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February 2011 Inside

2 The Queen of Ireland (Love Notes) 4 Searching for wolverines 8 A waste of time... but funny

THE RIVER JOURNAL A News Magazine Worth Wading Through ~just going with the flow~ P.O. Box 151•Clark Fork, ID 83811•208.255.6957

10 State of our schools


13 Free speech must remain free (Currents)

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14 Canada Geese (Bird in Hand)


15 Hunter Education (Game Trail) 16 Changes in funding (A Seat in the House) 17 If words offend you (Politically Incorrect) 18 Warm fuzzies from the 112th (Veterans’ News) 19 Doing what you love (Scenic Route) 20 The devil’s in the details of Health Care reform 22 A balm for any wound (Faith Walk) 23 The best way to cope with winter (Hawk’s Nest) 24 1913 (Valley of Shadows) 25 The Dropa Discs (Surrealist Research Bureau) 26 Obituaries 27 A simple bowl of chili (Mouth of the River) 28 Young love (Scott Clawson) Below: Tony d’Aoust, with Raytheon Polar Services under contract with the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs, was recently at Chalcot Island in the Antarctic to help scientists learn more about the colony of Adelie penguins that live there. Chalcot has only become accessible by boat in the last few years, as melting sea ice broke up the Wilkins ice shelf and allowed for a closer approach. Photos by scientist Zena Cardman.

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STAFF Calm Center of Tranquility Trish

Ministry of Truth and Propaganda Jody

Regular Contributors

Desire Aguirre; Scott Clawson; Sandy Compton; Marylyn Cork; Dick Cvitanich; Idaho Rep. George Eskridge; Lawrence Fury; Dustin Gannon; Matt Haag; Ernie Hawks; Lt. Cary Kelly; Marianne Love; Kathy Osborne; Gary Payton; Boots Reynolds; Sandpoint Wellness Council; Lou Springer; Mike Turnlund; Michael White

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle COVER PHOTOS: Snowshoers on Goat Mountain, photo by Jim Mellen. Wolverine photo by Maia C. and used under the Creative Commons License Proudly printed at Griffin Publishing in Spokane, Wash. 509.534.3625 Contents of the River Journal are copyright 2011. Reproduction of any material, including original artwork and advertising, is prohibited. The River Journal is published the first week of each month and is distributed in over 16 communities in Sanders County, Montana, and Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in Idaho. The River Journal is printed on 40 percent recycled paper with soy-based ink. We appreciate your efforts to recycle.

Sandpoint is Sporting the Luck o’ the Irish A visit with Kate McAllister, the (self-proclaimed) Queen of Ireland and the new CEO for the Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce

by Marianne Love a room.” Not pretty. I survived, despite my family. Katherine ‘Kate’ Anne McAlister lists her However, I never allowed my childhood age as over 50, adding “I believe in the Masai to define me. Instead, it helped shape me Tribe philosophy when asked their age: Why into the person I am today. Truly, the only does it matter when you were born; it only influence my parents gave me was how not matters that you were born.” to behave in the world. I learned self-reliance Born in Steamboat Springs, Colo., she and problem solving from a very early age. lived on a ranch 40 miles from town until Education: where, when, what and what her parents divorced when she was 12. Her motivated you to choose the field you did: My mom “remarried another alcoholic,” and the entire lifetime has been a great education, family moved to Nampa, Idaho, where she learning where I fit in the world. I believe I graduated from high school. Kate attended can do anything if my heart is in it, except Idaho State University and later Boston math. I tend to be a visionary and see where College as an adult. we can be. Life is change, and we have to In 1984 she moved to Spokane. Her change with it or be left behind. marriage to local forester Dave Lovejoy Tell about your husband. The wonderful brought her to Sandpoint. Mr. Dave Lovejoy and I have been together She’s especially proud of her four “lubs,” for over 16 years, and I still dig him like dirt. Krista, Christopher, Jessica, and Matthew, He’s my best friend. Dave has worked for and her six “dubs” Kyleigh, Isabel, Moira, Inland Forest Management as a contracting forester and a wildland fire-engine boss for t took only a few minutes for me to Jackson, Conner and Henry. “I always told my kids they were the first more than 20 years. want to write a column about Kate Our adventures in the woods and McAlister. I met our new Greater beat of my heart, and they are the “lubs,” she Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce explains. “Now the grandchildren are the surrounding areas are too numerous to mention. We both love Ireland and have president/CEO for the first time at “dubs.” Kate’s interests include reading, acting, traveled quite a bit in our short time last month’s skijoring competition. She and her helpers were registering singing, volunteering, cross stitch and together. Who influenced you to be the person you participants for the new Winter gardening. A basic dinner of steak and baked potato suits her just fine, while her are today? First and foremost Carnival event. my children. As I watched Speaking of skijoring, congratulations favorite musical genre varies with what’s them grow, I knew I had to Matt Smart, his family, the volunteers, happening, i.e., writing activities require to be a better person sponsors and participants who pulled off a Mozart while Spanish guitar suits her for them. I had no role wonderful weekend of exciting action at the needs while driving. “My favorite books to models for parenting Bonner County Fairgrounds. or even how to act in I think skijoring is here to stay. It will this day are any of the Pippi the world when I only get better, thanks to Matt’s vision and Longstocking books: she was younger, but Kate’s firm desire to turn Sandpoint into a was a crazy little redhead like me, and she said, I knew I “skijoring Utopia.” ‘Don’t you worry about didn’t So, who is this Kate McAlister? On paper, she’s the new face for the me I’ll always come Chamber, having served since last August. out on top”: my motto Kate came to the Chamber after a lengthy for many years,” Kate stint with Itron, an international company adds. “Also, the Velveteen with corporate headquarters in Liberty Lake, Rabbit... I have a lot of scars and things I’ve overcome, but Wash. One soon learns that Kate wears her I have people in my life who Irish heritage on her sleeve. On Facebook, love me no matter what. That is while promoting ticket sales for Angels Over what’s important.” Recently, she shared with Sandpoint annual Follies production, she wears a crown, telling readers, “The Queen me a few highlights of her of Ireland requests your presence.” I also life’s journey and some of her detected a little Irish flair when she sang the personal perspectives. Kate clearly exemplifies a fierce “National Anthem” at the skijoring event. In my first meeting with Kate, I observed determination for rising an upbeat, charming spitfire who shows up from the ashes and using to do a job and does it well. She’s surrounded her talents to create a little by people who obviously love to work with sense of Utopia wherever she goes. her. Significant childhood memories “What you see is what you get,” Chamber Visitor Center manager Melody Circo says. with family: My childhood would have “She’s a hoot and a holler, and she lights up been good material for a lifetime movie. Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011


Love Notes want to continue in the cycle of abuse and Thanksgiving. All my children and six welfare. grandchildren come to our house. While the I was a single mom for years, working two other adults play our annual Maude Butler and three jobs. When I found myself wanting poker tournament, I get to play with the to quit and give up, all I had to do was look at grandchildren. them... they believed in me, and I could not We’ve always been the family who takes let them down. We had our struggles as most in Thanksgiving guests. My oldest son Chris single-parent families have, but we made it, was always bringing home homeless people. and we all still adore each other. All I asked was that they shower, and we gave My first husband (the children’s father) them clean clothes. When the kids were in and I are great friends, spending holidays at college, we had every kid who didn’t go home each other’s houses whenever possible. We at our tiny house. No one should be alone in were too young when we married, but I will the world. They can come to my house. always love him for the gift of our children. What motivates you each day? Knowing He and Dave call each other “ex-husband-in- there are others out there who need someone law.” We can be together, and everyone has a to say, “You can do it, I believe in you.” Stand good time. The kids always came first. up and we’ll walk together. If I could make it My physician in Spokane, Jim Bingham, was a tremendous person in my life and still is. He was the first person ever to ask me if Marianne Love I had been abused. I was 29. He sent me to Tom Stebbins, the greatest therapist in the universe. I literally would be dead without these two amazing human beings. They took care of my mental and physical through my life, anyone can make it. health. Then, came LeRoy Nosbaum, former This is not to say I am a pushover. I know CEO of Itron, Inc. I served as his executive when someone is scamming me. I believe in administrator when he was VP of Marketing accountability. I will go out of my way to help and the company’s COO. When he moved up others, but they need to participate as well. to the CEO position, I did not want to go with Nothing is free, and if you want your life to him and was ready to leave the company. be easy, be a well-loved dog, not a human However, he saw something in me, and didn’t being. It’s all about the experience of being want me to go. deliciously human. He gave me the assignment of starting I take umbrage with those who espouse a Community Investment program at Itron, we are all “sinners.” We are all humans, which included corporate philanthropy, living the human experience. Why do we community partnerships, employee have to start from the negative? Start from volunteer programs, education initiatives, the positive. Everything we need for survival and executive volunteering in every office is already inside of us. We just don’t believe location. My responsibilities also involved it. working with the foundation and with public Believe me, I still experience depression and media relations for the corporation. and down times... I do a lot of self talk and I had no idea how to achieve this feat have an amazing family and the best friends until my research brought me to Boston in the world. There is no other alternative; College Center for Corporate Citizenship in we have to keep moving forward with our the Carol School of Business. Itron paid for life. I’m sure if I wanted, I could cry every day my education in Corporate Citizenship, and I until I die, but what’s the point? That solves remained with this career the last 15 years. nothing. I served on several national leadership What do you consider the “adventures” of panels and helped to write the Standards for your life? Parenthood, visiting Ireland, playing Corporate Community Involvement. with my grandchildren, riding a “diggler” I also founded the Itron Employee at Schweitzer, traveling all over the United Emergency Foundation, an internal employee States and Internationally for work. Every crisis foundation to help those experiencing day is an adventure. No expectations. crises such as a fire, cancer treatments, I lived in Boise for a time and was one accidents or death. Wherever we could help of the founders of Camp Rainbow Gold we did. When we started this foundation, in McCall, Idaho. It’s a camp for kids with there were only ten like it in the world. Levi cancer. It was amazing. I became involved Strauss’s ‘Red Tab’ Foundation was the first.  when my niece died of a brain tumor at the Working at Itron was a fabulous ride. I age of three. met people from all over the world, doing Because of her, I also was involved in amazing things. I will always be grateful for Hospice of Spokane, volunteering for 10 LeRoy and his mentorship. years and sitting on the board for several What do you consider your most notable years. I also helped in the fundraising for lifetime challenges? Becoming who I am. the Spokane Ronald McDonald House. Once Finally liking myself in my 50s. Knowing it’s it was built, my kids and I were weekend okay to be my lovable, eccentric self. managers once a month, for five years. When and where are you happiest? Being a member of the Angels Over

by Marianne Love

Sandpoint. What a group of movers and shakers! I love this organization because we are all “doers.” Tell about your first impressions of Sandpoint. Same story as so many: I came across the Long Bridge, and there it was. I lived in Spokane for years and never even heard of Sandpoint, until Mr. Lovejoy came along and introduced me to the community. He has lived here more than 30 years. I love this town. I love how we care for each other, and I love how we all have to be more accountable for our actions because everyone knows us. What do you like to tell people about Sandpoint these days? My impressions are even better now. I tell all my friends in other places they need to come and “experience Sandpoint.” The people are amazing, as are the art, the music, the lake and the mountains. It’s Heaven. Plus, here, in our little part of the world, we can all effect change. What inspired you to seek your present position? For 15 years I drove back and forth to Spokane and only slept here. Other than the Angels Over Sandpoint, I wasn’t involved in anything. Now, I’m involved in everything. I was considering working for the Gates Foundation in Seattle but didn’t want to move and didn’t want to work there during the week and only be home on weekends. I read an article about Amy Little (Kate’s predecessor) leaving and was intrigued by the job. I applied and am now enjoying the challenge. The Chamber staff is incredible and getting to know them and work with them is a pleasure. They are all very competent and brilliant people. What are your overall Chamber goals for Sandpoint? For local businesses and our community, I see a great year. I’ve been spending some time going to businesses and asking how they fared during holiday season. The answers were what I was hoping to hear: “We did better than expected!” A few were even with where they were last year, but for the most part, all were up. Surely this is a sign of great things to come in 2011. As I contemplated what this year’s goals for the Chamber would be, I came up with the following four areas to concentrate our efforts: Business Promotion and Support, Destination Marketing, Visitor Services and Special Events. These goals, and others, can be achieved if we keep up the momentum of the New Year and know we are all in this together working toward the same goal: a stable and thriving community. The Chamber’s new tagline is “Succeeding Together.” That is my number-one goal for 2011 and beyond. Together we can do anything.

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 

Fish and Game looks for Wolverines Rare, reclusive and enough spunk for a superhero

by Trish Gannon

e iri ra

“Picture a weasel,” wrote Ernest make overheating a problem. Wolverines, three regular females on their string. Thompson Seton in Lives of Game Animals back according to one study, stay at or near snow “The wolverine earned its place in in the 1920s, “and most of us can do that, for 95 percent of the time. North American folklore long before northwe have met that little demon of destruction, Mama wolverines—or soon-to-be mama country trappers and a few over-zealous that small atom of insensate courage, that wolverines—dig dens in the snow, some naturalists began to spin tales of a beast of symbol of slaughter, sleeplessness, and with tunnels up to ten feet long, to birth great ferocity, cunning, and extraordinary tireless, incredible activity—picture that strength,” writes the Wolverine Foundation, .S. Fish and Wildlif he l © U e Se scrap of demoniac fury, multiply that mite a non-profit organization comprised c s o r rvic some fifty times, and you have the likeness teve K e M of leading wildlife scientists formed to ou S of a Wolverine.” nt promote interest in the mustelid. “Indian by ain mythology,” they say, “describes the About the size of a small dog, oto P wolverine as a trickster-hero, and a h P usually between two and three feet tall and weighing in link to the spirit world.” between 20 and 40 pounds, It appears incredibly vicious gulo gulo (gluttonous glutton) for its size; an adult wolverine, looks most like a tiny bear as it’s said, can take down a it makes its way through the full-grown moose, which is woods on its short legs. Not comparable to your house cat that I’ve ever seen one, and taking down a deer in your you probably haven’t either, backyard. Luckily, they don’t because the wolverine is one seem to be overly aggressive; of the rarest animals in North just don’t try to mess with one America. How rare? It’s believed that has a meal to protect. that in the lower 48 states, there are Or pick one up. An Inuit tale no more than two or three hundred of relates the story of a half-ton polar bear them. that attempted to crush a wolverine to its Wolverines like wooded mountains, chest. The polar bear dropped dead when and if you give them the option they’ll take the cradled, ferocious creature tore out its their young, a process which takes place in the high ridge routes sooner than creeping heart. late winter and early spring. As a mustelid, through the valleys. But when it comes to You might also want to be careful if wolverines have a strong, musty smell but food, they’ll go wherever they have to, led you try to trap one. Douglas H. Chadwick, the kits (at least those born in captivity) by a keen nose: it’s said the wolverine can a Montana wildlife biologist, wrote in an are birthed covered in some kind of thick, smell a dead carcass even buried under six essay about trapping wolverines for study in waxy goo that smells so horrendous it can feet of snow. Glacier National Park that they built “stout be difficult to get close without becoming They quite like snow, as a matter of box traps from spruce and fir logs. The walls nauseous. fact; they’re built for cold weather, with a were eight inches thick. That didn’t keep The males, by the way, are slightly heavy, long and thick coat of hair that can some of these animals from tearing their promiscuous, generally preferring two or

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Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

way out in a matter of hours. If one was still there when we lifted the lid a notch to peer in, the opening instantly filled with a blur of claws like crampons, teeth that can crunch a moose femur and deep, rattling growls— wolverine for, “Hope you don’t need your face, Tame Boy, because I’m going to take it off!” If that doesn’t make you think twice of trapping one, by the way, make sure you know exactly where you are. For while it’s still legal to trap a wolverine in Montana, the animal is protected in Idaho. While they’ll nibble on berries and roots, wolverines are carnivorous, and mostly eat a diet of meat. Like the bear they resemble,

a hand. Fish and Game is planting wolverine ‘traps’ in the woods in an attempt to gather information on local populations. They’re not really traps, however; instead, they’re more of a bait station equipped with a motion-sensitive, infrared camera and some homemade DNA catchers. Volunteers wired frozen beaver carcasses to trees (wolverines come equipped with a special tooth in the back of their mouth that makes them more than capable of ripping apart and eating frozen food). To reach the carcass, the wolverine must climb past metal gun brushes that protrude from the trunk; the brushes, it is hoped, will snag enough

Hope you don’t need your face, Tame Boy, because I’m going to take it off! they much prefer animals already dead, even though they’re more than capable of killing their own food. And the range they travel to obtain that food is huge: the estimate is around 500 miles, which they travel in a circular, or figure-eight route. Jeff Copeland studied the wolverine in central Idaho for three years—from 1992 to 1995—for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service, “It’s just never ceased to amaze me how far these animals go in a short period of time,” he says. “The hallmark of the wolverine is probably its insatiable need to be on the move.” And he believes the wolverine mostly earned its vicious reputation because human encounters with it invariably occurred when a person found one in a trap. In an interview with Inside 13, Douglas Chadwick described the wolverine as “superweatherized. They have huge feet for their body size, and formidable claws that act like crampons. These traction snowshoes let them lope across snowbound and icy terrain where you or I would be sinking thigh-deep and sliding away down a slippery chute. These creatures also come with a nearly moisture-proof, double-fur coat that sheds snow and frost, a big heart, and a kind of amped-up metabolism to keep them warm. On top of all that, they’re just unbelievably strong and tough.” This picture of wolverines is actually painted with broad strokes because very little is actually known about the animal. We don’t even know how many there are. Copeland’s studies from the early ‘90s suggest that, based on population density and what little is known about range, maybe 150 of them live in central Idaho. No one knows how many live in our area, but that’s a mystery the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is working to solve this year. Wildlife biologists Lacy Robinson and Michael Lucid are undertaking a study of area wolverines, and the Friends of Scotchman Peaks turned out for a winter hike in January to lend them

hair to provide samples for DNA analysis. And if all goes well, the motion up the tree will trigger the camera to trap a photo of this shy, rare creature. Why the Friends? The answer is wilderness. The Friends of Scotchman Peaks ( are seeking federal wilderness designation to protect around 88,000 acres in the Cabinet Mountains, for as many reasons, it seems, as there are people who live here. One of those reasons would be the wolverine. Given its incredible range and reclusive nature, the wolverine needs wilderness areas to survive. The bait station the Friends helped to establish will also be maintained by the crew. “The bait station will be checked and “reset” on February 5 by FSPW volunteers,” wrote Sandy Compton. “The gun brushes will be replaced and the originals placed in envelopes for microscopic inspection by Robinson and Lucid. Data from the camera will be retrieved by pulling out a 2 gigabyte flash card, which will be replaced by another. And, the beaver—however much of it might be left—will be replaced by another. Around the middle of February, FSPW volunteers will take the bait station down.” In March, the Friends will be hosting presentations by Doug Chadwick (quoted earlier), a wolverine lover and author of The Wolverine Way. The presentations will take place in Troy, Trout Creek and Sandpoint. Photos, this page (all courtesy Friends of Scotchmans) At top, a camera is set to capture an elusive wolverine. Second from top: who could resist a tasty, frozen beaver? Second from bottom: gun brushes are attached to the tree to capture wolverine DNA. Bottom: a group from Friends of Scotchmans join Idaho Fish and Game wildlife biologists to set up the wolverine ‘traps.’ *Jeff Copeland’s quotes on wolverine travels came from an article in National Wildlife (Oct-Nov 1997) titled “The Wanderer—What drives the wolverine’s seemingly insatiable need to stay on the go?” written by Stephen Stuebner.

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 

Strappin’ on the Snow Shoes Sandii’s experience

My first experience with snowshoes was in 1977 after I’d moved to this state of Idaho. I was living at that time in a ghost/mining area called Deadwood, which operated in the 1930s. Located in central Idaho just southeast of Cascade, south of Warm Lake where the Deadwood River enters the reservoir. I leased and ran the old Deadwood Lodge, 11 miles north of the reservoir. Quite a happening place in the summer, but winters were extremely serene; the nearest neighbor was Warm Lake. Weekends often would bring in large snowmobile groups that would venture the great distance. This was a snow belt and the major snowfalls were measured in feet—not inches—just overnight. Not having a snowmobile or any other means of winter travel, post-holing was the way I got around. I found a pair of old snowshoe frames in one of the many old cabins that were still on the place. The many pack rats that inhabited the buildings had long ago eaten the rawhide, so I decided to try and make new rawhide strips for these out of some deer hide from the last hunting season. This was a very long, difficult

by Jim and Sandii Mellen

process, which took countless hours. But I did succeed in making some very crude workable snowshoes. Wish I had a photo of these because they worked rather well, although it took several tries to get the laces just right. They were somewhat large for me and awkward to walk with at first. I would spend hours snowshoeing around the many buildings that had survived the fire that had gone through there years before. I traveled up and down the river following tracks from the many animals that wintered there too. It was certainly a winter wonderland and I loved it so much. With the exception of snowmobiles on some weekends, it was very peaceful and so quiet with no civilization to be heard. I am still there in my own mind, it had that big of an impact on me. Now, after all these years, I still have a great passion for the outdoors year round. Sandpoint has been my playground for almost 25 years, with hundreds of square miles surrounding me to explore. Snowshoes have greatly improved with modern technology. My journeys into the wild places during the winter months are so much easier and to my

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relief, safer with these superior snowshoes. I prefer to cross-country ski, but there are many times when snowshoes are much safer for extreme terrain. I generally carry the snowshoes on my pack while cross-country skiing, so I can switch when I get out of my comfort zone. You can snowshoe just about anywhere around Sandpoint; lots of areas are accessible with many levels from easy to difficult. Pend Oreille Bay trail, Round Lake, Trout Creek Reserve, Dover Bay trails, Farragut State Park, Gold Hill, Mickinnick trail, and Schweitzer Mountain are some of the possibilities. Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness has many winter hikes that you can sign up for on their website. Snowshoeing is a great way for families to enjoy some outdoor activity with their children, and a very good way to get some exercise without feeling like drudgery. It is fun to make a game out of identifying

tracks, trees, birds, etc. Many times this is so peaceful and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to take a camera along on your hikes. Snowshoes, poles and cross country skis can be purchased at many places inexpensively; check at the local second hand stores, Craigslist, or Sandpoint Online. Snowshoeing is a great way to introduce children to the outdoors and help them gain an appreciation for this wonderful area we are so lucky to live in. Venturing out into the high country is much more challenging. One should always check for avalanche conditions. Wise folks don’t venture out alone, but if you do, let someone know where you are going. I carry a pack with a lot of extra gear; emergency blanket, bivvy, fire starting kit, extra clothing, food, emergency medical kit, and a Spot 2 for letting my husband know of my whereabouts. Having an enjoyable experience is as simple

as being prepared, with proper clothing, in layers for comfort. It is fun to go out with friends or the companionship of our dogs. They love going out to play in the snow as much as I do. Our daily adventures are the highlight of their routine.

Jim’s experience

I purchased my first pair of snowshoes from a friend in 1978. They were a gorgeous pair of wooden bear paws laced with rawhide. I was so excited to try these babies out. I just knew I was going to love it. However, after going only about 200 feet, this experience definitely did not live up to my expectations. I tried adjusting the bindings to no avail. So I took them off, only to sink up to my waist! So I put them back on and returned to the car. They now look great hanging on our wall. Since then, I have purchased several pairs and in my opinion, the modern snowshoes are vastly superior to the traditional shoes. My favorites now are the MSR Lightning Ascents. It is difficult to find something that works in all situations since differing snow conditions may require more floatation. Some models have extensions that can be added to help with flotation, and others have heel risers for use when the going gets really steep. Speaking of steep, check an avalanche report when venturing out into the mountains. The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center issues regular reports and free avalanche awareness classes are also available. (Visit for more information.) I highly recommend hiking poles with baskets to provide stability and uphill assist. When descending steep, slick portions, leaning back will sometimes turn your snowshoes into skis, which can be exciting but dangerous. If the descent is powdery, I find it best to make new tracks instead of following the old tracks since the soft snow will cushion your steps. Running with snowshoes is fun, especially downhill. Our small Crescent Moon shoes are excellent for this. No discussion about snowshoeing in this region would be complete without mentioning Jim and Betsy Fulling. This couple are out on snowshoes every week when there is snow to be found. Seeing them out there doing hard-core adventures in their 70s is a real inspiration. Betsy writes reports of each of their weekly hikes: you can read them at the River Journal’s website by choosing, from the home page, outdoors, then hiking, then Mountain Walkers. Please always be considerate of landowners and ask before parking on plowed roads, as some private property owners will have your vehicle towed if parked illegally. Thirty-five years ago, I used to cope with winter. Now it is four-way tie for favorite season. Don’t just cope with winter, get out and enjoy it.

Photos: Sandy, on facing page and Jim, at left, venture up to Rock Lake in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 



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Internet Time Wasters February is often considered the longest part of winter. The snow has been around for so long that green grass and hot sunshine seem less an actual memory, and more like a concept we’ve heard of but never seen; perhaps it was in a book we read, or a movie we saw. Of course, we’ve read all our books by now, worked our way through even the ‘B’ movie selection at the video store, and navigating this winter’s two perennial choices—rock hard, slick-as-glass ice or slush to your knees— can make going outdoors, particularly in the evenings, a less than enjoyable exercise. What’s a person to do? Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet, and its amazing ability to introduce a person to completely unnecessary activities with not the slightest redeeming quality in sight. To help those looking for an enthralling and wasteful way to pass an evening, I asked my friends on Facebook to share their favorite time-wasters on the Internet. The only criteria was that the time spent could offer nothing of value: so no word games, for example, that might at least help increase a person’s vocabulary. Ernie Hawks, he of the oh-socomtemplative columns on nature and spirit right here in these pages, was my first go-to person for Internet time-wasters, as he is a master at finding them. It is with dread that I see his name pop into my email inbox, as most often he is sending me a link, introducing me to his newest find and I, procrastinator that I am, cannot resist clicking that link and therefore often find myself bleary-eyed in front of the computer at midnight, the fire out, no food ever eaten, and grumbling to myself, “Damn you, Ernie!” My first hint of his ability came with the link to the “Four Horses of the A’ capellalypse.” (Okay, I made that up.) You can find it right here ( and it’s a fairly simple flash page featuring four horses. Click on each one to hear the music they can make and click again to turn it off. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself creating all sorts of musical compositions and, some time after that, will question your own sanity as you realize how much time you’ve spent doing so. Ernie was also the source of “Trap the Cat.” (If you want to find it yourself, you should actually Google “circle the cat” but I like my name better. Or you can just go here: http:// The strategy appears

fairly simple until you try the game again and realize that darn cat is a whole lot sneakier than you realized. Like mini-golf? Then Adverputt is a game you simply must try. I’ll give you these player instructions: hover your mouse over the ball until you get an arrow; moving the mouse determines the angle at which you hit the ball. Then slide your mouse back from the arrow to lengthen it... the length determines the power of your stroke. Then click the mouse to hit the ball. You can thank me for that because it took me forever to figure out how to do it, resulting in some terrible final scores for a while. Check it out here: For Boots Reynolds (of course, it’s research for Boots) is a fave. Only visit this site if you enjoy laughing at how other people look (and if you think you’re above that, then you’ve never visited this site). I will confess: one of my fears is that, when my 15 minutes of fame finally arrives, it will be on this website. I hate to mention this next website but my David doesn’t actually read the River Journal... so I should be safe if you don’t tell him about it. The site is, and is full of what the site calls “white trash repair jobs.” My David is the King of white trash repair jobs and he doesn’t need any encouragement. Unfortunately for me, his repair jobs work. Two years ago he fixed a leak in my lawnmower tire by plugging it with a piece of bark and it’s still going strong today! (Well, not today ‘cause there’s still a foot of snow in my yard, but come lawn-mowing time, I bet the tire is still not flat.) I, on the other hand, take after my father and believe that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Which means there are many broken things in my house still waiting to be fixed. Ben Curto (of Sandpoint’s Connect Technologies) sent this entry along with an entire list of Internet time wasters. He has a system, he says, and checks out what’s new every morning before he starts work. Cindy Hval (yes, that Cindy Hval, the writer for the Spokesman Review) is a fan, as I am, of Overheard in the Newsroom ( Submitted by people who work in various forms of media, it includes such quips as Reporter: “What does it say about journalism when my best work today was a tweet?” By the way, if you read through the entries on this site you might come away

Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

with the impression that everyone involved in journalism is an alcoholic. I’m not saying they’re not, I’m just pointing out that is the impression you’ll leave with. Speaking of writing and writers... there’s all kinds of information out there on how to get your book published. The next website, another favorite of mine, can offer some guidance on how not to get your book published. Maintained by a literary agent, it’s called Slush Pile Hell (SlushPileHell. An example? Query: Today is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a promising young author’s career. Today is your chance to be the one who lights the wick on the bottle rocket that will carry my name into the upper echelon and today is your chance to grab a ticket on that ride. Response: No, after reading this, I think that today is the day to take my drinking to a whole new level. Yep, there’s that drinking again.

champing at the bit, waiting for the iPhone. The site is, and features screen shots of the phone’s most amazing attempts to auto correct what you’ve typed in. (Other auto correct ‘fails’ are also featured, but the iPhone’s dictionary is simply hilarious.) My favorite of these was a text message between a father and daughter. The father texted, “by the way, your mother and I are going to divorce this week.” After the daughter’s heart attack via text he checked his phone and sent. “DISNEY. I typed DISNEY!,” followed by the now ubiquitous “Damn you Auto Correct!” My niece Katrina and my daughter Misty both pointed me to the website Texts from Last Night ( Most of these seem to revolve around sex, drinking or sex and drinking but I did enjoy this one: “You wouldn’t know anything about the tooth on ice in my freezer, would you?”

Clark Fork High School’s 22nd Annual

Alumni & Friends Tournament

March 11-13

at Clark Fork High School First game begins at 6 pm on Friday, March 11

Then there’s the Awkward Family Photos ( which contains, you guessed it, user submitted ‘awkward’ family photos. There’s quite a few that will give you a laugh but here’s the truly odd thing—there are plans to turn it into a television show. Shades of Shit My Dad Says. I thought that show (which does an awesome job of totally ruining what was a hilarious set of tweets) pointed out the absolute depths that television had sunk to but no, apparently it can go even lower. Okay, the rest of this list is not for the easily offended. Liz Arakelian pointed out the “F” my life website ( where regular people submit posts about the terrible/sad/awful (and, let’s face it, funny to read) things that happened during their day. Here’s one of my favorites that’s rated G: “Today, I let my dogs out, and then realized they didn’t have their electric fence collars on. I ran inside to get the collars, then dashed out to put them on my dogs. I ran through the electric fence. The collars were on. FML.” Yep. I could see myself doing that. The next time-wasting champion is a warning for all you Verizon Wireless customers out there who have been

The ultimate Time-Waster Award must go, however, to Ana Huston. Maybe notso-surprisingly, she is Ernie’s stepdaughter, and she was the first to point out to me the hilarious Failbook ( This site features screen shots of conversations on Facebook. Some will have you rolling in the aisles while others will scare the crap out of you that people this dumb actually live in the world. Not many are PG-rated, but here’s a recent one that cracked me up. Comment: “Lets eat grandpa. Let’s eat, grandpa. Moral of the story—comma’s save lives! Response: But apostrophes make you look like an idiot. By the way, let me give an honorable mention here to my friend Liz Vogel, who obviously has no idea of how to waste time to completely no purpose. Her unredeemable time-waster suggestions included Knoword (, a game to increase your vocabulary, and Jetpunk (, a collection of trivia quizzes. But don’t worry, we’re working on her. Soon, she’ll be wasting time like a pro! Now, I have some work to catch up on.

• $30 per player - call the school to enter at 208255-7177 • Gate prices $6 adults/$4 students K-12 • Weekend passes are $14 Adults/$10 students

-Trish Gannon

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 

Focus on Education

Our most important work is preparing our students for a future that will demand they have knowledge, ability to transfer that knowledge to the solution of problems, flexibility, an expectation that continuous learning is valued, and a willingness to collaborate with others. These skills and attitudes are cultivated in the work we do with our students every day. The most visible and recognized assessment of these skills is the ISAT and resulting Adequate Yearly Progress report. In this regard, the performance of our students has never been stronger. In terms of Adequate Yearly Progress reporting, 94.7 percent or our students were proficient in reading, 89.4 percent in math, and 87.43 percent in language usage. These are impressive numbers and we should all celebrate the focus, hard work, and commitment it took to reach these milestones. We have a responsibility to sustain this level of performance. In doing so, this includes researching other best practices and strategies to build upon our hard earned success. As a result, we have worked wisely to implement strategies that will help more students realize their potential. The most visible district goal to support this effort has been our work regarding Response to Intervention. We are in the second year of grant funding to support this initiative. Led by Randi Kulis and the teams in all of our buildings, we are attempting to break down the barriers to success for our struggling learners. Kootenai Elementary and Southside Elementary, lead schools in the grant, have been pioneers in this effort and they are to be congratulated for their participation in the grant. It places them under a higher level of expectation and scrutiny. However, all schools are working diligently to develop a system that can be sustained over time. This work in our district is receiving a great deal of interest from the State Department of Education as we are on the edge of what will be a statewide effort. It is challenging and time consuming, but is making a difference for our students. Another initiative directed at increased student achievement is focused upon providing opportunities for teachers to collaborate with their colleagues. This has been an ongoing request from staff for the past several years and I am pleased that we have been able to accommodate this desire through the continued use of Early Release Wednesdays and visitation and observation of colleagues, both in school, and at other schools. This effort has been uneven this year, and our hope is to find more time for staff to learn from each other. We recognize that pre-planning requires extra effort such as substitute plans and time away from the classroom. However, we continue to believe

we can be the best teachers of each other if we are thoughtful and strategic. Another component of our collaboration goal is the development of a mentor program to assist staff new to the profession. These new teachers deserve all the support we can give to help them transition to the demands of teaching. We hired over 15 new staff this year. Each of them has been assigned a mentor, and four days of collaborative work time have been provided for mentors and mentees. The research regarding a mentor program is compelling. It tells us that a strong mentor program increases teacher and student success, but also leads to retention. We cannot afford to lose these quality individuals entering our profession. We are proud of this program and look forward to making it even stronger. Through a PAFE grant we have been able to serve a large number of teachers with the Tools for Teaching program. Facilitator Gayle Hanset continues to find interested staff, both new and experienced, that recognizes the value of this coursework. Each time she creates an opportunity for the class it is filled by eager teachers. Demand has exceeded expectations and this willingness on the part of our teachers is a fine example of their ongoing commitment to learning. We have worked with the State Department of Education to deploy Capacity Builders at Farmin Stidwell, district office, and shortly, at Lake Pend Oreille Alternative High School. Funded by the State Department of Education, these educational professionals have assisted us in best practices, data collection and analysis, goal setting and use of the WISETOOL for long term planning. I believe this will have a significant long term impact. We are in transition with our staff evaluation system based upon the Charlotte Danielson model. All staff was provided a

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Superintendent, LPOSD


copy of Danielson’s book and framework. Many earned credit taking her online class or through a book study in their building. Our goal is to have all staff clearly understand the four domains, practice them, and work together on their full implementation. It will be the first time a common language around instruction exists in our district and state. In short, we continue to explore avenues to improve our teaching and student learning. We also recognize that student assessments are but one part of a success indicator. Other valuable skills are learned through our stellar fine arts programs, Professional-Technical Education offerings, and the wide range of participation in extra curricular activities, both academic and athletic. These programs continue to be strong and healthy in our district.

Plant and Facility Levy

Our 14.1 million dollar Plant and Facility Levy was the first successful measure of this type in over 20 years. Its passage in spring of 2008 generated a great deal of work throughout our district during the past two years. All projects were completed on time and under budget. I can confidently report that our facilities are in the best condition they have been in the five years I have served the district. We will not be forced to remove dollars from our general instructional budget to address facility needs for the immediate future. This is extremely important as we move forward to improve our instructional programs.

Economic Downturn

The district and Board of Trustees anticipated the economic downturn and began working to address the potential effects over 18 months ago. As a result, our school district is in an enviable position compared to many school districts in Idaho, and in

Tickets $12 advance/$15 day of event

State of Our Schools

Dick Cvitanich

Page 10 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

particular, our neighboring districts. We did not declare a financial emergency as did many districts. We were not forced to reduce staff salaries; although salaries were frozen. We did make some reduction in benefits for our staff to gain some savings, but by and large our employees have remained whole through this economic downturn. Our fund balance, which we have worked diligently to develop, will serve us well as we transition to an even more demanding economy. However, using the fund balance in this manner creates some nervousness, given our conservative budget practices. Unfortunately, given the reduction in state and federal allocations, we have little option. Our Board has been consistent in their determination to set aside dollars for this account and this appears to be the time to use some of those dollars. Finally, we are pleased that enrollment is up despite the economic downturn. This reverses a four year trend and we are hopeful this will continue.

Sandpoint, Rotary, Ambrosiani-Pastore Foundation, University of Idaho, Coldwater Creek, Litehouse, Panhandle State Bank and others have all played a significant role in the success of our school district and students. Programs of which I am particularly proud include the Ready! 4 Kindergarten initiative, Secondary Transition Counselor at Sandpoint High School, PAFE Innovative Teacher Grants, Kaleidoscope Art, POAC Performing Arts

Series, Life Choices class at SHS and Clark Fork, and Sandpoint Festival Music Outreach. Our relationship with local legislators is strong. We meet with them regularly and directly email regarding issues that affect our district. Finally, I believe we have an excellent partnership with our parents and community. Thank you for your help. Working together we make a real difference in the lives of our students.

Supplemental Levy

There is no larger issue on the horizon at this time than our proposed Supplemental Levy. Our current Supplemental Levy of $10,950,000 expires in June of 2011. As a result, we have crafted a two year Supplemental Levy proposal of $13,646 624 to be placed before voters on March 8, 2011. This represents a considerable challenge given the economic climate. It will be important that our voters understand this is only a replacement levy designed to support our instructional programs. The Supplemental Levy supports approximately one-third of our staffing. With state allocations for public schools precipitously declining the past two years for the first time in history, it is our community’s only opportunity to drive local funding directly into our schools. Aside from staffing, this levy supports all extra-curricular activities, most technology upgrades and technology staffing, and all curricular materials. Even if this measure passes we will be forced to make reductions in spending.

Staff Relationships

Each year we negotiate with our LPOEA regarding teacher contracts: benefits, rights, and expectations. As shared above, we did not resort to student/staff furlough days or reduced staff salaries to balance our district budget. I believe this is an important point to note for both morale and instructional reasons. Brian Smith, President of LPOEA, is an outstanding leader and works closely with us to problem solve. Contrary to what has been portrayed on a state wide level, I believe our staff always “puts students first” and it disturbs me when others who know little about us characterize our profession this way.


Our district continues to thrive with the partnerships that have been jointly created. The Panhandle Alliance for Education, Community Assistance League, Angels Over February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 11

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Nobel Recipient to Speak

Dr. Steve Running, Nobel Peace Prize Recipient for his work on climate change, to speak at CRG annual meeting Cabinet Resource Group has always drawn interesting speakers for the annual meeting. Members have enjoyed learning from biologists, authors, and activists. This year, however, CRG outdid itself by inviting Dr. Steve Running, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize recipient for his work on global climate change, to educate and inspire members at the annual CRG meeting. Dr. Running, internationally respected professor of ecology, and a very funny fellow, has entitled the speech he intends to present on March 26, “After this winter, what does the global warming crowd say now?” His presentation is planned for 7 pm after an issues update and annual board elections. The public is welcome to this event which will occur at the lovely Big Horn Lodge located near mile marker 7 on Highway # 56 (The Bull River Highway.) If this presentation is as well put together as his lecture, Five Stages of Climate Grief, listeners will be encouraged to commit climate activism on a personal as well as

Photo courtesy University of Montana


public stage. Dr. Running has the evidence at his fingertips that the oceans are warming, hurricanes are fiercer, sea ice is thinning, snow melt is sooner, fall frosts are later, and glaciers are melting. Yet, it seems he has been able to move beyond the fourth stage of climate grief –depression—to the fifth stage of acceptance, which requires action.

Mentoring, the Sacred Hunt and making your own bow Naturalists, trackers, hunters and educators, as well as youth facing passage into adulthood, are all hunting for sacred connections, the deep stuff of being human in a living world. We also need to eat, and the best food for our bodies and souls is the food we harvest with our own hands from the landscapes we inhabit, and prepare and cook with love. Hunting connects us in a visceral way to the paradoxical truth that all life comes from death: we see the eye of our beloved in the eye of our prey and the food on our table takes on new meaning. Jon Young is the co-author of a book on nature connection mentoring, “Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature.” His Cultural Mentoring approach to developing deep nature connection, holistic human awareness and advanced peacemaking skills has spawned over 100 local, deep nature connection organizations and initiatives in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Randall Eaton is an internationally recognized authority in animal behavior, human evolution, wildlife conservation and the philosophy, psycho-spiritual dimensions and ethics of hunting. He produced “The Sacred Hunt,” a full length, award-winning PBS video. Twin Eagles Wilderness school is bringing both of them for a workshop to explore the way in which a respectful approach to killing

wild animals for food creates deep feelings of relatedness, reciprocity and responsibility toward the web of life in the hunter. A free presentation will be held the evening of March 4 from 7 to 9 pm at the Oden Community Hall, 143 Sunnyside Road just out of Sandpoint. Those who wish to go deeper can participate in the weekend program which begins Friday evening and carries through until 5 pm on Sunday, March 6, and takes place at the Scotia House Retreat Center in Newport, Wash. Cost is on a sliding scale from $150 to $295 per person and includes tuition and accommodations. Accommodations include camping and limited indoor shared spaces. Families are welcome, and some partial work exchanges are available. Due to limited enrollment, pre-registration is required by calling 208-265-3685 or via email to Twin Eagles is also offering a bowmaking workshop from Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 20. Cost is $195. Participants will leave with a bow they have built themselves, and the ability to build more. Shooting will also be covered. The price includes all materials as well as camping. Meals are not included. Again, please call 208265-3685 or email to preregister as space is limited.

Page 12 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

Free speech must remain free


Ron’s Repair

Lou Springer

The latest gladiator sport offered to grade because words I wrote in a notebook Americans has been a new round of fighting were later read by a teacher when I accidently around the issue of free speech. The Tucson left my notebook on a shelf under the chair. incident, whereby a crazed man with a The principal and my parents might have powerful weapon appeared to have been asked why I had written such a rude and nasty encouraged by hyperbolic political language comment about the teacher, but they weren’t to kill a bunch of people, has sparked another critical readers, just critical adults. Abject inning. apologies and a year’s probation got me back I’m coming up to bat and saying if we have in school. to put up with pornography in the name of In an effort to be politically correct, free speech, then we some of our schools must permit political have banned Mark Lou Springer hyperbole to continue. Twain’s Huckleberry Most people are not Finn because of the ‘N’ compelled by pornography to kidnap and word. Give us a break! This novel was written murder young women; but a few will be. just after the dark days of slavery wherein Most of us are not compelled by political Twain broke with the popular opinion by exaggerations to kill a bunch of strangers, but writing about the friendship between a white a few will be. The crazed will latch onto any boy and a black man. In order to make this idea that fits into their fantasy life. novel accessible to school children, one semiAttacking free speech won’t solve the scholar has rewritten Huck Finn changing problem of the insane who live among us. Our the ‘N’ to slave. Come on. Keep the book as country has not dealt with insanity since most written and pretend it is banned. Children are mental institutions were closed during the usually attracted to banned objects. Reagan years. Inmates were released, but the You know when a word is being used promised medical support, drugs and social cruelly whether flung as mud or hidden in a services were un-funded. joke. A couple years ago, I decided I wouldn’t It presents a thorny question of personal let ethnic or racial jokes slid by. I get a lot freedom. We must decide if and when a less jokes sent to my inbox and perhaps a person should be hospitalized as a preemptive few people have reconsidered their sense of measure. No one would call for a return of humor. the ‘snake pits’ of the ‘50s or questionable First there was writing, then the printing incarceration a la “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s press and now communication has taken Nest,” but this yells for a public health solution. another quantum leap forward with the Surely, as a nation, we are compassionate new technology of Internet, iPhones and enough to take care of the walking wounded, Facebook. No one could have imagined that and smart enough to protect ourselves from a popular revolt against a powerful dictator the seriously demented. But we don’t protect would have been brought about through ourselves by limiting free speech. instant communication. It is telling that the Language is the hallmark, the epitome government of Egypt shut down their Internet. of human achievement. Everything we have In the old days, it would have been the radio accomplished flows from this astounding stations that were closed. invention that promotes communication. Implicit in all of our freedoms listed in the That some of us are urged to violence by Bill of Rights is the belief that the individual language is a problem of ‘us’. Some of us have has the intelligence and content of character not developed a skeptical ear. Some of us are not to misuse these rights. Don’t call ‘fire’ in a not critical readers. Some of us are lunatics. crowded theater, and, I would suggest, don’t Don’t blame the words—instead roll ‘em draw targets over politicians’ faces. around and think about what is being said and Free speech is like our other freedoms—it not said and why. I was expelled from eighth requires personal self-control.

Jim and Betsy do it.

You should, too. Don’t let winter weather keep you inside. Inveterate hikers Jim & Betsy show you the way with weekly hike reports about life in the high country year-round. Just visit our website and from the homepage, select outdoors-hiking-Mountain Walkers. Go ahead. Get off the couch. The views are great from the top!

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February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 13

A Bird in Hand

Canada Goose: ubiquitous is thy name! Some things in life are consummately knowable. Your feelings about the color purple, your favorite type of music, the best ways to waste away a lazy summer afternoon, and your thoughts about health care reform. And this also can extend to the animals around you: cats versus dogs, clumping cat litter or non-clumping, and chickens: yes or no. But some things in life are less certain.

Democrat or Republican? How about neither? Domestic-branded automobiles, but not made in the USA? Or, Walmart: how can it be the All-American company when it only sells Chinese-made goods? And counted among these things that we might ponder late into the night are Canada geese. Do you really know your honkers? Canada geese are not what they appear. Yes, we can all identify these large gray, whitebreasted, black-necked, white chin-strapped, golf course and city park denizens. But what do you really know about them? Careful, this question can lead you to that ontological abyss. Don’t send me your psychiatric bills! Nothing is obvious, not even Canada geese. I mean, even their name. I don’t want to sound pedantic, but these big waterfowl are Canada geese, not Canadian geese. I don’t write the rules—I’m just the messenger—but we need to clean this up. Unless, of course, you are a slave to the vernacular and ain’t is a common contraction in your vocabulary. Just sayin’... . There are seven sub-species of Canada geese. There used to be eleven, but then some smart fellow began to apply chromosomal studies to specie differentiation. With that,

Mike Turnlund • it was found—at least at this point in time— • that the four smallest subspecies of Canada geese were indeed a separate single specie apart from the others. These wee ones are now classified as the Cackling geese. Just goes to show that just because a bird walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it might not be a duck. And the same is true with Canada geese.

Traditionally, Canada geese spent their summers in the Great White North and wintered in the more temperate climes of the United States. Hence their name. They always came out of Canada in the fall, just like some peculiar folks today who spend their winters in Florida. And, just like in the Gulf region, some of these Canadians stayed. This resulted in many local populations that no longer migrate and now spend the yearround in the same location. you ever increase nutrients, such asHave nitrogen and wondered why there are so many Frenchspeakers in some areas of Florida? Viva This project is being Quebec andseptic all that pilot jazz and now please pass introduced in order to comply with water the sunscreen. Today, standards though most of these bybirds quality as determined the continue the old patterns, many Canada FederalinClean Water Act. Designated to geese populations are now and no protect water quality, theresidents plan, known as longer migrate. Granted, they might move a “Total Daily Load” for Lake about a bit Maximum during the different seasons, but Pend Oreille, addresses nutrient issues by and large they stay “home.” Everyone in our neck of the woods knows about that one bonded-pair of Canada many geese that always In addition, lakeshore nests in downtown Sandpoint, then homeowners participated in and a survey parade theirconcerning newly hatched down to in 2007 a goslings variety of water Sand Creek. That, my friends, is truly chilling quality issues. As is turns out, their in the hood, or however it is said. The lingo will change next week; I will send a memo.

The problem with these resident populations, or mobs, if your prefer, is that Canada geese are the avian equivalent of cows. Herbivores. Grazers. Yes, they can dabble in the lake and tip themselves over to reach the aquatic greens way down deep with their long necks, but only if they must. If is far more enjoyable to stroll the neatly trimmed city parks and local golf courses to graze on that luxuriously green, chemically-intense, grass. Think about it. These places get doused every morning with sprinklers. What is not to like? Why migrate up toward that mosquitoplagued tundra in Canada when one can lounge in the cool greens of some endless manicured pasture? It’s a gimme. Unfortunately for folks who do enjoy golf or the city parks, there is much not to like about this arrangement. Namely, goose droppings. Gross! They’re everywhere. In the grass, on the beaches, turning putting greens into hazards, everywhere! And while the honking of these birds in flight might sound romantic to some, have you ever shared a park with a flock of these paranoid noise makers? Gosh, it is enough to drive a vegan to hunt waterfowl. I think that we need to appreciate these beautiful animals for what they are: opportunists. Humans have unintentionally dealt them a pretty good hand and the geese are playing their trump. You can’t blame them. But who knows the future? Our current economic recession might turn the table on these feathered neighbors. The resident biped populations might begin finding their next meal in the local park, a la Hemingway in Paris, or the city park budget might get lopped and the sprinklers quit sprinkling and the mowers quit mowing. Oh well, these big lugs can always fall back on their old ways, assuming these new generations of geese can read migration maps. But until then, happy birding!

Council website at

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The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol 17 No. 18 | November 2008 | Page 5 Page 14 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

The Game Trail

Hunter Education Classes Idaho uses the International Hunter certification, the new instructor will receive Education Association standards. All other an identification card, shoulder patch, 49 states and most Canadian provinces instructor manual and a set of reference Matt Haag that require hunter education accept the materials. Idaho course to meet their requirement. To For more information about becoming an purchase an archery-only permit in Idaho, Idaho Hunter Education Volunteer Instructor, The hunting seasons are behind us but all bow hunters must show proof they have please call the Coeur d’Alene Fish and Game next year’s hunts are just around the corner. completed the Idaho Bowhunter Education Regional Office at 208-769-1414. There is a lot of planning to do before next Course, or an approved bowhunter education Leave No Child Inside... and get them fall: purchase applicable tags and license, course from another state, or show evidence signed up for Hunter Education. apply for controlled hunt, repair or purchase of being previously licensed for an archerynew equipment, and most importantly get only hunt in Idaho or another state. Ray Allen is available for private parties, those young ones signed up for a hunter To sign up please go to the Idaho Fish weddings, restaurants, and all corporate events. education class. and Game website ( Ray Allen plays Acoustic guitar and Who must complete a hunter education Follow the links to the hunter education Sings jazz standards, pop tunes, course to obtain an Idaho Hunting License? course sign-up. Pick a location nearest to you country, and originals from the 30s Idaho law requires that anyone born after and pay right online with a credit card! Right through the 70s. Music for all ages. January 1, 1975 complete an approved hunter now there are a few courses in Sandpoint Includes use of my PA system education course to purchase an Idaho available and we are working on possibly for announcements. hunting license unless the person has held having one in Clark Fork this summer. Clean cut and well a valid hunting license in Idaho or another We couldn’t do this without the great dressed for your state or the person has proof of completion volunteer instructors that spend their time event. PA rentals of an approved hunter education course from teaching our youth safe gun handling and for events. Call for another state. (Idaho Code Chapter 4, Title foundations to be an ethical safe sportsman. my low rates and 36-411). The minimum age to enroll in the As with any instruction, it is only the information. course is nine years old. They must meet the beginning of a learning process and the knowledge and skill standards outlined in continual mentorship is required by parents the course curriculum to receive their course or guardians to ensure that young one grows certificate. However, course graduates will up doing the right thing. not be able to purchase a hunting license If anybody is interested in becoming an until their tenth birthday. instructor we need you! The heart of Idaho’s The traditional classroom course is Hunter Education Program is the corps of approximately 20 hours in length and volunteers who provide the instruction. They includes a range and live-fire exercise. Topics stand as examples of what each hunter should covered include safe handling and operation be in ethics, behavior and responsibility to of firearms, ammunition, archery and various themselves, landowners, other hunters and hunting equipment, hunter responsibilities the resource. and ethics, wildlife management and Our instructors “give something back” by conservation, hunting regulations, and other sharing skills, experiences, and their love of related information. hunting with those new to the adventures Idaho hunter and bowhunter education ahead. programs are funded through the PittmanBasic qualifications require than an Robertson Act. Idaho receives a portion of instructor be at least 18 years of age and the excise tax dollars which are collected on knowledgeable about sporting arms, wildlife the sale of firearms, archery equipment and and hunting, as well as organizing and ammunition throughout the United States. instructing youth. Applicants are subject to As a result Idaho students only pay an $8 fee fingerprinting and a confidential background to cover the cost of course materials. Over check by the State Department of Law 12,000 Idaho hunter education students Enforcement. are certified annually by more than 850 Instructor candidates receive eight hours experienced and knowledgeable volunteer of orientation and training in the techniques instructors. The approximately 225 volunteer of teaching and administrative procedures bowhunter instructors certified over 3,000 associated with the program. Orientation Idaho bowhunter education students will outline how to organize the class, select annually. meeting sites, where to get assistance, There is an internet option available for publicity strategies, how to order supplies students 10 years old and above. Following and get students registered and finally completion of the online course, students certified. Instructors will learn how to use must also attend a 6- to 7-hour field day to lesson plans, how to teach using various receive their certification. I would highly methods, and how to employ effective recommend that your child participate in an teaching styles. instructor led course if possible. They will Instructor candidates must pass a receive some great tutelage from our fine required written exam and assist a certified instructors instructor prior to being certified. Upon February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 15

Call 208-610-8244

A Seat in the House Another year of difficult funding choices• The 2011 legislature convened on January 10 and the major issue of this session will be balancing the state budget with limited revenues. The revenue situation was addressed by Idaho Governor Otter in his State of the State address before the legislature on January 10. The Governor presented a conservative budget recommendation that was based on an assumed 3 percent growth rate for the upcoming 2011 fiscal year that begins July 1 of this year. In contrast, the Governor’s Division of Financial Management is projecting a 6.9 percent increase in revenues over the next year. The majority of legislators are more supportive of the Governor’s estimate, believing that the economy is not showing the kind of improvement needed to support higher revenue estimates. The legislature will ultimately decide the final number to use for budgeting but that legislative decision will not be made until the early days of February, giving us as few more weeks of actual revenue receipts before deciding on a final number. We used federal stimulus dollars and most of our monetary reserves in balancing our budget this year so the Governor was pretty much limited to forecasted revenues in preparing his budget recommendation. Given this the Governor had to resort to widespread budget cuts that average about two and a half percent across agencies. One exception is Health and Welfare that will experience about a four percent cut if the Governor’s recommendation holds. Conversely K-12 public education will see a slight increase, assuming some major reform actions recommended by the Superintendent of Schools are approved by the legislature. There will also be delays in implementations of some programs, including an increase in the grocery tax credit that was scheduled for this year. Raises for state employees and increased state contributions to the state’s retirement fund are also not recommended in the Governor’s proposed budget. The Governor also dismissed a tax increase stating in his address that “I haven’t

heard one Idahoan say they want their taxes raised!” A second issue getting almost as much attention (and maybe even more) is a plan for K-12 public education reform presented to the • legislature by State School Superintendent Tom Luna. Superintendent Luna has stated that given the current financial situation there are only three options to provide funding for our public education system. These are: 1) cut funding even more than we have the last two years, 2) raise taxes, or 3) change (reform) the system to get the maximum benefit for the taxpayer’s investment. Superintendent Luna’s proposal includes the following recommendations: • Provide laptop computers for every high school student and require ninth-graders to take two online courses a year. • The state pay for students to take college credits in their senior year if they meet all graduation requirements by their junior year. • Teacher salary would be based on performance, instead of just education and seniority. • Tenure would be eliminated for new teachers, but teachers would be able to receive bonuses if they volunteered for leadership positions or elected to take hard-to-fill positions (i.e. math and science teaching positions) • The first-year starting salary for teachers would be raised to $30,000. • Collective bargaining agreements would be of shorter time periods and salary negotiations between teachers and the districts would be held in open public meetings. • The average number of students per classroom would be increased from 18.2 to 19.8 over the next five years to help fund the other portions of the program. • Districts that are losing students would lose the 99 percent guarantee of funding based on the previous year’s student count. These are the major provisions of the Superintendent’s proposal and, as would

George Eskridge, Idaho Representative for House District 1B You can reach him at 800-626-0471 or via email at idaholeginfo@ be expected, they are being met with significant opposition by the Idaho Education Association and others concerned with this significant change in the system. However, there is also significant support from those who want to see major change in the current system, including teachers, school board members and parents. Whether one agrees with the proposal or not it is a proposal by the Superintendent to attempt to “achieve more with less.” It is a proposal for a state education plan that is intended to “shift the focus from how much we are spending to how much our children are learning. By reorganizing the way that existing funds are spent, money will be strategically targeted to areas where it can be most productively used.” The proposal will be before the Senate and House Education committees and if passed in its entirety or with amendments, will be before the legislature over the next few months for consideration. The Joint Finance and Appropriation Committee will also be addressing the funding requirements for the final education appropriation request and will forward its funding recommendations to the full legislature. Obviously there are other significant legislative proposals being considered by members of the legislature, including legislation nullifying the national health care legislation, texting while driving, implementing a sales tax on Internet sales, increased taxes on cigarettes and other legislative actions. I will keep you informed on the progress of these issues and others as we continue through the legislative session. As always, please contact me with issues of concern. My mailing address at Boise is: P.O. Box 83720, Boise, Idaho, 83720-0038, my phone number is 1-800-626-0471 and you can reach me by e mail at idleginfo@lso. Thanks for reading! George

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If words offend you, DONT READ THIS Politically Incorrect There’s probably not many people out there who have ever heard of Edward BulwerLytton (I was not one of them—I had to look him up), but there’s probably very few who haven’t heard at least one sentence he wrote, way back in 1839: The pen is mightier than the sword. And probably, without thinking about it too much, most of us would agree with him. It would be hard not to in a nation where the freedom to speak and to publish is enshrined in one of our most hallowed documents (the Bill of Rights). Too often, however, people have a tendency to ascribe power to words themselves, not understanding that words are simply symbols designed to express and convey a thought, an idea. The power, I believe, is in that thought, not the symbol used to express it. Or, to say it another way, words cannot be divorced from the intent behind them. This might seem like an esoteric argument to make, but it seems particularly appropriate to me in this national discussion we’ve had of late about words. Does Sarah Palin use a lot of violent gun imagery in her talk? Of course. But does she intend for that talk to result in gun violence? I would suspect not. Sarah Palin is a savvy, charismatic celebrity who chooses her words carefully to portray the persona she has chosen for herself regardless of whether it bears any relation to who she really is. And as such, she has demonstrated rather well the power of the pen because so much of the discourse regarding the shootings last month in Tuscon has revolved around her words. More apropos, I would suspect, would have been a discussion of failed Nevada congressional hopeful Sharron Angle, who said, “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards those Second Amendment remedies,”; while still falling short of a call to action, these words are at least much closer in intent to what actually happened. (While the alleged shooter in the Tuscon case has been portrayed as mentally unstable, it’s hard to pretend there was no political intent in his actions given he targeted a politician.) Our inability to consider intent when it comes to words is responsible for, in what is, to me—a reader and writer who loves words—an unconscionable attack on one of the finest users of words ever seen in American history—Mark Twain. Mark Twain, you see, writing in the 1800s, used the word “nigger” in the books Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Because we now consider (and rightly so) that word to be unacceptable in common use, a publisher wants to edit it out and replace it with the word “slave.” How ignorant. And I literally mean ignorant. Because Twain’s intent when he used

the word nigger is not at all synonymous with the word slave. And his intent was certainly not to insult an entire race of people. Which also begs the question: what, exactly, is the difference between ‘nigger’ and ‘the N word’? There is none, because the words (or the word and the phrase, to be precise) symbolize the exact same thing: a race of people. The only difference is the intent when one or the other is used and I’m sorry, but as ignorant as the American people have arguably become, I still think we’re smart enough to figure that out.

Trish Gannon Mark Twain wrote about a lot more than just race relations in the 1800s. George Bainton asked Twain to discourse on the art of writing for a book Bainton published (The Art of Authorship) and, among other things, Twain explained: “...the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” Despite what you were taught in school, synonyms aren’t really words that mean the same thing; they’re words that mean approximately the same thing. There is a reason why most writers choose one word over another and, most of the time, that reason has to do with the subtle differences in the meaning between two words that many might think the same. It matters. At least, it matters if you’re using words, be it in speech or in writing, to convey an idea. In a perfect world, we imperfect humans use information in order to make decisions. Like the old computer-programming credo, if we put garbage in, we get garbage out. Information that has been deliberately stripped of its intent by changing the words used is, in my opinion, garbage. This is not, of course, a new thing. For some reason history, as taught in our public schools, is most often stripped of all original intent, to the degree that much of what is taught seems more fiction than truth. And literature runs a close second. Twain scholar Alan Gribben, the man responsible for the revisions in the new publications of Twain’s books, argues, “We are not eliminating nor are we denying history. We are simply modifying a word that has become intolerable in today’s society. This does not demean the book’s content nor its overall message.” Actually, yes it does. Twain did not write a book that didn’t include the word ‘nigger,’ and if there is value in teaching Twain, then teach him in his entirety. Some argue that this censorship will allow Twain to be taught where he wasn’t before, because too many teachers (or school districts) are “squeamish”

Trish Gannon

about that word in the book, and their students’ exposure to it. To that, all I can say is, “Man up, you pussies.” Oh yeah. I can’t say ‘pussy’, either, unless I’m talking about a cat. Right? Give me a break. I can call you a chicken and the intent is almost exactly the same—but not quite exactly. That ‘P’ word I’m not supposed to use is more insulting and believe me, my intent, when it comes to an education system without the courage to teach, is not to use a mild-mannered insult. So why can’t I use it? Well, because they think... really, what is it that they think? Best I can tell, many conventions about which words are and are not acceptable come from a hypocritical kind of Christianity that chokes on a gnat while swallowing a camel. Which, by the way, is also something that our Bill of Rights is supposed to protect me from. The remainder come from a politically correct society that somehow thinks expunging words will also expunge the more negative emotions that often drive them. In a rather prescient post, blogger Dale McGowan wrote about this regarding the diaries of Samuel Pepys, which were heavily edited before they were published. As McGowan writes, “If you wanted a window into the everyday life of a person of the 17th century, you were out of luck. But if you hankered to know what a 19th century person thought you ought to know about a 17th century person’s life, boy do I have the book for you!” (McGowan wrote this before the news came out about the Twain revisions.) The Pepys revisionist, by the way, went even further than just changing words; Pepys, it seems, was a little too earthy for him so he changed ideas, as well. When writing about being caught by his wife while screwing the maid, Pepys described the scene quite colorfully. By the time the censor was done, however, he was merely “hugging” the maid. In my opinion, controlling words is nothing more than an attempt to control people themselves, and that is why it is expressly forbidden within our Bill of Rights to those who make the laws to govern this land. Would Twain agree? His books were censored in his own time, and here’s what he had to say about it: “But the truth is, that when a Library expels a book of mine and leaves an unexpurgated Bible lying around where unprotected youth and age can get hold of it, the deep unconscious irony of it delights me and doesn’t anger me.” The Bible, of course, is another area where we prefer our fictions over the truth. But that’s a different column.

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 17

Veterans’ News

Warm Fuzzies from the 112th Congress This month’s article, and the next two, will be coming to you from the north coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. As I mentioned last month it has become my habit to flee the cold, snow, ice and general dreariness of North Idaho winters. I’ve been doing this for the past eight winters and will probably continue for as long as I am physically able to do so. It is one of the few remaining pleasures given to us older folks—the ability to not have to endure those things that we don’t want to. So, thanks to the wonders of modern communications, I’ll be sipping a cold beer on the beach while you are reading this. Ain’t it wonderful to be living in the 21st Century? The 112th Congress has been in session now—as of this writing —for a couple of weeks and so far it doesn’t look good for either the veterans’ community or the American people as a whole. The new GOP majority in the House has fulfilled its main campaign promise by passing a bill that seeks to overturn the Health Care Reform bill passed by the 111th Congress. The fact that the number of Americans now in favor of that bill has been steadily rising has zero

impact on the path chosen by the GOP. The only reason the House didn’t pass that bill as its first order of business is the tragedy that occurred in Tuscon. It seems that even the GOP recognized the fact that some thin veneer of decorum must be maintained. Speaking about that tragedy in Tuscon, one must wonder about the quality and wisdom of the gun laws in Arizona. Any state that allows an individual to purchase a weapon and ammunition when the U. S. Army wouldn’t even consider trusting that individual with a gun must take a look at this. With our recent history of incendiary rhetoric and lack of civil discourse it is almost inevitable that some less-than-stable individual would take a ‘suggestion’ from the various ‘voices’ that permeate our AM airwaves and perform some heinous act. We must all be ready to take complete responsibility for our individual actions. On the other hand those ‘voices’ must also take responsibility for the actions precipitated by the words that those ‘voices’ speak. As to other new bills introduced in the House effecting veterans and their dependents there are many. Some of them are of what I call the ‘Warm & Fuzzy’ variety. These are bills that don’t really do much except to serve as a sop to some small group. My favorite of the current crop of ‘Warm & Fuzzy’ bills is the one introduced by Rep. Finer (D-NY) that gives a ‘belated’ thanks to the Merchant Marine sailors of WWII. Yes, this is indeed a ‘belated thanks’—almost 70 years belated! Hundreds of men lost their lives along the East Coast of North America and in convoys to Great Britain between 1939 and 1945. I remember hearing stories from some of the old-timers in Florida about watching ships being torpedoed offshore of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. One has to wonder how many of these sailors are still alive to

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appreciate this National “Thank You.” [It should be noted that Rep. Filner is the senior minority member of the Veterans Affairs Committee—he was Chairman in the 111th Congress—and has introduced approximately eight bills of benefit to veterans so far this session]. Another of the Warm & Fuzzies is the bill introduced by Rep. Speier (D-CA) to grant benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs to certain members of the Filipino military and Philippine Scouts for service performed during WWII. Again, better late than never, right? Of course our Congress has long been slow to recognize the value of service in any armed forces. Maybe that is because so few have actually worn a uniform of any kind in this current generation of legislators. Of the over 20 bills introduced so far (as of 1/17/2011) of interest to veterans in this young 112th Congress over half have been introduced by the minority party. The one I’m going to watch with some interest is H.R. 238, introduced by Rep. Emerson (R-MO) that seeks to create a refundable credit to military retirees for Medicare Part B premiums paid. As of January 7 this bill was referred to the House Ways & Means Committee. It has no co-sponsors and that usually indicates very little support for the measure. We old military retirees need all the perks we can get. After all, we have given more to this country than the vast percentage of citizens. I have heard it said that less than 7 percent of the American population has ever served in the military. I suspect that number is actually going down with the passing of approximately 1,800 per day of WWII veterans. Currently, with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, our best and brightest are doing more for this country than all the weasels that work on Wall Street. I have just tried to get an update on H.R. 238 but my Internet connection has failed—unfortunately, this happens with some regularity down here. But I will not get upset or angry. I’ll simply go get another cold one and try again later. A couple of things to remember down here—One: The world’s richest man, Carlos Slim, controls Mexico’s communication system; and, Two: Down here we don’t have the same sense of urgency that there is north of the border. We simply say, “Tranquilo hombre, es no importante,” and lean back in our chair. I will try to get updates on all the bills mentioned in this article and have them ready for next month. Until then take it easy, try to stay warm and don’t hurt yourselves out there doing those things that a North Idaho winter demands you do.

Page 18 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

Having Fun and Loving It

The Scenic Route •

by Sandy Compton

A small math problem recently arose; their only hope; that if anyone can achieve newsletters and hundreds of newspapers (of of course, a story problem. I began writing it, so can they. And, they will be correct—if which I have delivered thousands). I even got for publication when I was this old. And, I’m they are willing to work 30 years and maybe a paid for some of that. Six books got written, now that old. Holy, ummm, cow! Thirty years little more for it. And accept that sometimes, four got published—thought I admit, three I fly by if you’re having fun. Or not, for that that won’t work, either—which is why it is published myself. I even sold some of them. matter. important to have fun in the process. But, as a self-publisher, I found other work What is there to learn from this? Have And, I have. It’s not a sin to enjoy yourself, to do, and have enjoyed helping a number of as much fun as possible! Within reason, of though some folks believe so for God knows other people publish their work, too. course. Okay. To hell with reason—unless what reason. Enjoy is derived from the Kahlil Gibran says in The Prophet, “Work it’s reason to have fun. Latin gaudere, which means is love made visible.” I understand, though There are some who believe this is my gaining that understanding took a few life philosophy, and I promise not to mess decades. I may never get rich (dammit!), but with their illusion by getting a full-time job. I have pursued what I love and sometimes My no-visible-means-of-support image may even caught it; and know that I will catch it Sandy Compton be the only hope they have, thinking that again. In the times when I have caught it, I someone, anyone, might be able to have fun have most often been having fun. all the time and get by. Sandy Compton’s story problem solution is “If Compton can do it, I know I can do erroneous. He has been writing semi-professionally it,” someone may be thinking. If you are rejoice. Life, even though it often doesn’t go for 31 years, since January of 1980, which is also thinking that, I can help with that fantasy like it we want it to, is to be rejoiced in. I about the same time he began waiting tables about getting to do whatever you want to sometimes forget this, even still; especially (a total coincidence, assuredly). His “love made do, whenever you want to do it; about having when I haven’t had enough fun of late. I think visible” is online at, we all forget. But fun is always there waiting all that fun. where you can actually buy one of his books. Barring winning the lottery, first, you for us to have. He is also the creator and producer of The In the midst of the fun of the past 30 might decide that there is something you StoryTelling Company (see the ad on page 15). The want to do or be badly enough that you are years, I’ve written hundreds of columns, news world headquarters of Blue Creek Press and The willing to give up another illusion, that of articles, short stories and essays. I even got StoryTelling Company are located in the room in personal security, to pursue it. It might be paid for some of them. I’ve helped write, edit, which Mrs. Tillapaugh taught Sandy to read. painting. Or photography. Or teaching. Or design and print dozens of magazines and quantum physics. Or sculpture. Or writing. Or real estate. Some dreams do pay better Attention skiers! than others. Nonetheless, I chose writing. And, that’s when the fun began. Actually, writing—words, really—chose me. They reached into my brain when I read about Dick and Jane in Betty Ann Tillapaugh’s Clark Fork Outdoor Education Program will be selling tickets first grade class and planted a seed that took for Feb. 25 Night Skiing at Schweitzer. Anyone can purchase 24 years to bud, but the first bud was that commitment of pursuit, a decision to go tickets at the high school during school hours for $8 until Feb. 25. ahead and be a writer, a crafter of words. Tickets will also be sold at the Schweitzer Conoco on the 25th. There wasn’t, I admit, a lot of logic involved in the decision. But there was passion. And These tickets are available to anyone interested. desire. And desire and talent, thank God, are directly related. This is something for the fledgling quantum physicist to remember when calculus pokes them in the eye. I still love words and have even learned to write to some extent, but, in my life—in many lives, I believe—nothing happens fast except car wrecks and related phenomena. After that first budding, it was a long time before the pursuit ever bore anything to eat, and it wasn’t many meals at that. My first sale was a piece of fiction, Jimmy’s Gone. The story was one of a collection that still lacks a publisher, three decades later. I didn’t know then that the only way to get a short story collection published (or poems, for that matter) was to be already famous or to publish it myself. I have since learned that lesson, and one year soon, I will publish that collection. It will be a while before I publish a book of poems, though—at least my own. If anyone ever has opportunity to call me an overnight success, if it appears that I have become one (I hope and pray), I will have a laugh on them. But, still, I will not mess with their illusion. Again, it may be February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 19


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Last time, our hero received free preventive screenings and $35 co-pays for office visits as well as cheaper generic drugs. Meanwhile, back at the ranch: Our heroine’s Blue Cross policy did not change. It was “grandfathered in,” so the law (the Affordable Care Act) does not apply to my policy. I went for my regular, yearly, preventative check up and had to pay $30 for it. My policy has a $500 wellness benefit which paid for a mammogram and part of my lab tests for cholesterol, etc. But. BIG BUT: My doctor suggested a colonoscopy which is not covered. If I wait until my renewal date, I will get another $500 wellness benefit, which could be put toward a colonoscopy. But then I can’t have a free mammogram next year. My deductible is $1,000, but a colonoscopy costs twice that. If you couldn’t follow that, I’m not surprised. What to do? I called my husband’s insurance agent and applied for a Blue Shield policy. Even though the new health care law requires all insurance policies to offer free preventive visits and tests, insurance companies are not required to change policies already in existence (“grandfathered in”), and policy holders are not required to give up policies they already have. Already existing policies are grandfathered in—they are not subject to the law. I suppose there might be a circumstance where someone would like to keep a policy that did not offer them free preventive visits and tests. I’m just having a hard time thinking what that

By Nancy Gerth

situation might be. Help me out here. Does anyone know of a situation like that? Farther down the downside, Blue Shield screwed up our hero’s billing. They continued an automatic withdrawal from our bank account for two months after his new policy started, but applied it to his old policy. His old policy had a different number than his new policy. I will here make a very long and painful story short by just noting that I spent an hour of my time on the phone straightening this out. So did the Blue Shield operator and her supervisor. Could’ve had a free preventative checkup for what that cost everybody. Not to mention the effects on everyone’s health. (Sigh) According to some estimates, paperwork represents 31 percent of U.S. health care costs. By the way, the government has put a really helpful guide to the law on their website at; you can see it here: http://tinyurl. com/4vdoyo7. If you would like me to continue this series, have a question or a suggestion for me, or would like to contribute your own devilish detail, please contact me at: docnangee@ Because the preventative services now required to be made available to you at no cost under the Affordable Care Act would, if printed, take up this entire page, you can find them online here: 25t3vm6, or visit our website at RiverJournal. com for the complete list.


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The Follies


11 6th Annual Adult Spelling Bee 6:30 pm in the PSBank Community Room. FREE! 12 The Jungle Book, Missoula Children’s Theater at the Panida, shows at 2 pm and 7 pm. 208-2636139. 18 The Art Experience. Exhibit of works from Arts Alliance classes, at the Sandpoint Center for the Arts. 208-265-ARTS 18 Tony Furtado Concert. Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar St, doors open 5:30 pm, $15 in advance, $18 at the door. 208-263-0846 18-19 Puppy Love. A Sandpoint Onstage presentation at the Panida, 7:30 pm, $12 19 Wedding Expo at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, 10 am to 4 pm 25-26 Outrageous Air Show at Schweitzer Mountain. Visit for information. 25-26 Puppy Love. A Sandpoint Onstage presentation at the Panida, 7:30 pm, $12 26 “A Visit with Erik” featuring Academy Award films. The Panida’s Little Theater, 2:30 and 7:30. $6 adults/$5 seniors 26 Chris Proctor at Di Luna’s Café, 207 Cedar St. Doors open 5:30. Tickets $12 advance/$15 day of. 208-263-0846.

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Kathy’s Faith Walk

Faith is a balm for any wound My faith walk is a conglomeration of experiences. My family, my job, my life on the farm, going to the grocery store, my church life—it all plays into my faith walk because it seems God never misses an opportunity to teach me something. A couple of years ago He taught me the value of damage and recovery with my horse and her extensive wounds. They were external but the lesson for me was a lesson about the heart—how it gets wounded and the intense care necessary for recovery. Our hearts are always exposed and the degree of that exposure has more to do with what we have been through than anything else. How close will we get this time? How much will we allow ourselves to feel? How much of a risk will we take? Or has our heart become so wounded with life experiences that we simply choose to feel nothing? It can, and does, happen. But this is not the only choice. Far from it. When Ellie, my horse, had her barbed wire accident it was important to call the vet immediately. He assessed the damage and gave me very specific instructions on how to care for her. His understanding of horses and their unique wounds was very important for the treatment. Ellie had to stay in the corral/barn for an extended time having her bandages changed twice a day for the first several days. This meant she had to trust me with bathing painful open wounds, medication, and rewrapping, which I learned to do in such a way that it would never hurt her. As with all my out-of-the ordinary life experiences, a spiritual application was to coincide.


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Kathy Osborne As I applied medication to Ellie’s wounds, God began to teach me about the spiritual Balm of Gilead, Jesus, applied to our own deep wounds inside. The Balm of Gilead, a balsam oil, was well known in antiquity as a rare, fragrant and intoxicating ointment with healing properties bordering on the miraculous. It was extremely valuable. Even now, as then, it is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings among other things. For our hearts, Jesus is this balm. He deals with the greatest wound we have... sin. And he deals with it completely if we will let him. We all have the same disease. And Jesus is uniquely qualified to treat, and cure, us. It took Ellie about a year to heal completely from her wounds. Patience and daily care on my part, and a willingness on her part to submit to it were both necessary to complete the healing. We are the same. Jesus, and our growing relationship with him, brings this healing to our hearts. We must accept that we have this wound in the first place, to submit it to the physician if you will. We do have a choice. That’s where the healing starts and we can become whole again. If you have a relationship with Jesus as your savior and healer, then you are on your way. If not, I encourage you to pick up a Bible and start getting to know this amazing savior Jesus by beginning to read the Gospel of John in the New Testament. He is there, waiting, with balm, bandages, patience, and love just for you.

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Page 22 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

The Best Way to Cope with Winter Last month in The River Journal, I read with interest the cover story “Coping with Snow.” I think Trish Gannon did a good job of addressing several winter conditions all of us living here deal with. When I told Trish I was going to write a response to it in my column she said “Oooh you’re going to wax on and on about how wonderful winter and snow and ice and cold are,” and I could do that. I do enjoy winter and everything it brings. I have said here before I’m not sure if winter is my favorite season but it’s in the top four. However, I need to talk about another way to cope with snow that came as a complete surprise to me. It is from a new teacher who I’m sure will have many more lessons for me. Most of them I don’t even know I need to learn yet but will be clear when presented. The teacher is my new granddaughter, Alice Lindy, who was born three days before Christmas. And the lesson she taught me about coping with snow; do it from Hawaii. The Islands had never been high on our places to visit until a couple of years ago. The Navy told our kids their services were needed there. Well, at least Noah’s services were needed so, of course, Ana moved there also. Right away, we knew we would be vacationing there sometime during his tour. We were thinking of a fall trip before prices spike for Christmas. It would also allow us to be home for winter fun and frolic. Then last spring the call came, “Could you please come for Christmas, please.” “Well, okay, if it’s that important.” “Good, you can be here when the baby arrives.” Ana has a way of getting the family together for the holidays. That is how Alice taught us a new way to cope with snow. As soon as we heard the first grandbaby in the family was arriving, we knew the vacation in Hawaii would not just be a tour of a tropical paradise and that was fine with us. A newborn in the house would take most of the time and our vacation would be a wonderful experience of getting to know this new kid in town. However, Linda and I did manage a couple of outings as Ana, with the help of friends, took care of Alice. First, we did a fun hike on Aiea Ridge Trail. Not far from Honolulu city center, this is a state park with fantastic views of Halawa valley. It is rather surreal to look down from a narrow mountain ridge into a jungle-filled gorge with a four-lane freeway (H3) entering the picture, top center, from a tunnel in the steep canyon wall. The wall is so steep the lanes ride a viaduct over a mile long before it reaches the canyon floor.

Further along the trail we enjoyed southern views of the crater Diamond Head, as well as the many bays of Pearl Harbor, all backed by the South Pacific and blue skies with white cotton clouds for perfect accent. For us, the real treat was the forest, or forests, on this tropical trail. As we moved up and down, changing elevations from about six hundred feet to nearly sixteen hundred, we passed through several different environments each with its own kind of beauty. I was surprised at the steep gorges dropping on both sides. In some we passed the lacy needles of the Ironwood trees; a little farther was a grove of naked looking giant Eucalyptus trees. At one point a dense bamboo forest with tall shoots on both our left and right created walls like a hallway without a roof. Another environment was grass, grass taller than Linda before it bent and reached back down to the ground. Aiea is an excellent few hours I would recommend to any hiker visiting Oahu. On another day we actually left Ana and Alice to have their first overnight alone. Alice was a week old and Ana kept telling us we needed a Hawaii vacation. Our friend Chris, who has lived on Oahu for three decades, has been after us to visit for years so we accepted her offer and spent a night in her waterfront home in Hawaii Kai. Chris is a gracious hostess, and like many islanders the most used room of her home is

The Hawk’s Nest by Ernie Hawks

the lanai. We enjoyed dinner there and the next morning we watched the sunrise over Koko crater with coffee, fresh pineapple and papaya. Later we hiked the Makapuu trail, the most eastern point on Oahu. It is an old paved road about two miles long, a constant climb. There is about a 450-foot elevation gain from the trailhead to the observation deck. The deck sits atop the 600-foot cliff to the vibrant blue water. Unlike Aiea, there is no shade, another environment on the same small island. The ocean views are startlingly close. The lower section presented dramatic views into Koko crater and along the windward coast. As we climbed, we were awe struck by the vivid shades of blue, from azure to indigo, of the ocean water crashing on the rocks at the bottom of the cliffs below us. From the track, we watched humpback whales swimming the channel with Molokai in the hazy distance. Part way up we passed the lighthouse, built in 1909 and still in use. On top, we looked down on it, again with that rich blue water below. It was a wonderful outing and when we met Ana, she and Alice were tired but just fine. One of Alice’s first outings was a drive up to the North Shore. The intention was to see that world famous winter North Shore surf. I found it impressive. I’m guessing the waves were 10 to 12 feet, not real high by their standards but it looked like a huge wall of water to me. While the baby was feeding in the car, Linda and I walked the beach. With cameras in hand, looking for the perfect wave to catch, we came upon two sea turtles sunning on the sand and more swimming just off shore. These guys are three to three-and-a-half feet long, and can weigh up to 400 pounds. An oddity on the North Shore is both males and females come ashore; in most places only the females crawl up on the sand. Back at the car Alice was well fed and asleep for the drive back into town. So a little baby girl taught me another way to enjoy the chilly dark season. Yes, I was glad to get back to our misty winter woods, but I bet there will be another vacation, sometime, on the Islands. Maybe even after Alice and her parents move back to the continent. I wonder what Alice’s next lesson is for me?

Ernie Hawks

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 23

1913 “Is there no sign of life as we gaze at the waters... into the strangers’ eyes?” - The Alan Parsons Project

Last year, not long after the “Clagstone Meadows” development controversy began, an RJ reader and resident of southern Bonner County contacted me via the phone to relate a family story that goes back nearly a century. I have agreed not to use their real name in order to preserve their privacy. The tale reminds me somewhat of the story my father told me many Christmas Eves ago, which I related in the October ‘08 River Journal (“You Might be Surprised by What You Find in the Woods”), about his experience as a young man in the forest service in 1937. I do not know if there is a connection, but this story allegedly takes place shortly before the outbreak of World War I, just as Dad’s tale took place just before the outbreak of World War II. I have fished in the Kelso-Granite Lakes, catching nice, pan-sized trout. Nothing to write home about, but a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Nothing really struck me as unusual our out of the ordinary in this remote section of southern Bonner County. My source, though, relates a different picture of the area nearly a century ago. His ancestor had settled in the area during McKinley’s administration. (We used to have the original homestead deed to my family’s house from that time.) They trapped beaver, hunted, had a small farm, fished, and generally did what it took to survive. The unusual part comes in when my source’s great-great grandfather was in a small boat on Kelso, fishing. It had been a fairly productive day and he had a nice catch of brook trout. (These were the days before the state stocked the lakes.) It was late September in 1913 and the

Valley of


ShadowS with Lawrence Fury

man decided he had enough that he could smoke and sell at market for the hotels in Spokane the next day. The sun had just set and he rowed towards shore. About twenty feet away the man suddenly stopped to nurse what was likely a pulled muscle. As he sat there rubbing his shoulder, he glanced over the side into about six or seven feet of water. There, lying on the bottom of the lake, is what appeared to be a body. Ignoring his pulled muscle, the man rowed to shore with the intent of contacting the sheriff from one of the new phones a neighbor had. Heaving his fish into the back of the wagon, he jumped into the seat and slapped the reins. Okay, this is where my source gets somewhat uncertain. Understand, this story is 100 years old. It is near dark as he arrives at the neighbor with the phone. Knocking, he is met by the neighbor carrying a shotgun and a wary expression. Recognizing his visitor, he invites the fisherman inside and quickly closes the door. Asking what’s going on, the neighbor hesitantly tells my source’s ancestor that he has seen something in the woods that day while out doing chores around his small ranch. What kind of things? The fisherman thinks the man is imagining something as he has been alone several days while his wife has gone into Spokane to be with a sick relative. The ranch owner replies that he’s seen small human forms in the trees at the edge of his cleared property. Just silhouettes mostly, slightly smaller than the average-sized man. My source’s great-great grandfather remembering what he thought he had seen in the lake, became a little spooked himself. He

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tried the phone, but they only heard a faint static coming from the old-style receiver. The property owner invited his guest to spend the night. Early the next morning, they decided to rustle up some breakfast on the wood stove and, if unable to get through on the telephone, to head into Careywood and try calling again from the store. The final part of the story is short on details, but apparently my source’s twice great-grandfather headed out to the woodpile a few feet from the back door, where he caught a brief, but startling, glimpse of a small, human-sized figure covered in short copper- or rust-colored hair. He thought he was seeing a small apeman that the settlers had told stories about for the last 30 years, since homesteading had begun in the region, along with tales heard from Indians. But that theory apparently came into doubt when the figure abruptly turned and looked right at him. The face was bare, rough-textured skin, but the eyes were the oddest, like halves of small balls or large, red-colored marbles. The creature seemed unconcerned, but none-the-less moved so fast into the nearby trees and brush that the witness all but thought it had merely vanished. My source said that his ancestor and the rancher still couldn’t raise anyone on the phone and rode into Careywood where they stopped at the old store and called the sheriff. Apparently, no body was found in the lake and there were no signs or more sightings of the red-furred humanoid. I hope Journal readers will continue to enjoy the obscure tales from the back roads of North Idaho as I come across them, interspersed with reports of more familiar ghostly stories, but from a different perspective, such as last month’s story about the Bernd Building. As for the Granite/Kelso Lake issue concerning the Clagstone Meadows proposal, let us hope that the county commissioners exercise wisdom in their decision concerning the development. Taking into consideration the failed Idaho Club development at the golf course near the Pack River and the less-thanstellar retail performance of Dover Bay, one wonders if there is really a need for an even larger such project. Until next month.

Page 24 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

From ThE


of The River Journal’s

SurrealisT Research BureaU The Rise and Fall of the Dropa One of many unfinished fantasy novels gathering dust in my files is a 100-page fragment based on the enigmatic history of the Dropa, supposedly a real tribe of pygmy-like extraterrestrials who crashlanded near the Sino-Tibetan border nearly 12,000 years ago. As reported in numerous books and articles throughout the mid-60s and 70s, an archeology class from Beijing University excavated a series of caves in the remote Qinghai region where there were many artificially carved tunnels which appeared to be squared and glazed, as if cut into the walls by great heat or lasers. Also found were many tiny bodies, most approximately four feet tall with abnormally large heads. No funerary goods were found, only hundreds of one-foot wide stone discs, each with a three-quarter inch hole in the center. Each disc was also inscribed with two fine grooves spiraling out from the hole in the center to the edge. It was not until 20 years after the original expedition that a Dr. Nui of Beijing discovered that each groove actually consisted of a tiny series of hieroglyphics, so small that a magnifying glass was required to discern them. Dr. Nui’s translation concluded that the “Dropa” tribe were survivors of a spaceship crash some 12,000 years ago and they were nearly wholly slaughtered by fearful local people. After Dr. Nui’s report was published, in 1962, he was reportedly ostracized to the point of self-imposed exile in Japan and Beijing never allowed him to publish again. In 1965 Professor Chi Pu Tei and four colleagues published a paper under the title: “The Grooved Script concerning Space-ships, as recorded on the discs, Which Landed on Earth some 12,000 years ago.” Some variations on the above facts were scattered throughout my readings through the 1990s, leading to copious notes for the as-yet-unfinished novel. By the mid-1990s however, ever-widening cracks began to appear. Erich Von Daniken’s infamous 1968 book “Chariots of the Gods” for instance, was the first mainstream book to spread the Dropa tale, a book since widely reviled for its distortions and outright fabrications. Daniken gives as his source the Russian sci-fi writer Alexander Kazantsen yet

by Jody Forest

Bi-Discs, like the one shown above (on display at Vanderbilt University) were traditional Chinese grave goods.

David Agamon appeared to back the Dropa story as well but Agamon has since admitted in Fortean Times that the whole book was a made-up fiction. Further photos of the discs show none of the supposed deep grooves and no drawings, samples, or analysis of the “script” have ever appeared anywhere. The “dwarf bodies” in the area were later explained by high concentrations of mercury in the nearby wells which poisoned their drinking water for generations. The stone discs are a known and common aspect of Chinese culture and their use dates back at least 10,000 years. Called Bi-Discs today, they were common burial items. There’s no moral to this story, other than a sort of relief I never finished that particular book and embarrassed myself with my book-learnin’ ignorance of proper sources. Still, there’s always the undisputed fact that Rimbaud and Lautramont, the unholy founders of modern Surrealism, fought together at the barricades of the 1870s Paris Communard, after which Lautramont died and Rimbaud fled to Africa. Surely there’s a story in there somewhere, one “as beautiful as the fortuitous, chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella!” ‘til next time, All Homage to Xena!

Kazantsen swears now it was Von Daniken who told him the tale and not vice versa. The 1978 book “Sun Gods in Exile” by

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February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 25

Missoula, Montana VIOLET ‘VI’ QUIRIN December 19, 1925 - January 10, 2011. Born in Missoula, Mont., married E.W. Quirin in ‘67 and the couple moved to East Hope, Idaho. Mother of two, she moved to Missoula after her husband died to be near her children. She had many friends in Bonner County.

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Get complete obituaries online at HILDA CONSTANCE EVANS VAN SCHRAVENDYK April 20, 1913 - February 1, 2011 . Born Spokane, Wash., moved to Kootenai, Idaho in 1916. SHS graduate. Married Richard Brown (wid.). Married Paul Van Schravendyk. Member Kootenai Ladies Aid, the Better Community Club and involved in 4-H. Mother of 4.

RICHARD T. BROWER September 1, 1931 - January 30, 2011. A U.S. Coast Guard veteran. Obituary pending. EUGENE EDWARD SWEENEY July 25, 1930 - January 30, 2011. Last of the true mountain men. Worked in Hungry Horse as a contractor, moved to Noxon, Mont. in ‘91. Married to Barbara, father of 8.

FRED ELMO RAYFIELD May 12, 1910 - January 27, 2011. Born McLoud, Okla., studied as a pharmacist, moved to Redlands, Calif., married Stella Story. Worked as a picker and then became a plumber/pipefitter. Retired to Arizona, then moved to Idaho to be near his son. Father of three. JERRY RAYMOND TAYLOR July 12, 1959 - January 26, 2011. Born Sonora, Calif. A radiologic technician, he married Michelle Nader (div.). Lived in Colorado, moved to Sandpoint in ‘79. Worked for Bonner General Hospital. Retired in 2010. Married Donna Patterson. Although they divorced, she cared for him until his death. Father of one. RUTH LAVERNE SMITH HOEKEMA July 17, 1936 - January 23, 2011. Born Miami, Ariz, lived in Bonner Co. since she was 3. Married Clyde Hoekema. Worked for the school district, a hobby store, the liquor store and Litehouse. A green thumb, she had glorious gardens. Mother of four. DOROTHY JANE CASH JOHNSON March 1, 1925 - January 22, 2011. Born Sandpoint, Idaho, SHS graduate class of ‘43. Worked at JC Penney, Beaner’s and for Bonner County. Retired in ‘97. Mother of four.

RALPH AUGUST PETERSON January 20, 1911 - January 22, 2011. Born Nine Mile Falls, Wash. Served as a printer’s apprentice, married Edith Elmgreen; celebrated 73 years together. Worked as a printer in Spokakne, for the Sandpoint News Bulletin and Selkirk Press. Delivered the Nickel’s Worth for 25 years until he was 90. Father of 3.

JAMES M. CUSACK April 16, 1924 - January 20, 2011. Born Bryn Mawr, Penn., served in the U.S. Navy. Married Audrey Haley. Worked as an air traffic controller in Alaska. Retired in ‘76 and moved to Laclede, then Sandpoint. Father of 4.

DAWN MARIE SHERMAN WEATHERWAX October 20, 1947 - January 25, 2011. Born Seattle, Wash. Attended Portland Art School, then studied hair design and became a stylist. Married Allen Weatherwax. Graduated Sacramento State in ‘77 with a BA in music/voice/opera. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘85. Mother of two.

DALE FRANCIS MILLER February 22, 1935 - January 13, 2011. Born Dupree, S.D., moved to Priest River at the age of 3. Married Jeanne Plett and moved to Clark Fork in ‘56. Father of 4 A singer/recording artist. Retired to 20 years of gold prospecting. Owned two restaurant/taverns, was a logger and construction worker, and stock trader.

BETTY LOUISE FISHER SCHNITZLER September 19, 1939 - January 24, 2011. Born Heron, Mont. Married Darwin Schumacher (div.) and had five children. Married the love of her life Roger D. Schnitzler and added 3 more children. Moved to Thompson Falls, Mont. in ‘76. Worked as a cook in various restaurants and for the Sanders Co. Jail.

STELLA CARRIE TEMPERO SELLMER March 30, 1927 - January 9, 2011. Born Newberg, Ore., moved to Heron, Mont. in the 4th grade. Married Bill Sellmer; mother of 5. Worked in their logging business, served on the Heron School Board and in various positions with the Heron Methodist Church. DAVID BRUCE HAPPELL December 5, 1934 - January 8, 2011. Born Buffalo, NY, served in the U.S. Army (Korea). Married Peggy MacDonald, father of 5. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘72, worked as a logger. Married Sandra Gullart, stepfather of 2. GARY TIPPS June 11, 1936 - January 8, 2011. Born Mason City, Wash. Served in the U.S. Navy. Married Sue Henslee, moved to Hope in ‘79. Owned Hi-Hopes Market, and the pair drove school bus for Bonner County schools. LEROY WALTER HABERKAMP August 7, 1933 - January 7, 2011. Born Schaumburg, Ill., served in the U.S. Army. Married Alice Marie and moved to Sagle in ‘72. A craftsman, he made cabinets. A gifted communicator and the father of four. URSULA HELGA DEGAL OPFERMAN February 11, 1928 - January 7, 2011. Born in Woerlitz, Germany, moved to Boise in ‘54, became a U.S. citizen in ‘59. Worked as an office nurse and records clerk and, in Sandpoint, worked for the Farmer’s Home Administration and the Bonner Co. Prosecutor’s Office until retirement. Was the mother of four, all of whom preceeded her in death. MARGARET ‘PEGGY’ ESTHER PATTON KLUVER October 5, 1932 - January 4, 2011. Born Sandpoint, Idaho, SHS graduate class of ‘50. Attended U of I, worked as a stenographer in Hanford, Wash. Married Alvin Kluver, lived in Florida. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘55. Mother of five.

Lakeview Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho.

Get complete obituaries online at LEAO FREDERICK WILLIAMS December 30, 1953 - January 26, 2011. Born Pasadena, Calif. Served in the U.S. Navy as a Quartermaster. Worked as a heavy equipment operator on roadways. Married DiAnn Reed. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘76, worked for the Independent Highway Dist. and City of Sandpoint. Father of one.

VIOLET MAY MILLETTE TERRACCIANO May 30, 1930 - January 18, 2011. Born San Diego, Calif. Married Carmine Terracciano and raised a family in Rosemead, Calif. Sang with Sweet Adeline Choir. Lived in Sandpoint 15 years. Mother of 5.

VIRGIE ZIMMERMAN STONEBACK August 25, 1942 - January 17, 2011. Born Elgin, ND, moved to Hamilton, Mont. in 1959, trained as airline personnel, married and raised 3 children, later married James Stoneback. Worked at Valley View Estates in Hamilton and at Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains. Asst. Librarian in Plains. Moved back to Elgin, then moved to Sandpoint in 2010. Mother of 3. STEVEN JAMES FENTON July 5, 1958 - January 16, 2011. Born San Jose, Calif., moved to Sandpoint and was a Sandpoint High School graduate class of ‘76. Struggled with schizophrenia but was insightful and loved wordplay. He is free at last. RALPH WILLIAMS April 12, 1927 - January 8, 2011. Born Livingston, Mont. Manned a firetower and served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. Married Florence Mildenberger (div.) Worked at various ventures in Alaska, Montana and Oregon. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘65. Owned Williams Motor Co., Sandpoint RV Sales, RB’s Drive-In, Northwest Mini-Storage, Dairy Depot and Gas ‘n Go. Father of 3. THERESA LOUISE ‘TERRI’ PETERS September 17, 1957 - January 3, 2011. Born Spokane, Wash., Sandpoint High School graduate class of ‘75. A beauty school graduate, she owned her own salon. Mother of one.

ROLAND TAYLOR II January 18, 1947 - January 3, 2011. Born New Orleans, Louisiana, settled in the Northwest in the late 70s, worked as a newspaper carrier. A kind and loving man, generous and loyal, he loved the Earth and walked gently upon it.

“To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.” ~ Thomas Campbell

Page 26 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

From the Mouth of the River It’s that time of the year when the snow is up to your, you know. And has been for quite some time. Gray and overcast skies make for doldrum days and makes one stroll off into the kitchen looking for something fattening and delicious to munch on. What the hell, one more button undone wont make a difference at this time of year. Besides, I’ll work it off, or at least some of it, come spring. It’s this time of year when a large bowl of chunky beef stew with potatoes, carrots, rutabagas and anything else you can find all piled on makes a mouth-watering combination of over-the-top goodness. Or a steaming bowl of Momma’s homemade chili, made when she was sober, and topped off with a big slice of cherry pie. In the winter time these are three of the fore most favorite things a cowboy dreams off. I am sorry to say I had to give two of these things up after seventy-five years of having them at the top of my list. It all started while on my trip to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo, a trip I try to make every year. Because it takes place in December, running into bad weather is a strong possibility. It was in one of Montana’s snow storms that I decided to pull in to a small café just off interstate 15. This is a café that is mainly used by ranchers and cowboys who stop by after their morning’s work of feeding large numbers of cattle on the biggest ranches in that part of Montana. This small café is run by two or three ranch women who know how to cook good, working- man’s food. There’s a blackboard nailed to the wall with

the day’s menu scribbled on it. This time of year it usually says: beef stew, beef soup, beef chili or chicken fried steak and gravy with fried potatoes. Plus cherry pie or peach cobbler. $3.50. And coffee; They’re not kidding about the coffee, it’s made in a five-gallon pot, by pouring Folger’s coffee grounds in a nylon sock and hanging it over the side of the pot until it boils. I think everyone who has come in there has asked the same question: just who the hell did that sock belong to before they used it to make coffee. As I walked in outta the blizzard and kicking the snow off my boots I noticed there was just one old cowboy sittin’ alone at the other end of the counter. Elbows resting on the counter he was staring down at a bowl of steaming hot chili. I looked up at the blackboard and it said “Chily an corn bread an Cherry pi.” Right away I figured out the women weren’t cooking that day from the spelling on the blackboard. Instead it was an old cowboy or a sheep herder, wearing an old felt hat pulled down to keep the hair outta his face. His week old gray beard, with tobacco stains running down each side, indicated he was level headed. He wore a dirty dish towel tied around his waist for an apron and his run-over boots from walking bow-legged made him look like a cripple when he moved, which was pretty slow. “Where’s the women?” I asked as he poured me a mug of coffee without asking if I wanted it or not. “They’re in Billings doing some Christmas shoppin’,” he said. “What’ll ya have?” he asked. “Pie,” I said, “cherry pie, and this cup of coffee.” He wandered back to the pie table and started cutting pie. I glanced over at the old cowboy sitting at the end of the counter still hanging over his bowl of chili, which reminded me of the chili cook-offs in Texas, where they make chili so hot with jalapenos and habanera sauce it scalds your mouth so bad people talk like they just had a mouth full of Novocaine and have no control of their tongue. You might see objects in your bowl that look like meat

Boots Reynolds

and sauce but there is no taste or flavor whatsoever, just hot, hot, hot; Just then the door blew open and along with the snow and wind came a tall, lanky cowboy, maybe in his early twenties. Unzipping his Carhartt coat and shaking the snow and cow feed off he sat down on a stool next to the old cowboy. He glanced at me and took a long look at the old man staring down at his bowl of chili. He could see the cook was busy cutting up the pie so he waited a few minutes and finally spoke to the old man. “If you’re not going to eat that chili I’ll take it off your hands,” he said with a grin. The old man just looked up and with the back of his hand slid the chili over in front of the young cowboy without saying a word. The young man took the old mans spoon and started wolfing down the chili just as my pie arrived. It was almost a contest as to who would finish first as we were matching each other bite for bite, when suddenly, the cowboy slammed his hands down on the counter, leaned over and looked into his bowl. As I was just taking my last bite of cherry pie I glanced over and saw a bloated rat floating in the bottom of his chili bowl. The cowboy gagged once and filled the bowl from the pit of his stomach. The old cowboy pointed at the bowl of chili and said, “That’s as far as I got, too. From the front door to my pickup door was a string of cherry pie filling. It’s too bad that two of my favorite foods have been lost to me, forever. Boots

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Chris Gottwald 323 McGhee Road Ste 105 Sandpoint

February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 27

Scott Clawson When I was in grade school, on Valentine’s Day, my class and I would exchange cards pretty much at gunpoint (figuratively speaking) along with literally millions of other kids across our fair land. This practice was undoubtedly instigated by some powerful card publisher as hundreds of millions of little sweet and colorful messages of love and tenderness (representing a forest the size of Bonner County) were cursed spit on and dumped into garbage cans on the way home from schools everywhere. To a third grade boy (as I recall it) handing out love notes to ‘the other side’ who were mostly bigger, tougher, pushier and far more cynical than I, made me openly question the sanctity of our education system. I tried explaining the ‘Hypocritical Oath’ several times, only to be rewarded hang time after school with the ol’ chalk board scribbling, erasing, then printing legibly and repeating over and over some line I was doomed to violate repeatedly anyways. But I still had to give out cards, like they were part of some religious edict or something. “Thou shalt LOVE thy arch nemeses.” As tough as ‘us boys’ were, and totally unified on this and many other subjects of great import, we could only bow our heads and, moaning inwardly, sign and deliver cards of affection to the enemy. Girls were my biggest threat! The guys were all my friends, except for the occasional turd, but the girls all seemed to want our heads lined up on the teacher’s desk like some ‘gallery of the damned.’ I also figured out early on that girls wore dresses primarily for freedom of movement when it came time to drive home an opinion or two. The fact that they invariably paid attention

in class and even did little things to get attention like raising their hands, added nothing in our favor, for teachers will unfairly smile on those who listen to ‘em. My buddies (the Wild Bunch) and I were constantly being called forth to apologize for something we hardly ever started or even came close to finishing. Needless to say, the act of writing out a valentine to someone you couldn’t stand or even stand up to was simply mind boggling to me and my constituents. It would be like proclaiming your affection for canned peas ‘n’ pearl onions, spinach or that STP of the vegetable kingdom, boiled okra while at some big pot luck where you absolutely knew there’d be some present. This exchange program continued unabated until the fifth grade where we had a guy teacher. Literally, his name was Guy and my first teacher to whom I would show honest and absolute respect. His paddle collection hung on display by the door for all to witness and, I swear, you could see little bits of hide on some of ‘em! I learned real discipline from this man and I thank him for it daily. He took pity on us guys (possibly he was victimized as a young student himself) and pretty much ignored the whole observance. I saved a lot of allowance after than on February the 14ths. I wonder what I spent the savings on? I didn’t want to be anyone’s sweetie, especially at the ripe old age of eight or nine. Having already been branded ‘a pimple on the ass of humanity,’ as well as a complete waste of milk and Cheerios by two older brothers, my confidence and self esteem lacked the desire to widen the playing field, so to speak. I just wanted to be a macho tough guy and prove I could hold my bladder in a tight situation, like marbles, mumblety-peg, snowball fights or mouthin’ off. So as I sat at my little desks each year on

February 14, under duress, writing in the names of all the warthogs (girls) I had to give cards to, I realized my life’s ultimate calling: writing valentines for all the little guys who are forced to participate in such a thing. Here are some samples I stumbled upon recently in an old scrapbook of mine that dates back to the late fifties. Let me apologize now for my behavior. And my ol’ man wanted me to be a lawyer! Sheeooot! Blue is for violets and red is for rose, The only thing bigger’n yer mouth is yer nose! Wanna be my valentine? Roses are red and violets are bluesy If you were my valentine, I’d surely get woozy! Violets are blue while roses are red As fer bein’ your valentine, I’d be better off dead! You give me the creeps most all of the time So how’s about bein’ my valentine? Roses are red and violets are neither Yer face looks a lot like a Labrador retriever! Here’s a dime, here’s a nickel Your face reminds me of an ol’ dill pickle! Wanna be my sweetie? While I ponder, weak and weary, the message on this card I’ve dawned upon a simple theory; ‘cause of you I’m forever marred! My being forced to give you this, is society gone sincerely amiss For you really belong in the National Guard! Won’cha be my valentine, yer such a lovely girl For if you’ll promise to be mine, I’ll simply have to hurl! Yer so sweet but yer so stupid Fer spending yer time on a dude named Cupid! It’s a serious waste of money and time For you to be my valentine.

Page 28 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| February 2011

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Corner of 5th and Cedar 4BOEQPJOUt It’s time for your favorite Angels’ event guaranteed to chase away the Winter blahs. Get in line for THE FOLLIES, a locally produced comedy review held for the 9th year at the Panida Theater on March 4 and 5, 2011. Come enjoy your talented friends and neighbors as they celebrate the MARDI GRAS season with abandon. Sip on a special martini, wear your masks and beads and remember all money raised goes to the Angels Over Sandpoint to support their efforts to improve the lives of Bonner County residents in need. Tickets are $25 and are on sale now! You must be over 21 to attend and remember, this show “is not for the easily offended!� Tickets will be available at Eve’s Leaves, Eichardts, Petal Talk and Sandpoint Online. This show sells out every year, so grab a friend and buy your tickets. More fun than humans should be allowed!

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February 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 20 No. 2| Page 29

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The River Journal, February 2011  

February 2011 issue of the River Journal, a news magazine worth wading through

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