Page 1


2 /

R

/ November 24, 2021


PEOPLE compiled by

Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey

watching

What is something seemingly mundane that you are actually really thankful for? “Water, because our spring has stopped flowing to our house today.” Amber Montgomery Health and wellness coach Clark Fork

“Wood floors. They don’t retain as much heat as carpet, and feel a lot better on your feet.” Joshua Garza Deli personnel Clark Fork

“Electricity, because if we didn’t have it, I couldn’t watch my hockey.” Nora Kair Hockey fan Clark Fork

“Friendship and good will, because you can be on the side of the road and someone can just say, ‘Hey do you need a ride?’” Justin Baugh Customer service Clark Fork

“Some sunshine, some fresh pellets and a whole lotta fresh air.” Mrs. Hen Queen of the Carey chicken coop Hope

DEAR READERS,

It’s Thanksgiving week, which means we’re publishing the Reader a day early so our staff can spend the holiday with our families. This time of year, it’s important to take stock on what’s really important to us. When the world seems to have lost its bearing on reality, often the best remedy is to surround ourselves with the people we love and remind ourselves that life is what we make of it. We can wallow in negativity or we can choose to fill our lives with joy. I hope you choose joy this holiday season. On a final note, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Morlin, a longtime journalist who wrote for the Spokesman-Review for many years, as well as many other worthy publications. Bill was a lion of a journalist who covered everything from the Aryan Nations to Ruby Ridge and the Bundy standoff, and he was also very supportive of me when I had my own troubles with a neo-Nazi who was threatening me and this newspaper. You will be missed, Bill. Thank you for holding the line.

– Ben Olson, publisher

READER 111 Cedar Street, Suite 9 Sandpoint, ID 83864 (208)946-4368

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Ben Olson, Bill Borders, Alan Nakkash, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Max Zuberbuhler Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Lorraine H. Marie, Emily Erickson, Brenden Bobby, Sandy Compton, Jen Jackson Quintano, Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $155 per year Web Content: Keokee The Sandpoint Reader is a weekly publication owned and operated by Ben Olson and Keokee. It is devoted to the arts, entertainment, politics and lifestyle in and around Sandpoint, Idaho. We hope to provide a quality alternative by offering honest, in-depth reporting that reflects the intelligence and interests of our diverse and growing community. The Reader is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Leftover copies are collected and recycled weekly, or burned in massive bonfires to appease the gods of journalism. Free to all, limit two copies per person.

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

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 3


NEWS

BoCo P&Z recommends denial of 700-acre Selle Valley rezone Final decision, set for 2022, goes to Bonner County Commissioners

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff The Bonner County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Nov. 18 to recommend denial of a 700-acre rezone request in the Selle Valley — a file that drew opposition from a broad spectrum of residents concerned that changing the property located along Colburn Culver and Rapid Lightning roads from a 20- to 10acre parcel minimum would lead to development too dense for the area. The file now goes to the Bonner County Commissioners, who will make the final decision on the application on Feb. 9, 2022. Dan Provolt, a surveyor representing land owners “Pack River Partners LLC/Don & Julie Skinner/James and Diane Otis,” shared that back in 2008 when the county enacted an overhaul of its zoning map — including changing the land in question from a 10-acre to a 20-acre minimum — notice was only published in the Bonner County Daily Bee. Rather than that simple legal notice, Provolt argued, the county should have personally contacted his clients — the Skinners and Otises, who own the 700 acres in question. “He wasn’t informed,” Provolt said Nov. 18, referring to landowner Don Skinner. “I know it still meets the letter of the law … but it didn’t give him a chance to argue against this. Somebody else decided, ‘Let’s make that 20,’ without his consent, concerns, discussions. They didn’t have a chance to challenge any part. One day he just wakes up and his land is no longer 10-acre zones, it’s 20acre zones. That’s half the value. That’s not what he purchased.” Provolt acknowledged that his client’s file drew wide opposition due to a belief that upzoning — zoning to create more parcels — would pave the way for development of up to 70 new homes in the area. Provolt stated that the landowner is “never going to become a developer.” “He’s not going to be developing it,” he continued. “He just wants it back to where it was when it was purchased.” Planning and Zoning Commis4 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

sioner Suzanne Glasoe pointed to portions of the application that cite “landowner flexibility” and “residential growth” as reasons for the rezone. “A couple times it was stated that he’s not a developer, he’s not going to develop it. I look at the application and that’s in direct conflict with what you have stated,” she said, adding later to much audience approval: “If he’s not going to develop it, then I don’t know why we’re all here tonight.” Provolt pointed to 10-acre zones in the surrounding area, including directly across Colburn Culver Road. “I know people like wide open spaces, but this is still private property,” he said, also noting several small farms and farm stands in the area operating on 10 or fewer acres as examples of viable agricultural uses. Still, when it came time for public comment, the audience was not convinced that development on 10-acre pieces would remain rural in nature. “Overwhelmingly, the people want Selle Valley to stay rural,” said local resident and real estate agent Doug Gunter, adding later in his comments: “What I can guarantee you is that those 10-acre parcels will have 3,000-square-foot homes, paved driveways and gates at the beginning of them, and the local hobby farmers simply can’t compete with the folks coming from out of state, and those folks aren’t going to spend their million dollars selling flowers in the front yard.” Nearly 30 people spoke during public comment, all opposed to the rezone, many pointing to a lack of public services and adequate infrastructure, concerns about water availability and the application’s lack of adherence to the Selle-Samuels Subarea Plan, which prioritizes rural character and aims to avoid upzoning. Susan Drumheller, who identified herself as a supporter of the recently formed Keep Bonner County Rural watchdog citizen group, urged the commission to avoid “upzoning in a really treasured area” and thanked them for their volunteer service. “This is complicated stuff, and

it’s emotional, and you have to weigh a lot of things,” she said. “I know it’s not easy to have a room overflowing with concerned citizens, but people are starting to see their way of life change and the impacts, and the fact that resources are being impacted and services aren’t really there for all this development.” The meeting, which lasted for nearly three and a half hours, saw emotions run high at times. Commission Chair Brian Bailey intervened during a particularly pointed comment, stating: “We’re all community here. You got a beef with somebody, take it outside.” Katie Cox, executive director of Kaniksu Land Trust, stated that while KLT “does not generally comment on development proposals,” the conservation nonprofit felt it necessary to voice opposition to the rezone because, “the decision to double the allowable density on these lands will have a notable impact on the rural character of this valley into the future.” The fear of setting a poor precedent dominated public discourse at the meeting, with Selle Valley resident Kristina Kingsland stating: “At some point we have to say ‘no’ to somebody, somewhere, and make things make sense.” The commission did ultimately recommend saying “no,” with

An aerial shot of the Selle Valley in an area Commissioner Dave Frankenbach where the Bonner County Planning and Zoning offering up a motion that stated Commission recently recommended denial of a the application violated Title 12 rezone request. Photo by Max Zuberbuhler. of Bonner County Revised Code, ing denial to the Bonner County as well as elements in the Bonner Commissioners, who will make County Comp Plan such as land the final decision on the applicause, public services, implemention at a hearing on Wednesday, tation, natural resources, school Feb. 9, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. at the facilities and transportation. The commission voted unanimously in Bonner County Administration Building. favor of the motion, recommend-

Idaho lifts crisis health standards — just not in the panhandle

However, Bonner General Health shares it is no longer operating in crisis

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Nov. 22 that it was deactivating crisis standards of care across the state — everywhere, except for in North Idaho. “While the number of COVID-19 patients remains high and continues to stress health care systems, the surge is no longer exceeding the health care resources available except in north Idaho,” IDHW shared in a media release. “Crisis standards of care remain in effect in the Panhandle Health District, which encompasses Boundary, Bonner, Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties.”

IDHW activated crisis standards for North Idaho in early September — and those same standards for the rest of the state just over a week later — due to the current surge of the novel coronavirus, driven largely by the aggressive Delta variant of the virus. Crisis standards are a system of operation under which health care providers must prioritize the most dire patient cases and may not be able to offer regular levels of care — such as routine surgeries — due to lack of available beds or other resources. “For the rest of the state,” IDHW shared, referring to everywhere but the panhandle, “health

< see COVID, Page 5 >


NEWS

Malek steps back from lt. gov. race

Throws support behind Speaker Bedke in effort to push back against ‘extremist politics’

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff The race for Idaho lieutenant governor has gotten significantly smaller (and more interesting), with the announcement Nov. 21 via Twitter by candidate Luke Malek that he would drop out of the race and put his support behind House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. “For the sake of our future, please support Scott Bedke,” he wrote, followed by a news release stating the reasons for the former Coeur d’Alene representative to step back from the race. “I do not make this decision lightly. By many measures, my campaign has been successful, and I have received growing support each day,” Malek stated. “However, to prevent extremism from gaining another foothold in Idaho politics, and out of respect for my longtime friend and fellow conservative candidate, Scott Beke, stepping aside is the best decision I can make for Idaho right now. … “Extremist politics has divided our state, wasted our hard-earned tax dollars on divisive lawsuits that stand no chance of success, rejected common sense education funding that is crucial to our present and future economy, and discounted and demeaned the role and the value of trained law enforcement, our first responders and our health care workers.” Bedke recently presided over a rambunctious session of the Idaho Legislature — a continuation for the House, which refused to adjourn sine die in the spring and a “special session” for the Senate, which did vote to go home after what was in May already the longest legislative session in state history. More than once Bedke’s status as a candidate for lieutenant governor against firebrand White Bird Republican Rep. Priscilla Giddings spurred moments of snark and bitter statements from Giddings and her supporters. Those barbs were made sharper amid Giddings’ censure and committee removal, stemming from an Ethics Committee recommendation in August. For instance, Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, referred to Bedke as both “speaker” and “candidate”

during his floor testimony in favor of Giddings, drawing a dry rebuke from the former: “Cute. But continue.” Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, who chaired the Ethics Committee, told the Reader in an email Nov. 23 that, “The intimations of corruption or misbehavior are, of course, false, but narratives like that are low-hanging fruit in any political environment. I was surprised that the recommendation was so strongly supported, and am happy that the House Ethics Rule was explicitly followed, regardless of the outcome of the vote.” In a statement by the speaker, posted on Twitter by Boise-based Idaho Reports journalist Melissa Davlin, Bedke wrote: “Luke Malek, a well-regarded former legislator, lawyer and friend, has put his faith in me to become your next lieutenant governor by selflessly dropping out of the race. “This act shows that he holds Idaho’s future and values at the highest regard. I am humbled by his willingness to step aside and put his trust in me.” Bedke added. “I deeply appreciate his continued effort to be a dedicated public servant. I promise to be the conservative leader our state needs to ensure Idaho continues to be a place where our families grow and thrive.” Malek’s departure from the race is being taken by Statehouse watchers as a further signal that Idaho Republicans are closing ranks around two distinct wings of the party: the more “traditional” mainline variety represented by Gov. Brad Little and Bedke, and the hard-right conservative faction with standard bearers including Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and Giddings, the former who is the frontrunner challenger among a broad slate of candidates seeking the governor’s office. Caldwell Republican Rep. Greg Chaney, who has been a vocal critic of Giddings both at her Ethics hearings and the recent three-day legislative session that saw her censure and committee removal, applauded Malek in his own Twitter post, writing, “Thank you, @ LukeMalek, for putting the future of Idaho ahead of self. You ran well and your exit is a selfless act.”

In an interview with the Reader shortly after announcing his candidacy in February 2021, Malek said he hoped to bring some balance to the Idaho GOP, shifting it away from “the idea of obedience [being] mixed up with the idea of being true to your values.” Specifically, he pointed to the ultra-conservative “free market” think tank/lobby group Idaho Freedom Foundation as exerting a corrosive influence on the Party. “Obviously you have a lieutenant governor and others who are very obedient to factions like the Idaho Freedom Foundation and that obedience is often not reflective at all of the conservative values that we have in our state,” Malek said. “If obedience becomes more important than being true to our values, then we’re going to have a crisis and that’s where we’re at.” The divisions within the Party were on full display during the shortened legislative session earlier this month, when none of a raft of bills engineered to oppose COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandates brought by members of the far right-wing bloc gained traction. Posting on Twitter after the adjournment Nov. 17, the Idaho

< COVID, con’t from Page 4 >

care systems are generally using contingency operations, which means they remain stressed with an unusually high number of patients. It will be some time before healthcare systems return to full normal operations. It also will take time for the healthcare systems to work through the many delayed surgeries and other medical treatments.” However, due to its individual circumstances, Bonner General Health — as of Nov. 19 — is not operating under crisis standards of care. “The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare implemented crisis standards of care in Sep-

97 group, which opposes extrem- Luke Malek, left, backed out of the lt. gov. race ism in Idaho politics wrote: “And to put his support behind House Speaker Scott Bedke, center. Rep. Priscilla Giddings, far right, sine die. One IFF darling legislais also running for lt. gov. File photos. tor censured and held accountable. Hurst laid the blame for “a 28 IFF/extremist bills defeated. @ complete and total abdication theidaho97 29 IFF 0. That’s how of duty” on Little, Bedke and it’s done.” Senate Pro Tem Chuck Winder, IFF Vice President Dustin adding that, “Lawmakers should Hurst blasted the Legislature as a be ashamed. Idahoans should be whole in a Nov. 17 statement on the organization’s website, writing furious that lawmakers engaged in this pathetic charade.” that “lawmakers failed at their Malek did not respond to a remost sacred task: protecting the quest for further comment by pressrights of Gem State citizens.” time, but in his Nov. 21 statement Hurst ticked off a number of those “failures,” pointing to lack of wrote that he is only “deferring” his run for the lieutenant governor’s action on medical privacy, masks in schools and protections for “vac- office and indicated he’ll be back “for a future election cycle.” cine-skeptical Idahoans who don’t In the meantime, Bedke, want to be treated as second-class he wrote, “is an experienced, citizens in society,” among others. thoughtful, committed and Instead, he added, legislators compassionate conservative with succeeded only in sending “a unquestionable moral integrity. He strongly-worded letter to Conis a senior statesman and proven gress” vowing to oppose federal vaccine and testing mandates “and leader who can help bring the vision, stability and decorum needed extracted a pound of flesh from in our state government.” a good conservative lawmaker during a bogus ethics hearing.” tember due to limited space and patients being admitted and treated in non-traditional areas across the state. As for BGH, we implemented CSC on Sept. 7, 2021, due to the surge of very ill patients requiring hospitalization,” BGH spokesperson Erin Binnall shared in an emailed statement to the Reader. “Unfortunately, due to our regional hospitals being at capacity during this time and up until recently, the ability to transfer those patients in need of a higher level of care was unlikely. “Today, Nov. 19, 2021, BGH is not operating under crisis standards of care; however, this could

change if our volumes increase again,” she continued. As the pandemic reaches the 20-month mark, it appears that pressure on local health resources is slowly lessening. Binnall shared BGH’s gratitude toward the Bonner County community. “We are grateful to serve our community, visitors and the surrounding area providing healthcare services close to home,” she said. “Thank you for your ongoing support, kindness, and patience as we work together during these ever-changing times. May you enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday and give thanks for all our blessings.” November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 5


NEWS

Camp Bay Road vacation back to drawing board County moves forward with plans to pave Camp Bay Road with developer funds By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff A district court has ruled that Bonner County unlawfully vacated a section of Camp Bay Road in April, finding that the board failed to address a conflict of interest and, according to the ruling, completed the vacation with a resolution that “barely passes muster as an adequate written decision for purposes of judicial review.” Alfred and Jennifer Arn filed the petition for judicial review, alleging that the county commissioners failed to follow Idaho Code regarding vacation of public rights-of-way, because, according to court documents, the board “failed to issue an adequately written decision” and also failed to acknowledge a potential conflict of interest on the part of then-Bonner County Road and Bridge Director Steve Klatt, who simultaneously, according to the court, sat on the board of Green Enterprises — the entity requesting the road vacation. Those familiar with Camp Bay Road, located in Sagle, identify the vacated portion of the right-of-way as the neighborhood’s means to access public lakefront — a fact also noted in the court ruling, which stated that Camp Bay Road is “a public road that provides access to Lake Pend Oreille.” Project 7B, a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public on land use issues in Bonner County and that has kept a close eye on development at Camp Bay, shared in a Facebook post that “neighbors who accessed the lake at the end of this road (the right-of-way extends to the shoreline) felt the county unlawfully gifted public lands to the gated community,” which is currently being developed by Green Enterprises and M3 ID Camp Bay, LLC. The ruling, handed down by District Judge Cynthia K.C. Meyer, stated that: “[T]he Board’s decision to find that it was in the public interest to vacate the road because ‘no public agency or 6 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

neighbors have objected to the proposed vacation’ appears arbitrary in light of the conflicted director” and fails to acknowledge “public comment both in favor and against the vacation” found in the record. The ruling goes on to call the board’s actions an “abuse of discretion.” “Therefore the court vacates the Board’s decision and remands this issue to the Board for further proceedings,” the ruling concluded. “The court would also invite the Board to take this opportunity to issue a more developed written decision for the county record.” The court’s review comes on the heels of a recent approval of a paving project on Camp Bay Road — a project set to be funded through the county’s Locally Funded Improvements program, which allows for property owners and interested stakeholders to offer financial assistance in order for their desired project to see priority. On Nov. 9, Bonner County commissioners approved a memorandum of agreement with M3 ID Camp Bay, LLC under which the county will apply improvements to 2.22 miles of Camp Bay Road, with M3 footing nearly $803,000 of the bill. The MOA states that the county will “construct a paved surface with 12 inches of base course aggregate, six inches of top course aggregate and three and a half inches of asphalt on Camp Bay Road from the intersection of Sagle Road and Camp Bay Road to the northern boundary of the property.” Current Bonner County Road and Bridge Director Jason Topp responded to the Reader via email on Nov. 23, stating that the county plans to move forward with the paving project within the coming year. “The MOA has not been affected,” Topp said. “Road and Bridge will continue to move forward with the project. The asphalt project will most likely take place late in the summer into fall if all goes well.”

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: President Joe Biden is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate higher gas prices, pointing out that oil and gas companies’ costs are declining, but “prices at the pump remain high.” Pump prices were higher a decade ago, The Washington Post noted. Recent record-breaking rainfall in areas of British Columbia and Washington state caused mud and landslides that closed travel routes, killed people and livestock, triggered evacuations and left ports in disarray, further stressing supply chains. The Guardian reported that blame is laid on clearcut logging and intense summer wildfires that destabilized the soil, allowing catastrophic increases in water run-off. Climate change that fosters wetter and more frequent atmospheric rivers is also faulted. CBC reported damages in the Abbotsford, B.C., area alone are estimated at $1 billion. The Build Back Better Act, if signed, allots around $550 billion for combating climate change. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., recently wrote that when some lawmakers object to funding projects like expansion of Medicare, addressing climate change, and paid family and medical leave they cite the deficit. But, he noted, they have no problem voting for a $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act, which is $25 billion more than Biden requested — despite the war in Afghanistan ending. There also seems to be no objection to giving the Department of Defense “an obscene amount of money,” although the agency hasn’t passed an independent audit in decades and shows “billions of dollars in cost overruns.” The FDA has given approval for COVID-19 booster shots for ages 18 and up. A new study (not yet peer-reviewed) shows that deer can catch COVID-19 from people, making it more difficult to control the virus. Deer in numerous states have tested positive for the virus, The Guardian reported, and it can be spread to other species, where it has already been found. The people-to-animal transmissions can cause viral mutations, and only time will tell if the mutations become worse or will be milder. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich pointed out flaws at the Congressional Budget Office: While the CBO determines

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

the costs of particular bills, it does not take into account the cost of inaction. Example: Failure to invest in preventing the worst of climate change will cost far more than the initial investment. In 2020 extreme weather cost U.S. taxpayers $99 billion, American Progress reported. The CBO released its cost estimate of the Build Back Better Act. It found that the Act, which seeks to increase IRS enforcement to catch big tax cheats and to thereby help fund the bill, could boost revenue by $207 billion. The IRS says the figure is more like $400 billion. The CBO findings allowed hesitant members of the House to pass BBB, according to NBC News, and it proceeded to the U.S. Senate. The Build Back Better Act, along with lowering numerous household costs, does not add to the national debt: It’s paid for by a 15% tax rate on corporations that ship jobs and profits overseas, taxes on income over $10 million a year and stopping tax evasion by the top 1% (who withhold $160 billion a year in unpaid taxes), according to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. Axios reported that two Fox News contributors, Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg, resigned over Tucker Carlson’s Patriot Purge representation of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. They said it contained “incoherent conspiracy-mongering … factual inaccuracies, half-truths, deceptive imagery and damning omissions.” Blast from the past: Why Plymouth Rock as a landing point for the Pilgrims in 1620? The original destination was the mouth of the Hudson River, but there was concern that the Pilgrims were consuming too much beer and crew members did not relish a return journey across the ocean sans suds. So the Pilgrims were set ashore far from their original disembarkation point and with no alcohol. It wasn’t long before they were making their own, The Atlantic has written. It was soon after feared by some Puritans that the “flood of RUM” could “overwhelm all good Order among us.” Later, in 1789, President George Washington, who as general of the Continental Army had kept troops liberally supplied with alcohol, lamented that the nation’s drinking habits were “the ruin of half the workmen in this Country.” By 1830 the average American consumed triple the amount of alcohol that is consumed today, leading to Prohibition by the beginning of the 1920s. Franklin D. Roosevelt won the presidency in 1932 in part by promising to end Prohibition.


PERSPECTIVES

Emily Articulated

A column by and about Millennials

Accurate holiday music By Emily Erickson Reader Columnist

This holiday season, although resembling “normal,” is likely to feel different for a lot of us. The same old songs, belted by Mariah Carey or crooned by Michael Buble, might not capture the nuance of what we’re going through and where we’ve been this past year and a half. So, in preparation for the complexity of my emotions, I’ve added a few songs to the holiday lineup that more accurately capture this moment in time. “I Will” by Brandi Carlile features a verse about a once loving relationship, with the person about whom she is singing holding an expectation of always being listened to or learned from. But this person with so much to say never seems to be open or receptive to learning from her — to reciprocate all that he’s expecting from her. She sings about the harm of self-ascribed morality being used as a shield and the distance created by unshared points of view. By now, we all have all experienced being talked at, having another person’s point of view regurgitated onto us with very little care or concern about how it’s being received. Likely, we wait for it to pass, make awkward attempts at signaling neutrality and extricate ourselves from the situation. But in loving relationships, especially within families or between friends, it’s not so easy. Regurgitation can be

Emily Erickson. veiled as salvation, with people who care about us trying to teach us, reform us or bring us into their truth. Sharing space, meals and conversations with loved ones this holiday season might open us up to more of these “conversations,” either being compelled to share or on the receiving end of “lessons” about the state of the world and our responsibilities within it. But having an expectation of being listened to, without being prepared to listen, isn’t loving or productive. Being rigid in our lines of morality, within our points of view, can only create binary divides, widening the chasm between us and the people on the other side. In “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba the lead singer, Dunstan Bruce, sings about all the different kinds of alcohol he will be consuming over the course of an evening (whiskey, vodka, lager and cider). Despite all the signs he’s taken his consumption too far, falling down and having to peel himself back up off the ground, repeatedly, he continues on for the sake of celebration.

Being a bit out of practice in the dance that is socially gathering this year — with small talk topics puttering to an untimely end or abrasive comments not landing as easily as they once did — we may be more prone to bad coping mechanisms and overconsumption in the name of “spirit” this holiday season. Discomfort at a work party because we’ve been Zooming from home for the past year might have us returning to the bar for another beer. An eyeroll from a not-so-discrete aunt about our marital status might mean reaching for that bowl of mashed potatoes, again. In Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” Stevie Nicks sings about the fear that’s inherent in change and her experience of feeling time passing and growing older. She talks about acceptance and the process of moving through her journey, despite not knowing how it will all turn out. We’ve been living with so much uncertainty and upheaval lately, and yet, time has continued to pass. This holiday season, we’re trying to come out the other side of the turmoil, reassembling the fragments of life as we knew it into our new version of normal. We’re creating new traditions and reviving old ones. We’re seeing people for the first time in a long time, and accepting all the life they lived that we didn’t get to be a part of. We’re continuing on, despite not quite knowing what it’s all supposed to look like or where it all will go. In “Fire and Rain” James Taylor sings about all of the

good fortune he’s had in his life and all the things for which he’s grateful. But equalling his gratitude is the grief he feels for the loss of a person he loves. This duality of gratitude and grief is present for a lot of us during the holidays, with the absence of loved ones being felt extra poignantly this time of year. This past season has been heavy, and a lot of people are having to come to terms with newfound grief.

This year, like James Taylor, we can allow ourselves the space to revel in celebration; to count our blessings, while also whole-heartedly missing the people who are no longer there to count them with us. Whether it’s songs about chestnuts roasting on an open fire, or about navigating the complexity of your own existence, I hope you find comfort in whatever is festive to you this holiday season.

Retroactive

By BO

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 7


COMMUNITY Fourth annual memorial event brings people together By Reader Staff

Bouquets: • I have so much to be thankful for this year. First, thank you to all of our wonderful readers out there. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated, thoughtful people who not only pick our paper up each week, but send in regular donations. Aside from contributions, the only source of revenue we generate is from our wonderful advertisers, so please do us a huge favor and try to give some love to the businesses that support our paper. Whether it’s just one or two ads a year, or weekly runs, we appreciate you all so much for believing in this paper’s mission to support an informed community. I’m also extremely thankful to have such a dedicated and capable staff. Editor Zach Hagadone is not only one of the best journalists in Idaho, but my best friend. He’s also the reason why this paper exists in the first place. Before I took it on in 2015, Zach gave this paper life, starting in 2004 and running it all the way until 2012, when he had to finally fold the paper up because he and the other owners took “real jobs” where paychecks were an actual certainty instead of a novelty. When News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey first started as an intern five years ago, I knew right away she was going to be a perfect fit for the Reader. She’s one of the fairest reporters I’ve ever dealt with, who takes journalism seriously. She’s also a kind, fun and spirited person who I’m honored to have on our staff. Ad Director Jodi Berge has also been with the Reader a long time, and handles the stress of the job very well. After all, it’s not easy selling ads, but Jodi does her job with a cheerful smile and we appreciate her efforts. Finally, our bookkeeper Sandy Bessler is such a gem and one of my favorite people to work with in this town. She’s always so helpful keeping all the books straight, and I’d be lost without her steady attitude and cheerful disposition. From all of us at the Reader, we wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Thanks for the support. 8 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

community by his friends and family, who remember him as a caring human Evans Brothers being who loved people, Coffee Roasters is animals and the environhosting an annual ment. Bruhjell also loved fundraiser benefitcoffee and Evans Brothers, ing Better Together where he was a regular Animal Alliance at customer. their Coeur d’Alene Since his passing, this and Sandpoint event has raised thousands locations on Satur- Erik Bruhjell passed away of dollars for BTAA, day, Nov. 27 and in 2018. Courtesy photo. which are used to fund Sunday, Nov. 28. community-based proThe event is grams like the animal shelter’s in memory of Erik Bruhjell, a helpline, spay and neuter fund, 22-year-old Sandpoint resident and medical help for sick or inwho passed away in July 2018. A jured animals. portion of sales over the weekFor those who may prefer to end will be donated to BTAA. donate directly to BTAA in BruhPlus, Evans Brothers has created jell’s memory, a link is available a special coffee blend called the on the Evans Brothers website. “Bruhjell Blend,” and 100% of Bruhjell would have been 25 this the proceeds from the sale of the year and this year’s goal is to raise blend will benefit BTAA through $2,500. Nov. 28. The blend is available online or in any of the Evans Visit evansbrotherscoffee. Brothers’ three cafes in Sandpoint, com for more information and to Coeur d’Alene and Spokane. purchase the special Erik Bruhjell Bruhjell is deeply missed in the blend.

Bonner Co. Human Rights Task Force announces book study sessions By Reader Staff

International Human Rights Day is celebrated around the world on Friday, Dec. 10. In observance, the Bonner County Human Rights Task Force announced an upcoming cooperative project with the library (1407 Cedar St.), focusing on Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste, The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson’s book addresses, “how America today and through its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.” Her book goes beyond race, class or other factors to examine a caste system that defines a system of “human division.” Dr. Anne Masai will introduce Wilkerson’s book and provide background on the upcoming topics at a series of book studies on the following dates: Tuesdays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and

Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25. The times for all dates will be 5:30-7 p.m. Attendance both in person and via Zoom will be available. Register for the event at eventbrite.com, by searching “Caste.” Books may be purchased at Vanderford’s Books and Office Products (201 Cedar St.) or checked out from the library.

Parks and Rec. programming for November and December

By Reader Staff

Sandpoint Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces will be offering the following programming during the remainder of November and December 2021. Online registration is currently open for: Annual Turkey Trot. Join the Litehouse YMCA and the Sandpoint Parks and Recreation Department for Sandpoint’s Annual Turkey Trot and food drive on Thursday, Nov. 25 at Travers Park, 1202 W. Pine St. in Sandpoint. This event is for all ages; it’s low key, untimed and features a 5K, 10K or whatever distance you want to run or walk (no bikes please). The Turkey Trot is free with your donation to the food bank. Best crazy hat wins a pie. A signed waiver is required (minors need a parent or guardian signature). The event starts at 9 a.m. but participants are asked to arrive early to sign their waiver and drop off their donation for the food bank. Youth basketball (grades 3-6). The focus is on “fun and

fundamentals.” Play split into grades 3-4 girls, 3-4 boys, 5-6 girls and 5-6 boys. Games are held on Saturdays at Sandpoint Middle School. Play will begin Feb 5 and continue through March 12, 2022. There will be a coach’s meeting before play begins. All coaches will be contacted. Registration deadline is Sunday Jan. 9, 2022. Fee: $34.50 ($5.25 non-resident fee) Scholarships are available for all youth league sports, inquire at 208-263-3613 prior to online registration. Adult volunteer coaches are needed for this program. Sign up during program registration. Parks and Rec. has resources to share coaching techniques, skills and drills upon request. A desire to coach the philosophies of fun, fundamentals and sportsmanship are the only true requirements. Little Dribblers basketball (grades 1 and 2). This clinic-style program is designed to introduce kids to the sport of basketball, teaching the basics of the game with a heavy emphasis on dribbling and ball handling.

Volunteers are needed for this program. Sign up to volunteer during online registration. No special basketball background is needed, just a genuine desire to engage with kids starting out in the sport. Parks and Rec. has a complete step-by-step guide and a coordinator to help with drills and keep everything running smoothly. Youth sports jersey A red-and-white nylon mesh reversible sports jersey will be required for both the youth basketball and Little Dribblers program. They may be purchased online or at the Parks and Rec. Department. Red-and-white reversible jerseys from prior years or other organizations may be used in the leagues. New jerseys cost $14.50. CPR/AED with optional First Aid. For ages 16 to adult or ages 12-15 with an adult guardian. American Health and Safety Institute’s CPR/AED with optional First Aid is a general community course for individuals with little or no medical training who need CPR/AED and or First Aid card for work, OSHA requirements,

school or personal knowledge. The course meets American Heart Association guidelines. Classes are offered every other month on the first Monday. Register by Thursday, Dec. 2 for the Monday, Dec. 6 class. Located at Sandpoint City Hall Council Chambers (1123 Lake St.), the class meets 4-6 p.m. for CPR/AED and 6-8 p.m. for First Aid. Fee: $35 CPR/AED, with additional $25 First Aid option. Open gym basketball for adults and youth. Open gym is held on Sundays at the Sandpoint High School Gym (410 S. Division Ave.) through March 13, 2022. (No open gym on Feb. 6). Adults play 4:30-6 p.m. and pay a $2/player fee at the door. Youth (grades 3-12) play 3-4:30 p.m. for free. The city of Sandpoint Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department also acts as a clearinghouse to connect the public with other recreational opportunities in the community. Visit the city of Sandpoint Parks and Recreations Department’s online activity catalog to view listings in this category.


PERSPECTIVES

This morning, for senses how she is perthe first time since our ceived by others — somedaughter started attendtimes rightly, sometimes ing her new school, I wrongly — and responds dressed like a normal to that assumption. For person for the morning instance, I don my tree drop-off. And, oh, how gear feeling confident and my little girl smiled. capable. I am a formidable When I waltzed out of force in the forest. Then I the bedroom wearing — venture into a decidedly gasp! — attire designed non-forested environment for my gender and (e.g. the school parking sporting no stains, Syllot) and, out of context, vie exclaimed, “You’re am perceived in various wearing that to bring ways by strangers (perhaps me to school?!” And as a construction worker or maybe as an itinerant then I got a hug. It was a lovely start to a day trying to steal children). without tree work. Then there’s me trying to The sad state of ascertain how I am seen, affairs for my fashassuming the worst, and Jen Jackson Quintano. ion-conscious girl is then suddenly not feeling that her mother’s work uniform typically confident and capable but just… dirty. consists of haute couture à la Carhartt I think that friction between how we menswear. Not only do I wear this, but she identify, how we are perceived and how we must be seen with me wearing it at pick-ups perceive that we are perceived, is uncomfortand drop-offs. In the evenings, she draws able. We want all the identities to align. One pictures of me sporting high heels; this is of our deepest desires as human beings is to her attempt to manifest the impossible. Yet, be seen. To be understood. To belong. Hence still I show up in the school parking lot in the meteoric rise of social media. These logging boots. Sadly, we don’t get to choose digital platforms are designed specifically to the families we are born into. (aside from harvesting our data) scratch the After 12 years of inhabiting bar-oilitch that drives us to proclaim, This is who I stained canvas, I’m comfortable in my am! See me! Know me! Like me! uniform. I don’t usually give it a second Facebook, Instagram and Twitter unthought. Show me anything smaller than a veiled the ego-stroking rush of being able loaf of bread, and I probably have a pocket to define ourselves on our own terms, of for that. Show me liquids of varying viscos- curating our identities, and that drive has ities, and I probably have a stain for that. spread well beyond the internet. However, upon Sylvie starting first grade, I Not too long ago, we weren’t all flying suddenly had a new group of parents with our individual ideological flags from garagwhom to build relationships… all while es and trucks. We didn’t have political lawn looking like the love child of Tim “The signs up year round. There wasn’t quite the Tool Man” Taylor and Jeremiah Johnson. proliferation of antagonizing and classiWho wants to send their kid to my place for fying and dividing bumper stickers (my a playdate? No one. favorite being the, “I drive a hybrid but I’m Uniforms carry fascinating magic. They not a liberal,” sticker on a Prius, just in case both impart a sense of identity upon the you were going to cut that snowflake off in wearer and broadcast a separate one out to traffic). We are such social creatures, and the community at large. Also, especially for now such socially divided creatures, so it is women, there is the funny liminal ground ever more important to stake our claims on between those two identities wherein one appropriate identities lest we be seen on the

wrong side of the fault line. Here in North Idaho, I feel much different driving my Subaru than I do our Dodge work truck. Is it my imagination — my imperfect perception of others’ perceptions — or do I get fewer two-finger waves on the dirt roads and more tailgating on the highway in the Subaru? I loaned one of our trucks to a friend who couldn’t fit a new bed frame in her Prius. She returned from the endeavor grinning and exclaiming, “I felt so badass!” I totally got it. That diesel grumble is a positive signifier in a region where your bumper sticker must atone for your Prius-driving ways. As social creatures, the use and assessment of signifiers is unavoidable. Our clothing, our vehicles and lately our mask-wearing choices are all a kind of uniform. It just feels a bit more extreme now, as I don’t remember folks wearing George H.W. Bush shirts and “Read my lips, no new taxes” hats in non-election years — or ever, for that matter — during my childhood. I currently have a “Love Lives Here” sign in our yard, but my parents’ closest corollary was the pile of bikes in the front lawn signifying “Kids Play Here.” Why, now, are we always advertising the commodity that is ourselves? Perhaps, we simply want to belong. To something. To anything. The Clan of the Gadsden Flag, or whatever. I don’t know if my awareness of my work attire and how it is perceived is heightened by this era of egoic overshare and divisiveness or not. My uniform includes signifiers — chainsaws, big trucks, steel-toed boots — that seem at odds with my ideologies. In a binary world (i.e., “You’re either with us or against us”), such ambiguity is difficult. Some of my awareness is likely a byproduct of wanting to belong — of wanting my daughter to belong — in a community whose demographic is drastically changing. Sometimes, I feel like an outlier. Like the aforementioned Prius bumper sticker, I want a badge proclaiming, But I clean up nice. Yet, for now, I can set these thoughts regarding uniform aside. It is the end of the work season. It is time to relax for a few, brief snowy months before the tree remov-

als of 2022 consume us. It is time for my daughter to have a clean, presentable escort to school. It’s time for me to be the me that doesn’t smell like grand fir and gasoline at the end of the day, who doesn’t mistakenly get addressed as “sir” based on her attire and height, the me with no overt signifiers or agenda, the me who might just score a playdate for my daughter… but will continue to dash hopes of high heels. Jen Jackson Quintano writes and runs an arborist business with her husband in Sandpoint. Find their website at sandcreektreeservice.com. See more of Quintano’s writing at jenjacksonquintano.com.

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 9


Mad about Science:

Brought to you by:

food to energy By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist Thanksgiving is a time when we can slow down from the hustle and bustle of daily life, plans, meetings and agendas to sit back and enjoy peace with our friends and family. It’s also a great time to drop into a food-stuffed coma to occasionally stir and yell at the television. Have you ever stopped to wonder how your body pulls energy from food? How might it differ from pouring gasoline into your car’s tank to give it energy? Both processes result in the production and distribution of energy and the creation of waste, but gasoline is poisonous to humans and food will damage your car’s fuel system. The basis of how a car’s engine works is this: Mixing fuel, air and an ignition source creates a concentrated explosion. This explosion is a release of energy that causes a piston to turn the crankshaft, which transfers that energy to a number of gears that eventually turns the wheels of your car. Each piston in your engine is forced to move 33.3 times per second while cruising — multiply this by four in most engines, or six in larger engines, and you’ve got enough energy to move a vehicle that could weigh thousands of pounds. Creating this much energy also produces a lot of heat, which is why your engine gets so hot while it’s running and needs a radiator to cool it down. This produc10 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

es waste in the form of gas, namely carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and also water vapor and other particulate matter that are expelled from the exhaust tube in the rear or side of the vehicle. The black smog you see pouring out of certain trucks is particulate matter from diesel engines — most modern diesel engines are manufactured with something called a diesel particulate filter, or DPF, to prevent that black smog from billowing out into the world, but people will sometimes remove these as an act of protest or just to be a twerp. This waste material contains particulate matter of diesel, metal, sulfur and other stuff you really shouldn’t breathe. Humans produce energy through cellular respiration, an action that is markedly different from the big pile of fiberglass, metal and plastic that’s parked in the garage. Digestion is a process that begins in our mouths. We use our teeth to rip, tear and gnash food into a paste-like consistency. Our saliva also helps lubricate the food, as well as break it down so that we don’t choke on it. The food travels down our esophagus and passes through something called the esophageal sphincter, a ring-like muscle that closes when not in use to keep the contents of your stomach inside of your stomach. This helps reduce harmful bacteria and gases from traveling back up your esophagus, which would lead to either really bad breath or infections in your lungs. Your stomach mixes the

food and drink with digestive juices that help further break down the food — the end goal here is to break it down enough for your cells to extract individual nutrients, vitamins, fats and sugars, a task that’s just too delicate for our teeth. The food travels from your stomach to your small intestine, where cells in the lining of the intestine begin to pull out water, sugars and other nutrients and distribute them to your bloodstream. After that, the penultimate phase of digestion begins as waste material like fibers, corn kernels and the dead cells from earlier parts of your gastrointestinal tract are pushed into the large intestine, which extracts the last of the water from your waste before sending it to see Pennywise the clown in the sewer. If you were eating your lunch while reading this article, you should know well enough by now to hit the pause button when you see the header. Sorry folks, but everybody poops. You may still be curious about how exactly our cells get energy from the food we eat. Cells “pulling” energy from food is a pretty vague concept, and cellular respiration still hasn’t been explained yet. Our cells need sugars to produce chemical energy. They break down more complicated sugars, called complex carbohydrates into simple glucose. The glucose is mixed with oxygen to create carbon dioxide and water as waste, and is then stored as a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, in our cells.

This molecule is extremely small, a chain of a number of atoms but a vital part of what makes us able to run, jump, think, and simply survive. I know there was a lot to digest in this article. You could say that when researching it, I may have bit off more than I could chew.

But in all seriousness, every year I’m very thankful for everyone who reads this article and puts up with my puns, my research flubs and everything that comes with it. I’ll see you on the other side of the dinner coma. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner Don’t know much about native • Most Indigenous people in the U.S. refer to themselves as “American Indians,” while most Indigenous people in Canada use “First Nations.” “Native Americans” or “Indigenous Americans” are often applied to people in both countries. • The term “Indian” originated with Christopher Columbus who thought he had landed in the East Indies. He called the Indigenous people “Indians.” • Ishi (c. 1860–1916) is widely known as the “last wild Indian” in America. He lived most of his life outside modern culture after his tribe, the Yahi (of the Yana group) became extinct in the late 1800s because of the California Gold Rush. He lived alone in the wilderness after his family died. In 1911, starving and with nowhere to go, he walked out of the wilderness into the town of Oroville, where he would be later studied by anthropologists. • The Sequoia tree is named in honor of the Cherokee leader Sequoyah, who helped his people develop an alphabet.

americans?

We can help!

• Native Americans and First Nations people speaking a language of the Algonquian group were the first to meet English explorers and, consequently, many words from these languages entered English — for example, caribou (“snow-shoveler”), chipmunk (“red squirrel”), moccasin, moose, muskrat, opossum (“white dog”), papoose (“baby”), pecan (“nut”), powwow (“to dream, to have a vision”), raccoon, skunk (“to urinate” + “fox”), toboggan, totem, wigwam and woodchuck. • The word “avocado” is Nahuatl, a Central Mexican/Aztec Indian language, for “testicle.” • The word “barbecue” is from the Arawakan Indian language meaning “framework of sticks.” • The Indian Citizenship Act (Snyder Act) of 1924 granted full U.S. citizenship to America’s Indigenous peoples. It was enacted in part due to the recognition of thousands of Native Americans who served in WWI.


COMMUNITY

KLT eyes iconic property for community access By Reader Staff Bonner County is experiencing growth at an astounding pace. Since this past January, more than 500 parcels of five acres or more have changed hands across the county. This hit close to home last month when the historic sledding hill parcel on Pine Street came on the market. This particular parcel has been part of the community’s story for more than 100 years. With lush forestlands, meadows and a large pond, it is a property with vast potential amid a booming real estate market. In an effort to preserve this iconic property for the community, KLT immediately submitted an offer to purchase the property. “Historic farmsteads such as this are disappearing at an alarming rate. This one in particular, which serves as the gateway to Pine Street Woods, is very special. KLT is doing everything possible to acquire this land in order to conserve it and to share it with our community,” said KLT Conservation Director Regan Plumb. The Pine Street neighborhood has been known to Sandpoint locals as a low-key destination for various outdoor pursuits since the 1920s, when a rope tow powered by a car motor was first established on the sledding hill. Since the early 2000s, neighboring private property owners have also allowed public access for walking and mountain biking on the Greta’s Segway and Sherwood Forest trails. More recently, Pine Street Woods was added to the mix in 2019 after Kaniksu Land Trust purchased the property and opened these 180 acres to the public for mountain biking, walking, skiing, picnicking, school groups and more. This neighborhood, just west of downtown Sandpoint, has a long and rich community history. In 2019, the Weisz Family made the difficult decision to discontinue public access to their Pine Street sledding hill. Since then, the community has watched with anticipation to see what would become of the beloved property. KLT Executive Director Katie Cox expects there will be competing offers for the parcel, but hopes that it can be preserved for continued community access and future generations. “We’ve always known that there would come a day when we would have the chance to acquire this lower parcel and reconnect it with Pine Street Woods,” Cox said. “That day has come. This land has been a part of our community story for so many years. It’s hard to imagine just how many have felt the thrill of sledding or skiing down that hill. We dearly hope to preserve this story, and to add to it in the years to come, by acquiring this property.” In its first year of operation, Pine Street Woods saw some 20,000 visits, indicating strong support for public access lands near

downtown Sandpoint. KLT envisions extending the same community-centered approach that was adopted for the management of Pine Street Woods to this new property, should the purchase come to fruition. “If we are successful in the acquisition of this property, we look forward to inviting our community to a conversation about how the land can best serve our mutual needs,” Cox said. In addition to stewarding its natural assets, KLT envisions this land as a long-term home for two of its newest initiatives: Kaniksu Folk School and Kaniksu Lumber. KLT also hopes to reopen the Pine Street sledding hill to the public, citing the need for open access to recreation opportunities. “For some, sledding may be the sole form of outdoor recreation enjoyed during long winter months,” Cox said. “It is unique in that it can be shared and enjoyed by users of all ages and abilities with no technical skills or equipment needed. The prospect of bringing the sled hill back to life, with appropriate parking and traffic flow, is very compelling.” “This enormous undertaking cannot be done without important partnerships and a community of supporters.” Cox added. “I hope that anyone who has an interest in protecting this historic property will reach out to us. Our door is always open and we are just a phone call away. We look forward to hearing from you. Together we can make this community project come to life.”

For more information or to get involved, call 208-263-9471 or email katie@kaniksu. org.

Skiers limber up before barreling down the Pine St. Hill. Photo courtesy Bonner County Historical Society, taken circa 1950s.

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 11


PERSPECTIVES

The changing faces of Sandpoint Our town has endured many eras over the years — some good, some not so good

By Ben Olson Reader Staff Lao Tzu’s take on change remains just as true today as it was 2,500 years ago when he wrote, “If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.” Around the same time, but far away from China, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus offered his own wisdom on the subject: “There is nothing permanent except change.” In Sandpoint, change is often viewed with ample skepticism, stubborn denial and incessant griping, usually because it is accompanied by substantial growth. I know this because I’m usually the one griping about it. If polled, most North Idaho residents would probably agree they aren’t interested in sweeping changes to the small towns we live in and love, but change is indeed inevitable. As more people discover our small corner of the world, they each add their own flavor to the proverbial soup. Sometimes they add too much salt, sometimes they add a sprig of zesty herbs unlocking a new taste. But they all change the flavor of what was once there before, and that’s not always a bad thing. Sandpoint, like any other small town with character, has cycled through many eras over the generations. We started as a rough-andready railroad siding, dominated by timber harvesting and mining interests. We later evolved into a bonafide town, attracting homesteaders who raised their families here and sought to improve the quality of life for fellow residents. After mining and timber interests waned in the mid-20th century, tourism began to be seen as the next driving force to bring dollars to our community. A ski hill was opened atop Schweitzer Mountain, cabins and touring hotels appeared around Sandpoint to provide places of respite for motorists eager to seek the unfamiliar country they may have heard about from friends and family. In the interest of focusing on changes I’ve seen in my four de12 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

cades living in this town, I’d like to take a brief stroll through some of the eras that have come and gone in Sandpoint, starting in the 1970s. 1970-1990 A nationwide migration known as the Back to the Land movement began to see large numbers of people choosing to move out of urbanized areas to seek quieter, more self-sustaining lifestyles in the rural parts of our nation. By the 1970s, the results of this movement began to be evident in North Idaho with an increased number of so-called “hippies” and “free-thinkers” sharing space with the old guard loggers and farmers of the region. While clashes were inevitable, many longtime Sandpointians refer to a begrudging acceptance of two disparate ideologies because, at heart, many of their desires for simple living, self-sustaining lifestyles and rural environs were commonly shared. With the influx of new faces came the introduction of culture in Sandpoint. A Farmers’ Market was established, which still flourishes to this day. Events such as the Arts and Crafts Fair, the Festival at Sandpoint and Lost in the ’50s took root and returned every year, showcasing the creative output of the new residents — as well as those of the longtime families who have lived here for generations. Sandpoint in the 1980s was a funky place, dominated by lots of public art, local theater troupes and eccentric events catering to a more urbane demographic of residents. Coupled with the slow downfall of the timber industry, it became evident by city leaders that tourism would indeed be the driving force to Sandpoint’s economy, and the town began courting the deep pockets of tourists more than ever before. This era served as a turning point for Sandpoint, with many of the changes viewed favorably since they both increased the potential for tourist dollars in Sandpoint, but also gave residents the option for fun activities which weren’t available before. The term “amenity migrant” could generally

The corner of First Ave. and Main St. in Sandpoint, taken about 100 years apart. Historic photo courtesy Bonner Co. Museum. Current photo by Ben Olson.

describe other newcomers to the area, who were seeking both a quiet small town in which to live and also a town which was surrounded by natural amenities to enrich their lives — including everything from hunting and fishing to skiing. 1990-1999 Around the start of the 1990s, North Idaho began morphing politically into the region it resembles today, punctuated by a large influx of conservatives who were often wary of the government and overly regulative policies they fled from other parts of the west. It was a decade when national politics came home to roost, so to speak, especially in 1992, when the standoff at Ruby Ridge served as a flashpoint for anti-government activists around the country. Many hailed this event as a rallying cry for fellow Americans to resist “big government” by seeking out conservative enclaves throughout the west where they could seek “like-minded” individuals to consort with. Besides Ruby Ridge, there were a number of troubling years in North Idaho that helped to further this mentality, including the rise and fall of the Aryan Nations compound under neo-Nazi Richard Butler in Hayden, as well as a rise in the so-called “militia movement” which saw an increased number of North Idahoans and Montanans joining right wing militias. This era of increased nativism was fueled by an economic sce-

nario which brought about wide closures of timber mills, which was often blamed on NAFTA and then-president Bill Clinton. 2000-2007 After the turbulent 1990s, Sandpoint began to thrive in the early 2000s. There was an explosion of arts and culture that went hand-inhand with a real estate boom, as wealthy individuals settled in for yet another round of increased growth. Residents watched with dismay as retail stores along First Avenue fell one by one, morphing into real estate offices. Big developments like the Seasons at Sandpoint and Dover Bay dramatically changed the landscape of Sandpoint, causing many residents to voice their fears about the “Aspenization” of resort towns like Sandpoint in other parts of the west. “It can happen here, too,” was the rallying cry, as rampant growth began testing the patience of longtime locals who largely wanted the town to remain the same as the one in which they grew up. This period also served as a turning point in Sandpoint, when the inevitable resort town lifestyle was often at odds with the desires of the population to “keep it secret” to avoid Sandpoint becoming “just another tourist town with a lake and a ski hill.” 2007-2015 It’s hard to see a silver lining to a worldwide recession like what happened in 2007-2009, with hous-

ing markets collapsing and many Americans losing their homes to foreclosure after the bubble burst. But in Sandpoint, the Great Recession is largely responsible for this cooling down period of years when the sometimes greedy visions of the future butted up sharply against the chilly reality of a nation in an economic downturn. Many fly-by-night real estate offices closed their doors as home prices tanked. A deeper connection between locals was evident around Sandpoint, with many younger residents pushing back against the gilded future developers and speculators promised to newcomers. It’s also worth noting that Sandpoint’s comprehensive plan was developed in this era, which sought to define the direction the town would take in the coming decades. 2015-present In this era, Sandpoint endured rampant growth and change after the effects of the recession began to wane in earnest. Like the 1990s, nationwide politics played a part in driving another round of conservative migration to North Idaho, with targeted advertising campaigns in other states encouraging conservatives to leave the cities to live in Idaho. Sandpoint has always been marketed outside our region, but a more aggressive campaign began, labeling North Idaho as a “haven” for white, Christian conservatives who were fed up with their own states’ politics.

< see CHANGES, Page 13 >


< CHANGES, con’t from Page 14 >

The influx of newcomers was largely already happening when COVID-19 reared its ugly head in 2020, causing many to wonder if this global pandemic would again curtail the rising costs of housing in North Idaho to return to a more “local friendly” market that catered to everyday people who wanted to buy their first homes and continue living in their hometown. Needless to say, this isn’t what happened at all. The growth experienced during COVID has almost become the stuff of legend. After the former “quiet era” dissolved, this new turning point era began seeing the largest influx of newcomers to our region in recorded history. The census data doesn’t even show the reality of how many new families moved to North Idaho since it only accounts for a small portion of 2020, but by most accounts, we are now experiencing the aftermath of such rampant growth in such a short period of time. Large housing developments are popping up around the county like mushrooms, some offering what they refer to as “affordable housing” at prices that have effectively shut out locals from the market as homes are gobbled up by out-oftowners at a record pace. With the addition of hundreds of homes, the infrastructure of the surrounding areas will need to keep up with the added tires on the roads, sewage in the pipes and water consumption, to name just a few. More than any time in recent history, Sandpointians have expressed anxiety about what such a large influx of people and infrastructure means to Sandpoint. With changing demographics comes a change in attitudes throughout the region. Social media forums and barrooms alike are filled with conversations between locals griping about the “new meanness” that is evident throughout town. Restaurant workers often complain about rude, self-entitled customers who make their jobs more difficult, especially during times of staff shortages and supply chain issues. A housing market catered to rich, out-of-town emigrants has seen countless working class Sandpointians unable to purchase their first home, or in some cases, evicted from long-term rentals because landlords chose to cash in on the market by increasing rents or selling their homes. In more recent times, the consequences of this new reality have been noticed. Longtime restaurants and businesses have elected to close up shop in increasing numbers, furthering the feeling by many that they no longer have a place here in Sandpoint. The era we are currently living under is arguably the biggest turning point we’ve experienced here in Sandpoint’s recent history. Change is always a part of life, especially when living in an attractive location such as North Idaho, but the recent influx of attitudes and monetary wealth not centered — nor reliant — on the local economy will prove to be our biggest struggle to overcome until the next period of respite, if there will be one. Perhaps it’s best to look to David Bowie for a final word on the subject, taken from his song “Changes” with his cryptic line: “Time may change me / but I can’t trace time.” We are all changed over time, for good or ill, and those changes do have an effect on who we are, what we believe and what we choose to dedicate our lives to. We all want our own private Idaho, but I think what Bowie’s line refers to is how we’ll all react when it’s our time to be on the maligned side of the generational changes that occur in our lifetimes. We can push against change and dig our heels in the sand while the world spins us asunder. Or we can choose to embrace the change, while also putting in a concerted effort to ensure those changes are ones that benefit our community and improve our quality of life, instead of pushing us out to make room for the new. As with everything in life, perhaps the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

PERSPECTIVES

On the closing of Ivano’s By Sandy Compton Reader Columnist There’s a joke about Ivano’s Ristorante Italiano, a Sandpoint institution for 37 years: Question: “Where’s the best Italian restaurant in Spokane?” Answer: “In Sandpoint.” Alas, no more. I enjoyed what was possibly a last meal at Ivano’s Friday before last. I enjoyed my “employee discount for life,” Jim Lippi’s gift to me when I left his employment once, though it was not for the last time. I came back to wait tables again, and there’s hope that Ivano’s might come back as well. Who knows? For now, though, the best restaurant I ever worked in is shutting down after almost four decades of lovely food and great service. I’m not familiar enough with the whole history to give it here. But I hauled plates for the 25th anniversary of Ivano’s on Valentine’s Day of 2009. I never worked in the “old house” at Second and Lake, only the building at First and Pine. Ivano’s has been there now longer than it was at the other, but I waited on many who revered the house for good memories of good moments. Birthdays. New jobs. Retirements. Romances. Engagements. Marriages. Anniversaries. Even divorces. All were celebrated in the old house, and that tradition, myriad faithful customers and the Ivano’s crew followed the green, white and red flag to the new place in year 2000. The man and woman carrying the flag were Jim and Pam Lippi. Ivano’s was their baby, and they raised their other babies in the kitchen. When Jim died in 2016, it left a huge hole in Ivano’s culture of hospitality, but the staff and family carried on in his best spirit. If I can define that spirit, it is, “Family first, community second — and treat the community like family.”

Ivano’s supported this community in any way they could; gave scores of kids a first job and helped dozens of local causes with donations, food, participation, space to meet — you name it. When Sandpoint Magazine started in 1990, Ivano’s bought the first ad. The Ivano’s Italian Open golf tournament funded scholarships for deserving kids who otherwise might fall through the cracks. Nearly every kids’ sports team in Sandpoint benefited by the generosity of the Lippis. The demise of the restaurant is a sign of the times. COVID-19 and its socio-economic complications have killed many small businesses, particularly restaurants. But, it’s also a sign of what’s happening in the not-so-small-anymore town of Sandpoint — and other not-sosmall-anymore towns elsewhere. It’s sad to see places like Ivano’s and 41 South close because of a changing local culture. Whether we locals like it or not, Sandpoint is being gentrified, and often at our own choice. It’s hard to hang in there when the offer on the table is more — and much more — than a person ever dreamed their property, business or home might be worth. I don’t know what solution there is to that except don’t take the first offer. If it’s someone looking to cash in on trends in town, you can probably hold out for more — much more. More simply, I would advise you not to sell. It may be too late for that, but consider it, at least. Sandpoint still needs people who love it. Like the Lippis loved it. Still love it. As I walked to my car from that dinner at Ivano’s, a sound I know well came to me: an excited crowd cheering at Memorial Field. It was a sound of my youth, when Sandpoint was a much smaller town struggling to transition from timber to tourism. It carried through autumn nights to tell us

Ivano’s owner Jim Lippi was a familiar face around Sandpoint for many years. He passed away in 2016. Courtesy photo. that the Bulldogs had just done something great. Those who heard it knew what it meant. Community was at work. The men and women who ran businesses, taught school, worked in the woods, sold cars, pulled on the green chain, cut hair, hauled plates, whatever, were part of it, at the game or not. Like the Lippis have been part of it. That sound and all it means gave me hope. People were at that game Friday before last who had never heard of Sandpoint five years ago, or ever thought they would live here. They were cheering for the Bulldogs, too. Hopefully, they came here to make a home and not a killing; not just to chase a trend, but to start something that will last. That’s what the Lippis did in 1984, and it changed our little town in many good ways. Sandy Compton waited tables at Ivano’s for a dozen years, a “lifestyle job” that allowed him to pursue other interests, including his writing. His latest book is The Dog With His Head On Sideways, available at local bookstores and bluecreekpress.com/books. November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 13


COMMUNITY

Thanksgiving meals and weekly soup kitchens in Bonner County By Ben Olson Reader Staff Thanksgiving is an important time of year to not only give thanks, but also to look out for members of our community who might need some extra assistance. Here’s a short breakdown of some special Thanksgiving meals offered to the community, as well as a reminder of the ongoing weekly free meals some organizations offer year-round.

Free Thanksgiving meals offered Nov. 25: • Free traditional Thanksgiving meal at the Hoot Owl from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25. First come, first serve. Call 208-818-7347 with any questions. 30784 ID-200 in Ponderay. • Third annual Giving Thanks Community Feast at The Burger Dock. Free meals Thursday, Nov. 3 from 4-6 p.m. while supplies last. 116 N First Ave. Suite B, Sandpoint.

Free Meals offered weekly (available year-round): Sundays: VFW Hall Packaged food to go — free lunches every third and fourth Sunday at the VFW Hall, on the corner of Pine Street and Division Avenue in Sandpoint from noon-2 p.m. Mondays: The Hoot Owl Free dinners served every Monday from 4-6 p.m. at the Hoot Owl. The Assembly Monday night take-out dinner offered free from Sandpoint Assembly of God. Call 208-263-2676 for more information. 423 Lincoln Ave. in Sandpoint. Tuesdays: Agape Cafe Free lunch offered every Tuesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Agape Cafe, hosted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2235 Pine St. in Sandpoint. Trinity Baptist Church Free dinners every Tuesday night at the Trinity Baptist Church, 180 Osprey Lane in Priest River. Wednesdays: Gardenia Center Rainbow soup kitchen at the Gardenia Center offers a free takeaway lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 400 Church St. in Sandpoint. Thursdays: United Methodist Church Free packaged to-go sack meals at the church’s back door are offered every Thursday. 711 Main St. in Sandpoint. Fridays: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Free packaged to-go dinners available every Friday night at 601 N. Lincoln Ave. in Sandpoint.

14 /

R

/ November 24, 2021


PERSPECTIVES

Mayor’s Roundtable: Happy Thanksgiving!

By Mayor Shelby Rognstad Reader Contributor Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just returned from volunteering at the Bonner Community Food Bank with my kids. The bank was thriving with food coming in, customers picking up food and volunteers like us organizing food donations to be stocked. It was nice to see so much abundance, including lots of turkeys for those in need this holiday season. I was really proud of my kids for their excitement at being of service to those in need. I thank all those who donate food to the food bank as well as those that volunteer to help nourish those in need. Congratulations to the new City Council members, Jason Welker and Justin Dick, as well as to Joel Aispuro for being elected for a second term. I’ve known Jason and Justin for years. I admire their character, work ethic and devotion to Sandpoint, and I’m confident that they will serve Sandpoint residents well in the years to come. We learned a lot from the Local Option Tax campaign this year. The LOT received a majority vote at 52% approval but didn’t meet the supermajority threshold necessary to become law. Talking with many people about the initiative, it was clear that generally people were in favor of the taxing method. However, there was disagreement on how the funds could best be used. Overall, I heard a call for more specificity on how the tax revenue will be spent. I also heard a strong desire for funding street improvements in addition to sidewalks. The city will put out a new survey next year to get a more detailed picture of what constituents would like to see funded. I will present the City Council with a new ballot initiative in the next 18 months that could accommodate these recommendations. In the next two weeks the newly elected City Council members will join the current council in a strategic planning session. This is the first time we have had

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad. Courtesy photo.

outgoing and incoming council members together in a meeting let alone in a strategic planning workshop. This joint workshop will help the city ensure that we have continuity in leadership through the transition of elected officials. It will also help inform the new council about ongoing challenges, projects and priorities. The city will start off the new session with an empowered council that is prepared for the often demanding work of City Council. This joint workshop will become the new standard to help ensure the city is doing what it can to support council members in their role to provide informed, consistent leadership going forward. The strategic workshop will be the second for Sandpoint’s leadership team. The first was in 2018. The process provides a great overview of the major challenges, events on the horizon and major budgeting needs for each department. It also allows the council to review, adjust and balance priorities across departments. From it the priority framework that guides budgeting is born. There will be no Mayor’s Roundtable on Friday, Nov. 26 due to the holiday. I wish everyone a happy holiday with family and friends. November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 15


OUTDOORS

Ready, set, ski! By Ben Olson Reader Staff With the first major snowfall of the winter last week, Schweitzer is on track for opening the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 26. More than seven inches of the good stuff fell on the mountain Nov. 19, followed by another 6 inches Nov. 23, leaving a base of 20 inches. “With temperatures staying in the 20s, even if we don’t get natural snowfall, these temps will help us create more with our snowmakers,” said Schweitzer Marketing Director Dig Chrismer. To help avoid overcrowding during early season, when limited terrain and lifts are open, Schweitzer will only be allowing season passholders on the weekends until more terrain is open. Day tickets will be available for purchase on weekdays only until further notice.

16 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

Chrismer said Schweitzer switched to an RFID pass system, and new season passes began mailing out to passholders last week in anticipation of the Nov. 26 opening day. New RFID gates are currently being installed on the Great Escape Quad, the Basin Express, Sunnyside, Musical Chairs and the Nordic trails in anticipation for opening day. Passholders are instructed to place the RFID card in a jacket pocket by itself, not next to “cell phones, wallet items, keys, hotel cards, food wrappers, PBR cans or pocket bacon.” Access gates will read the card and open if valid for the day. While photos aren’t printed on passes, your photo will appear when the card is scanned at the gate to be “admired by our Lifty Crew (Yes, our Lifty Crew will still be out there crushin’ it like always),” resort officials stated. While the snowfall is great for the mountain, it will inevitably

Outlook for upcoming Schweitzer ski season

affect the construction at the new Humbird Hotel located next to the upper parking lot in the village. “We’re hoping to wrap that up soon,” Chrismer said. “The plan is to have the parking lot back in action for the rest of the season.” The upper lot will be open as soon as construction crews move some equipment around and complete a few more projects. In the meantime, Chrismer encourages skiers to use the shuttle at the Red Barn parking lot at the base of the mountain. “Parking is easier at the Red Barn, and it’s free,” she said. “The bus will get you to the closest dropoff point. We know parking is an issue and we understand everyone can get frustrated, so we recommend using the shuttle to ease people’s concerns.” The Park and Ride Mountain Express Shuttle, operated by SPOT Bus, operates every half hour from

the Red Barn and Village, with the first shuttle leaving the Red Barn at 6:30 a.m. and the last shuttle leaving the village at 5:30 p.m. The shuttle is free for passholders, but will cost $3 for day ticket holders. Following last year’s ski season, which saw a ton of extra terrain opened up on the back side of the mountain, Schweitzer continued cutting and clearing, though on a smaller scale this year. “We did clean up a lot of areas that have been logged when we put in the Cedar Park and Colburn Triple,” Chrismer said. “It wasn’t as extensive as the Colburn and Cedar Park logging [last year] but it will be noticeable. We’re trying to tidy up some areas so we can actually ski them again. That alder comes back with a vengeance.” The majority of this clearing affected areas around Revenge and No Joke runs. The safety protocols at Schweitzer have changed slightly since last season, when skiers were encouraged to wear face buffs while in line at the lifts. This year, lifts will be running at full capacity, with no “ghost lanes” built in, and face buffs won’t be required while outside. “Outside, we feel pretty comfortable,” Chrismer. “Inside, we’re following closely what the Panhandle Health District says. We’re asking people to mask up while inside, but it’s not a requirement.” One big addition to the fun this year is the Rowdy Grouse yurt,

A fresh dusting of snow at Schweitzer brings hope. Photo by Schweitzer. which was built on the saddle where the Cat Track meets the bottom of Down the Hatch and top of Vagabond. “I think that’s the thing I’m most excited about this year. They’re going to serve hot dogs and beers and have an awesome deck with views of the North Bowl,” Chrismer said. “It’s going to be a great spot for those Wang Shack ‘affectionados.’” To access the Rowdy Grouse yurt, as you’re coming down the Cat Track from the top of Stella, the yurt is located next to a clump of trees at the intersection where skiers turn left to continue on the Cat Track or right to enter Vagabond. Addressing the recent changes at Schweitzer, Chrismer pointed out that the resort is still very much a locals’ mountain. “There is definitely a lot going on up here,” Chrismer said. “There’s a lot of fear and trepidation about what people think is happening at Schweitzer. Come up and see for yourself. It’s still Schweitzer. That’s what this place is. It hasn’t changed. The ski community is you. What makes Schweitzer Schweitzer isn’t that we have a new hotel, it’s all of us. So be friendly and kind and happy to see each other.”


ARTS & CULTURE

From Sweden to Sandpoint

An interview with new East Bonner County Library District Director Viktor Sjöberg

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Viktor Sjöberg, the East Bonner County Library District’s new director, officially entered his new role on Nov. 8. The Sandpoint Reader caught up with Sjöberg to talk about his vision for the area’s libraries — a resource he hopes to make all the more relevant to everyone in the community. Sandpoint Reader: Tell me about your background. Viktor Sjöberg: I am originally from Gothenburg, Sweden. I developed an interest in libraries at an early age because it was the entity that connected me to reading and also, later on, connected me to the internet, where there were new worlds to be discovered. One of my primary interests as a child — and still is — is music, and that was my first full-time job, as a touring musician. I did that for about seven years. … Parallel to touring and playing music I also went to library school in Sweden. I graduated in 2009. In 2010, my wife and I moved to California, and I started my library career. Since then I’ve worked at a number of different libraries across central and southern California. Most recently I was the assistant library director for a district in Altadena, Calif. When the job opportunity here in Idaho came up, it was quite fortuitous. We’d been wanting to move to a more rural area for a while. My wife has a close friend in Spokane, so we had heard about Sandpoint for many years and we decided to try it out. Once I came up here and met everyone — especially the wonderful staff here at the library, and saw the facilities — I was in love and I decided that this would be the right place for us. SR: You are about two weeks into the job. How has it been going? VS: It’s been going well so far. It’s just such a wonderful team where everyone has been working really hard. … I think I can bring a greater level of cohesion to the organization and make sure that everyone is working toward the same mission and vision and provide clarity and provide an outlook that’s built on trusting each other, which is very crucial to any organization, but especially one that works with the entire community. If we don’t have a high level of trust within the organization, it is going to be very hard to build that level of trust with the community. SR: I think that’s fair. The interface between the library and the public has been hot and cold throughout the pandem-

ic, especially regarding masking policy, the board election, etc. You are entering at a time that I guess some might characterize as a little turbulent. Would you agree? VS: Yeah, definitely. I think it’s been turbulent here in a slightly different way than we saw in California, but I think the most important thing to remember with the pandemic is that it is a collective trauma, and that people react and respond to any type of trauma in individual ways based on their previous experiences and their disposition. The pain that people are carrying is very different based on this. The most important thing is to take a compassionate approach to that and realize that even though people’s pain manifests in different ways, this is a collective experience, and I think that there’s definitely healing to be brought forth through that. SR: I think that’s a very empathetic way to put that. But on to happier topics. What might be a short-term goal you have for the library district, maybe within your first year? VS: The Strategic Planning Process — that’s one of the big things, and part of the reason I was hired. To really make sure that we are connected to the community’s aspirations and challenges, and that we are making decisions based on that information and not making decisions in a vacuum. We are here for the community and I want to develop a participatory model for serving the community where we can involve them in the creation of our services as much as possible. … We are going to be hiring quite a few new people. We actually have a few job openings right now. I’m very fortunate that the team here, prior to my arrival, already did a salary study to ensure that we were paying people fair wages. … I really want to make sure that local people know that they have employment opportunities at the local library, and that we pay fair, as well. SR: I’m glad you brought up the Strategic Planning Process. I understand that there might be some public hearings or workshops. Are there any solid dates yet? VS: No, no solid dates yet, because we just started it here internally. I foresee this starting early next year, as far as public participation. It’s going to take many forms, and I’m going to partner with the local business community to have venues for community conversations that will hopefully include some food, some music and these very crucial conversations about what it’s like to live here in the community and what

aspirations we have for the future. SR: Are there any longterm goals in your sights? VS: I want to hear from the community first. … But I have this concept called Library of Human Connection. It is something that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years and that I’m planning to really bring to full fruition here in East Bonner County. Just like we have a catalogue of books and DVDs and music and all of our other materials, how can we have a catalog of organizations and individuals in the community? It goes way beyond a directory. It really is a platform for people to get more connected to each other and learn more about each other, build new skills and remove some of the barriers that seem to exist between people.

Viktor Sjöberg took the helm as the East Bonner County Library District’s new director Nov. 8. Photo courtesy Alan Nakkash.

SR: In your ideal world, what role does the library play for the average person? That’s a little abstract, but you know, the library is so many different things to so many different people. VS: I talk about it sometimes as a community healing space — which is very abstract. What does that mean? Essentially, I would like the library to be the first place that people go to when they want to pursue something new or to better themselves in some way. This is the ultimate pipe dream, but I think it is important to state it. Just like the fire department is funded by everyone that pays taxes, and they are seen as an absolutely vital resource — which they are, of course — that is not necessarily the perception that everyone has of the library, because not everyone uses the library. That has to do with relevance as much as it does with awareness. … I would like to design a library that is as relevant to people as the fire department, but instead of the reactive nature of the fire department — where they act when something has gone wrong — the library is the proactive force in the community that helps people along so that things do not go wrong, but so that things go right. That’s my grand vision.

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 17


events January 7-14, 2021

wednesDAY, december 1

Gratitude at the Granary • All day @ Matchwood Brewing Co. & Evans Bros. Coffee Join Matchwood Brewing and Evans Brothers for this all-day, family-friendly event 9am1pm: Ornament making at Evans Bros. 4pm: Granary Gratitude Tree Lighting. 4-6pm: Face painting, hot chocolate, s’mores and outdoor fires. 6:30pm: Live music by Jackson Roltgen inside Matchwood Brewing. All day enjoy holiday deals, canned beer to-go and more Live Music w/ Alex Cope and Steven Wayne 6-8pm @ The Back Door

THURSDAY, november 25 13th annual Turkey Trot • 9am @ Travers Park Litehouse YMCA and Sandpoint Parks and Rec. present this low key, un-timed event. Walk, trot, run and distance as you wish. Come early to sign participation waiver and drop off your non-perishable donation to the food bank. Please no bikes.

FriDAY, november 26

Live Music w/ Bright Moments Trio 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery A mix of jazz and easy listening

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting 5:30pm @ Jeff Jones Town Square Ring in the season with the annual Christmas tree lighting at the town fountain Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7-9pm @ The Back Door

Schweitzer opening day @ Schweitzer Dependent on weather conditions

Hardwood Heart at the Pearl Theater 7pm @ Pearl Theater (Bonners Ferry) This high-energy string trio from Missoula, Mont. always put on a great show. $15

SATURDAY, november 27

Live Music w/ KOSH 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Contemporary and classic music Live Music w/ BTP 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Baker|Thomas|Packwood = fun! Live Music w/ Electric Electric 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Shop Small Saturday All Day @ Downtown Sandpoint retailers Support your community retailers by shopping small on Nov. 27. Participating retailers will offer door prizes, specials and sales all day. Shop Small! Live Music w/ Chris Lynch 7-9pm @ The Back Door

SunDAY, november 28

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

monDAY, november 29

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi 7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

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

tuesDAY, november 30 wednesDAY, december 1

Bingo at the Sandpoint Senior Center 6-8:30pm @ Sandpoint Senior Center Cost is $2/card, food and drinks available for purchase. Every Wednesday

Live Music w/ John Firshi 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

ThursDAY, december 2 Bingo at the Sagle Senior Center 6-8pm @ Sagle Senior Center Ten games for just $10

18 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

Holiday Artists’ Shop (Dec. 2-5) 10am-6pm @ Create (Newport, Wash.) Create is pleased to present the work of over 20 artists, including fiber arts, fused glass, copper wire, visual arts, children’s books and much more. Masks required inside. Create is located at 900 W. 4th St. in Newport. www.createarts.org


STAGE & SCREEN

The Wheel of Time grinds slowly By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff For the uninitiated — of which I am one — the new Wheel of Time series, which debuted Nov. 19 with three episodes on Amazon Prime, is based on the 11-novel world created by iconic high fantasy author Robert Jordan. Given its literary pedigree, and legions of lifelong fans, this was supposed to be a major event. Not only were Jordan devotees finally going to get a screen adaptation of their favorite books, but Amazon was going to deliver to its stockholders something approaching the early magic of Game of Thrones on HBO. What has landed on TV screens, however, is leaving most reviewers puzzling over how something can look and sound like the kind of rollicking swordsand-sorcery adventure that all but guarantees a vigorous online fandom, but comes off by turns stilted and, simply, lame in intrinsic ways. For a significant portion of the first three episodes I half

expected the cast of Stargate: SG1 to come charging out of a wormhole from the early-2000s, and it would have been a more pleasurable experience for it. Dispensing with the broad strokes of the plot: There is a supernaturally powerful being referred to as “the Dragon” who has been born somewhere in the big magical world, and this person will either save or destroy that vaguely medieval world. The titular “Wheel of Time” is a cycle of reincarnation rooted in a mystical force that apparently makes up the fabric of reality. There are prophecies and magic people who alternately protect and threaten this “wheel,” and Rosamund Pike plays one such magical person who is trying to find the Dragon before she or he is otherwise enlisted by choice or compulsion to unleash whatever nastiness they may or may not get up to. That puts the viewer in for a lot of little bands of people traversing big landscapes — featuring the kind of sweeping cinematography that looked cool 20 years ago but

can now be accomplished with a backyard drone — interspersed with a near-constant procession of small-scale fisticuffs that are only interrupted to ride a horse or walk somewhere for low-tone expository conversation. Almost entirely lacking in humor, there is however a faintly hilarious interlude in the third episode of The Wheel of Time when a couple of the characters are asked to repeat some mystical sounding gibberish by way of a password, and no one (whether those delivering these lines or requesting that they be intoned) seems able to keep a straight face. If this was intentional, it’s poking fun at Jordan’s source material with an in-world joke about the bombast of its many mystical — and nonsensical — mini-monologues. If it wasn’t, then it’s the actors breaking the fourth wall to let us know that this is all pretty silly. Regardless, the point is well taken: The dialogue is as uninspired and pompous as it is flat, which is no mean feat — there are stretches of bad writing in WoT that

New Amazon series fails to captivate

outdo even the most egregious excesses of GoT. But while the latter was able by and large to rise above its occasional flights of self-serious gobbledygook with a well-placed piece of gallows humor, gore, nudity or sumptuous set piece, Wheel of Time just seems to stumble dizzily from plot contrivance to plot contrivance to the point that the whole thing feels like a MacGuffin in search of a story.

Courtesy photo. If you were excited that this would be the show with which to cozy up and binge atop your Thanksgiving food bloat, I solemnly warn you that this turkey will not pair well with your cranberries and yams. Better yet, stick with tradition and fall asleep on the couch to an innumerable reviewing of Lord of the Rings.

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 19


LITERATURE

The writer within

Local author Dick Cvitanich pens first novel, Stardust and the Bitter Moon

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff

Most locals know Dominic “Dick” Cvitanich for the time he spent as superintendent of the Lake Pend Oreille School District from 2006-2012. Now, the community is being introduced to Cvitanich, the fiction author, as his debut novel Stardust and the Bitter Moon is released in paperback by local publisher Keokee Books. “I’m not sure I necessarily wanted to be a novelist,” Cvitanich told the Reader regarding his journey from school administrator to writer. “I think what I found is that I liked to write fiction.” This discovery happened during his college years at the University of Washington in Seattle, where Cvitanich studied Latin American history and politics. For one assignment, he recalls the professor asking his students to write a work of historical fiction instead of the typical research paper. “The professor called me in and he said, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve ever read. You can’t

20 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

imagine how sick I am of reading term papers, and that was really good. You should pursue this a little bit more,’” Cvitanich recalled. He took a few creative writing courses but, ultimately, the endeavor fell off his radar. “Then I got busy with work,” he said, “and the writing was completely different.” Cvitanich’s career dictated that he stick to more technical writing and communication. As superintendent of schools in Sandpoint and, later, in Olympia, Wash., his professional writing remained limited to discourse with teachers and parents. However, he was able to begin working on Stardust and the Bitter Moon just before his recent retirement. “I kept pecking away at it, because there wasn’t much time,” he said. “I had a lot of meetings, but I would come home and it was a way to unwind. So I’ve been working on this story for a while.” Stardust tells the story of protagonist Anton, a “successful father of three girls but a failed husband,” and, “a child of the ’60s still trying to grow

up.” In “search of truth and peace,” the book’s synopsis reads, “he embarks on a different kind of trip in his iconic Volkswagen van in a quest for absolution.” A child of the hippie era himself, Cvitanich admits that “some of” Stardust is autobiographical, while most of it is “a pretty good stretch.” “Underlying it all is this great love of music,” he said, noting that each chapter is named for another iconic song of the time. “The thrust of the thing is that, as you get older, you kind of wonder what your generation’s legacy is.” Cvitanich is of the belief that both good and bad things came from his generation. Among the good were the environmental movement and career advances for women. Among the bad, the proliferation of drugs in American culture. “It was kind of a mixed bag,” he said. “I think most generations really think they had a great, positive impact. The character in the book is

looking back and saying, ‘Wait a minute here — it’s a mixed bag.’” Also named for the music of the time — a lot of which Cvitanich was fortunate to see live for “dirt cheap” as a student in Seattle — is the book’s title. Stardust is named for the lyrics of Joni Mithchell’s song “Woodstock,” in which she sings, “We are stardust/ We are golden/ And we’ve got to get ourselves/ Back to the garden.” However, for as much as his generation is “stardust,” Cvitanich said his book is also meant to address some of the not-so-wonderful aspects of his generation’s legacy. “So, ‘we were stardust,’ but the bitter moon is kind of the other half of that,” he said.

Author Dick Cvitanich, right, and his debut novel, Stardust and the Bitter Moon. Courtesy photos. Cvitanich said he has some other fiction stories currently in the works, including a love story about a teacher moving to a small town and falling in love with a local woman, as well as a “crazy little baseball story.” If one thing is certain, it is that Dick Cvitanich, the author, is only getting started. “It’s fun. It’s great fun,” he said, “and very satisfying.” Find Stardust and the Bitter Moon locally at Vanderford’s Books, the Corner Bookstore, Bonners Books, Keokee Publishing and online at keokeebooks.com.


MUSIC

This week’s RLW by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint Hardwood Heart, Pearl Theater, Nov. 26

KOSH, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Nov. 27

After celebrating your gratitudes with family and delicious food, continue the fun over Thanksgiving weekend by being thankful for live music at the Pearl Theater in Bonners Ferry on Nov. 26, as they welcome Missoula’s Hardwood Heart — a high-energy string trio well known for their well- attended North Idaho performances. Guitarist Josh Clinger and mandolin player Jed Nussbaum, formerly of stompgrass band Dodgy Mountain Men, have teamed up with bassist Caleb Mattis to form a three-man folk outfit blending jazz, rock and blues with traditional string instruments to create the distinctly Hardwood

Somewhere between tribute and facsimile, there’s a sweet spot where one artist is able to play another’s work while doing both homage to the source and bringing something new to it. Based in Coeur d’Alene, KOSH inhabits that golden mean, where he can belt out a vintage ’70s power ballad or tear through a pop-rock classic with such expert ease that he makes even the most familiar songs sound like his own. There’s a good reason for that: KOSH, originally from San Francisco, played with the ’80s metal band Tsunami and has shared the stage with the likes of Bret Michaels, Metallica, Heart, Billy Squier, Lover Boy, Hagar and Cheap Trick, among others. He’ll bring his acoustic vocalist/soloist act to the Pend d’Oreille

Heart sound. The Pearl Theater will have most of the floor cleared for dancing at this show, with limited seating and VIP seating available in the balcony. Doors and Pearl Cafe open at 6 p.m., with the show starting at 7 p.m. Find tickets at Bonners Books, Mountain Mike’s and online at brownpapertickets.com/ event/5302057. — Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey 7 p.m.; $15 general admission, $20 VIP. 7160 Ash St., Bonners Ferry; 208-610-2846; thepearltheater.org.

READ

I first fell in love with the work of author Annie Proulx when I read her collection of short stories, Close Range, in college. I recently picked up a copy of her Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning 1993 novel The Shipping News and, just a couple of chapters in, I am reminded why Proulx is one of the fiction greats. She is capable of sharing a complete character — their motivations, their entire persona — with the use of seemingly mundane details and passing dialogue. Her work is a joy to read.

LISTEN

Winery, where he’s become a favorite performer. — Zach Hagadone 5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., 208-2658545, powine.com. Listen at koshmusic.com.

When Taylor Swift released her album Red in 2011, the track “All Too Well” was her favorite. It was never a single, or even a radio mainstay, but true Swifties know that it ranks among the artist’s top songs for its lyrical poignancy. As it turns out, that ultimate breakup anthem was originally recorded as a 10-minute version — which Swift graciously released Nov. 12. That might sound too long for a song, but as it turns out, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” is a musical feat of the highest order.

WATCH

Netflix just released its second season of The Baby-Sitters Club, an adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s 1990s youth novels about a group of girls who join forces to offer coordinated babysitting services in their neighborhood. The modern sensibilities I adored in the first season continued in the series’ 2021 rendition. These tweens might have social media, but the evergreen topics of friendship, dating, grief and simply fitting in still persist. When it comes to quality coming-of-age content for today’s kids, The Baby-Sitters Club delivers.

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 21


BACK OF THE BOOK

An attitude of gratitude

In which a typically grumpy editor counts his blessings

From Pend Oreille Review, Nov. 25, 1921

FAST PASSENGER TRAIN STOPS TO OBLIGE WEDDING PARTY The sympathetic consideration of a Northern Pacific despatcher yesterday prevented an eleventh hour befogging of young romance, arranged a stop for fast passenger train No. 4 where no stop was scheduled and kept a Thanksgiving dinner from long delay. Cecil Leland Langdon, aged 27 of Spokane, and Miss Bessie Derr, aged 18 of Clarksfork, had completed arrangements for their wedding to take place at the home of the bride’s father John O. Derr at Clarksfork but had inadvertently overlooked the license requirements of the situation. They presented themselves to the proper authority at Spokane yesterday morning but when they were informed that a Washington license was not valid in Idaho they left Spokane aboard Northern Pacific train No. 4. Troubled by doubt as to the proper course of action, they finally decided to get off at Sandpoint. They made a rapid trip to the home of County Auditor R.S. McCrea and secured his consent to go with them to the courthouse and grant the license. They then returned to the NP station. Train No. 42 had gone. They were informed that train No. 4 did not stop at Clarksfork. A roasting turkey and an impatient clergyman awaited them at Clarksfork. At this point, Station Agent Gibson and his right bower Charles A. Dunn took a hand in the proceedings and opened rapid telephonic communications with the chief despatcher in Spokane. “Ain’t they no preachers in Sandpoint?” asked the despatcher. “They is,” he was told, “But you know how it is. Thanksgiving dinner arrangements made ‘n everything. You was young once yourself. Go on, stop No. 4.” “A’right,” said the despatcher, “But if it was any other day o’ the year exceptin’ maybe Christmas...” The sun broke up the clouds of gloom at the depot and the happy couple boarded the wedding-bound No. 4. 22 /

R

/ November 24, 2021

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff I’m going to take a break from what has apparently become my annual custom of reminding everyone about the violent history of colonization that surrounds our national Thanksgiving mythology. Rather, I’m going to take the holiday for its spirit, not its historical deeds, and express a little gratitude for a few things. First and easiest, there’s a fire burning in my stove, which is keeping my house warm while the snow starts to pile up outside. Not only do I realize my good fortune to have a full woodshed and an efficient stove, but it’s not lost on me how lucky I am to have a comfortable place to live. True, I cannot — nor likely will ever be able to — afford a place of my own anywhere in the greater Sandpoint area, but I do count my lucky stars almost every day that I have a longterm rental made absurdly affordable by the generosity of my landlord-friends. Not everyone in this community can say the same. In fact, few can, as the depressing statistics tell us over and over again. Yet, inside this high-quality, conveniently located, cozy and financially attainable home is my little family, which I’m profoundly grateful has so far weathered our bizarre shared reality over the past 20 or so months with its health, wealth and sanity (for the most part) intact while so many others have lost so much — in too many cases, having lost everything or near to it. Looking out the window where I’ve

STR8TS Solution

spent those past 20 or so months working on the Sandpoint Reader from a desk at home, I’m keenly aware of how pleasant my job is and how smart, flexible, committed and patient are my colleagues. Few bosses but Ben Olson would do so much to make the best of an historically terrible period not only in our national life but in the world of already-strained print media. To call myself “fortunate” to get to work for the Reader — and make a livable wage — is literally among the greatest understatements in my life. When I started this paper with a couple of equally delusional 20-somethings back in 2004-’05, including Ben, I found myself quickly disabused of the notion that it would ever bring me even modest financial success. Indeed, it didn’t for the first eight or so years, when I killed it off in order to get a “real job.” This I did, being fortunate to spend almost five years honing my journalistic skills at the head of the Boise Weekly, then chucking all that to go to grad school. I’m grateful to the patience of my wife and children through that time period, and a little gobsmacked that after all that I ended up back here working for the Reader as it somehow only seems to get better and better. I say “somehow,” but the reality is that its qualities flow directly from Ben, News Editor Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (easily in the top percentile of reporters with whom I’ve worked over the course of 20 years in the business), our Ad Director Jodi Berge, our partners at Keokee and the most loyal coterie of contributors ever assembled in service of a free weekly anywhere. Critically, in another example of be-

neficence that I spend a lot of time feeling almost embarrassed about, we’re also supported by the people who not only pick up our paper but buy ads in it and, inconceivable for any paper I’ve ever worked for, the people who simply donate their money to us with no expectation of return, other than to keep us going. When I tell my colleagues in academia and at newspapers and journalism outlets in other, much bigger places that we keep the figurative lights on in large part because of direct financial contributions from readers, they simply can’t believe it. If you’re reading this, we truly are in this enterprise together and it sets me back on my heels with disbelief whenever I think about it. It has been far too easy to forget these things since our collective lives got thrown into the air and reassembled in often uncomfortable, perplexing and frankly maddening ways since the spring of 2020. I, for one, am grateful that I even have a space where I can share these thoughts. So thanks, everybody, and with all sincerity, “Happy Thanksgiving.”

Crossword Solution

Sudoku Solution

If you see faces in clouds, does one of them look like the doctor at the insane asylum?


Solution on page 22

Solution on page 22

ostracize

Woorf tdhe Week

By Bill Borders

/OS-truh-sahyz/

[verb] 1. to exclude, by general consent, from society, friendship, conversation, privileges, etc.

“After some troubling Facebook posts emerged from a few years back, she found herself ostracized from her community.” Corrections: We published the wrong date for bingo at the Sandpoint Senior Center in last week’s calendar. SASI’s Bingo night is every Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. Sorry about the confusion. — BO Also, in the Nov. 18 paper we described Forrest Shuck as a “pilot.” He’s not a licensed pilot but does have generous friends with airplanes from whom he’s learned a thing or two. Thanks for keeping us “grounded,” Forrest.

CROSSWORD

Copyright www.mirroreyes.com

Laughing Matter

ACROSS 1. Honor fights 6. As just mentioned 10. Throat-clearing sound 14. Course around a star or planet 15. Roman emperor 16. Audition tape 17. An small olive-grey bird 18. Indian dress 19. Beasts of burden 20. Frugal 22. Alley 23. Storehouse 24. Woman’s undergarment 25. Quaint outburst 29. Motorcoach 31. Held (someone’s attention) 33. Idea 37. Any unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon 38. Wiggle room 39. Streaked 41. Hillbilly 42. A game played with mallets 44. Tall woody plant 45. Type of connective tissue 48. Full-length 50. Chills and fever 51. Flashiness 56. Condemn 57. Foment

Solution on page 22 58. Imperial 59. Sweeping story 60. Parasitic insect 61. Alpha’s opposite 62. Declare untrue 63. Tumbled 64. An analytic composition

DOWN 1. Bird of peace 2. Relating to urine 3. River of Spain 4. Mortgage 5. Got up

6. Flavorless 7. Clergyman 8. Fickle 9. Drudgery 10. Callow 11. Sextuplet 12. Make improvements 13. Cash 21. Souvenir 24. Tweaked 25. God of love 26. Aureate 27. Anagram of “Rave” 28. Inadequacy 30. A genus of fungus 32. Crown

34. Pitcher 35. Rate 36. Kid 40. Even-tempered 41. Performance 43. Unwind 45. Washed-out 46. Slack-jawed 47. Aromatic seeds 49. Spasm 51. Spike 52. French for “Names” 53. Visual organs 54. Epic 55. Kill

November 24, 2021 /

R

/ 23