple sponsorship levels are avail14 /


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able. A single child can be sponsored for $30 per week or $130 per month. An entire week of lunches can be sponsored for $1,500, or a month of lunches can be provided for $7,500. Donations are accepted in any amount. The “Let’s Picnic!” partnership has set a goal of $85,000 to fund the project for the entire summer. “It is difficult to think about the number of children in our county who experience hunger every day,” said Michele Murphree of Food For Our Children. “During the school year, Food For Our Children provides nearly 14,000 bags of weekend food for our elementary school kids who otherwise may not have access to sufficient food until Monday morning, when a school breakfast is provided. This hunger doesn’t disappear during the summer months.” The program will serve children 1-18 years of age. They can pick up a prepared lunch Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Bonner County Library (1407 Cedar St. in Sandpoint) or at Kootenai Elementary (301 Sprague St. in Kootenai, where lunches will be distributed at the school’s Hope Street entrance). The program runs June 20-Sept. 2. There are no income requirements and no questions asked. Meals will be prepared and distributed thanks to growing community support. Each week a seperate group will volunteer to prepare lunches and distribute them at the two locations. The Sandpoint library branch has enlisted its newly formed Teen Leadership Council to

assist in the distribution of lunches at that site. “We are so glad to be able to give the community’s youth summer volunteer and lunch opportunities,” said Youth Librarian Erin Tonnemacher. Bobbie Coleman, director of Child Nutrition for LPOSD said, “In order to reach as many children in need as possible, meal distribution sites are located in areas that are 50% or greater low income. These sites are often public schools, community libraries or city parks, and are generally combined with learning and recreational activities.” Debbie Love, executive director of the Bonner Community Food Bank, added: “Summer is a critical time for youths’ social and physical well-being. Having access to meals during the summer gives them the confidence of knowing when and from where their next meal is coming, which creates a food-secure community. “As our organizations unite, the idea of having the Summer Meals Program put on hold was not an option,” she added. “We are proud of our community and the collaboration that is happening to pull this together for our youth.” “When there is a need in our community, the partnerships that exist between non-profits allow us to solve big community challenges,” said Katie Cox, executive director of Kaniksu Land Trust. For information on volunteering or donating toward the program, contact Kaniksu Land Trust: or 208-2639471.

To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to Right: A young skateboarder rests on his board and watches the Lost in the ’50s parade on May 20 in the drizzling rain. Photo by George Loustalet. Below: Three Sandpoint residents show their support for reproductive rights at the Womens’ March on May 14. Photo by Kally Thurman. Bottom left: Parker Pettit, 17, assists Cooper Vierra, 20, at the Special Olympics event, which took place on May 25 at the track near Sandpoint High School and Sandpoint Middle School. Photo by Ben Olson.

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Remembering those left behind Eight soldiers from Idaho are still listed MIA from Vietnam

By Ben Olson Reader Staff Master Sgt. William Hunt was born in Sandpoint and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1953, not long after enlisting in the U.S. Army. His term of service completed, he decided to reenlist in 1960 and returned to active duty until he was officially listed MIA, or missing in action, in 1966. “He was Army Special Forces — a Green Beret,” said his son Ken Hunt, who lives in Sagle. Ken was only 5 years old when his father was declared missing in Vietnam; and, while Sgt. Hunt is still listed as MIA, Ken believes he was killed during Operation Attleboro in late 1966, a series of battles which saw 155 soldiers killed and another 500 wounded. “He was declared missing in November 1966,” Ken told the Reader. “The operation was quite an event. At the time it was the largest U.S. operation in Vietnam.” According to the POW Network, Sgt. Hunt was a replacement platoon leader III CTZ Mike Force with the 5th Special Forces Group. On Nov. 4, 1966, Hunt was stationed at a fire base near Nui Ba Din Mountain in Vietnam. “There were three different companies,” Ken said. “One was led by a man named SFC George Heaps and SSG Jim Monahan. Jim and dad knew each other from Fort Bragg. There was also SFC Finn, the incoming company commander who was learning the operation from Heaps.” As North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong personnel continued attacking the U.S. positions on the ground, Hunt was a passenger on a helicopter when he heard a familiar voice come over the radio. “Dad heard the firefight over the radio on the heli and recognized Jim’s voice,” Ken said. “He convinced the pilot to divert and pick up the wounded.” When the heli landed and Monahan boarded, it couldn’t to take off. The pilot needed to dump weight. “Dad hopped off and said, ‘I got this,’ and volunteered to stay,” Ken said. “He didn’t even have a weapon. Jim threw dad his kit and the last time he saw him he was trotting over open ground to hook up with the friendlies.” It was then that the Viet Cong again attacked the position the unit was maintaining. After two days of heavy fighting and numerous casualties, MIKE Force was overrun by numerically superior forces. Finn was killed and Heaps wounded. Hunt carried 16 /


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Master Sgt. William Hunt, center, with Vietnamese Rangers in Vietnam. Courtesy photo. Heaps out of danger, but was subsequently hit in the shoulder, the bullet penetrating his upper back and exiting his torso. “Dad saw Heaps get shot and pulled him to cover, and they heard on the radio, ‘Oh shit, I’ve been hit,’ and it was dad’s voice,” Ken said. Hunt’s position was overrun and he and Heaps were stripped naked and left for dead. But, after regaining consciousness, Hunt helped Heaps crawl back toward the landing zone for extraction, but finally told his friend he couldn’t go any farther and that Heaps should continue on, leaving him there. A Chinese Núng soldier stayed behind with Hunt, later telling the evac heli Hunt had died, but when searches were made to recover the body, Hunt was not found. According to Ken, his father’s last words were, “I don’t feel too good.” Immediately after graduating high school in 1980, Ken went straight into the service, following in his father’s footsteps by joining the Green Berets. After initially signing up to join the Marines, his mother

gave him some colorful advice and convinced him to switch to the U.S. Army. “I went into the service with the idea of, ‘Just go in and do my duty and get back out,’” Ken said. “Between all that, I ended up making a career of it.” Ken Hunt became a paratrooper out of high school, then got out of the service to attend college to become a nurse, and later a teacher, but he “hated being a civilian,” and signed back on, joining Special Forces as a medic. A highlight of Ken’s service was being attached to the Berlin Brigade. “I was stationed on the Berlin Wall the morning it fell,” he said. During Ken’s service, he invariably asked about his father from other members of the Special Forces. “Special Forces is a relatively close-knit community,” Ken said. He was able to connect with several of his father’s fellow soldiers, including George Heaps who survived his wounds. Ken visited Vietnam twice in the 1990s before it fully opened up to western tourists,

each time hiring an interpreter and attempting to locate the ground where his father fell. Finally, after more than 30 years, Ken was able to track down the approximate location where Hunt was hit. “Dad was said to have liked Southern Comfort,” Ken said. “I had a little flask of it with me and sat by a tree there in Vietnam, took a drink and buried his Special Forces coin in the dirt with some Southern Comfort. Then I sobbed uncontrollably.” For the first time in Ken’s life, he felt his father’s memory was finally at peace. Master Sgt. Hunt was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during Operation Attleboro, but in 2010, some of his fellow soldiers submitted a packet to the Department of Defense for an upgrade to the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award for valor. He was nominated for his entire conduct during the 3-day battle, including volunteering to give up his seat on the chopper to hold off the enemy with very little firepower and helping pull Heaps to safety. “[The application] was denied, but mainly because the senator who was pushing it forward didn’t get reelected,” Ken said. “We resubmitted for the Medal of Honor six months ago, but it was denied quickly because we didn’t read the requirements clearly enough. You can’t put yourself up for the award and you can’t put a family member up, either.” Ken said he plans to resubmit the application for Medal of Honor soon, following the submission guidelines to ensure it receives fair consideration. Ralph Kramer, with the Boise Valley POW MIA awareness group, said it’s important to recognize those listed as MIA because their family members often don’t get the closure one would when a body is found or a service member confirmed killed. “Overall, in Idaho there are still 327 from WWII listed as MIA, 23 from Korea and eight from Vietnam,” Kramer told the Reader. “All these families don’t have answers yet. It’s our job to make sure that people understand and have the opportunities to see the graves of their loved ones.” Kramer said even decades after action, some service members listed as MIA are finally found. “Just last night in Twin Falls we had a ceremony for Private Ken Bridger, who was killed in Korea. They identified his remains in March,” Kramer said. “Now he’s home, they interred him Saturday and we’re going to have an escort through Twin Falls with people flying flags in his honor.”

< see HUNT, Page 17 >


June Parks and Rec. programming By Reader Staff Sandpoint Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces will be offering the following programming in June 2022:

CPR/AED with Optional First Aid. For ages 16 to adult or ages 12-15 with an adult guardian. American Health and Safety Institute’s CPR/AED with optional First Aid is a general community course for individuals with little or no medical training and who need CPR/AED training and or a First Aid card for work, OSHA requirements, school or personal knowledge. This course meets American Heart Association guidelines. Classes are offered every other month on the first Monday. Register by Thursday, June 2 for the Monday, June 6 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. Beginner pickleball. For ages 18 and up, pickleball is a social sport played with a paddle and a plastic ball over a 34-inch net on a badminton-sized court. Equipment will be provided, but participants will need court shoes. Water, sunglasses and a hat are suggested. Five sessions are available and held at the Lakeview Park pickleball courts. Sessions are held on select Saturdays during the summer from noon-3 p.m. Register by the Thursday prior to your selected session. Fee: $22 ($3 non-resident fee). Youth tennis lessons. For ages 4-high school. Most Parks and Rec. tennis lessons are in one-week sessions and run from Monday-Thursday with Friday available

for rain make-ups. Lessons average one hour and are held at the Lakeview Park tennis courts. Sessions are offered weekly Monday, June 13-Saturday, July 25. Times vary depending on the age group selected. Register by the Thursday prior to first class. Fee: $23 ($3 non-resident fee). Adult ladies golf. Join Mike Deprez on Monday nights this summer for ladies golf clinics. Session 1, from Monday, June 13-Saturday, July 18 is a five-week clinic. Participants meet at the Elks Golf Course (30196 ID-200 in Ponderay). Register by Thursday, June 9. Fee $100 ($5 non-resident fee). Fees include range balls.

Junior beginner sailing. For ages 1018. Students will learn sailing and safety basics and then head out on the water for hands-on experience. Personal flotation devices are required, but students should be comfortable in deep water. Session 1 runs Tuesday, Jun 21-Friday, June 24 from noon-2 p.m. Participants will meet at the Windbag Marina on (Fred’s Deck). Register by Sunday, June 12. A mandatory swim test will be administered at the City Beach Lifeguard headquarters at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17. Fee $45 ($4 non-resident fee).

Adult tennis lessons. Most Parks and Rec. tennis lessons are in one-week sessions and run two days a week, with Friday available for rain make-ups. Lessons run 5:30-6:30 p.m. and are held at the Lakeview Park tennis courts. Beginner Tennis Session 2 runs Thursday, June 23 and Friday, June 24 and Intermediate Tennis Session 3 runs Monday, June 27 and Thursday, June 30. Register by the Thursday prior to first class. Fee: $22 ($3 non-resident fee).

Ultimate Frisbee league. For ages 16 and up. League is coed and all skill levels are encouraged to participate. Season runs Thursday, June 2-October. Players should register online prior to start of the season. League requires a minimum of 20 players to begin. After season start, players should arrive at the field during date/time of play prepared to sign an onsite waiver. League play is held on Great Northern Field 8, Thursdays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fee: $20/player. Coed adult softball league. Play is early July-August, Mondays-Thursdays, possibly Fridays. Each team guaranteed a minimum of 14 games. Additional $20 to players’ fees is required by the registration deadline to reserve your team’s spot in the league. Register by Sunday, June 12. Mandatory captains meeting on Thursday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. League play is held on Field 1 and 2 at Travers Park. Fee: sponsor fee is $300/team and players fee is $365/team.

Sand Creek Paddlers Challenge. The Paddlers Challenge is a four-mile paddle up and back on Sand Creek on Saturday, June 4. There are divisions for SUP, two race divisions, solo and tandem, and a Recreation

Division with first-place trophies for each one. Check in and late registration at City Beach Pavilion 9-9:30 a.m. Race starts at 10 a.m. Fee: $15/boat.

CHAFE 150 Family Fun Ride. Join Sandpoint Parks and Recreation and Sandpoint Rotary for the CHAFE150 Family Fun Ride on Saturday, June 18. This fourmile ride will start and finish at Sandpoint City Beach with a fun out-and-back ride on Sand Creek Trail. Check in and late registration at Trinity at City Beach at 11:30 a.m. Ride starts at 1 p.m. Fee: 12 and under are free and ages 13 and up are $10/rider. Brownells/NRA Day. A daughtersand-son’s day at the range for ages 8-18. Grab the kids and head up to the Outdoor Shooting Range (113 Turtle Rock Road) on Saturday, June 18 or Sunday, June 19 for a free day of safety education, shooting and family bonding. Register by Sunday, June 12. Various time slots are offered each day but limited to 14 per time slot.

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

< HUNT, Con’t from Page 16 > Ken Hunt said he’s grateful for organizations like Kramer’s, which help bring some solace to the fallen soldiers whose families may never have received closure. “I’m very humbled that they remember our missing that way,” Ken said. “It makes me glad and proud to be a service member. Especially with Memorial Day coming up, you can’t forget guys like that.” After coming to understand his father’s final days, Ken shared some of this information with his grandmother, Mabel — William’s mother. “She passed in 1998 but, before that, I was able to come home and tell her I walked the ground, and this is what happened to him,” Ken said. “I think it had a little sense of peace for her, but to her dying day, she thought he’d walk back through that door. That’s the hard part of a MIA.

It’s fairly rare that soldiers [are found after being] declared missing, but she never gave up on him. … I’m 60 years old now and when you look back at how difficult it was raising children with both parents, I couldn’t imagine the difficulties that mom went through raising us two boys alone. She couldn’t even remarry.” Some form of closure came when Master Sgt. Hunt’s name, along with three other veterans, were added to the plaque at War Memorial Field. “So he’s there now, and that’s closure for a little bit,” Ken said. Ken Hunt will take over as VFW Commander in June and will be on hand at the VFW Post 2453, 1325 Pine St., for a Memorial Day brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. May 26, 2022 /


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May 26 - June 2, 2022

THURSDAY, may 26

Festival Live from 525 concert: Love, DEAN 5:30pm @ Festival at Sandpoint office, 525 Pine St. Indie soul pop duo, Love, DEAN will bring back the feel-good vibes of classic Americana in this intimate concert at the Festival at Sandpoint’s office. Tickets $19.99 available at Doors open at 5pm

Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7-9pm @ The Back Door Acoustic rock and great covers

Live Music w/ Benny Baker 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Thursday night solo series

FriDAY, may 27

Live Music w/ Zach Simms 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7-9pm @ The Back Door Progressive blues for the modern era Live Music w/ Harold’s IGA 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Indie rock covers and originals

Exit, Pursued by a Bear play 7pm @ Little Panida Theater A Cade Prophet Memorial Production featuring a play written for Broadway by Lauren Gunderson. $12/adv, $15/day of Live Music w/ Windoe 6-9pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. A solo project of acclaimed NW musician/songwriter Karli Fairbanks

SATURDAY, may 28 Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes 5-7:30pm @ Drift Lakeside Kitchen & Bar Live music in Hope! Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park Fresh produce, artisan goods, live music by Truck Mills and Carl Rey Spring for the Garden 12-3pm @ BGH Healing Garden A garden party fundraiser for the Healing Garden! Live music, kids’ activities, plant sale and art auction. Show some love Exit, Pursued by a Bear play 7pm @ Little Panida Theater

Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Meets every Sunday at 9am

Live Music w/ Justin Lantrip and Matt Donahue 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Justin and Matt are playing to support Lantrip’s new album Flood Gates Live Music w/ Jackson Roltgen Trio 6-8:30pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. Singer-songwriter group playing blues, soul, pop and Americana music Live Music w/ Steven Wayne 7-9pm @ The Back Door

Allegro Studio Spring Dance Recital 11am, 2 & 5:30pm @ Panida Theater Three showings, doors open 30 minutes before each show. 208-610-0188 for tickets

SunDAY, may 29 Exit, Pursued by a Bear play 3pm @ Little Panida Theater

monDAY, may 30

Menstruation Wellness Workshop Introductory to Tides of the Womb @ Embody Healing Arts Studio

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Group Run @ Outdoor Experience 6pm @ Outdoor Experience 3-5 miles, all levels welcome, beer after

tuesDAY, may 31 wednesDAY, June 1

Wellness Wednesdays 3-5pm @ 231 N. Third Ave., Suite #108 Every Wednesday through August

Live Music w/ Samantha Carston 6-8pm @ The Back Door Ukulele-playing vocalist

2022 KNPS Native Plant Sale 9am-1pm @ Arboretum at Lakeview Park Browse and buy locally grown native perennials, shrugs and trees from Cedar Mtn. Perennials. More fun items available

Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 6-8pm @ The Back Door

ThursDAY, June 2

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Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

COMMUNITY Chamber honors Panida Theater with Business and Volunteer of the Month awards By Reader Staff Since it opened in 1927 as a vaudeville and movie house, the Panida Theater has maintained the same mission: to present great performers and performances to the panhandle of Idaho. In the meantime, the Panida has weathered all manner of storms, yet always managed to survive. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic threw the entertainment industry into a state of chaos. Regardless, in recent months the Panida has rebounded and is back with a full slate of events, as well as a new executive director, Veronica Knowlton, who came on board last September. In honor of the Panida’s central place in the historic and cultural fabric of the community — and recognizing its resilience during an especially trying period over the past two years — the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce named the theater its Business of the Month for May. The chamber also recognized that, as one of the most beloved nonprofits in the

Panida staff and volunteers accept the Chamber awards at the Sandpoint Center. Courtesy photo. Sandpoint area, the Panida relies on the help of a dedicated group of volunteers — specifically, the clean-up crew that puts the theater to rights between events. To applaud their efforts, the chamber named members of the Panida clean-up crew as Volunteers of the Month. They include: Phil Dommes, Jim Healey, Barbara and Scott McLongstreet, Tom Prez, Nancy Renk, Jill Trick and Meagan Yeats. According to the announcement of the award, “Without this cleaning crew’s love for the Panida, the theater would not be able to fulfill its mission of providing a variety of entertainment events in a clean and welcoming environment.”


You’ve got male character flaws

The highs and lows of my first time watching ’90s classic You’ve Got Mail

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff The popular streaming service Netflix has been leaning into its nostalgic appeal in recent months, in what appears to be a continuation of the pandemic-triggered societal obsession with dipping into past pop culture for comfort and some sense of normalcy. Movies from the ’80s,’90s and early aughts pepper my home screen when I open the app, oftentimes to my delight. Films my mom and older sister showed me in my youth, movies that influenced my early adolescence and classics I have yet to enjoy are now offered with the touch of a button. Of course, nothing is as perfect as it seems — especially when we draw from the past for enjoyment in the present. I only had to watch four episodes of Seinfeld to remember why we’ve left some 20th century humor largely in the past. I had a similar revelation when I enjoyed — and then pondered — the 1998 film You’ve Got Mail. When it comes to movies, I sit firmly in two camps — first, as an unabashed lover of romantic comedies; second, as a big fan of Tom Hanks. My mother raised me on films like Big, Forrest Gump, Sleepless in Seattle and A League of Their Own, framing Hanks as central to my understanding of what makes a talented, good-natured male celebrity. Each of these facts made me sure I’d love You’ve Got Mail. At first, I certainly did. There’s a reason that Meg Ryan ruled the ’90s. Aside from her obvious beauty and unmatched ability to rock a short haircut, her on-screen energy is infectious and seemingly genuine. She is particularly lovable and relatable in You’ve Got Mail as the optimistic, funny and sharp Kathleen Kelly, who owns a small children’s bookstore in New York City. Her foil, chain bookstore magnate Joe Fox, is similar — at least in the film’s beginning — in his lovability. He is witty, good with children and, well, he’s Tom Hanks. Viewers learn early on that the pair are swept up in an anonymous romance through email — a new concept in 1998, as evidenced by the characters’ infatuation with the dial-up tone and jingle that serves as the movie’s namesake. Having met through a chat room, the two carry on a budding relationship without sharing too much detail about their lives, including their partners. It’s thrilling to watch, and the excitement mounts when the two meet in person as Fox’s big, new bookstore threatens to push out all the independent sellers in the area. Kelly and Fox are sworn enemies in the streets of NYC but, online, they are one another’s closest confidants. That juxtaposition — inspired by a handful of films that came before Nora Ephron’s take

on the story — is what makes You’ve Got Mail a delightful nail-biter — for a while. Things take an uncomfortable turn after Fox discovers Kelly’s true identity and, rather than revealing himself as her AOL beau, he keeps it a secret until he has put her little shop out of business and decided, on his own terms, that he’d like to win her over in real life. While watching the movie — caught up in the plot, the ’90s nostalgia and Hanks irresistible, devious smile — it did not occur to me to be all that mad. Once the credits rolled, You’ve Got Mail left me temporarily satisfied, but with a bad taste in my mouth. A quick internet search tells me I’m not alone. There are widespread criticisms of the film’s casual acceptance of corporate takeover; concerns over whether the supposed innocence of the online romance actually constitutes emotional cheating; and, above all, women everywhere acknowledging that Joe Fox is kind of an asshole. Some critics are quick to call out Ephron for leaning on the excellence of Hanks’ and Ryan’s previous characters and on-screen chemistry to make their brashness, flatness

or just-plain-jerkishness excusable in You’ve Got Mail. This point I find myself agreeing with wholeheartedly, and I’m not afraid to admit that it worked. The reason You’ve Got Mail works can be summed up best in the words of famed film critic Roger Ebert, who said in his 1998 review that the film features two “immensely lovable people whose purpose it is to display their lovability for two hours, while we desperately yearn for them to solve their problems, fall into each other’s arms and get down to the old rumpy-pumpy.” I’m sure Ebert meant it in a disdainful way, but I am happy to acknowledge the fact that rom-coms are made great by their ability to make the viewer crave reconciliation, reunion and — hopefully — a really great movie kiss. It is a toxic trait of mine that I am willing to set aside character flaws, plot holes and an entire host of other writing faux pas to see two people smooch while a dreamy version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” plays in the background. Sue me. You’ve Got Mail reminded me that the art we love is not always perfect — especially

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. Courtesy photo. when it came out of a time in pop culture two decades past. After all, we are only human, and humans want a happy ending, even for someone like Joe Fox. I’ve decided that Netflix can have its nostalgic moment, and people are allowed to enjoy it without betraying the parts of themselves that are happy to live in our modern, more socially-conscious time. We contain multitudes, after all, and I choose to live in a reality where we get the on-screen kiss but know that Kathleen Kelly went on to find better in the nonexistent sequel to You’ve Got Mail.

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Paws and all By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Many in Bonner County consider both the human and non-human needs of their household equally important. With that in mind, several local organizations are teaming up to offer a One Health event on Saturday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to noon at Cocolalla Community Hall (on Fish Creek Road) with the goal of fulfilling the needs of not only people, but the pets they love. Better Together Animal Alliance, Bonner Community Food Bank, Bonner Partners in Care and more are participating in the One Health clinic. “One Health is a transdisciplinary approach to addressing health issues of humans, animals and the environment,” BTAA Development Director Paige McGowan told the Reader, adding that the idea for the clinic came

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from BTAA Executive Director Mandy Evans. “So far, we are making progress on human/animal health — together with our partners, of course — and we’re looking for ways that BTAA can help protect the health of the environment, too. “This model is evolving,” she added, “and we’re continuously looking for ways to improve service delivery to the people and animals most in need.” At the June 4 event in Cocolalla, BTAA will be offering physical health exams, dog and cat vaccines, free microchipping and free pet food while it lasts. Meanwhile, the Food Bank will offer food boxes and other perishable and nonperishable goods — again, while supplies last — BPIC will be doing blood pressure screenings and A1c checks, and Panhandle Health District will be offering health screenings. There will also be door prizes and giveaways. “So often the biggest challenge

One Health event will offer free health services for people, pets all in the once place

for folks in rural communities is simply just having access,” Evans stated in a media release. “When we can come together to bring services to these areas, we help to better the lives and well-being of families across our region.” McGowan said that the One Health events are made possible by “generous supporters” such as the Equinox Foundation, administered by Innovia Foundation. “We also expect to have pet food at the event, and that food is generously sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States and Chewy,” she said. “These funders have made this outreach possible.” Debbie Love, director of the Bonner Community Food Bank, called One Health “an important collaboration where we have the opportunity to bring outreach health and animal education services into Bonner County beyond our facilities.” “The Food Bank’s Healthy

Communities initiative is our collaboration with Better Together Animal Alliance, Bonner Partners in Care, Panhandle Health and Bonner General Health, as we are focused on the well-being of the whole household, which always includes our dearly loved pets.” The Cocolalla Community Hall is located at 2067-1842

Caleb Hofer holds a puppy receiving free microchip and vaccination services at a One Health event last fall. Courtesy photo. Fish Creek Road in Cocolalla. To learn more about this event and others visit Those with questions can contact BTAA at 208-265-7297.


Embracing the mermaid

John Craigie’s new album Mermaid Salt is among his best

By Ben Olson Reader Staff The first time I listened to John Craigie’s newest album Mermaid Salt, I played it backwards. I was in a small village in Mexico, drinking Pacificos as my friends shuffled through blinding December snow and wind back home. Craigie is a folk singer who has been embraced as an honorary Sandpoint local after his close connection to many musicians in this town, including Laurie and Katelyn Shook of Shook Twins. Known as a musician who makes you laugh just as much as he makes you cry, Craigie has spent the past two decades touring the living rooms and main stages of America bringing his unique style to those who understand. Whether singing humorous songs about Skyping naked or melancholy ballads about his native state of California, Craigie is prolific with his art, and isn’t afraid to reinvent himself from album to album. Seattle’s The Stranger described Craigie as, “the lovechild of John Prine and Mitch Hedberg with a vagabond troubadour edge.” I couldn’t have written it better myself. Craigie is slowly becoming a household name in the national music scene. He’s shared tours with Jack Johnson, headlined some of the biggest venues in the country like Red Rocks Amphitheater and the Fillmore, and has gathered more than 40 million total streams online for his music. I was taking a break from writing another failed attempt at a novel when my ringing phone startled me. I

don’t normally travel internationally with it, but I wanted to be available for the Reader staff if they needed me before our dreaded weekly deadline day. It was Craigie on the other line, telling me he was nearing the final stages of releasing a new album and was interested in having me write something for the back cover. “I’m going for this retro jazz album kind of vibe,” he said, pausing to listen as mariachi music blared in the background. “I’m in Mexico,” I explained, trying to find a quiet room. (Fun fact: there is no quiet room in Mexico. It’s loud everywhere. And I love it that way.) “Cool. Anyway, I want you to write something that’s not exactly a review,” he said. “I don’t really want any of that. I want it to be kind of weird — different, you know?” He described what he was looking for and I knew exactly what he wanted. He sent a few examples of vintage album back covers, but I didn’t need to look at them. I had dozens of records back home, which all seemed to have the same 1950s hepcat-type write the back cover descriptions. The language was always purple, cryptic prose and described the album like a firefly buzzing through a starry night. So that’s what I did, and that’s what’s on the back cover. Mermaid Salt is an especially distinct departure for Craigie. Written during the solitude and loneliness of the pandemic, Mermaid Salt had an ethereal quality to it. It was very well paced, with soundscapes and ambient noise blending perfect-

ly behind his iconic voice. Instead of holing up in a studio somewhere, Craigie opted to set up shop at the OK Theater in Enterprise, Ore., with longtime collaborator Bart Budwig behind the board as engineer. A rotating cast of characters shuffled in and out of the space, including Sandpoint’s Justin Landis and Shook Twins, along with Cooper Trail, Nevada Sowle, Bevin Foley and Ben Walden. “Instruments were scattered around the theater and microphones placed in various spots,” Craigie recalled. “It’s hard to say who all played what exactly.” I agreed to write the back cover and got to work at the studio in Mexico. Cadie was on the balcony lying topless in the sun as three different speakers played three different songs outside in the dusty streets. A tiny gecko chirped occasionally from his sideways perch on the tiled walls. Because I incorrectly downloaded the songs Craigie sent, I ended up listening to the last song first, and so on, finishing with the first song. To put it simply, I was hypnotized by Mermaid Salt. It was the

perfect distance from his normal style, with electronic soundscapes bringing me right into his quiet world. The songs were instantly nostalgic, as if I was listening to them again after many years. It was like Craigie took all the noise and chaos of constantly touring and wrapped a warm towel soaked in mentholyptus around it. The whole thing felt like a delightful brain lozenge. The words came quickly, describing what I was seeing from what I was hearing. I sent Craigie a first draft and, after some brief edits, sent him the final a couple of days later. Just last week, I received my copy of the album. It’s strange, after owning and publishing my own newspaper for seven years, writing three original plays, one novel and countless other projects, I felt more pride after seeing my piece on the back cover of Mermaid Salt than any of those feats. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a musician who will never make it big and I’m living vicariously through one who is. Maybe it was the odd writing style I employed. Maybe I was still drunk from all those Pacificos I drank in Mexico. Whatever it was, I was immediately thankful that Craigie gave me the opportunity to grace his opus with my words. As I wrote on the back cover, “What is there after three chords and the truth?” It is this, Mermaid Salt, a masterpiece of sound in the posttruth American West. Listen to John Craigie on any of the streaming sites, and order Mermaid Salt at

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint KneeOn Sisters, Eichardt’s Pub, May 28 Reading what others have to say about Mississippi-born sibling duo Aerial and Skyler Smith, of KneeOn Sisters, the phrase “beyond their years” keeps popping up. According to a profile by in 2019 — when Aerial and Skyler were only 17 and 16, respectively — it’s “their musicianship and writing,” as well as the “wisdom” with which the sisters speak and the maturity of their songwriting and vocals, that’s “beyond their years.” With Aerial (“A.G.”) on guitar and Skyler on bass, KneeOn

Sisters do indeed perform their amalgam of classic rock, country and blues (all infused with a hint of indie-pop) at a level far above what their young ages might suggest. Splitting their time between Mississippi and Colorado, this isn’t the first time they’ve been through Sandpoint — and we’re glad for another opportunity to catch a show by these up-and-comers. — Zach Hagadone 7 p.m., FREE. Eichardt’s Pub, 212 Cedar St., 208-263-4005,

Justin Lantrip and Matt Donahue, Pend d’Oreille Winery, May 28 Local singer-songwriter Justin Lantrip released his fourth album, Flood Gates, in February, sharing a decade’s worth of stories, emotions and musical concepts on the 10-track project. Along with local producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Donahue, the pair will bring the tracks from Flood Gates to life at the Pend d’Oreille Winery on Saturday, offering listeners a taste of homegrown style that proudly avoids a single classification, as genre remains a suggestion in

Lantrip’s music, which thrives on a sincerity only amplified by his newfound artistic partnership with Donahue. Their live collaboration will make for a memorable night of music. Listen to Flood Gates and learn more about the musicians at — Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey 5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., 208-2658545,

This week’s RLW by Ed Ohlweiler


I’ve always cherished Anne Lamott’s writing. Then I became a fan of Anne Lamott the person and humanist. Turns out the same sensitivity, perception, humor and compassion that animate the pages of her novels also grace her nonfiction as she grapples with the big questions of religion and faith, single-motherhood and her foibles (which she admits to honestly). She also penned the seminal book on writing, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. I guess what I’m saying is: read Anne Lamott.


I’m so grateful when the kindness of friends manifests itself in a CD being dropped off at our house. Especially when that CD is The Adventures of Glen Devey by Euforquestra, a tasteful blend of world groove, funk and different kinds of roots music. In fact, it is on my short list of perfect albums on which: 1., each song is dramatically different from the others; and, 2., every song is a gem. Thanks Universe!


Speaking of music, if you enjoy Loreena McKennitt (or Celtic-infused Old World music), you may want to check out her video recording Nights from the Alhambra, filmed amid the breathtaking architecture at the historic castle in Spain. The video is a visual and audio feast with the stellar group of orchestral musicians McKennitt assembled for the event plus the perfect pairing of location with the music, which seems like it belongs in a massive 13th-century castle. May 26, 2022 /


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A history of remembrance

Soldiers have been writing home for millennia — and their letters haven’t changed much

From Northern Idaho News, May 23, 1922

CLARKSFORK MERCHANT BEATEN BY THUGS J.B. Whitcomb, well known and highly respected merchant of Clarksfork, lies at the Central hospital suffering from a well nigh fatal beating-up which he sustained at the hands of two thugs who entered his store Saturday night; while one of his assailants is held at the county jail to answer to a charge which will not fall much short of attempt of murder. The assault occurred at 9:15 Saturday night, just as Mr. Whitcomb was closing his day’s business. He had made up the cash, put it in the safe and had locked the safe, locked the front door of the store, switched off the lights and started to a room at the rear of the building which he uses as a sleeping apartment when he was attracted by a noise at the front door. One going to the door he was accosted by a man who stated he wanted to buy a pair of overalls. Whitcomb turned on the lights and let the man in, but the bandit hit him over the head with a gun. Whitcomb managed to defend himself and clinched with the robber, but the accomplice came up from behind and struck him with a blow over the head, whereupon both men kicked and trampled him. Whitcomb, however, managed to crawl to where he kept his gun, but while he was doing so the burglars fled. A manhunt started the next morning and located a man holding onto a crevice at Cabinet Gorge. He was ordered to put his hands up and come out, which he did. The second man is strongly suspected to have fallen into the river and was drowned, whether by accident or because of a gunshot wound can only be conjectured. 22 /


/ May 26, 2021

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Among the most interesting historical sources are the messages soldiers send home from the battlefront. Not so much for what they tell us about the specifics of warfare, but for how they remain essentially the same, despite being separated by enormous spans of time. Memorial Day is about remembrance, and the act of being remembered — along with the feelings of homesickness it produces — has always been top of mind for soldiers. Take for instance the letters of Aurelius Polion, a volunteer Roman legionary who served sometime in the 220s CE. Originally from Egypt, Polion was posted on the present-day border between Hungary and Austria. Other Roman letters dating to the first century CE, and from as far afield as the British frontier, show that legionaries routinely received care packages from their families, but Polion apparently hadn’t received so much as a line or two of communication from his loved ones. Though predating our time by 1,800 years, his homesickness and hurt at not hearing from his relatives is timeless. “I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf,” Polion wrote to his mother. “I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind. But I do my part writing to you always and do not cease bearing you [in mind] and having you in my heart. But you never wrote to me concerning your health, how you are doing. I am worried about you because although you received letters from me often, you never wrote back to me so that I may know how you [are].” Polion also chastised his other family

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members for their silence — especially as he was stationed so far away. “I sent six letters to you,” he wrote. “The moment you have me in mind, I shall obtain leave from the consular, and I shall come to you so that you may know that I am your brother.” Then there are the letters — inscribed on bamboo slips — written by soldiers guarding the Silk Road during a period of the Han Dynasty in China from 138 to 119 BCE. Though separated from their Egyptian-born Roman counterpart Polion by about 350 years (not to mention a continent and an empire), they were similarly preoccupied with connecting with the folks back home. “The prefecture officials sympathize with the ordinary people like us, from the poor families who have long lived outside the Great Wall and new garrison troops are scheduled to replace us,” one message states. “We are waiting to be replaced. When the replacement arrives, we will be able to go back home.” Another military man stationed far from home complained that terms of service had been unfairly extended, causing distress among soldiers’ family members: “Their parents are worried and their weives sigh day and night.” To his parents and siblings, one young garrison trooper lamented that his duties would keep him from reuniting with his loved ones. “The weather is severely cold, and I hope you take care,” he wrote, later adding to his older brother and sister-in-law, “I regret that I am unable to take care of our parents. Thank you for taking care of them. Please accept my deep gratitude.” Even as far back as the mid-17th century BCE, the mood of soldiers was clearly of great concern to their commanders. As

A letter home from Natalie Bellantoni, a war correspondent during WWII. Courtesy image. one general named Bahdi-Addu wrote to his king (Zimri-Lim) upon the arrival of a group of troops in Babylon sometime between 1766-1764 BCE: “By the way, in all expeditions which I have observed there was much griping. Now, in this expedition, I have been watching for it, and there is no griping, none whatsoever.” Bahdi-Addu’s cheerful troops clearly hadn’t had a chance to get homesick yet. However, based on his past experience (and as experience would teach almost 3,800 years’ worth of future warriors), you can bet the general was expecting some “griping” sooner than later.

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Sudoku Solution

I hope that after I die, people will say of me: “That guy sure owed me a lot of money.”

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22


Woorf tdhe Week

By Bill Borders


[adjective] 1. producing darkness.

“I grow tired of these tenebrific elections in North Idaho.” Corrections: We accidentally listed the wrong location for the Ponderay Bike Rodeo in last week’s event calendar. Sorry about that. —BO


Laughing Matter

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Elation 6. Decorated, as a cake 10. Crones 14. Boundary 15. Pew area 16. Decorative case 17. Plenty 18. Diva’s solo 19. Dry 20. It’s sometimes called “Hoops” 22. Small brook 23. Strait-laced 24. Property 26. Bean curd 30. Beer 31. Steal 32. Black, in poetry 33. Pickle flavoring 35. Angered 39. Two lines of verse 41. Criminal 43. Howdy 44. Abominable Snowman 46. Certain something 47. Consume food 49. Fourteen in Roman numerals 50. Eager 51. A yellow fruit 54. Long, long time 56. Freudian topics 57. Extraordinary 63. Molten rock

Solution on page 22 64. Person’s manner of walking 65. Archer’s bolt 66. Baking appliance 67. Anagram of “Seen” 68. Josh 69. Whip mark 70. T T T 71. Keen

DOWN 1. Spill the beans 2. Capital of Peru 3. Little devils 4. Type of fabric 5. Precipitous 6. Helplessness

7. Yellowish brown 8. Wicked 9. Trader 10. Grief 11. Skylit lobbies 12. Lack of innocence 13. Move furtively 21. Exchange 25. Earth 26. Technology 27. Double-reed woodwind 28. Highly offensive 29. Disagreeable 34. Sues 36. Chills and fever 37. Empty weight

38. Distinctive flair 40. Amount leant 42. Major organ 45. Look closely at 48. Prey 51. Not above 52. Tequila source 53. Unique 55. Glide over ice 58. Lack of difficulty 59. District 60. Boast 61. Fail to win 62. Pitcher

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