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The week in random review

memes through the ages

Staff writer Soncirey Mitchell and I were talking — and not working — in the office the other day when the conversation drifted into memes. She and I are 20 years apart in age, and so it’s entertaining to compare notes on the cultural characteristics and touchstones of our respective generations. Sometimes during these conversations I feel like one of the ancients who has wandered in from the wilderness to share first-hand knowledge of the Time When the Internet Was New. But memes are nothing new, as we learned while wasting time in the office and came across what is regarded as one of the oldest memes, the so-called Sator Square, consisting of 25 letters that can be read horizontally, vertically, forward, in reverse, from bottom to top, or from top to bottom and will form the same Latin sentence: “sator arepo tenet opera rotas,” which has been variously translated but most consistently said to mean, “The sower, Arepo, works the wheels with care.” According to many sources, the cryptogram dates at least from the first century C.E. and was used for centuries (even up into the 1900s) as a magic square used for all manner of purposes, from protecting homes from collapse to treating rabies. I suddenly don’t feel quite so old.


Thank you to all of those who showed up for the two candidate forums hosted by KRFY,, the Bonner County Daily Bee, Selkirk Association of Realtors and the Sandpoint Reader earlier this week. If you missed the forums, fear not: will have them posted under “podcasts.” This week, the Reader presents a two-page breakdown of the April 29 forum featuring candidates for Bonner County commissioner Districts 1 and 3 races as well as the Bonner County sheriff’s race. In the May 9 edition, the Reader will follow up with another two-page recap sharing results from the April 30 forum featuring Idaho Legislative District 1 Senate and House 1A/1B candidates.

There are fewer than 3 weeks left until Election Day on May 21. Then, perhaps, we can all go back to tolerating one another until the general in November. Politics.

mandatory convenience

The phrase, “The convenience you demanded is now mandatory,” has been popping into my head a lot lately. Though the original quote came from Jello Biafra regarding “happiness,” rather than “convenience,” I find the latter version more compelling. For instance, among my many curmudgeonly complaints is restaurant menus that can only be accessed using QR codes. It never works for me, and I don’t see why I should be required to possess a smartphone to order a burger and a beer. I also despise how often websites push users to download their specialized apps to utilize their full services. (I’m not alone. Forbes reported in 2021 that, “91% of Us Hate Being Forced to Install Apps to do Business.”) Autocorrect also pisses me off — especially as it has infiltrated my word processor. Lately it’s been trying to force me to put the current year behind every date I write. It also sometimes changes names and other proper nouns into what it considers to be the nearest “correct” equivalent. Case in point: In last week’s paper, I wrote about Rick Howarth being appointed to the Sandpoint City Council. My word processor kept trying to turn his last name into “Haworth” for some reason, and I was so busy trying to make sure that didn’t happen that I failed to notice it had turned “Litehouse” into “Lighthouse” Foods. So let this stand as my extended mea culpa and reassurance that yes, I do know it’s spelled Litehouse Foods, and now so does my supposedly “labor-saving” word processor.


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May 2, 2024 / R / 3

Candidates for Bonner County commissioner, sheriff take on issues at forum

Candidates for District 1 and District 3 Bonner County commissioner seats joined contenders for Bonner County sheriff at a community forum April 29 in the Sandpoint High School auditorium, providing voters with their perspectives on the issues ahead of the Tuesday, May 21 primary election.

Hosted by the KRFY,, the Bonner County Daily Bee, Selkirk Association of Realtors and the Sandpoint Reader, candidates for contested races gathered for two hours and spoke to approximately 150 attendees.

Assessor Dennis Englehardt also addressed voters, though he is running unopposed on the ballot.

Candidates in contested races for Legislative District 1 seats participated in a similar forum April 30. Both nights were sponsored by KRFY,, the Bonner County Daily Bee, Selkirk Association of Realtors and the Sandpoint Reader. A recap of the April 30 forum will be published in the Thursday, May 9 edition of the Reader.

County candidates were each given the opportunity for opening and closing statements, and asked questions gathered from the audience and presented by moderator Clint Schroeder, who serves as president of the Hagadone Newspaper and Media Groups, which is the parent company of the Daily Bee (no relation to Reader Editor Zach Hagadone).

To listen to recordings of both the Bonner County and Legislative District 1 forums, go to

Bonner County sheriff

Though opening statements from the Bonner County commissioner candidates led off the evening forum, it

was the contest for Bonner County sheriff that drew the most heat, with incumbent Daryl Wheeler finding himself the target of repeated verbal swipes by challenger Steve Bradshaw, who has served as commissioner for District 1 for five and a half years.

The monthslong tensions between the Sheriff’s Office and the commissioners rekindled old arguments regarding public disruption of regular business meetings, with Bradshaw once again arguing that Wheeler has a responsibility to maintain order.

“I cannot and will not participate in illegal arrests made by commissioners in commissioners’ meetings,” Wheeler said, referring to the Jan. 26 trespass of Dave Bowman and Rick Cramer over alleged threats and unruly behavior in past meetings. “There were no elements of criminal trespass, and both those charges were dismissed by the prosecutor with prejudice, which means that [those charges] cannot go back [to the court].”

Bowman’s charges were dismissed in court, whereas Commissioners Luke Omodt, Asia Williams and Bradshaw unanimously voted to accept Rick Cramer’s April 1 appeal to lift his trespass in an April 4 executive session. Cramer’s tort claim against the commissioners remains unresolved.

“Had [Wheeler] engaged and said, ‘You [the public] will settle down and control yourself or leave,’ everything you’ve watched over the past 13 months would not have transpired because they knew that law enforcement would keep law and order in our meetings,” said Bradshaw. “If I was a deputy and I was wanting to move to Bonner County and I watched that video, I wouldn’t come to work for him.”

“I can tell you that when you’ve got the truth on your side, what you do is you pound

on the truth. And if you’ve got the law on your side, you need to pound on the truth. If you neither have the law or the truth on your side, what you do is you pound on the table,” said Wheeler.

Both candidate emphasized their commitment to the truth while taking shots at the other’s credibility, with Bradshaw alleging that Wheeler worked “secretly behind the scenes with FBI” agents to arrest resident Michael Pope for his part in the Jan. 6 United States Capitol attack — to which Wheeler responded, “I’m not really sure what that’s about.”

Regardless of the question, the candidates’ answers repeatedly returned to the low recruitment and retention rates of deputies within the Sheriff’s Office, though they provided different reasons for the deficit.

“We cannot compete with the outside agencies — especially south of us — unless we can offer the same kind of benefits and salaries that they’re going there [for],” said Wheeler, indicating that Kootenai and Spokane counties pay as much as $10 more an hour. In an effort to boost staffing, Wheeler said that he plans to enlist a full-time recruiter and continue to hire 18- and 19-year-olds who can start their careers

working in the jail.

Bradshaw was adamant that the nation is facing a shortage of law enforcement professionals — which he claimed stems from conflict with the federal government — and that Bonner County employees are not leaving because of their financial circumstances.

“Over the last five and a half years [the BOCC] managed to get their pay up as high as we can do it with the taxes that we have,” said Bradshaw, later adding, “To attract them, we’re going to have to have a functional, and not a dysfunctional, sheriff’s department where the deputies are not afraid to come to their superiors and voice an issue without retribution coming back on them.”

Bradshaw did not elaborate on any alleged “retribution” within the department, though repeatedly claimed that the office’s budget is being severely mismanaged. Budgetary concerns and a lack of staff played a role in the candidate’s response to a question regarding the county’s preparedness given potential future unrest.

“It’s really difficult to create scenarios that we don’t know are going to happen or not but I can tell you that right now we’re creating a GMRS [General Mobile

Radio Service] radio network so that we can communicate with each other ... which is integrated with our ham operators,” said Wheeler.

He believes that Bonner County is prepared for any potentiality, emphasizing the extensive training currently undergone by police and the cooperation between his office, search and rescue, and the area’s extensive neighborhood watch groups.

“I’m going to tell you right now, in the event of a major thing, our sheriff’s department is not large enough to handle it because it’s all management,” said Bradsahw, adding that there are only four or five deputies patrolling approximately 2,000 square miles.

He drew inspiration from Kootenai County’s volunteer network under Sheriff Bob Norris, indicating that he would like to draw on combat-trained members of the community “like veteran Luke Omodt, who trained soldiers,” and “Ron Korn with the Three Percenters” to support the department in the event of an emergency.

Bradshaw’s proposed reliance on community members echoed his background outside of the field of law enforce-

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Candidates in contested Bonner County races at the April 29 candidate forum. Photo by Soncirey Mitchell.

ment, which he admitted to in his closing remarks.

“I may not have law enforcement experience, but I have management experience and I have a functioning brain and I know what it takes to get a job done. I know what it takes to run the Sheriff’s Office budget,” he said, later adding, “You need a sheriff that is honest and has integrity.”

Wheeler, by comparison, has spent 15 and a half of his more than 38 years in law enforcement as Bonner County sheriff.

“I just have two words, I think, to all of you concerned with public safety: Do you feel safe now? Do you want a sheriff that has every qualification and certificate that’s available in the state of Idaho?” asked Wheeler, later admitting that, two years ago, the county saw an “increase in fatal accidents of 250%” and ranked “No. 3” in the state for the number of “sexual assaults and sexual crimes,” even surpassing Ada County.

“I am committed to keeping this county safe, and committed to be that person that is going to push back against the government when they want to take over and intercede in your life and violate your rights,” he said.

District 1 and 3 Bonner County commissioners

There are six candidates vying for county commissioner seats in Districts 1 and 3 — James Burroughs, Brian Domke and Brian Riley in District 1 and Dimitry Borisov, Ron Korn and incumbent Luke Omodt for District 3.

Burroughs did not participate in the April 29 forum — nor did he respond to the specific questions the Reader sent for the candidate questionnaire published in the April 18 edition — but all five other candidates appeared on stage at SHS, touching on a number of common themes in their opening statements — principally authenticity.

Domke led off the event, describing himself as a “Christian conservative” with “constitutional values.” He emphasized that he intends to

operate with civility and decorum as a county commissioner, which also served as a consistent theme throughout the night as candidates addressed the now-notorious unruliness of many BOCC meetings over the past year and a half.

Riley emphasized that while he wasn’t born in the county he’s been here for 39 “continuous years” and emphasized his local connections as a graduate of Sagle Elementary, Sandpoint Middle and Sandpoint High schools.

“I got to be the first class to graduate from this high school — the new high school — in 1992,” he said.

Borisov told the audience how he emigrated from the Soviet Union and came to Bonner County in 1999, and while he “fell in love with this place,” spent a brief time in Seattle before returning to the area in 2001. He became a U.S. citizen in 2006 and got involved with local EMS services, which is how he first interacted with the BOCC, which he said is currently mistreating the public and “violating the rights that I’ve come to love.”

Korn said he’s been in the area for 26 years and been involved with volunteer services including serving as president and commander of the Bonner County Search and Rescue. Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic as “the China virus,” he touted his efforts in 2020 to “save” Sandpoint’s Independence Day celebrations after the Lions Club canceled the events out of an abundance of caution for public health and safety.

Korn promised to “bring unity, I don’t like division.” Meanwhile, he vowed to “bring back Biblical principles, constitutional principles and the people’s voice.”

Omodt, who currently serves as chair of the BOCC and is the only incumbent in the commissioners’ race, emphasized his own local connections, noting that 30 years ago he launched his first political campaign as a student at SHS.

Describing himself as “a local kid who grew up in the Selle Valley,” he also pointed to his experiences as a student

and teacher in area schools, as well as his long career in the Army, where he served as a logistician.

He pointed to his record as a commissioner as evidence for why he should be reelected, including securing funding for seven new bridges, delivering the Colburn waste project on time and under budget, and instituting cybersecurity systems to protect the $100 million in funds that flow through the county treasurer’s office.

Plan, to which Borisov said that once work on the plan is completed, it might be time to put those bodies back together. He also suggested eliminating the county hearing examiner position.

“I can tell you that when you’ve got the truth on your side, what you do is you pound on the truth. And if you’ve got the law on your side, you need to pound on the truth. If you neither have the law or the truth on your side, what you do is you pound on the table.”

Incumbent Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler

Questions touched on the candidates’ definitions of responsible growth, as well as how they would “revise or change” Bonner County Planning and Zoning to better serve citizens.

Domke emphasized the importance of basing decisions on sound data and research, while both Korn and Riley keyed in on the need for more housing to accommodate local workers.

Korn criticized allowing “seasonal RV parks in the middle of nowheres,” which rather than serving as shortterm dwellings would end up serving as long-term low-income housing.

Riley said he supported reinvigorating the sub-area committees to inform land use and development policies, as did Domke and Borisov, the latter saying that “the county has no plan whatsoever” related to “responsible growth.”

Omodt noted that Bonner County hadn’t enacted any zoning regulations until 1980, while the last time the Comp Plan was revised was in 2005. Overall, he said, “For a county commissioner, growth needs to be sustainable and that means where we can afford the services, and that is what we are doing.”

Korn said he’d consider re-combining county Planning and Zoning into one department, while underscoring, “The voice of the people needs to be heard.”

Omodt said that P&Z was separated in the first place to fulfill the update of the Comp

tain public testimony on every agendized item.

Riley emphasized that P&Z positions are volunteer, and challenged community members to get involved by attending meetings.

One of the biggest themes for commissioner candidates throughout the forum was the role of public comment during BOCC business meetings and how commissioners should interact both with the public and their fellow elected officials.

Borisov said that “public comment is the business of Bonner County,” reiterating a point frequently made by Commissioner Asia Williams and others who argue that policies enacted and enforced by Omodt and Bradshaw have unduly restricted citizens’ rights to free speech during meetings.

“[T]hey try to weaponize the rules against the public by silencing us,” Borisov said. “What kind of leadership is this? I came from the Soviet Union where people were threatened for speaking out.”

Domke repeated a pledge he made in the Reader’s candidate questionnaire to invite public comment on every agendized item, adding that, “It’s critical that we incorporate the extra time that might be needed in a business meeting to accommodate those comments from the public.”

Korn echoed the notion of hearing comment on every agenda item, saying, “The three people sitting up there don’t know everything that’s going on in Bonner County.”

Omodt has been the frequent target of some residents who feel his management of testimony at BOCC business meetings has been overly restrictive. He argued that while many ideas that come before the commissioners “may have merit,” the BOCC is not required by Idaho law to enter-

“I am a small-government Republican” who is “not going to do things that the Legislature has not authorized, because it’s illegal,” he said, going on to add that the county hires “exceedingly competent people” to help formulate and carry out policy.

Riley indicated that he would be receptive to any and all input from the public, while noting that “everybody’s perspective is their reality,” which should be taken into consideration when trying to find solutions to issues in the county.

In answer to a question about how commissioners would communicate with officials they disagree with, Omodt said he would “act in accordance with the law.”

“I’m going to leave the responsibility of the coroner to the coroner. I have left the responsibility of the sheriff to the sheriff ... but I will also tell you that I have fiercely guarded the responsibility of the board of county commissioners,” he said. “That was the job I was elected to do.”

What to know about voting in the May 21 primary

Early voting in the 2024 primary will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday, May 6 through Friday, May 17 at the Bonner County Elections Office (1500 Hwy. 2, Ste. 124, in Sandpoint). The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. Requests for mail-in absentee ballots can be dropped off, mailed, emailed or faxed to the Elections Office. A logic and accuracy test will take place Thursday, May 16 at 9 a.m. in the Elections Office, to which the public is invited.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21 for in-person voting. Voters may register at the polls on Election Day.

Contact the Bonner County Elections Office at To register in advance or for all other election-related questions and information (including to identify your polling precinct and location) go to

May 2, 2024 / R / 5
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New web portal provides info on Sandpoint city meetings

The city of Sandpoint rolled out a new way for the public to get important information about past and upcoming meetings, with a dedicated web page featuring agendas, packets, minutes and a link to recorded meetings.

Announced on April 30, the platform is live at and already features meetings of the City Council, Urban Renewal Board, and Planning and Zoning Commission through the end of May.

Documents can be viewed in PDF or html formats, and dropdown menus

enable users to select specific date ranges and meeting groups to more readily narrow their search for various topics. By selecting the “view details” option, users can also add meetings to their Outlook or Google calendars ahead of time.

To watch City Hall meetings remotely, users are still directed to under the “Meetings” menu item on the homepage.

For questions or assistance with the new web page, email or call the City Clerk’s Office at or 208-263-3310.

Local schools to receive state funding for vape detectors

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:

More than 3 million more workers making under $58,656 will get overtime pay beginning July 1, after a Department of Labor ruling. The National Bureau of Economic Research said companies avoided $4 billion in overtime payments by inappropriately using “manager” titles.

The Federal Communications Commission voted to reinstate net neutrality, making broadband a utility-like service, to be regulated like phones and water. The FCC said net neutrality prohibits internet service providers from blocking, throttling or engaging in paid prioritization of lawful content.

military to assassinate a political rival and facilitating a coup, The Atlantic reported. Trump attorneys argued those would be “official acts” that no president should be charged for, unless they had already been impeached and convicted.

The court could take “some time to rule” on the case, playing into Trump’s apparent desire to avoid facing trial before the presidential election, and increasing his odds of winning the presidency. He could then dismiss cases against him.

Mass graves exhumed at two hospital sites in Gaza revealed some of the victims had their hands tied when executed by Israeli soldiers, the U.N. reported. Another U.N. expert said that it will take 14 years to clear 37 million tons of bomb-filled debris from Gaza using 100 trucks per day.

The Lake Pend Oreille School District is among 31 other districts and charter schools around the state that will receive funding to install vape detectors in high school bathrooms and locker rooms through the Vape Detector Pilot grant.

The grant is funded by an allocation from the Idaho Millenium Fund and is administered by the Idaho Department of Education.

Sandpoint, Clark Fork and Lake Pend Oreille high schools, as well as Forrest Bird Charter Schools, will be beneficiaries of the program, which aims to both prevent vaping before it starts and provide staff with an added resource to intervene and assist students vaping in areas equipped with detectors, according to a news release.

“Putting the right tools to address

vaping into the hands of our school districts is an important first step in tackling this problem and ensuring the health of our students and educational communities,” Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield stated in the release. “I hope that schools find this equipment to be an effective new resource in safeguarding the health and well-being of their students.”

Of 59 eligible applicants, 31 local education agencies were awarded funding. To receive funding, awardees were asked to provide evidence of a need for vape detectors, including details about their current prevention and intervention efforts, incident reports of vaping in the 2022-’23 and 2023-’24 school years, along with a proposed budget for purchasing, installing and any additional costs.

One America Network recently settled a defamation lawsuit with Smartmatic, a voting tech company, CNN reported. According to NBC, OAN has now retracted a story saying former-President Donald Trump’s “fixer” Michael Cohen was having an affair with Stormy Daniels. OAN also said there was “no evidence” behind their story that Cohen schemed to extort the Trump organization prior to the 2016 election.

While 18 Trump supporters have been indicted in Arizona for attempts to overturn the 2020 election, Trump has only been identified as “unindicted co-conspirator-1,” Newsweek reported. The charges include fraud, forgery and conspiracy. Before charging Trump, a legal analyst on MSNBC speculated that the state’s attorney general may be waiting to see if some of the accused will “flip,” or they are awaiting the outcome of the presidential immunity case now before the Supreme Court.

Trump’s argument that he cannot be prosecuted for actions taken while president has prompted conservative members of the Supreme Court to ignore previous claims that they favor an “original” understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Politico noted that Justice Elena Kagan has emphasized that there is no reference in the Constitution to explicit immunity for presidents.

Trump’s attorneys in his presidential immunity trial before the Supreme Court are saying he should be immune from prosecution for things like selling nuclear secrets, using the

Prior to Israel’s current war on Gaza, five Israeli Defense Forces units were involved with “gross violations of human rights” against Palestinians, U.S. officials now report, according to The Guardian. Israeli media reported that arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli military leaders are expected soon from the International Criminal Court. Student protests at university campuses regarding the Israel-Gaza conflict are not generally rooted in anti-Semitism, as some have tried to frame them, The Guardian and other media reported. Rather, students want universities to “disentangle” themselves from companies profiting from the war. Jewish Voice for Peace and 184 other social justice and religious groups have written an open letter calling for the end of campus crackdowns on Israeli-Gaza protests, with Gen-Z for Change noting that “all universities in Gaza are destroyed.” Now faculty from several universities are joining student protests, and in Georgia a professor was “roughly pinned down” and removed by police. Blast from the past: In 1964 a ban on campus political actions at the University of California, Berkeley resulted in police being called to stop leafleting in front of an administration building. Thousands of students surrounded the responding police car in a 33-hour sit-in, which ended when administrators agreed to a truce.

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Photo courtesy of

Despite challenging political times, we have options to improve our representation

This week a flier arrived from Scott Herndon called “Stop the Steal!” In it Democrats are accused of working to return “liberal Jim Woodward” to office, along with a list of inaccuracies about Woodward’s votes in office. In this one flier, Herndon falsified information about both the Democrats and Jim Woodward.

This is the worst kind of political campaigning. It undermines free speech, confuses voters and corrupts the political process. We must stop this nonsense.

Many voters are so fed up with toxic politics they don’t vote. Lifelong Republicans are smeared and called RINOS. Unaffiliated voters who don’t want to belong to a party can’t vote unless they register with a partisan organization. Democrats are demonized for all the woes of the Republican Party, even though there are barely 3,000 of them in Legislative District 1. This is not a healthy political environment and it needs to be fixed.

It starts with simple steps: vote informed, vote qualified and vote in the primary on Tuesday, May 21.

In the 2022 primary, only 44% of Bonner County registered voters participated. We need to do better. Republican voters need to elect officials who serve with integrity, listen to our citizens and provide real solutions for our communities. Within our Republican Party, we need to remove leaders who are focused on personal agendas and ideology and replace them with leaders who have real conservative values that reflect the will of our party majority.

This year when you get your ballot, review the entire ballot and make sure you vote for precinct committeemen if your precinct has a contested race. The rules and core values of our Republican Party are fed from central committees that are composed of precinct committeemen.

This might seem like an insignificant position but it isn’t. Central committees have power. When we lose elected officials between elections, it is the central committee that determines the replacement choices

for that position. When former-Bonner County Assessor Grant Dorman resigned due to health issues, it was the Bonner County Republican Central Committee that provided the choices to the commissioners for his replacement.

Republicans have a supermajority in Idaho and that should come with great responsibility. We bear the burden of good decision making. However, it seems our current BCRCC leadership and the leadership of the Idaho Republican State Central Committee do not have this regard. They have moved away from the wishes of the Republican majority. They disregard good decision making and the will of our voters by applying endorsements and censorship.

Last summer, Republican leadership took extreme measures to remove three groups: Idaho Young Republicans, Idaho College Republicans and the Idaho Federation of Republican Women from voting membership in our party. Clearly these are decisions that do not serve the majority of our party and need serious evaluations.

To do so, we need to elect qualified precinct committeemen to our central committees and get back to our core values.

As Republicans, we need to fix our own problems. Blaming the Democrats is a distraction. In fact, the only infiltration we have seen is from a far-right, self-proclaimed John Bircher, Bob Vickaryous, invading the Democratic ticket. He’s running against Kathryn Larson for the House 1B seat. Democrats have their own party issues and most don’t want or don’t have time to be bothered with Republicans.

And what about the unaffiliated voter who is forced to pick a party just to get to vote? The blame here goes to a closed primary. Idaho went to this process in 2012, which has displeased many Idaho voters. Currently there is a ballot initiative in process to end the closed primary and replace it with an open primary process. If enough signatures are validated, then this will be on the ballot in November. To learn more, go to

We are in challenging political

times, but we do have options to improve. An informed vote in the May 21 primary is the best start. Elect the most qualified candidates with the best leadership skills. It’s our best defense to protect our communities.

Beyond voting, stop the smears. It’s destructive and undermines our institutions and destroys communities. Finally, take time to read about the Open Primaries Initiative and, if you have time, get involved with your party.

Let’s end political dysfunction and elect qualified candidates who serve Idaho citizens.

Diana Dawson founded the nonprofit North Idaho Voter Services in 2019, which conducts research on North Idaho voters’ preferences and communicates those findings through reports, candidate profiles and endorsements. To learn more about NIVS, go to

May 2, 2024 / R / 7



• “[Sherlock] was one of the best live performances ever! We have been going to the Panida for over 40 years and this last production of Sherlock was outstanding. Teresa Pesce wrote and directed a complex play that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. The collection of actors couldn’t have been better. We eagerly await your next production.”

— Betty Faletto


• “My husband and I were recently in Spain with friends. It was a wonderful country, but we noticed that nobody said ‘hello’ or ‘hola’ when passing each other on the street like we usually encounter when traveling elsewhere. It even seemed that when we said hello to others it made the person seem uncomfortable. At first it was like a game to us to say hello to everyone and see how they would respond. However, after being there for three weeks with nobody smiling back at us or acknowledging our presence, we stopped smiling and saying hello, too. I took a bike ride around Sandpoint shortly after arriving home. Everybody I passed smiled and said hello. It threw me off at first but then it felt so good. I started smiling back. Good job, people of Sandpoint! After all, smiling is our gift to the world and doesn’t cost much. We should never take it for granted.”

— Jane Hoover


• “Sending a Bouquet to Jim Healey, volunteer extraordinaire at the Panida! A while back, Jim put together a volunteer cleaning crew for the theater. Three plus years later, we still meet weekly to make the Panida sparkle — all thanks to our fearless leader, Jim. Thank you, Jim. We couldn’t do it without you!”

— The Cleaning Crew (you know who we are)


• We ran out of room, so no Barbs this week, folks. I’ll gripe about something else next week.

Dear editor, Steven Bradshaw’s run for sheriff is so insane that it feels comedic. One of our local actors could nail this iconic role — contentious and charismatic, crowned in a cowboy hat.

Did God speak to Bradshaw and offer a victorious vision? Like Moses, has Bradshaw been appointed to lead from humble beginnings, with zero education or applicable experience? Is Bradshaw destined for a seat of power as God’s mouthpiece in our county? Is this narrow-minded and tacky campaign (blaming and attempting to smear the incumbent with a lifetime of experience) part of God’s plan?

My vote is that this is just another silly example of the grandiose beliefs/actions of a psychotic sociopath. Nobody is getting hurt over this particular madness, so I’m grateful for the local entertainment.

Jodi Rawson Sandpoint

We don’t need Herndon to ‘protect’ our families from ‘fabricated danger’…

Dear editor,

I am disgusted by what appeared in my mailbox. A postcard filled with hate and lies. Scott Herndon got elected last time using this tactic and we have paid the price since. He spread falsehoods against an upstanding citizen and accused him of the most ridiculous and fictitious wrongdoings. He is at it again.

I don’t need him to “protect” my family from fabricated danger. I, and you, can do that. We can make our own decisions about our own bodies, about what we read, about who we love and how we live.

I am embarrassed that this “ say anything to get elected” guy ever took office. Herndon wants to push his “values” off on the rest of us. No way. We can’t make this painful mistake again!

Vote for truth, kindness, inclusion and intellect. Vote for Jim Woodward. May matters.

Ranel Hanson Sandpoint

A primary poem…

Dear editor, On May 21st

You have some choices, You silent types

Can raise your voices. I’m here to put in a good word

And ask you to vote for Woodward.

And while I’m at it

I think you oughter Cast your ballot

For Mr. MARK Sauter.

If you’re opposed to schools

And don’t care about learnin’ Then scribble your X In the box next to Herndon.

Ted Wert Sagle

War protests…

Dear editor,

When I see the protests at college campuses across this nation about the war Israel has taken on, it makes me reflect on the protests against the Vietnam War, particularly since I was a reporter/photographer in the U.S. Army in 1968 and 1969.

Shortly after I returned from Vietnam two days before Christmas in 1969, I was unsure if the protesters against the war were about the loss of American soldiers’ lives or the loss of North Vietnamese soldiers’ and innocent civilians’ lives.

The Palestine-supporting protesters calling for an end to the war are easy to support in principle. They are correct that far too many civilians have been killed. Yet, will Israel ever be a safe country to live in after all the damage that has been done? (And the killings they have been responsible for?)

I can’t even imagine how all the rubble can be removed (to where?) and how will the buildings ever be rebuilt and at what cost.

This doesn’t affect all of us in Bonner County and frankly I am glad it doesn’t. But a thinking man does not ignore what is happening on this planet we love called Mother Earth.

James Richard Johnson Clark Fork

Getting to the point on Wheeler…

Dear editor,

Darryl Wheeler cares more about the citizens of Bonner county than an agenda.

Travis Kiebert


W. Bonner levy costs a little but gives a lot…

Dear editor,

Idaho’s primary election is May 21, and there will be a one-year supplemental school levy on the ballot. Idaho fully funded its public schools until a vote by Idaho legislators in 2006 to limit funding. Since then, it has been up to the individual school districts to fund ⅓ of its annual budget by passing school levies. These levies are necessary to fully cover

some of the basic services, such as maintenance, transportation, curricula, staff, health and liability insurance increases, and sports. Also important is being able to have a resource officer at hand.

Last year, there were naysayers in our school district who insisted we needed a forensic audit. Well, that was completed, and “no financial improprieties” were found. So here we are now, and it’s time to pass the levy.

A homeowner of a house valued at $400,000 pays just $20 per month.

Here’s what we will get with the levy: a resource officer to help keep our kids safe; needed repair of leaking roofs and heating systems; hire bus drivers and maintain our buses; help feed our children; retain and recruit the best staff and teachers.

Please vote in favor of the levy on May 21.

Alice Booth Priest River

Larson is the candidate to support public schools…

Dear editor,

I graduated from Sandpoint High School in 2014 and earned my master’s degree in 2021. I am confident that my public school education in North Idaho helped prepare me in both my undergraduate and graduate endeavors. I was the first person in my immediate family to obtain a college degree.

I am deeply concerned with the push to limit funds for public schools. Public schools in Idaho are already lacking funds — one only needs to look at the middle school’s history to identify how little money is invested in facilities.

Kathryn Larson has expressed adamant support and funding for public schools. Public education allows everyone to get an education regardless of income, family life or other factors. I will support the candidate that wants to bolster public education and support all the kids in North Idaho, and Kathryn Larson is that candidate.

Makayla Sundquist Kootenai

‘What the **** is he talking about?’…

Dear editor, Sen. Herndon has mailed out two postcards in his primary campaign for the Idaho Senate seat for District 1 against Jim Woodward. The first postcard attacked former-Sen. Woodward for not addressing immigration. Not exactly the top

issue in North Idaho. I was curious. Why choose that as a leading issue?

The second postcard made everything clear. There, Sen. Herndon chose as his issues: immigration (again), transgender in sports and government spending.

Better, but not exactly the top issues on my mind, which are: our hospitals closing of health care services for women, messing with our library, and funding and supporting public schools.

But not that surprising that Sen. Herndon stayed away from the issues the matter up here. He knows his positions on these issues are not winners.

And not surprising that on the other side of the postcard the headline reads, “Stop the Steal.” I’ll give you one guess which out-of-state politicians and organizations are dictating to him (and funding) his campaign?

If you’re right you’ll win a big prize: Jim Woodward as our state senator. Vote for Jim May 21 in the Republican primary. Unaffiliated voters should register as Republicans at the polls to receive a Republican ballot.

Nancy Gerth Sagle

Judge candidates based on their qualities, not claims…

Dear editor,

Any 18 or older U.S. citizen in Idaho is eligible to hold any office of this state (Idaho Code 59-101). That is the only criteria. No elected office holder needs to provide evidence of any formal training for the office they hold.

Unfortunately, some candidates attempt to build themselves up by tearing their opponents down with lies, innuendo and outrageous claims.

Political mailers tout the candidates’ “qualifications.” Some boldly proclaim, “I am a Christian.” In the United States we are free to practice (or not practice) any religion. For myself, claiming to be a Christian is not a primary criteria for supporting a candidate.

Scripture tells us the fruits of the spirit include: love, peace, kindness, goodness, temperance and patience. A reflection of these virtues would be compassion and a moral character that is respectful and concerned for the welfare of others. I urge you to examine the claims of these “Christians” before you cast your vote.

I am voting for Luke Omodt, Jim Woodward and Mark Sauter, who

/ R / May 2, 2024
‘Local entertainment’…
< see LTE, Page 9 >


Looking for — and finding — ‘the helpers’ in Bonner County

Up in the hills overlooking Lake Pend Oreille, there is a delightful woman who makes colorful prayer flags with messages of hope and peace. She donates all her sales to the local NAMI chapter. Just down the road apiece lives a Vietnam veteran who many do not know collects lap blankets and takes them to his comrades at the veterans’ hospital in Spokane. I also know of a musician who made huge pots of soup weekly for years, delivering them to one of the soup kitchens in our communities.

Each one of these motivated individuals is a few among the hundreds in Bonner County reaching out by giving their time and occasionally dollars to help others while building a stronger, healthier community

one deed at a time.

The question came up in one of the groups I belong to as to what the members were doing outside of our organization. I was pleasantly surprised that each and everyone was involved in something around Bonner County. One volunteered at the Community Assistance League’s Bizarre Bizarre. That nonprofit resale store generates money for grants and scholarships exclusively in Bonner County. Another individual donated their time at the food bank and one volunteered his time assisting in transitional housing in our area.

Did you know we had refugees from Ukraine here in Sandpoint? One of the gals in the group spends time with them helping them adjust, even if just temporarily, to living in a totally different culture.

Another individual, rela-

tively new to the group, was tragically widowed shortly after her move here. It took her time to recover somewhat, and when she did she turned her talents into helping others with their taxes and also joined the board at the senior center. She shared that not only did the center provide meals for anyone over 50, but they also serve as a gathering place and informational site for social, recreational and wellness programs.

Another woman for several years has managed a group called Friends of the Library. It hadn’t occurred to me that the library also needs funds and this group has raised thousands of dollars. Helping hands are needed there also.

I was amazed that everyone in this circle of friends was working in one way or another improving lives in our community. And talk about lack of

ego — they had never mentioned their outside service in all the time we have met.

We have folks working with environmental groups, Friends of Scotchman Peaks, Rotary clubs and volunteers at our overcrowded schools. A few are active in the Human Rights Task Force and the Farmers’ Market. A couple have been and are currently caregivers for loved ones.

The late-Fred Rogers — host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and an author — once relayed, “When I was a boy

and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

That is how it has been lately for many. There are many scary things in the news; however, it appears that Bonner County has a plethora of quiet, behind-the-scenes helpers not discouraged by negativity but reaching out with helping hands.

< LTE, con’t Page 9 > While I respect their choice, I would not change my party affiliation, not even to vote for Jim. That dilemma we face feels wrong on many levels.

show concern for our welfare and who honor the rules of law, not party politics. I hope you will join me.

Helen Newton Sandpoint

Open primaries will reward the best candidate, regardless of party…

Dear editor,

For nearly a year, I’ve been gathering signatures for the Open Primaries Initiative. Of the hundreds I’ve personally spoken with, 222 Boundary County voters signed.

As we have just finished, I’m reflecting on the reason I decided to form a team of open primaries volunteers in my county.

I want every registered voter in this state to be able to select the best candidates when it most counts — in the primary election. And Jim Woodward’s candidacy for the Idaho Senate was the main reason.

He and I differed on some bills, but he always explained his position in a way I understood and respected. Jim is honest with his constituents and has a wealth of knowledge that served us well as our senator.

Many Democrat friends have registered Republican through the years since Republicans in Idaho closed their primaries.

I hope Jim wins the May primary and open primaries makes it to the ballot and passes in November. Then I’ll be able to vote for the best candidate, regardless of their party.


Clarice M. McKenney Sandpoint

Watch a few BOCC meetings before casting your vote…

Dear editor, A very important primary for commissioner seats is coming up May 21, 2024.

Our precious Bonner County can be greatly affected by who occupies those seats. At present, a campaign has been launched with vicious lies against Brian Domke, who is running for Steve Bradshaw’s seat. Check out Brian Domke’s credentials and not the negativity some would like you to believe. Attend some meet and greets, or request to meet Brian Domke one on one. Luke Omodt is up for reelection. Watch a couple of the Tuesday morning commissioners’ meetings from the past year on YouTube. YouTube Bonner County commission-

ers’ meetings and you will see his arrogance, rudeness and disregard for the people of Bonner County. All commissioners work for the people of Bonner County, but Luke apparently has forgotten that and prefers to try to shut them down. Watch a commissioners’ meeting or two yourself and decide before casting a vote for Luke.

William Atwood Priest River

‘Beware of fake Republicans May 21!’…

Dear editor,

Beware. Democrats are running as Republicans in our May 21 primary elections. The liberals that wish to exert more control over you and further degrade our society are inventing all sorts of ways to mislead and misguide you.

An NIVS mailer went out in April with a lot of names of people who are fake Republicans — fake conservatives. Keep it to know who not to vote for! Don’t reward deceivers. Your vote is needed!

There are only a few official Bonner County Republican Central Committee (BCRCC) endorsed candidates. Some of those include: Herndon (Idaho Senate), Korn (county commissioner), Jane Sauter (Idaho representative), Rasor (Idaho rep-

resentative), Wheeler (sheriff) and Domke (county commissioner).

I can personally attest to the good character and independence of my good friend Ron Korn for commissioner. He is for your liberty and property rights. Period. I also know Cornel Rasor and Scott Herndon are good, honorable, God-fearing men that love their state and country.

Don’t let this become another Washington or California. For your kids — don’t let freedom die. Vote May 21 for true conservative candidates that can be trusted.

Beware of the deceivers. If in doubt, leave it blank on the ballot.

Michael Krsien Sandpoint

Informed voting…

Dear editor, I read the Reader cover to cover every single week. I look forward to Thursday! Thanks for keeping a community well informed. I admittedly do minimal research on who to vote for. I vote every single time I can. My latest choices are decided by looking at campaign signs in yards. When I see a Herndon one I pay attention to the ones next to it. Cross them off the list. Thanks for the help in deciding.

Chris Koich Sandpoint


Dear editor,

I attended a state political candidate forum at the high school last night and was dismayed at the statements and answers that they gave.

I was hoping for some insight from them that would explain to me how the future is going to look for Idaho. I was disappointed in that the main emphasis on all of the men was anti-abortion, anti-medical care, and the lack of concern over separation of church and state.

There are still way too many career politicians in North Idaho with agendas for their religious beliefs and with ideas that selling our federal land would help the economy. It would help line their pockets. They spoke like MAGA-ists and John Birchers.

If you don’t think they’re ingrained, just ask them for open ballots. Their power grabbing is down to locker room antics of who has the larger sign. They want a non-secular state to be under a God, with Trump in mind. It was laughable that they equate liberals (as in Democrats) with communists, but think nothing of the fascist ideologues among them.

Sue Koller Cocolalla

May 2, 2024 / R / 9
many career politicians in North Idaho… Volunteers spend quality time at the Food Bank. Photo by Ben Olson.

Science: Mad about

wild and successful military tactics, part 1

Warfare encapsulates all of the worst tendencies of humankind into an age-old chain of tragic stories. Amid their chapters, subplots and characters, some of those stories took unbelievably strange turns by applying insane tactical measures that were met with incredible success. No guts, no glory as they say.

As our species is currently embroiled in a number of major conflicts that are tearing apart lives in various places around the world, we’re going to avoid discussing anything in the news. If you’re curious about those, please be responsible in sourcing your information and respectful about how you talk about the conflicts and the people involved.

The Battle of Alesia — 52 B.C.E.

Looking back at antiquity, there were a host of wacky tactics employed by ancient battlefield generals, and Julius Caesar was chief among them.

This battle took place in September 52 B.C.E. during the Gallic Wars. Caesar had just routed the Gallic king Vercingetorix and pressed his force into a fortified settlement in modern-day AliseSainte-Reine, central France. This settlement stood between two rivers, which would make it a prime defensive location for the Gauls.

Walls and rivers made it difficult for cavalry to cross and utilize their greatest advantage: speed. It also produced logistical challenges for infantry units trying to cross. Infantry would be forced to cross at fords where the water

was lowest, slowing them, dampening them and leaving them open to arrow fire — or they’d have to cross over bridges, which could make them susceptible to fire or siege weapons like onagers.

Vercingetorix chose this location very intentionally to draw in the Romans and trap them between the rivers as a second Gallic army came from the south. He intended to pincer the Romans, force them to fight on two fronts and overwhelm them there. Which is exactly what he did, except for the fact that Caesar’s forces knew of the impending attack and built defensive fortifications of their own surrounding the settlement.

Caesar was sieging one target while being actively besieged by another. Essentially, the Romans were the delicious creamy center of a big siege Oreo. Two different rows of trenches were built and watchtowers were erected to monitor the movements of the Gallic relief army.

Numerous skirmishes and assaults occurred as the Gauls tried to break the Roman defenses; however, the Roman siege works were too much to overcome and the relief army broke apart, only to be chased down and slaughtered by Roman cavalry.

As hope diminished, Vercingetorix surrendered to Caesar. He was held captive, paraded before crowds of cheering Romans and eventually garrotted in 46 B.C.E. Things worked out pretty well for Caesar, up until he got stabbed to death.

Battle of Castle Itter — May 5, 1945

The success of this tactic is largely dependent on who

you’re rooting for in this conflict. Major Josef Gangl of the Wehrmacht was working with the Austrian Resistance at the tail end of World War II. Much of the Wehrmacht and the SS had abandoned the town of Wörgl and the remainder, led by Gangl, had disobeyed orders from the SS to rejoin their ranks and instead defected to the Austrian resistance.

Actively at war with American soldiers and now a traitor to the SS that would have them killed, the soldiers were stuck between a rock and a hard place. The U.S. was making its way to siege Castle Itter, which had been converted by the SS into a prison camp under the authority of the Dachau concentration camp. It was in Castle Itter that a number of high-profile French prisoners of war were held, including the French tennis star Jean Borotra.

Most of the guards had fled in advance of the Americans at this point, and the French prisoners armed themselves with munitions left in the castle. They knew it wouldn’t be enough, and a division of SS grenadiers was headed straight for the castle in an attempt to gain an advantageous position over the incoming American tanks.

Based on information about the advancing American and SS troops that he received from the castle’s cook, Gangl was forced into making his decision and rode headlong to the U.S. forces, waving the white flag.

Rather than completely surrendering, he traveled with the soldiers to the castle just before the SS siege began. The Americans barricaded the gate with an M4 Sherman tank, convened with the French prisoners and set up a defense.

A coalition of roughly 40 people — French, American and Wehrmacht — banded together to fight off the SS attackers until Allied relief arrived and surrounded the SS soldiers, capturing about 100 men.

Gangl was killed by an SS sniper during the battle, but it marked one of only two instances in the war when American and Wehrmacht soldiers fought side by side. Perhaps one of the most

astounding parts of this battle was that Borotra managed to flee the castle three times — including the final time through hordes of soldiers engaged in a firefight — without being wounded. It must have been difficult to run so fast, being weighed down by guts of steel.

Check back next week for some of the wildest military tactics ever seen in human history.

Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner

• Crocs were first released in 2002 in Florida (of course). Styled after Dutch clogs and marketed as boat shoes, they were unveiled at the 43rd annual Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. The 200 pairs available at the first release sold out right away, and since then, 850 million pairs have sold worldwide.

• When Idiocracy came out in 2006, Crocs hadn’t yet become popular. Director Mike Judge decided to make all of his characters in the future wear Crocs because the film’s producers thought they looked futuristic, yet too stupid-looking to ever catch on in real life. Chalk that up as another of the prescient elements in Idiocracy. “What if by the time the movie comes out, these things are everywhere, and it doesn’t look like we’re set in the future?” Judge asked his wardrobe stylist. She replied, “Oh, no, that’s never going to happen.”

• Crocs aren’t made of rubber or plastic. The material is called

Croslite, which is waterproof, breathable and conforms to the wearer’s feet.

• Designer clothing company Balenciaga released a luxury line of Crocs, including versions with high heels, four-inch platform heels, full boots and other monstrosities. They retail for anywhere from $400 to $2,000 each. And yes, they are all ugly.

• For those who wish for an annual day to celebrate their favorite footwear, National Croc Day is Oct. 23.

• Crocs has introduced several unusual designs, including one by Kentucky Fried Chicken, which features a fried chicken print and two drumsticks placed on the top of the shoes. Okaaay.

• When COVID hit in 2020, Crocs was one of the companies that benefited, increasing their earnings 73% in 2021 from the same period in 2020.

10 / R / May 2, 2024
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Itter Castle. Courtesy photo.

BGH Healing Garden annual clean up day scheduled

Beginning and expert gardeners are invited to bring their gardening tools to the Bonner General Health Community Healing Garden for the annual Clean Up the Garden Day on Saturday, May 4, beginning at 9 a.m.

The BGH Healing Garden serves as a place of solace for those seeking peace or as a tranquil retreat in difficult times. It also honors and remembers loved ones who are no longer with us.

However, funded and maintained entirely by donations of dollars and labor, the volunteer pool has been dwindling over the past several years.

“I have a deep love for the garden and want it to go on for many years, but we can’t continue to maintain the garden without more help,” stated Mary Anne Jeffries, who has been working in the Healing Garden for more than 18 years. “Our volunteers are getting older and want to turn it over to others who are ready and willing to keep the garden going for our community. Without more volunteers, I’m not sure what will happen. This is my last year and I want to see the garden thrive but I can’t do it without more volunteers.”

The garden is divided up into easy to work sections and volunteers can choose a section and work it from spring through fall. The section leader is responsible for getting volunteers to help in their selected garden plot. Volunteers need to bring their own gardening implements and BGH will supply the rest.

In particular, organizers stated that they are looking for someone to maintain the rose bushes throughout the season as well as someone to water the garden on a regular basis.

“Stroll the grounds of the garden and surround yourself with the beauty of nature,” BGH stated. “Young or old, solemn or joyous, in sickness or in health, the Healing Garden will wrap its arms around you.”

For more information and to get involved, contact BGH Volunteer Services Coordinator Kate McAlister at 208-2651159 or email at To make a donation, go to

May 2, 2024 / R / 11 COMMUNITY


Groups go to court to get wolves relisted in Montana and Idaho

Lawsuit against Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM argue hunting policies imperil wolf populations

A prediction, several years in the making, came true on April 8 when an alliance of nearly a dozen conservation groups filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, seeking to restore protections for gray wolves in Montana and Idaho, arguing that both states’ aggressive hunting policies imperil the populations.

Montana and Idaho officials were warned by conservation groups and public testimony that the aggressive hunting policies both states adopted, which were similar, would trigger lawsuits, and possibly result in the federal government reassuming wolf management, instead of allowing both states to manage the wolf population.

Undeterred by the criticism, the Montana and Idaho legislatures, controlled by a supermajority of Republicans, loosened hunting restrictions and the wolf populations in both states started a more rapid decline, alarming wildlife conservation groups.

But in a new lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Missoula, the 10 groups say that not only do the newly adopted state wolf management rules set the gray wolves on a path to near extinction and poor genetics, but both states also use faulty, if not bogus, statistics to justify their management plans.

The suit claims that both states have taken parallel approaches to rapidly decrease the number of wolves, a species that enjoys the protection of the Endangered Species Act in all states except portions of Oregon, Utah and Washington, and all of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The suit focuses on Montana and Idaho because of their large wolf populations and aggressive management change, brought about in 2021:

“In 2021, the state legisla-

tures in Montana and Idaho each passed legislation intended to decrease the size of the wolf populations in their states. These new regulations allow for extension of hunting season lengths, increase or remove bag limits, legalize new harvest methods and include additional opportunities for reimbursement of legal killing of wolves. In Idaho and Montana, hunters and trappers can request ‘reimbursement’ for expenses, including truck or ATV, firearm and clothing purchases associated with the killing of wolves by reporting their wolf kills and submitting receipts to the state department of fish and game.”

Not only does the lawsuit claim that both states’ purpose is to rapidly decrease the wolf population through hunting, which they say will result in a weaker population in the long-term due to the lack of genetic diversity, the lawsuit says that Montana and Idaho are using shoddy science to justify their stances.

Bad science to estimate wolf populations?

In Montana, the integrated patch occupancy model, or iPOM, has come under fire previously. However, the technique once again will be at issue in this lawsuit.

The iPOM model estimates wolf populations in the Treasure State.

“iPOM estimates may not be appropriate for estimating abundance and developing management strategies at a smaller spatial scale (such as in specific hunting management areas adjacent to Yellowstone National Park). The Service stated iPOM estimates of wolf abundance are higher than those other patch occupancy models,” according to the lawsuit.

But in new research conducted in 2023, the conservation groups argue that the iPOM techniques are “biased and fundamentally flawed,” because Montana is so large that the estimator can lead to “misappli-

cation and underreporting of the model’s estimate of variance.”

A 2021 study concluded that “Montana’s iPOM estimates are biased and result in population estimation errors. [The study’s author] explains that because Montana’s iPOM estimator underestimates territory size, its result overestimates the number of packs that occupy a fixed area, and thus overestimates population size.”

Meanwhile, since 2019, Idaho has used a space-toevent model, which uses cameras to count wolf detections and then uses that to estimate the number of wolves across the state. However, the lawsuit said that Idaho is misusing the model because space-to-event models depend on certain assumptions, including that the cameras are placed randomly, that each observation is independent of another and that all animals within the viewshed of the camera are photographed.

“Idaho currently places their cameras for the STE model non-randomly in order to enhance the likelihood of detection, which is a violation of STE assumptions,” the lawsuit said. “Idaho uses motion-triggered cameras instead of time-lapse cameras, which also adds bias. It is not known how well estimates from Idaho’s STE model compares to the true numbers of the wolves in the state.”

odds with modern professional wildlife management,’” the lawsuit stated.

Humans, hunting causing population to plummet

The lawsuit contends that even with the flawed science that is causing confusion and uncertainty about the true numbers of wolves in Idaho and Montana, that both states report a significant decline in the wolf population since 2020.

The federal and state governments acknowledge that the main cause of the population plunge is because of more aggressive wolf hunting. As much as 80% of wolf deaths in the U.S. are caused by hunting, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, coupled with research from 2023, concludes that while the reductions in wolves may not yet be approaching the level where the very existence of wolves in Idaho and Montana is threatened, it has been reduced so significantly that the result translates into a huge reduction in the diversity of genetics, which threaten the long-term viability of wolves in both states.

the state. “The Service misinterpreted and misapplied, and failed to consult and apply the best available science on minimum population size population estimation methodologies. Plaintiffs provided these studies to the Service before the agency issued its ‘not warranted’ finding.”

The groups leveled the blame not just at the individual states and legislators, but also the Biden administration and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, who faces a tight re-election battle to keep his seat.

“Let’s get right to the point,” said Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies. “The end goal of the wolf ‘management plans’ in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming is to once again exterminate them from the Northern Rockies. They think the only good wolf is a dead wolf.”

Both federal agencies have a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

The lawsuit points out that even the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service admits that there is no way to correct the models or compute a more accurate number from both states, and has denounced the way Montana and Idaho have used the models.

“In a press release, the Service stated, ‘The states of Montana and Idaho recently adopted laws and regulations designed to substantially reduce the gray wolf populations in their states using means and measures that are at

“While gray wolves may fall above minimum effective population sizes needed to avoid extinction due to inbreeding depression in the short-term, they are below sizes predicted to be necessary to avoid long-term risk of extinction,” the lawsuit claims.

The suit also faults the Fish and Wildlife Service for making its determination that wolves need no additional protections in Montana and Idaho, based on just one full hunting season.

“The Service did not utilize the best available science on gray wolf population numbers and the impacts of human-caused mortality,” the suit claimed, while asking the court to restore protections in

“The Biden administration and its Fish and Wildlife Service is complicit in the horrific war on wolves being waged in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana,” stated George Nickas, executive director of co-plaintiff Wilderness Watch. “Idaho is fighting to open airstrips all over the backcountry, including in designated wilderness, to get more hunters to wipe out wolves in their most remote hideouts. Montana is resorting to night hunting and shooting over bait and Wyoming has simply declared an open season. It’s unfortunate that citizens have to turn to the courts, but it seems that like their state counterparts, federal officials have lost all reverence or respect for these iconic wilderness animals.”

The Daily Montanan is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Follow The Daily Montanan on Facebook, X and

12 / R / May 2, 2024

The importance of following up

Three weeks ago, residents of Sagle learned of an effort by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to evaluate some alternatives for Highway 95 improvements. This came as quite a surprise to those contacted, and prompted understandable concerns. This paper did a great feature article on the issue.

Last fall the ITD held a meeting in Sagle to “freshen up” its highway plans — the last full update was in 2010. Feedback was taken and a preliminary option (not discussed last fall) has been developed. This new option reroutes the highway through housing areas, across farmland and very close to an elementary school. It includes a longer path to get from one end of Sagle to the other and avoids most of the commercial areas of Sagle.

I have followed this issue since learning of it: becoming a follower on social media, meeting and speaking with some of the involved parties, meeting with ITD staff in Hayden, contacting the governor’s office and doing research on the ITD website. There is much more for me (and all

of us) to learn. I will stay engaged in this important issue.

ITD officials have stated they are evaluating several options and looking for feedback from our community. They stressed they will be working over the summer and plan to have a public meeting to share information and gather more feedback in September. Until then, ITD will be doing continued planning and evaluating on this corridor.

Sagle residents who have organized their concerns into a community effort have been asking for residents to write the ITD with their concerns. They are correct in their direction for our area residents. A Facebook page has started and continues to be very active.

ITD administrators have confirmed that letter writing, emails or calls are the best ways for residents’ concerns to be submitted and recorded. They stressed the importance of residents being constructive with their messaging

Idaho voters are now the only check on GOP extremism

Our branches of government are designed to provide checks and balances. When the Idaho Legislature commits overreach, cruelty or foolishness, the governor’s veto pen is the first line of defense. Unfortunately, Gov. Brad Little is not up to the task of curbing rising extremism or even stopping sloppy bills with disastrous consequences. Recent court decisions also demonstrate how much damage the Legislature can exact. It all adds up to this: Idaho voters must be vigilant and check legislative power by voting out lawmakers harming our state.

Gov. Little has firsthand experience with the current Legislature’s disinterest in solving problems. Last year, it came to light that a bill consolidating our state primary and presidential primary elections had a flaw that inadvertently undid our ability to hold presidential primary elections. Little proceeded to sign the bill, knowing about this error. While a clean-up bill was in the works, Idaho GOP Chair Dorothy Moon easily flexed her power to stop it. This stuck us with presidential caucuses that are much more cumbersome to voters.

Little ought to have remembered

this a few weeks ago when faced with a bill designed to insert the Legislature into the management of Medicaid. He knew it would cause immediate chaos and put more than $100 million for nursing home care for seniors and other services at risk. Still, he signed this unnecessary and terrible bill while imploring the Legislature to pass a fix on what was anticipated to be the last day of the session. Predictably, the Legislature adjourned for the year, putting medical services in jeopardy.

As harmful as these examples are, they seem quaint when compared to the onslaught of extremist legislation that Little has signed, like criminalizing medical care and attacking voting rights. Last year, Little vetoed the atrocious

book bounty bill that would reward the harassment of libraries with cash. The Idaho GOP subsequently approved a “no confidence” vote in the governor. When similar legislation reached his desk this year, he “signed that stinkin’ library bill,” as he told a reporter.

The Idaho Republican Party will only become more tyrannical as it finds bullying lawmakers with tribunals and sanctions effectively moves them to extreme positions they wouldn’t otherwise take. But there is hope.

Idaho has seen great leaders from both sides of the aisle, such as Cecil Andrus and Phil Batt, who boldly led rather than following the whims of their parties. They shared a commitment to doing what they thought was right, even when it meant standing up to those closest to them.

This type of leadership cannot be relegated to history because Idaho needs it more than ever. I’m unsure we can find it in today’s Idaho Republican Party.

Rep. Lauren Necochea is the House assistant Democratic leader, representing District 19 in Boise on the Environment, Energy and Technology; Resources and Conservation; Revenue and Taxation; and Ways and Means committees.

and opinions.

It is critical to understand that ITD does not monitor non-ITD social media pages or groups or the associated comments, so any comments made through those channels are not being captured as input for this planning project.

It is also important to know that additional opportunities for periods of official public comment will be available following this fall’s public meeting events as well, and that comment period will be the most appropriate and effective way to ensure your thoughts, opinions and concerns regarding this project are heard.

The project email address info@ and the dedicated project hotline is 208243-9326. Mail comments by letter to: ITD, 600 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815.

Rep. Mark Sauter is a Republican legislator representing District 1A. He serves on the Agricultural Affairs; Education; and Judiciary, Rules and Administration committees.

May 2, 2024 / R / 13 PERSPECTIVES
Mark Sauter. File photo. Lauren Necochea. File photo.

Fundraiser for local arts celebrates the work of Sandra Salo Deutchman

The work of renowned painter Sandra Salo Deutchman will be the focus of a new exhibition from the Pend Oreille Arts Council, which will host a free opening reception Friday, May 3 from 5-7 p.m. at its gallery at 313 N. Second Ave., in downtown Sandpoint.

Deutchman — formerly of Sandpoint, now of Oregon — is celebrated throughout the Pacific Northwest for her evocative use of color and form, which curator Johanna Hays described as“semi-abstract.”

“She has a well-defined, unique style that can easily be recognized by those familiar with her work,” POAC Arts Coordinator Claire Christy told the Reader. “Each mark is intentional and methodical, placing the viewer in meditation as they trace the detailed forms.”

Deutchman served as a professor of fine arts at Washington State University until she retired in 2000, but despite her long career and mastery of the acrylic and gouache mediums, she very rarely displays her work.

The POAC exhibition — which will run through Saturday, June 1 — stems from Dutchman’s desire to give back to the community, with the entire collection donated and all proceeds from

sales going to benefit local high school art programs.

“Visual arts education is a vital, often under-funded subject in Idaho schools,” wrote Christy, adding that, “Any art lover will appreciate her work, but this exhibition will appeal to those drawn to color, texture and organic forms. I would especially encourage those who are looking for a new piece for their home or office.”

14 / R / May 2, 2024
Sandra Salo Deutchman’s piece, “At Dusk.”

A partner in healing

Equine & Evolve healing sessions come to Sandpoint for a limited time

With a nearly 30-year career dedicated to wellness and spiritual restoration, Lauren Ruby is a sought-after healer from coast to coast. Her passion to guide individuals through physical, emotional and spiritual transitions led her to establish Equine & Evolve, a series of retreats coming to Sandpoint from Sunday-Wednesday, June 2-5 and June 9-12, in which participants partner with horses to inspire personal, lasting change.

“I started volunteering at a horse rescue and in that process I got inspired to do this type of interaction with a horse that’s ‘at liberty,’ which means that you’re with a horse with no halter or lead lines,” Ruby told the Reader. “You develop such a relationship of trust and connection with this horse that the horse, all on their own, is choosing to interact with you.”

Ruby experienced profound change after seeking out equine companionship on her own healing journey, and shortly after earned her Equine Assisted Coaching Certificate so that she could share her experience with others.

“Horses become these amazing partners in our healing process, or just our personal growth journey, because they’re herd animals, and that enables them to communicate through energy and body language,” said Ruby.

“The field that they emit energy through is five times larger than ours, so they have the ability to feel our emotions way sooner than we feel theirs. Their physical heart is around five times bigger than ours, and they can hear our heartbeat from four feet away.”

Horses’ ability to hear human heart rates allows them to sense emotions like anxiety, and can therefore respond to suppressed feelings, according to Ruby. They’re especially attuned to emotional changes and often support humans as service animals or partners in physical and psychotherapy.

“There’s this thing that’s called co-regulation, and it also happens

with people and your animals at home,” Ruby told the Reader. “Our energy system and our nervous system will match theirs, and vice versa, so that becomes this really unique place of connection. When we’re in a coaching or healing session, the horses hold this space of calm, where we have the ability to drop our nervous system into a much softer, healing place.”

Their natural regulatory ability and emotional honesty make horses valuable allies during Ruby’s exercises, which employ guided meditation and physical tasks to overcome limiting patterns and belief systems that prevent people from moving forward in life. Sometimes participants will use the repetitive motions of grooming to meditate on problems while others might lead their horse through a course representing their spiritual or emotional journey. Regardless of the situation, you’ll never ride a horse at an Equine & Evolve retreat.

“Horses are in a place that, when they come into contact with humans a lot of their lives, there are expectations of how they’re going to perform and what we’re going to be asking of them. When we partner with them in this healing way, they actually get to show up how they want to — they can just give and receive love,” said Ruby.

The Sandpoint retreats are limited to five people and designed for women over the age of 18, though male applicants will be considered for the June 2-5 session. Participants will have their own room and ensuite, and chef Alana Joy Eckhart will cater every meal with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

“The perfect participant would be anyone in a space of transition. I’m always in a space of transition because I’m always looking to step into that continual version of myself where I’m more alive and authentic,” said Ruby.

Whether seeking greater happiness and confidence, stepping out of an old relationship or career, or simply wishing to form community and lasting relationships in a safe space, Ruby tailors her retreats to best suit the needs of the group. The entire session, including room and board, costs $3,500. Register by early May at

“It’s my intention and my life’s work to hold space where people can show up, heal and create the lives they want,” said Ruby. “Every time I get to share the horses in that way, it’s such an incredible gift to me, and I feel so honored to be able to participate in people’s transformations.”

May 2, 2024 / R / 15
Lauren Ruby and her equine partner. Courtesy photo.

Women in the Woods field day planned

Event to offer hands-on training for forestland owners

Men in beards and flannel move over, women are headed into the forest for the second annual Women in the Woods Field Day, Friday, May 10 in Sandpoint.

While the event is open to everyone, this opportunity provides a wide range of training geared for women by women foresters to give them handson experience, inspiring more active participation in managing family-owned forests.

The event will be facilitated by women foresters from the Idaho Department of Lands and University of Idaho Extension but will include women instructors from a variety of agencies.

The Kaniksu Land Trust will be sponsoring lunch and hosting the event at Pine Street Woods community forest.

“We had a fabulous event in April with nearly 30 attendees participating

in the Women in the Woods workshop,” stated Erika Eidson, IDL Forest Health specialist and workshop co-host. “Landowners brought in photos of their forest and received personalized management assistance from the fleet of instructors.

“The field day is another opportunity to interact with professional women foresters on the ground,” she added.

“We will work in small groups so it’s easy to ask questions and gain confidence in managing family forests.”

There are new topics and tracks this year, including forest management and forest ecology. This year, participants may choose to focus on one area for half of the day.

Attendees will be out in the woods, rotating through different exercises covering forest assessment and forestry work on the ground.

Attending the previous workshop is not a requirement.

The field day will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at the Pine Street Woods. There is a $10 registration fee, and lunch will be provided. Scheduled activities include tree identification, insect and disease, tree measurements and marking, forestry tools, thinning and pruning, wildfire

safety, understory plants, wildlife habitats and soils.

Register online by Friday, May 3 by visiting Direct questions to Audra Cochran at or 208-937-2311.

PSNI’s greenhouse set to open May 6

Every gardener in the panhandle has been itching to don their gloves and set their trowels to work planting, but the weather forecasters keep cautioning against it. Well, it now looks like the wait is over, and Panhandle Special Needs, Inc.’s greenhouse is more than ready to provide them with an abundance of plants for all gardens.

Opening Monday, May 6, the Greenhouse, at 1424 N. Boyer Ave., in Sandpoint, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week.

“When I took over the greenhouse six years ago, the clients and I had 50 baskets to sell. We now have 400,” Work Services Manager Kim Derr said.

Derr and PSNI clients — all adults who are developmentally challenged — made 87 of the baskets. The rest were procured, but it’s been the diligent watering, deadheading and gentle caring that has made them flourish and ready to grace your home.

Derr said that between two and four clients are working in the greenhouse with her every day, learning skills that may one day be applied toward working in the community.

“Besides gardening skills, clients are taught customer service skills, how to be on time and how to follow directions,” Derr said. “Along with learning employment skills, they learn good hygiene. That’s a big one.”

The greenhouse features hanging flower baskets, along with vegetables, perennials, annuals and tomatoes.

“When I first started, we planted some onions, sunflowers and nasturtiums. Now we’ve expanded with Early Girl, Sun Sugar and cherry tomatoes, which are all very popular. There’s

also zucchini, peppers, radishes and peas,” Derr said.

PSNI’s Work Services is dedicated to developing opportunities for people with disabilities in Bonner and Boundary counties. They help more than 200 clients each year learn to live, work and play more independently.

For more information about PSNI, visit

16 / R / May 2, 2024 OUTDOORS
Courtesy photo. Panhandle Special Needs clients John Painter (left) and Christie Hampton (right) get plants ready for sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 6 at PSNI’s greenhouse, 1424 N. Boyer Ave., in Sandpoint.


Cinco de Mayo Block Party builds a brighter future

Leadership Sandpoint’s annual Cinco de Mayo event supports NAMI

Leadership Sandpoint is hosting a Cinco de Mayo fiesta Sunday, May 5 on Main Street from noon to 4 p.m., raising funds benefiting the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and their goal of creating a safe, healing space for community members with severe mental illness.

NAMI’s planned Sand Creek Clubhouse project will serve approximately 4,000 people, giving them the opportunity to form lasting connections and reintegrate into society.

“Much like a patient with a broken leg will need physical therapy, those recovering from crises and acute disruptions need time and expertise to transition back into normal activities, something that most families cannot facilitate financially or skillfully on their own,” NAMI Far North President Dawn Mehra told the Reader. “Many individuals, including our loved community members, are currently underserved.”

Other branches of Clubhouse International have already reported the benefits of their model, including reduced hospitalization and incarceration rates. During their time at the Clubhouse, community members can take and eventually teach classes and work toward overall healthier lives.

Admission to the block party is free, but attendees can donate to the Clubhouse by enjoying the fare from local restaurants and participating in auctions

and raffles. Take home a Schweitzer season pass, wagon full of booze or many other prizes — or just enjoy a margarita served up by 113 Main.

There will be activities for the whole family, and DJ Kim Owens of Sand Creek Sound will bring the tunes to round out the day.

“Sand Creek Clubhouse fills a crucial gap by providing early transitional care and psychosocial rehabilitation, which is most effective at the onset of mental illness and focused on recovery,” wrote Mehra. “This approach gives individuals the best chance at restoring their sense of purpose, community and well-being, which are often lost when mental illness strikes.”

For more information on NAMI, visit

Eichardt’s Cinco de Mayo taco feed to support music program

Eichardt’s Pub will host the sixth annual Cinco de Mayo taco feed and fundraiser on Sunday, May 5 from noon-5 p.m. in the alley just west of Eichardt’s (212 Cedar St., in Sandpoint).

The annual event is a local favorite, with proceeds benefiting Music Bridges Borders, an international exchange program that brings young musicians from Mexico to Sandpoint, where they perform and offer instruction to local music students. It’s an exchange program that not only shares music talents across bor-

ders, but also introduces new culture.

“The beauty of Music Bridges Borders is the international relationships, which are built and nurtured by the reciprocal ebb and flow of giving and receiving between communities,” said Music Bridges Borders board member Sandi Nizzoli. “Like music, the program continues to be a language of deepening human connection.”

The family friendly event will celebrate Mexican-American culture with a taco feed, margaritas and cerveza provided by Eichardt’s, as well as salsa dance lessons and general merriment.

May 2, 2024 / R / 17
The new NAMI Far North clubhouse in Sandpoint. Courtesy photo.

Send event listings to


Toast to Pride • 5pm @ Matchwood Brewing Co. Hors d’oeuvres, drinks, speakers and live music with Thrown Out Bones and Katelyn Shook. Fundraiser for Sandpoint Pride Festival. See ad Page 21

Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts (country)

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz

7-9pm @ The Back Door

Kendal Mountain Tour 2024 7pm @ Panida Theater

The U.K.’s biggest adventure film festival, with funds benefiting local filmmaker

Live Music w/ Justin Lantrip

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Live Music w/ The Endless Switchbacks

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs (acoustic)

6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Music w/ Double Shot Band

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Yotes (rockabilly, rock)

6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

Live Music w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon

Live Music w/ Liam McCoy Trio

8-11pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

GTS Xpress pipeline protest and talk

9am-1pm @ Gardenia Center

Hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Magic with Star Alexander

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

May 2 - 9, 2024

Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan

FriDAY, may 3

Live Music w/ Copper Mountain Band

9pm @ The Hive (country music)

Art Reception: Sandra Deutchman

5-7pm @ POAC Gallery, 313 N. Second

Sandy’s amazing art collection has been donated to fund LPOSD art programs

Live Music w/ Thompson Trio

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge


Open House: 50th anniversary

2-4pm @ Sandpoint Senior Center

Free food and drinks to celebrate Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc.’s 50th!

Spring Fling at Magpie Market

10am-2pm @ The Magpie, 30340 Hwy 200

Local creators and makers of all kinds, every Saturday until May 18

Spring Craft Market & Bingo Night

9am @ Sandpoint Church of God

Craft fair with local artisans. Bingo starts at 4pm. Benefits SCOG Youth Fund

Sun Daddy Drum Circle

4-7pm @ Sandpoint City Beach pavilion

Open to all. Bring your own chair

Repeater and Quarterpoint film showing 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

A surf film and mountain bike film, free

SunDAY, may 5

Leadership Sandpoint Cinco de Mayo

12-4pm @ 113 Main St. block

A block party in downtown Sandpoint to help support NAMI Far North. Live music, raffle, auction and family activities. Free to attend

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Outdoor Experience Group Run

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

monDAY, may 6

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Hosted by Alaina

Health Hikes • 8:30-9:15am @ Pine Street Woods

Experience the health, happiness and community connection of hiking in your community forest. A 45-min nature hike with a local medical professional talking about a current health topic

LPOSD Bike to School Day

7am @ LPOSD schools

Raise awareness to create safer routes for bikes

Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Live Music w/ Headwaters (bluegrass)

6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ

Spring into Dover (May 3-4)

12-7pm @ Nutlicious, 25820 Hwy. 2 Dover

Local crafters and vendors on hand, try new flavors of Nutlicious hazelnut spreads

Live Music w/ Jake Robin

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Friends of the Library monthly book sale

10am-2pm @ Sandpoint Library

Sci-fi and fantasy 4/$1, and amazing collections of children’s and YA books

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market opening day 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

It’s back! Fresh produce and artisan goods from local producers. Held every Sat. 9am-1pm and every Wed. 3-5pm

Ponderay Bike Rodeo

11am-1pm @ McNearney Park

BBQ 12-2pm, bring bike or scooter. Bike safey check and minor repairs offered. Learn bike safety

Love Local Cabi clothing donation event 10am-12:30pm @ Umpqua Community Ctr

New Cabi clothing items will be available for women free of cost!

Cinco de Mayo fundraiser & taco feed

12-5pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Family style taco feed and silent auction benefiting Music Bridges Borders. Food, drinks, games & salsa dancing lessons

Money Monday: Home Buying

5:30-6:30pm @ Sandpoint Library

Learn about the biggest investment of your life

tuesDAY, may 7

Music Matters! Children performing for Children 6pm @ Panida Theater

Music R Us is a free event featuring a compilation of selections performed by students in the Music Matters! Orchestra and choirs. $5

wednesDAY, May 8

KNPS Annual Native Plant Sale

9am-12pm @ Arboretum (Lakeview Park)

This year’s offerings: trees, shrubs and flowering perennials

Artist Reception: Evergreen Art Collective 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Stop in to see the art and drink wine!

Live Piano w/ Peter Lucht 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Live Trivia

6pm @ Connie’s $5/person

Piano w/Carson Rhodes 5-7pm @ PO Winery

Tapas Night

6-8pm @ IPA Free tapas!

TEAM Spelling Bee 6-7:30pm @ IPA

ThursDAY, may 9

Master Piano Class w/ Tien Hsieh

6pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

MCS and POAC partner to bring a master piano class from host Tien Hsieh

Bingo Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan

Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s

18 / R / May 2, 2024

Falling for Fallout

Amazon series based on the legendary video game is a masterpiece of satirical action-horror

It’s either a testament to the showrunner’s art or the flabbiness of contemporary American creativity that two of the most exciting smallscreen streaming series in recent memory were born out of video games. In this case, I’m going to go with the former.

First there was The Last of Us, based on the 2020 post-apocalyptic action-adventure roleplaying game of the same name and premiering as a series starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsay on HBO in 2023. Now there is Fallout on Amazon Prime, which is accomplishing something vanishingly rare in the world of remakes, reboots, sequels, prequels and adaptations: pleasing its longtime fans. And they are legion.

For those who are unaware, the Fallout franchise is generally regarded as a pioneering, best-in-class example of both the genre and style of game depicting the survival of a hard-bitten hero pitted against a world shattered by war, disease or any other variety of armageddon.

The original Fallout hit the scene in 1997, introducing players to the post-nuclear wasteland of the late 21st century — dotted with shanty towns full of desperate radiated drifters, mutant animals roaming the blasted deserts and vaults buried beneath the surface populated by a generation of humans who’ve never seen the sun.

In the divergent universe of Fallout, the bombs fell in 2077 amid a global conflict that saw China invade Alaska and the U.S. annex Canada in a struggle over resources. While the wealthy and well-connected were able to escape into the vaults to weather the end-times in a culture frozen forever in a kind of latter-day Cold War Americana, the remnants of humanity devolved and evolved in various ways — into quasi-zombies called ghouls, Mad Max-style dieselpunk raiders, cannibalistic drifters, religio-fascist “knights” of a techno-fueled brotherhood and everything in between.

In the original game — and now the streaming series — the protagonist is a “vault dweller” who must leave the safety of their subterranean home to fulfill a critical mission.

In the 1997 Fallout it’s to find a computer chip that will keep Vault 13’s

water system functioning. In the show — set in the year 2296 — our hero is Lucy McLean (Ella Purnell), who must recover a piece of high technology implanted in the head of a scientist and deliver it to a mysterious political leader named Moldaver (Sarita Choudhury). Lucy must do this in order to save her father, the “overseer” of Vault 33 (played by Kyle MacLachlan) who has been kidnapped after a raid.

Along the way, she learns about the horrors of the surface while making new friends like Maximus — a squire masquerading as a knight of the Brotherhood of Steel (Aaron Moten) — and enemies like The Ghoul, a.k.a. Cooper Howard, who had once been a star of the silver screen but transformed into a radioactive bounty hunter who has wandered the poisoned earth for more than 200 years, kept alive by some kind of serum (and played with series-stealing complexity by Walton Goggins).

Drawing on 22 installments, expansions and variants of the video game published from 1997 to 2018, there is a Yucca Mountain-worth of lore to draw from in the Fallout streaming series, which it delivers with astonishing depth.

From the incongruous mid-century-style easy listening soundtrack to the irradiated culture of the 23rd century — where Nuka Cola caps are money — creators Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner are clearly committed fans of the world built by the franchise over the course of its almost three decades.

Gorgeous to look at (seriously, every scene and set piece is meticulously tailored to fit with the Fallout aesthetic) and superbly paced and performed by writers and actors alike, the essential charm of Fallout is in its genuinely cutting satire of American exceptionalism. Brimming with gallows humor, the dark heart of both the game and the series is the essential hollowness of the tech-obsessed, consumerist-driven wasteland of the mind, body and soul that preceded the fictional apocalypse, and is currently precipitating the real-life one we’ll probably live to experience.

Put simply, Fallout the show is a more-than-worthy successor to the iconic, groundbreaking game at its core and a streaming series for our time. Watch all eight episodes of the first season on Amazon Prime.

May 2, 2024 / R / 19

Here I go again. I’m leaving this week to escort a small group of adventure-seeking ladies to Spain. When I travel, this column tends to have a mind of its own. If you don’t believe me, ask my esteemed Reader editor, Zach. When roaming the globe, I am rife with “the dog ate my homework” type excuses. I’ve never missed a deadline in 10-plus years, but wow — have I ever come close!

Usually, it is plane, train or remote resort-related internet issues when said advertised services are either weak or non-existent. Last fall, I was on a two-day journey aboard the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle. In my cozy little roomette, I relaxed and began stringing mostly cohesive words to form a column due the following day. Once 800 or so words were committed to (electronic) paper, I was ready to read, edit and send them off to Zach. About then, I learned most long-haul Amtrak trains still don’t have the beneficial satellite internet I’d become accustomed to on private rail cars.

I lamented my predicament to my less-than-internet-savvy car attendant and continued to wrack my brain for a solution. I finally remembered it was possible to use a cell phone as a hotspot device and (on my own!) figured out how to make that happen. It was a satisfying yet short-lived accomplishment. Before I could complete the task, we headed into the heavily forested wilds of the California-Oregon border, where my phone would be of no use. At one point, we had an upcoming 20-minute station

The Sandpoint Eater Rice is nice

stop and I had my work ready to email using the station’s internet connection. Grasping my not-so-trusty, aging computer, I headed into a station to make the connection, only to get cold feet and return to the train (more than once, I have seen travelers left behind while their belongings remained on the train that was quickly heading off in the distance). Finally, we reached Portland, and with much angst, I was able to submit my written labor.

I’ve also had power failures on planes and in foreign airports (inadvertently packing my adapter in checked luggage).

If I’m not traveling, I’m cooking and, more often than not, when coming up with a new recipe, my dinner guests have grown accustomed to waiting as I snap a few pictures and jot down some quick notes before we dine. These

pictures and notes travel with me, so I am always ready (or not) for the next column.

Luckily, I have more success with food than technology, and in more than 10 years’ worth of column recipes, I can only recall one epic fail. I hate wasting food, and if I’d changed the recipe’s title from Huckleberry-Lemon Muffins to Huckleberry-Lemon Pancakes, it might have been a save.

Last weekend, after months of anticipation, I spent time with daughters Ryanne and Casey (sans husbands and children) at Hill’s Resort in Priest Lake. We knew in advance that the restaurant would not yet be open, and I was happy to play the role of weekend chef. In anticipation, I planned, purchased and packed the goods into my trusty Ford Edge, before heading for Hill’s.

It was as idyllic as I had

imagined: a cozy old cabin on the water’s edge, with space to spread out and make ourselves home. I poured the special wine I’d been saving for everyone and began preparing a dish we love — panang curry with jasmine rice.

I’d done most of the prep at home; tofu for Casey, prawns for Ryanne and me, and a side of well-seasoned edamame. Well, folks, without curry paste, one cannot make curry. We searched high and low, on the car floor, in the myriad containers I’d brought along and even in the trash. The curry paste had evaporated into thin air somewhere between home and Hill’s.

Far from my well-stocked kitchen and the small local market that likely didn’t even carry curry paste, I did my best to create a new meal without using the limited ingredients for our other meals.

Coconut Lime Rice

Serves 4

Great side with stir fry bok choy, ginger pork or garlic shrimp. Recipe also works fine with rice cooker or oven cooking, follow your preferred directions.


• 2 cups white jasmine rice

• One 14 oz. can coconut milk (not water)

• 1 ¾ cup water

• ½ tsp salt

• 1 tbs. granulated sugar

• 1 lime, zested and juiced (save zest for garnish)

• ½ cup unsweetened shredded baking coconut (save some for garnish)

• 3-4 Kaffir lime leaves

• Thai basil

Rinse rice until water runs clear.

Stir the coconut milk in the can, so both the water and cream in the can are well mixed before adding to other ingredients.

Add coconut milk, water, salt, sugar, lime juice and lime leaves to heavy saucepan with tight-fitting lid. Bring to soft boil, stirring. Turn down the heat and add the rice and the coconut. Bring back to boil, stir, reduce heat, cover and and cook for about 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Let rest, covered, remove Kaffir leaves and fluff. Garnish rice with lime zest, coconut and Thai basil and serve. Store leftovers in covered container and refrigerate.

I improvised with tofu stir fry, grilled shrimp and coconut rice that was quite nice.

After consuming our delicious dinner and equally delicious wine, we discovered the internet would not cooperate (even the cell service needed to be more sketchy), severely limiting the girls’ Facetime communication with their home units. For once, I wasn’t under a column deadline and didn’t give a hoot about the failures of technology.

Alas, we had spare time for long walks, lengthy girl talks and second helpings of our new favorite side, coconut rice. It turned out so lovely that I decided it was worthy of column space. You can be the judge.

P.S. My next column will (hopefully) be dispatched from Madrid. Wish me luck.

20 / R / May 2, 2024 FOOD


Kendal Mountain Tour returns to Sandpoint

The Kendal Mountain Tour is returning to the Panida Theater for the second time since 2022, with screenings on Friday, May 3 of films featuring the adventure and great outdoors of Kendal, England, on the edge of the Lake District.

Celebrated as the United Kingdom’s biggest adventure film festival and held annually since 1980, it is venturing across the pond in nine U.S. cities including Sandpoint for 2024. Doors open at 6 p.m. with films starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $15 in advance and $17 at the door.

All tickets will be sold through the Panida Theater website at

For Sandpoint audiences, there will be eight films shown showcasing heart-stopping adventure, human resilience and daring feats of courage. Whether you’re an armchair adventurer or one that appreciates the challenges of the North Idaho outdoors, the films will ignite your sense of appreciation for the environment in which we live.

Film highlights include I Am Because You Are, in which six women embark on their premier mountaineering adventure in the Canadian Bugaboos. Also included is Flow, featuring two mountain biking brothers from mid-Wales who are taking on the British mountain bike scene.

Another film with a decidedly U.K. bent is Like Mother Like

Daughter, with Hannah Barnes sharing an inside look at her home life being a professional mountain bike rider as well as a mom wanting to share her love for the outdoors. The White Giant showcases Krister Kopala’s winter dedication to venture off the path of normal downhill ascents and take on the challenges of Jiehkkevárri, located in Norway’s Lyngen Alps.

The night is a benefit for local Sandpoint filmmaker Nicholas Harper-Johnston, or “Hyphen” as he’s known, who is embarking on a promising career in film production. Hyphen’s film Keep the Bike Moving, about the infamous BAJA 1,000 race, premiered in 2023 and he’s currently working on a follow-up project.

Hyphen told the Reader

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


Giant. Courtesy image.

he’s grateful for the support from Kendal Mountain Films organizer Michael Boge, who he referred to as “one of my biggest life mentors.”

“The action sports documentary filmmaking genre is totally my style,” he said. “I love seeing that passion.”

Visit for more info.

American Fiction chosen as $5 film at Panida Film festival to support local filmmaker

Moviegoers and film buffs are in for a treat Saturday, May 4, at the Panida Theater. The critically acclaimed American Fiction will be shown twice on Saturday — a matinee (close-captioned) at 2 p.m. and an evening showing at 7 p.m., with doors opening 30 minutes before the beginning of the film.

American Fiction follows the career of a novelist-professor who has yet to achieve

the notoriety he seeks. His novels have received mediocre attention, and sales have been underwhelming. Possibly his novels are not “Black” enough, he thinks, and so decides to pen a work titled My Pafology, pandering to all the stereotypes expected from a Black author: inner city woes, gang violence, drugs, non-traditional families and poverty.

To his surprise, a publisher offers him an advance, and his literary agent urges him to adopt the persona of a convict on the lam — “Stagg R.

Leigh.” Let the fun begin, and it certainly does.

American Fiction was nominated for five awards at the recent 96th Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Jeffrey Wright), Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown), Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Based on Percival Everett’s novel Erasure (2001), the film is the directorial debut of Cord Jefferson, who took home the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Washington Trust Bank is

sponsoring the screening of American Fiction, with tickets priced at $5.

Jim Healey is a longtime member of the board of directors for both the Panida Theater and 88.5 KRFY Panhandle Community Radio, as well as an avid film buff.

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Thrown Out Bones, Katelyn Shook; Matchwood Brewing; May 2

For San Francisco-based trio Thrown Out Bones, old friends really do make the best music. Lead singer/drummer Liliana Urbain fronts the band with explosive and infectious joy, supported by middle school bestie Nick Chang on gritty blues rock guitar and fellow high school band nerd Sam Miller on psychedelic and jam-centric bass.

The multi-genre group will play a special show at Toast to Pride at Matchwood Brewing on Thursday, May 2, along with guest musician Katelyn Shook.

— Ben Olson

5 p.m., $125+. Matchwood Brewing Co., 208-718-2739, 513 Oak St., Listen at,

Carson Rhodes, Pend d’Oreille Winery, May 7

Singer and pianist Carson Rhodes has a timeless style that takes inspiration from greats like Elton John and Billy Joel, adding a 2020s twist to classic ’70s vibes. His sound combines pop rock elements with funk or blues to create a catalog of originals and reimagined covers that run the gamut from upbeat to moody. Rhodes’ expertise

on the piano shines through, pairing perfectly with the Pend d’Oreille Winery’s drinks and small plates. Stop by Tuesday, May 7 for a toe-tapping evening.

— Soncirey Mitchell

5-7 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St. Ste.101, 208-265-8545, Listen on Spotify.

Every election is important, but this upcoming cycle has an unusual number of candidates vying for office from an uncharacteristically broad range of partisan angles: we have Republicans, of course, but also Democrats and even some independents. Read their candidate websites and read them thoroughly. Beyond that, read whatever you can find about them in questionnaires and forum reports from local media and other organizations. For instance, see our own on Pages 4-5.


Consider this your periodic reminder to listen to Honeysuckle — the upstate New York-based duo of Chris Bloniarz and our own Holly McGarry, of Sandpoint. Veterans of iconic venues like the Newport Jazz Festival and Lollapalooza, and winners of Boston Music Awards and NPR’s “Top 10 Bands,” Honeysuckle regularly releases music on YouTube (the recent “Band on the Run” cover is especially choice) and you can find more info at


Political satire bites hardest when set to music, and no American songwriter ever had sharper teeth than Tom Lehrer (who celebrated his 96th birthday on April 9). Educated at Harvard and a professor of mathematics and musical theater history at UCSC, he deploys all that brain power on every topic, from poisoning pigeons in the park to World War III. Watch at the Musical Comedy channel on YouTube: “Tom Lehrer EPIC Song Compilation.”

May 2, 2024 / R / 21
A screenshot from the film The White Courtesy image.

From Northern Idaho News, Nov. 21, 1907


An undertaking of some magnitude is now underway by the farmers and ranchers living in the low lands along the Pend d’Oreille, Clarkfork and Pack rivers and around Lake Pend d’Oreille. It will be an engineering feat of no small proportions, for the interested agriculturists are going to ask the state and the federal government to assist in the enterprise.

County Surveyor Jack Ashley has been employed to survey the grounds, make estimates and report in a thorough manner to United States Senators Borah and Heyburn and Representative French on the probable cost of lowering the falls at Albani Falls so that in times of the spring high water, the rivers and the lake would not rise to the height of covering the valuable bottom lands. In the estimates to be furnished, the expanse of putting in a lock at Albani Falls is also to be furnished. The lock would be used to preserve the waters in the river and the lake at a common height the year around, thus furnishing at all times a certain level, which would not in the least interrupt the workings of the different sawmill plants about the lake.

Mr. Ashley says that locks can be installed, which will perfectly regulate the flow of water and still not overflow the valuable bottom lands, and at the same time it would afford a passage for steamers over the falls, which heretofore it has been impossible to do.

Probably no less than 25,000 acres of most valuable land can thus be reclaimed from the annual overflow and land which now is not worth more than $12 per acre will be worth after reclamation not less than $100 per acre.


I once golfed with a pastor who did well until the 13th hole. Then, the wheels came off. On the 16th tee, he put a drive so far out of bounds, he should’ve been called for a foul. He turned and said, “I know what I’m doing wrong. I just can’t stop it!” I asked how many parishioners confessed that very thing to him. He laughed so hard, he got his game back.

That’s golf.

Winter has (almost) ended, and to keep their minds off politics, skiers have turned to golf. Not all, but a significant percentage of schussers have transitioned to cussers. If you don’t play golf you may not understand the reference. If you do play golf, you know exactly what I mean. Even my most stable, sane golf partners sometimes spew bad words while hacking away at a stubborn white pellet. It’s called “golf” because the other four-letter words are already in play.

There is some thought that “golf” was originally an acronym for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden,” but this could hardly be true. Mary, Queen of Scots, played golf in the 1650s, and introduced golf to France, which may be what Elizabeth was really so pissy about. Mary is credited with inventing the word “caddie,” her name for the French cadets assigned to carry her mashies and niblicks.

Etymologically, the word “golf” is derived from an old Dutch word, “kolf” meaning “club.” In the Scots dialect of the 14th and 15th centuries, the term became “goff” or “gouff.” In the age of Mary, QoS, “golf” finally stuck. Research reveals the modern Dutch word for “club” is “club,” and a “kolf” is a flask. There is some logic to this. Flasks often travel with clubs on courses all over the planet.

STR8TS Solution

On golf

For a game that started with bored Scots using sticks to knock pebbles around beaches and sheep pastures sometime before 1500 — maybe before 1300 — golf has done well for itself. So well, in fact, that it was banned in Scotland three times between 1450 and 1750 because the powers that be were afraid golf was eroding efforts to train native Scots in warfare in case the Brits invaded. Again. The kings finally gave up and took up the game.

The British co-opted golf and took it worldwide. It’s played on every continent, even Antarctica; imported there by New Zealanders — descended from the British. The first match was on a balmy day in 1961 — just above freezing — and played at McMurdo with colored balls on a snowy field. Which brings us back to skiing. Sort of.

Not everyone is a good skier, and not everyone is a good golfer. Some are good at both, and some are better at one than the other. I’m a good skier, and I’m as bad at golf as I am good at skiing. Most of the time. Sometimes, for brief, miraculous intervals, I am as good at golf as I am at skiing. This happens often enough that I continue playing golf in spite of many less-than-happy moments. Many people, some who are not even as good at golf as I am, use this same model. If there’s a god of golf, it’s a being that makes sure that at least one hole in a round is so good that the rest of the holes are forgotten. A good shot overcomes the agony of five bad ones. Or six. Or seven. It’s a classic case of B.F. Skinner’s idea of random reinforcement. Although I’ve used the words “play,” “game” and “sport” in reference to golf, golf is more an endeavor than a game. We watch athletes like Scottie and Nelly “play” against others of similar talent on television, but mere mortal folk are more likely to “play” (read “struggle”) against

Sudoku Solution

the course, the weather and what various famous golfers call the longest, toughest hole on any course — the space between our ears.

As rare as they may be, a purely wellstruck golf shot that ends roughly in the vicinity the golfer intended on No. 12 is satisfying enough to overcome the memory of the four shots it took to get out of the sand trap on No. 11. Even though much cussing has been expended.

But, here’s a warning. If you don’t golf, you may be well advised to not begin. Once you hit your first good shot, whether it’s with a driver, putter or any of the “kolfs” in between, you will likely want to hit another. No matter how long it takes.

When Sandy Compton is not golfing or skiing or working on his eternal house project, he writes this column and some pretty good books — with mostly happy endings, unlike some of his golf shots. Look for the books at your local bookstore or on

Crossword Solution

Perhaps, if I am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed, and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by Man.

22 / R / May 2, 2024

Solution on page 22

Laughing Matter



1. Pauses 6. Capable

Rice wine 14. Medieval sword 15. Big laugh 16. Arm bone 17. Bless with oil 18. Grooves

19. Castle defense 20. Reliance 22. Relocate 23. Instruct


Street 29. Stud farm operator



Maladjusted person



to confuse, perplex or fluster

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22 8. Fastened


Marsh plant

Affirmatives Word Week of the

“The bartender bumfuzzled his patrons when he began pouring the drink right onto the bar, sans glass.”

Corrections: In the article about Verdant Plants, it should say that they’re from Colorado, not Montana. Also, we flip-flopped the candidate forum nights in our calendar last week. Hope we didn’t cause any confusion.

Spaces for cars 42. Physical checkup 44. Countercurrent

Old Jewish scholars

Infectious agent

Social group 51. Mental representation

Tropical root


Chain of hills


Small island

Ready for anything

Anagram of “Dear”



Lacquered metalware


Celtic language

Like the warmest season



Consumer of food 21. First presented

Interior layout and furnishings 25. Edges

Leave out

Abbey area


Rip apart

Jittery 40. Not all alike

Very thirsty 43. A round geometric shape

Not before

Shouts of applause

Reveals 49. Aerosol


Game piece 53. Mid-month days

Brute 55. Trawling equipment 62. Reflecting optimism

Past-due debts


Reduce the worth of


May 2, 2024 / R / 23
bumfuzzle /bəm fəzəl/ [verb] 1.

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