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Arts, entertainment, bluster and some news

November 30, 2017 ||

FREE || Vol. 14 Issue 48

Keeping the Faith

The role of religion in the Redoubt

A rare interview with alex barron ‘The Bard of the Redoubt’

smelter meeting raises a stink crude oil terminal denied

Tribalism, back country access gates, live comedy, jack frost fest and more!

Annual Giving Tree Fundraiser Thursday, Dec. 7 @ 5:30pm

(208) 265-5700 320 S. Ella Ave.

•Pet Costume contest (prize for best costume) •Holiday treats for pets •Meet and Greet new Veterinarians and staff •Meet Schweitzer Avalanche Rescue Dogs •Hot Chocolate Bar •Compassion Fundraiser for local families in need of emergency veterinary care

that girl from the other department

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/ November 30, 2017


(wo)MAN compiled by

Susan Drinkard

on the street

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

Without using words, express how you feel about Donald Trump‘s presidency to date. Publisher: Ben Olson Editor: Cameron Rasmusson Zach Hagadone (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus)

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Advertising: Jodi Taylor Contributing Artists: Woods Wheatcroft (cover), Ben Olson BCHS, Tricia Sullivan. Contributing Writers: Cameron Rasmusson, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert, Nick Gier, Shannon Williamson, Tim Bearly, Brenden Bobby, Liam Fitzgerald. Submit stories to:

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BRIAN JACOBS & CHRIS LYNCH 6:30-9:30pm BREWERY & BEER HALL 220 Cedar St. 209-6700

Hillary Clinton Retired





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 week 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 400 words –Letters may not contain excessive profanity or libelous material. Please elevate the discussion. Letters will be edited to comply with the above requirements. Opinions expressed in these pages are those of the writers, not necessarily the publishers. Email letters to: Check us out on the web at: Like us on Facebook. About the Cover

212 Cedar Street Downtown Sandpoint

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This week’s cover features a photo by Sandpoint photographer Woods Wheatcroft taken in the Cabinet Mountains. Thanks for the awesome shot! Check out more from Woods at: November 30, 2017 /


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The Neanderthals ate their veggies, too By Nick Gier Reader Columnist Sometime after I told a friend that I had become a vegetarian, I saw a new bumper sticker on his truck. It read: “Vegetarian: Old Indian Word for Poor Hunter.” For years I’ve been preparing the following verbal arrows as a reply. Of course Paleolithic peoples ate lots of meat, but their diet was supplemented with roots, fungi, fruit and other non-meat items. Sacagawea saved the Lewis and Clark expedition from starvation by providing the men such nutritious items such as wild licorice, prairie turnips and wild artichokes. She also knew of a number of medicinal plants, which we now have learned even Neanderthals used. For 150,000 years the San of Southern Africa, better known as Bushmen, have thrived on the bounty of the Kalahari Desert. A 1960s study measured San food consumption, and only 27 percent consisted of meat, and the rest was

Letters to the Editor Gun Laws Do Save Lives...

Dear Editor, The gun lobby and its followers claim that laws designed to stop gun violence fail -- even in the recent wake of two white Americans using automatic rifles slaughtering 84 citizens and injuring hundreds more. Turn to Australia (a country with a similar gun culture) which in 1996, after a shooter killed 35 people, banned certain semi-automatic rifles and imposed stricter licensing and registration requirements. It also instituted a mandatory buyback program during which Australians sold 640,000 prohibited firearms to the government and voluntarily surrendered 60,000 non-prohibited firearms. The country’s gun law reforms resulted in more than a decade free of fatal mass shootings, and accelerated declines in firearm deaths, particularly suicides, studies confirmed. In contrast, there are 32,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. each year and 283 million guns in civilian hands. Yet in fear of a lobby (that donated $30 million to Donald Trump’s campaign) representing a 4 /


/ November 30, 2017

14 percent nuts and 51 percent other plant foods. Some of the tasty items include wild oranges, wild mangoes, two types of berries, sour plums, beans and melon. For years I have been fascinated by the Neanderthals, and I have a small library of books and articles attesting to their intelligence, ingenuity and perseverance in Ice Age Europe and Central Asia. Early estimates of the Neanderthal diet showed a very high level of protein consumption, so high that it would have proved toxic over time. The almost exclusive meat diet of the Intuit has a very high fat content, very different from the lean meat of the megafauna of Northern Europe. Pemmican, a mixture of rendered fat, dried berries, and pulverized dried meat, was the main portable food source for North American Indians. Biogeologists at the University of Tübingen have done an analysis of the collagen of Neanderthal bones, and they have discovered that the diet of these individuals would have been at least 20 per-

cent plant-based. Another study of dental plaque from two different sites in Belgium and Spain shows a dramatic contrast. The Belgian Neanderthals ate mostly wooly rhinoceroses and wild sheep, while their Spanish cousins consumed large amounts of moss, pine nuts, and mushrooms. Were these just “poor hunters,” as my friend’s bumper sticker mocks, or just healthier and smarter Neanderthals? Even more intriguing was evidence that these clever Spanish Neanderthals used plants for medicinal purposes. One jaw bone indicated that pain from an abscess had been relieved by salicylic acid (aspirin) extracted from the poplar tree. The same individual was also treating diarrhea with a mold that is the source of modern-day penicillin. A 2014 study analyzed fossilized fecal matter from El Salt, another Spanish Neanderthal site. This direct evidence clinched the theory that our ancient cousins were not exclusively meat eaters. Biomarkers for meat and plants

were found in a 2-1 ratio, and a good deal of this plant material was from tubers in addition to above-ground plants. Neanderthals would have had digging sticks in addition to spears. One of my favorite Far Side cartoons by the ever-zany Gary Larson is entitled “Vegetarians Home from the Hunt.” It shows a gaggle of Paleolithic men carrying a carrot the size of a truck. Yes, there were many huge animals, but there were no mega vegetables of the sort we buy at the supermarket. Writing for National Geographic, Rebecca Rupp explains: “Ancient tomatoes were the size of berries [as I once observed them on a Galapagos island], and potatoes were no bigger than peanuts. Cucumbers were spiny as sea urchins; lettuce was bitter and prickly. Carrots were scrawny.” We can imagine that Neanderthal males were great grill masters, but we now have evidence that they also boiled their meat as well. Drawing on evidence of boiled grains and boiled bones, Universi-

ty of Michigan archaeologist John Speth believes that this was done in either hide pouches or birch bark containers. As Speth explains: “You can boil in just about anything as long as you take it off the flame pretty quickly,” or a slow boil over coals. He enhances his argument by noting that Neanderthals must have boiled the pitch they used to haft their spear tips. In addition to worshiping animal spirits, a la Jean Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear, Neanderthals surely gave thanks to Mother Earth as well. So, we can imagine that on an auspicious day of this season, men carved the meat, the women chopped scrawny but nutritious vegetables and they dropped them in a birch bark “pot.” They then would have had a hearty stew for a Neanderthal Thanksgiving.

minority of Americans, our Congressional lawmakers do nothing. It turns out that most Americans and most gun owners want some type of gun regulations and they want better enforcement. Whether you believe statistics or not, gun laws do save lives.

Blodgett Piper and Nancy Foster Renk. Thank you to Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant and Trinity at City Beach for the delicious treats. Washington Trust Bank (Raina Delema) made sure we had an extra large cake decorated beautifully, although we decided to forgo the 90 candles. Our trip down memory lane began with a photo of FC and Adella Weskil and the showing of a short clip from the very first movie ever shown at the Panida, ‘Now We’re in the Air’. It had been lost and only recently recovered and restoration in still in progress on the film. The evening included talent to highlight each decade. The Panida thanks Harold’s IGA and David Gunter with his ukulele for kicking off the ‘20s and the ‘30s in song as well as Deanna Benton and Morgan Gariepy for vintage dances we still enjoy. Joellie Heneise performed two numbers beautifully, and one was to pay tribute to all of the volunteers that have kept and continue to keep the Panida humming. The acting talents of Dean Thomas and Eric Bond delighted in a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life” that has been shown as a movie and performed on the stage in a reader’s theatre in

years prior. Miriam Robinson in her best ‘Marilyn’ gave a sweet happy birthday song tribute. Jennifer Chastain delivered an outstanding ‘50s song and then an acting tribute to the Jerk by Dean again. The ‘60s were made extra special with Oak Street Connection (Chrystle Horvath and Sam Cornett). Sadie Sicilia and Mike Wagoner helped us pay tribute to the great legends who have performed on the Panida stage as they performed a song from Joan Baez and one from Bonnie Raitt. A moving moment played out for those who worked to save the Panida including a tribute to Jane Evans, Laurel Wagers, and Susan Bates-Harbuck. Deanna and special pianist Bud riveted in the musical theatre tribute. The film clips and pictures gathered over the last 90 years of material was artfully put together by Becky Revak and Joshua Vest. Megan Isabelle White was a huge help with costuming, Mark Watson with sound, Bill Lewis with lighting and Robert Moore with stage managing. Special commemorative mugs are for sale in the lobby and gave us a great way to continue to celebrate. Thank you to Allergale Design, Janis Linnan, Becky Revak

and Nancy Renk for that touch. Thank you to all in the community who continue to support the Panida Theater. To the current and past board members who are given the huge task of fundraising to keep the doors open and building ready; to the staff, past and present, who work tirelessly in order to keep the events happening and keep it shining including past executive directors Karen Bowers, Barry Bonifas, Deb McShane and Karen Briggs. It is a daunting task at times to keep the doors open and the marquee lit up, and I am grateful to this community, and I am always aware we ride on the shoulders of giants. Let us continue to honor F.C. Weskil’s vision and continue to celebrate engaging movies, great concerts, captivating dance performances, the magic of live theatre, the joy of comedy and above all the spirit of the Panida that lives through all of us. It will take a great deal to keep it going, but it’s worth it. With sincere gratitude,

James W. Ramsey Sandpoint

Deepest Gratitude... Dear Editor, Ninety years of entertaining Sandpoint was highlighted last Saturday by a very talented crew, a handful of staff and volunteers and enjoyed by a special audience of those reminiscing and celebrating the evening. The celebration started with a special art show reception in the Panida Little Theatre with art present and past that included the Panida (thank you artists). Thank you to coordinators Carol J. Kovalchuk and Nan E. Cooper for doing a spectacular job. Rainie Conley made it look festive with gold 90th highlight decorations including balloons from Sharon’s Hallmark, and she was assisted by Lynn

Nick Gier of Moscow taught philosophy at the University of Idaho for 31 years. Read the full version at He can be reached at

Patricia Walker Executive Director Sandpoint


Truth in Short Supply...

On the Lake:

A column about lake issues by the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper

‘What’s that sound? It’s the largest crude oil by rail proposal in America going down’ By Shannon Williamson Reader Columnist

Tuesday marked a huge victory for advocates of clean water — like me. And people that dislike sitting in their cars at blocked at-grade rail crossings. And people that enjoy prompt emergency response. And people that aren’t a fan of rail-driven noise pollution. And people that prefer their property values to increase rather than decrease. And perhaps most significantly, people that very much dislike exploding tank cars. More on this later. What makes a victorious day for all of these people? Well, the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) unanimously recommended denying permitting of the Tesoro Savage crude oil by rail terminal in Vancouver, Wash. THIS. IS. HUGE. The proposed Tesoro Savage facility would have been the largest in America, processing 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day. If approved, that would mean that an additional five full oil trains would roll through Sandpoint and along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille EACH DAY. This proposal alone would more than double the volume of oil train traffic that we currently experience. For those of you that may not be familiar with the review process for a proposed energy facility of this magnitude, suffice it to say that it’s thorough. Which means it takes a really long time. The application for the proposed facility was originally submitted in 2013. A scoping phase, where public comments were collected, led to the publication of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in 2015. Public comment on the DEIS concluded in January 2016, and these comments were used to inform the Final EIS, which was released on November 21 of this year. All in all, over 300,000 people voiced their opposition to the project. That’s a lot of people. EFSEC is a Washington State agency

Shannon Williamson. tasked with carrying out this permitting process for large energy projects in accordance with the Washington State Environmental Protection Act (SEPA). In the Final EIS, EFSEC found four key areas where the Tosoro Savage project would cause “significant and unavoidable harm”. These areas included seismic hazards (from fracking), rail and pedestrian accidents, traffic delays at at-grade crossings and disproportionate impacts to minority and low-income populations. Based on these findings, EFSEC members UNANIMOUSLY recommended that Gov. Jay Inslee, who has the final say, deny permitting the project. Inslee has 60 days to make a

Wanting clarity from Avista... Dear Editor, Avista is increasing electric rates for North Idaho, saying it’s to “cover costs accumulated in 2016.” However, another testimony claims it’s planning to spend $24.2 million between 2017 and 2019 on additions to Colstrip, a coal-fired power plant in Montana. So, which is it? And what is being “added” to this coal plant? Avista is not forthcoming with any details about this investment. The coal question of this area is prudent — nature is the primary reason I choose to live in North Idaho, as it is for most people I know. It would deeply sadden me to find that I am inadvertently contributing to the ongoing destruction of our environment and pollution

decision once it’s in his hands. While nobody can predict the future, it’s not looking good for Tesoro Savage given Inslee’s record on environmental issues. However, stranger things have happened, like the ending of “Shutter Island.” Needless to say, all eyes are now turned on Inslee. For everyone that shared their concerns about oil train traffic through our community, thank you. Oil trains pose numerous hazards to our overall quality of life, but perhaps the most frightening is their propensity to turn into giant fire balls upon derailment or accidental impact. This is a real thing that took the lives of 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Canada in 2013. A derailment in Mosier, Ore., in 2016 along the banks of the Columbia River resulted in evacuation and oil leaking into the water when four cars caught fire. We don’t need these risks or any of the other risks that come along with oil trains here, and it looks like we may get to breathe a little easier in the (hopefully) near future. Shannon Williamson is the executive director of Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper and also serves as Sandpoint City Council president. of the air we breathe. My reporting with Sandy Compton of the coal pile spontaneously igniting at Heron, Mont., this summer, a month after the derailment, is a spectacular example of what can go wrong! I would like to know if this significant Avista expense is not better spent supporting renewable energy? Don’t we, the customers, have a say in this? At least we have the right to know what we’re investing in. There is a public hearing on this Thursday Nov. 30, 6-8 p.m., Midtown Center Meeting Room, 1505 N 5th St., Coeur d’Alene. Please, let’s all speak up and demand more transparency and advocate for energy resources we believe in! Marjolein Groot Nibbelink Sandpoint

Dear Editor, Truth was in short supply at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, held at Community Hall on Friday, Nov. 17. Out of sheer curiosity, I attended the meeting, having braced myself against what I knew would be an onslaught of tired, shopworn, left-wing/progressive dogma. I wasn’t disappointed. I sat through two hours of a slick, well-oiled, multimedia presentation given to a docile, pre-sold audience of about 100. Early in the confab one of the presenters asked some in the audience how they felt about the fires this summer, particularly all the days of thick, choking smoke. A microphone was passed around and a few sad tales emerged. The heat, the fires, the wind, the smoke, the lack of rain, and the fact your chickens weren’t laying eggs were all due to climate change, so the narrative went. Unfortunately, this is where Citizens’ Climate Lobby loses credibility. Inconvenienced as they might have been, the people who spoke were reacting to weather-related events, not a change in climate. Yet, for CCL, this became a selling point. Nutty weather is now proof of climate change. The Big Lie is that an excess amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is responsible for our changing climate. What changing climate? Call me when they’re water skiing and swimming in the lake on New Year’s day. There is no proof. There is supposition, there are computer models, there are patterns perceived where none exist. There is a fossil record, and rings around trees. There are rocks with stories to tell, and secrets to be learned from 1,000-year-old ice. But aside from volcanic eruptions, the smoke and soot from which can increase CO2 and block the sun, thereby causing a drop in temperature, there is no proof that the presence of carbon dioxide by itself is responsible for raising or lowering global temperatures, let alone cause a change in climate. And yet, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, with its whacky “Carbon Fee and Dividend” being touted by its hundreds of chapters throughout the U.S., is willing to assist in starting an inflationary depression just because of a blind subservience to an unproven scientific theory. Don’t be fooled. This rapidly growing movement to levy a carbon tax on our economy has little to do with climate change and everything to do with social change. Cort Gifford Sandpoint

Got something to say? Write a letter to the editor at Under 400 words, and please elevate the discussion. November 30, 2017 /


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The Library and the Museum bring fairy tales to Sandpoint By Reader Staff

Bouquets: • FOUND on Saturday evening (Nov 25) at the corner of Main and Second Ave. (near the Music Conservatory): a necklace. Identify to claim 208-610-4285. • I’ve always believed that communication is the key to understanding. No matter what side of the aisle you fall on or what your faith is – if we keep the lines of communication open, we refuse to let fear and ignorance be the talking points of the day. I want to thank all those who have responded to our requests for interview and comments during this series on the Redoubt. It has been a fascinating experience understanding this movement from an intellectual point of view. To those who have shot down or completely ignored our requests for comment (a long list which includes several of our elected officials), my only response is that I am disappointed in their lack of backbone. • I want to thank one of our most passionate contributors, Jodi Rawson. Whether it’s her dynamic cover paintings or interesting articles, Jodi makes a concerted effort to add to the Reader with everything she does. We appreciate your hard work, Jodi.

Barbs: • I wish there was some way to explain to our president that calling someone “Pocahontas” in a pejorative way is not only offensive, but is the tell-tale sign of a small mind at work. I wish there was also a way to explain that retweeting graphic anti-Muslim videos from a known extremist hate group from Britain is not OK. I wish there was also some way to explain to him that Barack Obama was, indeed, born in the United States, that climate change isn’t a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, that those terrible words he spoke on the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape are indeed his own. I fear we are watching an American president slip further into the darkness. All this at a time when North Korea claims they’ve achieved their goal to become a nuclear state able to strike anywhere in the U.S. These are indeed scary times in which we live, and I have no faith in the skipper. 6 /


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A young man recently visited the Bonner County Historical Museum’s temporary exhibit, “Once Upon a Time in Bonner County.” One of the displays featured a familiar sewing notion set, and as he looked more closely, he discovered that it had belonged to his grandmother. He recalled the teddy bear that his grandmother mended for him with the set and even found the very thread that she used. As museum curator, Heather Upton lives for moments like these, when she gets to witness the powerful impact that historical artifacts have on others. “At the museum, we believe objects are natural story tellers. They help us visualize the past and see events as something tangible and relatable. The exhibit, ‘Once Upon a Time in Bonner County’ was an opportunity to give everyday objects a chance to tell a new story through a great visual experience. I hope this exhibit will inspire a whole

new audience to come see the museum that have never been in before and see how exciting and fun history can be,” she said. The museum’s First Free Saturday on Dec. 2 is the perfect time, and possibly one of the last to enjoy the exhibit because it will be changing after the first of the year. Museum Coordinator Cassi Marler advises that people take advantage of the opportunity to experience the groundbreaking exhibit for free, thanks to this month’s sponsor Marilyn Sabella. The museum is hosting a special guest for this fairy tale-themed First Free Saturday. Children’s Services Librarian Suzanne Davis will be on site for a Fairy Tale Story Time. Known for her animated story telling and expertise on early literacy, Davis’ readings are a family favorite.

The ‘Once Upon a Time in Bonner County’ exhibit at the Bonner County History Museum. Photo courtesy BCHS / Facebook. “At the museum we love partnerships and we are so excited to be teaming up with the library to highlight our magical exhibit,” Marler said. Bring the whole family to tour the collection that curator Heather Upton reimagines into popular fairy tales while expe-

A magical Christmas event for all ages By Reader Staff Ask around and you’ll hear that many Sandpoint families cherish the Sandpoint Waldorf School’s Christmas Faire and Children’s Festival among the many celebrations leading up to Christmas. The joy and magic of the Waldorf Faire is truly heartwarming. If you haven’t experienced this yet, now is your chance! On Saturday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., you will find a school transformed by the magic of Christmas. Among the fun activities scheduled throughout the day include the puppet show, “The Cobweb Christmas,” which promises to be absolutely magical. The show will be performed by gifted teachers using handmade scenery and marionettes and will play three times throughout the day: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Children are also invited

to enter the Crystal Cave into a twinkling world of wonder. There will be a craft-making room with face painting and beeswax candles. A kids-only store will feature donated items where children may buy gifts for their family members with just a dollar or two per gift. A parents-only silent auction with gently used toys and treasures will close bidding at 3:30 p.m. On the lower level, the arts and crafts fair will feature over 20 local artisan and craft vendor booths. There will be homemade soups, quiches, Caesar salad and rolls for lunch, with homemade cinnamon rolls for brunch, roasted chestnuts and a gourmet dessert cafe. Warm, spicy homemade Chai will also be served. The Christmas Faire is open and free to all. Tickets to attend the puppet shows and craft making are only $1 each. Plan to spend the whole day since there

riencing magical story telling and complimentary cookies and punch. The museum is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and is located at 611 S. Ella Avenue in Sandpoint. The Story Time is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, contact the museum at (208) 263-2344.

Community Ski Day to benefit CCS By Ben Olson Reader Staff

Waldorf School nursery teacher Miriam Greiser practices “The Cobweb Christmas” puppet show. Photo by Tricia Sullivan.

is so much to see and do. Call the Sandpoint Waldorf School at (208) 265-2683, or visit www. for more information.

Want a cheap lift ticket to Schweitzer Mountain Resort? Want to also help out an amazing local nonprofit? You’re in luck, my friends. Friday, Dec. 8, is Community Ski Day at Schweitzer, where $10 buys you a lift ticket all day - with 100 percent of the money going to nonprofit Community Cancer Services. “Community Day means a lot for many people who work at Schweitzer,” said Schweitzer marketing manager Dig Chrismer. “It’s a win-win for people who want to get out on the mountain and still give to great causes.” Last season, Community Ski Day raised $23,750 for Bonner Partners in Care and Community Cancer Services.



Thoughts on the nature of conformity and tribalism By Tim Bearly Reader Contributor


f we could take Doc Emmett Brown’s DeLorean back in time — now I’m talking way back, back to the days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors — then we would witness firsthand the evolutionary history of our tribalistic nature. Like other primates, our predecessors were more likely to survive and pass on their genes if they belonged to a group. Accordingly, the evolutionary selection process favored those who had a strong proclivity to belong. Unfortunately the desire to belong to a tribe appears to go hand in hand with another evolutionary adaptation: a hostility toward other tribes. Though we are the descendants of those who loved and cared for the members of their own group, which is a noble quality, we are also the descendants of those who viciously slaughtered members of other groups in order to expand their own territory or capture females for mating. Sound familiar? It should. Because this is the double-edged sword of our evolutionary past. It may not always be a pretty sight, but it is through the prism of our ancestry that we can get a better glimpse and understanding of our own thoughts and actions. Scroll to the comments section beneath any article regarding politics, and you will soon find yourself bombarded with narrow-minded attacks

from partisans on every front – Obama is a communist, Trump is a Nazi and so on. They aren’t very concerned with truth telling, but instead act as shills for the party to which they belong. They typically grant amnesty to members of their own group for the same transgressions that they demonize the opposition for. Unbeknownst to them, these zealots are exhibiting many of the vestiges of our primitive forebears. Sectarian hostility is not exclusive to any group, it is a fundamental characteristic of all groups (albeit it does not always manifest with the same level of aggression and closed-mindedness). That is because we are all the progeny of primates who — by necessity — banded together into highly interdependent groups, and developed a rugged in-group and out-group disposition. Tribalism can be benign or malignant. In modern times, the out-group can be another nation, race, gender, class, sports team, political party, religion and virtually any other group that one does not belong to. When Turner Field fills with 30,000 fans — all dressed up in red and navy blue, and chanting and gesticulating the Tomahawk Chop in unison — it’s all just good clean fun. Although this is a rather innocuous example of tribalism, it is this same “us-versus-them” tribal loyalty and group cohesiveness that can lead to large-

scale atrocities. When fused with a herd mentality — where individuals have no capacity to think rationally and independently — a benign tribe can swiftly turn savage. Wars can be waged, members of opposing groups can be brutally tortured and massacred. Such is the case throughout human history. Final summation: It’s okay to be a sports fan, just don’t become a soccer fan. I mean, Yikes! Those guys can get pretty passionate about their team. “Hey, that guy isn’t singing ‘Ole Ole Ole’ with the rest of us. Tar and feather him!” When an individual holds an opinion that is contrary to the consensus of his tribe, he is often shunned or ostracized. Being alone, without the protection of a group means that the individual is less likely to survive and pass on his DNA. Indeed, conformity and obedience are also beneficial adaptations. This explains why people have a such a strong propensity to adhere to the beliefs and customs of the group. This perhaps also explains why so few seem to have the courage to go against the grain of public opinion. Identity politics is, of course, another form of tribalism. Whether this phenomenon is healthy or unhealthy depends on a few factors. Identity groups, like other social groups, tend to be exclusionary, not inclusionary. It is not uncommon for a group that protests injustice to turn a blind eye to the injustice

another group faces. Moreover, a group that ostensibly opposes racism and discrimination will sometimes engage in similar behavior that its members protest against. Some feminists, perhaps as a result of staring into Nietzsche’s abyss for too long, often end up with so much contempt for men that they inadvertently become much like the misogynists they hate. This is not an attack on feminism or any other particular identity group, but a caution against combative, unconscious and dogmatic tribalism, which inhibits us from thinking objectively and independently. Being part of an identity group shouldn’t require that you assume the guilt or innocence of someone based on what identity group they belong to. Is the black man innocent? Is the police officer guilty? If you really want the answer to that question then you must learn to withhold your judgment until more evidence is gathered, and resist your tribal instinct to defend your own side (black lives, blues lives.) at all costs. How dangerous an identity movement becomes depends on how much of a capacity the members of the group have to think for themselves. Without this capacity, it can easily spiral into a French Revolution-style mob mentality. Some conservatives like to talk about identity politics as though it’s an exclusively liberal fetish (i.e. women, minori-

ties, the poor). But no party has a monopoly on identity politics. Political parties simply pander to different identity groups — for conservatives it’s business owners, Christians, soldiers, policemen, the rich. This is the essence of politicking: appealing to certain demographic groups, and capitalizing on their tribal antipathy. The skilled, Machiavellian demagogue cunningly turns tribe against tribe, all the while proclaiming that we should all “come together and unite as one.” Notwithstanding the often destructive outcome of our ingroup / out-group psychology, to reduce our sense of belongingness to a pejorative “tribalism” would be a mistake. Rejecting our collectivist nature in favor of a more “rugged individualism” would doom our species to failure. Our survival depends on our willingness to work together with the other members of our community. Tribalism has been, and continues to be, a fundamental characteristic of our species. We are highly social, highly interdependent beings. But we are also rational beings. And our survival depends not only on our willingness to collaborate with the tribe, but our ability to question and challenge the prevailing opinions of the tribe. Because we all belong to tribes that can, more often than we care to admit, become red in tooth and claw. November 30, 2017 /


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Smelter meeting in Newport raises a stink By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Writer

The bleachers were full in Newport High School’s gym Wednesday night as representatives from HiTest Sand gave a presentation and took questions regarding the company’s proposed Newport silicon smelter plant. HiTest representative Tim Thompson said the goal of the gathering was an “exchange of information,” not a night to seek any agreements. He also emphasized that while HiTest has purchased 186 acres south of Newport, they are just starting the permitting process and there are no set-in-stone plans to build the plant just yet. “I hope we can be respectful of differences of opinion,” he said. “Let’s do this as if we were sitting around a very large table and we are entertaining a very large, dynamic family.” HiTest President Jayson Tymko explained how the plant would produce silicon through a process that uses only rock, coal and woodchips — no chemicals, he said. He soon after brought up a list of 150 job opportunities the plant would provide, both general and managerial

positions, including projected salaries and required education levels. “Most of our jobs are for locals,” Tymko said, noting that HiTest will likely bring in 10 to 12 people with experience to lead shifts for the first 18 months of operation. Tymko reminded attendees that while several expressed concern about the various county commissioners’ stances on the smelter plant, they aren’t the officials who make the ultimate decisions. “They truly do not have the ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” he said. “It’s more so at the state and federal level — they are the holders of the permits, and without those permits we cannot proceed.” Those permits, administered by both the state and federal entities, address air quality, storm water management and much more. “We wanted people to have as much third-party information to be able to validate what we say,” he said. “We’re not trying to confuse anyone. We’re just trying to present the facts.” The audience then heard from other HiTest reps, including a specialist in air quality permitting and the company’s chief operating

Meeting attendees line up to voice their thoughts on the proposed smelter. Photo by Lyndsie Kiebert. officer, as well as reps from the Washington State Department of Commerce and State Department of Health. The group was then approached by several audience members with questions and comments, most of which were for HiTest. Concerns centered largely around air quality, property values and whether the company would seek input from Idaho residents seeing as HiTest’s Newport property

Kalispel Tribe passes resolution opposing smelter By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff

The Kalispel Tribal Council unanimously passed a resolution Monday opposing the construction of a proposed Newport smelter. Citing its close proximity to the reservation and its projected environmental impact, the tribal council said it intends to resist the smelter construction 8 /


/ November 30, 2017

and called for “its governmental and community partners to do the same.” According to the resolution, the smelter would be build in Newport 11 miles away from the reservation. Data provided by HiTest Sand, which is seeking the smelter’s construction, indicates it would emit 320,000 tons of greenhouses gases, 760 tons of sulfur dioxide and 700 tons of nitrogen dioxide each

year, the resolution states. Under those conditions, the tribal council believes there are more environmentally friendly means of promoting economic growth in Pend Oreille County. “This amount of air pollution poses unacceptable risks to the health, culture and natural resources of the Kalispel Tribe and all Reservation residents,” the resolution reads.

borders the state line. The crowd expressed support and disdain for those making public comment with applause and the occasional yell. Rick Kramer of Sagle asked Tymko why the company would bother hauling quartz, which comes from Canada, all the way to Idaho for processing rather than just keeping the plant north of the

border as well. Tymko said no location HiTest looked into in Canada were as ideal as the Newport property, noting again that if people are concerned about environmental impact they should look to HiTest’s decision to set up shop in Washington. “If we were polluting, Washington is the last state we’d approach,” he said.

Public invited to Festival annual meeting By Ben Olson Reader Staff The Festival at Sandpoint’s annual meeting is set for 5 p.m.7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Pend d’Oreille Winery. There will be a Sip n’ Shop event where 10 percent of all purchases that evening will benefit the nonprofit music festival. Festival organizers will recap the organization’s 35th annual season and highlight their plans for 2018. Early Bird Season Passes are now on sale for the Festival’s 36th annual summer concert

series, Aug. 2 – 12, for $199 (plus sales tax and city park fee) for all eight nights of music at Memorial Field. If any passes remain, the price will increase to $259 on Dec. 1. The full line-up will be announced on April 27. There are less than 100 season passes left of the 700 annually available for the popular summer music festival. The Festival also reminds supporters that if they make an annual contribution to the nonprofit organization by Dec. 31, they will receive a tax deduction for 2017.


CFHS students raise 500 pounds of school supplies for Houston school

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Writer Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School teacher KC MacDonald wanted to do something to help after Hurricane Harvey. With the help of students at his own school and others in the district, he decided to raise and send school supplies to a school in need. “When I started this project, I thought I would only get a couple of boxes, (and) send the stuff by mail and surprise some school,” he said. But 500 pounds of school supplies later, his idea had grown into something entirely different. When sending the supplies by mail was no longer an option, a new step in the idea material-

Jessup Elementary fourth graders helped get supplies out of the trailer. Photo includes Texas Veterans, Jessup Elementary Principal, school counselor and KC MacDonald. Courtesy photo. ized: get together a network of veterans to drive the supplies in a U-Haul from Idaho to Texas. “It is amazing what people will do to help others,” Mac said. “I am changed forever by the thought that crazy ideas can become a reality.” MacDonald was in Houston at Jessup Elementary when the school supplies were delivered. He said the compassion he and his students wanted to convey was apparent to Jessup’s students and staff. “It is not about markers, pencils or paper,” MacDonald said. “They know people from all over the United States care

about them and what they went through.” CFHS’s students received updates as the school supplies made their journey, and MacDonald said the seriousness of their act of kindness was not lost on them. “I have seen some things from our students that have blown my mind,” MacDonald said. MacDonald said he hopes to visit Jessup Elementary “from time to time.” “I invited them all to come visit our little piece of heaven,” he added.

November 30, 2017 /


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Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist


We, as humans, organize things neatly. We put labels on things, stick them in folders, put them in nice, tidy rows so we know where they came from, what they do and where they should be going. We know a lot about the animals of our world, and we put them into their own little boxes, too. Then there’s the platypus. What in the… How did… Why in the… Does it.. What?? Where do you even start?! A platypus is a furry mammal. It lays eggs, has a duck bill, a beaver tail, the feet of an otter and it’s also one of the only venomous mammals on Earth. Perhaps the weirdest thing about it is that it’s perfectly adapted for its environment. There is this idea in evolutionary biology called convergent evolution, where unrelated species will adapt similar or identical traits when living in similar conditions for very long periods of time. Sharks and dolphins both have dorsal fins, for example, because it’s a hydrodynamic stabilizer (stops them from rolling in the water), but they are completely unrelated animals. Deer around the world are another good example. Again, there is the platypus. Other animals live in similar conditions to the platypus, shallow wooded streams and ponds, and beavers are somewhat similar, but also very different. Basically, nature does whatever in the heck nature wants to do, and if nature doesn’t want to go home because it’s drunk on platypus juice, nature isn’t going anywhere. Let’s talk some more about the weirdness of the platypus. We’ll start with its name. Platypus is a Latin conversion of the Greek word: platupous. That’s just a fancy way of saying 10 /


/ November 30, 2017

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flat-footed, which it is. Though you’ve heard people call multiples “platypi”, this is actually incorrect. This is a Latinization of a Greek word. There is no defined pluralism for more than one platypus, but the most generally accepted are: platypuses, platypus, or platypodes if you want to get your Greek on. If you’ve ever looked at a close-up image of a platypus’ feet, it looks like a cross between a Freddy Krueger nightmare and a duck foot. The webbing helps it be flexible and fast in the water, while the bony structure keeps it stable on land. There is a spur on the hind legs that is connected to a venom gland deeper in its body. The venom isn’t lethal to humans, but it sure does hurt! As everyone knows, platypus have bills like a duck. It doesn’t quack, but this bill is actually pretty awesome. The platypus uses special sensors in its bill to detect electrical fields through water that are emitted when the platypus’ prey moves its muscles. We use a similar electrical sensor for the SawStop. That’s an addition to a tablesaw that is equipped to an electrical sensor and a rigging that moves the sawblade. Flesh can hold an electrical charge, while wood can’t, so the split second flesh connects with the metal, the rigging pulls the blade down into the table and away from your finger. If you were wiggling your finger in the water, a platypus could locate it with that similar sensor, but at a distance. The weirdness starts at birth. Or hatching. They’re one of the only mammals that lays eggs. All mammals have eggs, but most incubate at a cellular level inside of the mother. Platypodes do that for about a month, then plop out leathery eggs that incubate for another week and a half or so before the young hatch. Could you imagine if humans did that? How different would our maternity wards be if we pooped out eggs after

six months of gestation? So weird. Another strange feature of the platypus is that it’s a carnivore without teeth. Ever see granny tear into a steak? Unlike your granny, the platypus will shovel up gravel while it feeds, using the sharpened bits like makeshift teeth as it mashes its food in its mouth and cheek pouches. While the lack of teeth

may be an evolutionary flaw in a list of oddball quirks, its ingenuity is certainly no mistake. As far as mammals go, the platypus is definitely the odd man out. If it teaches us anything, it’s that all of our neat, tidy and orderly boxes sometimes can’t contain the strangeness of nature. Also, you learned how a SawStop works today, so that’s a bonus!

Random Corner als?

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• The peacock mantis shrimp can throw a punch at 50 m.p.h., accelerating quicker than a .22-calibur bullet. • The chevrotain is an animal that looks like a tiny deer with fangs. • Only the males are called peacocks. The females are called peahens. • Dragonflies and damselflies form a heart with their tails when they mate. • Tigers have striped skin and fur. Each pattern is as unique as a fingerprint. • A grizzly bear’s bite is strong enough to crush a bowling ball. • Animal behaviorists have concluded that cats don’t meow as a way to communicate with each other. It’s a method they use for getting attention from humans. • Flamingos are naturally white. Their diet of brine shrimp and algae turns them pink. • Alberta, British Columbia, is the largest rat-free populated area in the world. • Male ring-railed lemurs will “stink fight” by wafting scent at each other. • In 1924, a labrador retriever was sentenced to life without parole at Eastern State Penitentiary for killing the governor’s cat. • Nine-banded armadillos always give birth to identical quadruplets. • Cats don’t taste sugar. They don’t have sweet taste buds. • Birds are immune to the heat of chili peppers. • A narwhal tusk is actually an exaggerated front left tooth, and unlike most teeth, it’s soft and sensitive on the outside with a tough interior. • Wombat poop is cube-shaped. • According to Time, the annual number of worldwide shark bites is 10 times less than the number of people bitten by other people in New York.

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owed by a the ll o f r e d a e y double-hwildlife biologist for hris r a t n e m u c s for a do uring Bart George, life biologist; and C u n i o j e m o C ssion feat arren, fish and wild e Lands Council. u c s i d l e n a p be; Chris Wogram director at Th i r t l e p s li a K ildlife pr w , n a m h c a B Tickets by donation available at the door and on Eventbrite. More info at 12 /


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5 6 7

Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Good until the keg’s dry

KPND Thursday Night Football Party 5:30pm @ 219 Lounge Watch the Cowboys take on the Redskins with host Bob Witte giving away tons of prizes from area restaurants, concerts tickets, WSU football tickets, KPND new music samplers, and much more. Drink specials, plus food by Mandala Pizza

Live Music w/ Ben and Cadie 5-7pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Multi-instrumental duo Live Music w/ Devon Wade 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Sandpoint country artist Live Music w/ Mostly Harmless 6-8pm @ Cedar St. Bridge Wine Bar

Live Music w/ Steve Neff Duo 5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Steve is back with guest Jesse Ahmann and his cello Live Music at the Farmhouse 5:30-7:30pm @ The Farmhouse Featuring Rick Steiner on keyboard and Tom D’Orazi on guitar

Jack Frost Fest 5pm @ Panida Theater Four great bands will be playing in the Panida Theater: BareGrass, Sasha Bell Band, Moonshine Mountain, and Shakewell Live Comedy Show 8pm @ 219 Lounge Live Music w/ The Groove Black Headliner Lonnie Bruhn joins 7:30pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Jamal Harrington and host Waldorf Christmas Faire and Morgan Preston for a night of Children’s Festival 10am-4pm @ Sandpoint Waldorf School live comedy at the Niner. $10/ advance, $12/at door Fun all day with puppet shows, crafts, food and so much more!

Live Music w/ Justin Lantrip 5:30-7:30pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Souful singer-songwriter Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs and Chris Lynch 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Guitar piano duo

Sandpoint Chess Club 9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee Game Night at the Niner 9pm @ 219 Lounge


Festival 4-6pm @ Three day en. Thurs to the pub family to Santa, an Pray for Snow 5-10pm @ 219 Snacks and sk Barrel Brewin cials, great priz skis and a snow music by the In ing Dookie Bro

Live comedy at the 2 8pm @ 219 Lounge Live comedy night w er Lonnie Bruhn, fe mal Harrington and h Preston. $10/advance Breakfast with Sant 8-11am @ Spt. Comm Enjoy pancakes, scra ham, coffee, orange j cocoa, and get a pict big guy himself! $1 kids, with proceeds Sandpoint Teen Cente

Global Fat Bike Day +1 12pm @ Schweitzer Roundabout Group fat bike rides leave the Roundabout at noon. Rental bikes available from Greasy Fingers. 208-255-4496

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KPND Monday Night Football Party Host Bob Witte will have tons of prize tickets, KPND new music samplers, an Tuesday Backgammon Tournament Night Out Karaoke LPOW Annual Meeting 9pm @ 219 Lounge 5pm @ Laughing Dog Brewery 5:30pm @ LPOW office (10 Don’t listen to the The tournament takes place every Learn more about Lake Pen with beer specials and prizes keepr and their work to pro others - you actually Tuesday Bonner Mall Seniors Day have a lovely voice other local waterways. Refre 9am-12pm @ Bonner Mall Monday Night Blues Jam w/ Truck Mills 7:30pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

“Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribous Rainforest” film 6-8pm @ Panida Theater Sandpoint local Scott Rulander’s latest film highlights the environmental needs of the Inland Northwest by examining the threatened world of the endangered mountain caribou. Film followed by a panel discussion Dollar Beers! 8pm @ Eichardt’s Pub Good until the keg’s dry

Local Weavers Art Opening 5-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority Check out the amazing creations our local weavers have made. Complimentary appetizers will be served.

3D Printing Wor 4pm @ Clark For Explore the poten this beginner clas

Alzheimer’s Supp 1-2pm @ Sandpoin Families, caregiver Alzheimer’s, deme are welcome to atte respite care at the D


November 30 - December 7, 2017

A weekly entertainment guide to keep you on your toes. To list your event free, please send an email to Reader recommended

Festival of Trees (Family Night) “Murder on the Orient Express” film 4-6pm @ Bonner County Fairgrounds 7:30pm @ Panida Theater Three days of events that will benefit Kinderhav- From the novel by the best-selling author Agatha en. Thursday night is Family Night, which is open Christie, the film tells the tale of 13 strangers to the public and free of charge. Bring the whole stranded on a train where everyone’s a suspect family to the Fairgrounds for hot cocoa, cookies, Santa, and enjoy all the magically decorated trees CDA Symphony December Concert for Snow Party Backcountry Film Festival 7:30pm @ Salvation Army Kroc Center pm @ 219 Lounge 6pm @ Panida Theater The Saturday concert caters to families ks and ski videos, 10 A nighty of award-winning films, and there will be a reception afterward l Brewing beer spe- auctions, raffles and fun to help raise great prizes including money for the SnowSchool ExperiChristmas Piano Concert w/ Del Parkinson nd a snowboard. Live ence Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and 6:30pm @ Memorial Community Center c by the Incredible Fly- Education (SOLE) hosts in Sandpoint. Del will be performing classical Christmas ookie Brothers at 9pm Great fun adna great cause. tunes and others. Free and open to all! Meet and Greet for Jim Woodward, Mike Beock CDA Symphony December Concert dy at the 219 12-2pm @ Sandpoint Elks Golf Course 2pm @ Salvation Army Kroc Center Lounge dy night with headlin- Outgoing State Sen. Shawn Keough is hosting a Holiday Ball Bruhn, featuring Ja- meet and greet for Jim Woodward, who is run- 7-10pm @ Sandpoint Community Hall gton and host Morgan ning for state sen. District 1, seat A. Also attend- Tango lessons taught by professional 0/advance, $12/door ing is Mike Boeck, running for state Rep. District instructors. Singles and couples wel1A. Bonners Ferry meeting at Mugsy’s at 11 a.m. come. Semi-formal. $6/USA Dance with Santa members, $9/non-members, $5/teens Spt. Community Hall Artworks Gallery Holiday Open House Democrats Holiday Party akes, scrambled eggs, 4-7pm @ Artworks Gallery 6pm @ The Heartwood Center , orange juice and hot A free holiday open house to meet 20+ artists Hosted by the Bonner County Demoget a picture with the and explore the art scene in Sandpoint crats, with lasagna dinner provide by mself! $10 adults, $5 Museum’s Free First Saturday Ivano’s for $15 - RSVP (208)304-2995 proceeds benefiting 10am-2pm @ Bonner Co. History Museum Cedar St. Bridge Public Market Check out the new exhibits free of charge! Teen Center 10am-2pm @ Cedar St. Bridge POAC presents: “The Nutcracker” • 7pm @ Panida Theater This time-honored community tradition is a kick-off to the holiday sea seaRent- son when local ballet students join Eugene Ballet Company’s profession496 al dancers onstage in Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet.

ball Party • 5:30pm @ 219 Lounge s of prizes to give away from area restaurants, concerts tickets, WSU football mplers, and much more. Drink specials, plus food by Mandala Pizza

Meeting office (100 Cedar St.) Lake Pend Oreille Waterork to protect the lake and ays. Refreshments served

Festival At Sandpoint Sip & Shop 4-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Proceeds benefitting the Festival at Sandpoint. Open to the public! Come for the wine, stay to hear about the awesome 35th season the Festival had.

ting Workshop for Adults Clark Fork Library the potential of 3D printing and design a 3D printable object in inner class held on the first Wednesday of every month

er’s Support Group Sandpoint Senior Center caregivers and friends of those with r’s, dementia and any related disorder me to attend this support group. Free re at the Day Break Center next door

Mastermind: “Vision Board Party” 5:30pm @ The Heartwood Center There is NO Charge for this all-inclusive event. This evening is open to everyone, not just business owners.

Dec. 8 Ladies’ Shopping Night @ Downtown Sandpoint Dec. 9 Magic Show @ Panida Theater Dec. 12 Hansel & Gretel Performance @ First Lutheran Church Sandpoint

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The American Redoubt Series KEEPING THE FAITH:

By Cameron Rasmusson Reader Staff Faith and country

Nearly 500 people tromped through a muddy, rain-spattered parking lot the morning of Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, bound for the Bonner County Fairgrounds exhibit building. As raindrops hammered the roof above, the convivial atmosphere inside turned pious with a call to prayer. This was the Inland Northwest Freedom Festival, a daylong event boasting a high-profile lineup of Christian speakers advancing a central thesis: The United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation. It’s a historic claim many secular scholars challenge, but the speakers made their case aggressively, starting with Rep. Heather Scott. A firebrand state legislator and lightning rod for controversy, Scott centered her talk on the American Redoubt — the migration movement by libertarian survivalists to eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming — and what it means for North Idaho. Her comments set the themes later speakers would expand upon. “Does anyone in this room not think God had a hand in the founding of this country or think the Constitution is not God-inspired?” Scott asked. The Blanchard legislator said that for Christians, the true source of peace and ultimate redoubt — or place of refuge — is in Jesus Christ. But she also praised North Idaho for the qualities that make it cherished by survivalists, particularly conservative Christian survivalists. “Our region has one of the lowest population densities, lowest number of natural disasters, least amount of abortions in the country and lowest rates of crime and secular unrest — not to mention plentiful amounts of resources like water, guns, timber, guns, minerals, guns,” Scott said, repeating the word “guns” to laughs from the crowd. “(Our region also has) a high density of hydroelectric dams and Christians.” Religion in the American

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The role of religion in the American Redoubt Redoubt Like most amorphous groups, the American Redoubt movement is not a monolith, and that includes its adherents’ religious beliefs. But it’s undeniable that the Redoubt’s most influential personalities are outspoken Christians. Faith permeates the very roots of the Redoubt. In his famous 2011 SurvivalBlog essay that he claims launched the Redoubt, James Wesley, Rawles (sic) described the movement as an opportunity for “freedom-loving Christians” to gather along religious, not racial, lines. “Christians of all races are welcome to be my neighbors,” Rawles, who declined to be interviewed for this article, wrote. “I also welcome Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews, because we share the same moral framework.” “I can also forthrightly state that I have more in common with Orthodox Jews and Messianic Jews than I do with atheist Libertarians,” he added a few lines later. Rawles devoted a Redoubt essay addendum to the importance of finding a prepper-friendly church. He recommends reformed churches that believe in the literal truth of the Bible, maintain a commitment to Christian charity and evangelize to non-believers. “I am of the opinion that finding a good church home is our Christian duty, and that it honors God,” he wrote. According to Rawles, individuals who move to Redoubt territory will integrate into a new community far more quickly by finding a church. He also believes that in the event of a nationwide calamity — known to survivalists as The End Of The World As We Know It — one’s church family will prove a bulwark against the ensuing chaos. “In calamitous times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God fearing that will continue to be law abiding (sic),” he wrote. Rawles acknowledges on SurvivalBlog that religion can be a contentious topic among survivalists but holds firm to its importance. Responding to an atheist SurvivalBlog

reader, Rawles argued that areas with lower church attendance have a higher rate of property crime, which bolsters his belief that Christians, on average, will be more law-abiding in a societal collapse. He backed his claim by comparing the property crime rates in devout North Dakota counties against California counties with low church attendance. “My choice to live in a tightknit religious community is not a reflection on you as an individual (emphasis in the original),” Rawles wrote to his non-believing fan. “It is just a conscious choice, based upon statistical correlation and my strong conviction as a Christian, to do so.” Others disagree with Rawles’ conclusions on religion and crime. Writing for the LA Times in 2015, Phil Zuckerman, a professor of sociobiology and secular studies at Pitzer College, argued that, with exceptions, highly secular countries like Sweden and Denmark have low crime rates compared to the U.S. Rawles isn’t the only voice of the American Redoubt with concerns about secular ethics and morality. At a Nov. 17 presentation to the Panhandle Pachyderm Club in Post Falls, Alex Barron, creator of Redoubt blog and podcast Charles Carroll Society, said the moral absolutes of Christianity stand in contrast to the moral relativism he believes pervades left-wing politics in particular and social institutions like the public education system in general. Under those perceived circumstances, Barron believes it’s not unreasonable to gather in like-minded groups and educate children in home- or private-school environments. Likening believers’ migration to the Redoubt with a gay person moving from rural Georgia to San Francisco, he told the Pachyderm Club, “(Leftists) somehow don’t understand that Christians, that pro-life (people), we are just as committed to our lifestyle as they are to theirs.” The End Of The World As We Know It According to Frederick Clarkson, a Massachusetts-based journal-

ist, public speaker and senior fellow of progressive think tank Political Research Associates, the marriage of Christianity and survivalism is not an invention of the American Redoubt. It echoes the Christian Reconstructionist movement developed by Cold-War era survivalists Rousas Rushdoony and Gary North. In his 1973 book “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” Rushdoony conceptualized how a new Christian society might rise from the ashes of nuclear war. “Rushdoony spent a lot of time imagining what a Christian society based on the Bible would be like,” Clarkson said. According to Clarkson, Rushdoony envisioned a reconstructed society in which civil magistrates execute Old Testament laws, identifying a wide range of religious and sex crimes, including heresy, blasphemy, idolatry, homosexuality and adultery. These were all capital offenses in Old Testament Israel, which he saw as a blueprint for modern America. In contrast to Christian Reconstructionism, Redoubt thinkers like Rawles advocate for libertarian ideals of self-reliance and limited government authority. But Clarkson observes that Rawles, in his founding essay, also invokes the religious idea of the “remnant”: a godly people who remain faithful in adversity. If the remnant keeps covenant with God, he will bless it, even as he punishes the rest of America for failing to follow his laws. Christian Reconstructionism’s influence waned in the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But according to Clarkson, the widespread popularity of Christian eschatology, or the study of end-times prophecy based primarily on the biblical books of Revelation and Daniel, contributes to a continued Evangelical interest in disaster prepping. Popularized by Hal Lindsey in the 1970s and turned into a runaway success by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ “Left Behind” novels, Christian dispensationalism offers perhaps the most popular eschatological interpretation. The apocalyptic timetable usually includes the

rapture of born-again Christians into heaven (exactly when this occurs is a matter of debate). A tribulation roils Earth with natural disasters, economic turbulence, widespread death and the rise of the Antichrist. And Christ establishes a 1,000-year golden age for Christianity, at some point returning to Earth and defeating Satan’s forces once and for all. Many eschatologists believe the end times are imminent. According to Clarkson, most consider the 1948 creation of the state of Israel a major fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a sign that the end is near. There are enough eschatologists in the survivalist community that Rawles, in a Feb. 1, 2008, SurvivalBlog post, lists them as something of a prepper subspecies. While Rawles considers an obsession with eschatology counterproductive, he said it’s not without merit. “... The Bible teaches that there will be a time of tribulation,” he wrote. “Be ready for it (emphasis in the original).” While the full influence of eschatology on the Redoubt is unclear, religion — Christianity in particular — plays a far more obvious role. It is baked into the motivations of the movement’s most influential figures. And for conservative Christians seeing trouble around the corner, the flight from blue states to libertarian lands of milk and honey is nothing less than a God-guided movement. As Scott detailed in her Freedom Festival talk, the Redoubt isn’t just about political disagreement — it’s about spiritual warfare. And the mountain states of the Inland Northwest are where many soldiers in God’s army choose to make their stand. “I believe God is drawing his people together and using his Redoubt to show his example of governance across the country,” she said.

The American Redoubt

As told by Alex Barron, ‘The Bard of the American Redoubt’ By Ben Olson Reader Staff As the self-described “Bard of the American Redoubt,” Alex Barron doesn’t often give interviews to the press. In fact, this is only the second interview Barron has granted about the Redoubt. He agreed to be interviewed only if we published his responses in their entirety without edits. Barron operates one of the three most popular American Redoubt websites, (the others are James Wesley, Rawles’ and John Jacob Schmidt’s According to Barron, the blog is a view from a “Traditional Catholic, constitutional conservative, American patriot, in that order.” During a recent speaking engagement to the Post Falls Panhandle Pachyderm Club, Barron spoke of his history and his views on the American Redoubt. We sent him a list of questions to follow up after his speech, and we appreciate him sharing his points of views. Barron also requested a list of links to be made available for further reading, which we’ll include in the online version of this interview. Ben Olson: Can you give me a quick snapshot of your upbringing – where you grew up, what you’ve done for a ca-

reer, when and why you became politically active. Alex Barron: To summarize, I was born in Chicago, moved around a fair bit as a child, ended up back in Chicago, joined the U.S. Navy, then moved around a lot. My childhood included some absolutely horrid episodes. I served in the Navy in a non-combat position overseas during Operation DESERT STORM. I used the G.I. Bill to complete my four- year B.S. degree. I have worked in various companies and have run my own firm for more than a decade. I have visited Idaho for some years researching the area and moved my family, or “took the walk to freedom,” two years ago. BO: You said you grew up in Cabrini-Green Housing Projects in Chicago. Do you think this upbringing influenced your political ideology today? In other words, do you think your worldview might have been different if you’d grown up in an affluent suburb? AB: Being born in Cabrini-Green showed me that the government can be very wicked at times. I have watched the tyrannical Chicago government intentionally impoverish working-class blacks over a long period of time. It showed me that centralized bureaucratic government programs, even those designed to help often lead to misery. It proved to me that law enforcement, while doing a difficult and required job, can become tyrannical in its application. The projects became a poor black reservation not un-similar to the

poor Native American reservations. Wholly separate racial reservations representing generational poverty. I also understood that culture, politics and solutions are complex things. I was born in Cabrini-Green Housing Projects — specifically the 1230 North Larrabee part, or the “white projects.” I had the benefit of living in different areas outside of Chicago and returning to the Cabrini-Green area regularly and thus was struck with the difference early on and determined to offer something different for my children. BO: You identify as a “Traditional Catholic.” I’m curious if you see any discrepancy between the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20), which encourages people to spread the gospel to all peoples and nations, and the Redoubt, which encourages people to band together in like-minded communities and live in relative geographic isolation.

AB: The American Redoubt is a political, not a religious, movement. Yet in my opinion, when Catholics send out missionaries, we don’t pick Rome up and drop it into the middle of the Amazon. You send missionaries out from Rome so you can support them while training the next generation of Christian missionaries. But what do you do when Rome is no longer Christian? I guess the grand proposition of the American Redoubt is we gain more as Christians and conservatives by banding together or cloistering in a “home base” or redoubt and becoming the political majority than staying spread across the nation as a vocal minority. Religious, political and cultural migration

has been explored in many recent works. One recent work that may be appropriate is “The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation” by Rod Dreher. Another book that explores this cultural/political separation is called “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart” by Bill Bishop. Yet another great read on this subject is “Coming Apart: The State of White America” by Charles Murray. The American Redoubt is just one expression of this hypothesis. BO: In your talk, you often spoke about the divisions that exist in our nation. Don’t you think it’s counterproductive to say “No leftist could ever understand us.” Wouldn’t it further divisions to push back against anyone who leans left of center?

AB: I propose that we Americans have compromised all we want to in many areas. For example, we absolutely believe that life starts at conception and that individual “humans in development” should be protected from unjust violence. When a woman is making a choice, there is more than one human life that hangs in the balance. These principles define who we are. To “compromise” on this position would mean the destruction of our unique cultural identity. This holds for so many of the issues that now separate us; such as the role of government, the role of Christianity, objective fundamen reality, immigration, fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech or the right to have and carry the arms necessary to protect ourselves from the state. Many of these questions are moral in implica nature, which have civic implications. We know what divides us, and neither side really can give up with our firmly held moral beliefs without surrendering our unique cultural identity. BO: You say that there are three people authorized to speak for the Redoubt – JWR, JJS and yourself. Why are you considered one of the voices? Also, can you share the origin of the term “Bard of the Redoubt”?

Alex Barron speaks in Post Falls in November. Photo by Ben Olson.

AB: I would more accurately describe our position as “primary voices” or “thought leaders” of the American Redoubt movement, not as leaders. James Rawles of – the creator of the movement – has encouraged and promoted John Jacob Schmidt and me to fill the role of what the American Redoubt political migration movement is doing day-to-day within those established precepts. I describe myself as the Bard of the American Redoubt to suggest a wayward vagabond carousing through clubs, bars and churches spreading the word that we live in uncertain times in a nation that is increasingly hostile to our culture and faith and asking the question, “So what are you going to do about it?”

BO: During your talk, you said, “The left doesn’t talk about what unites us, but what divides us.” What will unite us? AB: We have a common American culture and language. For example the vast majority of us celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. The overwhelming number of us want to “do good.” Most of us actually value the Bill of Rights, and a representative form of government. Many of us are suspicious of large monopolies. The vast majority of us agree to punish the wicked and defend the innocent. We can start with a foundation of “we are more similar.” I think of it like France and Germany. We agree on 90 percent of life, but what we disagree on, we really disagree on. And those differences are becoming more stark and more ingrained. Now that more and more of us are “post-Christian,” we are using religious fervor with our political views. In my opinion this makes sense, as man is a religious animal. Even though the French and German people agree on a lot and can (now) live peacefully side-byside, I don’t think France wants to become Germany. I believe those things that still separate us are this culturally deep. Progressive America does not want to become red-state America, nor vice versa. If we did compromise on these core issues, it would be the end of

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< BARRON, con’t from page 15 >

one culture or the other. You can read more about these different cultures in the book “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America” by Colin Woodard. This of course built upon work “The Nine Nations of North America” by Joel Garreau. BO: What’s your experience as an African-American in a movement like the Redoubt?

AB: The American Redoubt is fiercely anti-racist. We are actually attacked numerous times by racists. James Rawles gets hate mail regularly by white nationalists, separatists and supremacists scolding him for not “having more pride in his white race.” John Jacob Schmidt of Radio Free Redoubt is also extremely hostile to racists. We refused to be moved from this core concept of Christianity and individual liberty that all man can be saved through the Christian faith, (and are) deserving of equal human dignity under the Constitution and protection under the law. The overwhelming (majority of) people associated with the “patriot movement,” and the American Redoubt who I have met feel the same way.

BO: You say the Redoubt movement isn’t concerned with race, and point to yourself as an example, but wouldn’t you agree that the vast majority of those who identify with the Redoubt are white? Is it fair to talk about race in the Redoubt when most adherents are white? AB: The vast majority of the NACCP is black – that does not necessarily make them racists. And apparently, the NACCP actually exclude whites from leadership roles, even whites who want to help. From the people I have met the American Redoubt is much more racially diverse than people assume. The “primary voices” of the American Redoubt and the vast majority of the “patriot” movement are fiercely anti-racists.

BO: You also said that there’s nothing worse than when “leftists get a stranglehold on government.” Wouldn’t the same be true for the far right? In other words, do you support extremism as long as it aligns with your own ideology? Isn’t the “magic” of our democracy the ability to find compromise and establish checks and balances, so one special interest 16 /


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doesn’t gain too much power? AB: You compare “leftist,” a fairly benign term for many people, and “far right,” a loaded term. Also, we are not a democracy; we were founded as a Constitutional Republic created by what we would now call fundamentalist Christians and those who didn’t mind living with fundamentalist Christians but were not so much into the religion, or “deist.” I stand for the absolute defense of traditional Judo-Christian values, the promotion of classical Western Civilization and the protection of individual liberty. Individual liberty can be defined by classic Greek and Roman understanding of the nature of man, along with documents such as the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. We want as much liberty as possible unless it is hostile to our deeply-held Christian values. We call this liberty under Christ. And we will work to defend and expand these principles. It is my opinion that politically and culturally, we are an angry, bitter married couple arguing about things fundamental to us, both armed with knives in a closet with no light. And we have started to poke each other. BO: How is the Redoubt different from or the same as other political migration movements? AB: Geography, and we are in general more conservative than the Free State Project but more libertarian than the Texas Republic. Please note that Montana was the state that came in second for the Free State Project.

BO: From your writings and talk, I’ve gathered that you believe it’s impossible to have any semblance of morality without some kind of divine foundation. Secular thinkers reject that premise, saying that morality is a human invention and designed to make life more tolerable for the biggest amount of people. Can you articulate a bit more why your version of morality should be considered the undisputed truth? Do you reject secular forms of morality? If so, why? What is deficient about them? AB: You can have “some semblance of morality” without Christian values, but it is questionable if a large group will agree on that morality, especially without the

heavy hand of the state. Without a common base of morality, we cannot agree on “what is good.” For example is abortion good, are taxes proper, and are traditional families good? Are President Trump or President Obama good men? Another example is what James Rawles suggests is in an extended grid-down emergency situation: If we did not have police minutes away what type of behavior we should “elevate” and what type of behavior “disgust” us would have to be agreed upon by the community. People who share some similarity of Judeo-Christian values may be able to come to an agreement more quickly without the constant force of the state to “maintain the peace.” John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” I believe there is validity in his concept. It is not “my version of morality.” It is the version of morality that the vast majority of Orthodox Christians and Jews have agreed upon for thousands of years. What we draw from it now are the concepts of Logos, the Ten Commandments, Calvary and the Golden Rule. What I believe provides a workable foundation for civilization is Orthodox Christianity, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty. BO: You said, “The left feels that if you don’t share their idea, you’re a racist.” Do you think you fall into a trap of oversimplified generalizations when it comes to religion?

AB: We all use generalizations to talk about most things to a point. Yet I feel at this time it is predominantly the left that attacks people’s character with terms like homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, racist or sexist if they disagree on “what is good.” For example, currently, it is the left which is often seen as opposing free speech. It is strange, because in the early 1980s (and before) it was the right who had a problem with freedom of speech. For brevity and using generalizations, this can be explained in simplistic terms as progressives tend to define terms like bigotry, sexism and racism in terms of “impact.” While conservative tend to define these same concepts in the terms of “intent.”

BO: Do you think the Redoubt movement has risen from the ashes of other populist movements (like the Tea Party, et al.)? What makes it different? AB: No, absolutely not. We are an evolution of the concerns people have on the direction of our nation. Our focus can be summarized as defense and promotion of orthodox Christianity, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty in our individual lives. Political expression is actually only a part of what I call soft secession. Soft secession can be defined as “informally withdrawing in some way from active participation in a socioeconomic system for the purpose of living a more self-sufficient life while forcing that system to change or collapse.” BO: You mentioned getting prepared to lobby for legalizing medical marijuana in Idaho. Is that an issue that you’re passionate about? Is this an issue that could possibly unite the right and left?

AB: Very dishonest media have suggested the American Redoubt and the broader “Liberty movement” or “patriots” are “far right.” In my opinions, the liberty movement and “patriots” can be more accurately described as neo-anti-federalist, libertarian-leaning conservatives who are primarily Orthodox Christians. The liberty movement is much more libertarian than many people think. The Liberty movement is all about shrinking the size and scope of government. We don’t just say that and then “grow the government more gradually” like most establishment Republicans. We actually want to shrink the size and scope of government. We are modern-day anti-federalists, not anti-government. The further that government is away from the people, the more suspicious we should be. This principle in Catholicism is called subsidiarity, or in Latin, subsidiarius. Thus, we are deeply suspicious of the federal government, less so of the state government and just show up at the local government and argue. Walk up to your average liberty-leaning conservative and talk about global governance, and the reaction is akin to antiepileptic shock. With these principles and background, things that many people who self-identify with the liberty movement could at least be convinced to listen that

are more attractive to “liberals” include judicial and prison reform, communications privacy, freedom from government and corporate surveillance, laws that promote small farms solutions, the end to asset forfeiture laws, police reform and yes, the repeal of the prohibition of marijuana. Not that most people in the liberty circles are overly excited about adding another legal intoxicant to our culture, but our deep opposition is to the far-away federal government having any say on what you grow in your backyard. BO: What’s the most important thing people should know about the Redoubt?

AB: It is a politician migration movement of primarily conservatives who feel disenfranchised or isolated in deep blue states. It is a response to more progressive states continually waging war on traditional Christians and conservatives and limiting the God-given rights documented in the American Bill of Rights. It stands for the defense and promotion of orthodox Judeo-Christian values, classic Western Civilization and individual liberty. It promotes soft secession and has a strong self-sufficiency streak. BO: This movement has been described as “leaderless” by several people I’ve interviewed. Is that accurate, in your opinion?

AB: I do not feel the term “leader” is accurate. Perhaps “primary voices” or “thought leaders” is more accurate. But the concept that the American Redoubt is completely “leaderless” is ridiculous. If a couple of random Redoubters asked for a bunch of patriots who self-associate with the American Redoubt concept to show up for an event to defend liberty, they might get a small number of people to respond. If the “primary voices” of the American Redoubt put a unified effort into encouraging patriots to show up somewhere and defend liberty, it is my opinion you would get a much more robust response, ergo there are those with more influence in the movement. Alex Barron runs the blog, is a Navy veteran and a “Traditional Catholic.” You may reach him at

Nov. 30 @ 7:30pm

“murder on the orient express” friday, dec. 1 @ 7pm

2017 backcountry film festival Saturday, dec. 2 @ 5pm

jack frost fest

Four great americana bands playing live, including: BareGrass, Sasha Bell Band, Moonshine Mountain and Shakewell


Little The

Sunday, dec. 3 @ 3:30pm

Frost Fest Weekend Sunday Animation Matinee Sunday, dec. 3 @ 7pm

Eugene Ballet’s “The nutcracker” The timeless christmas play, presented by pend oreille arts council tuesday, dec. 5 @ 6:30pm ission Free Adm “Elf” singalong hosted by alliant insurance Wednesday, Dec. 6 @ 6pm

“Last Stand: the vanishing caribou rainforest” A film by local scott rulander, for inland northwest conservation films dec. 7 @ 7:30pm | dec. 8 @ 8:30pm | dec. 10 @ 3:30pm

“victoria & abdul”

coming soon: “The Showman”


y a d i l Ho Sale!

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A column all about snow safety

Backcountry access gates

WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING AN AREA OF INCREASED PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY! By Liam Fitzgerald Reader Columnist The combination of untracked powder, wide-open terrain, and no crowds is an alluring image to most everyone who skis or snowboards. Spectacular photos, and stunning footage of high-level riders experiencing that magical combination fill the pages of the magazines we read, the computer screens we stare at, and the movies we flock to. They stoke the fire in many of us to seek out the same type of steep-and-deep conditions we see “rockstar” athletes experiencing, while others are attracted to the beauty and solitude of an undeveloped and pristine environment

Confused about your health insurance? Time is running out to get your answers! Call now to set your appointment with Danelle at Spears Insurance, Inc. (208) 265-2026

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/ November 30, 2017

that lies somewhere outside the normal, everyday resort setting. Resort skiing and riding may not be as sexy or spectacular as what is depicted in movies or magazines, but it does have its advantages; for one, it’s easier and less physically demanding than a multihour approach to some sweet but remote “backcountry” powder run. Secondly, it’s less expensive than a day of helicopter skiing, and thirdly, if you get in trouble, you can count on a rapid response by a well-trained, competent crew of ski patrollers just waiting to come to your rescue. But still, what we see in the magazines does look like fun! How then does the average person who doesn’t have the time, the money, or the required amount of energy, get to experience the thrill of backcountry skiing that we find so intriguing? The answer for many seems to be the Backcountry Access Gates located along ski area boundaries. Back in the 1970s, as more and more people became proficient at skiing untracked snow, there was a burgeoning desire for access to the public land that bordered many of the more popular ski resorts in the western U.S. They seemed to contain an endless amount of attractive and un-skied terrain. At first, ski areas responded to this demand in a variety of ways, from a somewhat authoritarian, closed-boundary policy, to relatively free access along a somewhat porous border, and everything in between. In the 1980s, as resort skiers entering the uncontrolled wild west of the “backcountry” were contributing to the sharp rise in avalanche fatalities in the U.S., the Forest Service set out to standardize its policy that the public have access to public lands for winter recreation. They directed ski areas to improve their signage and boundary-marking policies and to establish easily identifiable, permanent backcountry access gates that allowed skiers to leave the confines of the resort, and at the same time unambiguously informed

them that they were about to enter the considerably different environment of the “backcountry.” After that, it was up to the customers to make their own decisions as to what to do. This seemed to be a solidly American libertarian-style approach to a counter culture-style issue that some people embraced, others abhorred, and many more were either confused or oblivious as to the meaning of this newfound freedom. Today, ski area exit points, as they are now called, are a permanent feature in the majority of ski resorts in the U.S. that border public land. They are extremely popular with the people who can safely utilize them, but they are also a draw to many who don’t completely understand what “backcountry skiing” involves, and just how different things are outside the resort from what they are on the inside. Since 2005, “sidecountry” (backcountry terrain easily accessed from resort boundaries) avalanche fatalities have accounted for more than 10 percent of all avalanche deaths in the U.S. This in-

cludes an experienced backcountry skier from Sandpoint who died in an avalanche outside the Canyons resort in Utah more than a decade ago. It’s pretty cool to ski the backcountry, especially during or shortly after a storm, but that’s precisely the time when backcountry skiing can be the most dangerous. It’s much cooler to “ski the backcountry” with a sufficient amount of knowledge, the right equipment, and most of all, the right attitude. If you are a budding backcountry skier, don’t just follow others through the gate: Be a leader. Listen to the IPAC forecast, take an avalanche class, learn how to use a beacon, shovel and probe, and ALWAYS carry them with you while skiing out of bounds, not just when you “think” it might be dangerous. If you are an experienced backcountry adventurer, be a mentor, make an effort to reach out to younger riders and teach by example just what backcountry skiing entails.


Live Comedy show at 219 promises hearty laughs By Ben Olson Reader Staff For comedian Lonnie Bruhn, there are no topics too taboo to include in his act – except politics, which he claims aren’t taboo, but “too boring.” For the upcoming live comedy show on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., Bruhn will join host Morgan Preston and fellow comic Jamal Harrington for a night of laughs. The show takes place at the 219 Lounge in Sandpoint with tickets going for $10 in advance, or $12 at the door. The Portland, Ore., comic, who aired on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” season nine, is no stranger to controversial and provocative routines. Being born with Cerebral Palsy, Bruhn has made a career out of making people laugh about subjects not included in normal comic routines. In Bruhn’s new uncensored show, “Signs of a Midlife Crisis,” he focuses on one of his biggest challenges both comedically and emotionally – the story of his oldest son’s diagnosis and battle with Borderline Personality Disorder, plus his two-year hiatus from stand up comedy as he and his family dealt with it. “People don’t want to discuss or share their experiences with mental illness among their closest friends and family members, so bringing my personal story to the stage and making it funny seemingly breaks all of the rules,” said Bruhn. Bruhn first knew he wanted to be a comedian after he watched a Richard Pryor beta tape in the fourth grade. “When we watched it, everybody watching with me was laughing,” he said. “I knew it was funny, but I was sort of in awe that someone could have a conversation with people and make them laugh. I decided right then and there that’s what I wanted to do.” Bruhn said he rode around on his big wheel and told Pryor’s jokes, along with another early favorite George Carlin, until he started developing his own material. While mining for material, Bruhn didn’t have to look far to find a topic that set him apart from many of his favorite comics: being born with Cerebral Palsy. “I realized from a young age I was going to have a difficult time,” he said. “I was really self aware from a really early age. I don’t think I would’ve become a comedian (if I hadn’t been born with Cerebral Palsy). It allowed me to really witness everything around me at a much

slower pace, and from there I was able to break down the way people think.” Bruhn, from his perspective outside the norm, studied people and listened to how they talked to each other. “Part of the reason why I’ve been successful is I have this innate connection with my audience and people in general,” he said. “I couldn’t really play a lot of the other reindeer games with the other kids. While they were all climbing trees and getting in trouble, I was just witnessing everyone and witnessing what’s wrong with us all.” Like most comics and performers, Bruhn looks back on some experiences that tested his mettle. “I think the very first show I did, right out of the gate, was the worst show I ever had,” he said. “My parents had just kicked me out after this big fight. I had a leather jacket on with all these fringes and a mullet and cowboy hat. I looked like a Canadian hockey player. “I go up on stage in all this getup, which was a terrible idea,” he continued. “I learned my lesson. It was the longest three minutes of my life. But, when I got offstage, I was hungry to do it again. Bruhn stuck with it, powering through the awkward sets, and became more comfortable on stage. Two years after his first attempt at live comedy, he ended up winning the Portland Laugh Off. At 19 years old, he was the youngest to ever win the award. After his big win, Bruhn hit the road for a tour of comedy clubs and bars. “I did a lot of work in Canada,” he said. “The gigs in Canada were pretty bad. I was competing against hockey.” For Bruhn, who changes his act often, taking a two-year hiatus to deal with family issues was a setback. “Over the last couple years dealing with a lot of stuff with my oldest son, it’s really pulled me completely out of the idea of writing,” he said. “It took me a long time to get to the point where I could see the funny things happening from the worst moments of my life as a parent. This is what I do best, I tell stories about the challenges in our life, breaking them down in a way that makes it okay for us to laugh.” Bruhn said in today’s divisive atmosphere, being able to laugh is more important than ever. “This is when comedians really get to shine,” he said. “It’s our job to find a

Main: Lonnie Bruhn headlines the 219 Lounge on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. Hosted by Morgan Preston (top inset) and featuring Jamal Harrington (bottom inset). Courtesy photos. way to make these issues funny. Despite everyone’s opinion. All of us are really unhappy it seems. We’re not laughing. This is the time that comedians have to step up to the plate and cut through it all. To find a way to laugh about it.”

Catch Lonnie Bruhn at the 219 Lounge on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. with host comic Morgan Preston and fellow comic Jamal Harrington. This show is uncensored and may contain explicit content not suitable for every audience.

Backcountry Film Festival back for 13th year

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Writer Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education is bringing the Backcountry Film Festival to the Panida again this year, but anyone who knows what SOLE does knows that the festival is about much more than films. Every year, SOLE gets almost 500 local kids out in the snow to explore and learn about North Idaho’s wildlands. The Backcountry Film Festival does a large part in funding that venture.

The event, held Friday, Dec. 1, includes not only films but also a silent auction and raffle. This year’s festival is meant to “celebrate the human-powered experience.” SOLE is advertising all funds raised at the festival as earmarked for their SnowSchool, a snow education program that covers snow-science, winter ecology, outdoor living, travel skills and avalanche awareness. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at Alpine Shop, Evans Brothers, Eichardt’s or online at or at the door the night of the show. November 30, 2017 /


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Global Fat Bike demo day this weekend

By Reader Staff Ever wanted to try riding a fat bike? Greasy Fingers Bikes N’ Repair is celebrating Global Fat Bike Day on Sunday, Dec. 3, with fat bike group rides at the Schweitzer Roundabout on the Selkirk Rec District trails. In its sixth year, Global Fat Bike Day is just like it sounds: a day to celebrate and ride fat bikes. The group rides will depart at high noon on the various bike trails surrounding the roundabout. Get your fat bike ready, meet up and join in for an intermediate level rides for about 1.5 hours on a variation of groomed roads

Fat Bikers of the world unite! Courtesy photo from last year’s event.

and trails in the roundabout area. Or do your own ride and meet up afterwards at the parking lot. Need a fat bike for the group ride? Call Greasy Fingers ahead and reserve one of their rentals for $20 (18 years and over). Greasy Fingers will have hot drinks and refreshments afterwards. Sponsored by Greasy Fingers Bikes N’ Repair and Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Weather permitting, follow Greasy Fingers Bikes N’ Repair on Facebook for event updates. For questions, call (208) 255-4496 or email

SASi unveils ‘Nine Over Ninety’ calendar

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/ November 30, 2017

By Reader Staff

Sandpoint nonagenarian Merrill Longpre plays Wii Bowling at the Sandpoint Senior Center. Courtesy photo.

Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc. is pleased to announce the “Nine Over Ninety and More” 2018 Calendars are available now. The calendar features 12 elders paired up with Bonner County EMTs in activities at the Senior and DayBreak Centers. The nonagenarians, all very youthful and active, are very inspiring. Another nine community elders – including two over 100 plus the Panida Theater – are also featured. Short articles accompany the photos and give anecdotes about their lives. Senior Center resident jokester “Vegas” Heinrich is featured on

the cover. The 2018 calendar is handy for knowing what activities go on at the centers and provide room to add your own. They are available for a $15 donation (or more) at the Senior and DayBreak Centers, 820 Main Street, Sandpoint. They are also available downtown at “I Saw Something Shiny” at 220 First Avenue. Thanks to Chief Bussey, photographer Bob Abbott, Bonner County EMT Public Information Officer and all the EMTs and elders who participated! For information, call (208) 263-6860.


Jack Frost Fest ushers in winter with four bands

Mattox Farm Productions emphasizes community with Panida shindig this weekend

By Lyndsie Kiebert Reader Staff Writer Robb Talbott moved to Sandpoint because it reminded him of his hometown in West Virginia. In coming to Idaho, he brought a piece of that home with him, if only in a name: Mattox Farm Productions. It all started when he and his wife were married in 2016 on Mattox Farm, which has been in Talbott’s family since the 1880s, he said. The wedding took on a music festival feel, Talbott said, with three bands playing that day. Now, Talbott and his wife, along with a few friends, make up Mattox Farm Productions, whose goal is to bring Americana music to North Idaho with shows and events that are family friendly. Jack Frost Fest is one such event, held this Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Panida. The evening will consist of live music, and above all, getting people together, Talbott said. “We just want to bring the community together in a part of the year when it’s kind of wet and kind of cool but there’s not really a lot of skiing or snowmobiling yet to do,” Talbott said. “Just to get out and have some fun and say ‘hi’ to people — it’s built in that spirit.” Talbott said that even though Sandpoint has “a really cool, growing music scene,” he and his wife see an opportunity to brings shows meant for families. “At our shows I’ve seen three generations dancing together,” he said. “I think that’s the niche that we’re looking for here in Sandpoint.”

Jack Frost Fest will feature several bands that Talbott said all fall under the Americana banner, despite their array of sounds: BareGrass, Sasha Bell Band, Moonshine Mountain and Shakewell. “Americana is music that has roots in American history — anything from bluegrass to Motown to New Orleans jazz,” Talbott said, just to name a few genres. “(Americana) is a blend more than it’s any one thing.” Talbott said Mattox Farm held their first official show back in April after waiting a while to find a band that would be a good fit. They found that band in Yarn, and are now looking to build relationships with a number of bands that can bring roots music to the area. “Part of what we’re trying to do is we want bands to know that Mattox Farm is going to take care of them because we know the crowds are going to be good, we know the crowds here in Sandpoint are fun,” he said. Cove Jasmin of Shakewell said that after he and the band played the Panida earlier this year, they couldn’t wait to come back. “The community is extremely supportive of the arts and isn’t afraid to shake a leg — or join a conga line, for that matter,” Jasmin said of Sandpoint. “We play a lot of clubs and bars, so the Panida is refreshing because it welcomes all ages and is a place where the whole family can come out and get down.” Beyond live music, Jack Frost Fest will feature Schweitzer Ski Patrol’s Avy Dog program, Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center and Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and

This week’s RLW by Jen Heller


This fall, listening to the ongoing debate over the future of the University Extension plot, and watching our town continue to struggle through an affordable housing crisis, I was reminded of the first book I ever read on urban planning: “The Geography of Nowhere.” James Kunstler’s volume turns 25 next year, but many of the themes it addresses still play big in national P&Z circles, making it a good intro to modern zoning questions.


Four great bands will play at the Jack Frost Fest on Saturday. Clockwise from top left: Sasha Bell Band, Mountain Moonshine, BareGrass and Shakewell. Courtesy photos.

Education, there to raise awareness for the programs they offer the community. For Talbott, Jack Frost Fest will do a lot to further Mattox Farm Productions’ mission to not only bring Americana tunes to Sandpoint, but to bring people together in the process. “I love the music, but I’m surprised how much I’ve just sat back and watched people have

fun,” Talbott said. “I’m shocked at how much that has taken over and moved me.” Buy tickets to Jack Frost Fest in advance at Eichardt’s, Eve’s Leaves, Evans Brothers, 7B Grooves or online at for $20. Tickets at the door the night of the show are $25. Doors open at 4 p.m. and BareGrass will kick off the party at 5 p.m.

Houndmouth seems to be slowly creeping up in airtime, at least in alt-rock stations where a song of theirs could be sandwiched between Lord Huron and Nathaniel Rateliff. Houndmouth has about five years’ experience of producing that familiar-but-refreshed “indie rock sound” (which is why, half the time, you may think you’ve heard their songs before). Don’t be deceived by their peppy rhythms, young voices and sprawled Western melodies… their lyrics feature all the traditional, adult rock n’roll scars, as inflicted by drugs, gov’ment, and other such baddies.


On the days when the rain’s pouring down and the half-mile to the gym seems just wayyy too far, and your dollars are too crunched to support a local studio, there’s Filter through their hundreds of free, streamable classes by difficulty level, time length or even topic. If you’re not into meditation or all that laying around fake-napping, filter to the “Yoga for Run Runners” videos and get a good 20-minute stretch on.

November 30, 2017 /


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Where the only thing better than our sushi is the view

Winter Wednesday Special! Thursday Ladies Night $1.00 off all drinks Unique selection of Excellent Wines Local Beers On Tap

Yummy Tapas Menu

41 Lakeshore Drive (across the Long Bridge)


Enjoy our Asian fusion cuisine while taking in the beautiful waterfront and spectacular sunset views

Wine $ Cheese Sampling Wine & cheese sampling Saturdays 12-3 p.m. Saturdays 12-3 p.m. Open 5 p.m. - Closing Thurs. - Sat.


For rent in Sandpoint (in the Selle Valley): 3 bedrooms on 20 acres, wood and electric heat, garage, close to town, pet considered. $1000/month + deposit. Call Dennis at (406) 293-7424.

Crossword Solution A broad and often deep selection of quality fiction in a post-truth time. And lots of other good books. Main Street Downtown Bonners Ferry 267-2622

We buy used books

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I think there probably should be a rule that if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about how many loves of bread a bullet will go through, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s understood that you mean lengthwise loaves. Otherwise it makes no sense. / November 30, 2017


CROSSWORD ACROSS 1. Anklebone 6. Urarthritis 10. Be compelled 14. Alert 15. Sea eagle 16. Within 17. Light teasing 19. Immediately 20. Unruffled 21. Religious sister 22. Dossier 23. Row of shrubs 25. Common people 26. Embraces 30. One who leases 32. Fatuously 35. Feeling support an informed community 39. Highly seasoned fatty sausage 40. Victor’s wreath 41. Believe to be guilty Want to support us? Donate a couple bucks a month! 43. Sickness Everything helps! 44. Fears 46. Being 47. Provoking fear 50. Exhaust /SKRUHM-ee/ 53. Not Mama 54. F [adjective] 1. Chiefly British Informal. very pleasing, especially 55. The first event in a series of the 60. Astir to the senses; delectable; splendid; scrumptious. “After the pub, the pair had a scrummy snack of gas station grub.” 61. Unequivocal 63. Start over Corrections: In last week’s Redoubt profile, Sean Statham was identified as a “former Army intelligence officer” when he was actually a non-commis- 64. Bit of gossip 65. Good-looker sioned officer in Army intelligence. Sorry for the mixup. -BO


Word Week


Solution on page 22 66. Biblical garden 67. Canvas 68. Submit

DOWN 1. Faucets 2. Away from the wind 3. Piecrust ingredient 4. Constellation bear 5. Metalworker 6. Hair goop 7. A citrus fruit 8. Ointment 9. Adolescent 10. Bad luck

11. Up to 12. Follow stealthily 13. Carries 18. Charge 24. Not wet 25. Poopy 26. Snake sound 27. Two-toed sloth 28. Not guys 29. Showy bloom 31. Gangly 33. Manicurist’s board 34. Bloodsucking insects 36. Angers 37. Not more 38. If not

42. A crisp lustrous fabric 43. Belief 45. A clumsy person 47. Surplus 48. Behind bars 49. Any animal with no feet 51. A very long period 52. Piquant 54. Modify 56. Decorative case 57. Anagram of “Tine” 58. Wicked 59. Marsh plant 62. Evil spirit

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Reader November30 2017  

In this Issue: Keeping the Faith; the role of religion in the Redoubt, A rare interview with Alex Barron, Smelter meeting raises a stink cru...

Reader November30 2017  

In this Issue: Keeping the Faith; the role of religion in the Redoubt, A rare interview with Alex Barron, Smelter meeting raises a stink cru...