Page 1

2 /


/ November 19, 2020

PEOPLE compiled by

Susan Drinkard


“Traveling in a snowstorm, would you rather be the driver or a passenger?” “I would rather drive because then I’m in control, and I’m a control freak!” Colleen Greer General merchandise manager Sandpoint

“I’ve had experience driving trucks and cars in snowstorms for the past 40 years—so driver.” Steve Hennig Retired Upper Pack River

“I’d rather be in control and drive; as a passenger I am a backseat driver.” Kasey Martin Gym owner/Natural Fitness Sandpoint

“Passenger. I have a seizure disorder.” Jeff Ludolph Disabled veteran Sandpoint

“Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do either in a snowstorm, but if I had to do one, I’d say driver so I could control the car.” Dixie Parmer Deli clerk Sandpoint


I hope everyone is having a good day out there. My day improved remarkably when I saw Schweitzer was offering season passholders a “sneak peek” at the mountain this weekend. Thanks to almost 20 inches of snow picked up last weekend, along with snowmaking magic, Schweitzer is able to open up Midway for an early opening weekend only available to passholders. The resort plans to open the Basin Express Chairlift for all 2020/21 season passholders from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22. This includes those with Sunday-Friday passes. There is limited terrain open and minimal services available, but who’s complaining when we get an early start on the season? Face masks will be required in all the indoor spaces at Schweitzer and CEO Tom Chasse encourages everyone to limit their time inside. Please take care out there. COVID-19 cases are surging again, so please wear your face masks in public, wash your hands, socially distance yourselves and be kind.

– Ben Olson, publisher

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

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Chelsea Mowery (cover), Ben Olson, Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Bill Borders, Susan Drinkard. Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Lorraine H. Marie, Shelby Rognstad, Beth Weber, Robens Napolitan, Jackie Henrion, Brenden Bobby, Marcia Pilgeram, Cameron Rasmusson. Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $115 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

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

This week’s cover photo was taken by Sandpoint photographer Chelsea Mowery. Thanks for the great shot, Chelsea! November 19, 2020 /


/ 3


State, local COVID-19 rates continue to rise as area hospitals struggle with capacity By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Idaho’s contribution to the nationwide surge of COVID-19 cases is continuing unabated, with the state tallying 1,310 more confirmed and probable cases on Nov. 18 alone, also adding 14 deaths for a total of 812 since pandemic tracking began in the spring. The Panhandle Health District reported 201 active cases on Nov. 18, down from 204 the day before and the third highest since tracking began in March. The peak, so far, was Nov. 9, when the district — which covers the five northernmost counties — logged 209 active cases. Bonner County reported 22 new active cases on Nov. 18, down from the all-time high of 36 recorded on Nov. 14. A total of 94 people have died district-wide from confirmed COVID-19 related illness since tracking began, including four in Bonner County. Looking nationally, “the virus is winning,” according to Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan who, according to The Washington Post on Nov. 17, reinstated his state’s COVID-19 restrictions amid increases in community spread. Total deaths in the country topped 250,000 and 11 million cases in the U.S. this month. The nation added 1 million confirmed cases from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15 alone. Idaho Gov. Brad Little likewise took his state back several steps in its so-called “reopening” plan, which lifted nearly all COVID-19 safety precautions earlier in the summer. (Read the Idaho Rebounds reopening plan at rebound. idaho.gov/stages-of-reopening.) Little announced Nov. 14 that the state would jump back two whole categories from Stage 4 to Stage 2 of the “Idaho Rebounds” plan. That means private and public gatherings are again limited to 10 people and individuals are strongly encouraged not to unnecessarily mix with those outside their own household. Unlike the “lockdown” imposed by Little’s initial “Stay Healthy Order” 4 /


/ November 19, 2020

during the onset of the pandemic in the spring, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and religious and educational institutions — among others — are allowed to remain open provided they abide by social distancing and limited occupancy guidelines. As has long been his policy, Little shied away from any further statewide requirements, including a mask mandate, even as Idaho’s surrounding states have adopted such measures. Meanwhile, he authorized the deployment of 100 members of the Idaho National Guard to assist medical facilities that have been swamped by the influx of COVID-19 cases. The same day as Little’s announcement reverting the state to Stage 2, Bonner General Health moved into “contingency mode” to handle the spike in individuals needing care. “We have seen the number of total positive tests double in the last few weeks, and the pandemic is slated only to get worse,” Emergency Department Physician Dr. Stacy Good stated in a news release. The 25-bed critical access hospital has sequestered five of its medical-surgical rooms for COVID-positive patients and three rooms in the critical care unit. “The rise in COVID-19 trans-

mission has created other issues, including delays in COVID-19 test result notification and contact tracing,” the hospital stated. “If the spread of the virus continues to increase in Bonner and Boundary counties, we will not be able to care for those who are acutely ill without postponing essential but less urgent care. We anticipate this kind of shift could happen in a matter of weeks if trends do not change.” According to Panhandle Health District, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties are all in the “red” category. Benewah County is in “orange.” While many Idahoans have blamed out-of-state visitors for spreading the virus in the state, Boise State Public Radio on Nov. 13 reported that hospitals in Idaho’s neighboring states have been picking up the slack for overtaxed Gem State health facilities. The Washington Hospital Association in a recent survey found that as many as 60% of the patients in Newport, Wash. are Idahoans, while Spokane hospitals have also been receiving Idaho patients — one reported seeing a 20% increase in beds taken by Idahoans. According to the BSPR report, Washington Hospital Association CEO Cassie Sauer said health care workers in her state are disturbed and “frustrated” that Idaho is

refusing “to adhere to science and wearing their masks.” “We have huge concerns about them,” Sauer said, quoted by BSPR. “We’re going to be strained to take care of our own residents.” At the Sandpoint City Council meeting Nov. 18, Councilwoman Deb Ruehle issued an impassioned plea to fellow leaders to stop treating mask wearing a kind of “Super Bowl” sports match, in which teams battle one another over partisan points while “our regional hospitals are being overrun.” “People have proven that they are not socially responsible,” said Ruehle, who earlier in the fall fronted a proposal A map of cumulative positive COVID-19 cases in Idaho counties as of Nov. 18. Courtesy to give Mayor Shelby RognsIdaho Dept. of Health and Welfare. tad power to authorize a mask mandate, but was met with robust leaders.” protest by anti-mask citizens and Ruehle asked for and received failed on a 2-4 council vote. five minutes of silence to recog“I am profoundly disappointed nize the deaths that have resulted in the lack of social responsibility from COVID-19 — noting that and leadership displayed by this “they’re not just numbers or data; council,” she said. “I implore you, they’re people, families.” my fellow council members to be

Trustees: LPOSD stays in ‘yellow’ category, but with more flexibility for teachers, administrators By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Gathered for a special early morning meeting Nov. 17, the Lake Pend Oreille District Board of Trustees, along with Superintendent Tom Albertson, looked with a measure of alarm at rising COVID-19 cases in the county and discussed what — if anything — the district should do to get ahead of potential widespread transmission in area schools.

Albertson asked the trustees to consider moving LPOSD into the “red” category effective Monday, Nov. 30 — the first classroom day following Thanksgiving break — while also amending that plan to include language allowing for “partial” remote learning. According to the COVID-19 response plan approved by the LPOSD trustees in the summer, going into the “red” category would mean full remote learning. The amendment gives the district flexibility to continue

providing in-person instruction even as community transmission rises higher. Trustees voted unanimously to approve the amended language in the “red” plan, but declined to move the district out of its current “yellow” designation, which has all students attending shortened school days and eating lunch in their classrooms while primary students are isolated with their class cohorts both in class and at recess, and secondary students are required to wear face coverings and maintain

social distancing. “One of the things we said we weren’t going to do is change things here and there depending on what we hear from Panhandle Health,” said Board Chairman Cary Kelly, adding that he’d rather wait until after the holiday season to see if case numbers become “more significant” among staff and students. “The less we move in and out [of categories], the better it’s going to be for everybody,” he said.

< see LPOSD, page 5 >


County limits staffing due to virus By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Bonner County Commissioners took steps to mitigate COVID-19 transmission among county employees Nov. 17, when the board unanimously approved a revised human resources policy outlining protocols for working from home and limiting staff contact with the public at the Bonner County Administration Building through the end of the month. “This is similar to what we did back in the spring, and it’s really done out of an abundance of caution to protect our employees,” said Commissioner Dan McDonald. “We’ve had some cases in the building now and we’re concerned — we don’t want to see it spread quickly so we think it’s best if we just … reduce staffing for a couple of weeks.” The current policy to limit in-house staffing is written to last Nov. 17-Dec. 1. Services will

still be available in the county building, but with modifications. McDonald said commissioner meetings will likely become closed to the public, but will be available to live stream on the Bonner County YouTube channel. “We’ve got quite a bit of public interaction and we just don’t want to see our employees end up going home sick and having it spread throughout the entire building,” McDonald said, adding later, “We’ve gotta throw the brakes on for a minute here, regardless of how you feel about it.” Most departments, including the assessor’s office, will require appointments, so it is best to call or email ahead of time. The recorder’s office will only be open Tuesday-Thursday, 1-4:30 p.m., and require an appointment. Bonner County Treasurer Cheryl Piehl is encouraging tax payments be made online or by mail. She shared in a press

release that 2020 property tax notices will be sent by Monday, Nov. 23, and due to COVID-19 precautions, she’ll be limiting the number of people in her office. The deadline to pay the first half of 2020 property taxes is Dec. 20. Piehl said that because Dec. 20 falls on a Sunday this year, her office is giving taxpayers until Dec. 21 to postmark their payment. “To avoid late charges and interest, it is very important that the envelope is postmarked by the 21st,” Piehl said. “In some rural areas, you may need to take your envelope into the post office.” “Taxpayers will notice a few changes on their tax bill this year — the previous year’s tax amount and value is listed, barcoding, and the Treasurer’s website address,” she continued. “If you find yourself in difficulty and are three years delinquent, disabled, widowed, 65 or older,

or have filed for bankruptcy, please contact our office regarding existing programs for assistance with your tax bill.” Contact the Bonner County Treasurer’s Office at 208265-1433. Online payments can be made at bonnercountyid.gov/treasurer. All department contact information is available at bonnercountyid.gov. If you are having difficulty reaching a department, call the commissioner’s office at 208-265-1438 and a clerk will work to assist you. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Office and Justice Services are not affected by the operation changes. Facilitating for county personnel to work from home falls in line with Gov. Brad Little’s

announcement Nov. 13 that Idaho would move back to Stage 2 of the state’s reopening plan, under which, “all Idahoans are encouraged to telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations.” “We learned a lot from the first go-around, and we are a lot better prepared to work from home,” said Commissioner Jeff Connolly at the Nov. 17 meeting, noting the steps the county has taken to secure more laptops for employees and to improve remote access to county networks. “We feel that there are a lot of people who can actually work from home and be just as effective as they can be in the office,” he said. “It only makes sense to use that as a precautionary measure to reduce the chances for spread.”

down to 10. As of Nov. 17, there were 259 active cases county-wide. Viewed as a distinct community, 0.25% of LPOSD’s population is actively infected with COVID-19. Subtracting the LPOSD cases, so as not to double count them, 0.54% of the county population has an active case of the virus. “We are essentially a big experiment right now; we’re the only place in the county where masks are actually being used consistently, no matter what,” said Trustee Lonnie Williams, adding that the inference would be the district’s policies as they stand are working. “We want to keep it that way,” Albertson said, though underscored that the overall numbers are not overly positive. As of Nov. 14, the county’s seven-day rolling average of positive cases — which health officials say is the most reliable way to gauge community spread — was 46.5 per 100,000 population. That number is far

higher than the 30 per 100,000 population threshold that moved the county to the “red” response category. Since then, Albertson said, the average has lessened to around 40.9 per 100,000, perhaps attributable to the tailend of a burst of cases related to Halloween gatherings, “but we don’t know,” he said. “I’m glad to see that we’ve settled a little bit, but we’re still above the 30 threshold.” “What’s going to keep our kids in school is going to be the health of our adults,” Albertson said. Williams agreed, noting that, “Our cases are not coming from kids going to school and getting other kids sick.” Still, as Albertson pointed out, “When the community has an increase, all of us have an increased probability of coming into contact with it.” Given that, many teachers and support staff feel it “just might be a matter of time” before high infection rates pene-

trate area classrooms, Albertson added, and many district employees — especially frontline educators — are concerned about their and their families’ eventual exposure. “Our teachers are so good; they are worried about their test scores, they’re worried about the instruction the kids are getting, but they also have to look after their health,” he said. “We have some teachers who have some people they live with who have compromised health situations.” To allay their fears, the trustees said they interpreted the “yellow” category protocols as allowing school administrators to give authority to educators to alter their teaching practices to minimize exposure, including increased social distancing and mask-wearing. Meanwhile, individual schools may determine their own lunch schedules to avoid students crowding together — maskless — in enclosed areas while they eat. Trustees agreed that flexibil-

ity could be accomplished without having to change categories. “They want to be able to implement additional safety measures where needed and with the authority to do that,” said Board Vice Chair Geraldine Lewis, who supported “slightingly tightened regulations but still having kids in school.” “I think it impresses upon our students and families and staff that this is not something to be taken lightly and we should actually be a little more diligent while still keeping kids in school,” she said. The trustees will meet again Tuesday, Dec. 8 — at the latest — to reassess the protocols. In the meantime, district officials are crossing their fingers that Thanksgiving break won’t precipitate a similar spike in cases as followed Halloween. “I see Thanksgiving as a safer gathering than Halloween,” Suppiger said. “We’ll see,” Kelly responded.

< LPOSD, con’t from page 4 > Bonner County has already moved its designation to “red,” owing to a recent dramatic surge in cases that has been mirrored statewide, prompting Gov. Brad Little to return Idaho to Stage 2 of its reopening plan. Some LPOSD trustees cited “public perception” as part of their reluctance to also move the district to “red.” Trustee Gary Suppiger said that while the changes going into the “red” category wouldn’t be all that significant to the operations of district schools or the delivery of instruction, “it would be significant in the community. We have a plan, it’s working, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” LPOSD’s overall response to limiting COVID-19 transmission has been far more successful than the community at large. Of the approximate 4,000 students, in-building staff and support personnel throughout the district, the peak number of active cases of the virus has been recorded at 14, which as of Nov. 17 was

November 19, 2020 /


/ 5


Albeni Cove Recreation Area closed in 2021

By Reader Staff

Albeni Cove Recreation Area will be closed for the 2021 season while the campground and day-use area are used to stage materials for Strong’s Island bank stabilization work. Thousands of pounds of rock and other materials are needed to construct a rock revetment on the island’s western end to combat erosion. The project also includes a willow lift with native species seeded and planted on the island edge to encourage pollinators and increase their habitats. Project materials are being staged at the recreation area beginning this fall and construction is expected to occur July to September 2021. The Corps is also enhancing recreation features at Albeni Cove during the scheduled closure. Work includes realigning select campsites to better

6 /


/ November 19, 2020

Albeni Cove Recreational Area in summer. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. accommodate larger camping vehicles, adding gravel pads to campsites, removal of debris to decrease wildfire potential and renovations to existing facilities. In addition to the closure of Albeni Cove, Trestle Creek Recreation Area in Bonner County will be closed through April 1, 2021. Camping reservations at Priest River, Riley Creek and Springy Point Recreation Areas are available online six months in advance at recreation.gov. The Natural Resource staff at Albeni Falls Dam invite users to these other facilities managed on the Pend Oreille River. For questions, contact USACE Chief of Natural Resources Taylor Johnson at 208-437-3133.

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: Presidential candidate Kanye West had approximately 60,000 ballots cast for him in the 2020 General Election, according to TIME. He had been courted by Trump affiliates to run, hoping the mega-star recording artist would siphon votes from former-Vice President Joe Biden. Now President-elect Biden won by the highest percentage of the popular vote of any candidate since 1932 and is currently 5.6 million votes ahead of incumbent President Donald Trump. According to U.S. law, state electors are presumably valid if chosen by Dec. 8; electors then cast their votes on Dec. 14 and, on Jan. 6, the newly sworn-in Congress counts the results and the vice president pronounces them as official. The Washington Post has reported, however, that Trump is proposing state legislators pick electors favorable to him to create “a viable path to an electoral college victory,” and this is “being considered at the highest levels.” The Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, composed of federal, state and local officials, declared that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history” and “there is no evidence of tampering with any voting systems.” Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has alleged that some computers in some states switched Trump votes to Biden votes. There was an all-time high of 181,000 new COVID-19 cases in just one day in the U.S. last week, with 1,389 deaths that day. But in the Senate, instead of focusing on COVID 19 financial aid, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has ignored the House COVID 19 aid proposal (which includes an extension of unemployment benefits). McConnell is instead focusing on confirming federal judges. Republican Senators have also proposed an additional $696 billion for the Pentagon. “We had an opportunity twice over the past eight months to bring [COVID 19] down to safer levels and we failed. We are on the verge of losing control of this pandemic,” Jack Chow, a health official under former-President George W. Bush, told The Post. Chow said it’s the duty of the president to protect national security, “and this is the most prominent disease of mass destruction America’s ever faced,

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

and we have a commander in chief who has run away from the problem and has made it worse.” After reaching 270 electoral votes, the president-elect normally begins the transition process, including daily national security briefings and transition team members meeting with executive branch staff. But so far the administrator of the General Services Administration is blocking that process. Media are speculating that it’s not just spite at work: Trump may be worried about how the briefings could cast his leadership in a poor light. Biden is taking preparatory action anyway, especially regarding COVID 19, and has pointed out that his vice president-elect sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, providing access to some information. The Associated Press analyzed 376 counties with the highest COVID-19 cases and found that the Trump vote prevailed in 93% of those counties. Contrary to expectations, time-out for COVID 19 has not resulted in a baby boom. Professors of economics at Wellesley College reported that every 1% increase in unemployment typically results in a 1.4% drop in the birth rate. One fallout pointed out by TIME: fewer potential military recruits. Blast from the past: In the 1850s the Republican Party stood up to wealthy southern slaveholders, the latter being just 1% of the American South, where they ran the Democratic Party and defended slavery, according to Boston University History Professor Heather C. Richardson. To amass power beyond their 1%, the southern Dems sought to draw poor whites to their cause, saying that freeing Blacks would elevate them above poor whites. South Carolina Sen. James Hammond saw the threat to the southern elite’s comfortable lifestyle if Blacks could vote, and warned that would lead to society being reconstructed, the government overthrown and property divided. That was the backdrop for Lincoln’s run for the presidency, and his platform of supporting ordinary men over the wealthy. He won the 1860 election and the South withdrew from the Union. After an expensive Civil War, a national system of taxation was created, including an income tax to pay for it. When the North prevailed under Lincoln, he reminded the nation that “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”


Mayor’s Roundtable

Pandemic response requires local action

By Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad Reader Contributor The growing community spread of COVID-19 in North Idaho is worrisome. Bonner General Hospital reported on Saturday, Nov. 14 it had moved into contingency mode to accommodate the increase in patients requiring care due to COVID-19. The hospital has sequestered five medical/surgical rooms and three units in the critical care unit to expand its treatment capacity for COVID-19 patients to 11. Six of those rooms were full as of Monday, Nov. 16. This is in response to continued increase in novel coronavirus cases in Bonner County, where our total active cases hit 251 on Nov. 16 and the seven-day new case rolling average doubled in the past week breaking into the red zone: more than 30 cases per 100,000 population. Cases are on the rise in all 50 states. Next door in Washington, Gov. Inslee issued a new lockdown order, closing restaurants and bars, effective Nov. 16 and limiting occupancy to 25% for essential businesses like supermarkets. Washington, Oregon, Utah, Montana and 32 other states have issued statewide mask mandates. While Idaho Gov. Little has deferred decisions of mask mandates to local jurisdictions, he has rolled back the Idaho Rebounds COVID-19 response plan from Stage 4 to Stage 2, deploying the National Guard to assist health care facilities with testing, decontamination and other needs. The modified Stage 2 limits public gatherings to 10 people, exempting places of worship, and makes allowances for in-school learning. The order also allows bars, restaurants and nightclubs to remain open (for now), though social distancing is mandated for all establishments. In the absence of a statewide mask mandate, neighboring cities like Coeur d’Alene, Kellogg and Moscow have passed citywide man-

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad. dates while many others, including Sandpoint, have considered it. As of Nov. 16 there have been 90 COVID-related deaths in North Idaho. It is government’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of the public. The most effective way to accomplish this is to minimize our exposure. Practicing social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask are the proven methods for minimizing spread of this airborne virus. This protocol has worked all over the world and it can work here. If this disease isn’t brought under control, Idaho could face another statewide shutdown that will be devastating for our economy, our businesses and our families. Twice since the pandemic began I have brought the issue of a mask mandate before City Council for consideration. Councilors Ruehle and McAlister moved to grant the mayor emergency

powers to issue a mandate. As a matter of law, the office of the mayor can issue such an order under emergency powers granted through Idaho Code Section 461011. These powers, however, are only granted by majority vote of Council, which voted 4-2 against such authorization. The majority of the Council also stated that there would be no threshold under which they would approve such a mandate. It is important that government not shirk its responsibility. Lives are at stake. It is also the government’s responsibility to protect economic opportunity for all citizens. Our economic security is at stake. As we saw early in the pandemic, economic shutdowns were devastating to the financial security of families and businesses. It is critical that this pandemic is brought under control before more lives are lost. It is also critical that this is done without further destroying the financial wellbeing of North Idahoans. Sandpoint, like the rest of America, is facing a public health issue, not a political issue. That’s why education on mask wearing, rather than legal enforcement of it, is the first and best step to addressing such a problem. Record new cases, more deaths and further moves toward economic lockdown are evidence that what we are currently doing is not enough to address the growing threat. If Council were to grant the office of the mayor emergency

powers, I would issue a mask mandate for the city of Sandpoint just as our neighboring communities have done. I would direct Sandpoint Police Department to focus on education not enforcement. This would demonstrate both the city’s commitment to protecting public health and provide education resources that follow science-based facts without criminalizing anyone. It would also affirm federal guidelines for protecting economic stability by empowering local businesses, medical providers and workforce employees to create safe environments for conducting commerce. While it is encouraging that vaccines are ready for USDA approval, experts tell us it will be at least six months before they are available to the general public. In the meantime, cases will continue to grow and it is up to us to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our fellow Americans. Please join me for the Mayor’s Roundtable to discuss all this and more this Thursday, Nov. 19, at 4 p.m. on Zoom: us02web.zoom. us/j/5600938114 You can also watch on Facebook Live through my page, Mayor Shelby Rognstad.

Sandpoint Nordic Club’s early season rental days are fast approaching By Reader Staff It’s a great time to rent skis before the season takes off. Youth and adult rental packages for both classic and skate skis are available. One must be a Sandpoint Nordic Club member to rent cross country skis for the season. If those interested in participating are not already a member but wish to sign up, do so at sandpointnordic.com prior to picking up season rentals. The Outdoor Recreation Center at Pine Street Woods will be open for early season rentals at the following dates and times: Wednesdays, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 from 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 from 9 a.m.-noon. Masks are required inside the Outdoor Recreation Center. No appointment is needed, but please note that individuals inside the building will be limited to 10, so visitors are asked to dress warm in case they have to wait outside for assistance. Once the Sandpoint Nordic Club begins grooming the ski trails, the Outdoor Recreation Center will be open for daily, weekly and seasonal rentals on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Questions can be directed to sandpointnordic@gmail.com.

November 19, 2020 /


/ 7


A safe holiday season

Why it’s not such a bad thing to take a break from the holidays

By Ben Olson Reader Staff While Thanksgiving is usually a time when family comes together — often for the only time of the year — with COVID-19, many families are rethinking their holiday plans. I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with some of our traditional American holidays over the years. My freshman year of college, I was so broke I couldn’t afford to come home over the Thanksgiving break. Instead I skulked around my abandoned dorm building (I was the only person in the 400-room building that didn’t go home) skateboarding through the hallways, sliding down the bannisters like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and eating care packages sent by my family on Thanksgiving Day. It was a bit depressing at first, but it was also kind of fun changing it up a bit. By the end of the week, I was a little bummed to see my castle of isolation teeming with people again. A few years later, while living in Los Angeles, I was again broke and unable to return home for the holidays. On Thanksgiving Day, I figured I’d just eat my dinner at a restaurant and catch a movie, but it turned out nothing was open. I walked around for hours until I found a chicken chain restaurant called El Pollo Loco that was open and had macaroni and cheese and chicken strips for my dinner, then shared my leftovers with a homeless man who lived in the alley outside my house. It turned out to be a really fun night that I look back on fondly because it was different than the norm. We all have memories of the holidays that fluctuate between fun and downright weird. After all, you can’t pick your family members, and sometimes that awkward conversation with your uncle or grandma can be exacerbated by current events like a global pandemic or a presidential election. It’s not to say you love 8 /


/ November 19, 2020

them any less; in fact, loving a family member unconditionally — no matter how crazy or wrong you think their views are — is the ultimate indication that blood is thicker than water. Over the past few weeks, there has been a lot of chatter online about what to do regarding Thanksgiving. COVID-19 positivity rates are spiking across the country, but some states are showing dangerously high levels. Idaho is one of those states. Our positive cases are going through the roof, made worse by a large population of people who refuse to wear masks in public places — some who don’t even bother with social distancing. However you feel about the pandemic, it’s time to make a Thanksgiving game plan that limits the potential spread of the virus to the elderly or vulnerable members of your family. It might actually be wise to take this year off from the usual festivities. This is not an attempt at fear-mongering, but a prudent suggestion that maybe gathering the family during a pandemic is not in the cards this year. I get it, Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and family fun. Thinking of all the good memories fills us with warm images: grandma making her famous gravy, dad watching football as kids run laughing through the living room, mom having one too many mimosas and telling that same embarrassing story again. Nobody wants to give up those memories, but we are in trying times right now and need to start thinking about what is best for our loved ones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized recently that the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu are increased around Thanksgiving as families travel to be with one another in a time when nobody is doing much traveling or gathering. The CDC recommends limiting Thanksgiving celebrations this year to the people in your household, but if you are planning to

spend it with those outside your household, they have issued a few recommendations to make sure the holiday event is as safe as possible. The simplest tip is to wear a mask when not eating. Also to keep at least six feet of distance from those not in your household — especially those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions. Frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer helps the spread, as well. While hugging your elderly family members is a bright spot, it may be wise to give them a fist or elbow bump instead this year. In addition to these guidelines, if you are attending Thanksgiving outside the home, consider bringing your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils, and stick to using the items you brought. Avoid going in and out of areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as the kitchen. Single-use options for salad dressing and condiments also help keep you contained and limits the potential of exposure. If hosting a gathering, consider having a small outdoor meal next to a roaring bonfire. Limit the number of guests you invite and have conversations with those attending to make sure everyone is on the same COVID-19 page. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use. If celebrating indoors, put a few more logs on the fire and open the windows to help increase ventilation. For those who are unsure whether a Thanksgiving gathering is appropriate, consider a few alternatives, such as hosting a virtual Thanksgiving with friends and family who don’t live with you. Schedule a time to meet and share a meal over Zoom, share recipes in advance and eat together around the virtual dinner table. Most importantly, we have to

come to terms with the reality of the situation we are in right now. Is it really worth hosting a large gathering when cases are spiking? Will it be such a calamity to postpone Thanksgiving to January or February, or whenever we begin to see the curve of infection flatten? We are hardy people here in America. We have overcome some of the greatest adversities by sticking together for the good of the nation. Many look to World War II as a time when America was truly great. In examining how our population reacted during that devastating war, you’ll find that there was very little selfishness on display. Instead, Americans united under nationwide rations, with every citizen issued a ration book with a certain number of points per week. Meat and processed foods — vital for soldiers abroad — had high points. Fresh fruit and vegetables had no points. Supplies such as gasoline, butter, canned milk and sugar were rationed so they could be provided to soldiers during the war effort. People were encouraged not to waste food and to conserve energy, scrap drives helped gather materials for the war effort and many sacrificed their comfort and luxury items for the good of the country. What has happened to that cando American spirit in recent years? More than 400,000 Americans lost their lives during four years of fighting in WWII. In less than

Love over Zoom is still love for your family. Courtesy photo. a year, almost 250,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19. We are very much fighting a war right now and we need to put our own comfort aside for a bit longer until we truly get a handle on this virus. It starts by recognizing that maybe Thanksgiving might not be the same as it usually is, and that’s OK. We’ll get through this eventually as soon as we all band together again to ensure the safety of those who are most vulnerable to this virus. You never know. Thanksgiving this year could be one you remember years from now as “that crazy Thanksgiving when we all ate dinner over Zoom.” Memories don’t always fit into a neat container. Learn to live with adversity the best you can, and channel a bit of that sacrificial spirit that our previous generations showed during WWII by recognizing that a holiday dinner gathering may not be worth someone you love contracting this deadly disease. Your family will love you just the same over Zoom as they do over the dinner table, and that’s what this holiday is really about, right? Giving thanks and love to the wonderful people in our lives. This year, it may be the ultimate show of love to be apart from your family and celebrate from a distance so you can see them again at the next family gathering.


This open Window

Vol. 5 No.11 poetry and prose by local writers edited by Jim mitsui

it's election day I put on my lucky shirt — the one that belonged to my mother — I carry my flowered book bag that reminds me of Hawaii — Hawaii where I was on an unrivalled, sun-saturated vacation with my daughters in November 2016. Fear grips my throat, stomps on my heart, as I remember the evening of that election. We spent the day at the beach; my daughter swam with a huge turtle, families frolicked together, splashing, laughing, learning to paddleboard. Blankets and folding chairs dotted the sand and everyone was smiling. After a splendid dinner of grilled salmon, huge salad and tropical fruit — we put our feet up around the TV — with champagne waiting to celebrate the election of our first woman president. By the time we crawled into bed a flaming meteor had crashed to earth — destroying the world we had known and loved. The next day we carried a dark cloud with us — although the Hawaiians were still smiling. I wondered how it would be to move there — if another meteor should crash tonight — or tomorrow — or next week. The sun would come up brightly, the waves would still crash, flowers and birds adorn the days. But we would be in the same country. Where could we go? Canada is the closest option — but they may put up a wall to keep out refugees from America. Ecuador? Chile? Doubt that aged immigrants would be welcome. Perhaps I’ll look into emigrating to Lithuania, the country from which my grandparents fled — seeking the American Dream. — Brenda Hammond, Nov. 3, 2020

Send poems to: jim3wells@aol.com

trio of springs ( for jim mitsui ) I know a poet who would mend a swing whose wounds float like stars who gave a pussy-willow valentine who has seen absence in the bedroom mirror who had the luck to share fresh cracked crab who noted the obscenity of a wrinkled balloon who felt the delicate amniotic sac who secretly sings while driving I know a poet a lover of oceans who kept a jar of green beach glass on his desk who found assurance in a flashing light on Destruction Island who on Cape Alava stood still as tree bark

and listened to stone dice roll who wishes rivers spoke understandable languages who has wrapped in the wool blanket of fish stories who has measured winter by the size of an icicle I know a poet whose thoughts spiral off like startled birds who puts Fig Newtons in his pockets who has copied his father’s mustache who has plucked his mothers white hairs who has stood alone in an unplanted garden who has been troubled by his own repeated patterns who knows all about wastebaskets whose poems helped him become more Japanese

seasonal resistance A clutch of zinnias fills a jar on the windowsill. Some blooms are past their prime, while others are still like colored jewels. This is all that’s left of my garden’s flower riot. First snow has come, and nightly frosts have leached the color from late roses, and wilted the green leaves clinging to clematis, weigela, and the new peach that produced eleven peaches, the first I’ve ever grown in 70 years of gardening. With the season’s change, the sun is lower, cooler, and as reluctant as I am to wake in the morning. Even my cat can be convinced to wait a while longer, before batting my nose with her paw so I’ll get up and let her out. Seasonal resistance is what I call it, as I shred dried marigolds and lily stalks to garnish bare garden beds with the summer’s floral offerings. I planted more bulbs this fall, especially daffodils. I think of them as encapsulated sunshine. They represent the promise of a new year, and a spring, hopefully, better than the last. A flock of southbound starlings visited my lawn today. My cat and I watched out the backdoor, as they strutted on the frosty grass.

I know a poet who says “what is shared should be celebrated daily” who loves irises and Lilly who could have kissed her to mark the location of stars who trusts that poets are bound to set things in order for whom Arizona sometimes brought back Paris whose fourth accepted stereotype is being a grandfather who knows why the Chinese symbol for “thought” is “field & heart” who, over 71, owes it to his mother to learn to juggle Satsumas three or maybe four maru maru maru which might drive the pugs crazy – Beth Weber

It isn’t often that you have a poem written for you; it is an honor, and this one is exceptional. Beth is an exceptional poet; it isn’t often that you get selected as one of only 10 poets for a workshop taught by Billy Collins. Don’t know who he is? Look him up.

inside passage Shades of obscurity perturb the lake Disturb the peaceful daily vistas shifting smoke from belching faraway fires But osprey still float by the window like braces, known as curly brackets to mathematicians Square brackets serve another purpose like an author’s voice inserted a perception or correction Then, a parenthesis flickers in the yellow-gray sunlit surface, a reflected fish Food, for thought, as the formula goes Working from the inside out

— Jackie Henrion I sometimes think of Monet’s failing eyesight as he painted his lily covered pond day after day, much like I continue to write poems about this lake I love. Something is also failing here, straining at the limits of logic. Increasingly, I turn to contemplation to work things out. Sept. 17, 2020.

The west now colors in shades of salmon pink before fading to purple-gray, as night approaches. Winter is here.

– Robens Napolitan A Sandpoint native, Robens is a mega gardener, artist and poet. November 19, 2020 /


/ 9

Masks work. Wear one...

Bouquets: GUEST SUBMISSION: • Kudos to our wonderful Sandpoint community and appreciation for all our amazing Panida supporters who came out for the Annual Membership Meeting and get together last month. Special thanks to local businesses 7BTV, All Seasons Garden & Floral, Baxters On Cedar and Vanderford’s Books & Office Products for generously donating so many wonderful door prizes for our attendees’ enjoyment. We are grateful to you all and look forward to sharing more and more evenings with you in the months to come. — Submitted by Tari Pardini, Panida Board treasurer/vice chairman. • I appreciate local businesses that send us their events information for the weekly calendar in the Reader. Even during normal times, the weekly calendar is a bear to manage, but during COVID-19 it has been a downright chore. It’s super helpful for those with events to publish if they send their listing information to calendar@sandpointreader.com and let us know of any cancelations that may apply. When you send events to the address above, they are also received and posted by sandpointonline.com, too. • A Bouquet goes out this week to all the many city and county snow plow drivers and road workers who keep our roads clear during and after storms. These folks are often the recipients of some grumbling when they plow someone in, but I’m very thankful that every time we receive some inclement winter weather, they are out and about, keeping our roads safe. Give them a smile next time you see them out and about. Barbs • Bah humbug! None this week. 10 /


/ November 19, 2020

Dear editor, While serving as an Air Force jet fighter pilot, I wore a mask nearly every day for more than two years — an oxygen mask. I didn’t have to, but I would have died if I didn’t, since all our missions were flown at above 20,000 feet. Today the current coronavirus pandemic is just as deadly as high altitude, and most doctors and scientists have recommended wearing masks along with social distancing as the best way to protect ourselves and others from the virus. They say of the more than 241,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the virus, thousands would have been saved, if we “had just worn a mask.” In Idaho, 749 people have died and 1,693 new positive cases were identified last Wednesday. Hospitals (including Kootenai Health) throughout the state are at or over capacity and we are running short of medical personnel to handle the cases. According to a group of Idaho business leaders, Idaho has more deaths than Utah although the latter has twice our population. The group asks, “What can be more important than ensuring the safety of our citizens? Wearing a mask, safe distancing, washing your hands, avoiding large crowds. These are the only weapons we have right now to fight this virus, keep our hospitals operating, and protect our people.” Why then, wouldn’t everyone want to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors by simply wearing a mask? Masks work — they keep you and others alive. Jim Ramsey Sandpoint

Save a life... Dear editor, What would you do to save a life? Is wearing a mask too much to ask? Don Moore Sagle

An open letter to Sens. Risch and Crapo... Dear editor, I’m afraid it has become clear that President Trump has lost the election to Joe Biden. During this time of transition, I have a number of concerns and am looking to you to work toward the best outcomes. We have pandemic, economic and international challenges to meet. Specifically, I want you to : 1. publicly confirm that Biden is the president-elect; 2. press the GSA to proceed with all the mandated transition funding and assistance. I do want to see executive departments working with the incoming administration to ensure a successful transition and assume you can help encourage the necessary cooperation; 3. push for enactment of the pandemic relief funding and programs that we need in so many areas. This change is not easy. I urge you to help create the continuity


we need for the sake of our United States. Howard Child Sandpoint

Saving face… Dear editor, I recently came across the term “to save face” and, of course, most of us know what this means, but I decided to double check Webster’s Dictionary: “To avoid having other people lose respect for oneself.” The term is thought to be Chinese in origin but was also deemed important to the samurai of Japan. I see this in action, say, when auto makers might rush to fix a problem with one of their mass produced vehicles that has a problem. But, suddenly I thought, “Oh my gosh. I think they are also referring to the present president of the United States. This may be why he is not conceding the election results.” Then, in overthinking a problem such as this, I gave it even deeper

thought, as I am so wont to do. I realized this is the perfect solution for President Trump. He now has a reason for resigning from his office prior to the end of his term. Once he leaves the office, the president faces a number of possible lawsuits, from tax problems to allegations by several women (who are probably seeking some financial gain, though not to deny they may have been unjustly treated). With a full pardon by our new President Pence, Mr. Trump could avoid any courtroom challenges. To keep the dignity of the office of president intact, I don’t have a problem with a full pardon. When Ford pardoned Nixon, it saved the country a lot of bad press, not to mention months of litigation and rehash of what had taken place. A pardon would just let our nation and all of us a chance to get on with our daily lives in peace. Now, I can only wish that Mr. Biden is too old to know what a tweet is. James Richard Johnson Clark Fork

Fairgrounds to host 2020 Christmas Fair

Local craft vendors will be on display

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Christmas shoppers will have the chance to support local small businesses Nov. 21-22 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds as fair staff host the annual Christmas Fair, this year featuring only craft vendors showcasing handmade goods. Bonner County Fair Director Darcey Smith said this year’s craft fair will look different than past years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said that Santa Claus will not be making his annual visit and there will be no kid’s corner or live music. “We are making this a retail environment only,” Smith

said. “I am highly recommending that everyone, including vendors, wear masks. We will be spraying sanitizer on all hard surfaces throughout the event.” Still, Smith said she felt that the fairgrounds had an opportunity to support local crafters during what has so far been a difficult year for artisans with small businesses. “We really want to be safe, and we really want to allow these vendors to have a chance to sell their merchandise as most events have been canceled throughout the year due to COVID,” she said. The Bonner County 2020

Courtesy photo. Christmas Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m.4 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free. Visit bonnercountyfair. com for more information, or contact the fairgrounds office at 208-263-8414.

Winter is here! Kind of. At least the good stuff is falling on the mountain. To submit a photo for a future edition, please send to ben@sandpointreader. com. Top: Sandpoint Parks and Recreation employees install the city Christmas tree at Jeff Jones Town Square on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The tree is a 35-foot grand fir provided by Crowellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Land of Christmas. Photo by Ben Olson. Bottom left: Snow piles up at Schweitzer Mountain Resort on Friday, Nov. 13. Photo by SMR. Bottom right: A Schweitzer employee operates a snowblower after an early dump on the hill. The resort plans to open Nov. 27. Photo by SMR.

November 19, 2020 /


/ 11

Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist

rare flowers

As the last few leaves fall from our deciduous trees, the tamaracks shift into a brilliant gold and snow begins to blanket anything and everything, some people will migrate south to warmer climes, while others will curiously look up rare flowers on the worldwide web. When imagining rarity, most of us envision diamonds, platinum and other metals that are made only in the crucible of the planet’s core or the aftermath of supernovae. Not often do we stop to think about the rarity of something like a flower. Humans have long considered themselves to be masters of botany; able to alter and conform plant life in countless ways to produce food and beauty in remarkable ways. However, our mastery of flora is surprisingly limited, and there are a number of flowering plants we have nearly driven to extinction, and a few we are desperately trying to keep alive. Here is just a sampling of what kind of quirky and rare plants nature has to offer. Jade vine (strongylodon macrobotrys) Native to the rainforests of the Philippines, jade vine is a beautiful vining plant that creates unique claw-shaped turquoise and jade green flowers in large clusters. They thrive in humid conditions, but interestingly don’t like large amounts of water around their roots. Jade vine is being driven to extinction in the wild by deforestation caused by a mix of excessive 12 /


/ November 19, 2020

logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and volcanic eruptions. Luckily, despite the plant’s rarity, it’s fairly easy for home horticulturists to raise, provided the proper conditions are met. Jade vine likes high humidity and moderately high heat. Anything below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is likely to damage the roots, stunt the plant’s growth or even kill it. These can be difficult conditions to maintain in our area for most of the year, especially in a basic greenhouse setting. Additionally, low light conditions throughout winter can prove problematic, but this can always be remedied by LED grow lights, if you don’t mind a slightly higher power bill during the winter — and let’s face it, most of us already have that problem, anyway.

Ghost orchid (dendrophylax lindenii) Perhaps one of the most curious flowers in the world, the ghost orchid is native to both Florida and Cuba. It is a leafless flower and only blooms once a year during a brief window of a couple of weeks, but it won’t always do this. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why, but sometimes the plant just won’t bloom. For most of the plant’s life, it looks like an inconspicuous vine growing from the bark of swamp trees — you likely would never know what it was unless you were a botanist that spent a considerable amount of time studying them. The ghost orchid is extremely rare, especially by plant standards. There are believed to be only 2,000 individual plants still surviving in the world, and

Brought to you by:

The ultra-rare Middlemist red flower. Courtesy image. that number is rapidly dwindling. Climate change and particularly intensifying hurricane and cyclone patterns are rapidly driving the ghost orchid to extinction. Scientists predict it will be gone within the next 25 years. Unfortunately, there has been little to no luck cultivating ghost orchids in a greenhouse setting. It produces a unique white flower that appears to be floating in the middle of the swamp (like a ghost), and it produces a sweet apple scent that attracts a number of nocturnal moths acting as pollinators. One of these moths, the giant sphinx moth, sports a sixinch wingspan and produces a loud thrumming noise as it flies through the swamps at night.

During The London Blitz in 1940, a bomb landed on the conservatory, destroying the glass and exposing the fragile camellias to the elements in the middle of the largest war in modern history. By some stroke of unfathomable luck, the bomb failed to detonate, though the conservatory still fell into disrepair. Fortunately, a trio of camellia enthusiasts banded together to save the conservatory and the camellias, preserving them for future

Middlemist red (Middlemist camellia) This flower doesn’t simply have the distinction of being “a rare flower.” No, the Middlemist red has the distinction of being the rarest flower. There are only two documented Middlemist red flowers in the entire world — one in a garden in New Zealand and the other in a conservatory in the UK. In addition to being the rarest flower in the world, the Middlemist red also has a backstory worthy of its own blockbuster movie. Originally native to China, the flower was brought back to England in 1804 by John Middlemist. Not long after its arrival in the UK, it was driven into extinction in China. One of the only two remaining documented plants was taken to the Chiswick House and Gardens conservatory in London, where it has lived for more than 200 years.

• Globally, women are paid less than men. Women in most countries earn on average only 60% to 75% of men’s wages.

generations to enjoy. Admission to the gardens is free to the public, which is pretty incredible considering the rarity of this flower. It is believed that John Middlemist actually cultivated this particular flower to sell to the general public in the 1800s, so it’s possible there are other Middlemist red flowers growing in gardens around the world, but as of yet they have not been recorded. Stay warm and stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner en’s rights?

Don’t know much about wom

• Worldwide, an estimated 5,000 women and girls are murdered every year for a perceived dishonor to their families. • An extra year of education can help a girl earn 20% more as an adult. • 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime. • Domestic violence — just one form of gender-based violence — is costlier than warfare, with a worldwide annual cost of $8 trillion. • 91% of Egypt’s women aged 15 to 49 have been subjected to genital mutilation, according to the World Health Organization. More than 200 million women and girls in 30 countries have undergone female genital mutilation • An educated female population

We can help!

increases a country’s productivity and fuels economic growth. Some countries lose more than $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. • In January 2019, there were 11 women serving as head of state and 10 as head of government worldwide. • The US women’s suffrage movement had its roots in the abolition movement. Abolitionist groups such as the American Anti-Slavery Society, led by William Lloyd Garrison, provided women with opportunities to speak, write and organize on behalf of enslaved people — and in some cases gave them leadership roles. In 1840, when abolitionist women Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, they were forced into the gallery along with all the women who attended. Their indignation led them, eight years later, to organize the first U.S. women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, N.Y.


Thankful for fishing

Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club to host annual Thanksgiving Derby Nov. 21-25 & Nov. 27-29

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Nothing says Bonner County Thanksgiving quite like bundling up and hitting the lake at sunrise in hopes of encountering the fish of a lifetime. The Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club is keeping the tradition alive with its annual Thanksgiving Derby, when anglers of all ages will compete to catch the biggest and baddest rainbow trout and mackinaw the blue depths have to offer. The 2020 derby runs Saturday, Nov. 21-Wednesday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 27-Sunday, Nov. 29. There’s no competition on Thanksgiving Day. The Thanksgiving Derby boasts three divisions: adult, junior (ages 14-17) and youth (13 years old and younger). The adult entry fee is $50, the Junior Division is $10 and youths compete for free, though pre-registration is still required. Prizes range depending upon the division and fish in question. A winning rainbow trout in the Adult Division could earn the victorious angler $2,000, as well as a $500 catch-and-release bonus, should the trout be released back into the lake. LPOIC Treasurer Will Crook said the catch-and-release bonus was recently introduced as an incentive when LPOIC members expressed an interest in promoting more releases and less killing of rainbow trout. With the help of a mesh underwater bag device, fish can be kept viable even throughout the weighing process. “They swim away happily to keep eating kokanee and growing fatter and fatter to hopefully break a state record one day,” Crook said. However, Crook said that the club is absolutely unopposed to an angler choosing to take his prized catch home to mount — the bonus is simply an incentive used to keep more rainbows in the lake when possible. The Thanksgiving Derby mandates a minimum length for rainbow trout: 32 inches in the Adult Division, 28 inches for juniors. There is no minimum rainbow length for the Youth Division or for mackinaw in any division. Seeing as mackinaw — or lake trout — are invasive species, LPOIC encourages the catch and kill of those trout in any size.

The club is active in educating anglers and helping to manage Lake Pend Oreille’s fishery. Idaho Fish and Game Regional Fishery Manager Andy Dux told Sandpoint Magazine in 2019 that the club has a good working relationship with IDFG. “The LPOIC brings anglers together who value the fishing opportunity that Lake Pend Oreille offers, particularly for trophy rainbow trout,” he said. “As a result, the LPOIC has played an important role in promoting this fishery.” Aside from advocating for the lake’s dynamic and unique fishery, Crook said LPOIC hopes to “get the kiddos out fishing” by placing incentives on youth involvement in derbies. For the Thanksgiving Derby, kids 13 and younger are free to enter, and captains of boats that host winning youth anglers earn a $50 captain’s bonus for getting the child involved in the sport. Official LPOIC Thanksgiving Derby weigh stations will be located at Holiday Shores in Hope, the Captn’s Table in Garfield Bay and MacDonald’s Hudson Bay Resort in Bayview. All three locations will be open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, and only the Garfield Bay station will offer evening weigh-ins. The derby officially ends at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. As a precaution during the ongoing

Top and bottom: Wayne Heather, top, and grandson Blake Heather, bottom, in 2017. Blake went on to win the derby in 2019 as an adult member. Wayne, a longtime LPOIC member, has served on the board and rarely misses a derby. Courtesy photos. COVID-19 pandemic, Crook said LPOIC will not be hosting an awards ceremony at the conclusion of the derby, and will instead be mailing all prize money and trophies to the winning anglers. Find complete information about ticket outlets and prizes by visiting lpoic.org, or find the Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club on Facebook at facebook.com/lpoic. Updates will be posted on the LPOIC Facebook page during each day of the derby.

November 19, 2020 /


/ 13


The Sandpoint Eater

Table for some

By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist

In anticipation of next week’s holiday, I’ve been busy cooking up a storm, for everyone! Or no one. Thanksgiving is on, then Thanksgiving is off. Two years ago, there were 25 of us gathered around the table, heaped with food, love, laughs and gratitude. This year I’ve named my holiday theme after my favorite Sidney Poitier film, Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner? Everyone? Someone? Anyone? Originally, along with daughter Ryanne and her family in Moscow, my son Zane and his four children were headed over from eastern Montana, so I was looking forward to a dozen offspring. Now, I’m vacillating about Ryanne’s reluctance to have Zane’s family join us, but I respect her opinion. In my heart, I know she’s right, and so I acquiesced to her appeal knowing that, as the oldest (and the nearest) child, she will probably get stuck taking care of me if I come down with COVID-19. Still, it’s breaking my heart that my baking protégé, granddaughter Miley, won’t be here to follow my every footstep in the kitchen, and my little clutch of pajama-clad grands won’t gather, sleepy-eyed, for our morning ritual of hot cocoa. I’m still hopeful to at least have Ryanne and her family, as they are well-bubbled in a small pod (that thankfully includes me). My dreams of adding the last leaf to the table have all but fluttered away. I haven’t polished the silver or made personalized napkin rings, nor planned six courses, starting with champagne for the adults and sparkling 14 /


/ November 19, 2020

cider for the children, served with miniature rosemary pumpkin scones, topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and crème fraiche. Right now, I should be galvanized by gravy, not gloom. I felt like we were making such great progress in our fight against this monster virus, but no, it’s back (and really, I guess it never left), surging with an angry vengeance. To tell you the truth, this Thanksgiving, I’m struggling to find the balance between being matriarchal and maudlin. To make my annual list of all the things I’m thankful for, including “our health” feels so cliché this year and, yet, knowing my family has so far dodged the bullet of COVID-19 washes me with gratitude. Usually about now I would be busy locating community Thanksgiving meals, or calling

around to grocery store managers for a tête-à-tête on their turkeys to share with my readers. But not this year. Lots of us won’t be cooking a traditional turkey, and the dining regulations are changing so often that I’m afraid to post any events for fear they’ll be outdated or canceled by the time you read this. Instead, it almost feels surreal, but I am offering recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a safe Thanksgiving: • a small dinner with the people in your household; • a virtual dinner with friends and family; • preparing food for family, friends or neighbors who live alone and delivering without contact; • shopping online from home

to avoid in-person Black Friday sales; • watching favorite family movies or parades at home on TV, not in theaters or other public places. Besides Thanksgiving, I desperately miss hosting themed dinner parties, girlfriend gatherings and cooking classes (all of which normally involved a tad too much wine). It hasn’t stopped me from cooking and freezing or giving it away, but it’s not the same, and how I long for a return to the norm. For the upcoming pandemic holiday, I’m preparing some non-perishable baked items that I can send to my offspring in Chicago and Montana for their Thanksgiving tables. It’s my version of breaking bread together. We may not be able to

gather in person, but sharing the same foods around our Zoom table feels as though it might be cathartic. One of our family favorites is pecan pie, which is hard to ship, so I’ve modified my recipe into bars and they’re already in the freezer, ready for mailing. For good 2020 measure, this time I added chocolate and a dash of bourbon to their batches (and for good measure, a double dash of bourbon to mine). Turns out, they are also just what I needed for a midnight snack. Whatever you cook and wherever you eat, I hope it’s enough for you this year. And may memories of past gatherings fill you up to the brim, until at last, we can gather again.

Chocolate and bourbon pecan bars These are decadent, easy to make and a perfect ending to a holiday meal. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream. Once cooled, store in the fridge for up to a week, or wrapped tightly in the freezer for a month. You can omit the bourbon, if you wish. And, they only take one bowl for both steps.

INGREDIENTS: For crust: • 1 1/2 cups flour • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar • 1/2 cup butter, softened For filling: • 3 large eggs • 3/4 cup granulated sugar • 1/2 cup light corn syrup • 2 tsp vanilla • 2 tbs melted butter (I use brown butter) • 1/4 cup good quality bourbon • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans • 1 3/4 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease, then line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper. Combine flour, brown sugar and softened butter in a mixer, and mix until just crumbly. Press evenly into bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Let cool for approximately 10 minutes. Using the same mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, cooled and melted butter, and bourbon. Fold in the pecans and chocolate chips, then pour over crust. Return pan to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until filling is set. Allow to cool completely on wire rack before cutting into bars.


Hungry? There’s an app for that Food delivery service DeliverEats connects Sandpointians to the local dishes they love By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Freshly jobless and seeking his next entrepreneurial adventure, Ben Murray decided to explore a suggestion from his neighbor: Why didn’t he start a food delivery service with a phone app? “It came out of a suggestion, then I started looking down the pathway and thought, ‘Wow. What a cool thing to bring to the community, and I have the toolbox I need to build it,’” Murray said. That toolbox comes from a background of working on start-ups, most recently a software company tailored to helping owners of small music venues. When the pandemic put a stop to live music events, it became clear that Murray needed to start something new. Thanks to his neighbor’s suggestion and some additional research, Murray began to see that “a lot of good” could come from a food delivery service. Besides creating a job for himself, Murray said he also loved the idea of creating flexible, enjoyable and good-paying jobs for locals who might want to sign on as drivers. Additionally, he could create a new avenue for restaurants — who were navigating an onslaught of restrictions — to reach customers both old and new. Above all? He could keep the integral connection between hungry people and beloved local dishes going. “[I could] get people food from their favorite restaurants that maybe they couldn’t get because they were worried about being out in public, or didn’t want to leave the house for whatever reason — we could get people food so they could still support these local restaurants,” he said. Currently, DeliverEats hosts seven businesses: Tango Cafe, City Beach Organics, Heart Bowls, Utara Brewing, Evans Brothers Coffee, Dub’s Drive-In and Moxie’s Soul Grub. Murray said he is working with more establishments — particularly those that serve dinner — to help grow the DeliverEats network. He said he hopes that the app will encourage locals to try something new. “I think in a small town it’s easy to get caught in your routine, but this has really forced me to open up my vision and see who’s out there,” he said. “It’s great — there’s a lot of people doing really great stuff in the food scene right now.” To download the DeliverEats app, search for it in the Apple or Google stores — De-

liverEats 7B — and select the icon with the small green car on a black background. Once the app is downloaded, the process to order food is straightforward: select an open restaurant, order from the menu, enter credit card information and a delivery address, then watch the app track your order throughout the process — when the business accepts it and begins making it, when a driver is assigned to it and when it’s on its way to your door. Currently, deliveries are allowed within 10 miles of the desired restaurant location. Murray said this is subject to change as he brings on more drivers. Right now, DeliverEats has just over 10 active drivers. Those interested in driving for the service can download the DeliverEats Driver app and start the application process at any time. Moxie’s Soul Grub, the latest DeliverEats sign-on, is a vegetarian comfort food truck located in the Oak Street Food Court. Moxie’s co-owner Taylor Ward said her business jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the new venture. “We appreciate that DeliverEats is owned and operated locally, unlike Uber Eats and others delivery services. It’s unusual and, we think, very cool that the owner of the company is also working as a delivery person,” Ward said. “I think that Sandpoint is a very community-oriented city and most of the people here prefer to support local businesses. Historically, the only restaurants that delivered were pizza places, including chains like Dominos. I think that many people in the area will

Judy Colegrove, owner of Tango Cafe in Sandpoint, using the DeliverEats app at her business. Courtesy photo. appreciate the opportunity to both eat local and not have to leave their homes.” Murray said one of his favorite parts of the process so far has been getting to know the people behind the menus. “I love building connections and building relationships,” he said. “It’s great to partner with restaurants and see how they respond. Each owner is unique and does things in their own way and brings their own flavor and their own energy to the process — but we’re all part of the same team, and it’s great to see what each restaurant adds and brings to the service.” Another bright spot in DeliverEats’ beginnings has been the actual delivery experience, Murray said. “People are genuinely psyched when I bring them their food, which is really cool,” he said. “It can be stressful, doing the deliveries and doing all the admin work … but then I get there, I bring this person their food and they’ve got a huge smile on their face. They are happy, and they say, ‘Thank you so much, I needed this.’ After every delivery I’m like, ‘Totally worth it.’” Find DeliverEats on Facebook at facebook.com/DeliverEatsSandpoint. Restaurants interested in joining DeliverEats can contact owner Ben Murray at ben@ delivereatsfood.com.

November 19, 2020 /


/ 15


Turning dreams into reality By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Contributor Modern 3-D art is a wild thing — once you understand the technical process, the only limit is your imagination. With new video game systems and computer technology poised to redefine what is possible with 3-D graphics, creators are envisioning promising new horizons. Daniel Seward is among them and, with the recently-founded Vigilante Studios in Bonners Ferry, he aims to share that vision with a new generation of artists. “Our machines and our technology are finally catching up with the concepts we can imagine,” Seward said. That has big implications for digital entertainment of all kinds, from video games to the most popular movies and TV shows. It’s the perfect time to train up new artists to meet the demands that the new tech will create — or it would be, if it weren’t for COVID-19. Seward founded Vigilate Studios almost a year ago with exactly that vision, focused on a dual mission to train students on the ins and outs of graphics rendering, then turn those skills to practical use by offering creative development services for a range of clients. A North Idaho native who moved to San Francisco for education and work during the “dot-com boom,” Seward acquired his share of contacts and opportunities for contract work during his California days. When wildfires there prompted his return to North Idaho, Seward created Vigilante Studios in Bonners Ferry in cooperation with fellow Sandpoint native Uriah DuPerault and other industry veterans. Then COVID-19 and quarantines hit months later and, suddenly, bringing students in a small studio for computer graphics training didn’t seem like the best idea. “Once the COVID thing clears up I think we’re going to take off pretty well,” Seward said. That’s a reasonable prognostication. After all, it’s never been a more exciting time for the digital arts. Video games are more popu16 /


/ November 19, 2020

lar than ever, with Microsoft and Sony releasing the latest generation of their Xbox and Playstation hardware this month. New video game consoles mean more horsepower for the graphical bells and whistles that developers could only dream of a decade ago. Take ray tracing, for instance. It’s a rendering technique that allows for more realistic lighting and reflections by tracing individual rays in a 3-D environment. Movies have used it for a while, starting with Pixar’s Monster University in 2013. But because ray tracing is computationally demanding, it’s never been on the table for real-time graphics rendering — until now. Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and recent computer GPUs support ray tracing right out of the gate. That isn’t just good news for graphical fidelity. It also has big implications for deeper, more immersive storytelling. Seward cites the video game Control as a recent inspiration. The 2019 action-adventure game follows Jesse Faden, the unlikely new director of the fictional Federal Bureau of Control, as she investigates a mystery of reality-defying proportions. The game is a technological marvel, with the FBC office building’s marble floors and glass partitions capturing beautiful ray-traced reflections. But it’s all in service to a fusion of sci-fi, mystery, surrealism and horror that equals the best of The X-Files. It’s not just video games that stand to gain from the new technology. Digital sets are becoming an increasingly appealing option for filmmakers and TV producers looking to cut costs. Used most famously by the hit Star Warsbased series The Mandalorian, digital sets display digitally-rendered backgrounds on giant LED video screens during shooting. It’s essentially a high-tech version of rear projection, a technique used in filmmaking for nearly a century. So where do you start when it comes to introducing this exciting world to a new generation? For Seward, it began with building hardware up to the task. Using the best components he could get his hands on, he put together 10

workhorse PCs that could handle the demands of modern graphics rendering. Likewise, he corralled all the pressure-sensitive artist tablets — needed for sculpting 3-D models and environments — he could find. It’s everything Vigilante Studios needs to fulfill its dual missions: education and creative development. And with clients already seeking Vigilante Studios out for contract work, Seward hopes to connect trainees to paying work straight away. Eventually, he hopes to develop an in-house game or product that can generate some residual income. When the time for a more ambitious project comes, Seward knows talent from his California days he can recruit for the task. “We can basically pull people together like Voltron to get it done,” he said. Another question is where Vigilante Studio’s ultimate home will be. Right now, it’s located near the library in Bonners Ferry. The plan is to at some point either move or expand into Sandpoint. The particulars, Seward said, will likely be sorted out when COVID-19 is. “Right now, we’re just limping through this the best we can,” he added.

Tech firm Vigilante Studios brings graphics education, creative development to N. Idaho

In some respects, Vigilante Studios fits into the “Zoom town” phenomenon that has been observed in places like Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry, particularly during COVID-19. Contractors and remote employees are increasingly seeking smaller communities for a chance to enjoy a quieter, more outdoors lifestyle. According to Boundary County Economic Development Director Dennis Weed, North Idaho has seen its fair share of remote employees bringing relatively high salaries into its communities. But it’s a trend that could fizzle if the northern counties don’t ensure ready access to housing, reliable internet access and prospective employees with the right skills. “It really depends on what kind of industry growth we’re going to see moving forward,” Weed said. When it comes to skilled employees, Vigilante Studios intends to do its part. After all, computer graphics are about making dreams reality. And is there any dream more inspiring than doing what

Top: A Vigilante Studios designer at work on a project. Bottom: A completed frame called “Fishing for Dreams.” Courtesy images. you love for a living? “If you can do that, then you’ve got it made,” Seward said. To learn more about Vigilante Studios or apply, visit vigilantegamestudios.com.


Power play By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff

There are a number of commonalities between Hopfgarten, Austria and the Sandpoint area. Both are ski communities; both sit between 2,000 and 3,000 feet of elevation; both have similar population sizes; and, as of the beginning of this year, both are homes of BlueSky Energy — a European-based manufacturer and seller of high-tech, green energy storage systems. “There is a real connection in this business and these employees with Austria and North Idaho,” said Lyle Gold, who helms BlueSky’s North and South American operations from the company’s location at 875 Kootenai Cutoff Road in Ponderay. That’s where, since January 2020, BlueSky has been quietly setting up a facility to assemble battery components shipped from its home offices in Austria and sell them to clients in the Western Hemisphere. Business has been good, Gold said, already with a backlog of orders fueled in large part by individuals interested in living off the grid. “Energy storage for homes is something that’s very popular in this area, western Montana and Oregon,” he said. “We get a lot of drop in customers here … I’m amazed.” Still, the company has flown largely under the radar — “I think we’re still kind of invisible, unless you drive by on Kootenai Cutoff and look at the sign,” Gold said — but that’s somewhat by design. The goal is to ramp up to a manufacturing center, which requires time, labor, capital and certifications. But that may happen sooner than later. “We could see ourselves manufacturing these products in great quantities right here in the Sandpoint area within a year or so,” Gold added, underscoring that near-term political course changes in the U.S. may help fuel the green energy industry — and its allied sectors — even further. “With the new administration? Absolutely. I just saw something today saying there’s going to be a lot of legislation about renewable energy,” he said. “I keep thinking, ‘I can’t get this company up fast enough.’ … I really think renewable energy is going to be part of our day-today life in the years to come.” Though it’s technically accurate to

Austrian-based green energy storage company is poised for expansion in Ponderay

call the company’s products “batteries,” it doesn’t do them justice. These are large pieces of equipment — the smallest systems weighing 300 pounds each — intended to store energy produced by solar or wind resources powering homes, businesses and even industrial facilities without total reliance on the grid. Even more unique, BlueSky’s Greenrock battery uses saltwater — rather than lead acid or some other corrosive, potentially flammable or explosive substance — as its electrolyte, and the larger Vigos battery is of lithium titanate construction, meaning it can serve as an outdoor energy storage system in temperatures ranging from 0 degrees to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Both batteries are in use from Cocollala to Austria to South Africa and beyond, serving users from single-family homes to a multi-billion dollar mining operation — the latter which has purchased four systems in order to get rid of its diesel generators at mine sites and switch to solar. Gold said he uses four Greenrock saltwater batteries and solar panels at his home in Cocolalla, and they “pretty much run my house during the summer. I barely use the grid in the summer at all.” That said, it’s not exactly cheap to install these systems. Gold said a small system of saltwater batteries costs about $13,000 while the bigger systems can run into the $30,000-$40,000 range. Yet, “when the grid goes out, I don’t even know it,” he said. “[The battery system] just transfers to the house. I’m using the internet, watching TV. I’m an island.” The notion of mingling compartmentability and connection typifies not only BlueSky’s product but its history. Gold said that while the company itself dates back only to 2012 in Austria, its roots are solidly in North Idaho and can be traced to 25 years ago when he met Hansjörg Weisskopf working for a tech company in Coeur d’Alene. After a time, the pair struck out on their own, eventually manufacturing ultrasound machines for General Electric in Weisskopf’s native Austria. Gold kept his home in Cocolalla but relocated to Austria to help manage operations with Weisskopf as founder and CEO. After about 10 years of that, and with a team of trusted experts assembled, they transitioned out of the medical device field and moved into the renewable energy space — specifically, battery systems and storage,

which for decades have been considered the “holy grail” of green power, enabling these resources to be used when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind doesn’t blow. As the Austrian operation was booming, adding an office in Belgium and expanding its sales outside of Europe, the company decided that Gold ought to move home to Idaho, rent a space, hire some workers and establish BlueSky Energy’s sole North American facility with the only license to sell its products. So it was, in January 2020, when BlueSky started marketing its Greenrock saltwater battery from the Ponderay location and Gold got to “live the dream” of coming back to Cocolalla while continuing — and growing — his work. “I feel that every day,” he said, adding that “I can’t not take advantage” of the opportunity to sell Greenrock batteries under the only North American license. Even better, the Austrian operation is two years ahead of what’s been established in North Idaho, so Gold and his team of four employees are able to “ride their coattails” while following their European colleagues’ expansion model. The kind of development of BlueSky Energy and its Greenrock facility in Ponderay represents what area economic development experts and planners have long envisioned for the area: high-tech manufacturing, ideally with a green-tech bent, employing a well-paid, educated workforce. However, in years past, issues

Christian Trucco, left, and Lyle Gold, right, look forward to ramping up BlueSky Energy’s Greenrock saltwater battery operation in Ponderay. Courtesy photo. such as scant availability of qualified labor, limited supply chain access and inadequate technological infrastructure have presented challenges to those types of industries. Gold said times may have changed, saying the supply chain is “pretty good,” with the ability of the company to source most of what it needs from the Northwest. Meanwhile, he had no complaints about issues like internet connectivity and labor hasn’t been a problem — so far. “Ask me that same question in three months when we finish our private equity offering and we expand and start needing to hire people for factory management,” he said, though added that the Sandpoint area’s newfound status as a “Zoom town” where coastal tech workers are able to perform their jobs remotely, combined with its longstanding reputation as a relocation hotspot, has already drawn the interest of retired heavy tech hitters from companies like Google and Microsoft. “Yes, I think in this area, if I’m looking for a slew of engineers, I can advertise in major markets in the Northwest and people will move here at the drop of a hat,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll have any trouble attracting some of the best.” To learn more about BlueSky Energy and its Greenrock saltwater batteries, visit bluesky-energy.eu or greenrockbatteries.com. November 19, 2020 /


/ 17


November 19-26, 2020

THURSDAY, November 19

Purse Party for CASA • 4-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Enjoy a glass of wine and shop for a new purse to support CASA. Contact CASA to make a reservation to go purse shopping! Shook Twins Giving Thanks annual concert • 7pm @ Panida Theater POSTPONED DUE TO COVID-19

FriDAY, November 20 Live Music w/ One Street Over 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

SATURDAY, November 21 Live Music w/ Jake Robin 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Bonner County Christmas Faire 9am-4pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds Handmade gifts, treats and drinks. Santa’s workshop and visit from 12-2pm

SunDAY, November 22 Piano Sunday w/ Dwayne Parsons 3-5pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Bonner County Christmas Faire 10am-3pm @ Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

MCS Radio Broadcasts: H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds • 6pm @ KRFY.org MCS theater students have been working on two new productions amidst COVID-19 restrictions. They will perform H.G. Wells’ family radio play War of the Worlds. Tune in to hear these talented students bring dramatic works to life.

monDAY, November 23

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience

Lifetree Cafe 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant “Why Are You So Hard on Yourself? Finding Your True Value.”

WEdnesDAY, November 25

Stardust film • various showtimes @ Panida Theater (Nov. 25-29) Stardust offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the moments that inspired the creation of David Bowie’s alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. Showtimes at panida.org

ThursDAY, November 26

18 /


/ November 19, 2020


7B Women soliciting donations to benefit cancer organizations By Patty Hutchens Reader Contributor Our lives have changed dramatically in the last several months; people are staying home more, others have lost their jobs, and kids have had to go about a whole new way of learning. While we have had to adapt to a whole new way of living, those who have cancer are faced with the worry of COVID-19 and much more. For many years, two local organizations have helped those who have battled cancer and other life threatening illnesses. Celebrate Life is a grassroots organization founded by Jenny Meyer, a Sandpoint woman who lost her battle to cancer in 2008 at the age of 34. Her sister, Julie Walkington, along with countless volunteers, have worked tirelessly over the past 16 years to raise money to benefit individuals and their families in Bonner County affected by cancer. Celebrate Life supports people with life threatening illnesses in ways many other nonprofits cannot. They are innovative in the manner they provide support in both practical and unique ways. Their funds go to provide vouchers for gas, groceries and even massages, manicures and pedicures. They have provided firewood, house cleaning and airfare to a loved one to see their family member at a time when they need them most. Other ways the organization provides assistance include lodging, medical equipment, family dinners to restaurants, floral arrangements and video cameras to capture memories. Founded in 2003 by Heather Gibson, who passed away from cancer in 2006 at the age of 47, Community Cancer Services is a place where those diagnosed with cancer can come for financial and emotional support. The nonprofit also provides support services for family members and caregivers of the patient by way of support groups. They too are unique in the way that they can use their funds since they are an independent organization. In addition to grocery vouchers, gas vouchers, assistance with prescriptions and a lending library of information, there are

many other ways the group provides assistance to those whose lives have been turned upside down due to a battle with cancer. 7B Women has made it their mission to support these two entities with the annual Boobs ‘n Beer Fun Run and Oktoberfest, raising $60,000 last year thanks to a matching $30,00 donation by a California-based foundation with ties to Sandpoint. Unfortunately, this year they were unable to hold this festive event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the needs of those who are in the battle of their lives have not disappeared — in fact, in many cases, they have escalated. In an effort to continue to support Celebrate Life and Community Cancer Services, 7B Women is reaching out to the community to help raise money for these two vital organizations. “It’s important to us to continue to do what we can for CCS and Celebrate Life in spite of the pandemic,” said 7B Women board member Jill Seetin. “Many of our longtime supporters have answered the call and donated money this year so that we can support these two nonprofits,” added Kim Diercks, president of the 7B Women board. “We are so grateful and will divide the funds received equally between the two groups as we have in the past.” Among those who have already donated are Mountain West Bank ($2,000), Columbia Bank ($1,500), Bonner General Health and North Idaho Flood and Fire ($1,000 each). Also donating are Alliant Insurance (formerly Pend Oreille Insurance), Applegate Healthcare — Tabitha Barron and Tork Electric ($500 each). 7B Women knows it is a difficult time financially for many in our community, so they are asking if you are a business or individual who has been blessed to continue to earn money during these difficult times, consider donating to 7B Women so that the organization may help Community Cancer Services and Celebrate Life support those in our community who are on a very difficult journey. Visit 7BWomen.com and follow the link to Boobs ‘n Beer to donate. All of the proceeds will be split evenly between Celebrate Life and Community Cancer Services.


The making of Ziggy Stardust

Panida to play David Bowie biopic Nov. 25-29

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff

the early years of his career: Ziggy Stardust. Stardust depicts the humble beginnings of an artist who rose to a position among music’s greatest stars thanks to his idiosynDavid Bowie is firmly cemented in music history as a worldwide rock icon who crasies and innovation. Still, the biopic is missing what many pushed the limits and dared to be exactly critics see as a critical component: Bowwho he wanted to be — whether that be himself or behind the artistic guise of one of ie’s music. Without the family’s approval, director Gabriel Range continued to move his many alter egos. forward with the film anyway, making it an The first of those personas, Ziggy exploration of the artist — not Stardust, is the focus of the art. the 2020 biopic Stardust, Stardust (R) It’s an aspect of Stardust which the Panida Theater Wednesday, Nov. 25, 5:30 that George Howarth, a critic will screen Wednesday, p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 26-Satwith One Room With a View Nov. 25-Sunday, Nov. 29. urday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m.; from the London Film School, Early reviews of the Sunday, Nov. 29, 3:30 p.m.; $9 claims actually plays to the film laud its “glittery adults, $6 18 and under. Panimovie’s advantage in an age moments,” as 24-yearda Theater, 300 N. First Ave. of epic and often exhausting old Bowie — played by Visit panida.org for tickets. making-of-the-artist films. English singer-songwriter “Though the idea of a Johnny Flynn — navigates Bowie film without his music may turn off his first visit to America and the uphill struggle to find a foothold in the high-stakes most fans and may seem slightly pointless, Stardust succeeds somewhat in its world of pop music, which at the time may simplicity,” Howarth writes, “standing in not have been ready for such a unique charstark contrast to its bombastic, big budget acter. However, Bowie did eventually find contemporaries.” his way into the alter ego that would define

November 19, 2020 /


/ 19


From the stage to the airwaves

MCS Theater and KRFY join forces to produce student radio performances

By Ben Olson Reader Staff A radio play about an alien invasion seems strangely fitting for this turbulent year of 2020. The Music Conservatory of Sandpoint has partnered with KRFY 88.5 FM Panhandle Community Radio to produce two radio theater performances showcasing the talent of local students. As head of MCS’ Theater Department during a pandemic, Keely Gray has had her work cut out for her. Adapting to the socially distant reality of theater during COVID-19, Gray has been working with her older theater students at MCS to bring the performance off the stage and onto the airwaves. Gray’s Teen Drama Class will perform an hour-long production of H.G. Wells’ famous radio play, The War of the Worlds on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. Listen to the performance free on KRFY.org or at 88.5 FM. The challenges of theater production during COVID-19 have made it so the versatile young students had to adapt and

20 /


/ November 19, 2020

embrace that time-honored saying, “The show must go on.” “With COVID, we figured out it wasn’t going to be possible to do a production or a performance-based class in the traditional regard, which is what the kids have always loved doing in the past,” Gray told the Reader. “I had some audio engineering experience in college and have worked with sound effects before, so I said, ‘Hey, let’s figure this out.’” Tapping into MCS’ close relationship with KRFY, organizers struck on the idea to perform a radio play instead of a traditional stage play. “After some research, the first one that came to mind was H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds,” Gray said. “In 1938, it literally scared the crap out of the whole world. People thought it was real.” Gray said the FCC actually developed new laws because of the 1938 broadcast, when many tuned in late and thought the play about an alien invasion was really happening. “We thought about how apropos it is that we’re doing The War of the Worlds in 2020,” Gray said. “I mean, we’ve had everything else happen, why not an alien invasion?” Working with smaller class sizes than usual because of COVID-19, Gray said her Teen Drama Class had to adapt to hone their skills for a radio play. “All of them are playing more than one part,” she said. “We had to really focus on characterization and voice work where they have to shift their voices so the audience knows it’s a different character.” But, Gray pointed out, kids are sometimes quicker at picking up theatrical nuances like these than adults. “Theater helps foster a lot of different skills for people in general, especially kids,” said Gray. “They learn socialization, responsibility, work ethic. … As adults, we actually unlearn the ways of freedom in acting. I had instructors in college who were always trying to teach us how to revert to being a child again. Children are just so free, they just don’t care, they want to go for it and have fun. They are more willing to throw caution to the wind and not worry about people judging them” The cast for The War of the Worlds includes Lily Simmons, Brittany Hagen, Ruby Evans, Lucinda Meshberg, James Riddle and Colton Eberly. The theater classes were split by age group to keep class sizes small, so Gray’s Young Performers, ages 8-11, will perform

their own radio show the following week on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. on KRFY.org and 88.5 FM. The Young Performers’ show will be a School News Report, with segments covering everything from a kickball stolen in kindergarten to someone getting a slice of pepperoni on their cheese pizza. “After everything was so crazy during summer because of COVID, we cut our groups in half so students were in less-populated groups,” Gray said. “I found this School News Report for the Young Performers to do and after reading through it, I thought it was so adorable.” The younger students will also have to perform multiple roles, but Gray let their creativity run wild in forming the character names and voices. “I gave them full creative control for character names and backstories,” Gray said. “So we have character names like

Left: Brittany Hagen and Lucinda Meshberg rehearse The War of the Worlds for their Teen Drama performance. Right: Gracie Maltby practices the School News Report for the upcoming Young Performers production. Courtesy photos. Lulu, Beyonce, Lunar. These young performers really blew me away.” The Young Performers Class includes Zoee Douglass, Sophia Taylor, Sydney Carlson, Gracie Maltby, Cadence Hagen and Sophia Binall. “It’s such a blessing to be their teacher because it allows me to let go of that learned behavior as an adult, too,” Gray said. “In coaching them, I’m never as much myself as I am in front of my kids.” Catch both performances on KRFY.org or 88.5 FM and learn more about the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint at sandpointconservatory.org.

Shook Twins’ annual Giving Thanks concert postponed By Ben Olson Reader Staff The show must go on, but not during COVID-19. Sandpoint’s own Shook Twins have postponed the live taping of a concert video at the Panida Theater originally scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19 due to Idaho going back to Stage 2 COVID-19 restrictions. The show was originally scheduled to be a socially distant concert including John Craigie and other local Sandpoint favorites, but heightened COVID-19 cases caused the show to be postponed until further notice. Katelyn and Laurie Shook plan to host

the show at a later date that has yet to be determined. The concert was intended to be a fundraiser for the Panida, so the Shooks wanted to have the ability to sell tickets to the taping of the show to increase the amount of donation money to give to the theater. Shook Twins will be performaing a Facebook livestream concert from their home with John Craigie on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. The show is free to watch, but listeners are encouraged to donate toward the Panida. Keep track of the concert plans and the latest Shook Twins news at shooktwins.com or on their various social media feeds.


Enriching life through music By Reader Staff Bella Noté Music Studios is committed to providing a positive musical environment through quality instruction. In a time of isolation and concern, it is the organization’s desire to enrich the lives of community members. Recent scientific studies have established the connection between active music-making and improved physical wellness. In a world of many uncertainties, this is a great time to improve mental, creative, and physical well being and find new, innovative ways to thrive. This fall Bella Noté Music Studios welcomed two new instructors, Mary Beth Cullitan (Suzuki violin and viola) and Rebecca Budai (piano and Musikgarten) opening up more musical opportunities for community members of all ages. Private Instruction is available for piano, violin, viola, flute and all band instruments. Introduced to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and teaching approach as an undergraduate, Mary Beth Cullitan has taught since then in university, independent music school and private studios in the Northwest and Midwest. She enjoys and works well with students of all ages, 4 and up. Graduating seniors have gone on to study music at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Boston University, University of Idaho, Western Washington, Eastern Washington and Howard University. A former member of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra and the Quartetto Espressivo, Cullitan has also taught at Institutes and workshops in several states and served as a board member of the Suzuki Association of Washington state, including 16 years as an officer. Her credentials include a BFA in violin, an M.M. in violin with an emphasis in studio teaching, and Washington state teacher certification. Suzuki teacher training includes Books 1-10 with John Kendall (longterm teacher training at Southern Illinois University) as well as Book 1 with Rosalind O’Keefe, Mihoko Hirata, Yuko Mori and Ed Sprunger; Book 3 with Mihoko

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone


Among the most compelling parts of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ historic victory speech Nov. 7 was when she referred to Black women as “the backbone of our democracy.” Likewise, historian Annelise Orleck brilliantly resurrects the too-often sidelined history of direct democratic action by Black women in Storming Caesars Palace, which tells the story of how poor mothers banded together to wage their own war on poverty in Las Vegas from the 1960s to the 1980s.


Hirata; and Book 4 with Shannon Murphy, supplementary materials with John Kendall and Japanese pedagogy with Yoshiko Nakajima (week-long courses). She has also participated in more than 50 additional workshops and conferences. Rebecca Budai began her love affair with the piano at 5 years of age. At her very first lesson, she threw a temper tantrum and threw a toy at her new teacher’s son. Her parents told her that she had to try it for a year and, if she really hated it, she could stop. Instead of quitting, however, music became a life-long passion. She continued to take group piano, private piano and even started violin lessons. After high school, she had the opportunity to teach group music lessons to preschoolers for a year before she attended North Idaho College. She continued piano lessons at NIC with Dr. Dwayne Huff and also participated in the Chamber Singers Choir and the Chamber Orchestra. After she received her associates in music from NIC, Budai transferred to Whitworth University, in Spokane, Wash. She studied piano with Dr. Judith Schoepflin and participated in master classes with Jovanni-Rey de Pedro and Scott Rednour. Budai was chosen to perform twice in the Music Artistry Program Honors Recital, and also

won gold and silver medals participating in Musicfest Northwest. While earning her bachelor’s degree in piano pedagogy, she had the opportunity to teach private piano lessons and was able to attend the Music Teachers National Association conference in Spokane. Budai hopes her love of piano is infectious and it is her passion to share the gift of music with her students. Opportunities in January 2021 include options for kids under 7 in the Musikgarten Family Music Classes and Music Makers: At the Keyboard. Also new in January will be the Adult Recreational Music Programs, including small group classes in piano, ukulele or guitar. Bella Noté is committed to keeping class sizes small for the health and safety of students and instructors. Any of these group classes or private lessons are available to give as a gift to someone this holiday season. More information at BellaNo-

Though this entry is a bit behind the times, Fiona Apple’s newest album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, will keep the mind doctor away. This offering, released in April, is filled with her smoky sing-speak vocal style and dark-hued dreamy downtempo rhythms. By now, Apple needs to be considered in the pantheon with the likes of Ani DiFranco and Cat Power and Fetch the Bolt Cutters is a perfect reminder of why.


Top: A sketch of a piano instructor with students. Courtesy image. Middle: Bella Noté instructor Mary Beth Cullitan at work with students. Bottom: Bella Noté instructor Rebecca Budai. Courtesy photos.

teSandpoint.com or FB.com/BellaNoteSandpoint.

The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest between proto-Germanic tribes and three Roman legions in 9 CE has come in for many retellings — often in far-right nationalist mythology as the foundation of the “German” people, though the ancients never conceived of themselves as a unified ethnic or national group. Yet, the new German-language Netflix original Barbarians dramatizes the battle while managing to (mostly) untether it from its political baggage. Gory and gorgeous, it’s worth a look. November 19, 2020 /


/ 21


Slide rules of engagement The joys of winter driving

From Northern Idaho News, Nov. 17, 1925

RUM RUNNER PROVES TO BE OLD OFFENDER Cecil Howard, as he gave the name to the police when arrested but whose true name is Clyde Hilton, was bound over under $750 bonds to the federal court Thursday on a liquor charge, when he was arraigned before United States Commissioner Sidney Smith. He waived a preliminary hearing. Clyde Hilton is well known to deputies of the sheriff’s office in Spokane as a bootlegger, they declare. Last January he was arrested on a Great Northern train bewteen Hillyard and Spokane with seven cases of liquor in his possession. The arrest was made afte rhte special officer of the road had wired the sheriff’s office to have deputies on the job. At that time he was fined $350 and given 90 days in jail. In 1922 he was arrested on East Sprague avenue with a load of moonshine and was fined. At Sandpoint he was driving a new sedan, loaded with 18 cases of beer and two cases of whiskey. He ran broadside into the sheriff’s car, which had been drawn across the road to stop him. The Buick sedan he was driving at time of capture when he ran over Sam Webb, is in charge of the sheriff. Webb is getting along nicely from his injuries and is expected to be out in a few days. 22 /


/ November 19, 2020

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff My winter sport is driving. I’m not entirely sure when I developed this weird affinity, but I suppose it began when I took drivers’ ed during the legendary Winter of ’96. For the benefit of the newcomer, this was the winter when the snow fell so heavily that it collapsed the roof of the Sandpoint High School auditorium and we kids were out of school for a month. It grew so cold that I can remember shoveling the roof at my childhood home in Sagle and hearing the trees popping in the forest. At one point, the weather warmed and turned our corner of the world into a slurry of slush. Just as suddenly, it froze again. This was the “ice storm” phase of that winter, when the power lines from here to Spokane became encased in sheaths of ice and snapped, delivering many thousands of area residents into an extended period of pre-smartphone darkness. Amid all this I was learning to drive — more accurately, I was learning how not to slide through stop signs and end up in the ditch on the inch-thick sheets of black ice that coated the roads. To call this terrifying is to understate just how treacherous it felt to pilot the enormous old Buick that we used for practice driving. That boat had more chutzpah under the hood than power steering fluid and our teacher was fond of tapping the secondary brake pedal installed on the passenger side, sending us into a sickening slow-motion drift toward oblivion. That I grew to love full-contact winter driving is perhaps no surprise, as I think back on the 1987 Toyota Tercel hatchback that I drove to and from Sagle in all manner of weather. The first new car that I can remember in my family, it came down to me in my junior year of high school, though by then it

STR8TS Solution

was anything but new. The manual transmission handled like a 1940s Italian tank; to get to fourth you had to downshift from third to second, then skip third altogether. When the snow flew and the ice built on South Sagle Road, getting up Reed’s Hill became a daily feat of derring-do. With my little brother in the passenger seat, we’d grit our teeth and build speed on the straightaway, the car bucking and skittering all the while and requiring the finesse of a concert violinist to keep it from flying off into a farmer’s field. To keep our nerve, we sang “The Flight of the Valkyries,” from Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, until we hit the base of the hill at full tilt. Then it was a deft yet vigorous power downshift from fifth to third as we began our ascent. The Toyota would jutter and groan under the strain until we made the first curve and it started to flag. At that point, second gear would have to get us to the top, though by then our approach speed had dissipated in a slushy wake. Pure horsepower and delicate maneuvering were all we had left. Only once did the Toyota fail to surmount Reed’s Hill. Just before the final push, the old girl got seized by a hidden rut and we bogged down on the shoulder. Desperate not to go fully into the ditch, I spun the wheel and we corrected into the lane, but inertia had taken hold. Our wheels spun and spun, yet we noticed we were going backwards — that is, sliding down the hill in reverse toward a blind curve. I threw it into reverse and went with the slide, somehow managing to turn the beast fully around after a hair-raising moment when we slouched, powerless, sideways across both lanes. We made it on the second try — an experience that with hindsight contained some valuable life lessons: go fast only when

Don’t be this guy. Courtesy photo. necessary, go slow whenever you can, own the slide, don’t panic and try again. Most important: Be safe out there.

Crossword Solution

Sudoku Solution Why do people in ship mutinies always ask for “better treatment?” I’d ask for a pinball machine, because with all that rocking back and forth you’d probably be able to get a lot of free games.

Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22

By Bill Borders


Copyright www.mirroreyes.com

Laughing Matter



Woorf tdhe Week


[noun] 1. a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.

“American voters delivered a volte-face on Election Day.”

Corrections: We spelled icicle with a “y” last week. Whoops. We’ll do 25 push-ups each for the error. – BO

1. Adorn 6. Slang for Father 10. Hawaiian strings 14. Stimulate 15. Not odd 16. Ark builder 17. Bumbling 18. Check 19. Despise 20. Disagreement 22. Away from the wind 23. Burn slightly 24. Flora 25. Pear variety 29. Anagram of “Clients” 31. Release 33. Dissolution of a marriage 37. Go without food 38. In that direction 39. A flavorful addition 41. Supplied a banquet 42. Wild 44. Wet, as morning grass 45. Not true 48. Parts portrayed 50. Ear-related 51. Beside the point 56. By mouth 57. Camp beds 58. Angers 59. Calamitous 60. French for “State”

Solution on page 22 61. Intense adverse criticism 62. Back talk 63. Expunge 64. Searches

DOWN 1. Corrosive 2. Hindu princess 3. Regrets 4. Vipers 5. Abominable snowmen 6. The easing of tensions 7. Retaliate

8. Climb down 9. Blind (poker) 10. Unsanctified 11. Australian “bear” 12. Consumed 13. Piece of paper 21. Objection 24. Turning point 25. Broke 26. Savvy about 27. Smack 28. Blood cells 30. Stronghold 32. Sheeplike 34. Unusual 35. Team 36. Countercurrent

40. Strangle 41. A type of keyboard instrument 43. Subject to death 45. Things we can eat 46. Courtyards 47. Prevaricators 49. Feudal workers 51. Frozen 52. Wicked 53. Wings 54. Make out (slang) 55. Sounds of disapproval

November 19, 2020 /


/ 23

Profile for Keokee :: media + marketing


COVID-19 surge pushes local hospitals to capacity. Bonner County limits staffing due to COVID. Mayor's Roundtable. Safe holidays. Poetry. Ra...


COVID-19 surge pushes local hospitals to capacity. Bonner County limits staffing due to COVID. Mayor's Roundtable. Safe holidays. Poetry. Ra...

Profile for keokee