Page 1


2 /

R

/ October 21, 2021


PEOPLE compiled by

Ben Olson

watching

“Do you have a favorite place to check out the fall colors this time of year?” “I think the Lakeshore Drive route is amazing.” Randy Evans Co-owner Evans Bros. Coffee Roasters Sandpoint

“Sixth Avenue in Sandpoint. I was driving down to Super 1 the other day and said, ‘Daaamn!’” Ashley Cugno Barista at Evans Bros. Sandpoint

DEAR READERS,

The rain is back, and it never looked so beautiful as in this week’s cover, painted by local artist Teresa Fisher. Nice job, Teresa! If you missed the election forum Oct. 19 for the Dover mayoral, Dover City Council, Sandpoint City Council, Sandpoint local option tax and Lake Pend Oreille School District Zone 2 trustee races, you can view it online here: bit.ly/ReaderForum Thanks for reading, everyone. And thanks for supporting an informed community.

– Ben Olson, publisher

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

www.sandpointreader.com Publisher: Ben Olson ben@sandpointreader.com Editorial: Zach Hagadone (Editor) zach@sandpointreader.com Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey (News Editor) lyndsie@sandpointreader.com Cameron Rasmusson (emeritus) John Reuter (emeritus) Advertising: Jodi Berge Jodi@sandpointreader.com Contributing Artists: Teresa Fisher (cover), Ben Olson, Clark Corbin, Bill Borders Contributing Writers: Zach Hagadone, Ben Olson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Lorraine H. Marie, Clark Corbin, Brenden Bobby, Tim Henney, Marcia Pilgeram Submit stories to: stories@sandpointreader.com Printed weekly at: Tribune Publishing Co. Lewiston, ID Subscription Price: $155 per year

“My schedule has been competitive lately. I’ve been working so hard, I don’t really know. [Lakeview] Park in Sandpoint is pretty nice.” Silas Gibbs Student at NIC Sandpoint “Two days ago I went up Rapid Lighting and explored dirt roads. I found a place that had burned recently and on the other hillside there were these amazing colors. It was an amazing experience.” Leifryan Kirkpatrick Author, problem solver, dream mgr. Sandpoint

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

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

“I’m not sharing my spot!” Cora Murray Barista at Evans Bros. Sandpoint

Check us out on the web at: www.sandpointreader.com Like us on Facebook. About the Cover

This week’s cover is a painting by local artist Teresa Fisher. We thought it perfectly captured this time of year. October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 3


NEWS

Local election forum recap Voters quiz Dover, Sandpoint, LPOSD candidates, hear presentation on 1% sales tax By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff A broad slate of candidates in contested races for Sandpoint and Dover city councils, Dover mayor and Lake Pend Oreille School District Zone 2 trustee gathered Oct. 19 both virtually and in person to answer questions from voters at the Sandpoint library. Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad presented and answered questions on the 1% local option sales tax, which will also appear on the Tuesday, Nov. 2 ballot. The forum, hosted by the Sandpoint Reader, Keokee, KRFY 88.5 FM and the Selkirk Association of Realtors, with technical support from library staff, was live streamed by KRFY and a recording is available here: bit.ly/ ReaderForum A total of 13 candidates participated — incumbent Sandpoint City Council member John Darling was unable to attend — representing races for three seats on the Sandpoint City Council, two seats on the Dover City Council, two wouldbe Dover mayors and two candidates for the LPOSD Zone 2 trustee seat. Moderated by Reader Publisher Ben Olson, questions were submitted by voters covering a wide swathe of local issues — from infrastructure to housing, school funding and COVID-19 protocols to “critical race theory,” the relative importance of taxing authority to fund parks and sidewalks, and the direction of future growth. About 70 residents viewed the forum online via Zoom and 50 or so attended in person. Dover mayor and council Candidates in the Dover contests focused on a few key themes, including sustainable growth in the community, which has experienced a dramatic population boom over the past 10 years, spurred by the Dover Bay development. Along with that, candidates agreed, have come challenges to adequate infrastructure — from roads and trail connectivity to water and public safety services — along with community fragmentation between so-called “Old Dover” or “historic 4 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

Dover” and the high-end residential/resort development. Mayoral candidate Ryan Wells said Dover is “still experiencing some growing pains.” Among those growing pains are long-needed upgrades to the city’s water and sewer treatment systems, conflicts over which have spurred contention between the city of Dover and the development — rising even to legal action between the entities. George Eskridge, who is also running for mayor, said there is “dissension in the community,” stemming from disagreements over water and infrastructure. “We need to resolve those [issues],” he said. “I think we’re on the way to doing that.” Council candidate Kim Bledsoe said, “We’ve got to really make sure that we’re doing things that involve the most people and offering different ways for people to get involved.” Council candidate Amy Lizotte said that she, too, would like to “really bridge both sides and come together and be able to know what’s happening in Dover Bay, with their meetings.” Candidate Merlin Glass agreed that “when you lawyer up it just dirties the water for everybody,” emphasizing that preparing for the 2029 sunset of the Dover Urban Renewal Agency — which he serves as a board member — is critical to accomplishing the infrastructure projects that have prompted much of the inter-community strife. Candidate Mark Sauter said, “Right now, I don’t believe that looking at the city budget or the DURA budget, that money is really a problem — it’s more a matter of getting to work and getting our projects done.” Sandpoint 1% local option sales tax Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad presented the proposed 1% LOT, framing it as the means to accomplishing “the city’s most extensive master planning effort related to our parks and rec. Infrastructure that we’ve ever had.” According to Rognstad, if approved the LOT would run for

seven years, raising an estimated $13 million — though previous statements from city officials have also put that number at $12 million. Of those funds, $200,000 per year would be set aside for sidewalk improvements at a variety of locations identified as critical pieces in the city’s pedestrian network. Rognstad said that’s five to seven times what’s currently in the budget for sidewalks. Geared primarily toward helping pay for development at parks locations including City Beach, the Downtown Waterfront and Travers/Centennial/Great Northern Sports Complex, the LOT would also help fund the purchase of additional open space. Rognstad said 15 cents of every dollar would come from locals while 85 cents would come from out-of-towners. Meanwhile, the parks designs are “just conceptual plans; it’s a very rough draft,” Rognstad said. Finally, the mayor addressed another common question: Why would the LOT benefit primarily parks, open spaces and sidewalks, rather than other needs such as incentivizing affordable housing? “[Those items have] been a priority of citizens for a long time,” he said. As for sidewalks, “We’ve been advocating on sidewalks for years and haven’t had a funding mechanism. Now we have one.” Sandpoint City Council Housing affordability was front and center for Sandpoint City Council candidates. Luke Omodt called the issue “a crisis in our time,” adding that, “housing is not a right, but it is a necessity.” He said he supported the idea of a council-established local housing authority to craft local solutions that would increase accessibility for both renters and buyers — otherwise, “people will vote with their feet and our workforce will continue to shrink.” Candidate Jason Welker agreed that there are already tools available to the council to help ease the prohibitive costs of housing, many of them included in the city’s housing needs assessment conducted in 2019. Meanwhile, “the problem is supply,” he said.

Arthur Bistline said that affordable housing is “a loaded term. I’m all for it unless you start messing with the market.” Furthermore, he questioned why the problem has to be solved within city limits. “I can’t have an apartment in downtown San Francisco because I can’t afford it,” he said. Frytz Mor returned again and again to the notion of economic “diversification,” arguing that promoting “hard skills” for residents, including local food production, would free workers from low-wage service jobs. “Affordable housing is a misnomer,” he said, adding that supply will never meet demand. Rather, the wealth gap must be addressed. He opposed incentives, policy changes and any form of taxation, all of which he characterized as “government that is losing control of itself and encroaching on our daily lives” and, along with grants and public-private partnerships, as government welfare and an invitation to “crony capitalism.” Incumbent Joel Aispuro said that despite much conversation on the topic, “I haven’t heard a solution yet. … We have no idea what to do; I’m not going to pretend to give you an answer.” Asked how they stood on the 1% LOT, most candidates supported the measure. Justin Dick said he’s “a huge proponent of the 1% local option tax as it’s written now,” adding that it opens recreational opportunities for locals who might not be able to afford to own a boat or buy a ski pass. Bistline said he was against it, but now for it. Wayne Benner said he supported the tax, as it will support the city’s amenities. Welker supports the tax, noting that it’s a stepping stone to leveraging larger grants. He added, however, that it should be used to support housing affordability, such as purchasing property in the Baldy Mountain area using LOT funds to open the way for development of affordable housing on city-owned land. Mor said that such a tax is “squeezing the very people you’re trying to help.” Omodt told the Reader that while he supports the LOT as a funding mechanism, he doesn’t prefer it at this time, adding the measure was

“hastily constructed and doesn’t meet the needs of our city.” Finally, Aispuro said he supported putting the measure on the ballot, now it’s up to the voters. LPOSD Zone 2 trustee Incumbent candidate Gary Suppiger and challenger Jalon Peters first addressed “critical race theory,” with Suppiger saying, “CRT is not in our curriculum at LPOSD; it never has been, it never will be as long as I’m on the board. It’s abhorrent to everything I believe in.” Peters, however, argued that CRT is being brought “through the backdoor” through Social Emotional Learning and other curricular models. Peters stressed the importance of getting parents more involved, including “actually getting them in the classroom more,” in part to see for themselves what’s being taught. “Trust is earned,” he said. Suppiger said he’s all for parents participating in the classroom, but pushed back against notions of surveilling educators with cameras: “Those who abuse the privilege could take the film from the camera, edit it, create soundbytes, take things out of context and discredit the teacher,” he said. “This is not a good idea.” Peters said he didn’t mean cameras, but “oversight” by parents. Peters’ key point was family involvement in education and searching out wasteful appropriations and expenditures — “free money” from the government, he said, that should be sent back if it isn’t needed, specifically in areas like Kindergarten and the school lunch program, which he argued could be trimmed back to realize savings. Suppiger said both those programs are rooted in academic support. “If we don’t spend this money it can’t be reallocated. The federal government is very specific about what we spend the monies on.” Furthermore, reduction in funding — such as removal of the permanent levy — would result in the reduction of teacher salaries, cutting of programs and even rural school closures. “Unfortunately the local property tax is the only tool we have — I don’t like it, but it’s the only one we’ve got,” he said.


NEWS

JFAC doesn’t take up McGeachin’s supplemental budget request Instead, legislators talked about the state’s record surplus, federal stimulus money

By Clark Corbin Idaho Capital Sun The Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Oct. 19 did not discuss or debate Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s supplemental budget request to have taxpayers cover her outside legal bills. Instead, JFAC members and staff budget analysts took a deep dive into the state budget and revenue picture, including other supplemental budget requests, during a daylong meeting at the Idaho Capitol. JFAC members did not discuss — and nobody asked about — McGeachin’s request to have taxpayers spend $50,000 to cover her legal bills stemming from a successful Idaho Press Club lawsuit filed to obtain public records of McGeachin’s education task force. A day earlier, on Oct. 18, JFAC’s four Democrats — Sens. Janie Ward-Engelking, D-Boise, and Mark Nye, D-Pocatello, and Reps. Brooke Green and Colin Nash, both D-Boise, sent a letter to McGeachin asking for more information about her supplemental budget request for legal bills. The Democrats asked McGeachin how she would pay for the court-ordered costs and fees. They also asked for unredacted copies of McGeachin’s legal invoices and her legal agreement with her private attorney. Nash told the Idaho Capital Sun on Oct. 19 that he has not received a response from McGeachin or any of the records Democrats asked McGeachin to provide. “If there are some expenses to these legal costs, I would like to see those supported by documentation,” Nash said. In that regard, the Oct. 19 meeting didn’t add any clarity to how McGeachin came up with her $50,000 supplemental budget request. Earlier this month, McGeachin’s office told the Idaho Capital Sun it couldn’t

find any invoices for her legal services, even though she filed a supplemental budget request seeking $50,000 for what she described as “unforeseen legal bills related to a lawsuit from the Idaho Press Club.” JFAC receives update on Idaho’s historic revenues and budget surplus The supplemental budget request only represented a portion of JFAC’s daylong meeting Oct. 19. Committee members also received an update on federal COVID-19 relief stimulus packages and an update on how Idaho’s budget and revenue are taking shape. State budget analysts spent much of the morning discussing how Idaho is sitting on a historic pile of cash and savings balances. Through the first quarter of the current 2022 fiscal year, the state is on track to end the fiscal year with $1.45 billion more on hand than was forecast when the Idaho Senate adjourned the session for the year on May 12. “That is an extreme amount of money that I don’t think any of us ever expected,” Legislative Services Office budget analyst Keith Bybee said. Much of the forecasted surplus is due to carrying over $889.1 million in one-time money from the record 2021 budget surplus and an increase in revenue. Since the 2022 fiscal year began July 1, revenues are exceeding the latest forecast by $144 million, state budget officials said. Idaho also has $846.8 million dollars in state savings and reserve funds. The main savings account, the Budget Stabilization Fund, has a balance of $677.7 million, which is the largest balance in state history, Headlee said. Taken together, Idaho’s cash balance and savings and reserve funds balances translates to about 36% of the state’s fore-

casted revenue for 2022. “It’s a very, very strong position,” Headlee said. Aside from that, Idaho has had about $5.7 billion in American Rescue Plan Act federal COVID-19 stimulus money available for the benefit of the Gem State. State agencies have until Oct. 23 to update supplemental budget requests Last week, District Judge Steven Hippler ordered McGeachin to pay the Idaho Press Club’s fees and costs of $28,973.84. Hippler also fined McGeachin $750. It is not clear how McGeachin accounts for the difference between the $28,973.84 and her $50,000 request. The Idaho Press Club sued McGeachin in July, and she was represented in the case by attorney Colton Boyles of Boyle Law. On Friday, McGeachin responded to an Idaho Capital Sun reporter on Twitter, tweeting: “We can’t find what we don’t have and we haven’t received

any invoices.” Many of the details of McGeachin’s legal agreement with Boyles Law remain obscured from the public. In response to an earlier public records request, McGeachin provided a heavily redacted copy of her agreement with Boyles Law. Everything on the five-page document, including the page numbers, was blacked out except for Boyle’s hourly rate of $250 and his paralegal’s hourly rate of $120. The unredacted legal agreement could provide additional clarity about McGeachin’s arrangements with Boyle and her expenses. Legislative Services Office officials said the deadline for state agencies to submit any revisions or corrections to their 2022 supplemental budget requests and 2023 budget requests is the end of the day Friday, Oct. 23. McGeachin’s office has not submitted a request for an extension on Friday’s deadline, Legislative Services Office Deputy Director Paul Headlee said in an interview.

Members of the Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee meet Tuesday at the Idaho Capitol. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun) JFAC is not scheduled to discuss supplemental budget requests any more this week, Headlee said. It was not immediately clear Oct. 19 where McGeachin’s request stands or what will happen next. In order for McGeachin to get the $50,000, JFAC would need to recommend approving the supplemental request and then a majority of members of the Idaho House and Idaho Senate would need to vote in favor of a supplemental budget bill. That wouldn’t happen until after the 2022 legislative session convenes Jan. 10. Sen. Steve Bair, a Blackfoot Republican who serves as the co-chairman of JFAC, said he is aware of McGeachin’s request. Bair noted the supplemental didn’t come up Oct. 19 and said he wasn’t aware the request was included in the packet of mate-

< see JFAC, Page 7 > October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 5


NEWS

County to take up antimandate resolution Oct. 22 By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Nearly two months after it was introduced to the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Steve Bradshaw’s anti-mandate resolution — declaring Bonner County a “Constitutional County” and renouncing COVID-19 public health mandates — will see a public workshop and vote on Friday, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. at the Bonner County Administration Building (1500 Highway 2 in Sandpoint). The workshop was postponed from its original September date due to scheduling conflicts, according to the commissioners’ office. “It is incredibly important that all three commissioners be present, in person,” the office stated on Facebook. The original resolution has seen plenty of discussion since it was first presented in late August. Commissioner Dan McDonald offered up his own version of the resolution Sept. 14, expressing concerns about the legality of Bradshaw’s original draft. In the hopes of avoiding “overreach” outside of the county’s legal purview, McDonald’s resolution was about one-fourth of the original document’s length. Commissioner Jeff Connolly has pushed back against the alleged need for such a resolution throughout the process, viewing it as a political move by Bradshaw, who is running for Idaho governor

in 2022. According to the county’s public notice for the Oct. 22 meeting, commissioners are scheduled to have a “Discussion/Decision Regarding Unconstitutional Mandates,” effectively voting on the resolution. Also printed on the public notice is a copy of the Bonner County ordinance regarding conduct of meetings, reminding attendees that each person wishing to comment will receive three minutes, and that “the chair shall not entertain irrelevant statements, and shall not entertain statements that are inflammatory, personally attacking or derogatory toward any board member, staff member, elected official or member of the public.” The notation of the ordinance is likely in response to public discourse related to the resolution at previous meetings, during which Chairman McDonald had to repeatedly remind attendees — most of them vehement supporters of Bradshaw’s resolution — to maintain order.

USFS launches work on Pack River Road By Reader Staff The U.S. Forest Service began repair work Oct. 18 on Pack River Road 231. The road is in the Upper Pack River area east of Sandpoint. While most delays are expected to be short, USFS officials stated in a media release, some delays could last up to four hours. The repairs will take place approximately two miles above the Pack River Snowmobile Parking Area. The work will restore travel-way width and improve the road surface and drainage. The steep drop-off along the shoulder resulted 6 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

when heavy rainfall led to failure of the fill slope. Work is expected to continue through Monday, Nov. 1. “The Forest Service appreciates the public’s patience as we work to improve this public driving route,” officials stated. Visitors to the Idaho Panhandle National Forests are encouraged to pick up a free Motor Vehicle Use Map at any Ranger Station. It is also available for download onto a smart device through the Avenza Maps app. For additional information about this project, contact the Sandpoint Ranger Station at 208-263-5111 or visit fs.usda. gov/ipnf.

Bits ’n’ Pieces From east, west and beyond

East, west or beyond, sooner or later events elsewhere may have a local impact. A recent sampling: Business Insider reported that a study claiming one in 1,000 COVID-19 vaccine recipients could get myocarditis, a heart condition, contained a major miscalculation. The study was based on 32,379 vaccine recipients, but the actual number of recipients was 854,930. The authors of the vaccine study have since withdrawn it. The Wall Street Journal shared a report from Facebook that finds Russia to be the largest producer of disinformation on social media. Facebook now has a team of about 200 experts that is trying to disrupt “sophisticated influence operations.” The recently released book There is Nothing Here For You, by Fiona Hill, Donald Trump’s Russian expert, is described as “restrained” and lacking in scandal. Rather, the book has “fly-on-the-wall” details, and shares the author’s opinion that the greatest threat to the U.S. comes from within. Mass worksite raids seeking immigrants who lack work authorizations will stop, according to a memo from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. March to August data shows initial COVID-19 vaccinations are declining in effectiveness, according to the CDC. After 120 days the Pfizer vaccine drops to 77% effectiveness (54% of those vaccinated have had the Pfizer shot), but the Moderna vaccine remained at 92% effectiveness after 120 days. A study in the recent Pediatrics says an estimated 175,000 U.S. children have lost a parent or grandparent caregiver to COVID-19 since early April 2020. The majority are racial or ethnic minorities. The mother of the 46-year-old Maryland man being held for a triple murder said her son believed conspiracy stories that COVID-19 vaccines were being used to kill people. He took action by slitting the throat of an 83-year-old woman, stealing her car and driving to his pharmacist brother’s home. He then shot and killed his brother and wife, The New York Times reported. New York City public schools are opening college savings accounts for every enrolled kindergartner. The $100 nest egg is anticipated to eventually be worth $3,000 — not enough for four years of textbooks — but research shows even a small amount in a dedicated account can increase chances a student will pursue higher education. The program is man-

By Lorraine H. Marie Reader Columnist

aged by NYC Kids RISE. The U.S. Department of the Interior has begun work identifying seven major zones for wind farms off U.S. coastlines, with auctions for those places expected to begin in 2025. Secretary Deb Haaland said the goal is to slash fossil fuel emissions with well-paid jobs, while transitioning to a cleaner energy future to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Dangerous school board meetings: From verbal abuse to injuries to death threats, people opposing masking-up and advocating for white-washed history have links to Koch-funded organizations, according to Accountability Journalism. The National School Board Association has requested federal assistance for securing safety for school board members and the public school community. U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin continues to block Democrats’ efforts to address climate change, objecting to the cost, which Build Back Better intends to lay on big-money interests. His spokesperson told The New York Times that the senator “has clearly expressed his concerns about using taxpayer dollars to pay private companies to do the things they’re already doing.” But, according to the International Monetary Fund, the fossil fuel industry, including coal, in which Manchin has investments, benefits from $11 million in subsidies every minute. The money trail is the current topic of interest for the Jan. 6 “stop the steal” congressional investigators. Talk show radio host Alex Jones says 80% of the cost of the event was paid for by one donor, The Washington Post reported. Rule of Law Defense Fund in being scrutinized for funding robocalls that encouraged attendance at the rally, which turned deadly. Senate Democrats hope to have a procedural vote on the Freedom to Vote bill this week, which would encourage the return of one person, one vote. According to NPR the bill would make Election Day a holiday, provide same-day voter registration, set minimum federal standards on vote-by-mail and do away with partisan gerrymandering, which allows disproportionate representation in Congress. Blast from the past: “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how. But what is extremely important is this: Who will count the votes, and how.” — Joseph Stalin, Russian dictator who died in office in 1953. He was born in 1878.


NEWS

Idaho COVID-19 stats ‘headed in a better direction’ By Reader Staff Idaho health officials shared in a press briefing Oct. 19 that while hospitalizations and deaths due to the novel coronavirus remain high across the state, recent data may reveal that the current peak in virus activity could be headed for the downslope. “For the first time since July, things are headed in a better direction,” said Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen, according to reporting by the AP. “It also means that we are not out of the woods yet.” Though case counts are flattening, Elke Shaw-Tulloch, administrator for the Idaho Division of Public Health, told the Idaho Statesman: “While people

in the hospital with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 or in the ICU with confirmed COVID-19 are on the decline, the number of people in the hospital is vastly greater than it was during the winter 2020 peak.” State health officials are continuing to encourage Idahoans to seek vaccination against the virus. According to the Statesman, 86% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths since May 2021 have been among the unvaccinated population. As of Oct. 20, about 54% of those 12 and older in Idaho are completely vaccinated, while the national average sits closer to 67%. In Bonner County, that number is about 46%. What’s more, the Idaho Capital Sun reported that since Idaho hospitals declared crisis stan-

dards of care in early September (meaning that limited resources are reserved for the most dire medical emergencies), vaccine uptake has fallen 56%, from an average of 1,835 to 814 first doses administered per day. Idaho’s Department of Behavioral Health is conducting a survey regarding Idahoans’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Ida-

< JFAC, con’t from Page 5 > rials JFAC members received. The request only appeared on a single line on the 25th page of charts and spreadsheets JFAC members waded through. “We’ll deal with it just like all other supplementals,” Bair told the Idaho Capital Sun after the Oct. 19 meeting. “We’ll consider it and see what happens.” McGeachin did not attend the meeting. Records obtained by the Idaho Capital Sun show a Division of Financial Management analyst did request more information, including copies of invoices, in a September email to McGeachin’s chief of staff. On Oct. 8 Jordan Watters, McGeachin’s chief of staff, responded to the analyst writing invoices are “not currently available.” How to watch the JFAC meetings this week The Oct. 19 meeting was the first of three days worth of hearings for JFAC. Although the Legislature is not in session, committee members use the offseason meetings to get up to speed on the state budget and revenue picture and prepare for budget writing during the upcoming 2022 legislative session that begins

Jan. 10. JFAC members didn’t take any votes or make any decisions on Oct. 19. Instead, the meeting was mostly informational and educational. The final meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 21 in the Lincoln Auditorium, Room WW02 on the Garden Level of the Statehouse. The meeting will be streamed live online, for free, using Idaho Public Television’s Idaho in Session service (idahoptv.org/shows/idahoinsession/ jfac). JFAC is one of the Legislature’s largest committees with 20 members. It includes 10 members each from the Idaho House of Representatives and the Idaho Senate. Overall there are 16 Republicans and four Democrats on the committee. This story was produced by the Idaho Capital Sun, a Boise-based independent, nonprofit online news organization delivering in-depth coverage from veteran Idaho reporters on state government and policy. The Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a national nonprofit funded by tax-free donations in 22 states. Learn more and follow daily updates at idahocapitalsun. com and statesnewsroom.com.

ho Capital Sun, the survey “asks questions about mental health, financial instability, vaccination status, social changes and other pandemic-related issues.” “The pandemic has shifted many aspects of our lives over the past year and a half,” stated Division of Behavioral Health bureau chief Danielle Pere in a media release. “We want to know more about how it has

affected Idahoans so we can help fill gaps and respond more effectively as the pandemic continues.” Access the survey, which is open through Oct. 31, at app.keysurvey.com/ f/41586564/24e3. To stay up-to-date on the most recent vaccination and COVID-19 case data in Idaho, visit coronavirus.idaho.gov.

City sets dates for annual leaf pickup

By Reader Staff The city of Sandpoint’s annual city-wide leaf pickup is scheduled to take place over the course of two weeks this year: Monday, Oct. 25-Friday, Oct. 29 and Monday, Nov. 15-Friday, Nov. 19. Residents are asked to place unbagged leaves in the street next to the curb line by

Courtesy photo. Sunday, Oct. 24 for the first week and by Sunday, Nov. 14 for the second week. Branches and bagged leaves will not be collected and city crews will not be going back for leaves past the scheduled pickup weeks. For more information or questions, city staff can be reached at 208-263-3428. October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 7


If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it…

Bouquets: GUEST SUBMISSION: • “Here’s to the man at the Clark Fork Pantry who let me know I’d left my coffee cup on my car’s roof. Luckily I was still parked, enjoying some soup, so he had time to let me know. Such a small act kept my day on the right track.” — By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey GUEST SUBMISSION: • “I just wanted to say thanks to all the awesome people who go crazy decorating the outside of their homes for Halloween. There are some really great ones that my children and I love seeing every day. They are so fun!” — By Erin Plue • It was with some sadness that I saw General Colin Powell passed away of complications to COVID-19 last weekend. General Powell always struck me as a straight-shooter and a capable man, whose service to this country is something we should all respect. Like anyone else, he had his faults. He was on the wrong side of the Iraq invasion, and acknowledged as much during a 2005 interview just months after he was asked to resign from the administration of George W. Bush. He stated, in reference to the false claim there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, “I didn’t lie. I didn’t know it was not true. I was secretary of state, not director of intelligence.” I wish there were more Republicans like him left in this country, because he represented all that was good about the party and none of the ugliness and meanness that seems to have taken over in modern times. Barbs: • It was brought to my attention recently that some people have claimed we didn’t run their letter to the editor for supporting a particular candidate. This is false. We reserve the right to kill off letters that don’t meet our guidelines (we allow letters under 300 words and letters that don’t troll, belittle or make obscene statements), but we don’t pick and choose based on which candidate the letter supports. Letters are printed first come, first served, and next week’s edition is the last before the election. 8 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

Dear editor, On Nov. 2, District 2 of the Lake Pend Oreille School District (LPOSD) will elect its school board trustee. Gary Suppiger has served us well as a trustee since 2017. He deserves to be reelected. The time-honored adage, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” applies here. The Lake Pend Oreille School District isn’t broken. In fact, it is doing quite well. The four-year high school graduation rate is above 90%. Great School’s college success award is Gold. LPOSD ranking of Idaho schools for the past five years has been in the top 80%. We have had five National Merit finalists in the past three years. In addition to providing academic and vocational programs, LPOSD provides students multiple opportunities that enhance student’s social growth, confidence and maturity — e.g., there are five different choirs, two different bands and at least six different sports teams. Maintaining LPOSD’s high-quality education does not happen by chance. It results from the three educational units: teachers and support staff, the superintendent and the school board trustees, working together as a team toward a common goal. Gary Suppiger has distinguished himself as an integral member of that team. His efforts to offer families and students learning options that best fits their needs, to provide school programs that bring school and community together and to make transparent fiscal decisions are greatly appreciated. Keep the team intact. Keep high-quality fiscally responsible education. Vote for Gary Suppiger. Ken Meyers Sagle

Suppiger has proven his dedication to local students… Dear editor, I am writing to encourage everyone in Zone 2 to vote for Gary Suppiger in the upcoming school board election on Nov. 2, 2021. Early on in my teaching career I had an experience that opened my eyes to the many different ways that children learn. I had a student that I was told was a horrible reader and was slow in math and writing was, well, impossible. One lunch period I asked this student to stay inside and try to make heads or tails out of a myriad of parts and pieces of three aquariums I’d saved in storage. Forty-five minutes later I walked in and he had assembled a bubbling tank complete with aerators, filters, heater and temperature gauge. I was floored! I never looked at students the same way after that.

I believe Gary Suppiger considers and respects the needs of all students. He not only volunteers teaching math before school hours, he supports advanced placement classes in high school, the district’s homeschooling connection, the alternative high school and the high school Career Technical Program; all of which address individual learning styles. Gary Suppiger has proven to be dedicated, hard-working, level-headed and honest. I think he is an excellent choice for the LPOSD School Board Zone 2. Liz Gollen Sagle

Enough already… Dear editor, It is getting quite irksome to see the anti-vaxxers clogging up our hospitals when they become infected with COVID-19. These people need to have the courage of their convictions. Since they don’t believe in the opinions of the medical profession, they should instead seek help from alternative providers such as their veterinarian. There they can get a shot of ivermectin, which will not only cure them of COVID but also kill off any worms they may be infested by, including those that have migrated into their brains. Robert Gosik Sagle

Proven and effective leadership: Re-elect Gary Suppiger… Dear editor, I am writing this letter to show my support for Gary Suppiger, as he is seeking re-election to the Lake Pend Oreille School Board. I recently retired after teaching math for 27 years at Sandpoint High School. I first became acquainted with Gary about 15 years ago, when my oldest daughter was involved in the Sagle Elementary Math Club. Gary would go to Sagle Elementary twice a week before school to work with the students to enhance their math abilities. He is passionate about encouraging students to strive academically. In the fall of 2008 Gary approached me as the Sandpoint High School Math Club advisor regarding a practice competition for his young mathematicians. Each year he was taking students to the Washington Olympiad and his idea was for the High School Math Club to host a similar competition to give his students practice. So in 2009, the fifth- and sixth-grade Math Olympiad started. At first it was mainly designed just for the schools who were using this as practice for the Washington competition. Gary, however, really wanted us to make it available to all fifth- and sixth-graders in our district. Because

of Gary, the competition has evolved to include most elementary schools in our district and has almost 100 elementary students participating. Gary is concerned for all the students to have opportunities. This is why he is currently on the school board and should be re-elected. A vote for Gary is a vote for our students to excel! Nachele Search Dover

Doom and doomer... Dear editor, A year from now the Reader will no longer exist. Publisher Gentle Ben Olson will be reduced to telling stories around campfires to earn his supper; venison and beans, if he’s lucky. The collapse of the U.S. economy is proceeding apace. The train is hurling down the tracks and nothing, save war, can stop it. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. Cort Gifford Sandpoint Editor’s note: How did you know that’s our retirement plan?

Suppiger for LPOSD trustee… Dear editor, I’m supporting Gary Suppiger for LPOSD trustee in Zone 2 because he is conservative, he is qualified, he knows the ropes and he understands the needs of our community. Jalon Peters, Gary Suppiger’s opponent, has said what he thinks our schools need. I think what he wants is not only unrealistic but destructive. •He wants the schools to install surveillance cameras in every classroom to make sure teachers don’t teach “critical race theory,” despite the fact that such surveillance would violate privacy regulations; •He wants to “work towards terminating the permanent levy.” The permanent levy provides stable funding for the schools. Without it many programs, including football and other athletics, and teachers salaries are in peril. But, unrealistically, Peters wants to expand Career Tech offerings, which are 90% funded by the permanent levy. Suppiger has been a trustee, knows what makes school better for kids, and knows how to get it done. • He worked to establish the Career Tech program; • He worked to establish free, fulltime kindergarten; • He worked to keep the schools open for in-person teaching throughout the pandemic. I am proud of our schools and I am proud to support Gary Suppiger on Nov. 2. He is what our kids deserve.

If you vote at one of these locations, you can vote for Gary Suppiger on Nov. 2: Sagle Fire District, Cocolalla Bible Camp or the Mormon Church on Westmond Road. Jean Gerth Anderson Sandpoint

Suppiger ‘walks the walk’… Dear editor, I have had the pleasure of watching Gary Suppiger’s tireless, voluntary and passionate commitment to the young minds of this community for the past 15+ years. His actions have consistently demonstrated a genuine concern for helping all kids better prepare for their future employment. As a teacher in this district for 28 years I cannot overstate the importance of a supportive, reasonable and intelligent school board. The decisions made by these volunteers can dramatically enhance or diminish our chances for success in the classroom. Without question there were some board members over the years who made choices reflecting personal agendas rather than the best interests of the community. Gary Suppiger has quietly “walked the walk” of dedicating himself to improving the quality of LPOSD with a refreshing blend of humility and intelligence. I urge all eligible voters in Zone 2 to give their support to Gary Suppiger on Nov. 2. Woody Aunan Sandpoint

Keep schools moving forward with Suppiger… Dear editor, What keeps North Idaho great? It’s the investments we have made in children, in our Main Street businesses and our communities. If you are a voter in Zone 2 of the Lake Pend Oreille School District, you have an opportunity to vote for Gary Suppiger, a candidate who understands that strong schools create strong communities. He understands that businesses thrive when schools thrive. Gary knows how to make wise investments. As a local businessman, he knows the value of education. He knows the value of inspiring businesses and schools to work together for success. This partnership has led to new and expanded Career Tech courses such as Exploring the Trades course. He also knows the importance of keeping a close watch on finances. His opponent wishes to take us down a path that will undo much of what our community has worked hard to build. Let’s keep moving forward with Gary Suppiger, a champion for education.

< see LETTERS Page 9 >


< LETTERS con’t from Page 8 > Gary Suppiger is far and above the best candidate for school board in Zone 2. I hope he has your vote on Nov. 2. Cynthia Dalsing Sandpoint

‘Blaming and shaming’ is not our country’s foundation... Dear editor, Thank you to Dr. Duebendorfer, who took a brave step to clear up what should be common sense [Letters to the Editor, “Shaming and Blaming…,” Oct. 14, 2021]. Medical professionals have a duty and oath to provide service to persons in need regardless of race, religion, culture, political choices or vaccination status. Blaming and shaming is an extremely unproductive action which only worsens the current “political” divisiveness in our country. Throughout history, America has continually gone through difficult, even convoluted, steps to curtail many types of segregation. Reduction of wholesale “blaming” toward any one group, be it based on race, religion, economics, ideological, IQ or health status, has been a defining and wonderful achievement in America. These “de-segregating” accomplishments helped to improve our lives, enrich our society, while maintaining our freedoms/rights. By blaming and shaming we use the same tactics of horrid historical persons. Hitler blamed the Jews. Lenin/Stalin blamed the bourgeoisie and aristocracy. Mao listed nine enemy categories: landlords, rich peasants, counter-revolutionaries, bad elements, rightists, traitors, foreign agents, capitalist roaders and the “stinking” intellectuals. Why do totalitarians blame, shame and deprive? For power and societal control! Does applying the tactics of the “Horrids of History” help? Should anyone in America be able to deny neighbors and citizens their basic civil rights? Perhaps in the myriad of questionable information, cancel culture and political spin on “follow the science,” some have forgotten the law of our land is freedom. Immigrant hoards never invaded the Soviet Union or China with their poor “equitable” outcomes. Immigrants come to America for its lawful guarantees of equal rights, opportunity and choice. Mandates, blaming and shaming are not this country’s foundation nor its historical path. Big pharma and its sycophants encourage belief that COVID vaccines are the solitary health choice available, but absolute power corrupts. Complacency and blind compliance invite fear mongering and control. Deanna Benton Sagle

Benner for Sandpoint City Council… Dear editor, Wayne Benner is one of our very best candidates for Sandpoint City Council. He has deep roots in Sandpoint and over the years he has served the city of Sandpoint well. Consider that Wayne has the experience of being the city’s administrator and Bonner County’s assistant engineer. In addition he was elected and served as a Bonner County commissioner. Wayne’s reach even extends way up to Schweitzer Mountain, where he was director of development. We need a council member who will bring a complete understanding of our city and beautiful surroundings. Wayne will work to preserve what we love about Sandpoint and work with others to find solutions to the problems caused by the unprecedented growth we are experiencing. He will help to find solutions to the housing crisis and support development of city infrastructure and recreational development. Vote for Wayne Benner for Sandpoint City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Sandra Deutchman Sandpoint

Students know the value of creativity… Dear editor, Five out of five high school students responding to the question about their favorite class all chose courses that are creative [People Watching, Oct. 14, 2021]. That says something. I quote a former professor of mine, “People talk about ‘utility,’ but what does that mean? I can’t think of anything more useful than living with a work of art.” Thanks, Mark Kubiak Historic Dover

The choice is clear: Suppiger for school board… Dear editor, On Nov. 2 we have a choice in the race for Zone 2 Lake Pend Oreille School District board: incumbent Gary Suppiger versus Jalon Peters. Peters has a de facto endorsement from the Idaho Freedom Foundation — a national group that promotes the dismantling of public education. In his answers on the IFF site (idahofreedom.org/school-candidate/ jalon-peters), Peters, while admitting that he doesn’t know much about the issues he addresses, goes on to give extreme opinions about them anyway. Peters shows little understanding of the purpose of public schools in a democracy, how the legal system works, how our public schools operate or even of the roles of board members, teachers and administrators.

He shows no inclination to tackle the challenges facing the board in the critical days ahead, when we need to balance our differing views, seek out compromise and not paralyze our school system. IFF openly works for the end of public education. Peters is working to the same end by advocating for the end of the permanent levy. Nancy Gerth Sagle

Hailey Scott can be depended on to serve WBCSD Zone 4… Dear editor, Please join me in supporting Priest River native Hailey Scott in her campaign for school board trustee, West Bonner County School District Zone 4. In these politically divided times we have to focus on issues that truly matter, and our children are at the forefront of that list. One of Hailey’s core values is making student-centered decisions. This means considering all viewpoints when tough or divisive choices arise and subsequently choosing options that will best serve students. Hailey Scott values learning equity for all students, empowering every student with quality education. She also understands the important role that accountability and transparency play in the school board and levy dollars. Hailey Scott knows first-hand what it means to raise a family in North Idaho, and we can count on her to put kids first as a school board trustee for WBCSD. If you are in Zone 4, please vote for Hailey Scott before (by absentee) or on Nov. 2 for school board trustee. She is a candidate we can depend on to best serve our students. Emma Stanford Sandpoint

Suppiger has the drive to dive into LPOSD’s issues… Dear editor, I am Vern Newby and I support Gary Suppiger for LPOSD Trustee Zone 2. Who am I? I am an Idaho native who married into my association with our property on Cocolalla in 1977. I have known Gary for a number of years as a member of the Cocolalla Lake Association and, through that association, I have learned to value and trust Gary’s commitment to good governance. One of the outreaches of the CLA is that of education. Through Gary’s connections with the LPOSD, and in cooperation with the Idaho Fish and Game, we have provided outdoor classroom education for school children to experience and learn about our natural surroundings and habitats. Gary’s commitment to education

is solid and sound. I also know that Gary is committed to making financially sound decisions for the LPOSD. I served for many years on a local school board and I am confident that Gary knows where the LPOSD dollars are going. Additionally, I helped start two charter schools and, in doing so, I deeply respect Gary’s pursuit of optional educational means within the district. Gary has the drive to dive into issues and the deep understanding of school finance to make sound decisions for the students that he (and all the board members) represent. I encourage you to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 2 for Gary Suppiger, LPOSD Trustee Zone 2. Vern Newby Cocolalla

Gary gets our votes… Dear editor, I have known Gary Suppiger since 2009 while he was working as a volunteer at Sagle Elementary School assisting students as a math tutor in the mornings before school. At the conclusion of the school year, Gary also took these same students to compete in a yearly Math Olympiad at various places within the state of Washington. He has done this for the past 16 years. It takes a special man to give up his free time, energy and effort to help students reach their potential, but that’s what Gary is all about. His website and mailings list numerous impressive personal accomplishments, touch on his advanced education, extensive community involvement, successful business and other personal information about Gary as a loving family man. In my dealings with Gary, I have found him to be a genuinely caring person that continually goes the extra mile for others. This is further evidenced by him currently working tirelessly as your school board member during this pandemic. I am proud to consider Gary a friend and know him as a staunch advocate for this community and all the children that attend our schools. There is no question in my mind who is the more qualified and worthy of your vote. Vote wisely, vote Gary Suppiger for Zone 2 for LPOSD school board. Gary gets our votes. Marshall G. Mayer Sagle

Suppiger cares about our kids… Dear editor, As a retired teacher, I know the importance of a collaborative, student-focused, community-minded school board. The qualifications and experience of Gary Suppiger compared to his opponent make it apparent there

is one clear choice for LPOSD’s trustee for Zone 2, and that is Gary Suppiger. I feel that Gary will continue to improve the quality of education at LPOSD with accountability. He has four years of experience on the board already and has extensive knowledge of Idaho state law surrounding education. Most importantly he has shown that he really cares about “our kids” and values their education and well being. Please show your support for Gary Suppiger by voting for him on Nov. 2. Pam Duquette Sandpoint

Candidates questioned on human rights… Dear editor,​​ The Bonner County Human Rights Task Force has sent a series of questions to each of the competing candidates for school board positions — and also to candidates for Sandpoint City Council. The questions address areas of concern from a human rights perspective. Those questions and the individual candidate responses will be posted on our website, bchrt.org. Responses from the school board candidates have been received and are available to read now. Additional responses from City Council candidates will appear as soon as we receive them. We urge you to read and be informed about the candidates’ positions on issues of concern to you. Brenda Hammond Current BCHRTF president Sandpoint

Frytz Mor, register your vehicle in Idaho… Dear editor, I find it rather absurd that a person can run for city council in a state and city where their vehicle isn’t even registered. I would hope that Frytz Mor would commit to the same laws and standards that the other candidates have demonstrated by registering their vehicles in Bonner County, Idaho. A new resident to the state has 90 days to do so. At the time I write this letter, Frytz’s vehicle remains registered in the state of Washington. Since Frytz is required to be a resident of Idaho and Bonner County and Sandpoint in order to qualify as a candidate for Sandpoint City Council, it only seems appropriate that if we are to “trust “ him as his slogan communicates then he should follow the same laws as those he desires to represent. The taxes paid by registering a vehicle are all part of the greater plan that benefits society as a whole. Frank Gruden Sandpoint October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 9


Mad about Science: By Brenden Bobby Reader Columnist

scary stuff

I recently polled the staff at the Reader in anticipation of one of my favorite holidays: Halloween. I received some really great questions about the science of scary things. I received so many great questions that I actually had to break this article up into multiple pieces. Stay tuned for more scary stuff in the upcoming weeks, but for now… Welcome to your nightmares. All three questions this week are from Editor-in-Chief Zach Hagadone. “What’s the science behind ‘scary sounds’? That is, we tend to associate certain tonal frequencies as ‘ominous’ (hollow gongs) or ‘chilling’ (strumming on piano wires) or ‘creepy’ (high-octave piano or rapid violin). Why? Alternatively, what is it about the human ear that makes certain sounds unpleasant and/or existentially unsettling?” This is a great question, and I wish I had an equally great answer for it. Unfortunately, the truth behind your most-hated jump scare is rather boring. We are biologically coded to become more alert or fearful around sounds that fall into something called the non-vocal range — sounds that are a higher or lower pitch than our normal speaking range. The shriek of a big cat is a great example, being a high-pitched noise above the normal human vocal range. Similarly, the high-pitched scream of fear or pain emitted by humans in times of turmoil is a clear signal to other humans that something is very wrong and a member of our community needs help urgently. Whether or not the movie scares you, the presence of a shrill 10 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

Brought to you by:

violin or imperilled protagonist’s screams makes you more alert, even if you’re trying to look cool in front of your significant other. An added and unfair layer to the classic jumpscare is the mechanical utilization of sound. Sounds that fall in the non-vocal range immediately activate five nerves that act like an alarm bell directly to our brains. Just like with your computer or cell phone, music takes up less bandwidth than video in our brains, and hearing something terrifying allows us to react much faster than if we were to look at what caused the sound. Don’t feel bad if you jump — it just means your brain is working as intended. Here is the second question: “What’s all that techno stuff that ‘ghost hunters’ bring along with them on their ‘investigations’? Is there any scientific validity to that equipment? What are they actually detecting?” There is a lot to unpack with this one. There are numerous devices present on many ghost hunting television shows, some of which are intentionally mislabeled to add to the intrigue of the show. One of the most commonly used items in ghost hunting exercises is an EMF detector. This detects electromagnetic fields, which as the ghost hunters will tell you, “could indicate the presence of a ghost.” It actually indicates the presence of a lot of different things, including faulty or exposed wiring, signals from cell phones or radios, power lines, household appliances or anything else that can provide a strong enough EMF for the detector to pick up. Other devices include things like infrared cameras, which capture infrared radiation emitted when atoms absorb and

release energy, which produces heat. Infrared radiation is a low frequency on the electromagnetic spectrum and our eyes can’t see it without a little help from a machine — a camera, in the case of most ghost hunting adventures. The military also uses infrared cameras for low-light scenarios, and can even use them to “see” through walls in the event that hostile forces could be holed up and waiting to ambush soldiers. It’s important to take into account that television programs go through an extensive editing and post-production process, and none of the footage you see on TV is raw footage from the event — this is particularly true of paranormal TV shows, where effects and reactions can be stitched together after the fact to create a compelling story meant to draw you in and make you wonder. Additionally, virtually every tool marketed toward amateur ghost hunters is designed to be glitchy and unreliable, both to be affordable for a mass market and to add to the appeal of not being able to replicate a spooky situation. Finally, Zach had one more great question: “Related to the above: What’s the science behind people thinking they ‘see’ ghosts in photographs or video?” Due to a limited word count, I’ll have to answer part of this in next week’s article. Spoiler alert: It involves Led Zeppelin. However, I can tell you the phenomenon of seeing ghosts in photographs is well documented, and it’s not nearly as spooky as you might think. It all began in 1861, when a man by the name of William H. Mumler was toying around with his newfound hobby of photography. He developed an image to find the spectral form of a girl he had photographed earlier

appearing in the image with someone else, laid ethereally overtop. Images like these went “viral” by 1800s standards, creating irrefutable proof of life after death, the beyond’s means to haunt the living and forever giving a “spooky” ghost vibe to the age of early photography. In actuality, this is an extremely common phenomenon in film and has been used to great effect in motion pictures preceding the

advent of CGI. It turns out that Mumler, fairly new to photography at the time, had failed to clean the plates he had been using between pictures, and a portion of his older pictures were simply seeping into the new ones. This doesn’t mean they didn’t have a strange obsession with photographing dead people in the 1800s, however. That’s a tale for another day. Stay curious, 7B.

Random Corner Don’t know much about Fall • Leaves have timers that are triggered by the Summer Solstice in late June, when nighttime starts to catch back up with daylight. Fall colors arrive at about the same time every year because it is the length of the night that changes the leaves, and the nighttime hours are the same every year. • Temperature can play a role in leaves changing colors as well. Cooler temperatures can trick a plant into believing that the nights are longer than they are. This is why leaves tend to change at higher elevations first. Warmer days, like this year, mean the fall colors will arrive just a little bit later than normal. Temperature usually only changes the timing by plus or minus one or two weeks. • Warm days, cool nights and steady moisture are ingredients in the best weather recipe for brilliant, long-lasting colors. Warmer days can result in darker oranges and reds. The warm days allow the plants to make sugars that get left in the leaves, and that is what creates deeper arboreal hues.

colors?

We can help!

• Leaves are already yellow, orange and red — green coloration is just a temporary mask made of chlorophyll. Cells and veins on the base of the leaves start to close off, restricting nutrients and photosynthate from reaching the plant. Photosynthesis breaks down and that green mask is removed, which is why we see the leaves “changing colors.” • Plants have different personalities. Some will turn their leaves at the first sign of light or temperature change, while others will wait a little longer. That could explain why one tree in your yard has already changed while other, seemingly identical trees have not. • An early freeze or snow usually spells the end of the color show. This fall has a slightly higher chance of that happening, so the peak time for autumnal fireworks may have already passed between Sept. 20 and the first week of October. Though there is nothing more beautiful than fall colors contrasted with an early dusting of snow.


PERSPECTIVES

Climb aboard, friends, we need you By Tim Henney Reader Contributor Recently at a favorite downtown restaurant my 1957 bride and I were seated near a congenial post-middle age couple, new residents recently arrived from southern California. They said a main reason they left the Golden State (at least it was golden in the 1930s and ’40s, when Jacquelynn and I grew up there) was because California frowned upon people who carried loaded firearms into supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, banks, churches, restaurants, etc. The husband then pulled his jacket aside and, with conspicuous pride, exposed a holstered .45. My garrulous bride, never one for political correctness, said, “Well, yay for California!” Whereupon the couple rolled their eyes, sneered, then pretended we weren’t there. Clearly, we were lily-livered sissies. Maybe even book readers. To such recent arrivals — many, it seems, fleeing modern California and in a big rush to honk, tailgate and act rude — I share this counsel: relax, be nice and start working for, not against, the common weal. I would remind them that ours is a nation of laws and the planet’s model democracy, not the autocracy that so many current anti-American saboteurs — QAnon, Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, neo-Nazis, Skinheads, KKK, conspiracy wonks, etc., — seem to be working toward. And the Pacific Northwest is to those of us who live here the geographic and cultural gem of this model democracy, not a rampart for failures and haters.

Rather than licking their chops over the armageddon they seem to be courting, they might join the National Guard. Or apply for employment with one of our effective, friendly, underpaid law enforcement teams. Then lugging guns around would be routine, not creepy. Moreover, the hedonistic, violence-driven lobbyists of the NRA could go back to being the mentoring organization they were when those of us of a certain mellow vintage earned ribbons for hitting targets, under responsible NRA supervision, at summer camps. (Like the current, craven GOP, the NRA was a whole different thing back in the day). Too old for the National Guard or being a cop? Been there, done that? OK, enroll in nearby North Idaho College and study civics, history or literature. Turn off propaganda-spewing Fox News and read a book. Don’t tackle James Joyce or the Russian classics; nothing fancy, just good ol’ American authors. Ask anyone at the library to set you up with Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Harper Lee, Hemingway, Faulkner, Alice Walker (The Color Purple), Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Steinbeck, Joan Didion, Eudora Welty, A.B. Guthrie or Betty Smith (A Tree Grows In Brooklyn). Memorizing the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Talmud or the Bible then calling it a day, if that’s your schtick, is OK; but education it isn’t. Rather than erecting barriers against your neighbors, try plowing their snowy driveways. Send your kids to our fine public schools, then dive into parent-teacher associations and work with other parents and teachers.

Volunteer for a local nonprofit: the animal shelter, Panhandle Special Needs, Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, the Cottage thrift store, Community Assistance League and its busy Bizarre Bazaar, the food bank, Friends of the Library, Angels Over Sandpoint, the Panida Theater, Habitat For Humanity the Pend Oreille Arts Council or the revived music festival. Join a church. Build and bike local paths with Pend Oreille Pedalers. Help maintain and hike the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. Join the Elks, Lions or Rotary. No one here is out to get you, so leave your armaments at the door. If you try, you’ll find Sandpoint life brimming with promise, friendships, joy and success. To cite some happy lyrics from a pop hit of an earlier and simpler era: “Leave your worries on the doorstep ... just direct your feet ... to the sunny side of the street.” You will be warmly welcomed here. If you’re nice, we need you.

October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 11


OPINION

The cult of a thousand cuts By Ben Olson Reader Staff

In 1978, more than 900 people committed mass suicide by drinking Kool-Aid laced with cyanide. The people belonged to a group called Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, but it will be forever known as “Jonestown,” named after San Francisco cult leader Jim Jones. The story of the “Jonestown Massacre” is a complicated one that requires more space to tell than this page can offer, but at the heart of the tragedy is the relationship some of us have with cults and what cults do to the brains of people who, mostly, just wanted to belong. Many of us ask the question, “Why did these people join a cult? Didn’t they see what was happening?” The reasons someone drifts into a cult vary widely but, at the core, they are all seeking answers to problems in their lives and desire love and acceptance. That’s true with just about anybody. Cults don’t always lead to mass deaths and tragedy. Many are still thriving today, albeit under the guise of overly-enthusiastic self-help groups or multi-level marketing companies that eventually lead adherents to driving away their friends and loved ones. Others are firebrand political movements feeding off of anger, anxiety and any number of conspiracy theories. Does that mean anyone who is passionate about politics is a cult member? Of course not. But politics in the 21st century have embraced cult-like behavior to help galvanize the support of followers in a variety of ways. It’s up to each individual to recognize the line that exists between political chatter and the moment when the Kool-Aid is passed around. In an interview with attn:, Cult Education Institute Director Rick Ross proposes a few critical warning signs to look for if you suspect someone is involved with a cult: 12 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

Extreme obsession with a group or leader. If someone you know is becoming increasingly overwhelmed by a group or leader, it might be time to intervene. Especially, Ross warned, if that obsession is “to the exclusion of friends or family, and to the detriment of their employment, education” or other facets of their life. Any criticism or questioning is characterized as persecution. Ross said that people who have trouble finding fault with their group, or take any outside questioning or criticism as persecution, might be in a little too deep. “We all know that if you belong to a gym, a club, a church — you can think of negative things about it,” Ross said. “Not this constant singsong of total positivity.” Reliance on the group or leader for value judgments and thoughts. Watch for increasing dependency on or hyperactivity within the group. “They don’t think outside of the box, and the group determines the parameters of the box,” Ross said. Former followers or critics are always wrong, negative and even evil. People in cults are often shunned for leaving or referred to in pejorative terms because they dared to express criticism. Some of you may know where I’m going with this, so I’ll

just say the quiet part out loud: Trumpism is a cult. Full stop. A diverse set of political beliefs is healthy for a functioning democracy, but what has become of the faction of the Republican Party aligned with former president Donald Trump resembles a cult more and more every day. Let’s take this point by point. Extreme obsession with a group or leader: Never in my life have I glorified any one person to the degree that I’ve seen Trumpists worship the man. I have had many heroes in my life, but rarely do I feel the need to fly a flag with their name behind my truck or wear clothing head to toe declaring my undying devotion to them. Or, for that matter, to storm the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to overthrow a free and fair election because they lost. In watching clips from some of his rallies past and present, Trump’s supporters seem to largely believe that he and he alone can “save” them from (insert your fear-mongering cause here). Trump said as much himself at the 2016 Republican National Convention when he stated that, “I alone can fix it,” when talking about the “broken system” of government. Any criticism or questioning is characterized as persecution: Of those heroes in my life,

never have I been unable to speak critically of some of their actions. I believe Barack Obama embodied nearly every trait one could ask for in a president, yet I can’t help but point out some of his shortcomings, like how he failed to move aggressively on filling judicial nominations during his tenure, which culminated in Republicans’ refusal to seat Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after they blocked his nomination 10 months prior to the 2016 election. Or Obama’s disastrous handling of the bank bailouts after the Great Recession in 2008-2009. Also, I loathed the fact that Obama condemned the Patriot Act while a senator but signed its renewal as president in 2011, specifically allowing roaming wiretaps and government searches of business records. These criticisms don’t diminish the credit Obama deserves for the many good things he accomplished while in office. It is a healthy and good thing to question those in power. To fall on your knees and worship any man or woman is a step too far. Reliance on the group or leader for value judgments and thoughts: During the Trump administration, there was a circular relationship between right-wing media — namely Fox News — and the former president. Fox News would gin up the next culture war — the “War on Christmas” or NFL players kneeling during the national anthem or any number of other equally hollow controversies — and Trump would express outrage to his loyal supporters so they, too, thought like he thought. Then he would call into any one of the “news” shows on Fox to react to the issue wholly invented by the network itself, completing the circle. The result was that millions of people were played like a cheap fiddle into structuring their beliefs to match that of their leader. While some Trumpists have turned their backs on Fox News, hunting for more sycophantic outlets like OANN or Newsmax

to bolster their own beliefs, the battle still continues. Fox News and other right-wing media outlets regularly throw slabs of red meat to their followers to help keep the populace angry and afraid, which helps foster a deeper need for a “strong man” to “protect” them. The fact that millions of honest, hard-working Americans were duped into believing he was somehow a champion for their cause is one of the biggest grifts in U.S. history. Former followers or critics are always wrong, negative and even evil: We saw dozens of examples of this during Trump’s presidency. One day a trusted adviser is the best person ever to hold down the job, according to Trump. The next day, that same person is labeled a “RINO,” or an “evil person” who “hates America” because they dared defy the Trumpian groupthink, which itself could change day by day. Take former-Vice President Mike Pence, who has always been one of Trump’s most loyal lieutenants. It took the insurrection on Jan. 6 for Trump to turn on Pence after the latter refused to violate the Constitution by declaring the election null and void. Even if he wanted to, there was no legal framework for Pence to do so, but that didn’t stop Trump from egging on his followers to dogpile Pence for not backing his ploy. The result was an angry mob storming the U.S. Capitol, beating police officers over the head with flags, chairs, hockey sticks and anything else they could get their hands on. A functional gallows was constructed outside the building while those in the crowd chanted “Hang Mike Pence” because he dared to defy Trump’s wishes. But “What about the other side? Why always pick on the Republicans?” Let’s talk about that. There is a widespread belief that there must be both sides presented for an argument to be valid. Yet, not every argument has two valid sides. Sometimes the mere fact of including an opposing view when there is no need for one

< see CULT, Page 13 >


< CULT, con’t from Page 12 >

ends up giving gravitas to a viewpoint that should remain in the caves and fever swamps where our most lizard-brained countrymen dwell. We saw this play out recently in Texas as a school administrator attempted to advise teachers that if they taught about the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were murdered, they also needed to include books with “opposing” views of the Holocaust. The reason the guidelines were introduced was to align with a controversial new law that took effect in Texas in September restricting discussion of race and history in schools — or “critical race theory,” to use a term oft-repeated but seldom understood. There is no legitimate opposing view of the Holocaust. Millions of Jews were hunted down, enslaved and systematically murdered by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler — because they were Jewish. To suggest it didn’t happen, or anything otherwise, is a profound act of intellectual and moral malpractice. This is what happens when we let the government dictate what we can or cannot learn. History is ugly. It’s filled with terrible incidents just

as it is with moments of triumph and heroism. We must accept our history — for good or ill — or it will repeat itself. We are heading down a dangerous path, where the very people who proclaim to honor the Constitution will defy it to achieve their own ends. We are all looking for love, acceptance and a better world, but some are misguided in their efforts. The only thing we can do to push back against this growing cult mentality in politics is to keep honoring the truth and keep speaking that truth to power. Lingchi was an ancient Chinese torture in which a knife was used to methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time, resulting in a slow, lingering death. It’s also known more popularly as “death by a thousand cuts.” Trumpism is a cult unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It is the lingchi to our representative democracy, with every false equivalence and lie cutting another slice into our body politic, weakening us until, one day, we can’t take any more and succumb to the torture. I’m not ready to watch our country go down like this. Are you?

October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 13


ELECTION

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE 2021 Election

Sandpoint and Dover city races

Ahead of the Tuesday, Nov. 2 election, the Reader presents a limited series of election guides featuring questions and answers with candidates for a range of local offices. This week focuses on candidates for three open seats on the Sandpoint City Council, as well as two open seats on the Dover City Council and two candidates for mayor. To read more about the candidates for a contested seat on the Lake Pend Oreille School District Board of Trustees go to sandpointreader.com. For more information on candidates running unopposed, visit Election Central on sandpointonline.com (sandpointonline.com/news/elections.shtml). For all other election-related information, visit Bonner County Elections at bonnercountyid.gov. The Reader hosted a candidates’ forum Oct. 19 at the Sandpoint branch of the East Bonner County Library, video of which is available at krfy.org.

Sandpoint City Council race Questions:

1. Why are you running for Sandpoint City Council? 2. What would be your top three priorities if elected? 3. Affordability is consistently ranked as among the most critical issues facing Sandpoint residents. What do you plan to do as a council member to address this issue? 4. The city has been put in the position over the past year or more to implement various COVID-19 protocols — what’s your position on the role that city government should play in mitigating the pandemic?

Joel Aispuro (incumbent)

Age: 34 Birthplace and residence: San Diego, Calif.; Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: 26 Government service/relevant experience: currently Sandpoint City Council member, family restaurant, father, husband Profession: family business Education: high school, family business, City Council Family: wife, three daughters and one son 14 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

1. I am seeking re-election because of the love of my family, my family business and this community. Also, I would love to continue to serve the community.

encouraging the community to do what is best for themselves and their families. The city encouraged and will continue to encourage personal responsibility.

2. a. Updating the Comprehensive Plan; b. Housing (seeking to do what is best for the citizens of Sandpoint while protecting property rights); c. Improving government services and infrastructure.

Wayne Benner

3. Affordability is an issue not unique to Sandpoint. This is a nationwide issue. Why is this a nationwide issue? Because of inflation. Over time, inflation increases the price of goods and services, which then decreases the number of goods and services you can buy with the dollar. What you can buy today for a dollar will cost more in the future. For most middle-class businesses and citizens, the wages cannot keep up with the rate of inflation. The federal government creates this problem then puts it on the backs of the middle class and local government to fix it? 4. The city did a good job

planning commissioner; fire district commissioner; water/sewer manager Profession: retired Education: BSME plus numerous hours of classes and workshops Family: three children raised in Bonner County 1. To provide my education background and experience in the public and private sector to assist Sandpoint with their evolution. 2. Comprehensive Plan and guidelines, housing affordable and workforce infrastructure. Pushing the planned unit development would help benefit the housing issue, such as having a tiny home development. Infrastructure is every community’s issue — old infrastructure. I will support all upgrades.

Age: 73 Birthplace and residence: Bellingham, Wash.; Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: November 1974-December 2020; February 2021 to present Government service: Bonner County commissioner, six years; city administrator, nine years;

concern or commitment. For us seniors, we have lived through various pandemics and shot mandates. We are here because of mandates. We go to the dentist and expect them to wear a mask. We go to the doctor and expect them to wear a mask. I so respect my family, friends and neighbors that protecting myself and them is a privilege. I’ve been vaccinated, been tested, wear a mask and am very proud to be a part of the majority trying to mitigate the pandemic.

Arthur Bistline

3. I plan to work positively with all agencies, groups, etc., to find a solution that best fits Sandpoint. I would support all city rules and regulations to address the issues of housing. 4. The city should lead at all times under all circumstances. Failure to lead shows lack of

< see ELECTION, Page 15 >


< ELECTION, con’t from Page 14 > (Arthur Bistline) Age: 52 Birthplace and residence: Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: 1969 to 1976, 2012 to present Government service/relevant experience: Dover city attorney for 12 years, maybe more. Have had many dealings with city councils and staff over the years Profession: attorney Education: University of Idaho business finance, summa cum laude, 1992; U of I Law, 1995, cum laude Family: Amy Bistline (formerly Amy Curtis, daughter of Dick Curtis and Dana Smith) 1. Because I believe it is everyone’s duty to contribute and I think I have something to contribute and I love this town. 2. a. Making sure my priorities coincide with the citizens; b. Workforce housing and making sure that city officials don’t unreasonably interfere with business growth; c. Working with the railroads and Idaho Department of Transportation to minimize their impact on our lifestyles. 3. I do not believe in interfering with the housing market forces. I would consider some lower-income housing, but where to put it in Sandpoint would be difficult. It would have to be on city-owned property, as no one is going to sell below market, which would make it prohibitively expensive to do such a project. 4. The city, like any other private person or entity, can do whatever it wants on city property. I don’t think the city should be telling private business what to do, but I do think the city should make it clear that violating a private business’s entry protocols will get you charged with trespassing.

ELECTION DAY is Nov. 2, 2021 Polls are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

John Darling (incumbent)

Age: 47 Birthplace and residence: Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: 44 Government service: Sandpoint City Council, three years and nine months; city of Ponderay, 7 years Profession: local business owner Education: Sandpoint High School, U.S. Navy veteran Family: married with 3 children 1. I am running to ensure the direction of Sandpoint’s future development has a traditional influence, that the city is fiscally responsible and our city government is transparent to its residents. 2. Seeing out the development of our Master Parks Plan and Multimodal Streets plan. Address rapid growth in the city of Sandpoint. 3. Consider all options brought to the city through private development and vote for the best option. 4. The city should continue to play an educational role in COVID-19 protocols.

Justin Dick

Age: 42 Birthplace and residence: Milwaukee, Wisc.; Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: almost 16 Government service: president, Bonner General Health Foundation; Visit Sandpoint Tourism Council (10 years); former board of directors, Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce; Sandpoint Rotary Club Profession: owner, Trinity at City Beach; co-owner, Jalapenos Mexican Restaurant; opening a new concept at the Truby’s Building in January 2022 Education: B.S. psychology, University of Colorado Denver Family: Shaunavee Dick, wife of 15 years; Jace Dick, son, 13 years old, student at Sandpoint Middle School; Evelyn Dick, daughter, 9 years old, student at Washington Elementary; both born at Bonner General Health 1. My family has been in this community since 2006 and have owned small businesses here since 2009. We left Denver to start our family in an area rich with natural beauty, resources, a diverse community and historical community pride. I was involved in the Comprehensive Plan in 2008-’09 and the Parks and Rec. Master Plan. The growth of Sandpoint and the surrounding area has been astonishing prior to the COVID shutdown and has increased dramatically thereafter. We are at a pivotal time in our community to welcome newcomers and help them matriculate to our small-town pace of life while being stewards of our land and resources. Our residents and business community need representation that understands the challenges facing this amazing place we call home. There’s no better time to tackle these challenges and participate in shaping this community for the next 10-20 years. Every challenge we face is an opportunity. 2. a. Update the Comprehensive Plan through engagement of the community to set direction and course of our future and work toward a community that is inclusive of all walks of life, abilities, diversity, socio-economic status, industry, non-profit, education, community health care, tourism and new/old residents alike; b. Community affordability — we are facing a supply and demand problem as we were not prepared for the massive influx of new residents and development we have

incurred the past 20+ months. c. Responsible growth — growth is inevitable yet we can grow while still preserving our small-town pace of life, inclusivity, natural beauty and resources. 3. Affordability was one of the community’s top responses in creation of the 2008-2009 Comprehensive Plan, yet over a decade later, we face a worsening affordability issue. The low hanging fruit is with current zoning, affordable land use requirements, property tax exemptions, ADU planning, ordinance revisions, public-private partnerships, deed restrictions, etc. The city currently has 300 multi-family and 300 single-family developments slated over the course of the next 12-24 months. This is not an issue that moves quickly considering the due diligence that must be done for each development. I will be one of six votes that help steer our community to handle its current growth with the long-term vision of how our community is shaped to handle affordability and growth 10-20 years down the road. 4. I believe the responsibility lies within each of our community members to do what makes them feel safe. Compassion for everyone, as human beings, regardless of how they choose to deal with COVID and COVID mitigation, will bring this community together and ultimately bring us back to a normalcy we once enjoyed.

Frytz Mor

Age: Birthplace and residence: Years in Bonner County: Government service: Profession: Education: Family:

DID NOT participate

Luke Omodt

Age: 44 Birthplace and residence: Missoula, Mont.; residence Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: 42, minus college and military Government service/relevant experience: 23 years of military service, public educator for 12 years Profession: government teacher at Bonners Ferry High School, soldier Education: B.A. secondary education social with a minor in government Family: wife and two great kids; parents Fred and Patty Omodt, of Shingle Mill Blueberry Farm 1. I am running for Sandpoint City Council because I love this town. Public service is a responsibility and privilege of being American. I have served our country and state in uniform since Bill Clinton was our president, four deployments and 23 years later it is time to hang up my boots and focus on our town. The failure of the current council and mayor to purchase the former-University of Idaho property was the greatest missed opportunity of my lifetime. Many people are more than willing to complain about our politics, very few are willing to step forward to work toward solutions. 2. a. Housing — Affordable housing doesn’t start at $400,000. Development and immigration to our town are not something that we can avoid or hide from; we must utilize a mix of policy, zoning and incentives to address this crisis; b. Infrastructure — Our town has been loved hard. We have streets, sidewalks and parks that need attention, this requires resources that have to come from somewhere;

< see ELECTION, Page 16 > October 21, 2021 / R / 15


< ELECTION, con’t from Page 15 >

c. Economics — We need an economy where our local students’ future is not only in moving away, families can build a future here and respect the tax burden that we are asking of our residents on a fixed income. 3. The Sandpoint City Council should create the greater Sandpoint Area Housing Authority. The city should partner with Kootenai, Dover, Ponderay and Bonner County in developing housing solutions. Current developments are building homes at prices that our workforce cannot afford. I would have changed the language on the LOT, “to purchase property for open space, parks and recreation, and potential workforce housing.” Income-based local housing like Culver’s Crossing policy, zoning and incentives all need to be on the table to address this crisis. There is no silver bullet. Sandpoint and our neighbors don’t need aspirational solutions, we need pragmatic action. 4. The city of Sandpoint should follow the science and the law. The primary role of city government is to provide services to the residents and businesses within their incorporated area. I wholeheartedly support medical freedom. Having served in countries where residents did not have any sort of autonomy has given me great respect for both the liberty and responsibility that accompanies being an American citizen. The city should work closely with the Panhandle Health District, the Bonner County commissioners, and the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in charting our path forward.

Jason Welker

16 /

R

Age: 42 Birthplace and residence: born in Kirkland, Wash., resides in south Sandpoint Years in Bonner County: I lived in Bonner County part-time from 2004 (when my wife and I purchased our first home here) through 2017, and full-time since 2017 Government service: two years on the Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commission, serving as chairman since October 2020 Profession: executive director of Pend Oreille Pedalers, Sandpoint’s non-profit trails organization and cycling club; business administrator of Schweitzer Alpine Racing School; and economics textbook author and educational content creator. Formerly an international economics teacher from 2004-2017 Education: bachelor’s degree in economics from Seattle University and a master’s in teaching from Whitworth University (Spokane) Family: wife, Elizabeth Wargo, who is a U of I educational leadership professor and lifelong Idaho resident, and daughter, Libby, 9, who is in the third grade at Washington Elementary School 1. I decided to run for City Council after the current council approved the University Place subdivision on the former-U of I property, a development that the P&Z Commission, which I am on, voted 7-0 to recommend rejection of. In my opinion, the development failed to live up to the public’s vision for the property, our Comprehensive Plan and several specific areas of City Code. In the two years that I have served on P&Z, I have grown increasingly concerned with the pattern of development in Sandpoint, which I believe puts developers’ desires to capitalize on a hot housing market and the interests of out-of-state buyers above people who live and work in Sandpoint. 2. a. Re-engage the public in the process of updating our 2009 Comprehensive Plan to assure that our city’s guiding document reflects the visions and values of Sandpoint’s residents today for the path that growth and development should take over the next 10 years; b. Prioritize the implementation of the city’s Multimodal Transportation Plan, with a focus on making Sandpoint safer

/ October 21, 2021

for cyclists and pedestrians by building shared-use pathways and bike lanes while investing in our sidewalk priority network; c. Protect our natural amenities and assure clean water for drinking and recreation by conserving Sandpoint’s 5,000 acres in the Little Sand Creek drinking watershed and immediately beginning the process of updating our 70-yearold sewage treatment plant. 3. The city’s 2019 Housing Assessment report was never formally presented to nor adopted

by the council, despite it including numerous suggestions for ameliorating the housing crisis, which has only intensified in the two years since. Council must act immediately and adopt some of its suggestions as policy; these include looking closely at city ordinances that govern development in multi-family neighborhoods, the adoption of incentives for developers who are willing to build housing for our local workforce and the acquisition of property to dedicate to workforce housing, which can be provided through

partnerships with private developers and large area employers. 4. Promoting public health is beyond the purview of city government. Our regional health district is responsible for communicating public health advice and issuing mandates when deemed necessary (as the PHD briefly did in 2020 with a mask mandate). City government should only make rules that apply to city employees, while measures to protect workers at other local businesses should be left to those business owners.

Dover City Council race Questions: 1. Why are you running for Dover City Council? 2. What are your top three priorities if elected? 3. Lack of affordable housing is a growing issue in Idaho — particularly in Bonner County. What role do you think Dover could play in finding solutions to this issue? 4. What forms of economic development would you like to see in Dover?

Kim Bledsoe

Age: 50 Birthplace and residence: Born in Boise; lifelong Idahoan, currently living in Dover for the past five years Years in Bonner County: 26 Government service: 10 years in health care, five years in public education, five years as a small business owner, two years in human resources Profession: Sandpoint Women’s Health, clinic manager Education: B.S. communications, University of Idaho Family: husband, Ben Porietis, daughter Emily, sons Aubrey and Oliver, and Violet (best dog ever) 1. I love Idaho, and I really appreciate the community of

Dover and the surrounding areas. I want to do my part to ensure that the history, character and natural resources of Dover are protected; our Comprehensive Plan is upheld; and that the fast-paced growth is managed in a way that allows the good people of Bonner County to live here and enjoy our lake, river and mountains. Being on council is a gift of service, and I look forward to serving the citizens of Dover. I feel my background in management, health care, education and as a small business owner has given me a wide range of experience to pull from in conducting the duties of a city council representative. 2. My main priority would be to be a good steward of our taxpayer dollars. I think fiscal responsibility is imperative, along with transparency. I would commit to showing up, doing the homework and listening to our citizens’ input. My second priority would be to promote sustainable growth while protecting Dover’s character, history and natural resources. Growth is inevitable, so let’s get the community involved and steer the way forward. I would promote growth that benefits the citizens of Bonner County, not outside investors. I think it’s important to protect the lake and wetlands that surround Dover. Finally, I would look for ways to increase

involvement in city government as we navigate decisions involving growth, emergency preparedness, pedestrian and bicycle safety, street improvements and our water/sewer system. This could be done by utilizing surveys, social media, the Dover City website, and having town hall and other events. 3. I’m really excited at some of the ideas and steps being taken to address the affordable and accessible housing issues in our area, such as reverse engineering building as proposed in the Culver’s Crossing development. I think Dover can play an important role in working with residents and developers to promote these ideas and clear a path forward for more innovation. I think there is much to learn from other communities that have experienced what Bonner County is grappling with — especially from their mistakes. It’s not too late to try to get in front of the issue and I would be open to all ideas to make it happen. People deserve homes with a yard for their children and pets, not be relegated to only apartment-style, government-subsidized housing. 4. I’m excited to hear that the large commercial building vacated by Thorne Research will be used as a shipping facility, providing a few new jobs to our area. I’d like to see

< see ELECTION, Page 17 >


< ELECTION, con’t from Page 16 >

our little coffee shop up and running again, as well as other smaller cottage industry-type businesses. There are opportunities for more recreation and tourism, a huge need for child care and, with the upgrade in fiber network for internet, more options for home-based work. Dover’s footprint really doesn’t lend itself to larger commercial development, nor does it jive with the Comprehensive Plan.

that is in balance with the recreational needs and avoid the urban sprawl that can plague a community. We are a small community that can still maintain its rural feel.

c. I would like to preserve and highlight the historic nature of the community. Example of such is as the new post office is built there could be opportunity of constructing a historical plaque.

Amy Lizotte

3. I believe this is a tricky issue in Dover since the value of land is so high. Dover really is a bedroom community to Sandpoint since it lacks the infrastructure of schools, law enforcement, shopping, fuel and so on. Dover is a small residential community that needs to maintain its identity as such. The biggest issue for Dover is to adhere to the new Comprehensive Plan and subdivision plans to keep future growth managed responsibly.

Merlin Glass

Age: 70 Birthplace and residence: Los Angeles, Calif.; resident of Dover since 2018 Years in Bonner County: (did not answer) Government service and profession: veteran of the Air Force, over four decades in the Fire Service as fire officer, instructor and planning specialist for FEMA deploying to national disasters Education: college, two fire academies, federal certified instructor for Emergency Management Family: wife Dodie, two daughters Sarah and Jaime, two sons Grayson and Gabriel 1. If all politics are local then this is in my backyard. Citizenship requires being involved in your community. 2. Sustainable growth, public safety and citizenship. 3. Dover is really a bedroom community to the greater Sandpoint area. We have very little in the way of what might be called light industrial but more in the way of recreational development. This makes watching Sandpoint and other areas so important for the residents and making sure services are maintained. 4. I would like to see more development of the agricultural nature

Age: 46 Birthplace and residence: born and raised in Hope and currently living in Dover Years in Bonner County: 30 Government service: Attending the city council meetings. I believe witnessing the issues and process has been important and relative to this position Profession: I run a private practice as a massage therapist Education: I attended the University of Idaho; massage school in Nevada City, Calif. and Eugene, Ore.; photography school; and herbal medicine Family: I have a 22-year-old daughter, Ahlya, as well as family in Hope

4. I see economic development in a larger context than just money. Economic development is also about quality of life. I believe most people living and moving to Dover love the lifestyle it provides. Dover has miles of hiking, biking and walking trails that are paved and rugged single track (Syringa trail system); river access; peaceful open space; and easy access to amenities in Sandpoint and Ponderay. Dover has also just received cable from Ting, allowing faster reliable internet and creating opportunities for viable home businesses. Thus I would love to work on continued connectivity and preservation of open space.

Mark Sauter

1. I am running for Dover City Council as a voice for the local residents. I also want to help preserve the unique environment and history in Dover. I feel growing up in Hope, witnessing my dad serve 35 years on the council, has inspired me to step up and invest my time in this community. I have been attending the council meetings since moving into Dover and feel up to date on the current issues and the process of holding a seat. 2. a. I want to ensure the concerns around pedestrian safety are being addressed, including adopting a current Emergency Operations Plan; b. The current issue the new mayor and council will take over is updating the water intake, which is a large long-term investment;

Age: 63 Birthplace and residence: Downey, Calif.; Cedar Ridge Road in Dover Years in Bonner County: 9 Government service: fire chief for eight years with a municipal fire department (30-year career); two years deputy city manager;

president, Bonner County Fire Chiefs Association (since 2019) Profession: retired fire chief; part-time fire marshal with Selkirk Fire Department (2016-current) Education: B.A. Cal-State Los Angeles, MPA University of Southern California Family: 31-year-old daughter, deputy prosecutor; 27-year-old son, Navy pilot 1. Having a career in the Fire Service taught me the importance of service to my community. It’s part of the fabric of our country. I consider a city council position to be one of the highest forms of community service. I have considerable background with small government/public safety operations. I believe my experience will add value to the Dover council’s decisions. 2. a. Dover has limited administrative capacity to complete the important work of the city. Dover needs five dedicated, working, elected officials. I have a history of contributing my professional efforts to working with others. The Dover Urban Renewal Agency will be ending in approximately six years, and the Dover Bay development property tax system will change. The transition will require planning and implementation work; b. Water system improvements, a new post office and street work all need to be completed. All these projects need to be managed, followed up on and kept within budget. I have the interest, time and the drive to complete these types of activities; c. Keeping decision-making focused on what’s best for the community. I want to be the voice for all of Dover, focusing on what’s important for the entire town. The projects noted above benefit all of Dover. Comprehensive and infrastructure plans need to be continuously updated and applied, and balanced with the day-to-day (and emergency) needs of the city. 3. Affordable housing is a national problem. The Dover Comprehensive Plan covers housing. The council should consider re-evaluating the plan as housing and workplace conditions in our county have changed considerably since the plan was adopted in 2018. Dover should be

continuously collaborating with the county and other cities. The city council has two vacancies that need to be filled so Dover can participate and have a voice in the housing discussions. We should consider whatever government and grant funds we find available for application to our Dover needs. Mixed-use development (residential units over neighborhood commercial space) may work in some of the Dover areas with commercial zoning. Such an option may help as a buffer from the highway as well. 4. Dover needs to continue to guide development with the Comprehensive Plan in mind. As mentioned above, we should be open to amending the Comp Plan to accommodate changes in our community needs and interests. There is room for development of the corridor from the highway into historic Dover and other areas. We should be actively working with our county-wide economic development group to be sure new businesses are fully informed and supported as they evaluate their options of starting a business in Dover. New and existing business needs dependable infrastructure to thrive. The Dover Ting program is moving along. Completing our water system improvements will help with this, too. We also need to continually evaluate our Dover development and permit procedures so they are efficient and timely.

ELECTION DAY is Nov. 2, 2021 Polls are open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. To listen to the Oct. 19 candidates’ forum, visit: bit.ly/ReaderForum

Dover mayoral race continued on Page 18 < see ELECTION, Page 18 > October 21, 2021 / R / 17


< ELECTION, con’t from Page 17 >

Dover mayoral race

Questions: 1. Why are you running for Dover mayor?

2. What are your top three priorities if elected?

3. Lack of affordable housing is a growing issue in Idaho — particularly in Bonner County. What role do you think Dover could play in finding solutions to this issue? 4. What forms of economic development would you like to see in Dover?

George Eskridge

Age: (no answer) Birthplace and residence: I was born in Bonners Ferry and raised in Dover; Dover is my residence now and has been all my life except for the time I was attending college and pursuing my career away from Dover Years in Bonner County: (no answer) Government service: power requirements officer for the Rural Electrification Administration, senior community relations officer for Bonneville Power Administration and most significant (to me) U.S Navy and Vietnam veteran. Lastly: Member of the Idaho House of Representatives representing Idaho District 1 from 2000-2014 Profession: retired Education: graduate of Sandpoint High School and B.A. in business administration from University of Montana Family: Married to Jenise I. Stilwell, two sons Perry and Jimmy and daughters-in-law KrisAnn and Koryn 1. Because of water infrastructure issues and issues between Old Dover and the Dover Bay development, our community of 18 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

farmer’s market supporting local agriculture close to Dover. Dover is now and continues to be a great place to form home-based businesses. The function of the city is to ensure ample opportunities in those areas marked for commercial development and to provide a clear, straight-forward path to ensure entrepreneurs can exercise their creativity.

Ryan Wells

Dover is experiencing division and disagreement among citizens of Dover. We have lawsuits challenging agreements between Dover Bay homeowners and the city of Dover. My priority is to resolve these issues and bring Dover together as one town with one purpose; ie: to come together as one community working together to solve our issues and working together to ensure Dover’s bright future for generations to come. 2. My three priorities are: 1. to preserve our access to recreation amenities within our city; 2. to improve our town’s transportation infrastructure including walking and biking paths, streets and safety entering and exiting Highway 2; and 3. fiscal responsibility so our town’s limited financial resources are spent wisely without the need to increase local taxes. 3. This is a very difficult discussion for Dover. We are restricted in available land to pursue any meaningful affordable housing program. What vacant lots or land we have available sells for $350,000 and more, making it difficult to construct housing to meet affordable housing goals. Dover’s best role would be to encourage adjacent jurisdictions such as Sandpoint to revise their permit requirements, lot sizes and multiple housing units to make housing less expensive to build and thus more affordable for low-income families to purchase housing. 4. The result of past planning efforts is that Dover is limited to commercial development operating in support of the city’s status as a resort community. Dover businesses will likely be small, individual concerns including restaurants, recreation support, public and private event support, and pop-up stands such as a

procedures, processes and plans to ensure that they are transparent, streamlined and that the city is responsive and accountable to the members of the community it serves. Work to engage residents from Pine Street to the Pend Oreille — get neighbors connecting with neighbors working together to do what is best for the city of Dover. Quickly work to end costly litigation, ensure that the council was in sync with the people of Dover to avoid further expenditures of taxpayer money. 3. Dover is not likely the first place that affordable housing could be started. Working with our neighbors would be a quicker way to facilitate more immediate projects. But with that said we

Age: 53 Birthplace and residence: Loma Linda, Calif.; 25-year resident of North Idaho, Dover currently Years in Bonner County: 20 Government service: extensive local community service Profession: business manager (30+ years) Education: high school and community college Family: Andrea, wife. Sarah and Josh, adult children, attended and graduated from LPOSD schools K-12 1. I enjoy helping others and making a difference, and with Dover losing many of its elected officers over the past year, I saw a need that I could fill with my energy and community-minded leadership. My experience as a business manager, local leadership on multiple boards and local community connections give me the tools to effectively and efficiently run the city of Dover. 2. With the Dover City Council, I would review current city

have some interesting opportunities with larger landowners in the city to discuss what could be done if they were planning future developments. 4. Dover is currently more of a bedroom and resort community. I believe that many of our residents like the quiet North Idaho lifestyle that our city provides. We have economic opportunities very near to us. In the near future I do not see significant economic development for the city. Smart growth in the next five to 10 years might allow for some small-scale, service-based business, but it would really need to match the needs of our residents as a first priority.


October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 19


20 /

R

/ October 21, 2021


OUTDOORS

Home again, home again Local pair completes Idaho Centennial Trail thru-hike, raise funds for local mental health resources

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey Reader Staff Even 850 miles later, Justine Murray and Matt Connery are looking to go hiking. When the Reader caught up with the pair after completing their thru-hike of the Idaho Centennial Trail, time was of the essence; right after the interview, they were headed to a local trailhead, celebrating Connery’s birthday with yet another walk in the woods. “The endorphin blast and everything you get on the trail for your own mental health is — there’s no words to even describe it,” Murray said. “That keeps you going. That feeling, and being outside, is what definitely makes both of us tick. We love to hike. We hiked Scotchman [Peak] when we got back.” The Idaho Centennial Trail trek was the launching point for a new local nonprofit known as the Ethan Murray Fund — named for Murray’s son, who struggled with schizophrenia, addiction and homelessness, and was killed by a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy in May 2019. In an effort to provide North Idaho with the mental health resources Murray couldn’t provide Ethan, she launched the nonprofit and planned the thru-hike with a goal of raising $50,000. As of Oct. 20, the Ethan Murray Fund has raised $44,500 through donations and per-mile pledges, with plans for an auction in November to push past the total goal. Local groups due to benefit from the money include the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Far North) and Bonner Homeless Transitions. “We’re just excited to work with the community,” Murray said. “The support has been unreal.” Murray and Connery embarked on their journey in late June, braving temperatures around 108 degrees on some days in the Owyhee Desert near the Idaho-Nevada border. From there, the couple walked about 775 miles north through heat and rain; over bridges and countless blowdowns; around fires and washouts, all the while sticking to roads, trails and oftentimes only semblances of trails, overgrown and neglected. All of that walking — along with about 75 miles of rafting on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River — brought them across the

Matt Connery, left, and Justine Murray, right, in the mountains. Courtesy photo. entire length of Idaho. They reached Priest Falls, their final destination, on Sept. 20. “We knew, going into the trip, that this is a trail of no expectations,” Connery said, adding later: “It was going to be hard no matter what, because a lot of the time, there’s just no trail.” As for their favorite parts of the hike, Murray pointed to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness — “hands down.” Connery said he enjoyed the sunrises in the desert, and how the landscape stood in such stark contrast to the mountains back home in Sandpoint. “Every section is beautiful in its own way,” he said. Experiencing all of Idaho with nothing but the items they could carry certainly provided some perspective, the pair shared. Connery said they found themselves appreciating “little gifts,” like “the first pine tree after 125 miles.” “We were like, ‘Shade! Run!’” Murray recalled. “You realize that you don’t need very much,” Connery added. “We are so spoiled… What you have on your back is really all you need.” Adjusting back to everyday life after beginning and ending each day in a tent for nearly three months has also been a challenge. “It takes time, and we’ve heard from

other thru-hikers that you’ve got to give yourself time to reintroduce yourself,” Murray said, noting that she had a hard time heading straight back to work at her downtown shop, La Chic Boutique, upon return. “[Real life] is not the everyday easy thing of ‘you’ve got to make it from here to there,’” she said. “You have all these things that start bombarding your mind — work, life, everything. It is pretty overwhelming.” While the daily objective on a thru-hike might be “easy” — moving forward, gaining miles — the reality of that daily task was much harder. “You’re walking all day, but the trail is hard enough in some places that you are really working to get where you’re going,” Connery said. The mental toll of such a harrowing journey also weighed on the hikers. Murray said that she would sometimes experience emotional “crashes” and have hard days, but Connery remained patient and supportive. “You have to go into this knowing that you’re going to have rough days,” he said, “but it is how you treat each other during those rough days.” Aside from the upcoming auction event — date to be determined — Murray said the board of the Ethan Murray Fund is in the midst of discussing next steps, including planning annual events, possible expansion of local resources and maybe even another hike. “I was hoping on the trail that I’d find all the answers to everything; and, of course, you don’t. That’s just in the movies,” Murray said with a laugh. “But I’m super excited about it, and to see where it goes.” In the meantime, you’re sure to find Murray and Connery hiking, often with friends. Aside from the personal growth they experienced in the mountains, it was the people they encountered — including those who assisted them on the Idaho Centennial Trail — that restored their “faith in humanity,” Murray said. “The connection in nature and how it brings people together, whatever their politics — it doesn’t matter out there,” she added. “The human connection in nature and how beautiful it really is, and how we would help each other — it blew our minds, some of the trail magic.” To learn more, visit ethanmurrayfund. org. Also find the nonprofit on Instagram at @ethanmurrayfund, where Murray and Connery detailed their thru-hike journey in real time. October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 21


events October 21-28, 2021

THURSDAY, october 21

Live Music w/ Thrown Out Bones • 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority A swanky rock group traveling through from San Francisco on their Homecoming Tour. Lead singer and drummer have biked across the country to get here and is raising funds and awareness for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. Also, Fresh Hop Week continues until Oct. 24. Enjoy the freshness of the season with 8 Fresh Hop Beers on tap! Live Music w/ Samantha Carston • 6-8pm @ The Back Door One heck of a singer who plays a mean uke

Free Community Toast at Matchwood • Oct. 21-31 @ Matchwood Brewing Co. To celebrate their 3rd anniversary, Matchwood Brewing is hosting a “Cheers to the Year” from Oct. 20-31. Come by the brewery between these dates anytime for a free 8 oz. pour of selected beers. Show your gratitude by giving their crew an awesome tip!

FriDAY, october 22 Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 2-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms

DJ Shanner at A&Ps Bar and Grill 8pm-midnight @ A&Ps Bar and Grill No cover! 21+ Dancing and drink specials

Live Music w/ Kevin Dorin 7-9pm @ The Back Door A voice like honey and some blues, too

Live Music w/ Luke Yates 6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

SATURDAY, october 23 Live Music w/ Mike & Shana 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority A local duo playing a variety of music Utara’s 3rd annual Harvest Festival All day @ Utara Brewing Co. Special brats and beers all day long. Petting zoo from 2-5pm hosted by Maker’s Long Acres. Come join the fun! Cocolalla Community Hall’s annual History Day 10am-4pm @ Cocolalla Community Hall Photos, historical info and artifacts on display for all to peruse. For additional info, contact Glenna 208-263-8596

Farmers’ Market Harvest Festival 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park The final Sandpoint Farmers’ Market day of the season! There will be a food drive, face painting, costume contest at 11 a.m., pumpkin decorating contest at 11 a.m. and music from Live Music w/ Chris Paradis 7-9pm @ The Back Door Live Music w/ Brian Jacobs 6-9pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

SunDAY, october 24

Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 10am-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms

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

monDAY, october 25

Outdoor Experience Monday Night Group Run – All levels welcome 6pm @ Outdoor Experience Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant “Zombies! What’s the Fascination?”

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

tuesDAY, october 26 wednesDAY, october 27

Hickey Farms Harvest Festival 2-5:30pm @ Hickey Farms

Tap Takeover with Bale Breaker Brewing and fundraiser for Kinnickinick Native Plant Society - Live music w/ Bright Moments 6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

ThursDAY, october 28

22 /

R

/ October 21, 2021


October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 23


FOOD

The Sandpoint Eater Baking with buttermilk By Marcia Pilgeram Reader Columnist

Twenty-five years ago, in shop class, my son made a book-holder for me. It remains a beloved piece, displaying a handful of favorite cookbooks. Although the books change, the book holder remains constant in my kitchen. I honestly hadn’t thought much about shop class the past couple of decades until I received a short text last week from Miley, Zane’s 13-yearold daughter (and my baking protégé). It read, “I made a charcuterie board in shop class. We can use it when you come.” There are so many levels of happiness in that simple text. First of all, I’d venture to guess it may be the first charcuterie board ever crafted in the high-school shop class of Savage, Mont. (population 300, give or take a farmer or two), a small agricultural community named for H.M. Savage, supervising engineer for the U.S. Reclamation Service. It’s a beautiful region of rivers and plains in northeastern Montana, and I’m on my way there. Besides time with the grandchildren, I’ll be meeting Charlotte, a quintessentially pretty Jersey cow. Zane is a rancher and hay farmer by trade and a barterer by passion. A dairy farmer traded her for a load of hay and, according to Zane, Miley just churned out the first batch of butter, worth $2,000. Like most of the critters on his farm, Charlotte will become a beloved member of the family and will hopefully carry her cow weight by becoming a wet nurse for twins and orphans, and such. Meanwhile, we’ll be baking with buttermilk. It’s going to be an action-packed week but, before I 24 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

arrive, the first rendezvous with Zane and Miley is at Costco, in Billings, Mont., where we’ll shop and load up their freshly power-washed horse trailer with enough supplies to fill their winter larder. I miss the ranch days, when the local restaurant supply house would arrive at our place twice a year with six months’ worth of staples. But old habits die hard — which is why I still maintain three freezers — and there’s still nothing I love more than stocking up on bulk food supplies. I planned this trip to take advantage of the grandchildren’s schedule, which includes a couple days off school. They have myriad activities planned and I can’t wait to watch them participate – volleyball for 15-year-old Jaidyn, “Pink night” football for Zane (who turns 14 during my visit)

and, best of all, a fundraiser bake sale on Saturday. I suspect Miley will have the ovens preheating before we unload the supplies. Besides lots of baking supplies for the fundraiser, we’ll also be stocking up on some fancy foods for the charcuterie board. I’m anxious to show off Miley’s handiwork and super proud that she received a grade of 71/75 (needed a bit more sanding, critiqued her instructor). I’m thrilled too that today, our granddaughters (and grandsons) can choose to pick up a spatula, a saw, a sauté pan or even a saxophone and learn how to use whatever brings passion to their lives. I want to take credit for Miley’s mad baking skills, but credit mostly goes to another program at her school called Genius Hour. It’s a project in the classroom where students are

allowed to explore their passions for a set amount of time, usually ranging from one hour per week to 20% of their total class time. It was here that Miley mastered French macarons and chocolate eclairs and gained the confidence to pursue her passion to one day own a bakery (her dad says he also did some gaining during these baking endeavors). It’s a 13-hour drive to Zane’s place and I don’t make it there nearly as often as I’d like, but I’m sure glad there’s a willing village, encouraging my son’s family to flourish — especially at their country school, which encompasses K-12. My gaggle currently takes up space in first, eighth, ninth and 10th grades, respectively. I’ll be forever grateful to everyone in the school (and community) who pitches in to help my single-parent son raise this fine

brood. Last week, first-grader Riley had lunch with Mrs. Potter, the school superintendent, who sent home a note praising his handwriting and story writing skills. I’m quite sure he’ll be proudly waving it in his hand upon my arrival. My pride is in my packing prowess and, once again, I’ve outdone myself. My Montana-bound car is packed to the brim, loaded with keepsakes and heirlooms, coveted cheesemaking and baking supplies, and bits and pieces of Idaho. I’ve filled a cooler with homemade desserts, frozen huckleberries and a lot of local potatoes. Those kids will polish off the potatoes in a meal or two, starting with a batch of crispy garlic and Parmesan roasted russets. I hope everyone agrees with wise Aunt Ryanne, who says these are the best potatoes. Ever.

Crispy garlic and Parmesan roasted russets These potatoes are my Idaho-family’s favorite. Perfect side with a Sunday roast. Serves six.

Prep Time: 20 mins. Cook Time: 45-55 mins.

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

• 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 in cubes (soak in warm saltwater while prepping)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat potatoes dry. Place in a large bowl and add olive oil, toss to coat with the olive oil, season with the salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. While potatoes are roasting, wipe prep bowl clean and mix garlic, parsley, zest and cheese. Remove 1/2 cup and set aside. Roast potatoes in the oven for 45-55 minutes on bottom rack. Halfway through, shake pan to loosen potatoes and move potatoes to top rack, until crisp and golden. Remove the potatoes from the oven and toss into bowl with the cheese mixture, using tongs or spoon to coat potatoes. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over top and season with a little extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

• 1/4 cup good quality olive oil • 1 teaspoon sea salt • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley • Zest of one lemon • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


MUSIC

Festival at Sandpoint hires Paul Gunter as education and production manager By Reader Staff Paul Gunter has been a pivotal part of putting on the annual Festival at Sandpoint for decades. Now he’s joining the organization’s staff to work on projects year-round. According to officials with the nonprofit, Gunter has been with the Festival for more than 23 years, including his role helping produce the two-week summer concert series as site manager beginning in 2007 and production manager since 2019. Following the recent announcement of his hiring, he will serve as the Festival at Sandpoint’s full-time education and production manager. Gunter’s passion for music began early. Raised in a house filled with music, he began singing and playing numerous instruments at a young age. He continued his musical education through his school years, all at-

tended locally, and has played in a host of local bands, including RFB and Bridges Home. Meanwhile, Gunter also acquired a passion for teaching others and spent more than 15 years in music education. In addition to producing concerts and events — including the Festival’s new Live from the 525 mini-concert series — he has worked with other community-based organizations and plans to further develop the nonprofit’s outreach and educational opportunities. The Festival team is excited for the new opportunities that come with Gunter’s new role as a full-time staff member. According to Festival Executive Director Ali Baranski, “We are thrilled to welcome Paul to our team fulltime, and the talent, passion and knowledge

This week’s RLW by Zach Hagadone

READ

Autumn is as much a season as it is a mindset. There are people who go all in the moment the leaves change color — turtlenecks, scented candles, the much-derided Pumpkin Spice-ing of life. But with that exhilaration comes a comedown of sorts — what culture writer Anne Helen-Petersen terms “fall regression.” Read her illuminating essay on the topic at annehelen.substack.com.

LISTEN

Paul Gunter and family. Courtesy photo.

that he brings to the Festival at Sandpoint. Our organization is incredibly lucky to have Paul’s level of expertise locally and there is no one more deserving

of the position. We look forward to seeing how Paul will help expand our mission, music education programs and overall community impact.”

With renewed interest in the Dune universe running high amid the recent premiere of the newest film adaptation, it’s worth revisiting the words of author Frank Herbert himself. Search YouTube for a fascinating interview with Frank Herbert, his wife Bev and Cal State English Professor Dr. Willis E. McNelly recorded in 1969, during which Herbert revealed that the general idea for the sweeping novel series began while studying the control of sand dunes in Florence, Ore.

WATCH

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint Kosh, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Oct. 22 Enjoy a Friday night on the town with locally made wine and the versatile sounds of Kosh — a Coeur d’Alene-based acoustic soloist boasting decades of performing experience in settings ranging from intimate listening rooms to stadium concerts. The former member of 1980s metal band Tsunami, Kosh now draws on that stage experience as he performs across the Pacific Northwest, both solo and with

party band SuperChrome. In his solo sets, Kosh melds classic and contemporary tunes to find a foothold in any audience, sharing confident, soothing vocals all the while. Listen to Kosh at koshmusic. com. — Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey 5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., powine.com.

Bright Moments Jazz, Idaho Pour Authority, Oct. 27 One of Sandpoint’s hardest working bands doesn’t appear to be slowing down, as jazz trio Bright Moments keeps a packed schedule at some favorite local haunts, including a midweek performance at Idaho Pour Authority on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Boasting veteran jazz musicians and a repertoire covering jazz from “a wide era,” listeners will be serenaded by the sounds of

classic, cool and swing jazz. If you’ve yet to enjoy Bright Moments in Sandpoint, get out from under that rock and go grab a pint Wednesday night.

It’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the firehose of “prestige” streaming series, so Midnight Mass seems to have come and gone with only a flash of critical notoriety. Rolling Stone called it “the terrifying thing on TV right now” while rogerebert.com lauded its “deep, complex themes.” The Netflix limited series is more the latter than the former. Rather than a “horror show,” it’s a rumination on faith and how it can lead us disastrously wrong when followed blindly. Check it out for a dose of its subversive amalgam of Bram Stoker and the King James Bible.

— Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey 6-8 p.m., FREE. Idaho Pour Authority, 203 Cedar St., idahopourauthority.com. October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 25


BACK OF THE BOOK

Card carrying From Northern Idaho News, Oct. 20, 1931

BLACK HOLES OF CITY ARE MENACE Night patrolman George Conniff told the council Thursday night of the dark holes about the city that furnished hiding places for robbers so they could watch the police and be unobserved and furnished excellent hiding places if they were intending to rob a store. Conniff said most of these places were offsets in the rear walls of buidings and so dark one could not see a person in them while a person hiding in them could see anything on the outside. He cited as an illustration the alley back of the Eagle pool hall and the buildings on the east side of First. On the night the safe was taken from the pool hall the officers had to go down the lighted alley while the men were in the darkness back of the building and could watch the officers but the officers could not see them. This made the officers an excellent target for the robbers in case they were in danger of capture, he said. Another case was the alley back of the city hall. An officer could pass this alley and see the entire distance, but in the offsets of the buildins the officers could see nothing at all unless they went direct to these dark spots. Conniff said he did not think it would cost very much for the merchants back of whose places of business these black spots occurred to place an electric light so the officers could see anyone trying to hide in them. Mayor Brown asked the chief of police to take up the matter with the property owners and Peters told him he had done so. 26 /

R

/ October 21, 2021

By Zach Hagadone Reader Staff Clubs have never really been my thing. I’ve always preferred to either do things alone or tell other people what to do. Thus the life of a writer and editor has served me just fine. That said, the longest membership I’ve ever maintained in a dues-paying organization has been the Idaho Press Club. I joined the IPC way back in 2001 and have carried one of its cards in my wallet off and on ever since. As of this writing, I am a card-carrying member in good standing, fully-paid up through January 2022. I will most certainly renew it. Belonging to a press organization is a deceptively important act. Day to day, it’s often unclear what exactly the club does. We pay our dues every January, then pay again to submit our stories for awards consideration each spring. When I lived in the capital city, writing and editing for the Boise Weekly, I would also attend the awards ceremony — usually held in a downtown conference space, where hacks and flacks representing most if not all of the media outlets and PR shops in the state would gather to drink too much, eat convention center food, and strut around wearing name tags while we collected our awards and gossipped (otherwise known as Idaho’s “nerd prom”). These were fun events, but summed up pretty much the only interaction most IPC members had with the organization each year. It’s nice to get plaques and certificates honoring your reporting, but in our heart of hearts we all know they function more as a way to telegraph excellence to our peers, rather than the public. And the public hates us. According to a survey by Reuters, and reported in June by the national journalism thinktank Poynter, only 29% of news consumers in the U.S.

say they “trust the news.” That’s lower than in Brazil. Also, as Poynter pointed out, among polling in 46 countries, the U.S. ranks behind Poland, the Philippines and Peru for media trust. All this is to say that when we members of the Idaho Press Club pay our dues and shell out for our plaques, it’s with a vague sense that what we’re doing is important in so far as it advances the solidarity of our profession — the only one firmly rooted in the secular defense of the First Amendment — but we often don’t see much come of it, other than a decent party. The past few weeks have provided powerful evidence for why it’s so important that the IPC exists, as it successfully sued Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin — who is running for governor in the 2022 election — to release unredacted public records related to her “Task Force to Examine Indoctrination in Idaho Education,” which has convened in several sessions this year aimed at rooting out “critical race theory” and other perceived un-American curricula in Gem State schools. So far this task force has yet to uncover any nefarious deeds; yet, journalists — almost all in the Boise area — have doggedly covered the proceedings and, empowered by federal and state constitutions, requested materials from the lieutenant governor’s office that may, or may not, support her claims. At first she refused to comply. Then she submitted records that were so heavily redacted as to be meaningless. Then she came across with the records — all subject to the Idaho Public Records Act — but soon after launched into complaints that her non-compliance with the law had to do with the protection of individuals’ privacy, then that her office didn’t have the money to cover the records request (even as she requested taxpayer dollars to convene her task force in the first place) and, in a real truth-is-strang-

er-than-fiction moment, claimed that her office and lawyers couldn’t find the invoices to cover $50,000 in taxpayer money that she also requested to cover legal bills from outside counsel, Sandpoint-based lawyer Colton Boyles, of Boyles Law. All the while, she has blamed “the media” for stoking controversy around her ad hoc inquisition. What did “the media” find in the records of communications that she so desperately wanted to protect? Most Idahoans who took the time to communicate with her office said that they think her task force is grandstanding at best, a waste of tax dollars in the short-term and totalitarian at worst. It’s obvious why she didn’t want that information to see the light of day, which makes it all the more obvious why it should have — and how critical the role of press associations are in actually defending the First Amendment and open government on the ground. People in the U.S. might not trust the press, but here is one of who-knows-howmany examples, both big and small, of times when reporters have gone to bat directly for the public’s right to know what their government and its officials are up to. This is the real work of defending representative democracy — not mobs and flags and guns and mean tweets and anonymous threats. I couldn’t be prouder of the IPC for its stand against McGeachin’s unlawful obstruction of access to public information and glad for every dollar I’ve ever given the organization. I’m not a joiner, but your press club is one whose card I’ll gladly carry.

STR8TS Solution

Sudoku Solution

Crossword Solution

Zach Hagadone’s Idaho Press Club membership card. Courtesy photo


colubrine

Woorf tdhe Week

By Bill Borders

/KOL-uh-brahyn/

[adjective] 1. of or resembling a snake; snakelike.

“From the air, the colubrine river winds through the canyon on its way to the sea.” Corrections: In her Oct. 14 op-ed “Needs versus wants,” contributor Helen Newton wrote that the recently expired local option tax was 3%. To clarify, that tax was 1%.

If you go through a lot of hammers each month, I don’t think it necessarily means you’re a hard worker. It may just mean that you have a lot to learn about proper hammer maintenance.

Solution on page 26

CROSSWORD

Copyright www.mirroreyes.com

Laughing Matter

Solution on page 26

ACROSS 1. Anagram of “Space” 6. Regarding 11. Peels 12. Rust 15. Desolate 16. A kitchen servant 17. French for “Summer” 18. Unrestrained sexual indulgence 20. Cover 21. A soft porous rock 23. Suspended 24. Containers 25. Astringent 26. Light bulb unit 27. Ping-___ 28. A period of discounted prices 29. Abaft 30. Croons 31. A short novel 34. Pee 36. Before, poetically 37. Expectoration 41. Bit of dust 42. Pond gunk 43. Sea eagle 44. Cause surfeit through excess 45. “Cut that out!” 46. A large amount 47. Buffoon 48. Voter 51. Not thin 52. Epidemic

Solution on page 26 54. ___ public 56. Celebrated 57. African antelope 58. Colorless 59. Genders

DOWN 1. Food turner 2. Cautiously attentive 3. Arrive (abbrev.) 4. Rind 5. Feudal worker 6. Burr 7. A village outside a castle

8. Paris airport 9. Website address 10. Laboring 13. Behavior 14. Concludes 15. Test versions 16. Badminton birdie 19. Rub 22. Geniality 24. Agueweed 26. Undulation 27. A sizeable hole 30. Flower stalk 32. In song, the loneliest number 33. Blow up 34. Dieresis

35. Top of a house 38. Blasphemous 39. Viscera 40. Cantankerous 42. Dependable 44. Murmurs 45. Mixture of rain and snow 48. Goddess of discord 49. 1 1 1 1 50. Part in a play 53. Brassiere 55. Levy

October 21, 2021 /

R

/ 27