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A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading Through
FARM . HOME . HARDWARE
The Festival at Sandpointâ€™s WINE TASTING, DINNER AND (Live & Silent) AUCTION
Friday, April 29
Bonner County Fairgrounds
Everything about the outside says we are just a hardware store. Then you walk inside. You will never think about us the same way again.
Wine tasting and silent auction begins at 5:30; gourmet dinner at 7 pm, live auction at 8 pm. Entertainment by BonTaj $50 per person (plus tax)
Internet.... Fencing . Gates & Panels Pet Foods . Pet Health & Grooming Livestock Feeds . Equine Health Tack & Pharmaceuticals Convenence Store . Propane Fills Automotive . Off the Grid . RV Batteries . Housewares Yard & Garden / Soil Amendments Poly Pipe . Drain Pipe . Bulk Nails Bulk Burlap . Bulk Turf & Field Seed Bulk Field S Fertilizers / Herbicides & Pesticides . Organic Fertilizers Work & Casual Clothing 125 Tibbetts Lane Ponderay, Idaho coopcountrystore.com
We are neighbors helping neighbors live the rural life your way.
Everywhere Need reliable, high-speed Internet service? Call for a free site survey today! Intermax serves many areas of Bonner County from Dover to Hope.
208.762.8065 - Coeur dâ€™Alene
208.265.3533 - Sandpoint www.IntermaxNetworks.com
2 Solar power, Voodoo style 4 Film festival goes wild
THE RIVER JOURNAL A News Magazine Worth Wading Through ~just going with the flow~ P.O. Box 151•Clark Fork, ID 83811 www.RiverJournal.com•208.255.6957
5 Preparing for emergencies
6 LARC offers help with legal issues
Call 208.255.6957 or email email@example.com
7 Downtown Sandpoint calendar
8 The ring-billed gull (Bird in Hand) 9 A bad case of cabin fever (Game Trail) 10 Updates on some interesting bills (A Seat in the House) 11 Not in the mood for crazy (Politically Incorrect) 12 Open Congress (Veterans’ News) 13 Spring’s youthful hydrologists (Scenic Route) 14 Long-term care insurance - Health Care Reform 15 The best game (n)ever played (Surrealist Research Bureau) 16 Season of reflection (Faith Walk) 17 Too much or how much? (Hawk’s Nest) 18 Obituaries 19 Remembering a real winter storm (Mouth of the River) 20 Fads are fadulous! (Scott Clawson)
Cover photo by Richard Tomlinson
For tattoos that are more than just ink on skin
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STAFF Calm Center of Tranquility Trish Gannonemail@example.com
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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 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.
“Ultimately, it’s about personal responsibility.”
Solar power, Voodoo style.
by Trish Gannon
Money. Fear. Social responsibility. Pain, push, pull. These are three of the prime motivators in people doing something differently, and they all come together in a business that grew an astonishing 40 percent last year—solar energy. Energy costs are rising, even here where we have some of the least expensive power costs in the nation—currently about 8 cents per kilowatt hour in Idaho through Avista, slightly less through Northern Lights— compared to the national average of 12 cents per kilowatt hour. But when those pennies add up, they create pain in budgets that have stretched in response to the nation’s economic woes. Additionally, many families in North Idaho, along with our neighbors in western Montana, are living in rural areas, where power disruptions are common and where the cost of bringing power into a new area of construction can be prohibitive. Fear can also push people into considering alternatives to a sole reliance on the national electricity grid; fear that the seemingly unlimited power available to us at the flip of a switch might one day not be so available. Although paying this month’s electric bill might not be so difficult, some are looking down the road and planning for a time when that monthly bill might become more of a burden, due to income loss, peak oil or even national disturbances such have been seen in other countries of late. Solar power also offers the pull of social responsibility—an image that solar is a power source we can take pride in using. We can happily power our way through the day without feeling a responsibility for entire mountains leveled in order to access their coal, earthquakes due to fracking in the attempt to extract more natural gas, or the truly frightening implications of a nuclear energy plan that doesn’t adequately address potential dangers. Recent trends also offer a monetized pull toward solar energy—the ability to hook into the electric grid and sell back any excess power produced. Don Clark of Sandpoint-based Voodoo Solar is one business poised to reap the benefits of the growing interest in alternative forms of energy production. Specializing in the sale and service of solar panels and related equipment, Don recently opened a storefront on Fifth Avenue in Sandpoint, and stands ready to talk to people about switching to solar power. I say “talk” instead of “sell product” because for Don, talking (and thinking) is
step number one for anyone considering installing some solar panels. “One of the first things I ask people (interested in solar power) is, ‘What is your motivation?’ If it’s entirely financial, then (going solar) might be a dubious prospect for them.” The immediate return on investment from converting to electricity generation from solar panels is currently not enough to make the decision practical if you go into it with the sole intent of saving money in the short term. But for those interested who have additional reasons in mind, Don is willing to move to step two—which still doesn’t involve buying any product. “I advise people to sit down and really think about what they’re using electricity for. For example, using electricity to create heat is simply not efficient.” The ‘Big Four’ wasters of energy in the average home, he believes, are electric-run furnaces, ovens, hot water heaters and dryers. “No one using solar electricity with an off-grid system should be powering these (typical) appliances,” he said. At the least that means converting to gas- or propane-powered appliances, but the issues go even deeper. Are you using a dryer in the summertime instead of hanging laundry outside to dry? Do you need to keep an entire water heater full of water hot at all times, or can you get by with on-demand water heaters? Did you know that European appliances are more energy efficient than those made in the U.S.— and that you, too, can buy those appliances? One solar panel could run a “truly energyefficient” refrigerator, Don says. Solar power, you see, in Don’s worldview, is more than just putting up a few panels in the back yard—a lot more. Someone who truly “invests” in solar power will change not just how they obtain their electricity, but will change their lifestyle as well. “The big benefit [to solar power] is something you can’t really measure,” he said. “It’s in how it changes your life in a really big way. Ultimately, it’s about personal responsibility,” he said. Lest you think, like some in the tea party, that solar power is simply “environmentalism’s plan of blasting us back into the dark ages,*” this type of reflection on power usage is not to say don’t use any
power at all. “Our family philosophy is to use all the electricity you want, but not to waste it,” Don explained. When a person is at the correct starting point (i.e., has evaluated their usage and their reasons for wanting an alternative energy system), Don is ready to talk product, to guide you from the point of knowing what your energy requirements are to knowing what equipment you’ll need to make that happen. For a quick look at the big picture, Don said you can estimate your equipment costs at $1,000 per kilowatt hour per day. “Take a look at what your electric bill says is your kilowatt usage, and divide that by 30,” Don said. Then multiply that amount times 1,000 dollars for an idea of what a system to
Page | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
Beth Pederson & Bruce Bishop
220 Cedar St. Sandpoint
Tickets $12 advance/$15 door
advanced to the point where people interested in solar power are now looking at what’s called “grid-tie” systems. In other words, your home is still connected to the electric grid, and that grid becomes your backup source of electricity on days when there’s not enough sunlight to meet your power needs. (Don says, by the way, that you can roughly judge those days by “whether or not you need to squint.”) On sunny days, however, when you’re busy generating more power than you can actually use, the system sends that extra power out to the electric grid, and the electric company pays you for it. All of which suddenly makes the cost of installing a solar power system a lot more feasible, which likely explains part of the reason why this is such a rapidly growing industry. In addition, you can start small—systems these days are modular and can be added to as needed. And by the way... despite what your Andimage they don’t to—after don’t mental might have be, most panelsall, in areas Americans believe if it’sare ours, ours withweour latitude and climate noit’s longer installed on the your but,want? instead, and we canroof do of with it house what we Or are mounted onis in it,your andpoles we want then yard. you have to give it to us andDon if you don’t, has then you sponsor terrorism and we’ll sold a range of solar power systems, from a By the way, 16,000 China wants that oil as watt residential system to The small systems well. Remember China? people who anywhere between 20 and loaned us all that money? China’s135 oil watts for boats. 6.5 billion barrels consumption is around “The most common off-grid a system year, and growing at 7 percent every thatiswe sell features about 2,500 year. It produces about 3.6 billion barrels watts of solar and costs around $25,000,” year. Doesenough this math lookan good Donevery said. “It is large to power entireto household energy-conservative people in anyone?ofCan anyone other than Sarah good style.” Palin and George Bush believe we can If you’re readyout to of take look at how you drill our way thisaproblem? Anyone use who energy, Don is ready to help. doesn’t think we better hit the ground “I look at solar power as an investment,” to figure how to fuel what we Donrunning said. “You’re notout just investing in your wantyou’re fueled with something other than future, investing in your now.” oilyou’d probably to visit go back to his an If like todeserves learn more, Don at store, located at the corner of 5th and Cedar in Sandpoint. : I could go on *forever, Quote from Ray Harvey of the So Ludwig Von but you’ll quit reading. one final Mises Institute, “Wind or Nuclear?”
discussion for the American public. First, let’s have a true, independent analysis of what happened on September 11, 2001. The official explanation simply doesn’t hold water. This is one of those “who knew what, when” questions that must be answered—and people/institutions must Tickets $12 advance/$15 day of event
provide your current level of energy usage would cost. So how does that work? My energy bill, in a house heated with wood but with otherwise all-electric appliances and a shamefully profligate use of energy, averages around 900 kwh per month of usage, or 30 kwh per day. So it would cost around $30,000 for a solar system for my home at the level I currently use energy. That sounds pricey, but bear a couple of things in mind. At Avista’s posted rates, in 25 years I would pay almost $22,500 for my electricity usage, if the price never goes up. (Like that’s going to happen.) In addition, my solar panels have added at least some level of value to my home. And the durability of the equipment is high; most components carry a 25-year warranty. Add to that a current 30 percent federal tax credit that helps to make these installations more cost effective, and an Idaho program that allows a 100 percent tax deduction spread over five years But the best part is that the technology has
Speaking of accountability, you might be surprised to learn that I would not support an effort to impeach President Bush after the November elections. First, because that’s too late, and second, because more than Bush have been involved in crimes against the American Doors 5:30 people. What I open would like to see are charges (atShow the least,7:30 charges of treason) brought against Bush, Cheney, et al. Bring the charges and let’s let the evidence of
Friday, April 22
Recycling - Lawn, Garden, Snow Equipment, Generators, Pumps and Older Outboards. I also buy/sell batteries 2 doors west of the Hope Post Office
They have ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ and ‘touch the face of God.’
Coffelt Funeral Service helping those who are left behind. P.O. Box 949 • Sandpoint, Idaho
www.CoffeltFuneral.com Moon Chapel Pinecrest Cemetery Member by invitation only Moon Crematory
April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page
DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THE DARK!
The weather here is unpredictable, and your connection to power can be too. We can help you keep the lights on. Call today to learn more.
Film Festival Goes Wild International Wildlife Film Festival April 15
by Mackenzie Jones
Nature is as essential as food, oxygen and water, and we are sometimes oblivious to its magnificence. Every snowflake, miracle of birth, ray of sunshine and unique tree, are so much a part of our collective psyche that we often take them for granted. Yet when we stop and reflect about nature’s complexity, we are awed. On April 15, at 7 pm, Sandpoint’s Panida Theater will be hosting the annual International Wildlife Film Festival, where the wonder of nature, and the human attempt to capture its essence, will be celebrated through four nationally acclaimed videos. The videos include “Sun Come Up,” “Expedition Grizzly,” “GOOD RIDDANCE! Termites: Attack of the Killer Environment,” and “Snow Leopard: Beyond the Myth.” In “Expedition Grizzly,” renowned naturalist Casey Anderson and his best friend Brutus, an 800-pound grizzly bear, set out on an expedition to document the lives of vulnerable grizzlies in Yellowstone National Park. Casey has made a full-fledged commitment to the study of grizzlies by living among them, right down to partaking in their diet, including the Army Cutworm Moth. The video received an honorable mention for ‘Human Wildlife Interaction.’ The featured videos not only evoke curiosity and charm, but also meet the viewer’s comedic needs. “GOOD RIDDANCE! Termites: Attack of the Killer Echidna” cleverly reveals that there is a way to get rid of pests without poisoning the environment by making the problem part of the solution. This film was the winner of the Festival’s ‘Best Animation’ and ‘Best Sense of Humor’ awards. “Snow Leopard: Beyond the Myth,” received the ‘Best of Festival’ award in 2009. The movie is a heart-warming tale
of a man’s quest to find and film the wild snow leopard, which lives in the remote mountains of northern Pakistan near the Afghan border. Pakistani journalist Nisar Milak and cameraman Mark Smith spent two years documenting the daily life of the snow leopard, finally lifting the veil on this most elusive of all cats. The evening concludes with Academy Award nominated “Sun Come Up”. This film was the winner of the ‘Best of Festival’ in 2010. It follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders, a peaceful community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean, and now, some of the world’s first environmental refugees. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home. Out of this tragedy comes a story of hope, strength, and profound generosity. The Film Festival is underwritten by All Season’s Garden Center, and its major business sponsors include Dub’s Drive in and Dr. Jerry and Pat Lewis. The Festival is a fundraiser for Sandpoint High School’s Venture Club, which hosts climbing, camping, mountain, biking, hiking, sailing and other outdoor opportunities for SHS students. Advance tickets can be purchased for $8 at All Seasons Garden Center, Eichardt’s Pub or from any high school Venture Club member. They will also be available at the door for $10. Tickets are $6 for children 12 and under. As with any good film festival here in Sandpoint, there will be plenty of opportunities for door prizes and raffle prizes provided by local businesses. It is guaranteed to be a night of education and inspiration.
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Page | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
HOPE FOR THE BEST
Prepare for the Worst
If I find I need to go to town for some reason, it takes me a good 30 minutes to get ready to head out the door and generally, by the time I’m halfway to town, I’ve remembered at least one thing I needed that I forgot to bring. That doesn’t bode well for my performance in an emergency, does it? In the wake of the disastrous events that hit Japan in mid-March, many are turning their thoughts to their ability to respond to some type of disaster. In some ways, we are lucky here—our relative isolation and the vagaries of weather tend to create a lifestyle that is somewhat more prepared than others throughout the U.S. But notice all those qualifiers: some ways, relative, somewhat. The truth is, most of us would not respond well should something out of the ordinary happen. While a massive earthquake followed by tsunami may not be in the books for those of us in northern Idaho and western Montana, the reality is there are many things that could make us wish we had paid more attention to emergency preparedness. As spring arrives, a higher-than-normal snowpack will be melting off into our rivers and streams, making flooding a strong possibility. Spring also heralds a time of destruction for our roads, and even major highways can be blocked by rock and/or mud slides. And on the more extreme end of things, earthquakes are certainly a possibility in this area where little of our infrastructure has been built to withstand them; dam failures are also a potential problem. So what should a person do to prepare? That depends on what type of emergency comes down the pike at you. In the wake of total destruction, like people in Japan are contending with, the advice is a ‘gobag’ kept by the door (and the fervent hope that particular door is your means of exit in said emergency). Then there’s evacuation scenarios where your vehicle, and not just your own feet, are available to help you leave the scene. The third scenario is one where you can remain in your home, but common conveniences (the ability to travel, grocery stores being re-stocked) are delayed for a period of time. For all scenarios, you must consider the basics of life: water, shelter and food. Water, of course, is the most important as it’s the element we can survive without for the shortest period of time. According to FEMA and public health websites, your best bet for a go-bag is some type of backpack that can be easily carried if you’re on foot. But with a April 2011| The River Journal - A News
gallon of water weighing almost eight-and-a- storage for ideas) but the main thing to keep half pounds (and the recommendation of one in mind is to have food on hand that will last gallon per person per day), you’re not likely without refrigeration, and that can be eaten to be packing that backpack full of water to without being cooked, or to have alternate drink. Still, toss at least one water bottle in plans for cooking. there, plus a way to purify more. Speaking of food... if you have to evacuate Cloudy water should always be filtered your home, will you take your pets with you? before purifying, so toss a couple coffee The answer is likely yes, so consider adding filters into each bag. Purifying takes between pet food to your preparedness plans. one-eighth and one-quarter teaspoon of There are other important items to include bleach per gallon of water. Stop by the dollar regardless of what type of disaster you store for a small bottle of bleach. need to prepare for. Do you require regular Hopefully, your car will offer you enough medications? Talk with your pharmacist room for the three gallons per person for about what you should store and how you three days (36 gallons of water for a family should store it. If you wear contact lenses of four). Note that those white plastic jugs (and cannot possibly go without them), then from milk or fruit juice are not suitable for make sure you have a supply of lens solution water storage, as they cannot be cleaned well in your go-bag and in your car. enough to prevent bacterial growth. Start You will be glad of every extra roll of toilet saving plastic liter soda bottles now. paper you stuff into the nooks and crannies Or, your car is a good place to store a of your vehicle; in your go-bags, consider a small water filter such as are sold at camping supply of wet-wipes along with that roll of TP. stores. They can be pricey, but if you ever need Matches, a small knife, and a can opener (if to use one they are well worth the cost. you have canned items) are always needed. With water out of the way, it’s time to A flashlight (those wind up ones that don’t think shelter. need batteries are nifty) and a whistle to draw In that go-bag, a space blanket takes attention to wherever you are. And “feminine up little room and can be a life-saver. Ditto supplies.” Somehow this little item tends to for a rain jacket with hood. (If you’re like get overlooked on a lot of the preparedness me, don’t actually use that rain jacket until lists I’ve seen. an emergency, as you’ll never get it folded Cell phones have become an integral part back up into that little tiny packet.) Some of of any emergency, but they don’t work well those packets of hot-hands wouldn’t go amiss if they’re not charged. The top rated solar either, though I’ve discovered they lose their charger for a cell phone on CNet (the Solio efficacy after a year or so, so they should be universal charger) runs about $60 on the Solio replaced periodically. A hat and gloves can website. The Solio devices take between 9 also be essential... the warmer, the better. and 17 hours to fully charge and give 3 to 6 Within a vehicle, consider tossing in a hours of talk time. small tent and sleeping bags or, at the least, a If you spend a lot of time in the office, you warm blanket per person. If there’s room for should prepare a go-bag for your workplace. extra clothing, a person could not go amiss And your vehicle preparedness kits, of course, with warm jackets, appropriate footwear and should be in every vehicle you own. extra socks. One final note on preparing for And then there’s food. Any grocery store emergencies: I know I am not the only person will offer a wide range of powdered and dried out there who avoids filling up their gas food supplies to mix with water that take tank until that needle is on empty and the little room in the go-bag. A couple of sterno car is running on fumes. Really, it makes no cans to heat that water would be handy as difference whatsoever to your pocketbook well; moistened chicken noodle soup mix is or your lifestyle to get in the habit of filling not that appetizing. the tank when the car is only half full. In an With more storage room in the vehicle, emergency, you’ll be glad you developed this consider things like rolled oats (inexpensive habit as gas stations may be unable to pump and yes, you can eat them without cooking), gas. and canned goods, but don’t forget the can San Francisco Giants manager Bruce opener. Make sure you buy items you eat Bochy once said, “If you’re not prepared, it’s regularly, and rotate them with food in your not pressure you feel, it’s fear.” So if the news pantry. (Newest food goods in the car, car of late has made you fearful, do something food into the pantry.) about it. Visit www.FEMA.gov for more An adequate food supply in your home information. can be incredibly varied (Google disaster food -Trish Gannon Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page
Legal Issues but no Lawyer? LARC offers help
by Trish Gannon
The court room. It’s the last place that need to file. themselves]. We certainly endorse these most people want to be. You don’t speak the Enter LARC—Legal Assistance Resource types of programs that help people with language. You know little about the law and Connection, (www.transitionsinprogress. representing themselves.” most of what you do know is wrong. The org) a program of Transitions in Progress And not just support and endorse. Many consequences of losing are steep—and in Services, a local 501c(3) also known as of the programs and services available to pro this game, there’s always a loser. Bonner County Homeless Task Force with se litigants in the state of Idaho originated Imagine how much worse it is when you transitional housing programs for homeless in the legal system itself. Judge Heise serves can’t afford an attorney, and your only option families at Blue Haven and Trestle Creek. on a committee through the Idaho Supreme is to represent yourself. “A lot of people are on the edge, and a Court that encourages local attorneys to “If you can’t afford an attorney, the court legal issue can often push them over that become involved in clinics such as LARC and will appoint one for you.” How many times edge,” explained Tami Martinsen, Program in offering pro bono (public good) services, have you heard that in movies and television Manager for TIPS, as to why an organization as well as putting together workshops and shows? And it’s true... in a criminal matter. focused on homelessness would become information programs to help inform the But in a civil case (one where your adversary involved in providing legal help. public about the processes of the legal is not the government), there is no such relief. And providing legal help—legal advice— system, and what is available if you become While you can lose a lot in a civil case, your is exactly what LARC does. involved in them. freedom (as opposed to your incarceration) is With a cadre of volunteer local attorneys Local attorneys are also actively investing not in question, so no attorney is provided. (the program currently has ten who have their time and talent into making the legal An old adage warns that a “man who donated their time) on hand, applicants to system more accessible to those who cannot represents himself has a fool for a client,” LARC, at no charge, can get a 30-minute afford to pay. There are dozens upon dozens (attributed to both Abe Lincoln and Clarence consultation where they can ask questions of local attorneys who are working on Darrow—both lawyers) but when it meets about the issues they face, the best way to reduced fee scales, and are giving a certain head on with an inability to pay (locally, respond to those issues, and what steps they percentage of their time to working pro lawyers’ fees begin around $150 an hour), a need to follow, as well as simply finding out bono—for no fee at all. second adage comes into play: “A man’s gotta if the paperwork they’ve prepared will be Although attorneys are the favored do what a man’s gotta do.” Although legal considered complete by the courts. butt of many jokes, the fact is if you find aid will provide help with a limited range “This is an incredible, awesome program,” yourself in a situation where you have to act of legal issues, that help is only provided said one client who was waiting to meet as your own legal counsel, you will quickly to those whose incomes are no higher than with an attorney. “It has provided me with understand just how much time, effort and 125 percent of the federal poverty level. (A an enormous amount of help.” specialized knowledge is involved in bringing family of four who earns $29,000 a year will Alexandria Lewis, who serves as the Court a case to court; pro se litigants often remark not qualify.) Assistance Officer for the five northern Idaho that a good attorney is worth the money you According to the American Bar counties, said she is “happy this program is pay for their services. Association, around 40 percent of Americans available,” as an additional resource she can But you can’t pay what you don’t have. If who need an attorney cannot afford to pay refer people to. you or someone you know finds themselves one; that’s the main reason behind the rise in LARC was born in the thoughts of a in the position of having to represent pro se (“for oneself” “on one’s own behalf”) or retired member of the local legal system (who themselves in court, let them know that pro per (“in one’s own person or character”) prefers to remain anonymous) who had seen Bonner County has services that can help. representation in courts, particularly in the impact of the growing movement toward Currently, LARC can offer eight civil courts. The National Center for State pro se representation: people who entered appointments each month (with more Courts reports, “... individual states and the courtroom with little understanding of volunteer attorneys, they could offer jurisdictions have documented high numbers the legal issues surrounding their litigation, more), which take place on the second and of self-represented litigants in domestic- little knowledge of the procedures of the fourth Thursdays of the month. Generally relations (especially divorce and domestic court, and a lot of frustration at dealing with an applicant is offered one appointment, abuse), small-claims, traffic, and landlord/ the system. though depending on the issue they might tenant cases.” He brought his idea to the local Circles qualify for more. The Idaho justice system is Initiative (a program working on the problems LARC also maintains a list of resources acknowledging the burgeoning self- associated with poverty), looking for a lead available to those going the route of pro se representation movement by funding, in agency to administer it and TIPS, also a representation. every county, a court assistance officer member of the initiative, took on the role. To learn more about LARC, visit their (w w w.co.bonner.id.us/clerk /courts.html) “The cost of legal representation is so website at www.transitionsinprogress. who can provide guidance in obtaining phenomenal, even middle class residents org. Or call for an appointment; 208-265court forms and who will review completed often can’t afford it,” Tami said. “We’re 2952. LARC serves people in the Bonner and forms to ensure they meet court guidelines. mired in a legal society with limited access Boundary county areas. In addition, computers are available in the to help.” Many standard court documents are court assistance office for pro se litigants to Debra Heise, a seated magistrate judge available online at www.courtselfhelp. use in preparing court documents. in Bonner County, can certainly attest to the idaho.gov. This website is maintained by the What the court assistance office can increase in self-representation in the local Idaho Supreme Court as a resource for selfnot do, however, is offer you advice on your courts. “Across the board we have seen an represented litigants. particular legal issue. And what constitutes increase in the number of self-representing The Idaho Law Foundation also maintains legal advice encompasses a broad range of litigators,” she said. “In my family courts, the Legal Resource Line, to answer general topics including, sometimes, finding out I would estimate about 40 percent of legal questions. Reach them toll free at 877exactly which type of court document you the cases [involve someone representing 228-6601. Page | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
DOWNTOWN SANDPOINT EVENTS SANDPOINT EVENTS
events at Lakeview Park
7–9 Inside Job, award-winning documentary Panida Theater. 7:30 pm each night. $7 adults/$6 students & seniors. 208-263-9191 9–10 Tropical Daze at Schweitzer Mountain. Season ending festival. Visit Schweitzer.com for full schedule or call 208-263-9555. 9–10 26th Annual Home and Garden Show, Bonner County Fairgrounds, 95:30 Sat., 10-4 Sun. Free parking and admission. 10- Storytelling Co. 6 pm at Ivano’s, 208-290-1281 13 Wildflowers, Wild Lands and Wild Times Along the Continental Divide, Sandpoint Community Hall, 6 pm, free. 208-946-9127. 14 - Kinderhaven dinner, Trinity at City Beach, 6 pm, $50. Reservations required, 208-255-7558. 14-16 The Illusionist, Panida Theater, 7:30 each night, 208-263-9191 15 International Wildlife Film Festival, 7 pm Panida Theater, 208-263-9191. 16 Pelada, soccer documentary, Panida Little Theater, 2 pm & 7 pm. 208-2639191 16 Spaghetti Feed and Dessert Auction Fundraiser for Selkirk School, Sandpoint Community Hall, 4:30 pm. $8 adults/$5 children/$25 family. 208-263-4931 18 Waiting for Superman, Panida, 7:30 pm. 208-263-9191 21-22 Carmen, Opera Comique, Panida, 7:30 each night. 208-263-9191 22 Earth Day Festival, Sandpoint Event Center, 4-8 pm. 208-265-9565 23 Temple Grandin, film at Panida, 7 pm, $8 suggested donation. 29- Arbor Day Celebration, 10:30-1, Lakeview Park, 208-265-2674 29 Festival at Sandpoint Wine Tasting, Dinner & Auction, Bonner County Fairgrounds, 5:30, $50. 208-265-4554.
April 29 10:30 to 1 pm
Visit www.DowntownSandpoint.com for a complete calendar of events
Music on the Bridge - live music noon-3 pm, third Saturday of the month at the Cedar St. Bridge cafe. FREE. 208-265-4396 Winery Music - Live music every Friday night at Pend d’Oreille Winery Pub Music with Truck Mills Blues Jam every Monday night at Eichardt’s Trivia every Tuesday night at MickDuff’s. Tuesdays with Mike, Trinity at City Beach, 5 to 8 pm.
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A Bird in Hand
Ring-billed Gull As a young parent, I shared my love of birds with all of my children from their earliest years. I can’t say that I had great success with this as only one of my three kids developed as deep an interest in birds as I have, but it wasn’t from lack of effort. But maybe maybe I’m being a little hard on myself. After all, any one of the three will gladly go grouse hunting with me when the opportunity presents itself, so I guess that is birding after a fashion. You learn a lot things being a parent. One lesson I learned was the limits of childhood hearing. My oldest had the hardest time differentiating between the word eagle and sea gull. If you think about it, they do sound very similar. So, to help my child with understanding the difference between these two species of birds I simply limited the description of the latter to “gull.” Not sea gull, simply gull. And in all truth, that is often more accurate. This is especially true for our bird of the month, the Ring-billed Gull. It might spend its entire life and never see the Council website at tristatecouncil.org.
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email@example.com sea. It might never be a sea gull. Actually, there are many species of gulls that are limited to the interior of the North American continent. The Ring-billed is simply a highly adaptive specie that has learned to exploit whole series of environments, from the Florida Keys to the Yoke’s Market parking lot in Ponderay, Idaho. It makes the AllNorth-American team as it ranges from sea to shining sea, as well as down to the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and up into the interior of Canada. In fact, it is one of the most common, if not the most common gull, on the continent. They are everywhere you are! So what makes a Ring-billed gull distinctive from other gulls? Not a whole lot. The Ring-billed is one of the white-headed gulls, as opposed to the black-headed gulls which tend to be smaller. The Ring-billed is not the only gull with a ringed bill. But it is probably the only one you’ll ever encounter around here with a yellow ringed-bill. That is an important distinction. There are many subadult gulls of many species that have rings around their bills, but with one exception, the Ring-billed is the only one that retains the ring as an adult. And yellow bills indicate in gulls a breeding adult. Let’s look at this a bit more carefully. The adult Ring-billed Gull will have the “normal” colors of an adult white-headed gull. You know: the white head and body, the grayish-colored wings, the black tail, etc. Learning the particulars, such as the colors of the legs, the slight distinctive colorations, and a few other field marks will help you to separate one gull specie from an other, but this requires a good field guide and patience. But what you must keep in mind is that the Ring-billed, like many other gulls, has a long developmental period. They do not obtain
their adult breeding colors until their third summer, and then they change again in the off-breeding season. This gets complicated and can be frustrating for many birders. Let’s use the Ring-billed gull as an example. A juvenile bird (one in its first year of life and still a kid, though adult sized) is easy to spot. It is mostly browns and whites. But then the juvenile bird molts into its first-winter pattern, then into a first-summer pattern, and then into a second-winter pattern, and then into a second-winter pattern. Finally, in its third summer of life will you see the adult breeding pattern—the one with the yellow bill. But then it loses the yellow bill during the upcoming off season. If you can simply recognize the fact that it takes a typical gull three years to become a breeding adult, you can get by not knowing whose in their firstyear or second-year pattern. Just know that if it is late spring or summer and somebody has a yellow bill, he or she (they can be difficult to tell apart) are breeding adults. And if that yellow bill has a ring around it, it is a Ringbilled gull. Whew! Clear as mud. The Ring-billed is quite the adaptive specie. It is an omnivore, meaning it will eat anything. And they are common, which is a testimony to their versatility. Around there they often stay for the winter. Granted, some probably migrate to the coast when the snow begins to swirl, but many of them stay. They’re are the one I appreciate; these are the ones I identify with. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing a Ring-billed Gull wading through the slush on ice-covered Lake Pend Oreille digging out the remains of some ice fisherman’s discarded worm. Tough birds... you gotta love ‘em. Happy birding!
Spring is right around the corner... really! and so is the 26th Annual PBCA
HOME & GARDEN SHOW April 9 and 10 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds Doors open at 9 am Sat., 10 am Sun.
Booth spaces are still available so act now! For more information call 208-263-4967 or visit www.Panhandle BCA.com Presented by Sandpoint, Idaho April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page
The Game Trail
A bad case of cabin fever Matt Haag
firstname.lastname@example.org Seems this year winter really dragged out, I can’t remember the last time I had cabin fever so badly. The light is at the end of the tunnel, though, I think we can say spring is finally here. I’m longing to take the kiddos out for a little fishing and listen to the osprey squawk overhead while they show us up on the catching part of fishing! Speaking of fishing, I’m really happy to announce that the Idaho legislators passed a law that closes all fishing to the public in the month of April to allow us Conservation Officers some time to fish without worrying about our jobs. Plus it will be really nice to have the lakes, rivers, and creeks all to ourselves. The bill is referred to as “Conservation Officer Appreciation Month.” What? You haven’t heard of that legislation? Yeah well, me neither, April fools. Please don’t call your legislator about this, I’m kidding. Seriously, don’t call your legislator... I like my job. I’m sure you all have cabin fever too! Here are some reminders about seasons and regulations before we all head out and enjoy the wonderful resources we all share. Most importantly, please buy the appropriate license, tags and permits for your activity. If you don’t think that you have the money for a license, you surely can’t afford a citation. Idaho resident fishing and hunting licenses are the only thing in this world, with the exception of home values, that have not gone up in price in six years. So come on, just buy one before you head out this year, and make sure it says 2011 at the top. There is no reason to wait until the old Memorial Day Weekend fishing opener. All waters in the Panhandle are open all year except as modified in the regulations on pages 7–8. That brings up another point, grab a set of
regulations and throw it in your rig so you can have them handy to peruse. If you’re really fancy, download the regulations from our website to your smartphone and you’ll always have a copy with you. It has been a few years since we closed harvest to Cutthroat Trout in the Pend Oreille Lake system which includes the Clark Fork River and Pend Oreille River, so please correctly identify your fish. Same goes for the bass anglers—remember, there is no size limit on smallmouth bass. The daily bag limit on bass is still six fish, however only two can be largemouth and they need to be over 16 inches in length. April 15, 2011 is the opener for turkey season in the Panhandle. Turkey hunting is a blast for adults, but it’s a golden opportunity to get the kiddos introduced to hunting. A youth hunter must be 10 to 15 years old on April 8 to hunt in the general season youth hunt which falls on April 8 through the 14th this year. There are a lot of folks in the county who would love for you to remove a few turkeys from their property, but please be sure to ask permission and respect the land. Also, with the turkey population increasing and the number of turkey hunters rising there is an increased potential for accidents in the field. Two hunters stalking the same turkey can be unaware of each other’s presence so we must be cognizant of one of firearm’s golden rules: be aware of your backdrop. Additionally, the use of decoys has increased also enticing a hunter to “stalk” your decoy. Again, please be aware of your backdrop before you pull the trigger. Bear hunters might be waiting a little later this year to hunt some of the higher country; we’ll have to see how the upper snowpack melt-off progresses. Bear seasons for 2011 have not changed since 2010, so plan the same. Please purchase a bait permit if you plan on hunting over bait, and remember no baiting in Unit 1. Also, take an extra few
minutes to watch the bear’s behavior before you pull the trigger. Is it a sow with cubs? Not only is it illegal to shoot a sow with cubs, but it is unethical. It is the hunter’s responsibility to take the time to make the accurate decision. Yes folks, the bears are out and moving around so NOW is the time to bear-proof your home. Take the winter’s worth of garbage to the dump, bring the dog and cat food indoors, and take down the bird feeders. We don’t have laws or ordinances in this part of the state to make intentional or unintentional wildlife feeding illegal so it’s all up to you! If you don’t want to bear-proof your property, expect to have a bear hanging around the house in the next few months. Good luck with that, I’ll be off fishing. Don’t forget about “Conservation Officer Appreciation Month”, while it’s not legislated it could be a volunteer thing. So the next sunny weekend we have y’all stay home and watch some TV. Thanks. LEAVE NO CHILD INSIDE
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A Seat in the House Update on some bills of interest The 2011 Legislative session is coming close to adjournment; some are estimating as close as April 6, but at the latest by April 8. At the time of writing this report several appropriation bills still remain to be passed by the legislature as well as a small number of legislative proposals that are important to consider before the end of the session. The following is a review of some of the more significant legislation that has been passed or defeated so far this session. The two education reform bills that I discussed in my last article, Senate Bill 1108 that addressed labor relations and employee entitlements and Senate Bill 1110 that provides for a “Pay for Performance” system for teachers, were passed by both houses and signed into law by the Governor. The third education reform bill, Senate Bill 1184 was passed by the Senate on a 20-15 vote and sent to the House for consideration. The legislation is before the House Education Committee at the time of this writing but
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is expected to be approved by both the committee and the members of the House and sent to the Governor. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law. Senate Bill 1184 provides for a five year phase-in of greater use of laptop computers for ninth grade and above classes and other education reform measures. The funding for these measures will be met in part by reduction in the teacher salary support provided by the state. Pay for Performance is expected to help make up the difference by providing monetary rewards for those teachers meeting pay for performance criteria. The Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee has cut about thirty-four million dollars from the 2012 Medicaid budget by suspending or terminating some services, adding co-pay provisions and reducing payments to providers. Even with these cuts the Medicaid budget is being increased by about 137 million dollars, primarily because of the need to make up reductions in federal matching dollars that were received this fiscal year from federal stimulus dollars. The House approved House Bill 222 that would have allowed concealed firearms on public university and college campuses. Concealed firearms would also have been allowed at college and university athletic events. This legislation was opposed by Idaho’s university and college presidents as well as many city and county law enforcement officials. The legislation was defeated in the Senate State Affairs Committee. The legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution No. 25 that requested the Governor issue an Executive Order that delays for one year the incremental increase in the grocery tax credit that was provided in 2008 legislation. This action provided for a savings of about 15 million dollars that helps meet budget needs for this upcoming fiscal year. A federal judge ruled earlier this year that Idaho’s open primary election process was unconstitutional which resulted in a need for legislation to address how the primary elections should be conducted. House and Senate leadership has drafted legislation
George Eskridge, Idaho Representative for House District 1B You can reach him at 800-626-0471 or via email at idaholeginfo@ lso.idaho.gov that in part would allow Democrats to vote in Democratic primaries and Republicans to vote in Republican primaries. The legislation may also allow the parties’ state central committees to decide if unaffiliated voters could participate in a party’s primary election but their ballot choice would become public record. These conditions could be revised as the legislature debates the draft primary election legislation. The House sent the Department of Insurance Appropriation bill back to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee for revision because of objection to a 2.5 million dollar grant to help fund development of insurance exchanges foreseen by the Federal Patient and Affordable Care Act. Under this act the states “must establish insurance exchanges offering a choice of plans under common rules to boost competition.” Because Idaho is challenging the constitutionality of the federal act, it was felt by many that using the federal money would commit Idaho to implement the law, which would be contradictory to the lawsuit. Although it won’t be as much as the federal funds, the State Department of Insurance will utilize state general funds to develop an insurance exchange program that will meet federal requirements if the law is upheld, but if not, the state would still be able to “take advantage of insurance exchanges to boost competition and transparency for customers looking to purchase protection.” I will provide additional information on the final budget for fiscal year 2011 and other significant legislative actions in subsequent issues of the Journal; in the meantime please feel free to contact me with issues of concern to you. Since the legislature will be adjourned at about the same time this article is published, I can be reached by phone at home in Dover at (208) 265-0123 or by mail at P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho, 83825. Thanks for reading! George
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Page 10 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
Not in the Mood for Crazy I am sick of winter, sick of snow, sick of mud, sick of the poor economy, sick of what I read in the news every day... and I am not alone. I’m not sure what the reason is, but almost everyone I talk to is feeling the same way. We’re irritated, frustrated, pessimistic and really, really, really want the sun to come out and stay for a while. “What is it that has you so irritated?” you say. Why, thank you so much for asking. First, there’s cops. Yes, I do appreciate the almost-always fine job our local police and sheriff’s deputies do and yes, I do tend to hold them to a higher standard. So when they screw up, it irritates me. And Deputy “X”, when you were out in Clark Fork during our alumni tournament, you irritated me plenty. So much so that weeks later, I’m still irritated. So here’s a message to those of you screw-ups who wear a badge: you are doing a disservice to the 99.9 percent of our local officers who do a great job by leading the public to believe you’re all just a bunch of dumb jerks. To quote our former President Bush (believe me, I don’t do that very often): you’re either with us or against us. And being against us is a very bad choice, indeed. Arrogance is not actually a part of your job description. As long as I’m making people angry here, let me go after the Bonner County Republican party, and the letter they sent to the Idaho legislature requesting an investigation of the connection between Tom Luna and Bill Gates. (If you haven’t seen this letter, look for a copy of it on our website.) Seriously, are you teabaggers just total nincompoops? I’m guessing there’s some of you living wild and off your meds but this Anne Chamberlain chick—I have a scary suspicion that she sees herself as some modern-day Joan of Arc, letting the voices lead her into war. (Pssst, Anne... I heard those laptops that Luna’s gonna get from Bill Gates are gonna be equipped with needles so that when the kids type on ‘em, they’ll get vaccinated! Better jump on that one quick!) I’ve known members of Idaho’s Republican party for years and, while we might not have always agreed on some political issues, very few ever reminded me of a character out of Alice and Wonderland. It’s time for the reasonable Republicans (and I know there’s still lots of them out there) to clean house. If these people do not promote your values, they should not be a part of your party. Let ‘em get their own. Lest you think I’m not an equalopportunity kinda gal, let me get a little bashing in on the left, as well. There is a certain someone in our community facing a diagnosis of breast cancer. Believe me, I understand how frightening it is to get that kind of news, so please hear the following as “shooting the message” and not as “shooting the
messenger.” This particular person has decided to treat this breast tumor with ‘alternative’ methods. All well and good—I’m a firm believer that people have the right to choose to do whatever they want with their very own body. I support the right to choose an abortion, a same-sex marriage or relationship, and multiple body art/piercings (as long as you’re not a child of mine under the age of 18). This particular alternative treatment can do some truly frightening things to your body but it’s “natural.” (So are daffodils, but you’re not gonna catch me eating the bulbs any
email@example.com time soon.) Again, all well and good. If you want to rot away parts of your body in the magical hope that it will make your cancer go away, that’s your right.
Politically Incorrect by Trish Gannon harm to the body’s cells. It does a great deal of harm, in even very small doses, to babies in the womb, and there’s a heckuva lot of scientific studies that back that up. Every one of us is exposed to a certain amount of radiation in our daily lives; granite, for example, is a radiation emitter, so if you live around granite (like, say, in mountains) you’re getting a certain amount of radiation every day that does some level of harm to your body. Same thing if you ever go out in the sunshine, which I really hope to do in the not-too-far future. We’re also exposed to so-called ‘background’ radiation that’s not really background at all, but instead is a now ‘normal’ level due to the disposal of radioactive waste around the country. A ride on an airplane will expose you to radiation, dental x-rays and CT scans expose you to radiation, and if you get diagnosed with cancer (and don’t treat it with woomedicine), you may well be exposed to radiation as well. The important thing is that if you are educated about risk, you can at least choose whether or not the risks of exposure are worth the benefits of whatever it is that’s exposing you. I’m not going to go into the massive risks imposed by spent fuel pools like the ones at the Dai-ichi nuke plant in Fukushima, but all 104 of our own nuke plants has at least one of them right here in the U.S. just jam-packed full. They would be marginally safer if that spent fuel was encased in concrete casks, as has been recommended—but we decided that wasn’t cost effective or necessary for safety. By we, of course, I don’t mean me. Score one for the capitalist cretins there. We can’t talk about Fukushima without talking about the thousands of nitwits in the U.S. who bought up iodine in order to ‘protect’ themselves from plutonium. Um... treating radioactive plutonium poisoning is very time- and dose-specific. All you morons out there shoveling down the iodine are not only likely poisoning yourself... you’re probably not even protecting yourself at all! But hey, at least you’re helping to ensure that if people do need that iodine, it won’t be available. Of course, I believe in and do stupid things myself, so who am I to talk, right? Well, I guess I don’t have enough patience to deal with your stupidity on top of my own. So do us all a favor and hold the crazy inside ‘til the sun starts shining again. Trish Gannon is publisher of the River Journal, and generally the Calm Center of Tranquility, but she and columnist Sandy Compton have made a deal that they will take alternating months and rant about various forms of human stupidity. And don’t expect a change in the weather to change that.
So do us all a favor and hold the crazy inside ‘til the sun starts shining again.
But wait. This lady is blogging about her experience, and encouraging other women to consider this as a viable treatment for breast cancer. And that’s where she crosses a line. So when I was asked to share what she was doing, I said no. Sorry, but I’m not going to promote something that will not only not help people who may need help, it may do some truly terrible things to them. Let the freak out begin. My refusal was “close-minded,” I was told to “step off my high horse,” and told that by not ‘supporting’ this choice, I was “negating” the “battles [women have fought] for the right to control our own bodies!” Baloney. Let me say here I do not believe in “teaching the controversy.” Not all opinions carry equal weight and are deserving of promotion. By that standard, we should be teaching students in history that because “some people” think the Holocaust never occurred it might not have happened, our science students that “some people” think the moon landing was fake so therefore we might never have gone to space, and our English students that “some people” think intellectualism is bad, so go ahead and write without understanding spelling or grammar and no one will think you’re a dimwit. So crazy resides on both sides of the political spectrum and they came together with a bang in our recent experiences with radiation from a nuke in Japan where the back-ups of the back-ups of the back-ups failed to work. Uh, just in case you didn’t know, there is no safe level of radiation. Radiation does
April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 11
Open Congress and Concurrent Compensation
Gil Beyer, ETC USN Ret.
firstname.lastname@example.org with friends at your favorite bar. I’m looking forward to that first frosty pint with as much your congressperson is currently a sponsor. If anticipation as a four-year-old at Christmas. you feel this is a good thing to happen, then Salud! please let your congressperson know how you But I digress. The purpose of this article feel, even if you are not affected directly.” is two-fold. One to update you on the As of today all the bills that deal with machinations of the 112th Congress and, two, concurrent compensation are in the hands to let you know about some things that effect of various committees. The numbers of coarea veterans on a local and regional basis. sponsors has increased so that is a good sign. The 112th Congress has been busy but not, In a previous article I mentioned that the in my opinion, in a good way. The House (both number of co-sponsors is a good indicator sides of the aisle but mostly from the GOP of a bill’s viability and chances of passage. since they hold the majority) has spent more If Congress can ever decide to actually do time on political posturing and finger-pointing something about any of this nation’s problems than they have in accomplishing the People’s maybe we will see some positive action. Business. The GOP majority has spent a great On the local front I’d like to list the deal of time asking questions of this President meeting times and dates of all our various that were NEVER asked of the previous one. veterans’ organizations. It is only by becoming For example earlier this week the question part of larger group that we can hope to have was asked of why we were we declaring war our voices heard by those in the corridors of on Libya. I don’t recall that question ever power. Membership in these groups is like being asked in reference to Iraq; at least, not adding a megaphone to one’s lonely voice. from the GOP. The GOP seems to be willing The voices of thousands are more often heard to sacrifice the greatest good for the greatest than the single voice in the wilderness. number in favor of pleasing their corporate MEETINGS / EVENTS: donors. • 2ND Wednesday - vet center bus will at One of my best ‘finds’ in doing research for the Sandpoint VFW post 0800 to 1700 my articles is a website called ‘Open Congress’ • 1st Saturday - American Legion Post 147, (www.opencongress.org). This website will 1100 220 Larch St. Priest River get you a list of every bill introduced in either • 2nd Tuesday - American Legion Post 146, house on any topic. It will tell you the name 0900 Cabinet Mtn. Restaurant Clark Fork of every sponsor, co-sponsor, supporting • 2nd Tuesday - Marine Corps League organizations and exactly who has received 0930 Tango Café, Panhandle Bank Bldg., money from which supporting group... to the Sandpoint dollar. If you want to ‘follow the money’ I have • 2nd Tuesday - Vietnam Veterans of found no better source. If you want the current America 1800 1325 Pine St, Sandpoint status of any bill, in either house, all you have • 2nd Tuesday - VFW Post 3622, 1830 6035 to do is enter the bill number and there it is. Lincoln St., Bonners Ferry To a dedicated ‘Info Junkie’ like me this site • 2nd Thursday - VFW Post 10320, 1800 is a gold mine. As Thomas Jefferson said, 115 W 4TH St, Clark Fork “Educate and inform the whole mass of the • 2nd Thursday - American Legion Post 55, people ... They are the only sure preservation 1900 6416 Kootenai, Bonners Ferry of our liberty.” Below is a sample of the kind of • 2nd Saturday - VFW Post 2909 1300 220 info found on that website. Larch St. Priest River “Concurrent Receipt Update: Legislation • 3rd Wednesday - VFW Post 2453 & has been introduced in both houses of the 112th Auxiliary, 1830 1325 Pine St. Sandpoint Congress that would allow qualified military • 3rd Wednesday - DAV Post 15, 1830 1325 retirees to receive both their VA disability Pine St., Sandpoint compensation and DoD pensions at the same • 3rd Wednesday - VFW Auxiliary Post time. Concurrent receipt of retirement pay and 2909, 1800 220 Larch St., Priest River disability compensation has been expanded • 4th Wednesday - American Legion Post in recent years, but it still does not apply 15 & Auxiliary, 1830 1325 Pine St., to military retirees with service-connected Sandpoint disabilities rated less than 50 percent. I’d like to thank Bill Stevens for sending me Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (surprise, surprise) this information. Bill is one of the real good 1211 Michigan, Sandpoint introduced the “Retired Pay Restoration Act guys when it comes to being proactive on of 2011 S. 344 on February 14, with 17 co- issues of interest and concern for veterans. A sponsors, to go along with a similar measure, sincere and heartfelt tip of my hat to Bill for the “Disabled Veterans Tax Termination all he has done and continues to do. If there Act” H.R. 333, previously introduced in the are any errors in the above list they are solely House by Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-GA. H.R. mine. 333 already has 105 cosponsors. Two other Until next month take care and let your House bills also address lifting the ban on elected representatives know your opinions concurrent receipt, H.R. 303 and H.R. 186. The on issues that concern you. There is some links above should allow you to contact your truth in the old saw about the squeaky wheel appropriate congressperson after entering getting the grease. your zip code. You can also check and see if Page 12 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
This will be the last article submitted from the Yucatan of Mexico. By the time you read this I’ll be back in Idaho trying to figure out why the hell we came back. We cannot reasonably expect the snow to be completely gone. Nor can we expect sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s to 80s so the question arises—Why are we here? The only good thing that will be happening after we get home is that I’ll be able to enjoy decent ale. After eight winters here in Mexico one would think that I’d have become accustomed to not having all the familiar things we have in the Good, Old USA. Not so—I miss cheddar cheese, Idaho baking potatoes and a good hoppy ale. Mexican beer is, for the most part, a light lager. While a lager is great after you’ve finished mowing the lawn on a hot August afternoon—just to quench your thirst—it just doesn’t do it when hoisting a couple
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Spring’s Hydrologists Spring is springing. I feel it underfoot, seemingly seeping up from underground, though I know it’s a function of solar gain. Walking between my house and my mother’s feels like treading a plush carpet, excepting that this sticks to my boots. The planet is sneaking into the house one mud particle at a time. Not enough care or caution can be taken to stop its ingress in these first days of the thaw. Wipe your feet, take off your shoes, and your pants cuff drip aqueous muck onto the kitchen floor. There is no escape, unless you count Mexico. Mud season is upon us, as our world gets a superinjection of hydromass. I made that word up—I think. Feel free to use it at will. Someone came up with biomass one day, out of the blue, and spellcheck doesn’t even blink at it any more. I fully expect hydromass to reach the same, mundane state, but for now, I like its fresh appearance. It seems a properly constructed and, furthermore, descriptive noun, though that’s not what nouns are supposed to be. Nouns in their pure form just are—objects or subjects—and adjectives describe them. Hydromass could get the adjective union upset. A favorite hydromass of my childhood was Clayton Creek, a very seasonal stream along the road that led to my grandparent’s home. My sibs and I did amateur hydrology experiments in that stream. In spring, the creek (pronounced crick in Montana, and no argument from any transplanted flatlander has convinced me differently) in the ditch became the best current excuse for dawdling on our way to fill grandma’s wood box. We built dams in the ditch and waterbars in the road—before we knew what waterbars were—all designed to interrupt, modify, pool or channel hydromass. If a dam-building session began after school, with receding light and impending chores mitigating factors, the material of choice was snow, of which there was still plenty most years. We packed it into blocks and boulders and laid them across the stream, creating pools that sometimes reminded us that galoshes are only waterproof to the top. Galoshes, if you don’t remember them, were made of rubberized fabric with buckles that closed the throat of the boot once you got your foot, complete with shoe, pushed in. Most were black, but if you were a little kid, yours might be red or yellow. They were viewed as armor in my family, completely necessary in the battle to conquer Clayton Creek, and, except for being sometimes too short, very reliable—unless the dog chewed on them. There was something both uncomfortable and satisfying about slopping frigid water over the top of a galosh. You might have at least one wet foot, but wading that deep in a pool of your very own hydromass was worth
A galosh that was wet inside caused the shoe to stick in the throat when you tried to pull it on, and you could break a fingernail trying to force the issue. The kid who remembered to put his wet galoshes close enough to the stove to dry overnight— without making them smoke—was ready to go in the morning a lot sooner than one who forgot.
Weekend hydromass projects involved sophisticated building techniques and materials. If you are allowed to use a hatchet to split kindling, it follows directly that you are allowed to use a hatchet to cut down saplings with which to build dams. Permission to do so was implicit, and taken full advantage of. Making off with a handsaw was risky, particularly if you were cutting down pitchy grand fir or ponderosa. Grandpa kept a shovel near the ditch for his own hydromass projects, so that was never a problem. A weekend dam project might produce a dam of sufficient size and impermeability to activate some of the waterbars in the road downstream—hopefully without actually washing the road out, which could make life dangerous for amateur hydrologists. Most dams, even those built of saplings and soil, were short-lived. There is something about a homemade downstream disaster— however small—that budding hydrologists find fascinating, so we became dam removal specialists, too. In some manner or another, we would weaken the structure a bit at a time—we never could get hold of dynamite
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The Scenic Route by Sandy Compton for the purpose for some reason—until the entire pent-up hydromass would push the dam out of the way and rush downstream at once, while we followed the flood and observed. It was fun, pure and simple, and a practical lesson in hydrology we would never have gotten playing with an X-Box. Sometimes, we got more than a little wet and more than a little cold, but that gave us hardy immune systems. Hydromass manipulation was also a cooperative, nonviolent activity, though we did get in a fight once—which we won—with some city boys who knocked out our snow dams before we could during a dam-building stint in Spokane. Dam building makes you tough in more ways than one. Hydromass manipulation on a small scale is still fun, and part of the rites of spring. I am never surprised—in fact, I am somewhat pleased—to see a few kids industriously creating diversions and containments in creeks along their pathways home, though I don’t see many galoshes. The newer rubber boots have tops, too, though, and ice water is still as refreshing now as it was when I was an amateur hydrologist working in Clayton Creek on my way home from school.
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April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 13
The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act The
Devil’s in the Details
Here’s a detail that we haven’t heard much about in the media: TITLE VIII of the Affordable Care Act is the ‘‘Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act’’ or the ‘‘CLASS Act’’. Starting in 2013 Americans will be able to buy a kind of long-term care insurance from the government at initial premiums estimated to
Providing helping hands when you need them most. Support services for the end of life.
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Home Health & Hospice Services
By Nancy Gerth
be between $100-$200 per month. Anyone who pays premiums for five years and who works at least ¼ time for three of those five years is eligible to receive benefits* of not less that $50 per day to purchase nonmedical services and needed to maintain independence at home or in another residential setting of their choice in the community, including (but not limited to) home modifications, assistive technology, accessible transportation, homemaker services, respite care, personal assistance services, home care aides, and nursing support. Benefits can be used to compensate a family caregiver. No taxpayer funds shall be used for payment of benefits. Administrative costs are limited to 3% There are no underwriting requirements. This means everybody gets it who wants it no matter what their medical condition is. But remember that you have pay into it for five years first, and you have to earn income during three of those five years. Having experienced the death of two parents from Alzheimer’s, this seems an answer to several prayers of mine: that I won’t have to leave home should I start to fail, or at least not immediately; that my husband will not have to divorce me in order to keep the house; that there will be some choice for us should I require care. Or should he. This type of insurance is being phased out by the major private insurance companies, because they can’t make enough profit on it.
Long-term Care Insurance Of course not. Family members who want to keep their family members at home can do it for a lot less than assisted livings and nursing homes. And they are willing to, because they are not motivated by profit, but by love. The Act also sets up an Independence Advisory Council calls for the establishment of long-term care training programs. This one is a thumbs up for me. At least it will be if I can work until I’m 68. Just in time for me. What do you think? If you would like me to continue this series, have a question or commenet, a research topic, or a suggestion for me, or would like to contribute your own devilish detail, please contact me at: 208-304-9066 or email@example.com *This is my interpretation. The act says that an eligible beneficiary ‘‘(i) has paid premiums for enrollment in such program for at least 60 months; ‘‘(ii) has earned, with respect to at least 3 calendar years that occur during the first 60 months for which the individual has paid premiums for enrollment in the pro- gram, at least an amount equal to the amount of wages and self-employment income which an individual must have in order to be credited with a quarter of coverage under section 213(d) of the Social Security Act for the year; and ‘‘(iii) has paid premiums for enrollment in such program for at least 24 consecutive months, if a lapse in premium payments of more than 3 months has occurred during the period that begins on the date of the individual’s enrollment and ends on the date of such determination.
Make time to capture life’s special moments. Like good friends and good shoes, they keep you going through life’s ups and downs. Dansko shoes provide support and all day comfort so try a pair and see what develops.
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Page 14 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
of The River Journal’s
SurrealisT Research BureaU The Greatest Team that Never Was In a discussion over Super Bowl weekend with two associates I was surprised to learn they were unaware of the team many people—myself included—consider to be the greatest of all time. When we think of the greatest football teams ever most people think of the undefeated ‘72 Dolphins or the beloved ‘85 Bears but only a few of us recall fondly the tale of the amazing 1941 Plainfield Teachers College Comets. Obscure colleges bursting from nowhere onto the national spotlight were far from unknown throughout the roaring 20s and 30s. The tiny Carlisle Indian Industrial School, behind the phenomenal Jim Thorpe, won the National Collegiate Championship in 1912. (Thorpe scored all of his team’s points in an 18-15 upset of Harvard, playing on both offense and defense as well as kicking three field goals.) Enter the 1941 Plainfield Teachers College. After winning their first game by a score of 27–3, Plainfield’s 92-year-old coach Harry “Hurry-up” Holblitzel predicted (correctly) that no opponents would score against them again now that the kinks of his new “W
by Jody Forest
formation,” in which the ends were lined up facing the backfield, were smoothed out. The team’s star was full-blooded Chinese running back Jonny Chung, nicknamed “the Celestial Comet,” who reportedly chewed wild rice between plays and who scored 69 of Plainfield’s first 117 points, averaging 7.8 yards a carry. Each week’s victory was more impressive than the last; the Plainfield eleven defeated Benson 20–0, Winona 27–0 and Randolph Tech 35–0. However, on November 13, just before Bowl games were to be announced (Plainfield appeared to be a shoo-in), Plainfield issued this statement: “Due to flunking mid-term examinations, Plainfield has been forced to call off its last two games against Appalachian Tech and Harmony.” It was a disaster for the mighty, undefeated Plainfield team and there was speculation of cheating on tests or professional players on the team. The truth, it turns out, was even weirder. A New York Herald Tribune reporter traveled to Plainfield to do an article on the football
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phenoms and found out quickly that not only was there no team, there was no college there either! It had all been a lark, dreamed up by a bored stockbroker and some friends, who phoned in their phony stories each week to the New York Times and other big city wire services. The scandal faded quickly due to the Pearl Harbor attack just days later, but not before some wit had penned a school song for the mighty Comets (sung to the tune of “Far Above Cayuga’s Waters”): Far above New Jerseys swamplands rise Plainfield Teacher’s spires and mark a phantom, ghostly college. that got on the wires. Reading those dusty, yellowed clippings still brings a smile to my lips. The great Jonny Chung, the 92-year-old coach Hurryup Holblitzel, the bizarre “W” formation, the undefeated, magical season of ‘41. Plainfield Teachers College Comets— possibly, in some alternative dimension, the greatest team to ever play the game! ‘til next time, all homage to Xena!
Plan Ahead! On April 22, the Panhandle Animal Shelter Thrift Shoppe will have a truck in the Sandpoint area picking up gently used items. PAS is accepting furniture, clothing, kitchen items and more. To schedule a pick-up or for more information, please call the Thrift Shoppe at 208-263-0706. Donations are tax deductible and extremely appreciated.
April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 15
Clark Fork Baptist Church
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Kathy’s Faith Walk
Season of reflection We are in the middle of the Lent season, that six-week section of time between Ash Wednesday and Easter, or Resurrection Day. Without going into the history of Lent, in short, it is a time of reflection. The concept of reflection is common to most religious efforts. The Jews observe the ten days of Awe just after Rosh Hashanah and before Yom Kippur in the fall. Many faiths observe daily times of reflection. But the person who would be a disciple of Christ is called to much more than reflection. He is called to repentance. He is called to choose life. When Jesus came to the earth, God in the Flesh, His mission was to reveal to mankind
firstname.lastname@example.org abject horror of it and what had to be done to deal with it. They will yield because they long for relationship with God, their Father, which they cannot have if they allow sin to remain in their lives, unpaid. This is why Jesus came. It is why he taught us about sin and how to deal with it. It is why He died on the cross, why He rose from the dead, and why He lives today. He paid the price for sin so those who accept that payment will never taste eternal death. This Good News about Jesus and what He accomplished for all of us is so simple a
The choice is yours and always has been. The choice is between life and death—Life with God or separation from Him. the presence of sin, or rebellion against God, present in their life; to teach them how to deal with the presence of that sin and then to die in payment for that sin. All man had to do was process and accept this information. It sounds so simple. But man had his own agenda then and he still has it today. Man does not want to know about the sin in his life. He does not want to deal with it. And he certainly doesn’t want to acknowledge that someone else has already paid the price for that sin. To man, the knowledge of sin is ridiculous, foolish, silly, ignorant, narrow-minded, unsophisticated, and unacceptable. Man does not want to believe he has rebellion in his life and in fact, most people won’t. And they will forever taste death because of it. However, there are those who will yield to the truth of sin and begin to embrace the
child can understand it. Resurrection Sunday culminates the time those who love God use to reflect on what Jesus did, and to realign with Christ. It is also a time for those who don’t know Him to meet Him and make the choice to follow Him... or not. The opportunity to accept this precious gift from God is before you. Will you accept it, or like most people, reject it? Will you become a disciple of Jesus Christ, or will you continue on your own road? The choice is yours and always has been. The choice is between life and death—Life with God or separation from Him. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son to die that whosoever should believe on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.” Choose life. It is what Resurrection Day is all about.
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Page 16 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
Too Much or How Much I know that contradicting one’s stepdaughter means walking out on some very wobbly ground. Nonetheless, I find myself wondering if my stepdaughter Ana isn’t operating with a double standard. You see, while chatting with her on Facebook, I asked for some input on a topic for my column, as I seemed to be stuck. She suggested I write about the perpetual adolescence of men. Seems her husband Noah and a couple of his buddies were having a Nerf war in the living room after dinner. Noah held his new daughter, Alice, so no one would shoot him. That left two to do battle with each other. I know those guys, and they refrained from going after the new dad out of respect for the baby, not respect for Noah. No doubt, fear of Ana and their own wives played into the scheme also. I did point out that I think using a human shield is against the Geneva Convention, but otherwise, I couldn’t find any fault in what was going on. In fact, to admit there is such a syndrome of “male perpetual adolescence” would be treasonous. Let me give you an example: if little Alice grabbed a toy and bounced it off her mom it would be cute. But if a Nerf ball, from Noah’s gun, happened to bounce off Alice’s mother, Noah would be considered a perpetual adolescent, and not so cute. If Alice fell asleep while holding onto a bottle, she would be adorable and pictures would be posted on the Internet. If Noah came home exhausted, after a hard day’s work, and fell asleep in his chair holding a beer bottle, chances are, he would be (tisk, tisk) a perpetual adolescent, and pictures would be posted on the Internet. To keep peace in the family, that’s probably enough about that. I decided to look to my usual inspiration and wandered outside to wonder. There is all that mud; the
The Hawk’s Nest by Ernie Hawks
• came upon a car sitting a little sideways on
snow piles left looking like the dirty toe of a receding glacier. There are blossoms and sprouts taking us from winter into spring.
email@example.com I think about the time we spent with the kids last week and how much fun that was. My heart blossoms when I look at pictures of Alice and her family. Another source of inspiration is my brother. After a serious bicycle accident, he is doing very well. As a boy he had a degenerative bone disease that put him on crutches for several months and at ten he was diagnosed with diabetes. Now, due to years of diligent healthy living, he is one of the strongest, healthiest sixty -year- old men in Los Angeles. He is also a terrific piano player. I could write reams about him but he is rather shy about it all. Alice Lindy, my new granddaughter, could easily inspire several thousands of words from my computer. However, everyone but her grandma, her parents, and me would be bored to tears. I don’t really understand why everyone else’s grandkid stories are rather ordinary while mine are so charming. I could write about mud. The other day I
the road. The driver was stuck. As I walked over to him, I thought to myself, “There is just too much mud this year.” Silently, I was praising my driving skills for keeping me from being in the same shape as this poor chap when really, I’ve just been lucky. Then I have a granddad thought, but you have to promise not to tell Alice’s mom. I was standing next to our soft rutted spring road and contemplating the time when I’ll be able to show that curious little girl the wonders of soupy, sloppy, gooey mud. I’m sure it will be all right, because both her parents love to have fun and playing in the mud is, after all, playing - just having fun, right? Maybe we will even get stuck in the mud. I guess stuck isn’t so bad, and maybe I shouldn’t talk about “too much” but “how much.” Saying it that way sounds abundant. I feel how much love our family shares. My brother experiences amazingly good health. It isn’t possible to get too much or even enough of Alice. Experiencing all the joyfulness around us, I feel this is a pretty good way to be stuck. And, I think I can almost hear one of Noah’s buddy’s saying (with camera ready) “Hey guy, you look real tired. Why don’t you sit down there and I’ll set a beer on that table beside you. Maybe you can even catch some Z’s. Don’t worry about a thing; I’ll just be here cleaning my Nerf gun.” I hope they video it so I can watch. And I saw a Nerf sword that I just may buy for their next visit. What’s wrong with perpetual adolescence anyway? That’s Alice, of course, in the photo. The picture really doesn’t have anything to do with this column, but isn’t she cute?
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Make your reservations online at www.quinnshotsprings.com or call 406-826-3150 April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 17
FRANCES LEOLA BEST MEYERS November 16, 1916 - March 8, 2011. Born Milan, Wash., grew up in Clark Fork. Lived in Washington and Arizona before moving to Libby, Mont. in ‘87. Enjoyed traveling, reading, crocheting and family. Mother of five. LUCILLE DUNN HORNE July 28, 1914 - March 7, 2011. Lucille (Lucia) Dunn Horn passed away in Sandpoint, Idaho. A complete obituary will be available online at a later date.
Coffelt Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho.
Get complete obituaries online at
www.CoffeltFuneral.com EVELYN MAY BIDWELL MOORE January 14, 1920 - March 30, 2011. Born Tama, Iowa, moved to Sandpoint in 1930. Married Lawrence Shaffer (div). Married Al Moore 1989. Member of Eagles Lodge Aeire #589, Aux, since 1939, serving as a Past Madam President. Mother of three.
EARL JAMES TACKE May 16, 1947 - March 4, 2011. Earl James Tacke passed away in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Earl was a Viet Nam Veteran and lived in the Granite Creek area of Bonner County. GERALDINE ANN CRAWFORD December 20, 1931 - March 1, 2011. Moved to the Sandpoint area in 2000 with her husband Herman. A complete obituary will be posted online at a later date.
HEATHER SHELDON July 21, 1947 - March 27, 2011. Born in Hove, England. Heather worked as an office manager in physician’s offices. She will be returned to her beloved Scotland. REBECCA LYNN SCOBEE July 26, 1965 - March 26, 2011. Born Sacramento, Calif. Moved to Sandpoint in 2005. Worked at Taco Bell and WalMart. Mother of four.
WILLIAM CHARLES REID November 23, 1957 - March 24, 2011. Born in Eugene, Ore. Worked as a logger on the Coast, moved to Clark Fork and established a ranch. Married Pamela Francis 2003. Known for lending a helping hand. HELEN RUTH BROWN August 20, 1920 - March 19, 2011. Born Winnett, Mont. Married Roy Kindt in ‘38 and moved to Sandpoint in ‘43. Worked at the Elk Lodge and Don’s Drive-In. Married Ellsworth Brown in ‘68. Moved to Sagle and started Gypsy Bay Waterfront. Moved back to Sandpoint in 2008. Mother of 3. EUGENE “GENE” BROWN September 4, 1940 - March 12, 2011. Born San Bernardino, Calif. Served U.S. Army. Worked as surf cartoonist and author and as a reporter. Married Carla, moved to Sandpoint in ‘79. Owned Brown’s Books, served as a Bonner County Commissioner. HAZEL MAXINE TRIMMER EMERY April 10, 1916 - March 12, 2011. Born Richardson Co., Neb., Moved to Minnesota, Sandpoint and Palouse, Wash. Married Marvin Emery ‘36. In the 40s, moved to Sandpoint. Worked briefly at P.G. Hayworth Bakery. Moved in ‘79 to Greenacres, Wash. Mother of two. HARRY “BEAR” BEANE May 13, 1940 - March 10, 2011. Born Longview, Wash., served in the U.S. Army (Viet Nam). Worked as a logger, moved to Naples, Idaho. Logged until his retirement in ‘93. Father of three.
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Get complete obituaries online at
LUCILLE ELLEN HADLEY ALLEN August 21, 1928 - March 16, 2011. Born in the family home in Sandpoint, SHS graduate class of ‘46. Married Sgt. Robert Allen in ‘46. Married 61 years. Mother of three. Worked retail in Sandpoint, retired in ‘93.
SHARON K GRUESBECK WHITESEL January 5, 1943 - March 11, 2011. Born Perry, Mich. Married Thomas Black in ‘62; moved to Great Falls (div). Univ. of Mont graduate, worked as a teacher. Entered law school in ‘90, clerked for Montana Supreme Court.Opened private practice in CDA, then moved to Sandpoint, clerked for Judges Michaud and Verby. Retired in 2006. Married Bill Whitesel in 2002. A bronze life master in bridge, she was a mother of two. MARILYN KAY WILLIAMS RHINEHART TURNBULL
April 30, 1954 - March 6, 2011. Born Spokane, Wash., married and moved to England, then West Virginia, and back to the Northwest in ‘85. Married Jed Turnbull. Worked in physical therapy at Life Care Center. Mother of four, stepmother of two.
JAMES CLIFFORD HOLMES June 2, 1919 - March 2, 2011. Born Brockton, Mass. Grew up in California, attended Univ. of Redlands, married Patricia Polling in ‘43. Served U.S. Army, WWII. Worked as a teacher, got PhD in psychology at Univ. of Denver. Worked in various college administrations, retired ‘82. Loved ballroom dancing. Moved to Sandpoint in ‘09. Father of three. KATHLEEN ANN FIEDT SMITH November 5, 1949 - March 1, 2011. Born Chicago, Ill, married Donald Smith in ‘68. Worked for Bradfoote Gear Works, moved to Las Vegas in ‘04 and worked for police department. Moved to Careywood, Idaho in ‘09 and worked in the Bo. Co. Clerk’s office. Mother of 2/
GEORGE CHATFIELD May 17, 1933 - March 29, 2011. Col. George Alva Chatfield USAF (Ret) passed away in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. A complete obituary will be published at a later date.
ROBERT CALVIN “BOB” MILLER July 23, 1936 - March 29, 2011. Born Hailey, Idaho, grew up in Bonners Ferry. Served in the U.S. Army. Married Jo Ann Wise in ‘62. Lived in Noxon, Mont., served 35 years with U.S. Forest Service. Retired in ‘92, an inventor and innovator. Father of two. DAVE THEODORE “BUCK” CLARK March 2, 1924 - March 23, 2011. Born Brockway, Mont. Moved to Sandpoint in sixth grade. SHS graduate class of ‘42. Joined U.S. Navy, WWII. Married Elaine Ida Ballou in ‘46. Married 64 years. Worked as bartender and at cedar shake mill, started Clark Oil Co. in ‘52. Retired in ‘04, last independently owned petroleum marketer in Sandpoint. Built the Sandpoint Bowl in ‘59, helped start the local little league, and volunteered as a baseball coach. Father of five.
DONALD KECK October 1, 1934 - February 28, 2011. Born in Great Falls, Mont., married Eleanor Jewell in ‘59. Worked for Great Falls Fire Dept, retired in ‘85. Became fire chief for Sandpoint, Idaho. Retired in ‘96 and worked part-time for Coldwater Creek for two years. Moved to Boise in ‘02, father of 2.
This is what I have learned: Within the sorrow, there is grace. When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open. ~ Wayne Muller
The time has never been better to quit smoking. In Idaho, Panhandle Health District offers free help to quit smoking including general adult consultations that include two 1-1 1/2 hour appointments followed by telephone support. Consultations are by appointment. Call 208-415-5143 or those in Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone and Benewah counties can call 208-415-5143 for resources and referrals.
Page 18 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| April 2011
From the Mouth of the River As winter drags on into spring I’m reminded that every time we get three or four inches of wet snow (in a cycle of every six or seven days), those poor people back east, who are on the same cycles we are, get three or four feet of snow with blowing winds and subzero temperatures. I wonder just how much more these people can take, because I lost count after fourteen weeks of storms. Then, on the national news last night, they announced that people were leaving the east cost in droves; not a single Uhaul truck or trailer could be found east of St Louis. So we can start looking for New York/ New Jersey license plates to start showing up here in Chipmunk Falls by spring. In all my 75 years I can only remember one storm that has been stuck in my mind all this time, It started on a typical winter morning on a ranch in Oklahoma. I remember hearing my Dad breaking the ice on the water bucket and, using an aluminum dipper, he dipped water and ice into his coffee pot. As he lifted a stove lid and set the coffee pot directly over the flames he turned to me and said, “Stop turning around in circles and get your clothes on before you freeze to death.” I was standing on my overalls and wool shirt turning first one way then another next to the old tin heating stove. Dad had started a fire earlier and it was now huffing and puffing trying to get more air. The tin stove was starting to get pink on its sides as I turned myself on an imaginary spit. My talliewhacker would get warm then I would turn my shiny hinney side to the stove with my flap down on my long handles. It would get hot quick, but then the other side would be cold. Finally, I pulled my
pants up and put on my shirt. Sitting in a cane bottom chair as close to the stove as I could get I pulled on my socks while I held my boots to the stove until they started to smolder before I stuck my feet in them. Dad used to tell everyone he could throw a cat out of our house and never open a door and that statement was never more appropriate than it was that day. Our old coal oil lamp was flickering first one way then the other and the chimney was getting smoked up from all the wind blowing through the cracks on the north side of the house. I sat our granite wash pan on the heating stove to melt the ice and warm up enough water to wash my hands and face. I watched as it made sizzling sounds and danced over the top of the hot stove from all the leaks it had in it. “I think the oven is hot enough we can have some biscuits to go with bacon and eggs,” Dad said, “but we’ll have to thaw out some eggs first.” Dad poured his first cup of what was later to be determined as coffee. “Look at this,” he said, pointing towards the north side of the room. There on the floor below the keyhole in the door was a coneshaped snowdrift that had blown through the keyhole during the night. We had an old lace curtain hanging over the west window and it was waving like Old Glory on the Fourth of July. “I don’t think you gotta worry about catching the school bus today or for the next two or three days,” he said. “This is a storm to beat all storms, and it’s a damn good thing you stayed home from school yesterday and helped me move them cows to the bottom pasture where they can get some protection.” Dad’s job was to look after four hundred head of mother cows over the winter until calving time the next spring, when help would show up from the ranch headquarters in the way of two men. In the meantime, Dad would use me if he had to move cattle and I looked forward to a day off from school, as some times you can learn more at home than you can in school. That was my take on it anyway, even though Dad didn’t see it that way. The previous day, before daylight, we had saddled our horses and headed north from the barn using a drift fence to direct us, riding in a long trot which is a traveling gait cowboys use when covering a lot of ground without tiring their horses. It
was tiring on us, standing up in our stirrups to cushion the stiff-legged trot the horses used. It would be a long day away from home. There were four pastures split at a center point in the middle of the ranch. We were headed to the northwest section of the ranch and would move all the cows to the southeast section where there was a creek bottom with lots of cottonwood trees and oak brush for wind breaks, as well as new grass. We rode to the northwest corner and split up, each covering half the pasture and moving all the cattle back towards the big open gate that led into the bottom land. Traveling north I noticed there was a brisk wind coming from my back and not until I headed south did I notice just how brisk it was. Turning my jacket collar up didn’t help as much as I thought it would because I was pushing cows directly into the wind. They weren’t fond of traveling into the wind any more than I was and every once in a while some would turn back while I was gathering cows to my right or left. This made twice as much work for my horse and he didn’t like it either. He was hot, and in a lather when we finally met up with Dad and his drive and we could see the open gate. Suddenly the wind let up, the cows smelled something in the air and started running, bawling and bucking through the gate, crowding it so much that they broke over a gate post and strung wire everywhere. Dad and I just sat on our horses and watched as the cows strung off down into the bottom pasture, kicking up their heels and then disappearing. “I guess we have some fence to fix,” I said as a cold breath of wind hit my sweaty back. I looked at Dad just as he was pointing north. I turned in my saddle and as far as the eye could see, from horizon to horizon, was the blackest cloud I had ever laid eyes on. The horses’ eyes had a look of alarm as their tails and mane began to whip in the cold wind. “What the hell is that coming?” I asked. “It looks like a tornado coming from all over the north.” “It’s a Blue Norther,” Dad said. “Come on, maybe we can beat it home. Leave the gate and I’ll come back and fix the fence in a day or two.” We hit a long trot with tired horses, but they seemed to sense the urgency of the situation and didn’t protest. As the barn and corrals came into view it hit with full force. My Levi jacket was frozen to my back when we reached the barn and ice had formed every place the horses had sweated. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face as the wind was whipping up dirt and snow and it was sticking to everything. We had to feel our way into the barn and unsaddle our horses. Ice was caked in their manes and tails and we scraped as much off as we could. Dad said for me to hang onto the fence and
Continued on page 21
April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 19
firstname.lastname@example.org Last week I was ruminating the advent of fads as I observed a duo of baggy britches cross Cedar Street at half mast. One had at least four inches of candy striped boxers exposed above the belt loops, the other apparently possessed an anti-gravity device as there were so many polka dots showing above his ‘tree line’ that I made an imaginary wager with the driver next to me as to the likelihood of nublear fallout. The expression on my face probably looked much the same as that worn by my dad somewheres around forty years ago when I was tryin’ to look cool in my bells, boots and rawhide fringe. History repeats itself constantly, with slight variations. So, how long have fads been such a key part of our social demeanor anyways? Surely it’s not just a 20 th century phenomenon. Was Genghis Khan actually just an elaborate Mongol fad? The Roman Empire? How about the pyramids? Napoleon? The Crusades or the Salem Witch Trials, communism, democracy, space exploration, environmentalism, peace, or even religion? Fads and movements can be difficult to distinguish. Maybe they’re both the same. My Webster defines a fad as a transitory fashion adopted with wide enthusiasm. Simply put, they’re a very popular yet fleeting opinion on any one subject. Much like a wave in a loaded grandstand, they ripple through our loaded society and make life interesting if nothin’ else. The subject matter can be an object or an idea or even both at once like Sarah Palin, or baggy pants and just how serious either one should be taken. So I’ve come to the conclusion the fad itself may go back to the dawn of jealousy in our collective consciousness, as each begets the other if you think about it. And I’ve got a
feelin’ it goes back a looong, long ways. I can picture a big campfire near the inlet of a very prehistoric (and not yet popular) Lake Pend Oreille, out on the yet-to-benamed Samowen Peninsula, after an all-ucan-eat buffet of mastodon and huckleberry sauce. Sun goin’ down on another beeuteeful day. The kids are all runnin’ around hypered up on bone marrow as the leftovers are being processed into clothing and simple tools, while Uncle Bob rearranges the fire with his walkin’ stick. Using a huge hairy foot for a ‘sit-upon’, he settles into a task he’s done all his life which happens to be a major source of pride for ol’ Bob. He goes into a trance on a full belly while licking his huckleberry lips in the cross light of sunset. Bob is blissfully ignorant and colorful at the same time and forgets what he has in his hand. Even when a fly lands on his face for a buffet of its own…THWACK! Bob is painfully aware of only one thing; that was a really hot stick! He is not aware of the charcoal design on his nose and forehead or that his hair is smoldering in a visually stunning way. Maxfield Parrish or Charlie Russell would have painted this scene had either one been there for the inspiration. The rest of the clan notice how cool he looks with his new forehead and ‘live-action’ hairdo and as Bob contentedly nods off, half immediately fight over his stick and the rest ramble off to find their own. When he comes to, everyone around him is sporting facial embellishments of charcoal and “smoldering socially.” The fad is invented. Way to go Bob! It’s been one thing after another ever since. Sociologists have studied their cause and effect for generations and will undoubtedly continue to do so for many more as fads are as absurdly hard to predict as earthquakes.
They know where the fault lines are but what happens next is anyone’s guess. Fads are extremely good for the economy though and are thusly taxed but unregulated by our government, who are secure in the knowledge that they’d probably ruin the whole thing if they messed with it anyway. The sales tax alone keeps us going as a constant source of windfall revenue that should only be regulated by Madison Avenue and Wall Street where the real brains are hanging’ out. It all seems to be some elaborate intelligence test anyways. Maybe it’s a combination of ‘intelligent design’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ strugglin’ like two pigs in a burlap sack. The human brain, being spongy and reasonably absorbent, can be used to justify literally any over (or under) indulgence it or other brains introduce into the system; most of the time without any further consideration of the consequences. But as I was sayin’, kids tend to determine most fads as they have all the required spare time to devote purely to dinkin’ around aimlessly. Well, other’n Congress that is. Grownups tend to stay busy trying to either pay for or make a profit off of the new sh#t these kids conjure up to adore with all of their allowances and/or available credit cards. Fads are extensions of our feelings, our outlook at the outside world. Whether we admit it or not they’re part of our politics and our hearts. Your political philosophy can be read in the billowing of your boxer shorts as they make their way across the streets of life. I don’t mind fads in that they keep a lot of people busy that would otherwise be useless.
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Boots continued follow it to the house and start a fire but stay in the house until he fed the horses and came home. I have heard old timers tell stories about Blue Northers they had been in and when I had turned in my saddle that morning and looked north over my horseâ€™s back I knew exactly what was coming even though I had never seen one. It was the winter of 1949-50 where complete canyons were drifted over and wildlife and livestock perished in the thousands. There were newspaper clippings of cows dead in forks of cottonwood trees 40 feet above the ground in Wyoming, where they had drifted with the storm and been stranded. There were snow drifts as tall as buildings and the wind had driven the snow into drifts so compacted you could drive a truck on them. I donâ€™t know how far north this storm started but the Denver Post had pictures of whole herds of antelope caught in box canyons and frozen to death. The storm eventually played out in a few days time. Most of that time I had spent wedging newspaper in the cracks of our house with a butcher knife. That Blue Norther was over 60 years ago and it is stuck in my mind like driven snow. Not a winter goes by that Iâ€™m not reminded of what Mother Nature can do when her skirt blows up.
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April 2011| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 20 No. 4| Page 21
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Published on Apr 8, 2011