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Because there’s more to life than bad news

A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading Through

Local News • Environment • Wildlife • Opinion • People • Entertainment • Humor • Politics

June 2014 | FREE | www.RiverJournal.com


All Seasons Garden & Floral

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At your Sandpoint City Rec Department! 1123 Lake St. in Sandpoint • 263-3613 www.CityofSandpoint.com • Scholarships available!


The Travel Connection, Ltd. Land, Sea or Air, We Get You There

New Location across from Farmin Park

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Internet.... Everywhere Need reliable, high-speed Internet service? Call for a free site survey today! Intermax serves many areas of Bonner County from Dover to Hope as well as locations throughout Kootenai County.

208.762.8065 in Coeur d’Alene • 208.265.3533 in Sandpoint

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...providing its communities with affordable and accessible healthcare. KHS - Bonners Ferry Clinic

KHS - Sandpoint Clinic

6615 Comanche Street Bonners Ferry Medical/Behavioral: 208-267-1718 Dental: 208-267-3201

30410 Hwy. 200 Ponderay Medical/Behavioral: 208-263-7101 Dental: 208-255-3459 Veterans Clinic: 208-263-0450

KHS - Priest River Clinic 6509 Hwy. 2 Suite 101 Priest River Medical/Behavioral: 208-448-2321

Sliding fee for non-insured & we take Medicaid, Medicare and all insurances.

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Celebrations in communities throughout northern Idaho and western Montana take place this year ON July 4! Don’t miss these fun community events.

look out! it’s a party!

Celebrating 50 Years of

Cabinet Mountains

Wilderness! FRIENDS OF

SCOTCHMAN PEAKS www.scotchmanpeaks.org

Working for WILDERNESS

July 11, 12 and 13

Bull lake rod and Gun Club Montana Highway 56 at Bull lake

Blackfeet Troubador Jack Gladstone 6SHFLDO*XHVW6SHDNHUV‡(YHQLQJ3URJDUPV )UHHIXQIRUDOODJHV‡)DPLO\$FWLYLWLHV 0XVLF‡+LVWRULF'LVSOD\V‡(QWHUWDLQPHQW Yaak Valley Forest Council

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Wiley & The Wild West! Join NW Montana 50th Celebration on Facebook Watch your local paper for schedule details. XXXTDPUDINBOQFBLTPSHtXXXXJMENPOUBOBPSH .PPTFQIPUPCZ4UFWFO(OBNt(SBOJUF-BLFBOE"1FBLCZ"OESFX,MBVT


ATHE NewsRIVER Magazine Worth JOURNAL Wading Through ~just going with the flow~ P.O. Box 151•Clark Fork, ID 83811 www.RiverJournal. com•208.255.6957

STAFF Calm Center of Tranquility Trish Gannon-trish@riverjournal.com

Ministry of Truth and Propaganda Jody Forest-joe@riverjournal.com

“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 2014. Reproduction of any material, including original artwork and advertising, is prohibited. The River Journal is published the first week of each month and is distributed in over 16 communities in Sanders County, Montana, and Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in Idaho. The River Journal is printed on 40 percent recycled paper with soybased ink. We appreciate your efforts to recycle.

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4. BUSINESSES ARE BLOOMING! From mediation and personal growth to antiques and landscaping, to fresh veggies and flowers, entrepreneurs continue to break ground in Sandpoint.

13. READ YOUR CONSTITUTION Defeated in the primary, George explains why voters should be careful about efforts to “take back” federal lands. A SEAT IN THE HOUSE

6. HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? How some area experts get the most out of their garden.

14. CALENDAR

7. SOME LIKE IT HOT! We don’t have a long summer here, but it’s still possible to grow some warm-weather loving vegetables. GET GROWING 8. THE WHITE CROWNED SPARROW Keep your eyes peeled for this aboveaverage, average bird. A BIRD IN HAND 9. WE WON’T MOVE THE MOOSE Matt explains why moose and other large wildlife are left to wander through town at will. THE GAME TRAIL 10. BIGFOOT REDUX Joe reviews some of the latest books about the hairy man of the woods... with mostly disappointing results. SURREALIST RESEARCH BUREAU 12. SOME PRIMARY CHANGES Results from May’s primary election in Idaho indicate some big changes up ahead in the legislature. VETERANS’ NEWS

15. RELIVING THE PAST Publishing a book brought up a lot of memories, and a surprising amount of resistance. THE HAWK’S NEST. 16. STANDING ON THE SIDELINES Kathy says “the empty nest syndrome is not a syndrome at all when you are standing in the doorway of an empty bedroom.. KATHY’S FAITH WALK 17. WHAT WOULD WILL ROGERS SAY? Looking at the world today through the eyes of one of the 20th century’s premiere commentators. THE SCENIC ROUTE 18. THE DARK SIDE OF OL’ MAN SOL Make hay while the sun shines - or do something to get out in it to counteract seasonal affective disorder. SCOTT CLAWSON 20. MAY IS FOR MAYHEM One more reason to sympathize with Scott’s mother. SCOTT CLAWSON

Cover: Photo by Trish Gannon of sunflowers at the Sandpoint Community Garden

DiLuna’s presents

JOHN CRAIGIE 220 Cedar St. Sandpoint 208.263.0846

Sat. June 28

Doors 5:30/Concert 7:30

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


Businesses are Bl Mediation to Resolve Disputes When Barb Perusse moved to Sandpoint from Kansas City, Missouri back in 1999, she was burnt out from her job as a child abuse investigator for the state, and looking for a change of pace. “I decided to put my house up for sale, and if it sold I was going to move to Idaho,” she said. The house sold in an hour, and Barb was on her way west. She purchased Mountain Communications, a business that offered sales and service for cell phones and two-way radios, and started her new life. But her passion for creating healthy families came right along with her; within a month she had joined with Marsha Ogilvie to work on Kinderhaven, a group foster home and emergency shelter for children in crisis, and eventually also became involved with CASA—Court Appointed Special Advocates—a program that advocates for the needs of children in the justice system. Working with families in crisis in order to provide healthy homes for children was an all-consuming interest, and a couple years ago she sold the cell phone business, undertook training in mediation, and is currently one of Bonner County’s only non-professional licensed mediators. (Attorneys and counselors are among those professionals who can also serve as mediators after undergoing specific mediator training.) With a masters degree in counseling, and an undergrad in business, she’s hung up her shingle on a small office in downtown Sandpoint providing mediation and consulting services to both individuals and businesses. She’s also organized a monthly personal growth group (www.

SandpointSoulsinMotion.com) that offers the opportunity for participants to learn about and develop healthy behaviors while partaking in the physical activities— hiking or kayaking, for example—that we find so enjoyable here. Barb’s consulting services rely on both her training and experience in family dynamics, and in owning and growing a successful business. From issues with personnel to developing a workable business plan, Barb guides business owners, board members, and other interested individuals toward discovering the best practices that will allow their business or group effort to grow and be successful. But the mediation services are equally important to people who live in Bonner County and surrounding areas who are dealing with difficult compromises, particularly when families split due to divorce. Mediation can help families develop parenting plans (required by Idaho courts in divorces involving children) that truly work for an individual family’s situation. “Mediation is all about being heard,” Barb explained. Even the most amicable separation can offer opportunities for conflict over issues ranging from the time children are exchanged to how to handle telephone calls from an absent parent. Regardless of the conflict, mediation gives each person a chance to air their concerns and endeavor to develop a working compromise. A publication from the Idaho State Bar states, “Mediation empowers the parties, giving them the opportunity to have a direct voice in and direct control

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ming over the outcome of their case. It gives the parties an opportunity to focus on the needs of their children and learn to communicate as co-parents regarding decisions that affect the lives of their family. What is important to the law may not be what is important to the family, and vice versa.” While mediation may be ordered by a court, individuals looking for a neutral third party to help them reach an agreement prior to any legal action are free to seek mediation on their own as well. “Divorce can be an expensive process,” Barb commented, “and mediation may offer a way for families to decrease that cost. My hope is that I can provide a service to families to help them develop a plan that actually works for the family as a whole.” Those interested in talking to Barb about mediation services or about business consulting can call her at 208.290.2457 for additional information or to set up an appointment. Those interested in the Sandpoint Souls in Motion support group can visit the website (www.SandpointSoulsinMotion. com) or give Barb a call.

Antiques in the Orchard

Terry and Carole Chowning moved back to Clark Fork in 2006, purchasing the home that Carol spent her teenage years in, right across the highway from a small stretch of property that butts up against a trailing edge of Howe Mountain, an area that was home to the Whitedelph silver mine. An adit of the mine was visible on the face of the mountainside, but the rest of the property was marshy and overgrown, with thick underbrush and those ubiquitous cottonwood trees. Nonetheless, Carole loved the view and the mountain, and eventually Terry bought it for her. That began a process of clearing and planting, and today that stretch of once overgrown land is home to Annie’s Orchard, the couple’s thriving business/retirement plan. “Terry’s had a plan the whole time,” Carole laughed one day as she sat behind the counter of the newest addition to the orchard—the antique store. Focused

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


and driven, Terry started the orchard by offering landscaping material, expanded it with a coffee stand, and then built a gorgeous “trading post” to house studio apartments and office space available for rent, along with the antique store. Why antiques? “We had all this stuff,” Carole said, and added that both she and Terry have a deep appreciation for history and the everyday objects left to us from previous generations. But back up to the landscaping business, which they call Majestic Landscaping, as it’s still growing as well. Today the couple offer dirt (organic garden soil and compost, blended garden soil, and peat moss), several types of sand, decorative bark and more types of rock than you can shake a stick at—plus a boom truck if you need some help placing a gorgeous hunk of some of the local belt rocks. You can also get cedar fencing and garden beds, and even firewood. There’s equipment to rent as well. If the place doesn’t send you running home to work on your yard, grab a cup of coffee and visit the new antique store (they’ll sell on consignment, too, so stop by if you have antique items for sale), or just enjoy the peaceful beauty the pair have created out of a former wasteland. Hundred year old apple trees (supplemented by new trees when old ones die) dot the park-like setting, calling you to sit, put up your feet, and rest a spell before getting back home to carry out all your new landscaping ideas. Annie’s Orchard is located on Hwy. 95 just west of Clark Fork. You can visit them online and learn more at AnniesOrchard.com

Down on the Farm

Originally from Idaho, Merry BrownHayes and her husband Tony followed the path of so many young people here, by leaving the area to “make a living.” They worked in Washington in real estate/ construction (respectively). But also like so many who leave, they returned in order to give their children the experience of small-town living, buying property just west of Sandpoint in 1995. Merry had always dreamed of having a farm, so they built a greenhouse first thing, but then the couple opened a real estate business (Windemere Resort Lifestyles). In 2008 the business merged with Sotheby’s, and while Merry continues to work as a realtor, she also began to focus again on her original

dream of a farm. “Each year the gardens and our gardening interests have grown and matured. Every year since we moved here I have started plants and flowers in the greenhouse, and given many, many away to friends and neighbors,” she said. “The love of gardening and all things related to that effort continues to grow and be a driving force in our future. We decided last fall that we wanted to move in the direction of taking our ‘garden passions’ to the next level” — and thus was born Avalon Farms. “Over the years we have become interested in sustainable gardening with heirloom plants without using any pesticides or non-natural materials on the gardens. We believe in sustainability and in the value of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers ‘the way my grandmother did’. We have never used pesticides on our property and believe that is the best way to ensure what we grow is truly healthy,” Merry explained. Avalon Farms “debuted” this spring at the Sandpoint Farmer’s Market, to the apparent delight of shoppers as Merry has sold out each week she’s been there. “The market is vibrant and a great venue for people in the area to buy local (which is somewhat unique in the Farmer’s Market world .. as some other markets allow larger producers from out of area into the market). That is something we really believe in,” she said. Later in the summer, she added, the farm will be open for regular hours, and the Avalon Farms Facebook page will be supplemented by a website, so those who can’t make it in to town on Market days can still purchase. Merry’s “specialty” is heirloom vegetables, along with a particular love of dahlias. “We will have over 100 dahlia plants in the ground, and look forward to sharing those beautiful flowers later this summer. They are a lot of work and must be ‘dug and stored’ each fall. But we have a ‘system’,” she said, and added that honey from Tony’s work as a bee keeper will also be available later in the year. Merry says, “We love ‘being home’ in Idaho and Sandpoint. We’ve spent most of our lives working with people and providing service, and we want that to continue. As we get older and approach retirement, we want to invest our time in this farming effort that will allow us to do the thing we love and share it with others.” Share the love with Merry and Tony at the Farmer’s Market, and learn more on the Avalon Farms Facebook page.

Clark Fork Baptist Church

Main and Second • Clark Fork

Sunday School............9:45 am Morning Worship............11 am Evening Service...............6 pm Wednesday Service.........7 pm Call 266-0405 for transportation

Bible Preaching and Traditional Music Ray Allen is available for private parties, weddings, restaurants, and all corporate events. Ray Allen plays acoustic guitar and sings jazz standards, pop tunes, country, and originals from the 30s through the 70s. Music for all ages. Includes use of my PA system for announcements. Clean cut and well dressed for your event. PA rentals for events. Call for my low rates and information.

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I Buy Batteries Ron Powell

I buy, sell and repair Auto, Truck, Marine and ATV batteries

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


EVERGREEN REALTY

Curt Hagan

Sales Associate, GRI

321 N. First Ave. - Sandpoint 800.829.6370 208.263.6370 EvergreenRealty.com SchweitzerMountain.com

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

Although I’m not one of them, I know people with wonderful vegetable gardens: Christine at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast, Boots’ wife Becky, Jim & Sandii Mellen, and pretty much everyone who works out at All Seasons Garden Center for starters. But that doesn’t stop me from finding more. Just like ripe tomatoes on a vine, you can never know too many good gardeners, because you can never tell when you’ll come across one with a tip or trick that solves exactly the problem you’ve been having, or with an idea of something to grow you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. I visited two such gardeners right here in Clark Fork: Roland Derr and Jeanne Weatherford. Roland and his wife, Pat, live just down the block from me so I pass his garden every single time I leave my house; often, it leaves me green with envy. What stands out to me particularly is his sweet corn. One day there is no corn in his garden, and seemingly the next day, his corn is ten feet tall. (I’m not exaggerating by much.) Given that I’ve never managed to get sweet corn over four feet (nor with a mature ear), I wanted to know his technique. “Hard work,” he told me. “Gardening is hard work.” Anyone who’s spent a little time digging up dirt knows that’s the truth, and Roland knows it more than most. At 87, and a Clark Fork native, he’s probably dug up enough garden beds over the years to match the size of the town— and maybe more than once. “My mom always had a garden, and she was a hard worker,” he said, so the apple obviously doesn’t fall far from the tree. Roland estimates he’s had a garden of his own since at least his teenage years. It’s not just hard work that grows that corn, however. Roland waits until the ground is warm enough for planting; in fact, as of this writing, he hasn’t even planted his corn yet. “Soak your corn for a day before you plant, and a week later, if the soil’s warm enough, it’ll be coming up,” he told me. He also emphasized the quality of the soil the corn will be growing in, pointing out their need for nitrogen. “Get some 16/16/16, or some good aged manure and really till it in,” he said. “And then just get some corn and plant it.” Jeanne Weatherford, who owns ArrowWorks in Clark Fork with her husband, Pete, bought an old house in Clark Fork 20 years ago and began working on the gardens. Although her vegetable garden is amazing, the entire

property is a joy to walk through, with fruit trees, berries, succulents, grasses, and flowers everywhere you look. Mutual friends look to Jeanne as a tomato goddess, of sorts. “We love salsa,” she said, so tomatoes and onions are big crops for her. Jeanne’s big tomato “secrets” are red plastic mulch, which she says makes the fruit ripen more quickly, and plenty of regular mulch. When planting, she digs a furrow in the mulch, lays the red plastic over it, then creates holes in the plastic for planting the tomatoes. She includes a cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup of epsom salts, and as many egg shells as she can find in the bottom of the hole. She has tips for a lot of edibles—coffee grounds for raspberries, ash for carrots and peas (“It’s lime, and it sweetens the soil.”), pine needles for blueberries, tinfoil for eggplants and peppers, plus cayenne pepper, tea bags and more egg shells to keep slugs away from the food. Her biggest garden “trick,” however, is to work less. “You can get consumed, growing things,” she explained, so she’s made an effort to keep down the work as much as possible. She relies heavily on mulch, not just on the plants but on her paths as well—all of her grass clippings go onto her pathways. Mulch not only reduces the need for water, but does the yeoman’s work of keeping down weeds. When weeds do begin to appear, she just takes a stirrup hoe, runs it over the ground, and throws down more grass clippings. “Don’t try to dig up the root of the weed,” she said. “Just loosen it up and throw the grass clippings down. They’re pure nitrogen.” Grass clippings are a “hot” fertilizer, and will do the job, she says, of killing the weeds. Both Roland and Jeanne have shared their gardens through the years with area wildlife; Roland has a very tall fence around his, while Jeanne this year put electric fencing above her existing fence. Interestingly, both Roland and Jeanne grow a lot of food that they don’t just eat themselves. Roland says that he and Pat, as they get older, “tend to eat out a lot,” so a lot of their garden produce is given away. Jeanne says her garden manages to feed five to ten families. While a love of good food might lead one to plant a garden, the enjoyment of doing so is obviously enough to continue doing it throughout the years. Even if it is hard work!

-Trish Gannon

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


Get Growing!

Nancy Hastings

As the June temps rise, it’s time to consider planting your warm weather crops. Two “sweet” veggies that really need warm soils are sweet corn, and sweet potatoes or yams, If you haven’t tried to grow your own “slips” for sweet potatoes yet, you can purchase small baby yam or sweet potato plants this month. Here in our region, with cooler nights, sweet potatoes and yams do best when grown as a container plant, but they are certainly one of the most attractive trailing vine vegetables to grace your porch. All sweet potatoes need a long period of warm weather—choose varieties that only need 90 days to grow and choose a hot sunny spot to position a 5 gallon or larger medium size black bucket with quick draining, sandy loose potting mix. Sweet Potatoes and Yams need a long term soil temperature of 70 to 80 degrees, so mulches of black or red plastic over the top of your plant with a small slit for water to saturate the plant helps to trap the night heat in. One big whiskey barrel size container can host 3-4 slips of sweet potatoes or yams. Periodic deep waterings encourage larger potato growth. Side dress the plants with a slow release of organic fertilizer that’s not high nitrogen or the tubers will not develop. Potassium and boron are important for the tubers’ development. During their growth, the sweet potato vine cannot take even the slightest of frost. Pull the containers in for the night if you have to in late August and you will be rewarded with some treasures in September. Your signal for harvest is a slight yellowing of the foliage. After eight to ten weeks you can reap a harvest of small potatoes. Sweet corn is another crop that likes warm weather—the hotter, the better!— and now is about the time to plant that corn in the ground. Soak your kernels for a day beforehand, and then plant in rows or hills—or try a traditional, three-sisters planting. Three sisters, said to be the way Native Americans planted corn, involves creating a hill of dirt, with corn planted in the middle. Climbing varieties of beans are planted around the corn, and squash or other melons around the beans. The beans will vine along the corn stalks as they grow, while the squash will shade the roots. You can google “three sisters garden” for detailed instructions.

Some Like it Hot! In order to properly pollinate, it’s generally recommended to plant a minimum of 5 rows of ten plants. And don’t mix the varieties! Soil temps need to be at least 60 degrees for corn to grow. You can warm your soil by covering with black plastic, then creating holes in which to plant your seed. Sweet corn is what’s called a heavy feeder, which means it needs a lot of nitrogen to grow. Adding in well-aged manure to your dirt before planting will help, or use a commercial nitrogen boost available at your garden supply store. When your corn reaches 12 to 18 inches (hardly ever a foot high by fourth of July here) fertilize again, and make sure you provide adequate water. Too dry and your corn cannot produce silks or ears. Other plants that grow best in the heat include eggplant, peppers, and okra. Just remember that all plants need water. Don’t rely on the occasional rainy day to water your garden. Depending on the temperature, your plants need a deep watering anywhere from once a week (temps in the 70s) to every other day (temps in the 90s). To know for sure, stick your finger into the dirt. If it’s dry down to a half inch, it’s time to water. So when summer days heat up, keep your cool and remember that in your garden, some (plants) like it hot! Nancy Hastings grew up on a 300+-acre

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farm and now is co-owner of All Seasons Garden and Floral in Sandpoint. She and her husband John have been cultivating community gardens and growing for 16 years in North Idaho. You can reach them with garden questions or sign up for classes at allseasonsgardenandfloral (at)gmail.com.

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June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


A Bird in Hand Michael Turnlund

It wasn’t that long ago when the latest trend for summer vacation was the “staycation.” That is, foregoing that third or fourth trip to Disneyland and staying home instead. The original impetus was the economic downturn of 2008 combined with the high price of gasoline. Suddenly it made sense to save a lot of money and time by simply not going anywhere, but hanging around the house for two weeks. Many people became pleasantly surprised at how nicely that worked out—not the kids, perhaps, but then they didn’t have to fork out the money or spend days-onend windshield time making memories for everybody else. They just sat in the backseat, complaining “Are we there yet?” Yes, we are there. For just like with the family vacation, sometimes staying home is the best choice for birding. It is not always necessary to be someplace else in order to add to your life list. You don’t always have to be beating back the mosquitoes, tromping through the muck and mud, or driving endless miles to find that perfect spot, to enjoy birding. Sometimes the birds come to you. And that is true for this month’s bird: the White-crowned Sparrow. Not only is it one of the most common backyard visitors in North America, it is also one of the prettiest—assuming you’re quick with those binoculars. In much of the United States, the White-crowned Sparrow is a winter visitor. In our area, we’re fortunate to have these perky little fellows as summer breeders. And of the two choices, I prefer the latter. Why? ‘Cause it’s summer! By the time these seasonal migrants get to our region, people are done with the cold of winter and the soggy of spring, and thinking warmer thoughts. You can count me among ‘em! At first glance the White-crowned Sparrow might not warrant a second glance. After all, it is just another

White-Crowned Sparrow An Above-Average, Average Bird sparrow—a plain, predominantly gray little bird that might be mistaken for any other plain, predominantly gray little bird. Ah, but it is more. With the aid of a pair of binoculars, one will spot some of the coolest racing stripes in all of bird-dom. At least around here. The head of the White-crowned Sparrow is spectacularly striped in black and white: a

broad bright white stripe down the center of the crown, paralleled on each side with equally bold black stripes. In turn, these two black stripes have below them additional white stripes, and then, finally, another black stripe. All told there are seven white and black stripes crammed onto this little fella’s head. Quite an accomplishment and quite beautiful. And with the center white stripe being both front and center, we have the bird’s name. Otherwise, the birds are rather nondescript, with gray unstreaked bodies, and a patterned brown-and-white on the back and the wings. If you look carefully, you see two wing bars. Males and females look pretty much the same. They are generally monogamous birds, and some pairs may even mate for life.

Why drive to town when there’s better things to do?

To attract the White-crowned Sparrow to your backyard, you might have to keep on hand a pile of discarded tree branches combined with a couple years’ worth of old Christmas trees. The bird prefers brushy habitat, preferable below waist level. Here they will nest. They also do most of their foraging on the ground, eating mainly seeds and plant material and grabbing any insect life when the opportunity presents itself. As I’ve mentioned many times in previous articles and which I will continue to repeat: just because a bird species is common and in abundance does not mean that it is common in every other respect. The White-crowned Sparrow is a case in point. This bird sports some very unusual qualities. For example, the White-crowned Sparrow is capable of staying awake for up to two weeks at a time. It uses this ability during migration. In addition, one Whitecrowned was once documented to have flown 300 miles in a single night. That’s booking it! And Alaskan White-crowned Sparrows migrate 2,600 miles to winter in southern California. This is not atypical for migrating species, but still quite an accomplishment. I tell you what: our backyards can be troves of feathered treasures. You just need to be ready to expect the unexpected. So get ready! I recommend quality binoculars, a “Sibley’s Guide to Birds,” a large glass of lemonade with extra ice, a wide-brimmed hat, a comfortable lawn chair, and hopefully a broad sun shade. Soft jazz in the background and a footstool are optional, though recommended. Then you’re ready for birding from your back deck. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Happy birding! Note: you can find online images of birds that I’ve photographed at birdsidaho.blogspot. com. Photo above by Michael Turnlund.

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Page  | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


The Game Trail

Matt Haag

This spring I received numerous questions as to why it seems there are more deer, elk, and especially moose living in, or within close proximity to, city limits. I thought maybe it was more a perceived situation than a reality but when l think about my own observations and the calls I’ve received, it definitely shows an upward trend in animal numbers visiting us in human occupied areas. Elk running down the streets of Clark Fork and moose sauntering down the sidewalks of Sandpoint were not unusual sights during the year. Nothing in the North Idaho animal world gets people more polarized than moose in town. One caller stated “the moose should be euthanized when they enter city limits” like it’s some kind of wildlife free zone. On the other hand, I had callers who said they wanted to make sure we wouldn’t do anything with the moose because they enjoy having them around. Most people enjoy the moose that come to visit every year and feel that it’s a part of what makes our neck of the woods a special place in which to live. The enjoyment of living with wildlife, especially moose, comes with frustration and sacrifice though. Moose typically eat woody material such as your trees and shrubs in the winter and finally transition to spring vegetation like tulips. All your hard work vanished in a few chomps. Why are there moose in town? Well moose don’t know what town is, nor do they care. Moose migrate to lower elevations in the winter, meaning they come down from the mountains to escape predators and deep snow. Sandpoint is situated in the middle of drainages that contain high quality moose habitat such as Baldy Mountain, Sand Creek, and the Pend Oreille River. However, there is no better food source than ornamental plants, fruit trees, garden plants, and flowers that humans plant around homes. We are inviting moose to dine amongst us in the Panhandle. Removing moose from town seems like a simple solution until the implications

Why We Don’t Move the Moose or any other wildlife in town are fully understood. The risks associated with tranquilizing moose in town are twofold. The narcotics used to knock down a moose are potentially harmful if not fatal to humans. A dart containing the full narcotic dosage for a 700lb moose that misses the moose and gets lost in a snow bank or shrubs poses a serious threat to citizens. If a child were to find the dart and accidentally discharge the dart delivering the narcotic to their skin surface, it would most likely cause death. If the dart is successfully delivered to the moose, the moose now poses a more serious threat to the public than if

in the field doing our jobs to educate and enforce Idaho’s wildlife laws rather than holding a moose rodeo in town. Intentional feeding of wildlife, especially moose, has been a growing problem within the Sandpoint city limits, and in other small towns across the Panhandle. IDFG and the Sandpoint Police Department have received reports and observed an alarming number of residents feeding the moose bread, apples, carrots, and similar human foods. Residents who feed moose are habituating them to living in town and they are potentially killing the moose. In the winter and early spring,

it was left alone. The drugs take five to 15 minutes, depending on the physical and mental condition of the moose, to fully knock it down. In that time, serious property or human life is at stake as the moose runs through town under the influence of narcotics. The personnel associated with the logistics of finding, delivering drugs to, and loading the moose, monitoring vitals, and subsequently relocating the animals is a huge toll on Idaho Fish & Game. We have five Conservation Officers that work north of Coeur d’Alene to the Canadian border and it would take all five of those officers plus some more to complete the task. Additionally, IDFG does not receive general tax funds from the state of Idaho; the department is completely funded by hunting and fishing license dollars. We answer to our customers, the sportsmen, and a majority of them would like us to be

moose are adapted to, and require, woody browse material as a diet. Eating rich foods during this season can upset their digestive system and cause death. The moose—and the rest of the wildlife—are here to stay, so give them some space, and enjoy the wildlife that we are privileged to have living with us. Leave no Child Inside Photos: Top - Matt won’t move wildlife unless it happens to be a really cute little brown bear cub. Middle - The elk come through my yard daily when the light is too poor for good picture-taking, and so far I haven’t had any moose bedding down in the back yard, as they are prone to do. But this young buck has been coming through every afternoon if anyone’s hungry. JUST KIDDING, MATT! My almost-two-yearold granddaughter, who lives in town in Sandpoint, is so habituated to moose now that she insists this deer is an “oose.” TG

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 


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FROM THE FILES OF THE RIVER JOURNAL’S

Surrealist Research Bureau

Bigfoot Redux

“The Good, the Bad & the Ugly” Regular, or more likely, occasional readers of this column are no doubt aware that every few months I’ll devote a few paragraphs to local northwest mysteries like Ogopogo, Caddy, or more commonly, the latest Sasquatch news and sightings. In preparation I’ll generally catch up on a number of websites like bigfootevidence. com or cryptomundo.com, which is where I came across a notice of an upcoming study on Bigfoot, “Praise For The Hairy Man” (by Andrew Colvin and Jeff Pritchett, Medusa Books, 2013) which turned out to be one of the most God-Awful books I’ve read in years. I was literally stunned by its sheer, awesome ineptitude. The authors seem to have a penchant for asking asinine, unanswerable questions about Bigfoot’s “interdimensionality” and getting just as “out there” replies like “Sasquatch comes from a dying world from the asteroid belt beyond Mars, they change their frequency to 20 hertz,” and from another interview, “The Sasquatch were brought here genetically modified by the Star People,” or “It’s all about Bigfoot Angels shagging chicks and making Nephilim mutant babies.” Even serious, otherwise rational researchers like Jeff Meldrum, Stan Gordon, or Lyle Blackburn get ambushed by questions about paranormal UFO/Bigfoot connections. I think it was in a book review by the infamous Dorothy Parker that she said, “My main criticism of this book is that its covers are too far apart!” My sentiments exactly. But the worst was yet to come. I ordered yet another Bigfoot book, this one by a woman in backwoods Washington state who claimed to have a whole Sasquatch clan living on her property: “Valley of the Skookum” by Sali Sheppard-Wolford (Pine Winds Press, 2006). Her “sightings” seem to consist mainly of “feelings” of being watched, of dreams, sounds heard in the forest, “feeling” a Sasquatch is nearby, “feeling and sensing” the Sasquatch sending her “feelings of Love.” Excuse me, can she “feel” my bile rising and “sense” I wanna barf when I read her book? I feel a technicolor yawn coming on, a rainbow surprise, a round-trip meal ticket! An old Indian wise woman tells her she can

Jody Forest

“sense” the aura of a Bigfoot surrounding her. Oh dear God, forgive me, I could not finish this book! In the words of Col. Kurtz, when reviewing a war, “The horror, the horror!” Finally then, a ray of light in these mishmashed, horrible, horrible Bigfoot books, Lyle Blackburn’s “The Beast of Boggy Creek” (subtitled “The True Story of The Fouke Monster,” Anomalist Books, 2012) is a refreshingly well-researched and clearly written account of (with the exception of the Patterson-Gimlin film) probably the most famous Sasquatch of them all, The Legend of Boggy Creek, subject of and inspiration for the classic horror film of the same name. Tales of the creature have long existed in scattered pieces across the Internet, among news clippings and police reports, memoirs and random Bigfoot-Hunter-type TV shows, but Mr. Blackburn’s finally assembled the complete history in one place. If you buy only one bigfoot book this year, or ever, this should be the one. You won’t be disappointed! Chock full of photos, inside info on the making of the low budget classic, and interviews with many new witnesses, this one helped restore my faith in a merciful, loving Grid. ‘til next time, keep spreading the word, Soylent Green is People! All Homage to Xena!

More support for the Earl of Oxford as Shakespeare, from a River Journal reader: Jody’s column last month, in which he speculated that Shakespeare was actually a nom de plume for Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, netted an email from RJ reader Alan Turica. Alan also believes de Vere was the genius behind Shakespeare, and he bases this belief on his exhaustive investigation of the sonnets. He says, “... these sonnets are keys to revealing not just a literary mystery but one that plays a unique role at a critical juncture in Western history.” You can check out his detailed reasoning at http://tinyurl.com/a6ce5cx. He encourages your feedback.

Page 10 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


Carol Curtis, Asso. Broker, GRI, Realtor 208-290-5947

Sue Fritz,

Realtor 208-610-9304

Great investment opportunity in Priest River. Cute cafe & market is turn key. Paved parking, completely renovated and reliable seasoned employees. No competition for 13 miles in any direction! $285,000 MLS20140291

Country home on very private cul de sac in Sagle. 2 BR/2 BA plus den, granite counters in open kitchen, separate dining room, pond, large shop, mature trees on 5± acres. $265,000 MLS20140309

Close to town yet out-of-town privacy. This Sandpoint home has 3BR/2BA, large backyard, single level, cathedral ceilings. Nat’l Forest close by. End of road cul de sac, close to Schweitzer & Ponderay. $259,000 MLS20140483

Updated 3 BR/2BA in Priest River with poss. 2 additional bedrooms or bonus rooms. Loft overlooks living room, wood details, 2-car and single car detached garages, shop & dog kennel. 3.15± parked out acres. $247,900 MLS20131643

Large home with awesome shop close to town. 3 BR/2 BA w/bonus room upstairs on fenced corner lot in Ponderay. Well maintained, oversized covered front porch. Large shop/garage with extra off-street parking. $249,000 MLS20141538

Country home with 3 BR/2.5 BA, large family room and great deck with awesome views on 20± acres in Priest River. Multiple outbuildings, large garden, walking distance to River. $189,000 MLS20133042

Incredible views from this 12.9± acre property. Mainly pasture with conifer saplings under timber management plan. On corner of two maintained county roads. Well built cabin. Gravel driveway, perc tested. $115,000 MLS20140097

Beautiful views, end of road privacy, Class I creek, timbered & wildlife on 20± acres in Laclede. Less than 3 miles from county road. Views of Pend Oreille and multiple building sites. $115,000 MLS20141490

Incredible lake views in multiple directions from this ready-to-build 5+ acre Sagle property. Surveyed, building pad, 1200 gallon water tank, installed septic and well. Views both East & West, mature trees. Motivated seller. $108,000 MLS20140708

Meticulous fully furnished studio unit at Schweitzer w/ newer flooring throughout, quiet backside interior unit, extra insulation, ski locker room w/ski tuning table, laundry & pool room. Sleeps 4 comfortably. $102,000 MLS20133245

Beautiful 13+ acres in Naples. Panoramic mountain views, lots of trees, very private! One water hookup. Potential owner carry. Two Adjacent lots available separately. $88,000 MLS20140413

Manageable wooded 1.8± acres in a long-standing neighborhood where everybody knows your name. County road, electricity close, to be well and septic. Area of clean, well-maintained homes. $19,000 MLS20141399

Impressive 20± acre lot with timber, meadow and views. Adjacent 10 acres available for total privacy. Power is close and in area of good wells. Close to Sandpoint but not too close! $65,000 MLS20132909

Timbered 10± acre parcel with panoramic territorial views all the way to Schweitzer. Trails throughout the property. Adjacent 20 acres also available. Easy access to a good privately maintained road. $55,000 MLS20132925

Beautiful, country home in Sagle, meticulously maintained. 4 BR/3 BA, two master suites. Gourmet kitchen, tons of storage. 1BR/1BA apt. above 3-car garage. Add. shop/garage and covered storage. $545,000 MLS20141682

Large acreage and historic homestead on 320 ± acres in Cocolalla. Grab a piece of history; barn built from Farragut Naval Station timber. Amazing property has incredible mountain views, multiple creeks and easy access off a county maintained road. Need less land? – Available in 20 acre, 40 acre, 92 acre or 160 ac. Surveyed and ready for you to walk. Inquire today. $1,499,000 for the entire homestead.

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 11


Veterans’ News

Gil Beyer

First up this month is the report on the fundraising done for the local DAV on Memorial Day. Eighteen volunteers gave two hour shifts at three of our local food marts. The fine people at Safeway, Super 1 and Yoke’s let us set up at their stores. Over the course of 6 hours $2,229.95 (an increase of approximately $300 over last year) was raised. Every penny raised stays right here within the North Idaho/western Montana/eastern Washington area. Most of that money goes towards keeping the DAV Van on the road, transporting area vets to and from appointments at the VA Hospital in Spokane. I’ll happily give a tip of my cap to all those ‘Can Shakers’ that came forward this year. This year they were George Eskridge, Donna Brundage, Vera Gadman, Ross Jackman, Joe DeForest, Jan Baugh, Bob Wynhausen, Jessica Chilcott, Laura Bry, Will Knipe, Larry Peterson, Maggie Mjelde, Wayne Henderson, Martin Chilcott, J. P. Carver, Andrew Sorg and Rick Lynskey. Without the help of these folks it would be very difficult for our

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Primaries Mark Big Changes for Idaho area veterans to get many of the services they need. The annual Bonner/Boundary County ‘Stand Down’ will be held on Saturday, June 14 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds. If you are a veteran in need—or know of one who might be in need—please contact Michael Harmelin at 263-8724. In last month’s piece I erred and gave Bob Rutherford’s number. Michael should have been listed as the contact person. On Tuesday, May 20, Idaho held its primary election. To say the least, the results were ‘interesting.’ By late evening it became obvious there would be numerous changes in the Idaho legislature come January 2015 regardless of the results of the general election in November. Local longtime incumbent Representative George Eskridge of Dover (Legislative District 1) was defeated by challenger Sage Dixon of Ponderay; Stephan Snedden was defeated by Heather Scott in vying for the seat vacated by Eric Anderson. In Legislative District 7—that highly gerrymandered district that runs from southeastern Bonner County south through the entirety of Idaho County—the ‘Tea Party’ leaning incumbent handily defeated her (perceived) more moderate challenger. It appears that all the winning GOP candidates were supported by the most conservative members of their base, thus shifting the Idaho GOP even further to the right. I feel that this shift is highly detrimental for ALL Idahoans. The percentage of voters turning out was just under 32%. This low turnout supports my long held contention that the outcome of many races are determined more in the primaries rather than at the general election in the fall. If we are to be a participatory democracy all eligible voters must participate. If the voters don’t show up at the polls we end up with candidates that are favored by the most radical and intransigent extremes of the political spectrum. It is also well past time for every voter to vote in their own best interest rather than simply checking the name next to the ‘R’, ‘C’ or ‘D’ candidate. I found this to be especially true amongst our veterans’ community. I have looked at the current GOP candidates from top of the ticket to the bottom and cannot find one that has demonstrated any active commitment to veterans. If the majority of Bonner County veterans had voted in their own best interest they could have

changed the entire political landscape for Idaho and, in many cases, nationally. If the approximately 5,000 veterans in Bonner County and the 1,200 in Boundary had voted in concert with their interests I don’t believe that long-time Representative George Eskridge would have lost his race. His GOP opponent surely hasn’t demonstrated himself to be a supporter of veterans’ concerns and interests. Near the top of Idaho’s ballot are the names of Representative Raul Labrador and Senator James Risch. Neither of these people have ever demonstrated that they hold veterans in high esteem. Both of them have consistently voted against bills that would improve the lot of veterans and their families. Most recently Senator Risch and Senator Crapo were two of the people who helped kill S1982, The Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. The argument used to kill this bill was that it couldn’t be paid for. Representative Labrador has followed a similar track in the House. Most recently he voted against the Defense Reauthorization Act twice on the same day (May 22, 2014). It has always seemed strange to me that the GOP has always been willing to pay for a war but shows great reluctance in paying for the aftermath of those wars. I have always felt that the GOP doesn’t really support the troops or veterans as they claim. I believe that they support the defense contractors. Could it be that the GOP thinks there is little profit involved after the wars end? I’ll close this month with what I believe is the most egregious example of the lack of respect towards veterans I can remember. A veteran’s legally married partner was denied burial in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery last month. The reason that Governor Otter refused that veteran this honor was that both the veteran and her partner were female. Idaho refused to recognize their marriage from another state. I find it reprehensible that political ideology trumps the relationships between committed and loving people who served and sacrificed for this nation. In my view this is disrespectful to the veteran and I say if you disrespect one of us, you disrespect us all. Until next month take care and the next time you see a veteran, thank them for their service.

Page 12 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


A Seat in the House

Rep. George Eskridge

The Idaho primary election was conducted May 20 and as many River Journal readers are aware, I lost my bid for re-election. I was disappointed, of course, but I feel good about what I have helped accomplish for our state and northern Idaho during my tenure and want to thank all those who supported me as Legislative District 1-B Idaho State Representative. “THANK YOU”!! In the last issue of the Journal I indicated that adoption of the Idaho Insurance Exchange was a significant issue for the legislative candidates and presented my position on that issue. Another significant issue was the amount of federal lands located within Idaho boundaries and how to get control or ownership of those lands for the benefit of Idaho and our economy. Some candidates argued that the land originally belonged to Idaho and we should “take back our ownership of those lands!” I disagreed with the premise that Idaho once “owned these lands and we should take them back” and stated that we should work with a consortium of other western states to get responsibility for management of these lands from the federal government for the benefit of the state rather than trying to get ownership through the courts. My reasoning for this is based on three arguments that indicate to me that a legal challenge for ownership would not prevail in court. These are: First, the Idaho State Constitution, under Article Twenty-One, Section 19 disclaims Idaho’s title to the federal lands. Quoted in part, this sections states” “And the people of the state of Idaho do agree and declare that we forever disclaim all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indians or Indian tribes; and until the title thereto shall have been extinguished by the United States…” This language supports the argument that Idaho had never been given title to the federal lands not appropriated to the state at the time Idaho was granted statehood. Secondly, the Idaho Admissions Act, section 7, reinforces Idaho’s disclaimer to the federal lands lying within the state by stating that in the event that any federal

Before trying to “take back” federal lands, read Idaho’s Constitution lands lying within the state are sold by the federal government, five percent of the proceeds after sales expenses shall be paid to the state to be used for support of the public schools. This language would indicate that the federal government is not bound to sell these lands to the state but can, in fact, sell to any willing buyer if the federal government chooses to do so, again reinforcing original government ownership of these lands. The third argument relates to an action of the Idaho Legislature that in its twenty-ninth session passed Senate Joint Memorial No. 6 stating that: “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED By the Senate of the Twenty-Ninth Legislature of the State of Idaho, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that we respectfully urge the President and the Congress of the United States to preserve public lands in Idaho in their present ownership status.” The ownership status was identified as being Federal ownership in the body of the memorial. Although I am supportive of any action that would ultimately provide state ownership of federal lands, given these instances of fact provided by the documents relating to formation of the State of Idaho and the action of the legislature in the twenty-ninth legislative session, it would appear unlikely that we, Idaho, could prevail in any legal action that would be aimed at “taking back” ownership of these federal lands. I would think that before we would expend taxpayer money on pursuing legal action we would want to have a stronger legal basis than what we appear to have now. Given that, I submit that we join together with other states to encourage Congress to turn over management of these federal lands to the states who

have already proved, in many instances, that they can manage public lands more efficiently than the federal government. One example is a proposal presented by Idaho Governor Otter under provisions of Section 8204 of the 2014 Agricultural Act (2014 Farm bill) that outlines the authority of the governor to “request that the United States Secretary of Agriculture designate landscape-scale areas (treatment areas) on national forests that are at a high risk of insect and disease mortality.” Governor Otter’s submission on behalf of Idaho under the Farm bill that designates 50 proposed treatment areas, covering 1,815,864 acres, represents a reasonable initial effort to begin addressing the forest health issues across the national forest system in Idaho. Assuming this proposal is accepted it will provide an excellent opportunity to further demonstrate Idaho’s ability to manage public lands more efficiently than the federal government. Again, I support any action that would result in state ownership or management control of federal lands but we need to proceed in a direction that would provide the most chance of success. I am concerned that legal action aimed at “taking back our lands” would not be successful, but I do believe that there are other alternative actions that could achieve success. Thanks for reading and as always, in the time I have left in my service as State Legislator for Legislative District 1-B, please feel free to contact me with issues of concern to you. My home phone is (209) 265-0123 and my email address is: geskridge@coldreams.com. You can also reach me at my mailing address at P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho 83825. George

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June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 13


SAVE THE DATE!

for info.

Attention all Kayakers - Don’t miss the Sand Creek Paddlers Challenge on June 7! Sponsored by Sandpoint Parks and Rec, this is a 4-mile paddle up and back on Sand Creek. Visit the Parks & Rec website or call 208-263-3613

Also on the 7th, it’s the Arbor Day Celebration and Arboretum Open House at Lakeview Park in Sandpoint. It takes place from 9 am to 1 pm, and features a native plants sale, bake sale, and tours of the Arboretum, along with an Arbor Day presentation. Admission is free. June 14 marks the annual Summer Tailgate Sale at Hope’s Memorial Community Center. It takes place from 8 am to 1 pm. On June 20 the Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, takes place at the Bonner

County Fairgrounds. The same day is the kickoff for the 37th annual ArtWalk, with receptions at around 20 local art galleries. Visit ArtinSandpoint.org for more information. On June 21, bikers hit the road for the CHaFE 150, sponsored by Sandpoint Rotary. If you’re not up for this 150mile ride, consider the 1/2 CHaFE (80 miles), or the new 30-mile fun ride. Learn more at chafe150.org. Are you ready for the Battle of the Bulls? June 21 at the Bonner County Fairgrounds, this annual bull riding and barrel racing contest begins at 7 pm, followed by a dance in Holly’s Barn. 208-263-8414. On June 26, Sandpoint’s Chamber hosts the Summer Sampler beginning at 5:30 in Farmin Park. Chef’s cookoff and outdoor food festival. Samples from $3 to $8. SandpointChamber.org

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June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 14


The Hawk’s Nest Ernie Hawks

Reviewing the Past

“This is more than a collection of adventures. It is a book of spiritual inspiration.” My good friend and mentor Rev. Marilyn Muehlbach said that about the collection of stories I used for my book, “Every Day is a High Holy Day,” which hit the “shelves” at Amazon.com last month. I started writing for The River Journal in 2001. Before that I wrote without any commitment to time. Most of it became exercises and were never finished or published. While in school, writing and deadlines were a way of life and I hated it so didn’t pursue it much for several years after that. Then the opportunity to write for the River Journal was given to me and deadlines were back in my life. There must be a better word than “deadline.” It sounds like a heart monitor when there is nothing to monitor. Is there life after a deadline? The truth is, after the deadline is when life resumes and I can do all the stuff I could not do while trying to meet a deadline. But I digress. For nearly every issue of what was first a newspaper, and what is now a magazine, I wrote a story or a column, ending up with quite a collection. For years I had no intention of doing anything with those columns after they were used by the paper and magazine. I did keep copies of most of them. When Facebook became a part of life I would post a piece now and then. They seemed to be received pretty well. One day someone told me they had saved several for their personal reading. Then someone asked if I was going to collect the columns into a book. I basically rejected the idea. However, over the next few years I received usually subtle pressure, but still pressure, to put together a book. When I started getting serious a few years ago I wondered which ones to use or whether I should write some new stuff. As I reread some of the stories I realized just how bad many of them were. Yet there were some that could possibly be saved if revised. So a few years ago I, half-heartedly, started reading some of the old files that had been saved. It is interesting to read a record of one’s evolution. It appears I had some qualms about sharing my spiritual feelings in print. Yet I had been part of discussions for years and had been quite open with my feelings. I guess when one puts their personal thoughts in print and out for anybody to view, a certain vulnerability is exposed, or at least perceived. As the process developed it became a study of selfevaluation. It was more than paying lip service to selfevaluation, it was having many past feelings and attitudes back in full view. We have all read and heard or may have said, that selfevaluation is an important part of our growth both as a human and as a spirit. But there it was right in front of me in a way that could not be ignored. I did try though; which may be the reason it took so long to get started. Once started there turned out to be a problem: motivation. In other words, I did not have a deadline to keep me focused. Still, I took time now and then to read and study what I had said. For a book I had no constraints regarding length so adding or cutting became part of the project, and part of that selfevaluation.

As usual, life happened and other things became a primary focus. Without a deadline it was easy to let that happen. Sometime the process was completely stopped altogether. I tried not to let go completely of the venture yet there were unintended delays. Getting back to it always meant more of that self-evaluation. Did I still think or feel the same as what the print in front of me said? That question was constantly in front of me; if I did, why? If I didn’t, why? There were times I almost felt embarrassed by something I said. I wondered how I could ever have held on to such ideas. But finally, after much analysis and more of that selfevaluation, I started to understand my evolution. I may have thought differently at the time but I have evolved. It is nothing to be embarrassed about; it is simply where I was mentally, emotionally or spiritually at that time, and now I have moved on. Still, without a dastardly deadline, focus was easily redirected. Then a deadline potentially started to glow on the horizon: my wife’s plans to retire. It meant I needed to get the book done so we could have time to do our life together. I’m not sure what that means yet; maybe we will coauthor a book as we do have a lot of stories. However, I want to be sure other distractions are not in the way of what our new life will bring. Then my friend Marilyn read some of the works and sent me the quote I used to start this piece. With that encouragement the book got done. “Every Day is a High Holy Day: Stories of an Adventuring Spirit” (yes that is a plug) did meet its deadline and is now available on ebooks, from Amazon, and by mid June in your favorite bookstore and on Kindle. Ernie Hawks is the author of “Every Day is a High Holy Day: Stories of an Adventuring Spirit.” He met his deadline for this column, too... barely.

June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 15


Kathy’s Faith Walk Kathy Osborne

Watching From the Sidelines

A few years ago I began the process of letting go of my grown children. They were all leaving home for the first time and they chose to all go the same year. Actually moving away… out of the area… out of ear shot or eye shot. They were gone from the grasp of my hand and the protection of my arms. They were going to be meeting people I did not know and making decisions I didn’t get to approve first. I was being sidelined in the most profound manner. And those kids just waved good bye and made sure I had their cell phone numbers which it turns out by the way, they can choose to answer… or not. I thought that would be the worst of it. I stood stoically in the driveway unwilling to let the tears show, waving goodbye to each one like a patriot in the presence of Old Glory. “I can get through this. I am a grown woman, after all. I am stronger than this. I have a ton of projects to keep myself busy. These kids will be back soon enough.” Wow. How many wrong thoughts can a person have in one year’s time? This week my son is home for the first time in two and a half years. Three years if we don’t count the time we all pitched in to buy him a plane ticket home for Christmas when he really just wasn’t supposed to be here. He came because he was afraid we had already told the dog he was coming. He didn’t want to disappoint the dog. That’s the kind of humor we have in our family. And I bring it up because I had to learn a valuable lesson which stung a little: My kids will come home for a visit when they decide to and not a moment before.

It has now been three years and I have learned quite a lot about letting go. I really just had to get back to the basics of relationship to accomplish a task that for me was all about becoming a new kind of servant. When I was a new mother it was easy to serve my family. The ground rules had been laid by thousands of women before me: When it comes to children just feed them, cuddle with them, read them stories and bind up wounds of both body and heart. Teach them about Jesus and his love for them, and when they grow up just turn them loose like the butterflies that they are… fly, fly away. It’s a nice thought but in practical application it left me a little unprepared. I didn’t know that I was going to look at my grown children and still see toddlers. I didn’t know that they would develop their own relationships with people, some of whom would hurt them and I would need to stay out of it. I didn’t know that I would cry from time to time because the empty nest syndrome is not a syndrome at all when you are standing in the doorway of an empty bedroom. It is an empty place and it does hurt. It has now been three years and at this stage of the game we serve our grown children in a very important but very different manner. They are not so much our children now as they are fellow servants in Christ Jesus. They have gifts and talents we were blessed to foster for years. We benefited from the exposure to those gifts. They were ours to treasure but not to keep. The clock is always ticking with a thing like that. So now these amazing young people come and go in our lives. Our home that seemed so empty the day they left now houses memories and blessings connected to the good reports we hear of how they are making a difference in people’s lives. My daughter can’t make an impact for Christ in the life of an orphan half way around the world if I insist she not wander too far from home. My son cannot become the man of God he needs to be to serve thousands through music, if I demand he remain a little boy, dependent on me and his dad. And my worship leader baby girl will never lovingly woo new believers into the deep places of God if I insist she listen to only my voice. Yes, it is true. In this game as parents we have been sidelined for now. But oh the joy of knowing we do get to watch.

“Ernie Hawks has the gift of sharing his wilderness experience and spiritual insight in a way that nourishes the soul of his readers. This is more than a collection of adventures. It is a book of spiritual inspiration.”

Marilyn Muelbach, former Chair of Unity Worldwide Ministries

Every Day is a High Holy Day available on Amazon.com or ask for it at your local bookstore

Page 16 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


The Scenic Route Sandy Compton

My mom and sis recently presented me with “Will Rogers Says,” containing comments and quotes extracted from columns, books and speeches written between 1922 and his death in August, 1935. Rogers was a country boy from Claremore, Oklahoma, with a swift wit and a knack for telling the truth in a way that made people laugh and squirm a little at the same time. He was an outspoken advocate of airplanes and his faith in flight killed him. He was 56 when he and pilot Wiley Post died in a crash in Alaska. I wonder what he was thinking moments before the crash. Having had a few exciting moments in small planes myself, my guess is that he was somewhat terrified and praying to beat hell. Two of the sayings Rogers is credited with are, “I never met a man I didn’t like,” and “All I know is what I read in the papers.” I don’t yet possess the special humility he had to say the first, and we’ve supplanted newspapers with the internet and network news. I have not much faith in the veracity of either. Put it down on paper, and someone might show up with article in hand and point out its shortcomings — believe me, it’s happened! The internet and television are “here one second, gone the next.” Maybe that’s why folks are so willing to lie these days: they’re sure the next big thing will cover their tracks. “Lie” might be too strong a word. Misinformation may be the result of ignorance. Take for instance, the assertion of Heather Scott that her opponent Steven Snedden’s campaign for legislative seat 1A was endorsed by the Idaho Conservation League. ICL is a 501c3 non-profit, and if you know the law, you

What Would Will Rogers Say? know non-profits can’t engage in political campaigns. Snedden was endorsed by the Idaho League of Conservation Voters. I’m sorry he lost, but he might be better off. At least he gets to stay home. I’m not sure what Rogers might say about the U.S. today; the same country he loved for its strengths and foibles, both, but mightily changed from his time. But he was the guy who said, upon visiting Italy, “I didn’t know before I got there and they told me all this, that Rome had Senators. Now I know why they declined.” So maybe he would be as timely now as he was then. Rogers might note on a local level that Bonner County’s great silent majority stayed silent and stayed home in last week’s primary. And lost some good folks for it. Too busy to go vote? Or too apathetic? Listen up, folks, if the Tea Party is the only one whose voters vote, soon the Tea Party will be running the county, and then the country; and while some may think that’s a good idea, it’s not going to make things better for the majority. Their agenda is based on get, not give. We need to learn again to give if we’re ever going to get better culturally. Rogers was friends with two of the biggest industrialists of his time, Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller, but his take on healthcare was that the rich should pay doctors enough that the doctors could treat the poor for free. The Tea Party would label it blatant socialism, but I would call it social justice. In Sanders County, we go to the polls June 3. Hate mail is piling up — pricey and paid for by Political Action Committees — slickly-designed, glossy mailings attacking certain “liberal” candidates. The other person in the race weighs in heavily on their opponent’s faults,

but says not much about his (or her) qualifications except that he (or she) is a true conservative and endorsed by — or at least a member of — the National Rifle Association. I wonder how a person running for office as a “conservative” can justify spending that kind of money just to say bad things about the opposition. The NRA endorsements bring to mind this Rogers quote: “When judgment day comes, civilization will have an alibi: ‘I never took a human life, I only sold the fella the gun to take it with.’ ” People in California are feeling the bite of that this week. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, “Gun ownership is not a privilege. It’s a right!” Maybe in the U.S. it is, as interpreted by one of the most profitable manufacturing consortiums on earth, but it’s not a fundamental human right. That’s reserved for clean water, air to breathe, a roof, clothing and enough to eat every day, some of which some folks don’t have yet. But the arms industry won’t rest until every planetary citizen owns an assault rifle. And then it will sell them hand grenades. All of which leaves me somewhat terrified and praying to beat hell. P.S. The Koch Brothers, whose money funds lots of Tea Party campaigns and smear tactic mailings under the guise of Political Action Committees, recently hit $100,000,000,000-plus in net worth, combined. That’s 11 — count ‘em — 11 zeroes. Just so you know. Do the math. Check ‘em out. When Sandy Compton is not being curmudgeonly, or channeling Will Rogers, he writes books. His latest are available at local bookstores and online at amazon.com

Review of Pack River Restoration & Highlights of Upcoming Clark River Delta Restoration Project

Find out all about it at the June presentation of the Kinnickinnick Native Plant Society. Saturday, June 28 • 8:45 am to 11:30 am Sandpoint Community Hall Admission is Free and open to the public June 2014| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02| Page 17


Scott Clawson

acresnpains@dishmail.net I feel sorry for ‘Old Man Winter.’ He never gets much applause, not even from the winter sports crowd, who prefer instead to lavish praise on their lucky stars or, in most cases, tend to think fresh powder is some kind of natural endowment, allowing for lawsuits if the product isn’t delivered. Ignored therefore by those who most appreciate snow, the old man tends to get a lot of grief from the rest of us along about mid-winter as all the novelty wears off from the holiday season and he’s just getting up his second wind and a taste for frostbite. Back in August (remember August?), with yellow jackets and hornets flying non-stop to feed on my normally good nature in a time-honored tradition spanning more decades than I care to admit, I pined as I always do for the old grump’s cold icy breath to come and bring a little relief. Even at this time of year, when the days are near as long as the nights but summer has yet to arrive, I often wish that he could do it with a bit more light (and warmth) on the subject! The kind of light that warms the mind, body and soul. The kind that inspires great things, like swimming or going fishing or having a cold beer in the shade. The kind that gets you out of bed with promises of coffee, a good hearty breakfast, a few chores and the emergence of at least one new species of obnoxious bug small enough to navigate sinus cavities, ear wells and wind pipes. It’s not the cold that bothers me for I grew up in an area where well diggers’ asses and the mammary glands of witches, as a habit, migrated south from September ‘til mid-May. It’s not even the winter snow (or the spring mud) for I calculate I’ve hand shoveled somewhere in the neighborhood of 750,000 cubic feet of snow out of my driveway and off my decks over the past three decades alone! You’d think my back would be tired by now, and you would be right. But I still like the snow, for its refreshing nature, its ability to illustrate the passages of other life forms when I’m not looking and its definite lack of stupid bugs. What does bug me though is the lack of light with which to brighten up on. In January, the sun doesn’t get up, if you can call it that, until after you arrive at work and all you see, if you are lucky, when you get back in your rig is that bright red fanny disappearing over the hills on its way across the Pacific in search of hides to tan on tropical islands. All too often it goes from dark to grey and back again for

weeks, leaving my mood much the same. Even now, when the sun is up for hours before most people wake up, and lingers in the evening until long after my oldster bedtime, fronts and pressure systems and other habits of spring can leave ol’ Sol as veiled as Scheherazade just embarking on her first tale. The entropy (thermodynamic measure of the energy unavailable for useful work in a changing ecosystem) can be measured by the motion of my hands rubbing together in a frantic effort to keep the blood moving downstream where some heat is. “Sadness comes from within,” it is said in almost every language this world has to offer. “Sadness comes from getting caught,” is how it’s explained in this country, most fluently in our nation’s capitol. But S.A.D.ness (Seasonal Affective Disorder) comes from an external source, mostly sunshine or the lack thereof. Vitamin D! It’s also been said that 40% to 75% of Americans are deficient in this important nutrient, which is, by the way, essential for proper calcium absorption. It has a whole host of gnarly side effects such as fighting over 100 different diseases including certain forms of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, low bone mass, weak teeth and our old friend, depression, which causes apathy and crappy election results lasting for decades. That last one caught the attention of my pencil where it ended up on a

sticky-note that translated into, not one, but two cartoons hovering somewhere near this article (I would hope). One is a resemblance of my childhood; the other is a more recent reflection. Getting enough vitamin D from sunshine anytime between October and late April for those of us who live between snow banks would entail a quick trip to Tucson about three times a week. If that’s not in your ‘network,’ you can ‘bulk up’ on it during the other months by exposing oneself on sunny days for 15 minutes or so, depending on skin type, then putting either clothes back on or some form of radiation protection for the rest of the day. This will definitely help, but by midwinter, along with credit card bills and other reminders of how stupid you can be in November and December, depression will slowly bring you down and hold you there by sitting on your chest until the crocus reappear. This is probably why so many people flock off to sunny Vegas at that time of year to fight that nasty old foe by blowing money in places where the only thing that really shines is their good credit. And if you think, like I used to, that you can regenerate that old sunny feeling by basking nudishly in front of a sunny window, you’d also be wrong. UVB is the source of vitamin D and it does not travel through glass. One other thing I found online was

Page 18 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


that the use of anything stronger than an SPF-8 sunscreen will effectively block any of the right wavelengths from being absorbed into your skin and converting cholesterol into vitamin D3. The over use of sunscreens, consequently, may be contributing to the widespread deficiency of this very important vitamin. I’ve read over and over that we get most of our usable vitamin D from direct

sun exposure. If you are being overly protective of your skin, you may just be cheating the rest of your body. There are other ways to get ‘the Big D’ into your system: cod liver oil, sardines and such, as well as supplements (D3 is the best). There are also lights available that purportedly provide D3. Some, but not all, tanning salons offer the proper spectrum also.

So, if you want to beat the winter blues, do some research on your own, as I’m running out of room here to show you mine. Typing in ‘winter blues’ on your search-mobile will provide plenty of food for thought. I’m beginning to think, and my back concurs, that I need to sprout feathers and fly south when the geese do. It seems I don’t enjoy shoveling the way I used to.

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FestivalAtSandpoint.com q 208.265.4554 Page 20 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 23 No. 02|June 2014


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Riverjournal june2014  

June 2014 issue of the River Journal

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