Author Archive: STI

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Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba story


William Kamkwamba, born in a village in Malawi, was 14 years old when he became fascinated with the idea of building a windmill after looking at a bookon energy at a library he frequented when his family could no longer afford the school fees.

Although he could not read the English text, he gleaned enough to build a crude windmill that produced 12 volts and powered 4 lights, bringing electricity and a water pump to his impoverished, famine stricken village.

This is an astounding modern day fairy tale, and in this video
our hero William tells us how it all happened.


Great Holiday Gifts from Mother Earth News


Compact Cabins, Root Cellaring, Home Cheese Making and More DIY Project Gift Ideas!


The Story of Broke (video)


The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money.


Sandpoint Fall Fair!


Join Us at the Sandpoint Fall Fair This Saturday!
A boot scootin’ good time for the whole family!

October 22nd, from 2pm till 10:30pm

The Eureka Center and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper are coming together to bring you the Sandpoint Fall Fair on Saturday, October 22nd, from 2pm till 10:30pm. The event will take place at the Old Granary District at 6th Ave and Oak St. with admission by donation.

There will be plenty of entertainment and educational opportunities for all ages at the Sandpoint Fall Fair.  Live music will kick off at 4:00pm, provided by Cedar and Boyer. Mike and Shanna Thompson will perform between 6:00-7:00pm, followed by free line dancing lessons from 7:30-8:15pm. Then, we will raise the roof with a Barn Dance with the Ryan Larson Band, voted Spokane’s Best Country Rock Band, from 8:15-10:30pm.

A variety of seasonal crafts and games will take place that will delight both the young and “young at heart” including apple bobbing, mask making, face painting and water games with the Camp Eureka staff.  There will even be an inflatable obstacle course!

Bring your Jack-o-lantern, or pick a pumpkin from our patch for the pumpkin carving contest!  Prizes for most creative, scariest, funniest, etc…  The Sandpoint Fall Fair is also the perfect opportunity to meet your new WATERKEEPER and challenge yourself with WATERKEEPER trivia.  This is also the chance to be among the first to hear about the 2012 Lake Pend Oreille Kayak Adventures presented in conjunction with the Eureka Center and Selkirk Outdoor Leadership and Education.

A delicious array of food and drinks will be featured at the Sandpoint Fall Fair.  Enjoy the final harvest from a variety of Farmers Market vendors and warm up with tasty beverage from Evans Brothers Coffee.  Bring your appetite because a hometown barbeque, will be provided by Eichardt’s, between 5:00 and 7:30pm with beer and wine served throughout the event.

Dust of your boots and come on down for a great time at The Sandpoint Fall Fair!

For more information, call 208-263-2217

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Green Home Tour 2011


Join us for this FREE Self Guided Tour – 10:00 to 4:00 Saturday, October 1st.

A new understanding of the importance of sustainable construction practices has infused the industry with innovations in health, comfort, efficiency, materials, energy systems, and integrated building systems. Come check out some of these advances and see how they have been used in our community in conjunction with other time proven design elements to produce extraordinary human habitat.

  1. Selle Valley – Timber Frame – 2222 Hidden Valley Road
    Ross & Vicki Longhini – owner
    Collin Beggs, Timber Frame Homes – Design-Builder
    Organic Medieval Revival Timber Frame home including, crooked wood, ICF foundation,
    SIP Walls, and bespoke Craftsmanship Through Out.
    For more info see:
    From Sandpoint…Take Hwy 95 North. Turn East (left) onto Hidden Valley Road. There is a church on the corner with a sign. Travel 2.15 miles on the dirt road and you will dead end at the home. You will initially travel straight on Hidden Valley Road and then turn into a “development” of 20 acre parcels Winding down and up through the valley. Follow the road, do not take any turns.
  2. Selle Valley – Straw Bale Infill – 549 Shingle Mill Road
    Mary Ann & Larry Jeffres – owner
    Strawbale Infill & wood frame home. Features stained concrete radiant floor heating,
    earth plaster interior walls, recycled glass tile, pre-treatment septic system and natural
    US 200 E from Sandpoint approx 4.7 miles after town of Kootenai, turn left on Shingle Mill Rd.  House is on right after .5 miles, driveway before metal warehouse building
  3. Elmira – ICF & Passive Solar – 84 Sacajawea Trail
    Cindy Peer – owner
    Bruce Millard – architect
    Very green rural setting home with solar orientation and cooling massing. Earth-loop
    geothermal radiant floor heating system and high thermal mass recycled ICF building
    systems, clay plaster interior finish, & stained concrete floor / counter tops & more.
    For more info see:
    North on 95 from Sandpoint 15 miles. Turn right east on Elmira Road, just before Elmira Store.  Cross railroad tracks, follow gravel road  and cross 2nd set of tracks, Road goes to the right and go up short hill . Turn Right at Jenkins Road -  first road at top of hill Go about .4 mile and on right you will turn right at Sacajawea Trail.  Turn left, to second drive and continue of driveway to house:
    Phone 208 255-7138 if lost
  4. Camp Bay, Sagle – Green Roof – 367 Raven View Dr
    Gary & Kathy Berg owner
    Bruce Millard – architect
    Compact, passive solar, low energy, high thermal mass home on steep narrow site
    overlooking Lake Pend Orielle. Recycled ICF walls & SIP roof systems, durable-healthynatural-
    finishes. Geo-Thermal heat pump radiant heating system. Natural lighting and
    warm winter sun fills the house, while passive cooling design makes for comfortable
    summer days. Structure includes a Green Roof and is wired for future solar collectors.
    For more info see –
    US 95 S, 6 miles, left on Sagle Rd approx 9.5 miles, right on Camp Bay Rd 1.9 miles, left on Elliot Bay Rd 1.5 miles, Right Raven View Dr, .4 miles, home on left.  Call 208 265 8152 if lost.
  5. Sandpoint – Voodoo Solar Store – 502 Cedar
    Don Clark – owner
    Retail business. Solar electric products and residential solar electric design services.
    Owners will answer questions about equipment, design, and off-grid lifestyle.
    Functioning solar electric system will be on display.
    For more info see:
    Store on northern end of Cedar St Station Building at 5th and Cedar in downtown Sandpoint.  Turn west on Alder St and park in parking lot, on on Alder St
  6. Sandpoint – ICF Low Energy Home – 448 S. Marion
    Steve & Linda Navarre owner
    Rob Herrera & Gennifer Land – architect
    Compact 2 story in town low energy home on corner lot in South Sandpoint. Recycled
    glass concrete countertops, recycled oak floor and concrete paver patio, light colored
    metal roof for heat reflection. Spray Foam attic insulation and Tankless gas HWH.
    Boyer south to Erie, right on Erie, 3 blocks to Marion. House is on NW Corner of Marion & Erie.