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The River Journal, Dec 2012

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  • Because theres more to life than bad news

    Local News Environment Wildlife Opinion People Entertainment Humor Politics

    December 2012 | FREE | www.RiverJournal.com

    A News MAGAZINE Worth Wading Through

    Winter Weather Forecast

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    During this holiday season and every day of the year,we wish you all the best.

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    208.762.8065 in Coeur dAlene208.265.3533 in Sandpoint


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    13 Author Jack Nisbet presentation, Sandpoint Library 6:30.13-15 The Sessions, film, 7:30 each night, Panida Theater, 263-919114 Schweitzer Community Day, $10 skiing, 263-955514 Bonner County Historical Society Holiday Open House14 Get Your Jingle On, 4-8pm downtown Sandpoint. Special deals, refreshments and fun!14 Journeys Art Opening, POAC in the Power House, 5:30 263-61391416 Library Wine Tasting Weekend Pend dOreille Winery 265-854516 Allegro Christmas Dance Concert, 7 pm, Panida Theater, 263-919118 Danceworks Christmas Show, 7 pm, Panida Theater. 263-919119 Five Minutes of Fame and Dessert Party, Cafe Bodega, 6:30 19 Jazzy Nutcracker, Sandpoint Events Center, 6:30 610-194421 Mens Night, downtown Sandpoint, 4-8 pm. Special deals, refreshments and fun. 265-506023 StoryTelling Companys Christmas Show, Di Lunas, 6 pm. 263-021129 Rhythm Works 2012 Revue Panida Theater, 6 pm. 263-9191NEW YEARS EVE - SANDPOINT IS THE PLACE TO BE! Parties at downtown venues plus Schweitzer Mountain

    January17 Matt Andersen, POAC concert, Panida Theater, 7 pm 263-613919 Schweitzer MLK Celebration 263-955520 StoryTelling Company Show at

    Ivanos, 6 pm. 263-021124-26 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Panida Theater, 263-4383

    PLUS:Monday Night Party with KPND at MickDuffs. Enjoy football and more every Monday.Trivia every Tuesday night at MickDuffs, 7 to 10 pm.Tuesdays with Ray, Trinity at City Beach, 6 to 8 pm.Winery Music - Live music every Friday night at Pend dOreille WineryLounge Music with Neighbor John, Thursdays 6-9 at 41 South.Live music, Coldwater Creek Wine Bar, 7-10 on Fridays.

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

    Holidays in

    Sandpoint!Mens Night - Special deals,

    refreshments and fun!

    Dec. 21

    Experience Downtown Sandpoint!

  • 2. DOWNTOWN CALENDAR Take a look at whats happening in Sandpoint

    4. THE MOOSE ARE STILL LOOSE An annual reminder about what (not) to do when the wildlife come to town.

    5. IDAHO HIX What might Idahos new Health Insurance Exchanges look like? THE DEVILS IN THE DETAILS

    6. WHATS IN STORE WITH A LA NADA WINTER? When winter forecasting offers no hard details, its pessimism to the rescue.

    7. MANY VETERANS UNAWARE OF AVAILABLE BENEFITS Now is a good time to review what youre entitled to. VETERANS NEWS

    8. END OF YEAR REMINDERS Matt has a few dont forgets, plus some tips for getting a dog out of an animal trap. THE GAME TRAIL

    9. ENTER THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BIRDING Mike offers tips on the best gifts for a would-be birder. A BIRD IN HAND

    10. A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION Kathys Faith Walk leads her to prayer. KATHYS FAITH WALK

    11. WHAT IS A GIFT? This holiday season, Ernie seeks the present of presence. THE HAWKS NEST

    12. INVASIVE SPECIES PART OF ENERGY AGENDA Idaho takes a more inclusive look at energy issues. A SEAT IN THE HOUSE

    13. SETTING THE SCENE Holiday poetry and the power of nature. THE SCENIC ROUTE

    14. THE PHANTOM FISHERMAN A ghostly presence on Lake Pend Oreille. VALLEY OF SHADOWS

    15. BEFORE FORT The Fortean way of thinking predated its namesake. SURREALIST RESEARCH BUREAU


    17. ON THE FUNNY FARM Jinx demonstrates she is a product of her roots. JINX

    18. THE HAIR Boots made it out of childhood, but just barely. FROM THE MOUTH OF THE RIVER

    20. WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GARLIC? A cautionary tale about getting too much of what you want.

    21. ONE LAST PRAYER Just in case were not here after the Solstice. SCOTT CLAWSON



    13A News Magazine Worth

    Wading Through~just going with the flow~P.O. Box 151Clark Fork, ID


    STAFFCalm Center of Tranquility

    Trish [email protected]

    Ministry of Truth and Propaganda

    Jody [email protected]

    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not

    an act, but a habit. AristotleProudly printed at Griffin

    Publishing in Spokane, Wash. 509.534.3625

    Contents of the River Journal are copyright 2012. Reproduction of any material, including original artwork and advertising, is prohibited. The River Journal is published the first week of each month and is distributed in over 16 communities in Sanders County, Montana, and Bonner, Boundary and Kootenai counties in Idaho. The River Journal is printed on 40 percent recycled paper with soy-based ink. We appreciate your efforts to recycle.

    Cover Photo: Tyler and Keira enjoy an early December snowfall in Clark Fork. Photo by Trish Gannon

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

    Call 208-610-8244

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

    The Moose are (still) LooseMy grandson Tristan had just headed

    out the front door to go play in the new snowfall when suddenly, he burst back into the house. Im not playing outside, he said flatly. Theres a big moose out there. Sure enough, when my daughter stepped out her front door right in the heart of Sandpoint, a large cow moose was munching contentedly on her landscaping.

    It happens every year, and its not just moose in Sandpoint. In late November, I surprised a cow elk at the end of my in-town, Clark Fork driveway, and deer are as much a nuisance to many local residents as are raccoons, skunks or squirrels. I havent heard of a lot of bears in the middle of town, but they certainly appear on the outskirts, and there are those who have spotted cougar tracks quite close to residential areas (though I havent heard of an actual cougar-spotting yet.) We live in an area of abundant wildlife, and as more and more

    homes are built in areas where formerly only the wildlife lived, the boundaries between residential and wildland are blurring enough that even the wildlife no longer recognize them.

    It should be noted that while many of those who live here are excited at this proximity to wildlife, there are those who are much less enthralled. A friend of my mothers, now in her 90s, slow-moving and not quite steady on her pins, confided in me that she dreads the times the moose appear in her Boyer Avenue, Sandpoint yard, as shes no longer agile enough to respond should she need to.

    And she might need to, because the operative part of the word wildlife is wild No matter how common it might be to see wild animals in town, they really arent your family pet.

    Unfortunately, there are a number of residents who become over-excited at wildlife in their or their neighbors yards. Facebook fills with pictures of the

    critters, and sometimes local moose travel through town with a paparazzi entourage that might lead one to think George Clooney is visiting.

    Can we say how stupid this is? Of course, we say it every year and it doesnt seem to make a dent in the wildlife stalkers out there, but chasing a moose through the city streets is really not a good idea. One day, someone is going to panic a moose thats then going to trample some little kid out playing in his yard, and then the lawsuits will be filed while some poor family tries to pick up what might be tragic pieces of a young childs close-up encounter with wildlife.

    In the interest of prevention, therefore, let us reiterate a few pointers about how to live with wildlife without becoming a total idiot.

    First, leave them alone. If you must have a photo (and I have taken more than a few of them myself), use the zoom feature on your camera and dont get

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 5

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    close enough that the animal notices you are there. If the animal moves away, its likely you have disturbed it. Dont compound the error by chasing it (either on foot or in a car) and potentially getting the animal really riled up.

    Second, dont feed them. Its quite likely that you have no idea of what constitutes a suitable diet for wildlife and will do more harm than good. In fact, even if you feed the right food, youre not going to do any good. Youre helping to habituate wild animals to being around human habitation, which often leads to their death anyway.

    As our own Fish & Game officer Matt Haag put it to me, as cruel as it sounds life is a bitch and the natural cycle of things is really important. While it may feel good to rescue a animal it really has no impact on the total health of a population unless its an endangered species.

    Deathincluding death from starvation in a harsh winteris part of the reality for wild animals. If it helps, sing that Elton John song from The Lion King about the circle of life.

    Thirdkeep your dogs inside or otherwise prevent them from chasing the animal. Not only will this help prevent an accident due to a panicked moose, it might also save your dogs life. Because no matter how big and bad your dog might be, theyre not likely to be a match for an animal that can weigh as much as a full size pickup truck.

    FourthIf you see an injured animal or what you think is an abandoned youngster, report it to the proper authorities. Call either the Fish and Game office, or the local sheriff for your area. (Do the same if you witness any wildlife in a residential area thats behaving aggressively.) Whatever you do, do not attempt to take care of the situation yourself. Matt said, Yes, and remind folks that they are not allowed to pick up wildlife animals. Possession is a misdemeanor if they harbor wildlife.

    In the Sagle area, Dorie McIssac is licensed as a rehabber for injured/abandoned wildlife (http://mystic-farm.com), and cares primarily for the ungulates (deer, elk and moose).

    In the Clark Fork area, Kathleen with American Heritage Wildlife Foundation (www.ahwf.org) can rehab small animals and birds.

    A great benefit to living in this area is its resident wildlifedo your part to keep them wild.

    -Trish Gannon

    Myers Wins Small Business Drawing

    Clark Forks business community sends its congratulations to new Clark Fork resident Dan Myers, who was the recent winner in the Small Business Saturday contest.

    Obamacare (ACA or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) is here to stay, thanks to the Presidents reelection. Its a certainty that the law will be phased in by 2014, and everything will change.

    One important part of Obamacare are the Health Insurance Exchanges or HIX, also known as American Health Benefits Exchanges. An exchange is a set of state-regulated and standardized health care plans, from which you may purchase health insurance eligible for federal subsidies. The policies will still be offered by private insurance companies, who will be allowed to participate in the exchanges if their policies conform to regulations. All state exchanges must be fully certified and operational by January 1, 2014, otherwise the federal government will step in and create an exchange. Individuals within income range between 133 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level are able to receive federal subsidies in the form of tax credits to purchase this insurance.

    The insurance exchanges will shift a greater amount of financial risk to the insurers, but will help to share the cost of that risk among a larger pool of insured individuals. Massachusetts, Utah and New York had exchanges up and running before the PPACA was passed. Texas and California have failed exchanges.

    Major requirements affecting insurers in the individual exchanges:

    1. Guaranteed issue: The ACAs prohibition on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions will begin in 2014. Until that time, the ACA provides funds for state-run high-risk pools for those with previously existing conditions.

    2. Limit to price variations: prices will

    vary based on four factors (including age and smoking) and not beyond a total factor of approximately 10

    3. Plans will be offered in four comparable tiers ranging from bronze to platinum with limited out of pocket expenses

    4. Strict regulations on rescission5. Lifetime and annual limits

    eliminatedIdahos legislature voted 50-15 to

    reallocate federal funds which had been intended for use in creating Idahos HIX. States creating their own exchanges will have some discretion to set the essential benefits that must be provided by insurers. States without HIXs will be subject to a federally administered HIX. So far Idaho does not plan to create its own HIX. On Oct 26 2012, Governor Otters 13-member health insurance exchange working group said Idaho should pursue a state-based health insurance exchange for 2014. Governor Otter did not comment on the situation before the election.

    The Devils in the Details Idaho HIX

    by Nancy Gerth

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 6

    For those asking, Wheres our winter? the answer came in the first week of December as valley locations in North Idaho and western Montana received their first significant snowfall totals, followed by below freezing temperatures. Winterat least, a typical winter weather pattern for our locationcame late, but will it stay? Whats the prognosis for the next few months?

    The answer from the experts at NOAAs National Weather Service Climate Prediction Centers is... were not totally sure. Or in their own words, theres a high degree of uncertainty... .

    Not that long-range predictions of weather are ever totally sure, but this year the predictive models are shaping up to be more difficult than most. As Paul Hutter, a weatherman for Minnesotas National Public Radio puts it, There just isnt any clear, distinct trend or data to hang your weather hat on this winter.

    Part of the problem is a shape-shifting El Nino. Mike Halpert, Deputy Director at NOAAs Climate Prediction Center, tells us this winter season is totally unique in the 63 years weve been keeping statistics on El Nino. Never before has an El Nino event begun to form in July and August, then quit in mid-September.

    For those whove forgotten, sea surface temperatures in the equatorial

    Pacific Ocean are major drivers for winter weather in the U.S. and across the globe. Unusually warm ocean temperatures, called El Nino, tend to drive warmer, drier winters in our piece of the global real estate. The opposite, La Nina, is a major cause of colder, wetter winters in our regionLa Nina conditions have prevailed in the past two winter seasons.

    Currently, a transition to El Nino conditions is stalled, and were in what NOAA calls an El Nino Southern Oscillation-neutral status, (more colorfully called a La Nada) which is expected to continue through next year. What that means for weather is that Pacific ocean temperatures are not expected to have, in our region, any change-inducing impactour winter, in terms of temperature and precipitation, will be roughly average, with actual weather driven by other climate factors which have only short-term predictive ability.

    Idaho should have the best chance at being normal in the rain and snow department, but temperatures should end up below normal, is the winter forecast from neoweather.com, whereas the National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/klse/naturescience/weather-statistics.htm) is guessing our winter will be both colder and wetter than normal.

    This is the guess from local weather expert Cliff Harris, as well, whose weather website (longrangeweather.com) is currently predicting a slightly colder and wetter winter season as well.

    The North Atlantic Oscillation is showing signs of going negative, which brings cold air down from Canada into the U.S., and if it does, chances are good for typical winter weather through Christmas. But the NAO fluctuates quite a bit, and is therefore generally only good for predicting weather trends a couple of weeks out. If it flips positive toward the end of the month, we might well usher in the new year with unseasonably warm temperatures.

    Harris is predicting the coldest weather for our area will fall during the full moon cycles (near the end of each month Dec-Mar) of the next couple months, with the heaviest periods of rain and snow during the middle and end of those months.

    Forecasts on Harris website for Sandpoint in the first quarter of 2013 follow this pattern, though the difference from normal is slight, with temperatures no more than a degree or two below normal, and snowfall no more than an inch or two above normal. Weather stations for Bonners Ferry, Cabinet Gorge, and Trout Creek (Montana) are similar, with just a bit more snow at Cabinet Gorge and Trout Creek.

    My own prediction for this winters weather, which is based on a completely non-scientific, pessimistic outlook, is for snowfall to come in periodic, massive dumpsas opposed to small, regular amountsbecause this adds excitement to the winter plowing/snowblowing regime. Expect that snow to be fairly wet, at least at lower elevations, because that makes it more difficult to move.

    I dont look for long, sustained cold spells, but I do expect the weather to be cold enough to deplete my woodpile long before winter is over, despite the fact that my wood pantry currently looks sufficiently full.

    Finally, my memory insists that we had much more wind this year than normal, so I expect that trend (whether it actually exists or not) to continuemostly because I dont like wind.

    In a few months, well know how well pessimism stands up next to science. Until thenbundle up!

    What Will Winter Bring? Trish Gannon


    Personal Corporate Partnerships Trusts1211 Michigan, Sandpoint

    208.265.2500 800.338.9835

    La Nada Leaves Winter Weather Forecasting in the Lurch

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 7

    Well the 2012 elections are over and for approximately the next 16 months we probably wont be inundated with radio and TV ads telling us, Elect Memy opponent is a rotten SOB who hates his (or her) mother and this country. In my opinion the entire veterans community scored a huge win on November 6. The results of the 2012 election pretty much guarantees that the VA will continue to be adequately fundednot ignored as in the Ryan Budgetfor the next two years at least and that significant inroads will be made into the daunting task of reducing the tremendous backlog of claims brought on by a decade of war.

    As a nation we owe a great debt to a very small percentage of the nations population. These men and women have sacrificed much and have earned the vast majoritys eternal gratitude. The majority should be ecstatic to repay these heroes with very small sacrifices of their own rather than complaining about the gifts these veterans are being given. Its not a gift if it has been prepaid in pain and blood.

    In last months article I urged all veterans to break out their DD-214s and contact the local VA Clinic in Ponderay. I recently called the clinic (208 263 0450) and was gratified to hear that maybejust maybesomebody actually read the piece and followed my suggestion. The lady I talked to seemed to think that there may have a been an uptick in calls asking for information and/or appointments to be evaluated and referred to the Spokane VA Medical Center for the multitude of services they offer. She really made me feel good by thanking me for writing that piece.

    Not everyone appreciates my efforts in trying to get information out to our community. Earlier in November I received a call from an individual that suggested that I stop writing my liberal B#**[email protected] and focus on writing stuff for veterans. That confused me as I thought that was what I was doing. For several months Ive been trying to make it clear that while the GOP is very fond of creating wars they have very little stomach for paying for the consequenceslike meeting the needs of the veterans those wars create. Then I remembered a quote from President Truman. He had been told that he was giving people hell. His response to these charges was, I never did give anybody

    hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.

    If half of our current crop of elected officials throughout the country had half the guts that Harry S. Truman had we wouldnt be in this mess of gridlocked government, divisive politics and a complete lack of civil discourse between the two sides. We also need our elected law-makers to tell Nordquist that his signed pledges are worthless in todays fiscal environment. If that is not as Politically Correct as youd like Im sorry, but the truth can sometimes be very painful.

    Recently I read an article written by Chris Adams for the McClatchy-Tribune. This piece was based on an analysis of the Department of Veterans Affairs 2010 National Survey of Veterans. In the article, Mr. Adams quotes Joseph Curtain, the newly appointed VAs Director of Outreach, who said, We want to accept them into the VA. We want to help them. Apparently Mr. Curtain wasnt just talking about post 9/11 veterans. The analysis covers all veterans from December 1941 through the Afghan/Iraq Wars of September 2001 to the present. Please visit the website (at http://tinyurl.com/bqydrd2 ) to view the graph that accompanied the article. It clearly shows that over 60 percent of WWII veterans have only a little or no knowledge of the benefits to which they are entitled. The percentage is even worse for Korean and Vietnam era veterans. The level of understanding doesnt even go much over 40 percent for veterans of the first Gulf Wars and nobody goes over 35 percent

    when it comes to knowledge of the insurance benefits they may have.

    After looking over this graph I highly recommend that veterans of all ages visit the VA website at www.va.gov. The website is easily navigated and will give you a tremendous amount of information very quickly. If you do not have access to a computer you could give the VA clinic in Ponderay a call and ask if they have the latest copy of the Rights and Benefits booklet issued by the VA. The last time I was over there they had several copies on hand.

    Ill close this months piece with a little more Liberal B#**[email protected] The election is OVER and rationality won out over the lies, distortions, half truths, obfuscations, delusional thought and misdirection spewed by talk radio and Fox. If one must blame someone for these losses, please take a look in a mirror. If one wished, they could even start to listen to the more rational voices now being faintly heard among GOP moderatesa previously endangered species. The Party of Angry, Old White Men is growing smaller daily, mostly through sheer attrition. The world is changing rapidly and it is time for this fact to be accepted. It is time for the voters to cast their ballots in their own best interests and not be tied to the party designation following the candidates name.

    I wish everyone a great Holiday Season and a healthy, prosperous New Year. I ask everyone to recognize that our veterans are the primary reason that we have all the blessings that we enjoy in this country. Give a big thank you to every veteran you meet.

    Veterans NewsVeterans Unaware of Available BenefitsGil Beyer

    From all of us to all of you: May you

    experience the joy of Christmas

    through the eyes of a child.

  • Page 8 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| December 2012

    The snow on the mountaintops, along with the billowing smoke rising from chimneys across

    the county, signal that it is that time of year to get that snowplow attached, dust off the shovels, and the end of hunting seasons. I hope you all had a chance to get out and do some hunting if thats your thing, and I especially hope you had some luck putting meat in your freezer.

    Your local wardens had a busy season as you can imagine, running from call to call and sometimes playing the role of friendly outdoor referee. Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of people who dont like to play by the rules and steal the wildlife from you, a citizen of Idaho. Thanks to all the people who made that call to report these scumbags, it helps us immensely.

    I have some end of the year reminders out there for you so bear with me as I jump from topic to topic.

    Your hunting and fishing license is no good on January 1st, 2013. If you like to fish or duck hunt, be sure to pick up your new license before that time. I really hate checking people in the field who have forgotten to pick up their new license. Now, for those doing some Christmas shopping who need ideas, purchase a license for your loved one and stick it in the stocking. They will be ready to go for the next year!

    If you are a duck hunter, your Federal duck stamp is good through the end of the waterfowl season in January, just be sure to have that stamp attached to your 2012 license accompanied with your 2013 license and you will be good to go!

    With hunting seasons coming to

    end, I would like to remind all successful hunters to properly dispose of their animal carcasses. Its 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.

    Every elk, deer, and antelope hunter is required to complete a Mandatory Hunt Report within 10 days of harvest or within 10 days of the end of the hunt in which the tag was good for. The easiest way to complete this is to go to our webpage and complete the formit takes three minutes. If you dont have internet access, you can call our Regional Office and have the office staff complete the report over the phone, or you could visit your local library. These mandatory reports are extremely important in making management decisions in the future, so please take the time to complete them.

    Trapping season has started for most of the fur-bearing critters with the exception of bobcat , which has an opening date of Dec 14, and will run through March 31. There are a lot of myths out there about what happens to animals in a trap and there are some legitimate concerns for pet owners. It is the responsibility of a pet owner to keep their dogs from roaming the countryside and it is the responsibility of trappers to be legal and conscientious about their trap placement. Trapping is a highly regulated activity to ensure public safety and

    integrity of the activity. Most trappers I know are very concerned with not trapping peoples pets and following the regulations. If for some reason your dog gets trapped in foothold trap (which I have only seen twice in my 12 year career), follow these simple recommendations.

    Remember, these traps are designed to capture the target animal by the foot and hold it alive until the trapper arrives to remove it. The trap does not crush the bone or do any serious damage to the animal structurally. The foothold trap most likely to be encountered is the coil spring foothold trap. Accidental capture in such a trap with a quick release is not life-threatening. However, the longer the dog remains in the trap, the greater the chances of permanent damage and serious complications.

    Secure your dog by pinning it to the ground or holding it in an upright position. Depending on the individual, the size of the trap, and the size of the dog, you may be able to grab both levers with your fingers and, using the palms of your hands, stabilize the bottom of the trap or base plate.

    Pull the levers of the trap toward you with your fingers using one continuous motion. This will release the pressure on the jaws of the trap enough for the dog to pull its foot free or to allow the foot to fall out from between the jaws of the trap. The trap jaws do not have to be completely opened for the dog to free its foot. If you cant get the dogs paw of out the trap, try to remove the trap from the stake in the ground and carry the dog with the trap on its foot to someone who can help.

    On behalf of the IDFG Sandpoint District Conservation Officers, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

    Leave No Child Inside

    End of Year RemindersThe Game TrailMatt Haag

    Proud to Provide Environmentally

    Conscientious Construction and Consultation

    The rumors of my retirement are greatly exaggerated.

    Accepting Selected Projects Only

    P.O. Box 118 Hope, Idaho 208.264.5621

    Clark Fork Baptist Church

    Main & Second Clark Fork

    Sunday School............9:45 amMorning Worship............11 amEvening Service...............6 pmWednesday Service.........7 pm

    Call 266-0405 for transportation

    Bible Preaching and Traditional Music

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 9

    Birding is an addictive and rewarding pastime.

    Perhaps youve been on the edge, thinking of taking that next step of actually becoming and, dare I say it, admitting you are a birder? Yes, world, I am a birder and I am proud! Well, to help you out of the closet, let me introduce you to the two most important tools youll need for this engaging hobby: a pair of binoculars and a bird guide.

    I write to you as one amateur birder to another. No, I never got to attend the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, nor have I ever been able to stalk the elusive Junin Rail in the Peruvian Andes or fly an ultralight airplane with the Whooping Cranes. But I can wax endlessly on the wonders of chickadees and, yes, I do find bird songs to be more interesting than anything that I can download onto my ipod. What can I say? Birds rock!

    Well, Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat (hey, have we ever talked about geese? Geese are fascinating andwell, maybe later) and there is not a better time than now to jump into the world of birding. If you find it over the top to buy yourself some presents this Christmas, lets discuss dropping some serious hints to those folks who will buy you a present or two: binoculars first and bird guides second.

    Binoculars are really just a pair of telescopes connected together. They come in all shapes and sizes and to a certain point any pair of binoculars is better than no binoculars. In other words, as binoculars really are essential for effective bird watching, any pair will do. But if you were to go out to purchase a pair for the implicit intent of using it for birding, which pair should you buy? The big ones or the little ones? The long ones or the short ones? To answer that we need to first

    decipher the multiplication problem with which manufacturers use to determine the size and power of binoculars, e.g. 7 x 35 (and no, the answer Is not 245!).

    The first number refers to the magnification power of the lenses within the binocular: the higher the number, the stronger the magnification. For example, a 7 x 35 has less magnification power than a 10 x 35. And while more magnification is better than less, too much magnification can be a problem. Powerful binoculars are difficult to wield effectively in hand and require a tripod to keep steady. So, typically, most birders avoid these heavy-duty units unless they are going to be viewing birds from a stand or a blind. And they are torture to lug through the field and over trails. So what magnification level is the best compromise? To answer that question, we need to also examine the second number of the equation.

    The second number relates to the light-gathering ability of the binoculars. By nature, larger binoculars allow more light to enter the eyes, whereas smaller binoculars allow less. Subsequently, smaller binoculars might work fine during the middle of the day, but are almost worthless in low-light conditions, such as dawn or dusk or in the shadows of the forest. You cant win for losing!

    As I bring these things into focus and as you can now clearly see (yes, that was a pun), the ideal binoculars for bird watching is a compromise. Too big means too unwieldy, too small means too limited in usefulness. So what are the magic numbers? For me, I prefer 10 x 40 or 10 x 50. Lady birders (called chicks in the biz... just kidding) will also find them to be not too uncomfortable to carry.

    On the other hand, selecting the right birding guide is a bit more complicated. There are so many choices it become

    overwhelming. So, as they say in the film industry, lets cut to the chase and look at the most important decision: photo-based or drawing-based guides? Which is best?

    To many novice birders the most logical choice in bird guides is one that uses photographs. Why not use photographs of the actual species? Because, logically, isnt that what the birds look like? While this sounds intuitive, I would strongly disagree. I much prefer drawings over actual photographs. Why? Because photographs are surprisingly less useful; they show a representative of the species in mind, but they only illustrate that representative. Birds are surprisingly individualistic in coloration, etc.; they are not clones! This is why I prefer drawings that indicate what field marks to look for.

    In bird identification, field marks are everything. A field mark is a unique coloration, marking, or some other indicator that is unique to that species. For example, the white rump patch on the Northern Harrier is a definitive field mark. If you see a medium-sized raptor soaring above the landscape and you notice that it has a white rump patch, you have just definitively identified the Northern Harrier, because only the Northern Harrier has this coloration. B am! That easy.

    What is my favorite birding guide? Anymore I only use the Sibley Guide. This guide is the one that Ive had to replace as I wear out copies all my other guides are collecting dust on the shelf (and I got a lot of em!).

    I hope that Ive been helpful for any of you newly-fledged birders out there. From my field of view, you now know what binoculars to invest in. And Ive shared with you the field marks of the best birding guide. That being said, I wish you a merry Christmas andwait for itHappy Birding!

    Michael TurnlundA Bird in Hand

    This Christmas, Enter the Wonderful World of Birding

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  • Page 10 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| December 2012

    Kathy Osborne My New Years ResolutionKathys Faith Walk

    The United States of America was anchored on the basic foundations

    of religion and morality. There will be those who argue against this because they choose to ignore the presence of God in the formation of this country. But one only need read the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, or the Connecticut Constitution, to see otherwise. It called for an orderly and decent government according to God in attempts to pursue The liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus. Morals. It is pretty hard to argue with that truth.

    The character of the Creator found in the Holy Bible is the basis for those morals. The Bible defines the right and wrong our Founding Fathers, in all their imperfection, knew we would need in order to maintain a healthy Republic. In fact they understood Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams. They turned out to be quite right and I am grieved that I lived to see the day when Americans would not only flaunt their freedom to deny God His rightful place, but encourage others to do the same.

    Benjamin Franklin understood the most how fragile an institution this Republic would be and in fact, already showed signs in the Assembly. At one point he stood and said In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard,

    & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truththat God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.

    Many have sought to convince us that our Founding Fathers were not men of faith. The people who speak such reports do in fact lie on this count. Does Franklin sound like a man who believed God simply set this universe in motion

    and walked away? Hardly. We would all do well to study what history tells us about these men rather than succumb to the bumbling historical pillaging of the politically correct.

    What happens when the people begin to understand that the Constitution of the United States actually gives them the freedom to choose to live immorally? And what happens when the majority of the people, including the leadership, choose to live immorally?

    Franklin was right. You get what we have today: confounded projects, a reproach and bye word down to future ages. We murder each other including the unborn. We do not take care of the widows and the orphans as we ought but rather look to the government to do so. We worship creation rather than the Creator, giving our homage to football players, actors, musicians, and men who claim to bring change but fail to base that change on a grounded faith in Jesus Christ. All of these idols are clouds claiming to bring rain to our parched land and deliver nothing. We have brought this on ourselves and since God brought this empire into being, as evidenced by the testimony of our Fathers, He will not stand idly by as we take for granted His blessing and deny His existence in the same breath. Our national leadership has left God far behind and is proud to have done so. Such arrogance has already born its fruit.

    However... the Bible gives Christ Followers a ray of hope even in these difficult times. When King Solomon finished building the Temple of God he prayed over it, asking God to bless it. But Solomon understood that people have a natural tendency to disobey God. To that end God came to Solomon and said that when the people sinned, and they would, and God would bring judgment on the land because of it, they would have a choice. I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7: 13-14

    Prayer for this nation... now THAT is a New Years Resolution.

    You may write to Kathy Osborne at [email protected]

    Guaranteed by Mother Nature

    1 mile north of Big R on Hwy. 95

    Cedar OutletFencing Decking Siding

    Shingles Panelling

    www.CedarsofIdaho.com facebook/CedarsofIdaho208-263-1208


  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 11The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol 17 No. 18 | November 2008 | Page 5

    increase nutrients, such as nitrogen and

    This septic pilot project is being introduced in order to comply with water quality standards as determined by the Federal Clean Water Act. Designated to protect water quality, the plan, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load for Lake Pend Oreille, addresses nutrient issues

    In addition, many lakeshore homeowners participated in a survey in 2007 concerning a variety of water quality issues. As is turns out, their

    Council website at tristatecouncil.org.

    Hays ChevronGas Convenience Store

    Unofficial Historical Society


    Oil Changes Tire Rotation by appointment

    In the season of giving what is the best present

    one can give?Linda gave me the best birthday

    present I have ever received. I didnt see it coming yet Ana knew, as did several others. You know the old saying, The spouse is the last to know.

    It was still early morning and she said Happy Birthday. I said thanks and started to drift off again when she said I took a vacation day todayIm staying home.

    She hadnt made any plans for us. She just stayed hometo be with me. It was the best birthday present I have ever received.

    Oh, there were some pants and a pair of shoes, both of which I need/want and I will think of her when I use them. And not forgotten is the special bottle of single malt, but that is stuff; wonderful stuff, but stuff. It is terrific, but more importantly, what she gave me was a day with her. She stayed home away from her work, where she has plenty to do. Yet she took a day away from that, without any agendano plans for my birthdayjust to give me a day, a day of presence.

    Her workload wasnt taken over by anyone else, it would still be waiting for her the following day, and yet she chose to give me a day.

    Not knowing she was going to be home, I also had plans and chose to change them... my gift to me.

    I turned 65. Years ago I thought 65 was old. Old looked like someone sitting in a rocker watching TV, saying they couldnt do this or that because they were too old. I dont feel old in that way.

    A few weeks ago I finished a 7-day hike mostly over 10,000 feet. When it was over,

    I was tired and very, very invigorated. Ready to plan the next hike. That is not why I dont feel old, though.

    I cut and chop several cords of wood each year for our heat. I am constantly working in our woods, thinning, healing, and making it healthier. It is good work and hard work. That is not why I dont feel old though.

    I am here. I am being. I am thriving. I am engaged in each day. I believe that is why I dont feel old.

    The fountain of youth isnt outside, nor in a gym or a surgical suite, it is not in a cream. It is within each of us all the time, in our attitudesour choices. It is not about denying the process of adding years of life but gracefully accepting the process and cycles and being present.

    There is that word again: presence. I believe that life is for us to continually express the spirit that is within us. That does not mean that there are no physical, mental or spiritual challenges, but those are all part of our sacred journey.

    Years ago I suffered from the constant pain of arthritis. When I was told I would probably loose ambulation all together I was despondent. Then I chose not to let that happen. I decided not to own the disease in my bones. Rejecting that condition with my mind slowly allowed me to move through it. Now because of that choice and a determination to be active, I am pain free. And mobile.

    We live in a forest, it helps me stay connected to nature and her cycles of life. I watch the dignity of the aging process and am reminded I cannot change the cycle but I can decide how I go through it. I am deciding to be engaged and involved. I will watch the cycles beginning with the start of new families with new children.

    Birth to death the cycle revolves. Not expecting to escape the cycle but being present with each moment and each person I encounter.

    Sharing the presence of the moment.In this season of giving, the perfect

    gift is always being sought after and often forgotten shortly after it is received. However, a gift from the heart is always remembered. With a gift given from the heart, out of pure love, the presenter benefits as much or more then the receiver. Another cycle, keeping the energy flowing throughout each person and beyond.

    The other day I read the question, When do the Holidays Begin? In our house it is early November. During the first week Linda has a birthday and nine days later I have a birthday. But then I thought about the joy when Ana and Alice were here in September. Or when we were in Virginia in May visiting them and Noah, and that felt like a holiday. And what about the celebrations with friends, and my trip to Wyoming? And I began to realize that any day could be a holyday and a day for giving.

    Which takes me back to being 65 and not feeling old. I think it is a gift I have received and cultivated, accepting my aging as a gift.

    In addition to the gift of aging I am giving myself, it is also to share with my family and friends just as their aging is a gift to me. I know I dont want to change the aging process, I just want to be very present within it.

    Presence is the best present I can give or receive.

    And so in this season, I wish you the joy of presenceyours and others and the recognition of the sacred joy in each moment.

    What is a Gift?Ernie HawksThe Hawks Nest

    220 Cedar St. Sandpoint 208.263.0846

    DiLunasCatering to your Needs

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

    I have discussed the activities and purpose of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) in previous River Journal articles. PNWER is a non-partisan, public-private partnership formed by statute in 1991. PNWER serves the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and the Canadian Yukon and Northwest Territories. I serve as one of the Idaho Legislative delegates to PNWER and am a past-president of the organization.

    PNWER has been effective in addressing issues of importance to Idaho, including agriculture issues, energy resource concerns and others, but I have felt during my participation that Idaho has not taken full advantage of its membership in PNWER to bring Idahos interests to the attention of PNWER members.

    Realizing that PNWER could be a more effective force in pursuing Idahos commercial and security interests in relationships with our neighboring states and Canadian neighbors, Governor Otter, with the support of members of the private sector, established the Pacific Northwest Economic Region Idaho Council by Executive Order No. 2012-07 on September 13 of this year.

    The PNWER Idaho Council is chaired by Idahos Lieutenant Governor and includes majority and minority members of the Idaho legislature, five members of the private sector, representatives from appropriate state agencies and designees of Idahos Universities. Representative Eric Anderson and myself serve as two of the legislative members of the Council.

    The PNWER Idaho Councils responsibilities include:

    Design and develop an Idaho agenda of programs of interest in PNWER;

    Provide leadership regarding Idahos needs and opportunities related to domestic and international trade and business and government relations amongst PNWER participating entities;

    Encourage the participation of Idahos private, nonprofit and non-governmental sector in PNWER initiatives; and

    Strengthen relations with other PNWER entities by participating in and recognizing, to the extent possible, significant events and milestones such as elections, commemorations and awards.

    PNWERs annual winter meeting was held in Coeur dAlene at the Coeur

    dAlene Resort on November 14-17. More than 120 legislators, representatives of business and government leaders gathered in the city to address key issues affecting the regional economy in the Pacific Northwest. Members of the Idaho Council were involved in planning the agenda of the winter meeting that highlighted two of Idahos industries located in the Coeur dAlene area, and Idahos concern with invasive species being introduced into Idaho waterways.

    Representative Anderson has taken the lead in bringing recognition of the invasive species potential impact on Idahos economy if invasive species are introduced in our waters, especially the invasive zebra and quagga mussels that could severely clog up northern waterways at a potential cost of over 100 million dollars. The invasive mussels attach to everything in the water and suck out all the nutrients needed by native species. They ruin boats, docks, pipes, dams and shorelines; with current technology, eradication is impossible.

    As a result of this concern, PNWER has initiated the following actions to help bring recognition to the invasive species problem and measures to prevent their introduction into Pacific Northwest waterways:

    1. Sending a letter to Secretary Salazar expressing disappointment with the lack of support of the federal government in controlling the spread of invasive species

    2. Sending a letter to the Bonneville Power Administrator asking BPA to initiate an analysis of the possible impacts of zebra and quagga musses to the Pacific Northwest

    3. Request that PNWER serve as a forum and vehicle for developing reciprocity agreements among northwest states and provinces for inspection and decontamination of watercraft primarily responsible for the introduction of invasive species in northwest waterways.

    4. Encourage PNWER states to discuss with their respective Public Utility Commissions the possibility of including invasive species mitigation funding in utility rates.

    The conference also highlighted local businesses through presentations by Ed Schweitzer from Schweitzer Engineering Labs, Ron Nilson from Ground Force Worldwide and Tom Power of Sunshine Minting. Schweitzer Engineering Lab is expanding its Washington operation into an additional facility in Lewiston and Ground Force Worldwide and Sunshine

    Minting are located in the Coeur dAlene area.

    The representatives of these companies presented their thoughts on the role of government and education in promoting and enhancing the growth of these companies, leading to more employment opportunities and greater economic benefits to the region. Conference attendees were provided behind-the-scenes tours of the manufacturing sites of Ground ForceWorldwide, Sunshine Minting Inc. and a tour of the Kootenai Technical Education Campus. The Kootenai Technical Education program is an excellent example of best practice in vocational secondary school education that other parts of the region might want to consider replicating.

    The combined gross domestic product of the trade partnership of the PNWER membership is over one trillion dollars and the combined resources in the Northwest and Canada represent more than 20 million people and $700 billion in gross regional product. This is a significant economic benefit to the Pacific Northwest and Idahos involvement in PNWER is good for Idaho; the Idaho PNWER Council will enhance the value Idaho receives from its PNWER membership.

    Thanks for reading! As always please feel free to contact me. My home mailing address is: P.O. Box 112, Dover, Idaho, 83825 and my home phone is (208) 265-0123. I can also be reached by e-mail at: [email protected]


    M&E Custom Building LLCHomes Built for Living

    Residential and Commercial ConstructionDan McMahon, General Contractor

    Visit us at www.mebldg.com208.264.6700

    Invasive Species Part of Energy AgendaA Seat in the HouseRep. George Eskridge

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 13

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky...

    Do you know where that verse comes from? I would guess that 90 percent of you will find it somehow familiar, whether you can name that poem or not, and that if you thought about it long enough, you would dredge up some interesting memories and images to go with it: smells and sounds and senses of being gathered from childhood forward to not so long ago.

    These are two of the most obscure lines from one of the most famous poems of our times, a stanza that tends to be left out when someone is saying the poem by heart, a place where the recitalist might stumble and have to resort to da-da-da-d-da-d-da da-da-da da, for they will know something has gone missing, just not quite what.

    So look, if you will, at the stanza. It is lifted from nature; demonstrating the physics of wind and urgency of flight during a storm. It is only two lines, 18 simple words, not one of which is unfamiliar or even extraordinary. But, when strung together in the right sequence, and carefully read word for word, they provide an image that we can all but see with our eyes open and can if we close them.

    If you dont yet know where these came from, another clue; a stanza that precedes the other, appearing 12 verses before, and so are a bit more famous, yet also likely to be forgotten in a from-memory telling.

    The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

    gave a luster of midday to objects below ... Again, a moment in nature,

    quieter than the first, but pure poetic observation, well-stated. We know, when we hear these words, what the author sees. In fact, these lines are what brought

    me to this discussion, as our December moon has indeed been giving the luster of midday to objects around my house. These lines have been running through my mind for a week or so as each night Luna lights the snow-laden forest outside my windows.

    When I was a child, and my mother or dad would read the entire poem to us again and again, beginning always at about this time of year, these four lines seemed not so important as the rest of the poem. They seemed to be almost in the way of the story. I always wanted to skip from,

    Away to the window I flew like a flashtore open the shutters and threw up the

    sash...directly toWhen what to my wondering eyes should

    appear,but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny

    reindeer. Get on with it, I thought. Skip past

    the moon and get those reindeer up on the roof and those presents down the chimney with St. Nick.

    But there were those lines about the moon and then the verses about the leaves in the wind (What do leaves have to do with Santa Clause? I wondered) stuck there in the middle of the action, like 25-mile-per-hour signs on I-15 in the middle of Utah for a kid in a hurry for Christmas. Slow down, they seemed to whisper. Wait a moment and look at this.

    These four lines are not a big part of The Night Before Christmas; four lines out of 56 in all, less than 8 percent of the total poem. They are not really necessary to the meter. Leave them out and it still reads just fine. But, there they are. Mr. Moore when he wrote it 125 years ago, did not live in our continuous action world. I wonder if it had been written today, if those lines would have survived the editorial process.

    What does this have to do with the

    story, Frank? Does it move the action forward?

    Well, no, it doesnt. It sets a scene, but who has time for viewing scenes these days? We are way too busy for that. If it aint moving, run over it. Or past it. But dont stop to admire it, or you could get rear-ended.

    But Mr. Moore, when he wrote A Visit from St. Nicholas 184 years ago, did not live in our continuous action world. His gift to us today might be an opportunity to slow down.

    twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...

    Doesnt that introduction make you want to pull the covers up to your chin and close your eyes ad listen? Dont your ears now beg for the familiar cadence, and dont you smell Christmas: wood smoke, butter cookies and mulled wine and that fragrant fir in the living room below, lit and waiting for magic to happen, as if it hasnt already? Cant you remember laying perfectly still and warm as the familiar words poured over you, the reading voice lulling you toward sleep even as the words urged you to stay awake and wait for the jolly old elf?

    Doesnt that put the brakes on your busy, busy life?

    I hope so. We are in the habit of these days of skipping the non-action verses. If it isnt moving us rapidly forward (or whatever direction we are going), we arent interested. We are in so much of a hurry to get someplace, we wish to go around the glorious subtleties of our planet that are still there waiting for us, should we be willing to wait and watch for them.

    Do you remember that parental Zen lesson designed to give us patience in the face of wanting to hurry toward the holidays?

    Christmas wont come if you dont wait for it.

    It has been so since we were children. Why do we think we can rush it now? And what better way to waitfor Christmas or for any of the other exciting moments in lifethan in patient observation of the quiet beauty that surrounds us.

    Merry Christmas, from out on the Scenic Route.

    Clement Clarke Moore (1779-1863) wrote Twas the Night Before Christmas (also called A Visit from St. Nicholas), in 1822.

    This story first appeared in the River Journal in December 2006.

    You can reach Sandy Compton at [email protected]

    The Scenic RouteSandy Compton Setting the Scene

    The Scotchman PeaksKeep em wild.

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

    Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 14

    You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive, and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more? - Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

    Not long ago, I caught part of The Old Man and the Sea on a cable channel. Of course, Spencer Tracy will always be the Old Man for me. He brought to mind another story Dad told my brother and me to entertain us one Christmas Eve when he was still able to remember things.

    It was shortly before the time I related a couple of years ago concerning the Blacktail Lookout incident in the 30s.

    This one occurred a year or so after Dad was out of high school. He had gone out fishing for white fish to sell to a supplier for Spokane restaurantsanything to supplement the meager finances of the Depression years.

    Dad would often put in at Bottle Bay Marina, which was then little more than a dock with a tiny lunch counter. He had managed to hook about a hundred white fish. At the usual twelve cents each, that would bring $12, a damn fine payday.

    Long gone now, the old lunch counter consisted of an eight-foot bar with several stools. They served coffee, tea, keg beer, bologna sandwiches and, on good days, a hot, fried cheese sandwich. One summer they even had hot dogs. Whiskey was a special order for a real warm-up.

    There were three men inside when Dad came in and ordered: the owner, his brother-in-law, and another older guy Dad recognized as a fellow fisherman trying to get by.

    Dad apparently had just walked in on the end of a conversation as the older fisherman laid a couple of coins on the bar, nodded to Dad, and headed out.

    Dad ordered his coffee and sandwich, and asked what the now-departed man had been talking about. Bringing his order, the joints owner said he had been relating how he had seen the Ghost of the Green Monarchs, a slumped figure wearing an old oil rain slicker and traveling in a long-style fishing boat who was occasionally seen on the lake and river. No engineno oars, eitherbut that boat appeared to be making five to six miles an hour over the water.

    Dad had little patience for such malarkey. A week later, though, on his final fishing trip of the year, he came to reevaluate that attitude. It was the week of Halloween. The weather had mostly featured a high, thin overcast, cold but not stormy and just right for fishing. He had put his boat in at Fry Creek, just over a mile from Grandpas house on the road past the present day Sagle School. Dad paddled out to the river, coming out just east and below where the current Cafe 95 is located.

    After several hours, the late morning chill set in and Dad decided to head in after getting a measly 20 white fish. There, in the late-morning haze about a hundred yards away in the direction of Contest Point, was what appeared to be an old-fashioned long boat with the figure of a man just sitting there, not rowing. The

    boat moved across the water just the same, in the direction of what would later become known as Dog Beach, silently, effortlessly... ghostly.

    Epilogue: The Tug BoatMore likely, it was a small mail boat

    during the earlier years of the century and of Sandpoint. Without being specific as to the location, a boat up on horses and blocks, sitting in the middle of a small field surrounded by birch trees and now-unused buildings, is perhaps the scene of a simple haunting.

    Surprisingly close to town, the boat had been there some time. In fact, when I was in my mid-teens, I saw it there while out on an extended bike ride. (As compared to the short distances I used to ride until about 20 years ago.)

    In the years, or even a decade or so, on either side of World War I, a mail boat serviced Bayview, Bottle Bay, and Hope, along with other stops. There was also tug boats that corralled the logs that were floated down the river to the mills.

    In any event, while I did not experience anything unusual during my brief stop, a couple of neighborhood brothers who, shall we say, werent in the habit of pulling stunts or talking out of one of their orifices, told me that they had been riding their bikes north of town and decided to detour and investigate the boat that I had told them about.

    Now, I hadnt climbed onto the deck or the small wheelhouse, but apparently the brothers had and, after a couple of minutes without seeing anything interesting, they decided to head out. But before they could climb over the side, they distinctly heard a mans voice ay, Hey, you brats! Get off my boat!

    They didnt need to be told twice. Maybe the spirit of a mailman was still making his appointed rounds through rain, sleet, snow, gloom of night... and even death.

    The Valley of ShadowsThe Phantom Fisherman

    Lawrence Fury

    600 Schweitzer Plaza Dr. behind Super 8 Motel



    Hows YourView?

    FREE Avalanche WorkshopJanuary 8 at 6 pm

    Sandpoint Forest Service Bldg. 1602 OntarioPre-register at 208-263-3613

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 15

    One of my favorite places to browse for old and used books is Bonners Ferrys Bonner Books, with an ever-changing array of reasonably priced newer books on a central sale table. It was there I recently came across Sabine Baring-Goulds fascinating Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, first published in England in 1866. A precursor to the strange delvings of Charles Fort indeed! Regrettably, however, the present editor states in the foreword that the present edition is heavily edited and foreshortened. I have ruthlessly cut back and abandoned the farther shores of the good Curates research, causing an audible groan to myself and fellow Forteans for its in just those farther, wilder shores where our best and most interesting cases are to be found. Still, theres some wonderful stories and accounts still left to be discovered, including the true tales behind the legends of The Wandering Jew, Prester John, Saint George and the Dragon and so many more.

    To use, by way of example, Baring-Goulds exhaustive detective work, lets consider for a moment The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The town itself was so profoundly devastated by the calamity of the loss of its children that the town actually began dating its public documents from that date in 1284 AD to commemorate the event, along with still-extant inscriptions carved in stone and painted in gold script lamenting the catastrophe. Using already ancient church and lay documents he discovered in musky, old-world archives, Baring-Gould related variant sources and accounts.

    In Harrisons Highlands of Ethiopia for instance, the Hadjuiji Madjuji are demon pipers who ride on goats drawing the children hypnotically behind them to destruction, of a fiddler who did the same to the children of Brandenburg, and even a bagpiper from the Hartz Mountains.

    Now Baring-Gould, a clergyman and rector in Devon, considered himself mainly a biblical scholar, with Lives of the Saints (in 15 volumes!) his most popular work, but his hobby was folklore, with A Book of the West and Collected Folk Songs of Cornwall only two of his many on the subject. To my mind, however, his masterpiece is the rare and hard to find 1865 Werewolves: Being An Account

    Of A Terrible Superstition. Even in this modern day and age I find his exhaustively researched and sobering conclusions the apex of lycanthropic (werewolf) knowledge. Included in this opus are not only sober accounts by officials describing werewolf encounters in their locales, but a collection of sermons from the middle ages warning against the prevalence of the satanic shapeshifters in our midst. Oh, and by the way, most of you are perhaps familiar with the name Sabine Baring-Gould as the author of over 100 hymns, including the beloved Onward Christian Soldiers!

    A brief word on Strange Laws I have Known: In 1970 I was a just-returned Vietnam vet, hitch-hiking cross country, when I was stopped in Coeur dAlene for suspicion of vagrancy by the county cops. who found a tiny roach in my backpack. I got 90 days for that in the Kootenai County Jail, and years later it cost me my job as a firefighter since I had a drug bust on my record. How many other peoples lives have been ruined because of a stupid, ignorant law which should not be a law?

    A decision by the Spokane Sheriffs recently to continue arresting pot smokers for simple possession of small amounts, despite the clear will of the voters of Washington who this November legalized the recreational use of marijuana, is on a par with the countys decision to shut down the so-called hookers website. Known as SpokaneBoard.com, it was a website in which hookers and escorts had a secure locale where they could get together and discuss things like which Johns to be wary of. The police claim it encouraged prostitution and the website owners are being charged. Theres a few other escort sites out there, but only the SpokaneBoard was targeted, the only one run mainly by and for the girls.

    In San Francisco the group COYOTE was formed (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) to help defend the rights of the working girls and its clear to me the Spokane-CDA area is in dire need of something similar.

    til next time, keep spreading the word; Soylent Green is People! All Homage to Xena!

    Forteans Before Fort& Strange Laws I have Known

    FROM THE FILES OF THE RIVER JOURNALSSurrealist Research Bureau

    Jody Forest

    And they dont have toafter all, dont we Americans believe if its ours, its ours and we can do with it what we want? Or

    is and we want it, then

    you have to give it to us and if you dont, then you sponsor terrorism and well

    By the way, China wants that oil as well. Remember China? The people who loaned us all that money? Chinas oil consumption is around 6.5 billion barrels a year, and is growing at 7 percent every year. It produces about 3.6 billion barrels every year. Does this math look good to anyone? Can anyone other than Sarah Palin and George Bush believe we can drill our way out of this problem? Anyone who doesnt think we better hit the ground running to figure out how to fuel what we want fueled with something other than oil probably deserves to go back to an

    : I could go on forever, but youll quit reading. So one final discussion for the American public. First, lets have a true, independent analysis of what happened on September 11, 2001. The official explanation simply doesnt hold water. This is one of those who knew what, when questions that must be answeredand people/institutions must

    Speaking of accountability, you might be surprised to learn that I would not support an effort to impeach President Bush after the November elections. First, because thats too late, and second, because more than Bush have been 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 lets let the evidence of

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  • Page 16 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| December 2012

    Going Home to the Funny FarmJinx BeshearsJinxed

    Christina Dawn DEXTER June 8, 1988 - November 14, 2012 www.LakeviewFuneral.comBrooks Jerry STEVENS III October 8, 1926 - November 19, 2012 U.S. Navy veteran www.LakeviewFuneral.comJoan Deane Hieber WILLIAMS December 23, 1924November 23, 2012 www.LakeviewFuneral.com

    Timothy Allan BAKER May 13, 1944 - November 27, 2012 U.S. Army veteran www.LakeviewFuneral.comMarvin Jean SPEARS July 24, 1927 - December 1, 2012 www.LakeviewFuneral.comMilton H. Bud Mosley January 16, 1938 - November 2, 2012 U.S. Air Force veteran www.Coffeltfuneral.comRandy Sawyer Peterson October 29, 2012 - November 3, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.com

    Lillian Gina Handegaard JOHNSON January 20, 1910 - November 3, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comLorayne Lori GLASS February 9, 1916 - November 4, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comBlanche Loretta Kriege WYATT March 9, 1920 - November 9, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comThomas William LUKE January 6, 1944 - November 13, 2012 Veteran www.Coffeltfuneral.comNona B EVANS January 26, 1927 - November 18, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comGeraldine Olive Muir WALKER July 28, 1928 - November 19, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comWilma Mae McArthur ALLEN November 17, 1917 - November 20, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comHazel Mae Larson KENNY April 30, 1922 - December 1, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.com

    Marvin BRESLAUER May 5, 1922 - December 1, 2012 U.S. Army veteran www.Coffeltfuneral.comEdith May Edie CURTIN May 30, 1925 - December 4, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.comOlga DARR August 4, 1914 - December 5, 2012 www.Coffeltfuneral.com


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    December 2012

    You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that shell come back, or you can open your eyes and see all shes left. Your heart can be empty because you cant see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what shed want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

    ---David Harkins

  • December 2012| The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| Page 17

    Going Home to the Funny FarmJinx BeshearsJinxed

    In a world passed, not that long ago, I lived on a funny farm: my Dad and Moms funny farm. We hadnt been raised around animals much, but once my sisters and I left home, my parents decided they needed animals and they went all out. One of each. Llamas, hedgehogs, rabbits, chickens, goats and cows (oh my!) to begin with. My Daddy was taking the Noahs Ark theme to an extreme.

    I found myself single for a time, one of those children who end up moving back in with their parents, to live life as a 17-year-old again. It wasnt easy as a grown child, trying to get back on my feet. So, when my parents decided to go to California to visit my sister for Thanksgiving, I was thankful. Very thankful. Alone time! I love my parents; my father is my hero, but I could only explain myself to them so many times and seriously, a curfew? I was 43, for Petes sake! They left me detailed instructions on who to feed what; each animal had a name, from each little chicken to each bunny in its cage and even all 11 cows. (my Dad had become a cattle baron!).

    I had worked a double, coming home at 7 am. All I really wanted to do was crash and burn, but I still had to feed the critters their breakfast give them all their special snacks, and bottle feed some of the babies. It was muddy out in the barnyard, snow had melted and then frozen again. I donned my Daddys huge rubber boots and his coat that was eight sizes too big, not realizing how hard it was really going to be to trudge through the muck and mud to the barn.

    My Daddy had put out one of the big round hay bales in the field for the cows before he left, but they still had to have their grain (and heaven forbid they go without a little cow snack!). I grabbed a shovel to bust up the ice that had accumulated in the trough, glancing over at the hay bale where the cows had gathered. Hummm, I said to myself, as I continued to break the ice, there is a cow in that tree.

    I was tired and it took a second or two for me to register what thought had just crossed my mind. There is a cow in that tree, I said out loud. As if that would make it believable somehow. THERE IS A COW IN THAT TREE! I slowly turned my head to look again. Yup, there was a cow in that tree.

    The trees trunk split into two branches near the 6 foot mark. Tina, daddys prize Brahman cow, had evidently tried to stand on her back hooves and reach a leaf that was higher than she thought. I guess she pitched forward, wedging her head in the split of the tree trunk, and she was pissed. She was hung there on her tippy hooves, not in the least bit happy about it.

    I stopped what I was doing, shaking my head. What was I supposed to do now? Already the baby goats we were bottle feeding were trying to suckle my knee caps, demanding their milk.

    I walked out to the tree with my cell phone, little goats bellowing and grabbing at my pants, chickens pecking at my toes and Tina, the cow, glaring at me.

    I did what anyone in my position would do: I called my Daddy. After all, he knows everything, right? Daddy told me to call the sheriffs department. I know they rescue kitties from trees, but a COW in a tree is a whole different ball game. No way, I told Daddy. I cringed at the thought of calling the sheriff! I could hear the deputies now, Load up the paddy wagon, boys, we got a live one. Uh, no.

    I tried to shove Tinas snotty head back to get her out, but she wasnt very cooperative and I learned a valuable lesson: cows can bite! Then I had an epiphany! The tree was in a V, right? So why not saw one side off? Then Tina could escape without anyone being the wiser.

    The reason you dont use a saw blade for one side is that you might accidently nip her skin and upset her even more. How do I know this? Because I tried.

    Then my Daddy told me to call our neighbor, Manuel. A much better plan, as far as I was concerned.

    I crawled over the fence and my way-too-big clothes got caught on the barbs but I managed to reach the other side without cussing too much and knocked on Manuels door. I didnt know what to say, so out it came. Manuel, if you will look over my left shoulder you will notice that there is a cow hanging from my Daddys tree. Manuels forehead scrunched and then he looked. He grinned at me and said, Only your daddy, Jinx, only your daddy. Yeah, well he wasnt telling me anything I didnt already know. FUNNY FARM! It was named that for a reason!!

    Manuel and I climbed the fence after he found a rope. He had an idea and for some reason, that made me nervous. He wasnt a young, spry neighbor. He was about 70 and I was biting my nails wondering what he had come up with. He climbed the tree and strung the rope around Tinas neck and tried pulling her head up out of the V in the tree. That didnt work and, in fact, it just pissed Tina off even more, if that was even possible. Manuel was literally dangling himself from the tree, trying one last time to pull Tinas big old head up. I flinched each time she mooed. You can really tell when a cow is pissed off. It has an angry moo.

    It was then I noticed some cars were stopping to watch our predicament. A whole line of cars and a motorcycle club were snapping pictures. That part I understood; its not every day you see a cow hanging in a tree. Like mighty Joe Young, Manuel was swinging from limb to limb, wrapping the rope to get a better position around Tinas head.

    About that time I heard giggling over my shoulder towards Manuels house. His 70-year-old wife had come out to witness the horror unfolding. She pointed behind Tina. I had been so preoccupied with Manuel hanging precariously from the tree, I hadnt noticed that daddys young calves had taken up behind Tina and were trying one at a time to mount her while she hung there. WOW could it get any worse? At any moment I expected to see the helicopter news crew flying low overhead.

    I dont know if Manuel angered Tina, or if the randy calves got Tina all worked up, but suddenly she slung her head up and out it came off the tree. Oh, thank God, I whispered. I jerked the baby goats off my knees and thanked Manuel for a job well done. He didnt say anything. He just grinned.

    Tina huffed and bolted after the bawdy calves and taught them a lesson in running for their naughty little lives. I looked at the people lined up, still snapping pictures. They waved. I didnt really know what to do so I took a bow. Might as well laugh about it and hope it wasnt on the 5 o clock news. I would never hear the end of it at work!

    Most kids get the keys to their parents kingdom. Me I get a Funny Farm. Literally.

  • Page 18 | The River Journal - A News Magazine Worth Wading Through | www.RiverJournal.com | Vol. 21 No. 12| December 2012

    We lived in the sand hills of southern Oklahoma when I was a small boy of about five. My dad and my grandmother had a small farm just off the county road south of Anadarko. This is a place where you ether had clay or sand, and we had sand. Dad made most of his spare money by using his team of mules to pull cars out of the sand traps on the road.

    Most were traveling salesman who were selling needles, thimbles and some kind of wonder drug (which was eighty percent alcohol) that if taken three times day, would cure anything (temporarily). When they would ask Dad how much they owed him after pulling them out of the sand pits he would just say, Oh, nothing. Is just being neighborly. But if you want to give my assistant here something, I guess that would be all right. And those guys would unload on me and when we would get back to the house I would dump it all out on the table and we would separate it from the sand.

    As I recall it was late summer and very hot. I didnt know it at the time but the humidity and the temperature was just over a hundred. Grandmas dress was always soaking wet with sweat and she would wipe her brow with her apron to keep the sweat out of her eyes while she canned. As you might remember, my grandma dipped Garrett snuff as a lot of old ladies back in the day did. Thats how we could tell she was level headed: the tobacco juice ran out both corners of her mouth evenly.

    Everything we raised from the garden

    was either canned, pickled or made into jelly or jam. Grandma kept that old wood cook stove dancing a jig as she stuffed wood in its fire box, to keep the water hot to seal the canning jars.

    Dad would come in at noon for dinner and his shirt would be soaked with sweat, This was when he stopped smoking Bull Durham tobacco and went to Prince Albert in the can so it would stay dry, and he could put his cigarette papers in there to keep them dry as well. He would tie his mules up in the shade of the big weeping willow tree next to our stock tank. Next to the tank was a water well with a windmill and a hand pump. We kept fresh water for our livestock and for the house.

    While it may have been hot as hell that summer I never seemed to notice, even though little beads of sweat would appear on my upper lip once in a while that seemed to disappear without notice. All the clothes I wore were my bib overalls; no shoes. And that willow tree shaded our complete back yard.

    My favorite toys at that time were a gallon syrup bucket, an old silver serving spoon, and a half of a brick. I had had a cast iron Model T I got for Christmas, but a poor kid came over one day who didnt even have a brick to play with, so I gave him my Model T as it was too wide to fit in my farm roads any way. Dad was not happy with me as that Model T cost him a whole dollar!

    As I said, it was summer and my drinking uncle, my uncle Bill, who always drank with Dad whenever they got together, had sent his daughter down from Oklahoma City to help grandma with her canning. And in the afternoon when it was the hottest, they would stop canning and set in the shade to let the house cool off before they started supper. Now this girl was about 16 or 17 and therefore never had much interest in me.

    With the big willow tree and the windmill and stock tank all in close proximity, it was easy to keep damp with my gallon syrup bucket. And this would, in turn, keep the yard cool, especially all the little roads and farms scattered all over the yard.

    Then, one hot afternoon, it happened! My niece brought her pallet out in the yard next to the horse tank and spread it out and proceeded to stretch out and read her book. This, however, interfered with my farm roads and I brought it to her attention, and she told me where I could stick my farm roads and went back to reading her novel.

    My grandmother was leaning back in her kitchen chair ne