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April 2012


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3. INPUT CRITICAL TO FOREST PLANS Proposed forest management plans will take comment until May 7. 4. MEET ERIC GRACE Executive Director for the Clark Fork/ Pend Oreille Conservancy 6. A SOGGY MARCH PLUS APRIL SHOWERS spells bad news for area roads 7. PRE-EXISTING FEMALENESS The practice of gender-rating insurance 8. FRIENDS OF SCOTCHMAN PEAKS A special word from our friends, the Friends of one of our area’s wonderful wild areas. 12. AMERICAN CROW Mike Turnlund’s introduction to a brilliant bird. A Bird in Hand. 13. BEING MINDFUL Ernie’s view of the world from flat on his back. The Hawk’s Nest 14. LET’S TALK TURKEY Some tips and tricks for bagging your bird. The Game Trail

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16. SYMPTOMS OF PTSD Returning veterans and those who love them should be alert for symptoms. Help is available. 17. POLITICIANS NOT PART OF SOLUTION but they ARE part of the problem, says Gil Beyer. Veterans’ News 18. IT’S SINE DIE Rep. George Eskridge reports on actions taken by the 61st Legislature’s second session. A Seat in the House. 19. A YEAR FOR THE BOOKS Paul Rechnitzer argues it’s time for some consensus in politics. Say What? 20. THE FAIRY FAITH REVISITED Jody wanders into the realm of the Fair Folk. Surrealist Research Bureau 20. THE HOUSE ON NINE MILE ROAD Is the rum-runner still there? Lawrence Fury tells a tale from Beyond “The Valley of Shadows.

Upcoming events in Sandpoint 23. PASSOVER IS A FUTURE PROMISE On Kathy’s Faith Walk, it’s her favorite holiday. 24. LOVE IS A WARM PUPPY Nothing goes together better than grandkids and puppies. Jinxed 25. KINDNESS On the Scenic Route, you never know when a good heart will be rewarded. 26. OBITUARIES 27. PRIMARILY INSIGNIFICANT Scott Clawson poetically ponders the Republican party’s new closed primary. 28. A TALE OF THE OLD WEST An imaginary tale of a shoot-out at the old Mercantile, as only Boots Reynolds could tell it.

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REPRESENTING NORTHERN IDAHO’S TRADITIONAL CONSERVATIVE VALUES √ Senator Shawn Keough Legislative District 1 √ Representative Eric Anderson District 1A √ Representative George Eskridge District 1B Paid for by the Committee to Re-Elect Sen. Shawn Keough, Esther Gilchrist Treasurer and the Committee to Re-Elect Rep. George Eskridge, Verna Brady, Treasurer; and the Committee to Re-Elect Rep. Eric Anderson, Robbie Berg treasurer.

Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


Input Critical for Forest Plan The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on the Draft Land Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests. The development of the Plan has been ten years in the making and will guide how the agency will manage the two forests for the next decade or more. Opinions gathered during this process will be instrumental in determining the future of the remaining roadless lands in both the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests. The comment period on the plans has been extended until May 7. It is critical the U.S. Forest Service hears from the public on how the forests should be managed. The managers of our national forests face the unenviable task of satisfying the needs of an increasingly diverse public. The goal of the planning process is to produce a product addressing the concerns and needs of local communities while protecting the environmental integrity of the forests. The comment period is likely the last opportunity for the public to help shape and formulate the final forest plans. The Draft Land Management Plan for the Kootenai National Forest states, “the overarching aim is to seek a balance of access opportunities on National Forest lands.” This elusive balance sought by both the Kootenai and Panhandle Forest Plans would supply timber for the regional mills and provide access for motorized recreation while preserving enough roadless areas and wilderness for future

Jim Costello

generations. The Draft Forest Plan is a complex set of documents, much of which was developed from public input gathered at 30 public meetings and community based working groups. Unfortunately, a small minority of the public attended the meetings and an even more exclusive number of people were part of the working groups. This comment period is, however, an opportunity for everyone to get involved and express an opinion on the management of our National Forests. Before submitting your comments, there is some critical information to consider for the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests. The Kootenai National Forest is 2,279,000 acres and 4.2 percent is designated wilderness. The Panhandle National Forest is 2,474,000 acres with less than 1 percent designated wilderness. By contrast, Montana’s Flathead and Bitterroot National Forests both exceed 45 percent wilderness. The Kootenai and Panhandle have less designated wilderness than any other forest in all of Forest Service Region 1, which includes all of Montana and North Idaho. The 94,360-acre Cabinet Mountains Wilderness is currently the only wilderness protected in the Kootenai National Forest and is being threatened by the proposed Rock Creek and Montanore copper/ silver mines. The Panhandle National Forest contains a portion of one federally protected wilderness: the 10,000-acre

Salmo-Priest Wilderness along the extreme northwestern border of the forest. Only Congress can officially establish a national wilderness area, but the essential first step is for the forest plan to recommend an area for wilderness protection. The Kootenai National Forest contains 638,000acres of Inventoried Roadless Lands, much of which are adjacent to the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. The Panhandle National Forest contains 823,000-acres of Inventoried Roadless Lands. No wilderness has been added to the Kootenai National Forest since 1964. The final Forest Plans will reflect the views of those who became engaged and respond to the Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests with substantive comments. Those who hike and walk need to recognize that commenting on the Forest Plan is critical for preserving access to the wild places we have long enjoyed. According to the Draft Plan, special places like the Rock Lake trail in the Kootenai would become motorized—your comments could change that. If a balanced approach is indeed the goal of the planning process, then preserving more of our remaining wild lands should be a priority. For more information on the plans or for suggestions on submitting comments contact Save Our Cabinets at 406-544-1494. Learn more about the plans at the Forest Service website online here (http:// tinyurl.com/7rzea77), or stop by your local Ranger District office. Jim Costello is the Montana Field Director and Outreach and Communications Coordinator for the Rock Creek Alliance. Reach him at jimrca@ rockcreekalliance.org

Photo by Ernie Hawks April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 


Grace at the Clark Fork/Pend Oreille Conservancy A Q&A with the Executive Director

In the fall of 2011, Eric Grace and his wife moved to Sandpoint, where Eric would take over the position of Executive Director of the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Conservancy. With a background in land trust issues and a love of the high country, he and his wife Celeste (a large animal veterinarian) bring a lot to our communities. Recently, Eric took the time to answer a few questions about who he is, and what’s going on with the CFPO Conservancy. Q. So what is the Clark Fork-Pend Oreille Conservancy? A. The Clark Fork-Pend Oreille

Conservancy is a non-profit land trust with a mission to help willing landowners permanently preserve natural areas, forests, lakes, streams, farms, ranches, and fish and wildlife habitat in Bonner County, Idaho and Sanders County, Montana. CFPOC operates in the 1.2 million-acre Lower Clark Fork River/Lake Pend Oreille watershed that stretches from Trout Creek in Montana all the way to Washington state. Since 2002, the CFPOC has successfully partnered with federal, state and local entities and private landowners to permanently protect critical habitat, forest and ranch land, important scenic areas and cultural landscapes. Our primary programs include the following: • Our private land conservation program, which provides methods for landowners to permanently protect their land from development, with a focus on projects that directly preserve our watershed’s ecological integrity. The primary tool we use when working with interested landowners is a site-specific conservation easement; a permanent legal agreement between a landowner and land trust that protects a property’s special natural resources in perpetuity while allowing a range of activities such as farming or ranching. We currently hold and monitor conservation easements on 1,764 acres. • Our public lands program, through which we encourage and facilitate public land management entities in their acquisition of land or conservation easements. These acquisitions help implement clearly defined conservation policies (such as the recovery plan for endangered bull trout) on properties with significant natural resource importance. • Our outreach program, which focuses on i n c r e a s i n g com mu n it y a w a r e n e s s about the benefits of land conser vation. Through this prog r a m ,

by Trish Gannon

we also reach landowners who may be interested in protecting their property’s future but who are unsure about what methods are available for them to do so. Q. Tell me what it is an Executive Director does: A. Basically, the ED is responsible for implementing the CFPOC’s programs. We are governed by a board of directors that sets policy and priorities, then the ED makes sure the works gets done. My primary duties currently include reaching out the public, working with contractors to make sure conservation projects are moving forward, fundraising and overseeing the daily running of the office. The CFPOC has two staff: Anne Mitchell, our administrative assistant, and me. Anne does a tremendous amount of behind-thescenes work, and keeps me focused and on task. We also use contractors for specific projects. The board also helps on projects, providing me great assistance. Plus we have general volunteers who help with all types of projects, from data entry and outreach, to moral support. Q. What’s your background? A. I’ve been doing land trust work for the past 15 years. I recently relocated from a small farming town in western New York, south of Rochester, where I was the ED for the Genesee Valley Conservancy. I become interested in land conservation when my family got involved with the Genesee Valley Conservancy doing conservation easements on land we own. Prior to that I worked in the gourmet food industry, where I leaned all about retail (which has remarkable life-lessons). I also had other types of jobs typical for a recent college graduate who doesn’t know what to do with his life. I have a BA from the Colorado College, which is where I acquired a passion for the mountains and the West. I also spent several years working towards my Master’s degree in Land Use Planning from the State University of New York (never did finish that pesky thesis, though). I decided there are many ways to become useful to the land trust community: a law degree, natural resource conservation, business, fundraising or planning. I chose the planning route as that was the most interesting to me. Q. When did you come to Idaho and why?

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My wife and I relocated to Sandpoint last fall. Her parents live in Hamilton, Montana, and we wanted to be closer to them. The CFPOC job became available, I looked into it and realized I had the skills they need at this point in their growth, so when they offered me the position I jumped at the opportunity. Since then, we haven’t second-guessed the decision. It’s been great. Q. What are some of the projects you’re currently working on? A. We have some exciting conservation projects in motion. We don’t publicly talk about these until they’re completed, but I can say they’re diverse. One project has a public access component, and others are in the stunningly beautiful Bull River Valley. Another thing we’re working on is a fundamental overhaul to the way we spread the word to the public about who we are and what we do. We have a track record of great conservation success, yet most of the community we serve doesn’t know we exist. One of my primary goals is to build the organization to the point where all area landowners know we are here and can help them with their conservation options. We also need to work on outreach to the general public to let them know who we are, what we do, and how our conservation programs benefit the entire community. Q. How would you define the strengths and weaknesses of this area? A. Obviously, the most striking thing about this area is its natural beauty and the opportunity for outdoor recreation. But, with the good usually comes some bad, and in this case it is (or was before the recent recession) huge development pressure. This is why a proactive land trust is so important. There are many examples of areas around the country that experience massive growth, which causes the loss of the very attributes that define the community. Land trusts can work with individual landowners who see the need and value in private land conservation, and we have many tools we can tailor to the specific needs of the landowner that provide economic benefits while ensuring the land keeps its important natural features, whether it be ranching, forestry, habitat or scenic beauty. I also really appreciate the sense of community I’ve experienced. The individual towns such as Sandpoint, Clark Fork, Noxon, all have very unique identities and take great pride in who and

what they are. (I’m sure the other towns do, too, I just haven’t yet had the chance to explore them!) Collectively, they all play an important role in defining this great region. After this March, I could use a few days of sunshine! But if that’s a regional weakness, I know it will be more than made up for this summer. Q. What do you like to do when you’re not working? A. I like to be outside playing. Skiing, running, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, etc. I also like to cook and check out the movies and music being offered at the Panida. Q. How do you think we can best balance the interest in using our natural resources with preserving them? I must preface this answer by stating upfront that the CFPOC has no regulatory authority over any landowner. All the conservation we do stems from landowners who want to do conservation; we can’t tell anyone that they must protect their land resources. We also need to separate this question into two distinct areas: private land resources and public land resources. I’ll focus on the private lands, as the CFPOC doesn’t get involved in the debate over public land use (thankfully). With that being said, my first thought is it’s entirely possible to do both: use and protect. We can, and do, protect land that allows for use of the natural resources in a way that provides economic benefits to the landowner. Sustainable timber harvesting, ranching and recreation are perfect examples of this. Much of the land we protect has an element of sustainable use of forest products. We also protect a parcel that allows for cattle grazing. So the landowner has forgone his or her ability to sell the land to a developer, or open it to mining, yet they can continue using the land for economic benefit. For the CFPOC, conservation is not an all-ornothing proposition. Secondly, there are parcels that are better used for development. We don’t advocate for completely ceasing all new development. We understand a vibrant community needs growth. We want to work with landowners and the community to help identify areas that are better left as open space. Once we have these areas identified, we can work with the landowners to find a way to implement this protection. Conversely, there are areas that should be left completely wild. Stands of old

growth cedar, streams used for bull trout spawning, important properties that link larger habitats are just a few examples. If we look at the region as a whole, we can achieve this balance. There’s more than enough land and resources available to satisfy the economic needs of the community, while safeguarding important parcels. If we’re smart about it, plan, and realize that the long-term economic health of this community relies on a continued use of these resources, plus protecting the recreation/tourism opportunities, it is entirely possible. Q. How can people interested get involved with the CFPO conservancy? A. People interested in learning more about our programs can find information on our website: www.cfpoconservancy. org (we’re in the process of updating it, but there is some good info there now). We always need volunteers, depending on what types of projects we’re currently working on. Give the office a call and talk to me about opportunities. Also, we rely on people helping with our outreach. If you know of a landowner you think might be interested in conservation, have them give us a call. 208 263-9471 Q. Anything else you’d like to say? A. I’m just so happy to have landed in this remarkable landscape, doing this great conservation work. There’s such great potential for substantially increasing the work we do. It’s a challenge, but one that is terribly important.

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 


Rain, Rain, Go Away

A Wet Spring Spells Bad News for Area Roadways Trish Gannon

After a month of record-setting moisture, northern Idaho and western Montana are moving into a supersaturated spring, as the La Nina weather pattern continues to provide a little more water than we might prefer. Roads have fallen apart around the area, and a train derailment near Colburn-Culver Road in Bonner County has been blamed on the collapse of the rail bed due to water-filled soils. It’s said that April’s showers lead to May’s flowers and, true to the poem, there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight when it comes to drier ground. According to the National Weather Service, the April forecast models indicate we’re in for “substantial precipitation.” And on top of rainy weather, there is still a substantial amount of moisture in the mountains

that has yet to make its way down for the season. (In a flip-flop from winter, we can say be ready for “snow-melt on rain” events.) Snotel data, for example, shows 177 inches of snow still atop Bear Mountain, and Schweitzer Mountain’s Snotel site is boasting 199 inches right before we go to print. Over half the Snotel sites in the Panhandle region are either at or above last year’s water content percentages. Bonner County has already declared a state of emergency due to flooding, opening up the provisioning of sand and sand bags to area residents. Sand bags are available from area fire district offices. Sand to fill them can be obtained at the Clark Fork transfer station and the Grouse Creek sand pit. Bob Howard, director of Emergency Management for

Bonner County, encourages people to “be prepared” to deal with flooding issues. If you spot deterioration to roadways, please call the Bonner County Road and Bridge Department and let them know. There are a lot of miles of roads in Bonner County and, while crews are out every day, they can’t be everywhere, all the time. “Preparation should happen sooner rather than later,” Howard said, and additionally warned drivers to be alert in areas where mud slides and rock slides may occur. And of course, be especially vigilant at night, when visibility is limited. Be aware roads that seemed fine earlier in the day might have deteriorated substantially in the intervening hours, much like Gold Creek, shown below.

Photo by Janice Schoonover Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


Gender Rating: When “Female” is a Pre-Existing Condition M y husband and I recently had (more) words about my health i n s u r a n c e premium, now up to $550/month. He pays less than $200. I phoned my Blue Cross representative and asked for a rate level review. The criteria used in rate reviews are age, gender, health, and claims over $5,000 in one year. My husband and I are both 62, in good health, non-smokers and have not had claims over $5,000 for the last seven years. In fact, my health is better than it was in 2005: I’ve lost 40 pounds, exercise three times a week, quit drinking, and have halved my anti-depressant. In Idaho, the best-selling plans charge women more than men for the same coverage, a discriminatory practice known as “gender rating,” despite the fact that the vast majority of these plans do not cover maternity services. The Affordable Care Act disallows this practice starting in 2014. Currently, according to the National

Womens Law Center: “Health plans must now cover certain preventive services such as mammograms, flu shots, and colon cancer screenings at no additional out of pocket costs such as co-payments,” which impacts over 100,000 women in Idaho. Beginning this August all new health plans must cover a list of women’s preventive services with no co-payments. In addition, children can now stay on their parents plan until the age of 26, covering over 2.5 young people in the U.S., 11,000 of those in Idaho. It also prevents lifetime limits on most benefits, plus includes over 88,000 female Medicare beneficiaries in Idaho who now receive preventative services at no extra cost. Most importantly, people who become ill will cannot have their insurance canceled, and children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage. Additional benefits will come into play in 2014 if the law stands as is. “Starting in 2014, 125,000 women who are uninsured—26.7 percent of women in Idaho—will have new options for affordable health insurance coverage. Also starting in 2014, all new health plans must cover a list essential health benefits including maternity and newborn care, mental health treatment, and pediatric services such as vision and dental care. In addition, women will now longer be treated as a pre-existing condition and be denied insurance coverage for a history of pregnancy; having had a C-section; being a survivor of breast, or cervical cancer; or having received medical treatment for

Nancy Gerth

domestic or sexual violence.” The National Women’s Law Center in March 2012 reported that in the future, the gender bias to insurance charges will be gone, plus individuals and families may be eligible for tax credits to help pay for insurance. The National Women’s Law Center has launched a campaign to educate women about the benefits of the health care law, including the end of insurance discrimination. The center’s new campaign, I Will Not Be Denied™, tells women about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and engages them to fight to protect the law. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/7bpfajj. According to Marcia D. Greenberger, founder and co-president of the NWLC, “The obstacles women face in gaining access to insurance and health care take an acute economic toll... Women are more likely than men to forgo preventive care if it’s too expensive, to be under-insured and to report problems paying medical bills. For these reasons, the NWLC submitted an amicus brief on behalf of 60 organizations to the Supreme Court setting out what’s at stake for women in the Affordable Care Act and the health care litigation. The Affordable Care Act is one of the most significant advances for women in our nation’s history. This is no time to enable discrimination to continue and even turn back the clock on women’s health. The Supreme Court, currently hearing arguments, is expected to have a ruling some time in June.

VOTE Joyce

BROADSWORD As your state senator, I worked to keep your taxes low while providing the services you want, to promote job growth, and to limit government regulation. I will do the same for you in Bonner County as your commissioner. I appreciate yourcontinued support, and your vote on election day in the Republican primary.

RESPONSIBLE, CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP

VOTE MAY 15

PAID FOR BY THE COMMITTEE TO ELECT JOYCE BROADSWORD April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 


The Forest Plan: Special to Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

Peak exPerience The newsletter for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, inc. 3PECIALSECTIONTO6OLUME .UMBERs-ARCH!PRIL

!GRANDOPPORTUNITYTO SPEAKUPFORWILDERNESS &OREST0LANNINGAND7ILDERNESS$ESIGNATIONn !0IVOTAL-OMENTINTHE,ONG6IEW By Phil Hough, FSPW Executive Director The Wilderness Act passed in 1964 and established the original units of National Wilderness Preservation System. More importantly it outlined a process whereby other areas could be added. Congress reserved the right to make the final decisions on which areas to designate as part of the Wilderness System, but it delegated to the Forest Service the responsibility to evaluate lands for their suitability as Wilderness and to make recommendations. In this arrangement there is some balance between the executive and legislative branches of power and of control over our public lands. In practice, the public has a huge role in shaping policies and decisions made at every step of the way and is critical to final congressional action. In the 1970s the forest service conducted the RARE I and RARE II (Roadless Area Review and Evaluation) studies, leading to the eventual classification of Roadless areas and initial suggestions for Wilderness recommendation. Elsewhere in this special section, read a vintage 1971 citizen’s letter advocating for Wilderness, one of 3,000 such letter submitted during the RARE studies in support of the Scotchmans. You will also find portions of the August, 1977, article from the Sanders County Ledger outlining findings of the RARE II studies. Continued on next page

In the forest service’s preferred alternative, B, their recommendation for Wilderness in the Scotchmans is overall better than the current plan put into place in 1987. We generally support it. But there is still room for some improvement, and we will be submitting technical comments seeking some minor adjustments to boundaries. Our primary focus will be the Southwestern border below Goat Mountain and Scotchman Peak, the East Fork Blue Creek Drainage and the southeastern boundary below Pillick Ridge. In these areas there are no user conflicts and the “buffers� created by these boundary setbacks are beyond what is needed for any practical purpose.

S2ARE))STUDIESHIGHLIGHTEDTHEWILDNATUREOFTHE3COTCHMAN0EAKS Following is a portion of a nearly full-page report of RARE II findings published in the August 18, 1977, issue of Sanders County Ledger. Of the 12 areas in Sanders County alluded to in the lead paragraph, Scotchman Peak is the largest and the only one which is not entirely in Montana. The other areas reported on were Cube Iron, McKay Creek, McNeely, Cabinet Face West, Trout Creek, Cataract, Galena Creek, McGregor Thompson, Berray Mountain, Government Mountain and Lone Cliff-Smeads. Reprinted with permission from the 3ANDERS#OUNTY,EDGER LIBBY - Nearly half of the roadless areas outlined at the Forest Service meeting conducted here recently are located partially or all in Sander County. Forest Service spokesmen identified 25 roadless areas in western Montana and 12 are in Sanders County.

The Libby session was part of the second Roadless Area Review and Evaluation (RARE II) nationwide review of all uncommitted roadless and undeveloped federal lands to determine their suitability for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System or for other possible uses. The Forest Service will approach the review of its lands in three states: 1. Inventorying all uncommitted roadless area on national forests or national grasslands. 2. Establishing national criteria for use in evaluating the inventoried areas for wilderness and other uses. 3. Placing inventoried RARE II lands into three separate categories: (a) Those to be recommended for immediate addition to the National Wilderness Continued on next page

& R I E N D S O F 3 C O T C H M A N 0 E A K S 7 I L D E R N E S S ) N C  s 0 / " O X    3 A N D P O I N T ) $     # HE C KU SOUTATW W W S C OT C H MA NP E A K SOR GA NDW W WFAC EB O OK C OM  3 C OT C H MA N0E A K S


Forest Plan 2

Peak exPerience

9OUROPPORTUNITYTOADVOCATEFORWILDERNESSISNOW Now is the time, from previous page In the late 1980s, both the Idaho Panhandle and Kootenai National Forests developed their first Land Management Plans, “master plans� for how the forest would be managed. Some of our board members and other supporters were engaged in that process. These plans were strategic in nature and envisioned to be effective for about 15 years. In 2002 the Forest Service began a process to revise their land management plans to take into account changing conditions and needs. The Forest Service hosted numerous public meetings and public workgroups to determine desired goals, outcomes and conditions and to develop strategies, guideline and standards towards their achievement. The forest is managed, as it should be, for many uses and the plan addresses timber management, mining, grazing, conservation of species and habitat and a variety of recreation questions from motorized to quiet use. The plan also looks at the role of wildfire and, in some cases, its prevention; the management of wildlife; the social, cultural and economic impacts on management options on communities; the recruitment and retention of old growth forests; and the preservation of Wilderness Characteristics. ALL of these management goals are valid and necessary for our local communities, our region and our nation and we believe that a good balance can be found in the plans being developed.

"ACKTOTHE7ILDERNESS1UESTION Quite possibly one of the most significant things that the forest plan does is to determine which areas the forest service will recommend as Wilderness. Congress has shown a pattern of stronger interest in designating areas with strong agency support. While Congress may delay any action of their own for quite a long time, the plans being developed now will be in effect for at least the next 15 years and quite possibly a decade

RARE II report continued from previous page Preservation System; (b) those which will undergo further study to determine whether or not they should be included in the wilderness system; (c) those which would be managed for resource values other than wilderness. These recommendations will then be sent to the secretary of agriculture for further review and administrative or legislative action.

Scotchman Peaks. Acreage: Kootenai (National Forest): 47,876, Kaniksu (National Forest); 45,610 federal; 1,310 private. Total 46,920, Total¡ 94,796. Location: Kootenai and Panhandle National Forests western Lincoln and Sanders counties, Montana, and NE Bonner County, Idaho.

There is not enough coffee! The plans for Idaho Panhandle National Forests and Kootenai National Forest, each include three documents: a Land Management Plan, an Environmental Impact Statement and an Appendices Book, totalling over 2,400 pages, a stack over 5 inches tall. Not shown are the multiplicity of maps and other background materials. more beyond that. This means that any action by Congress in the next two or more decades will be guided in part by decisions being made right now. And you have the opportunity, right now, to help shape the final plan. The forest plans are currently drafts and the public has until April 5th to provide comments (see elsewhere in this issue on how to do that). After that, the Forest Service will review these comments, select an option or, more likely, modify their preferred option, and make other changes they feel necessary before producing a Final Plan by the end of 2012 or in early 2013. Naturally we would like to ensure that the Wilderness Recommendation for the Scotchman remain strong and improved where possible. What the Forest Service hears from the public — what they hear from YOU — will help guide them to do that! And, it will help to guide potential congressional action in the years to come. The final page of this special section contains resources and addresses helpful to making meaningful comments on the plan directly to the Forest Service. In looking back over the past 40 years and looking ahead for 20-plus years, we find very few times more important than now to make your voice heard. This area is located on the Idaho-Montana border northeast of Clarks Fork, Idaho. It is partially in both states. Kootenai portion: The Scotchman consists primarily of rugged alpine scenery left by glaciers. Perhaps some of the most classic examples of glacial cirques found in the region dominate the upper reaches of Ross Creek. Other displays of deep glaciation are particularly striking in the Savage Creek area. The impacts of this glacial scouring are less noticeable as one moves south through the area, with little occurring south of Star Gulch. Besides Ross Creek and Bull and Clark Fork rivers, major streams draining the Scotchman area are Spar Creek, Lightning Creek and its many tributaries, and the West and East Forks of Blue Creek. Spar Creek forms a deep canyon from Little Spar Lake to Spar Lake. Little Spar Lake is the only named water Continued next page

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Forest Plan 3

Peak exPerience

4HE3COTCHMANSHAVEBEENCONSIDEREDFORWILDERNESSFOR PLUSYEARS Since then my numerous back packing trips during the summer !LETTERHOME and winter have always been to the interior of the proposed Following is a letter to the editor of what was then The Sandpoint Daily Bee from a young man who grew up in the shadow of the Scotchman Peaks. This family treasure came to light recently — and just in time, in the light of the newly released forest plan — to illustrate how long the Scotchman Peaks have been considered for and managed as wilderness. It was written over 40 years ago, in 1971. Dear Daily Bee: Here I am, GI Joe, sitting in my Basic Training barracks in Ft. Knox, Kentucky. My folks sent me some late issues of the Daily Bee and in one of them I read about the U.S. Forest Service considering the Scotchman Peak area for a wilderness reserve. This region has been my backyard playground all my life and in that short span Time has not been unkind to the Scotchof nineteen years Scotchman Peak has always been a monument of beauty and mans. Today’s Horseshoe Lake mirrors ruggedness in my eyes. Savage Peak just as My first hike to the top of Scotchman well as in the Farmin was when 1 was 14 years old. I got such family’s 1920s photo an eyeful of the country behind it that I of “The Swimming knew I would be back many more times. Hole.â€?

RARE II report continued from previous page body in the area although several alpine potholes or ponds are scattered throughout the rocks along the divide. Lightning Creek drains much of the west side, including the north face of Scotchman Peak, before meeting the Clark Fork as it empties into Lake Pend Oreille. Steep, timbered breaks characterize this stretch of Lightning Creeek, where the elevation changes a dramatic 4,500 feet in less than two miles on the slopes of Scotchman Peak. Just over the headwalls of the deep cirques in Ross Creek, hillsides of alpine vegetation slope into the West Fork of Blue Creek while the backsides of distinctive Sawtooth and Billiard Table mountain drain through side hill parks and waterfalls to the East Fork of Blue Creek. Pellick Ridge with its summit of Squaw Peak tips rocky south slopes nearly 4,000 feet into the Clark Fork and lower Bull River valleys. Around the corner, an almost continuous canopy of trees cover the cooler north aspects of Pellick Ridge in Napoleon and Lower Star Gulches. Upper Star Gulch, like neighboring Hamilton Gulch, shows much of its bedrock at the surface. Just over the level ridge from Dry Creek’s north fork, the U-shaped valley of South Fork Ross Creek curves through green meadows

wilderness area. Much to my secret delight, people do not realize that there is so much superb natural beauty surrounding the Scotchman and Billiard Peak area. Little Spar Lake is good fishing (if you are smart enough) plus the smaller snow fed ponds above it look like emeralds set in the natural rock bed. Little Spar is surrounded by sheer rock cliffs on three sides which make it an excellent scenic spot. The back of Middle Mountain (Clayton Peak) and Monument Peak are also nothing but stone and snow year around. Of course, not too many people — even the local Bonner County residents — know much about it or have seen it, but I have seen it; and believe me, they don’t know what they are missing. It they want to ignore it, that’s fine because it gives me that much more solitude among the Scotchmans. Sincerely yours, Pvt. Douglas C. Compton Heron, Montana

and rock slides to meet the main Ross Creek. The scoured headlands of Ross Creek are soon lost in stands of large cedar, hemlock and white pine, as the creek tumbles through what is often a tangle of moss-covered boulders and devil’s club on its way to the Ross Creek scenic cedar grove below. Approximately 75 per cent of the area is unsuitable for conventional timber harvest, small areas have a potential for big game winter range, most of the unit contains suitable grizzly bear habitat, viewing significance is high over 30 percent of the unit, wilderness suitability is high on the northern two-thirds with more moderate ratings in the southern third of the unit. Preliminary investigations by the U. S. Geological Survey and the U. S. Bureau of Mines in the Scotchman Peak New Study Area indicate that the potential for the discovery of economic disseminated copper-silver deposits within portions of the area is very high. The Mt. Vernon ASARCO project is planning copper production adjacent to the Scotchman area in the near future. Grizzly bears reside in portions of the area as well as elk, deer, black bear, mountain goat, moose, big horn sheep and numerous smaller mammals. Fishing opportunities are low. Present recreation use is light due to lack of access and rugged terrain.

& R I E N D S O F 3 C O T C H M A N 0 E A K S 7 I L D E R N E S S ) N C  s 0 / " O X    3 A N D P O I N T ) $     # HE C KU SOUTATW W W S C OT C H MA NP E A K SOR GA NDW W WFAC EB O OK C OM  3 C OT C H MA N0E A K S


Forest Plan 4

Peak exPerience

.OWISTHETIME 4HE$RAFT%NVIRONMENTAL)MPACT 3TATEMENTAND$RAFT-ANAGEMENT Plans for the kootenai and idaho Panhandle national Forests have BEENRELEASED, and the Forest Service is asking for comments from the public to help them decide which of three alternatives to choose from, and what modifications might be made to the plan before implementation. The Forest Plans do not make DECISIONSONSPECIFICPROJECTSBUT PROVIDEGENERALGUIDANCE about how the forests are managed for the next 15 years. One of the most important things that the plans do is to make decisions about which areas the Forest Service will manage as “Recommended Wilderness.� !GENCYRECOMMENDATIONSSTRONGLY INFLUENCEPOLITICALSUPPORT and are partly based on Forest Service understanding of how much public support exists for specific areas. 9OURVOICEISIMPORTANT7EWISHTO make sure that the Forest Service UNDERSTANDSHOWIMPORTANTITIS TOMANYPEOPLETHATTHEFINALPLAN INCLUDETHESTRONGESTPOSSIBLERECommendation for Wilderness for the Scotchman Peaks. The comment period is open until -AYTH. Your written comments need to be specific to each draft plan and sent to the individual forest(s). Opportunities to make written or online comments are available at the addresses and websites listed in the other column. REMEMBER! 7RITTENCOMMENTSMAILEDDIRECTLYARE THEMOSTPOWERFULPERSUADERSOFALL

4IPSON#OMMENTING The most effective comments contain substantive reasons, your personal judgement, your personal experience or your personal reasons. Don’t just comment “I want the Scotchmans to be recommended as Wildernessâ€?; tell them reasons why you support including the Scotchman Peaks as recommended wilderness in the forest plan. )NCLUDEYOURPERSONALCONNECTIONTOANDINTERESTINTHE3COTCHMANS Be specific about why you value wilderness protection for the Scotchmans. s Think about special places in the Scotchmans that you cherish or activities that you engage in and want to see protected. Maybe it’s one or more of the FOLLOWING(IKINGs(UNTINGs"IRDWATCHINGs"ERRY0ICKINGs3IMPLYFINDINGA quiet place of solitude s Perhaps you want to see the Scotchmans recommended as Wilderness to protect rare species of animals such as Grizzly Bear, Mountain Goat, Wolverine, Fisher, Lynx or Bull Trout. s Preserve the quality of life which helps to build a well balanced economy. s Leave a legacy for future Savage Basin is recommended wilderness. 0HOTOBY0HIL(OUGH generations. s Consider thanking the Forest Service for including the Savage Basin area in their preferred alternative. Wilderness management for the Scotchmans has many benefits and we each have our own reasons for wanting to see the Scotchmans recommended as Wilderness. )TISMUCHMOREEFFECTIVETOSPEAKABOUTWHATISIMPORTANTTO YOU INYOUROWNWORDS THANTOCOPYINGANYTHINGFROMTHEABOVELIST The proposed Land Management Plan for both forests, with alternatives and additional supporting materials including maps and the Environmental Impact Statement can be an be picked up from the district ranger offices or found on their website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/kipz/home Send written comments directly to the email or postal addresses below: Kootenai National Forest Email: KNFplanrevision@fs.fed.us 31374 Highway 2 West Libby, MT 59923

Idaho Panhandle National Forest Email: IPNFplanrevision@fs.fed.us 3815 Schreiber Way Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815

Many of our supporters and partners are interested in other potential wilderness areas and issues which are affected by this forest plan.For more information we recommend that you visit www.idahoconservation.org/issues/take-action/protect-north-idahos-wild-places http://www.wildmontana.org/programs/planning/kootenai.php

Questions? Write to info@scotchmanpeaks.org

&ORAHELPFUL MORECOMPLETEOVERVIEWOFTHE&OREST0LANSANDHOWTOCOMMENTONTHEM VISIT

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A Bird in Hand

Crows are common; in fact, they are so common that bird guides use them as references for size, as in “crow-sized.” They are so prevalent that anywhere you go in the United States, from coast to coast, there are crows. This is especially true if people are present as well, as crows have an affinity for human settlements. But don’t let this ubiquity fool you. Just because crows are common doesn’t mean they’re not unique. Indeed, they are. Science has demonstrated that crows and their larger cousins, the ravens, are not only among the most intelligent birds, they are among the most intelligent of animals. Bird-brained they are not! These birds exhibit problem-solving abilities that rival the apes, and that’s better than even some people I know. You’d think that crows send all of their children to cawllege. The title for this column is correct: American crow as opposed to being labeled the Common crow. This name refers to North America, as the American crow is distributed from Alaska to northern Mexico and from sea to shining sea. There is not one American state or Canadian province that doesn’t have a resident crow. Even Hawaii has its own native crow, though it is a different species. And contrary to popular wisdom, crows do not originally come from Croatia. Crows are often confused with ravens, or is it the other way around? The misunderstanding is common as both species are first and foremost large, uniformly black birds, with prominent beaks and prominent noises. But these noises the birds make can help to differentiate between the two species.

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American Crow: Brilliance in a plain black wrapper Michael Turnlund Crows caw-caw whereas ravens croak. Also crows do not soar, but fly in a steady mechanical beat. Ravens frequently soar. And note the tails of each bird in flight: the spread tail feathers of crows form an arc, while those of the raven come to a soft, tapered point. Ravens are also quite a bit bigger, but this is not always obvious. Crows have a narrow pointed beak, whereas ravens have a distinctive “roman-nose” hump at the base of their top mandible. Another interesting point: crows and ravens do not intermingle. It is as if crows and ravens have a pact between them: “you stay on your side of the line and I’ll stay on mine.” Crows are also famous for mobbing. Interestingly, the word for a flock of crows in British English is mob. Crows attack in groups when they feel threatened, as directed toward an owl or other raptor. This mobbing action can be quite spectacular and appears to be always successful. It is also very noisy! This coordinated group action reflects the fact that crows live in large extended family groups of a dozen birds or more. That is why you’ll almost never see a single crow; where there is one there is another close by. They always keep within hearing range of the other. But I suppose if one got lost, he could always perch on a telephone line and make a phone caw. The birds themselves are omnivores. They’ll eat just about anything, or at least give it a try. This is probably one of the keys to their success. And as stated above they prefer to, indeed might only, live near human habitation. Again this suggests another reason why they are so successful as a species. Like the American robin,

the House sparrow, and the feral pigeon, some species of birds have benefited from the movement and expansion of humans across the landscape. But life is not without its dangers. Crows typically build large nests toward the top of tall trees. A summer ago I watched a pair of resident crows in my neighborhood construct a very large nest in a nearby conifer. From my back deck I watched the family build the nest, brood their batch of eggs and chicks, and could even see the young fledglings jump about on the branches. One afternoon I heard a ruckus as these crows made a fuss about something. I looked up in time to see a Red-tail hawk swoop off with one of the baby birds. As the hawk flew overhead I could clearly see the young crow dangling from the predator’s talons. Interesting existential dichotomy: one species’ chick became food for another species’ chick. Commonality can be a misconception, as if common means bland, boring, and mundane. This might be true in your world, but not in the world of birds. Common more probably correlates to success. Crows are successful as a species and they surely are not boring. Inside that uniformly black outfit and behind that bold black eye is a brilliant mind. The next time you have an opportunity to spy a crow, just watch it for a while. You’ll be surprised as to what it can do. Happy birding! Michael Turnlund is an educator, published author and avid birder. You can reach him at theturnlunds@gmail. com.

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Page 12 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


The Hawk’s Nest

I had pulled a sled full of firewood to the porch and up the three steps for unloading under the roof about a thousand times. On this Sunday afternoon there was a light snow falling with a little breeze as Linda and I chopped. After loading the sled, I headed for the porch. A little snow was blowing under the roof onto the deck as I turned around to wrench the sled up the steps. I gave a good tug and both feet let go of the slick surface and flew. I caught a lot of air and a little hang time before I landed hard on the small of my back, nothing breaking the fall—just me slammed onto the frozen boards. A loud, involuntary groan whooshed out from my throat and flew out into the cold wind across the yard and into the woods. Linda, still at the woodshed, was alerted by sound. She looked to see what had happened but couldn’t see me so shouted what was up and where I was. Lying on my back in the snow on the porch my first thoughts were” “How many stupid pills did I have to take to pull this off so successfully?” Linda was running, the best she could while being more mindful of ice and snow than I had been. Her face was a graphic image of concern. I yelled I had not hit my head, then muttered, “I wouldn’t be hurting so bad if I had.” When she got to me I was sitting up, in pain, snow melting through my jeans and my anger was in control. I think one reason Linda is in my life is to tell me when I’m really not being kind to myself—to look at myself through a more compassionate heart, the way she looks

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Being Mindful at me. So she pointed out, in her alwaysgentle way, the worst thing I could do was beat myself up, to claim to be stupid. She pointed out I had made a mistake and now I needed to start the healing process— being angry was only going to postpone or prevent that from happening. In my state of mind I heard “Don’t be so stupid as to call yours truly stupid just because you did something stupid.” She read my mind and said softly, “You are not stupid.” Even through the murky haze of pain I knew she was right. I needed to get stupid out of my head and start listening to what I needed right now. She asked if I could feel my feet; yes, I could. She carefully bent my legs; they worked fine. The back hurt, but there were no shooting pains down my legs. I was sure I wasn’t severely injured and no surgery would be necessary even though the pain was nearly unbearable. I had seriously insulted my body. Linda asked what I thought I needed. What a brilliant question. What do I need? It forced me to focus on my healing instead of on what had happened. I heard again, “What do I need?” I felt getting up and beginning to move would help. So that’s where we began. Painfully, as my body was moving into recovery mode, I started to get up with her assistance. Inside she helped me out of boots and wet clothes while gently touching around my back and spine asking if there were any additional pain. Still, I was sure I was only hurting—no serious injuries. Because of her questions I listened to what I felt. Walking around the house for a bit seemed right, and a trekking pole helped. After a couple laps, ice seemed to be needed. I tried both for a while before sitting down with the ice on my back.

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Ernie Hawks

A Sunday afternoon alone at home with my wife is precious time to me. I had been enjoying our day jointly doing chores, even working on taxes together, which brought back some fond memories. There had been a snowshoe trek as the snow loaded the trees in our woods with Nikki, our dog. After bringing in some wood we were going to grill some steaks and open a very nice bottle of wine. But now, I could only concentrate on trying to get comfortable. The anger started to surface again and I began to mutter. Linda pointed out to me, ever so gently, that I was not helping the healing process. Okay, back to what it is I need. I was in the middle of “Another Flippin’ Learning Opportunity,” or, as I like to call it, an AFLO. There had been stresses earlier in the day, which is where my mind had drifted. I was not present with the task. I am smart enough not to pull hard backwards while standing on a slick surface, yet that is exactly what I had done. So I did it, and there were consequences. Now I have to heal it. The only way to do that was leave it in the past. I also needed to forgive myself. Not only for making the mistake but also for berating myself for doing it. This is not a new thought to me; in fact, I have helped others through exactly the same process. I remember something Plato wrote: “And therefore, if the head and body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the first thing.” It brought me back to forgiveness. It is my responsibility to manage my thoughts. The stresses didn’t cause the accident; I was simply not paying attention. So I had the opportunity, for several days, to allow someone else to care for me, and to be caring to myself. It was a chance for me to be with me, to remember I am not stupid and I do deserve to be cared for. Now I’m feeling good again and trying to put the lessons of that Sunday into daily practice. Ernie Hawks is a writer, photographer and motivational speaker. Reach him at michalhawks@gmail.com, and check out his photos at www.PhotosbyHawks. net

April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 13


The Game Trail

The early morning chirping from songbirds in love hit me pretty hard the other day; spring is definitely here. By the time this article goes to print we should be seeing the osprey on our rivers and lakes showing off their unmatched fishing skills. I think most people are trying to shake off a little cabin fever and are excited about getting back to those warmer weather activities they love. Just this past sunny weekend I checked over 30 anglers in one day, and most of them had smiles from ear to ear. I thought these were folks just happy to see their local game warden but it turns out they were extremely happy to dust off the old pole and hit the water. Fishing has been fair to middling for those spring-run Kamloops on the Clark Fork River. I have seen some really nice fish and heard of a few more being landed so get out there when you get a chance. If fishing is just not your thing don’t forget we have Spring Turkey hunts starting on April 15. Turkey hunting can be a hoot, especially when you are including the kids. What a great way to get that new hunter hooked on hunting, the North American model of wildlife conservation, and being outdoors. If you have a child that’s interested in hunting and has completed Hunter Education, please spend the time to get out on a hunt. If you don’t I might just come steal your kid for the day! I have another five years before I can get my oldest daughter lined up on her first turkey and I just can’t wait! If you do have a child who is interested and you don’t have the time or know how, please don’t hesitate to give me a ring. We’ll get your kiddo out for a turkey hunt! Here are few tips to remember before you head out turkey hunting, they’re simple but it’s always good to review. Make sure you identify your target before you

Tips for Turkey Hunting Matt Haag

pull the trigger; it’s one of the firearms ten commandments! When turkey hunting, most hunters are calling and have decoys so please make be aware of other hunters in the area and make sure they know where you are as well. Protect your back by leaning up against a tree, or rock and of course don’t wear red, white, or blue. Please respect private land; trespassing is one of the more common violation calls during turkey season. Most landowners would love to have a few turkeys harvested from their property, but be sure to do it the right way and ask permission first. Big game hunting regulations should be going to the printer here shortly if they haven’t already, which means they will be at the license vendors by midApril. This time every year I receive some calls inquiring “Why the hell aren’t the regulations out yet?� We try to really make people mad, it’s part of our program. We have a committee that sits around and thinks of ways we can make the hunting and fishing public of Idaho really mad, and not printing the regulations until April is one of their devious plots. Come on! The reason they print when they do is we have to collect data from the prior year’s hunting season which includes your mandatory harvest report, and check station data. That data needs to be analyzed along with late winter aerial population surveys. Once the data is in, recommendations are made and the public opinion process is started with online surveys and public meetings. Once the public weighs in on the proposed changes (if there are any) the percentage of support and the proposal goes in front of the IDFG commission for approval in late March. So there you have it folks, it’s not some conspiracy, it’s just the way the cogs in the wheel fit together. We had some significant changes proposed for the next two hunting

Celebrating 4,000 Friends!

a beneFit For Friends oF sCotChman Peaks Wilderness

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years and it spurred some interest from sportsmen with online surveys and at the public meetings. We probably had one of the larger attendance records for the big game meeting in Sandpoint since I can remember. I am proud to be an officer here in Sandpoint and Clark Fork, you guys are a dedicated, organized bunch of sportsmen who are truly concerned about hunting and conservation. We had over 500 people attend at least one of the four public meetings in the Panhandle this year which was a direct result of the major changes proposed for elk season. As most of you know, cow elk season is NOT part of the general hunt anymore, meaning you have to put in for a controlled hunt in order to kill a cow. Overall, the average was 64 percent in favor of eliminating hunting of antlers elk under a general hunt. However, there was a serious difference in opinion among the different areas of the Panhandle. For example, the folks in the Silver Valley stated that our herds were healthy enough to support a general cow elk season, and only 51 percent of them supported eliminating the cow season. On the other hand, 71 percent of the people at the Sandpoint meeting were in favor of eliminating general cow season. Sandpoint had the highest approval for this than any other meeting, including St. Maries, Coeur d’Alene, and the Silver Valley. It’s interesting how opinions differ so greatly over a relatively small area. Be sure to grab a copy of the new regulations and check out the changes. If you have questions please give us a call. Just a quick reminder to bear-proof your home. If have chickens, leave your garbage in your pickup truck or on the porch, and keep your bird feeders out all summer you will have a bear visiting you this year. Please try to remedy those problems and the bear will go away. Leave No Child Inside... bring them turkey hunting! Matt Haag is a conservation officer with the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game. Learn more about the department online at IDFG.gov. You can reach Matt at m h a a g @ i d f g. i d a h o. gov.

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Get Growing!

It’s that time of year again when one minute we look out the window and it looks like it’s breaking sun, then rain… then possibly some snow again! Well, if you’re looking to rush Mother Nature in your garden and get a head start, then one of a variety of season extenders may be just what you are looking for. Season extenders is a broad term that includes cold frames, mini greenhouses, hoop houses, tunnel covers, insulated growing racks, reemay (frost cloth)— even old windows can be put together to provide a protective cover for plants. of

They have ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ and ‘touch the face of God.’

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Turning Up the Heat in the Garden these protected growing environment protect plants and crops from excessive rain, killing frosts and damaging winds or hail. Season extenders is getting the soil to heat warm the soil and keep it warm, even when outdoor air temps are dipping into a range that can kill off your plants. They can easily give you two extra months of growing season in our climate. The great thing about season extenders is they’re flexible and portable, even transferring to different areas of your lawn then into your garden plot when needed. If you have a raised bed and it’s still under snow, you can pop a small hoop house, tunnel cover or stretch some inexpensive black plastic over the top and you’ll be cooking those snow peas in no time. Broccoli, beets, salad greens, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, leeks, kohlrabi, onions, parsnips, rutabaga, asparagus, spinach, celery and Swiss chard are all part of the bounty of vegetables you can plant when the soil temperature reaches is still in the 45-50 degree range. Here is a short list of some options to consider for your garden space: Hoop Houses - Mini Greenhouses: These come as simple as pop up, spring-loaded, prefabricated greenhouses to elaborate wooden structures with doors and fans. An unheated PVC hoophouse can be a useful addition to your garden. A great step by step plan is found online at http://tinyurl. com/c6h7rv6. Tunnels: Using rebar, greenhouse plastic and 3/4 inch PVC pipe you can crown your rows of plants with 2- to 3foot-wide tunnels that will do wonders for early cold crops, plus you can move it later to the tomatoes, squash and curcubits, Ray Allen is available for private parties, weddings, restaurants, and all corporate events. Ray Allen plays acoustic guitar and sings jazz standards, pop tunes, country, and originals from the 30s through the 70s. Music for all ages. Includes use of my PA system for announcements. Clean cut and well dressed for your event. PA rentals for events. Call for my low rates and information.

Call 208-610-8244

Nancy Hastings

the hot/dry lovers that can truly be the most finicky to grow in the mountains. To determine the length of your pipe, measure the width of your bed and double it. If you are anchoring the plastic pipe for a tight foot around the base of a lumber raised bed, add another foot to the equation. For example: 2 ft width bed x 2 = 4ft + 1 ft for anchoring =5 ft. of pole. Once your hoop is secured, measure the height of the dome from the ground up and multiply that times your width of the hoops. Again add at least 8 inches of plastic to this total for an extra “apron” to secure tight the sides and trap the heat. Reemay, Frost Cloth and Cold frames: When your plants are still little and you are looking to transition them to the cold so the freeze doesn’t get them you can choose from insulated growing racks, row covers, cold frames and frost cloth. These options typically have about 5 to 10 degrees of temperature protection from frost. You will need to anchor the frost cloth with stones or landscape staples. In our excitement to “heat things up” for our plants and growing space, the most common mistake people make is not planning for when the sun gets TOO hot and warm inside the season extender. Do you have a way to vent it while you are at work so your plants don’t fry and wither up? We all know it’s cold in the morning, but it’s surprising how quickly things can change. For those of you large-scale gardeners ready to take a larger leap into the business of growing food locally, check out the money available this year for seasonal high tunnel greenhouses at http://tinyurl. com/blahuhw and scroll down to click on EQIP Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. June 1, 2012 is the final application deadline for these grants. Here’s to Growth! Nancy Hastings grew up on a 300+ acre farm and is co-owner of All Seasons Garden and Floral in Sandpoint, She and her husband John have been cultivating community gardens and growing for 15 years in North Idaho. You can reach them with garden questions or sign up for classes at allseasonsgardenandfloral@ gmail.com.

April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 15


and

ing ater the d to as ake ues

ore vey ater heir

Post: after the event; after in time or order. Traumatic: emotional shock following a stressful event, sometimes leading to long-term neurosis. Distressing; emotionally disturbing. Stress: pressure or tension; mentally tiring. Disorder: a lack of order, confusion; disarrange; upset. “PTSD was officially recognized in 1980, by the Veterans Administration, as a stress-related, combat-induced disorder,” reads a handout from a Spokane Veterans Outreach Program. The handout was reprinted from The Stars and Stripes­—The National Tribune, of February 1993. Symptoms of PTSD generally include depression; anger and irritability; guilt over combat performance or survival; fear of loss of control; emotional hyperactivity; nightmares; loss of self-esteem; distancing between oneself and others; feelings of being misunderstood; feeling that something terrible is about to happen. Other symptoms noted by psychiatrists and veterans include the inability to maintain a job; panic attacks during the day or night or both; difficulty in maintaining a relationship; suicidal thoughts, sometimes with a plan for carrying out the suicide; isolation; uncontrollable outbursts of crying in inappropriate places (i.e., while driving, at work, just walking along); road rage; uncontrollable anger; seeming to overreact to a minor situation and virtually exploding; doesn’t join organizations (unless it’s with other veterans); fear of emotional closeness or, when a vet does get close to a spouse or significant other, one day they may be fine while another day, for no apparent reason, the veteran pushes away (verbally or physically abuses) that person closest to him or her; difficulty in getting pleasure out of life; always seems to be waiting for the “other shoe to drop” and for bad things to happen; sucks the joy out of something that is or could be pleasurable; and frequent thoughts of death. It has been noted in numerous newspaper and at magazine articles that Council website tristatecouncil.org.

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Help for Vets Suffering from PTSD of the soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, only 17 percent seem to show signs of PTSD. Those same articles state the percentage could jump as high as 30 percent, but that at present, “It seems to be under control.” I’m sorry, did I miss something? PTSD from a war situation can appear or be recognized five, ten, 20, 30 or more years after the traumatic event—“post” meaning “after.” “After” has no time limit. Many veterans, not aware of what’s really bothering them, just figure they’re going nuts. Best thing to do? Keep busy. Hold down one, two, three or more jobs at the same time and/or go to college as well. Get by on very little sleep and, when the veteran does sleep, it’s almost a passing-out from total exhaustion, plus the nightmares and intrusive thoughts may very well startle them awake, in many instances in a hot or cold sweat, perhaps shaking and not knowing what’s going on. It’s not unusual for a veteran suffering from PTSD to only get one or two hours of sleep a night, with only broken or intermittent sleep for the rest of the night. PTSD is sometimes called a “combat induced disorder.” Many vets who suffer from PTSD did not have a combat MOS (Military Occupation Specialty). They may have been a cook or truck driver, clerical staff, MP, or whatever. That doesn’t mean this veteran wasn’t traumatized by the death of someone they knew, from seeing the death, or the death of children, women, or others in the “war.” Non-combat MOS veterans may have been splattered by body parts, seen atrocities committed by our own or the enemy’s soldiers, seen best friends kill each other over a verbal disagreement, been on guard duty and been shot at or had to shoot others, been on guard duty and witnessed one of our own soldiers kill one of our own men because that person was trying to turn themselves over to the enemy. (And the main reason that soldier was shot and killed didn’t have to do with desertion, it had to do with the fact that he or she was driving a military vehicle, and the vehicle was deemed more

by Michael Harmelin

important than the soldier.) Perhaps the non-combat MOS had to fill in the blanks on the standard form letters being sent home to those who had lost a loved one. Maybe that soldier had to guard the dead, or load bodies into choppers or transports. Of late, our “wars” have not been on an open battlefield where U.S. soldiers in military uniform fight enemy soldiers in military uniform. It’s been U.S. soldiers in uniform fighting men, women and children not in uniform—no way to tell who’s a “hostile” and who is an ally. There are no real “defined” lines of battle, but rather anywhere, at anytime, to anyone, an unknown or unrecognizable enemy may attack. Many veterans, old and new, are afraid to approach the VA, afraid to admit they might have a problem with adjusting to civilian life. They are afraid because, on at least one occasion or more, the VA turned them away or treated that veteran as a bit less than human. Either immediately or years after, this treatment or lack of treatment has a serious impact on the individual and/or on their family. “What have they done to my son?” lamented the mother of a veteran. The VA needs to be prepared to fulfill the promises the military makes to its soldiers, that they will be cared for and their health, physical and mental, will be treated. This pertains to ALL veterans, not just “combat MOS” vets. If you are a vet experiencing these types of symptoms, or are a person in contact with a veteran who might be suffering from PTSD, please call the local Veterans Services Officer in your county. There are many programs available to help. Don Carr can be reached at 208-255-5291. Michael Harmelin is a veteran of the Vietnam War, and a former “Veterans’ News” writer for the River Journal. This article was printed many years ago, and was reprinted at the request of those concerned about returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The Noxon Heron Public Hospital District wishes to inform concerned members of the public that we are actively pursuing possible avenues for continuing medical services for west-end residents. The three member volunteer Tax District Board was only recently notified of the Clark Fork Valley Hospital Governing Board’s decision to close Bull River Family Medicine, which has served the area for the past 12 years. We will keep you updated

m | Vol 17April No.2012| 18 | November 2008 | -Page 5 Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 16 The River Journal A News


Veterans’ News

Well folks, by the time you read this I’ll have returned to the Land of the Perpetual Strip Mall from our wintering home in southeastern Mexico. As I have mentioned before, sometimes you get a better perspective on things from far away. At other times distance makes no difference whatsoever. Recently, I’ve found distance has no bearing on the lack of good things to report. Near or far there is not much new good news to be found that applies to our nation’s veterans. In recent articles I have made much about the 112th US Congress not really accomplishing much to help veterans of any era. The 112th has set new standards of non-accomplishment on every conceivable area of concern to the American people. They, our least effective Congress since President Truman’s ‘Do nothing Congress’ with a nationwide approval rating in the single digit range, have focused all of its energy on ideological purity and an escalating involvement in overseeing all American women’s reproductive choices. I’m sorry folks, but we as a nation have much more pressing things to focus on other than trying to shame and embarrass the women of this country. By getting an all-male panel to formulate policy on female contraception practices and women’s reproductive rights the House of Representatives has reached a new low. The empaneling of that all male group was roughly analogous to forming an all Rooster panel to make policy on nesting box maintenance—it simply doesn’t make sense. For a party that insists that it wants a smaller, limited, non-intrusive federal government they sure as hell appear to want to control every aspect of a woman’s life and the personal choices of others. The sheer hypocrisy of these people boggles the mind! Where the heck are the Libertarians

Politicians No Longer Part of the Solution when we really need them? By abdicating their positions as true leaders in finding a positive way out of the morass the previous administration led us into the House of Representatives majority party has shown their true colors. They are willing to sacrifice everything in order to ensure that the current administration has only one term in the White House. This is the most short-sighted, counterproductive and arrogant view I’ve ever heard. A wise man said many years ago, “If you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.” The current composition of the U. S. House of Representatives is obviously part of the problem. The same applies to the Idaho Legislature. Recently, the Idaho Senate passed a bill—by a 23-12 margin—requiring any woman seeking an abortion for any reason (rape or incest being two reasons a woman might not want to carry a baby to term) be forced to have an ultrasound administered so that she must see the fetus and hear the fetal heartbeat. If it is early on in the pregnancy and the fetal heartbeat cannot be heard when the sensor is placed on the abdomen the woman could be forced to have a ‘trans-vaginal’ probe inserted to ensure the woman is aware of what is going on in her body. Personally, I’m convinced that she is already is all too aware of what is going on. I cannot imagine anything more designed to bring shame and embarrassment to a woman. A woman who is in the process of making one of the hardest, most intimate personal decisions of her life now has to get approval from the state to do this? Really? You’ve got to be kidding me. I repeat, “Where are the Libertarians when we need them?” Fortunately it appears that there are some members of the Idaho House who

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are having some misgivings about this bill and hearings have been delayed. Some actually think that it doesn’t go far enough to reduce the number of abortions! As of this writing no new hearings on that bill have been scheduled in the House. That doesn’t mean that the bill is dead. It could very well still be quietly resurrected and snuck through in the last few days of the session and slipped onto the Governor’s desk for his signature—it wouldn’t be the first time that this has been done. By the time we get back to Idaho we should know which voices were loudest: constituents or Right Wing ideologues. I’d almost put money on the ideologues. We’ll see soon. As a cynical old man I’ve almost lost much of my faith in the political process. There is entirely too much money involved and new election campaigns start up right after the votes are done being counted. Our elected representatives have become entangled in constant campaigning instead of governing. Election year promises made are very seldom kept. Except, of course, those promises made to deep-pocketed donors. These donors and lobbyists have vastly more influence than calls from hundreds of constituents. When the Supreme Court decided in favor of ‘Citizens United’ in 2010 the voices of millions of voters was buried under an avalanche of corporate money—to use an old expression, “Money talks! When unlimited money is available to buy unlimited media advertising you have the perfect storm of access and the ability to make outrageous statements repeatedly. Hell, it worked for Hitler; tell an outright lie often enough and the people will believe it. I shudder to think what the upcoming Presidential campaign will look like with unfettered corporate money flowing into the coffers of every media outlet in the nation. I suspect it will make one wish for the normal stuff like ads for toothpaste, sinus sprays and ‘Depends.’ Come to think of it, ‘Depends’ might come in handy over the next several months—but only if we can place that product over the heads of those repeating the same untruths, half-truths and misquotes ad nauseum. So long until next month—maybe I’ll be able to find something worth writing about over the next four weeks. One can but hope. Gil Beyer, ETC USN Ret. can be reached at vintage40@frontier. com

April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 17


A Seat in the House The Idaho House of Representatives ended the second regular session of the 61st Idaho Legislature “Sine Die” on March 29 under a more positive economic outlook than what we have experienced over the past three years. The revenue estimate adopted by the legislature for budget setting purposes called for a modest growth in revenues that enabled us to set a budget that will meet all of the state’s spending obligations and cover the major inflation increases for the upcoming fiscal year 2013 (FY-13) including Medicaid costs, indigent health care, educational enrollment growth and prison inmate growth. The FY 13 budget adopted by the legislature allowed for a slight increase in the General Fund appropriation of about 6.8 percent over the current fiscal year 2012 appropriation. Within this increase public schools received a 4.6 percent increase, college and universities received an 8.6 percent increase, Medicaid an 8.7 percent increase and corrections a 7.3 percent increase. The legislature also provided a tax relief package of $35.7 million, restored the state’s cash reserves by about $49.5 million and approved a 2 percent salary increase for state employees, judges and higher education employees. The legislature also eliminated the reduction in salary-based apportionment for school district teachers, administrators, and classified support staff that was instituted last legislative session to help fund the Students Come First education reform package. This legislation (House Bill 698) also provides that “any increased funds appropriated for public schools in Fiscal Year 2014 will first be used to pay for growth and the statutory cost of ‘Pay for Performance,’ Public School

A Look at 2012’s New Legislation Technology, the next implementation phase for mobile computing devices in high schools and the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program, prior to funding increases for any other items within the public schools budget.” House Bill 698 also provides for an increase in the salary for beginning teachers. In addition to the budget, legislators also dealt with a number of far-ranging issues in the course of representing their constituent interests. These policy issues addressed everything from permitting and regulating gas and oil exploration, texting while driving, the constitutional right to hunt and fish, tax relief, a mandate for preabortion ultrasounds, penalties for animal cruelty, establishing a procedure for partnering universities with the private sector to enhance economic development and other policy issues. The following are a few of the more significant actions passed by the legislature that provide more detail on some of these legislative issues: House Bill 546 (H 546) created the Global Entrepreneurial Mission Grant Fund that transforms the Idaho Innovation Council at the Department of Commerce to the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Council. IGEM is designed to “leverage privateindustry guidance and the talent and expertise of Idaho’s research universities to commercialize innovative and viable technologies that will strengthen Idaho’s economy.” House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR2) proposes an amendment to the Idaho Constitution by the addition of a new section 23, Article 1, to “preserve the rights of the people of Idaho to hunt, fish, and trap wildlife. This amendment will go before Idaho voters in the upcoming November general election. Senate Bill 1274 amended (S 1274a)

Rep. George Eskridge

implements a ban on texting while driving. The legislation defines texting as “engaging in the review of, or manual preparation and transmission of, written communications via wireless handheld devices.” Although not as restrictive as the legislation could have been, it is the intent of the legislation to emphasize to Idaho drivers the serious safety problems of texting while driving. This is just a short summary of some of the legislative actions passed this session; I will provide more information on other legislative activities of interest in future River Journal articles. Given that the session is over I look forward to being back home in Dover and welcome your comments and input on legislative actions this session and other issues of concern. I can be reached at home by phone at (208) 265-0123, regular mail at P.O. Box 112, Dover 83825 and by e mail at geskridge@coldreams.com. Just a reminder, the Idaho primary election will be held on May 12. For the first time this will be a closed primary for those voting the Republican ticket and in order to vote for Republican candidates you will have to register your Republican Party affiliation. If you have questions on this new procedure please do not hesitate to contact me or your Bonner or Boundary county clerks. This will be an important primary election and I encourage you all to exercise your right to vote on May 15! Thanks for reading! George George Eskridge, is the Idaho Representative for House District 1B. Reach him at 208-265-0123 or P.O. Box 112, Dover, ID 83825

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 18


Say What? It’s Going to be a Year for the Books Now that the new year is well underway we can put down our 20/20 hindsight glasses. They wouldn’t make much difference anyway because this year is going to be one for the books without regard for what might be considered normal or to be expected. The caucus races with the attendant posturing, polls and predictions have had their big moments in the sun. If you are a lover of classical music I am reminded of Revel’s Bolero. The months to come are going to be just like the music... a steady repetition of the same message building into a crescendo that will be the most momentous occasion of this year and perhaps the decade. As the clock ticks the world seems beset with contentious causes. No matter where or when, we are overrun with a multitude of ideas, most in conflict with either the status quo or some wacky idea the consequence of a ‘study’ or new pronouncements from a religious body. An interesting aspect of all these ideas flying around is that the torch bearers are right beyond reason. As someone once said, “It’s their way or the highway.” It the olden days it was not too difficult to reconcile your opinions with others. General agreement made for many pleasant moments. Now-a-daze it seems you dare not say anything lest someone

climb all over you. Why are so many people touchy? One possible explanation, at least in my mind. is that the air waves (old fashioned term for the younger readers) are full of opinions about everything. Then you have a candidate like Ron Paul giving voice (on national TV) to ideas that have the life span of that proverbial snow ball in Hell. Are you kidding? Is it possible that simply by getting air time you legitimize worthless thinking? And if you’re trying to make sense of anything the current regime is doing— good luck to you. What will be a classic example occurred on February 15 in Washington, DC. The distance between buildings got much greater. In the court room of the Supreme Court, White House lawyers defending Obamacare declared the insurance mandate was perfectly legal because it was a TAX and the government has the power to impose taxes. Meanwhile, in a House committee meeting room on Capitol Hill, a poor hapless schmuck from the same White House was also defending the insurance mandate. Unfortunately for him he had missed a meeting of some sort because he said the mandate was not a tax but a FINE. The President’s contention about the mandate, according to

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those who understand all this stuff, is “indefensible.” But then there have been some better moments in our society despite the incomprehensible acts of mad husbands. Perhaps all this crazy stuff that is happening causes us to be less than congenial. We can’t all be mad all the time, can we? A bright star in the sky has been the sudden rise of a Harvard graduate to shine on the professional basketball court. Here I thought that all the Harvard grads had to either be MBAs (Business majors) or Lawyers. We do have a problem. The politically correct need to identify him not as a Harvard graduate but as something hyphenated. In my mind, Africa and Asia are huge continents (most are) but AsianAmerican won’t get it. So it would appear that this hot round-baller is Chinese/ Taiwanese/American. So here is the matter of contention again. We think Taiwan is independent but the Chinese don’t want us to do that, so if you’re going to talk about Jeremy Lin, give a thought to whom you are speaking lest you be impaled on the politically correct spear. That idea he could cinch a game with a 3-pointer after accumulating 35 is a great story. Sad to note that the Afro-American players haven’t heard of him Anyway, I am for more consensus just because it made for happier days. Scrapping over every little thing may be the stuff Debbie Wasserman Schultz is made of. but it reminds me of bad breath. And that Harry Reid needs some spa time. And I don’t have much use for those attack ads the devout Republicans are running. Since they all stress their religious beliefs, I can only assume they missed some Sunday school lessons. We came a long way without being so contentious. The power of positive thinking that Dr Peale preached has its place NOW. What we need is support for the ideas that will restore the pride we once had in our drive. I hope the ability to be great still resides in our hearts and minds. Anything less is beneath us. Paul Rechnitzer is a local conservative and author, and a practiced curmudgeon. You can reach him at pushhard@nctv. com

April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 19


The Fairy

FROM THE FILES OF THE RIVER JOURNAL’S

Faith Revisited

Surrealist Research Bureau

The Clark Fork Library has a quite interesting lobby display this month celebrating the realm of fairies, elves, and the good people, I assume in honor of the recent Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. One book not on display, but still among their shelves, is the classic “Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries,” the first early work by the esteemed scholar W.Y. EvansWentz, whose later translations of such esoteric tomes as the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and “Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines” (and others) are rightfully considered ground-breaking studies of not only scholarly research, but of “one who understood religious teachings from From Beyond

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his own experience and practice as well as from study.” “The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries” (1911) was not only his first foray into the realms of the spirit but the questions it posed resonate today as well. What are Fairies? Are they real? Dr. Evans-Wentz traipsed through the Irish countryside interviewing poets, seers, farmers and teachers. In Aberfoyle, where two centuries earlier a local minister, Rev. Robert Kirk, had similarly investigated the Fairy Faith, resulting in his 1691 book “The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies,” the good Doctor EvansWentz likewise quizzed local residents

Valley of Shadows

The House on Nine Mile Road “For God’s sake, what am I after? Some treasure, or tiny garden? Or that untrodden place, The house’s very soul?” -Richard Wilbur The second account from outside the Valley of Shadows concerns a house my cousin renovated and flipped back in the fall of 2009. A structure which, according to stories he had heard, was a stop for bootleggers smuggling Canadian liquor during prohibition. Amid the Jack pines, large boulders and a few low hills, the area had an eerie, isolated feeling even though bustling North Spokane was only a couple of miles away. Which is what likely bought bootleggers there in the first place. My cousin and his soon-to-be second wife pulled into the small, mostly overgrown gravel parking area. Getting out, the first thing to strike them was the quiet. No sound of the city, of any nearby residents, not even a breath of wind. The second thing to strike my cousin was taking in the scale of the job ahead with this house. Not really a mansion, it was a three-story, wood-frame, tall and narrow Victorian built around the turn of the twentieth century. He usually scheduled eight or nine weeks per job, but was that this place was likely going to take half again as much time, and it was only a couple of weeks before Labor Day. He hoped to get the house done before any

Lawrence Fury

serious snow flew shy of Thanksgiving. Inside, the place was in better shape than he could have hoped for. Stripped bare, plain plaster walls showed dark, square outlines where pictures had once hung. The place was beyond dust—it was barren, dry, sterile. Exploring the rest of the house, Robert jotted down what would be needed to restore the place. After a couple of hours, he thought he had written down most of what he would need. While it might take a little longer than most jobs, he didn’t think it would take the twelve weeks he’d initially imagined. With luck it would be done by or before Halloween. As Robert was writing a few final things down, his fiancee stood by him just inside the front door, continually looking around with a slightly puzzled expression. Asking her what was going on, she responded with a question. Why, in a house this old and uncared for... well, why were there no broken windows, no sign of entry. A place like this would be excellent shelter for transients, after all. Yet there was no sign whatsoever of anyone having been in the house since the last owner had died in the 1960s, and his estate hadn’t been able to sell it until now. My cousin hadn’t thought about it,

Jody Forest

and gathered testimony, sitting beside peat fires in lonely, dimly lit hillside cottages recording beliefs and sightings of the little people. The Rev. Kirk, by the way, was reported to have been carried away to Fairyland shortly after his book was published. His gravesite still remains in his small church cemetery but legends aver that it is empty. Modern-day researchers into crop circles will find plenty to ponder in “The Fairy Faith,” for far from being a strictly 20th century phenomena there are countless anecdotes and tales in the book describing the rings left in the fields by the fairies dancing in them at night, weaving but now that his future bride mentioned it, the place did seem to be remarkably untouched. The following Monday he returned with much of what would be needed for the job. This first day would consist of bringing supplies into the living room/ entryway. From there, they would disperse things to the rest of the house. Over the next several weeks, while Robert was there every day, his father would come and go, providing some carpentry help. His fiancee would come to help clean, paint and install wallpaper. He had the plumber he routinely used in and out until late September updating the fixtures and pipes. This, along with an electrician who pulled out the old and installed the new wiring. By the first of October he was able to have electrical service restored so that now, with the shorter days, they could work longer hours. Up until this point, nothing unusual had taken place, but suddenly things started to happen. On a sunny day the second week of October, Robert was up on a ladder touching up the trim and molding when he heard from inside what sounded like a box of glass being dropped from a height and shattering into a million pieces. Nearly sliding down the ladder like an old-style fireman coming down a pole, he rushed into the house where his fiancee had been varnishing the railing of the stairs. She was standing a few steps up, her attention divided between a spot further

April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 20


elvish lights in circles at certain times of the year, chiefly midsummer solstice and November Eve. Other early hints to modern researchers include, in astro-archeology, the prescient revelations that many of the ancient standing stones, mounds, and monuments (such as Stonehenge and Newgrange) are astronomically placed and sited. As well, long before Jung’s “Flying Saucers” or of Vallee’s ground-breaking “Passport to Magonia” there are hints that the Irish traditions of changelings and fairy abductions are evolving into encounters with UFOnauts and hybrids. Years ago, in a now-ancient TRJ article, I related a true tale of a fairy sighting by a more recent eyewitness, a personal acquaintance, an Irishman and recent immigrant to the U.S. In Ireland’s County Wicklow, while still a teenager, Bert and a friend named Jimmy were returning from a weekend fishing excursion through the countryside when they became disoriented. A mist was rolling in and they spied a tiny old woman dressed in green,

apparently gathering herbs on a small mound, and they decided to ask her for directions. They’d no sooner reached the mound when the old woman just vanished before their eyes. Now all Fairy sightings seem to have a twist to them and Bert now flashed forward nearly 30 years to the time he’d returned to his beloved Ireland from a long U.S. exile for a vacation with his wife. They went into a random pub for a wee pint and heard a patron at the next table regaling his mates with a tale of his fairy sighting of a tiny old woman in green nearly 20 years previously. Bert then recognized his old friend Jimmy and he happily walked over and verified his friend’s story to his astonished mates. Dr. Evans-Wentz collected hundreds of such tales, sightings and anecdotes and I’ll relate one to you at random; Mr. T.C. Kermode of Peel, a member of the Irish Parliament, told of how in late October of 1870, “I and another young man were going to a harvest celebration one evening when

we happened to look across the moor and he said “oh look, the fairies are dancing!” We saw a circle of light and in the midst I saw rushing into it a great host of small beings, scant inches high, dancing around in a circle. I was dumfounded and at a loss for words when my companion struck the stone wall between us and the light with his cane and shouted out “Begone!” and the light and the vision vanished together into the darkness.” Note: “The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries” by W.Y. Evans Wentz is available at the Clark Fork Library. A DVD is available at the Sandpoint Library on “The Modern Fairy Faith” and is well worth your time as well, a mostly modern account of numerous credible witnesses to sightings today.

up the stars and another toward the back of the house and a narrow door that led down into a cellar. Asking what had happened, it took a moment for the woman to answer. Pointing to the back of the house, she related the crashing noised seemed to have come from there, but then pointed up to the second story landing and said that just prior, she saw what appeared to be a human head, just floating in the dusty sunlight coming through a small window. They knew there was no one else in the house. With his fiancee trailing him, Robert grabbed a powerful flashlight from his truck and went down the cellar steps. He had decided to put off doing the cellar until the end of the job. Shining the light around, nothing looked out of place until the light came to rest on a large, heavy, dusty and stained cardboard box lying on its side and what

looked like chunks of broken bottled around it. Stepping over to examine it, it did appear to have been a box of liquor bottles that had fallen and shattered, but it would have had to have been many, many years earlier from the way it looked. Several days later, Robert was by himself doing some last finishing work here and there. The place was ready for some furniture, which always made any house more appealing to a buyer. It was ten days until Halloween and the place was ready to list. Finishing up, Robert began making several trips in and out of the house to his truck with his gear and his tools. Coming from the kitchen with a last armload, he heard what sounded like a bottle rolling on the now varnished and polished wood floor in the living room. But there was nothing there. As he stood there looking around, he glanced up the stairs to the second floor landing

where, weeks earlier, his fiancee had seen a disembodied head floating in midair. There it was, floating five feet above the stairs, slowly descending toward him. It appeared to be a middle-aged man with a short, scruffy beard. Goose bumps rising on his neck and stomach dropping, Robert turned and raced out with his things, nearly tripping going through the front door. With a lot of money invested in the place, Robert couldn’t abandon his latest project. But it was late in the year and, being so isolated, he received a couple of inquiries but no serious offer until the spring of the following year. Then a small, private paranormal club, whose members, if not the idle rich, still had nothing better to keep themselves occupied with, bought the house for his minimum price. He counted himself lucky on the sale, vowing never to flip any place like it again. But what was the manifestation he and his fiancee had seen? Echoes of the bootlegging operation from the 1930s? He was wrong concerning his vow. He would once more encounter the supernatural, which I’ll relate next time, before returning again to the Valley of Shadows.

The Scotchman Peaks Keep ‘em wild.

For our Families, For tomorrow. www.ScotchmanPeaks.org

Want to talk to Jody? You can reach him at joe@ riverjournal.com.

Have a ghost story to tell? Share it with Lawrence at fury_larry@ yahoo.com.

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 21


DOWNTOWN SANDPOINT EVENTS SANDPOINT EVENTS Festival at Sandpoint

Wine Tasting, Dinner & Auction April 27 at the Bonner Co. Fairgrounds

Experience

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Visit www.DowntownSandpoint.com for a complete calendar of events

April

12, 14 My Life with Marilyn, Panida Theater, 7:30 pm 208.263.9191 13 Bonner General Auxiliary Bake Sale, 8-4 at BGH, 208.265.0402 13 Contra Dance, 7 pm, Sandpoint Community Hall, 208.263.3613 13 An Evening with Rick Bass and Stellarondo, Panida Theater, 7 pm. 208.263.9191. $15 at the door. 14 Bingo Fundraiser for Kinderhaven, 1 pm, Luther Park. 208.265.3557 14 Selkirk School Spaghetti Feed and Dessert Auction, Sandpoint Community Hall, 4:30, 208.263.4931 14 Farm to Table Dinner (Greek Easter Feast) DiLuna’s, 208.263.0846 14-15 PBCA Home and Garden Show Bonner Co. Fairgrounds , over 50 vendors. 208.263.4367 16 Barrage­—Fiddle Workshop and Concert. Panida Theater, 7 pm. 18 Dine and Do Good! 3:30-9:30, fundraiser for Circles. Little Olive Restaurant, 208.290.1502 19, 21 A Separation, Panida Theater, 7:30 pm. 208.263.9191 20 Diamonds in the Rough, POAC opening reception, exhibit runs through June 15, 5:30 pm at the Old Power House. 208.263.6139 20 Fly Fishing Film Tour Panida Theater, 7 pm. 208.263.9191 21 Blend Your Own Bistro. $30 Pend d’Oreille Winery. 208.265.8545 22 Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail Earth Day Walk, 9-noon. POBTrail.org, 208.946.7586 22 Earth Day 2012. 4 pm Sandpoint Charter High School. 208.946.6960 27 Festival at Sandpoint Wine Tasting, Dinner and Auction. Bonner Co. Fairgrounds. 208.265.4554 28 Ali Marcus Concert, Di Luna’s, 208.263.0846 28 An America Sampler, Panida Theater 7 pm. Benefit for Jacey’s Race. 208.263.9191 28 through May 6 K&K Spring Fishing Derby. LPOIC.org. 208.264.5796

PLUS:

Pub Music with Truck Mills Blues Jam every Monday night at Eichardt’s Trivia every Tuesday night at MickDuff’s. Tuesdays with Ray, Trinity at City Beach, 6 to 8 pm. Sandpoint Swing Tuesdays at 6:30 pm, $3. Bongo Brew/Earth Rhythms Cafe 208-610-8587 Bingo Night: hosted by The Loading Dock, every Thursday, 5-8 pm. Winery Music - Live music every Friday night at Pend d’Oreille Winery Live Music with Bruce Bishop. Trinity at City Beach, 6-9 pm on Fridays

Page 22 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


Passover

The holiday coming up in April is my favorite. The western church will call it Easter but that day is a mere shadow of its deeper, richer root—the Feast of Passover, and the roots of my faith. I like all the holidays but this feast is of particular importance to me. For a very long time the Jewish people celebrated Passover to commemorate their deliverance from Egypt by God through the person of Moses. God established this Feast while the people were still in a state of slavery but hoping for rescue. They acted upon that hope and were taken to a place where God became their King. In His presence they learned to live as a people set apart for Him. The Passover, like all the Feasts or appointed times of the Lord, has a past, a present, and a future fulfillment tied to it. Very cool. The actual event of Passover in Egypt was the effort of God to pass judgment on Pharoah for not allowing the Hebrews to leave, while protecting the Hebrews themselves from that judgment. The Hebrews were instructed to take a male lamb of the first year, perfect and unblemished, care for it for four days and then kill it. They were to take the blood and slather it on the doorposts and across the top. Then they were to roast the lamb over fire and eat the entire animal with a variety of other items, all while wearing their coats and sandals as if ready to

Kathy’s Faith Walk

depart the house in haste. They were, in fact, about to depart a life of slavery and come into a place of freedom with God as their King Because the shed blood was applied correctly, the Hebrews were passed over when the judgment of God came. On every Passover thereafter the blood came from a male lamb of the first year, perfect and unblemished. In Jerusalem many years later it would be the blood of a perfect male human, Jesus, applied to save us from slavery. He died to save us all from judgment. Three days later Jesus arose from the dead to prove His power over death and to ensure our participation in eternal life with Him. The Bible expresses that people would find this process foolish and shameful both then and now. But it is the way God has provided for us and it takes faith to receive this provision against our rebellion. This was the intermediate fulfillment. While the blood of the lamb covered the Hebrews in Egypt from judgment for disobedience, the blood of the Lamb in Jerusalem will cover anyone from the judgment of God for sin and disobedience. This is good news! It is a gift from God. But like any gift, it is not yours until you accept it by faith, open it, and make it your life. As I said, all the Feasts of the Lord have past, intermediate, and future fulfillments. One day soon, those of us

who have opened and accepted the gift of deliverance from sin and protection from destruction will once again be blessed by it when Jesus comes back as our King. When the King returns all things will be made right. But those things that are not of Him will not remain in his kingdom. It is simple: if you are not in Him, you are not part of His kingdom. Choose life. Choose salvation. Choose Christ—the Passover Lamb of God. John 3:16 says “…for God so loved the world that He gave His only son to die that those who believe on His name should not die but have everlasting life. Do you believe this? If so, one of these days we will be delivered from this life and into the arms of the one who loves us. If not, please reconsider. God loves you. He is inviting you to let Him in. He is offering to walk you through this life in a way that will allow you to heal, to understand, to forgive, and to live in ways you never imagined. Don’t wait another day to ask Jesus to cover you with His blood. He has set the boundaries of your need for forgiveness and His willingness to forgive. He will not depart from them. He is waiting. Kathy Osborne is the editor of the Co-Op Round-Up,” and an avid walker in her faith. Reach her at coopcountr ys tore@ yahoo.com

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 23


Jinxed

My granddaughter Billie decided we needed a puppy. She had put a lot of thought in it. When I saw Billie dragging a stuffed animal around with a shoestring, calling it her puppy, I knew the time was near. I was pretty sure we shouldn’t wait much longer when she began holding a Kleenex to her shoulder, cuddling and patting it, calling it a good puppy. So when she said, “Yaya, I want a puppy made out of real fur,” I couldn’t wait any more. Stacey and I went online to the Sandpoint Animal Shelter, to view the dogs they have for adoption there. I can say with certainty it’s a good thing I don’t own property, or I’m pretty sure I would be one dog away from owning a whole pack! There were at least 20 dogs that could have easily become mine. I personally fell in love with a senior dog called Lady. A beautiful red tick coon hound with soulful eyes, she made me want to weep. Who would adopt such an old dog? I wondered. Luckily, the Animal Shelter has a program that helps with the senior dogs, so they can live out their lives in safety. There was a younger dog named Banjo, totally cute! But, as my son-in-law is named Banjo, it would have just been too weird. Several dogs called to me, but I knew Billie had her heart set on a puppy, so we walked the halls (saying hello to every dog along the way) to the puppy nursery to look at the last two pups there. Two of the cutest Blue heeler-mix pups were available to adopt. As always, they were both neutered, shots up to date, clean, cute and as playful as Billie is. I could only take one home. That was a tough decision, fate sometimes makes choices for us: the puppy named Magellan sat on my foot. That’s how I chose my dog Aspen, so obviously Magellan it was. We already knew Magellan’s name would be changed. Billie already picked the name “Sparkles.” Given “Sparkles” was a male, we tried to get her to change it to Sparky, but she would have none of that. Not only was our poor male pup going to be a “Sparkles, he would be saddled with pink sweaters, scarves and coats. I wondered if I could find a breast cancer pink sweater that says, “Real dogs wear pink!” Stacey was dismayed at the thought of calling to the pup, “Here Sparkles, good boy!” As possibly the only cross-dressing puppy in northern Idaho, he is still quite the catch and his name has grown on us. Billie is in love with him, but I have to say,

Happiness is a Warm Puppy as of yet, Aspen is not too impressed. For the first few days Aspen’s lips were curled in a permanent snarl, and she wasn’t necessarily snarling at Sparkles. She didn’t take to kindly to having a young whipper snapper encroaching on her territory. Aspen hasn’t outright ignored him, but she has spent a bit of time under the bed, where Sparkles hasn’t located her yet. It’s her quiet time, a doggy version of “Calgon, take me away!” Aspen is getting older, you know. She hasn’t played puppy games in years, until Banjo tried to play with Sparkles, that is, when suddenly Aspen was the bouncy, airborne fluff she had been in her youth! Growling playfully, she was a canine ninja trying to snatch the rope out of Banjo’s hand. That is, until she realized Banjo was serious and wanted to rough house for a WHILE. Aspen yelped, and every frisky bone in her body bolted for her safe haven. Trying to prove she was in her prime, or maybe her second puppyhood, she recalled her age with a, “Sweet Jesus, play with the real puppy”! Now Sparkles is practically attached to Aspen’s behind. Heaven forbid Aspen listen to nature’s call in peace. We’ve learned to let Aspen out alone, just so she can take care of business in relative tranquility. Billie didn’t really understand Aspen’s attitude towards Sparkles. “Sparkles is nice,” Billie lectured Aspen, shaking her finger in Aspen’s face with all the animation only a five-year-old can muster. “She doesn’t know what no bite means yet.” Then Sparkles mistook Billie’s leg for a toy. An unintentional nip can go a long way toward understanding the need for proper training. Aspen has learned to hide beside (okay, behind) my chair, a sissy dog’s way of hiding behind mama’s skirt. (Although I have felt Sparkles’ sharp little teeth, and I kinda want to hide too!) We have only lost one power cord so far and half a shoe tongue. And Brad quickly learned to hide “them,” or put a cup on them, if you know what I mean. That’s not too bad for a new puppy. We did buy Sparkles his own toys, which he promptly ate. That’s when the joking about the cup for Brad became a grave reality. No man likes to think of his family jewels being mauled by little shark teeth. When Brad brings in wood for the stove, Sparkles tries to help in his own way by chewing up the wood. Creating kindling, I’m sure. My floor has to be vacuumed every day, just to get rid of the dead toy

pieces. His favorite toy so far? An empty soda bottle! It figures, I spent good money on toys for my kids only to find they were most content with the box the toy came in. At night, we have a baby gate to keep that little ball of perpetual motion contained. He has already learned that morning doesn’t begin until there is light coming through the windows. There’s a lot of energy in a puppy. If I could harness it, between Billie and Sparkles I could power our whole house with the force they produce! It’s worth all the time put into training Sparkles though, just to see Billie’s little eyes light up every time she comes over. Sparkle’s has learned the sound of Banjo’s truck and he will sit by the door, wiggling impatiently. As Billie tries to come in the door, Sparkles licks her energetically (as if they hadn’t just seen each other a few hours ago), practically knocking Billie back out the door. I don’t know if they’re soul mates, but it’s definitely puppy love. When Billie enters the house, it’s a wild puppy party of colossal proportions. We try to keep Billie’s giggles down to a dull roar, so the neighbors don’t complain, but it’s not always possible. Watching the two of them running from one end of the house to the other, cackling hysterically, keeps a person’s soul smiling! Luckily for Billie, Sparkles has a twoman bed, courtesy of my parents’ sweet Lab, Precious. I don’t think Precious ever found the bed as comfortable and Billie and Sparkles do. Aspen used to sleep on it, but when Sparkles tried to cuddle with her, Aspen vacated the area. No squirming puppy butt for her! Since that day, Aspen has left it to Sparkles. After an impressive evening of romping, watching Billie curl up around Sparkles’ weary little body is quite the happy moment, not just because it means a certain amount of quiet for me, but because I know both of their little hearts are content. I know we’ll have many more years of adventures with Billie and Sparkles. Last night, just before bedtime, Billie and Sparkles were cuddling on the doggy bed. “ You sleep now, Sparkles,” Billie whispered in his soft puppy ear, “I’m your mommie now and you are the best of the best.” In little girl/puppy communication, that is a commitment! Jinx Beshears has lots of grandkids, and a growing pack of dogs. You can reach her at jinxbychoice08@yahoo.com

Page 24 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


The Scenic Route

For some reason, I have been thinking about kindness lately; and moved to write about it. I don’t know why, but I do know that when the Muse calls, you don’t hang up. No. If you want something good to happen, you gotta stay on the line; “stay in the chair,” as my writer friends say. Of course, thinking about kindness led me also to think about all the unkind things I have done. Most of us are unkind from time to time; through ignorance, or arrogance or just plain error. I have been guilty of all three, but I’m learning. I don’t know many people who consistently go out of their way to be cruel, though I’ve met a few. The question, though, is how many of us go out of our way to be kind? Do I? Sometimes. I think many of us do, sometimes; and that’s good. If we didn’t, kindness would disappear. Very few of us are kind all the time. Probably very few of us are willing to take the risk of being kind all the time. It’s a risky business, for it exposes our good heart when we do something kind, and it seems there are many who will take advantage of the goodhearted, if they can. But the goodhearted still risk it, and that is good. If they did not, goodheartedness would disappear, also. My favorite story about kindness is one related to me by my friend Karen. She is a single mom with a small, sometimes chaotic house out in the country. Her kids ride the bus to school. She drives to town to work. Mornings are sometimes scheduled hell. Not long ago, Karen had one of those mornings; kids dragging their feet, oatmeal burned to the bottom of the

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Kindness

pan, nothing to wear and fifteen places to wear it to. With her patience leaving on the next train, and sanity trying to hitch a ride, she gets her kids in the car, gets them to the bus stop, gets them on the bus, and gets started toward work. You know the mood she is in, and how real it is. Suddenly, the morning is completely worthless, and even the angle of the sun’s rays is wrong. We come dangerously close to doing a “Donald Duck;” waddling around, waving our wings and quacking up. There is my friend, talking to herself and God about how rotten things are, asking for a little help along the way; when there, in the road, she comes upon a big batch of feathers all akimbo and flopping around on the center line, obviously some poor bird that has tangled with a bumper. Karen is a kind person. As a matter of fact, I think Karen is a remarkably kind person, but that morning, she is not feeling kind. In fact, the poor bird in the road just makes matters worse. Now she is stressed and angry. She just asked God to make things better, and here is this poor wounded creature in the road. She declares to herself that she will not stop. She doesn’t have time. She has had her share of trauma for the day, already, and it’s hardly 8:30. She drives by the struggling mass of feathers. One hundred and fifty yards down the road, she slams on the brakes, angrier than ever, and now at herself for being such a sap; and backs up to where the bird is laying in the road. She jumps out of the car, slams the door, and stalks back to the bird, determined to make a quick judgement of its condition,

Sandy Compton help it if she can, or put it out of its misery. She reaches down to pick up the bird, and, at the approach of her hand... two birds fly away. What the birds were doing there, I will leave to your imagination, but I can tell you that Karen’s day is no longer the same. God and her good heart have gotten the best of her. When Karen told me that story, I was nearly as joyfully stunned by the flight of the birds as she was when it happened to her. I felt as if some great kindness had been done me. Perhaps that is what happens when our hands reach out in kindness: creation, love, joy, freedom, flight, wonder, awe, transformation, redemption; all in a single act. If that is true, think of all that can be overcome by simple acts of kindness: destruction, sorrow, imprisonment, repression, boredom, apathy, stagnation, condemnation, and more, overcome by simple acts of kindness. Blanche DuBois, the tragic heroine of “A Streetcar Named Desire,” says near the end of the play, “I have always been dependent on the kindness of strangers.” So are we all. Let kindness not be a stranger in our lives. Sandy Compton’s books can be purchased online at BlueCreekPress. com, with a new book, a compilation of the best of the Scenic Route, coming out this year. You can reach him at mrcomptonjr@hotmail.com. “Kindness” was first published in April, 1998. Karen, who is still goodhearted, is now a happily married grandmother-to-be.

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 25


PASSAGES

Kathleen SMITH May 4, 1929 - March 6, 2012

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Brad John DALE December 15, 1971 March 2, 2012

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Deborah Ann Merrin CARTER February 6, 1959 - March 20, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Kelvin Eddy STEVENS November 14, 1951 March 11, 2012 www.LakeviewFuneral.com

Marilyn Ann Manship MERICA August 23, 1927 - March 15, 2012

Norma Rae Madson TRONE April 4, 1927 - March 16, 2012

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Henry Luther “Butch” FELTS March 27, 1938 - March 5, 2012

Dennis Dwayne HARDING October 5, 1965 - March 6, 2012

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Sandra Lee Happell Morais September 30, 1949 March 6, 2012

Marion Gardner WOODS August 8, 1912 - March 20, 2012

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Josiane Ellen Lamorie DONAHOE October 11, 1965 - March 23, 2012 www.LakeviewFuneral.com

Albert Floyd PATRICK Sr. February 4, 1918 February 19, 2012

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Betty Jean WALKER October 27, 1930 - March 27, 2012

Irene Eleanor LENHARES May 15, 1919 - March 7, 2012

Robert Lee HUCKABAY November 6, 1943 March 11, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Leroy Irving ERLWEIN August 13 1919 - March 11, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Ralene “Terri” Alice Belle MILLER June 14, 1943 - March 15, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Sandra Louise Hennagin CARTER December 18, 1947 - March 27, 2012

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Helen Rose SCHUESSLER July 19, 1939 - March 28, 2012

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Sarah Alice Wiant ARMSTRONG April 29, 1928 - March 30, 2012 www.Lakeview Funeral.com

Paul Marshall KLEIN October 15, 1958 - March 16, 2012 Wayne Earl HAWKINS September 10, 1922 - March 17, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Wilma J. LAWSON May 17, 1931 - March 25, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Joe Allen FELTS March 29, 1961 - March 31, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Grace Marquerite Dunkelberger WENGER February 27, 1924 - March 11, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Verda Aurora YOUNG April 24, 1928 - March 31, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Lawana Hawkins OLSON February 13, 1926 March 29, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Audrey Alice COOKE October 26, 1941 - March 28, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Donna C. Andersen BADER January 18, 1926 - March 27, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Shirly Ann MICEK February 24, 1935 - March 3, 2012

Velma Arlene Carlson ROCKS July 30, 1918 - April 1, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Gordon Frank KALK April 29, 1923 - April 1, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

Frederick “Jim” DUNN November 7, 1920 - April 1, 2012 www.CoffeltFuneral.com

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Page 26 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


Some people say that I spend too much time sittin’ astraddle the fence but I find myself there in the rarefied air because neither side makes enough sense “There’re few things more liberating or sacrosanct than the Democratic ability to vote” this comes down the ages through various sages who thought about it long’n hard before they got it wrote But I wonder how they felt when something they smelt filled their throats with mucus and phlegm where we quite often find that a lot of the time we’re votin’ against some wingnut, not for ‘em And it leads me to ponder how they felt about plunder amongst their elected officials as the general consensus expects continued offenses without reprisals from appointed judicials Did they give up completely or just keep score discretely and wait for a chance to get even to stand firm by not quitin’, polish up on their Twittin’ and maybe next time get what they believe in The elephant demands to be our business sense while the jackass our conscience/objector but when it’s “primary time”, to vote your own mind to someone you’ll be a defector The independent voter is one more open minded than counterparts who claim affiliation to one or other party’s dogma/doctrine making up this great and silly nation

The one time I voted in a primary election I stood there rubbin’ my hair ‘cause I couldn’t vote for this’n here and also that one o’er there I just wanted to help get their confidence up early on in the season but I could only vote for either one or neither one depending on my reason You can pick who you want from the G.O.P. or try the Blue team on for a while you can pick yer own nose and maybe yer toes but not from both sides of ‘the isle’ The result is, I’m thinkin’, a show run by hardliners from caucus through primaries to elections so that all we hear is rhetoric and fear with each side making corrections In the end we get incompetence, tradeoffs and waste assorted boondoggles to taste, stupid rules to chaste pork barrels untraced and confusion unlaced it’s enough to give me the woggles! So do we still vote or stand up at a caucus to support those we think’re pleasin’ try best to get to know those who run the show and hope none of ‘em are in it for treason Pleasant voting!

Scott Clawson

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 27


Shoot-Out at the Old Mercantile A tale of the West The old man that built and ran the Mercantile had come over the Great Divide to the western slope with the remnants of the mountain men, settled here, and married an Indian girl who later bore him a daughter. His name was Birdseed. Ollie Birdseed. He was a big, burly man with a handlebar mustache and sideburns down to his chin. He was a kind and gentle man in his ways, always there if someone needed help and saw to it that no family went without food in hard times. He would sometimes leave sacks of groceries on the back porches late at night for those who were in need but were too proud to ask. A hind quarter of elk or deer would mysteriously be found hanging there as well. One morning Ollie was behind his counter sorting out receipts when he noticed three horsemen coming into town from down toward the river road. They stopped in front of the Mercantile. One man dismounted, tied his horse to the hitch rail outside, and within two strides he was up on the porch and walking in the door. He stopped and looked around. He was a tall, lanky man with hollow cheeks and a beard that was several days old. He wore a felt hat that was pulled down around his ears and was obviously too large for him and it made it hard to see his face. The hat, like his bib overalls, had seen better days. They both had needed patching for quite some time. The man strolled over near the counter, still looking around as though he was looking for someone. He suddenly wrestled an old Navy Colt from the front pocket of his overalls and pointed it at Birdseed. “Give me two sacks of tobaccy and all your money,” he demanded. “Son, if you need some tobacco I can let you have a sack. You don’t have to haul out that hog leg.” “Shut up and put your money in this here sack, ‘fore I blow your head off,” the stranger ordered. He tossed a sugar sack across the counter that fell to the floor at Ollie’s feet. “Those are pretty strong words to be using on someone you don’t know,” Birdseed said, as he reached down to the floor to retrieve the sack. The gunman reached up with his left hand and pulled the hammer back on the old Colt. “Now fill that sack,” he barked. As Birdseed rose up from getting the sugar sack off the floor he pulled a double barrel coach gun from under the counter and fired both barrels, knocking the would-be bandit back several steps. During the excitement Birdseed vaguely remembered he had loaded the brass cartridges with number eight bird shot, which at close range would open up a pattern the size of a water bucket. He had loaded it for coons who had been breaking into his chicken house.

The Colt that the robber was holding went off when he was hit, but the bullet struck the rafters, sending splinters everywhere. The noise from the blasts spooked the horses of the two men waiting outside. Lunging backwards and whirling in their tracks, the horses left the two men hanging on for dear life. They bolted back down the street from the direction they had come. The gunman’s horse had fallen back, breaking the bridle rein that he had been tied with and he soon passed the two riders and horses headed out of town. Back in the Mercantile the smoke from the three black powder charges filled the room so thick you couldn’t see anything. As the smoke began to rise, Birdseed could first see only the man’s worn out boot soles that were turned out. As his legs became visible he could see that there was a large, dark spot appearing at the waist and covering his midsection. From it the blood came pouring out onto the floor. One side of his overalls, along with a large section of his body had been blown away, leaving part of his rib cage and intestines exposed. His back bone had been severed and the upper half of his torso was attached only by one side of his overalls, a piece of his shirt and some skin. As the smoke continued to rise it exposed the blood spreading across the floor. The man’s face became visible enough to see that his eyes were wide open as though staring at the ceiling. His mouth gaped open as well, exposing what few teeth he had left that were rotten with tobacco stains. His hat was twisted on his head and the old Colt had been flung across the room and was resting against a pickle barrel. Everything slowly began to return to normal except for the ringing in Birdseed’s ears. Several townspeople had heard the shots and came running over to the Mercantile just as Birdseed appeared through the smoke-filled doorway. They were all clamoring for details as to what had taken place. After loudly trying to explain it several times over his ringing ears, Ollie finally took two men and went back inside. Ed, the elder of the two, was the town handyman and had done a lot of work for Birdseed. He asked Ed to go around back and get the wheelbarrow they used to haul coal in and a corn scoop so they could scoop up blood and pieces and parts of the would-be robber along with the two sections of the body. Fred, the other man, lived with his mother and survived off her pension check. His job was to help Birdseed roll the body over and go through the pockets looking for some kind of identifying information. None could be found, but there was a ten dollar gold piece found in his watch pocket.

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Paid for by the committee to re-elect Senator Shawn Keough, Republican. Esther Gilchrist, Treas. Page 28 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| April 2012


Continued from previous page “You and Ed can split this money if you wheel him up to the graveyard and plant him just on the north side outside the fence. Put a rock on top of the grave so we can find it should someone ever inquire about him. Stop by the preacher’s house in case he might want to say a few words in this feller’s behalf. I’ll get them two Wilson boys out there to get some soap and water and clean this mess up while I go over to the depot and send a telegraph off to the sheriff explaining what happened.” The sheriff’s reply was to write it down on paper and have it witnessed and notarized and then send it in to his office to be recorded at the courthouse. If anyone should ask about him, it’s recorded and will be on file. The sheriff said he would send out word about the other two, and Birdseed should sell the robber’s horse and his saddle and give the money to the needy. Ollie sold the saddle and gave the money to the local church. The horse he gave to the Ledbetters, who lived out of town and were expecting their third child. They had lost their horse to old age the year before and couldn’t afford a new one. A month or more had gone by when a letter came from the sheriff’s office addressed to Ollie Birdseed in care of the Chipmunk Falls post office. Dear Sir, The two men you described in your attempted robbery were

From the Mouth of the River

caught in another attempted robbery just out of Thompson Falls, Montana for stealing chickens from an old lady. Unfortunately, for them, the lady had two mean bulldogs that caught them as they ran away with the chickens. One man was badly tore up because the woman couldn’t call off the dogs and the other man was bitten several times by the dogs and had to stay up in a peach tree all night until a deputy came and got them in a wagon the next day. Apparently, the first man bled out overnight and was dead by morning. The man in the tree, we call him Peaches, is all bandaged up and in jail. He said the man you killed was his brother and was glad you gave him a decent burial. He was wondering if you found a ten dollar gold piece his brother was carrying. He thinks it might help bail him out. Yours truly, Sheriff Boots

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April 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 4| Page 29


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The River Journal, April 2012