Sandpoint Magazine | Winter 2023

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WINTER 2023

INSIDE:

Schweitzer

Magazine winter 2023

Sliding

into history Saving a beloved sled hill GO BEYOND BOOKS

Library a world of possibility

NORTH IDAHO CATS

They’re closer than you think

TO SCHUSS OR SHRED

Getting down the mountain


Nothing Compares.

WaterfrontAtCapeOfArt.com 121 Cape Of Art Loop, Hope, ID $4,800,000

PendOreilleHome.com 494 Snug Harbor Rd., Sandpoint, ID $4,695,000

HomeOverLakePendOreille.com 21 Last Ridge Rd., Sagle, ID $3,495,000

LordsLaneEstate.com 24227 Lords Lane, Chattaroy, WA $1,970,000

GlengaryWaterfront.com 255 & 292 McLean Dr., Sagle, ID Starting at $1,825,000

HomeAtForeverView.com 1003 Forever View Rd., Sagle, ID $1,895,000

AboveHopeEstates.com 2) 20 Acre Lots @ Auxor Rd., Hope, ID Starting at $950,000

IdahoClubScenicView.com Lots 3 & 4 White Cloud Dr., Sandpoint, ID $749,000

HolidayShoresCondo.com 46700 Hwy 200, #601, Hope, ID $530,000

SandpointAirportLot.com Lot 4 Airpark Way, Sandpoint, ID $525,000

ScenicLakeViewHome.com 248 W. Main St., Hope, ID $445,000

HopeWaterviewProperties.com 1 AC Lots @ Antler Pt., Hope, ID ONLY 4 LEFT! Starting at $239,000

Cindy Bond,

Associate Broker, GRI, CRS www.CindyBond.com cindy.bond@sothebysrealty.com 208.255.8360


Nothing Compares. Nothing Compares.

35 Avalanche Road, Sandpoint, ID 83864 - $1,490,000 Hewed Square Log Custom Built home w/views of Schweitzer and the Valley is One of a Kind. 4 Beds and an oversized garage!

Ponderay Cottages, Ponderay ID 83852 - $599K-$649K This quaint development in the heart of the action offers many amenities and proximity to recreation, shopping, food and other services.

780 Selkirk Rd, Sandpoint, ID 83864 - $965K

Huge Shop House on 8 acres with mechanics pit and large bay doors. Stick Frame Built - oversized framing and foundation. Ready NOW!

33 Birch Banks, Sagle, ID 83860 - $3,250,000 ~ PENDING

This Waterfront Estate boasts North Idaho living at its best with over 200 ft of frontage, outdoor Saltwater pool and a Timber frame home like none other.

Eagen Mtn Lane, Hope, ID 83836 - $485K

Expansive western views of Lake Pend Oreille and surrounding mountains from this flat, private building site a few minutes from The Idaho Club.

102 Euclid Ave, Sandpoint, ID 83864 - $6,500,000

Celebrating 100 years, this iconic structure is completely remodeled from stem to stern and occupied with some of Sandpoint’s finest businesses (Fully Leased).

NKA Whiskey Jack Circle, Sandpoint, ID 83864 - $2,500,000 Premiere Main Lake Waterfront Lot with over 130ft of frontage, all gas, water, sewer and internet available. 5 minutes to all city amenities.

Dedicated To The Extraordinary The Exceptional And The Unique.

500 Guthrie Place, #1304, Dover, ID 83825 - $725K

Pristine and Serene condo at Dover Bay. This second-floor home is like new, offers a calm and private getaway and has an attached car garage.

Chris Chambers www.ExtraordinaryIdaho.com 208-290-2500 chris.chambers@sothebysrealty.com 200 Main, Sandpoint, Idaho

© MMVII Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Claude Monet’s “Marine View With a Sunset,” used with permission. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a licensed trademark to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, Inc. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated, Except Offices Owned And Operated By NRT Incorporated. Sandpoint office: 208-263-5101, 200 Main Street, Sandpoint, ID 83864.


LOCAL EXPERTS WITH GLOBAL REACH

Kent Anderson

Kelly Armstrong

Paul Bauman

Heather Bouse

Steve Carlson

Coral Edwards

Bobby G

Audra Gabica

Nathan Hester

Cindy Hunter

Stefane Johnston

Dave Wilson

Shari Keelin

Cassandra Cayson

Jeff Woodall

Lacey Shirah

Randy & Darla

Jenna Miller

Rachel Nordgaarden Ciara Normandeau

Don’t go to just anyone... Connect with one of our local realtors today. Whether buying or selling, we’ve got the right agent for you! Jean Tillotson

Bob Lesniewski

Karin Willroth

Serving North Idaho For Over 50 Years! WATERFRONT | SCHWEITZER PROPERTIES | RANCHES | CONDOS | VACANT LAND

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We provide free fiber-backed Wi-Fi at Oak Street City Parking public hotspot Sandpoint Library SASi VFW Hall #2453 Bonner Community Food Bank and other important community spots

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Sandpoint's Finest

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Charlie Parrish 208-290-1501

Becky Freeland 208-290-5628

Charesse Moore 208-255-6060

Kathy Robinson 208-255-9690

Maddie Gill 208-597-3955

John Dibble 208-290-1101

Brian Jacobs 208-610-3188

Courtney Nova 208-290-7264

Chelsea Nova 208-304-8979

Ron Nova 208-304-2007

Danny Strauss 208-290-2946

Kris Kingsland 208-290-1509

Luke Webster 208-255-8597

Curt Hagan 208-290-7833

William Mitchell 206-390-2751

“Top producing Independent Real Estate firm for the past 37 years!”

www.Evergreen-Realty.com // www.SchweitzerMountain.com 321 North First Avenue, Sandpoint, ID Toll Free 800.829.6370 // Office 208.263.6370 // Fax 208.263.3959 Evergreen Realty is pleased to sponsor our local Habitat for Humanity


73

features 33 37 50

50

82

112

57

61

Beyond

books

Saving

pine street sled hill

Local libraries are open to possibilities Kaniksu Land Trust a model to build on

Entertainment

is back

Art and music back with a vengeance in Sandpoint

remembering

free food fridays

When there was fun and fiasco at the Hydra

Pickleball

mania

New sport takes the town by storm

main features 64 PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: SKIING IS A TOP SPORT HERE, BUT SNOWBOARDING IS GAINING FANS, PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL; MICKDUFF’S OFFERS HEARTY WINTER SOUPS, PHOTO BY CAMERON BARNES; THE TOP OF SCOTCHMAN INSPIRED A TRIO TO TACKLE IDAHO’S LARGEST PEAKS, PHOTO BY DON OTIS; BUILD YOUR CASTLE ON A HILL, PHOTO BY LYNDSIE KIEBERT-CAREY; LIVE PERFORMANCES FOUND ALL OVER TOWN, PHOTO BY FIONA HICKS.

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65 73 75

SANDPOINT MAGAZINE W I N T E R 2023, VOL. 34, NO. 1

finding

higher ground

Tackling Idaho’s tallest peaks

Two

Queens and a pair of jacks

Reflections from four community icons

to schuss or shred

Cross-cultural snow play is growing

North Idaho’s cats They are wild and nearby

On the cover:

Photographer Fiona Hicks captures her daughter’s adventurous spirit and the thrill of sledding.

SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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departments

contents

10

almanac

23 calendar 27

interview: Marcel LeBlanc

49 Pictured in History: Ignatz Weil 55 history mystery: Rink Opera house

PUBLISHER MAKING READY TO SETTLE DOWN INSIDE WITH HIS ANNUAL 4.2 CORDS OF FIREWOOD.

80 Photo Essay: critters in the snow

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

The legion of loyal readers who turn to this note each issue (hello, dear wife Sandy) know these five inches o’ contemplation generally involve the great outdoors. But today let us instead consider the Great Indoors—because, especially come winter, we have that too. Going indoors when the snow is flying and the weather is howling evokes a coziness you won’t get in summer. For those of us in the old school who like a warm fire, basking by the wood stove on a cold night ranks high on the list of simple pleasures. But it’s not just about burrowing in. Come winter in our town, the Great Indoors can be a hoppin’ place. There’s often a choice to be made between taking in live music, attending a play, catching a film, attending various social events. And, as our stories starting page 50 tell, our performing arts are positively booming. After the pandemic closed its doors for months, the Panida Theater again has a packed schedule. The Pend Oreille Arts Council and Sandpoint Music Conservatory are bringing stellar performances of music, theater and dance. There’s new life at the Heartwood Center, and the new Lake Pend Oreille Repertory has been staging impressive theatre. Any given night, local musicians are lighting up a half dozen venues. And the talent on display is frankly impressive. This winter rouse yourself to attend some of the amazing variety of live entertainment we have here. Because yes, the indoors can be great too. - CB

101 natives and newcomers 107 Winter Guide

111 Lodging directory 123 dining guide 128 Sandpoint of view

REAL ESTATE/BUSINESS 82

Raising the ramparts Sagle’s Castle Von Frandsen

87 A collective voice In the heart of downtown

91

F armin’s landing

Park plans to highlight downtown’s hidden asset

93 carving new trails

Schweitzer building employee housing

95 Building is booming

As developers race to keep pace

EATS & DRINKS 112 warming the soul It’s all about the soup

117 Eating healthy in the 7B

120 Take it to the bank

A new twist on the art of drinking and dining

121 Sign of the times

Connie’s Cafe embraces its history

Publisher Chris Bessler COO Jeff Lagges Editor Trish Gannon Events Editor Misty Grage Advertising Director Clint Nicholson Art Director Pamela Larson Design Team Robin Levy, Dan Seward Digital Marketing Laura Walsh, Jenifer Rowan, Emmett Jones, Erica Larson Office Manager Susan Otis IT Manager Ethan Roberts Sales Mitchell Fullerton

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Contributors:

Cameron Barnes, Paula Bauer, Bonner County History Museum, Hannah Combs, Sandy Compton, Carol Curtis, Susan Drumheller, Barry Espenson, Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey, Elizabeth Goodwin, Zach Hagadone, Fiona Hicks, Pete Hicks, Cate Huisman, Patty Hutchens, David Keyes, Olivia Keyes, Jennifer Lamont-Leo, Marianne Love, Doug Marshall, Ben Olson, Don Otis, Annie Pflueger, Brandon Puckett, Cameron Rasmusson, Lee Santa, Corey Vogel, Chad Vogt, Woods Wheatcroft.

WI N T E R 2 0 2 3

Sandpoint Magazine is published twice yearly, in May and November, by: Keokee Co. Publishing, Inc. 405 Church St., Sandpoint, ID 83864 208-263-3573 • www.keokee.com Printed in USA by Century Publishing, Post Falls, Idaho. ©2023 by Keokee Co. Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Subscriptions: $12 per year, payable in advance. Subscribe at www.SandpointMagazine.com.


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Almanac Alon e cast

A Simpler Way

of Living 10

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SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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FACING PAGE: KARIE LEE KNOKE’S PROFICIENCY WITH A BOW STOOD HER IN GOOD STEAD WHEN SHE COMPETED ON THE HISTORY CHANNEL’S COMPETITION SERIES “ALONE.” PHOTO BY FIONA HICKS. ABOVE: KNOKE OUTLASTED EIGHT OF HER FELLOW CONTESTANTS IN THE COMPETITION. COURTESY PHOTO.

Sandpoint’s Karie Lee Knoke competes on

ALONE

T

hroughout season 9 of the History Channel’s survivalist reality series “Alone,” Sandpoint’s Karie Lee Knoke proved herself as not only one of the most experienced contestants in the realm of primitive living skills, but also one of the most vulnerable, expressing her gratitude and inspirations at every turn. “In the beginning, I self-edited quite a bit,” said Knoke, who was tasked with filming herself throughout the process. “I didn’t show some of the more personal and spiritual things I was doing. As time goes on, you start losing those filters.” In one scene during the finale—during which the 57-yearold was crowned runner up after 75 days in the Labrador, Canada wilderness—she is clearly exhausted, but peers out at the sprawling river view near her shelter and states, simply, “I love it here. “When I went there, I made it my home, because I had that intention of being there for a long time,” Knoke said. A longtime teacher of primitive living skills, Knoke’s next adventure is launching the Sacred Cedars Wilderness School in North Idaho. “There’s (still) a lot of work to do,” she said. Knoke said her experience on the show has brought her a new sense of purpose. “Coming back and seeing the excessiveness of how we live our daily lives—it gives me more inspiration and motivation to share with others a simpler way of living,” she said. Learn more at www.karieleeknoke.com

-Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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Almanac

PONDERAY SUPPORTS NEW LOCAL ICE RINK

T

IF PROGRESS CONTINUES ON PACE, ICE SKATERS MAY BE ACCOMMODATED IN PONDERAY AS SOON AS THIS WINTER.

wo dreams are coming together: the Bonner County community’s wish to have a year-round ice rink and Ponderay’s Field of Dreams. Local nonprofit North Idaho Ice came to the city of Ponderay in early 2022 with its vision for an enclosed, year-round rink. It will be spendy, though, and the timeline is in flux. While NIICE had hoped to have a rink in place by winter 2022–23, everything hinges on the funding. “We’re working hard to get that chiller because it will make it more realistic, not weather dependent,” said Tim Wilson, a spokesman for NIICE, referring to the equipment needed to create an ice surface, which can cost between $40,000 and $100,000. Ponderay Mayor Steve Geiger said his city is an enthusiastic partner with NIICE, planning to include the rink in its 50-acre, multi-sports Field of Dreams facility, which is on track to see its first fields constructed by the end of summer 2023. “We like to partner with the community when they come to us with ideas. We appreciate NIICE and their efforts,” he said. Though the rink, which will be located on Vermeer Drive, wasn’t part of the plans for the Field of Dreams, Ponderay is putting some of its revenue from its 1 percent local option tax to the effort. Ponderay will grade an area and install water and power infrastructure for the rink in the first phase, though that facility will be temporary. The city’s contribution has been a game-changer, but private donations have played a big part, too, with $7,000 alone raised at the 2022 Ponderay Neighbor Days event. “The city of Ponderay has been fantastic,” Wilson said. “We think it’s a great idea,” Geiger said. “They’re doing the right stuff, they’ve just got to keep chipping at it.” Learn more at www.niice.org

WWW.ALPINESHOPSANDPOINT.COM

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-Zach Hagadone

Schweitzer Mountain in the Village 208.255.1660

Downtown Sandpoint 213 Church St 208.263.5157


ice skating rink + museum store opens

MUSEUM GUILD OPENS SHOP DOWNTOWN

W

hen Heather Upton was executive director of the Bonner County History Museum in Lakeview Park, she often considered how the museum could develop a presence in Sandpoint’s historic downtown. So when she heard a small space next to the Panida Theater might be available, her ears perked up. But a local bespoke retailer wanted the space too. Heather wondered whether there might be potential for a partnership there, but before she could call the retailer to suggest it, the retailer called her. She and Brook Moore, owner of the downtown boutique Azalea, had simultaneously come up with the idea for the Museum Guild. The guild comprises five artisans, including seamstresses, designers, artists, and antiques curators specializing in vintage clothing and home accessories. “Every item has to have a story behind it,” said Upton of the collection for sale. Popular products include a line of candles that evoke local aromas, including those of City Beach, the Pie Hut Café, and the smoke that might have wafted above a bygone steamboat captain who left his collection of pipes to the museum. A blend of coffee from Evans Brothers is named for the Humbird Lumber Company. Reproductions of a hand-drawn map show historic sites throughout the northern Panhandle. Books recall notable characters of the past, from loggers to ladies of the night, as well as the Pend Oreille Paddler. And for the young ones, small stuffed “paddlers” handcrafted by guild member Hannah Combs are available. The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 to 4, at 300 N. First Ave.

-Cate Huisman

THE MUSEUM GUILD OFFERS A TOUCH OF HOME ON FIRST AVENUE IN SANDPOINT. STAFF PHOTO.

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SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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cast kids ’ ebooks Almanac Alon

Kid Stories

L

ocal writers have been working lately to bring out stories for children that adults will enjoy as well. These books feature lavish illustrations and photographs, plus stories with a heart, all of which offer answers to dealing with difficult times. Jack Parnell has published “The Old Apple Tree Talks Happiness,” his second story about a favored subject: the wisdom of the old apple tree that grows on his ranch, where he raises championship Clydesdale horses. After a long winter, the old apple tree wakes with the spring full of thoughts on choosing what occupies our thoughts. Sprinkled throughout with appropriate Bible verses, the old apple tree shares a truth offered throughout many faiths: that life “is as you will it to be.” “The Old Apple Tree Talks Happiness” is published as a hardback or paperback in association with Keokee Books. Greg Flint and his daughter, Claire Flint Last, have paired up to write (Greg) and illustrate (Claire) “How the World Got Better,” a story Greg has spent much of his life pondering and honing, and that Claire grew up listening to.

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THAT ADULTS WILL LIKE

The story shares a conversation between an older couple and their great-granddaughter as they explain to her that improvements in the world didn't happen until people began to ask one simple—and magical—question. And it invites the reader to answer the question as well. “How the World Got Better” is available as a hardback, paperback, and e-book. Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp have also returned to a familiar theme in their new book, “Swoop and Soar: how science rescued two osprey orphans and found them a new family in the wild.” Illustrated with glorious photographs of one of our area's favorite raptors, Swoop and Soar are two real-life osprey who were orphaned during a storm, and rescued by Veltkamp and the organization she founded 29 years ago, Birds of Prey Northwest. In addition to their story, the book includes everything you ever wanted to know about osprey, from how they live to the risks they face in our modern world. “Swoop and Soar” is published by Persnickety Press in hardback. Lesson plans for use by educators to go along with


A HANDFUL OF NEW BOOKS AIMED AT CHILDREN APPEAL TO EVERYONE WHO READS THEM.

the book are available online at www. sptmag.com/swoopandsoar Finally, local artist Connie Scherr has written and illustrated a lovely story about friendship and family, “The Mermaid of Lake Cocolalla.” Scherr tells about a young girl who spends a month every summer with her grandparents. A favorite pastime is fishing with her grandfather, hunting for Ol' Mossy Back. One afternoon, when Grandpa is napping, the girl spots a large tail... attached to another young girl. Her adventure is to find a way to return the mermaid back to her original home in Lake Washington, a story Scherr has told her own grandchildren for years. Look for all four books at local bookstores, or at your favorite online resource.

-Trish Gannon SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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Almanac

FUN WITH FLAGS: A PATRIOTIC TRADITION

A

merican flags have been popping up in and around Sandpoint on major holidays for 60 years after a few Lions Club members thought it would be a good idea to have flags that featured the 49th and 50th stars. In April 1960, an ad ran in the Sandpoint News-Bulletin: “50 Star Flag Sales Pushed by Lions.” The Lions hit the streets, led by art teacher Cal Jones, and sold the flag service to numerous businesses and individuals. The program took root and the Lions dutifully put up American flags on eight national holidays. That tradition remained strong; at least, until a very active Lions Club found itself with too many projects and not enough Lions. President Janice Rader was in a predicament. She didn’t want the program to die and she couldn’t keep it going. Enter the Sandpoint Rotary Club. Rader and fellow Lion Tom Dabrowski had attended a few Rotary meetings and had a pretty good feeling they could strike a deal. “Tom reached out and made it pretty clear it was something Rotary could do,” said Rotary Flag Chair Amy Clemmons. “We told him we would do it. We couldn’t imagine Sandpoint without flags lining the streets on holidays and neither could Tom or Janice.” Sandpoint Rotarians took on the challenge with gusto and organization. The club started flag deliveries last May and haven’t looked back. On the Fourth of July the Rotarians surprised and honored the Lions by placing 30 extra flags along the parade route and called the exercise the Avenue of Flags. The Rotarians have increased the numbers of flags delivered and are kicking around plans to have even more flags pop up during the holidays. Want a flag? Contact Sandpoint Rotary at sandpointflags@gmail.com.

SANDPOINT ROTARY TOOK OVER THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PROVIDING FLAGS THROUGHOUT TOWN. STAFF PHOTO.

-David Keyes

First in Fashion

Visit us downtown and pamper yourself with unique, carefully chosen apparel collections and accessories to complement you and your contemporary lifestyle.

326 North First Avenue, Sandpoint a 208.263.0712 www.EvesLeaves.com 16

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fun with flags + hope park

CITY IMPROVES PARK IN EAST HOPE

I

t’s hard to think of a more beautiful spot in North Idaho than the towns of Hope and East Hope. One spot, however, was less magical than the rest—a narrow strip of land between the old highway and the railroad tracks mostly filled with dirt and weeds. The city of East Hope was determined to change that. What followed was a long process of fundraising, grant writing, and scheduling conflicts that have, at long last, resulted in a beautiful park gracing the area from the old monument commemorating the establishment of Kullyspell house, across from the post office, down to the area across from the old school. A large portion of the park is given over to fresh sod and picnic tables where people can stop, eat a bite of lunch, toss a Frisbee, or just enjoy the view. At one end is a graceful, curving wall, funded substantially by a single, anonymous donor, to honor the greater community’s veterans. “All we ask is that they have lived in the area,” said Christy Franck, East Hope’s city clerk. Several memorials on the wall honor living people who have served; others the honored dead, while still others recognize those who died in battle. “If someone is interested in having a family member recognized, they can come into City Hall and we have a form for them to fill out,” she explained. The park, book-ended by its two memorials, is not complete; donated playground equipment will be installed this fall, schedules and weather permitting. And the city hopes to add some additional historical markers about this area. “It can be hard to keep people interested in a project operating on a shoestring budget,” said Franck, “but people have been very supportive of what we’re doing.” For those interested in supporting the project, the city is still accepting donations for further work.

TOP AND ABOVE: PAUL VOGEL AND KARLEN MCBIRNEY CHECK OUT THE NEW PARK AT EAST HOPE, WHICH INCLUDES A VETERANS’ MEMORIAL WALL. STAFF PHOTOS

-Trish Gannon

IT STARTS WITH

YOU!

Hi! I'm Nick

Together we make a difference!

Basketball Player Outdoor Enthusiast & a KCH Dentist

At KCH we believe that people who think like you, and people who don't, make the best teammates. Sure, we may be leaders in healthcare, but what makes KCH truly special is you being you. We're hiring! Apply today and let us know what makes you special. Learn more at: kchnorthidaho.org/careers SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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e cast m ongol derby Almanac Alon

ABOVE: HAUG HEADS FOR THE FINISH LINE. BOTTOM LEFT: HAUG FINISHED THE RACE HAND IN HAND WITH KAYLEIGH DAVENPORT. BOTTOM RIGHT: HAUG WAS DELIGHTED AT COMPLETING THE RACE. PHOTOS BY SHARI THOMPSON.

A life of Adventure

FROM CHILE TO SANDPOINT TO MONGOLIA AND BACK

A

t 31 years old, Lena Haug has led a life that, without hyperbole, can be described as “adventurous.” She learned to ride a horse in kindergarten and earned the money to buy her first horse for $3,000 at age 11. At 17 she was leading horseback treks in Chile, went on to study political geography in Berlin and was a ski instructor in Tahoe. She owned and operated her own horse training business in Sonoma County, California—a vocation she continues on a seasonal basis—and is now pursuing her private pilot’s license in Sandpoint, which she has called home since 2019. Haug has accomplished much, relying on a personal philosophy: “I’m very keen on taking advantage of opportunities. If there’s an idea and a dream, I have no hesitation to take the steps to make that dream happen.” Most recently, that dream was participating in the Mongol Derby, which she accomplished in summer 2022 (it having been delayed a year due to COVID-19) riding more than 1,000 kilometers—equivalent to about 620 miles—on an unguided race over the steppes best known as the homeland of the epochal horse lord and conqueror Genghis Khan.

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The race lasted just ten days in July, 2022—during which Haug rode only with old Soviet maps and GPS as her guide through 29 stations and atop as many horses, along with 47 other riders across a landscape that has scarcely changed since the time of the great Khan in the 13th century. She didn’t “win” the race, at least in the literal sense, but her definition of victory ran much deeper. “One of the biggest things I realized for myself was this race was the perfect vessel for me to have a much bigger growth moment for me as an individual,” Haug said. “It pushed me to a new edge and new place emotionally and just internally. I got to take a really hard look at myself and the choices I’d made.” It follows that Haug should look up from terrestrial to aerial space for her next adventurous phase, being inspired by her World War II-era pilot grandmother and post-Mongol Derby exploration of flying in the Alaska backcountry. “Aviation is amazing because you’re always learning,” she said. “You’re constantly developing your skills and have to think in the moment. It’s also an adventure.”

-Zach Hagadone


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Almanac

NOTEWORTHY Defibrillators get a boost

Bonner County EMS, with support from a grant from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, has added publicly accessible defibrillators in various areas. Defibrillators are available at Sandpoint Middle School, Farmin and Travers parks, Memorial Field, and at the Dog Park in Ponderay. In addition, there are defibrillators at Holiday Shores in Hope, and at the Pantry in Clark Fork.

Railroad bridge completion

The second railroad bridge over Lake Pend Oreille was completed, and track laying begun, as this issue went to press. Construction will continue out over the water for some time as the railroad replaces piers and deck segments on the original railroad bridge. For now, double tracks will carry trains over

LEFT TO RIGHT: BONNER GENERAL HEALTH CEO SHERYL RICKARD NAMED A “STAR GARNET;” MATCHWOOD TAKES HOME A BRONZE; THE EXISTING DEPOT LANDING WILL BE MODIFIED TO FIT A SECOND TRACK; A FAMILY CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF THE LBXC TRAIL IN THE CITY WATERSHED.

the bridge south to Sagle; on the northern end, the extension of double tracks over both Sand Creek and Bridge Street in Sandpoint will be laid in the coming year. The extension will require the platform at the historic train depot be rebuilt in order to allow for two sets of tracks in the narrow corridor.

A great american beer

Matchwood Brewing Company knocked down a bronze medal for its Spruce Tip Pale Ale at the Great American Beer Festival, the nation’s biggest commercial competition for craft beer makers. The brewery noted, “From partnering with local farmers and property owners and handpicking the fresh spruce tips to crafting, brewing, and canning the beer with our team, it’s one of our favorite beers to brew each year!” The Spruce Tip Pale Ale won in the herb and spice category.

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Sandpoint, ID 83864


A new “Dog Beach”

The city is working on plans for its first water accessible dog park in Sandpoint. The park will be located on the waterfront behind War Memorial Field. Plans for the park are part of phase II of the parks concept plan that was adopted by Sandpoint City Council. The parks master plan can be viewed at www.sptmag.com/parksurvey.

Rickard Receives Recognition

Bonner General CEO Sheryl Rickard received the 2022 Star Garnet Award from the Idaho Hospital Association. It is awarded for “significant career contributions and service to healthcare institutions and associations.” The award highlights Rickard’s 35th year with Bonner General Health.

a trail in the watershed

Pend Oreille Pedalers and the city of Sandpoint celebrated the opening of the longest and most complex single trail the biking group has ever built. The 2.4 mile Little Basin crosscountry green trail is located in the over 4,000 acres of land owned by the city in the Little Sand Creek Watershed, the forested basin located along both sides of Schweitzer Mountain Road. The public has not had access to much of this area for the last century.

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EVENTS

winter 22/23

calendar of

CHECK WWW.SANDPOINTONLINE.COM FOR AN UPDATED CALENDAR SOME PLANNED EVENTS WERE NOT FULLY SCHEDULED BY PRESS TIME. CHECK SANDPOINT ONLINE’S EVENTS CALENDAR (UPDATED WEEKLY) FOR THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION.

November

8 Live Music with Jonathan Foster. Eichardt’s Pub Grill & Coffee House, 212 Cedar St., 7 p.m. 208-253-4005 www.eichardtspub.com 10 The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Sponsored by Family Health Center and POAC. At the Panida Theater, 300 N. 1st Ave., 7:30 p.m., free! www.artinsandpoint.org 11 Get Plowed. Kaniksu Land Trust, Pend Oreille Pedalers, & Sandpoint Nordic Club’s annual Get Plowed party at Pine Street Woods. 208-263-9471. www.kaniksu.org/happenings. 11-13 SARS Ski Swap at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, 4203 N. Boyer Rd., 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. $5/person or $10/family. www.sars.snowportal.com 12 Science on Saturdays with Jim Ekins. The Panida, 300 N. 1st Ave. Sponsored by Daher, 10 a.m, free. 208263-9191. www.panida.org 12 Festival Youth Orchestra free concert at the Heartwood Center, 6 p.m. 208255-4554. www.festivalatsandpoint.com 17 “All the Wild Horses” with Lena Haug. See page 24. 19-20 Christmas Craft Fair. Bonner County Fairgrounds, free. Santa visits daily noon to 2 p.m. www. BonnerCountyFair.com 19-23 K&K Thanksgiving Fishing Derby. Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club’s annual fall fishing contest. www.LPOIC.org. 20 Fall Serenade. Music Conservatory of Sandpoint, 7-9 p.m.,110 Main St. 208-2654444. www.sandpointconservatory.org 23 The Burger Dock’s Giving Thanks. 116 N. 1st Ave., Ste B,3-6 p.m. free meal. First-come, first-serve. 208-597-7027. www.theburgerdock.com 25 Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival at Town Square and visit from Santa. www. downtownsandpoint.com. 208-255-1876 25 Schweitzer opens for the season. 208-263-9555. www.schweitzer.com

December

3 Free First Saturday at the Museum. Bonner County Historical Society and Museum, 611 S. Ella, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 208263-2344. www.bonnercountyhistory.org 7 A Celtic Christmas at the Panida Theater, 7 p.m. 300 N. First Ave., 208263-9191. www.panida.org 9-11 Into the Land of the Nutcracker. Suzuki String Academy and Allegro Dance Studio. Shows Fri., Sat., and Sun. at the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-2639191. www.panida.org 17 A Danceworks Christmas. Panida hosts recital at 3 p.m. www.panida.org 23-24 Ski with Santa at Schweitzer Mountain. 208-263-9555. www.schweitzer.com

January

6 Backcountry Film Festival. Presented by SOLE, 7:00 p.m. at the Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave. www.sptmag.com/filmfest23 13 Living Voices at the Panida. See page 24. 14 Northern Lights at Schweitzer. Fireworks light up the evening over Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Weekend. Festivities start at 6 p.m. 208-255-3081. www.schweitzer.com 19 CHAFE 150 Registration begins. 2023 Race day is June 17. www.CHAFE150.org. *Free Ski/Winter Access Day at Farragut State Park, 13550 E. Hwy. 54, Athol, Idaho. Explore the trails on snowshoes or xc skis. Park opens at 7 a.m. *Free Ski/Winter Access Day at Priest Lake State Park, 314 Indian Creek Park Rd., Coolin, Idaho. 208-443-2200. *Banff Mountain Film Festival at the Panida Theater.

February

4 15th Annual Heart Ball sponsored by Bonner General Health Foundation. At the Bonner County Fairgrounds. www.

bonnergeneral.org/heart-ball 19 Let it Glow firework show at Schweitzer. Presidents’ Weekend. 208255-3081. www.schweitzer.com. 16-20. Wild and Scenic Film Festival. All proceeds go towards trail building, outdoor education, and mountain goat stewardship programs in the Scotchmans. www.scotchmanpeaks.org 17 Diane Schuur at the Panida. See page 24. 17-26 Winter Carnival. One of the biggest events of the Sandpoint winter. www.sandpointwintercarnival.com *Starlight Racing. Schweitzer Mountain Resort hosts four weeks of evening racing on Friday nights, 208-255-3081. www. schweitzer.com

March

3-4 The Follies, Sandpoint’s fundraising sensation for Angels Over Sandpoint. www.angelsoversandpoint.org 25 Red Riding Hood, a Missoula Children’s Theatre performance at the Panida.See page 24.

April

9 Schweitzer closes. Last day to ski! 208-255-3081. www.schweitzer.com. 21 The Black Market Trust at the Panida. See page 24. 29-May 7 K&K Spring Fishing Derby. Lake Pend Oreille Idaho Club holds the annual spring fishing derby on our big lake www.LPOIC.org.

May

1 Silverwood Opening Weekend. www. silverwoodthemepark.com. 11-14 Lost in the 50’s, Sandpoint’s premiere spring event. Car show, parade, live music and more! 208-265-5678. www. lostinthe50s.org 15 Festival Youth Orchestra spring concert. 208-255-4554. www.festivalatsandpoint.com

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POAC

2022/ 2023

Almanac Alon e cast

See complete, up-to-the-minute calendars at www.sandpointonline.com

Pend Oreille Arts Council

Performing Arts Season

The Pend Oreille Arts Council’s 2022-23 line-up includes eclectic performances ranging from Hawaiian slack key and legendary jazz to indie-pop and live theater. The season kicked off this fall and continues through the spring. Ticket prices range from $5-35. All performances are onstage at the historic Panida Theater downtown. For more information, call 208-263-6139 or visit www.artinsandpoint.org

Lena Haug

November 17: AN EVENING WITH LENA HAUG & “ALL THE WILD HORSES” A screening of the award-winning film “All the Wild Horses” documenting the amazing Mongol Derby, the longest endurance horse race in the world, followed by a conversation with local equestrian Lena Haug about her personal experience racing across the Mongolian desert this summer. See related story on page 18.

January 13: LIVING VOICES

Living Voices

Our popular theatrical partnership with Living Voices is back with a production of “Within the Silence,” sharing the story of thousands of innocent Japanese Americans during WWII, told from the perspective of Emiko, a teenager in 1941.

February 17: DIANE SCHUUR Legendary Grammy-award-winning jazz vocalist and pianist Diane Schuur has released 23 albums, has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and the White House, and is a recipient of the Helen Keller Achievement Award.

March 25: MISSOULA CHILDREN’S THEATre: “RED RIDING HOOD”

Diane Schuur

The ever-popular community theater event, casting a host of local children of all ages for a local production of the fairy-tale classic.

April 21: THE BLACK MARKET TRUST A five-member gypsy-jazz band based in Los Angeles, inspired by Django Reinhardt and the Great American Songbook, featuring virtuosic playing, beautiful harmonies and fun interaction with the audience.

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Sandpoint's

Top Gun Marcel LeBlanc's love of flight reaches new heights at Daher Aerospace by Cameron Rasmusson

F

ormer U.S. Navy pilot Marcel LeBlanc developed a desire to fly from the movie “Top Gun.” Now he is a ‘top gun’ himself as the Vice President of Engineering for Daher in Sandpoint, makers of the Kodiak multi-role airplane. Described as “relaxed,” “exacting,” and “just a really cool guy,” by fellow employees, he takes pride in working for one of the area’s most sought-after employers, along with the quality products they provide. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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arcel LeBl LeBlanc a nc Interview MMarcel

FACING PAGE: MARCEL LEBLANC CHECKS OUT A NEW PLANE AT SANDPOINT’S DAHER. PHOTO BY CAMERON BARNES. THIS PAGE, LEFT: LEBLANC AND HIS FAMILY APPRECIATE THE OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITIES OF THE GREATER SANDPOINT AREA. RIGHT: ONE OF THE FA-18S LEBLANC USED TO FLY, WITH HIS NAME IN LIGHTS. COURTESY PHOTOS.

Sandpoint Magazine: For the people who might not be aware, can you describe a little bit about what you do with Daher and Kodiak? Marcel LeBlanc: Currently I’m the vice president of engineering and chief test pilot here at the Kodiak Aircraft Company in Sandpoint. We are part of the Daher aircraft division. Most people in Sandpoint know the company actually began as Quest in Priest River (which) later on moved to Sandpoint. And then in 2019, in October specifically, we were acquired by Daher. It’s a very large corporation, but they build airplanes among other things. So now we’re a part of Daher called Kodiak, because that’s the plane we build. In my department we have about 40 people who are not only engineers, but skilled technicians. There are drafters, we have skilled technical writers, and we have analysts. It’s a great group of people and we support another 180 or so people who work here at the plant building the Kodiak. We have two models of Kodiak now: the Kodiak 100 and the Kodiak 900. SM: You mentioned that the company was acquired by Daher a few years back. What was that process like? ML: Fortunately, it was very good for us. Our previous owners were nice folks. It was a Japanese shipbuilding company. But they didn’t know a lot about aviation. Essentially, (Quest) became available for sale. We were very fortunate to have Daher choose us because Daher is the longest continuously operating aviation company in the world, in business since the 19th century. So the acquisition went really smoothly for us, and frankly, as smoothly as one might expect. Another very important point: Daher is a family-owned company, and it takes a long-term view for its business, which

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is not always the case with corporations today. Daher is ready to support promising new projects, such as the Kodiak 900, with the necessary resources, including funding. SM: How long did it take to put everything together for the Kodiak 900? ML: Work began in earnest in the summer 2016, and were it not for COVID, we would have been done in about five years or so, but we made our official announcement in July 2022. So it took about six years, all things considered. SM: I can imagine how rewarding it must have been to finish a major project after all those challenges. ML: It was really great. We had the first flight of the first Kodiak 900 on February 28, 2020, so literally a week or two before the COVID breakout. I’ll never forget it. That was a great, great moment. We had the whole company out there, very excited that we got that first flight done and we were off and running and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then a month later, we had COVID, so the light at the end of the tunnel moved a little bit further down the tunnel. But then in July of this year, as I mentioned, we had the whole team at the Oshkosh airshow. We had a huge press conference and a really nice marketing video that we’re pretty proud of because it tells our story. It can be found on YouTube right now. It has great perspective into the development program and everything that we went through to get to the end product, and it’s a good showcase for the airplane. Yes, it’s a marketing video, but it’s really true to what happened and encapsulates that feeling you were asking about. There’s a lot of pride in the accomplishment and a lot of thankfulness for


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WILDFLOWER SPA AND SALON AT SEASONS 424 SANDPOINT AVE., SUITE 300 everyone who contributed to the effort throughout, so that’s great. SM: After you finish work on a huge project like that, what comes next? ML: We took a couple days’ rest, and now we’re right back at it. I mentioned earlier, Daher really knows the business and they push us very hard to keep on bringing new value and improvements to the customer. So frankly, we are working now on improving the Kodiak 100 and the Kodiak 900 and whatever the next iteration of that model is. You know, it’s similar to how there’s a 2022 Chevrolet Silverado and then a 2023 Chevrolet Silverado. And those are the things we are working on right now. We’re also supporting our manufacturing plant as we ramp up production and try to turn out as many of these things as quickly as we can because we do have strong demand right now. SM: Where are you seeing some of those orders coming in from? ML: About where we expected them to come from. It’s a good blend of the owner/ operator customer base, plus a lot of interest from the special missions group. For the Kodiak aircraft, that covers many

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Interview M arcel LeBl anc

KODIAK PLANES OFTEN LAND ON THIS TYPE OF BACKCOUNTRY LANDING STRIP, LOCATIONS LEBLANC TAKES PARTICULAR ENJOYMENT IN LANDING ON AS WELL. COURTESY PHOTO.

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things, from directing other airplanes dropping water on wildfires and the surveying of wildlife to its use as an air ambulance and for surveillance missions. This special missions group takes a little bit longer as they typically involve government contracts and the process is pretty rigid. But we have a lot of strong interest there and that market has really increased in the past couple of years. SM: Let’s talk a little bit about yourself. Can you tell us how you acquired an interest in aviation? ML: This may sound silly; I’ve always liked the thought of flying, but I have to admit I got the real flying bug when the original movie “Top Gun” came out. It had a real impact on me. I was a senior in high school at that time. Based on that, I eventually joined the Navy and began my flying career. That was the best way that I could afford to become a pilot. They paid for me to go to college, and I paid them back with my service. I liked the flying, found the mission fulfilling, and I like serving my country. Twenty-five years later, I was still in the Navy, but my flying days were over as far as the Navy was concerned. I remained interested in aviation, and in 2015, I began looking around at a number of different jobs that could keep me in the aviation business. At that time, there was an opening here at Quest. I made it through the interview process, thankfully, and my wife and I came out here. We love the small-town life and all the options Sandpoint has to offer for outdoor experiences: camping, fishing, hunting, boating, those sorts of thing. So we took the leap and moved all the way over here. That was six years ago and we haven’t looked back since. SM: If “Top Gun” got you into aviation, this must have been an exciting year for you with the sequel coming out and being so well received. Did you get a chance to see it? ML: Yes, I did! Through my time in the Navy, I actually knew some of the technical advisors on that movie who did some of the flying. Therefore I had somewhat of an insider’s scoop. And of course, I enjoyed the movie. The flying was


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D

Daher, an aircraft manufacturer based out of Tarbes, France, unveiled its newest plane—the Kodiak 900—in July of 2022. Billed as the ultimate getaway vehicle, the advanced STOL turboprop was built right here, at Daher’s Sandpoint production facility near the Sandpoint airport. A “next-generation” of the company’s Kodiak 100 backcountry workhorse, the new plane is a bigger and faster version of its popular younger sibling. “We really focused on three things with the Kodiak 900,” explained Daher’s Vice President of Engineering, Marcel LeBlanc. “We needed an airplane that was much faster and much roomier inside than the Kodiak 100. The Kodiak 100 is actually a pretty big airplane, but we wanted one that had more room for passenger comfort and also for cargo carrying or special-missions capability. And finally, we wanted to retain what we called the great DNA of the Kodiak 100, which is what we consider the world’s safest, most versatile airplane of its type. It’s a solidly and robustly built aircraft that handles well at slow speeds and is very forgiving with pilot mistakes. And I know, because I’ve made a lot of them! I think we were successful,” he added. The new plane was unveiled at the EAA Airventure Oshkosh Airshow in Wisconsin. “I think we’ve delivered a great aircraft,” LeBlanc said. “The market is really responding and we’ve had a lot of interest so far. We’re pretty excited.”

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fantastic, and I know from first-hand knowledge that a lot of it was real and it was not CGI, so that was really fun. It was great to take our children, and we saw it right here in the Sandpoint Cinemas at the Bonner Mall. SM: Are there any comparisons you can make between your civilian life and military life? ML: You know, people are people, whether they’re in the military or in private business. A lot of how you make business work or how you make the military work is through good leadership and good personnel and personal connections. I think that’s how we have been able to make things happen over here at Quest, which is now, you know, Kodiak, and we’ve been the beneficiaries of some great leadership. As for the flying part, the Kodiak is obviously a lot slower than the planes I used to fly, and it does not involve an aircraft carrier, but in some ways it’s just as fun, because the Kodiak is what we call a “stick and rudder” airplane. The plane is not flown by a computer, like a lot of military airplanes are, even though they have a pilot. There are cables and pulleys in the airplane, and you pull on the yoke, and that’s going to pull on a steel cable that runs through a number of pulleys and is attached to a flight control surface on the other end. And that’s what’s going to make the airplane move. So that’s really fun because you can really feel like you’re part of the flying experience. Sometimes you lose that touch with flying the higher-end aircraft in the Navy. Plus, I haven’t worn a uniform in six years, so that’s nice. Business casual—I am a big fan of business casual, so that’s great. SM: Anything you want to add? ML: I’d like to reiterate how grateful we are to be acquired by Daher. I personally am very thankful for all the folks I work with here, many of whom have been here way longer than I have, and they’ve really put their heart and soul into this company and into both our aircraft models, and we really appreciate that. And I look forward to continuing to work with them as far into the future as possible.

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Beyond Books LOCAL LIBRARIES ARE OPEN TO POSSIBILITIES Story and photos by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey

W

hen you hear the word “library” it is very likely that a building full of books comes to mind. This image isn’t inaccurate when it comes to picturing the East Bonner County Library District and its Sandpoint, Clark Fork, and Bookmobile libraries, which all offer physical materials galore. But for our local libraries, it doesn’t end there, and what’s offered is a reflection of the entity’s most valuable assets—the people who keep those libraries running. Of course, librarians are not ones to toot their own horns. Horns are, generally, frowned upon in libraries anyway. Luckily, EBCL Director Viktor Sjoberg, who took the helm in 2021, is eager to recognize the quiet talent that keeps the community’s intellectual machine on track.

“One thing this staff really embodies is the commitment to lifelong learning,” Sjoberg said, adding later: “I don’t think you can really have a learning institution for the community if it doesn’t happen internally as well. We have to model that kind of behavior internally, and this staff is really amazing in that way.” Look no further than Brenden Bobby, the Exploration Coordinator for the newly formed Experiential & STEM Learning department, for an example of that commitment. Bobby’s role is essentially to bring new experiences in science, technology, engineering, art, and more to patrons of all ages through both in-house programs and outreach. “We’re changing the way we approach the community, at least from my perspective,” he said, “and bringing in more tangible things to get people engaged.” SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features

BELOW: LIBRARY DIRECTOR VIKTOR SJOBERG; BOTTOM: LONG-TERM LIBRARIANS AMARYLLIS HOOD AND MELISSA MANKONGVANICHKUL OUTSIDE OF THE SATELLITE LIBRARY LOCATED IN CLARK FORK.

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From kid-friendly coding to star parties to expanded virtual reality programming, Bobby has a lengthy list of new features headed to the library district in the coming year, and in his words: “I’m not a wizard—I’m doing the best I can, but I need the community to tell me what they genuinely want. “What I’ve always felt is that the library is the heart of the community, and if the community is suffering, the library is there to help,” Bobby said, “and if the library is suffering, the community is there to help. It’s a very symbiotic existence.” That symbiotic relationship is only strengthened by programs like the Sandpoint Library’s Lifelong Learning Center, staffed by Volunteer Coordinator Frank Foderaro. The LLC is dedicated to tutoring people of all ages in academic subjects, technology assistance, GED and SAT preparation, proctored exams, citizenship training, and more. “I truly appreciate being a part of supporting each individual’s journey, no matter what stage of life they are in,” Foderaro said. In the county’s eastern-most reaches, longtime local librarians Melissa Mankongvanichkul and Amaryllis Hood are looking forward to hosting events and educational programs at the Clark Fork Library’s new outdoor pavilion. Mankongvanichkul said the Clark Fork Library serves as a place where rural residents can access computers, internet, and other technology they don’t have at home. Recently, the library obtained Roku streaming kits that people can rent—a handy tool for those who want to test their internet speeds before investing in their own home streaming device. It’s just one example of how small town libraries can serve specific needs. “We’re able to adapt to what the community wants,” Hood said. “We have a lot of resources. Come and let us know if you want certain programs or want to see certain things in the collection.” Mankongvanichkul said she hopes that, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people remember that the library is a place to meet others—through regular storytimes, STEM events, and any number of other gatherings yet to be thought up. “I want to see people … use this place as more of a connection place,” she said, “to meet people and to learn whatever they want to learn.” EBCL Collection Development Librarian Vanessa Velez said that from the digital library to interlibrary loans to the more tangible programs provided through the Experiential & STEM Learning department, local libraries and their many facets “are for everyone.” That statement has a double meaning, too, with Velez emphasizing that “nobody has the right to take away others’ rights to access information, even if it’s something they disagree with. “I think most people understand and support this, but those who don’t are spending a lot of their time and energy attacking one of the last truly democratic institutions left in this country,” she said, “and to me, that is a shame because it distracts public libraries and library staff from their real work of simply helping people.”


What I’ve always felt is that the library is the heart of the community It is with this philosophy in mind that the district is developing its strategic plan, due for completion by the end of the year, Sjoberg said. Through a series of “community conversations” at various locations around the county, library personnel have been open to hearing what locals want to see from the institution. Sjoberg called the process “fulfilling.” “What we’ve learned is that there is strong support,” he said. “There are also community members that are questioning what libraries do. Those conversations have not necessarily been all negative, though.” Sjoberg said the strategic planning process is meant to create a library district that is truly “of the people, by the people and for the people. “I do think that we build a public library together, ideally, and the more people who are involved—both internally with the staff but also community members—the better off we are,” he said. In the meantime, library staff remain committed to setting an example of what lifelong learning looks like. In a single conversation with Bobby, it feels as though a floodgate of possibility has opened up, and thanks to the library, there is a place where that enthusiasm and knowledge can enrich others. “I am learning things every day,” he said. Learn more at www.ebonnerlibrary.org

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Saving the sled

hill

KANIKSU LAND TRUST A MODEL TO BUILD ON by Cate Huisman

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efore groomers and six-packs and high-speed detachable chairlifts, when a rope tow run by an old car engine provided sufficient elevation gain, Pine Street Hill was Sandpoint’s ski area. Nearby and free, it continued to be a winter recreation destination of choice for sledders even after Schweitzer opened and skiers migrated there. But when the long-time landowners put it up for sale in 2019, Pine Street Hill was closed to public use. Sandpoint lost its sledding hill. Now Kaniksu Land Trust is rallying the community to reclaim its lost recreation destination. Locals have attended fundraising events and made donations big and small. Many

of these are from donors who have never contributed to the trust before, or even heard of it. And that’s no surprise. KLT didn’t always have snowy recreation as part of its mission. At its founding in 2002, the purpose of what was then the Clark Fork–Pend Oreille Conservancy was to support Avista in mitigating the environment-altering effects of the Noxon Rapids and Cabinet Gorge dams. For the better part of the next decade, it was focused on protecting the fisheries of the Clark Fork and its tributaries. In 2012, the trust’s board decided that it could better conserve land by connecting people more strongly to that land. It changed its name to Kaniksu Land Trust—which is SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features

sav ing the s l ed hi ll

PREVIOUS PAGE: LONG BEFORE SCHWEITZER, PINE STREET HILL WAS THE GO-TO PLACE FOR LOCAL SKIIERS. THIS PAGE: FRITZ HOLZ, SHIRLEY BRIXEN, JIM (LAST NAME UNKNOWN), SALLY HOLZ AND GARY PIETSCH HEADING OUT TO SKI. PHOTOS BY JIM PARSONS AND COURTESY BONNER COUNTY HISTORY MUSEUM.

conveniently less of a mouthful than its original name—and it broadened its mission to “Caring for the lands and people of the Kaniksu region, today, tomorrow, and forever.” Then and now, private landowners contact KLT to help them conserve their lands for a defined purpose, often wildlife conservation or forest health. Many of these conserved lands continue to be productive forest or agricultural lands, and their owners continue to pay taxes on them. But they are protected forever from commercial or residential development. Of the 30 properties KLT has conserved, only two are open to the public. Pine Street Woods is the better known as it is close to town and easy to access for people with a wide variety of physical abilities. The other public parcel is near Clark Fork and is used for educational activities with its schools. Partnerships with more than a dozen community organizations have created trails for hiking, skiing, and biking, as well as education and recreation programs for school children and adults. “The power of KLT is the power of our partnerships,” said Katie Cox, the trust’s executive director. But the “and people” addition to the mission has led KLT

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beyond Pine Street Woods and beyond the borders of its many conserved properties as well. Its staff support “rewild the play-yard” programs in local schools. The Kaniksu Folk School “seeks to foster an ethic of stewardship through offering classes in traditional skills and craft,” according to its coordinator, Hilary Petterson. Further up the Clark Fork, in Sanders County, Montana, KLT is working with federal, county, and nonprofit partners to help grow the recreation economy of Thompson Falls. This summer it was even involved in rallying its partners so they could together replace the school district’s suspended summer lunch program. And as the cost of housing has gone out of reach for almost everybody earning local wages, KLT anticipates becoming a community housing trust as well. Such a trust will enable local workers to own and build equity in homes on land that is leased from the trust. Working as usual with numerous partners, KLT has already located an appropriate piece of land. If all goes as planned, the process of finding investors and donors will begin early in 2023. Not all projects have gone perfectly. Plans for Kaniksu Land


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features

sav in g the s l ed hi ll

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Trust to foster public use of the Sand Creek corridor south of the Popsicle Bridge ran into woes with stormwater management, and the trust continues to look for a partner that can provide the necessary expertise to continue. Neighbors of Pine Street Woods have been concerned about users spilling over onto their private property, and access to some adjacent conserved land has been closed because users have not stayed on trails. For the owners of these properties, “the number one priority is wildlife habitat and forest health,” said Regan Plumb, KLT’s conservation director. “As we expand trail access, we need to remember that it’s private property and respect the land.” These difficulties along the wide variety of projects have led some to speculate whether the trust has wandered beyond the edges of its mission. Do all these activities really support land conservation?

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PHOTO BY WOODS WHEATCROFT

Cox and Plumb have no doubt that they do. “Our embracing of community conservation has actually enhanced and accelerated our core conservation efforts. Our organization has become more

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Our embracing of community conservation has actually enhanced and accelerated our core conservation efforts relevant to more people,” said Cox. They point out that the trust conserved 4,000 acres over its first 20 years, and already has another 4,000 in the pipeline. And “it’s grown the amount that our organization receives in contributions exponentially over the years,” added Cox. Now, other organizations are considering KLT’s success and wondering how they can emulate it. Last summer, the directors of several western states’ USDA Rural Development programs visited Pine Street Woods to hear about KLT’s many initiatives and meet some of the partners. In September, the trust was asked to make a presentation at the Idaho Rural Success Summit in Twin Falls. The trust’s success seems to come from its long-term view. As Plumb put it, “We hope to foster an ethic of conservation stewardship in the general public in order to assure that we continue to have a conservation minded community into the future.” How better to do that than to help a community recover the sledding hill they used for decades? Retaining the option to fly keister over teakettle, snow packing into your jacket and boots before you plant your face in a cold white hole, may be the best of all possible motivators.

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MORE


FISKIN WITH HEFNER, ABOVE, AND DURING HER PRIME PLAYBOY DAYS, BELOW. COURTESY PHOTOS.

‘i was there’ by Cameron Rasmusson Suzen FiskIn at the Playboy Mansion Few enough people in the world have the opportunity to be at the center of a cultural zeitgeist. But Suzen Fiskin is one such person. “From 1975 to 1980, I lived at the Playboy Mansion and moved within Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner’s inner circle. It’s all chronicled in my book, “Playboy Mansion Memoirs: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of the Sexual Revolution.” “It was an unforgettable time of my life. I dated some of the biggest stars and up-and-coming talents of the era. I attended the wild parties that were a matter of course at the mansion. And I also witnessed the shift in cultural attitudes and mores as the burgeoning feminist movement and sexual revolution collided to reshape America forever. I was a feminist in that world, so really, the book is both a historical perspective and a personal memoir. “I experienced no shortage of glitz and glamor during those five years. And the celebrities I met and dated were a big part of that. Warren Beatty, for instance, was one of the biggest movie stars of the time, and also the individual with whom I shared my most romantic moment at the mansion. After a period of flirting, Beatty took me to the mansion’s game room, scooped me up, and took me to one of the adjoining bedrooms. He was just breathtakingly handsome and charming. “Then there was Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was not yet an international superstar at that time. But he possessed no

shortage of confidence and ambition. On one of our dates, we were joined by fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu at the park, where the two titanic men worked out together. “I remember him telling me in his thick accent, “I’m going to be a movie star. I’m going to be in this movie “Conan,” and it’s going to make me an international movie star.’” “Perhaps most fascinating of all was Hugh Hefner himself. A man of stark contrasts, Hefner spent his professional career fighting for racial equality, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and more. But his taste in women never evolved beyond the most superficial qualities, and that’s a contrast I wanted to explore in my book. I wanted to write the book as honestly and openly as I could. Otherwise, why bother? “It’s easy to forget what a different time it was. Women were unable to control their own medical and financial needs until the early ’70s. But ultimately, the era changed me forever. It engrained an independence in me that lasted a lifetime, irrespective of cultural expectations. “What I got out of the mansion is a level of confidence. I could walk up to a top politician or movie star and have a conversation. I could just float in whatever group I was in.” SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features I was there

Cathy Bixler At Berkeley protest

PHOTO: CATHY BIXLER’S FACE-OFF WITH ARMED TROOPS AT BERKELEY WAS CAPTURED BY RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHER DANNY LYON, AND PUBLISHED IN HIS BOOK “THE SEVENTH DOG.”

by Trish Gannon The campus of the University of California at Berkeley was a hot spot for student activism in the late 1960s, and Clark Fork’s Cathy Bixler was right in the midst of it all; including on the day when Governor Ronald Reagan sent in the National Guard to remove students from People’s Park. On May 15, 1969, around 6,000 protesters intent on “taking back” the park for the people were confronted by almost 800 law enforcement officers who fired tear gas and buckshot at the backs of students as they ran. James Rector, sitting on the roof of the Telegraph Repertory Cinema, was shot and killed by officers. Alan Blanchard was blinded after being shot in the face with birdshot, and 128 residents were admitted to the hospital with serious injuries inflicted by police. That night, Reagan sent in 2,700 National Guardsmen. “The people in Berkeley had turned a vacant lot owned by the university into a park (the People’s Park). Ronald Reagan was the governor and he wanted a hard line against the “commie hippies” who used the park so he sent in a huge police presence and they put a chainlink fence around the park. When students protested this they sent in the National Guard. It was crazy. There were huge tanks driving through the city streets and helicopters everywhere. “I was 19 years old and attending college at UC Davis. Berkeley was just a few hours away. I went there to protest the overly aggressive and brutal response by Ronald Reagan to the demonstrations. He took a small city disagreement and blew it up into a dangerous situation. This was yet another over-milita-

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rized response to peaceful protest which was seen throughout the civil rights movement and continues to this day. “I wasn’t scared to go... I was angry. When you experience bullshit aggression and are discussing it with your friends it seems that they are obviously trying to get you to stop and to stay home. But you are angry so you reject their attempts to scare you away. You refuse to be denied what’s right. That’s why Palestinians are still throwing rocks at Israelis, all these years later, even though they pay and pay for their temerity. If you quit fighting they win. “When the Guard was actually lunging at me with their bayonets I was scared. But that made me even madder. WTF! I am just standing here. I am doing nothing aggressive. Sheesch! “Now the park is a permanent People’s Park and was recommended by the California State Historical Resources Commission to be included in the National Register of Historic Places. “The photographer who took my picture is famous, Danny Lyon. Many of the iconic civil rights protest pics are his, as he was the official photographer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. He spent time in jail with Martin Luther King, was Representative John Lewis’ roommate in motels, etc. I was unaware of him or this photo until three years ago when an old roommate of mine saw it at a museum and told me about it.” As this issue went to press, we learned that BCB (Beautiful Cathy Bixler) has died. Vaya con Dios, Cathy.


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p i ctur ed i n hi story

The Fickle

Nature of

Fortune

THE IGNATZ WEIL STORY

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Story by Jennifer Lamont-Leo, photo courtesy Bonner County History Museum.

orn in Vienna in 1853, Ignatz Weil arrived in San Francisco at age 18, where he worked as a bookkeeper. In 1882 he relocated to Helena, Montana, to work for Greenhood, Bohm and Company, a purveyor of “gents’ furnishing goods” such as clothing, “liquor, tobacco, cigars, and bar glass.” As a traveling salesman, Weil’s route covered the West, so he would have passed through Sandpoint many times, viewing the area’s potential through entrepreneurial eyes. In the mid 1880s, Weil won $15,000 in a lottery (roughly $450,000 in 2022 dollars). He bought land in Sandpoint, then purchased E. L. Weeks’ general store and operated it for several years as the Sandpoint Mercantile Company. The enterprise flourished, earning Weil the moniker “Merchant Prince of Kootenai County” from the Kootenai Herald. (Bonner County had not yet been formed). In 1886 he married Irene Henry. Local resident Bertha Johnson recalled a rumor that Irene had worked for many years as Weil’s housekeeper and finally pressured him into marrying her at the point of a pearl-handled Derringer. Whether that story is accurate or not, the marriage was reputed to be a happy one, and the Weils were leaders in the nascent Sandpoint “society.” Even their bulldog, Major, merited his own obituary when he died in 1904 “to the grief of Mr. and Mrs. Weil and the regret of the general public, who had looked upon the faithful old dog as one of the pioneers of the town.” Another pioneer was Jack Waters, who ranched 160 acres where Sand Creek flows into Lake Pend Oreille. In 1892 the hapless Waters was passing a slaughterhouse when a stray bullet, intended to kill a steer, ricocheted and hit him in the arm. The arm was amputated, but Waters died three days later,

leaving no spouse, no heir, and no will. Into the breach stepped Ignatz Weil. After settling Waters’ affairs, he accepted Waters’ 160 acres as payment for services rendered. He divided this acquisition, along with his own acreage, into lots, forming a real estate development called Weil’s Addition. As Sandpoint’s population boomed and the speculation paid off, Weil diversified his interests into an insurance brokerage, a liquor distributorship, and a mine. In 1907 Bonner County was formed. Weil built the courthouse on his property and rented it to the city, which purchased the building in 1908. In 1909 he and Irene built a grand home over Jack Waters’ modest one at 227 S. First Avenue. He also built several downtown commercial buildings. In quick succession Weil became Bonner County’s first county clerk, then a U. S. Commissioner of Idaho. He served on the Republican Central Committee at both county and state levels. Political opponents called him “wily,” a play on his name as well as a probable assessment of his business dealings. One opponent called him a “wiley (sic) son of Israel,” a slur on his Jewish heritage, and pointed out his liquor business to persuade “prohibitionists and temperance people” to vote against him. In 1930 Weil switched parties and ran for probate judge as a Democrat, losing to Andrew Christensen. But this was the least of his troubles. He lost everything, including his house, in the 1929 stock market crash. Sawmill owner L. D. McFarland purchased the house, which locals still call “the McFarland House” even though Weil built it. The Weils moved to Algoma, where Ignatz died in 1931. Irene moved back to town. Neighbors supplied her with baskets of food and looked after her until her death in 1945. Both Irene and Ignatz are buried in Lakeview Cemetery. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features

Enterta is back

With a Vengeance

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a inment by Sandy Compton

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andpoint has been an entertainment town since forever. The bandstand at the original Farmin School on Second Avenue provided music for generations. The Panida Theater has invited folks in since 1927 (only five years until the centennial celebration!). It has also presented big-name artists as diverse as Ian Tyson, Emmylou Harris, and Leo Kotke. Sandpoint Community Hall has hosted countless dances: 1940s soirees for Farragut sailors, 1960s rock and roll parties, contra dances, square dances, and clogging. Since 1982, the Festival at Sandpoint has presented acts worthy of much larger venues. The list of smaller stages around the city is long and many bands and single acts that play them are as good as they get. And, some, not. But still. In 2019, entertainment in Sandpoint seemed to be in

ascendancy, but then COVID came. That slowed things down significantly. Now, like Arnold, music and other performance art is back. With a vengeance. The Panida Theater is once again open for business as (sort of) usual—staff and volunteers are masked for performances and COVID precautions are strongly advised, though not required. The Panida’s winter 2023 lineup includes the Global Cinema Café series of films. Beginning in November, Pend Oreille Arts Council has five live shows scheduled, including a Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Red Riding Hood” on March 25. Locallysourced drama is also back on stage. Cade Prophet Memorial Productions is presenting live theater and playwright Teresa Pesce is working on a production of one-acts about relationships called “It’s Complicated.” SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A AG GAZINE

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features perform in g arts

PREVIOUS PAGE: THE SWEET LILLIES WERE A HIT AT THE HEARTWOOD CENTER. PHOTO BY JAMES DEWALT PHOTOGRAPHY. ABOVE: THE CAST TAKES A BOW AT THE PRODUCTION OF “THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST” AT THE PANIDA. NEXT PAGE: LEVI HILL PLAYS THE BOSENDORFER AT THE LITTLE CARNEGIE HALL AT THE MUSIC CONSERVATORY, WHERE HE IS AN HONORS STUDENT STUDYING PIANO. PHOTO BY OLIVIA FEE.

Pesce is realistically optimistic about the theater scene. “With Lake Pend Oreille Repertory bringing great new talent on stage and behind the scenes, and Dorothy Prophet becoming theatrically active again, I think Sandpoint is building toward accommodating the entertainment appetite of a growing community that may have performance expectations based on larger cities from which they fled.” LPOR is a new—and lively—kid on the block in live performance. Conceived by Director Keely Gray, LPOR incorporated in December of 2019, which was not great timing. “COVID definitely put a damper on things,” Gray said. “As soon as we started we were stopped.” But not forever. Gray and company—which includes a number of both familiar and new Sandpoint dramatists—put on their first play in February 2021, an ambitious and successful Panida production of “Young Frankenstein.” Their second show was “The Importance of Being Earnest” in the fall of 2022. Gray, who grew up in Sandpoint, has a degree in theater arts from the University of Idaho. She is enthusiastic about the near future. “We have lots in the works. We launched our education program last summer with 20 local kids performing in “Peter Pan” at the Panida. Our education director, Courtney Roberts, is teaching a teen studio class as well as a class called Showstoppers—graciously sponsored by POAC. We have another musical planned for spring and a well-known play coming in the fall. Once we purchase rights we can announce titles.” Music and places to enjoy it are simply exploding. Jared Johnson, front man for recently re-named Headwaters, noted that the growth trend probably started before COVID. “I think it was partially interrupted by COVID, but I see more music at more places than I remember pre-COVID—which, to me, is a good thing.”

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Including the Panida, the Little Panida, and the Festival, Sandpoint and environs has at least 20 places that present music and/or stage performances. On every summer weekend and most in the other seasons, one can find a place to tap a toe or get up and boogie, depending. Beginning at the south end of town, The Blue Room, the Bank, the 219 and I Saw Something Shiny are on First Avenue. Turn left on Cedar and pass by (or duck into) The Back Door, Idaho Pour Authority, Di Luna’s, Eichardt’s (where Jeff Nizzoli has a magic formula for timing live music), MickDuff’s Beer Hall, Pend Oreille Winery, and Connie’s Café. Add the Sand Bar on Pine, Farmin Park (home of Mattox Farm’s Summer Music Series), Trinity at City Beach and Matchwood Brewery. Top off the list with Laughing Dog Brewery in Ponderay and Taps and the Saint Bernard at Schweitzer. One inactive spot that deserves mention is The Hive on First, which was a hoppin’ dance venue before it became a COVID victim. Rumor has it that the facility will open again, but rumors are rumors until proven true. Ben Olson, publisher at Sandpoint Reader and headman of Harold’s IGA, said, “I’ve heard those rumors, too. It’s a fantastic venue with excellent sound and atmosphere. ... I wish whoever takes it over luck. It’s a shame to see that beautiful venue silent.” While no bell peals out (yet) from atop the Music Conservatory of Sandpoint (though plans are underway to reinstall the building’s original bell), they do ring within since the addition of a bell choir in 2021. An accredited school of performing arts founded in 2009, just ten years later it purchased Sandpoint’s old city hall/fire department at 110 Main Street; a continued remodeling project has turned the building into an acoustic dream. “We reached


Panida readies for its next 100

a very significant milestone with our Little Carnegie Concert Hall,” said Karin Wedemeyer, the school’s founder and executive director, “which significantly increased our ability to have concerts.” Devoted to providing quality music, primarily on the classical end of the scale, the school boasts a Bosendorfer grand piano, “maybe the only one in the Pacific Northwest,” which was loaned to the Festival in the summer of 2022 for the Pink Martini concert, and they recently received an “outrageous donation,” of a Steinway. “Now we have two grands on a very beautiful stage,” said Wedemeyer. “We’re offering something here that is first class.” It’s a treat for downtown when they open the old fire truck access doors, and beautiful music fills the streets. Meanwhile, at the corner of Sixth and Oak, is the Heartwood Center, one of the most lovely small performance venues in Idaho. Formerly St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the brick building was built in 1908 and, after the church moved to Ontario Street, restoration began in 2012. Robb and Tasha Talbott’s Mattox Farms Productions recently began managing Heartwood, a huge stride in a great direction for them. Besides the Sandpoint Summer Music Series, Mattox Farms produces shows in venues as varied as the Panida, Eichardt’s, the Eureka Center, Pine Street Woods, and the Granary District. Mattox Farms’ goal is to bring quality Americana music to North Idaho in a family-friendly environment; accomplished recently at the Heartwood with a Sweet Lillies concert that opened with Sandpoint singer/songwriter Brendan Kelty and friends. “This was a perfect evening,” Robb said. “Families and little kids dancing through the first set, and then total dance

Since the Panida Theater came to life in November 1927 showing the silent movie “Now We’re in the Air,” the grand old theater with its Spanish Colonial Revival exterior and art deco flourishes inside has served multiple generations with movies, hometown variety shows and live theater, dance, and music. It’s now a nonprofit community theater—and it’s at a crossroads. The Panida, plus the adjacent “Little Theater,” have long deferred maintenance needs. “Like anything 100 years old, whether it be a person or a building, it needs love and attention,” said Jim Healey, chair of the Panida board of directors. Healey led the Panida board last summer in adopting a five-year strategic plan with an ambitious goal: To launch a “Century Fund” campaign and raise $1.9 million to meet the long list of major and minor restoration needs before the theater’s 100th anniversary in 2027. The Century Fund has already received a major boost. Ting Internet has pledged to match up to $200,000 in individual donations made during the campaign. “This is so huge,” said volunteer Chris Bessler. “Whether you give $5 or $5,000, your donation gets doubled by Ting’s amazing pledge.”

PHOTO COURTESY ALLERGALE DESIGN

There is a fundraising target each of the next five years; this first-year goal is $273,000 to fund roof replacements for both theaters. At press time, Bessler noted the fund was already more than halfway there— but with a lot farther to go. “We hope everyone with a heart for the Panida and the arts will chip in,” he said. Get more info, and donate, at www.panida.org. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features perform in g arts party for the closer. It can’t get much better than that.” The Talbotts have been bringing up-and-coming regional— and not-so-regional—acts to town for five years, such as Slocan Ramblers, Runaway Symphony, Timber Rattlers, Hill Stomp, and the Li’l Smokies; as well as supporting local musicians like Harold’s IGA, Kelty’s shape-shifting band, Josh Hedlund and more. Mattox Farms is also branching out into performance art—and Bonners Ferry. Last fall, they brought comedian Alex Falcone to the Pearl Theater in Bonners and then to the Heartwood. Olson, who began Harold’s IGA with partner Cadie Archer in 2011, said, “I think Mattox Farm is a huge asset for this town and for the Heartwood Center. Robb is tireless in his mission to bring music to the people.” Olson, Archer, and their drummer Josh Vitalie, form one of a phalanx of groups and solo acts—some famous, some not— who keep the many venues fed: Miah Kohal Band, Headwaters (nee Baregrass), Truck Mills, Bob Missed the Bus, Peter Lucht, Marty Peron, Samantha Carstens, Justin Landis, Holly McGarry, John Firshi, the Shook Twins, Doug Bond, Michael Thompson, Ian Newbill, and a big bunch of others—many more than there are venues. Firshi, who also plays with Headwaters, recently took over hosting Monday Night Blues Jam at Eichardt’s from Mills, who had been host since before Eichardt’s was. “I’m grateful for the number of venues that support live music,” Olson said, “as well as the people who continue to turn

AMATEUR THEATER GROUPS MAKE USE OF THE LITTLE PANIDA STAGE. PHOTO COURTESY CADE PROPHET PRODUCTIONS.

up for shows around town, whether they’re at a bar, a pop-up venue, or on stage at the Panida. Musicians have a great support net in Sandpoint.” Sandpoint is still an entertainment town, it seems, and becomes more so all the time.

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NELSONKOOTENAYLAKE.COM


Did Sandpoint’s Opera House ever Host

an Opera?

by Elizabeth Goodwin & Hannah Combs

I

n one versatile Sandpoint building at the turn of the century, a “respectable” citizen could enjoy varied activities such as roller skating and dancing, wrestling and boxing matches, musical events, lectures and talks, plays and theatre, vaudeville and touring acts, and political and social events, all under the same roof. It was

called the Rink Opera House, and in June 1907, the innovative business opened as the first theater in Sandpoint. But for all of its diverse offerings, did the Opera House ever actually present an opera performance? …. In 1906, billboard painter J.H.C. Scurlock moved into a SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features history M yst ery small house on the residential 200 block of Church St., where Kochava stands today. Less than a year later, the ambitious businessman announced big plans to build a “road show emporium” in Sandpoint. The new amusement center featured waxed maple floors and a portable 24– by 42–foot stage, with drop curtains, scenery, and four dressing rooms for touring companies. Built with a capacity for 600 people, events at the Rink regularly drew crowds of over 800. The venue hosted a variety of events, including musical acts such as the Tennessee Jubilee Singers and Swiss bell ringers; a supernatural medium; and sports events such as a masquerade skating carnival, indoor baseball (a large, soft ball and small bat apparently minimized window breakage), and wrestling. Pressured by competition from new theaters, they rushed into the business of moving pictures soon after opening. The theater hosted many speakers, including President Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, and political gatherings. When the U.S. entered the first war against Germany, the Rink overflowed with citizens eager to demonstrate their patriotism. The Rink Opera House was in existence until summer 1917, when the building was totally remodeled and transformed into

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the Liberty Theater. The wooden floor was torn out, though the building could still occasionally be leased for dances. Rocking chairs in the gallery made movie viewing a cozy and comfortable experience. In 1919, in the wake of World War I, an offer was made to buy the Liberty Theater and use it for “the reorganization of the state military company,” including use as an armory, reserve officers’ training camp, and to screen government films, but it is unclear if this plan came to fruition. No trace remains of the building, as it was destroyed by fire one hundred years ago, in mid-September 1922. Though the building hosted hundreds of performances during its years in business, only one mention remains of an opera at the Rink. In February 1913, an “excellent array of local talent” performed the cantata “Queen Esther” by George Frederic Handel. Considered the first oratorio in English, the production would have been closer to a recital than a full-blown operatic production, but it was sold out to a crowd delighted by a 6-yearold singer “who fully sustained her part with the grown-ups.” The Bonner County History Museum has an original program from this performance in its collection, including the names of all 64 local performers.


Remembering

FREE FOOD

Friday

FUN AND FIASCO AT AN HISTORIC WATERING HOLE by Sandy Compton

“T

here ain’t no such thing as a free lunch,” but there was once free dinner in Sandpoint. From 1979 to 2001, the “be-there-or-be-square” event was Free Food Fridays at the Hydra Restaurant. The Hydra is still at the corner of Lake and Second. FFF is not. While it was, Carolyn Sorentino notes, “It brought us all together to start our weekend. Thank you, Ralph!” “Ralph” was Ralph Hefley, who carved and served mid-rare baron of beef while fish filets jumped onto our plates to swim in tartar sauce. The baron and fish were joined by barbecued chicken. Lasagna. Ribs. Spaghetti. Asian food. I don’t remember vegetables—I’ve always valued protein over greens — but Karen

Hefley assured me there were salads, slaws, and green beans. Not that romaine has no place in my life, but mid-rare roast with horseradish? Mmmm. The two who instigated FFF had that “this is the place” experience while traveling through Sandpoint in 1974. “We bought some land in 1975,” Karen said, “put up a tent and built an outhouse.” They both went to work at the Hydra the day it opened. Over the next few years, they leveraged sweat equity into a 49 percent interest. In 1981 they acquired the restaurant. FFF had been underway for two years. “Ralph’s idea was to develop a local and loyal clientele,” Karen said. It worked. FFF ran until a few months after Ralph died in 2001. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features free food friday

If you ever wanted to see a huge mix of people come together and enjoy the same thing, that was Free Food Friday

The fiasco part

They also brought their son Shaun to work. He recalled another “F:” “fiasco.” “I worked in the dish pit with the planet’s oldest dishwashing machine,” he said. “There was no way to keep up. On Fridays, we’d have bus tubs stacked to the ceiling.” Shaun eventually began preparing and serving FFF. He told great stories about patrons who took it too far; handbags lined with garbage sacks and a guy who tried to sneak out sliced ham under his ball cap. “He turned purple when I busted him.” Barbie Watkins-Blood said, “I remember Free Food Friday, but not fast food Friday.” To qualify for this hebdomadal abundance, you stood in line to buy a drink, which you were going to do anyway, right? You stood in line to get into the bathroom. You stood in line to get your free food. You stood in line to eat your free food. But it was worth it. It was free! Jesse Jennings frequented FFF in the ’90s. “It was free,” he said, “but it was never looked at as charity. It was a community event based around having dinner; a moment when people from many walks of life got together and had something in common.”

Conlon on cocktails

Providing the mandatory drink was the legendary John Conlon. With the possible exception of Ron Sipes, who opened the 219 daily at 6 am for decades, John probably lit more smokes, told more jokes and served more drinks than any bartender in the history of Sandpoint. His stint at the Hydra was a long-term deal. “He contracted to run the bar,” Karen said. “It

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PREVIOUS PAGE: RALPH HEFLEY IN FRONT OF TWO OF THE MANY BUFFETS HE PUT OUT FOR FREE FOOD IN THE BAR. ABOVE: A GROUP OF “REGULARS” PICTURED WITH RALPH. PHOTOS COURTESY KAREN HEFLEY.

was his place, Monday through Friday.” Stephanie and Mike Brown fondly recall FFF, as well as Taco Monday, Build Your Own Burger Tuesday, and Spaghetti Wednesday, all affordable, all good, and all Ralph’s ideas. “For a lot of people then, there wasn’t a lot of money,” Stephanie said, “so it was a sort of public service—and good advertising.” In Sandpoint fashion, dogs showed up, including an Airedale with a ski pass and the Browns’ dog, Ralph. Dogs weren’t supposed to be on the deck hosting FFF, and Stephanie delighted in saying quite loudly, “Ralph, get off the deck.” The canine Ralph was female, by the way. Annette Smith Jacobs was a waitress at the Hydra in 2001 and remembers FFF not so fondly as some. “People who came for free food were not such great tippers,” she said. One man would come mid-afternoon, order a refillable glass of ice tea and hold a table until his friends arrived after work; somewhat of a cheat, and certainly not in the original spirit of FFF. “It did a lot for the Hydra,” Shaun said “and the community. The economy was bad. Some folks fed their kids out of that line. We knew. If that’s what they were doing, it was fine with us.” All good things come to an end. Ralph died in 2001 and the restaurant changed hands. “We continued it for a while after Ralph passed to honor him,” Karen said, “but the culture had changed. It wasn’t so much fun anymore.” “The main thing I learned out of that experience,” said Shaun, “was to treat everybody the same. The status badges we wear don’t define us. If you ever wanted to see a huge mix of people come together and enjoy the same thing, that was Free Food Friday.”


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features

Pickleball

Pickleball Mania

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SANDPOINT’S NEW SOCIAL SPORT TAKES THE TOWN BY STORM Story by Cameron Rasmusson, photos by Cameron Barnes

N

DALE RINGER AND JAMES O’BRIEN ENJOY THE NEW PICKLEBALL OPPORTUNITIES AT TISH LITVEN’S PONDER PICKLE PAD.

orth Idaho is not immune to the new, nationwide sports sensation. The thing is, it just took a little while. Named by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association in 2021 and 2022 as the fastest-growing sport in the United States, with 4.8 million players, it’s safe to say that pickleball is a sensation. And it’s one that’s spreading all over the country. “We’re going to see way more growth in the next three years than what we’ve seen in the previous three years,” Connor Pardoe, Professional Pickleball Association founder and commissioner, told the New York Times. “It seems like every day there’s something new and exciting and someone else that wants to get involved. It’s really hard to even predict three years out.” So what is pickleball, and why is it becoming so popular? Essentially, it’s a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Played with the paddle and a hole-riddled plastic ball, the game takes place on a court a fraction of the size of a tennis court divided by a 36-inch-tall net. Thanks to the wieldy paddles and smaller space to cover, pickleball is more approachable than, say, tennis, allowing the less athletic to enjoy a game without trepidation. “I think that’s the reason it’s gained such popularity—it is reasonably easy for people to learn to play it,” said Nancy Schmidt, a local pickleball enthusiast. “It’s an easy sport for people who don’t have an athletic bone in their body to pick up—more of a social activity, really.” It’s also a sport with roots tied to the greater northwest. Invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell in Bainbridge Island, Washington, pickleball has since been adopted as Washington’s official sport. As for the slightly puzzling name, sources vary, according to the U.S.A. Pickleball Association. One story credits the name to Prtichard’s wife, Joan, who said the combination of sports influences reminded her of a pickle boat, while another claims that Bell took inspiration from his dog, Pickles. Regardless, pickleball is earning a reputation as a fun, easygoing sport that almost anyone can enjoy. And according to devotees, the pickleball social scene can’t be beat. “[I have a friend who is] traveling now with people she met through pickleball,” Schmidt said. “So it’s just this social web that really wraps you in. Some of my best friends now are friends I met through pickleball.” But according to Don Helander, former co-owner of Sandpoint West Athletic Club, pickleball got off to a rocky start in North Idaho. He decided to convert some courts to pickleball in the late 2000s at the request of some patrons. “There were people in town who wanted to play pickleball—there was no other place to play, really,” he said. Handball was a major sport at SWAC at the time, buoyed in part by the enthusiasm of former NFL star Jake Plummer. And the usual handball crowd came to embrace SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features pickleball pickleball as an alternative activity, Helander said. “In the evening, just to play something different, we would go out and play pickleball, and these were just phenomenal games. Just amazing games of pickleball,” Helander said. Despite that, the sport struggled to catch on with the broader public. “We created a different type of guest fee for people to come play pickleball, but we couldn’t get anyone to come out and play,” Helander said. “It was like pulling teeth. “It never really got off the ground. It was a humble beginning, really,” he added. What a difference a decade and change makes. According to local enthusiasts, pickleball fever has hit Sandpoint just as hard as the rest of the country. And the city is responding. With the announcement that Sandpoint was the recipient of a $7.5 million donation from the James E. Russell family for a sports complex, the city is planning to significantly expand the number of local pickleball courts. But what about existing local pickleball options? For years, Sandpoint residents’ pickleball options were limited, particularly in the wintertime when indoor courts were required. Enter the Ponder Pickle Pad. One homeowner saw an opportunity to install pickleball courts in a property after tenants left, and Tish Litven was the right person to manage the project.

“There wasn’t any competition at the time, so I just thought, how fun to be the one behind this,” she said. The Ponder Pickle Pad is a private pickleball club that operates via membership dues. Open since July 15, the pad offers both private pickleball games with reserved court time and public games where members form more spontaneous play groups, plus clinics for members to build up their pickleball skills. According to members, the public games are often some of the most fun pickleball has to offer and a great way to make friends. “Pickleball is a kind of funny thing,” Schmidt said. “If you know people will show up between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., you just show up, and people will go in to play four at a time.” To become a member, the easiest method is to email ponderpicklepad@gmail.com or find the group on Facebook. Due to insurance requirements, membership is restricted to players 18 and over, and the annual fee is $125, plus $45 a month if you purchase three months at a time. Members can play up to nine and a half hours a day maximum—surely enough for even the most devoted pickleballer. With all that said, the question remains: Is pickleball a fad, or is it here to stay? Well, no one can predict the future. But for local pickleball fans, they don’t see the sport going away anytime soon. “It’s not going anywhere,” Schmidt said. “If anything, it’s just going to get bigger.”

JAN AND JIM HAGLER FACE OFF AGAINST JAMES O’BRIEN DURING AN INFORMAL PICKLEBALL MATCH.

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features

Finding

Higher

Grou

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A QUEST TO CONQUER IDAHO’S HIGHEST PEAKS

nd LANDON OTIS CHECKS OUT IDAHO’S TALLEST PEAK, MOUNT BORAH, FROM HIS PERCH ATOP MOUNT IDAHO. PHOTO BY DON OTIS.

by Don Otis

Y

ou can’t miss it. On a clear day, Scotchman Peak stands out tall and proud across Lake Pend Oreille, 30 miles east of Sandpoint. As the highest point in Idaho’s side of the Cabinet Mountains, Scotchman’s summit is a rite-of-passage for local hikers. On a winter day, the winds can be ferocious along the final half mile ridge to the summit. In the summer, the top is renowned for the mountain goats who choose to reside on its airy heights. The state of Idaho boasts 123 peaks above 11,000 feet. Scotchman doesn’t even come close at 7,009 feet. Although puny by state standards, in “Idaho: A Climbing Guide,” Tom Lopez says, “The summit is probably the hardest class 1 [walk up] in the state.” After reaching the craggy summit more than 50 times in the last decade, I can attest the four-mile trail to the top doesn’t get easier, but the views rarely disappoint. We live in a state with the fourth highest average elevation at 5,000 feet (only Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are higher). Though smaller in stature, our local Cabinet and Selkirk mountains are a largely unspoiled playground filled with huckleberries, wildflowers, lakes, streams, and fauna of various shapes and sizes. What the peaks in North Idaho lack in size, the trails make up for in beauty and solitude. Yet, for those of us living in the northern end of the state who want to conquer higher terrain, the challenge and commitment is considerable. The highest peaks in our state are 435 miles away. Some of the trailheads are treacherous or remote, and the closest towns many miles distant. While Scotchman is a must-hike for anyone in North Idaho, 12,662-foot Borah Peak beckons adventurous hikers who want to stand on Idaho’s high point. On a summer weekend, pilgrims from all over Idaho gather at the tiny Birch Springs Campground 37 miles south of Challis. The standard route follows the steep Southwest Ridge four miles gaining nearly 1,300 feet per mile. It wasn’t until after we reached the summit of Borah that three of us decided to attempt the state’s other eight peaks in the state over 12,000 feet. “How hard can it be?” I asked, words that would come back to haunt me in the next few years.

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features High er grou nd

THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: CLIMBERS MAKING THEIR WAY UP CHICKEN OUT RIDGE ON BORAH PEAK; JEFF BEEMAN LOOKS FOR AN EASY WAY DOWN FROM LOST RIVER PEAK; THOUGH NOT ONE OF IDAHO’S HIGHEST PEAKS, THE TOP OF SCOTCHMAN IN BONNER COUNTY OFFERS NOT-TO-MISS VIEWS; LANDON OTIS NEAR THE TOP OF THE SUPER GULLY ON LOST RIVER PEAK; NEXT PAGE: JEFF BEEMAN STANDS ON THE RIDGELINE BELOW MT. HYNDMAN’S SUMMIT. ALL PHOTOS BY DON OTIS.

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Jeff Beeman, Landon Otis, and I committed to the challenge. Little did we know that all but two of the peaks have no trails, poor route descriptions, remote trailheads, and exposed ridges and scrambles. Even reaching Borah’s summit means navigating the infamous “chicken out ridge” (not as bad as it sounds) where on a busy summer day you can see those struggling with acrophobia consider whether to proceed up the ridge or retreat. For those who navigate the ridge, the tallest summit in the Lost River Range offers distant views of the Sawtooths to the west and the Little Lost River Valley to the east. Idaho’s high peaks are found in three ranges: The Lost River Range (near Mackay), the Pioneer Range (near Sun Valley), and the Lemhi Range (about 75 miles from Rexburg). The Lost River Range contains seven of the high peaks and more than enough broken rock, difficult trails, and steep inclines (think Scotchman on steroids) to challenge any climber. It is not surprising that fewer than 300 people have climbed all these peaks. Only one other person from Sandpoint, Michael Boge, had done them all when we started our quest. This is quickly changing as locals Mary Fiedler and Jill Edmundson finished this summer and entered an elite group of fewer than 50 women who have done them all. Nancy Dooley and Carl Diedrich (on the cover of Keokee Book’s “Climbers Guide to North Idaho”) are about to add to the numbers.

The Journey We encountered plenty of setbacks along the way. Broken tie rods in the remote Pahsimeroi east of Mt. Leatherman, icy conditions on Mt. Church’s exposed ridge, dangerous snow on Diamond Peak, inclement weather, and route-finding challenges. We learned the importance of turning around on two occasions, knowing the icy ridges are best left for the dry summer months. “It’s not like you’re following the yellow brick road,” said Mary Fiedler. “Just finding the trailheads and then the route-finding are major challenges.” Our trio faced other hazards too, like the basketball-sized rocks that tumbled down the “Super Gully” route on Lost River Peak. The dreaded shout from a climber high above, “Rock!” meant tucking in as rocks whizzed by our heads. These peaks go up, and fast. Scree-filled gullies give way to exposed ridges and gendarmes that guard even the easiest routes. Handholds break loose far too often in the crumbling rock while marble-sized rocks are an ever-present hazard. The topography in most of southeast Idaho is more moon-like than the lush green of our Selkirk or Cabinet mountains. Fellow climber Jeff Beeman said, “At first glance the area is desolate. Most of the trails are up stream drainages that are littered with gnarled pines, colorful wildflowers, and patina encrusted rock.” If you are looking for a remote adventure, these ranges offer more than enough seclusion, challenge, and off-trail thrill. The peak that dominates the Lemhi Range is 12,197-foot Diamond Peak, aptly named for its pyramid-like summit which is hard to miss from Highway 28 (Sacajawea Historic Byway). The

East Ridge is a half mile of steep scrambling that can easily become technical if you veer off either side of the ridge. From the summit, the Teton Range is clearly visible to the east while the high peaks of the Lost River are across the valley to the west. We saved Mt. Idaho for our final summit. It is a complex mountain with four big faces and multiple steep ridges. From the time we stepped out of our vehicle, the Elkhorn Creek drainage took the typical Lost River trajectory straight up. Once out of the canyon, we had 1,800 feet of boulders, talus, and scree—always looking for the most stable ground as we ascended to meet the high saddle that connects to the West Ridge at 11,000 feet. The summit was another thousand feet above us. The route looked like an obstacle course meandering its way around towers, up broken rock, around corners, and out onto the Southwest Face. Finally, there were no more steps to take. We were there. We found ourselves at the end of a four-year adventure. Mt. Idaho had stubbornly allowed us access to its summit, ending our journey on the other end of Idaho. “I had many doubts along the way,” said Landon Otis. “I was relieved to be done, not because I didn’t love the journey but because all those doubts along the way were finally put to rest.”

Idaho’s 9 highest peaks & their ranges Mt. Borah – 12,662’ (Lost River) Leatherman Peak – 12,228’ (Lost River) Mt. Church – 12,200’ (Lost River) Diamond Peak – 12,197’ (Lemhi) Mt. Breitenbach – 12,140’ (Lost River) Lost River Mountain – 12,078’ (Lost River) Mt. Idaho – 12,065’ (Lost River) Donaldson Peak – 12,023’ (Lost River) Hyndman Peak – 12,009’ (Pioneer) SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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features

Queens Jacks

Two and a pair of

REFLECTIONS – AND WISDOM – FROM FOUR TOWN ELDERS

A

Story by Patty Hutchens, photo by Fiona Hicks

s a young man, Sandpoint resident Jack Parker was told by his father, O.B. Parker, that when you take from the community, you have to give back. That is a philosophy Parker, now 89 years old, said he has done his best to live by. By all accounts, he has done that and much more for the place he calls home. While Parker was born and raised in Sandpoint, it was never his intention to stay. He attended college at the University of Idaho and graduated in 1955. “Like many kids, I wanted to see a different part of the world,” said Parker. His father, owner of what was then Sandpoint Motor Company, suggested Jack stay. “He said in case anything happened to him, I could help my mother liquidate the business. My father died a year later.” He has remained ever since and continues to live in the home he grew up in. Parker had worked at his father’s dealership during his teen years. “I cleaned my fair share of bathrooms and pumped gas,” he said. With a degree in business, Parker suddenly found himself running a car dealership at the age of 23. While Parker is well-known in the community for the business he grew, known today as Taylor and Sons Chevrolet, he is also known for his dedication to various causes. “The first question people typically ask about a community is about the education and healthcare,” said Parker, who served on the Bonner General Health board of directors for more than 50 years and currently is a director emeritus. Parker joined the hospital board in 1964, when it was just a three-man board, and was instrumental in raising the funds for the new hospital. “There was always difficulty getting a bond issue passed,” said Parker. Instead, the hospital applied for and received an $800,000 grant which allowed them to borrow the remaining funds to construct the new hospital. Over the years, he remained on the board and contributed to the growth of Bonner General Health. “Rural medicine can be difficult,” acknowledged Parker. Parker was also involved in the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, the Elks, Masons, and Shriners, and he served as the

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chairman of Sandpoint Unlimited. In addition, he also co-founded Panhandle State Bank and served on that board for several years. Jack and his wife, Shirley, also a Sandpoint native, are both strong supporters of education. Jack’s mother was a teacher for many years and Shirley taught English at Sandpoint High School, taking time off to raise their four children before returning to teach 20 more years. “At one time there were two Mrs. Parkers at the High School,” said Parker. Parker has many fond memories of growing up in Sandpoint. Although he was unable to play sports due to asthma and allergies, he served as the manager of Sandpoint High School football and basketball. And when his neighbor, legendary coach Cotton Barlow, coached an all-state team, he invited Jack to come along. As a teenager, Parker enjoyed flying, taking his first solo flight at the young age of 16. “But I am color blind and it was too difficult to read the maps so I had to give that up,” recalled Parker. Determined to have Sandpoint native (now NFL Hall of Famer) Jerry Kramer play for the University of Idaho, Parker remembers driving to Sandpoint from Moscow in a Studebaker convertible and taking Kramer to Moscow to attend a class. “He later told me he had no choice but to go to Idaho as his father insisted upon it,” chuckled Parker at the memory. Of all the things he has done in life, Parker said he is most proud of his four children who have also given him nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He said he has done his best to instill in them the same community philosophy his father instilled in him. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job,” said Parker. As for his business, Parker said he was very fortunate to have the opportunity to own a dealership such as his. “I don’t know if I was lucky or smart but it turned out well,” said Parker. While he expressed concern about Sandpoint changing, Parker said Sandpoint remains the same beautiful place it has always been with Schweitzer Mountain Resort and Lake Pend Oreille offering year-round recreation. “Sandpoint is a very friendly place with honest and hardworking people who do a lot to support good causes,” said Parker. “This community has done a lot for me.”


Jack Parker SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M AG A GA Z I N E

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Marcella Nelson

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andpoint has many institutions, and Marcella Nelson must number among them. Nelson has served both local causes and nonprofit organizations in innumerable ways in her 94 years. Born in Canada in 1928 to parents from the United States, she grew up on a farm in the Bonners Ferry area until moving to Sandpoint in 1963. She’s remained here ever since, retiring from the Idaho Department of Labor after almost 40 years of service in 1984. Since then, she’s had a hand in practically every civic-minded effort in the community. “Community is different from just living in a place. Being a community knits people together, and this is beneficial not just in our little community, but it’s beneficial nationally to have these community relationships,” she said. Anyone who has paid attention to the life of the town knows or at least knows of Nelson—she of diminutive stature; she of the trademark, tight-knit bun; she of boundless organizing and fundraising energy, along with an easy laugh. It would take a pamphlet to list the number of community endeavors she’s been a part of over the decades, but chief among her favorites are the Panida Theater (where she served as a board member for dozens of years), the Rotary Club and the Festival at Sandpoint, in both of which she continues to play a leading role. “The Panida is extremely important and loved. It’s not just a building; it’s loved by the community. The community saved it. So in the past that has just been a very, very important and enjoyable time that I spent there,” she said “The overall, though, is the Festival at Sandpoint, because it does so much for the community, which the Panida does, too. It’s a real asset to the community,” she added. “I am very into what is beneficial to the community, and that’s why I like to be involved.” Having been so active in community causes for so many

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Story by Zach Hagadone, photo by Fiona Hicks years, Nelson said she serves as a kind of “historian” for groups like the Festival. This also gives her a unique long-term perspective on the state of Sandpoint and its environs. She sees some challenges today, in terms of retaining community cohesion—specifically related to the explosion of growth experienced here in recent years. “In the past, it’s been sort of like a family—a large family— and not a lot of change over the years. But suddenly we have been discovered,” she said. “I’m an old-timer. I came here in 1963 from Bonners Ferry, so I like small towns. I liked small-town Sandpoint. And I, among many others of the old-timers, am not comfortable with the growth that is going on at this time. It’s a weird feeling when you’ve been used to knowing almost everybody in town.” Sandpoint’s growing pains have threatened the viability of many community organizations, Nelson said, both by filling the town with people who aren’t yet part of the local fabric and pricing out many members of the younger generation who should be taking up the torch of community involvement. She encourages newcomers to take the leap and join in on whatever level they’re comfortable with. “If we can get these people involved in these nonprofit wonderful organizations that we have in this community, then they will be able to move into a position where they will fit in with what this community is all about,” Nelson said. “I think that they should think about it as not just a ‘retirement thing’ that they can move into with free time, but they can think about it as a positive addition to their life. There is a real payback in feeling like you are a part of the community and feeling like you’re contributing to the community. This is a good feeling.”


Mary Faux

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t’s hard not to notice when Mary Faux is in the room. It could be because of the way her smile lights up everything around her, or it could be the deference in which she’s held by those nearby, but honestly... it’s her hat. Or hats. Everyone notices Faux immediately because her glorious, designer hats are impossible to miss. Born in 1928, Faux hit 94 in November but, “I feel about 50,” she said. “I do not feel old, and 50 is a good year.” She doesn’t act old either: every morning she’s out with her walker and her dog, walking from her home along the river to Dover and back. “You have to keep moving,” she said. Faux arrived in Sandpoint back in 1963 with her husband, Howard, whose promotion at Coeur d’Alene’s First National Bank landed him up north. “At first I was really dragging my feet about moving here,” Faux explained. “But that all changed.” Faux quickly fell in love with her new community, especially after Jean Brown invited her to a bridge game. Bridge has been a passion for Faux, who has taught students privately in her home, and for decades at the Community Hall, as part of a City Rec program. “I know I’ve taught at least 200 people here to play,” she said proudly. But she taught even more people how to wear hats. “I really should have been the Queen,” she laughed. “They wear hats all the time in England.” Her huge collection, many of them vintage, has been carefully curated through the years. Most have been purchased at Nordstrom. “They sell you the hat in a gold and silver box,” she said. “Once they were out of boxes. I complained about that and the next time they gave me a box for my hat that had five additional boxes packed inside it. That’s customer service!” But a new favorite source is Mr. Song Millinery; Luke Song

Story by Trish Gannon, photo by Fiona Hicks was the designer who provided Aretha Franklin with the Swarovski-crystal-studded hat that grabbed attention at the inauguration of Barack Obama. Faux’s hats have been the feature at many a garden party or high tea fundraiser in town; she recently took hats in for display to a Kiwanis meeting in town. When not promoting either bridge or hats, Faux has kept busy advocating for funding in breast cancer research. A 30year survivor of cancer (she was diagnosed with uterine cancer just 8 weeks after being diagnosed with breast cancer), for years her smiling face graced a billboard, located between Sagle and Sandpoint, that promoted research. She’s been an unflagging member of the local Democratic party, as well as an active volunteer at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She gave years of support to the PTA as her six children became graduates at Sandpoint High School, and has taught Weight Watchers for 35 years. A grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother to 52 descendants (and she remembers not just all their names, but all their birthdays!) Faux says Sandpoint has offered a wealth of female role models to her and to all those who came after her. “These women never stopped,” she said, rattling off names from Francis Davis and Hazel Hall to Marcia Ogilvie and Jean Brown, Jane Haynes, Marcella Nelson, and Carolyn Gleason. “Pam Bird was always one of my biggest cheerleaders,” she said. “When I drive around town, particularly at Christmastime, when all the lights are twinkling, I am struck by just how beautiful it is here,” she said. And that beauty, for her, is reflected in the people who help to make this town a beautiful place to live. Especially those people who love to wear a fancy hat. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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Jack Parnell

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ack Parnell is locally known for his magnificent herd of Clydesdale horses, which many an admirer has enjoyed while passing through the Selle Valley. But to Parnell, they are more than majestic animals—they exemplify the miracle of growth and regeneration that is modern agriculture. He sees draft horses as the animals that helped build America into the agricultural powerhouse that it is today. “Every segment of our economy, except for agriculture, is taking out—they’re using up resources,” he said. “Agriculture is the one industry where you can plant a seed, let it grow, clip it off, and create brand new wealth, and do it all over again next year.” Parnell grew up during World War II on a dairy farm near Auburn, California, where his family used draft horses to farm hay for their cattle. (They didn’t get a tractor until the 1960s.) As an adult, he raised purebred Angus cattle and became a stock auctioneer. He served two terms as California’s state secretary of agriculture and another as deputy U.S. secretary of agriculture. But he always wanted to have Clydesdales. So after decades in ranching, business, and government, he settled into the Selle Valley and began a breeding program. He brought his first stallion over from Ireland, a story he tells in his first book, “My Name is Ramsey: I’m a Clydesdale Stallion.” His current herd includes 22 horses. Those he doesn’t keep for breeding are sold to a variety of buyers for a variety of purposes across the country. His most famous customer is Anheuser-Busch. “But they’re only one of many customers,” said Parnell. Others buy them for show or for work, to pull carriages; some buyers are police officers who ride them for police work. As he closes in on the latter half of his ninth decade on this earth, Parnell has taken to writing as a means to encourage others to feel the same wonder he does at the natural cycles

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Story by Cate Huisman, photo by Fiona Hicks of earthly creation. “In the past I was given the opportunity to speak to large crowds of thousands of people most of which were from an agricultural background like myself,” he writes in the prologue to his second book. “I was preaching to the choir!” His second book, “The Old Apple Tree and Friends,” reveals his sense of wonder at the natural cycles of rejuvenation and growth. He writes about a dream in which an old apple tree reflects on its long life. (It’s a real tree on his ranch, and there are photos of it in the book.) When he was growing up, his family produced most of the food they needed on their farm. Now, his apple tree notes, only 2 percent of the populace farms, and they provide food for everyone. The tree points to herself as an amazing example: “Each tree can produce 500 apples per year and live 30 years,” she says in his dream. “Can you imagine how many apple pies have been enjoyed because someone planted and cared for a seed?” The third volume, “The Old Apple Tree Talks ‘Happiness,’” is “a kids’ book for adults.” (See story on page 14.) Coming after the pandemic, this book shares what Parnell has learned during his long life about how our thoughts affect us: “Fear and uncertainty have stolen our attention during the past year,” his tree says. Instead, “We must place our minds on what is uplifting, what is beautiful, and what ‘builds up.’ Not what tears down!” All three books include several pages of photos from the Parnell Ranch, showing not only the Clydesdales but the children and grandchildren and other visitors who come to admire them. It is clear that Jack Parnell has come to appreciate how fortunate he is. In a world that often seems fraught with division and doubt, he hopes to help others recognize how they are fortunate as well.


TO

Schuss Shred? OR TO

THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. WHY NOT DO BOTH? By Sandy Compton

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o schuss or to shred, that is the question: Whether ‘tis nobler in the winter to ski or board the mountain through outrageous powder . . .

A short historical perspective

In the Stone Age, hunters chased game across the snow surface on wooden slats with animal skins laminated to their underside. The original prototype for snowboards—surfboards—have also been around for a long time. Polynesians began riding Hawaiian waves circa 1150. The late Jim Lovell, who was a Sandpoint house designer, learned to surf as a kid in California and when he found himself living in a place with mountains instead of an ocean, took up the snowboard. He said it was a natural progression. Nobody knows who figured out either endeavor, but in the early twentieth century, skiing became less of a survival technique and more of a recreational sport. In 1965—two years after Schweitzer began operations—an engineer named Sherman Popper stuck two alpine skis together side by side as a toy for his daughters. His wife named it the “Snurfer” (snow-surfer). In 1966, Popper licensed the Snurfer to Brunswick Corp., famous for making bowling balls. Brunswick sold over half a million Snurfers that year, and snowboarding was born.

Boarding into the counter-culture Snowboarders and skiers have been debating the merits of their individual toys ever since. The 1980s SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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PHOTO, PROCEEDING PAGE: FOR SNOW PLAY ON A BOARD, YOUNGER BONES CAN BE HANDY. THIS PAGE: MOST SKIIERS AT SCHWEITZER STILL HEAD DOWN THE MOUNTAIN WITH TWO BOARDS ON THEIR FEET. BOTH PHOTOS COURTESY SCHWEITZER RESORT.

and ’90s were marked by serious conflict between the two varieties of riders (three, if you count telemark skiers as a separate group—which they are). The animosity was surely driven by competition for style, powder, and space on the slopes, but mostly by cultural dissonance. Snowboarders—and their disparagers—saw snowboarding as counter-cultural, a new thing that the older generation frowned upon, and therefore rebellious youth embraced. Local skier—and freelance writer—Barry Campbell noted that in 1995, even as snowboarding became more accepted, many riders tried not to be seen as mainstream. Which still seems to be true. But, 27 years later, things have mellowed out a bit. In fact, Campbell and many like him both ski and board, though he mostly skis. “After a couple of bad falls last year, I may give up the board. But I’m going to give it one more try. On a powder day.” Every good rider loves a powder day, but a skier’s jealous bone comes out when the powder turns to goop. A boarder successfully navigates Pend Oreille Premix better than a skier. On the other hand, when the off-piste is non-negotiable, skiers have the advantage on hard groomers. Local adventurer Jim Mellen boards and skis. But he mostly boards, and not many can keep up with him. On skis? Not so much. He reserves them for those days when the snow is “firm,” as does Matt Smart. Smart is a Level III instructor at Schweitzer in both disciplines. “Right now, I’m pretty even on skiing and boarding,” he said. “But I have a preference. I’m a snowboarder. I’ve had a lot of fun on my skis. But in steep, tight trees, I’m on a board.” Smart learned to ski when he was about three, but ten years later, in 1990, he began learning to board. “I wasn’t a very good skier,” he confessed, “and I wanted to try something that was rebellious. I went back and forth for a few years, and then went with the board.” Campbell was on a similar timeline but a different trajec-

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tory. “I started skiing in 1980, and I started snowboarding in 1990, when Sorrels were still considered snowboard boots. I was living in Aspen, and after 75 days of skiing, I was bored. The first day on a board, I beat myself up so badly I didn’t ski for three days. Since then, I’ve snowboarded a lot, but I might snowboard five days a year, while I ski 45.” When Smart came on as a Schweitzer snowboard instructor in 2008, he was asked if he thought he could teach skiing as well. He decided to give it a try and pulled his skis out of the closet, but found out his skis were no longer “cool.” A pair of parabolic skis later— which he admits to overworking at first— he started teaching skiing in 2009.

Heading down both ways becomes more common The ratio of boarders to skiers has remained somewhat constant for the past few years. About 30 percent of riders are boarders—still a firm minority—but there is quite a bit of cross pollination between skiing and boarding. The National Ski Area Association notes that about 30 percent of snowboarders also ski and about 25 percent of skiers also snowboard. “Schweitzer has a higher percentage of boarders on weekends,” Smart said, “and more skiers on weekdays.” This could be attributed to the fact that persons who ski the most are 65 and older—retired folks. They can ride midweek, and very few of them are boarders. But as the boomers age out, the ratio is changing. “Boarding will grow,” said Smart. “A snowboard is easier to manage than skis. It’s way easier for kids. First time, little kids are rocking it. And, I’m seeing more older folks trying it because it’s not so hard on the knees.” In the meantime, the debate continues, albeit at a lower volume. What is true of both sports is that they are fun and graceful ways to descend a snow-covered mountain.


CATS Our North Idaho

THEY ARE WILD... AND

nearby by Ben Olson

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andpoint residents got a stark reminder of just how wild our forests can be in August when Pine Street Woods notified the public it was temporarily closing some trails due to mountain lion activity. A couple of mountain bikers saw a deer kill next to the crooked tree overlook and, after investigating the carcass, Kaniksu Land Trust Land Manager Jeff Thompson confirmed it was brought down by a mountain lion. When Thompson hooked the carcass to his truck to drag it away from the trail, he came face to face with one of the most elusive predators in the woods. “The mountain lion was right there, maybe 50 feet away,” Thompson said. “You can see [on the carcass] where the cat had grabbed it and pulled it down and put its teeth in the jugular. It killed it and left it there for the night, and last night went back and pulled it into the woods and ate one of the quarters off of it. Sometimes they kill and eat, then abandon the kill, but usually once they eat on it they’ll stick around.” Thompson said the cougar was full-grown and appeared to be well-fed, which is a good thing when considering potential dangers to humans. “If they’re eating good, it’s in their interest to leave us alone,” he said. While many who recreate in the wildernesses of North Idaho are aware of how to respond when coming upon a bear in the wild, cat encounters—mountain lion, bobcat, or lynx in this area—can often instill fear because of the rarity of their occurrence. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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For Regan Plumb, conservation director at Kaniksu Land Trust, cougar sightings serve as a great opportunity to remind the recreating public that our habitats often overlap with wild cats. Even if we don’t see them, they surely see us. “It’s good for people to know that we live with mountain lions regularly,” Plumb said. “I expect this cat is a local cat who has hunted at Pine Street Woods for years and never had the misfortune of killing a deer on the trail and getting interrupted by mountain bikers.” Idaho Fish and Game keeps track of cougar sightings across the state, breaking down encounters by county. Over 30 unique sightings—most of them verified or trusted—have been reported in the past decade in Bonner County alone. Mountain lions (Puma concolor) are large, slender cats whose coats range from tawny yellow to dark brown. They’re called by many names in many areas, including puma, Florida panther, catamount, and cougar. (The Wampus Cat, by the way, is a large mountain lion with a spiked ball for a tail—probably mythical outside of Clark Fork, where they thrive as scrappy athletic teams at the small local high school.) Lions are quick, agile predators who adapt very well to many different environments. They can be sighted in mountains, coniferous forests, grasslands, swamps, and even dry scrublands. They feed off of deer, rabbits, rodents, birds, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, and other mammals. Most prefer to hunt at night, and they tend to keep their distance from humans. That doesn’t mean mountain lions and humans don’t share

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the same wild spaces, though. Josh Rosenau, a conservation advocate at the Mountain Lion Foundation—an organization whose mission is to preserve and protect cougars and help educate people so they can coexist with lions—said a recent study in Colorado showed just how much the lions’ and humans’ habitats overlap. “They set up some trail cams on an active hiking trail,” Rosenau said. “It was an area where there were some collared mountain lions, so they were able to match up when people were walking down the trail with GPS sticks. There were mountain lions just three feet off the trail, all day long. No one knew they were even there. That’s how the lions wanted it, that’s how the people wanted it.” If ever encountering a lion in the wild, experts urge the importance of staying calm. The first thing to do is make yourself appear as large as possible, speak firmly and slowly back away from it. (Think about how your average house cat confronts a threat—your goal is to “out-cat” a cat.) Most importantly, do not run. That’s good advice when encountering any wild animal outdoors—you can’t outrun any of them—but is especially good advice with cats. Anything that runs is prey to a cat. Luckily, according to Rosenau, the chances of being involved in an attack with a cougar are extremely low. “The likelihood of being threatened or attacked by lions is less than being struck by lightning on your birthday,” he said. Paula Bauer, who lives west of Bottle Bay, recently captured a photo of a female lion and her cubs on a game camera she


PHOTOS FROM PREVIOUS PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: A LYNX PAUSES ON ITS ABSURDLY LARGE PAWS. PHOTO BY IDAHO FISH AND GAME; A PAIR OF BOBCATS ARE DISTINGUISHED FROM LYNX PRIMARILY BY THEIR SMALLER SIZE; THIS PAGE, LEFT: PAULA BAUER CAPTURED THIS LION (A CUB WAS NEARBY) ON HER GAME CAM AT HER HOME IN SAGLE; ABOVE: A WOUNDED BOBCAT SOUGHT REFUGE FROM TRAFFIC ALONG THE LONG BRIDGE IN THE SUMMER OF 2018. IT HAD TO BE PUT DOWN. PHOTO COURTESY SANDPOINT POLICE DEPARTMENT/CHAD VOGT.

placed in the woods near her home. She placed the camera after seeing scat and tracks in the woods. She said once she saw the pictures, she wasn’t afraid anymore. “So many people were terrified for me because I walk up the mountain alone,” Bauer said. “But she knew I was there long before I got pictures.” Bauer said some neighbors noticed the lion coming down into more inhabited areas and notified Idaho Fish and Game about the sighting. “They asked if (the cat) was bothering anybody or pets and they said no, so they told them to leave her alone, she’s a good cat,” Bauer said. “If she leaves, the area is open for another to move into that territory and it might not be so accepting of its human neighbors.” All wild cats are solitary, territorial creatures. Females usually occupy a territory of 36 square miles, while males have ranges that can be as large as 150 square miles. Bauer said that since initially photographing the lions on her game camera, an extensive logging operation nearby has likely scared the cats away for good. “I haven’t caught her on my camera since all the logging,” she said. “That makes me sad.” For Bauer, living in balance with our wild neighbors is what the North Idaho lifestyle is all about. “I absolutely love where we live,” she said. “The wildlife needs its space just like people need their space. It’s a respect thing. I didn’t put those two pictures of the cougar on Facebook

for a while because there are some local people who shoot anything they can get ahold of. I only posted the photos after the lion was long gone.” Cougars are one of three species of wild cat that call North Idaho home. The smallest—and most common—is the bobcat (Lynx rufus). If lucky enough to sight one, you can recognize bobcats by their red-brownish fur with dark streaks and spots. They weigh about twice as much as a house cat and have peaked tufts of fur coming from the tips of their ears. Bobcats are scrappy hunters, feeding on rabbits, hares, voles and squirrels mostly. The third species of wild cat in North Idaho is by far the most elusive creature in our forests. Often referred to as “The Forest Ghost,” lynx are stunning creatures who rarely show themselves to humans. Even experienced hunters and woodsmen who have spent years in lynx habitats count themselves lucky to catch sight of one in the wild. The North American lynx (L. canadensis ) look similar to a bobcat, but are larger and have gray fur instead of brown. They have longer legs and huge paws, which act as snowshoes during the winter. Lynxes also have tufts of hair at the peaks of their ears, though they are twice as long as the bobcat’s. Both species have short tails tipped in black, with the lynx’s tail more pronounced. Settlers used to remark about how a lynx looked like it had dipped the end of its tail in ink. The lynx feeds on grouse, voles, mice, squirrels and sometimes even foxes, but their primary source of food comes from SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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TOP: THIS BOBCAT’S MARKINGS ARE STRIKINGLY SIMILAR TO SOME OF ITS SMALLER, DOMESTIC COUSINS. PHOTO COURTESY IDAHO FISH AND GAME. ABOVE: THIS PRIDE OF MOUNTAIN LIONS—LIKELY A MAMA WITH GROWN KITTENS—WAS CAPTURED BY IDAHO FISH AND GAME.

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snowshoe hares. The two species are so intertwined, any change to their habitats affects the other directly. For example, snowshoe hares depend on willow plants to live, so if there is a particularly bad year for willows, the snowshoe hare populations can dwindle, and in turn, also the lynxes. All three species of wild cat have habitats in North Idaho that overlap closely to humans. The expansion of residential homes further into the mountains due to increased growth in the region, as well as excessive hunting, can largely impact the wild cat populations, just like when a preferred food source grows scarce. Some believe lions appear to be growing bolder in their interactions with people, which is likely attributed to humans pushing out into the traditional range of the big cats, as well as them growing acclimated to our presence. Often, we unknowingly leave behind easy sources of food on back decks of porches, which attracts lions that might be chasing an empty stomach. “These cats live right on the edge of civilization,” Thompson said. “They benefit from things they can predict. They like it when they know people are on the trails, cars are on the roads, [and which] corridors they can safely walk and hunt.” While Idaho Fish and Game doesn’t release population estimates for how many mountain lions live across the state, each year trophy hunters kill approximately 400 to 600 of the cats statewide. The hunting season lasts ten months of the year and even allows hunters to use hounds to pursue and tree cougars, which isn’t allowed in many other states. The most recent numbers on how many cougars are hunted in Idaho come from the 2010 season, when 665 cougars were killed by hunters. This doesn’t include those which might have been killed by game wardens or law enforcement in response to depredations or encounters near homes. The Mountain Lion Foundation estimates there are around 2,000 wild cougars in Idaho “That’s a harvest of nearly one-third of the total population, an unsustainably high level of mortality,” Rosenau said. “As a rule of thumb, 14 to 17 percent is what wildlife managers usually recommend as an upper limit for total human-caused mortality.” Living in balance with our wild neighbors begins with understanding the habitats of big cats and respecting their boundaries, much as they respect ours. As we push further into their natural surroundings, more encounters with wild cats are likely in the future. In times of plenty, mountain lions might never attempt a brush with their two-legged neighbors, but in times of scarcity or pressure, they are more likely to intermingle closer to population areas in search of food for themselves and their young. “Mountain lions are incredibly adaptable,” Rosenau said. “That’s why they’ve survived as long as they have, especially in places where wolves were eradicated.” “I’m sure there are cats moving through close to town and around town,” Thompson said, after depositing the Pine Street Woods deer kill further away from the trail. “If we knew exactly how close, we’d probably say, ‘holy cow!’”


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features

PHOTO essay

CRITTERS IN THE WINTER

PHOTOS, CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: AN EAGLE MISSES ITS CATCH IN THE SNOW, PHOTO BY ANNIE PFLUEGER; JUST A MAN AND HIS DOG AND A LITTLE BIT OF WHITE STUFF, PHOTO BY WOODS WHEATCROFT; COLLARED DOVES CAPTURED NEAR CLARK FORK, PHOTO BY COREY VOGEL; A PAIR OF DEER SHARE THE SAME HIDDEN TREAT, PHOTO BY ANNIE PFLUEGER; ONE SILLY, HAPPY PUP, PHOTO BY COREY VOGEL; A BIG HORN SHEEP ISN’T BOTHERED BY WINTER, PHOTO BY BRANDON PUCKETT; HORSES PLAY IN THE SNOW, PHOTO BY MARIANNE LOVE;

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RAISING THE RAMPARTS Castle Von Frandsen hits the market by Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey

T

ime waits for no man, unless that man is Kris Frandsen. He has gotten as close to time travel as is possible with the creation of Castle Von Frandsen―an 8,000-square-foot home made mostly of stone near Bottle Bay, situated on about 10 acres and looking out at Lake Pend Oreille from a 70–foot cliff. The medieval enthusiast has taken his passion for the time period to the next level with the property, which he purchased in 2004 and is now seeking to sell for $7 million. “When we were building, that’s what we were thinking―you wouldn’t be able to tell what year it was built,” Frandsen said while boating up to the castle, which comes complete with a silver quartzite tunnel leading up from the dock and a 500-foot battlement wall serving as a period-appropriate fence. But as of late, time isn’t waiting for Frandsen anymore, as he has put his castle on the market in an effort to spend more time with his children, who are now in their 20s and live elsewhere. Frandsen explains this reality in the same breath that he details ongoing renovations at the castle. The structure is a work in progress, with some rooms fully finished and others plumbed but incomplete. Asked why he continues to bring his vision to fruition despite efforts

to find a new owner, Frandsen cracked a huge smile. “I can’t stop,” he said, and let out a laugh that echoed off the two-foot-thick stone walls. Frandsen has spent the better part of two decades constructing the castle alongside his good friend Roger DeClements, whose company CastleMagic, provides design and construction services as needed. “We’d have fires, and [DeClements] and I and other friends would play music and the kids would dance and sing and hit two-by-fours together,” he said. “We’d have boats lined up out here listening to us play.” Castle Von Frandsen is a popular attraction for gawking boaters, and has proven a less secluded getaway than Frandsen thought it would be almost 20 years ago. He is a private person, often encouraging friends to take down social media photos of his stone abode and only hosting tours after deciding to sell. “He’s not someone who goes out and [says], ‘That’s mine, that’s mine,’” said co-listing agent Danny Davis of Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty, adding later, “It took months for Kris to come to terms with, ‘I’m no longer going to hide. I’m going to let myself be out there―let my art, my effort, my energy, my life really show.’” Realtors hired Dennis Falls to create architectural drawings of ways to utilize the home and property. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A AG GAZINE

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cast le on forthe sa le Lake REal real estate Castle

PREVIOUS PAGE: KRIS FRANDSEN’S HOME REALLY IS HIS CASTLE. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: THE USE OF STONE AND BRICK IN THE INTERIOR OF THE STRUCTURE HELPS TO CAPTURE THAT CASTLE FEEL; STURDY TIMBER FRAMING IS AS IMPORTANT TO THE DESIGN AS IT IS TO THE STRUCTURE; THE CASTLE BOASTS GORGEOUS VIEWS OUT OVER LAKE PEND OREILLE. ALL PHOTOS BY LYNDSIE KIEBERT-CAREY.

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“We had a difficult time knowing that somebody may love the idea of a castle,” said co-listing agent Brenda Burk, “but could they actually make it a family home?” Burk said she feels “a tremendous sense of responsibility” in finding the person who will purchase the castle and, in turn, Frandsen’s dream. “It’s been a labor of love,” Frandsen said, pausing to look out a window of the castle’s uppermost floor, across the bright blue water to the north. After so many years on his throne of sawdust and stacked stone, this king is ready for a new adventure. “It’s been fun, actually. Very fun,” he said. “It’s been humbling, in a way.”


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A Collective

Voice

SANDPOINT SHOPPING DISTRICT WORKS TO BE THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN by Patty Hutchens

I

t’s the heart of a community. It is where tourists flock and locals gather. The downtown corridor provides the first impression for many who visit our town, and several local business owners have done much to make it thrive over the years. Recently, Sandpoint and the surrounding area have experienced a great deal of growth. With that growth came the formation of the Downtown Sandpoint Shopping District, with a mission to promote the downtown experience to both locals and visitors. The Sandpoint Shopping District organization includes 30 business owners who meet regularly to discuss events and issues that affect their businesses. Together, they have a collective voice and can maximize their advertising dollars while providing a wonderful experience for locals and tourists.

“In the past, we had various businesses participate in different promotions and events, which led to a lot of extra legwork,” said Deanna Harris, owner of Sharon’s Hallmark on First Avenue. In September of 2021, the group converted to an annual membership to cover events they hold: Apple Fest in October, Hometown Holidays events in November and December, an annual spring event, and Crazy Days in late July. “Membership also helps cover ads in several publications including Schweitzer Magazine,” said Harris of the district’s marketing efforts, which also include the recent hiring of a social media coordinator, Alyssa DuVall, who is responsible for posting content regularly. DuVall believes the Sandpoint Shopping District has set itself apart from the big box stores and what she calls the “generic cities” of this era. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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cast le for Sandpoin t s hopsa p i le ng di str i ct REal estate

another photo?

PREVIOUS PAGE: THE SUMMER STREETSCAPE OF DOWNTOWN SANDPOINT IS VIBRANT AND EXCITING. SSD PHOTO. ABOVE: WINTER IN DOWNTOWN SANDPOINT IS MAGICAL. PHOTO BY WOODS WHEATCROFT.

“We continue to form a unique and varied shopping and dining experience,” said DuVall. “The Sandpoint Shopping District is a destination; we invest in our community because we know that we only succeed by working together.” Over the last year, the group has been delighted to welcome back many visitors from Canada, many of whom had not been able to visit during the pandemic. And with additional restaurants opening up and more consistent hours offered, many locals are starting to make their way back to downtown Sandpoint as well. The downtown area is full of unique stores and dining establishments, and offers entertainment that appeals to all demographics. But the stores are not all that is unique; so is the relationship among the store owners. DuVall said that all businesses enjoy the opportunity to refer their customers to one another to ensure the perfect experience for everyone. “As our community grows, we want all of our downtown businesses to know we need all of us to make this a wonderful place to live and shop,” said DuVall. “We are proud that money coming into our district provides meaningful employment for our locals.” But with growth also comes growing pains. Harris stated that some of the more prominent issues faced are public restrooms, bicycles, and skateboards on sidewalks. Another major issue is parking. “Since summers are so busy, a lot of times we don’t see much of our local shoppers during that time unless they are bringing out-of-town guests downtown,” said Harris. “We hear that it is too hard to find a parking space, or that it is so hectic. A lot of our (local) shoppers don’t come back downtown until after Labor Day. This makes parking a definite big picture item that needs to be addressed.” With the addition of more residential housing in and near downtown, Harris believes that will bring more people to the

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The Sandpoint Shopping District is a destination; we invest in our community because we know that we only succeed by working together downtown core. She cites a need for a convenience store that would sell various sundries as well as a place with limited grocery options as well as grab-and-go meals. In the meantime, DuVall’s role involves posting three to five times each week on Facebook and Instagram, enticing locals and visitors to come and enjoy the downtown corridor. “We create many of our events for our locals,” said DuVall. “We think it’s important to give the hometown experience to those living in and around Sandpoint.” At the same time, however, she realizes the money that comes into our community from tourism provides the Sandpoint Shopping District the opportunity to build community, host local events, and create jobs for those who live and work here. “We are fortunate to be creating this business community with all of our neighbors,” said DuVall. Learn more at www.downtownsandpoint.com


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Farmin’s Landing PARK TO HIGHLIGHT DOWNTOWN’S HIDDEN ASSET by Trish Gannon

I

t can be hard to keep up with the improvements going on in Sandpoint’s city parks. War Memorial Field has been resurfaced, a new grandstand and boat launch has been built, and plans are underway on a water-accessible dog park next door. An amazingly generous donation will be building indoor court facilities at Travers. And now the city has turned its eye towards Farmin’s Landing, currently a bleak, back-door parking and delivery area that nonetheless fronts on one of the city’s greatest assets: Sand Creek. So what lies in wait? The answer is TBD—to be determined—but that determination is now underway, and helping to guide the process is one of the nation’s finest designers of public spaces, Don Stastny. An architect and urban designer as well as an innovator in the design process, he’s considered to be one of the leading design competition managers in North America, with previous work that included memorials on the National Mall in Washington D.C., as well as managing design competitions for the memorials

for the Oklahoma City bombing, and the tragic fate of Flight 93. Stastny is working with a variety of people representing those interested in the development of Farmin’s Landing, including city staff, tribal representatives, downtown businesses, local environmental groups with a focus on maintaining the water quality of Sand Creek, and adjacent property owners to develop the criteria a future designer of the area will have to meet. That criteria needs to include not only public use but stormwater management, parking, and the delivery needs of those businesses. “The goal is to ensure ... the development criteria is aligned with the city vision that is determined by our citizens,” said Jennifer Stapleton, city administrator. “Citizens have communicated that protection of natural resources is a priority, as is access to the lake; our design and focus is to ensure the public owns the waterfront.” With those plans now underway, property owners with their back on the park are looking at building improvements as well. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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cast le for sa le Landing REal estate Farmin’s At one end of the 200 block of First Avenue, plans are in process to replace the historic buildings that burned to the ground in 2019. The One Bridge Street project was unveiled in the summer with speculative drawings intended to draw investors to what will be a multi-story retail and residential building, but the plans immediately drew the ire of some in town who felt the five-story building (plus subterranean parking) shown in the drawings did not jibe with the feel of downtown Sandpoint. Of course, given the variety of building styles in the city over the decades, it’s hard to say how that “feel” translates to architecture. But city spokespeople were quick to point out that plans for what will actually be built have not yet been submitted, and will have to go through a planning and approval process that will ensure the building will meet standards being developed for the rest of town. Because the area is classed as an Opportunity Zone, special tax benefits are available for investors who choose to purchase any of the condo units that are planned as part of the building. (Learn more about the project at www.onebridgestreet.com.) Kathy Friedmann is looking at how we keep what makes this community special while moving forward into the future. Kathy, along with her husband William, are long-time residents and business owners in Sandpoint. Friedmann is the owner of Zero Point Crystals and also owns the building on that side of First Avenue, along with several other properties in Sandpoint. She’s also a member of the committee looking to

PREVIOUS PAGE: THE VIEW OF FARMIN’S LANDING FROM THE WALKING PATH ON SAND CREEK. ABOVE: CURRENTLY THE AREA IS A RATHER BLEAK PARKING LOT. STAFF PHOTOS.

develop design criteria for Farmin’s Landing. “I’m super excited to be a part of that,” said Friedmann, who wants to see the community working together for the future of downtown. “That’s such an underutilized asset. Everyone loves Sand Creek, right? It’s great that we’re looking at how to make improvements, while embracing what we love about it.” Businesses will likely want to develop or improve their property so that Sand Creek can become a part of the business and their customers’ experience. The committee’s work should help to set a standard with which they can work.

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Carvi n g new trails SCHWEITZER BUILDING HOUSING FOR EMPLOYEES by Sandy Compton

NEW BUILDINGS ARISING OFF TRIANGLE DRIVE WILL PROVIDE HOUSING FOR SCHWEITZER RESORT EMPLOYEES. COURTESY PHOTO.

F

inding an affordable place to live around Sandpoint has become a challenge, particularly for employees who are core to service industries. Those who work seasonal jobs—tourism-fueled summer businesses and Schweitzer in the winter—are people these businesses can’t operate without, but they can have a hard time finding quarters that don’t eat everything they earn. Schweitzer management, responsible for a large number of area employees, recognized this dichotomy and in early winter of 2021 began taking steps to alleviate the problem. The first was a baby step; the purchase of a former extended care facility in Sandpoint, Hemlock House. It was turned into a bare-bones, dorm-style facility, with room for 16 in eight shared bedrooms. The residents share a laundry room, four shower rooms, a kitchen, a large living room and a rec room. They are also required to sign an agreement about their behavior at Hemlock House. Keeping peace with the neighbors in a communal living situation is very important.

The Next Step is Giant Room for 16 might seem like a drop in the bucket for a resort that employs 700-plus full- and part-time people in winter, but it’s a start. To continue, Schweitzer upped the ante considerably. In partnership with Eastmark Capital Group, the resort broke SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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chweitz ersa housi le for le ng REal estate scast

JEREMY BROWN

Realtor® GRI®

208.953.SOLD(7653) www.northidaho-realestate.com 402 Cedar St. Sandpoint, ID

ground in July on a $22 million, 84-unit apartment complex in Ponderay. Located behind Walmart, the complex will be accessed appropriately enough from Schweitzer Plaza Drive, as well as Triangle Drive. It might be noted that residents will be able to see Schweitzer from there. The 84 units comprise three buildings of three stories each facing on a relatively private shared green space sheltered from traffic noise by the buildings. As of this writing, Yost Gallagher Construction of Spokane has already got the main frame of the three buildings up and is working toward putting up the roof trusses. The apartments vary in size from one to three bedrooms, and so can realistically provide housing for quite a few more than 84 persons. “The design is very flexible, said Scot Auld, Schweitzer HR director. “Every bedroom has a bathroom associated with it, so it could house a couple of hundred employees.” Bonuses include its proximity to Walmart, Yokes, and other Bonner Mall stores, as well being close to SPOT bus routes that run to the Red Barn in the winter and Sandpoint year-round. The community bike paths connecting Kootenai, Ponderay, Sandpoint and Dover also run by the complex.

Coming Summer 2023 The new complex is slated to open for occupation in the summer of 2023. Beyond that are plans for more housing units, with amenities such as picnic and outdoor play areas, walking paths, workout facilities, and, possibly as important as everything else, a daycare center for employees with young kids. “We are currently checking with staff to see what their interest level is,” Auld said. “Rents will vary with size of the unit, but we are hoping to offer it significantly lower than market—in the ballpark of 30 to 40 percent. The apartments won’t be a benefit to our staff if they rent at market rate.” In responding to employee housing needs, Schweitzer is once again carving new trails.

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BUILDING is BOOMING AS DEVELOPERS RACE TO KEEP PACE WITH DEMAND

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: TEN NEW HOMES WERE BUILT IN UNIVERSITY PLACE, OFF BOYER; PONDERAY COTTAGES, OFF MCNEARNY ROAD, WILL HAVE 17 NEW HOMES; GROUND HAS BEEN BROKEN ON CULVER’S CROSSING

by Carol Curtis

S

andpoint and Ponderay just wrote another chapter in our ongoing story of unprecedented growth. New construction is everywhere, but as a community we are adjusting to what it represents, how to mange our growth, and whether it will meet our critical need for workforce housing, juxtaposed with our inherent desire to feel like a rural area. Within Sandpoint’s city limits, there were 193 residential units approved in 2021. The number of new units approved through September 2022 is 79. Available parcels in Sandpoint are scarce so density is increasing. A new apartment complex north of Super One Foods has been approved for 134 units, and 25 apartments are under construction at the Ridge at Cedar, located at Cedar and Lincoln. Moving outside of the city core, University Place (previously the University of Idaho property) on Boyer has built 10 new homes, with more than 100 lots slated for construction through in the early phases. On the west side of Boyer is the Culver’s Crossing development. This project includes 49 units in a mix

of single-and multi-family homes; it will also include rentals. It aims to address affordable housing, with sale prices being closer to the area median income, though rising interest rates are impeding the process. The hope is to keep the neighborhood available to locals. On the corner of Boyer and Mountain View (near the airport), Boyer Meadows was approved for 21 homes. To the south of the Bonner County Sheriff’s office and jail is the Boyer Farms subdivision, slated for 49 homes in two phases. And just south of that is Cookman Estates, approved for 21 homes. Farther west (behind the sheriff’s office), Samuelson Place is expanding, adding 141 units including 91 multi-family rentals and 48 senior housing units. Going toward Dover, on the south side of Highway 2, the area between Ridley Village Road and Park Lane is slated for 108 apartments. Downtown, at Fifth and Cedar, the Cedar Street Condos are taking reservations for six units, priced over a million-plus dollars for a two bedroom/two bath. The high costs of land, construction, and development these days may price most of the housing slated to be built in city limSandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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REal estate

cast le for sa le Bu ilding Boom

its out of reach for many local workers. Signage for the Boyer Farms subdivision indicates prices there will start in the mid–$600,000 range. The city of Sandpoint commissioned a housing and economic analysis (still under review) which states the jump in building is due to the emigration of higher income individuals to the area, and not a natural net increase. Growth in Sandpoint from 2010 to 2020 was 20 percent, jumping to 8,639 residents; the county increased to 47,110 residents. What’s the bottom line? People are moving here, creating additional demand for housing. But for those already living here, or even those moving here for work, we still have an affordability gap. The report warns, “between land prices, construction costs, and financing availability, the private sector is not likely able to serve (people working in the service industry) without significant public subsidy.” In addition, most new growth, according to the plan, will need to be in areas adjacent to but outside city limits.

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In Ponderay the pace of building has been equally brisk. Ponderay Planning Director Erik Brubaker said in June, “if all the approved projects in Ponderay were implemented, excluding any new applications, the population of Ponderay, currently at 1,150, would double in the next five years.” The Bay Retreat, next to the Elks golf course, was approved for 76 homes, plus two eight-plexes. Ponderay Cottages on McNearney Road—the future location of the Ponderay ice rink, near the Field of Dreams athletic fields (see story on page 12)—will have 17 homes. Alder Creek Townhomes, on Larkspur Drive just off Kootenai Cutoff, recently built 32 apartments, which currently rent at over $1,700 per month. On Starr Lane, a 63-unit housing development called Meadowbrook was approved. Nearby on Triangle Drive, Schweitzer is building an 84-unit apartment complex for its workers (see story on page 93), with an additional 114 units approved for a future phase of construc-

WI N T E R 2 0 2 3

another photo

CONSTRUCTION ON SAMUELSON ROAD FOR A NEW COMPLEX OF SENIOR AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING. STAFF PHOTO.

tion. Schweitzer is currently looking for partners who will help build out that next phase as additional worker housing. Fontaine Apartments, just south of Les Schwab, will have 96 apartments. Across the highway on Sand Creek, a multi-use facility (restaurant, offices, and 12 condos) is going in. And Ponderay is currently considering a proposed 60home development (the McGhee subdivision) on the west side of McGhee Road. Our regional expansion, as well as statewide growth in general, made Idaho the top ranked state in price escalation, with a 128 percent change in housing pricing over the last five years, according to the Federal Housing and Finance Agency. For local workers pinched for housing, some relief is on the way with these new projects, though how much and how quickly remains to be seen. For buyers, it looks like more choices and better pricing is on the horizon. Citiy planners agree that working together on housing, infrastructure, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management will be critical was we move into the future.



REal estate

m arkle etfor watch cast sa le

THERE’S GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS FOR THOSE LOOKING TO BUY

A

fter soaring like a rocket the last few years, North Idaho’s housing market is seeing some changes. But what do those changes portend? Interest rates are rising—7.25 percent at press time, up from historic lows of 3 to 4 percent just six months prior—increasing costs for buyers looking to finance. At the same time, while statistics at the county level show an overall increase in average sales price (up 8 percent in all areas), what real estate agents are seeing currently are prices beginning to come down. “All the arrows are pointing downward on our software,” said Sarah Mitchell, a Realtor with Tomlinson-Sotheby’s and the president of the board of directors for the Selkirk Association of Realtors. “When looking at our market overall we really need to remove 2020 and 2021 as that time period represented a run up in the market like no other. That leaves a more consistent trend line; prices are adjusting back to normal, showing us that our market is just fine.” So what’s a buyer to do? Buy now before interest rates go up higher? Or wait to buy, hoping home prices come down? While Mitchell thinks home prices might come down a little further, she doesn’t expect they will fall very much. “We have such a resort market overall, and a lot of our buyers have cash

[so the interest rate doesn’t matter] and want to be here. “When it comes down to it, it’s all about supply and demand. That’s the bottom line.” Supply is tight right now, but newly built homes are in the pipeline (see story on page 95). That should increase inventory, but likely won’t keep up with demand. “Buyers should stay on top of interest rates,” said Mitchell. “Every time they consider putting in an offer on a house, they should check with their lender to see what the rates are that day, and whether the resulting payment is something they’re comfortable with.” Inventory increases coupled with price-wary buyers mean sellers need to be more flexible with how a sale is structured, and be prepared to give in certain areas. “A buyer might pay the asking price, but ask the seller to cover all closing costs, or buy the rate down, allowing the borrower to obtain a lower interest rate by paying discount points at closing, for example,” said Mitchell. “Although the market is a little tricky right now, there’s always a way to reach a meeting of the minds between the buyer and the seller and close the sale.”

-Trish Gannon

SNOWwonder we like it here so much!

Carol Curtis

Free Estimates ISA Board Certified Master Arborist

Associate Broker, PMN, GRI, CRS, ePro

(208) 290-5947

ccurtis@sandpoint.com

208.610.4858

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Century 21 RiverStone


Selkirk Multiple Listing Service Real Estate Market Trends Vacant land—bonner county

residential sales—All Areas Sold Listings

2021

2022

2021

2022

577

419

% Inc/Decr -27

Sold Listings

288

155

-46 -48

% Inc/Decr

Volume - Sold Listings

$365,803,041

$287,264,080

-21

Volume - Sold Listings

$107,187,599

$55,440,030

Median Price

$500,00

$575,000

15

Median Price

$233,500

$230,000

-1

Average Sales Price

$633,974

$685,594

8

Average Sales Price

$372,179

$357,677

-4

Average Days on Market

68

76

12

Average Days on Market

112

87

-22

2021

2022

2021

2022

Sold Listings

107

76

-29

Sold Listings

10

6

-40

Volume - Sold Listings

$66,435,264

$41,877,240

-37

Volume - Sold Listings

$6,305,000

$4,928,000

-22

Median Price

$500,00

$527,500

6

Median Price

$595,000

$687,000

Sandpoint City

Residential Sales—schweitzer % Inc/Decr

% Inc/Decr

15

Average Sales Price

$620,890

$551,016

-11

Average Sales Price

$630,500

$821,333

30

Average Days on Market

56

65

16

Average Days on Market

135

64

-53

2021

2022

2021

2022

329

232

-29

Sold Listings

59

36

-39

-26

-11

Sandpoint Area Sold Listings

residential sales—all lakefront % Inc/Decr

% Inc/Decr

Volume - Sold Listings

$245,676,596

$181,181,292

Volume - Sold Listings

$61,781,940

$54,715,000

Median Price

$601,000

$634,000

5

Median Price

$875,000

$930,000

6

Average Sales Price

$746,737

$780,953

5

Average Sales Price

$1,047,151

$1,519,861

45

Average Days on Market

66

67

2

Average Days on Market

67

58

-13

RESIDENTIAL SALES BY AREA based on information from the Selkirk MLS© for the period of April 20, 2021 to September 30, 2021 versus April 20, 2022 to

September 30, 2022. Real estate stats for Bonner and Boundary counties. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

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Natives &

Newcomers

story and photos by Marianne Love

W

hether they’ve lived here for 70 plus years or for just a few months, this issue’s Natives and Newcomers exemplify the diversity of experiences among Sandpoint residents. We feature a farmer, a teacher, a bookkeeper, and a cancer survivor. All happily contribute their talents to the community and lead fulfilling lives.

RANDY POELSTRA

Native

Sandpoint native Randy Poelstra is a farmer to the core. When Randy and his wife Carla closed the books on North Idaho’s last major commercial dairy in the Selle Valley in 2015, the family’s farming tradition continued with a few new twists. “I get up at 5:30 every morning,” he said, “still milk a couple of cows, feed the other livestock and start the day doing what needs to be done on the farm.” At 72, Poelstra still owns about 30 head of cattle and tends to the seasonal agricultural needs of the 160-acre farm in Selle where he grew up. He learned the intricacies of farming from his parents, Cornelius and Frances Poelstra, South Dakota transplants who bought the place from Charles Selle in the mid-1940s. “I had a working relationship with Mom and Dad,” he recalled. “They helped me be what I am today.” Poelstra graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1969 where he participated in football, wrestling, and track. He spent some time at the University of Idaho but eventually came back home to farm. “I’ve basically learned from the school of hard knocks,” he said. Nowadays, he teams up with his son Garrett to run the farm. His other son Glen works as an electrician in Coeur d’Alene. SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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natives & newcomers Poelstra serves as director on the Co-Op Gas and Supply and the Farm Bureau boards. For recreation, he enjoys Alaskan salmon fishing. He also hunts, follows the family tradition of trap shooting, and loves to share local lore. Poelstra doesn’t have to travel far for his favorite restaurant: the family dining room where Carla’s “special” chicken wings, fresh garden veggies, and homemade dinner rolls satisfy his palate. Farming has been good to Poelstra, who’s most proud of his wife and two sons and “what I have accomplished in my life through honesty and hard work.” Q: Who’s an individual you remember from the past? A: Lee Carter, a Sandpoint real estate agent from the early to mid-1900s. He lived well into his 90s. When asked how he lived so long, his response was “good whiskey” (a pint a day) and marrying young women. Q. What do you think illustrates the character of Sandpoint? A. Lake Pend Oreille and the K and K Derby. They put Sandpoint on the map as far as recreation. Q. Where do you take visitors? A. They usually congregate at our home and enjoy my wife’s good cooking. They come to enjoy the seasons and scenery of the Sandpoint area. Q. Do you have advice for those directing the community’s future?

A. Don’t forget Sandpoint’s past as a working-man’s town. Also, don’t shape Sandpoint into the place you came from.

CANDY JONES TATENative

Every birthday is extra special for 69-year-old Candy Jones Tate, a pancreatic cancer survivor. Diagnosed in August, 2015, Tate soon began chemotherapy, underwent Whipple surgery, and resumed chemotherapy for

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another three months. “My surgeon encouraged me to go skiing on my birthday (March 17, 2016),” she recalled. “I was nearing the end of treatment and had recovered very well from surgery. I sent him and my oncologist a picture of me at the top of Schweitzer that day with a huge smile on my face.” That smile and an upbeat attitude are ever present for Tate, a retired office worker, who lives with her husband David on the same Fry Creek land where she grew up as the daughter of Bill and Joyce Jones, and sister to three brothers. After inheriting the property, David and Candy built a “more energy efficient home on the old home’s footprint... it’s where we hope to stay.” And why not, with Fry Creek childhood memories of swimming, waterskiing, sledding/ice skating, and fishing for crappie or perch with her grandparents? During her school years in Sagle and Sandpoint, Tate performed as the Bullpup mascot during junior high and on the Ponderettes Drill Team in high school. After additional education at Spokane Falls Community College and Bryman School in Portland, her career involved office work for local businesses, the county and the school district. “It’s been difficult for me to sit still ever since,” she said. Since retiring, Tate has been making up for lost time skiing, biking, golfing and boating, traveling, and camping. She and David also recently took up bee keeping. Besides surviving cancer, Tate said their children, Adam and Ashley, along with her four grandchildren, make her most proud. With family roots in Sandpoint dating to the early 1920s, Tate appreciates her hometown character and hopes it lasts. “I like the warmth and friendliness,” she said. “I really hope the changes I’ve witnessed recently don’t stick around. This is and always has been my home, a place where I want my family to feel safe and where neighbors help and respect each other.” Q: Who’s an individual you remember from the past? A. W.D. “Dub” Lewis hired me for my first real job at Dub’s. I worked for him until graduating from high school. I even met my husband, David, at Dub’s. While I was waiting on a couple of boys driving a car with California license plates, one grabbed my hand when I handed him his change. I nearly fainted... but ended up marrying that boy 10 years later! Q. What do you think illustrates the character of Sandpoint? A. The Lion’s Club has provided many years of wonderful memories and fun for our community. From the Beach BBQ of years past to the wonderful 4th of July celebration and fireworks show, Toys for Tots, and who only knows what else. Q. Where do you take visitors? A. We usually spend lots of time on and in Lake Pend Oreille during the summer. Schweitzer is another destination, winter or summer. Memorial Field is a beautiful spot that we are so proud of and love to show off. Q. Do you have advice for those directing the community’s

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natives & newcomers future? A. I’d ask that they be mindful of our natural resources and the beauty of where we live. Growth and change are inevitable, but I hope that we could be smart about how that is done. I have a hard time seeing our farmland and open spaces turned into housing developments.

MICHELLE MILADY POWELL

Newcomer

Once upon a time in 2019, two music lovers—one from Sandpoint, the other originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti—met via e-Harmony. Fast forward through a pandemic and several gettogethers. The couple were married in Florida this past April. This love story brought Michelle Milady Powell to Sandpoint, where she and her husband Tony now spend time enjoying each other and their love of music. Powell is also loving the fruits and beauty of her new community, having picked huckleberries and visited Grouse Creek Falls, one of her favorite spots. While Tony builds guitars with his brother at Tonedevil Guitars, Michelle does bookkeeping for Sandpoint’s Talus Rock Retreat and medical billing for five Florida doctors’ offices. She also works as a translator. After a childhood in Haiti, she moved to Chicago and, later, Charlotte, North Carolina. Most recently, she served as unit supervisor and scheduler at South County Mental Health Center in Delray, Florida. At 39, Powell makes the most of every day, spending free time writing, producing a weekly vlog, baking, and collecting currency, a hobby she started at age 11. “To this date, I’ve collected currency from 90 countries,” she said. “I love the geography, history and culture they represent.”

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introducing locals | Writing and research top her passions. She has published two books and hopes to soon have a third completed. “I’ve had some of my poems published in Poetry.com books,” she said, adding that she has won poetry and speech contests. Powell’s musical interests revolve around playing the piano and the flute, and singing. She also hopes to learn the ukulele. And, then, there’s the family pet turtle Aloicious, aka Al. “He is quite the character,” she said. “He likes eating fish and splashing in the water. He’s my inspiration for a future kids’ book. Fingers crossed.” Q. What qualities of this area/people have impressed you so far? A. The friendliness of the people, how much they enjoy gardening, and the closeness of family and friends. Q. How will you contribute your talents to the community? A. I hope to use my talent of writing to write some stories about the beauty of Idaho. Q. How does Sandpoint differ from where you’ve lived before? A. Sandpoint is smaller than the town where I lived, but it has more natural beauty with the mountains and the trees. Q. How has your quality of life changed since moving here? A. It has improved significantly. Before, it felt like I lived to work. Now I work, but also enjoy my life.

DREW WANER

Newcomer

nat i ve s + ne wc o me r s

Sandpoint newcomer Drew Waner puts in a full day. Now 31 and the father of three young children, Drew works four jobs: educator, part-time real estate agent, seasonal construction worker, and winter ski coach. “Sleep is overrated,” said the Big Bear Lake, California native, former ski racer, and outdoors lover. Drew and his wife Sidney moved to Sandpoint last year from Ventura, California after visiting friends here. “We visited one more time and decided this was where we wanted to raise our kids,” he recalled. “God answered our prayers and within a month, we both got jobs and a house.” After a year at Sandpoint High School, Drew joined Sidney (an English instructor) at Sandpoint Middle School where he teaches woodshop and STEAM Works. “I give the kids the chance to work with their hands,” he said. “This is something that can get lost in the traditional school day, so I’m happy to provide that to students.” After graduating with honors and a B.S. in Applied Physics from California State University Channel Islands, Drew refurbished and built lasers for the medical and entertainment industries. He also ran a physics lab at the university. He has traveled to several countries, including Australia and Bermuda, where he enjoyed SCUBA diving. Sandpoint is now home, where he and Sidney go on “copious amounts of walks,” swim and hike with Jaxson, Lennon, Mace, and their Arctic Spitz dog, Rocky. Rounding out the inhabitants at their Ponderay home are six egg-producing chickens, which the kids “named after their aunties.” The family dream involves owning at least five acres where “we can have a simple homestead. For now, the Waners are thrilled to live in the Sandpoint area. “Sandpoint has been the answer to prayer,” Drew said. “I am so happy that my kids get to grow up here.” Q. What qualities of this area/people have impressed you so far? A. Nearly everyone I’ve met has been super friendly and helpful. People are genuinely kind and not just putting on a front. Q. How will you contribute your talents to the community? A. As a teacher, I hope to inspire kids to keep learning and to give them a chance to work with their hands. As a Realtor, I want to help people find a place to live where they’re able to thrive. Q. How does Sandpoint differ from where you’ve lived before? A. Before Sandpoint, I lived in a Southern California beach town. This is much more open and filled with nature as opposed to the coastline of a city. Q. How has your quality of life changed since moving here? A. We’ve spent much more time outside enjoying what was created for us. We hike at least once or twice a week and spend quality time as a family outdoors every day in some capacity. It’s incredible! SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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he “Pend Oreille Paddler” is just a legend. And legends can’t bite. But the threat of a monstrous Rock Creek mine is all too real. It hasn’t hatched yet only because we’ve been preventing it since 1997. That’s 14 lawsuits or appeals against the US Forest Service, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the State of Montana - not to mention four different mining companies. So, a busy 25 years. But effective. Because so far, no giant mine. Meaning no mountain of mining waste alongside the Clark Fork River, which feeds Lake Pend Oreille. And no perpetual mine pollutants fouling our water.

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But mining companies have deep pockets and short memories. They’ll keep coming back. So, please help us help our Lake. It’s the heart of North Idaho’s economy, property values, recreation and lifestyle. Visit our website, become a member, donate dollars or time. Together, we can keep this beast from becoming a reality. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS

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PHOTO BY DOUG MARSHALL

OUTDOORS

Skiing AND boarding Schweitzer Mountain

Resort has 2,900 acres and features 92 trails and open bowl skiing just 11 miles from downtown Sandpoint. The mountain boasts 2,400 vertical feet. Ten lifts serve two open bowls, treed glades and three terrain parks. Hermit’s Hollow has two lanes with single and double tubes for tubing. www.Schweitzer.com (208-263-9555).

Cross-country Skiing The Sandpoint

Nordic Club has the best resource for groomed trails at www. SandpointNordic.com. The club maintains 7 km of beginner to intermediate trails at Pine Street Woods, with rentals available, their website offers information on other area trails. Schweitzer Mountain offers 32 km of trails groomed daily with the most predictable snow thanks to its elevation. www.Schweitzer.com. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, www. WesternPleasureRanch.com, has 10 km of trails; and the state parks at Round Lake, Farragut and Priest Lake all have maintained trails. Not groomed but right in town, the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail north of City Beach offers a very flat 2.5 km lakeside jaunt.

Backcountry Nearly unlimited options exist on public lands surrounding Sandpoint. Call the Sandpoint Ranger District (208-263-5111) or the Bonners Ferry Ranger District (208-267-5561) for maps and current conditions, including avalanche advisories. Call the Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center toll-free at 866-489-8664. For a guided backcountry experience, take an excursion from Schweitzer via snowcat with Selkirk Powder or check out their heliskiing opportunity (208-263-6959). www.SandpointOnline. com/rec or www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf. Sleigh Rides Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, offers sleigh rides in a rural setting for groups and couples. www. WesternPleasureRanch.com (208-263-9066) or visit the famous Clydesdales at the Parnell Ranch and ride a sleigh, carriage or wagon. www.ParnellRanch.com (208) 290-3049. Snowmobiling Snowcat trails around Sandpoint

and Priest Lake in the Selkirk Mountains are renowned; for more information, contact Sandpoint Winter Riders, www.IdahoSnow.org (208-263-0677) or Priest Lake Trails &

Snowmobile Club (509-466-3331) or www.priestlake.org. For guided rides at Schweitzer, contact Selkirk Powder. www. SelkirkPowder.com (208-263-6959).

State Parks Three state parks are within close range to Sandpoint: Farragut (208-683-2425), Round Lake (208-2633489) and Priest Lake (208-443-2200) with activities such as camping, cross-country skiing trails, and snowmobiling. www.parksandrecreation.idaho.gov.

Walking For cleared paths, try the Pedestrian Long

Bridge alongside Highway 95 over Lake Pend Oreille; the paths along the Sand Creek Byway; Travers Park on West Pine Street; City Beach downtown; Sandpoint-Dover Community Trail along Highway 2 West; Lakeview Park, through and around the Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society Arboretum; and overlooking Sand Creek at the Healing Garden next to Bonner General Health.

Wildlife Refuge Kootenai National Wildlife

Refuge, 30 miles north of Sandpoint near Bonners Ferry, has more than 2,700 acres and abundant wildlife and birds. Hiking trails to a waterfall and around a pond, auto tour routes. www.fws.gov/kootenai (208-267-3888).

WaterLife Discovery Center On

Lakeshore Drive, the center offers interpretive trails and selfguided tours of fish habitat and an interpretive area on the Pend Oreille River. www.FishandGame.idaho.gov (208-769-1414).

FishinG There’s great ice fishing on Lake Pend Oreille

at the north end of the Long Bridge in front of Condo del Sol. Ice fishing is also popular on smaller lakes: Cocolalla, Mirror, Gamlin, Shepherd, Round, Antelope, and Priest. Lake Pend Oreille’s deep waters rarely freeze, and even in midwinter charter fishing boats pursue its trophy rainbow trout.

Ice Skating and Sledding When

conditions are right, ice skaters flock to Third Avenue Pier, Sandpoint City Beach, or Sand Creek below the Cedar Street Bridge. The city of Ponderay is planning an outdoor rink at McNearny Road (Field of Dreams), just north of Kootenai Cut-off Road. www.niicearena.com. Round Lake State Park maintains both regular and speed-skating rinks (208-2633489). For sledding, Schweitzer offers Hermits Hollow Tubing SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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winter nativesguide & newcomers Center (208-255-3081).

a.m. to 2 p.m. Located in Lakeview Park, 611 S. Ella. www. BonnerCountyHistory.org (208-263-2344).

INDOORS

Art Galleries Truly an arts town, Sandpoint has

numerous galleries and artists’ studios. Downtown take a walking tour; on First Avenue check out ArtWorks, Cedar Glen Gallery/Ferrara Wildlife Photography, and Hen’s Tooth Studio. Art lovers may also visit Pend Oreille Arts Council, just off First at 110 Main St. Ste. 101, and Lisa V. Fine Art Studio at 109 Main St. The Chris Kraisler Gallery is located at 517 N. Fourth. There are many satellite gallery locations that host revolving art exhibits year-round. www. ArtinSandpoint.org (208-263-6139). At Schweitzer, the Artists’ Studio in the White Pine Lodge features local artists.

Museum Enjoy many fine displays depicting old-time

Bonner County at the Bonner County History Museum. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission on the first Saturday of the month year-round, from 10

Movies Sandpoint Cinemas is a six-plex theater inside the Bonner Mall on Highway 95, featuring new releases weekly (208-263-7147). The historic Panida Theater downtown at 300 N. First shows foreign and independent films, plus film festivals (www.Panida.org).

Athletic Clubs Greater Sandpoint has a plethora

of opportunities, but the most comprehensive is Litehouse YMCA, 1905 W. Pine St., with a 25-meter indoor pool, courts, a weight room, group classes, and a sauna and spa. Open daily, with facilities reserved for vulnerable populations from 10 a.m. ‘til noon on Wednesdays and Fridays. www.ymcainw. org (208-263-6633).

Shopping Downtown retailers are going all out in the Sandpoint Shopping District, where shoppers will discover a fine array of eclectic shops and galleries

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Gold Hill Trail TrailHead

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with clothing, art, and gifts galore. www.DowntownSandpoint. com. Find fine retailers at www. sandpointshoppingdistrict.com. Antiques abound at Foster’s Crossing on Fifth between Cedar and Oak streets (208-263-5911); and MarketPlace Antiques & Gifts, open daily, at Fifth and Church (208-263-4444). Just out of town, Bonner Mall in Ponderay has stores large and small; it’s on U.S. Highway 95 north of Sandpoint (208263-4272).

Spas Get pampered at Wildflower Day Spa, www.thewildflowerdayspa. com (208-263-1103) or Solstice Wellness Spa at Schweitzer Mountain. www. SolsticeWellBeing.com (208-263-2862). Breweries & Pubs

Downtown, see brewing in action at MickDuff’s Beer Hall, the production and tasting room, open daily at 220 Cedar St., (208-209-6700) or visit their family restaurant at 419 N. Second Ave. www.Mickduffs.com (208-255-4351). For craft beers, try Eichardt’s Pub & Grill at 212 Cedar St. (208-263-4005) . Taste handcrafted ales at Laughing Dog Brewing at 805 Schweitzer Plaza Dr. 7 days a week from noon to 8 p.m. www. laughingdogbrewing.com (208-263-9222). Matchwood Brewery, at 513 Oak St., offers a craft beer for every taste, with eight beers on tap. www.matchwoodbrewing. com (208-718-2739). Utara Brewing Co., 214 Pine St., offers 11 “core” beers and a small bites menu. www.utaraidaho. com (208-627-5070). Paddler’s Alehouse, 100 Vermeer Dr. in Ponderay, provides exceptional local beers, ciders, and seltzers. www.paddlersalehouse.com (208-946-5256).

Wineries & Wine Bars

Pend d’Oreille Winery features tours, wine tasting, and a gift shop. Open Tues.Sat. 12 to 8 p.m. 301 Cedar St. www. POWine.com (208-265-8545). Small House Winery is open Saturdays and by appointment at 1636 Baldy Park Dr. www.SmallHouseWinery.com (208-290-2016). Cabin View Winery is open by appointment only. www. cabinviewwinery.com (208-217-0988).

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LODGING

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Lodge at Sandpoint

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Accommodations for retreats and banquets. Lakeside with swimming and docks. Views of lake and mountains for an unforgettable Idaho vacation. www.lodgeatsandpoint.com

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Waterfront bungalows at Dover Bay in Marina Village. Fully furnished, lake and mountain views. Fitness center, marina, hiking/biking trails. www.doverbaybungalows.com

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Located on the Hope peninsula. R.V sites, tent sites, restaurant, cafe, showers, marina and private venues available. www.beyondhoperesort.com Two cute cabins, 400 feet apart from each other on beautiful Sunnyside. Minutes from Lake Pend Oreille and under 15 minutes to downtown Sandpoint and Schweitzer. Up to 4 guests: www.airbnb.com/h/CabinInTheCedars Up to 6 guests: www.airbnb.com/h/LittleHouseInTheWoodsBnb

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E ATS + D R I N KS

It’s all about the soup Story by Patty Hutchens Photos by Cameron Barnes

I

AT MATCHWOOD BREWING, FRENCH ONION, TOMATO BASIL BISQUE AND NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER IN A BREAD BOWL ARE ALL ON THE MENU.

t is the ultimate comfort food. A cup of soup to warm the soul. A hot bowl to warm us up on a cold winter day. Here in North Idaho, many area restaurants have soup as a staple on their winter menu, drawing residents and tourists to delight in their creative concoctions. And the wonderful thing is that each restaurant in our area has its own unique recipes. MickDuff’s Brewpub in Sandpoint has taken what it's known best for and integrated it into its menu daily. Each day, patrons are offered MickDuff's award-winning beer cheese soup made with their Knot Tree Porter beer. “It’s our take on a Wisconsin cheese soup,” said co-owner and co-founder Duffy Mahoney. All their soups are made from scratch each day. In addition to the beer cheese soup, a second soup rotates every two to three days featuring a mix of vegan, meat, and more. Another popular brewery, Matchwood Brewing Company on Oak Street, is also known for its wonderful food, including soup. Andrea Marcoccio, who owns Matchwood along with her husband Kennden Culp, offers one house soup and one soup of the day. "We like to keep our soups rotating," said Marcoccio. "Making new and exciting soups is one of our chef’s favorite ways of keeping our menu flexible.” Some of the more popular soups at Matchwood are the Italian wedding soup, curries, lentil and cauliflower, as well as French onion and spicy chicken tortilla. Stroll down First Avenue and find Spuds Waterfront Grill, a popular eatery owned by husband-and-wife team Peter McDaniel and Kelli West. Long known for the abundance of soups they serve daily, Spuds offers something for everyone. At Spuds, they strive to offer six different soups each day, with some offered every day while others rotate. Historically, a constant on Spud’s menu is the vegetarian black bean soup; forgo the cheese garnish to satisfy a vegan appetite. In recent years, the demand for Spuds’ tomato basil bisque has been so great that they also include that daily on their menu. The four other soup offerings vary on a day-to-day basis, although clam chowder on Fridays is a constant. “We always offer vegetarian and gluten-free options and normally have dairy-free options as well,” said McDaniel. Given the name, one can expect to find a potato soup of some kind on the menu at Spuds including different chowders: Alaskan amber cheddar potato, sour cream dill potato, and roasted garlic potato, just to name a few. As with 99 percent of the food they serve, all Spuds’ soups are made from scratch in-house. With a list of 50 to 60 soup reciSandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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eats+

drinks

MICKDUFF’S BEEF CHEESE SOUP IS AN ORIGINAL TAKE ON A CLASSIC WISCONSIN CHEESE SOUP.

pes they have accumulated over the years, many of which were developed by one of the original owners, Peter Mico, Spuds has many soups to choose from. “My goal is for us to always have four to five soups that our regulars recognize and enjoy and one to two soups that allow my chefs to express their creativity,” said McDaniel. In addition to the daily soups, other customer favorites are sour cream dill potato, Alaskan amber cheddar potato, and roasted butternut squash, which is seasonal and served in the fall. “We take great pride and care in our soups. It is one of the things we are known and appreciated for, and I believe that the quality of a soup directly reflects on the talent of the chef who prepared it,” said McDaniel. In downtown Sandpoint along Cedar Street, you can warm up with a cup or bowl of soup from Baxters on Cedar and their downstairs venue, The Back Door, which hosts the same menu. Owner Brandon Emch says that soup is a very popular item on their menu with lobster chowder and turkey rosemary rice soups being the most popular. “We offer two soups daily and rotate the soups seasonally, approximately every three to four months,” said Emch. Also on Cedar Street is Eichardt’s Pub and Grill, owned by Jeff Nizzoli, who said their pub-made soups are extremely popular over the winter months. Made from scratch each day, their soup of the day varies. “Sometimes it’s vegetarian and sometimes it’s made with

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E ATS + D R I N KS meat,” said Nizzoli, who adds that among the most popular are Guinness stout beef stew, chicken yellow curry, clam chowder, tomato bisque, and potato corn chowder. Out in Ponderay, Sweet Lou's (a restaurant with additional locations in Athol and Coeur d'Alene) is a popular dining spot. Meggie Foust, who owns the restaurants with her husband Chad, said it's not just wintertime when soup is popular among their guests, but all year long. “Our homemade soups pair well with any of our sandwiches and salads or work great as a starter,” said Meggie, adding that because they are so popular, they are committed to providing two types of freshly-made soup each day. The most popular soup on Sweet Lou’s menu is chicken peanut soup, which is served daily. “I describe it to guests as something that would be served at a Thai restaurant without the extra spice,” she said. “It’s a hearty, creamy bowl of comfort.” The second soup on their menu is rotated daily and includes loaded baked potato, Texas chili, tomato basil, and clam chowder. And while they don’t offer a vegan option regularly, the tomato basil soup is a delicious vegetarian option, especially when paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. If you are looking to try some delicious soups on your own, the internet is full of thousands of recipes. Whether it’s a hearty chowder or a lighter soup, there are many resources to test your culinary skills. There are also many means by which you

208-263-9446

Qua

Now Available With

THE GINGER CARROT SOUP FROM EICHARDTS IS ONE OF THEIR VEGETARIAN SPECIALTIES, ALTHOUGH THEY OFFER MEAT-BASED SOUPS AS WELL.

Hours M-F 8:30-5:30

s lity H uct d o omem r ade Goods & Local P

OO KF L BU

D

H LUNC

BAKERY

1326 Baldy Mtn. Rd. Sandpoint, ID 83864 . www.millerscountrystoresandpoint.com SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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Life is Good at Con nies! Open Monday through Saturday 7-8 (Lounge open until 10) Sunday 7-3

323 Cedar St | Sandpoint, ID 38364 | 208-255-8791 info@conniescafe.com

A SPECIALTY AT BAXTERS ON CEDAR IS THE LOBSTER CHOWDER.

SINCE 1994

can make soup, including a Vitamix blender or an air fryer. And if you think soup is just for those cold wintry days, think again. While many of us turn to soup in the winter, it has also become popular during the summertime. Whether it's a cold cucumber soup, chilled avocado soup, or even a watermelon gazpacho, many soups can be served cold to help you beat the heat on a warm summer day. But when it comes to comfort, a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter's day is hard to beat. Lucky for us, we have lots of varieties to choose from.

Stay hile! Aw

Try our Locally Made Wine!

...and a full menu of artisan pizzas, salads, and Farmer’s boards + a Gift Shop with Local Art!

Open Tues-Sat Noon - 8 pm 301 Cedar St #101 | Sandpoint, ID 83864

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SWEET LOU’S CHICKEN PEANUT SOUP IS A POPULAR CHOICE LOCALLY.

WI N T E R 2 0 2 3


E ATS + D R I N KS

Eating

healthy in the 7B T

by Olivia Keyes

he desire for healthier eating has become a prominent discussion nationwide. It is rare to find a grocery store or restaurant in our area that doesn’t offer some form of vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free food. Health, wellness, and slow living are integral to the lifestyle that Sandpoint has to offer, and our restaurants have come to reflect that. Here’s a sampling of just a few.

What kinds of food can people expect at your location?

Winter Ridge: We are a grocery store focused on local, natural, and delicious foods. We have a fantastic selection of clean organic foods. Whether it’s house-made in our deli, bakery, meat department, or everywhere in between, we offer the best quality for the best price. City Beach Organics: We are a cafe/ restaurant with a full espresso menu, a juice and smoothie bar, and we serve our popular wraps and melts on our house-made GF tortillas. We also have fresh salads, avocado toast, and quinoa bowls. Heart Bowls: Acai bowls, smoothie bowls, rice bowls, avocado toast, and a variety of seriously healthy, delicious fully dairy-free & gluten-free options like dairy-free milkshakes, baked goods, and more! Yafay Wellness: We are a wellness space offering a

restaurant, naturopathic doctor services, massage services, and vitamin IV Drips, among other things. We offer an extensive menu, and anything can be made vegan or gluten-free. We also offer lovely mocktails.

What would you recommend to a new customer?

WR: Pop over to our bakery case each morning and try a

freshly baked cinnamon roll or bear claw. For lunch, saunter over to our hot bar for daily rotating soups or proteins and sides. If you’re still looking for something special. make your way to the meat department where our crew cranks out the best house-made sausages in town. CBO: The pesto melt is a crowd favorite. I’d accompany that with our house-made lemon berry cheesecake and a Pend Oreille Paradise smoothie. HB: I always recommend an Acai bowl or smoothie bowl for first-timers. Our smoothie bowls are the star here at Heart Bowls. For those new to them, they are made with 100 percent real food, frozen fruit blended into a thick, creamy, ice cream-like base topped with gluten-free granola, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. YW: Our Signature Szechuan tofu or chicken lettuce wraps. Absolutely delicious! We’ve been asked to sell our signature sauce which is made in-house. We’ve also been told by several SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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PREVIOIUS PAGE: BECKY SAWYER AND JANA WHITE SHOW OFF SOME OF THE DELICIOUS, HOMEMADE BREAD AT WINTER RIDGE; THIS PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT: YAFAY WELLNESS SERVES A WIDE VARIETY OF “MOCKTAILS;” EAT YOUR GREENS (AND MORE) WITH A CITY BEACH ORGANICS NORTHWEST/ SOUTHWEST SALAD, AND A SCHWEITZER SUNSET JUICE; A HEART BOWLS ACAI BOWL IS LIKE EATING SUMMERTIME IN A CUP.

serving you 7 days a week at three locations!

locals that we have the best burger in town with our Gourmet Bison Burger which features our own pesto-mayo sauce.

How have health and wellness trends influenced your business?

WR: Health and wellness trends for oth-

come hungry save room for our tasty beers on tap

stay late open until 10 p.m.

eat well

Something for Everyone - Bring the Family

www.sweetlousidaho.com Sweet Lou’s Restaurants Hwy 95 N Ponderay | 208.263.1381 • 6915 E Athol Crossing Road | 208.561.9496 | Athol 601 Front Ave. 208.667.1170 | DOWNTOWN Cda 118

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ers happen to be a lifestyle for us. Many of our employees and loyal customers prioritize health and wellness and we are here to provide them with the tools they need for success CBO: We’ve noticed little things, like the celery juice craze a few years ago (I know, weird). Our juice and salad sales go up after the first of January, and sometimes there’s a random ingredient people are suddenly asking for because some celebrity was talking it up. Overall, though, we don’t notice these trends making a significant impact on us. HB: The dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free movements are growing nationwide which brings people to Heart Bowls because our menu is 100 percent dairy-free and vegan and everything can be made gluten free. So, we have seen more and more people coming to eat with us because they are seeking out healthier plant-based foods. We are very excited to be sharing this wholesome food with the community and those who are new to it. Yafay Wellness: I have been into health and wellness for the past 20 years. The timing has been perfect for my business, there are more and more people questioning the standard American diet and health, even prior to COVID.


E ATS + D R I N KS

C

onnie’s Cafe and Lounge (323 Cedar St.) is a Sandpoint tradition, in operation since 1952 when it started as a simple lunch counter in Fred Hartley’s Conoco gas station. Its history is what attracted its latest owners, Lars Hall and Chris Ankney, and they honored that history this summer by refurbishing the 1950s-style sign at the front of the building. Seventy years later, locals are still pouring in to enjoy such Connie’s classics as the garden skillet breakfast or a 1/3-pound Angus burger. And not to miss on a winter’s day is their navy bean and ham soup, on the menu every day! If you don't mind a little eavesdropping, take a booth near the counter and listen to the regulars as they share their stories about old-time Sandpoint. You'll probably even hear tales of "the one that got away!" “The locals keep our lights on,” said Lars Hall. “We listen to what they have to say, because we want to continue to be your local hometown diner.” Whether stopping in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner you'll find the menu choices expansive, and every Friday evening prime rib is on the menu. There's a great kids' menu and specialty cocktails for the adults, making Connie's a place for the whole family.

-Trish Gannon

CRAFT BEER, WINE, EATERY, EVENTS, LIVE MUSIC

SANDPOINT, COEUR D’ALENE, & NEW! SPOKANE WONDER BUILDING 524 CHURCH ST, SANDPOINT 504 E SHERMAN AVE, COEUR D’ALENE WONDER MARKET, 821 W MALLON AVE, SPOKANE

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Take it to the by Olivia Keyes

“I

Bank

am fortunate to have enjoyed fresh, local produce and unique foods most of my life. On a trip to visit my grandparents as a teen, my Noni had the family make gnocchi from scratch; it was an incredible experience,” said Nick Nizzoli. “Sharing something with loved ones that I was able to see from start to finish was

extremely fulfilling.” After years working for his familyowned and operated Eichardt’s, Nizzoli learned that the restaurant and bar experience goes beyond food and drink; it entails fostering community. Now with his new project The Bank: Barroom and Eatery, he looks to offer a new twist on the art of drinking and dining. Opened in July of 2022, The Bank has

Seasonal Pub Fare with a Unique Twist Check website for current seasonal hours www.sandpointfatpig.com 301 Cedar St., Suite 102 208.265.PORK

made its home in a building with culinary history, once home to the beloved Bugatti’s, and last occupied by Beet and Basil. Offering waterfront views over Sand Creek, the space is a cultural cornerstone of the community. Beginning with outdoor seating-only service, Nizzoli and his team are looking forward to expanding indoors for the winter and are opening up availability to host private events. The story of Nizzoli’s love for quality, hand-crafted indulgences to be enjoyed by his community writes itself in The Bank’s menu. All dishes are designed to be shared with your table. The staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their craft and happy to give recommendations to create a flavorful, harmonious experience. With unique flavor profiles and a synergistic menu design, their offerings are guaranteed game-changers for the Sandpoint scene. A must-try for The Bank would be their Bank Board, a charcuterie board featuring local vendors. In the mood for something sweet? The Hibiscus Pavlova offers a serving of seasonal compote, lemon curd, rose cream, and market fruit. Happy hour is a speciality at The Bank. The Granjera cocktail offers a kick featuring Reposado tequila, ancho reyes, and green chili bitters. Their menu also features low or non-alcoholic cocktails featured under their “designated driver” category. Located at 105 S. First Ave, the ambiance and the diverse palette of flavors on the menu is assured to take guests on a serene sensory journey.

H E A RT B OW L S AÇAÍ | SMOOTHIES | TOAST | COFFEE

Rice crusts & soy cheese now available

H BOW OWLLSS HEEA ART RT B AÇAÍ TOAST | | COFFEE COFFEE AÇAÍ | | SMOOTHIES SMOOTHIES || TOAST

DOWNTOWN SANDPOINT 102 1ST AVE WWW.HEARTBOWLS.COM 208.304.7631 OPEN DAILY

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•Delivery •Sandwiches •Calzones •Specialty Salads •Homemade Dough •Beer/Wine •Take & Bakes

The Carolyn

215 S. 2nd Ave.

263-9321


Connie’s

the fat pig

the idaho club

E ATS + D R I N KS

LEFT TO RIGHT: AT CONNIE’S, DON’T MISS THE PRIME RIB OFFERED EVERY FRIDAY NIGHT; THE PFRIEM PASSIONFRUIT BEER AT FAT PIG IS A TASTE SENSATION; THE IDAHO CLUB ‘S TOMAHAWK PORK CHOP IS NEW ON THIS WINTER’S MENU.

The localDISH with Trish Gannon

T

he Clubhouse at the Idaho Club (151 Clubhouse Way, east of Sandpoint on Highway 200) is always expanding its menu and trying new dishes. For a hearty meat filler, check out their filet au poivre, cowboy ribeye or tomahawk pork chop; for something lighter, try the mustard crusted sea bass and pair it with a wild mushroom risotto. The Clubhouse is open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday, and dinner Wednesday through Saturday through the fall. Check for winter hours. DiLuna’s Cafe (207 Cedar St.) has you covered for breakfast and lunch, plus it features a recently expanded gift shop. Cafe favorites include their loaded vegetable hash with butternut squash, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, greens and roasted potatoes, all topped with Provolone. Or try their signature Reuben, a slow-roasted corned beef stacked with fresh sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and a house-made thousand island dressing, all piled onto a grilled, marbled rye. DiLuna’s also offers catering for your big events, or take-out or delivery for your evening at home, and is open Fri-Mon, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Keep an Magic Sundays—5-8pm | Margarita Monday—all day Taco Tuesday—all day

FAMILY Y FRIENDL PATIO DINING

eye on their calendar at www.dilunas.com for special evening music and food events. At Matchwood Brewing Company (513 Oak St.), they’ve launched a new menu for winter and fall. The pulled pork totchos, beer-battered chipotle fish tacos, and new Tall Boy burger are proving to be a hit already. They also brought back their famous Reuben and Beer Pretzel “to stave off the pitchforks from when we temporarily removed it this summer,” said owner Andrea Marcoccio, plus they’ve added desserts. Over at Sweet Lou’s (with locations in Ponderay, Athol, and Coeur d’Alene), they’ve added more hearty meals for guests to enjoy while snuggling into winter. Try their extremely tender and juicy pork ribeye, grilled and topped with an apple and cranberry compote. Or chow down on a hand-cut, 6-ounce certified Angus beef filet mignon that is wrapped with bacon. For those still eating on the lighter side, despite the cold season, they’ve released a new salmon and grilled peach salad that is topped with goat cheese, grape tomatoes and sliced almonds. And when the chill gets to you... try their new hot buttered rum,

Natural beer, food & fun!

FULL BAR BANQUET ROOM

“We Salt The Margaritas And The Side Walk”

Come visit us today at one of our two locations: Family Friendly Brewpub

312 N First Ave.

Beer Hall & Brewery

419 N. 2nd Ave

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Local Natural Delicious

Winter Ridge Natural Foods is your onestop-shop to support your healthy lifestyle. Organic Produce Salad Bar Deli Hot Food Bar Local Grass-Fed Meats and Dairy Extensive Wellness and Beauty Departments Exclusive Wines and Cheeses Beer and Kombucha on Tap Robust Bulk Items Healthy On-The-Go Foods And So Much More.

(208) 265-8135 www.WinterRidgeFoods.com

703 Lake Street at Boyer St Sandpoint, ID 100 Vermeer Dr. Ponderay Idaho 83852

208) 946-5256

Purveyors of quality locally crafted ales, ciders, and seltzers.

Open Daily from Noon to 8PM

Delicious nDailys Come & Taste! Baxtersoncedar@gmail.com • 208-229-8377 • 109 Cedar St, Sandpoint

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Monday - Saturday 11:00 am-9:00 pm

made with their own homemade butter rum. Up on Schweitzer Mountain, spokesperson Sean Mirius said their goal is to have “every restaurant open” for the winter season. That includes old favorites like Chimney Rock Grill (pub fare to main meals like linguine and meatballs), Gourmandie (there’s an expansive wine list to go with your meal), and the Taps Bar, plus newer favorites like the Nest Bar and Restaurant in Sky House at the summit (homemade, from scratch food plus 360- degree views), and the Crow’s Bench, introduced last winter in the new Humbird Hotel, which offers cocktails and small plate options. Miller’s Country Store (1326 Baldy Mt. Rd.) serves some of the best deli sandwiches in the area, all on their homemade bread, with fresh, homemade soup, coleslaw or salad to go with it. Check their Facebook page for daily specials. The cafe in Winter Ridge Natural Foods (703 Lake St.) has a full drinks bar with fresh juice, organic smoothies, coffee or tea. There are several tried-and-true favorites, or create your own. A full deli counter, plus fresh salads and other treats, will round out your lunch. The Pack River Store takes it all one step further, offering not only breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but monthly tasting menus that include up to six courses and dessert where you can sample delights like horseradish pommes dauphine and redwine braised short ribs. Downtown at Connie’s Cafe, enjoy a wide variety of choices from this familyfriendly menu, or treat yourself on Friday nights to their delicious prime rib. New in town and eagerly awaited, Simply Pho (pronounced Fu) and Bubble Tea Bar is now open, located next to Subway on Highway 95 in Ponderay. The Blue Room (in the old Ivano’s building at the corner of First and Pine) reflects the musical interests of Kim, Doug, and Poppy Bond, with frequent music to accompany a menu that includes gluten-free sauces and a “basically vegan” deep fryer, said Poppy, who runs the restaurant.


E ATS + D R I N KS

Crow’s Bench. Courtesy Photo

COFFEE & CAFES

Restaurant index by type of cuisine. Locate by number on dining map

EVANS BROTHERS COFFEE

01

06

PACK RIVER STORE

524 Church St. Located in downtown Sandpoint’s historic Granary Arts District. Enjoy exceptional coffees and espresso, including the popular Headwall Espresso Blend. Locally baked pastries, breakfast burritos and more. Open daily. 208-265-5553 www.evansbrotherscoffee.com

1587 Rapid Lightning Rd. A country store with gourmet fare, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grab ‘n’ go burritos and salads, grocery necessities, plus a chef’s menu featuring weekly specials and more. Open daily. 208-263-2409 www.packriverstore.com

MOJO COYOTE AT SCHWEITZER 02

WINTER RIDGE NATURAL FOODS 07

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Enjoy a fresh Evans Brothers espresso and treat your sweet tooth to a warm scone. Fresh-baked pastries, breakfast burritos and lunch specials. Fine selection of beer and wine. 208-255-3037

703 Lake St. A natural foods grocery store with in-house deli, bakery, meat department, organic produce department, a juice and espresso bar, and hot food bar with indoor seating. Open daily. 208-265-8135 www.winterridgefoods.com

DELICATESSENS & MARKETS CLARK FORK PANTRY

ECLECTIC/FINE DINING 03

204 E. 4th St., Clark Fork. All-natural, made-from-scratch baked goods, homemade soups and sandwiches, on freshly baked bread, made to order from the deli. Wide selection of bulk foods, snacks, spices, and gift items. Open Monday through Saturday. 208-266-1300 www.ClarkForkPantry.com

HEART BOWLS

04

08

BAXTERS ON CEDAR

109 Cedar St. Daily specials, fresh local products. From steaks and chops to half-pound burgers, great salads, and Baxters’ signature Key Lime pie. Open Monday through Saturday. 208-229-8377 www.baxtersoncedar.com

09

CHIMNEY ROCK

At the corner of First and Pine in downtown Sandpoint. Superfood cafe serves 100 percent vegan and glutenfree Acai + smoothie bowls, baked goods, rice bowls, drinks and coffee, plus a kids’ menu. 208-304-7631. www.HeartBowls.com

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Relax and enjoy casual dining inside or outdoors on the patio. An extensive menu includes savory pub fare, scrumptious salads, and an enticing drinks menu. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays in the Selkirk Lodge at Schweitzer. 208-255-3071 www.schweitzer.com

MILLER’S COUNTRY STORE & DELI

CONNIE’S CAFE

1326 Baldy Mountain Rd. Wholesome goodness with a selection of fine deli meats and cheeses, bulk food items, pie fillings, fresh-baked pies, breads, and pastries—plus soup and sandwiches, take-home dinners, and soft-serve ice cream. Open Monday through Friday. 208-263-9446 www. millerscountrystoresandpoint.com

05

10

323 Cedar St. Welcoming atmosphere in the heart of downtown Sandpoint, Connie’s Cafe is all about good people, good drinks, and good food. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a lounge with full bar hosts many local musicians. Open daily. 208-255-2227 www.ConniesCafe.com

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PUB-STYLE CROW’S BENCH

11

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Located in the new Humbird hotel, Crow’s Bench features fabulous views and a Bavarian-inspired cuisine. Reservations recommended. 208-255-3051 www.schweitzer.com

THE FAT PIG

12

301 Cedar St. Suite 102. Enjoy an extensive draft beer selection in a warm pub environment with a rotating wine list. Classic pub fare and vegetarian menu. 208-265-PORK (7675) www.sandpointfatpig.com

THE IDAHO CLUB

18

212 Cedar St. Relaxing pub and grill mixes casual dining with seriously good food. Completely family friendly. More than a dozen beers on tap, good wines and live music. Upstairs game room with fireplace. 208-263-4005 www.eichardtspub.com

MATCHWOOD BREWING CO.

19

513 Oak St. Brewery offers high-quality handmade craft beers along with a savory eatery menu. Open Wednesday through Sunday. 208-718-2739 www.matchwoodbrewing.com

13

151 Clubhouse Way. Fine dining at the grand clubhouse overlooking the golf course and Pack River. Steaks, seafood, burgers, a starters menu and full bar. Open Wednesday through Saturday. 208-265-2345 www.IdahoClubHospitality.com

JALAPEÑOS RESTAURANT

EICHARDT’S PUB & GRILL

MICKDUFF’S BREWING CO. BREWPUB

20

419 Second Ave. Enjoy craft ales in the iconic restored old federal building downtown. Traditional and updated pub fare. Open daily. 208-255-4351 www.mickduffs.com

14

314 N. Second Ave. Traditional and Americanized Mexican dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere. Full bar, gluten-free menu and quick to-go menu. Open Thursdays through Tuesday. 208-263-2995 www.sandpointjalapenos.com

FOR AN INTERACTIVE GUIDE TO ALL LOCAL DINING, GO TO WWW.SANDPOINTDINING.COM

TAVERNS, BREWERIES AND WINERIES SECOND AVENUE PIZZA

15

215 S. Second Ave. Piled-high specialty pizzas, calzones, specialty salads and sandwiches. Gluten-free choices. Beer and wine, take-and-bake pizzas available. 208-263-9321 www.secondavenuepizza.com

SKYHOUSE AT SCHWEITZER

16

10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Experience a lunch outing unlike any other at the summit of Schweitzer! A chef-inspired menu from locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. 208-263-9555 www.schweitzer.com

SWEET LOU’S

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21

220 Cedar St. Tasting room boasts 16 taps, local bar art, free popcorn and weekly entertainment. Beer Hall is Bring- Your-Own-Food-friendly. 21 years or older. Open daily. 208-209-6700 www.mickduffs.com

PADDLER’S ALEHOUSE

22

100 Vermeer Dr., Ponderay. Local and regional beers on tap, plus wine bar, cider, hard seltzer, and non-alcoholic options. Open daily. 208-946-5256 www.paddlersalehouse.com

17

477272 U.S. Highway 95 in Ponderay. Terrific traditional and regional fare. Family friendly restaurant with full bar. Two more locations in Coeur d’Alene and Athol. Open daily. 208-263-1381 www.sweetlousidaho.com

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MICKDUFF’S BREWING CO. BEER HALL & BREWERY

PEND D'OREILLE WINERY

23

301 Cedar St. Locally made wines, tasting room, house-made pizza, live music, local art installations, and refillable wine growlers. Open Tuesday through Saturday. 208-265-8545 www.powine.com


Downtown Sandpoint Dining Map

6 3

To Bonners Ferry & Canada

16 11 9

To Hope & Clark Fork

17 To Schweitzer Mtn. Resort

22 Kootenai Cut-off Rd.

Schweitzer Cut-off Rd.

Bonner Mall Evans Brothers Coffee Mojo Coyote at Schweitzer Clark Fork Pantry

4

Heart Bowls

5

Miller’s Country Store & Deli

6

Pack River Store

7

Winter Ridge Natural Foods

8

Baxters on Cedar

9

Chimney Rock at Schweitzer

Division Ave.

2 3

5 Baldy Mountain Rd.

Visitor Center

SA

N

Crow’s Bench

D

CR

EE

Fir

14 Jalapeños

Healing Garden

15 Second Avenue Pizza

Bonner General Health

Poplar

18 Eichardt’s Pub & Grill

Division Ave.

Boyer Ave.

Pine

E

To Dover & Priest River

23 12

19 1

Cedar St. 8

Town Square

Pine St.

14

Cedar St. Bridge

Panida Theater

Bridge St.

City Beach 4

Lake St.

7

Superior

N

10 Main

Farmin Park

Oak Church

21 18

First Ave.

Cedar

23 Pend d’Oreille Winery

20

Second Ave.

22 Paddler’s Alehouse

Main

Third Ave.

21 MickDuff’s Beer Hall

Fourth Ave.

Brewpub

S. Fourth Ave.

Alder

20 MickDuff’s Brewing Co.

Fifth Ave.

19 Matchwood Brewing

S. Second Ave.

17 Sweet Lou’s

PARKING

16 Sky House At Schweitzer

W

K

Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail

12 The Fat Pig 13 The Idaho Club

Elks Golf Course

Sand Creek Byway

Larch

10 Connie’s Cafe 11

Boyer Ave.

1

LAKE PEND OREILLE

2

13

15

Marina

To Sagle & Coeur d’Alene

S

Map not to scale!


INDEX

advertiser A Glass Act

103

Litehouse Specialty Foods

20

Tin Roof Furniture

36

All Seasons Garden & Floral

108

Maria Larson, Artist

108

Ting Internet

3

12, 40

Monarch Marble & Granite

90

127

Mountain West Bank

30

Alpine Shop Ameriprise Financial

Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty - Cindy Bond

IFC

Anderson Autobody

29

Nelson/Kootenay Lake Tourism

54

Blue Sky Broadcasting

110

Northern Lights Electric

44

Bonner County Fair

15

Northwest Handmade

32

Century 21 Riverstone Company

97

Northwest Realty Group

89

Century 21 Riverstone - Carol Curtis 98

Northwest Self Storage

96

Wildflower Day Spa

29

Century 21 Riverstone - Camp Bay

19

Panhandle Special Needs

31

Willamette Valley Bank

39

9, 59

Panorama Mountain Resort

41

26

Pend Oreille Shores Resort

110

2

Pillar Financial Group

CO-Op Country Store Coeur Private Wealth Coldwell Banker Resort Realty Community Assistance League -

Realm Partners

Bizarre Bazaar 102

56 42-43

Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty - Rich Curtis

47

Tomlinson Sotheby’s International Realty - Chris Chambers

1

Schweitzer Magazine • Insert between pages 48-49 •

Realm Partners - Jeremy Brown

94

7B Boards

8

Scherr Haven Studio

108

Realm Partners - Seasons

43

Alpine Shop

32

Dana Construction

86

Rock Creek Alliance

106

Boden Architecture

16

Daugherty Management

5

Sandpoint Building Supply

99

Bonner General Health

16

Eve’s Leaves

16

Sandpoint Movers

92

Century 21 Riverstone -

Evergreen Realty

6

Sandpoint Nordic Club

41

Evergreen Realty - Charesse Moore IBC

Sandpoint Online

126

Coldwell Banker - Randy & Darla

Glahe & Associates

102

Sandpoint Reader

40

Coldwell Banker - Schweitzer Team 13

Gregory Homes

63

Sandpoint Super Drug

25

Coldwell Banker - Sneidmiller

Guaranteed Rate

22

Satisfaction Painting

94

Daugherty Management

Idaho Club

48

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

BC

Evergreen Realty

8

Kaniksu Community Health

17

Signature Aesthetics

4, 100

Festival at Sandpoint

19

Keokee Books 127

Skywalker Tree Care

98

KRFY Radio

31

Super 1 Foods

35

Lakeshore Health

79

Taylor Insurance

Lewis and Hawn - Dentists

13

The Local Pages

Lewis and Hawn - Sleep Solutions

104

Timberframes by Collin Beggs

Patrick Werry

12 31 19 3

Northwest Realty Group Alison Murphy

7

21

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

1

102

Visit Sandpoint

26

85, 103

Williams Homes

21


Simplysandpoint We publish Sandpoint Magazine We produce SandpointOnline.com We provide leading-edge website, digital and print marketing for companies ... locally and across the nation. Strategically Designed.

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Results-driven. Media + Marketing.

What’s the truth behind a tragic death ... in 1886?

See what we do at www.keokee.com 405 Church St, Sandpoint | 208.263.3573

$11.95 • At bookstores or www.Keokeebooks.com

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Board Minutes May 23

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Sandpoint Community Resource Center provides

an extensive website offering information about how to receive help in areas as diverse as healthcare, housing, utilities, and clothing, while also connecting those who want to help with groups in need of volunteers. There is even an option to register your organization’s need for volunteer support. Learn more about it at www.sandpointcommunityresource.com 208-920-1840.

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Alpine Motors Your Buick, GMC truck

dealer. New and used sales and leasing. Full service, parts and body shop. Highway 95 N., Ponderay, 208-263-2118, 1-800-430-5050. www.alpinemotors.net

Keokee A marketing communications firm

providing web design, hosting, search engine optimization and marketing, graphic design, editorial, media consultation and more. 405 Church St., 208.263.3573. www.keokee.com. We publish Sandpoint Magazine and sandpointonline.com

Donor mailing list Nov 7, 2016

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Vanderford’s Offering the latest books and novels, office supplies, machine supplies and free delivery in Sandpoint. Order online. 201 Cedar St.,

Shop Sandpoint Go to www.shopsandpoint. com, for local web links to trusted services, merchants, artists, craftspeople, farmers and green building. Write your own reviews in the new SandpointBlog. Fun reading, recycling, and more!

Sandpoint Super Drug The Center for Functional Nutrition offers a full line of clinical nutrition products including Klaire, Thorne, Pure, Ortho Molecular, and Apex. 604 N. 5th Avenue.

208-263-2417. www.vanderfords.com

ADVERTISING INFORMATION Get a current rate sheet on our website at www.sandpointmagazine.com or call

208-263-3573 and talk to Sales Director Clint Nicholson (ext. 123; email clint@keokee.com). SandpointMagazine.com SANDPOINT M A G A Z I N E

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sandpoint of view natives & newcomers

Changing of the GUARD SPROUTS

PHOTO BY WOODS WHEATCROFT

Dann hall

PHOTO BY LEE SANTA

I

n the great circle of life for any community, there is always a succession under way as young people and new arrivals take the reins—and the old guard who once shaped the community life slip away. The last year has seen the passing of four who were local mainstays, and begs the question: who’s gonna fill their shoes? Jeffrey Rich—everyone called him Sprouts—was a staple around Sandpoint. His friend Pete Hicks said of Sprouts, “There was seldom a work party or gathering around Sandpoint where Sprouts wasn’t present, armed with tools for the job and dried plums in his pocket. His truck loaded with pruning saws, ladders, chainsaws, and buckets of whatever fruit he had been gleaning, he approached each day with a simple mission; to be love in action and bring kindness into the lives of everyone he encountered. He had an uncanny ability to sense where he was needed, and before he was even asked, he was ready to lend a hand. His presence, just like the fruit he collected and spread all over Sandpoint, was sweetness.” Dann Hall was probably best known as the keeper and curator of his father’s photography catalog—Ross Hall’s photos have defined the Sandpoint zeitgeist for decades. But Dann was an accomplished photographer in his own right, contributing to the collection of images that tell us all “This is what Sandpoint is like.” Susan Drumheller worked with Dann to preserve that Sandpoint image as he protected the Hall family’s waterfront property in perpetuity with the creation of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail that runs along the lake’s edge, ensuring public access to our lake for years to come. “Dann was central to protecting ‘Bum Jungle,’ now called the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail. When condominiums replaced an old historic neighborhood, Dann insisted the city maintain a public easement through the property to allow access to the trail, most of which was owned by Dann and his brother, who for years allowed public use of the trail with permission.” And

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leon atkinson

COURTESY PHOTO

Barry Rosenberg COURTESY PHOTO

when the time came to preserve the trail for the public, she added, “Dann was a willing seller and donated prints for fundraising events. Dann often spoke of his deep love for Sandpoint, and he walked the talk.” Leon Atkinson brought a different gift to the community—his incredible, classical guitar talent. The host of Spokane Public Radio’s “Guitar Hour” for almost 30 years, Atkinson inspired a love of classical music—and guitar playing—throughout his Sandpoint hometown. Friend Anthony Powell said, “As a musician he helped inspire much of the artistic community we are now so fortunate to have,” adding, “He started up many of the guitar programs at the university level and brought in the instructors who still teach. He also taught private lessons and was an inspiration to his students.” Finally, Barry Rosenberg was an unrelenting environmental watchdog. After arriving here in 1975 with wife Cathe, he served on the Selkirk-Priest Basin Association, Lands Council, and Kootenai Environmental Alliance as an energetic force for sustainable forest management. “The Rosenbergs always had a strong environmental streak,” friend Barry Espenson said, “but that passion was inflamed when the Forest Service permitted a clearcut on the neighboring land their stream flowed through, causing sediment to flush into the stream from rainstorms and snowmelt.” The family’s forest cabin had a gravity-fed system that provided their water from the stream, but they had received no notification that the timber sale was to take place. The experience showed Rosenberg that after-the-fact protests were essentially moot — and fueled his ensuing decades of effort to improve, as he saw it, forest management on our publicly owned lands. It was a flame he carried tirelessly for some 50 years. Pillars of our community, just like these four, pass on each year. They leave holes large and small in the fabric of our towns ... and a challenge, even if unspoken, for those of us who remain to pick up the torches they have laid down.


C haresse Moore

K n o w l e d g a b l e • E x p e r i e n c e d • D e d i c a t e d • Ho n e s t Results • Marketing That Sells

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321 N. First Ave., | Sandpoint, ID 83864