Page 1

2 / R / May 9, 2024

The week in random review

welcome to earth

While perusing the dairy section of a Boise grocery store, a gray-haired man tapped me on the shoulder and gestured to the refrigerator full of yogurts. “Are you a yogurt expert?” he asked. I don’t eat much yogurt, nor have I ever made or sold it, so I laughed awkwardly and said, “Nope!” before attempting to flee. Ignoring my response, the man looked at the shelf wide-eyed — like a child might look upon a chocolate fountain — and said, “What one do I buy? I’ve never had yogurt before. I want to try it.” Given that this man had a distinct West Coast accent and was clearly in his mid-70s, I was a little taken aback by his apparently uncultured (in every sense of the word) life. The wonder in his eyes left me with two possible guesses as to his background. Either, after years of secret work, he had recently invented a cure for lactose intolerance and decided to put it to the test, or he was actually a shapeshifting alien on a culinary excursion to the exotic West State Street Albertsons in Boise, Idaho. If the former, I hope the blueberry Noosa I handed him didn’t condemn him to a day on the toilet. If the latter, welcome to Earth! I recommend the grilled cheese next.

Who’s that weird boy?

With warm weather fast approaching, I decided it was once again time to cut off all my hair. A salon full of supportive women looked on with horror and called me “brave” as my stylist chopped and shaved my shoulder-length hair into a short pixie. Little did they know I’ve spent almost my entire adult life sporting haircuts popularized by boy bands and Disney Channel stars. College classmates often compared me to random 13-yearold boys or, more flattering, the character Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds — who is also compared to teenage boys in the show. Despite the comparisons and the stylists’ fears, short hair has never made me feel less feminine, but I have always wondered how it affects people’s perceptions of me. It turns out, I have nothing to fear. A week before my most recent cut I was flying home from the Boise Airport following my friend’s wedding, meaning I was wearing a full face of makeup, had my hair professionally styled and was dressed quite snazzily for an afternoon flight. Walking out of the restroom, I practically ran into a woman who had been looking at her phone as she entered. I smiled politely. She stared at me with naked confusion, eyed me up and down, retreated several steps and theatrically checked the sign, making sure she was walking into the women’s restroom. She then shook her head and kept on walking. It’s a relief to know that it doesn’t matter what haircut I choose — at the end of the day, it’s my general being that radiates teenage-boy-skipping-class vibes. I plan to utilize my boyish charm next time I’m in the capital to convince lawmakers to grant me our state’s fun, boys-only benefits like bodily autonomy and the ability to jog with both headphones in.

Striving for joy

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain.”

— Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” (1973)

111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864


Publisher: Ben Olson


Zach Hagadone (Editor)

Soncirey Mitchell (Staff Writer)

Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (emeritus) Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus)

Advertising: Kelsey Kizer

Contributing Artists: Ben Olson (cover design), Bill Borders

Contributing Writers:

Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Soncirey Mitchell, Lorraine H. Marie, Brenden Bobby, Emily Erickson, Katie Botkin, Jim Healey, Nishelle Gonzalez, Janelle Campasino, Katie Botkin

Submit stories to:

Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID

Subscription Price: $185 per year

Web Content: Keokee

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

SandpointReader letter policy:

The Sandpoint Reader welcomes letters to the editor on all topics. Requirements: –No more than 300 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion.

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

Email letters to:

Check us out on the web at:

About the Cover

This week’s cover designed by Ben Olson

May 9, 2024 / R / 3

District 1 Senate, House candidates respond to questions at primary forum

Candidates for District 1 Idaho Senate and District 1 Idaho House Seats A and B gathered at the Sandpoint High School auditorium April 30, providing voters with their perspectives on the issues ahead of the Tuesday, May 21 primary election.

Office seekers in contested races came together for two hours and spoke to more than 200 attendees. 88.5 FM KRFY Panhandle Community Radio,, the Bonner County Daily Bee, Selkirk Association of Realtors and the Sandpoint Reader sponsored the event, with Reader Publisher Ben Olson serving as moderator and presenting questions submitted by the audience.

Candidates each had the opportunity to deliver opening and closing statements, as well as offer rebuttals.

Find the Bonner County candidates’ forum recap, as well as questionnaires for all state and local candidates, at To listen to recordings of both the Bonner County and Legislative District 1 forums, go to krfy. org/podcast.

District 1 Senate

Leading off the most hotly contested and most-watched primary campaign in the state, incumbent Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle, talked about cutting spending, noting that lawmakers are responsible for $14 billion in taxpayer money, and about $2 billion in federal debt.

Former-Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle, opened his remarks by underscoring his past experience over two terms, “and I really key in on the word ‘represent,’ and I say that because I’m asking to represent all of the folks in the district whether I agree with them or not.”

Referring to a video circulated by the Herndon campaign showing Woodward speaking to a group of Bonner County Democrats, Woodward said he’d “dared” to make that appearance because, “I really believe that all of you — all Idahoans ... deserve to be represented and that’s what I’m asking to do.”

Asked to address property tax relief for full-time residents, Woodward said he supported “restructuring” the law to average the value of taxpayers’ homes over time in order to better weather larger economic swings. Beyond that, Woodward said that Idaho’s current property tax system could be improved by shifting the entirety of school funding from property taxes to the state’s general fund budget — as it had been prior to 2006.

“We can take the schools off the property tax system ... and have that system work better for us,” he said.

Herndon said property tax reduction was “probably our No. 1 priority in 2023,” made all the more important because of rising home values that had many residents concerned about large tax increases.

He pointed to House Bill 292, which lawmakers defended from a veto by Gov. Brad Little in 2023, resulting in 15-18% in tax relief.

“Local government costs $2 billion a year, state government costs $14 billion a year. I think property tax, though it’s been the longest tax that we have since the territorial days, somehow it’s fundamentally unfair,” he said.

Asked whether the issue of how (or whether) to manage library materials deemed “harmful to minors” or “obscene” deserves the amount of attention it’s gotten, Herndon said he supported H.B. 710 because it “puts in place a process whereby we make sure that those materials are not

provided to children at taxpayer-funded libraries, which is totally appropriate.”

Woodward said that he doesn’t believe in censorship, does believe in local control “and of course I don’t believe that our children should be exposed to or given inappropriate material, especially from a public library.”

He added that he would not have supported the bill had he been in the Senate, and described it as “taking away control from the local community” and an example of “hypocrisy” by lawmakers who complain about federal overreach then “turn around and write mandates and try to control something at the local level that does not need to be controlled by the state government.”

Candidates were asked what action, if any, should be taken to address the effects of Idaho’s abortion ban on the ability of the state to attract and retain health care professionals.

Herndon said physician shortages stem from demographic changes that are affecting a number of other industries. Woodward countered that, “The facts are doctors are leaving and our women are suffering because of the existing Idaho law.”

“We need to go back and revisit what we put in place,”

he added, noting that Herndon wanted to remove all exceptions to the abortion ban, including in cases of rape or incest.

Herndon rebutted, saying, “I don’t believe that we should put to death children for the crimes of their father ... I think our abortion ban is sound and I think my position is principled, based on the Constitution of the United States and scripture.”

On the topic of revitalizing schools, health care and infrastructure to attract high-tech and manufacturing investment, Herndon said he voted for bills to provide hundreds of millions of dollars for roads and bridges, as well as channel $1 billion into public schools. Woodward took aim at Herndon’s vote against outcomes-based funding for schools, but Herndon rebutted that he opposed that measure because it looked at workplace readiness, rather than academic proficiency.

“We’ll tie money to students actually being able to read and do computational math,” he said.

Among the final questions was how candidates feel they can be effective in a Republican Party environment where vigorous challenges come from the right wing. To that,

Woodward responded, “I think I’m doing it.”

Herndon questioned whether such terms as “right-wing” are even relevant, noting that “right-wing” used to mean “a Kennedy Democrat.” Meanwhile, he pointed to bills on which he collaborated with Democrats, including legislation related to the Camp Bay Road vacation and pushing back against the Bayer Corporation.

Both candidates agreed that their main differences came down to voting records, which Herndon said displayed “a fundamental difference in philosophy of what the state’s role is.” Woodward said the vote in their race would be between “being a part of the community or tearing apart the community.”

Woodward ended his remarks by expressing faith in the state’s institutions and valuing every constituent in the community, while Herndon emphasized his role as a “watchdog” in Boise.

House Seat 1A

The Republican race for House Seat 1A saw a threeway faceoff between incum-

< see IDLEG, Page 5 >

NEWS 4 / R / May 9, 2024
Idaho Legislative District 1 Senate, House 1A and House 1B candidates speak to voters at the Sandpoint High School auditorium Tuesday, April 30. Photo by Ben Olson.

bent Mark Sauter, Spencer Hutchings and Jane Sauter, who has no relation to the incumbent.

As lifelong Republicans, the three candidates agreed on a number of issues posed by the audience, including calls to lower property taxes. While Mark Sauter listed his previous legislation — such as House Bill 292 and additional measures to reduce school bonds — and Jane Sauter encouraged attendees and lawmakers to look at available exemptions, Hutchings argued for the removal of property taxes altogether.

“With an increase in sales tax, we could all stop paying property taxes. We could also get rid of property taxes by getting the federal lands back from the feds,” he said, advocating for logging and mineral leases repurposed federal lands.

When asked about the ongoing controversy over public libraries, the candidates agreed that children should not be exposed to obscene materials, with Mark Sauter adding that he is “standing with local control” and believes that communities are already doing a good job of regulating material available to minors. The conversation then transitioned to the unintended consequences of Idaho’s near-total abortion ban, including the loss of OBGYNs.

“It’s a tough issue. I don’t believe that abortion should be used for birth control in any way,” said Mark Sauter, giving an opinion shared by all three candidates.

“I think we as the Legislature owe it to our health care professionals to give them some good guidance and put some curbs, so they can be comfortable in practicing,” he added.

Hutchings advocated for changing the cultural mindset around abortion because “we’ve been propagandized to for going on 50 years ... that it’s OK to have an abortion because you had casual sex or because you had unprotected sex.”

Jane Sauter echoed sentiments expressed by Herndon, stating, “I don’t think there should be exceptions for rape and incest. A baby is made in the image of God, and that

hasn’t changed.” She later admitted her confusion as to why OBGYNs were leaving the state.

Audience members asked candidates how they intend to represent the entire community, rather than “an increasingly more radicalized right wing of the party.” Hutchings and Jane Sauter both stated that they did not understand what “radicalized right wing” meant, with Hutchings adding that he was probably considered a radical, right-wing candidate for his strong anti-communist views.

Jane Sauter reaffirmed her dedication to conservative values, echoing her opening statement, in which she said, “Those of you who want to be represented by a Republican, I want to represent you because I know that you are liberty-loving, constitutional conservatives.”

Incumbent Mark Sauter promised to defer to his constituents regardless of the impact on his career and supported this claim by reminding attendees that he was already censured by the Bonner County Republican Central Committee in April 2023.

“You just have to represent your district. Ultimately, you let the rest fall off the back of your shoulders,” said Mark Sauter, indicating that he had learned this philosophy during his time as a fire chief.

House Seat 1B

The race for House Seat 1B featured a debate between Democrat Kathryn Larson — whose opponent, Bob Vickaryous, did not attend — and Republicans Charles “Chuck” Lowman and Cornel Rasor. Like their 1A counterparts, the three candidates were unanimously in favor of lower property taxes.

“The homeowner’s exemption is limited to $125,000 and that hasn’t gone up, and so I think that should go to 50% of the value of the home and be more reflective of the increase in our property values that are going up,” said Larson, adding that some sales tax exemptions “haven’t been reviewed in 40 years,” leading to lost revenue.

Lowman argued that the

state should freeze property taxes for Idaho residents “over the age of 65 and living on fixed income,” so that their taxes stay the same throughout their retirement. In response to Hutchings’ point, Lowman further argued against claiming federal lands to offset the cost.

“The United States Constitution makes it very clear that it has rights to property and property claims in the United States and it has management authority over those properties,” Lowman said.

Rasor, who’s platform includes claiming federal lands, argued that Lowman was referencing Article 21 Section 4 of the Idaho Constitution and that, “The second part of that says that they shall disclaim all use of all lands until such time as the federal government — now I’m paraphrasing now because I haven’t got it memorized — extinguishes title.”

Rasor also claimed that the federal government “deeded those lands back, faithfully, all the way up to Colorado,” citing the 1787 Northwest Ordinance, which created the nation’s first organized incorporated territory in modern-day Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio; the 1789 Equal Footing Doctrine, which declared that all new states are equal to the original 13; and Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives states the right to cede land to the federal government.

Lowman, a former research biologist, rebutted Rasor in his closing remarks, arguing that any attempts to reclassify federal lands as state lands, would result in billionaires and corporations buying the land, leaving nothing for residents.

“Iowa has the lowest amount of federal and state lands. They have higher property taxes and a higher effective tax rate than we do,” said Lowman. “They’ve lost 99.9% of their prairie, 98% of their wetlands, 50% of their woodlands and they’ve lost over 100 different species of wildlife that will never come back to Iowa.”

On the subject of limitations on materials in Idaho libraries, Rasor said, “I grew

up in a time when it was common sense not to put Playboy and Hustler in the library children’s section. That common sense needs to come back.”

According to Larson, Bonner County has had “one book that’s been contested in the last 10 years.” She further used past false claims that East Bonner County Library Board Member Susan Shea wanted to install “stripper poles” in the Sandpoint library to demonstrate the “vitriol” in a “culture war issue that has been brought to us from out of state.”

Lowman suggested a rating system for books similar to the one used by the Motion Picture Association and expressed concern over H.B. 710, which allows parents to sue libraries over materials they deem harmful.

“As a conservative Christian, I know that the Bible is offensive to some folks, and what day is the Bible going to be banned from libraries not because of a law that’s passed, but because an insurance company says it’s not wise to have it here?” asked Lowman.

Segueing to the topic of abortion, Larson drew from her personal experience losing a child, stating that the doctors “would have had to let me go septic before they could deal with the problem” had she miscarried under the current law.

Though Lowman and Rasor agreed with the belief that life begins at conception, Lowman drew on his background as a missionary, pastor and army chaplain in Iraq and Afghanistan to argue for leeway in Idaho’s near-total ban.

“I do also recognize that there are some times that things just go wrong, and we do need to make sure that doctors’ licenses are protected so that they can do morally hard decisions,” he said, adding that he had counseled many people through difficult decisions while in the army.

Finally, in response to the audience’s question regarding the Republican Party’s “radicalized right wing,” Larson said, “The Republican Party has had a supermajority for more than 30 years. There have been no left-wing people

who have had any power in this state, so there is nothing you can blame on us for the last 30 years.”

She went on to advocate for the Idaho Open Primaries Initiative.

Adding to Hutchings’ point that communism is on the far-left of the political spectrum, Lowman reminded the audience that totalitarianism is on the far-right, and recommended reading the works of Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, Lutheran pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Christian writer Corrie Ten Boom, who helped Jewish people escape the Holocaust.

“You want to see the genesis of what happened in Germany? It’s when the left and the right got total control of things and it went haywire, and good people in the middle didn’t get involved,” said Lowman, reiterating his loyalty to his “moral conscience,” rather than a particular political party.

What to know about voting in the May 21 primary

Early voting in the 2024 primary will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, May 17 at the Bonner County Elections Office (1500 Hwy. 2, Ste. 124, in Sandpoint). The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Friday, May 10 at 5 p.m. Requests for mail-in absentee ballots can be dropped off, mailed, emailed or faxed to the Elections Office.

A logic and accuracy test will take place Thursday, May 16 at 9 a.m. in the Elections Office, to which the public is invited.

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

Contact the Bonner County Elections Office at

To register in advance or for all other election-related questions and information (including to identify your polling precinct and location) go to

May 9, 2024 / R / 5
< see IDLEG, con’t from Page 4 >

BOCC appoints new Fair Board member

The Bonner County board of commissioners appointed resident Quentin Ducken to the Bonner County Fair Board at their Tuesday, May 7 meeting, filling a position that has been open since September 2023. Though state law requires the BOCC to appoint new Fair Board members, the manner in which Ducken was hired was a matter of significant debate.

The BOCC advertised the position in the Bonner County Daily Bee, Gem State Miner and Flathead Beacon and received four applications, including Ducken’s.

“The BOCC met in executive session and discussed each of the four candidates. A majority of the board chose Mr. Ducken based upon merit. Having attended Fair Board meetings before taking office through today it is more important than ever to have a functional Bonner County Fair Board,” Omodt told the Reader in an email May 7.

During the meeting, Omodt said that Ducken is a long-term volunteer and participant at Fair Board meetings.

Commissioner Steve Bradshaw made a motion to appoint Ducken to the Fair Board for a four-year term ending May 6, 2028, which Commissioner Asia Williams seconded for discussion. She subsequently voiced her opposition to the appointment because the BOCC had neglected to interview any of the four applicants — including Ducken — before making their selection.

“I have never seen it where we appoint someone without [an] interview,” Williams said, later adding, “The Fair Board did not select to have a liaison for their Fair Board, but what they did ask this board to do is, as positions come open with the fair, that we work with them instead of in opposition. One of the ways that they identified was allowing them to

give some input on what the fair itself needed ...”

Both Omodt and Bradshaw argued that it is the duty of the BOCC, not the Fair Board, to appoint new members, with Omodt citing Idaho Code 22-202: “Any vacancy occurring on such county fair board shall be filled by appointment by the county commissioners at their first regular meeting after the occurrence of such vacancy.”

The county has been out of compliance with this statute for approximately eight months.

Omodt then gave a brief summary of the tensions between the BOCC and the Fair Board, including how the fair hired Coeur d’Alene-based law firm Smith + Malek to represent it in litigation against the BOCC while seeking clarity on the county’s authority over the fairgrounds and its financials. He reiterated the necessity for a new board member, and his support of Ducken.

“[Ducken] has been volunteering for the fair for an awfully long time. ... When I attend the meetings and he’s talking about giving more of his time to fix the pig barns, we could not do much better than this type of individual’s willingness to volunteer, serve and give time,” Omodt said.

“All of what you said about the individual can be completely true, which makes it even more important that we make sure that any introduction of a new Fair Board member is received in a collaborative, cooperative effort,” Williams responded, clarifying that she did not object to Ducken specifically, only that he was not interviewed and the Fair Board was not consulted prior to his selection.

The motion to appoint Ducken passed with Williams dissenting.

“We welcome Mr. Ducken to the Bonner County Fair Board and are grateful for his willingness to step forward and serve,” wrote Omodt.

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 Federal Communications Commission announced close to $200 million in fines against AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon for illegally sharing customers’ location data.

A recent TIME magazine report, “How Far Would Trump Go,” drew from interviews with Donald Trump to lay out how he would perform if elected again to the presidency, as well as his vision for the U.S., including: Sending the National Guard to cities as he sees fit; closing the White House pandemic-preparedness office, staffing his administration only with those who agree with him that the 2020 election was stolen; gutting the Civil Service; putting more than 11 million people into migrant detention camps for deportation; and allowing states to monitor pregnancies and prosecute as they see fit.

Meanwhile, he’s ready to fire any U.S. attorney who refuses his orders to prosecute (breaking with tradition from America’s founding and independent law); he’s “considering” pardoning Jan 6, 2021 Capitol attackers (more than 800 have pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury); and, if a foreign ally is attacked, Trump indicated he may not allow U.S. aid for them.

Trump told TIME he wants a 10% tariff on all imports, and a 100% tariff on goods from China, and dismissed that his first-term tariffs cost the U.S. $316 billion and 300,000 jobs. He also dismissed as lies FBI data showing homicides were down 6% in 2022 and down 13% in 2023.

Regarding his famous Fox News statement that he would not be a dictator “except for Day 1,” Trump told TIME he spoke “in fun, in jest, sarcastically.” The interviewer pointed out that many Americans see his talk as that of a dictator and “contrary to our most cherished principles.” Trump said he regards his stated policies as being what “I think a lot of people like.”

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told TIME she thinks people will be surprised at how briskly Trump “will take action” if elected. The full interview is available online.

Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley told TIME that a second Trump

term could bring “the end of our democracy” and the birth of a new kind of authoritarian presidential order.

In a recent CNN interview, former-Trump Attorney General Bill Barr and past critic said he supports a Trump presidency, despite his threats against opponents, election lies and volley of criminal charges. At a 2019 Federalist Society speech, Barr said the president should be able to act on his own initiative, without congressional or judicial oversight — contrary to the Constitution.

Some student protesters have reached agreement with university administrators to peacefully dismantle their Gaza solidarity encampments, in exchange for meeting various demands, The Guardian reported.

After several weeks of exploring the campus protests with students and faculty, Robert Reich wrote in The Guardian that the range of motives is “centered on one thing: moral outrage at the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent people — most of them women and children — in Gaza.”

Northern Gaza is now experiencing a “full-blown” famine that’s spreading, the World Food Program reported. Hamas has agreed to a 40-day ceasefire proposal by Egypt and Qatar that includes the return of displaced people, Gaza reconstruction and a prisoner swap, though Israel is balking. An end to the war seems distant, as numerous media reported that Israel does not want the appearance of Hamas claiming victory and Hamas does not want Israel to force them from power.

Israel’s government has voted unanimously to shut down prominent news source Al Jazeera for the remainder of the war in Gaza, claiming it threatens national security. The U.N. Human Rights office wants Israel to lift the ban in the interest of “free and independent media.”

Blast from the past: 54 years ago this month four students were killed and nine wounded when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on a protest at Kent State University. The protesters objected to the U.S. military’s expansion from Vietnam into Cambodia, and to the draft. Some shooting victims were passersby, and not involved with the demonstration.

6 / R / May 9, 2024

Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

Family gatherings

This past weekend, I flew to Boise to join my partner and his family in celebrating his brother’s college graduation. Showing up for one another’s big moments is one of my favorite things about the family I’m marrying into — each member taking the job of celebrating seriously and with panache.

“Do you think we’ll need cowbells, or will whistles be enough?” they schemed, planning a cheering strategy for filling the few moments of dead space between the announcement of their graduate’s name and the next. (They settled on recruiting a row of strangers behind us to add volume to our collective cheers.)

After the ceremony, my partner, his two siblings and both sets of parents (along with a few friends and stragglers) gathered together around the big living room of a rental house —the din of conversations amplified by high ceilings and the crinkle of another cracker bag being torn open. I scanned their faces before turning to the person next to me to ask, “When was the last time you got together like this?”

Like so many families — mine included — their members are scattered around the country and count themselves lucky to muster a reunion once every few years, tallying four or five such times in the past decade. Before I could divert it,

development. Reminders of this ephemerality (along with a healthy dose of guilt) are plastered on Facebook posts and Instagram Reels, with sentiments like, ”You only get 18 summers, so make them count,” and, “75% of the time we spend with our kids in our lifetime will be spent by age 12,” overlaid by sepia-toned beach photos or set to the tune of “Little Life” by Cordelia.

I had the thought, “If things stay as they are, a gathering like this may only happen a dozen more times; and that’s if we’re lucky.”

I kept this to myself because, aside from offering a glimpse into the slightly morbid way my brain can operate, it was almost guaranteed to bring down the mood.

Albeit intrusive, this thought illustrated the inherent trickiness of family gatherings or get-togethers of any kind to which sentiment is attached: They are limited. However, being too conscious of that finitude comes with a grip on reality so firm that it can choke the joy out of the experience of sharing time together. But the alternative — not being conscious of the fleeting and precious nature of our shared time — risks us taking it wholly for granted when it is happening.

I know parents with young kids regularly grapple with this dichotomy — of being joyfully present while anticipating change and the passing of time marked by the rapid pace of their children’s

But when time isn’t being marked by developmental milestones, and change doesn’t have a moniker like “terrible twos,” we tend to forget that things cannot stay as they are forever, especially in families or among precious groups of people. Instead, it seems to be a default setting in the human condition to think that there will always be a next time.

Maybe, for my generation anyway, we come by the perceived guarantee of “next time” honestly, as a reaction to the demands of the “Fear-Of-Missing-Out” and “You-Only-Live-Once” culture in which we grew up. We burned ourselves out by pushing past our physical and emotional limits to maximize our engagement with the world (nothing a Redbull can’t fix, right?), so now we’re forced to reckon with an overwhelming urge to opt for solitary self-care nights and “I’m not feeling up for it” days in, all so as to recharge our social batteries.

But when it comes to the ever-changing dynamics of people in groups, especially families, and the ongoing organizational hurdles that

make wrangling them increasingly difficult, these “next times” aren’t guarantees and can’t be expected, especially in perpetuity. So we’re forced to hold two things at once: the reality that change is inevitable and time is fleeting, and that presentness and levity are required to fully enjoy the invaluable time we still have together.

Perhaps in the balance

between both realities is the ability to know things will not always be this way; and, also, that whatever shape life together takes next will be just as worth cherishing, too.

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

Retroactive By BO

May 9, 2024 / R / 7
Emily Erickson.


• A Bouquet goes out to one of our readers, Keith Booth, who mailed us an old souvenir from the Testicle Festival, which I wrote about in my “Back of the Book” article in the April 28 edition. I received a lot of fun feedback from that one, so apparently we weren’t the only ones to brave the Testicle Festival during its tenure. Thanks for the keepsake, Keith. It will hang proudly in my office.


• “I want to give a shout out to the Sandpoint library, which offers free space for nonprofits to gather and engage our community. They recently hosted Storied Futures ‘Good Bones: Adding Value When Developing for the Future.’ Joyce Jowdy was thorough and easy to work with. Wonderful space for community connections.”

— By Cynthia Dalsing



• “The trash everywhere! How can people say they love the United States and then throw garbage out of their windows and old refrigerators onto Forest Service property. Come on people. Show your patriotism. Love your country enough to take care of it instead of trash it.”

— By Jane Hoover


• “Sharp Barbs to the ... contingent at last week’s Legislative District 1 candidate forum who yelled and booed when Kathryn Larson spoke the words ‘open primaries.’ Your intimidation tactics toward an honest, decent candidate are reprehensible! Bouquets to the moderator who quickly shut the pathetic cowards down.”

— By Jay Omundson

Dear editor, For honesty and integrity, vote for Jim Woodward. This individual cares about all his constituents and runs his campaign accordingly. The other guy has to use innuendos, lies and a smear campaign to get elected.

Michael Harmelin Vietnam Veteran Sandpoint

Draw your conclusions based on evidence, not ‘programming’…

Dear editor,

A stranger started up a conversation with us while we were buying plants. She said she was voting for Woodward, who has one of his expensive ubiquitous big signs across the street from the greenhouse.

I asked her why not Herndon, as I think he’s done a great job for us, our county and state. “Herndon is a jerk,” she said. I asked, “Help me understand, what makes him a jerk?” She repeated: “He’s a jerk.” I asked three more times for her reason, she just kept repeating the opinion.

Just like TDS: You ask why they hate Trump, you get an emphatic pejorative; you ask for what it refers to, and all you get is the pejorative on repeat. I call that programming. People capable of critical thought draw conclusions based on evidence.

Democrats calling themselves Republicans are running deceptive campaigns. Meanwhile, Herndon works harder than most at being a good person, husband, father, community member and effective elected official. Compare candidate voting records and see for yourself. I did.

I hope we have all learned over the last few years that choices really do have consequences. Vote wisely. Vote Scott Herndon for state senator.

Dr. Rick Kirschner Sagle

‘It’s time for specifics’...

Dear editor, A couple of our GOP legislative candidates have conceded that the abortion ban should be “revisited.” OK, but what are we going to do about it? At the candidate forum, I waited for specifics. Didn’t get them. And I get it; it’s a touchy subject for them who, as members of a badly splintered party, aim to appeal to all Republicans. But Idaho is in a health care crisis that extends to all women, and to men, as doctors are leaving Idaho for states where they can practice

without the cloud of criminalization hanging over their heads.

So I will spell out what I would do if you send me to Boise. I will work to re-empower our physicians to determine when an abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life, health and fertility. And I will work to reverse the “bounty” law that lets rapists and their family members sue a doctor who performs a rape victim’s abortion.

Abortion should not be birth control. Of course not, and our local doctors never treated it as such. But it is health care in the appropriate situations.

Karen Matthee Candidate for House Seat 1A Dover

Give pollinators a chance this spring…

Dear editor,

I’ve never understood why dandelions’ bright sunny faces are not as beloved as daffodils. People are cutting lawns and weed-whacking dandelions everywhere. They’ve just bloomed!

Dandelions that bloom in early spring are important pollen and nectar sources for bees and butterflies when other flowers aren’t yet blooming. The same bees that will be pollinating your favorite summer fruits and vegetables need nectar and pollen sources now, and dandelions provide that.

Various bird species such as finches eat dandelion flowers, buds and especially seeds. Hummingbirds make use of the seedy fluff to build their nests. Butterflies also frequent dandelions for pollen and nectar.

As the insect and pollinator populations crash, and birds that feed on them are also disappearing, it seems that we could change directions and put to rest this tradition. There’s a national movement afoot with the Xerces Society and NW Wild Ones! to not only leave these pollinator-friendly plants growing without being poisoned or destroyed, but to also leave grass growing a little longer and not mow turf lawns until later in spring after beneficial insects finish emerging. The movement is called: “No Mow May.” Maybe we could try that as well? It will save fuel, too.

‘We are all in this together’…

Dear editor, I will save my comments on the candidate forums for another day.

Today, I address Michael Krsien’s “Beware of fake Republicans” letter to the editor. His opinions are his own and he is entitled to express them. Argument would be a waste of ink. However, I will take exception with his last two paragraphs.

I agree that we should vote for our kids. I wish every child on this planet could grow up in a free country with their families, education, meaningful work, health care, peace and plenty, and a clear vision of hope for the future. I also vote for their children, their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters for all generations, but I wish I didn’t have to point out that all of this is not under the sole purview of the Republican Party.

Open your eyes and realize that we are all in this together! This is not the Republican Party that our forebears of three generations ago knew. Blindly following this party could lead to Herndon in the Senate and Trump in the White House, and this could well be the last open and free election in this country for many years to come.

Jay Omundson Cocolalla

Herndon ‘cares about the Idaho quality of life’…

Dear editor,

Scott Herndon is a true Republican. His work in the Senate proves it, his leadership of the Republican Central Committee proves it and his willingness to address the concerns of his constituents proves it. Scott’s opponent isn’t seen at Republican events and town halls but can be found at Democrats’ events.

Scott represents Republican values in Boise. He cares about the Idaho quality of life. His promotion of S1036 removed the state’s misdemeanor criminal penalty for violating raw milk regulations and which also reduces excessive regulations of the raw milk industry. In a community where many of us purchase locally from farms and farm stands, this is important to me.

Because I love the beauty and freedom of North Idaho, I am thankful for his work on S1021 that stopped the Fish and Game Priest Lake Siphon Project and now protects the Priest Lake water level and outlet dam as the only authorized outlet of the lake.

Scott Herndon consistently fights to preserve the lifestyle I cherish in northern Idaho. I cannot say the same about his opponent.

The truth is easily found by researching his voting record or by contacting him with your questions. I’m voting for Scott Herndon.

Anita Aurit Sandpoint

‘We need a politics of community’…

Dear editor,

I listened to the state candidate forum on the radio last week. The conservatives claimed ignorance at the idea of right-wing radicalism in government. Here’s one definition: political hypocrisy in the extreme.

They oppose government regulations. Yet they support the government regulation of women’s bodies. They have stripped women of their rights to self-determination, freedom of choice, reproductive health care. They want to force society to live by their religious opinions. There are other religions here and scores of people who follow no religion.

They’re all chomping at the bit to get their hands on federal land, saying they want to take it back. The only ones who have the right to use that talk are the native tribes that lived here sustainably for thousands of years before white men carved it up and shunted them into reservations. They said they want to represent us yet by their words and positions it looks like they meant heterosexual, married, Christian property owners only.

I’m voting for the women Democrats so they bring compassionate, pro-democracy voices to the table. We need a politics of community not power over others.

Adrian Murillo Sandpoint

‘Do you really know


current candidates?’...

Dear editor,

Knowing how a legislator votes is crucial to understanding how you are represented. Here are a few examples regarding dollars, medical decisions and individual liberty:

Mark Sauter voted “no” on H180, the bill that would have authorized Idaho to hold gold and silver reserves.

Jane Sauter would have voted “yes” to investing in tangible assets to strengthen Idaho’s financial situation.

Mark Sauter voted “no” on S1130, which would have established limits on the ability of private and public entities to impose a requirement that individuals receive

8 / R / May 9, 2024 Vote…
< see LETTERS, Page 9 >

< LETTERS, con’t from Page 8 >

a coronavirus vaccination.

Jane Sauter would have voted “yes,” because she understands that an individual’s personal health care decisions should not be determined by government bureaucrats.

Mark Sauter voted “yes” to provide over $28 million worth of child care grants.

Jane Sauter would have voted “no,” because she understands that it is not the individual taxpayer’s responsibility to fund other people’s child care.

Jane Sauter is the true conservative running in this particular race. She cannot be bought, she will not flip or flop, she has a solid ethical and moral foundation, and you can trust her word.

Vote Jane Sauter L.D. 1 House representative.

Annette Thompson Hope


simply: ‘Just vote’…

Dear editor,

As we get closer to May 21st, it’s somewhat difficult choosing the best way to let people know how important voting is. It’s your right to express your opinion and you should definitely exercise that right.

We must cover the shortfall. Voting “yes” will do that. WBCSD is the largest employer in Bonner County. Without a “yes” vote it becomes probable that our school district will have to provide a bare-bones education.

If we can’t provide good education, it becomes a strong possibility we will lose students as their parents will most likely leave the area. People come here because of what we have to offer. One of the things they look at with a lot of scrutiny is the education available for their children.

Before this past year or so, what we offered was strong education. Some won’t agree with that statement, but if you really dig into what was here before the turmoil caused by individuals who came in with their agenda and tried to overthrow what was good — and they came close — we had a successful system.

Again, the available space cuts down more that should be said. Just vote.

Ernie and Helen Schoeffel

It’s fair to ‘sort out’ the ‘far-left’ Republicans…

Dear editor,

The “far-right” — isn’t that yet another phrase used to dismiss and denigrate people with whom one disagrees?

After all, what is “far”? Doesn’t that depend on where you are as much as where they are?

If there are “far-right” Republicans, then aren’t there also “far-left” Republicans?

My own principles are more often aligned with folks who are Republican. But I think we need more choices, and that we should vote independently.

It’s important to choose someone who best represents and agrees with our own beliefs and principles, regardless of party. Someone who will stand up for our shared values. Compromise on policies and solutions, yes, but never on the goal, nor our foundational principles and inalienable rights.

In my opinion, Trump is better than Biden — if that’s our only choice come November (a lot will happen in the next six months).

It is fair — especially in a Red State — to sort out “far-left” Republicans. Many truly are Republicans in Name Only (“RINOs”). The first clue is that they attack members of their own party, calling them “far-right” rather than identifying their common goals and offering up better solutions. The second is how they vote.

Steve Hall Sandpoint

Dear editor,

es of deceased veterans with their benefits prior to that paperwork going to the VA for approval. Otherwise, a veteran or veteran’s widow or widower could face many months of back-and-forth with the VA so that all paperwork is completed correctly. They also assist with the training of our local county Veterans Service officers, to help them become more knowledgeable about filing claims to assist veterans. The certified representatives from IDVS can also represent a veteran if their claim goes before an adjudicator. IDVS staff, for example, has one certified VSO that covers the five northern counties. Local county VSOs may contact these more knowledgeable, certified IDVS personnel with questions to assist with correction of all claim paperwork.

The senator mentioned above is anti-veteran.

Michael Harmelin Vietnam veteran, former Bonner County VSO Sandpoint

A Christian Republican’s view on the levy…

The last time the Idaho District 1 Senate seat was contested, a huge amount of money from outside Idaho was spent on ads, email trolling, and flyers filled with lies and accusations against Jim Woodward. It is happening again.

The saying “pot calling the kettle black” comes to mind. Especially when some people seem to be totally fine with the abundance of “bearing false witness” by the candidate running against Jim.

I’ve known Jim for 20 years. We don’t always agree on everything, but we respect our differences and we agree on the big picture. More importantly, Jim listens and seeks to understand the complexities of issues, rather than falling back on easy answers and close-minded dogma.

Jim is an actual North Idahoan, a family man, a veteran, a good person and, above all else, honest. When Jim was in the Idaho Senate, he made responsible and conscientious decisions for all of North Idahoans, representing all of us with transparency and integrity. Something sadly lacking in recent years.

I was raised with the words: “If you don’t have anything good to say about someone, then don’t say anything at all.” So, regarding Jim’s opponent: “... .”

Pierre Bordenave Sandpoint

‘If you don’t have anything good to say’… Herndon vote was ‘anti-veteran’...

Dear editor,

One local senator has voted against the budget for the Idaho Division of Veterans Services (IDVS) for 2023 and 2024: Scott Herndon. This supposed “representative of the people” is anti-veteran.

IDVS has trained and certified Veterans Service officers available to not only assist veterans in obtaining their benefits, but also assist with filings for service-connected disability ratings. They review all submitted paperwork filings for claims and assist spous-

Dear editor,

I’m a Christian Republican, and vote accordingly. I believe in helping thy neighbor, which includes funding essential services through taxes. Review your county tax bill and see where your money goes — it includes services like roads, libraries and fire protection.

It’s crucial to understand that the federal government does not cover all expenses, and local funding is necessary.

Idaho doesn’t fully fund its schools, which means our district needs local support to maintain quality education and facilities. Despite criticisms and false claims about our public schools, supporting the levy is essential. If it fails, those who value education and have the means will leave, diminishing our community and its prospects. A failed levy means a lower graduation rate, reduced economic activity and a community without its spirited core.

Voting in favor of the levy isn’t just about the money — it’s about preserving the quality of life in Priest River and ensuring our children have opportunities for success.

Public education is a cornerstone of our society, and supporting it reflects both Christian values of helping thy neighbor and Republican principles of promoting economic prosperity.

Let’s invest in our future by supporting the levy, regardless of our personal views on public education.

Karly Douglas-Kurylo Priest River

Have something to say? Write a letter to the editor. We accept letters 200 words or less that are free from libelous statements and/or profanity. Trolls will not be tolerated. The word count will revert back to 300 words after the primary election May 21. Send letters to

May 9, 2024 / R / 9

Science: Mad about

wild and successful military tactics, part II

We’re back to examine some wacky warfare tactics used successfully throughout human history. Last week we learned about siege Oreos and the U.S. Army, French prisoners of war and the Wehrmacht fighting alongside one another to repel the SS. What kind surprises await us this week? Let’s find out.

An Army of Cats — Battle of Pelusium, 525 B.C.E.

The first Persian invasion of Egypt featured one of the most unusual uses of a war animal: cats. Dogs have been a faithful and predictable battle companion for humans since at least the time of the Romans, who helped develop the rottweiler breed to sic upon the Gauls. Persia and Carthage had long used elephants as war machines capable of trampling whole ranks of infantry in a charge, while their foes would light pigs on fire to frighten and scatter the beasts.

Horses and camels have been used as trusty mounts and effective chariot motors for as long as they’ve been domesticated by humans. However, the use of cats in warfare is virtually unheard of beyond this battle.

The effective strategy came down to Persian King Cambyses II understanding his foes. He knew that the Egyptians revered cats and would not even strike the image of one for fear of eternal torment from their myriad gods. The logical solution was for the king to order his soldiers to paint the image of cats on their shields and unleash hundreds, perhaps thousands

of cats amid the ranks of his advancing infantry.

The tactic proved successful, as the Egyptians refused to launch arrows against the advancing Persians for fear of striking the innocent felines.

By the end of the conflict, Persia had claimed the lives of 50,000 Egyptians, suffering only 7,000 casualties of their own.

You may be having visions of Xerxes’ army of Immortals coming to claim the lands of Sparta from King Leonidas leading up to the Battle of Thermopylae, which had been famously stylized by Frank Miller in a comic book, and later in the feature film 300. However, Cambyses II’s casus belli may have not been rooted in conquest or more land, but an act of besmirched honor.

Legend has it the Persian king demanded a wife of one of Pharaoh Amasis’ daughters. The pharaoh instead sent the daughter of his predecessor in an attempt to dupe the Persian king, only to be double-crossed by the vexed woman when she revealed her true identity.

Antiquity was truly a bizarre time to be alive.

Dancing Distraction — China, seventh century C.E.

General Chai Shao found himself in a tough spot when warring with a Tuyuhun army from the steppes of central Asia. He and his comrades were on the low ground weathering a perpetual rain of arrows. The Tuyuhun forces knew they would win a battle of attrition, as well as a direct conflict if Shao chose to charge uphill. Attrition would be easier and safer, while also assuring a Tuyuhun victory.

But desperation broods cunning and creative tactics, as

Chai Shao enlisted the help of a number of women from the war camp, including a musician capable of playing a Tartar string instrument. He sent the women and musicians singing and dancing straight toward the Tuyuhun soldiers, who ceased firing to enjoy the show.

In a move that would have put Odysseus and his marvelous wooden horse to shame, Shao’s cavalry moved around the high ground once the arrows stopped and encircled the Tuyuhun army, butchering them to the last man.

Bike Warfare — fall of Singapore, 1942

The largest British surrender in history — and among the nation’s greatest military defeats — happened by way of bicycle in 1942. Singapore was under British colonial rule at this time and perhaps the most important English-controlled port in the eastern hemisphere.

However, the Royal Navy egregiously underestimated the tenacity and mobility of the Imperial Japanese Army, which was closing in on the island, and pulled back to defend shores closer to home.

The jungles were believed to be too thick for Japanese forces to maneuver through and strike the 85,000 British defenders. Had the Japanese used conventional motorized vehicles, the British would have been right.

Instead, Japanese soldiers employed bicycles, which allowed them to swiftly and effectively move squads through the jungle while preparing makeshift bridges for the soldiers who followed them.

Bikes were so lightweight, easy to maneuver and repair that even when run ragged, the Japanese were able to continue

pushing into Singapore and engage a force more than double their size. General Tomoyuki Yamashita had 35,000 soldiers at his disposal, but with experience in jungle fighting and rapid, albeit unconventional mobility, he was quickly able to encircle the haggard British forces and contain them to less than 1% of the island.

The Japanese forced the combined British, Indian and Australian troops into an unconditional surrender, which ended in genocide as the Impe-

rial Japanese imprisoned many of the soldiers while relentlessly slaughtering ethnic Chinese and Indian peoples. Many POWs from the fall of Singapore were transported to other areas of the Japanese Empire and forced into hard labor.

Justice came for General Yamashita in 1946, as he was tried for war crimes and hanged. The fall of Singapore has been considered by some to be the death knell of British colonialism.

Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner

• Cicadas are a superfamily of winged insects that live most of their lives underground and emerge at intervals of one, 13 or 17 years.

• There are more than 3,000 species of cicadas that live on every continent except Antarctica.

• Cicadas are not locusts. While they share a few behavioral and physical attributes, cicadas pose little to no risk to crops and vegetation, while a swarm of locusts can consume the same amount of food as 35,000 people in a single day.

• Cicadas have one of the longest insect lifespans. Annual cicadas live between two and five years, while periodical cicadas can live up to 17 years in the larval stage. Queen termites live the longest — anywhere from 50-100 years — but compared to the 15- to 30-day lifespan of a housefly, it’s quite impressive.

• Experts believe that cicada swarms number in the billions. When swarming, their bodies completely cover tree trunks and forest floors, and their collective song is

so loud it’s often tough to have a conversation nearby. The synchronized emergence of cicadas is an example of the survival strategy called predator satiation. When an animal population occurs at such high density, predators quickly become satiated, therefore increasing the chances of survival for a larger percentage of young.

• Cicadas only emerge when the ground eight inches below the surface reaches 64 F° — not one degree lower or higher. The insects usually emerge after sunset and climb high into the trees before most humans have even noticed their arrival.

• Female cicadas lay between 400-600 eggs in rows of pockets in twigs.

• Scientists don’t have any conclusive explanation for how cicadas can tell when it’s time to emerge every 13 or 17 years, but one theory is that they can mark how much time has passed by tiny alterations in the tree sap on which they survive between periods above ground.

10 / R / May 9, 2024
Brought to you by:
Don’t know much about cicadas?We can help!
A painting from 1872 by Paul-Marie Lenoir, which depicts Persian soldiers who apparently used cats against the Pharaoh’s army.

Pro-lifing us to death

Where abortion is legal, abortion rates are lower; where it’s illegal, abortion is higher

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering Idaho’s anti-abortion laws — laws that drove away the doctors who saved my baby’s life.

The question before the Supreme Court on April 24 was whether emergency rooms in Idaho are required to provide care to pregnant patients who need an abortion — to save their lives or, potentially, their reproductive systems.

Although Idaho has banned abortion almost in totality, a federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA, requires hospitals that accept Medicaid to stabilize patients in need of emergency medical care. Since nearly all hospitals accept Medicaid, this means that most hospitals are required to provide emergency medicine to everyone in need of it.

The federal government has specified that this applies to abortion in the limited situations where abortion is the standard of care necessary to stabilize the patient. For example, this would apply to life-threatening ectopic pregnancies, meaning pregnancies where the embryo is growing outside the uterus and can rupture organs.

Idaho’s anti-abortion statute allows abortion in a few cases, including when the physician determines “the abortion is necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman,” and as long as, simultaneously, “the physician performs the abortion in a manner that provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.”

According to the statute, any stage of development from egg fertilization onward constitutes an “unborn child” under Idaho law. Since the law was originally passed, Idaho has specified that it

is permissible to treat ectopic pregnancies and molar pregnancies, which are never viable. However, many other scenarios are not addressed.

It is not legal to treat patients who need abortive care to prevent losing their organs to sepsis, for example. Pregnant people, no matter their age, are required by the state of Idaho to be potential ad-hoc organ donors for fetuses that may not even be viable. No word on if the state of Idaho will also start requiring fathers to donate organs if their otherwise totally viable children are at risk of dying.

Josh Turner, arguing on behalf of Idaho, was asked bluntly by Supreme Court justices if Idaho law allows doctors to perform abortions to save women at risk of losing their organs to sepsis. Turner attempted to skirt the issue by saying doctors “could in good faith” make a choice to save a woman’s life, but it was on a “case by case” basis.

“But some doctors couldn’t,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett replied. “Some doctors might reach a contrary conclusion.”

The reality is that many Idaho doctors have reached that conclusion, and left the state over it. The entire obstetrics ward that saved my life closed a year ago due to anti-abortion laws. I read the news on one of the OB nurse’s social media pages — the nurse who sprinted to get a bag of blood for me after I’d transferred the four blocks to Bonner General from my living room after an unsuccessful home birth.

Amelia Huntsberger was on call when I arrived, the air outside scented with burnt-hay and hot asphalt. In the metaphorical arms of a warm and competent OB ward, I relaxed between the life-threatening complications of intra-amniotic infection

and hemorrhage. I knew, as I retreated deep into the recesses of my blacked-out, labored breathing, that I could die; the world had faded, and was now in the hands of others.

I’d seen my daughter briefly before passing out — long enough to know that she was vigorous and perfect.

When it shuttered the OB ward, Bonner General cited “Idaho’s legal and political climate,” among other factors.

“Consequences for Idaho physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines,” the hospital stated.

Bonner General was not talking about abortion as it’s commonly understood — the hospital has never performed “elective” abortions. However, Idaho’s anti-abortion laws potentially restrict many life-saving procedures for pregnancy complications. I say “potentially,” because a zealous prosecutor could argue that nearly any pregnancy-ending action is a felony.

According to Idaho law, abortion is defined as “the use of any means to intentionally terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable

likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child.”

This (possibly) means that if someone’s water breaks at 23 weeks and they’re in immediate risk of developing sepsis, it’s illegal to induce labor. Idaho’s “reasonable likelihood” of fetal death isn’t defined; but, according to standard medical understanding, babies born at 24 weeks have only a 40% survival rate, and earlier than that, the results are even more dire.

Arguably, inducing any preterm birth comes with a “reasonable likelihood” that the baby would die, at least if you’re a particular kind of prosecutor.

This hits close to home for me, because my water did break early, and the subsequent infection did get bad enough that sepsis was a concern — even though the doctors didn’t delay inducing me once I’d made it to the hospital. Anytime your water breaks early, the protective barrier is breached, and infection can set in.

I remember my own vividly, the foggy heat of my fever and the erratic heartbeat of my daughter on the monitor, that tiny flicker of life threatening to go out. And here’s the kicker: If state law supersedes EMTALA, there’s no reason


that hospitals have to take on the risk of navigating situations like this. They can merely deny care to women like me. And again, without that kind of care, I would be dead. My daughter would be dead. So, is there any law requiring that doctors treat patients in labor in order to save babies, even if the situation is not ideal? Yes. The law is called EMTALA. It’s the same law that Idaho is arguing to dismantle.

“If the Supreme Court guts EMTALA, hospital administration will just start refusing to provide uninsured care, because it’s a huge money loss and the reason for the law in the first place,” said Nathan Anderson, a physician with a background in emergency medicine and Critical Care Air Transport in the Air Force.

He confirmed that without EMTALA, hospitals would likely consider denying care to high-risk pregnancies in any situation, given that it could also save them insurance premiums and lawsuits.

The Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision about EMTALA by June.

John M. Werdel, a medical director at St. Luke’s,

< see BOTKIN, Page 13 >

May 9, 2024 / R / 11 FEATURE
Photo Katie Botkin.

Dog party

When my coworker and friend Lydia texted me and asked for my mailing address, I was curious. What showed up in the mail was an invitation to Sol’s third birthday party, so in dog years, that gorgeous Samoyed was celebrating his 21st birthday and my golden retriever, Willow, and I were invited to come.

I was actually delighted and looking forward to the event way more than I ever had for a human’s birthday party. I brought along my 10-year-old son, Sawyer, because of course he wasn’t missing out on this.

We arrived at the dog party location and there were dog obstacle courses like you’d see at a dog show, a kid-

die pool for the dogs to play in and a dog-friendly cake. There was also a lovely spread of food for the humans, placed on very high tables so the dogs couldn’t reach.

We showed up to a few dogs running about, sniffing and marking territories. By the time everyone showed up, there must have been more than 20 dogs!

My face was hurting from all the laughing and smiling happening. It was pure fantastical chaos, dogs chasing and humping each other, peeing on each other and everything else, including the cornhole game the people were trying to enjoy.

Willow was the most enthusiastic

swimmer in the kiddie pool, making sure she rolled around the pool and then the dirt for good measure. I don’t think that many of us had ever experienced this type of party before, and it may sound insane.

For instance, getting someone to want to host this assault on a yard is probably not easy. It may sound like a huge mess and a totally ridiculous reason to gather, but the sheer delight in the indulgence of “just because” turned out to be a real lifeline for me.

I felt effervescent and light for the next few days, just giggling to myself about all the funny things that happened when we participated in the unexpected and whimsical side of life. Humans take themselves and each other so seriously, especially in these moments around heated elections. In the age where we feel guilt and shame when we aren’t being productive or proactive, I encourage you to do something silly and meaningless with no goal but to be in the present moment and see what transcends.

And, if you have the opportunity, please go to a dog’s birthday party if you’re ever invited, it’s truly a sight to see.

12 / R / May 9, 2024

stated that as many as 45% of OB doctors have considered leaving Idaho over the abortion ban.

St. Luke’s is a nonprofit Catholic hospital system in Idaho — even Catholic hospitals that never provide abortion (as commonly understood) are hindered from providing necessary care to pregnant patients.

“[P]roviders are terrified and constantly second-guessing their decisions because they can no longer safely manage and advise their patients who have pregnancy complications,” Werdel said.

And this is something that comes up frequently.

“Complicated pregnancies are not rare; the average is 30 per week for the St. Luke’s Health System alone,” Werdel said.

Huntsberger, one of my doctors, gave an interview on This American Life about her choice to leave Idaho.

“Per the total abortion ban, I need to wait until [a patient is] really sick. I can’t act just to protect her health. I should be waiting until I’m saving her life,” Huntsberger said, describing having to consult with legal counsel over her routine treatment of a life-threatening condition. “This is totally opposite of my medical training.”

Huntsberger is now practicing in Oregon.

Since the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in 2022, and the subsequent abortion bans in many states, maternal mortality has risen, according to OBGYNs, and abortion rates have not declined. National abortion

rates have merely shifted, going into states where abortion is legal. Medicated abortions using pills have increased.

According to recent data from the Guttmacher Institute, making abortion illegal does not decrease abortion — it actually increases it over time. In countries that restrict abortion, the percentage of so-called “elective” abortion has increased during the past 30 years, from 36% three decades ago to 50% more recently.

Excluding India and China, where large populations and other factors skew the data, abortion rates and abortion legality are inversely proportional.

Meaning that where abortion is legal, abortion rates are lower, and where it’s illegal, abortion is higher.

Although this may seem counterintuitive, it actually makes sense. The question Idaho women will be asking themselves is, “Am I willing to risk death, organ loss and financial ruin to have a child?”

And as with most questions with these potential outcomes, the answer will increasingly be, “No.” This is not opinion, it’s fact. Statistically, according to maternal mortality rates and the availability of social services, women do face greater risk of death and financial ruin being pregnant in Idaho than being pregnant in Washington or, say, the Netherlands.

And as a general rule, people don’t want to die if they can avoid it.

Katie Botkin is a freelance writer based in Sandpoint.

May 9, 2024 / R / 13
< BOTKIN, con’t from Page 11 >


Happy birthday Eve’s Leaves: 44 years in business

It has been 44 years since lifelong Sandpoint resident Marilyn Sabella opened the doors at Eve’s Leaves in the spring of 1980. After going out on a limb and borrowing some money, today the store has become one of the longest operating, locally owned businesses in Sandpoint.

And there have been challenges over the years. During the economic downturn of the 1980s, Sabella remembered witnessing nine small businesses closing in downtown Sandpoint at the same time. Even decades later, through the COVID-19 pandemic, Eve’s Leaves persisted.

“I am so grateful to still be here,” Sabella said.

To celebrate the anniversary, the store will host a day of events Saturday, May 11, with a pop-a-balloon sale, drawings, live music, snacks and

sips, and gifts with purchases from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Going back those many years in downtown Sandpoint, the store originally occupied the space in the back of the Hunt Building for about a year and a half. When Avco Finance Company was moving out of its office right across the street, Sabella purchased their lease and Eve’s Leaves was on the move — including its signature mural.

While Sabella wanted to carry the unique shopping experience she had created into her new space, she also wanted to take the large apple tree mural. Local artist Doug Jones knew how to do it. They devised a plan using graphite and tracing paper to transfer the intricate pattern to the walls of the new location.

Sabella remembered the day well when people just came out to help. With pizza and beer and Jones as the ringmaster, the task was completed.

“He’d hand you a can of paint and say, ‘This is dark green, you do the stems; this is light green, you’ll do the leaves; here’s a can of yellow, you’ll

do the little dots at the center of the flower,’” Sabella said.

Within two weeks, Eve’s Leaves moved to 326 N. First Ave. — where it’s been ever since.

With a theme of “casual elegance,” the inventory is composed of unique, easy-to-wear pieces. Buying fashion made of natural fibers, designed by artists, and manufactured in the U.S. and Canada are a priority.

“Fashion is finding the right things to wear that make us feel better,” Sabella said.

Over the decades, Sabella said her greatest reward has been the people with whom she’s worked and interacted. Many customers have turned into close friends, and she now has grandmothers who bring their granddaughters into the store.

Many of the employees at Eve’s Leaves have also been with the store for decades.

“My employees are the best,” Sabella said, adding, “I can’t imagine retiring. Every day I am doing something related to the store.”

14 / R / May 9, 2024
May 9, 2024 / R / 15

Gardenia Center says farewell with last Sunday Service

It will be the end of an era when the Gardenia Center holds its final service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 12.

Since its founding by the late-Marilyn Chambers in the mid-1980s, the center has been a home for non-denominational spiritual communities of many types, as well as a space for everything from Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings to holiday programs to memorials and weddings, classes and presentations

Following her death, Chambers’ heirs decided to put the building at 400 Church St. in Sandpoint up for sale, resulting in the suspension of the Gardenia Center’s improvement projects and the need for new venues to house its various offerings.

Gardenia Center Board President Mark Reiner will speak at the final Sunday service, with Caren Reiner and Beth Pederson providing music.

“After almost 40 years of service to the community, we hope the many people the center has helped will

attend the final goodbye,” Gardenia Center organizers wrote in a news release, adding that a portion of the May 12 service will include attendees expressing what the Gardenia Center has meant to them.

A short meditation session will be hosted in the Peace Garden after the service, followed by coffee and cookies.

“Please come while the Gardenia Center and Peace Garden still remain as a place of beauty and connection to God and the community,” the center stated.

Reader takes home wins from Idaho Press Club awards

Last weekend, all three full-time members of the Sandpoint Reader editorial staff road-tripped to Boise for the annual Idaho Press Club awards banquet, or “Nerd Prom” as we call it.

A few days and several gallons of booze later, we returned with 10 awards in the Weekly Publication division, given by the statewide professional association to print and broadcast media outlets that showed exceptional work over the course of the year.

Editor Zach Hagadone took home two first-place awards: “Libraries are also sacred spaces of the human race” in the Editorial category, and “Current, former officials respond to ‘no confidence’ vote on Rep. Sauter” in the Political Report category.

Hagadone also earned a third-place award in the Serious Feature Report category for “‘We’re burned out’: Selkirk Fire speaks out on staffing shortage, calls for leadership change.”

Former-News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, who stepped away from her work with the Reader to raise a family in summer 2023, also earned a couple of first-place plaques: “On natural bodily functions: The Legislature treats women’s bodies as taboo, and that’s everyone’s problem,” in the Opinion category, and another firstplace award in the Election Report category for “Three candidates, none with appraisal experience, vie for vacant assessor position.”

Kiebert-Carey also took third place in the Outdoor Feature category for “A logger’s daughter’s Earth Day.”

For her inaugural Nerd Prom, Reader Staff Writer Soncirey Mitch-

ell earned a first-place plaque in the Arts/Entertainment Report category for “Zombies: The democratic monster.” Mitchell also took home two second-place awards: “Ashes to ashes, grapes to wine: What climate change could mean for Idaho’s wine industry” in the Agriculture Report category and another in the Column category for her “Back of the Book” essays “In search of conkers,” “Why are you like this?” and “Worms on the pavement.”

Finally, the Reader took second place in the General Excellence category for weekly print publications statewide.

Congratulations to our awesome staff for receiving some recognition for their efforts. I’m proud of all of them.

16 / R / May 9, 2024 COMMUNITY
Editor Zach Hagadone and Staff Writer Soncirey Mitchell at the IPC awards banquet holding first-place plaques. Not pictured is former-News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey. Photo by Ben Olson, who didn’t win jack. The Gardenia Center. Photo by Ben Olson.
May 9, 2024 / R / 17

Send event listings to

Artist Reception: Evergreen Art Collective

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Stop in to see the art and drink wine!

Live Music w/ The Nefftones

8-11pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Live Music w/ Benny & Shelton

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

The softer side of BTP

Live Music w/ Sam Leyde

6-8pm @ Smokesmith BBQ Country, blues, rock, BBQ and beer!

Live Jazz w/ Chad Ball

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Singer-songwriter, folk, alt-country

Live Music w/ Karen Atkins Trio

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Fun upbeat vibe, covers and originals

Live Music w/ Mike Wagoner

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Country, rock and Americana

Queen B Drag Show: Spring Show!

9-11:30pm @ The Heartwood Center

Bring your loud and proud self out for a night with the best local talent in the PNW. $12. 21+

Live Jazz w/ Ken Mayginnes

5-8pm @ 1908 Saloon

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am


Master Piano Class w/ Tien Hsieh

6pm @ Little Carnegie Hall (MCS)

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

FriDAY, may 10

POAC presents Tien Hsieh

7pm @ Panida Theater

Renowned Steinway artist who has become a Sandpoint favorite. $40/$10

Live Music w/ Bruiser

7pm @ The Hive

Dance night at the Hive!

BCGA Spring Plant Sale (also May 11)

9am-5pm @ Ponderay Event Center

Annuals, perennials, veggies and more

Live Jazz w/ Ron Kieper Trio

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

SATURDAY, may 11

Long Bridge Half Marathon

6:30am @ Sandpoint City Beach

Half marathon and 10K/5K races

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

9am-1pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh produce and artisan goods from local producers. A Sandpoint staple Spring Fling at Magpie Market

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

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

Live Jazz w/ Jake Robin

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

SunDAY, may 12

Magic with Star Alexander

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

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Paint and Sip with Lisa Maus

5:30-7:30pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Students tackle pike population with derby

May 9 - 16, 2024

Bingo Night 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Game Night 6:30pm @ Tervan

Cribbage League 7pm @ Connie’s

Women in the Woods

9am-4pm @ Pine St. Woods

All humans welcome to this womencentric forestry skills field day

MCC Open House (Hope)

5-6:30pm @ Memorial Community Ctr.

Presentation by veteran silversmiths

The Burtons and no-host bar.

Suzuki String Academy Chamber Concert 6pm @ First Presbyterian Church Works performed: Music from Lord of the Rings, Avengers and Moana

Eve’s Leaves 44th anniversary celebration 9:30am-5:30pm @ Eve’s Leaves Come celebrate 44 years of Eve’s Leaves with a pop-the-balloon sale snacks, sips, live music in the afternoon, drawings for prizes and more. Stop by and show some love

$5 movie: Little Women 2pm & 7pm @ Panida Theater

Sun Daddy Drum Circle

4-7pm @ Sandpoint City Beach pavilion

Open to all. Bring your own chair

Mother’s Day Handbell Concert

2:30pm @ Little Carnegie Hall Sandpoint’s Handbell Choir will open with Viola da Gamba

monDAY, may 13

Outdoor Experience Group Run

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

tuesDAY, may 14

Unplug and Be Outside (May 14-16)

Paint a lovely spring painting. $45 includes instruction, supplies and a glass of wine

Sandpoint Farmers’ Market

3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park

Fresh local produce and artisan goods

Live Piano w/ Jennifer Stoehner

5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Classical to modern piano w/ vocals

Live Music w/ Double Shot Band

5pm @ Connie’s Lounge

The Mason Brothers return

Lake Pend Oreille High School students are taking to their namesake body of water to address the issue of an increasing pike population that poses the danger of stressing other fish species.

After learning in their water science course about the non-native pike that prey on native fish and deplete food supplies, students Kailyn Gingerich, Kaiden Harper and Solace Peterson decided to hold a pike fishing derby on Lake Pend Oreille on Wednesday, May 15.

The class studies local water quality issues and proposes potential solutions, with students presenting their findings at the University of Idaho Youth Water Summit, which is judged by water quality experts and attended by students from 10 schools across North Idaho.

Gingerich, Harper and Peterson intend to demonstrate how a fishing derby focused on catching pike can help reduce the pike population.

With assistance from Idaho Fish and Game and the Bonner County Sheriff Marine Division and guidance from the Lake Pend Oreille Fishing Club, the students were able to navigate the permitting process and get some tips on how to run a fishing derby.

“Honestly it’s completely student organized. Lots of credit for them,” said Brenda Woodward, who teaches the science course.

The top-three winners will be based on size, with first place earning 40% of the pot, second place getting 25% and third place going home with 15% of the prize money. The angler with the most fish will receive 20% of the pot.

Contra Dance

7pm @ Sandpoint Comm. Hall Intro lessons at 7pm, dancing from 8-10pm. $5 donation suggested

FAS Youth Orchestra Spring Concert

6pm @ First Presbyterian Church Festival at Sandpoint’s Youth Orchestra to perform classical, pop, seasonal favorites

Three days of free events to inspire and empower families to get up and get physically active. Watch for flyers and passports at local schools and around town

wednesDAY, may 15

Spacepoint Summer Solstice

6-10pm @ Area 7B, 10801 N. Boyer Rd.

Join European Space Agency’s Rene Johannes Laureijs to learn about amazing accomplishments and discoveries, drive-in movie, BBQ, drinks and the Area 7B observatory open for stargazing

ThursDAY, may 16

Live Music w/ Terrapin Flyer

8pm @ The Hive

Playing the music of the Grateful Dead

Live Trivia

Tapas Tuesday! 4-5pm @ IPA

6pm @ Connie’s Lounge

Tap Takeover w/ Utara beer

5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Funds go to Creations. Live music w/ Ken Mayginnes

Behind the Scenes Tour & Fundraiser

5-7pm @ Bonner Co. Historical Museum

Tickets are $20 and currently for sale at Savory Restaurant (120 S. First Ave., in Sandpoint) and at Superfly Tackle (32211 Idaho 200 Ste. C, in Kootenai). Call LPOHS at 208-263-6121 for info.

Perennial BCGA plant sale springs to life

The Bonner County Gardeners Association will host its annual plant sale on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., supporting the volunteer organization’s community outreach and educational programs, as well as the association as a whole.

Attendees to the event will find a wide variety of locally grown ornamental and edible plants at the parking lot of the Ponderay Events Center (401 Bonner Mall Way, in Ponderay), where organizers recommend coming early for the best selection.

7pm @ Connie’s Game

Cribbage League

6:30pm @ Tervan

@ Idaho Pour Authority

Help raise funds to maintain and support the collection, from the artifacts to the outdoors exhibits. Show some love for history

BCGA members volunteer to maintain many beloved public spaces, including the Bonner County Fairgrounds and Farmin Park, while also working with local students to teach important life skills. The BCGA additionally helps new or avid gardeners learn more about planting beautiful, functional outdoor spaces through classes and resources at bcgardeners. org, which covers topics from fire safety to native plants.

/ R / May 9, 2024 events
Bingo Night
May 9, 2024 / R / 19

Local exhibit and visiting scholar address the ‘Worth of a Woman’

To mark the one-year anniversary of the loss of reproductive health care offerings at Bonner General Health, The Pro-Voice Project is unveiling a multimedia exhibit titled Worth of a Woman, as well as a presentation from Montana State University Professor Jennifer Hill and series of discussion over multiple days broadcast on 88.5 FM KRFY Panhandle Community Radio.

On Friday, May 10 at the East Bonner County Library Sandpoint Branch, Hill will present “Caring for Women, Caring for Communities,” which focuses on her research documenting the hidden history of childbirth and reproduction in the West through the early 1900s.

An associate teaching professor at Montana State with a Ph.D. in American Studies,

Hill is also author of Birthing the West: Mothers and Midwives in the Rockies and Plains. She will diagram the impacts of reproductive care for communities, acknowledge the significance of women throughout the lifecycle, and address health care access issues historically and into the present.

Hill’s talk will begin at 5 p.m.

The physical Worth of a Woman display will be available at Bluebird Bakery, 329 N. First Ave., in downtown Sandpoint, starting on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, and will remain up for a month before moving to other venues around town.

The exhibit includes personal stories from women who gave birth at Bonner General Health, as well as perspectives and statistics related to maternal mortality, legal barriers to care, the undervaluing of reproductive health and more.

The exhibit also offers QR codes directing viewers to, where they can take deeper dives on the topics presented and continue the conversation.

Worth of a Woman is designed to elevate the conversation around reproductive health care in Bonner County and beyond, examining the connections between women’s health and community health, the barriers that stand in the way of women accessing care, how the care system is currently failing and how conditions might be improved.

“The goal is to bring a historically difficult conversation into the public sphere to address a real-time problem, destigmatize its discussion and envision a better future collaboratively,” organizers stated in a news release.

“There’s so much stigma attached to discussion of

women’s bodies, their functions and their needs, that we tend to ignore the issue altogether. However, with our current loss of obstetrical and gynecological services here, we need to be talking about this issue more than ever, or we’re never going to restore reproductive health care in Bonner County,” Pro-Voice founder Jen Jackson Quintano stated.

“The things we’re not talking about, we’re not fighting for,” she added. “This is something worth fighting for, so let’s start the conversation.”

Those conversations will continue on KRFY, with a series of programs that began May 7 and will air at 8 a.m. each Tuesday on May 14 and May 21, addressing different aspects of the exhibit.

The episodes will be archived on and

In June, The Pro-Voice Project will partner with the Idaho Humanities Council to bring a three-part, facilitated community conversation series to Sandpoint, addressing the topics of “The Worth of a Woman,” “Health Care in Idaho” and “Legislative Impacts on Idaho Women.”

Those conversations will take place at the East Bonner County Library on Thursday, June 13; Monday, June 24; and Thursday, July 11, all at 5 p.m.

Each conversation will be informed by the physical Worth of a Woman exhibit.

For questions or more info, contact The Pro-Voice Project at jen@theprovoiceproject. com.

Hosts will also discuss the importance of reproductive health care availability with special guests, including scholars, legislators and community members.

Festival Youth Orchestra to perform spring concert

The public is invited to the First Presbyterian Church at 417 N. Fourth Ave. for a free performance of the Festival at Sandpoint Youth Orchestra, which will present a program of classical, pop and seasonal favorites at its spring concert Monday, May 13 at 6 p.m. All ages are welcome and admission is free.

Classes for the orchestra began in September, and the spring concert will be the musicians’ final performance of their 2023-’24 season.

The youth orchestra is the longest-standing educational program offered by the Festival. Beginning in 1998, the Festival Youth Orchestra program was created to help students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to master their orchestral string instruments.

More than two decades later, the Festival at Sandpoint continues to offer free string classes for students of any age.

The program is currently composed of two groups: a

Beginning Orchestra and Continuing Orchestra, led by FAS Youth Orchestra Conductor Karen Dignan. Both groups are open to any orchestral string player, including the violin, viola, cello, bass and more.

Classes are free for all ages and held weekly on Monday evenings. Students can join at any time from September through May.

The Beginning Orchestra is designed for students who are still getting started but have a basic knowledge of their instrument and reading music.

“Many of the Beginning Orchestra members are new to ensemble playing, and this is their first experience in an orchestra,” Dignan said. “Having several players in the group who have been in the orchestra previously — even if only for a year — really helps the new students adapt quickly.”

The Continuing Orchestra class is for intermediate and advanced students looking to

hone their skills and expertise through ensemble playing.

“The students in our Continuing Orchestra rehearse and perform with the full group as well as creating their own smaller ensembles,” Dignan said. “It gives them the opportunity to choose their own instrumentation and music and figure out how to make it work for a performance.”

To learn more about the FAS Youth Orchestra and the Festival’s other year-round education programs, visit

20 / R / May 9, 2024 COMMUNITY
The Festival at Sandpoint Youth Orchestra. Courtesy photo.


POAC brings renowned pianist Tien Hsieh to Panida

Acclaimed around the world, pianist Tien Hsieh is also a Sandpoint favorite, having performed twice as a soloist with the Spokane Symphony at the Festival and once as a guest of the Pend Oreille Arts Council at the Panida Theater.

She’ll be making a return visit to the Panida — again as a guest of POAC — for a special one-night concert Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. featuring selections from Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Brahams, Listz, and Clara and Robert Schumann. Tien will also perform contemporary selections, accompanied by a visual presentation of the history and stories surrounding her favorite composers’ lives and their works.

Find the full program at Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for youth, available at the POAC website or by calling 208-263-6139.

“POAC is honored to bring back such a high caliber performer who has captured the hearts of Sandpoint residents over the years,” POAC Executive Director Tone Stolz stated in a news release. “Tien is excited to return and connect with her local fans here with a program highlighting some of the romantic compositions of her favorite classical composers.

We hope to see lots of moms and families enjoying this Mother’s Day weekend event.”

Born in Taiwan, Tien Hsieh (pronounced Tee-EN SHAY) began early musical training with her mother, Sylvia. Currently residing in Folsom, Calif., she has enjoyed a far-ranging career with recitals in Hungary, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, China, England and throughout the U.S. Performance highlights include Salle Cortot at The École Normale de Musique de Paris; St. Martin in the Fields; Carnegie Hall; all-Liszt program tours; and, most recently, Levitt Pavilion Denver.

has played with the Roswell, Redlands, Folsom Lake and Spokane symphonies; Oregon Mozart Players; Manhattan Philharmonia; and Houston Civic Orchestra. Her many honors include receiving the Roy M. Rubinstein Award; grants from the Bettingen Corporation and Li-Ching Cultural and Educational Foundation; and scholarships from the Manhattan School of Music, University of Houston and California Arts Council.

Tien Hsieh in concert

Friday, May 10; doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m.; $40 adult/$10 youth. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191, Get tickets at or by calling 208-263-6139.

As a concerto soloist, Tien

Tien’s recording of Bach & Beethoven: Mostly Transcriptions 2 drew acclaim, reaching No. 1 twice on, and remaining a best seller for two consecutive months in 2015.

Little Women to screen

What better way to spend Mother’s Day weekend than with a film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women?

Nope, not the 1933 version with Katharine Hepburn and Joan Bennett. Not even the 1949 version with June Allyson and Elizabeth Taylor or the 1994 adaptation with Susan Sarandon and Winona Rider.

Coming to the Panida on Saturday, May 11, is Greta

Bruiser, The Hive, May 10

Sometimes, you just have to dance. If you’re jonesing to move your hips, The Hive has you covered on Friday, May 10, when Spokane-based party band Bruiser brings its infectious energy to the stage.

This four-piece plays a little bit from multiple genres, like rock, pop, funk and country, specializing in well-known covers that get you up and


This week’s RLW by Ben Olson

... from multiple news sources. It might seem like an obvious point to make about media literacy, but it requires multiple viewpoints to fully understand what’s going on in your community, state, country and world. There are large segments of our population who consume only news that caters to their political beliefs; and, as a result, we are rapidly losing the ability to agree on even basic ideas, never mind what we used to call “the truth.”

As one recent review noted, Tien “delivered electrifying performances of music of monumentally heroic difficulty. Works by Messiaen, Beethoven and finally Liszt’s ‘Rapsodie Espagnole’ were breathtaking in their technical quality and interpretive maturity.”

as $5 film at Panida Theater

Gerwig’s Little Women. This is the film that Gerwig made before last summer’s blockbuster Barbie. There will be two showings — a 2 p.m. matinee (close-captioned) and an evening showing at 7 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes before the beginning of the film.

Little Women focuses on the lives of the four March sisters in the 19th century. The novel was published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.

Gerwig’s Little Women garnered six nominations at

the 2020 Academy Awards, including Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh) and Best Picture. It won for Best Costume Design. Washington Trust Bank is sponsoring the screening of Little Women, with tickets priced at $5.

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

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Bruiser was also named the No. 1 cover band of 2023 across Spokane and Coeur d’Alene by the Pacific Northwest Inlander. — Ben Olson

Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8:45 p.m., $5, 21+. The Hive, 207 N. First Ave., 208-9209039, Listen on Facebook.

Karen Atkins Trio, Connie’s Cafe, May 11

If you’ve spent more than a day in Sandpoint, you’ve heard the soothing melodies of world-renowned singer-songwriter Karen Atkins. Highlights of her resume include performing with the likes of Ziggy Marley and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as having her music featured in Winona Ryder’s film Boys.

The lasting impact of her folksy pop songs stems from her long career as a health practi-

tioner, from which she draws to create music that her website calls “healing.” Spend this Saturday, May 11 at Connie’s Cafe listening to Atkins and better understand why her music is described as “pure folksy pop with lots of love.”

— Soncirey Mitchell

6-8 p.m., FREE. Connie’s Cafe, 323 Cedar St., 208-255-2227, conniescafe. com. Listen at


For those solo drives over 30 minutes, I often turn to podcasts to ease the passage of time. If you’re a fan of the “strange, dark and mysterious,” one excellent choice is MrBallen Podcast, which features John B. Allen, a former Navy Seal who reads victim-oriented true crime stories in a non-sensationalized manner — almost like listening to your buddy tell a wild story at the bar. Allen has dedicated his channels to simply telling stories without all the frills and gimmicks of most content creators. Find the podcast on all streaming services.


We experience rain and the occasional thunderstorm during our spring months, but in other parts of the country they have to be on the lookout for tornadoes. So far, a number of violent storms have been reported along “Tornado Alley” in the Midwest. Some of the footage coming out of these tornado sightings by storm chasers has been incredible, with several getting right up to point-blank range. Some of the best storm chasers on YouTube are Reed Timmer, Pecos Hank, Freddy McKinney and others. Check out footage from the April 26 storms for a good starting point.

May 9, 2024 / R / 21
Tien Hsieh. Courtesy photo.

From Pend Oreille Review, Sept. 20, 1923


Robert Ford, alias Noah Arnold, self-confessed murderer of W.A. Crisp of Hope, Idaho, July 15, will hang Thursday, Nov. 1 for the crime. The execution will take place at the state pententiary at Boise, where a death watch was placed over the prisoner Monday morning.

Mike Donnelly, who gave himself up shortly after his companion in crime was arrested, was sentenced within a few minutes of Ford to hard labor in the state prison for the balance of his natural life. Judge W.F. McNaughton of the district court passed sentence on both.

Ford took his sentence without a drop of an eyelid. As he was locked up after bring sentenced, he made the remark that he did not give a damn. Later in the afternoon he voiced his spite on a certain county official when he stated that if he ever got out of this that it was his intention to do some shooting around this part of the country again when he proposed to get a certain official whom he thought had done him dirt.

Publisher’s note: This article was lightly edited to eradicate problematic terms describing the accused that were accepted at the time, but are no longer appropriate.


Cruel party

Of all the self-immolations in modern politics, Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem takes the cake. Or should I say dog treat?

Noem is a firebrand acolyte of former-President Donald Trump who was widely viewed as a serious contender for his vice presidential pick. That is, until she killed her puppy, bragged about it in a book, then doubled and tripled down on how the incident is all a hoax perpetrated by the liberal media. Or something.

In her forthcoming book, No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move America Forward, Noem describes an incident when her 14-month-old wirehaired pointer puppy named Cricket attacked her neighbor’s chickens. Noem claimed she “hated” Cricket, calling the pup “untrainable,” “dangerous” and a “less than worthless” hunting dog, which she then led to a gravel pit before shooting it in the face.

In several media appearances after the news broke, Noem appeared to dig in her heels, claiming the tale was an anecdote that showed her willingness to do anything “difficult, messy and ugly,” if it has to be done. She actually tried to include it in a previous memoir, but her publisher apparently nixed the passage, claiming it would not be received well by, well, anyone.

But Noem persisted, and now her name is synonymous with being a “dog-killer,” which, who knows, might actually help her get more votes if she ran on a ticket with Trump.

Noem isn’t the first person to run

afoul of public opinion concerning dogs. An incident from 1983 came back to bite Republican Mitt Romney during his ultimately losing presidential bid in 2012, when it surfaced that the candidate had strapped his Irish setter to the roof of his car inside a carrier and drove 12 hours to Canada.

The animal then proceeded to defecate all over the car the entire trip.

Many observers were outraged when hearing about the treatment of the family pet. When asked by PETA about it, Romney said, “My dog likes fresh air.”

Closer to home, Idaho District 1 Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle, was cited with cruelty to animals in 2012 for apparently shooting a neighbor’s dog. Herndon pleaded not guilty. Two months later, the charge was “dismissed on motion of prosecutor.” The details of the incident are unknown, since the case was sealed by Judge Debra Heise on March 5, 2012.

Taken together, these incidents are not a good look for the political right in America.

Sure, there are some funny moments in cinema involving being cruel to dogs. In The Outlaw Josey Wales, the titular character played by Clint Eastwood made it his schtick to spit tobacco juice right onto the head of passing dogs to shoo them away. In The Life Aquatic, Jeff Goldblum’s quirky character Alistair Hennessey suddenly gets up, asks about a dog, says “Hi” to it, then whacks it hard with a rolled-up newspaper (I’m not condoning hurting

Sudoku Solution STR8TS Solution

animals in any way — the scene is just so unexpected and hilariously portrays Hennessey’s villany).

What’s not funny is how this cruelty seems to be spreading exponentially, and it’s mind boggling how conservative voters continue to shrug and condone behavior that they wouldn’t tolerate in a family member or loved one.

Sandpointians love their dogs. Americans love their dogs. Not too long ago, bragging about shooting a puppy would be enough to ostracize anyone from any political race, no matter the party to which they might belong. In today’s cruel world, however, perhaps dog-killing is the next prerequisite to reaching public office.

The cover of the January 1973 edition of National Lampoon Magazine featured a picture of a nervous dog with a revolver pointed at its head. The tagline reads, “If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll kill this dog.”

The joke landed then because it was so wildly inappropriate as to seem impossible. Today, though? That dog just might hunt.

Crossword Solution

If you wear a toupee, why not let your friends try it on for a while. Come on, we’re not going to hurt it.

22 / R / May 9, 2024

Laughing Matter


“The novel’s rich descriptions and poetic language offered readers moments of jouissance as they immersed themselves in its captivating narrative.”

Corrections: The Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society’s annual plant sale was advertised as May 8 in last week’s edition, but the society told the Reader they were mistaken in their press release. The actual date is June 8 from 9 a.m.-noon in the North Idaho Plant Arboretum (near Bonner County History Museum).

May 9, 2024 / R / 23
1. Exclamation of contempt 6. Cut short 11. Feudal lord 12. Perks 15. Streamer 16. Break 17.
18. Diverge 20. Excluding 21. Exude 23. Terminates 24. Bankrolls 25. Tropical root 26. Desire 27. Fourth dimension 28. Litigates 29. South southeast 30. Salami shops 31. Lead 34. Step 36. Born, in bios 37. Money 41. Not the guest 42. Hairless 43. Initial wager 44. 2 2 2 45. Thwart 46. Frog 47. Durable wood 48. Science of rocks 51. Excavate 52. Gifts 1. Flat highland 2. Earnest 3. Female chicken 4. Ancient 5. We are (contraction) 6. Wear away 7. Ships DOWN ACROSS Copyright Solution on page 22 8.
time 9. Furrow 10. Destructive sea wave 13. Wears away 14. Adjusts 15. Beats 16.
the end of fingers 19.
22. Own 24. Cougar 26.
play 27. Anagram
“Eat” 30. Exploit 32. Tap 33. Howdy 34. Frustrate 35. Type
breeding ground 38. Coat
shrubs 42.
45. Palisade 48. Obtains 49. Jobs
era 53. Observe 55. Black bird 54. First-aid item 56. Elongate 57. Nibble 58. Affirmatives 59. Stitched Word
And more
One single
Found at
Brought into
Row of
for musicians
Week of the
jouissance /zhwee-sahnns/ [noun] 1. pleasure;
Solution on page 22
on page 22

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.