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PEOPLE compiled by

Susan Drinkard


“How did you spend your $1,400 stimulus money?” “I put it back into my education. I finished my bachelor’s degree in psychology with the money.” Bry Ellis Clerk, caregiver Sandpoint


Mother’s Day is coming up on Sunday, May 9, so if you haven’t already, don’t forget to show your moms how much they mean to you. Here at the Reader, we are all lucky enough to have our moms in our lives still, and they are all quite remarkable people. Zach’s mom is a lifelong schoolteacher who just retired and is enjoying her free time by spending it with her grandkids and having fun lake adventures. Also, Danielle — Zach’s wife of 15 years and mother of their children — also teaches English at the Sandpoint Middle School. Lyndsie’s mom is a school librarian, an advanced math instructor and Kindergarten reading intervention teacher, along with many other notable things she’s done. Jodi’s mom served for 31 years as postmaster for the U.S. Postal Service. My own mother worked at Bonner General Health in public relations for many years before retiring early to live the good life in Arizona and Oregon, depending on what season it is. Each of our moms have helped shape our lives, and we are all so thankful for their love and dedication to help us all be better human beings. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there. You all rock and we love you.

– Ben Olson, publisher

READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)265-9724

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Bill Borders, Susan Drinkard.

“Ultimately, our stimulus went to bills and child care because work has been slim.”

Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, K.L. Huntley, Ranel Hanson, Marcia Pilgeram.

Brad Benoit Photographer Sandpoint

Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $135 per year

“I spent mine on medical bills.” Deanna Harris Owner—Sharon’s Hallmark Sandpoint

“I haven’t spent it yet. I put it in the checking account for a little cushion.” Gerred Campbell Coordinator at J.C. Auto Detailing Sandpoint

“We bought tools and put it back into the house— home improvements.” Donna Smith Piano teacher Sunnyside

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

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

This week’s cover is all about moms! Give your mom a call on Sunday for Mother’s Day. She sure earned it. May 6, 2021 /


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Lions will host 2021 Fourth of July parade Council votes to uphold denial of independent group’s permit

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

The 2021 Sandpoint Fourth of July will occur under the auspices of the Lions Club, as it has done — with one interruption, in 2020 — for 68 years. That was the decision after a confused, and confusing, set of motions May 5 at the regular meeting of the Sandpoint City Council, which voted 4-2 to grant the Lions Club a permit to put on the 2021 Fourth of July parade. At issue was a competing permit from Sandpoint Independence Day, Inc., which was formed in 2020 with the mission to “save” the Fourth of July after the Lions decided to forego its traditional events on concerns about the spread of COVID-19. Shortly after that event, SID applied for a permit to repeat its events in 2021. The city, however, denied that permit. On May 5, the council heard an appeal from SID organizers, who said that denial was unfair. SID took it upon itself to raise the funds and organize the events on July 4, 2020, which included a parade, family event at Travers Park and fireworks show at City Beach. Based on the apparent success of those events — and apparently erroneously believing the Lions had no interest in continuing long-time leadership of the community’s Fourth of July celebration — SID members Ron Korn, Steve Wasylko and Todd Prather, all well known local conservative activists, presented their appeal to the council, arguing that their permit request had been improperly passed over in favor of the Lions. 4 /


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City Administrator Jennifer Stapleton said at the meeting that at no time in the city’s history had two parties applied for the same event on the same day. “We certainly didn’t anticipate that happening this year,” she said. That said, the city administration — which includes Mayor Shelby Rognstad — decided to defer to the Lions as the traditional hosts of the Fourth of July parade. Permitting for the fireworks and “family festival” are still to be determined. That didn’t sit well with SID, whose lead organizers argued that the city’s events policy doesn’t specifically allow for effective grandfathering of “traditional” or “historic” event hosts. The council saw different, but not without some testimony in favor of the appellants. Council members Joel Aispuro, John Darling and Andy Groat all spoke in plauditory tones about SID’s 2020 handling of the Fourth of July events. “I wouldn’t want the Lions Club to do the fireworks,” said Groat, referring to last year’s display. “You guys did a great job. … I want you to do another great job … You guys are hittin’ home runs.” However, Groat voted “yes” to affirm the administrative decision, while Aispuro and Darling voted “no.” To compound the confusion of the meeting, Wasylko and Korn — Prather spoke little if at all during the meeting — revealed a rift within the Lions Club. Wasylko stated: “They [the Lions] wanted to give this up.” Korn stated: “We were told by Janice [Rader, current vice

president] that the Lions Club was no longer interested in hosting the event.” Wasylko stated, apparently quoting from Rader, “‘We got a lot of members who are over it.’” He added that he heard that sentiment “at least 10 times.” “The vice president was telling us this,” he said, referring to Rader, who in 2020 was the Lions Club’s events coordinator. “We never said we weren’t going to pick it back up,” former Lions President Howard Shay told the Reader in an interview in June 2020. Current Lions President Rhonda Whittaker also addressed the council, calling her public service organization “small … but we’re mighty.” She told the body that the 2020 celebration had been canceled out of an abundance of caution amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but at no point had it suggested that it wouldn’t return to hosting the Independence Day events in 2021. Indeed, she added, “Our first priority is to make the 2021 celebration the best it has ever been.” Whittaker, as well as Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon

and Stapleton, all alluded to an effort made toward collaboration between SID and the Lions, but to no avail. No loss, there, as Whittaker stated that the Lions do more than put on the Fourth celebrations, raising money through numerous community events benefiting even more community causes — as it has done since 1953. “I don’t feel that the club wants to be a part of a political agenda or bashing,” she said, going on to add that whatever Rader may have told SID organizers in the past wasn’t necessarily official Lions policy. “It’s a little frustrating to hear what I heard today,” she said, referring to the purported claims of Korn and Wasylko. “That didn’t happen ... I was put in this position because of the miscommunication and everything that went on.” Asked by City Council member John Darling if she knew of a specific statement by the Lions to SID that they intended to hand over the Fourth of July to the group in perpetuity, she said, “Absolutely not. I never heard those comments. I’m surprised to hear those comments.” Aispuro doubled down

The Sandpoint Independence Day group testifies before the Sandpoint City Council on May 5. Photo via Zoom. on his support for SID, complimenting the group on its “better event” and having their “stuff together.” “No offense” to the Lions, he said, but, “last year was a better event in my opinion; getting the citizens involved.” He continued that he’s “not into” the idea of “traditionally, historically” when it comes to community events. “I don’t blame SID for feeling pushed around … they tried really hard with the information they got,” he said. “It’s unfortunate ... “It is politicized, whether we like it or not,” he added. City Council President Shannon Sherman lamented the lack of clarity in city policy regarding events, stating, “I think there needs to be a hard look [at those policies]. It’s really unfortunate that we’re put in this position.” She added that while it’s “exciting that so many people are excited about the holiday,” it would be “very disheartening that this decision … would remove either of the parties from this year’s celebration.”


Here We Have Idaho By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Idahoans’ collective patience is waning for the Legislature’s current session, which has grinded on for 115 days, as of presstime. According to a survey reported May 5 by idahoednews. org, a plurality of statewide respondents want lawmakers to “get to work and go home,” the website stated. The survey results, released May 4 and taken telephonically April 29-May 4 from 400 likely Republican voters, revealed that 71% said they want the Legislature to remain part-time, limiting its session days to 80 each year, and only 21% were in favor of lawmakers having the authority to convene whenever they wish — an idea that several legislators, including Blanchard Republican Rep. Heather Scott and Rep. Sage Dixon, of Ponderay, have fronted this session and which voters will be asked to weigh in on when the November 2022 ballot is issued. The cost of this year’s marathon session was also of concern to survey takers. Taxpayers must

front $30,000 for every day the Legislature is in session, a figure that 66% of respondents said would be better allocated to paying teachers and funding early education, according to Idaho Education News. In a big signal of dissatisfaction with the current Legislature, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry — the most powerful business lobby in the state — as well as the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and Idaho Education Association sponsored the survey. An “unusual coalition,” stated Idaho Education News. The 2021 Legislature has spent much of its near-historic time in session preoccupied with political standoffs against Gov. Brad Little and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden over shared powers in times of emergency, as well as focusing on “social issues,” as the Idaho Business Review put it in a March 11 headline. Rather, the survey co-sponsors urged in a news release that, “These legislators need to understand: Conservative Idahoans are tired of this wasteful, ineffective

What’s happening at the Legislature this week

behavior. They want a Legislature that does its job efficiently and effectively, not one that spends pointless weeks bickering and posturing on fringe issues. Our legislators need to focus on important priorities, such as tax cuts and investments in transportation and education, and then go home.” It’s unclear when the Legislature might adjourn sine die, as bills are racing through the chambers at breakneck speed. Among the highlights, as of presstime: the Senate passed a parsed out version of the previously vetoed House bill that would have limited Gov. Brad Little’s emergency powers. The original bill — HB 135aa — made its way back through the Statehouse in parts as HB 391, HB 392 and HB 393, all resurrecting portions of its progenitor, including, according to the Idaho Press, a provision forbidding the curtailment of gun rights, the right to peaceably assemble and the free exercise of religion during a declared emergency. All — except gun rights — were political hot buttons amid the height of the state ordered

lockdown in spring and summer 2020, prompting a number of high-profile protests in Sandpoint. They all now go to the governor’s desk. Meanwhile, the Senate passed HB 389,the property tax relief measure fronted by Republican House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, of Star, includes a 25% increase in the homeowner’s exemption and an increase to the “Circuit Breaker” tax break for seniors, but also includes hefty breaks for the biggest businesses and developers in the state.

According to the Idaho Press, the measure has drawn “strong opposition,” in part because it would “boot off the circuit breaker anyone whose home is assessed at more than 125% of the median home value in the county, starting in 2022.” The Press reported that Moyle’s bill “satisfied few.” Check back for more updates in next week’s Reader, tune into Idaho in Session on idahoptv.org or follow events at legislature. idaho.gov.

Library to lift mask requirement June 1 Decision comes ahead of heated library board race

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff The East Bonner County Library announced May 3 that it would be dropping its face covering requirement effective Tuesday, June 1. The policy has been in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, sparking several protests and heated debate among community members. “The board will continue to monitor COVID cases along with new information and reassess the policy as the situation changes,” the library district wrote in a media release. The board voted at a special meeting April 30 to modify

the policy so that masks “will be encouraged, but no longer required” at library facilities. Trustees chose to enact the change June 1 because, by then, most staff and patrons will have had the opportunity to access the vaccine against the virus if they choose to do so. “The library wishes to thank all the patrons who have been so supportive of this policy and remind them that our curbside service will continue should they be uncomfortable entering the library without a mask requirement,” EBCL officials said. The decision to lift the mandate comes amid a hotly contested race for two open seats on the library board, for which

four candidates are vying: incumbents Amy Flint and Jeanine Asche; and newcomers Kathy Rose and Jalon Peters, who are both running on a platform opposed to the mask mandate. (See the Thursday, May 13 edition of the Sandpoint Reader for an election Q&A with library board candidates.) EBCL Director Ann Nichols told the Reader in an email May 5 that she supports the trustees’ decision, which came after ample research and discussion. “We hope that people will still wear masks in consideration of others,” she said. Nichols acknowledged the mask mandate’s role in politicizing the upcoming board election

— which is nonpartisan — and emphasized the library district’s mission to “provide access to opportunities for discovery, connection, and lifelong learning.” “It is unfortunate that the election has come at this time,” she said, noting that Flint and Asche “are excellent, educated and experienced professionals that know how libraries work.”

The Sandpoint Branch of the East. Bonner County Library. Courtesy photo.

“They should not be replaced by others running on political platforms,” Nichols continued. “The discussion around the election should now focus on what’s most important — experience, qualifications and lack of hidden agendas.” May 6, 2021 /


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Army Corps announces local recreation site opening dates By Reader Staff U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ officials announced April 27 that the 2021 Albeni Falls Dam recreation season will begin Saturday, May 8 with the opening of Riley Creek Recreation Area. Springy Point in Sagle and “The Mudhole” Recreation Area in Priest River will open for the season Saturday, May 15. Albeni Cove Recreation Area is closed for the 2021 season while the campground and day-use area are used to stage materials for Strong’s Island bank stabilization work. Trestle Creek Recreation Area opened April 1. While public tours of the dam are not available at this time, the Albeni Falls Dam Visitor Center will be open seven days a week starting Memorial Day Weekend. As all citizens work collectively to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Corps reminds all visitors, volunteers and employees that a face mask is required in all USACE buildings and facilities. Masks must also be worn outdoors on USACE-managed lands and

recreation areas if physical distancing cannot be met, such as when visiting popular or crowded sites. Occupancy will be limited at crowded spaces such as picnic shelters. Due to the proximity of summer, the next available reservations for campsites at Priest River, Riley Creek and Springy Point recreation areas are for the 2022 season. Reservations are available by reservation only, online or by phone, six months in advance at recreation.gov or by calling 877444-6777. For more information on the upcoming season, take part in the Lakes Commission Public Meeting on Tuesday, May 11 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Priest River Events Center (5399 U.S.-2 in Priest River). Participants can also register to join the meeting virtually via Zoom by emailing the Lakes Commission at lakescommission@gmail.com. Those with questions can contact Taylor Johnson, USACE chief of Natural Resources for the Albeni Falls Dam, at 208-4373133 or taylor.m.johnson@usace.army.mil.

Idaho Press Club honors Reader with eight awards for 2020 reporting By Reader Staff Despite it being a year of historic tumult for the world in general, the Reader had a winning 2020 — at least as far as its reporting went. The paper earned eight accolades in the weekly publication category from the Idaho Press Club when it handed out its annual awards on May 1, honoring the best journalism produced in the state during the past year. Notably, Reader News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert took second place for pandemic reporting — a brand-new category put in place by the Press Club to recognize journalists for their tireless efforts in covering the story that continues to dominate every media outlet on the globe. Kiebert’s story “Masks, money and ‘making some sort of point’” earned her high praise — even more so as she placed alongside reporting from the Idaho Mountain Express, which has covered the COVID-19 pandemic from the epicenter of Idaho’s outbreak in Blaine County. The Reader and the Express were the only weekly papers in the state to place in the category. Meanwhile, Reader Editor-in-Chief Zach Hagadone’s work earned him a first6 /


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place win for opinion writing with his piece “A history of violence: Terrorism, the media and taking things seriously.” Hagadone also took second place for general news story with coverage of the 2020 Fourth of July celebration; third place for spot news coverage of the summer 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations and subsequent militia patrols in Sandpoint; third place for editorial writing about the “Disobey Idaho” protest; second place for business reporting with his piece on the rumors surrounding future development at the former-Thorne building in Dover; and second place in crime/courts reporting for breaking the news that the racist robocaller who has plagued Sandpoint — and the Reader — for years is facing a $13 million fine from the FCC. Finally, Hagadone and Kiebert shared a second-place win for political reporting for their work covering the firearms lawsuits against the Festival at Sandpoint’s no-weapons policy. Since returning to publication in 2015, the Reader has been honored by the Press Club with 19 awards across a range of coverage categories, including general excellence in 2018.

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: The Selective Service Repeal Act of 2021 was recently introduced to Congress with bipartisan support. According to The Washington Post, it would end draft registration and abolish the Selective Service System. Congressional critics of the SSS described it as “an unnecessary, wasteful bureaucracy.” Another new bill would require women to sign up with the SSS. If enacted, the Act would be a dodge for the Supreme Court, which has been asked to determine if the SSS is even constitutional. The nation’s wealthiest 1% do not report more than 20% of their income to the IRS, according to a new analysis by economists and researchers at the IRS. Part of the problem has been the shrinking of the IRS budget. It’s estimated that investing $100 billion in the IRS over the next decade would generate up to $1.4 trillion in additional revenue. This year, estimates are that unreported income cost more than $600 billion in revenue, The New York Times reported. Legislation introduced to Congress calls for a $70 billion boost in IRS funding so 95% of large corporations can be audited, along with 50% of those earning more than $10 million per year, and 20% of those earning more than $1 million. The Seattle Times reported that of those 65 and older in Washington state, those not vaccinated are being hospitalized for COVID-19 at 9.7 times the rate of those who have been vaccinated. The largest live in-person concert since the pandemic began was held in New Zealand recently. There were 50,000 fans, no social distancing requirements and very few masks. Fewer than 3% of the nation’s population has been vaccinated, according to The New York Times database. The island nation has had success holding back the virus due to following strict rules, and has had only 2,600 cases and 26 deaths since the pandemic began. In the U.S. deaths from COVID-19 exceed all the U.S. deaths of WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War. A supporter of former-President Donald Trump who advised, in a post-Capitol insurrection online video, to, “Kill

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

your senators: Slaughter them all,” was found guilty of making a death threat against elected officials and faces up to 10 years in prison, The Washington Post reported. Prosecutors told jurors that Brendan Hunt’s talk was not protected speech: He offered detailed descriptions for killing people he said had stolen the election from Trump, and offered to do the killings himself. New charges: Three men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor of Michigan in 2020 now face additional charges of conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, according to CNN. The men are alleged to have ordered $4,000 worth of explosives with IED shrapnel — from an FBI agent. Proponents of the newly introduced Judiciary Act of 2021, which would add four new seats to the Supreme Court, according to Vox.com, note that of the nine current justices, five were appointed by presidents who had fewer votes than their opponents. The result has been a block of six justices who appear out of step with average voters, such as opposing voting rights and advocating for more corporate money in politics. Originally the states had six justices — that was reset to 10 under President Abraham Lincoln. More than 400 people now face charges stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection while another 100 are expected to be charged, Reuters reported. In a House Armed Services Committee meeting last week a national security expert told lawmakers that, while we are not formally at war, the “information warfare threat to the United States is different from past threats, and it has the potential to destroy reason and reality as a basis for societal discourse, replacing them with rage and fantasy. Perpetual civil war, political extremism, waged in the information sphere and egged on by our adversaries is every bit as much of an existential threat to American civilization and democracy as any military threat imaginable.” Blast from the past: “The mind cannot absorb what the backside cannot endure.” Prince Philip, recently deceased, commenting on long sermons.


BOCC approves zone change in Hoodoo Valley By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Bonner County commissioners approved a controversial zone change April 28 for 160 acres in the Hoodoo Valley, which would change the property from agricultural/forestry to a rural residential designation, allowing for five-acre parcels where there used to be a 10-acre minimum. The application, put forth by property owner and Haydenbased Daum Construction, has drawn vocal opposition from neighbors who see the zone change as making way for denser housing, creating what they see as a threat to the agricultural character of the valley, its aquifer and traffic safety. Planning staff and the Bonner County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of the file earlier this year. The board of commissioners was set to make a final decision on the application in March, but opted to move deliberations to April. At the April 14 hearing, Board Chair Dan McDonald announced that new facts and agency comments had come to light, and that the hearing would need to be pushed to April 28. Planning Director Milton Ollerton presented to commissioners at that final meeting, where it was discussed that the original recommendation to deny was not based on the findings of fact. The planner who wrote the initial report gave notice before the file’s first hearing that she’d be leaving her position with the county, according to Ollerton. “I did not change or rewrite the staff report,” he told the Reader in a follow-up email May 3. “I reviewed the comp plan and the zoning ordinance with the commissioners. The findings of fact that I presented at the hearing were the same findings of fact from the staff report. The board decided the conclusion from the findings of fact was to approve the project.

Well, two of them did.” Ollerton added that the review of the staff report at the hearing was necessary because the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality sent a new letter in response to public concern about possible negative effects on area waterways, “stating that the development would not have any impact on Hoodoo Creek,” Ollerton said. The April 28 meeting drew public comments entirely against the proposed changes. Several speakers were warned against sharing disparaging or off-topic remarks and, at one point, McDonald told one unidentified speaker: “There’s the door.” The nearly two-and-a-halfhour meeting ended when commissioners approved the rezone — and attached comp plan amendment — on a split vote:

McDonald and Commissioner Jeff Connolly in favor, and Commissioner Steve Bradshaw opposed, citing that he was the “voice for y’all” — referring to the audience filled with rezone opponents. While a “compromise” of sorts was discussed, which would have rezoned only half the property to allow five-acre lots and the rest remain at least 10 acres, that proposal did not spur a motion. Bradshaw’s motion to deny failed without a second. McDonald and Connolly maintained that they were obligated to follow the law and, based on findings of fact, could not lawfully deny Daum Construction’s file. Connolly used part of his deliberation time to express his frustration with some of the remarks directed at

the commissioners, specifically regarding the board receiving possible “benefits” should the property be developed. “Do you think this is a benefit, to me, to sit in front of you folks and be called, basically, a thief, and to question my integrity? It is no benefit to me. I have lots of things I could be doing that would suit me a lot better than this, and it’s quite offensive actually,” he said. Connolly added that, as a lifelong resident of Bonner County, he could identify with the dislike for change and growth — and also noted that many of the people in the meeting room had moved to North Idaho during his lifetime. “So, yeah, we don’t always want to see growth, but Bonner County is going to grow — that’s just the way it is. It’s a

beautiful place, everybody loves it. I love it to death,” he said, noting that strong opposition to zone changes is apparent across the county, and he’s not sure exactly where the “smart growth” that people want to see will be able to happen within the current “not-in-my-neighborhood” attitude. Applications and corresponding agency comments on active Bonner County planning and zoning files are available for the public to view at bonnercountyid.gov/departments/planning/ current-projects. In the sidebar of the Current Projects webpage, also find the link titled Public Hearings to keep up-to-date on when the planning and zoning commission and BOCC will make planning decisions.

Buckskin Saddle project final decision signed Restoration efforts aimed at mitigating fire risk near Clark Fork

By Reader Staff The Idaho Panhandle National Forests announced April 27 that Sandpoint District Ranger Jessie Berner had signed that final decision on the Buckskin Saddle Project — a more than 50,000-acre forest restoration effort located on the east side of Lake Pend Oreille near Clark Fork. According to decision documents, the project aims to improve the forest’s “resiliency” against fire, drought, insects and diseases; stimulate local economies with timber products; reduce sediment delivery in area streams; improve owl and elk habitat; as well as improve trails, roads and “scenic quality” in the area. “We look forward to implementing these restoration treatments within the Buckskin Saddle project area,” Berner

said. “We’ve designed the treatments to enhance and restore vegetation communities, address hazardous fuels, repair old roads, and reduce sources of road sediment to benefit water quality and aquatic habitat. “We really appreciate the public and collaborative support throughout the project planning and development phases,” she continued. “This is a great example of working together to make our local communities safer from wildfire risk and improving forest health.” According to IPNF officials, the Buckskin project will take on “13,005 acres of commercial timber harvest and approximately 6,469 acres of noncommercial harvest and fuels reduction.” In addition, the project will include about 172 miles of road maintenance, and 24 miles of new forest road construction. According to IPNF, the first road improvement activities are

planned for the fall of 2021 in the Johnson and Granite Creek drainages. Work “will be completed in phases over the next 10-15 years,” according to official decision documents. More information about the project, including the final

A map of the Buckskin Saddle Area on the eastern side of Lake Pend Oreille. Map courtesy U.S. Forest Service. decision and other planning documents, are available online at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=52563. May 6, 2021 /


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Setting the record straight on library board powers…

Barbs: • Some members of the Idaho Legislature deserve a major Barb for their targeted harassment last week involving the 19-year-old intern who testified under the name Jane Doe, who alleged former-Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger raped her. The embattled Lewiston Republican representative resigned April 29 — the same day the House Ethics and Policy Committee voted unanimously that von Ehlinger was found to have engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of a representative. According to Doe’s testimoney, von Ehlinger held her down and forced her to perform oral sex on him after she repeatedly told him, “No.” Doe’s identity was released within hours of her complaint going public on April 16, despite long-held practices of not releasing sexual assault survivors’ names to the public. Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, shared a link with Doe’s real name and photo in a newsletter to constituents and said the allegations were a “liberal smear job.” She then shared the blog post to thousands of followers on social media, making the intern’s identity widely known. Rep. Heather Scott, R- Blanchard, filed a public records request with the city of Boise seeking a copy of Doe’s police report. According to the Idaho Press, Scott then approached Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, to ask about how a person who files a false police report alleging sexual assault could be charged. Doe was also followed and harassed after giving testimony by members of a far-right anti-government group that supported von Ehlinger, as well as a Boise TV news reporter who attempted to film Doe. Is it any wonder that rape victims and survivors of sexual assault hesitate to report these crimes — when bad actors like Reps. Giddings and Scott put a target on their head for standing up and testifying about a horrible crime that was alleged to have happened. Giddings and Scott should be ashamed of themselves. So should anyone who voted for them. We can do better. 8 /


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Dear editor, Ms. Giddings’ recent letter to the Reader [“Jalon Peters will be your voice on the library board…,” April 22, 2021] contains several incorrect statements in regards to our public library’s board of trustees. First of all, the board of trustees only has the power to call for a bond election for funding for building new facilities, renovating old ones or updating services to the community. Once a bond election is scheduled, it is up to voters to determine whether or not the library will get the money. It has to pass by a two-thirds majority. It then becomes a part of property tax assessment until the bond is paid off. The two bonds that were passed for the new facility that opened in 2000 have been paid off and are no longer a part of your property tax bill. It is worth noting that the most recent addition was paid for entirely by private funding. Secondly, property tax rates are determined by the county assessor’s office and the money collected is disbursed among various services provided to the community including the library. The board of trustees has absolutely no power over what amount you pay. The recent library board meeting was the first time they have met in person since the initial pandemic shutdown but they also had it in Zoom format for those unable to attend, for whatever reason, inside the building. They made what provisions they could for those few outside who refused to mask up. Camile McKitrick Sandpoint

Anger at mask policy isn’t a qualification for library board position... Dear editor, The quality of a library depends largely on the quality of the library board and staff. Speaking as a retired librarian who has worked in libraries in three different states, I think I am qualified to say that the East Bonner County Library is one of the best in the country for a community of this size. We have been fortunate to have had people on the staff and on the board who have done their best to make sure the library is where we taxpayers get the “biggest bang for our buck.” Please learn what you can about each candidate before you vote. Learn about their intentions, qualifications, etc. They need to be people who use the library themselves, appreciate the library, and have a desire to maintain and improve the quality of service. Just because someone is angry

because he can’t enter the library without a mask, does not qualify him for the job. My votes go to Amy Flint and Jeanine Ascher. Velta Ashbrook Ponderay

Don’t squander experience on local boards… Dear editor, Our society has entered a time when it is acceptable to disparage long-serving public servants with years of experience and dedication when they have served honorably for years creating the neighborhoods and communities we all treasure. Due to lack of experience and qualifications, challengers attempt to get voters excited about campaign slogans like, “the fox guarding the chicken coop,” or the ever popular, “drain the swamp.” These campaigns attempt to sow discourse and strive to make voters believe these public servants are somehow dishonest just because they have performed their responsibilities well and need to be shown the door. Whether these public servants serve on the hospital board, the library board or the local rural electric board, their years of experience are invaluable to keep these organizations running efficiently. We all benefit from their dedication, experience and willingness to take on the jobs of keeping the lights on, providing lifelong learning or maintaining health clinics for our communities. Three separate elections this May give us a chance to thank these servants who are willing to step up and continue to represent us well. Please join me in recognizing the dedication of the following with your vote: Jeanine Asche and Amy Flint, library board; Tom Lawrence and Helen Parsons, Pend Oreille Hospital District; and for Northern Lights members recognize David Pemberton with your vote. Let’s not squander their knowledge and experience. Tim Cochran Sandpoint

Library is already a bastion of the First Amendment — keep it that way… Dear editor, I love working at the library. This library and all its branches are heavily supported by the community and would not be as wonderful as it is without that support. I love that the library does not turn people away because of how much money they make, what language they speak (ASL is a language), their heritage, their age, their religion, their politics, their education, nor where they live. The

list goes on. I have seen how hard the library fights against censorship and truly does everything they can to uphold the First Amendment. The American Library Association has a Freedom to Read Statement. The freedom to read is vital to our democracy. I highly suggest anyone who disagrees with the materials the library owns to read that statement. There is a copy of it on the East Bonner County Library website under “policies” at the bottom of every single webpage. The library is not where you get told what is right and wrong nor what you should believe in. The library doesn’t dictate what children should or should not read; that is the parent’s responsibility. “The mission of the Library District is to provide access to opportunities for discovery, connection and lifelong learning. It is our vision to engage community, excite curiosity and enhance personal growth.” I would like to request anyone who reads this to please help keep our public library free with their votes from those who wish to censor information. Emily Hitchcock Sandpoint

Masks on, or hands off the library… Dear editor, The late John Prine, a tragic early victim of COVID-19, sang, “make me a poster from an old rodeo/just give me something that I can hold onto.” Who doesn’t hope, especially these days, for something endearing to hold onto? The California mountain summer camp I attended as a lad during World War II, and then helped lead a decade later, shut down after more than 50 golden years when grasping new-age parents began filing lawsuits when their kid stubbed a toe playing capture the flag. Southern California, where I grew up, was a utopia before developers began destroying it after WWII, when the world moved there. Today Californians are fleeing that jam-packed, unfriendly former Shangri-La. The Bell Telephone System, led by the original AT&T, was the world’s biggest business and among its most honorable. Communications wannabes who scoffed at the company’s “Spirit Of Service” credo hired lobbyists to divvy up the system’s customer-focused organization — and it was annihilated. That beloved summer camp, yesteryear’s pristine southern California and the Bell System, pillars of an earlier era, are gone. Many consider that progress. Others tilt toward John Prine’s lyrical lament: “Just give me something I can hold onto.” In the battle to keep the Bell System intact we warned, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In short,

hold onto what works. Our library defines our collective soul. To tamper with an enterprise so well led just to accommodate hostile, misanthropic malcontents who refuse to protect others would be folly. On May 18 responsible voters must ensure that incumbents Amy Flint and Jeanine Asche remain on our library board. Many thanks. Tim H. Henney Former library trustee and PR director of the original AT&T, whose duties included oversight of corporate archives Sandpoint

Jalon Peters brings balance to library board... Dear editor, Last week, a local organization held a meet-and-greet that included all of the candidates for the May 18 library and hospital board elections. And there was something that struck those of us paying close attention: two of the sitting library board members — one of whom is an incumbent seeking re-election and participated in the event — appeared mask-less and took no issue with the packed room. Further, there was no hesitation on her part to pass around a microphone from one participant to another throughout the 15-minute Q-and-A. And if you’ve witnessed the library board meetings, you’d know this stands in stark contrast to their sparsely-attended meetings, where everyone is required to wear masks and sit six feet apart should you wish to participate. Are you getting the picture here? This same board member reiterated her support for the ongoing library mask mandate while sitting in a packed room of strangers mask-free. And this is why the library board needs fresh voices, representatives who will speak for those of us whose voices are routinely ignored by the current board make-up. Jalon Peters will be that voice. He lives his principles and understands that east Bonner County is home to a diversity of thought that is conspicuously lacking on our lopsided library board. And Jalon will stand up for your rights in a world increasingly trampling on them. Please vote for Jalon Peters on May 18. Tom Cleveland Sandpoint

Of angels and saints… Dear editor, My daughter was diagnosed with a debilitating form of epilepsy prior to going into the West Bonner County School District and is part of the Special Education Program. What I have learned with her, and many other special education children in our district, is that they are the angels among us teaching us how to be patient, kind and resilient in the face of overwhelming odds and struggles. The special education staff and teachers at WBCSD are the saints among us, showing me that miracles for special needs children can happen every day and never giving up hope on the children who need it the most. The saints cheer for our children when they are making amazing progress and are a shoulder to cry on when the struggles become too much for parents to bear. Keep in mind the state of Idaho only funds special education at 6% for K-6th grade and 5.5% for 7-12th-grade populations. WBCSD currently has 14.7% of the student population receiving special education services. It is common for rural and low-income school districts to have high special education student populations and therefore receive insufficient state funding for special education. The Idaho State Special Education Funding Formula creates a General Fund shortage for WBCSD. WBCSD is required by Idaho Constitution and law to provide every student an education. Please continue to support the angels and saints among us by voting “yes” on May 18. Drew McLain Priest River

Jessie Peters will bring fiscal responsibility to hospital district board... Dear editor, It’s a universal notion that taxpayers don’t want our hard-earned tax dollars wasted and that we desire transparency in budgeting and spending. But it appears we have neither with the current hospital district board. And that’s why we need to refresh it. Jessie Peters works as a family nurse practitioner, and with her 10-plus years of experience in both the health care field and with helping manage large budgets for a nonprofit, Jessie will bring a fresh eye to fiscal responsibility and a much-needed focus on the health care of our rural areas, both of which are conspicuously lacking. In case you weren’t aware, the hospital district board is a “taxing district” with the power to run levies that increase our property taxes. And it has done so. And while we all want to support area health care, we also want to know both where our tax dollars are flowing and if they’re being spent responsibly. And that’s where Jessie Peters, who wants to ensure our tax dollars are being spent in a way directly improving the health of our communities, promises to place her attention. Please vote Jessie Peters on May 18 and help bring transparency and fiscal responsibility to our hospital district board. Lisa Keseloff Sandpoint

Gender reveal intentions arbitrary and unwelcome at best… Dear editor, I have enjoyed the quirky and nuanced writings in your “Back of the Book” section. In the last contribution [“What gender reveal parties really reveal,” April 29, 2021], Ben Olson discusses the insane destruction that has resulted from gender reveal parties. I think it would be humorous if one of these children grew up to slap their parents in the face with: “Yeah, I know it was really important what my genitals were while I was in the womb, but I don’t identify with pink or blue any more,” proving that their parents’ intentions were, at best, arbitrary and unwelcome. Jodi Rawson Sandpoint

Library board challengers are single-issue candidates… Dear editor, Amy Flint and Jeanine Asche are by far the best candidates running for East Bonner County Library board. Jeanine is a trained librarian with 40 years of library experience and years of experience on the library board. She is fiscally responsible and cares deeply about all of the library patrons and staff. Amy has lived in Idaho for 30 years and also has experience in libraries and the board. She believes strongly in collaboration, working with others and in-depth consideration of the many issues that libraries deal with. Their challengers are single-issue candidates and know little or nothing about libraries. The pandemic and the masks will someday go away, but the library will always need a knowledgeable board that respects the safety of its patrons and staff. Please ensure that the library retains its current board and vote for Jeanine Asche and Amy Flint on May 18. Susan Bates-Harbuck Sandpoint

It’s time to breathe free at the library... Dear editor, Sandpoint’s East Bonner County Library, a service funded by our taxes, is still requiring patrons to wear a mask. The library board (and staff) have forced people with health problems associated with masks out the door, even canceling the library card of one such senior citizen. They have called the police on patrons (parents with children) protesting the mask policy, calling them “insurgents.” Large attendance at library board meetings, calling for an end to masks, has done no good. You have an opportunity to end this on May 18 by voting for Kathy Rose and Jalon Peters for the library board. Both have clearly stated their intention to end the mask policy. Vote at your usual polling place. The governor never had a mask mandate. The Panhandle Health District ended their mask mandate more than a month ago. The West Bonner and Priest River libraries never had a mask mandate. Local businesses, some with

interiors much smaller than the library’s airy, open spaces, have taken down their mask signs. Safeway has even removed the signs on the floor that used to be for social distancing. It’s time for the library to follow suit. Put this on your calendar, May 18, and please do vote. It is important to rein in authorities who continue to shut down our freedom to breathe freely while browsing inside the library when that restriction is no longer necessary. Joanna Fuchs Sandpoint

Support Priest River kids with ‘yes’ vote... Dear editor, Be sure to circle the date, go to the polls and vote “yes” for the West Bonner County School levy on May 18. These funds are essential to the district to operate schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Without these local levy funds schools will close, experienced teachers will be laid off, programs will be curtailed and kids will suffer. Every child in this country, in Idaho or in Priest River, is entitled to an adequate and equitable free public education. I own and operate a business in the West Bonner School District and struggle to find employees with the education to enter the work force . The Idaho Legislative does not allocate adequate funds to provide the education every child deserves. In fact, Idaho ranks dead last — 50th in the nation among all 50 states in per-student spending for K-12 public education. It’s sad and the losers are the most vulnerable with the smallest voices: the children. West Bonner and virtually every other school district in the state are forced to use the only tool Idaho state law makes available, a local property tax levy, to provide the additional resources necessary for a public education. Public schools are a safe place where students not only learn academic skills but receive the vocational and the social support to succeed. Unfortunately, until the legislative branch of this state provides the essential monies to support kids and their schools, local levies will be necessary. The West Bonner levy request is modest. Other school districts in North Idaho are supported by levies that are larger than West Bonner. Support our kids; education is the pathway from poverty to prosperity. Gary Suppiger Business owner Priest River

To write a letter to the editor, please email letters@sandpointreader.com. We accept letters under 300 words that are free from profanity and libelous statements. We are not able to print every submitted letter due to space constraints.

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Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

The lighthouse of alexandria By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist We live in a time of architectural wonder — so much wonder that even the most triumphant structures ever built by human hands just seem a little bland. It’s important to remember that the true marvel of the wonders of the ancient world wasn’t their size, or even the amount of time they survived — it’s how they were built by people that lacked the kind of technology we have today. The pyramids of Giza might not be as tall as Burj Khalifa, but the ancient Egyptians didn’t have the benefit of advanced metallurgy to reinforce their structures or gasoline-powered vehicles to transport hundreds of tons of stone blocks. Among one of the most impressive of the ancient wonders of the world was the Lighthouse of Alexandria. It was erected sometime between 284 BCE and 246 BCE on the island of Pharos, in the port of Alexandria, Egypt. Pharos was connected to Alexandria by an artificial land bridge called a mole that stretched nearly a mile, which is an architectural wonder in its own right. The lighthouse itself was built from cut stone and stood more than 330 feet tall. Imagine the difficulty of transporting massive stone blocks to an island without the aid of a powered vehicle. There’s only so much weight a wooden barge can hold before it loses buoyancy and sinks to the bottom of the sea, and transporting them across the mole would be a hugely treacherous endeavor. Additionally, the difficulty of cutting untold thousands of stone 10 /


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blocks to a uniform specification in an age before computers — or, in most cases, standard methods of measurement — would have been a nearly impossible task. How many people do you know that are capable of slapping together a perfect birdhouse without a single measuring tool? Imagine trying to do that for a 330-foot-tall structure, and building that structure to last more than a thousand years. The lighthouse was constructed in three phases, with a large cubic base that made up about half the structure, with a center core that tapered into an octagon and, finally, a conical top. Anyone who has played Minecraft knows the difficulty of changing the shape of your structure partway through, but creating rounded or conical structures out of square or rectangular blocks is especially challenging and a true testament to the mathematical genius of the lighthouse’s architects. Interestingly, Euclidean geometry wouldn’t have been developed for 20 to 60 years after the construction of the lighthouse, and Pi wouldn’t be known to the world until 1706 — almost 2,000 years after the lighthouse’s construction. The architects of the lighthouse didn’t have calculators, they likely used a primitive form of the abacus, or in some cases just a collection of pebbles when the required calculations became too complex to perform in their heads. I need a graphing calculator to figure out how much damage my seventh-level Oathbreaker Paladin does to a young silver dragon; you won’t catch me building any wonders of the world using my fingers, toes and some rocks any time soon.

I bet you’re wondering what it must have cost to build a structure like that, especially with today’s housing prices. Shockingly, it translated to a lot less than you’d think. The price was recorded to be somewhere along the lines of 800 talents of silver. Depending on the source, a talent was believed to be somewhere between 75 and 100 pounds, which means King Ptolemy I spent about 60,000 pounds of silver to have the lighthouse constructed. Based on today’s silver prices, that cost would be around $23.7 million. While that seems like a large amount of money, that would only buy you about six lakefront houses on Lake Pend Oreille today. To further put that into perspective, the Empire State Building cost a cool $41 million to construct — though when accounting inflation, that would equate to more than $670 million today. All things considered, paying just under $24 mil for a structure that stood for more than a thousand years seems like a bargain. Unfortunately, the lighthouse did fall. A number of earthquakes weakened the structure until it suffered a major collapse in 956 CE. In 1323, an earthquake of at least 5.9 magnitude struck and collapsed the rest of the structure, sending most of it to the bottom of the sea. What remained was reclaimed and rebuilt into a medieval fort by the Egyptian sultan, Qaitbay, in 1480. Archaeologists would find the ruins of the lighthouse after an underwater dive in 1994. Stone blocks weighing upwards of 60 tons — as well as towering statues of sphinxes and King Ptolemy and his wife, Arsinoe — were discovered beneath the

A rendering of what the Lighthouse of Alexandria might’ve looked like. Courtesy Wikipedia.

waves, prompting the Egyptian government to declare the site an underwater park where, to this day, divers can go to view these historical artifacts. Are you looking for more information about the ancient wonders of the world? Go check out the library. The best way to support the library is by

checking out materials — this helps the staff make informed decisions on how to expand the collection and also guarantees the library gets the vital funding it needs to function. And don’t forget to get out and vote in the May 18 election for the board of trustees. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner s?

Don’t know much about drug • Colombia’s drug trade is worth $10 billion. That’s one-quarter as much as the country’s legal exports. • 31% of rock star deaths are related to drugs or alcohol. • There are dozens of public facilities in the Netherlands where you can bring recreational drugs including marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy to test if they are safe. • Drug possession and trafficking are punished in Singapore with the death penalty. • The salema porgy is a species of fish that can cause hallucinations when eaten. In ancient Rome it was consumed as a recreational drug.

We can help!

ed in the middle of a Florida crime watch meeting. • Generic and brand name drugs are required by U.S. law to be equally effective. • More than 16,000 people were incarcerated in Texas in 2015 for possessing less than one gram of drugs. • Nazi German troops were routinely given a narcotic called Pervitin (what today we call methamphetamine), which allowed them fight, march and otherwise stay alert for much longer than normal endurance would allow. • Traces of nicotine and cocaine were found in Egyptian mummies.

• There’s a nail polish that detects date rape drugs when the wearer dips their finger into a drink.

• On a typical day along the U.S.-Mexico border, Customs and Border Protection seizes an average of 7,910 pounds of drugs.

• Marijuana is legal and is not even classified as a drug in North Korea.

• From 1953 to 1964, the CIA conducted completely uncontrolled tests in which they drugged people unknowingly, then followed and watched them without intervening.

• In 1994, a 75-pound bag of cocaine fell out of a plane and land-


Voting is a privilege By K.L. Huntley Reader Contributor I love democracy. The ability that the people can decide how they want their government to run from the local level to the federal. Bonner County will once again be able to exercise this privilege on May 18. Democracy and voting wasn’t an original idea conceived by the Founding Fathers. They were influenced by observing and talking to what were then the Five Nations: the Mohawks, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga and Seneca peoples who had, at that time, the oldest functioning democracy on earth. Benjamin Franklin was so impressed by a man named Canassatego, the head of their government, that he published his speech in 1744, part of which stated, “whatever befalls you, never fall out one with another.” Wise words coming from people who were often referred to as “savages.” As we mark our ballots in May we need to ask ourselves several questions. Is our vote for the good of all the people? Are we voting for a charismatic person with a dynamic personality who has little if any experience in the field they are running? Or, do we want qualified individuals? Are we looking for candidates and issues that reaffirm our preconceived ideas with little logic and just going along with our friends? A good analogy is, do you want to

take your car to the most experienced mechanic in town or do you want the bicycle repairman, who we all like, to fix your brakes? Do you want a physician to perform surgery on your child or the local herbologist with the beautiful garden and who is in your book club? There is a great deal to be said for incumbents. At least they have the experience and the background. One of my very favorite neighbors said recently, “We need term limits.” I just smiled and replied that we already have them. It is called an election. Term limits on presidents and governors for sure — we don’t want a monarchy — but the rest of our governing bodies are enriched by experienced individuals gaining wisdom with experience. Fortunately we are not voting for school boards this time around. There are no qualifications for this role, as there appear to be few for the other positions we are voting on. Basically you have well-meaning and good people, who may only have a high school education, running the educational systems. The outcome of this tragic approach of operating our schools is contributing to the fact the United States is rapidly falling behind the rest of the world in educational rankings. Since education and economy go hand in hand it is logical that this methodology is not sustainable. We have school bonds to once again consider. This is the only place I have ever lived that the schools have to constantly be holding cookie sales,


raffles, etc., to finance essentials like copy machines. Educators need to be free of the burden of finances and be able to focus on their primary purpose, which is educating our future generations. When I was a student taught at Northside Elementary, during the winter the old windows were stuck open in the classroom and freezing air blew in. A “no” vote on school bonds is like a “no” vote for America. Or, as the lyrics go in Pink Floyd’s The Wall, “We don’t need no education.” A “yes” vote on solid waste bonds is a no-brainer. The same Native Americans who came up with the concept of democracy also had the philosophy that one arrow can easily be broken, but a bundle held together presents a greater challenge. Adapting that philosophy the great seal of the United States has an eagle gripping 13 arrows in its talons. We are stronger together. Exercise your freedom to vote on May 18 and remember to be diligent in your homework making intelligent, ethical and logical votes.

It’s an ongoing joke that even though my mom and I live about a quarter-mile apart, we never see each other. This is not entirely true. We are busy people (an integral aspect of our shared busy-body personality type), but we do see one another once a week at Hope Elementary when I work my paraprofessional job. My mom is the school librarian, advanced math instructor, Kindergarten reading intervention teacher, etc. — as it goes in small schools. The joke stems from the fact that we seem to only catch up in person at school, and have a lot to talk about. That’s another prominent aspect of our shared personality: We are really, really good at talking. My mom has been many things over the years, some things I’m still learning about. Just yesterday she mentioned her time working in the office at Pend Oreille Shores Resort in the ’80s, helping sell the resort’s first condos — “back when a phone call from Hope to Clark Fork was considered long distance,” she said nonchalantly, blowing my mind. My mom worked for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare; as a scab during a teacher strike in Great Falls, Mont.; as a Pampered Chef consultant, traveling to Chicago for a conference when I was 4 years old, sending me a postcard that reads, “Dear Lyndsie, I love you & miss you — hope you are having fun!!! Love, Mommy”; and for the better part of the 2000s, as an elementary school teacher and librarian. This is just a small sampling of the many professional paths my mom took during her life as a parent — not counting her time working at Dub’s Drive-In for under $3 an hour in high school or the number of other jobs I have heard about in passing. The older I get, and the more friends I have with children, the more I’m confronted with the challenges of balancing career with motherhood. I feel fortunate to have had a mom who stayed home for the majority of my childhood, but who also set an example that with a supportive partner and flexible work hours, you can — and should be able to — do both. Sure, my mom and I “never see each other” — partially because she showed me how to work hard and make my schedule work for me. That also means that when we do have our weekly catch-up session, there’s plenty to talk about. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! May 6, 2021 /


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White flight from hard truth

Bill against ‘critical race theory’ is a dangerous relic of an ‘outworn era’

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

There was a time when Idahoans — particularly North Idahoans — weren’t afraid of talking about tough topics like social justice. That time is apparently gone, at least according to certain elements in the Idaho Legislature, led in part by Republican Reps. Heather Scott, of Blanchard, and Priscilla Giddings, of White Bird, who have helped froth and foam Idaho into the most totalitarian and white supremacist-coded legislation passed through the Statehouse in recent memory. House Bill 377 — referred to by the Orwellian title, “Dignity and Nondiscrimination in Public Education” — proposes to make it illegal, on penalty of defunding, for schools to require students to “personally affirm, adopt or adhere” to a range of “tenets” “often found in ‘critical race theory.’” That latter term refers to an academic method of social science inquiry that analyzes how systemic, historic racism has been applied to perpetuate inequality in the law, economics and politics of the United States. Critical race theory is not a faith with “tenets,” it is a conversation and debate about the past, rather than “indoctrination,” as many lawmakers say. Yet “small government” conservatives have deemed this avenue of historical investigation too dangerous for Idaho students and the state must protect them from untoward thoughts. This bill has passed through both the House and Senate, and now sits on the desk of Gov. Brad Little. Its aim is to stop a certain type of conversation from happening, even before it starts. What seems to be so terrifying to a sizable number of conservatives is the notion that students will somehow be made to feel “inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color or nation12 /


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al origin.” Hailing Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s recent effort to enlist a personal flying squad of censorious thugs — a “task force” dedicated to “to protect[ing] our young people from the scourge of critical race theory, socialism, communism and Marxism” — Giddings said the quiet part out loud in April: “I appreciate the Lt. Gov. taking the initiative to push back against the flawed concept that white people are inherently racist and that our young people should be made to feel guilty for actions they have never committed and biases they have never displayed.” Scott, for her part, routinely peddles falsehoods about a “social justice” and “critical race theory” curriculum that doesn’t even exist. In her newsletters, she is either woefully misinformed or actively lying when she tells supporters that Idaho schools will leverage federal dollars to flood classrooms with a suite of books intended to incite self-hatred and anti-American sentiment among students. No evidence has been presented that such curricula is being, or has ever been, considered for use in Idaho schools. However, I can think of at least a few lawmakers who should feel guilty for actions they have committed and biases they have displayed — for instance, grinning happily on a parade float while holding up a Confederate Battle Flag, as Scott has done. But in their minds, these actions and biases should be considered “free speech,” to be protected by a law clearly written to protect racist speech from opposition while legally silencing challenges to it. It takes no imagination to foresee how this law would be applied: students reporting on their teachers, and offended parents reporting to the state — made all the more insidious as it comes cloaked in the language of “nondiscrimination,” “free speech” and the fascistic word murder in the bill, which targets ideas deemed “contrary to the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.” This is nothing more than

white flight from hard truth and a betrayal of the intellectual bravery demanded of citizens in a democratic republic. Clearly, we have lost much of this courage. Digging in the local newspaper archives, made available digitally by the East Bonner County Library, it is obvious that the intersection of race, politics, economics and the law were topof-mind for area residents going back to the early 1900s. On Oct. 3, 1919, Pend d’Oreille Review Editor and Proprietor George R. Barker devoted more than a half a column in the second-to-lead piece on the “Negro Question Again,” which addressed a lynching in Omaha. The uncredited article stated that the gross injustice of lynching flowed from the jurisprudential structures in place that encouraged “the delays of the courts and the subterfuges of the law” that fed the passions of “an excited populace.” A fine little piece of “critical race theory,” there. The newspapers of the time are likewise filled with similar denunciations of lynchings throughout the 1920s and 1930s. By the late1930s and into the ’40s, Sandpoint area papers became even more strident in their advocacy for what they called “social equality.” On April 12, 1935, the Northern Idaho News ran a piece chastising the South for its efforts to exclude Blacks from the franchise, writing that such voter suppression efforts belonged “to an outworn era in American history.” On Sept. 11, 1936 — looking with trepidation on the rise of fascism and National Socialism in Europe — the Northern Idaho News printed a piece titled “Some Things We Have Escaped.” The gist of the article was that the United States, while still suffering amid the Great Depression, could at least credit itself with avoiding the “pitfalls of nationalism, which nations like Italy and Germany have not, which might have led us into serious internal dissension.” However, the unnamed author focused on the Ku Klux Klan and its adjacent ideologies as a partic-

ular threat to the stability of the country. The paper noted that as recently as May 1925 Klansmen in Bonners Ferry boasted of having 500 members, and “they expect to make this the strongest Klan county in the state.” This was no idle brag. According to a database hosted by the historically Black liberal arts Tougaloo College near Jackson, Miss., Bonners Ferry, Clark Fork and Hoodoo were all “sundown towns” at various times, meaning people of color were at risk of their lives if found within city limits after dark. An example: In the June 18, 1985 edition of the Daily Bee, former Idaho U.S. Rep. Compton I. White Jr. recounted the story of a near-fatal lynching of a Chinese man in Clark Fork that escalated into an all-out attack on the local Chinese population, during which people “made small bombs out of half sticks of dynamite” and “set out to the underground shelters of the Chinese and on opening each door, would light a fuse and throw in a bomb.” Even in 1962, the Negro Motorist Green Book, which advised Black travelers where they could venture in relative safety, listed friendly locations in only eight communities in Idaho and only one north of Lewiston — that being Coeur d’Alene. Previous editions, going back to the 1930s, would only recommend two or three stops in the Gem State, and all of them in either Pocatello or Boise. The Northern Idaho News writer in the Sept. 11, 1936 edition was aware of the corrosive effect of race hatred on Idaho, but also realized that with it came political, religious and economic baggage — all additionally freighted with blatant hypocrisy. “The Klan in their literature stated that they were opposed to all manner of mobs and mob violence, yet they were indisputably guilty of mobbings almost as a regular thing,” the author wrote. “They said also that they were opposed to bolshevism, sovietism, anarchism, communism and every other ‘ism’ or cult that had for its

object the overthrow of the government of the United States, and yet they, at one time, boasted that they were very near to control of our government in Washington. “The Klan professed to be strongly Protestant, but they were never noted for their piety, in practice,” the article continued, adding later that, “A consideration of the history, activities and even malevolence, as well as the perverted nationalism of the Klan … should enable Americans to understand how Nazism in Germany, with its doctrine of Nordic superiority, and the denial of rights to the Jews, can control a national and transform its national ideals, once it gets control as rulers.” If all that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Every descriptor the Northern Idaho News applied to the Klan of the 1920s and ’30s can be overlaid with little if any updating to the current philosophy of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party at large — the wing in Idaho that marches to the sinister drum beat of legislators like Scott and Giddings, and kowtows to the theatrics of McGeachin. Scott, as we know, doesn’t even try to hide her identification with that supposed “outworn era in American history,” given her penchant for the Confederacy. Yet she and others of her political ilk sink to a detestable level of disingenuousness by suggesting that critical analysis of historic racism is somehow inappropriate or even dangerous to “the unity of the nation and the well-being of the state of Idaho and its citizens.” Let’s have no illusions here: This is in no way, shape or form an intellectually honest effort to protect the apparently fragile minds and feelings of white kids in Idaho. It is an attempt to eradicate challenges to a retrograde political faction allied with white supremacists across the nation. Zach Hagadone is editor-in-chief of the Sandpoint Reader, a fourth-generation Bonner County local and holds a master’s degree in American history from Washington State University. His opinions are his own.

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May 18 election guide

To help share candidates’ positions on the issues, the Reader offers an election guide for the upcoming May 18 election. What follows are brief biographical entries on each candidate and some questions to help define their positions. The races covered this week are Pend Oreille Hospital Board, the Northern Lights, Inc. Board and the Southside Water & Sewer District election. Next week, we’ll cover the East Bonner County Library Board and the West Bonner County School Board Levy.

Q&A with Pend Oreille Hospital Board candidates By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff The Pend Oreille Hospital District Board of Trustees’ election boasts five candidates in 2021, with only two seats up for grabs, each for a six-year term. The board is responsible for allocating public money to local health care facilities. The Reader caught up with each candidate, asking them to share a bit about their background and what inspired them to seek a POHD trustee position.

Questions, with answers numbered accordingly: 1. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you have chosen to run for a trustee seat on the Pend Oreille Hospital District Board. 2. What is your opinion of the board’s current operations? If elected, what would you change, if anything? 3. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on health care all over the world, including in Bonner County. How will this past year inform your decision-making on the board of trustees? 14 /


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Julie Berreth Age: 51 Birthplace and residence: Lifelong North Idaho resident How many years lived in Bonner County? 30 Government service: None Profession: Strategic marketing, branding and creative professional Education: North Idaho College Family: Married, two children, three grandchildren 1. Having been a marketing, branding and creative professional for more than 30 years, identifying and defining a long-term vision, along with the strategy and executable tactics to get there is second nature to me. Traditional health care models, by and large, have failed to adapt to the changing needs and lifestyles of their patients. Watching many of my loved ones, including myself, turn to alternative and complementary forms of medicine due to these failures was one of the main factors in my decision to run for a POHD seat. There are incredible opportunities to establish a vision that can meet the needs of the future through a combination of traditional, alternative and complementary health care, while resolving many of the challenges conventional providers face in rural areas. 2. It’s clear a change of direction is necessary. POHD’s recent audit found all three Bonner General Health clinics currently under service agreement are operating at a total loss of $1.9 million. POHD’s total revenue

Julie Berreth. from all sources, including taxes, is only about $1.5 million. This is simply not sustainable. Now more than ever, people are looking for less-invasive, more natural and toxin-free methods of healing. A Grand View Research study released in February reports the global market-size value of complementary and alternative medicine in 2021 is more than $100 billion. Why is this being overlooked? The people of Bonner County should be the driving force behind the types of public health care funded with their tax dollars, rather than a best-out-of-seven majority trustee vote. 3. The pandemic has presented a much different picture of how people consume health care not related to COVID-19. There are two key points from the Grand View Research study that underline the undeniable demand for a more integrative approach to health care that combines conventional, alternative and complementary medicine. • Traditional alternative medicine or botanicals coupled therapeutic interventions that

incorporated herbs, oils and other supplements dominated the market with a share of 38.48% in last year. • Based on the method of distribution, more rural areas and e-sales are expected to see remarkable opportunities in the near future, largely due to COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing recommendations. The study also indicates the global complementary and alternative medicine market size is expected to reach USD $404.66 billion by 2028. POHD not only has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers it serves to seriously explore these methods as viable options to incorporate, but also has an obligation to facilitate the types of health care that helps achieve and sustain the health and wellness of Bonner County residents.

Dolores “Dodie” Glass Age: No answer Birthplace and residence: San Jose, Calif./Dover Bay How many years lived in Bonner County? 3 Government service: No answer Education: Master’s in nursing (MSN), bachelor’s in science, nursing (BSN) Profession: Retired from clinical nursing (you never really retire from nursing) Family: Married with four children between us and six grandchildren. My husband is a veteran and our two sons are currently active duty military. One is currently deployed.

Dolores “Dodie” Glass. 1. I have always had a passion for quality health care. I was approached to look at the needs of POHD. I feel my background master’s in nursing and bachelor’s in science, nursing, and my experience qualified me to pursue a seat on this board. 2. I think we need more clarity and transparency on the functions of this board. I feel the taxpayer deserves to better understand how their tax dollar is spent. 3. I have done extensive research to better understand the impact of COVID. I feel it is my job as a “health care provider,” to inform and educate, to help reduce the fear that has been generated. Fear does not promote quality health.

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Jessie Peters

Thomas L. Lawrence (incumbent)

Age: 39

Age: 74

Birthplace and residence: Born in Arizona, currently reside in Cocolalla

Birthplace and residence: Kalispell, Mont./Bonner County

How many years lived in Bonner County? 3 1/2

How many years lived in Bonner County? 44

Government service: None

Government service: United States Army

Profession: Family nurse practitioner

Profession: Family practice physician for over 40 years Education: B.S. biology from Carroll College; medical school at University of Colorado; family practice residency, Milwaukee, Wisc. Family: Married for 47 years, two sons both born and raised in Sandpoint, and five grandchildren. 1. I moved to Sandpoint with my wife Debra in 1977, where we have raised our two sons. I have had the privilege of treating patients and delivering babies to thousands of residents, including multiple generations of families, during my career in Bonner County. Because of my 40 years’ experience as a family practice provider in Bonner County I am very familiar with the issues that confront the POHD. 2. Yes, I believed they are managed well. I want the three outpatient clinics to be independent and more financially stable. The board needs to continue to pursue inpatient-to-outpatient care transition as that is the health care trend in the US. Top three reasons for the transition: Technology — Has increased more options to provide outpatient care. Insurance Companies — Require more services to be done on an outpatient basis. Consumer Desire — Patients want to heal and recover at home. 3. COVID was challenging; however, the clinics are recovering, and patient volumes are increasing. I think the patient comes first and I support our tax dollars to enhance and expand

Thomas Lawrence. the services provided by the three clinics.

Helen Parsons


Age: 51 Birthplace and residence: Sandpoint How many years lived in Bonner County? 51 Government service: No Profession: Retired Education: I have a diploma from CLA (Christian Liberty Academy). I believe having worked at Sandpoint Women’s Health in the health care industry for over 28 years, my most relevant education for this position came from on-the-job experience. Family: Being born and raised in Sandpoint and having married a Sandpoint local, we have lots of family and friends here. Daren and I have been married 32 years and our children, Hailey (Stefan) Harlicker and Emily (Dakota) Jackson, also call Sandpoint home. 1. I worked for Sandpoint Women’s Health for over 28 years. I retired in March 2019. I, along with my siblings, am the primary caregiver for our aging mom. I currently serve as a volunteer at North Summit Church, helping in an after-school program. I am an active member of my church and have volunteered as part of their worship ministry

Helen Parsons. for over 20 years. I volunteer on the Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. I currently serve on the Pend Oreille Hospital District Board for which I am seeking re-election. I am running for a seat on this board because I have a passion for good health care to remain in our local community. 2. I believe the board’s current operations of supporting outpatient clinics is vital. The Behavioral Health, Sandpoint Women’s Health, and Ear Nose and Throat Clinics are all necessary. I would love to see us expand support to the growing need of behavioral health in our community. 3. I believe Bonner General is a vital part of the Sandpoint Community. Whether you need an ER visit, an emergency surgery or you are having a baby, Bonner General has been there for the people of our community and surrounding areas. During COVID it was no different. The doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical assistants, lab techs, sonographers, etc., continued to show up to work and perform their jobs well. This past year has served as a good reminder for our community that we need to continue to support Bonner General. As a member of the board of trustees, my decisions will be aligned to support this.

Education: Master’s degree in nursing, family nurse practitioner Family: Husband of 19 years and three sons (ages 9, 11, 12) 1. I have always had a heart for rural health care, it’s actually what motivated me to become a nurse practitioner over a decade ago. This heart to see my community healthy is why I am running for the trustee position on the Pend Oreille Hospital District Board. During my career in health care leadership, I have pioneered rural clinics, led health care nonprofits and have served on an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) board for hospital systems. I have learned many lessons about the unique health care challenges rural communities face. I have expertise in bringing about positive change in the nonprofit health care sector, and want to serve my taxing district by representing the voter and their health care needs on the hospital district board. 2. From my current vantage point, it is difficult to understand the details of the hospital district’s goals, mission, strategies and plans. This is also what I would advocate to change, if elected. The health care needs of our taxing district need to be assessed in order to ensure that dollars are being spent toward meeting those needs, reflectively. I am not clear from what is publicly available from the hospital district’s board of trustees if, when and how thoroughly Bonner County’s health care needs/ disparities have been assessed. There needs to then be a clear, well-articulated and well-communicated plan about how tax

Jessie Peters. dollars flow to positively impact the health and wellness of our communities. 3. I have a strong value around patient-centered care. I think patients know themselves best, and the health care system should support patients, coming alongside to improve health outcomes. This past year only reinforces the values I already hold. As a decision-maker on the board of trustees, I will advocate on behalf of the health and wellness of each voter. The hospital district board of trustees has the opportunity to create, communicate and implement a plan to positively impact the health care needs of Bonner County.

ELECTION INFORMATION • Absentee ballot applications must be received by the county clerk by 5 p.m. on Friday, May 7. • Absentee ballots must be received (not just postmarked) by May 18 at 8 p.m. • Election day is Tuesday, May 18 • Check Sandpoint Online’s Election Central for a list of polling place addresses May 6, 2021 /


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Q&A with Northern Lights District 4 board candidates By Ben Olson Reader Staff

David Pemberton

Northern Lights, Inc. has two candidates on the ballot this spring for its board of directors election in District 4. NLI holds elections every year, rotating the terms for the seven districts. The NLI Board election is mail-in only, and ballots must be received by Tuesday, May 11 at 5 p.m. Voting is open to NLI members from District 2 and 4 (the Reader is only covering the District 4 race since District 2 is in Montana, outside of our distribution area). Results will be announced during the virtual annual meeting Wednesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. The NLI Board of Directors establishes policies, rates and the direction of the energy cooperative. The Reader reached out to both candidates running for District 4 seats to ask about their background and what motivated them to seek a position on the board.

Age: 70

Questions, with answers numbered accordingly: 1. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you have chosen to run on the NLI Board of Directors for District 4. 2. What abilities will you bring to the position that your challenger may not? What sets you apart from your challenger? 3. Do you feel our local electrical infrastructure is adequate to handle all the growth this region has experienced in the past few years? If not, what needs to be done to make it so and what improvements need to be put in place to accommodate future growth? 16 /


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ticipates alongside BPA to share information and provide feedback in this process.


Thomas Fletcher

Birthplace and residence: Vernal, Utah; Bonner County from 1974 (with a brief eight-year interruption for work placement) until present.

Age: 67

Government service: U.S. Army, Vietnam veteran 1968-1971; Bonner County Sheriff’s Department; Bonner County District Court. Profession: Military, law enforcement, utility lineman — utility engineer and utility contractor with 31 years in the utility industry. Building contractor and private business owner. Board member for Northern Lights for nine years. Education: After high school I was trained in multiple military schools, including avionics. Associate’s degree in law enforcement, multiple certifications for the utility industry (combining 31 years of education) and project management. Family: Wife, four adult children, nine grandchildren. Also one sweet dog and two farm kitties. 1. I chose to run for the NLI directorship as a way to give back and serve my community by bringing my acquired knowledge and education of the utility industry. I had worked with Northern Lights on many projects and felt it would be a good fit for my knowledge of Bonner County and skill sets. I have acquired nine years as a board member, adding to my knowledge and information of this technical and ever-progressing industry. 2. The abilities I bring to this position are in the minutia of the (combined 31 years) of utility work. This along with my relationships in the community and the culture of the Pacific Northwest. Having lived, worked and participated almost 50 years in this area, I am attuned to its intricacies. I have an awareness of what it takes to climb poles in snowstorms, design sites for future building projects and a keen education on what

Birthplace and residence: Houston, Texas; Careywood

David Pemberton. NLI uses for its infrastructure. I appreciate what the employees and board have to accomplish — such as rate settings, storm mitigation and service requirements, in order to keep the lights on and the rates low. My board and utility work has given me unparalleled experience that my challenger does not have. 3. NLI is primarily a distribution provider, meaning NLI has local infrastructure that delivers power to our members. Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) provides the majority of the long-distance transmission service to NLI and which delivers the generated power BPA produces around the Pacific Northwest region. BPA’s system has ample capacity to serve NLI and the region’s growing load. NLI’s engineering department does a comprehensive study of the portion of the power system NLI owns every five to 10 years to determine if upgrades are needed for load projected growth or other factors. The results of the study provide the road map to NLI’s capital system upgrades, such as replacing a substation transformer with a larger one or increasing wire size on a main feeder distribution line. The information from this study is reviewed with NLI’s board to help make budget decisions. We have the ability to borrow, to install new infrastructure and maintain services as we know it. BPA has a similar process it goes through for transmission and generation planning. NLI also par-

Years in Bonner County: Purchased property in 2013. Moved permanently in 2016 Government service: none Profession: M.D., retired board certified cardiovascular and interventional radiology; FACR, fellow of the American College of Radiology. Education: B.A. in mathematics and philosophy, Vanderbilt University; M.D., University of Texas, Southwestern; fellowship and assistant professor, Johns Hopkins Hospital. Family: married with children and grandchildren. 1. In one word — transparency. Four years ago the NLI proposed and passed two bylaws that I felt sent the wrong message. At that time, I decided to run for the NLI board. One bylaw had to do with how the board members were to be compensated. Prior to the new rule the board members were offered health care insurance as compensation. Afterwards, the board members were to be compensated in cash. Cloaked in the wording of the bylaws change was the dollar amount of the compensation package for the board members. Even today the compensation package for the board members is shrouded in secrecy. When I requested from the NLI data on the compensation package, I was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Why? What are they hiding? When I requested a copy of the IRS Form 990, they again

Thomas Fletcher. asked me to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which, by the way, is illegal. (The Form 990 is mandated by federal law to be publicly available.) Why the non-disclosure? What are they hiding? The other bylaw change altered the mechanics on how future bylaw changes could occur. The new rule requires 10 times more signatures to propose a change. The new rule places greater distance between the membership and the governing board. Why the distance? Isn’t the NLI a cooperative? The NLI employees support the re-election of my opponent. The NLI management supports the re-election of my opponent. The NLI board president supports the re-election of my opponent. Why the urgency to keep a fresh face off the board? With Thomas Fletcher, you will get transparency. By the way, money is not the reason I’m running for the board. I pledge to contribute 100% of my salary to local charities. 2. It has been emphasised by my opponent and Steve Elgar, the NLI board president and marine biologist, that I have no experience in running a utility company. True statement. On the other hand, I would argue that board members should bring to an organization different perspectives. Even a marine biologist can contribute. How much experience do any of the board members have in radiation biology? How many of them can claim to have training or experience in the hazards of

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electromagnetic radiation on human tissue? As a board certified radiologist, I received formal training in biophysics and during my professional career I served as the radiation safety officer for a major hospital network in central Texas. It might serve the interests of the NLI members to have someone on the board who can understand and apply the scientific literature on the biohazards of non-ionizing radiation, the energy that emanates from power lines and smart meters into the human body. 3. Absolutely not. We must invest in infrastructure. Just this last week in Careywood and surrounding areas, we experienced yet another electrical outage due to an infrastructure failure. My opponent has run a campaign on the proposition of maintaining the status quo. To quote his flyer, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The people of Texas back in January of this year believed that their electrical grid wasn’t broken. One month later they changed their minds after millions were without power and hundreds froze to death. The Texas electrical system is run by a board much like the NLI board. The president of the Texas utility board is a person with loads of experience designing and running an electrical grid. She had developed an alternative energy utility system in the state of Michigan and was drafted by the Texas board to build for Texas a similar Green New Deal utility grid. Sixty-six billion dollars later, what did the people of Texas get? During the arctic vortex freeze of February 2021, the solar panel contribution to the grid fell to zero and the windmill contribution fell to 4%. Evidently, clever political slogans and gobs of money do not necessarily make for a reliable energy system. The grid failure in Texas was a failure of leadership. The age of our infrastructure and the growth of our region mandates investment in the infrastructure. I have been accused of suffering from an anti-science attitude, a climate denier who does not want to invest in the future of energy. Wrong. I believe we must invest intelligently, not ideologically.

ELECTION INFORMATION • NLI Board election ballots are open only to NLI members within District 2 and 4. They are mail-in only and must be received no later than May 11 at 5 p.m. • Winner announced at the NLI virtual meeting May 12 at 6 p.m.

What’s the special revenue bond election about? Bonner County is asking voters to borrow $8.7 million to pay for major solid waste improvements

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff

Bonner County voters will have the chance to vote on a special revenue bond on their May 18 ballot — a measure which would allow Bonner County to take on an $8.7 million USDA loan to fund major improvements to local solid waste operations. The bond election is the latest step in a multi-year, multi-tiered effort to bring the county waste management infrastructure into the 21st century. The path to major upgrades became official when outside consultant Great West Engineering released its Bonner County Solid Waste 10-Year Capital Improvements Plan in 2019, a document that pinpointed the most inadequate waste collection sites in the county and provided a timeline for implementing improvements — particularly to the Colburn Waste Transfer Site, where all county garbage is processed. “Our system is a 25-year-old system — 25 years ago, it was built with a five-year life expectancy,” Solid Waste Director Bob Howard told the Reader, referring specifically to the Colburn site and its undersized tipping floor, where trash is unloaded into truck containers to be hauled away. “Nothing changed after that five years,” he said. “It’s been the status quo since it was built 25 years ago. We have doubled the volume of trash that we manage, and that shows the population increase also. … Our critical infrastructure needs to grow with that population increase, to be able to handle the volume of trash that will be produced.” While borrowed money is typically followed by increased costs to taxpayers, Bonner County residents are already paying the fees necessary to pay back the $8.7 million loan in full over 10 years. In September 2019, the county commissioners approved a rate hike of 62%, raising the annual solid waste fee per county household, starting with their 2020 tax bill, from $115 to $185 — or, from $9.58 to $15.41 monthly. A special revenue bond is defined by a guarantee of repayment with revenue from pre-established fees, not additional taxes. By pursuing a loan, Bonner County will be able to begin construction as soon as summer 2022. Thanks to the fee increase, financial models show revenues capable of paying it off by 2030. “We made a move last year to establish that new rate so that we could actually get the loan. Without that rate increase, we wouldn’t be able to get the

loan,” Commission Chair Dan McDonald said during a public hearing on the special revenue bond April 20. “At the old rate, we were struggling to keep up with operating costs,” he added. The majority of the loan funds will go toward an overhaul of Colburn Waste Transfer Site. Expenses include $3.5 million for a new transfer building; $670,000 to recondition the existing transfer building; $690,000 for a new household hazardous waste disposal building; $362,000 for a commercial scale; and $741,000 for other general improvements to the Colburn site. Efficiency is also a major focus of the Colburn site improvements, seeing as trash is often handled two or three times during the transfer process. Additionally, the intermingling of residential and commercial traffic presents a safety issue at the site that the county hopes to address. Additional costs included in the $8.7 million are improvements to the Idaho Hill and Dickensheet waste collection sites, totaling about $1 million each; $358,000 for upgrades to the Dufort site; and about $289,000 in other project-related expenses. “This is more about an investment as opposed to an expenditure,” McDonald said at the hearing, “and the bottom line is we really don’t have a choice.” Howard said that should voters deny the bond, Bonner County would have the option to seek judicial confirmation to borrow the money. The county could also increase rates again “in order to accomplish what we’re trying to accomplish,” Howard said. Those with questions about the Bonner County Solid Waste Special Revenue Bond Election can reach the Solid Waste office at 208-255-5681 ext. 2 or by emailing solidwaste@bonnercountyid.gov.

An aerial shot of the Colburn waste transfer site tipping floor, which will be replaced if county voters approve the bond May 18. Photo courtesy of Bonner County Solid Waste.

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The good kind of work Restoring an old sailboat is good for the soul

By Ben Olson Reader Staff When I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 2018 with some good friends — a turn of luck I am eternally grateful for — I realized then and there that I wanted to spend some portion of my life on the water. The reality is, I have to work a lot more years to make that possible; but, in the meantime, I’m finding ways to get my fix. Last fall, with the first snowfall looming in the forecast, I stumbled into one of the greatest purchases of my life. One of our readers, Ted Wert, emailed me about another matter and we struck up a conversation about sailing. A fellow sailor, Ted mentioned briefly that he knew of a sailboat that was possibly on the market. A week later, I met with Tom and Marjorie Trulock at Glengary Bay Marina and took a look at the boat. It was a 1967 Rawson 30 with a cabin, a durable-yet-elegant look and a handful of sails. It had also been fitted with an outboard motor instead of the stock inboard, which was a big selling point. She had taken some light damage on the toerail and taffrail after the big windstorm on Labor Day 2020, but, for a 54-year-old boat, she was in otherwise decent condition. The cushions smelled a bit of mildew and everything needed a good cleaning, but the bones were great. I enlisted my friend Jake Hagadone — an able lake sailor and younger brother to Reader Editor-in-Chief Zach Hagadone — to go in on the boat with me to help share costs and restoration. It has turned out to be a great partnership. Let me preface my next remarks by acknowledging that I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing when it comes to boat repair. I’ve owned a handful of boats over the years. One was commandeered from Bob Witte’s front yard, full of peanut shells and about a decade’s worth of leaves piled up in the cockpit. I installed a new battery, replaced the fuel and managed to get a year on the water before it ultimately sank in the slough by Dan Shook’s house. This was before the byway was built, so I salvaged it from the water, towed it to the dirt lot by the Long Bridge where people used to park cars they were selling and watched the snow cover it for the winter — then promptly forgot about it. The following spring, the sheriff’s office called Bob, who was still listed as the owner, and told him to come pick up his damn boat. Sorry, Bob. The next nautical failure was a 1976 18 /


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Bayliner I bought for $800 from the lot at Gas ’n’ Go a couple of years ago. The deck was rotten, so I spent the next few months ripping up all the bad wood, re-fiberglassing the hull and installing new stringers — it took me 10 seconds to write that sentence, but about two months of hard work and upward of $1,500 to accomplish that mission. Prior to installing the final deck, I had a mechanic check out the engine and was told the head was cracked and it “wasn’t worth working on.” Exasperated, I ended up just giving the thing to my landlord, who has a piece of land where it can either moulder in peace or slowly be built back up to seaworthiness. Failure is just the hors d’oeuvre to success, as someone once said, but I was making a habit of it. So the decision didn’t come lightly to take on a 30-foot sailboat; but, Tom and Marjorie gave us a great price so we could afford to put some decent money into restoring the boat. We finalized the purchase and reluctantly covered the Free Spirit with a series of tarps for the winter. A couple months ago, Jake and I began to make trips out to the boat to start a host of projects. We planned to gut the cabin and sand down everything to bare wood, replace the toerail and taffrail damage, clean and oil the teak wood, sand and paint the entire topside decks, and replace the foam and fabric for the dozen cushions, among other small projects. As the snow receded, I noticed the urge to get out to the boat come up more frequently. I’d rush through a morning of work to buy a few hours in the afternoon to drive out to Glengary for another quiet, brisk day attacking the next task. Though it’s always hard work restoring a boat, these excursions became the bright spots of my week. There’s just something about that drive out to Glengary Bay that sets your mind at ease. I’d look out onto Gamlin Lake where small huts kept anglers warm on the ice, wishing them a good day’s catch. Then one

A 1967 Rawson 30 sailboat — the Free Spirit — at Glengary Bay. Photo by Ben Olson. day the ice had broken and it was a lake again (this just a day after we had all tromped out on the ice like fools). Pulling into Glengary Bay is like stepping back in time. Marinas around Lake Pend Oreille have mostly undergone a transformation over the years to sterile watery parking lots Painting a coat of primer on the deck at Glengary Bay. Photo by Ben Olson. chock-full of big fancy boats moored like dreams you’ll never conquer. sailboat out there waiting for the next bit of But at Glengary Bay, it’s like happening on work to do is pleasing to my soul, as if our a small Alaskan bay with just a few homes lives are somehow intertwined. and a big, wide lake reflecting the snowAs a good friend said to me the other capped Cabinet Mountains across the water. day, “A man needs a project to work on.” It Every hour I spend there reminds me of doesn’t get any simpler than that. Because what North Idaho used to be like, before we we — all of us — do. Whether it be home reall got in a big damn hurry. pairs, hobby projects in the garage or artistic I’d spend a couple hours hand-sanding endeavors, when you pour your time and enthe decks, pausing occasionally to listen to ergy into creating or restoring something to the eagles calling from their nest across the its former glory, you find that the work you bay. Phone reception is spotty and, even if do on these projects benefits your own life. it wasn’t, I would still keep the phone in Owning a sailboat is not just about sailmy truck, because I don’t want anyone to ing, it’s about putting a bit of your soul into contact me when I’m working on the boat. the restoration and upkeep until at some Slowly, we began to check projects off the point they are co-mingled. The boat ends up list. The teak rails were sanded, cleaned and being an extension of yourself, and you get oiled. The cabin sole was pried up and everyout exactly what you put into it. thing sanded down to bare wood. The topside Last weekend, Jake and I took our deck was sanded, primed and is now in the first shakedown cruise in the Free Spirit, process of being painted with non-skid. hoisting the main and jib and cutting the With each minor accomplishment, Jake engine to hear that glorious sound of wind and I are inching closer to those glorious and water. It was your typical North Idaho days in the not-so-distant future when we’ll spring day complete with sunshine, rain and be hoisting the mainsail and pointing our a sudden squall that blew 20+ knots from bow toward the big lake for a weekend Hope that forced us to douse the sails quickcamping adventure. ly and motor for the barn. The smiles on our While driving back to town one day after faces proved that all the time and effort was a particularly hard day of sanding, I thought worth it, even after just one sail across the about the fact that while we’re restoring the lake and back. We still have a lot of work to boat, what’s really happening is the boat do, but it’s the good kind of work that keeps is restoring us. Just knowing that I have a us coming back.


Dirt-y Secrets Get ready, get set, plant!

By Ranel Hanson Reader Columnist

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood We are so close to being able to plant. Mid-May is usually safe but if you just must plant those petunias, be prepared to cover if nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. You can use an old sheet, but an investment in some frost cloth is well worth it. You can cut it to just the right size and it fastens easily with clothes pins. Or, you can exercise your patience and wait just a bit longer. Soil is your first key to success. Buy a good quality, organic potting soil for pots and hanging baskets. It helps to add moisture-storing crystals, especially in hanging baskets. Be careful to follow the directions and don’t add too many crystals. They will help to keep your baskets and pots from drying out and should make the need to water less frequent. In the garden, top dress with high-quality garden soil and till in for additional nutrition. Add as much compost as you can get your hands on — either your own or bags from the nursery. A wonderful Italian gardener couple I knew had a unique and common sense way to compost. They simply dug a deep hole right in the garden (maybe four feet deep by one-foot wide) and added kitchen scraps to it as they used them. After each addition, they shoveled in some soil and covered the hole with a piece of plywood. As the hole filled, they just dug another. Vegetable scraps, garden trimmings, egg shells — but no meat scraps. Next year’s garden got a new hole and eventually, the garden was full of nutrient-rich soil. Fertilizer is your second key to success. I use Mary’s Alpaca Poop, fish emulsion, steer manure and other natural fertilizers. Baskets and pots need to be lightly fertilized every other week or

so in order to become lush and healthy. Hearty plants will not be nearly as susceptible to pests or diseases. If you do find aphids or other pests, act quickly. Mild infestations can be squirted off with the hose but you’ll need to do it often. Insecticidal soap is better and you can buy it or make your own. Here’s the recipe to make your own: first, you will need a clean spray bottle and a gallon bucket; fill the bucket with water; add five tablespoons of pure soap (not detergent) like Dr. Bronner’s pure Castile soap; you can also add one teaspoon of vinegar to control powdery mildew and two tablespoons of light cooking oil to make it stick to the foliage. Second, fill your spray bottle and go to town. Meanwhile, the birds are back and nesting like crazy. Babies are already hatching and bird parents are busy. Swallows are ready to gobble up those mosquitos as soon as they hatch and the osprey, geese and eagles are busy building nests. We live in a beautiful, healthy environment and we all want to keep it that way. The best way to do that is by not using herbicides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers. Those dandelions in your lawn feed the bees when not much else is blooming. I urge you to let them be until the flowers and trees are in full bloom. Then, if they offend you, dig them out or spray with straight vinegar. The hummingbird scouts have also just arrived. The frisky Rufous roosters come first and stake out territories while they await the females. The Rufous hens and other hummingbirds come later. We have several other kinds in our area, including the Calliope, Black Chinned, Allen’s and Anna’s. All beautiful. About June, hummingbirds head to nesting sites and tend their young. Don’t worry if you don’t see them for a few weeks. They are doing important work. I just learned that hummingbirds suck the sugary sap from holes in tree bark made by other birds and insects. By the way, they also eat tiny insects. The sap and insects will tide them over until flowers are available or until they

find the feeders you filled with sugar water. (One cup sugar, two cups water. No need for food coloring, which isn’t healthy for them anyway.) Be sure to clean your feeders regularly. Don’t use soap but instead soak in

Courtesy photo.

full-strength vinegar and brush clean. If you hang your feeders near bushes or trees where they can take cover, you’ll see more birds at your bird buffet. Happy Gardening!

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COMMUNITY Farmer’s Market, Food Bank, KLT partner to feed families, help farmers By Reader Staff

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On average, one hundred pounds of fresh, locally grown produce is leftover following a standard market day at Sandpoint Farmers’ Market. Having been picked fresh and carefully prepared just for market day, much of this produce is highly perishable and cannot easily be transported back to the farm, repackaged and returned to market the following week. Without a simple system to get it into the hands of those who could benefit most from it, much of this perfect produce is disposed of, composted or fed to livestock. Thanks to a grant that Kaniksu Land Trust secured from the Land Trust Alliance, that excess food will now benefit local families in need. The grant will fund a “market liaison” position at the Bonner Community Food Bank, which will pick up and transport excess produce from the twice weekly market and deliver it to the food bank. The Food Bank recently announced that Katherine Deacon has been selected to fill that position. Through this new partnership, Kaniksu Land Trust, Sandpoint Farmers’ Market and the Bonner Community Food Bank hope to achieve three primary outcomes: put excess food from Farmers’ Market on the tables of families in need, increase participation in the SNAP and Double Up programs, and support local sustainable agriculture. The Bonner Community Food Bank currently serves approximately 1,800 households monthly and is constantly seeking sources of fresh, local produce. “The food is there, and the recipients are waiting. We just needed a mechanism to bridge the two,” said KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb. In her role at the Food Bank, Deacon will help build awareness and participation in the SNAP and Double Up nutrition benefit programs. These two essential but underutilized community resources allow access to fresh, local produce at the Farmers’ Market for those who may not otherwise be able to afford it, while also putting much needed cash in the pockets of local farmers. SNAP is Idaho’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, sometimes known as food stamps, which is meant to help families pay for healthy food. SNAP expenditures at the market totaled approximately $2,300 in 2019 and also in 2020 in

A patron shops the Sandpoint Farmers’ Market. Courtesy photo. spite of a shortened market season due to COVID-19. The Double Up Food Bucks program, which is fueled by the Fair Food Network, provides participants in the SNAP program with a one-to-one match on the purchase of healthy, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Participation totaled $1,296 in 2019, the first year that it was available in Sandpoint, and $1,914 in 2020. Both of these subsidized programs serve to simultaneously support local farmers and community members in need. “KLT is dedicated to the concept of community conservation. We believe that the well-being of our lands is intrinsically linked with the health of the communities which rely upon them, and that we cannot fully serve one without also serving the other,” Plumb said. The rural North Idaho and northwest Montana communities included in KLT’s service area comprise a high percentage of economically stressed residents who struggle with challenges such as food security, chronic disease, and lack of access to amenities. KLT’s community programming has grown out of an awareness of these struggles, and the desire to build strong and resilient communities that are equipped to withstand global changes. Through their private lands conservation work, they seek to contribute toward the protection of working lands, clean water and healthy forests, as well as the strength and resilience of the local food economy. “Just as the preservation of working farms and ranches is vital to the organization’s missional work, so too is the food that is produced on those lands and the livelihoods of those who dedicate their time to growing it,” KLT stated. “By investing in food, we are investing in our community, its future, and the lands on which our lives depend.”

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events May 6-13, 2021


Sandpoint Songfest Sneak Preview • 6-7:30pm @ The Longshot A sneak preview of Sandpoint Songfest, a songwriter showcase taking place in Sept. This event will feature performances by Thom Shepherd, Coley McCabe Shepherd, Ben Olson and Ben Vogel. Funds raised will benefit the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint. Open Mic Night will follow the show from 8-10 p.m. Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

FriDAY, May 7

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Jazz 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Queen Bonobo EP release show 7:30pm @ The Longshot Maya Goldblum’s release show for her new EP Sail From This Life Live Music w/ Luke Yates & Chrissy Lee 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Live Music w/ Utah John & Mike Wagoner 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

First Friday Lawn Party 5-11pm @ The Longshot Artists, vendors, live music, DJ, outdoor bar opening and tons of fun Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 8-10pm @ The Back Door

Live Music w/ So What 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Mike and Shanna Thompson add Charlie Nash on percussion to make it a trio!


Live Music w/ Gabriella Rose 8-10pm @ The Longshot CDA artist playing indie pop and retro folk

Live Music w/ LoGee Music 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Music from New Zealand

Parnell Clydesdale Ranch Open House 1-3pm @ bit.ly/ParnellRanchMap Book signing and tours of the ranch

Live Music w/ Chris Lynch 8-10pm @ The Back Door

Free Piano Workshop • 10-11am @ Suzuki String Academy Explore the piano and learn about group/ individual lessons with instructor Simon Pranaitis. All ages welcome, no playing experience required. info@suzukistringacademy.com Live Music w/ Brad Keeler • 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and vintage music interpreter playing it all! Live Music w/ Baker | Thomas | Packwood Live Music w/ John Firshi 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

SunDAY, May 9

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

Interactive Bingo 6-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Piano Sunday w/ Annie Welle 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Select Sunday Beer Specials 12-9pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Come try something new!

monDAY, May 10

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s “Triumph Over Trauma: One Woman’s Struggle with Anorexia.”

TuesDAY, May 11

Live Music w/ Lauren Kershner and Chris Lynch 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

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Motherly musings By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff There’s no shortage of songs about moms and motherhood. Some are heartfelt tributes and loving ballads of parenthood, but not all. Mother’s Day brings up different feelings for different people. Here’s a sampling of songs for the holiday, no matter what it means to you. ‘Don’t Forget to Remember Me’ by Carrie Underwood When this song hit radio waves in the early 2000s, my sister was about to head off to college. I remember the lyrics — particularly the part where the narrator tells her mom to “Tell my baby sister/ I’ll see her in the fall” — hitting home. The track is classic, feel-good Carrie Underwood, and a loving tribute to the advice and comfort that moms provide when we strike out on our own.

‘House of Gold’ by Twenty One Pilots The band’s frontman Tyler Joseph, over a spunky ukulele melody, sings, “She asked me, Son, when I grow old/ Will you buy me a house of gold?” to which he replies, “I will make you/ Queen of everything you see/ I’ll put you on the map/ I’ll cure you of disease.” Joseph has always been transparent about his love for this family, and “House of Gold” serves as a sweet promise to his mom that he’ll use his fame to give back to her.

‘Fancy’ by Reba McEntire Her methods may have been questionable, but no one’s mom went further to help them succeed than the narrator’s mother in Reba McEntire’s 1990 hit “Fancy.” She spent the last of her money to buy her daughter a satin dress and sent her out into the world with the words, “Your pa’s runned off and I’m real sick/ And the baby’s gonna starve to death,” as well as, “Here’s your one chance, Fancy, don’t let me down.” Fancy leaves the shack of her childhood, charms the gentlemen and builds a wealthy life. Her mother dies, but hey — Mama did what she had to do, and we got a hell of a song out of it.

‘Hey, Ma’ by Bon Iver This stunning song is a riddle wrapped in a Rubik’s Cube of a motherly relationship. Many have speculated that it’s a story of a reckless childhood, and a mother who remains by the narrator’s side. There are references to lending money, drug dependence, and the ups and downs of seeking success. The chorus hits hard, with the lyrics, “Tall time to call your Ma/ Hey Ma, hey Ma” — solid advice any day of the year.

Songs for and about Mom

“Mothers,” which includes the lyrics: “Oh love all you need to love before it goes/ When your face becomes a stranger’s, I don’t know/ You will never remember who I was to you/ Carried in the womb.” An honorable mention track off one of the band’s earlier albums is “Smother,” in which the narrator apologizes for being insufferably clingy, fantasizes about the “mess” she’ll leave of children who act just like her, and ends with the line, “I sometimes wish I’d stayed inside my mother/ Never to come out.” Heavy stuff. ‘A Thousand Years’ by Christina Perri International Bereaved Mother’s Day was May 2 — one week before the traditionally celebrated Mother’s Day. The day is reserved for mothers who have lost children to miscarraige, stillbirth or any other means during their lifetime. This song could take on many meanings and apply to many kinds of love, but the lyrics, “I have died every day waiting for you/ Darling, don’t be afraid/ I have

loved you for a thousand years/ I’ll love you for a thousand more,” seem to apply especially to the love a mother has for her child — particularly a mother who is struggling with infertility, or who finds comfort in knowing she’ll see her child again in the afterlife. No matter its application, it’s a beautiful and tender track. ‘Stacy’s Mom’ by Fountains of Wayne This one’s for the hot moms, which is all of you. We all know

“Yes dears, I’m listening to everything you’re saying.” Courtesy photo. the story: the narrator believes Stacy’s mom has got it going on, and he straight up tells Stacy she’s just not the girl for him — her mom is. Poor Stacy. I hope she got past this and found a man with more age-appropriate tastes.

‘Mothers’ by Daughter English indie trio Daughter is well-seasoned at writing songs that grapple with complicated feelings about moms and motherhood. The band’s album Not to Disappear was inspired by the lead singer’s grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. The resulting tracks are haunting — particularly

Mother’s Day birding outing in Libby By Reader Staff A Mothers’ Day birdwatching outing hosted by the Libby Hostel Base Camp is scheduled for Saturday, May 2, offering a medium-paced road tour to spot and identify some of the resident, migrating and irruptive winged animals in the area. The tour starts in Libby, Mont., at 9 a.m. (Mountain Time), embarking on a large loop during which participants will stop in their own vehicles at convenient places to view birds and other wildlife — assisted by an experienced birder

as instructor for the day. Pre-registration is required, as spaces are limited, and organizers ask that those taking part come prepared with a reliable vehicle filled with gas, water, lunch, binoculars and spotting scopes, and a birding field guide book, if possible. The tour is set to end at 2:30 p.m. (MT). Visit Libby Hostel Base Camp on facebook or airbnb for more information and accommodations, if needed. Social distancing will be practiced throughout the tour. To register email b_baxter53@ yahoo.com or call 406-291-2154.

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The Sandpoint Eater The grill of your dreams By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist

Seems like everyone is in barbecue mode. Every store I came across this past week had a massive display, showcasing all the equipment needed for proand amateur-BBQ master grillers alike. I was surprised to see how many choices are available and (sticker) shocked to see some of the prices. I have a couple life rules; I refuse to pay more for a hotel room than I’d pay for a cow, and I’d never spend more on a grill than I spent on my first car (1972 red VW bug). My son is even more frugal than me and refused to spend any money on a grill. Why would he? He just sent me a picture of what I was afraid might be my custom-built coffin, but it turns out he had a friend visiting from Texas who couldn’t believe Zane didn’t have a grill or a smoker. When you live in the middle of northwestern-nowhere Montana, you just get busy and build your own. Zane’s not yet a master griller, but he is a master welder, with plenty of farm machinery laying around. Turns out you can build a mighty OK barbecue/smoker from the discarded baler, swather and semi truckgrille pieces. This new grilling gadget turns out some tasty pulled pork and armadillo eggs (a.k.a. jalapeno poppers), all prepared by 13-year-old granddaughter Miley. If you don’t have big chunks and pieces of metal lying around the yard for a build-your-own-barbecue, you can head to any of our local home supply or hardware stores to find an astounding range of products. Honestly, the choices are endless; portable, free-stand24 /


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ing, or built-in gas grills, electric, charcoal or pellet grills, Kamado grills, barbecue smokers and even outdoor pizza ovens. And size doesn’t matter. Not when it comes to grills. Take the Big Green Egg (a Kamado grill); even the smallest one comes with a hefty price tag, starting at about $400. A small, tabletop, propane Weber Grill will set you back a couple hundred bucks. Want to spend more? Pellet grills have become hugely popular, with numerous brands, sizes and prices (that can top a few thousand dollars). Traeger and

Pit Boss seem to dominate the market with literally dozens of models, endless accessories, and no shortage of rubs and spices. Personally, I’m a purist when it comes to seasonings, and the only flavoring I use on beef and pork is sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper (adding a little fresh minced rosemary for lamb and chicken). I’m a firm believer that a good cut of meat doesn’t need a lot of extra help. In Argentina, where cattle are raised on lush pastures and some of the best beef in the world comes from, you won’t find much

more than a salt shaker next to their parrilla (grill). They like to cook their asado (grilled beef) over open fires, using only wood for the heat source, which gives the meat an intense smoky flavor. But not far from the meat platter, you will always find a bowl of bright green chimichurri — not unlike pesto to Italians, this essential Argentinian condiment is generously spooned over lots of dishes, including fish, seafood, rice and vegetables. Chimichurri is also popular in another beef-loving country (Uruguay), where red peppers

are incorporated into the sauce. Whether you’re an amateur or self-professed pro, now’s a good time to get that grill fired up and get your rub ready for McDuff’s barbecue competition on June 26. You’ll find all the delicious details here: mickduffs. com/bbq-cookoff. Maybe you’ll want to practice with a backyard barbecue for Mother’s Day. No matter what you’re grilling, chimichurri is the perfect addition, spooned over a bed of spicy rice, topped with your best goods from the grill.

Argentine Chimichurri Sauce

Yields about 1 1/2 cups If possible, prepare a day in advance, keeps up to a week, covered in the fridge. Don’t over process, it should still have some bits and pieces of all ingredients. This sauce is perfect on just about anything, but especially grilled beef.



• 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, stems removed • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro, stems removed • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced • 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, stems removed (or 4 teaspoons dried oregano) • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes • 1/2 tsp. sea salt • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper • 1 cup good quality olive oil

Place parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the bowl of the food processor, fitted with blade. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute total. With the motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times to combine. Transfer sauce to an air-tight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Before serving, stir and more salt or pepper, if needed. The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Spicy Rice

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS: • 2 tbsp. cooking oil • 2 cups basmati rice, uncooked • 1/2 chopped onion • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, chopped • 2 tbsp. lime juice • 2 tsp. cumin • 1 clove garlic minced • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

• 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes • 4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable) • 3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, rough chop • 2 tbsp. parsley, rough chop • 2 tbs. fresh oregano leaves, chopped

This rice dish is a great accompaniment for grilled meats or seafood. If you want it spicier, leave seeds in the jalapeno pepper. If you don’t have fresh oregano, dried will do.

DIRECTIONS: Place parsley, cilantro, garlic, oregano, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the bowl of the fo In a large sauté pan with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the rice and the onion and cook, stirring, until the rice is slightly browned and onion is translucent. Turn the heat to very low. Stir in the jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes. Stir quickly and add the can of tomatoes, with juice and stir to combine. Add the stock and turn up the heat and bring to light boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Gently

stir in the chopped herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and ladle with chimichurri sauce. od processor, fitted with blade. Process until finely chopped, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, about 1 minute total. With the motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times to combine. Transfer sauce to an air-tight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Before serving, stir and more salt or pepper, if needed. The chimichurri will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

MUSIC Festival at Sandpoint announces first acts of 2021 season

St. Paul & the Broken Bones and Jake Owen are first announced performers

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


To Russian author Yevgeny Zamyatin goes the honor of having established most of the features of dystopia that we recognize throughout our collective artistic consciousness. His largely forgotten novel We, published and swiftly censored in the Soviet Union in 1921, provided the literal blueprint for Brave New World, Anthem, 1984, Logan’s Run and Player Piano, among others. With shocking clarity, Zamyatin conjured out of pure imagination a totalitarian techno state that, even at its centenary, feels as contemporary as an episode of Black Mirror.


By Ben Olson Reader Staff After taking last year off due to COVID-19, the Festival at Sandpoint on May 3 announced its first performances for the 2021 concert series. St. Paul & the Broken Bones will kick off the 38th annual summer concert series on Thursday, July 29 and Luke Owen will return to the Festival stage on Friday, July 30. Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., St. Paul & the Broken Bones is a gospel-tinged, retro-soul octet with a full and dynamic sound. The band is led by lead singer Paul Janeway, a former man of the cloth who traded in the ministry to start a powerful rock and roll soul band in 2012. Both the band’s debut album Half the City in 2014 and Sea of Noise in 2016 have received critical acclaim, putting St. Paul & the Broken Bones on the national scene. From touring the world and opening for such legendary acts as the Rolling Stones, St. Paul & the Broken Bones have appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Austin City Limits and The Late Show with Ste-

phen Colbert. Sharing the stage with Janeway is a powerhouse group of musicians with an emphasis on showmanship, thoughtful lyrics and dedication to live performances. Co-band leader Jesse Phillips on bass and guitar heads a talented group of instrumentalists, including Browan Lollar on guitar, Andrew Lee on drums, Al Gamble on keyboard, Allen Branstetter on trumpet, Chad Fisher on trombone and Amari Ansari on saxophone. Opening for St. Paul & the Broken Bones will be Seattle-based ensemble The Dip, a seven-piece group that melds vintage rhythm and blues with classic pop storytelling. The Dip draws inspiration from the musical roots of decades prior while sounding undeniably relevant. Known for its captivating live shows, The Dip has released two studio albums that highlight the nostalgic soul music that has helped fuel the band’s routine sell-out crowds. KEXP in Seattle announced that The Dip was “one of the most exciting and joyous acts to emerge in recent years.” Tickets for general admission will be $44.95, with early entry at $69.95. Jake Owen is no stranger

to the Festival at Sandpoint, having played the main stage during the 2017 concert series. Owen’s high energy country shows have earned him a following over the years, with multiple chart-topping hits and critically acclaimed albums capturing listeners’ interest. Owens exploded on the country scene not long after borrowing a neighbor’s guitar and teaching himself to play. He was recognized as the “Top New Male Vocalist” and “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music and American Country Awards. His new single, “Made For You,” is rapidly climbing the Billboard Country Airplay charts. All together, Owen has eight No. 1 songs to his name, including such favorites as “I Was Jack (You Were Diane),” and “Homemade.” Signed to Big Loud Records, Owens reunited with award-winning Joey Moi, who helped produce Owen’s breakout Barefoot Blue Jean Night album in 2011, which landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and earned him four consecutive No. 1 hits. The special guest at Owen’s

Left: St. Paul & the Broken Bones will open the Festival at Sandpoint’s 38th annual concert series on Thursday, July 29. Courtesy photo. Right: Jake Owen returns to the Festival stage Friday, July 30. Courtesy photo.

concert will be none other than Colby Acuff, a North Idaho country boy with southern roots who was raised in Coeur d’Alene. Acuff prides himself on writing songs that connect to people — just like his heroes have done his whole life. Acuff’s blend of old-school storytelling and powerful voice take listeners to an unfamiliar pace of honest country music. From high-flying grassroots country to slow ballads that will pull at the heartstrings, there is no doubt Acuff’s music is meant for the people. The country artist has been performing since he was 11 years old and recently released his debut album, Life of a Rolling Stone, in early 2020 and a follow-up album, If I Were the Devil, in February. Tickets to the Jake Owen show will be $74.95 for general admission and $99.95 for early admission. Visit festivalsandpoint.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

Leave it to Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo to write a “pandemic” album — filled with the band’s signature self-deprecatory hook-rich poprock — and back it with a 38-piece orchestra. In a riff on Radiohead’s iconic 1997 record OK Computer, Weezer’s 2021 release OK Human contains 12 tracks or brand new songs, with standouts being “All My Favorite Songs,” “Grapes of Wrath,” “Playing My Piano” and “Screens” — the latter three expressly tapping into pandemic life with references to binging on audiobooks and TV shows, the tyranny of Zoom and social media cultural atomization.


They say there’s no such thing as monsters, but there sure are a lot of them lurking around in our heads. PBS series Monstrum is a frightfully interesting and entertaining tour through the various imaginary demons, wraiths and sundry fell beasts that have stalked humanity since its earliest days. Hosted with obvious zest by zombie expert Emily Zarka, Ph.D., each bite-sized episode (running from around five to 15 minutes each) focuses not only on the features of an individual monster, but explores its historic and cultural context. Stream the show on PBS.org or find episodes on YouTube. May 6, 2021 /


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Drop it

From the Daily Panidan, May 4, 1928

‘HOPHEAD’ CAUGHT RANSACKING OFFICE ALLEGED DRUG ADDICT FOUND LOOTING MEDICINE CABINET AT OFFICE OF DR. WENDLE Caught in the act of ransacking a Sandpoint doctor’s medicine cabinet in his office, a young man alleged to be a drug addict was arrested yesterday afternoon and is being held at the county jail. The man, J.T. Sinclaire, is said to have entered the office of Dr. F.G. Wendle, across the street from the federal building, yesterday afternoon with a pass key a few moments after Dr. Wendle had gone. His entrance was noted by Dave Woodward, post office employee, who when he saw the man entering so easily thought nothing of it. Dr. Wendle returned in about five minutes and caught the main in the act of ransacking the medicine cabinet, supposedly for “dope,” it is said. Chief of police John Peters was called and Sinclair was taken to the city jail, and later in the evening given into the custody of Sheriff Sherman E. Young. The man is being held at the county jail pending either filing or burglary charges or committment to an institution for his cure, it was said today. 26 /


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By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff My 3-year-old border heeler Mac has an affinity for many basic canine pleasures. These include ear scratches, lamb and rice kibble, long naps and wide open spaces. On the hierarchy of her greatest loves, just above me — her devoted human mother — is fetch. I knew, upon picking a high-strung cattle dog as my companion, that I’d need to set aside time each day to help her burn off her energy and stimulate her mind. For better or worse, my cattle dog’s “job” became fetch. Mac lives for her ball, which I throw with a Chuck-It until her tongue is dragging in the grass and I know she’s had enough. Fetch is Mac’s love language, so when she makes new human friends, she brings them whatever she has at her disposal, drops it precisely on their foot and patiently waits for them to throw it. Since the Chuck-It hangs in the mud room and is reserved for special times of the day, most of the time Mac brings people sticks from around the yard. I generally refrain from throwing sticks for her. I’d passively read about the risk of impalement and injury from sticks, but brushed my wariness off as overprotectiveness. People throw sticks for dogs all the time. So when a guest at my home was throwing sticks for Mac, I didn’t say anything. “Don’t be that dog mom,” went my inner monologue, just as I heard Mac whimper. I turned around to see her cough and spit out a small amount of blood. Upon inspection, I found a scrape on the roof of her mouth. She got ample pats and belly rubs, the guest apologized and we agreed it was time to quit playing. Mac acted normal for the next couple of hours and I attributed her disinterest in her water dish to the scrape. I only thought to look deeper into her throat when she wouldn’t

STR8TS Solution

How I learned to stick up for my dog — when a stick punctured her throat accept a bite of my pork roast dinner. With a flashlight and help from my fiancé, we were able to look past her tongue to a quarter-sized puncture wound. By this point, Mac was shaking and lethargic. A phone call confirmed that the nearest after-hours emergency vet was in Coeur d’Alene. After the long car ride and an initial exam, Mac was in surgery. We were home just after midnight with a week’s worth of antibiotics and pain medication, and the knowledge that it could have been much, much worse. It’s been two weeks since Mac’s stick accident and I continue to kick myself for not knowing that she was in pain. I can’t believe I didn’t speak up sooner to discourage the stick throwing, for fear of being an overbearing pet owner. I’ve been channeling this anxiety into a mass clean-up of our yard. Mac has even been helping — she brings me a stick and I toss it into the burn pile. A quick internet search reveals countless veterinarian sources warning against playing fetch with sticks. I’ve now read stories of golden retrievers with 10-inch sticks lodged in their windpipes — a horror easily avoided by using a Frisbee, ball or rubber bone. My PSA is simple: quit throwing sticks. They’re pokey and dirty. We were lucky that there were no splinters lodged in Mac’s soft palate nor any major bleeding. Things can go wrong in an instant. It is worth it to redirect your dog to a ball or other, softer option. Second, I want to encourage my fellow dog owners to speak up when you have a gut feeling about the safety of your pet and never apologize for protecting them — after all, you are their protector, just as they are yours. Our furry family members deserve fierce advocates. Mac’s stick experience has solidified this belief for me. At this point, I’d proudly tattoo “overbearing dog mom” on my forehead.

“I’m fine, Mom,” Mac says for millionth time since her unfortunate stick incident. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert. Thankfully, Mac is on the mend, eating and drinking normally two weeks after surgery. It’s a relief to type those words after fully preparing myself for her to die on that car ride to the emergency vet. Give your pups an extra pat for us, and never take a moment together for granted.

Crossword Solution

Sudoku Solution

Some people are like Slinkies. They don’t really have a purpose, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs.

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22

By Bill Borders


1. Affirm 6. Homeric epic 11. Devilfish 12. Undress 15. An individual 16. Niacin deficiency 17. Alien Life Form 18. Change places 20. Armed conflict 21. Male deer 23. Afflicts 24. Yowl 25. German for “Mister” 26. Ancient units of liquid measure 27. Diving bird 28. Region 29. And so forth 30. Raucous 31. Disperse /ee-kwuh-NIM-i-tee/ 34. Begin 36. Liveliness 37. Swerve [noun] 41. Carry 1. mental or emotional stability or composure, of the 42. Fabricated especially under tension or strain; calmness. 43. Sea eagle “He showed equanimity during the crisis situation, which helped calm the others.” 44. Liturgy 45. South American weapon 46. Part in a play Corrections: Nothing to see here, 47. Abaft folks. Move along, move along. —BO 48. Type of small friedcake 51. Pops


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Solution on page 22 52. Inflammation of the lungs 54. Servant’s uniform 56. Terrestrial 57. Hoisting device 58. Contemptuous look 59. High society

DOWN 1. Ore refinery 2. Armed conflict 3. N N N N 4. “Smallest” particle 5. Hindu princess 6. Highest goals

7. Jaunty rhythms 8. Small island 9. Genus of macaws 10. A type of flowery shrub or tree 13. Muscular 1 4. Nobleman 15. Ottoman title 16. For the most part 19. Paces 22. Arrange by grade 24. Notwithstanding 26. Command (archaic) 27. A parcel of land 30. Sexual assault 32. Anger 33. Foot lever

34. Quell 35. Walks unsteadily 38. Causing erosion 39. Make larger 40. Slender 42. House cat 44. Awestruck 45. Salt water 48. Algonquian Indian 49. If not 50. Small brook 53. A large vase 55. 7 in Roman numerals

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