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2 / R / September 14, 2023

The week in random review

teeth bite

Among the many things about which I’ve been unreasonably annoyed in my life is the fact of teeth. I don’t like them and never have. You have to brush them twice a day, you have to floss around them, you have to bare them for pictures (which I also don’t like), and even the slightest damage to them costs you hundreds — maybe thousands — of dollars and no end of pain and suffering. Even as a little kid I thought it would be better to have them all yanked out, replaced with some indestructible substance and forgotten about for the rest of my life. Despite my aversion to them, my teeth have been pretty good to me. I never had braces and I’m going to be 43 this month, yet to date I have zero fillings. This is despite the fact that I hadn’t been to the dentist for about 15 years — until last month, when it was marveled at by the teeth experts that I didn’t have any decay whatsoever, no major gum problems and the sealants I got when I was about 10 were still there. This was all good news until the doctor looked at one of my teeth (which had been bothering me a bit) and declared that an infection had gotten in there and the tooth would have to go. So here I am, writing this on the eve of the first tooth extraction I’ve had to endure since my wisdom teeth came out 27 years ago. I’m not smiling now and, next time I see you, don’t ask me to smile then, either.

on losing

I’m not a competitive person, preferring Peter Kropotkin’s perspective that, “Competition is the law of the jungle, but cooperation is the law of civilization.” That’s not to say that I don’t like winning; just that, when I lose, I don’t really care. That’s a good feeling, and I had it on Sept. 9 when our Reader boat — the USS Hatemail — went down to a somewhat narrow defeat after two straight years of first-place finishes in the fourth annual Sand Creek Regatta. It was a great day. We had 80 or so spectators at various spots along Sand Creek from Bridge Street to the Cedar Street Bridge cheering us on. There were four “boats”: organizers Jon and Amanda Knepper’s (which traveled the course about an inch below water the whole time); City Hall’s boat, dubbed “Oktoberfest,” using a picnic table buoyed by containers and sporting its own soundtrack from a waterproof speaker; the Hatemail; and a trim little vessel made of PVC pipe and what looked like ultratight-stretched tarp manned by Matt Kinney, Josh Knaggs and my own younger brother Jake Hagadone. We paddled hard, drank beer, splashed and lost, but it felt so much like winning.

childhood archaeology

Speaking of my not-so-little brother, our parents bought us about a million G.I. Joe action figures in the ’80s and ’90s, which we abused with firecrackers, BB guns, slingshots and all manner of other rambunctious play. That resulted in many of them being rendered into pieces of errant legs, arms, heads, etc. So they’ve lain for close to 30 years, until our dad made it a project to reconstruct them — spending more than a month meticulously repairing them — and giving them to my kids last week. They’re all reconstituted now but, among the miscellany of the ancient toy bucket, I found a Lego knight stuck in an old G.I. Joe tank. He hadn’t seen the light of day since probably 1990, but I shook him loose and now he joins his brothers in arms. Though he’s missing some hands, he looks brand new.


Greetings Reader readers. We’re blazing our way through September, with already half the month in our rear-view mirrors. I don’t know if the world spins a bit faster as you get older, but it sure seems like it does. I’d like to formally request it to slow the heck down so we can enjoy the stellar weather we’ve had lately.

To all of those generous souls who have donated to the Reader since our Sept. 7 edition, we are so grateful for your support. This community continually amazes me. I’m going to publish a meter showing our progress toward raising $50,000 in every edition (to check out our progress from the beginning of September, as well as a list of donors, please see Page 16). I intend to publish the names of those who contribute to our fundraiser, so please indicate if you’d like to remain anonymous.

We hope you enjoy yet another mild September weekend out there.


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

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About the Cover

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September 14, 2023 / R / 3

Tensions between Bonner County commissioners spur a new agenda bylaw Changes also come to county ordinance enforcement on short-term rentals

The Bonner County commissioners’ regular Tuesday, Sept. 12 business meeting was punctuated by three separate recesses, as acting-Commission Chair Luke Omodt attempted to rein in extensive deliberation and public comment. Officials dedicated much of the meeting to the discussion of two agenda items: software to enforce the existing short-term rental ordinance and a modification to Robert’s Rules of Order proposed by Omodt.

Ordinance 12-484 requires that property owners apply for a permit — initially costing $200 with a $25 technology fee — in order to lease out a short-term rental unit. The code defines these vacation rentals as “a single-family, duplex or multi-family residence, or condominium unit rented for periods of up to one month [30 days] per visit.”

Planning Department Director Jake Gabell brought forward a proposal to enter into a professional service agreement with Deckard Technologies for the purchase of its Rentalscape software, which searches websites like VRBO and Airbnb for unpermitted rentals in the area. The program can only discover units published online by the owners, and officials emphasized that they will not be going door to door searching for unregistered rentals.

Once the county identifies the units, they can be cross-checked with existing permits, and any unregistered rentals will be contacted to purchase a permit in compliance with the ordinance.

“We’re only at about 30% to 40% — depending on what numbers you use — compliance with how many short-term rentals we have in the county,” Gabell said, going on to clarify that he cannot give a specific number of

unregistered units without using the software to catalog them.

“There’s anywhere between 650 and 850 [units] in the county,” Gabell added. “We have about 300 active permits right now.”

Commissioner Asia Williams expressed skepticism over the software, referring to it as “a policing of people,” noting that the county is the subject of consistent litigation and should not, if possible, open itself to more potential lawsuits.

“It is a policing mechanism because you’re not using it for vacation rentals. It specifically says, ‘For Short Term Rental’ [on the agenda],” Williams added, though did not elaborate on the distinction she was making between shortterm rentals and vacation rentals.

“This is not moving in the direction of a police state,” said Omodt. “What this is, is moving in the direction of self-sufficiency and maintaining efficiency.”

Members of the audience also raised concerns that the software would monitor all properties in the county and would potentially reveal private information — two misunderstandings that officials were quick to dispel.

“The information that will be captured on this is from publicly maintained sites, so there is no information or a pass-through where the Planning Department will be sharing the private information that is not already readily available online,” said Omodt.

Throughout the discussion, he emphasized that Rentalscape is a means of protecting quality of life and private property rights for locals. The commissioners held a workshop on Aug. 30 to address local complaints and possible solutions about short-term rentals, but the issue goes back as far as 2018, according to Gabell.

For an additional fee, the software includes a 24-hour, sevenday-a-week hotline, giving locals the opportunity to report issues

with vacation rentals to the Planning Department. Complaints that fall outside of their jurisdiction — including matters for the sheriff like the enforcement of burn bans — would be rerouted to the proper authorities.

“Say it’s a Saturday night and there’s a large fire; no one from the Planning Department is gonna show up with a bucket of water and knock it out,” said Gabell.

“I don’t know the full risk of a county employee going out to try to enforce a notification of a bonfire that shouldn’t be had,” Williams said.

The cost of the software will not exceed $32,500 for the first year, and Deckard Technologies agreed to lock in the price at $29,000 for the second year, according to Gabell. The Technology Fund, rather than the Planning Department’s budget, would finance the purchases at a future date.

Williams objected to this means of payment, claiming it looked like the Planning Department could not afford to purchase the software. She noted that Bonner County will be starting the next budget year in contingency, having gone over the allotted funds for certain expenses.

County Clerk Mike Rosedale clarified that only specific line items will be in contingency, and money cannot simply be moved from one fund to another.

“The Information Technology Department provides a variety of software across the departments of the county,” said Omodt. “At this time, the budget that is available for the Technology Fund — with

one pay period left in this fiscal year — is $319,697.61.”

Bradshaw claimed that the money earned by enforcing the ordinance would cover the cost of the software — a speculation that Williams argued may not be accurate.

The commissioners approved the contract with Deckard Technologies in a 2-1 vote, with Williams dissenting.

The final agenda item was a proposal for a new bylaw that will limit the number of times commissioners can place the same item on meeting agendas.

Under the new bylaw, each business meeting will conclude with a “motion for reconsideration,” in which the commissioners will vote on whether or not to reintroduce items at future meetings. Issues will only be eligible for reconsideration after three months or a majority vote.

“The purpose of bylaws, according to Idaho Code 31-820, is to make and enforce such rules and regulations for the government of their body, the preservation of order and the transaction of business as may be necessary,” Omodt told the Reader in a Sept. 12 email. “Our business meetings are not a talk show, grievance parade or food fight.”

The proposal would most notably affect Williams, who has brought back the same agenda items as many as eight times, according to Omodt. Her repeated proposals included streaming meetings via Zoom, reinitiating public comment at BOCC meetings — both of which were eventually enacted — and, more

recently, removing Robert’s Rules of Order.

“Essentially, what you’re trying to do is make a memorandum that limits what a commissioner can put on the agenda and I don’t think that you have the authority to do that,” said Williams. “I can place an item on the agenda over and over and over again and then your job is to deliberate and vote it down.”

Omodt did not request that legal counsel review the proposal, and the memo was not initially in the commissioners’ packets or made available to the public by the start of the Sept. 12 meeting, as he drafted it that morning.

Bradshaw invited Prosecuting Attorney Louis Marshall to weigh in on the legality of the proposal during the meeting.

“It doesn’t require a legal review for you guys to do anything. You are decision makers so you can make your own decisions. Whether or not we think it’s a good idea, or whether or not you’re violating some other law — if you don’t ask us for review then you don’t get those questions answered,” said Marshall. “I do have concerns which I have already relayed to all of you that you do not have the ability to silence one commissioner or an elected official.”

Without a formal inquiry or time to prepare, Marshall was not able to definitively state whether the bylaw is legal.

“Even if the two of you pass this, you wouldn’t be able to enforce that. You don’t have the right to limit another elected official,” said Williams.

The motion to approve the new bylaw passed with a 2-1 vote. Williams emphasized for the record that her vote was not simply, “No,” but “No, this is not legal.”

Commissioner Williams did not respond to a request for comment.

NEWS 4 / R / September 14, 2023

Public sounds off on proposed Trestle Creek development

Supporters claim property rights while opponents cite environmental concerns at Dept. of Lands hearing

Officials, developers and members of the public gathered Sept. 6 for a public hearing regarding the Idaho Club’s permit request for a community dock at Trestle Creek.

The Idaho Office of Administrative Hearings — represented by Deputy Chief Administrative Hearing Officer Leslie Hayes — oversaw the proceedings on behalf of the Idaho Department of Lands. The development’s risk to wildlife, specifically the bull trout population, and the loss of waterfront currently enjoyed by the public, were the primary concerns of both governmental and public testimony.

As of Sept. 1, officials had received 1,070 written public comments — 233 of which were from repeat commenters — and it was estimated that at the time of the meeting the number was closer to 1,300. The deadline for public comment is Friday, Sept. 15. As of the start of the meeting, 107 members of the public indicated the desire to testify

Deputy Attorney General JJ Winters, serving as legal counsel for IDL, called the first witnesses against the proposal, after which Jeremy Grimm, of Whisky Rock Planning + Consulting, testified on behalf of Valiant Idaho LLC, Rock Chalk Lenders LLC and Valiant Idaho II.

Both sides were given 30 minutes to present their case before the issue was opened to public comment.

The Trestle Creek development explained

This isn’t the first time the Idaho Club has fronted a development around Trestle Creek. The current iteration of the proposal includes five residential lots and a community dock with 105 boat slips. Grimm’s presentation included a map of the initial 2008 plan,

which included 13 townhouses and 83 condominium units and was significantly more “intensive” compared to the current proposal.

“[C]ontinued private property ownership is considered — and the adverse impacts on that — is considered one of the most important factors in determining whether to issue an encroachment permit,” Grimm said, citing Idaho Code 58-1306.

As private property, the land adjacent to Trestle Creek can be legally developed by the Idaho Club without a permit from the Department of Lands, providing that they do not build the proposed dock.

“So the owner has a vested right; this is private property, this is America,” Grimm added.

He did not comment on whether the land will be developed if the dock permit is ultimately denied.

“There is public comment concern that it will develop the mouth of Trestle Creek, but nothing could be further from the truth. The development is in excess of 150 feet from Trestle Creek,” Grimm said, pointing to the small peninsula north of Trestle Creek that would separate the docks from the mouth of the waterway.

In response, Idaho Conservation League North Idaho Director Brad Smith testified that Bonner County requires a 75-foot setback; however, the Idaho Club requested and was granted a variance from that condition.

“So, if the developer sought and obtained a variance from the normal county 75-foot setback, then why are they stating that there’s a 150-foot setback?” said Smith, adding that U.S. Forest Service logging operations utilize a 300-foot setback, and the effects of harvesting timber are not nearly as permanent as the Idaho Club’s proposal.

Concerns regarding the biological opinion

Approval of the community dock permit is contingent on a biological opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is meant to certify that the project complies with the Endangered Species Act and will not harm the bull trout population, which is listed as a threatened species in all of its known habitats, including Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

“[A]ccording to testimony from Idaho Fish and Game, [Trestle Creek] is one of the most prominent bull trout streams in all of the Northern Rockies,” said Mike Ahmer, IDL lands resource supervisor for the Mica Supervisory Area, based in Coeur d’Alene.

The 2022 biological opinion was the basis for the majority of Grimm’s testimony; however, that document was rescinded last October following litigation against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers by the Idaho Conservation League and the Center for Biological Diversity.

The lawsuit alleged that the biological opinion did not fulfill the requirements of the Endangered Species Act in several areas: it did not provide a lawful cumulative effects analysis that took into account the effects of the entire project or its implementation, and, according to the complaint, it “improperly relied on mitigation measures that are not reasonably certain to occur or even described.”

Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit without a ruling after the opinion was rescinded.

“It is my understanding that that biological opinion is outdated and not appropriate to be used or to be referenced,” said Ahmer.

He went on to argue that the opinion was based on an older version of the proposal that in-

cluded a full-time marina manager to minimize the impact of pollution, a boat cleanout station and a boat launch where all incoming watercrafts could be inspected to prevent the spread of invasive species — three elements that are no longer part of the proposal.

“It was mentioned in the applicant’s statement that the Department of Lands recommended they remove the boat cleanout station and I have no memory or recollection of that at all,” said Ahmer.

Representatives from the Panhandle Health District echoed this concern, stating that the current proposal to manage wastewater and sewage did not match the proposal in the district’s records.

Chantilly Higbee, surface water compliance officer for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, also testified against the development citing water quality concerns, and underscored that both the biological opinion and the Corps of Engineers permit regulating fill material released into waters were both rescinded.

Grimm said that the 2022 biological opinion was “based on the best scientific and commercial data available,” using language from the document itself. He argued that, according to the biological opinion, the proposed community dock would not impact the bull trout population, and ultimately had the potential to help the fish.

That claim stemmed mostly from the developers’ plan to remove the North Branch Outlet, a culvert that diverts water into the old marina north of Trestle Creek. Grimm, again citing the biological opinion, alleged that during spring floods juvenile bull trout are carried through the culvert into the warm, shallow water of the marina — what he dubbed the “kill zone” — where they fall victim to predators like bass.

Developers propose additional restoration projects to the

riparian areas on both branches of Trestle Creek on the Idaho Club’s property.

Smith said that the “North Branch restoration is being oversold.”

“If you’ve ever seen the North Branch, it’s like two-feet wide. I don’t think bull trout are using it; if they are, where’s the evidence?” he added.

Future Rulings

Ahmer advised that developers will need to work with the Corps, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the DEQ to reobtain approvals and produce a new biological opinion.

“The Department of Lands is tasked with regulating encroachments, per the Lake Protection Act and Idaho Code 58-1306,” he said. “Our concern is that we grant or deny this permit within our statutory authority.”

The department can’t consider the upland issues — such as increased traffic on Highway 200 or impacts on neighboring trailer parks — under the aforementioned codes; however, it was suggested that the Public Trust Doctrine might extend their jurisdiction in this matter. According to Idaho statutes, the doctrine gives the Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners the ability to “approve, modify or reject all activities involving the alienation or encumbrance of the beds of navigable waters” in an effort to protect public resources. Legal counsel will explore this avenue further in their written remarks.

Both parties must submit their written closing statements by Friday, Sept. 22, after which the Idaho Office of Administrative Hearings will issue a recommended decision to the Idaho Department of Lands director within two to three weeks. The final ruling will be made on or before Monday, Oct. 23.

NEWS September 14, 2023 / R / 5


City, LPOSD candidates declared for Nov. 2023 election

Sandpoint mayor, three council seats and two trustee positions up for election

It’s not a presidential election year, but the November 2023 election will be a lively one locally, with a deep field of candidates for a number of high-profile city offices, as well as seats on school district boards and other taxing districts.

With two-term Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad declining to run for reelection, the top elected job in the city is up for grabs, drawing three candidates: current Sandpoint City Council President Kate McAlister, former Sandpoint City Planner Jeremy Grimm and Frytz Mor, who entered the North Idaho political scene in 2021 with an unsuccessful bid for Sandpoint City Council.

The candidate filing period closed Sept. 8, and Bonner County Elections personnel have until Friday, Sept. 15 to finish processing the paperwork from office seekers, so the list as of Thursday, Sept. 14 is partial.

However, the city of Sandpoint has posted the mayoral candidates, as well as those seeking election to three seats on the City Council that will be on the Nov. 7 ballot.

According to the city’s website, there are six candidates vying for the council positions held by McAlister, Andy Groat and Deb Ruehle. Because of her mayoral run, McAlister is vacating her council seat and Groat is not running again for his seat.

Ruehle is seeking another term, while current Sandpoint Planning and Zoning Commissioner Amelia Boyd is running for council, as well as Elle Susnis, who has served as chair of the Sandpoint Arts Commission.

Also running for council is conservationist and retired educator Pam Duquette, who has served as a board member for the Selkirk Conservation Alliance; Kyle Schreiber, a marketing and business development professional and frequent commenter at council meetings; and Grant Simmons, who serves as vice president of client analytics at Kochava.

Sandpoint City Council seats are held at large, which means any resident can vote for any of the candidates, regardless of the voting precinct in which they reside.

In the Lake Pend Oreille School District, current Board of Trustees Chair Geraldine Lewis will seek reelection and three candidates have filed to fill the seat left vacant by Trustee Purley Decker, who will not run again: longtime local resident and retired business owner Rebecca Holland, active LPOSD meeting attendee and commenter Jennifer McKnight; and Scott Wood, who manages his family business Wood’s Crush-

ing and Hauling and is a lifelong resident.

Sandpoint mayoral candidates McAlister and Grimm have already issued campaign announcements, with McAlister kicking off her run at an event Aug. 23 at fellow Councilor Justin Dick’s 113 Main restaurant.

McAlister wrote in her statement that she’s running because of the “huge growth” experienced by Sandpoint in recent years, and, “while that brings some benefits it also poses some serious challenges that I want to help the city meet.”

Among the issues listed on her campaign website (, McAlister highlighted “community conversations” geared toward finding solutions to meet the needs of all residents; “infrastructure improvements” targeted at water systems and roads; promoting Sandpoint businesses; supporting local education and workforce training; affordable housing “for all” based on public-private collaboration; and “common-sense solutions, not partisan or ideological convictions.”

A resident of Sandpoint for more than 30 years, McAlister serves as president and CEO of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce and has long been involved with Angels Over Sandpoint, the Forrest Bird Charter Schools and Kaniksu Community Health, among other organizations. She also served on the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Agency from 2013-2017.

“I want to do everything I can to keep us great and it starts, and ends [with] being fair to all our citizens,” she stated.

Grimm highlighted his work from 20072015 as Planning and Community Development director for the city, during which time he had a front row seat to the rapid changes brought to Sandpoint by growth and development.

“It is this experience that fuels his drive to address the impacts of growth while preserving the unique character of our town, something that he argues doesn’t require a paid consultant to identify,” his campaign announcement stated.

Grimm currently helms Whiskey Rock Planning + Consulting, which works with local developers on environmental consulting, project management and strategic planning. Among his central goals as mayor would be to “strengthen the community by valuing and engaging citizen voices as well as those of our skilled employees in all aspects of local decision making.”

His campaign announcement took particular aim at the culture of City Hall, which referred to “the abysmally high rate of employee turnover — including six different land use planners in the past three years.”

< see FILING, Page 7 >

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:

Humans have extracted so much groundwater that it has shifted the axis of the planet, according to a report in New Scientist. Underground stores lost 2,100 gigatonnes of water from 1993 and 2010. According to NASA, one gigatonne is equivalent to 1 billion metric tons.

Meanwhile, the Himalayan glaciers are melting faster than ever, according to research reported in The WEEK. Expected fallout includes flooding, avalanches and water shortages, affecting hundreds of millions of people.

Utah officials are being sued by community and environmental groups for failure to save the Great Salt Lake, which has lost 73% of its water from irrigation diversions, industrial uses and global heating. The shrinking lake could expose a toxic lakebed, The Guardian reported.

One swimmer in Texas and another in Georgia have died this summer after swimming in natural bodies of water infected with the brain-eating bacteria Naegleria fowleri, which apparently proliferated due to climate change, The Washington Post reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that it should be assumed the bacteria is present in any warm freshwater (but not chlorinated or saltwater), and to avoid water in the nose, from which the bacteria travels to the brain. Symptoms five days after exposure include fever, nausea, severe headache and vomiting. Death may occur five days later.

Numerous school children across the nation are experiencing record classroom and playground heat upon returning to school this year, various media have reported. This recent summer “might be the coolest one for the rest of our lives as global warming intensifies,” cautioned pediatrician Dr. Lisa Patel, of Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

According to Patel, kids are at high risk for exhaustion and heatstroke. Parents can teach their children warning signs, such as headache, feeling faint, fever, intense thirst, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches or spasms, and lack or urination for hours. Emergency treatment may be required. Going to school with cool water and high-mineral foods, such as nuts, sunflower/pumpkin seeds and dried apricots, along with other veggies and fruits, will replace electrolytes lost from dehydration.

Libya recently experienced eight

months worth of rain in one weather event, CNN reported. The deluge caused two dams to collapse, and washed neighborhoods into the sea, resulting in 10,000 people reported missing. Temperatures in the Mediterranean Sea were “well above average,” worsening the rainfall and causing more “ferocious” storms, according to scientists. Lack of study, resulting in lack of evacuations, is being blamed for lack of preparedness. Deadly flooding has also recently occurred in southern Europe and Hong Kong.

The right-wing proposal “Project 2025,” crafted by the climate-denying Heritage Foundation, has ties to fossil fuel billionaire Charles Koch, The Guardian reported. Among other things, the plan would deconstruct climate policy. According to a Harvard history of science professor, the Heritage Foundation has a “long history” of efforts to undermine the environment. Components of the plan include eliminating agencies essential for transitioning to clean fuels, and gutting the EPA.

House Republicans are putting “poison pills” aimed at environmental spending into this month’s must-pass budget plans. The Guardian reported that that may trigger a veto and a government shutdown. Critics said the poison pills are linked to corporate wish lists, and ignore climate issues like unprecedented “hot tub” temperatures in Florida’s coastal waters and record-breaking triple-digit heat elsewhere in the country.

In Washington state, a 7% capital gains tax on profits over $250,000 from the sales of stocks, bonds and other financial assets, was passed in the legislature last year. According to Civic Ventures, initial predictions were for the state to gain $250 million in revenue this year. Now reports say the actual amount collected so far is $859 million. Those paying are the top 10% of the wealthiest 1%. Forty-one other states collect capital gains taxes. The revenue will go to the state’s education fund.

Proud Boy leader Enrique Tarrio was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 2021 Capitol attack, numerous media reported. It was the longest sentence for any of the Jan. 6 rioters.

A 19-year-old citizen of China, who first noticed cognition problems at age 17, has been diagnosed with dementia, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease wrote.

Blast from the past: “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln, 16th president (1809-1865)

6 / R / September 14, 2023

Woodward will seek Dist. 1 Senate seat

As candidates have filed to run for local office in the November election, Jim Woodward has his eye on the May 2024 Republican primary, announcing Sept. 7 that he will seek the District 1 Idaho Senate seat currently held by Sen. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle.

Woodward served in the Dist. 1 position for two terms, from 20182022, until being bested by Herndon in a GOP primary marked by hitherto unprecedented negative campaigning — primarily from the latter, putting out numerous ads on various platforms labeling Woodward “Liberal Jim” and making claims about his record that Woodward spent much of the election cycle disproving.

Still, Herndon won with 56.17% of the vote to Woodward’s 43.83%. Since then, Herndon has made more than a few headlines with his sponsorship and support of bills focused on hot-button partisan issues such as abortion access, school choice and education savings accounts, firearms regulation, voter ID and more.

Herndon has yet to issue a formal announcement that he will run in 2024. However, in his announcement, Woodward took aim at Herndon’s first-term record, stating it “reflects neither real Idaho values nor embraces principles

Sandpoint cuts the ribbon on Silver Box installation ‘At Rivers Edge’

and sewer infrastructure.

“As we continue to grow, at some point having enough groundwater will become an issue,” he told the Reader, noting that with continued hot, dry summers, well levels are already dropping for many residents. “We have to pay attention to our groundwater and surface water — we’ve taken it for granted in North Idaho for a long time,” he said.

The city of Sandpoint celebrated the installation of the first of three pieces in the 2023-’24 Silver Box art-on-loan program with a ribbon cutting Sept. 13, welcoming the sculpture “At Rivers Edge,” by Bonners Ferry artist Anna Lee Harris, to the pedestal at the corner of Oak Street and North Fifth Avenue.

“I like it,” Harris told the Reader, referring to the prominent location. “I think this is a perfect place.”

held dear by a majority of North Idahoans.”

Woodward, who spent a 21-year career as a Navy submariner before retiring as a commander to operate his own marine excavation and construction business, added: “I spent years of my life underwater, in defense of the entire population of the United States, on a submarine ready to fight an actual war. Herndon’s culture wars are based on his personal interests. I focus on a broader picture using real Idaho values which benefit the majority.”

In an interview with the Reader, Woodward emphasized his own record of focusing on what he called “the business of the day,” including adequate education funding, transportation infrastructure and access to quality health care — the latter “especially with the legislation that’s passed in recent years.”

On infrastructure, Woodward highlighted his work getting the Lakeshore Drive turnaround constructed, and said that one of his big issues will be to address water

Assessing the recent trajectory of the Idaho Legislature, Woodward said too much focus has been on “manufactured problems.”

“I think that people are seeing that there aren’t any results coming from the folks who’ve been so vocal,” he said, referring to the ultra-conservative wing of the Idaho Republican Party. “They don’t provide day-to-day solutions for the regular Idahoan.”

The political climate within the Idaho GOP has become increasingly hardline, as Party Chair Dorothy Moon and her supporters have cracked down on what they perceive to be “Republicans in Name Only” — and that has included Woodward, among other state and local officials who some party leaders don’t deem conservative enough in their priorities and voting records.

Woodward, a 52-year-old lifelong Idahoan raised in Bonner and Boundary counties and an engineering graduate from the University of Idaho, told the Reader that he is “still a member

“At Rivers Edge” is constructed on a base of up-cyled metal decorated with hand-painted fish, topped with Idaho rocks and an otter carved from European granite, then placed atop a piece of Washington basalt. A fabricated osprey flies above the sculpture, held aloft on three blue-painted poles and featuring a bright metal “nest.”

The other two pieces selected for the sixth annual program are “Natural Wavelength,” by Cincinnati-based artist Ursula Roma, and “The Spirit Tree,” by Dave Gonzo, of Sandpoint. The former is due to be installed at the corner of Church Street and Fourth Avenue on or around Wednesday, Sept. 20, and will actually be a laser-cut, powder-coated replica of Roma’s original work. The latter is scheduled for installation at the corner of Oak Street and Fourth Avenue.

The pieces will be on display until Sept. 21, 2024 and are for sale — Harris’s and Gonzo’s sculptures going for $8,000 and the replicated Roma piece priced at $7,500. Under the terms of the program, the city is entitled to a 10% commission for any pieces sold while on display. Each artist received a $1,000 honorarium upon selection of their artwork.

“The arts in this town are flourishing and being a part of that brings so much joy to me,” said Gonzo, who was on hand for the ribbon cutting. “I’m very grateful to be a part of Silver Box.”

— Words and photo by Zach Hagadone

“[C]ity Hall feels hostile and authoritarian, almost aloof to the concerts of the public,” he stated. “This must and will change under my leadership.”

He vowed to improve transparency at the city and work to diversify the local economy away from “an overdependence on tourism.”

“Under the current administration, our parks, facilities and public spaces have been developed or are planned to be developed into mega regional complexes or tourist attractions,” he stated. “It seems like we have lost our prior-

ities and an understanding of who our parks should serve.”

In addition to his past work with the city and current consultancy firm, Grimm served on the Sandpoint Urban Renewal and Panhandle Area Council boards, was appointed to then-Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s Workforce Development Task Force in 2017, and currently serves as the Region 1 representative and vice chairman on the Idaho Economic Advisory Council, appointed by Gov. Brad Little.

“Together, we can work towards building a stronger community that is more econom-

ically diverse, and celebrated by residences and businesses for the highest level of government service, access and transparency,” he stated.

Grimm’s campaign website is

Mor’s campaign had yet to issue an announcement as of press time, but the candidate should be familiar to voters after his run for a Sandpoint City Council seat in 2021. During that race, Mor emphasized economic diversification and, in a candidate’s forum hosted by the Sandpoint Reader, Keokee, KRFY 88.5 FM and the Selkirk

of the Republican Party that I’ve known here for decades — I have been a member of the Republican Party since I started voting when I graduated from high school in Bonners Ferry. …

“I’ll not let a passing wave deter me from participating in our state as a Republican,” he added.

What’s more, Woodward nodded in his announcement to the tenor of the 2022 primary, acknowledging that his loss resulted at least in part from not “aggressively challenging the half-truths

Association of Realtors, argued in favor of incentivizing “hard skills” such as local food production to enable residents to transition from low-paying service work.

During his council campaign in 2021, Mor also opposed any form of taxation and characterized grants and public-private partnerships as “crony capitalism” that invites government to encroach on citizens’ lives.

A musician and self-described “ex-Hollywood guy who fled the West Coast because of its psychosis,” Mor spoke before numerous governmental bodies and political

and deceptive campaign advertising that deluged mailboxes.”

He stated that he would campaign differently this time around.

“I did not anticipate the aggressive and deceitful messaging, directed and well-funded by national groups, intent on using Idaho as a laboratory experiment for their dangerous political agenda,” he stated. “That changes with this announcement.”

Woodward’s campaign website can be found at

groups during the 2021 election season, which was marked by COVID-19 pandemic, advocating for “absolute resistance” to public health mandates, as he said during a town hall gathering in Coeur d’Alene, a video of which is posted to his campaign Facebook page — — which remains active but has yet to be updated to reflect his mayoral campaign. The website frytzmorforsandpoint. com, to which the Facebook page links, was not functional as of press time.

September 14, 2023 / R / 7 NEWS
< FILING, con’t from Page 6 >
‘I focus on a broader picture using real Idaho values which benefit the majority’
Jim Woodward. Courtesy photo.


•A Bouquet goes out to Gary McColley for donating a check as well as his antique Underwood typewriter to our growing collection at the Reader office. We sure enjoy being a depository for these unique machines of yesteryear.


• When it comes to driving on the highway, it can be just as dangerous to travel well below the posted speed limit as it is exceeding it. Two-thirds of the Reader editorial staff (OK, just two people) pointed out recent examples of having to travel behind someone going 20 miles per hour below the limit. In one case, there was a line of cars stretching far behind the slowpoke, forcing several cars to attempt passes in dicey situations. Best rule of thumb is to always stay within five miles per hour of the posted limit.

•In the short time I’ve covered the Bonner County commissioners’ regular Tuesday business meetings, I’ve grown to dread those three-ish hours I’ll never get back. While the infighting between commissioners can be entertaining in a “car accident” sort of way, the sheer amount of filibustering and bloviating that takes place on a regular basis (usually from one particular commissioner) results in most people refusing to get within a ten-footpole length of the meeting room. Another thing I find tiresome is the general attitude of the constituents in attendance, who regularly display disrespect to whomever doesn’t toe their ideological line. While the majority of the audience can be roughly classified as “Bonner County Republican Central Committee Fanboys and Fangirls,” they should know that their repeated, tireless input on every matter under the sun does not outweigh the voices of the tens of thousands of constituents who aren’t in attendance, but still vote and care about what happens in the county. I believe the quote is, “Walk softly and carry a big stick,” not, “Stomp your feet and whack everyone you can see in the face, because freedom.”

from the Elite Class’…

Dear editor,

I read with interest the “Anonymous Guest Submission” and letter to the editor from Mr. Henney in the Aug. 31 Reader. Wow, we are blessed to have members of the Elite Class amongst us.

As a longtime resident of Sandpoint, a veteran, a proud member of the “Basket of Deplorables” and one of those “rednecks, clinging to my Bible and guns,” I don’t need someone from the Ruling Elite Class to dictate how many beers I can drink a week, what type of ceiling fan I can have in my home, that I cannot use natural gas or propane to heat my house or cook my food. Don’t pontificate and dictate to me how to live my life or who to vote for.

Interesting how Mr. Henny described those of us he looks down on as, “gullible, unsophisticated, left behind, dictator-needy voters.”

And to Anonymous, I do salute and defend that “piece of cloth” and sing with pride that “tune over a person.”

Bottom line, according to these two individuals, if we do not follow their beliefs, then the country will not unify and is headed to Hell.

Take a deep breath and thank the Lord that you, too, live in a county where freedom of speech is allowed.

Jim White Sandpoint

Dear editor,

I was taken back after Attorney General Labrador’s lost court case involving misinformation around the Open Primaries Initiative to discover that Dorothy Moon and the Idaho Republican Central Committee’s efforts in opposing the Open Primaries Initiative seem to center on ranked choice voting, right down to a new pamphlet on the subject and Sarah Palin’s experience with it.

Not only are open primaries and ranked choice not related, they’re not even close. One is a method for electing public officials, while the other is an attempt to remove voter restrictions. To be perfectly clear, the proposed initiative is only about the latter.

Is it possible they are merely capitalizing on people’s confusion over ranked choice voting methods to derail the conversation? Are these the same people that would ban the teaching of logic in schools as being “brainwashing“ or “partisan”?

Logically speaking, ranked choice voting and the Open Prima-

ries Initiative are not the same thing. This discussion is about open primaries.

We the people are not stupid. There’s too much time left before the initiative would appear on the ballot to keep clinging to the low-hanging fruit of ranked choice. Sooner or later the Central Committee will have to come up with an argument as to why in this case they oppose democracy and freedom while pretending to be for democracy and freedom. This is going to be a difficult spin, but I’m curious to see what they come up with.

Dear editor

Imagine a room at a hearing filled with smart, diligent, committed Sandpoint residents — among them biologists, conservationists, members of Fish and Game and generations of local families.

A supporter of the Idaho Club project at Trestle Creek that would endanger our lake and wildlife then standing up on stage and barking, “ You people are naïve… change is inevitable… get your head out of the sand!”

He spoke about the opposition to the Dover development, and look at how wonderful it is now. Yes, so wonderful that you can no longer walk through the woods by the beach; so wonderful that minimal waterfront is available to the public and boat slips stretch into the middle of the river. The only wildlands left are the marsh, which you can’t build on.

Well, the residents that love this lake and surrounding lands would like to enlighten you. The people of this great community are not naïve, we do not have our heads in the sand and responsible change in the community’s best interest is possible.

The turnout against the project reflects this.

Change may be inevitable, but arriving in the guise of a Trojan horse, pretending to be a steward of the land when the goal is to develop a wildlife area, is a sham at best. Whether it’s public or private land, we have a responsibility to take care of it.

Residents complaining that the development must take place so they could have a boat slip was the most pathetic discussion I’ve ever witnessed. Last I checked, there are many lakes in the U.S. where you can get a boat slip.

And, regarding “helping the bald

eagle relocate,” maybe the Idaho Club can reach out to the same people who “helped” City Beach with the geese problem. That worked well…


The truth is (probably) out there…

Dear editor, Some additional information to Soncirey Mitchell’s piece in the Sept. 7 edition of the Reader about UAPs [Stage and Screen, “Hope, fear and a universe full of Luke Skywalkers”].

I worked very briefly for a famous TV producer before having to return to Sandpoint due to family responsibilities. Soncirey did mention my boss’s most famous creation. During that time, another producer was going to do a nonfiction film about the UAP/UFO issue.

The studio hired a firm that it had engaged before to investigate the veracity of the topics and sources for projects such as these.

Now, I never heard exactly what they found out; but, according to the grapevine, whatever the investigators learned scared the Paramount brass so much that they nixed the proposed project. Apparently one of the sources was a retired Navy man and he told the producer what the ship he had been on recovered off the East Coast back in the 1960s.

Again, rumor, but whatever was learned, speculation pointed in a direction that the UFO “phenom” is something we could almost never imagine.

Community unified in opposition to Trestle Creek development…

Dear editor,

It was obvious when attending the near-capacity hearing regarding the Idaho Club’s proposal to develop Trestle Creek that this is one of those unifying issues in our small community. It is one of those times when the citizens of Bonner County seem to be bridging the traditional partisan politics and unifying in opposition to the project.

The bipartisan support for the denial of the permitting for the project is inspiring. It serves as a reminder that the people of this area, who live here and have roots here, on both sides of the aisle, have always been dedicated to preserving our inspiring landscapes and truly unique spaces.

As the esteemed late-Sen. Frank Church once stated, “The great purpose is to set aside a reasonable

part of the vanishing wilderness, to make certain that generations of Americans yet unborn will know what it is to experience life on undeveloped, unoccupied land in the same form and character as the Creator fashioned it... It is a great spiritual experience.”

Commissioners need a back bone, not a rubber stamp…

Dear editor,

As a resident of Providence Road, I listened in disbelief at the commissioners’ decision to approve the Providence subdivision at the exact same time news feeds were showing photos of incinerated cars and homes on Maui — as we were breathing the smoke from concurrent fires in Medical Lake and Elk. Our pleas for our safety were met with indifference.

Who are the commissioners working for? Where’s our reasonable degree of safety when Highway 200 is stalled in bumper-to-bumper traffic when an emergency occurs? Where’s our emergency egress out of Providence?

There exists the possibility of annexing into Kootenai, thus providing an alternate egress.

But that would require the developer to pay his fair share of impact fees and require the amenities of a planned community, rather than the developer paying the cost, the cost of this minimal development will be borne by the residents of Kootenai, Ponderay and the commuters on Hwy. 200.

Weather disasters and fires are the new norm. It’s only a matter of time before a disaster strikes this disaster of a proposed subdivision.

If only our current commissioners had a civic back bone instead of a rubber stamp. For shame.

Crossing the aisle…

Dear editor,

Thank you Jim Woodward for announcing to run for Legislative District 1, Idaho Senate seat in 2024 facing Scott Herndon.

I’m a longtime Bonner County Democrat, but you’ll have my vote.

8 / R / September 14, 2023
‘Open primaries logic’…
‘Well, well, well!’...
< see LTE, Page 9 >

PERSPECTIVES ‘I wasn’t elected by the precinct leaders of the BCRCC’

During their summer meeting, the Idaho GOP adopted Rule XX, which states: “The Idaho Republican Party is a private organization dedicated to the promotion of certain political ideals,” additionally, it provides a tool to call elected officials to answer alleged violations of the GOP platform to their local county central committee.

My call arrived on July 22, 2023 from Bonner County Republican Central Committee Chairman Scott Herndon. This follows being unanimously reprimanded by the BCRCC on May 16, 2023, and being rebuked by Chairman Herndon in August. If my answers fail to satisfy the BCRCC, I may be censured, joining Gov. Brad Little, Reps. Sage Dixon and Rep. Mark Sauter, and former-Sens. Jim Woodward and Shawn Keough.

Prior to being a local politician, I taught American govern-

< LTE, con’t from Page 8 >

Providence Road developer’s rights put above community safety…

Dear editor,

As a resident of Sunnyside Road, just outside of Kootenai, I read with disappointment the county’s approval of the 116-unit Providence subdivision.

As someone who drives daily on Highway 200 through Kootenai/ Ponderay, how can an additional 1,200 trips per day be part of a sensible plan? A left-hand turn lane from Hwy. 200 onto Providence Road is the only concession required of the developer. Good luck to the residents on Providence Road trying to turn east. And good luck to all of the drivers who commute daily on Hwy. 200.

In Bonner County Code, under

ment. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees rights to the accused. In my upcoming proceeding, on Tuesday, Sept. 19, the same BCRCC members who regularly attend and disrupt the Bonner County business meetings — Dan Rose and Spencer Hutchings, to name two — get to file allegations and then sit on the jury.

Is this a new form of justice,

Title 12 of Land Use Regulations, it states: “Purpose: 1. To protect life and property in areas subject to natural hazards and disasters.”

Is allowing only one egress not a natural hazard and a setup for disaster?

Why would the county not require multiple outlets through Seven Sisters and/or Firestone Lane in order to diffuse traffic? Have planners not learned anything from the trials of not creating another egress at Ponder Point?

Why would the county set up the residents of this subdivision and of Providence Road to be trapped in the case of an emergency?

Here we have another case of promoting the rights of a developer who doesn’t bear any responsibility to the community it is so adversely impacting.

where members of a private organization get to be disruptors, victims, judge, jury and executioner all under the banner of a private organization? Due process is supposed to be a hallmark of the republic.

One of their allegations is that I have violated Idaho Code 59-401, “The Oath of Office.” On Jan. 9, 2023, I raised my right hand and swore, “I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Idaho, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of Bonner County Commissioner according to the best of my ability.”

This is remarkably similar to my oath given and never retracted during my 23 years of military service to our country and state. My oath is only to God, family and country. I have not, nor will I ever, give a loyalty oath to any private organization.

On Sept. 19, 1796, George Washington, our first and only president to not be affiliated with a political party, composed a letter to “Friends and Fel-

When will our land use planners and commissioners consider the rights of the surrounding community? Don’t we have the right to avoid risk and disaster scenarios? Where are the voices that speak for the community?

Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane recently stated that, “All public officials serve at the pleasure of the people.” May the next election for commissioners reflect the peoples’ displeasure at their lack of accountability for the good of all.

Sincerely, Beverly Newsham Sandpoint

Dear editor, Recently the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a sub-stan-

low-Citizens,’’ with the assistance of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

“Washington’s principal concern was for the safety of the eight-year-old Constitution. He believed that the stability of the republic was threatened by the forces of geographical sectionalism, political factionalism and interference by foreign powers in the nation’s domestic affairs,” according to the U.S. Senate Historical Office. “He urged Americans to subordinate sectional jealousies to common national interests.”

The presidential campaign of 1796 between Adam’s Federalist party and Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican party was the beginning of the mud sport that Americans have come to expect every other November, or here in Idaho during the May primary season. Having served in public service my entire adult life, I fully admit to being naive to the nature of local politics.

After graduating from Sandpoint High School in 1995, I experienced my first voting sorrow after choosing the Dole/

dard, low-end, 116-unit development on Providence Road. This development will add a third of the population to Kootenai but requires not a single dollar in improvements or revenue to Kootenai. The Providence subdivision will add 1,079 trips a day off of Providence — a dirt road — onto Highway 200. Nothing is required of this developer: no connecting access roads or paths, no sidewalks, no lights, no open space.

It’s time to put a stop to the rubber stamping of poorly planned developments that’s happening throughout Bonner County. There is no consideration to the environmental damage (i.e., ripping out our climate-helping trees), neighborhoods overbuilt/extended or inefficient/ unsafe road access. It’s time to call out those who approve and/or make the rules.

Kemp ticket. It brings great humor to people I have known since kindergarten at Northside Elementary school in 1982 to read that I am now a “RINO,” according to some newcomers to wonderful Bonner County. I have been, and will remain, an Idaho Republican for decades.

I wasn’t elected by the precinct leaders of the BCRCC, I was elected by 16,217 Bonner County voters. I remain an optimist. The United States, Idaho and Bonner County’s best days are ahead of us.

If you are interested in the BCRCC’s allegations and process, I will be at the Ponderay Event Center on Sept. 19, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. to defend my actions and the county I love. If you have questions send them to luke.

Luke Omodt represents District 3 on the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, comprising the areas immediately north of Sandpoint and the eastern portion of the county.

A major question: Why was a “will serve” letter for water without conditions of annexing into Kootenai provided by Sandpoint in spite of its Comprehensive Plan? Particularly when it’s on record that water to said area is at low flow and volume?

Why was a “will serve” for sewer provided by Kootenai Sewer District already at capacity and in constant violation of pollution levels?

Don’t blame developers, blame our commissioners. Luke Omodt serves the district where the Providence subdivision lies. Expediting action to vote him out is crucial, as he will likely be giving the final rubber stamp. His decision will decide his fate whether he gets reelected next year.

September 14, 2023 / R / 9
‘Don’t blame developers, blame our commissioners’…
Commissioner Luke Omodt. File photo.

Science: Mad about


Science isn’t just about explosions, lasers and slinging billionaires into space. Sometimes, science is about keeping your mouth healthy and minty fresh.

Mint-flavored tooth care has an extremely long history, though toothpaste as you know it is a relatively recent invention.

There is evidence that goes back to at least the Middle Ages of common workers applying a mixture of ground herbs to their teeth to kill bacteria, improve freshness of their breath and sweep away bits of food caught between their pearly whites. The image of everyone in feudal Europe walking around with a mouth full of rotted out chompers and horse-slaying halitosis is largely a misconception of history — but, by the same token, it’s not something that was entirely false.

“History is written by victors,” is a quote famously attributed to Winston Churchill (though its origins are unknown), and it applies to the subject of tooth care in much the same way as a history of human conflict. Medieval history was mostly recorded by the clergy and aristocracy — this created two snowballing misconceptions that continue today.

The first misconception is that only members of the aristocracy and clergy were literate. Literacy, while considerably lower than it is today, was still a central part of commoners’ everyday lives throughout the medieval period (roughly identified as spanning from the late-400s to late-1400s C.E.

Commoners needed to be able to read road signs when traveling to trade their goods; they also needed to be able to write down things to remember for later — especially if “later” was a full

season away. While not extremely widespread before the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press in 1440, villages and indeed some homes would possess copies of the Bible in English, French, Greek, Italian or Latin. Comprehension of the text was very likely similar to most people who read the Bible today: While the layman may not have total scholarly understanding of the text, they were able to extrapolate and model their daily lives and behaviors around the core values of the book, recite psalms and prayers, and even reference the text.

The misconception of medieval illiteracy being widespread is likely a mixture of things. Paper as we know it, pulped from plant fibers, was an extreme rarity in Europe, where vellum or the skin of a calf or lamb was more typical. Calves and lambs were expensive commodities and out of reach of most people of the time. Commoners also didn’t have the means to preserve texts in the way that the aristocracy or the clergy did, and the likelihood of their own personal writings decaying was considerably higher than someone who devoted their lives to the preservation of knowledge and faith.

Additionally, the aristocracy, much like the contemporary ultra-elite, likely looked down on the common man or woman and recorded their own perceptions of the layfolk rather than a truly accurate representation of their subjects. Those with the means — the “victors” — managed to preserve their version of people, places and events and, with very little evidence to prove the contrary, those impressions have been taken at face value.

Tooth care, unlike the ephemeral art of the spoken and written word, is much easier to examine on the archaeological record. Here, privilege and wealth worked

contrary to the legacy and wellbeing of the elite.

The medieval upper crust dined on a wide range of luxuries, with sugar being chief among them. Sugar, derived from fruits like apples, grapes and plums throughout much of France, is a great source of energy for both humans and the bacteria that live in our mouths.

(Bonus fact about plums: They’re originally from China, but found their way to Europe during the Middle Ages.)

Our brains are wired to seek sugar, and we will crave it once we get a taste. Sugar is a great caloric energy source and keeps us energized and our brains working, but the bacteria in our mouths love it just as much and will work quickly to use it as an energy source to create more bacteria. Bacteria are hardly discerning when it comes to consumption, and will begin to break down and devour anything they can to replicate. Left unchecked, they will cause our teeth to decay and create cavities, infecting our flesh and blood to create toothaches or even full-body sepsis.

Medieval commoners, on the other hand, did not share in the luxurious, sugar-laden diet of the nobility. Most common meals were hardy, filled with grains and root vegetables. Remnants of mashed and shredded herbs have also been found stuck between the teeth of medieval layfolk, and it’s believed that they used these concoctions as a form of proto-toothpaste, similar to how we use minty chewing gum today.

A mix of the herbs’ antibacterial effect, their pleasant smell and mild abrasive effect helped scrub away bacteria before they could cause the kind of damage that nobility regularly experienced.

Toothpaste you might recognize today is an evolution of the medieval chewing herbs. In

the 1700s, a form of toothpaste was created using herbs, resinous plants and burnt bread. By the American Civil War, people began mixing this dental paste with soap, and then eventually chalk.

This chalky substance mixed with the chemical fluoride is the basis for what we use today. These chemicals work with chemicals in the enamel of our teeth to kill bacteria, while the act of brushing

abrasively sweeps away the living and the dead bacteria. Mixing in mouthwash, which is often a very light mixture of alcohol, helps kill off any stragglers and slows tooth decay while washing it all away and keeping your breath fresh.

It’s amazing how much history is hidden under our noses — literally.

Stay curious, 7B.

•Sept. 12 was National Video Games Day, which, whether you like them or hate them, are a big part of worldwide culture.

•Physicist William Higinbotham is credited with creating the very first video game, called “Tennis for Two,” in October 1958. The simple tennis game featured a glowing ball that darted from one end of the screen to the other, similar to its descendent “Pong.” Even earlier, a “cathode-ray tube amusement device” patented in 1948 inspired by radar display technology consisting of analog devices allowing users to control the arc of a dot, which simulates missile firing, but it lacked the “playability” that defines modern video games.

•The Magnavox Odyssey — the first home gaming console, released in 1972 — was an immediate hit, selling more than 300,000 units. Ralph Baer was the driving force behind this unit.

•It wasn’t until 1975 when Atari developed the home version

of “Pong” that home consoles really took off. The success of “Pong” helped launch the video game industry for good, with Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, and Ralph Baer becoming known as the “fathers of video games” for their major contributions to the industry.

•“Minecraft” is the best-selling video game in history. Though first made public in 2009, more than 238 million copies have been sold worldwide since its complete release in 2011. Even today, it still boasts more than 140 million monthly users.

•The 2008 game “Burnout Paradise” was the first to feature a presidential campaign advertisement, with Barack Obama’s campaign buying a billboard in the game with the words “Vote for Change” on it.

•The Playstation 2 console is the highest selling console of all time, with more than 155 million units sold worldwide.

10 / R / September 14, 2023
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PERSPECTIVES Emily Articulated

Cottagecore and home

Arriving in Sandpoint after a month away is like returning to the baseline of a familiar song — settling into the steady rhythm of my life after a long and discordant time outside it. I’m savoring the slowness of my morning coffee routine and meandering midday walks with the sole purpose of stretching my (and my dog’s) legs.

I’m nestling back into the feel of my kitchen — with my food and utensils organized for the exact way I like to move through preparing a meal. And I’m reveling in the predictability of logging on to work and signing off of my responsibilities for the day with the satisfying snap of a closing laptop.

This transition has felt like an abrupt shift into slowness, like dropping into the middle of what would otherwise be the slow creep from summer to fall, making me acutely aware of how different — how good — simplicity feels. I can respond to, and often thrive in, chaos and stimulation, but a deeper-seated, older part of myself remembers I grew up on paperback books and creating entertainment from a few sticks and string in my backyard.

This part of me is at once nostalgic and yearning for a time (real or imagined) when the pace of life was measured in naps and picnics and card games and crocheted hats.

And this yearning, I think, is having a cultural moment just as much as I’m experiencing it. For evidence, see the phenomenon of cottagecore.

Cottagecore, or the internet

aesthetic that romanticizes a rural (and often European) lifestyle, centers on traditional design, clothing and skills, like baking bread, gardening and handcrafted goods. Pinterest mood boards feature images of homemade sourdough on a well-worn butcher block, berry-died linen cloth hanging on a line in the breeze and DIY chicken coops bursting with multicolored eggs, waiting to be collected in wicker baskets.

First gaining traction among Millennials during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the pursuit of hobbies became a near survival skill, cottagecore remains a cultural fantasy — swapping the expectation and busyness of unsatisfying jobs, side hustles and the stress of living in “unprecedented times,” for Instagram accounts about modern homesteading and life in the perpetual golden hour of the English countryside.

Nothing epitomizes cottagecore more than the “Frog and Toad” book series, written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel throughout the 1970s. Originally chronicling the bucolic exploits of the anthropomorphic and eponymous Frog and Toad, the short stories and softly illus-

trated pages depicting the slow, charmed and often comical life of its main characters, have now firmly reemerged as Millennial “Goals” in near-ubiquitous internet memes.

“Hot girl summer is ending, Toad-in-bed winter approaches,” is captioned above a Frog and Toad screen-grabbed page on the “Thirty AF” Instagram account.

The post features the classically muted grays and greens of “Frog and Toad” illustrations, with a bundled Toad trudging through the snow. The page reads, “‘I can go home,’ said Toad. ‘Winter may be beautiful, but bed is much better.’”

Another well-circulated meme features an illustrated scene of Frog and Toad in overstuffed armchairs, quietly cheersing in front of a cozy hearth fire. Its caption reads: “Stop glamorizing ‘The Grind’ and start glamorizing whatever this is.”

And finally, with no further caption needed to make it meme-worthy, a page painted with the scene of Frog and Toad sitting together on a rock, overlooking the stillness of the mist-shrouded rolling grassy hills of their background reads: “Toad sat and did nothing. Frog sat with him.”

Having spent a decade or more pulled by the force of constant stimulation, turning hobbies into income, working full-time jobs in the hope of one day retiring and perhaps — if we just keep at it long enough — having a home in our name, it’s not surprising that Millennials are embracing the pendulum swing away from busyness and chaos and toward a quieter, simpler, way of living.

Luckily, for me, the Frog and Toad aesthetic doesn’t have

to just be a Pinterest page or followed Instagram account. Living in North Idaho, with ample opportunity to sit on a rock and gaze into the misty morning abyss, my life resembles cottagecore more than most.

I can find stillness and quiet by walking out my door; can find starry night skies and friends to share a silent fire with; and can bake bread, play music and read books from the coziness of my

quaint, countryside home — if only I remember how much I love to do so.

Now, I’m literally “here for it,” and so grateful to be home.

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

September 14, 2023 / R / 11
Retroactive By
Emily Erickson.

Better Together Animal Alliance thrift store celebrates new expansion A gift to help end childhood hunger

The Better Together Animal Alliance

Thrift Store, a local destination for secondhand shopping, announced the grand opening of a 3,000-square-foot expansion, which it will celebrate Wednesday, Sept. 20 at its annual ski sale, featuring discounts and giveaways.

The development not only offers more space for treasure hunting, but also strengthens the store’s commitment to supporting the community and animals in need.

The Rotary Club of Sandpoint recently presented a check for $32,500 to Food

For Our Children President Dennis Pence and Secretary Barbara Buchanan, representing funds raised from proceeds at the club’s Kentucky Derby themed “Run for the Roses” Gala, held May 6 at the Sandpoint Event Center. The Mission of Food

For Our Children is to eliminate childhood hunger in Bonner County by providing nutritious weekend food and mid-morning snacks. The organization currently serves 10 schools throughout the county. For more info and to learn how to get involved, visit

— Reader Staff, courtesy photo

“The expansion aims to amplify the positive impact on both shoppers and furry friends alike,” BTAA organizers stated in a news release.

“What sets the BTAA Thrift Store apart is its dedication to giving back,” the organization added, noting that all proceeds from the thrift store’s sales directly benefit Better Together Animal Alliance.

“We are beyond excited to open the doors to our new expansion and offer an even more delightful shopping experience to our wonderful customers,” stated BTAA Executive Director Mandy Evans. “We are equally proud to invest in this resource, knowing that every purchase makes a difference in the lives of people and animals.”

Attend the grand opening festivities at BTAA’s thrift store located at 870 Kootenai Cutoff Road in Ponderay, Wednesday, Sept. 20 starting at 8:45 a.m.

12 / R / September 14, 2023 COMMUNITY
Bruno is currently up for adoption at the Better Together Animal Alliance. Courtesy photo.

It was, perhaps, not my finest moment.

I might have treated one Sandpoint land baron as a proxy for them all.

I might have been unkind and unfair. But I stand by my statements.

Recently, we needed permission to park in our client’s neighbor’s driveway to access material and chip limbs. This is a situation we often encounter, and 9.9 times out of 10, the neighbor doesn’t bat an eye. He might just pull up a lawn chair with the client and watch the show. Better yet, he might invite the crew to tackle his trees, too. Usually, joviality between neighbors ensues: talk of the kids, travel plans, neighborhood happenings. The crew cleans up debris and moves on, driveway unscathed, neighborly bonds fortified.

I’m not taking credit for this human connection. I’m just saying that an event requiring neighbors to communicate — Can these guys park in your driveway, Dave? — often leads to the benefits of communication: connection, collaboration, camaraderie.

This job, however, was different.

The neighbor lived out of state, rarely present. The thought of our truck in his driveway concerned him. He told his neighbor no way… unless we purchased $450 in additional insurance coverages and provided him with myriad documents prior to work commencing.

Since $450 destroyed our profit margin on the job, we scrapped the driveway plan. But not without some email correspondence. I asked why the proof of insurance I supplied was insufficient. He responded, “I want to be a good neighbor. At the same time this isn’t of any benefit to me other

than being a good neighbor.”

I retorted, “I might be out of line here, but sometimes, it just feels good to do your neighbor a favor. And that’s enough. No benefit required. At least, that’s been my experience here. We take care of each other. And that’s what makes Sandpoint good. Not the lake, not the mountain. The sense of community.”

I clicked “send” and walked away.

Apparently, I struck a nerve. He immediately called Tyler — not me — angrily proclaiming his good-citizenship credentials. He was not the bad guy I made him out to be. I was being unfair.

Maybe I was. But the line, “this isn’t of any benefit to me other than being a good neighbor,” irked me. Still does. I want neighborliness to be the endgame.

I want people to recognize it as the highest good, so that we don’t barrel into 2024 with opposing flag-flying armies again. So whether “Love Lives Here” or

“Love Guns Here,” we can peacefully share a driveway. And a beer. And this community.

Do you want to know what neighborliness looks like? Our nonagenarian neighbor recently paid for a property survey to ensure that our well pump house wasn’t mistakenly built on her land years ago. We knew it was close, but she took it upon herself to make sure we had ownership.

“I’m gonna croak soon,” she said, “and before I do that, I want to know that you kids have access to your own water.”

She was willing to make property line adjustments for us. She didn’t want this to be a fight we faced with the potentially less neighborly homeowners who might someday replace her. The kind who hold their driveways close and their property lines closer.

This is the same neighbor who invites me to pick her raspberries each summer, her apples in the fall. She showers my daughter with doll house furniture and knitting supplies. I help her fill out forms she can’t read well and we have her over for Easter brunch. As I write this, I am reminded that I should visit. Because I haven’t seen her in a while. And I appreciate the hell out of her. And she won’t be here forever. And that makes my heart squeeze.

She’s a neighbor who doesn’t just say, “Sure, access my property for the day.” She’s a neighbor who says, “Take some of my property, if it means you can comfortably stay on yours.”

That’s some next-level neighborliness.

When we moved our two sticks of furniture into our little log cabin a dozen years ago, a neighbor brought us a load of firewood within days of our arrival, seeing as we had none and it was

November. Other neighbors had us over for weekly drinks and dinner and conversation, knowing that we were flat broke and lonely. Though we are no longer neighbors, this couple still has us over for gatherings, has asked me to be executor of their will and celebrates our daughter’s birthday every year. Now, they are like family.

However, I understand that Sandpoint can no longer rise to the occasion of greeting every newcomer. A friend who has lived here many years recently commented, “I used to welcome newbies with open arms [Tyler and I were among those welcomed] but now there are just too many. I don’t feel welcoming. I feel upset.”

I get that unneighborly behavior runs both ways. I’ve seen residents get pissy with visitors downtown more times than I can count this summer. The welcome mat starts to wear thin after a while. But if all newcomers and part-timers could muster some humility, curiosity and warmth, that would go a long way toward building bridges and fortifying our community.

Let’s be clear: I don’t so much have a problem with newcomers as I do with assholes.

My daughter’s school recently sent an email to all parents to help them discern between “voicing opinions” and making “defamatory statements.” It explained that words “threatening the safety or ability of our staff to perform in their vocation uninhibited” were not OK. As if that required explanation. As if grown adults needed a reminder to stop bullying the teachers.

But they do. Sadly. They do.

A new family to the school targeted one of the longest-serving staff members. This staff member, in my mind, is the beating heart of the entire school community. Yet, thanks to someone having an idea of what Idaho is — and having her not fit that mold — the school was forced to send out missives reminding parents not to verbally assault the staff.

Can we please exercise more kindness? Or at least restraint? Can we place others at the center for occasional moments, rather than the self?

I will be the first to admit that I am not the perfect neighbor. It is all too easy to get caught up in the frenzy of life and not check in on those who surround me. Yet, if everything were to be lost — to flood, fire or political shitstorm — what would my family have left except for the bonds of community?

I write this as a reminder to myself as much as anyone.

Be a good neighbor, not an asshole.

Give of your driveway. Give of your heart.

Repeat as necessary.

And remember that neighborliness is not so much about sharing property lines as it is about sharing. Period.

Jen Jackson Quintano writes and runs an arborist business with her husband in Sandpoint. Find their website at See more of Quintano’s writing at jenjacksonquintano. com.

September 14, 2023 / R / 13
Jen Jackson Quintano.
“Let’s be clear: I don’t so much have a problem with newcomers as I do with assholes.”
—Jen Jackson Quintano


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Jake Hagadone, left; Josh Knaggs, center; and Matt Kinney, right, pose with a trophy after beating the field at the fourth annual Sand Creek Regatta on Sept. 9. The plucky paddlers wrested the trophy away from the Sandpoint Reader, which had won the event the past two years with their raft the USS Hatemail. We’ll miss gazing at the trophy in our windowsill, but will return in 2024 with a vengeance. Photo by Katelyn Shook.

Kinderhaven Foundation announces sale of property once intended for boys’ shelter

It was once a place where abused and neglected children felt safe and loved. A place where some had first experienced sleeping on a bed and having enough food to fill their hungry stomachs. Unfortunately, federal legislation enacted in 2018 provided Kinderhaven — Sandpoint’s only shelter for abused and neglected children — with no other choice but to close its doors last year. It was a decision that was devastating to the community and the countless supporters of Kinderhaven during its more than 25 years of serving Sandpoint.

“While we always hope for reunification with families, the Family First legislation made the focus of the child welfare system to keep kids with their families and to avoid, what the bill alleged, to be trauma that results when children are placed out of the home,” said Jennifer Plummer, who served as Kinderhaven’s executive director for 10 years leading up to its closure last year. “Unfortunately, being with family is not always the best or safest option for many children.”

With very limited exceptions, the bill stated that the federal government would not provide funding for children placed in group care settings for more than two weeks.

The alleged trauma of being placed in a group home such as Kinderhaven could not be further from the truth.

Plummer and many supporters of Kinderhaven have stayed in touch with former residents of the home, several of whom have gone on to careers in social work that was inspired by the care they received during a traumatic time in their lives. It is

stories like this that inspired those involved with Kinderhaven to continue their mission differently — establishing the Kinderhaven Foundation in July 2022.

The purpose of the Foundation is to benefit other nonprofit organizations in Bonner and Boundary counties. The organization will introduce its new grant program later this year, which will have an application deadline of January 2024.

The Foundation still owns the home that housed more than 2,000 children over the past 25-plus years, and currently leases it out for a nominal amount to Bonner Homeless Transitions, which serves as a transitional communal living space for mothers and children while waiting to move into Blue Haven, a homeless shelter also located in Sandpoint.

Prior to the legislation that forced its closure, Kinderhaven purchased a home in 2018 that it planned to renovate to house teenage boys.

“At Kinderhaven we only had young children and teenage girls,” Plummer said. “This community desperately needed, and still needs, a place that could house those teenage boys from our community who were abused or neglected. Every child needs a safe place.”

According to Plummer, the building,

located at 1203 Hickory St., was previously a Baptist church. They planned to renovate the building to have six bedrooms, two office spaces, a kitchen and a large living area. They began the renovations, but the COVID-19 disrupted their efforts, then came word of the impending legislation.

Today, the Foundation is seeking to sell that property to fund future grants. Organizers hope that someone with a similar mission of helping the local community will come forward and buy it to benefit others.

“We want to make it affordable for any person or organization who needs a space for community outreach,” said Plummer.

The property sits on just under a halfacre and is 2,460 square feet. Because the demolition began when Kinderhaven first purchased the property, the new owner would have the ability to remodel it to fit their needs.

“There are so many worthy organizations in our town. We hope one of them will find that this fits their needs,” said Plummer.

While Kinderhaven may have been

forced to shut its doors, the Foundation’s work continues to touch lives with former Kinderhaven board members still involved.

The Foundation is chaired by former Kinderhaven Board Member Betsy Dalessio. Also serving on the board are community members Stephanie Hawkins, Mary Smith, Jessie Sheldon and Kathy Marietta.

“We did some great things at Kinderhaven,” said Plummer, who now serves as the executive director for the Foundation. “And we will continue to do so.”

To learn more about the property the Kinderhaven Foundation is selling, contact Jennifer Plummer If you are interested in becoming a Kinderhaven Foundation board member, please reach out to Plummer for an application.

September 14, 2023 / R / 15 PERSPECTIVES
Above: The Kinderhaven Foundation Board of Directors. Right: The building originally purchased by Kinderhaven to house teenage boys, which is now for sale. Courtesy photos.
16 / R / September 14, 2023

Sandpoint welcomes USS Idaho commanding officer

Three years after its official keel-laying ceremony at the shipyard in Quonset Point, R.I., the USS Idaho (SSN-799) is still under construction but will soon by plying the waves. In the meantime, Sandpoint will welcome Commanding Officer Randall Leslie with a reception Monday, Sept. 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Sandpoint Community Hall (204 South First Ave.).

The USS Idaho is the 26th ship of the Virginia class of advanced nuclear attack submarines, and the fifth Navy ship to be named after the Gem State — the most recent being the New Mexico class battleship commissioned in 1919, which saw service in World War II and played a critical role in the Battle of Iwo Jima.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Sandpoint and the USS Idaho Commissioning Foundation, the Sept. 18 event will include five crew members as well as former-Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who also served as a U.S. senator and

Interior secretary under former-President George W. Bush. Kempthorne is also the chair of the commissioning committee.

To learn more, visit

September 14, 2023 / R / 17 COMMUNITY
Commander Randall Leslie will take charge of the USS Idaho submarine and will appear in Sandpoint 6:30-8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18. Photo Courtesy US Navy.

September 14 - 21, 2023

Bingo Night at IPA

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Beer and Bingo, a timeless pairing

Singer-songwriter showcase

7-9pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Featuring Karli Fairbanks, Caroline Fowler, Justin Landis and Jenny Anne Mannan

THURSDAY, September 14

Live Music w/ Sheldon Packwood

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Acoustic rock

FriDAY, September 15

Live Jazz w/ Bright Moments

5:30-8pm @ Arlo’s Ristorante

Live Music w/ Matt Lome

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Play: Murder on the Orient Express (Sept. 15-16, 22-23)

7pm @ Panida Theater

Join your friends at Lake Pend Oreille Repertory Theatre for a night of murder, intrigue and a plethora of amazing accents. This Agatha Christie book is a popular adaptation to the stage. Support local theater. $25

Live Music w/ Paul Cataldo Duo

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Florida-based duo playing Appalachian-infused bluegrass

Play: Murder on the Orient Express

7pm @ Panida Theater

Live Music w/ Jason Perry

5:30-8:30pm @ Barrel 33

Folk, jazz, blues, rock

Sandpoint Chess Club

9am @ Evans Brothers Coffee

Meets every Sunday at 9am

Live Music w/ Ian Newbill

5-8pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery

Rock, pop and country

Live Music w/ Jordan Pitts

6:30-9:30pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Country music

SATURDAY, September 16

Monarch Grind

7am @ Ends near Clark Fork

A 70-mile, 7,500-foot-gain gravel gran fondo bike ride

Live Music w/ BTP

9pm-midnight @ 219 Lounge

Local heroes playing classic rock

Date Night Dance Workshops

7-8:30pm @ Hope Memorial CC

Beginning East Coast swing

Sandpoint Lions Game Night

6-8pm @ Sandpoint Comm. Hall

Held third Fridays of the month

KNPS presentation focuses on regional inland temperate rainforest

Residents of the Inland Northwest might not be aware of it, but they’re living amid the largest inland temperate rainforest on Earth — filled with flora more typical of the coastal rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, including iconic tree species such as western red cedar and western hemlock, though geographically separated from the main coastal distributions.

MCC Oktoberfest

5-7:30pm @ Hope Memorial CC

Roll out the barrel! Free admission. Music, dancing, food, wine, beer and more.

SunDAY, September 17

Magic with Star Alexander

5-8pm @ Jalepeño’s

Up close magic shows at the table

monDAY, January 18

Lifetree Cafe • 2pm @ Jalapeño’s Restaurant

“Social Justice: Realizing God’s Vision”

Weekly Trivia Night

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

With rotating hosts

Monday Night Blues Jam w/ John Firshi

7pm @ Eichardt’s Pub

Little Live Radio Hour: Larsen Gardens

8pm @ Panida Little Theater

Outdoor Experience Group Run

6pm @ Outdoor Experience

3-5 miles, all levels welcome

Open Sew

2-4pm @ Sandpoint Library

Use sewing machines and get assistance with your project. First Monday of every month

tuesDAY, September 19

Free to attend this intimate songwriter show with Sarah Edmonds, or tune into 88.5FM on your radio, or stream at Don’t miss it!

Habitat for Humanity’s 23rd home dedication in Bonner Co.

10am @ 1101 Honeysuckle Ave.

Join Idaho Panhandle Habitat for Humanity as they dedicate their 23rd home built in Bonner Co.

Above and Beyond: How Women

Astronomers and Astronauts

Brought Space Down to Earth

2-2:30pm @ Sandpoint Library

Courageous and Kind meditation sessions/talks

6:30-8pm @ Create Arts Center (Newport, Wash.)

The monastics from Sravasti Abbey will give talks and meditation sessions for 6 Mondays until Oct. 16. Free to attend. Stay kind and compassionate

To explore this unique rainforest habitat, the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society is hosting Preston Andrews for a presentation Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. at the East Bonner County Library Sandpoint Branch (1407 Cedar St.).

MCC Art Classes • 1-3pm @ Hope Memorial Community Center

For classes in drawing, acrylics, watercolors, origami, collage and more. Artists and non-artists welcome. Call to confirm class 208264-0415 or email

wednesDAY, September 20

NAMI Far North public meeting • 5:30-6:30pm @ VFW Sandpoint

Connect with NAMI Far North in a supportive environment. Open to all. Guest speakers Jon and Cathy Pomeroy, founders of Helping Hands Healing Hearts. Food provided

ThursDAY, September 21

Bingo Night at IPA

6-8pm @ Idaho Pour Authority

Beer and Bingo, a timeless pairing

Takumi Kato performs ancient Japanese music on Taiko drums

6pm @ Music Conservatory of Sandpoint

Very special event, with donations suggested and all gifts going to Takumi Kato. Doors open in Little Carnegie if weather permits

Spill the Wine fundraiser: “The Women Who Shaped Bonner County” • 4pm @ Bonner Co. History Museum

Come down to the Museum to celebrate “The Women Who Shaped Bonner County” for this special fundraiser, with proceeds benefiting the Museum, which is located at 611 S. Ella Ave. in Sandpoint

Peace Pole Unveiling

5:30-7pm @ Matchwood Brewing

Ponderay Rotary will unveil their peace pole at Matchwood on the International Day of Peace.

Live Music w/ Matt Lome

6-8pm @ MickDuff’s Beer Hall Folk

Andrews is program coordinator and vice president of the KNPS Board, as well as an emeritus professor of horticulture at Washington State University. An avid gardener and student of plants, Andrews spent 30 years at WSU where he taught courses on fruit crops and sustainability, and conducted research on the physiology of environmental stresses in woody plants and the responses of fruit crops to organic farming methods. He still teaches a Master Gardener course on small fruits.

Attendees at the Sept. 16 program will learn about the flora and ecology of our inland rainforest, how it came to be and what may become of it in the future.

The presentation will take place in person at the library, with coffee, tea and treats available beginning at 9:30 a.m. The program is co-sponsored by East Bonner County Library District and Sandpoint Parks and Recreation, and is free and open to the public.

Those with questions or looking for more info are invited to contact

18 / R / September 14, 2023
Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 9am-1pm @ Farmin Park Produce, crafts, food and more. Live music w/ Dario Re Sandpoint Farmers’ Market 3-5:30pm @ Farmin Park Produce, crafts, food and more Live Piano w/ Jason Evans 5-7pm @ Pend d’Oreille Winery Contemporary jazz

STAGE & SCREEN Climb aboard LPO Rep’s Murder on the Orient Express Popular play to show at Panida next two weekends

In the genre of murder mystery, there are few who have done it better than Agatha Christie. Her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections are so popular, they have been outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare.

Local theater troupe Lake Pend Oreille Repertory Theatre presents one of Christie’s more celebrated works, Murder on the Orient Express, for two consecutive weekends on Friday, Sept. 15-Saturday, Sept. 16 and Friday, Sept. 22-Saturday, Sept. 23. Showtime all four nights is 7 p.m. and tickets are available for $25 either at the door or

Coming off the heels of the successful production of Into the Woods, LPO Repertory Theatre aims to put their high mark of excellence on Murder on the Orient Express as well.

When famous detective Hercule Poirot is called back from Istanbul to London on urgent business, he finds himself on a packed train run by his former friend and colleague Monsieur Bouc. While onboard the Orient Express, Poirot meets a menagerie of peculiar characters, one of which is a businessman who demands that Poirot investigate a series of ominous letters threatening bodily harm. After a snow storm stops the train dead in its tracks, a businessman named Ratchett is found stabbed multiple times and the famous detective is once again tasked with solving the murder.

Murder is directed by Tim Bangle, who is making a directorial transition from his usual work in film to the stage.

“The biggest difference I’ve found between directing plays and movies is the amount of prep time,” Bangle told the Reader. “I write my own films, so I have longer to develop and understand them.”

that Murder is growing on him — especially with the decision to take some liberties with the script and add a unique flavor to the production.

“One example of that is showing video assets,” Bangle said. “The whole first scene is film. Also, in the main play, the young character of Daisy is only in the first part, but in ours we incorporate her throughout the rest of the show and use her in powerful ways at the end.”

Murder features a diverse local cast of longtime favorites alongside new faces in the theater scene. Steven Hammond will play Poirot, while Corey Repass tackles the role of his friend Bouc. Britt Hagen plays the Countess Andrenyi, Ashley Shalbreck takes on Princess Dragomiroff and Dorothy Prophet ends a years-long acting hiatus when she returns to the stage as Mrs. Hubbard.

McCallum Morgan will play Pierre Michel, Myla McKechnie plays Hector McQueen, Suzann McLamb will play Greta Ohlsson and Holly Beaman will tackle the role of Mary Debenham. Finally, Michael Bigley returns to the stage for Col. Arbuthnot, Mark West takes on the role of the businessman Ratchett, Sofia West and Estella Simmons will portray young Daisy, and Mattie Patterson plays the role of Suzanne.

“I approached this play by giving actors one word at the beginning of the rehearsal process for how I wanted to approach their character,” Bangle said. “In the beginning of callbacks I said bring it and they brought it … Over 50% of the cast is new blood in this production.”

Murder on the Orient Express

Friday-Saturday, Sept. 15-16; Friday-Saturday, Sept. 22-23; 7 p.m.; $25. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 203-2639191, get tickets at panida. org or

The crew includes Myriah Bell as stage manager, Wesleigh Hammond handling lighting, Kehle Hatch doing sound, Vicki Turnbull tackling costumes, Valerie Moore doing set design, Noemi Hatch as props assistant and Britt Hagen doing makeup.

Bangle said.

Notable design and props include a giant book — with turnable pages — that will serve as a chapter marker for each scene.

“Also, Vicki Turnbull had to have costumes done three weeks ago because we had to film the murder scene,” Bangle said. “She’s been fabulous.”

Christie’s book was adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig, and Keely Gray serves as producer.

“From the first time I read this script, the thing that stood out most to me was … the love story,” Bangle said. “There’s the love of a little girl, the loss of that love that drove them to commit this crime, Poirot also has a love for law and

order based upon his past experience with chaos and disorder. That’s what we’re focused on; the love that’s driving all of these characters on stage.”

Acknowledging that the murder mystery genre has never been his favorite, Bangle admits

“Our design team and specifically Valerie Moore ... has been working on set design since July,”

September 14, 2023 / R / 19
Murder on the Orient Express shows at the Panida the next two weekends. Courtesy photo.

Heartwood to host touring banjo duo The Lowest Pair

Special live music concert slated for the outdoor lawn

Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee met on the banks of the Mississippi River while touring the Midwest festival circuit. Both had found some success with their solo careers, but after they combined forces into a banjo duo, it cemented their status as The Lowest Pair, a soulful output of musical brilliance that culminated in the release of five albums. Winter and Lee have relentlessly toured North America, playing 500 live shows in the past five years and sharing their music and stories along the way.

Mattox Farm Productions presents The Lowest Pair live in concert on the front lawn outside the Heartwood Center on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.

Winter and Lee found themselves camping and sharing songs around the fire with two dear friends and musicians, Adam Roszkiewicz and Leif Karlstrom, of the instrumental duo Small Town Therapy. As discussions of the crazy world lifted into the air with the firesmoke, the friends shared new songs and tunes, cementing an idea that a record was in the future.

The Lowest Pair

Saturday, Sept. 16; 6 p.m.; $20, $8 for youths 5-17 years. The Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St., 208-2638699, Listen at

While the live music industry took a big hit during the pandemic, silver linings are visible in even the darkest of clouds.

During the spring and summer of 2020,

In August 2020, The Lowest Pair spent a week in Enterprise, Ore. recording Horse Camp at the OK Theater. The album leans into each member’s string band Americana roots, with new songs written by Winter and Lee during the strange days of the pandemic.

The album also includes an instrumental by each musician involved, serving as a prime example of how a simple collaboration between friends can result in music that cuts right through the noise and delivers on its promise to move audiences.

Just like their previous albums, Horse Camp gives a nod to the folk and Amer-

icana worlds, while retaining a unique magic that places The Lowest Pair among some of the best touring bands making new music today.

The Lowest Pair will perform on the lawn at the Heartwood Center, so audience members are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets. If there is rain or inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. and the music

will kick off at 6 p.m. with opener Dario Re, followed by the main event with The Lowest Pair. There will be drink vendors on site.

Tickets are $8 for kids aged 5-17 years and $20 for general admission. Buy tickets at

Creations and Papa Murphy’s celebrate

10 years of partnership

Papa Murphy’s will host a fundraiser day for Creations on Monday, Sept. 18, but it won’t be any old pizza party. On top of Papa Murphy’s donating 9% of sales all day, art teachers from Creations will be on site with glitter tattoos, balloon animals and a coloring contest from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Kids are invited to stop by Creations to pick up a coloring sheet — or get one at Papa Murphy’s during the fundraiser — fill it in and present it for a free Mini Murph Pizza on Sept. 18.

“We are grateful for our partnership with Papa Murphy’s that has supported art and STEM discovery play at Creations for thousands of children every year,” Creations

organizers stated in a news release. “Papa Murphy’s has supported Creations through thick and thin for a decade now and we thought that is reason to celebrate.”

Papa Murphy’s hosted 59 other fundraising nights in 2022 for 13 different organizations in the Sandpoint-Ponderay area. Some groups like Creations partner for monthly fundraisers.

“Help support our mission to promote the arts, creativity, discovery and STEAM learning,” Creations stated.

To learn more about the nonprofit and to support it with a donation, visit or mail checks to Arts Alliance Inc; 334 N. First Ave, Suite 213; Sandpoint, ID 83864.

20 / R / September 14, 2023 MUSIC
Kendl Winter and Palmer T. Lee are The Lowest Pair. Courtesy photo.


Larsen Gardens to play KRFY Little Live Radio Hour at Little Panida

KRFY 88.5 FM Panhandle Community Radio will continue its monthly live music showcase Little Live Radio Hour on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. with a special show featuring singer-songwriter Larsen Gardens, a.k.a. Sarah Edmonds.

A recent arrival to Sandpoint, Edmonds has already made her mark on the local music scene doing a joint show with Katelyn Shook of Sandpoint’s own Shook Twins and local folk musician Josh Hedlund. Edmonds also participated in a songwriter event called Songs in the Round in May that received acclaim.

With a hauntingly smoky voice reminiscent of Feist, Cat

Power and more, Edmonds’ songs are pleasantly approachable yet murky enough to hit all the bases. Edmonds earned her place among the singer-songwriter world in Seattle before moving to Sandpoint. The intimate atmosphere of KRFY’s Little Live Radio Hour is the perfect setting for Edmonds to share her poignant songs with those in attendance.

Little Live Radio Hour is a free show that is open to the public to attend in person, or listeners may tune into 88.5 FM from 8-9 p.m. that evening to listen via the radio. Alternatively, the concert will be streamed live on The program will be archived, but without express written permission from songwriters, KRFY doesn’t make recordings available for later downloading until further notice.

The Festival at Sandpoint

The Festival at Sandpoint’s Youth Orchestra is currently accepting new members, with the first rehearsal set to take place Monday, Sept. 18.

Classes are free for all ages and held weekly on Monday evenings.

Currently, the program is composed of two groups: a Beginning Orchestra and a Continuing Orchestra, both led by Festival at Sandpoint Youth Orchestra Conductor Karen Dignan. Both groups

Youth Orchestra accepting new members

are open to any orchestral string players, including (but not limited to) the violin, viola, cello and bass.

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

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

The Continuing Orchestra

Class is for intermediate and advanced students looking to hone their skills and expertise through ensemble playing.

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

The Festival Youth Orchestra is also now accepting new and seasoned instrumentalists to join as “Community Mentors.”

To learn more about joining the Festival Youth Orchestra, visit or contact the Festival at Sandpoint office at 208-265-4554 or

A snapshot of notable live music coming up in Sandpoint

Paul Cataldo Duo, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Sept. 16 Jason Perry, Barrel 33, Sept. 16

Sandpoint music lovers are in for a treat when the Clearwater, Fla.-based Paul Cataldo Duo swings through town for a Saturday show at the Pend d’Oreille Winery as part of a sweeping tour that has so far taken Paul and Ieva Cataldo from their home state to Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Montana, and — after their Idaho dates — back to Big Sky country, then Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Their sound is a super-polished

Appalachian-infused bluegrass carried by Ieva’s steady bass work and sent aloft by Paul’s vocals, which have the kind of strong, clear timbre that few contemporary folk or even country artists can muster — and it’s a must listen for local audiences.

5-8 p.m., FREE. Pend d’Oreille Winery, 301 Cedar St., 208-2658545, Listen at

Jason Perry describes his sound as “musical roulette.”

“At various times, the sound will likely land on folk, jazz, blues, rock and anything else that feels right,” he told the Reader Whether covering classics like “Luckiest Man” by the Wood Brothers, or performing his own original songs, Perry will charm music lovers with the spiritual quality that he brings to his emotional vocals and guitar playing — the perfect complement to a

This week’s RLW by Susan

Saturday evening spent sipping a beverage at Barrel 33.

“This life has many delights, but the music holds space for all of me, transmuting any feeling into beauty, in endless awe inspiring arrangements,” he said.

5:30-8:30 p.m., FREE. Barrel 33, 100 North First Ave., 208-2906258,

An Hour Before

Daylight is Jimmy Carter’s account of his early years in Archery, Ga. on a farm in a sharecropping economy. He tells of his relationships with the Black caretakers and his motivation to excel to please his father, who always called him “Hot.” The former president, now in hospice at the age of 98, had a business selling boiled peanuts on the streets of Plains, Ga. when he was 5.His discipline as a child working on the farm before and after school informed his Naval career, life in politics and humanitarian efforts. Find it at the library.

Jim Healey’s folk show on 88.5 KRFY is fabulous. His song selections are just what the doctor ordered. It’s on late — 9-10 p.m. — on Thursdays, followed by more KRFY folk music after he goes home. Healey’s historical commentary is an added plus. Also, the new show “North Idaho News of the Week” on KRFY on Fridays at 8 a.m. summarizes the past week of local news into a half hour. Chris Bessler often hosts this jam-packed slot with a local journalist in the know. It’s worth rising early.


House Hunters is a popular TV show that takes viewers to different cities where a couple, with the help of a realtor, is offered a choice of three houses to buy. It’s interesting to see what $300,000 will buy in Indianapolis, El Paso or Cleveland compared to higher priced houses in places such as Seattle or most of California (and here). It’s also curious to see how picky some people are. Watch it on HGTV.

September 14, 2023 / R / 21
Larsen Gardens, a.k.a. Sarah Edmonds. Courtesy photo. Paul Gunter teaches the next generation of musicians. Courtesy photo.

From Northern Idaho News, Sept. 14, 1909


Sandpoint has streets’ cars. Real street cars, too.

The officers and directors of the Sandpoint and Interurben Railway company have kept their word with the citizens and as promised some days ago have their cars in operation for the Fair. It is after much hard work and considerable of that overtime at night that the company has their line in operation as far as the fair grounds on Boyer Avenue and today, not only the Fair will serve as an attraction to go to that part of the city, but to ride on the first cars will also serve as a drawing card for the Fair exhibition.

Nearly everything as far as operating the cars has been concerned, has been in readiness practically, with the exception of the crossings over the Spokane International tracks, but late last night that obstacle was removed when the crossing over the main line was completed and a temporary one just to enable to car company to cross the track for the occasion was constructed. However, the members of the company have kept their word and today and tomorrow the cars will be seen in operation.

The two cars arrived last week and were immediately unloaded and run to the car barn near the transfer track where they were fitted up with the electrical apparatus and ate now in first-class condition.

In search of conkers

Life lessons from a Montessori playground

My old Montessori school once stood imposingly tall — for a toddler — between the Sandpoint Charter School and the roaring traffic of U.S. Highway 2. I remember it in flashes: the short, scratchy carpet; the chain link around the playground; and, most of all, I remember the horse chestnut trees.

I didn’t like Montessori school. Each fall day I would waste half my recess trying to pull on my tiny pink boots, leaving little time to crawl through mud and piles of wet leaves in search of conkers — chestnuts, hidden inside spiky shells. It was supposed to be good practice for my future sniffing out dinosaur bones as a paleontologist.

I really liked conkers. Those sleek, shining nuggets were worth more than candy to me. My teacher, a formidable woman whose love of cleanliness was out of place in a room full of grubby munchkins, did not appreciate my obsession with the little treasures. To be fair, by the end of recess, both myself and the conkers were covered in dirt and slugs’ slime.

Since I wasn’t allowed to pile them in my cubby, I’d carefully bury them under fallen leaves and wait for my mom to come pick me up. Every afternoon she would dutifully hold open my knit hat as I filled it with heaps of conkers.

We’ve kept the tradition going for 20 years — even when I left for college, rows of conkers lined the particle board bookcase in my dorm. I studied English,

not paleontology, because it required far less math.

I even brought conkers to a poetry class where they fascinated my professor.

“They’re kind of sad,” she said. “They used to be alive.”

In my many years of collecting conkers, I’d never thought of them as dead before that class. They were juggling balls, decorations, pirate’s treasure — never the ghost of something that could have been. It seemed as though the conkers had one true purpose — to grow — and they never would.

Sandpoint’s chestnut trees drop thousands of conkers onto our sidewalks, lawns and residential streets every autumn. Each seed has the potential to expand into a massive tree that can live up to 300 years: perhaps one in a thousand actually will. The other 999 will be picked up by school children and street sweepers and carried off to places nature never intended for them to go. Such is the fate of conkers.

Chestnuts don’t suffer the burden of expectations the way humans do. Often in life, we’re crushed under the weight of our own potential — who we think we should be becomes more important than who we are. Like a chestnut, we expect to drop from our canopies, take root and grow into imposing figures.

Life is seldom what we expect.

The truth is that very few of us will have the exceptional lives we imagined as children. We will never be astronauts or world travelers or paleontologists — neither should we be haunted by the ghosts

Sudoku Solution STR8TS Solution

of our unlived potential. We are filled with everyday purpose in the ways we least expect and often forget. A life spent sharing happiness with others is a life well lived.

The conkers on my dining room table will not grow into trees; they will be decorations, craft supplies or eventual squirrel food. Most importantly, they will make me smile, and that is purpose enough.

Crossword Solution

If I ever get burned beyond recognition, and you can’t decide if it’s me or not, just put my funny fisherman’s hat on my “head.” See, it’s me!

22 / R / September 14, 2023

Laughing Matter

Solution on page 22


Solution on page 22

sartorial /sahr-TOHR-ee-uhl/

Word Week of the


1. of or relating to clothing or style or manner of dress

“Her sartorial choices were always impeccable, as she effortlessly combined different fabrics and colors to create stunning outfits.”

Corrections: On the photo page in the Sept. 9 edition of the Reader, we misidentified the location where Vicki and Andrew Reich took the Reader. The photo was actually taken at Harvey Cedars, Long Beach Island, N.J. We also inadvertently changed Sandpoint City Councilor Jason Welker’s name to Justin. We regret the errors.

September 14, 2023 / R / 23
1.Master of Ceremonies 6.Impressed 10.Flippers 14.Become calm 15.Ruination 16.Balm ingredient 17.Licoricelike flavor 18.Whale 19.Location 20.Herculean 22.Waterproof cover 23.Canvas dwellings 24.Uncertain 25.Jewels 29.Stuck 31.Embodiments 33.Diverge 37.Assimilate 38.Fiddle 39.Lost one’s footing 41.Watered down 42.Lures 44.Mats of grass 45.Spot 48.Log home 50.Not that 51.Planner 56.Repose 57.Broadcasts 58.Cowboy sport 59.Small island 60.Blackthorn 61.Fantasize 1.Ages 2.List of choices 3.Fleece 4.Lack of difficulty 5.Strain 6.Teems 7.Affection 8.Completely covered DOWN ACROSS Copyright
bigwig 10.Detail-oriented 11.Of a pelvic bone 12.French for “Our” 13.Oozing 21.Prone to being kind 24.Satan 25.Wanders restlessly 26.Wicked 27.Wise men 28.Daughter of a step-parent 30.Go back to 32.Poplar variety 34.Countertenor 35.Bound 36.Terminates 40.Malleable 41.Humiliates 43.Orange veggie 45.Denude 46.Not those 47.A long narrow passage 49.Geeks 51.Back talk 52.Pierce 53.Notion 54.Chair 55.Male turkeys 62.Jury member 63.Adjusts 64.Chairs
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