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Because there’s more to life than bad news


A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading Through

Mike Gunter beat insurmountable odds in a battle with cancer. What’s important now, he says, is friends, family, a little time with the horses and


December 2009

Michael White, Realtor

BS Forest Resources & Ecosystem Management For land, Ranches, and Homes with Acreage

Harry Weerheim Sales Associate, R E S o R t

R E A lt Y

You will get more knowledge skills and service Óän°Ó™ä°nx™™ÊUÊwww.nor

Residential & Resort Specialist Captain & EMT, Schweitzer Mtn VFD Experienced Home Builder 208-610-6577

690 ACRES - borders the Clark Fork River & National Forest with paved county road access. VIews are spectacular in all directions, you can see to Lake Pend Oreille & Schweitzer Mtn. Property is 1/3 productive pasture lands & about 2/3 forest land. Power & phone on site, plus a little year-round creek. Easy to subdivide. $3,500,000

640 ACRES of SomE of thE moSt pRoduCtivE lAnd in North America! 240 acres of Palouse farm fields, 400 ac of prime timber land with a big year-around creek, awesome views, and wildlife galore. It even has an old farm house, well, electric, phone, new rocked road and paved access! This is the perfect property for farming and ranching, survival, family or corporate retreat. Bring Offers! Asking $1,700,000

240 ACRES of foREStEd lAnd With beautiful lake, mountain and valley views. Four contiguous parcels (two 80-acre and two 40-acre) borders USFS on multiple sides. $799,500

undER GRound houSE on 130 ACRES bordered by two big creeks & timber company land! IncludeS well, electric plus solar and generator backups, two good log cabins, shop & greenhouse. New interior road system & county road access. Awesome views. Priced as vacant land, only $599,000!

thiS GEoRGEouS 85 ACRE property features deeded waterfront, borders public lands, and has river & mountain views. Located about 9 miles down Lakeshore Dr. from Sandpoint on county roads. This exceptional land is nicely forested, with plenty of usable land.Three parcels sold together or separately. Asking $925,000

8 ACRES w/ 800’ of WAtERfRont, where the Pack River meets Lake Pend Oreille. adjacent to Idaho Club! Boatable into Lake Pend Oreille. Great road access, building pad in, perc tested and gorgeous views of river, lake, mountains & wildlife. Bring all offers $995,000



40 ACRES with gorgeous lake views, county road frontage, less than one mile to Clark Fork, ID power and phone are in the road, property is flat on bottom and up on top for excellent building sites. Unparalleled views of Lake Pend Oreille, River, valley & mountains. $199,500


Georgeous 25 Acre Kootenai Riverfront Estate very nice 2007 home is 3930 sq’, hardwood & tile floors, Corian counter tops. Huge shop with full office, foyer-sitting area and full BaRm both house and shop have hydronic heat, wood fired or electric and backup generator system too! Awsome cedar barn, fully insulated, top of the line stalls, tack room and arena. Nice new cabin on the river. Extensive water system throughout property, entire property post and rail fenced, perfect walk out waterfront, views, too much to list, see website... $1,200,000

BEAutiful, old WoRld Monitor style Barn/ House, on 20 acres, just a few minutes to Sandpoint. Property has lake views, pond, forest and meadows, with nice walking trails throughout and great views. House is unfinished on inside, currently set up as shop & apt. Asking $399,000


niCE, WEll Built homE on 27 AC Located on a paved county road 10 min. north of Bonners Ferry. This 3 Bd/3Ba Super Good Cents Energy Home was built in 1996 to CA building codes & is quality throughout. Nice property, hike to public land & lakes, great views. Backup gen. elect. $324,900

Nice little, well built cabin on 5 acres with additional lake view bldg site. Sunny Side area, just a short walk to Lake Pend Oreille! Cabin has sleeping loft, kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Road to building pad w/ lake view, septic and well on site. Asking $185,000


20.6 ACRES IN THE KELSO LAKE AREA At the end of Sunset Road... sits about 7 ac of good, usable land with nice forest and great views, plus an additional 13ac area of subirrigated pasture / wetland/ shallow pond with farming or grazing potential.. Owner Financing $59,900



2008, niCE, nEW, WEll Built 3Bd/2Ba in Kootenai, ID just minutes to downtown Sandpoint. This home features beautiful wood work, vaulted ceilings and great views. Nearly a half acre lot is biggest in subdivision and access is all on paved roads. Large two car attached garage $224,500


17 ACRES w/ SAnd CREEK fRontAGE beaver pond, nice forest,good- usable land, power & phone,and cabin. Less than 10 ml to Sandpoint, 1 mile off paved co. rd, 3 parcels sold together for $99,500

20 ACRE piCtuRESquE fARm & RAnCh,. Quaint & beautiful horse property with good home, barn & shop. Pproductive pasture, nice views, county maintained road, Easy access into public lands, town or lake. Asking $399,500

GOOD 3 BEDROOM STARTER HOME. Just 7 blocks from downtown Sandpoint, big yard equals three lots, zoned for a triplex and excellent long term, stable renter for the investment minded. Asking $199,500


Very Nice 15ac property with one big pond, one little pond, beautiful views, good usable land with nice mature trees, forest and meadows. Well built,3 story, Alternative energy house, with passive solar design is about 90% “ dried in” and ready to finish your way. Owner financing available, Asking $179,000



Beautiful lake view 21 Ac parcel, aprox ten miles to Sandpoint, Selle Valley, awesome views of Lake Pend Oreille, valley, selkirks and cabinet mountains, flat / benched & sloped land, road to building site roughed in, appraised Oct 2009 $175K Asking $170K

WHY LIST WITH MICHAEL? Consistently ranked top in sales. Your listing advertised in Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009 more magazines and websites. Member of Cd’A and Selkirk MLS, doubles your exposure.

December 2009

Artifact Unsnowed See story by Sandy Compton on page 3

THE RIVER JOURNAL A News Magazine Worth Wading Through ~just going with the flow~

Long Journey Into Night See story by Paul Rechnitzer on page 8

P.O. Box 151•Clark Fork, ID 83811•208.255.6957

SALES Call 208.255.6957 or email

Bridge-a-doon. See story by Roger Staunton on page 9

Hunting the wild Christmas Tree See story by Trish Gannon on page 12


STAFF Calm Center of Tranquility Trish

Ministry of Truth and Propaganda Cartoonists

Departments Editorial


(Email only) to

Jody Forest

The impact of lower school funding; what is the Game Commission, anyway?; report from the DAV; say “cheese”; a holiday of feasts and the haunted apartment.

14-15.....Outdoors 16.........Politics 18.........Education 20.........Veterans’ News 22.........Food 24.........Faith 26-27.....Other Worlds 28-29.....Wellness 30-31.....Obituaries 32.........Staccato Notes 33-36.....Humor


4 Love Notes Giving back 17 Say What? Time to leave 19 The Hawk’s Nest Eating Italian 21 Politically Incorrect on Marianne Love 23 Currents The big fire 25 The Scenic Route Solving problems 36 From the Mouth of the River A holiday story

Mike Gunter, on Rudy P at their home in Sagle, is looking to the future.. See Love Notes on page 4

Scott Clawson, Matt Davidson, Kriss Perras

Regular Contributors

Desire Aguirre; Jinx Beshears; Laura Bry; Scott Clawson; Sandy Compton; Marylyn Cork; Dick Cvitanich; Duke Diercks; Mont. Sen. Jim Elliott; Idaho Rep. George Eskridge; Lawrence Fury; Dustin Gannon; Shaina Gustafson; Matt Haag; Ernie Hawks; Hanna Hurt; Herb Huseland; Emily Levine; Marianne Love; Thomas McMahon; Clint Nicholson; Kathy Osborne; Gary Payton; Angela Potts; Paul Rechnitzer; Boots Reynolds; Kriss Perras Running Waters; Sandpoint Wellness Council; Rhoda Sanford; Lou Springer; Mike Turnlund; Tess Vogel; Michael White; and Pat Williams

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle Proudly printed at Griffin Publishing in Spokane, Wash. 509.534.3625 Contents of the River Journal are copyright 2009. Reproduction of any material, including original artwork and advertising, is prohibited. The River Journal is published the first of each month and approximately 8,000 copies are distributed in Sanders County, Montana, and Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in Idaho. The River Journal is printed on 40 percent recycled paper with soy-based ink. We appreciate your efforts to recycle.


Is your car ready for winter?

Stop in now before the cold temperatures arrive! SHELL RAPID LUBE 404 Larch • Sandpoint 255-2251 Oil Change • Heating System Transmission • Tire changes Mechanic on Duty

Touchstone Massage Therapies At Stepping Stones Wellness Center Oncology • Sports Medical • Energy Stress Relief Krystle Shapiro, LMT

803 Pine Sandpoint•208.290.6760


Garlands & Wreaths Hostess Gifts Bundles of Blooms Seasonal Bulbs & Holiday Accents

Need reliable, high-speed Internet service? Call for a free site survey today! Intermax serves many areas of Bonner County from Dover to Hope. 208.762.8065 - Coeur d’Alene 208.265.3533 - Sandpoint

Sarah Palin is


in Sandpoint Thursday, December 10

A book signing sponsored by Vanderford’s Books and Office Products. *Only books purchased at Vanderford’s (receipt required for proof of sale) will be signed.

At the Sandpoint Events Center 6 pm to 9 pm

Schweitzer Artifact


Photo and story by Sandy Compton

On Friday, November 27, opening day of the 2009-10 ski season, sisters Morgan and Emily Armstrong, 7 and 9, respectively and Brooke Bowerman, 10; all from Spokane, brought something to light that had been hiding in the Enchanted Forest at Schweitzer Mountain Resort for nearly two decades. Morgan, Emily and Brooke, all skiers in the Schweitzer Alpine Racing School, were getting an early start on their Enchanted Forest snow fort, when they unearthed an artifact from the days when the lift on the learning slope was a T-bar. As they excavated snow for the fort, the girls found “something red” under the snow. “I thought it was a ski pole,” Emily said, “and just passed it by.” Morgan thought it was a ski, but when

Brooke tripped over it, she started digging. “Then we saw the white cross on it,” Brooke said, and they got excited. What they dug out was a ski patrol toboggan that had been laying under the trees to the skiers left of Chair Two for long enough to be nearly buried by needles and forest duff. Inside the toboggan was stenciled “T-Bar.” “It took us forever to pull it out to the run,” Brooke, but when they did, patroller Kim Ann Loosemore spotted them from the lift. “I’d gotten a call that three girls needed help,” said Loosemore, “and when I saw them, I thought they had a sled. People aren’t supposed to have sleds on our runs, but then, I got closer and saw it was a

toboggan. An old toboggan.” Loosemore called for a snowmobile and the toboggan was taken to Patrol headquarters in the basement of Lakeview Lodge, where it caused Patrol head John Pucci some amazement. “I have no idea how long that toboggan’s been there,” he said, “but Chair Two replaced the T-Bar almost 20 years ago.” Morgan, Emily and Brooke were wellrewarded for their discovery and diligent recovery effort. Hot chocolates, T-shirts and other “swag” were provided by the Resort. Photo: Toboggan rescuers (L to R) Brooke Bowerman, Emily Armstrong, Patroller Kim Ann Loose and Morgan Armstrong and Schweitzer Patrol head, John Pucci, show off the toboggan the girls found in the Enchanted Forest.

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 

Love Notes

For Mike Gunter, it’s always a season of giving

Marianne Love

family, daily chores followed by afternoons at play and long-held neighborhood friendships. His Sagle upbringing, in what I like to call Gunterville, could mirror that of most of us who beam at the chance to tell nostalgic stories of our North Idaho beginnings. Add to that Mike’s college graduation from the University of Idaho, a devoted wife Karen and two wonderful kids, Clint and Kari, who’ve gone off, graduated and come home to serve their community. There are also the blessed grandchildren. There’s the camaraderie with his siblings, especially his brother Pat, with whom he shares and stewards part of the Gunter property where his dad once ran a dairy and his mom sold cream to the neighbors. There’s the family heritage of generations living here in Bonner County. And, the business he purchased in 1984 with his childhood friends, Dale Jeffres (Mike and Dale were born the same day, September 28, 1951, at the Sandpoint Hospital; moms were roommates) and Dwight Sheffler has done well too, not only for the trio’s families but also for many families of employees in the community. Sandpoint Furniture has prospered and grown since the partners moved it from downtown Sandpoint to Ponderay. Over the years, they’ve added new specialties to their offerings and their service. Along with that came the Ponderay Events Center. The complex has served as venue for numerous community events, including Mike’s 40th year SHS class reunion this past summer. Mike definitely has a touching story to tell, so I’ll let him tell it from this point on. On family: I live on an 80-acre piece, owned jointly and some separately by myself, my brother Pat and my father. Some of this ground was part of my grandfather Vernon Gunter’s original land when he and my Grandmother Laura moved to Sagle in the early ‘20s, all the way from Culdesac, Idaho. My mother’s parents were both born and raised in the Glengary area, and I believe my grandfather, Clifford Warren’s parents came here from Minnesota in the late 1800s. So I am actually a fourth-generation Bonner County resident. Grandma Irma Warren also attended Glengary School. I met my wife, Karen, at the Lewiston Round Up in September, 1971, while a sophomore at the U of I. She was only a junior at Lewiston High, and it really took some convincing of her parents that I was really just a dumb farm kid and nothing to worry about. We were married in September, 1973. Our son, Clint, is a U of I grad and now the general manager of Sandpoint Furniture. He’s married to Margie. Our daughter Kari is also a U of I grad and a teacher for Virtual Academy

for the state of Idaho. Kari is married to Ross, who is our CFO in the business. Ross and Kari have given us two precious granddaughters, Karsen (6) and Taylor (3). On childhood responsibility and a work ethic: My dad ran a dairy and sold Grade A milk to Carnation until I was 5 years old. When Carnation required everyone to go to a “pipeline” system, Dad decided to sell out and begin his career in the road and bridge construction business as a “pile buck” and also a carpenter. My mother stayed home and raised my brother Pat and me, along with my two sisters, Diane and Darla. I was the oldest. My mother became the secretary at Sagle School for many years after we got older. I had a really good childhood, although, to many of today’s young people, it might not have been. My childhood was defined first by work on the home place from a very young age. Everything else came after the work was done. By the time I was nine, I was milking 3 cows, seven days a week, twice daily. All my friends thought I was cheating because I got to use the old Surge milker, left over from the dairy. They all had to milk one cow by hand. We had steers to feed and water and ice to thaw all winter long before and after school because Dad was away on constructions jobs and Mom sold the milk to neighbors for extra income. On weekends, Pat and I spent many Saturdays fixing fence, cutting wood, doctoring cattle, weeding endless rows of garden, and whatever had to be done. On childhood and family memories: I absolutely loved hunting and fishing. It was the only time I could do things with Dad that didn’t entail work and I enjoyed seeing him actually “let down.” Dad had a commercial license for Bluebacking (Kokanee), and we would smoke, can and freeze what we needed and sell the rest to Evan’s Fishery. Many times, we would catch our limit of 350 in the morning on a Saturday. I also enjoyed hunting deer and elk and that provided our meat for the winter. We would sell our beef. Why eat our own beef when there was free “government beef ” running wild for the taking? I also loved playing baseball. That was a Sagle heritage. I was and still am proud to say that I was a part of the Sagle baseball legacy, dating back to the old “Sagle Sourdoughs” that first played in the very early 1900s. Baseball was the one sport that Dad let us play after the work was done. Dad played for Sagle in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and he loved the sport. A typical summer day in Sagle in the early ‘60s meant that all of the local kids got up early and finished their assigned work for

Tis the season of giving. Actually, that season lasts all year long in our generous community. Since the calendar date suggests special emphasis on giving, I’d like to share a story about one of the multitude of “angels” among us who invests his talents, time and good fortune for the benefit of others. May his personal story and the saga of his life-altering event, prompting even more reason for his good works, serve as just one poignant example among the many compassionate individuals who work tirelessly, both publicly and often very privately, to provide support for those in need. Our population teems with such souls, and for that we are very fortunate. My story features a well-known area native who has lived his own American dream right here in Sandpoint and its surrounding area. He’s also been a recipient of the community’s compassion. I chose Mike Gunter for this column after visiting him at his office recently. Starting the conversation by asking how he was doing with his young Quarter Horse, I couldn’t shut him up to get a word in edgewise about my own Appaloosa filly. He told me about helping Steve Wood move cows, about getting unloaded from his horse and about how pleased he was to be teaching the horse to rein with a light hand. Finally, I figured it was time to break in and change the subject to my real motive for the visit. I mentioned hearing his frequent radio ads and seeing his other efforts over the past year of seeking community support on fundraising benefits to aid a couple of Sagle boys and, most recently, for the Chris Owens family. “Why?” I asked. Mike appeared speechless. I pressed him more. “Why, all the work on the benefits?” I added, knowing the answer but wanting to hear it come from his lips. “To give back,” he answered, visibly moved. “That’s exactly what I figured,” I said. “Just wanted to make sure.” Mike wasted no time telling me he had “a little help” from family and friends with these projects. I knew that, too. I also knew I had my candidate for a very nice Christmas column to remind us of our true mission on this earth. Mike, a farm boy from Sagle, can tell tales of a charmed childhood, augmented by close-knit Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

5,000 bales this summer. I get a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that I am using my father and my grandfather’s land for agriculture. We want to be good stewards of that land for the short time that we will have it, before it passes on to our children. Hopefully they will want to continue the family legacy. I think my dad and my grandfather are and would be proud of what we do. On friendship and business: My career has been with Sandpoint Furniture for 33 years. My partners are Dale Jeffres and Dwight Sheffler, who are also two of my best friends. We graduated and played sports for SHS together. We purchased Sandpoint Furniture in 1984, and the business has been in incredible blessing to all of us and our families. We now

Photo by David Broughton

the day by noon. Then we would all gather at the Sagle ball diamond and play baseball for hours. We would then find enough beer bottles in the ditch line to go to Grandpa Sheffler’s store [Dwight and Dwayne’s grandfather] and turn them in for the coldest and sweetest “nectar of the gods” that anyone could ever imagine. We would then sit around that store and talk baseball with Grandpa Sheffler until it was chore time. I later played basketball and ran track for SHS. On educational experiences: I went to Sagle School through the sixth grade and then attended the old SJHS where the Sandpoint Event Center is now. And, yes, I had Charlie Stidwell for our principal, along with so many others. I then went on to SHS and graduated in 1969. From high school, I attended the U of

I would like to be able to tell everybody how brave and courageous I was but that, quite simply, was not true... I had heel marks where I was being dragged along by God and by Karen. I and graduated in 1973 with a BS degree in marketing from the College of Business. On current interests: Personal interests would be my horses. I like to ride as much as I can, and I am getting into the training aspect now, trying to become a better all-around horseman. I also like to ride my mountain bike. I’ve put in more than 1,000 miles this year since March. My brother and I still raise alfalfa hay on the farm, along with our cousin Don, across the road. We share equipment and help each other. Collectively, we baled and sold about

have six kids in the business among the 3 of us. We refer to them as the “second generation, ” and they are doing a great job of continuing the business in a progressive and positive way. I have stepped away as the CEO and reinvented myself as the marketing director. I do all the advertising for each of the businesses. Now I can come in late and then leave early to make up for coming in late. Nowadays, a perfect day in my life is getting up and doing my 30 minutes of exercise, feeding the horses, having coffee with my two

partners Dwight and Dale, at 10 am, answering my e-mail and plan out my advertising for the next two weeks. By 3 pm it’s time to work out and then either ride one of the horses or ride my bike. I try to alternate, but try to do one or the other at least five days a week. I love to ride in the mountains with a partner or by myself. It is so relaxing, and it gives me a great sense of peace. Oh, and I do take my wife out to dinner occasionally. My present position, as stated earlier, is marketing director for all of our businesses. This includes five different newspapers, four radio stations (I do my own spots and I voice them myself). I also do four direct mailings a year, as well as writing the audio for our TV spots now on KREM and KXLY. I write the script for our ON HOLD messaging and our reader boards each week on Hwy 200 and 95. I also serve on our board of directors as a senior partner. My partners are also my best friends. We have always met for coffee at 10 am for the last 27 years. We have always said we built our success around coffee because having communicated literally five-six days a week, problems were never able to build up into big problems. We talked business or monkey business; it didn’t matter. What mattered is that we were able to talk to each other and trust each other with some of our deepest concerns. Many men don’t get that opportunity because we’re trained to just internalize all of that. On a life-changing event and a rebirth, of sorts: Until I got my first diagnosis, I considered my life “near perfect.” In May, 2006, my wife noticed some lumps on my skin. The doctors wanted to just treat it as a reaction to something. Karen insisted on a skin biopsy right away, which, according to the University of Washington, may have ultimately saved my life. After two biopsies and more than 50 doctors from UW and Stanford, analyzing my extremely rare and unique case, the cancer was officially diagnosed as “hematodermic malignant neoplasm.” In laymen’s terms it was a non-Hodgkins lymphoma but with unique leukemia characteristics. In October 2006, I was told that it was very rare and extremely aggressive. In fact, I am told that I am the only person in the United States with this diagnosis. The life expectancy appeared to be 12 to 14 months. My only chance for survival would be a full stem-cell transplant utilizing the harshest and most aggressive chemotherapy and TBI (total body irradiation) that mankind can survive. I was told that one third of the patients will not survive the treatment. My reaction, at that time, was a total numbness that came over me. I couldn’t speak, as I looked at my wife, and my son and daughter-in-law, who were in the room at that devastating moment. I went through all of the emotions of shock, denial, anger, and finally an acceptance of what had to be done. Continued on next page

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 

Photo by Trish Gannon

Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

Gunter- Cont’d from page  I knew, at that time, that if I lived, my life and perspective would be changed forever. I thought about all I had worked for, my family, my precious granddaughters, and all that I still wanted to do and accomplish. The treatment: I believe that it was seven rounds of chemo that I started with, and the cocktail was so toxic that the doctors compared it to about eight times the potency used for breast cancer. I had to stay in the hospital for four days on each of these treatments, which were spread out over four months from February through April of 2007. I was so sick and weak it was hard to function, but I made myself keep moving. One of the nurses at KMC lives at Sagle and she saw me plowing snow with the tractor and really got after me, but I told her that this was what I needed to do, to keep going ahead. By May of 2007, it was determined that I was in complete remission. By mid-May, Karen and I were on our way to Seattle, where we had rented an apartment close to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. That’s where we would spend the next four months preparing for my transplant. To cage a Sagle boy up in a little third-story apartment in downtown Seattle was about as cruel as the treatment. After going through weeks of testing and poking and analyzing, they were ready to harvest my stem cells. It took two tries and an extra two weeks, but we finally got more than 8 million of the little “buggers.” They were hoping for 3 million, so I was already 5 million to the good. The last week of July, I was given the final round of chemo, which was a massive dosage, that would take my white blood cell count to zero. This is called a time of “Near Death.” At that same time, I was undergoing TBI twice a day for four days. They were literally cooking and sterilizing every cell in my body, including my bone marrow and my brain. (So that’s what went wrong!) I could only survive this way for a few days. After four days, I was given my healthy

stem cells back through a 6-hour process, like a dialysis, which they refer to as “the rescue.” My stem-cell transplant was official on August 1, 2007. They call this my new birthday, like the beginning of my new life. I would like to be able to tell everybody how brave and courageous I was but that, quite simply, was not true. Many days I did not want to go on. I was ready to quit and go home and let things take its course. If you remember the poem “Footprints in the Sand,” well... I had heel marks where I was being dragged along by God and by Karen. How can I not be a different person and seeing life through a different lens after taking this journey? Karen and I stayed in Seattle for another 30 days, as they checked my blood and vitals daily, and watched for complications. I was then sent home. On Sept. 1 with a long list of don’t dos and don’t eats. I couldn’t even be around my horses or be around dirt for six months. Kind of a “boy in a bubble.” That’s a tough challenge for a farm boy to adhere to. I have to say that the support that I received from family and friends, through phone calls, visits, and especially prayer, was just unbelievable. People I hadn’t seen for years were contacting me and telling us that we were on their church prayer lines. I was on prayer chains literally all over the western United States. I believe that there were actually thousands that prayed for Karen and me during this time. My mind wouldn’t let me believe that I could be healed. The doctors told me that if the cancer came back, it most likely would be in the first year, that it would come back with a vengeance and that it would be immune to the treatments that I had just had. Naturally, I would dwell on this. Well, the six-month check-up results came back with no sign of the cancer. WOW! Was that exciting! Then the one year, then 18 months, and finally my second year was complete. In September of this year, and the doctor told me that I could start using the “C” word, meaning a cure.

On life’s current mission: I know that God has extended my life for this period of time. I can’t answer why he chose me. There are so many people that I know that have been diagnosed since my cancer manifested itself, and I feel that they were more deserving than I, and their life has been cut short. I do believe that God has a purpose for me and “how can I not answer that call?” I also know that I was given the gift of being able to run a successful business for the past 25 years. Over those years, I have developed some unique marketing skills that have served me well in my business. I now feel the need to give back to this community that I love, using these skills to make people’s lives better wherever and whenever I can. I guess I have been practicing for this time for the last 25 years. It’s been my honor to help with the marketing of the events benefitting Tyler Cordle, the little boy with cancer, who is doing very well now. The Cooper’s Night Benefit has made a huge impact in this little boy’s life. The Chris Owens benefit and auction from a couple of weeks ago was a huge success, and it is so gratifying to see how their lives have been touched by the outpouring of this amazing community. I’m a member of VAST (Victim’s Advocate Support Team) through Bonner County. They are the first to step in and support families devastated by domestic violence. The outpouring and compassion of this community continues to amaze me in a way that I wasn’t able to see as clearly before. I can’t say enough about the outpouring of support here, when somebody needs help. All I do is the marketing. I know how to get the word out and to relay the message through radio and newspaper, but others put in hundreds of hours planning and making. It all happens in such a positive way. When I see this outpouring, it energizes me in such a way that I know this is exactly how I am to be using my gifts and talents.

LZXdaaZXiZYVidiVad[*('edjcYhd[[ddY^cXajY^c\'+;gdoZcIjg`ZnhVadc\l^i]&*%#%%^cXVh]YdcVi^dch[dgi]Z;ddY7Vc`# December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 

The Long Journey Into Night Altzheimer’s by Paul Rechnitzer

On those days when there has been time and the right place, watching the sun go down is one of the delights of nature. We have all seen the orange globe descend beneath the waves. As you watch what has happened for eons we all know that journey will occur (with some exceptions) also knowing that before too long it will be back in the heavens. Unfortunately, there are some for whom that setting will be the last. It might rise again for those who are watching and for others it may never resume its rightful place in space. For those who are watching the ones for whom there may never be many more sunrises, being the caregiver is a form of torture were it not for the love that has long prevailed. The long journey into the night is one of those painful experiences from which there is no escape. Understanding the experience is one of the things that can help ease the pain and make the trip more bearable. The load can never be lifted from those who care. It is one of those burdens life

brings that can’t be shared. Bluntly put, there is simply no escape, which is where respite comes into play. Since we are all watchers, we all can help the watcher closest to the weary traveler by trying to break the relentless journey. The local DayBreak Center is just such a place in our community. By offering to be the watcher for a few short hours the one who cares the most can catch a breath. It is much like taking that pack off your pack and stepping back. You know that the pack will have to be put back in its place on your back but at least for the moment you can look away from the problem you are helpless to solve. So give a thought to those who are priceless... the watchers. On duty every hour of the day for the duration, they need what little you can give and that is a bit of your compassion. A small amount of regard for others will go a long way toward sharing a load beyond measure that will hopefully never be yours.

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Statistics bear out the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the U.S. and the impact on family caregiving for those afflicted. There are over 60 forms of dementia, which is associated with memory loss. One of these forms is Alzheimer’s, which in 2009 is expected to affect over five million Americans. The disease is fatal, usually occurring from four to six years after diagnosis. During that time span the disease increases nerve cell death in the brain, which in turn affects basic physical functions such as walking and swallowing. By contrast, deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s increased over 47 percent from years 2000 to 2006; compared with decreases of 11 percent due to heart disease, .6 percent in breast cancer, and 14 percent to prostate cancer. One out of eight people over 65 has Alzheimer’s; every 70 seconds an American develops Alzheimer’s. The direct cost, particularly to Medicare and Medicaid, and the indirect costs to businesses for employees caring for Alzheimer’s patients is currently over $140 billion. For those with a coexisting chronic condition such as diabetes, the Medicare costs are twice those of treating Alzheimer’s alone. Finally, the family caregiving situation; more than 70 percent of people with Alzheimer’s live at home, cared for by family and/or friends. This amounts to 10 million Americans providing care. Our Sandpoint Senior Center offers family support for those afflicted with dementia, and support for their caregivers through the DayBreak Center, located in Ponderay, Idaho at 830 Kootenai Cut-off Road. Their mission is to provide activities to help participants maintain their highest level of functioning and self-fulfillment. As stated, the Center provides the caregiver with much needed respite and support services. Basic cost is $7.50/hour, and the Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm. To reach the DayBreak Center call 208-265-8127 or the Senior Center call 208-263-6860.

Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

Bridge-a-Doon The snowbirds have left for the season. Here’s why they’ll be back. by Roger Stoughton PROLOGUE Brigadoon The movie, “Brigadoon,” 1954, starred Gene Kelly, Van Johnson and, sigh, Cyd Charisse. Gene and Van travel from New York City to the moors of Scotland to hunt grouse. They become lost; then through the mist they spy a quaint little village across a small stone bridge. While there, they encounter colorful natives in the marketplace, selling produce and tartans, and preparing for a wedding, all with much Scottish song and dance. Gene and Cyd, the beautiful, sigh, sister of the bride, become infatuated with each other, and swoon in trance-like song and dance. Finally, Gene learns the amazing secret of the village from the old schoolmaster. Two hundred years earlier the local pastor prayed to God the village people would live forever if he sacrificed his own opportunity to live there from then on. The miracle was granted. The village only comes to life for one day every 100 years. Thus, the villagers have only wakened twice in the past 200 years. If a permanent resident flees the village, it will disappear forever. If an outsider falls in deep abiding love with a villager, the outsider can renounce the “real world” and live in the village forever. Gene helps the villagers stop a young man, unlucky in love, from fleeing the village. This was the only serious conflict in the story. Gene is emotionally torn, but finally returns to New York City on the badgering of his drunken friend, Van. Brigadoon memories and songs haunt Gene. Finally, a

few weeks later, he breaks his engagement to a NYC beauty and returns to the moor near the site of Brigadoon - just to be near the place where he had fallen in love with Cyd. Suddenly, the village appears in the mist and the wise old schoolmaster welcomes Gene back - all possible because his love for Cyd is so strong. Gene rushes to the village and embraces Cyd standing outside her cottage late at night. Cut to bagpipe music and The End. SUMMER RESIDENTS My wife, Carol, and I use that label reluctantly. It is factually accurate and often useful at local shops, but I don’t quite like the taste of it. It seems, at times, to connote visitors who are newly rich, flaunt their wealth, lean toward arrogance and condescension, squat in opulent condos that close off sections of lake shore, cause real estate values and taxes to escalate, bring cynical big city values from sprawling megalopolises such as the stretch of land between Los Angeles and San Diego or that large urban blob referred to as the “Bay Area.” (full transparency here: We live other seasons in Sacramento CA, and we mostly like it). Summer residents include those selfsatisfied, plumpy nomads who run their RVs between RV compounds in Yuma, AZ and the lake here, pulling boats, ATVs and jet skis behind them, running compressors or high decibel motors 24/7. I could go on. Granted: Some of these folks are good people, real people, interesting people. Bottom line: The words, “summer resident,”

should be bundled up with other stomach turning words like “stakeholders” and “utilize,” attached to a chunk of concrete and dumped in a deep part of the lake. OUR STORY: CAN’T WE HAVE ANOTHER LABEL? Warning: This section includes fawning praise, unexpurgated hyperbole and flattery of this area and its people. It details more than you need to know about “our story.” It ignores political issues and conflicts hereabouts. It describes an idyllic vision. I will explain in florid detail what brings us here year after year. To begin: In 1960 Carol’s parents, Bill and Twila, were busy in YMCA work in Ventura, Calif. Bill, a rare spirit, now 101 years old, smart and witty, a lover of Pennsylvania woodlands, bought a house on a lot next to Lake Cocolalla - possibly sight unseen. We’re checking. Bill and Twila came up every August to work on the old house and luxuriate in the surrounding lake and forest. Early on they crossed the Long Bridge and the village of Sandpoint appeared from the vapors rising out of Lake Pend Oreille. We assume at that instant some mystical trance fell over them. They spread the word to their extended family and friends about this northwest paradise. In 1963 Carol and I married and soon found ourselves traveling up Highway 95. We did not realize it at the time, but by the end of our first visit a mystical spell had been secreted in the back of our brains. Continued on next page

Question: What is the biggest threat to Lake Pend Oreille? Answer: Perpetual pollution from the Rock Creek mine.

Protecting Lake Pend Oreille since 1996 December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 

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Snowbirds- Cont’d from page  In 1968 Bill and Twila, just retired, moved to an old house beyond East Hope with more rich forest land and a large area for Bill’s huge gardens. They entered the life of the community, revved up an active program for local AARP seniors, made friends extensively, being warm-hearted extroverts, and planted scores of trees. We brought our three kids up on occasion to this wonderful grandparent haven. They boated, waded, picked berries, chased the neighbor’s cows home, watched the trains, slept in a cozy attic, saw old family photos and heard family stories, ate lots of ice cream and Bill’s garden fare, met the natives, watched the wildlife. Golden days. In 1970 Bill and Twila brought Bill’s 89-year-old mother from Philadelphia to a home in East Hope where she lived well over the winter, then died suddenly in the spring. By this time Bill and Twila had 12 acres of land around their house, and split it up into five parcels where some new homes went up. Around 1981 they sold their house, lived south in the winter, and came to a little house trailer in the summer parked on the last of the five parcels They had a 250foot well dug, and Bill made breakfasts of eggs and potato hash in a large iron skillet in a fire pit lined by rocks. The trailer had a gorgeous long view of the lake. In 1986 Carol and I and our three kids stopped there to camp on the way to the World’s Fair in Vancouver, BC. Bill and Twila offered to sell their last three acres for a buck apiece. Our youngest, Dave, 16, was first to whip a dollar out of his pocket

and the rest of us soon followed. Within a few short years Bill and Twila abandoned the trailer to stay south. What were we going to do with our land, 900 miles from Sacramento? We drove up around 1990 and asked Joe the architect to visit our parcel. Bill knew Joe’s wife, from real estate dealings, and thus put us on to Joe’s creative work. We admired his Frank Lloyd Wright kind of designs and knew he was a straight arrow. He proposed a modest master plan with four connected modules that could be built as need and funds allowed. Two modules are done to date. The first, built in 1992 by Browce and his merry band of superb craftsmen and women, was a 22-square foot stucco building, lavishly trimmed inside with red oak, having an open ceiling under a steep pyramidshaped, sheet metal roof. No doubt benign cosmic rays are focused down inside, for it has become the Enchanted Cottage to us. Thanks be to Joe! This plain looking gem (outside) is mounted on a bench of land surrounded by 100-foot tall Western Red Cedars with stands of fir, tamarack , birch and mountain maple. A narrow swath of land downslope was cleared so that we could gaze at the lake half a mile below us. We do not boat, ski, sail, swim or wade in the lake; we just admire it. In 2000 we had the shell of a Guest Cottage built, the second module, and made a hobby of finishing the inside. It is similar to our cottage but a bit smaller. It houses our kids and our friends when they visit. The past three summers we built a similarly shaped gazebo on the site of Bill and Twila’s house trailer. So, we have been up here every summer the past 20 years for varying

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lengths of time. When we first stepped into the finished Enchanted Cottage, we realized that spell in the back of our brains had spread and had us completely in its power. Over time we have come to realize the surrealistic nature of our travels here. In spring we hear a powerful internal voice urging us back to Northern Idaho. Now we understand why maps show little habitation in the Panhandle with obscure town names in small print. As we cross the Long Bridge, a string of quaint little villages gradually take form. Perhaps we should call them collectively, Bridge-a-doon! Surely there are more than one Brigadoon-type villages in the world. Just as the world is diverse in unique and magical ways, there must be a variety of villages that sleep for varying lengths of time. Although the villagers of Bridge-a-doon talk of winter snows, it’s in their dreams. In this particular variation of Brigadoon, the villages of Bridge-a-doon come to life once a year in the summer and appear to some of those lucky spirits who cross the Long Bridge. We guess the villagers built the Byway to reduce the number of visitors to Bridge-a-doon. We gaze in wonder each successive year to see the same shops, the attractive and warm-hearted villagers, the emerald forests, the multi-hued lake that must be the end of some rainbow tinted vortex, and finally up the hill to our beloved Enchanted Cottage. Yes, there surely are villages from other dimensions that settle down in this dimension in rare locations. And what causes this mystical occurrence and the magnetic spell it casts? No one knows. Still, here is a possible clue for this location. In Brigadoon Gene and, sigh, Cyd gather heather for the wedding. Webster says heather is of the large genus, Erica, which includes huckleberries. Partake of huckleberries at your own risk, for you may fall under their spell! These quaint disappearing villages seem too good to be true. Where else do you find

shopkeepers so bright spirited and friendly as Harold and Liz and Barbara, or Robin or Merwin’s Hardware Merlins or Ernie, Curt, Jo Ann and Junie, Dale and Rene? Where else can you stop the world for an evening in the soothing night air of summer, sitting in a canvas chair on the lawn, enveloped by music of the spheres, where you can see forever in the clear skies, focused on stars that shined billions of years ago? What other place besides Bridge-a-doon has food so pure and healthful as the local Farmer’s Markets? Where too can you find food fit for the Gods like the raspberries, boysenberries, and blueberries bursting with flavor, abundant on bushes and vines grown wild including some that Bill planted decades ago? What snooty art gallery can compare with the paintings, photos and crafts in local fairs, markets and tours in Bridge-a-doon that are so purely reflective of the natural world, so inspired from some creative muse? Where else are household goods so beautifully conceived and pieced together as quilts like those created by neighbor Connie and friends? Each year we look again for the wild creatures that live in our Enchanted Forest: The hummers that brave our presence on our little deck; the Steller’s Jays that in years past rang our wind chimes before pecking up sunflower seeds in Bill’s old iron skillet; the wild turkey mom who strutted cheekily past our cottage with her brood trailing behind, cheeping left and pecking right; the does and fawns; the buck we spied asleep near our cottage one morning; the ravens that tour the tree tops sending raucous non-text messages back and forth; the striking pileated woodpeckers we’ve seen only three times; the chattery squirrels that drop cones from on high and chew them up on porch steps; the many colored butterflies and dragonflies; the robins and tiny birds that nest in sheltered spots under our eaves. Even the neighbor’s cow that parked one morning right behind our

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Your Way

cottage, blew its horn at 6 AM and levitated us a foot above our bed! What movies are better than those at the Panida? What other village of 8000 has a library so grand that surely the spirit of Thomas Jefferson, who “could not live without books,” must course through it? What neighbors are friendlier and more help than Sue and Mike? What other place has a sage like Paul who combines grave thoughts and a sly wit? Bridge-a-doon has no match for the pancake breakfasts and Bodacious BBQs to support local facilities. And where else could we find a retreat that allows us to renew our spirits in peace, quiet and privacy? What modest little church community has such spiritually inspired members as the one into which we have been welcomed by Sue, Paul, Barbara, Alice, Jean, Susan, John, Gerri, Tom, Ramona, John, Joyce, Bud, Kathleen, Jim, Don, Eva, Helen, Stan, Sue and many others. Our daughter and hubby have been drawn here by the huckleberry spell since their graduate work years in Bozeman over ten years ago. In August 1999 they were married on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. We have the newlywed’s picture in front of a large sign that says, “BEYOND HOPE.” During the reception a huge storm came up on the lake, and the wind blew down the tent intended to shield us from possible rain. The underside of the tent was well decorated with potato salad and other buffet items. Fortunately, the Bridge-a-doon spell on our kids has generated a marriage that is calm, strong and productive. Our other two kids yearn to visit too. Now their toddlers are coming to throw stones in the lake, walk the trails, make ice cream with Gramps, hear stories from Grannie, eat outside on the deck. They don’t realize it, but they have been captured like the four generations before them. Only powerful forces of family and friends draw us back to Sacramento the end of September. This is our five generation, fifty-year story. [We could sing the praises of Bridge-adoon all day. Sure, like all communities in this world, even idyllic ones, there are a few troublesome trolls, worrisome witches, gnarly gnomes and wounded wizards here and there in the forest. They rarely impinge on our lives. Pray for them.] EPILOGUE We know many who moved here have equally compelling stories and mental covenants never to leave. Likewise, we guess there are many who come here seasonally who have long histories with Bridge-a-doon. Whatever you call us, “summer residents” doesn’t begin to explain the mystical spell that has been cast over us. We only plead that not too many permanent residents leave, or Bridge-a-doon might vanish forever!

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 11

Hunting the Wild Christmas Tree

by Trish Gannon With Thanksgiving behind us, and bags of leftover turkey meat filling the refrigerator and freezer, thoughts now turn to that most American of holidays, the celebration of consumerism we call Christmas. And what is Christmas without a Christmas tree? At this time of year, storefronts everywhere are lined with handsome fir and spruce, awaiting only your lights and decorations to transform themselves into your family’s symbol of the holiday season; or, as my daughter Amy once characterized its most important role, the depository of gifts. But for some, a way to add joy and celebration to the season is to gather up the family and head out into our North woods to hunt out a tree in the wild to grace our homes with its majestic presence. For those, here are some tips for a successful hunt. First, get permission to cut. If you’re looking on national forest lands for your holiday tree, stop by the local Forest Service office and obtain a permit. If you’re looking on state lands, a permit is not necessary, though only two trees are allowed per family, and they’re for personal use only, not for resale. If you’re looking on private land, it should go without saying that you

need to obtain permission first—if you’re tempted to skip this step, be aware that many landowners in the area are armed, and trespassing is a crime. Permission in hand, you should focus your hunt on open areas. Idaho Department of Lands asks that you cut trees from road right-of-ways and underneath power lines; this is a benefit to them, because these are areas where they don’t really want trees to grow, but it’s also a benefit to you, because this is an area where you’re likely to find a better tree. A tree in the open has the opportunity to fully develop on all sides; trees grown close together (like those on Ernie’s property where I got my tree one year) are likely to present you with a surprise, no-growth area once you get it cut down that will have to be hidden in a corner, where it will still look odd anyway. Be aware that the very best wild Christmas trees are often found in the top ten feet of a 30- to 80-foot wild tree. Really, it’s slightly excessive to cut down a perfectly healthy, 30-foot-plus wild tree just to get something to grace your living room for 30 days or so. That’s not to say you won’t do it, but if you do you should at least feel a bit of shame in the process.

By the way, although they look lovely out in the woods, leave the cedar trees alone. They are a terrible choice for a Christmas tree. Those lacy, delicate fronds absolutely die under the weight of Christmas lights, not to mention ornaments, and you’ll find that if you choose a cedar for a Christmas tree, the branches will all droop straight down. It’s not an attractive look. Fir trees generally have sturdy branches (you can identify a wild fir tree in the woods by its sturdy branches) and make an excellent tree. The one exception to this is the so-called Piss Fir (white fir). Although its branches are also sturdy, it fully lives up to its name and can be identified by its smell as soon as you start to cut it. This is not a successful chocie for your living room. Spruce trees are also an excellent choice, but I’m allergic to them so they’re a no-go on my Christmas tree cutting list. Actually, I have many years ended up with a spruce so that’s not completely true, but each and every year, covered with little red bumps up to my elbows, I’ve regretted it. If you’re not allergic, however, a spruce is a nice choice for a tree. Scotch pine is also a popular choice for a Christmas tree, and you can identify them by the way the needles stab into your

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skin like knives. Need I say more? Department of Lands suggests you cut the tree right below the lowest live limb on the tree. You might be surprised to find how far up the tree that is, especially if there’s a lot of ‘forest stuff ’ growing near and around the trunk, but this is a plus— trees are much easier to cut right around the level of your arms than they are if you’re close to the ground or, god forbid, way over your head. For wild trees, a chain saw is generally a bit excessive (trunks are usually small) and really, you don’t feel like you’ve actually cut a tree unless you’ve cut it with an axe. Don’t try to cut it with a hand saw unless you plan to spend hours doing so. If you have brought children along, make sure to let them take a few cuts at the tree—do like David did on this year’s tree hunt for my family and teach them the proper way to do so, cutting down at an angle. And if they’re unsteady with the axe, you might want to steady them a bit— rapid trips to the emergency room tend to dampen the cutting-the-tree festivities. Once you’ve cut your tree, it’s time to evaluate the hiking trip that got you to it in the first place. This year, for us, that included passage over several old barbed wire fences and the crossing of a small creek. This can make returning while carrying an overly large Christmas tree quite an adventure. Although I don’t recommend planning your hike with the return trip in mind (after all, pretty much all of us can use a little more adventure in our lives), this rule can be bent slightly if you find yourself climbing through precarious cliffs, etc... especially if you have children along. When the going gets tough, give a little thought to the return trip. All trees look beautiful in their natural habitat—the woods—but keep in mind that your living room is, by no stretch of the imagination, natural habitat. If nothing else, in most cases, a living room is smaller than any natural habitat you’ll find in northern Idaho or western Montana. This can be a

problem when you discover that the base of your tree, limb to limb, measures twelve feet or more. I still remember the year we had to give up the dining room in order to contain the Christmas tree. Judicious pruning can solve this problem sometimes, but not always—if you have to prune off half the tree, you’re not always left with the most attractive result. By the way, if you’ve never hunted a wild tree before, you might be surprised when you get it home and try to stand it up in your Christmas tree stand—because these stands are not made for wild trees. See, a ‘farmed’ tree generally has a fairly sturdy trunk. That is not the case for a tree grown in the wild, so when trying to place it in the stand you might well find that no matter how much you screw those little eye bolts, they never even come close to the trunk of your little wild tree. I will leave it to you to discover the best way to overcome this dilemma, mostly because I don’t have a really good answer. Through the years, I have tried any number of solutions, from tying the tree to a wall to stuffing Styrofoam and stray pieces of wood into the stand. None have worked particularly well. The best solution was to stand the tree in a bucket full of rocks, but the tree died pretty quickly (I’m not sure how well it can take in water when smothered in rocks), and then, of course, you have to find a way to decorate the bucket. With the tree up and decorated, the other important thing to remember is to water it every day. I can tell you from experience that a dead, dry tree, while remaining amazingly attractive, is an incredible fire hazard, an adventure you might want to skip during the holiday season. Once you’ve become a dedicated treekiller, it’s hard to go back to buying trees at the store. So consider one more thing... for every tree you cut, plant a new one (or two) each Arbor Day, to ensure that generations to come can also experience

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 13

A Bird in Hand

Nuthatches: faithful residents of our winter wonderland Mike Turnlund Here is a genus of birds that are common in seemingly everywhere in the summer, common around our feeders in the winter, and whose calls are often heard in that background cacophony of forest music that makes hiking and camping in our area so enjoyable. These birds are in so many ways common, but in others quite the opposite. Let’s discover the wonders of these wee little birds, the nuthatches. There are three species of the genus Sitta that you might be able to identify in our area, the white-breasted, the red-breasted, and the pygmy. Let’s start with the heavyweight and then descend down the scale, not that any of these little fellows would need to join Weight Watchers. But size is relative and the largest of our trio is the white-breasted. As the name suggests the most obvious feature of this bird is its white breast. Of course, this wouldn’t be obvious if you had never seen its cousin, the red-breasted. So knowing that the bird has a white breast, how does one differentiate it from a similar sized colored bird, such as a black-capped chickadee? Though nuthatches and chickadees might flock together at your feeder, they are not at all similar nor related. When compared to a chickadee, the white-breasted nuthatch will have a far flatter skull, giving a profile that is nothing like the large, round-headed chickadee. In addition, the nuthatch has a much longer beak and with a distinctive

upward curve to it. This beak is a serious tool with which the bird uses to split open seeds, or as its old English name suggests, to hatch them. The white-breasted nuthatch also has the black cap and steely gray (though darker) wing and back coloration of the black-capped chickadee, but without the black bib. Instead, the white-breasted nuthatch is white from its eyeballs to its belly button, assuming it has a belly button. The vent area will be a light rust color. For reference purposes, the white-breasted

nuthatch is typically 5.75 inches in length. The red-breasted nuthatch is a size smaller than its white-breasted cousin. The red-breasted is a scant 4.5 inches long, though you may not really sense the size difference unless the two birds are competing over the same morsel. You might more commonly see the red-breasted over the white-breasted in your particular area as this smaller bird favors conifers, whereas the white-breasted favors deciduous trees— though this difference is not absolute.

Besides the red-breast another noteworthy field mark to help identify this bird is a cool black racing stripe from the beak, through the eye, and then towards the back of the head. Also the red coloring on the bird’s breast might only be a pale rusty hue. The eye-stripe will then be the definitive marker to differentiate between the two species. The last of the three nuthatches you might be lucky enough to see is the pygmy. This bird’s name might really be a misnomer. While it is a scant quarter inch shorter than the red-breasted in length, according to my Sibley Guide to Birds it actually outweighs the red-breasted. Nonetheless, not being one to split feathers, the size difference is insignificant. Instead, note the solid brown cap that covers the head to down below eye level. And there may also be a black eye strip, though it might not be distinctive enough to be visible. The bird will also have a white throat and buff-colored belly. What makes nuthatches in general remarkable is their ability to descend a tree head first. This is a rare feat among birds, but quite the norm with our trio of Sitta. They are also able to hang upside down while feeding. Nuthatches are normally insectivores in the summer, switching to seeds and nuts in the winter. As stated above, they get their name by their habit of pinning a nut into the bark of a tree and splitting it open with its chisellike beak. I have watched this behavior at a bird feeder, the bird wedging the target sunflower seed into a seam of the wood. Nuthatches are cool little birds. Common, but unique. Different, but much the same. I guess that they are just like people! Happy birding. Photo by Eddie Callaway.

Sandpoint City Rec Open Gym Basketball for Youth/Adult: Sundays Nov.15-Dec. 27 • Youth Basketball: Deadline Jan. 8 • Holiday Soccer Tournament for Youth/Adult: Deadline Dec. 14 • Creative Workshop: Saturday Dec. 19 12-3pm • Adult Coed Volleyball: Deadline Dec. 21 • Men’s Basketball: Deadline Dec. 14 • Avalanche Transceiver Workshop: Dec. 9 at 6pm • Backcountry Decisions Workshop: Jan. 6 at 6pm 208-263-3613 or online at Page 14 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

The Game Trail

What is the Fish and Game Commission? Matt Haag I was struggling the other day to come up with a topic for this column as my limited brain space was occupied by mounting cases, and the thought of taking time to sit at the computer didn’t help the situation. A conversation with a sportsman about the Idaho Fish and Game Commission generated a good topic for this column. Through this conversation I realized most Idaho citizens and some sportsmen probably don’t know what role the commission plays or why they were created. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission was created by public initiative in 1938. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor (no more than four of the seven may be from the same political party) for staggered four-year terms, and each commissioner is confirmed by the Idaho State Senate. In 1996, the Senate approved adding a seventh district to the existing six to meet the needs of Idaho’s regions. The seven commissioners, each representing a different region of the state, are responsible for administering the fish and game policy of the state as described in state code section 36-103: (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping. To be appointed, commissioners must be a bona fide resident of the region from which they are appointed, and be well informed and interested in wildlife conservation and restoration. During their terms, commissioners may not hold any other elective or appointive office. Our Commissioner, representing the Panhandle Region from the St. Joe to Bonner’s Ferry is Tony McDermott of Sagle.

By law, commissioners must meet in January, April, July and October of each year. In recent years the complexity of wildlife and fisheries management has made it necessary to hold special sessions in addition to the quarterly meetings. Major duties and responsibilities of the commission are to supervise the Department of Fish and Game; establish regulations and other needed controls on fishing, hunting, trapping and management of wildlife in line with the state’s wildlife policy; approve department budgets for submission to the legislature; and hold public hearings and make decisions on the management of the state’s wildlife. The present Commission has done an outstanding job completing the above tasks with a true concern for the people and wildlife of Idaho. So much so, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies presented our commission with the “Commission of the Year” award, one of the most prestigious awards given in the wildlife field. These seven folks who make up our IDFG commission do so on their own time, with no compensation of any kind. They make difficult decisions amid a tumultuous mix of politics and biology, not an easy task. So please take the time to thank them. With hunting seasons coming to end, I would like to remind all successful hunters to properly dispose of their animal carcasses. It’s an extremely busy time for your local conservation officers, but much of our limited and valuable time continues to be wasted by inconsiderate hunters. Dumping fleshed out game carcasses is not only illegal (littering), it is also inconsiderate of nearby residents and reflects poorly on all hunters. The practice also distracts already short-handed conservation officers from real poaching cases. Please properly dispose of your carcass by taking it to the transfer station, or dispose of it the woods away from roads, private property, and waterways. Just a reminder to get those 2010 hunting and fishing licenses, especially those folks who intend to ice fish, waterfowl hunt, or wolf hunt. The IDFG commissioners have extended the wolf season in the Panhandle zone until March 31, 2010. Hunters will need to purchase a 2010 license and wolf tag after the New Year. On behalf of the Sandpoint District Conservation Officers, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous New Year. Leave No Child Inside


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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 15


A Seat in the House

The state’s role in trade agreements George Eskridge

Idaho Dist. 1B Representative

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in 2007 and Congressional members are looking at a new trade negotiation policy and state legislators and other state officials are requesting involvement in the federal debate on trade policy. Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization, has held several conference calls with state legislators interested in trade policy and has surveyed legislators in all 50 states asking for their opinions on how cooperation on development of trade policy between states and the federal government could be improved. The Public Citizen survey indicated overwhelming support from the legislators survey on a number of trade policy reforms. This support included: • 92 percent support for an “opt-in” mechanism that allows states to determine their commitments to trade pact regulatory constraints. • 86 percent support for a new advisory committee on which every state has its own representatives chosen by the state. • 74 percent support for a mechanism to withdraw states from existing trade agreement obligations limiting non-trade regulatory space when state polices are challenged in trade tribunals. • 78 percent support for establishment of “Readiness Criteria” to determine with which countries U.S. trade agreements are negotiated. Because of my past involvement in the National Conference of State Legislatures Working Group on Energy and Trade Policy, I have participated in several of the conference calls hosted by Public Citizen in order to keep informed on trade policy and trade agreements that impact Idaho. I believe that it is in Idaho’s best interest to be involved in the negotiations on trade policy with Congress. Federal trade policy impacts Idaho’s trade opportunities and we need to be involved in a process that will result in improved trade policy that “respects federalism and states’ rights to regulate”. The holiday season has arrived and to our River Journal readers my “Best wishes to you and yours this Holiday Season!” The legislative session begins January 11 and as we head toward the session I welcome your input on issues important to you. My home phone is 208-265-0123 and my mailing address is P.O. Box 112, Dover, 83825. Thanks for reading! George

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 16

Say What? Alfie Paul Rechnitzer Three years isn’t much of a milestone unless you are 10 or 90, when it becomes significant because of the changes that occur in what is a comparatively short period of time. Watch a few of those Nova programs where they are working with old skulls and a lifetime today is nothing in the overall scheme of things. The three year period came up when I was glancing through my personal archives and found my first contribution to the River Journal effort was in November 2006. Which for some reason or another brought to mind that sad song “What’s it All About, Alfie?” I can hear the melody just about as clearly as watching the movie. I am talking about the Burt Bacharach music and Hal David’s original words from the 1966 movie with Michael Caine. The theme would have attracted the producers of today’s Dr. Phil TV show. The movie aside, the question raised by the female character sort of rings true these days. The sexual revolution has succeeded in creating some irreversible situations in far greater number than when the subject was softly spoken between close friends and not on screens both small and large. To those long in the tooth, as the saying goes, what passes for life these days is a head shaker. Some of the things that seem to occur on a daily basis don’t make sense and appear beyond stupid. There was a time when common sense was well regarded. It would seem those bringing up the rear are inclined to believe everything they are told including the free lunch offers and the idea that those post graduate courses had all the answers. And then there is the matter of being politically correct. Who came up with the idea we needed to be more sensitive? There were fewer up-tight folks in the old days than there are now. Did we need to become more easily offended? Is being offended a hallmark of your virtue? So, Alfie, what is it all about? Darned if I know, but I do know that what is working isn’t working very well. If it were there would be more happiness in the world. Getting satisfaction in a job well done is blowing in the wind like those leaves in my yard. The headline in the paper that indicates the military can’t find good recruits probably makes some bleeding heart mothers happy;

better to have a lard-ass son on the couch than being able to associate with a few good men. He will eventually learn to tell time. Of course, when you have some elitists in Congress bound and determined to cram more government down our throats, maybe true freedom is beyond comprehension. And then there is this whole Muslim thing. For years I was blissfully unaware/ unconcerned about the religious belief of others. Ignorant perhaps, but content in feeling that anyone had the right to believe what they would and that I would not be influenced or affected by what someone else chose to believe. Well that’s not the way it is anymore. I can live with an Israeli state. I can’t live with the idea that those who can’t or won’t accept Israel have a hostile regard for those who do. Feeling strongly about something/ anything is acceptable. Far better to have some convictions than to have none at all. But to have a total disregard for the lives of others in the name of your own beliefs makes you wonder where are we going? And as the annual holiday season comes and goes it seems lamentable there are some people bent out of shape about the flaunting of Christianity. At a time when there are so many things you can get worked up about, including the future of your job, the foreclosure rate, the unemployment rate and the cram-it-down-your throat antics of some in Congress for heaven’s sake, what difference does it make to call things holiday events rather than Christmas? The year-end season is what you make of it no matter what the economists have concluded about Black Friday or retailer expectations or for that matter what you call it. In a world over run by fanatics of all stripes it seems way past time to disregard the mores peddlers on television, ignore the stupid DVDs that litter the landscape and don’t bother with the guitar-driven lyrics of some refugee from reality. Try not to be propelled by the beat of a spirit that isn’t kindred. Take a good look at yourself. The term is introspection. How do you see yourself and how do you think others see you? Are you pleased with either, both or neither? Hopefully you care. Think about Alfie and what he was asking. What is it all about? Some days it is hard to tell, but if you don’t know, try to figure it out. Get real as one granddaughter says. Good luck is what I say. PS: If you are curious about the original lyrics you can find them on the web. Beware singers who liked the melody but preferred their own words.

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 17

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Focus on Education

Lower revenues will have an impact Dick Cvitanich

Superintendent, LPOSD With tax revenues down and the Idaho economy still sputtering, legislators have warned school districts across the state that tougher times are ahead for students in the classrooms. Tougher is the operative word because the cuts last year were difficult to address in many districts. If not for the additional revenue provided by federal stimulus funds, public education across Idaho would have been in a hole so deep climbing out would have been a herculean task. These federal revenues will continue

... we also know that reductions in staff will have an effect on the amount of time teachers can spend with children; class size will increase through next year, but yet another almost guaranteed cut by the state legislature will pare school district budgets even further, ultimately affecting student learning across the state. The Lake Pend Oreille School District was the only public school district in northern Idaho not forced to declare a financial emergency this past year. This was a result of wise budgeting practices, a willingness to live within the means of the funding formula, reduction in staff over the past three years, and the support of the community as evidenced by the successful passage of the last supplemental levy. There were still cuts to the elementary counseling program, reductions in staffing at Sandpoint High School and the central office, and cuts in field trips even though the “financial emergency” was not declared. Local legislators have told district officials to be prepared for a “hold back” for the current school year. For many districts, this will be disastrous because of contract obligations and other promises to students and families. Our district is prepared to absorb a small percentage hold back without affecting current programs. Although there is some comfort in knowing we have a small reserve to deal with the potential hold back, it also means our ability to address the certain loss of state funding for the 2010-2011 school year is eliminated. We will simply have to cut more

dollars. Since the district budget is over 80 percent staffing, this means that class sizes will be increased and certain class offerings at the secondary level will be eliminated. Of course, the district will turn the budget over and over looking for other potential savings, but ultimately, because of the structure of our work, it means staff in the classroom, administration, and classified will be eliminated. Our district has made tremendous strides over the past three years. This is a result of a focused and high functioning school board, committed staff, and hard working students. Student performance on the ISAT last year was the highest it has ever been. Over 90 percent of the students in the district were proficient in reading on the statewide assessment. Math scores were above 80 percent. More students than ever are exploring post high school education. Our athletic and activities program have proven to be some of the very best in the state at any level; earning awards in every area including athletics, music, math, and science. Our staff and community are working hand in hand to create a school district that functions well for all children. The above is at risk given the financial situation in which the state finds itself. Despite what may be ahead for us in public education in Idaho, we do know our schools will open next year. There will be a warm building and an excited classroom teacher for each eager student. Staff will continue to work hard and we will attempt to provide the best learning environment possible given the situation. Research clearly demonstrates the classroom teacher is the true difference maker in a quality education. We are fortunate to have excellent teachers, supportive parents, and terrific kids. This is a strong combination. However, we also know that reductions in staff will have an effect on the amount of time teachers can spend with children; class size will increase. We will work hard and intelligently to provide the best education we can with the resources we are given. I will keep you abreast of this information as the process develops. Those concerned about the impending reductions should contact our state legislators. They are dedicated to our community and school district. They will certainly want to hear your ideas and concerns. Thank you for your ongoing support of our school district.

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 18

The Hawk’s Nest

Eating Italian Ernie Hawks I’m happy, the holidays are here! They start a little early in our house with birthdays for both of us in early November. So from us here at The Hawks Nest we wish you a joyous season. I still haven’t done my shopping yet though. A few weeks ago I thought all my questions around a Christmas present for my wife Linda were answered. You can imagine my excitement when she announced she wanted pizzelles. I immediately started making plans for a safari in Africa to hunt pizzelles. I could almost hear the drums beating and the camp fire crackling—this was going to be the best Christmas ever. However, every travel agency I contacted seemed to be confused. Even after I told them that my highly educated and sophisticated wife made the request, the questions for our trip never got off the ground. “I’m sorry sir, but I don’t know about any hunting trips for pizzelles; could you possibly mean gazelles?” “Well maybe… no she said pizzelles. Ya, that’s what she said all right.” “If I may sir,” a rather patronizing voice said, “I think your wife wants some Italian cookies, not a hunting trip to Africa.” “Oh” Once again, the Italian gourmet I married served up a new dish, yet another I had never heard of. When we first started sharing a table, she wanted to know about my style of dining. To be honest I didn’t want to tell her my standard, “chips are a meal, dip is another one,” which pretty much was my style. Instead, in an attempt to make it sound like I could prepare food, and I knew she liked Italian, I said tuna-mac and macaroni and cheese. After a slight wince she said gently “Oh, you like pasta?” “Ah… ya… sure, pasta… you bet.” “So do you want some spaghetti?” “Sure spaghetti… I like that.” “How about linguini, or fettuccine, maybe manicotti?” I changed the subject to firewood, or something, because I didn’t know if she was talking about cars or opera singers. Over the years I have learned that Italian cuisine isn’t just pizza and Chef Boy-ar-dee.

I have learned all of those” inis” and “ottis” are different kinds of pasta, variations on spaghetti, all of which needs a sauce over them for any flavor at all. The other day while talking with Trish, the publisher of the River Journal, I confided that back when I was single I thought spaghetti was just a carrying agent for the sauce, which of course came in a jar. I was telling her that in the spirit of efficiency I oftentimes would simply eat the sauce out of the pan after heating it and didn’t bother with the long stringy stuff that always dripped red liquid on my shirt. It seemed to me the spoon is a more effective carrying agent then the pasta. She gasped, then said it reminded her of time we were having breakfast together and after I had finished my French toast I took my spoon and cleaned up the syrup and the butter and powdered sugar floating in it, that still smothered the plate. She practically screamed into the phone, “Eating spaghetti sauce without spaghetti is as bad as that.”

I tried to calm her by reminding her of her nickname, “The Calm Center of Tranquility.” After she mellowed a bit I said. “Trish, it isn’t as bad as that, it’s as good as that.” There were some strange noises and the call was dropped. Shame, I was about to tell her when I was really being efficient I spooned it right out of the jar and ate it cold, especially if it was a hot day. So here we are in another Holiday Season. Linda and I want to send you wishes for a blessed Holiday. We pray for peace and abundance for all. And, I need you to send me some ideas for a present to give to Linda. A friend said “How about biscotti.” When I asked what kind of sauce that takes she said “No, no it’s an Italian cookie.” Well I’m not going to fall for that. I know now, Italian cookies are pizzelles. Biscotti sounds more like a car to me.

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 19

Veterans’ News Report from the DAV Gil Beyer,ETC USN Ret.

I’d like to say a few words about Senate Bill 1963. This bill, titled the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009, is designed to help caregivers of severely wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This bill has received wide-ranging support on both sides of the aisle and just about every veteran’s organization but it almost never saw the light of day due to the actions of one Senator. That Senator, the junior senator from Oklahoma, is Tom Coburn. He was blocking passage of this bill because 1) it doesn’t cover veterans disabled before 9/11 and 2) he wants the monies to cover the expenses to administer it taken from ‘lower priority projects’—like funding the UN. I have checked the Senator’s voting record and he has consistently voted to approve to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout his time in the House and since his arrival in the Senate. His problem appears to be in dealing with the outcomes of those wars. He, apparently, doesn’t understand that in war there are causalities. And, in these particular wars there are more casualties that survive their wounds than in any other war in our history. Modern medical methods and rapid extraction from the site of the injury to state-of-the-art medical facilities has practically assured the survival of warriors that in previous wars would have died. The results of these advances are that we have a large, and growing, number of severely injured/disabled veterans that need, and have earned, a greater level of care than at any other time in our history. For a long time Senator Coburn, (R-OK) stuck to his hold on this bill. What makes this hold so incomprehensible to me is that Senator Coburn is a medical doctor. This hold, apparently on purely political philosophical grounds, seems to me to be a clear violation of the Hippocratic Oath that states, in part, ‘first, do no harm.’ I find it unconscionable any one so willing and eager to fund a war would be so reluctant to pay for the care of those that have been injured and disabled in the conduct of those wars. I am glad that Senator Coburn finally saw the hypocrisy of this position and allowed the bill to come to the Senate floor for an open vote. Placing a hold on important piece of legislation simply to make political points is, in my opinion, contrary to the oath of office that our elected officials have taken to serve all of their constituents to the best of

their abilities. That said, I’ll leave you now to our December guest column from local DAV Commander Ross Jackman. Seasons Greetings to you all! My name is Ross Jackman; I am the Commander of the Sandpoint DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Audie Murphy Chapter #15. We meet the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 pm at the VFW Hall, corner of Division and Pine Street, Sandpoint, Idaho. (Our meetings are open to the public). The DAV is instrumental in joint ventures with other veteran organizations in Sandpoint such as the VVA (Vietnam Veterans of America) and VFW; we donate to local food banks and help vets and families in need with home repairs, building wheelchair ramps, shoveling snow for the elderly, cutting and delivering firewood and much, much more. The support you the people of Bonner County have given us has been through the roof this year; for this we all 135 members of chapter #15 say “THANK YOU.” Your willingness to give at our annual Forget-MeNot fundraiser at two great locations, WalMart and Yoke’s, raised over $900 dollars, for our Van fund. Speaking of the Van fund; DAV Chapter #15 would like to take this time to thank the following for their support and kindness from their hearts to raise $14,505, to “BUY” a new 12-passenger DAV van. The money has already been sent to the National DAV office. By the time this letter is in print we should have word that the new van is ready to pick up back east. The driving force behind the large sum of money that was raised for the new van was the ladies from CAL, (Community Assistance League), Panhandle State Bank, Coldwater Creek, the Rotary Club of Sandpoint, and Lighthouse Inc. There is “NO” way we can thank you all enough for the time, dedication and effort you put toward this worthwhile endeavor. Your names will be on the side of the van as sponsors. If I have by chance missed someone I apologize. The DAV van runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with stops in Noxon Mont., Clark Fork, Hope, Sandpoint, Laclede, and Priest River in Idaho, and at Newport, Diamond Lake, and Chattaroy, in Washington. To ride the DAV van you have to be a veteran, have an appointment, be able to get in the van by your own power, and be on the manifests. Call 509-434-7019 for an appointment. Save your gas, and your stress, ride with us. Without our volunteer drivers we would not be able to have this service. I would like to take this time to thank our nine volunteer drivers. If you see our van go by please take

the time to wave and thank them for the outstanding service they are doing for our community and our veterans. The volunteers are: Robert Able, Noxon; Lewis Beebe, Clark Fork; Gene Groseclose, Kootenai; Keith Nicklish, Sandpoint; Mike Santino, Sandpoint; Robert Wynhausen, Sandpoint; Tim Trimble, Sandpoint; Raymond Kemp, Sandpoint; and Don Carr, Priest River. If you would like to volunteer to be a driver, male or female, please contact Don Carr at the Bonner County Veterans Services Office, 208-255-5291; he has the form to fill out. If you are interested in donating to the DAV, there is a van fund set up at the Panhandle State Bank in Sandpoint. We also have a donation outlet at the Ponderay Triangle Drive’s Pacific Iron and Metal; bring in your aluminum cans and tell them it’s for the Sandpoint DAV. Every cent we collect goes right back to the veterans of Bonner County. I would also like to take this time to thank the ladies who were at the Kootenai Sub Shop, for the support they put forth on Veterans Day: free subs, soup, chips, and drinks, all day. They had smiles for everyone, and a thank you for your service to all veterans who walked through their doors, and there were a lot of them (nearly 200!), the subs were great. OUR HATS ARE OFF TO YOU LADIES. And we do not want to forget Assisted Living people who put on such a great buffet breakfast free to veterans, and to those whom I did not hear about we thank you for your support of the veterans. Without them we would not be “FREE”! If you are interested in joining the DAV or donating to the DAV, contact me, Ross D. Jackman, 208-265-2738, or Russ Fankell 208263-5419. Have a very Merry Christmas, and a healthy and Happy New Year.

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Page 20 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

Politically Incorrect

Marianne Love is No Journalist! Trish Gannon Although Marianne Love has been a columnist for the River Journal for four or five or, well, six-and-a-half years now, and though she has published three books, and spent many a year training the journalists of the future via Sandpoint High School’s Cedar Post newspaper, I recently learned that Marianne Love is most decidedly not a journalist. I came by this information in a roundabout way, after Sue Haynes put a post up on Facebook about Marianne’s blog, “Slight Detour” (www.slightdetour. By the way, I didn’t mention that Marianne also blogs... daily. She’s also a regular with Sandpoint Magazine and the Appaloosa Journal (though they’re not using many freelancers anymore), and I wouldn’t even want to attempt to guess what her accumulated word count is now, though I’m sure it’s somewhere in the millions. Anyway, Sue talked about fans of Sarah Palin and the ability to help a local charity and I’m not sure why I found that intriguing, but I did, so I clicked my way on over to Slight Detour to see what was up. It seems that Sarah Palin autographed a copy of the 2009 Winter issue Sandpoint Magazine, which contained a story about her roots here in Sandpoint that Marianne wrote. The crew at Keokee were offering the autographed magazine on Ebay, with proceeds to go to a local charity. (If you were interested in bidding on it, sorry, you’re too late. But feel free to make a donation to Panhandle Special Needs, anyway.) Marianne was not just sharing the information about the bidding opportunity, though... she also took that opportunity to explain that she had made a mistake in the story she wrote, misidentifying the actual house the Palin family lived in while they were here. And then POW! It was right in the kisser with the journalism disqualification... as Marianne added that she had moseyed on over to the house to explain the mistake she’d made to the man living there and to offer homemade apple jelly in apology. Okay, maybe I’m being a little rough on journalists here, but within humanity as a whole, it’s very rare to find someone willing to admit they were wrong, much less someone who will go out of their way to try to make things right. Everyone can and does make mistakes, but in the world of journalism, I can rattle off a good dozen

stories written in other publications where the facts skated the truth a bit, usually in an effort to make a story a tad more sensational, and where no acknowledgements were ever offered to clear up the facts, much less any effort taken to make amends. This is one of the reasons why I admire Marianne Love so much, and in part why I continue the effort of publishing this magazine each and every month—because the writers in these pages are superb. They are much more than journalists, and I anticipate seeing what their contribution is going to be each issue every bit as much as I ever anticipated the loaded tree on Christmas morning. It was December of 1993 when the River Journal first rolled off a press (out in Ronan, Montana) and in the years since, very few (if any) of the people whose writings have filled these pages were graduates of Jschool. Instead, they were and are a group of home-grown writers who not only love to write, but love this place we live in and love to tell the stories about the who, what and why of life along the Clark Fork River Valley. Most of them also have a passing acquaintance with things like spelling, proper grammar, and the rules of sentence structure. When I took over the River Journal in the fall of 2001, I got to add people to that stable of writers—Marianne was one of them—and every time I did I found out just how talented the people who live here can be, especially when it comes to putting words on paper. I am not only informed by the people who take the time to craft stories every month for our pleasure, but I’m inspired, as well. Much has been said about the impending demise of newspapers, and what that means for the world we live in. From the newspapers’ standpoint, we are heading down a path we will later regret. From the standpoint of the online “press,” the existence of which is the direct cause of the agony experienced by print publications, we will all be better off with a plethora of voices from which to choose. Who is right? Probably both... because any tool can be used for good or bad, and the internet, like the printing press before it, is nothing more than a tool. In the early days of this country, the “press” was a rowdy bunch of irreverent, opinionated, less-than-truthful gentlemen who would not have concerned themselves over the misidentification of a house. They were ”infamous scribblers,” in the words of Eric Burns, whose book of that name is an

enlightening read for anyone interested in the birth of our nation. He wrote that “...the golden age of America’s founding was also the gutter age of American reporting...” We might well be slipping back into a gutter age as we rush wholeheartedly into the new forms of communication allowed for with the World Wide Web. And we might not. Because for every ‘infamous scribbler’ out there today with his fingers on a computer keyboard, there are still the Marianne Loves (and the Lou Springers, the Sandy Comptons, the Ralph Bartholdts, the Mike Turnlunds— just look at these pages for more) who take the time to craft an honest story, and care about what they write, and make amends if a mistake is made. If you want to get your news from people who write like that, you can do so here in these pages or you can read them on our website ( And you can rest assured that what you’re reading was written by people who think that stories make a difference, and that if you put your name on it, it should be the best that you can do. This holiday season, my thanks go out as always to you, our readers, but they also go to those writers who truly make this publication worth wading through. Here’s to the year just passed, and to the stories to come in the future.

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 21

Local Food

Everyone Say:

of the

Inland Northwest

Let’s face it: there is nothing in the world like cheese. It’s creamy and salty, and life would simply not be the same without it. We rarely have the chance to eat such a food fresh from the farm; but look no further. This summer, two new dairies began producing and selling cheeses in North Idaho (and beyond); I spent a morning with them in Vay, where both dairies are located.


The chevre is smooth and mild; the raw milk feta firm and ripe. But mostly, you can taste the skill and attention that Suzanne Wimberly puts into her handmade goat cheeses. Milking 10 goats by hand twice a day, Suzanne has been intimately involved with every step of her cheese-making process since she founded Wheyward Goat Cheese in 2008. And though her chevre will shortly be out of season (the does are dried up for the winter), her first year has proven that fantastic, high quality goat cheeses are soonto-be a readily available commodity in North Idaho. In season, Suzanne makes her chevre on site every other day, and sells it in various flavors (herbed, etc.) at WinteEmily LeVine just completed her first season of co-growing vegetables for Red Wheelbarrow Produce in Sandpoint. Ideas, questions, comments, or topics you’d like to read about regarding local food? Please contact her: localfoodchallenge@

by Emily LeVine

ridge Natural Foods, the Farmers’ Market at Sandpoint and on Six Rivers Market (online). Suzanne encourages skeptics to try her chevre before passing judgment. It is surprisingly “un-goaty”, and can be eaten alone on crackers, mixed in salads, or in recipes calling for cream cheese. Wheyward’s raw milk feta is aged for at least 60 days, and represents a true version of the popular cheese, which classically is a sheep or goat milk product. Most commercial fetas are made of cow’s milk and flavored to taste like the traditional sort. Much of Suzanne’s working knowledge of running a goat dairy was acquired at the Quillisascet Farm School, a 40goat dairy and farm outside of Colville, Washington where students can spend weekends or full years learning the ins and ours of farming. From there, she moved to Bend, Oregon to work as a herds-woman for a 120-goat herd before returning to the Sandpoint area in 2007. Now, her 21-goat herd (including kids and bucks) is slowly growing, and Suzanne has plans to add a few aged, hard cheeses to her line in coming years.


process, and in June ‘09, they began marketing their farmstead cheeses.

Available in plain, pepper-jack, garlic, dill, and chipotle, CC&W cheeses contain no preservatives besides salt, and are for sale in Sandpoint, Coeur D’Alene, Spokane, Moscow, and the Tri-Cities. The cheeses are all delicious (my favorite is the dill), melt well, and can be incorporated into casseroles, sandwiches, and snacks. Also available in the immediate region is CC&W cottage cheese, a richer, creamier, far more flavorful version than any commercial cottage cheese I’ve ever had. The beauty of this product is that a single spoonful elicits the same satisfaction as whole bowlful of what we’re used to. If you can find it, try it. You’ll be glad you did.


Currently in the aging room is the Burgess’ first attempt at a raw milk cheddar cheese, which will be ready in February 2010.

Cindy and Vince Burgess have been in the dairy business for thirty years. Originally from Chewelah, Washington, the couple sold milk for shipment until the price of milk plummeted a few years ago. Instead of abandoning the dairy life, they diversified, and began leasing the former HooDoo Valley creamery in Vay last year. They decreased their herd to 13 (now up to 22) in order to learn the cheese-making

Cindy has noticed that some people who label themselves as “lactoseintolerant” have a reduced reaction to her cheeses. She attributes this to the lack of artificial preservatives and absence of over-pasteurization, which can kill helpful enzymes that help digest dairy. When the process starts and ends on one lovely farm in Vay, it’s no wonder.

Local Food of the Month: .cheese. You know how to use it. Sandwiches. Salads. Appetizers. Sometimes I eat goat cheese just with a spoon. Now try out some of our local cheeses, available at Yokes, Winteridge, Six Rivers Market, Huckleberries, Tim’s Custom Meats, Gourmet Way, Litehouse, and more...

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 22


The Big Burn Lou Springer

Physical evidence a hundred years old is sometimes hard to uncover, so we are fortunate that there are written accounts of the 1910 Fires. Eighty-seven lives lost, three million timbered acres burnt, creeks, “white with the bellies of dead trout.” Elers Koch’s day-by-day account is gripping. The Big Burn by Timothy Egan retells the story and demonstrates how those two days of hellish fires rescued a struggling Federal agency. Egan does a great job explaining how Teddy Roosevelt, the conservationist, Pinchot, the forester, and Muir, the environmentalist conspired to create the Forest Service. However, in 1910, Teddy Roosevelt was no longer President, and the timber barons appeared to be regaining the upper hand in the rape of public resources. Big business was gnawing at government regulation that had been put in place by that wild Republican, Teddy. The horrific fires caught the public’s attention and gained support for an agency that would protect national resources. Egan, a long-time observer and reporter of resource extraction in the Northwest, painted the grim picture of mining, timber and railroad interests controlling state newspapers and lawmakers to gain access to public land, timber and minerals. Egan contends that the 1910 big burn reinvigorating the Forest Service became “the fire that saved America.” The big burn also created a fire mind set—a way (that seems the only way) to think about fires. Forest fires are bad, bad, wasteful, wasteful and bad. The Forest Service decreed that every fire should be put out by noon. A network of roads was built to allow access to regions that in August 1910 fire fighters had to hike two days to reach. Lookouts were erected and manned during the season with fire spotters. This ‘out before noon’ policy has been so successful that the Forest Service now faces the problem of hazardous fuel buildup through our mountains. The big burn extended from the region around Riggins, Idaho, north into British Columbia, and east even beyond the Continental Divide to burn portions of Montana’s Big Hole Valley and Blackfoot Indian Reservation. The droughty 1910 summer followed a wet winter. Vegetation grew lush before it cured as dry as tinder.

Intense dry lightning storms and cinders from railroads had started thousands of small fires by mid August. Then on the 20th, hurricane force winds blew across the Palouse Hills, fed the flames and created incredible firestorms that ripped huge white pine from the ground and hurled logs like flame throwers. Almost instantly, the small fires joined and raged across the mountains. The smoke effected sunsets world-wide. One of the deadly effects of a big fire like this would not be understood until WWII. The allies carpeted Dresden with the surprisingly Andincendiary they don’tbombs have and to—after all, don’t large death toll of 40,000 resulted mostly we Americans believe if it’s ours, it’s ours from suffocation. Large fires consume large and we can do with it what we want? Or amounts of oxygen. Fire maps of the 1910 burn indicate thatis weof want then the region along the westand shore Lakeit,Pend you have to give it to us and if you don’t, Oreille burned, as did most of the Green then you Hope sponsor terrorism and Fork we’ll Monarchs. didn’t burn, Clark did. The fire missed Heron (the date above By the way,Community China wants thatsays oil as the door of the Center it well. Remember China? The people who all –1904). A child, living with her parents us side all that money? China’sthe oil onloaned the north of the river, recalled consumption around barrels smoky skies, theis spot fires6.5 andbillion her family’s a year, andsouth is growing percent rush to the side at of 7the river every near Heron there about was more clearedbarrels land. year. where It produces 3.6 billion The burning jumped Vermillion and every year. Does thisthe math look good to Prospect Creek drainages, leaving them anyone? Can anyone other than Sarah green in aBush sea of black. we can Palinand andgrowing George believe There evidence of the big drill our is wayphysical out of this problem? Anyone burn thewe three million acres. On whothroughout doesn’t think better hit the ground our place there are at least two living trees running to figure out how to fuel what we that survived fire.something One, a two-and-a-half want fueledthe with other than foot DBH Douglas fir, hastoa go large fire to scar. oil probably deserves back an The other, a four foot DBH cedar is growing in a wet, protected site. Our barns were : I could go on built using burnt larch, and there are still forever, but you’ll quit reading. So one final a few standing, blackened snags. The most discussionevidence for the American public. compelling of the extent of First, the let’s have a true, independent analysis of fires is the lack of ‘old growth,’ the big trees what happened on September 11, 2001. described by every visitor to the lower Clark The Even official explanation simply Fork. though the railroads haddoesn’t been hold water. This pine is one those them “who mowing down white andof shipping what,mines, when”uncountable questions that must of be toknew the Butte amounts answered—and people/institutions must valuable timber were toasted. The surviving trees that didn’t burn provided the basis for Speaking of accountability, might our region’s timber business. Justyou about all be surprised to learn that I trees wouldhave not those big, accessible, profitable been harvested. support an effort to impeach President In The , Egan elections. clarifies how Bush afterBig theBurn November First, natural history—in thislate, case,and the second, fires— because that’s too continues influence cultural because tomore thanour Bush havehistory. been We are part of our landscape. involved in crimes against the American people. What I would like to see are charges (at the least, charges of treason) brought against Bush, Cheney, et al. Bring the charges and let’s let the evidence of

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 23

Kathy’s Faith Walk

The Holiday Season of Feats Kathy Osborne I am glad the holiday season is here. I like the music and the light displays in yards. I like the carolers and the game nights, the faith gatherings and the food. But for me, and many like me, the holiday season began back in October, not with Halloween, but rather, with Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. These are Jewish celebrations and they run the gamut of ten days of personal reflection, followed by a day of fasting, and followed five days later with an eight-day party! How cool is that? When God began to talk to me about the Feasts of the Lord I honestly had no idea what He was talking about. He sent me to a place in Bonners Ferry to begin my education and it has been a joy for the last five years to study these celebrations. Not that I have learned it all, but I have discovered some things that have changed the way I celebrate these unique days of the year. In the Old Testament God designed seven feasts, along with the weekly Feast of Sabbath, that would help the young nation of Israel keep their eyes on Him on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis. Their life was tied to the Law and to the feasts which were connected to the movements of the moon, keeping them aware of their entwinement with the land and the heavens which brought them right back to God, Creator of it all. Some of the feasts cannot

be fully celebrated today because although the Jews are back in the Holy land, they are not allowed up on the Temple Mount. But Messianic Jews, or those who believe Jesus is the Messiah, have found other ways to celebrate the feasts. The surprise in all this is just how many Gentiles, or ‘nonJews” like myself, have been drawn to these celebrations as well. Strange though it has been, I can honestly say that attending these feasts over the last few years has felt like going home after having been away for a very, very long time. God designed the feasts to be about Him. This actually enhanced the experience as each feast is a celebration of something amazing God had done in the past as well as a rehearsal of something wonderful to come in the future. Each feast involves friends, neighbors and family reading the Torah together. Food is shared, often dancing is involved and the blowing of a special ram’s horn called the Shofar. Sometimes gifts are given. But always God, and His love for His people, is celebrated. Participating in these celebrations has changed me and my perspective of how a special day is to be remembered. To celebrate to the fullest is to remember what God has done for me, what He is going to do in the future, and to share that with others so they can know Him, His peace, and His love. Be it Hanukkah in just a few days, Christmas a few weeks later, or Sabbath each week, I will celebrate my love for God and the day the best way I know how: simply by loving people. That’s really about all He asks of us. And how cool is that?

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Page 24 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

The Scenic Route

Solving our Problems Sandy Compton

It’s getting on toward January. President Obama is ten months into his first term and he still hasn’t solved all of our problems. We ought to throw the bum out. That’s what I hear on various fronts both private and public. Paranoia can be sooo noisy. The problems Mr. Obama inherited won’t be solved in 10 months—or in 10 years— for they have been years in the making. They won’t be solved at all if we don’t help solve them, which means advocating and accepting fundamental changes in how we do things as a nation and a culture. This is not imperative. It’s more important than that. It’s not just the economy that’s broken. Our government is broken. Though populated by some caring, responsible individuals, collectively, our government is institutionalized—self-consumed, cumbersome, ponderous, inefficient, indifferent and unresponsive. Our information system is also broken. It’s difficult to learn the truth from media owned by special interests working hard and spending money to see that government does things their way. Fox News recently showed doctored film of—and in favor of, it appears—conservative Sarah Palin. Across the ideological street, Newsweek portrays her as a big-haired bimbo. Somewhere in the middle lies the real Sarah Palin (no pun intended), and we still don’t know what she really looks like because big media is just as institutionalized as big government. The “poor man’s voice,” Rush Limbaugh, has become an institution, something he might be pleased to hear. (It ain’t so great as all that, Rush.) He recently signed a contract with his network for $400 million. He is worth, by some sources, a billion dollars, and institutions are built on that kind of wealth. When an organization becomes institutionalized—government, media, churches, hospitals, school districts and corporations large and small come to mind—the rules of the institution become more important than individuals the institution is supposed to serve, including its own employees. People working within such institutions spend more time maintaining the status quo—seeing to the

care and feeding of the organization—than they do dealing with real world goals. The institution, in the minds of many who live within it, has become the real world. Just ask Dilbert. A recent, local example is Lacey and Anna Blackford’s fight with Idaho Department of Health and Welfare over the young boy they raised from a drug-addicted infant to a happy, healthy two-year-old that they wished to adopt. In October, Health and Welfare summarily decided the child would be given to another couple for adoption. When the Blackfords balked, the agency gave them three hours to hand the boy over. The tragedies underlying this tragedy is the traumatic experience that the child must still be having and that institutionalized Health and Welfare, by their own rules, does not have to tell the Blackfords why the boy was placed somewhere else, or where he was placed. On a very local level, this is exemplary of some of the problems Mr. Obama and the rest of us have inherited, the ones that we must help him solve. How do we do that? I don’t know, exactly. I have some ideas, though. Some are sort of outrageous, I think, but Americans are famous for floating outrageous ideas, “that all men are created equal” being one of them. One of my outrageous ideas is that we, as a nation, change one word in that line—from “men” to “persons.” Term limits on politicians? Not my idea, I admit, but I think we should limit Congress to two terms in the House or one in the House and one in the Senate. Even that seems egregious, for it totals 8 to 10 years. But tack this idea on top of it. The position becomes almost voluntary — Congresspersons are

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provided with a generous monthly stipend and related living and travel expenses — while Congress is in session. (I think I just heard someone in Washington, D.C., scream bloody murder.) This might be a good model for all government representatives. Take government off the dole. What if we, the people, mandated that school administration salaries could be no higher per month than salaries of teachers with similar credentials and time on the job? Made local, state and federal agencies answerable to citizen oversight? Took health care out of the hands of profit-driven insurance companies—and rules-andregulation-bound government institutions— and engineered a universal system that worked for everyone? There’s something wrong with every idea I’ve put forth. None of them solve any problem completely. But, they are ideas bent on renewing us as a country, making us fresh again by moving us back toward our original tenets, including that one from our Declaration of Independence quoted above. In fact, I commend that simple document to you, particularly the first 2 paragraphs. They contain some revolutionary ideas that we might do well to use ourselves.

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 25

The Haunted Apartment

“One must have the mind of winter to regard the frost and the bughs of the pine trees crusted with snow...” Wallace Stevens, The Snowman “...We are spirits in the material world...” The Police

This year’s final account took place where this author lives. Well, right next door, anyway, to my upstairs, four-plex apartment. I and my immediate downstairs neighbor have been here for many years. The other side of the building, closer to the street, has seen a progression of tenants over the years. The last tenant before the current occupant moved on was a single woman about my age who, unfortunately, did not take her health very seriously. In midJanuary of this year, ‘09, her heart stopped and she apparently died in her sleep. It was two days before she was discovered by a sister. I had seen a couple of days’ worth of Daily Bees at the door, but thought nothing of that, nor of the fact her car was still under the carport as she had often gone off with one of her sisters for several days. Within the first week after the new tenant and her teenage son moved in, things began happening. The two of them, along with a niece and nephew, were arranging furniture and unpacking. The woman began cleaning her curio cabinet with a common glass cleaner. Immediately upon the first spray coming into contact with the glass in one small pane, it blew violently outward all over the carpet. The next incident involved the new tenant’s TV. She set her VCR to tape soap operas while she was at work, so as to watch them later. She came home one day and, sitting down to watch, saw instead of “The Guiding Light,” a recording first of the satellite program guide, then a sudden switch to a crafts channel which had been recorded for more than an hour. Thinking her son had skipped school, she questioned him and he promptly denied it. He pointed out that he had a TV in his room and, in any event, wouldn’t watch the craft channel to save his life. A call to the school confirmed her son had been at school all day. Not long afterward, one Sunday, my new neighbor—a huge race car fan—left the TV tuned to a station showing a NASCAR race while she and her son made a quick snack run to the store. Upon returning, the set was once more on the crafts channel. The previous tenant was an avid

Valley of

In ThE

ShadowS with Lawrence Fury

crafts maker and buyer, and had filled the apartment with many eclectic pieces. On a number of occasions while alone in the living room watching TV, the front door, which was closed and locked, would slowly begin opening as if someone was entering, then gradually shut, freaking the woman out. One other bizarre thing: the “shadow” of the former tenant’s bed headboard seems to have been imprinted on the wall. All the washing in the world won’t remove it, and the new occupant finally painted it over. A twin, my new neighbor’s sister was so unsettled after being told of these things, she won’t even come inside. Since late summer of this year, the odd occurrences seem to have abated and relative peace has reigned for the now solo tenant, her son having moved in June to Oregon to live with his father. Could it be that the previous occupant did not care to have a male living in her home, but is now content that there is once again a single lady living where she had for more than four years? This account and others I have both written about and plan for future columns could be attributed to the actual ghost or spirit of a person. Those who die violent or unusual guests may have unfinished

business. Another theory, however, is that after death, whether or not it is of an unusual or unnatural nature, more of a psychic impression is left at the site of the death. Not a conscious entity, but a replay of the motions that the deceased went through in life, such as watching a certain type of television program, or reacting against something that was outside the habits or experience of the person while they were still alive. A recording on the fabric of reality as we perceive it. We see and hear only a narrow portion of the visible light and audio spectrum. There may be a plane we cannot see nor measure with instruments that allows for such things. The explanation or explanations for a haunting or poltergeist phenomenon may be more varied and complicated than we can imagine. There are many possibilities in this universe... and here, in the Valley of Shadows.

Keep on Wading

Ron’s Repair

Recycling - Lawn, Garden, Snow Equipment, Generators, Pumps and Older Outboards. I also buy/sell batteries 2 doors west of the Hope Post Office

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Page 26 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

From ThE


of The River Journal’s

SurrealisT Research BureaU When Phil K. Dick saw God by Jody Forest Many of the most treasured sci-fi writers of my youth led rather humdrum lives personally. While their eyes may indeed have been fixed on the stars, their feet were always planted firmly on the ground. I’m thinking of the giants of my teenage years: Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, Van Vogt. Dreamers all, but rather plebeian personally. Only rarely would an obscure, cultish, Cordwainer Smith or Kilgore Trout lurk menacingly in the shadows. The writer Philip K. Dick, on the other hand, saw God! He’d long been a prolific and successful sci-fi writer since the early 1950s. As he recalled later in his notes; “I was 12 (in 1940) and came across the pulp magazine “Stirring Science Stories” quite by accident. I was actually looking for “Popular Science.” I was enthralled by it and recognized the sense of magic and wonder I’d found, in my younger days, in the Oz books and Alice’s Adventures thru’ the Looking Glass--- this magic now coupled not with magic wands but with science. In any case my new viewpoint became “the science of the future will equal magic!” By 1963 he’d won the Hugo award for his novel “Man in the High Castle.” Other notable early works included novels that were later made into wildly successful films such as Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, and many more. Before his death ex-Beatle John Lennon had discussed with Dick his financing of a film version of Lennon’s then-favorite Dick novel “three Stigmata.” But then, in February 1974, in his apartment in San Francisco, and in the middle of an otherwise normal day, Philip K.increase Dick metnutrients, God. such as nitrogen and In his notes at the time Dick recorded; “I met the Restorer of what was Lost and the Thisof septic project is being Mender Broken pilot Things. It appeared—in introduced order tocolors complyinwith water vivid fire within shining balanced quality standards as determined the mandala-like patterns. It envelopedby me, lifting me from limitations of the spaceFederal Cleanthe Water Act. Designated to time matrix and I knew world protect water quality, the that plan,the known as around meMaximum was cardboard, a paper-thin a “Total Daily Load” for Lake fake. Through its power of perception I Pend Oreille, addresses nutrient issues saw what really existed and it took on in battle, as a champion of all human spirits In every addition, many lakeshore in thrall, evil, every Iron, imprisoned, homeowners participated in a survey grey thing.” thereafter referred to this awesome inDick 2007 concerning a variety of water presence cameAs to him as “VALIS” quality that issues. is turns out, (Vast their

Artificial Living Intelligent System) and in his writings seemed to think of it as a galactic, if not universe-spanning, benevolent living computer-like being. His later novels took on a more profound if esoteric bent and those later novels (VALIS, The Divine Invasion, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer) either show a writer in the midst of a nervous breakdown or someone touched by God; there’s a razor’s edge of middle ground. Later still he would state, “The core of my writing is not art, but truth! Yet, I can do nothing to alleviate it, either by deed or explanation. Yet this seems to help a certain kind of sensitive, troubled person, Council website at

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for whom I speak. Those persons cannot or will not blunt their own intimations about the irrational, mysterious nature of reality and for them my corpus of work is one long dialogue regarding this inexplicable, bizarre thing we call existence.” Phillip K. Dick died of a stroke in 1982. His collected works have just been released in a three-volume set by The Library of America (available at Sandpoint Library). Though his reputation as a theologian, sci-fi writer and philosopher has grown by leaps and bounds since then, let’s not forget he was still “just” a pulp sci-fi hack who once wrote, “This is why I love science fiction! The SF writer sees not just possibilities but wild possibilities! Its not just, “what if?” but “oh my God! WHAT IF!?” in frenzied hysteria! ‘til next time—Yours for a Strong America! (and All Homage to Xena!) Photo of Philip K. Dick reprinted courtesy of the Philip K. Dick Trust.

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December 2009| River Journal - A News Worth Wading Through | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 27 Worth Wading Through | The | VolMagazine 17 No. 18 | November 2008 | |Page 5

A Holistic Approach to Incontinence

by the Sandpoint Wellness Council

What a Crappy Thing!

by Mary Boyd Urinary incontinence is very prevalent in our society, affecting both men and women of all ages. It does not just affect women who are older or who have given birth, nor is it a “normal” part of aging. Burgio (1991) and Dionko (1986) found that 31 percent of women 42 to 50 years of age are affected and 38 percent of women over 60 years of age; less than 50 percent of women consulted their MD about it. Risk factors include more than three births, birth weight greater than 8 pounds, increased intra-abdominal pressure from activities such as repeated coughing, asthma and smoking A study in 2007 by Eliasson revealed that of 200 women who presented to physical therapy for complaints of low back pain, 78 percent also had urinary incontinence. Symptoms may occur 20 years after an injury. Urinary incontinence can be called urge, stress or mixed. Urge urinary incontinence is when you have a sudden urge to go that cannot be delayed. This may be triggered by hearing running water, seeing a toilet, or getting to your front door with the keys to the house in your hand. Stress incontinence is the type we hear about in the movies as though it were a “normal” part of life as in “Don’t make me laugh so hard or I’ll pee my pants.” Stress incontinence occurs with impact such as running, jumping, coughing, or sneezing as it causes stress to the muscles of the pelvic floor. Mixed incontinence is the most common and involves both stress and urge incontinence. So how much do you really know about normal bladder function? The bladder

normally holds two cups or urine, but we get the urge to void when the bladder is half full. BUT, that doesn’t mean we’re supposed to go to the bathroom then. It’s kind of like hunger, which waxes and wanes. Just because I’m hungry for lunch at 11:00 doesn’t mean I’m going to eat then. Continence is a learned behavior and we’re not supposed to go immediately upon getting the first urge to void. In fact, we should wait two to five hours between voids and we should void five to seven times a day. Nocturia is nighttime voiding; people under 65 should only void one time per night or preferably not at all; for those over 65, one to two voids per night is normal. Bladder function is controlled by an intricate feedback loop between the bladder and the brain. The bladder is a muscle much like a water balloon. When it is empty it collapses on itself and is flat; as it fills it rounds out like a balloon being filled with water. Stretch receptors in the muscular lining of the bladder send a signal to the brain to start looking around for a toilet as the bladder fills. Many of us have developed bad habits over the years of going to the bathroom “just in case” there won’t be a toilet available at a later time when we really have to go. This switches the control over urination from the bladder to the brain being in control. Frequent voiding when the bladder is not full leads to less bladder tolerance for storing urine, which is the ultimate job of the bladder. Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition where the organs of the pelvic cavity (uterus, bladder and rectum) can start to fall into and actually out of the vagina. According to Hagen (2005) it is seen in 50 percent of women who have given birth. Hendrix (2002) found it was one of the three most common reasons for hysterectomy in women following endometriosis and cancer. Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse can include a feeling of heaviness, falling out, may be

worse in the evening due to the affects of gravity. It is associated with urge urinary incontinence, frequency, straining at the stool, incomplete evacuation or dribbling after urination. Causes may be nerve damage or muscle or ligament laxity often occurring many years following delivery. Physical therapy can be very affective in the treatment of urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse by teaching women and men to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Think of your trunk as a canister. We know we should have strong abdominals to support our back, but what do you think is at the bottom of the can—the pelvic floor muscles whose strength is critical. In fact, the same nerves control the pelvic floor as the transverse abdominal, the stomach muscle just inside your hip bone and the posterior tibialis, the muscle that makes your toes squeeze and fan. Every time you raise your arms over your head in standing, your abdominals contract together with your pelvic floor muscles to stabilize your trunk. Physical therapists can evaluate the strength of the pelvic floor muscles just like any other muscle in the body and teach patients how to perform a quick as well as a sustained contraction. Often a Biofeedback machine is used to train patients to correctly perform this contraction. Bump (1991) demonstrated that 40 percent of women were unable to perform a proper pelvic floor muscle contraction with verbal instruction alone. Additionally, electric stimulation is used for urge and stress incontinence to calm aberrant muscle contractions of the bladder. Although physicians often treat urinary incontinence with medication, Brubaker (1997) found that electric stimulation was considerably safer and more cost effective than the use of lifelong medication. Estrogen was commonly used for the treatment of urinary incontinence in the past; however studies now clearly show (Hendrix 2005, Shamliyan 2008) that oral estrogen leads to increases in urinary incontinence in randomized controlled trials compared to placebo. In studies comparing medication vs. pelvic floor exercises, Wells (1991) reported outcomes were equally satisfactory and muscle strength was significantly higher in the exercise group vs. the medication group. Bugio (1998) demonstrated that the exercise group had significantly less leakage and at the end of the trial, the medication group wanted another form of treatment. Burgio (2000) later went on to demonstrate that a combination of pelvic floor muscle exercise and medication to be more effective than either treatment alone. Now for the crappy information on fecal incontinence: the involuntary loss of fecal material through the anal canal. This is

Page 28 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

under-reported and is one of the leading causes of nursing home placement. Caushaj P (1992) found the community prevalence in the UK was 4.2 men and 1.7 women per 1,000 between ages of 15 and 64; 10.9 men and 13.3 women per 1,000 over the age of 65. Shamiliyan’s (2008) systematic review found that the prevalence of fecal incontinence was twice that of urinary incontinence and increased with age. Risk factors for females included: number of births, anal trauma, vaginal prolapse. Risk factors for men included urological surgery and radiation for prostate cancer. Bowel dysfunctions such as constipation and obstructed defecation can be difficult to measure as people differ in their opinion of what constipation is. Normal bowel function includes two to three bowel movements each day to three times a week. Constipation is less than three BMs a week. Helovsek (2008) found a high prevalence of constipation in women with pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence: of 302 women presenting to the Cleveland Clinic 36 percent had constipation. Varma (2008) found 12.3 percent of women had weekly episodes of obstructive defecation. Physical therapy intervention for constipation includes pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation much like that mentioned above for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Again, Biofeedback and Electric stimulation may be used. A home exercise program is important. Joint mobilization or scar mobilization may

be indicated for painful presentations. Treatments to stimulate the bowels may include abdominal muscle training (Massery 2006) or abdominal massage (Harrington 2006; Brown 2006). Bowel training via patient education may also be indicated i.e.: defecation mechanics such as the passive way we sit on the toilet (as well as gender differences of men going to the bathroom with a magazine and women who are expected to rush) vs. the active posture of squatting as they do in India and certain

parts of Europe. As you can see, there are effective interventions for these conditions, and you should not have to suffer or be marooned in your home if you have either one of these incontinence experiences. Mary Boyd, MS, PT is the owner of Mountain View Physical Therapy and is a member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council. She can be reached at 290-5575 or on the web at www.mtnviewpt. com.

Please call any of us or visit our blog at www. to ask questions or leave comments. Our goal is to be a resource for our community; our blog is your forum to interact with us and other readers.

Sandpoint Wellness Council members: Krystle Shapiro, BA, LMT, CDT,Reiki, Touchstone Massage Therapies Oncology Massage Specialist 208.290.6760 Owen Marcus, MA Rolfing 208.265.8440 Kristine Battey, MA, PT Divine Health and Fitness Personal Training & Physical Therapy 208.946.7072 Mary Boyd, MS, PT Mountain View Physical Therapy 208.290.5575 J. Ilani Kopiecki, BA, CMT Integrated Bodywork and Craniosacral Therapy 208.610.2005 Robin & Layman Mize CBS Quantum Biofeedback 208.263.8846 Chris Rinehart Homeopathy 208.610.0868

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 29

Coffelt Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho.

Get complete obituaries online at MAHLER Peggy Lou Mahler, 76, passed away in Sandpoint, Idaho, on November 11. Funeral services were held in the United Methodist Church. Interment followed in the Lakeview Cemetery. Peggy Lou MacDonald was born to Alvin and Nina MacDonald on September 15, 1933, in Missoula, Mont. After one year Peggy and her family returned to Spokane, Wash., where Peggy lived until she was 10 years old. Peggy became involved in the performing arts. With an early history of dance she expanded her artistic endeavors to the world of music including singing and the playing of the piano. Her family then moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, where her father and mother owned and operated Bonners Ferry Implements. Her older brother James (Jim) MacDonald of Bayview is her only surviving sibling. While a sophomore at Bonners Ferry High School Peggy met her future husband Lee Mahler. Peggy’s parents purchased Hudson Bay Resort in 1951, still to this day in the MacDonald family, and moved to Bayview. She attended her senior year and graduated from Spirit Lake High School. Peggy and Lee became engaged after Peggy turned 18 years old, and Lee served our country in the United States Navy. She later became the secretary for the United Methodist Church where she retired after 15 years. Peggy and Lee were married in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, at the First Lutheran Church on September. 20 1953. Peggy and Lee had three children, Dianna, Carol, and Alan. Peggy was very active in the United Methodist Church. She gave much back to her community through her involvement with P.T.A, P.E.O., Eastern Star (Job’s Daughters), Girl Scouts, and other organizations. Her hobbies included sewing, vegetable and flower gardening, and playing cards, cribbage with her family and bridge with her friends. In recent years Peggy was honored by being chosen as a Woman of Wisdom, an award she cherished. Peggy was preceded in death by her husband, Lee; mother and father, Alvin and Nina MacDonald; brother, Robert Dean MacDonald; sister, Nettie (Honey) King; and daughter, Carol Mahler Gutierrez. She is survived by her brother, James MacDonald; daughter, Dianna (Darold) Sauer; son, Alan (Aida) Mahler; and six grandchildren, Nicole Skalak, Ryan Mahler, Cody Andrews, Blake Mahler, Jordan and Jarred Sauer. Five great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins also survive. Peggy was loved by many and will be missed dearly. Donations can be made in Peggy’s honor to PEO, Sandpoint Lions and United Methodist Church. HANNAN Ronald Phillip Hannan, 71, passed away in Elmira on November 14. Family services will be held at a later date. Ronald was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on May 1, 1938. He lived in Council Bluffs, Iowa and Mount Vernon, Wash. He worked in the Seattle area, as a contractor, out of union shops. He worked mainly in the refineries in Anacortes, Wash. He retired in 1993 and moved to Elmira, Idaho in 2004. Ron was a lifetime member of the NRA and loved hunting, fishing, and feeding the wildlife in North Idaho. He is survived by 4 children Tammie Almaraz; Kimberly Hernandez; Lore Estrada; Randy Hannan; 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; his companion Betty Potts; a brother Dan Hannan; 2 sisters Carol Anderson and Sue Hannan; and his 2 dogs Molly and Maggie. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Bill and Ted.

BIANCO John Victor Bianco was born in Monrovia, Calif. on August 11, 1922. He died November 15 in Sandpoint, Idaho at age 87. He was the oldest child of Matilda and Paride Bianco, who immigrated to California from northern Italy aboard ships that landed at Ellis Island. During WWII, he fought honorably for his country in the U.S. Navy. John was proud of his service, despite losing hearing in one ear after being blow overboard into the Pacific Ocean. John married Stella Woody in 1948 and proudly welcomed their first child Robert Woody in 1949. Their much-loved daughter Melinda Lucille followed in 1953. John’s life was colored by striving for excellence and a continual desire to improve. He placed importance on education and was an avid student and teacher. He worked as an aerospace and facilities engineer for Hughes Aircraft. When he retired, he had more time to devote to his many hobbies. His talents stretched from growing lemons and pomegranates to tending a formidable collection of bonsai plants. He also grew fabulous roses especially for Stella. But custom rod building, fly-tying and fly-fishing were truly his passion. He ran John’s Custom Fishing Tackle from his garage for nearly fifty years and was recognized as a Master Fly Caster. John lived life fully— he loved great food, good wine and his many friends. For more than 50 years, John, Stella and Melinda hauled their trailer to June Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, where they fished, rode horses and even had a few bear encounters. John loved the high mountain lakes and of course, the trout. His creations were sought-after by many friends and customers. Many of his flies were very successful, for example, Gladiator. Until recently, he was creating new flies, including the popular Clark Fork. John ran a fly-casting clinic at the Bonner County Fair and taught a bonsai class at the University of Idaho Extension program. He was exceptionally generous with flies, knowledge and everything else. John and Stella were accomplished ballroom dancers, attending dinner dances with friends for many years. As a couple, they were involved in the Shriners organization, in California and Idaho. In 2001, John, Stella and Melinda moved to Sandpoint to be closer to family. John was a loving grandfather whose many kindnesses will not be forgotten. John was preceded in death in September by his beloved wife of 61 years, Stella. He is survived by his siblings; Pierina Pascolati, Enrico Bianco and Yolanda Gilbert. He also leaves behind his son Robert (Robin) Bianco and his daughter Melinda. He will be missed by his granddaughters Meyla Bianco Johnston (Jared) and Brooke (Josh) Stebbins and his two great grandsons, Owen and Lucas Stebbins. GRAVES Patrick Henry Graves, 87, passed away in Sandpoint, Idaho on T November 17. Funeral services weree conducted in Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Pastor Paul Graves officiated with interment in Pinecrest Memorial Park. Patrick was born in Laclede, Idaho on December 20, 1921, the son of Earl and Lenora Graves. He attended school in Laclede and graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1940. He served with the US Army during WW II in Ft Ord, Calif. After the war he continued working for Boeing in Seattle as a machinist. He married Ardyce Brabant in Sandpoint on April 8, 1951. He returned to Laclede in 1952 and operated the family dairy farm. He bartended at the Kings Hotel in Priest River and then worked for Louisiana Pacific in Priest River. He retired from the sawmill, as a chipper operator, in 1983. Pat was a member of Lakeside Lodge # 42 AF and AM and a member of the Shrine. He enjoyed his garden and especially his roses. He is survived by 4 children Julie Grave; Jerry Graves; Rick Graves; and Jeffrey Graves; 7 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Ardyce and his sister Neta Decker. JOERGER Anthony James Joerger, 46, passed away in Sandpoint on Thursday evening. The vigil rosary was conducted at

Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. The mass of Christian Burial was held in St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint. Father Dennis C. Day officiated at the services. Anthony was born in Mitchell, SD on October 12, 1963 the son of Clarence and Norma Joerger. He graduated from high school in Woonsocket, SD in 1982 and attended seminary in Corpus Christi, Tex. for 2 years. He moved to Sandpoint in 1985 and has worked for various restaurants in the Sandpoint area. He was a member of St Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. He was a Past Grand Knight. He enjoyed reading, traveling, and socializing in Sandpoint. Anthony is survived by his father Clarence Joerger; 3 sisters Cecelia Seitz; Roxanne Finney; and Lois Tanner. He was preceded in death by his mother Norma and 2 brothers Carl and George Joerger. NUSH Dixie Lee Nush, 53, passed away in Ponderay on November 21. Memorial services were conducted in Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Dixie was born in Sandpoint, Idaho on April 12, 1956 and attended Bonner County schools. She lived in Everett, Wash. for 20 years, returning to Sandpoint in 2005. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary and enjoyed working with her hands doing craft work. She loved her family, her granddaughter, and liked to collect cookie jars. She is survived by 5 children Jerry Nush; Terry Nush; George Nush; David Nush; and Amy Nush. Also surviving is her grandchild Erin, her mother Georgia Leonard her brother Ernest Bowman, other relatives and many many friends. She was preceded in death by her father William Bowman, her step-father Leonard Leonard, and a sister Connie Bowman. SCHELL Ussona Louise Schell, 85, passed away in Sandpoint on November 25. Funeral services were conducted in Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Pastor Barry Johnson, New Song Bible Church, officiated and interment was in Pinecrest Memorial Park. Ussona was born on March 25, 1924 in Raymond, Wash. the daughter of Oscar and Flora Barnes. She grew up around Jay, Okla. and married JP “Payton” Schell on December 31, 1940 in Noel, Miss. They bought a truck and followed the wheat harvest from South to North. The family moved to Ponderay in 1947, helping with the dismantling of Farragut Naval Base. The Schell family moved to Sagle in 1957 and operated the sand and gravel pit on Bottle Bay Road. They contracted sand and gravel to Bonner County, Sandpoint City, Boundary County, and the State of Idaho. Ussona drove truck hauling sand, gravel, and fill dirt. She operated the equipment and was also the office manager for the family business. She enjoyed gardening, sewing, embroidery work, and reading. Ussona is survived by 5 children John (and Lee) Schell; Deanna (and Harvey) Martin; Catherine (and Andy) Carothers; Darlene (and Hugh) Limbaugh; Radine Burch; 15 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, 7 greatgreat-grandchildren; and 2 sister in laws Vera Taylor and Veda (Heinz) Cordes. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, of 60 years, Payton, in laws, and a grandson. Memorials may be made to a charity of one’s choice. OLIVER Ruth Christine Oliver, 94, passed away in Kootenai, Idaho on November 28. Memorial services will be announced this summer. Ruth was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on February 6, 1915, the daughter of Edward and Ella Olson. She attended Bonner County schools and married Russell Oliver on April 15, 1933 in Newport, Wash. The family lived on the Oliver Ranch near Colburn. She was active in the family business, being the book keeper for the Russell Oliver Logging and Construction Company. She was a member of First Lutheran Church in Sandpoint. She enjoyed dancing, swimming, doing puzzles, her vegetable and flower gardens. Ruth is survived by her daughter Luella Madsen; her son Glen Oliver; 7 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild; and her brother Ed Olson. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, a grand daughter Dianna, and a great-grand sonTony.

Page 30 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

GROANVELT Sharon Lynne Groanvelt, 60, passed away in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on November 29. Memorial services were conducted in Coffelt’s Funeral Chapel. Pastor Jon Pomeroy, Sandpoint Church of God, officiated. Sharon was born on August 23, 1949 in Gresham, Ore. the daughter of Fred and Sybil Dunn. She graduated from high school in Gresham and married Harry Groanvelt on June 13, 1970 in Gresham. For many years she worked in the Multnomah County Library in Oregon, moving to Sandpoint in 1984. She has worked for the Bonner County Clerk’s Office for many years, her last day of work being December 15, 2008. Sharon was a member of the Sandpoint Church of God and was a Past Worthy Matron of Martha Chapter # 34 O.E.S. She enjoyed auctions, yard sales, Lost in the Fifties, and “Oldies Music” She is survived by her husband Harry Groanvelt; her daughter Kathi Harding; her son Jacob Groanvelt; 4 grandchildren Cory and Debbie Harding, Trinity and Aaliyah Groanvelt, and a brother Ron Dunn. She was preceded in death by her parents. The family very much appreciates the love and concern shown Sharon by the Community Cancer Services of Sandpoint. Memorials may be made to the Community Cancer Service Center, 1215 Michigan, Sandpoint, ID 83864, in memory of Sharon.

Lakeview Funeral Home, Sandpoint, Idaho. Get complete obituaries online at KURLUND Ethel Kurland, 94, passed away on November 1 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Private services will be held at a later date. Ethel was born November 14, 1914 in New York City to Harry and Anna (Sohon) Kurland. She always expressed gratitude towards her parents for giving her freedom and trust as a young girl to explore what the world had to offer. At age 17 she lived in Greenwich Village, NY with a group of friends where she created a job for herself. She would photograph passengers on ocean liners traveling to Europe and elsewhere around the world. Her clients included famous celebrities like J.F. Kennedy, Charles Lindberg, and Gloria Vanderbilt. Ethel moved to California in the 1950s. She first worked in Hollywood for Fidelity Pictures as a script editor, then moving to Carmel, she was friends with famous photographers Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and writer Henry Miller. She later opened an art gallery in Pebble Beach, which she used to create a spay and neuter clinic for cats called Cat’s Whiskers. She also worked for Harcourt Brace Publishing in San Francisco, before moving to Sandpoint in 1984. Ethel has always been an advocate for animals, particularly cats. She spearheaded the Panhandle Animal Shelter project in Sandpoint. Ethel has always inspired others in the various communities in which she has lived to organize spay and neuter clinics and animal shelters. In addition to her love of animals, she enjoyed traveling the world especially in Spain, photography, theatre arts, reading and was known as a good conversationalist who appreciated the value of a good argument. She published an autobiography in 2007 titled, “The Courage of Ignorance.” In an interview recently Ethel was quoted, “It was a wonderful, charmed life, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” She is survived by many friends, 2 nephews Ethan Benjamini and David Kurland and grand niece Lori Chavez. She was preceded in death by her parents and her Sister Sylvia. Memorial donations may be made to the Panhandle

Animal Shelter, 870 Kootenai Cutoff Road, Ponderay, ID 83852. SMITH Margaret Ruth “Marna” Smith, 63, passed away on November 5 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Memorial services will be held at 3 pm on Tuesday, November 10, at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint with Pastor Jess Whetsel officiating. Marna was born on December 27, 1945 in Baltimore, Maryland to John and Norma Zech. She grew up and attended schools in Baltimore and on September 5, 1964 she married Alexander C. Smith. The couple made their home in San Gabriel, Calif. and later in Anaheim Hills. Marna was a great mother to her children, faithfully participating in their soccer and baseball programs, even as team manager. In May 2002 Marna and Al retired to Sandpoint. She enjoyed raising her children and grandchildren, reading, bowling, playing slot machines, crossword puzzles, and needlepoint work. She is survived by her husband Al; two sons Ray (Cindy) Smith and Craig (Julie) SmithL; one daughter Jenny (Bob) Vargas; 5 grandchildren Jenna, Josh, Lane, Ashlyn, and Alex; and one brother John “Uncle Skip” Zech. Memorial donations may be made to the Kootenai Community Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 593, Kootenai, ID 83840. JOHNS Michael Lee Johns, 43, passed away November 9 near Careywood, Idaho due to injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. Memorial services and potluck will be held at 1 pm on, November 14 at the Bayview Community Center with Pastor Richard Vaughn officiating. Viewing will be held from 9-5, November 13, at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint, Idaho. Mike was born on May 5, 1966 in Spokane, Wash. to Donnie and Mary Johns. He grew up and attended school in Athol and Rathdrum, Idaho. Mike spent years helping his dad as a mechanic on race cars, both stock and modified. He also worked for Schuan metal fabricators in Coeur d’Alene. In his youth, Mike was active in 4-H, scouts, track and basketball. He enjoyed car racing, riding dirt bikes, boxing, rodeo, horses, hunting, fishing, and he was an animal lover. Mike is survived by his wife, Carolyn Johns; mother, Mary Brooks; father, Donnie (Louise) Johns; brother, Bill (Shelly) Johns; sister, Carol (Michael) Miner; stepdaughter, Caroline Freeman; two stepsons, Riley Heninger and Bill Heninger; grandchildren Patricia Freeman, Bailey Heninger and Stephen Gutterud; numerous aunts, uncle, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Michael. UTT Kenneth Lane Utt, 60, passed away on November 15 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Memorial services were held at the Lakeview Funeral Home Chapel. Ken was born on February 19, 1949 in Magnolia, Mississippi to Kermit and Ira Utt. He grew up and attended schools in California and Oregon. Ken joined the Marine Corp when he turned 18 and served during the Vietnam War. He married LaVelle Hoyt, September 1973 in Portland, Ore. Ken did mill work in Springfield, Ore., and worked for Waste Management in Portland. In 1994 he retired and moved to Sandpoint. Ken had amazing knowledge of history and trivia. He was a supporter of all veteran’s organizations. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, photography, riding 4-wheelers, and watching baseball on the television. He is survived by two daughters Sadie Utt and Nicole Utt; three sons Nick and Dylan Utt and Nathan Utt; and four grandchildren Shay, Kelcey, Christian, and Alexander. TIFFT Linda Norma Tifft, 66, passed away peacefully at home in Priest River, Idaho, surrounded by family, on November 16 after an 18-month battle with cancer. An informal memorial gathering was at the Frank Chapin Senior Citizen Center. Linda was born on November 20, 1942 in Brigham City, Utah to Clarence and Norma Bullock. At age 13 she moved to Priest River, where she graduated high school in 1960. She married Lewis “Randy” Tifft on February 8, 1961 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They started a family and lived on several Air Force bases, including in the Azores off the coast of Portugal, while Randy served his country.

The family lived in Sandpoint for 18 years, and Linda worked as the night manager for George’s Thrift Store. In 1990, they moved to Priest River, and Linda worked for A.J.’s Café. She retired in 1999. Linda is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She enjoyed crocheting, oil painting, singing, listening to country western music, going to coffee with her friends, spending time with family, watching the kids sporting events, and camping. She is survived by her husband of 48 years Randy Tifft; two daughters Kathee Tifft and Janet (Jeff) Beyer; two sons Ken (Micha) Tifft and John Tifft; 9 grandchildren Brittany, Katie, Karl, Thomas, Johnny, Michael, Rebecca, Carrie Ann, and Russell; one sister RaNae Higgins and one brother Ron (Mary) Bullock. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Leonard Bullock, and daughter Betty Gay Tifft. MALONE Patricia Ann Malone, 55, passed away on November 21 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Memorial services were held at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint. Patricia was born on September 23, 1954 in Vallejo, Calif. to Donald and Trixine Malone. She grew up and attended schools in St. Helena, Calif. and Guam while her parents worked in the Civil Service. In 1982 Patricia moved to Priest River, and later settled in Sandpoint. She enjoyed cooking, reading, hiking in the mountains, and taking Sunday drives. She is survived by her daughter Kathy (Eric) Weisz; mother Trixine Malone; two brothers James (Jaz) Malone and Dennis (Barbara) Malone; and two grandsons Zachary and Tyler Weisz. She was preceded in death by her father Donald Malone, and one infant son David Flaherty. GREGORY Beverley Ruelene Gregory, 75, passed away on November 24 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Memorial services were held 9 at the Lakeview Funeral Home in Sandpoint with Pastor Brian Noble of the Assembly of God Church officiating. Graveside services and inurnment will take place at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario, Ore. in the spring. Beverley was born on November 3, 1934 in Delta, Utah to Hans and Martha Marshall. Her first job was working as a telephone operator in Weiser, Idaho, where she lived with her grandparents. Living in Weiser, Beverley met DeVeryl Gregory, and they were married on November 13, 1953 in Golconda, Nev. The couple made their home in Juntura, Ore., raising their family, and running the cattle ranch. DeVeryl passed away in 1986, and Beverley later moved to Sandpoint to be closer to family. In Sandpoint she worked for Bonner General Hospital in Housekeeping. Beverley is well known for her birthday and wedding cakes she would bake for friends and family. She had an amazing work ethic, and was a wonderful mother and grandmother. She enjoyed gardening, crocheting, leather work, sewing, spending time with her family, and spoiling her grandchildren. She is survived by her son Paul (Ferriell) Gregory; daughter Debie Coop; 5 grandchildren Jeremy (Heather) Coop, Jennifer (Patrick) Broyles, Justina (Derek) Mercer, Vinton Gregory, and Justin Gregory; and 5 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband DeVeryl Gregory, sister Phyllis, and son-in-law Joe Coop.

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 31

STACCATO NOTES What’s up in December? We can only hope that January offers us a little time to recover from all the holiday parties and events! If you haven’t yet strapped on the downhill skis, consider doing so for A Day for Heather, a celebration of life to benefit Community Cancer Services at Schweitzer Mountain on December 11. $10 lift tickets. Call 208-263-9555 Looking for the perfect gift? Try looking here: Beginning on Friday, December 11 and running through December 13 over 30 vendors take part in the Bonner Mall’s 23rd annual Arts & Crafts Show. Don’t forget to visit Santa and have your picture taken! On December 11 & 12 it’s the Festival of Fair Trade from 9 am to 3 pm at Sandpoint’s Panida’s Little Theater (208255-4410) and the Holiday Art Soiree at Sandpoint Center for the Arts, 518 Oak, from 5 to 8 Friday, 10 to 4 on Saturday (208-265-ARTS). And finally, the Farmer’s

Market is back for the winter on the Cedar Street Bridge! Every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm peruse the offerings from over 30 vendors. 208-265-6377 Take in something a little out of the ordinary with the Alpaca Ranch Holiday Open House on December 12 from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Enjoy hot cocoa while you watch spinning and weaving demonstrations, and visit with the alpacas. 208-265-2788 If you’re looking for movement to kick off the holiday spirit, you won’t want to miss the The Jazzy Nutcracker, presented by Studio One Dance Academy, at 6 pm at the Panida Theater on December 13. 208-263-9191. Follow that up with the Danceworks Christmas Show, also at the Panida, 7 pm on December 17. 208-2639191. For New Year’s Eve, you can head up to Schweitzer Mountain for parties at TAPS and other locations (208-263-9555) or why

not catch the Angel’s Over Sandpoint’s Semi-Normal, Semi-Formal New Year’s Eve Bash at the Sandpoint Events Center. $25 gets you music by Carl Rey and the Blues Gators, free hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight. Don’t miss the fun, funky and fabulous silent auction. 208-266-0503. Take a little time to rest, then get ready for the Sandpoint Winter Carnival on January 14 through January 17. It all kicks off with the Taste of Sandpoint, and traditional events include the Dover Bay Mid-Winter ArtFest, the winter ArtTrek, a downtown bonfire and Rail Jam, the Eichardt’s K-9 Keg Pull and the everpopular Adult Spelling Bee. To find out more, visit the activities calendar at Sandpoint Online (www. shtml.) and check it out. There’s something going on for everyone!

Page 32 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

Scott Clawson It was a late summer day, warm and pungent, and I was in the fair hamlet of Sagle, on an old farmstead amid the unique and varied architecture of a budget and demand system. Two partners brought together for eons by frugal farmers everywhere. This place has been there a while and puts out a comfortable feeling like an old pair of gloves. Everything seems at ease with itself and its neighbors; settled in and pleased to be there. It not only has everything one would expect to find on a small farm, but from several generations even! It’s like an open-ended time capsule where things are added in but seldom go away.; They simply find a vantage point from which to watch the action. Tom and Lorraine are old farts like me, wonderin’ what hit ‘em and where the time went. The rest of the cast and crew are all in various stages of growin’ up and still have some energy to throw around in that pursuit. When the tide is in (everyone is home), it’s like being part of a “Walton’s” episode. I’ve had the pleasure to be around this bunch for twenty years as I pop in and out to help with one project or another; pretending to be a carpenter, welder or just a regular nincompoop. I can do all three at once, but it requires that I wear a helmet. Realistically I should probably wear one all the time. I try to keep a clear head whenever I’m over there. To accomplish this, I simply raise the ear flaps on my hat, using the snaps provided for that very reason. Even if I’m just standing by and watching the show, I make sure my laces are tied proper and double knotted as I often get hauled into the plot line ill-prepared, leaving my shoes behind in the gumbo of aw-struck determination, reminding me what sock hops were all about! Okay, maybe not where you grew up. Sometimes I simply get to observe and not get involved, standing a pretty good chance of getting through it without using a first aid kit. Like the day I was inside trimming out a big picture window when a tow-headed dust devil blew past, emitting a frequency my ears no longer make any sense of. A short moment later, a fourwheeler followed down the same path like some new-age farm dog without a tail. In the third place was a muddy butt in one tennis shoe and a backwards hat, sportin’ really large eyeballs. I chose to stay out of

it as the machine seemed outnumbered anyway, but it also reminded me of an earlier example of why sometimes it’s better to just stay home where the coffee pot is. Like I was sayin’ in the first paragraph, it was a warm and pungent day. I was setting up on a little welding project out in front of Tom’s machine shop. Alone on the farm, except for the great-grandmother who was holding on to reality with the help of her daytime TV shows. I wasn’t expecting any shenanigans to pop up until the school bus returned with the hired hands. Not pointing any fingers, mind you, I just know when the action starts around there. Feeling safe and almost secure in this knowledge, I made a little bet with myself that it was gonna be a pretty groovy day. I used my mood as collateral. “I should be finished with the explosive and high voltage stuff before the kids get back,” I said into my welding hood as I inspected for any squatters that may have moved in since I last used it. Someday down the line, I’ll have to tell ya what can happen if you don’t pay attention to that rule. “The Domestics,” a country a’capella group, were goin’ through their repertoire, chorusing from every direction. Typical rural vocalizations from highs to lows with waves of crescendos that had a rhythm echoing off the old walls of the various buildings, punctuated on occasion by a blast from a lonely young bull. One old hen had what I could only make out as a case or two of hiccups. I tried (briefly) to calm ‘er down but only succeeded in workin’ up a sweat and actually made her sound even more hiccupy! Short of inviting it for supper, there’s not much you can do to calm an excited chicken, although removing my welding hood might have helped some I s’pose. I’ll never profess to knowing much about chickens other’n what I suspect. I started cutting, grinding and welding, and just havin’ a great time when I noticed a different sort of smoke; sort of rubbery, diesely and greasy. Kind of a mechanical potpourri—not welding flames, anyhow! I swung my hood back and caught some cow inspecting my work or maybe it was gettin’ off on the light show. “Was that you or am I standing on a gob of hot metal?” It was neither as another whiff came past my nose, indicating a sudden need to turn around. I don’t recall what I was hoping to see after an about-face, but I would’ve preferred the gob of hot metal underfoot

over a tractor fire any time! The very first thing you do in the “size-up” phase of any fire is “WHATTHEPHN@$#@!!T, how’d that get started?” Then you move on to other considerations like type of fire, exposures, wind, potential victims, how the hell yer gonna put it out and what, if anything, you’d like put on yer headstone. I chose, instead, to seek out a fire extinguisher, which proved to be a real pain in the ass. If I could play it back for you somehow, it’d probably surprise even me. The roll-up was just that, up, and the “man door” was likewise open. About four feet away from the far end of the shop was the nose of my tractor fire, which wasn’t quite serious yet but I knew it was thinkin’ about it. In retrospect, I should have peeled off a boot and flogged the fire with a sweaty sock! I tried to start out on a calm note. “So, where’s that groovy little dry chemical extinguisher Tom’s got hangin’ around here somewheres? It most certainly be a hangin’ here someplace! Where, where oh where, would that extinguisher be?” My voice was starting to put out a sing-song cadence. This is usually a signal my mood’s about to change. I did three complete sweeps of walls, shelves, nooks and crannies, and with each pass my questions got shorter and more to the point until I decided maybe a dry chemical wasn’t going to be the solution here. I considered water. This was a natural in as much as there happened to be a frost-free hydrant right between the tractor and the shop. I allowed myself a small cheer which promptly trailed off into disappointment when I noticed a front wheel was parked on the hose nozzle. Surprisingly, one more detailed pass for that elusive extinguisher did no more good than the first three did. Back to the water method! “Maybe there’s... hey, another hose!!!” Fifty feet away was a coil of hose hooked up to yet another hydrant. “Farfignugies!” I offered to the God of Fire and Other Situations as well as a few silly chickens that were startin’ to worry about my game plan. I opened that hydrant handle, grabbed the hose, and proceeded the fifty feet or so to cool that damn tractor down. The flames were still there on the fire-wall (where else?) under one edge of the fuel tank but strangely not growing. I took a quick time out to thank my lucky stars. That’s when the tractor fired up. Continued on next page

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 33

Tractor- Cont’d from page 33 Well, actually, started up... on its own! For some damn reason, I know less about tractors than I do chickens. I was starting to smell a conspiracy; not quite the same as a burning tractor, but similar. Maybe the bus came back early. This would explain a lot of the past three minutes. Not havin’ a whole lot on my mind, a weird thought occurred to me: what if it decides to go for a drive somewheres? I had twenty feet to go but only five or hose and I don’t care how creative you get with yer thumb, the pattern one puts out will be insufficient to extinguish a determined fire. Then it started movin’ backwards. I immediately pictured a bouncy poltergeist singin’ the theme from “Green Acres” with flames coming off the firewall! At least I hadn’t lost my sense of humor. Not feelin’ like hopping on a flaming tractor, I dropped the hose and made a dash for a tire chock. I slammed a big chunk of beam behind one rear tire but it just skittered along until I decided to play my smart card and put a foot on it. As I did so, I saw the headlines in my mind. “Man dies by Sagle tractor. Last words heard clear to Westmond, Talache and Garfield Bay.” “I just wanted a damn extinguisher!” The chock stuck and for a bit the engine slowed and almost stalled out. Almost. In fact, my heart was firing a hell of a lot faster than that tractor, almost as if there were some unseen forces behind this machine’s behavior. I was just about to take advantage of the fact that the other hose was now free and presumably available, when I was forced to watch that rear tire crawl, put by put, over the chock, turning about ten degrees to port as it crawled on over. This established a new set of rules and the first one to make ‘em up, wins! “Fire Department’s on the way.” This good news came out of the greatgrandmother, who’d abandoned her soaps in favor of a more natural opera. “Oughta be here within the hour, I’m sure. That’s their average but they may take longer as I told ‘em you had things under control,” she offered. “Thanks!” I said as I reset the chock; studying its effect and plotting a course, all the while keeping an eye out for “Candid Camera” hiding in the bushes. I did notice a lack of exuberance in her demeanor, pointing out that either this was no big deal or she was saving her enthusiasm for “The Price is Right.” I needed to put this thing out of my misery and decided on what to run it into, causing the least amount of damage. A cherry tree came in handy so

I worked that agricultural freak show, chock by chock, on a steady, dead-end path. Then it just gave up! One last chugg-pffff and it was over. Apparently it heard the faint evidence of a siren en route and surrendered before getting humiliated. In reality, the battery that had been powering this electrical short circuit through the ignition, starter, flywheel, drive-train and rear wheels chain of events had simply run out of juice. The thick plastic jacket of the feed line was no longer hot enough to burn. Lorrain told me later that the tractor had pulled this stunt before and not to

think it was my cutting, grinding or welding that caused the fire—just a coincidence. Actually, I believe the tractor was running away from home. “So, where the heck is the fire extinguisher anyway?” I asked. “Isn’t it behind the door of the machine shop?” she asked back. It was as good as an answer. I walked over to the shop, closed the man-door and stood there for probably quite a while, just lookin’ at that ten pounder hangin’ on the wall in the corner. Out of sight and definitely out of my mind. And so it goes.

THE GIVING TREE The Selkirk Association of Realtors, in association with Head Start, Transitions in Progress, PSNI, Gospel Mission, West Bonner County School Lunch Program and a number of generous local businesses, to provide a special holiday season for children and families in our community who are struggling. Gift tags with specific gift requests can be picked up at any GIVING TREE location listed. and gifts should be returned by Dec. 15. Thank you for helping to make this a special holiday season!

SANDPOINT: Larson’s • Bonner Mall • Sears • Blimpie’s at Wal Mart •Bonner General Hospital • Merwin’s • Sandpoint Safeway • SWAC • Sandpoint Super Drug • Payless Shoes • Precision Tires • Pend d’Oreille Winery • Gardenia Center • 41 South • Trinity at City Beach •Ivano’s • Zanny Zebra • Belezza • Bonner Daily Bee BONNERS FERRY: Larson’s and Bonners Ferry Safeway LACLEDE: The Klondyke PRIEST RIVER: Cheri’s Home Furnishings • Executive Lending • US Bank • Stimpson Mill • AJ’s café • Noni’s Wine Bar • Edward Jones • Priest River Hardware • Safeway in Newport •Sandpoint Title Priest River givingtree.html

Page 34 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

The Storytelling Company at DiLuna’s in downtown Sandpoint Sunday, December 13 at 5 pm Call 208-263-0846 for reservations

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December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 35

From the Mouth of the River

This is a story of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a redneck child and his explanation, thereof, to a little friend. On a cold December evening a long, long time ago I sat at my grandmother’s knee next to an old heating stove and listened intently as she told me the story of Christmas. The yellow glow from a coal oil lamp gave light to her old Bible as she read excerpts from it to help with her explanation. I often wondered how long it would take someone to read the Bible as Granny would read it every day and never seemed to finish it while Dad would go through two or more of those wild west books he read every month. With her long gray hair done up in a bun and her small round glasses way down on her nose she looked every bit like a Norman Rockwell painting. “Grandma, why do you have fruit jar rubbers on your leg?” I asked. “To hold my socks up you little twerp,” she replied. “Now pay attention. I’m trying to explain something to you that a boy your age needs to know.” Now, first of all, as the reader, you need to understand that we lived on a sand hill farm in southern Oklahoma where we grew cockle burrs, sand burrs, bull nettles and an occasional ear of corn. My grandma had a sharecropper who lived about a mile east of us who produced the same kind of crops we did. He also had a boy about a year younger than me whom I felt the need to explain Christmas to as soon as I found out about it. It would be the first Christmas that involved gifts for both of us and we could look forward to getting them together. “Listen to this, Bub.” Bub was short for Bubba. His full name was Bubba

Washington. “Wait ‘til you hear what’s about to happen to us,” I said excitedly. “Christmas is coming!” Bub looked down the road, “I don’t see nobody comin’. When is it gonna get here?” “Soon,” I said, “Grandma said soon. Do you know about God?” I asked him. “Yeah,” he answered, “I heard my Dad mention him and them damn mules.” “Well, Grandma said He created the Heavens and the Earth and everything on it.” “If he created hosses why did he go ahead and create them mules, too?” “I don’t know, you gotta ask my Grandma, she knows everything ‘bout God. Anyway, after God created Heaven and Earth he created a man and a woman. They got caught stealing apples from the Garden of Needin’ by a snake who crawled up the woman’s leg and scared the pee out her, then all hell broke loose. That’s when all the begotten took place in the Bible. Adam and Eve had a bunch a kids and they all slept in a pile like a litter of pups and soon John begot Lazarus and Abraham and Jacob and David and Delilah and they begot a bunch more and soon the world was full of people and God said this has got to stop. So he sent down a bunch of rules for them to live by and no one paid any attention to ‘em so God said he was gonna send down his only begotten son, Jesus, to straighten everything out and he would arrive on Christmas Day. And three wise men smoking Camels brought presents for Jesus’s birthday and that’s how come we get gifts on Christmas Day, to remind us of Jesus’s birthday.” “Wow,” Bubba said, “that’s a lot of begotten.” “Oh listen, when Jesus got here he started straightening out peoples legs and made the blind walk and when they had a big party he cleaned a lot of fish and made bread and told everyone to straighten up or they was going to burn in hell for ever and ever and they did.” “Golly, that Jesus is something else!” Bubba exclaimed. “Yeah”, I said, “he can even walk on water. But, that’s nothing. Wait until you hear what Santa Claus can do.” “Who’s Santa Claus?” Bubba asked. “He’s the guy that’s going to bring us our gifts on Christmas Day. Listen to this. He’s a big fat man in red overalls and he has a long white beard and drives a team of eight tiny reindeer hitched to a sled and comes all the way down from the North Pole through the air. Never even

Boots Reynolds

touches the ground! He just lands on top of your house and he stops at every house where there’s a good little boy and maybe even where a girl lives. Now, you gotta get out one of your socks that don’t have the toe out and hang it on a nail by your heatin’ stove, ‘cause that’s where Santa puts your gifts, in your sock.” “Well, if he lands on our house, Dad’s bulldogs will eat him alive when he tries to get in the house.” “Oh, that’s the best part. He don’t come through the door. He just puts his finger to his nose and blows snot everywhere and zoom down the stove pipe he goes and into your house, stuffs your sock full of goodies and back up the chimney to his reindeer and on to the next house. Don’t even get burnt.” “Wow, I want to stay up and see them reindeer land on our house and see that fat man come down our stove pipe!” Bubba said with excitement. “Me too,” I exclaimed. I, like every other kid who had heard about Santa Claus for the first time, was very excited on Christmas Eve. I asked my dad and grandma if I could stay up and see Santa come down our stove pipe. Dad said I could as long as I didn’t go to sleep. He helped me nail up my best stocking right behind the heating stove and right after a supper of fried chicken, hot biscuits and honey, mashed potatoes and cream gravy, I crawled up in Grandma’s lap by the heating stove and immediately passed out. The next thing I know I was being awakened in my own bed well after sun up. “It’s Christmas,” Dad said, “aren’t you going to get up and see what Santa brought you?” I jumped out of bed onto the cold hardwood floor and with the flap of my long johns flapping in the wind I raced into the living room and there it was! My stocking stuffed to the brim with all kinds of gifts and goodies. There was a pair of hand knitted mittens, orange and blue with a pair of knitted socks to match. Then came the good stuff. Two oranges, two tangerines, an apple and a whole pile of mixed nuts in their shells. Down at the foot the sock was filled with hard candy. Bright colored ribbon candy and big chunks of hard peppermint all the way down to the toe. With one sock on and the other full of goodies I hurried to empty out my gifts ‘cause that old hardwood floor was cold. That’s when I discovered a major faux pas with my Christmas gifts. It seems my Christmas stocking had been hung by the chimney with care, but too close to the stove. All of my peppermint candy had melted into the toe of my sock! A few days later I walked over to Bubba’s wearing my new socks and my mittens to see what Santa had left for him. “Nothing,” he said. “Dad told me there was no such thing as a black Santa Claus and your white Santa Claus didn’t stop here. Why do you have that sock stuck in your mouth?” he asked. “It’s full of peppermint Christmas candy,” I said. “Wanna suck on it some?”

Page 36 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No. 11| December 2009

Dec. 11 - Men’s Night Shopping 5 to 8 pm • Dec. 12 - Family Day Free all day parking in the city parking lot through Dec. 31 Visit Santa Claus at the North Pole (Cedar St. Bridge) every Sat. 11 to 3 through Dec. 19 FREE horse-drawn trolley rides on Saturday, Dec. 12 & Dec. 19 or call 208-255-1876

You Can Get It All In Downtown Sandpoint

December 2009| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | | Vol. 18 No.12| Page 37

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The River Journal Dec 2009  
The River Journal Dec 2009  

December 2009 issue of the River Journal, a news magazine worth wading through