Category Archives: Local News

Lost in The 50’s Week… Story by Lauren Roth.

For 32 years, Idahoans have celebrated the cars and culture of 1950s America. This tradition occurs on the third weekend of May annually, and it includes music concerts, dances, parades, and car shows. FBCS started the festivities early with a week of decade-inspired dress down days. May 15th-May 19th were packed with retro fashions, such as the 60s tie-dye, and the 80s neon colors.

Screen Shot 2017-06-02 at 1.04.21 AM
Lost in the 50’s… The events attract cars from around northern Idaho and even Washington or Montana

The school celebration may have ended that Friday, but it was just getting started in the rest of Sandpoint. On Friday night, hundreds of antique cars flooded downtown Sandpoint for the parade. There was an immense variety in car models, some from the early 1900s, and some at the end of it.

The atmosphere of the parade was very positive, car owners and audience members a like were excited to participate in the event. It was a lively night, full of fun surprises. At one point, some in the crowd demanded the cars to honk their horns so much, that the car owners synchronized nonstop honking for a minute. While this probably doesn’t sound very impressive, there were about 30 cars that did this, so the sound resembled that the siren of a fire truck. Speaking of fire trucks, an old-fashioned fire engine was also present in the parade.

Motor Pride... Each car was authentic and prepped up for the weekend
Motor Pride… Each car was authentic and prepped up for the weekend

Other unusual cars in the parade included a purple jeep and a limousine that both had humongous 6 or 7 feet tall tires, a car that blew fire out of its exhaust pipes, and a car that had a life-size doll riding on the back. Car owners definitely were creative this year.

Saturday then brought the sounds of live music echoing through the city streets, and the aroma of barbeque floating in the air. It had rained that morning, but by 3 PM it was all sunshine. Awards that resembled old music records were given out to the best cars, and then one by one, they left. Lost in the 50s is a week that shows the character and charm of Sandpoint. It is a wonderful time, and if you missed it this year, you definitely should mark your calendar for next year!



FBCS Art Project: Cosmic Under-The-Sea Mural… Story by Jada Giddings

At Forrest Bird Charter High, several students have chosen to partake in painting an art mural in an alley in downtown Sandpoint.

For their community project, students of Forrest Bird Charter School collaborate to paint a massive mural of a whale floating through a space setting.

Work in Progress… The students plan to add other sea animals in addition to the whales they’ve already started on

Through these past few days, kids have been painting this mural for the community to inspire citizens in an artistic way. From the beginning of May, these groups of students have worked diligently on the beautiful mural to now, working in the mornings and even after school. Anna, Sloan, Drew, Ariel, Kiley, Colleen, Daniel, and Brandon have all worked on this mural and intend to create a full piece containing not only the whales, but octopi, jellyfish, starfish, and eels.

Though this mural was thought up by Sloan, all are contributing with their amazing artistic abilities. Because the mural is so large and only halfway finished for the project, these eight FBCS students will be working through the summer to make the art piece even better than it already is. On Oak Street, nearby Finnan McDonald, the mural is located for all Sandpoint citizens to see in one of the well-known art alleys.

Alleyway Art… Sandpoint is known for being open to murals. The FBCS mural is featured near Oak Street

The students chose to paint a mural because they wanted to bring art into the community. Many believe street art is simple graffiti, or vandalizing, but Sandpoint is also known for being open to community art. They hope to impact the next generations in an artistic way and bring light to Sandpoint and its citizens. From the FBCS students working on the mural, they state the title of the mural will not be released until the hours they have to meet on the project are over. Until then, the mural will be a mystery.

Politicians Debate Climate Change, Citizens left with the Blame…. Story by Davey Breakey

The Idaho senate has recently approved new K-12 science standards with the notable absence of key references to human caused climate change. Our state has had trouble agreeing on public science standards for the past three years. References to global warming and the origin of the universe were not accepted by the state in recent years because the “language did not offer alternative views.” However, this does not mean climate change cannot be taught in schools, standards are simply a minimum of what students are expected to know. To be clear, climate change is something that has been happening for millions of years, and we know this. Pollution and climate change due to human activity is a more closely related subject than one might think.

More than 97% of peer reviewed scientists say that humans are having an impact on the environment and we need to change our ways to prevent further harm to our Earth, but whose fault is it really? Is it us, the consumer, or the corporations?

Climate Change Graphed… Nasa shares data on the unnatural rise of carbon in our atmosphere
Climate Change Graphed… NASA shares data on the unnatural rise of carbon in our atmosphere

Blame for climate change and human pollution goes to the average person, but is it really our fault? The huge majority of modern manufacturers are using the cheapest material possible in order to produce the cheapest product possible without giving any care as to the impact it has on our environment. It is possible to seek out and only use products manufactured with clean energy and materials, however it is very difficult to do so in today’s society. The truth is that most people just don’t have time to do the research and are not willing to pay a higher price for a comparable product. The big corporate powers are only concerned with profit and will do whatever it takes to deceive consumers in order to sell more of their products. So, in all reality, it’s the major corporations of today’s society that need to make a change. But how will this change ever happen when these companies would never make any changes that could possibly reduce profits in any way? What we need is a nationwide policy that will give major corporations incentive to move to renewable energy.

There have been many attempts over the past few decades to bring attention to climate change and the detrimental effects it’s having on our Earth, just last week there was a nation-wide climate march where tens of thousands of people showed up in D.C. alone to show their concern for the future of our planet. While these events are great for bringing attention to the issue of climate change, something needs to be done, and quickly too. One organization that’s gaining traction across the U.S. is the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) and their compelling solution to the problem.

Concerned citizens… sandpoint locals participate in the nationwide march for a livable planet
Concerned citizens… Sandpoint locals participate in the nationwide march for a livable planet

The CCL is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. Their goal is to educate the public about climate change and take action across the nation, encouraging members to contact and influence their elected officials in the federal government. The CCL has equal support from conservatives and liberals alike. Keeping the organization non-partisan is very important to them because a livable planet is something people on both sides are concerned about and can only be achieved with combined efforts.

Their answer to reversing climate change is called the Carbon Fee and Dividend policy (CF&D). This policy would implement a rising fee on carbon emissions generated by major corporations throughout the nation. The revenue generated from this fee would be returned to American households as a dividend. This policy would create millions of jobs due to increased renewable energy useage and as a result would also boost our economy. If you want to learn about CCL and exactly how CF&D policy would work, you can check out their website here: A local chapter for CCL has been formulated right here in sandpoint  recently and there will be a free presentation on Saturday, May 20th from 4:00 – 5:00 pm at the Forrest Bird Charter High School. CCL’s regional Northwest coordinator, Tim Dec, will be speaking on CCLs Balanced Climate Solution.


5 Unexpected Things at Prom… Story by Lauren Roth

Prom was even more fun and exciting than I had predicted. But what was even more unexpected was how my peers acted at Prom. Here are the five behaviors I did not expect to see at Prom:

1. A lot of people went without dates. I was pleasantly surprised that so many people were brave enough to go to prom, even if they didn’t have someone to “slow dance” and “take couple pictures” and other couple stuff that we singles wouldn’t know about from personal experience. Bravo to those who went anyway!

2. My peers find dancing awkward too! Though there were some people who just owned the dance floor, the majority of those dancing were in the same boat as me. Most of us were in a
transitional, but totally acceptable and common place where we are only mildly confident about our dancing skills. Congrats to my peers for stepping out of their comfort zones and just dancing!

Under the Blacklight... This years prom theme was much more popular than last year
Under the Blacklight… This years prom theme was much more popular than in previous dances

3. Our seniors are amazing dancers! With their higher status as citizens, and emerging sense of freedom and personal identity, we must respect our seniors by applauding their fearless dancing. Seeing them bust out epic moves definitely made the night entertaining. Special thanks to seniors Martin Chilcott, Connor Conway, Emily Hieronymus, Emily Invernon, Lakiah Turnbull, Andrew Van Winkle, Brandon Michelsen, as well as junior Jared Van Winkle, for making prom exciting.

4.  My peers dance in friend groups. Being in a large group with your friends can make it much more comfortable to dance, as I found out from personal experience. It was by far the most common trend amongst everyone on the dance floor. Thanks to friends for not making us feel absurd while dancing, or dancing absurdly with us.

Hanging with friends… Over 70 students attended prom this year, many of them together
Hanging with friends… Over 70 students attended prom this year, many of them in groups

5. Lastly, I was surprised that so many of my peers came! I was blown away that about 70 people came to prom. Prior to the dance, it seemed like everyone I talked to wasn’t going, so I honestly expected only 20 people to go to prom. Thank you for showing school spirit, and attending this dance!

If you didn’t go to prom, you missed out. According to a survey I conducted with students who went to prom:

  • 100% of the students liked the venue of this year’s prom (At the Warehouse by Evans Bros.) better than last year’s prom venue (At FBCS).
  • 57% of the students liked the theme of black light compared to the 43% of students who did not like the theme of black light.

In summary, this year’s prom was fantastic and I highly anticipate next year’s prom.

Does Idaho agree with Bernie Sanders?… Story by Davey Breakey

According to a recent poll by Fox News, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders currently has the highest approval rating of any U.S. senator. This poll included a variety of political leaders and other politically relevant organizations, favorability is calculated by subtracting the overall favorable views minus the unfavorable views.

I (Davey Breakey) have taken the initiative to poll the students and staff of the Forest Bird Charter School to see whether they support bernie sanders or not. This poll includes 30 different people chosen at random to participate. Here are the results of the poll…

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 2.27.09 PMOverall 63% percent approve of Bernie Sanders, 30 percent are neutral and 10 percent disapprove. Judging by this data, our school has a pretty strong supporter base for Sen. Sanders with a disapproval rating of just 10 percent!

One of the issues and most likely the reason for sanders popularity with young people’s views on making College and higher education Tuition and debt free. An interesting twist, could Idaho (one of the most conservative states in America) have the largest support group for Sanders ideas?

Wrapping up the SATs.... Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing
Wrapping up the SATs…. Mitzi Vesecky advises FBCS students, as well as manage state testing

Every student with the opportunity to dual enroll in Idaho also gets $4,125 towards their college tuition saving them upwards $7,000 per year, according to 2017 Boise State tuition fee and possibly even more if you include other expenses such as boarding which is anywhere from $3,380 to $6,294 per year. Also, if we get into food costs you’re looking at an additional $3,900 for 2 meals a day throughout the academic year. All together you could be saving about $17,000 per year!

So if you are able to get your associate’s degree before you graduate high school–which according to Mitzy Vesecky is very difficult to do–you could be saving you or your parents $34,000 in college expenses, I’d say that’s pretty good!

Spring Thaw Causes Problems For North Idaho Residents… Mack Jastle

North Idaho winters are typically long, frigid, and relentless, routinely dragging on into the beginning of April.  Snow banks are slow to thaw, and several weeks of miserable rainy weather and slippery roads make travel a bother, to say the least.

However, recent spring weather has left many students high and dry in the transportation department, with mudslides blocking roads and floods preventing travel, even across some stretches of highways in the area.

Slippery Slope…Recent spring thawing has initiated weather warnings in the area, resulting in several mudslides over backroads and highways alike. Photo-by: KIVI
Slippery Slope…Recent spring thawing has initiated weather warnings in the area, resulting in several mudslides over backroads and highways alike. Photo-by: KIVI

Heavy rainfall over the past week, coupling with thawing snowbanks, have put many areas on risk for flooding, and the roads are becoming increasingly dangerous as conditions worsen.


As counties scrambled to deal with flooding and mudslides caused by the spring weather, Governor Butch Otter signed state disaster declarations for seven North Idaho counties on March 21st.

These counties included the Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Clearwater, Kootenai, Latah, and Shoshone counties.

Kootenai County has declared a flood emergency after heavy flooding has caused damage to property, and the potential for more damage looms still as more snow melts

Detour…Snowmelt and heavy precipitation have caused heavy flooding in many areas, closing roads and preventing travel. Photo-by: KBOI
Detour…Snowmelt and heavy precipitation have caused heavy flooding in many areas, closing roads and preventing travel. Photo-by: KBOI

and precipitation adds to the rising waters.

According to the Idaho Office of Emergency Management, twenty-five Idaho counties have local declarations pertaining to snowfall or flooding in their areas.  Water levels of the Coeur d’ Alene River, the St. Joe River and other bodies of water within the counties have risen dramatically, resulting in widespread flooding and roads being submerged under the water.

The weather has prevented many from being able to reach their work or get to school.  The rapidly rising temperatures, combined with frequent precipitation, have created a perfect set of circumstances for hazardous mudslides and flooding.

Weather advisories are in effect until early next week, as more precipitation is expected over the weekend.  Counties in the area are still on alert for mudslides, avalanches, and further flooding as the situation develops.

Solar Roadways Fact or Fiction?

Our Reporter explores the Solar Roadways project in Sandpoint, Idaho after many errors on their install.  The day the student journalism class went to test the panels, it led to a city police investigation. Unfortunately, the panels were not working on the day of Bird Eye News’ test. To this day, as of March 21, 2017, the panels are not producing any power that can be used by the city’s power grid.

Are the Solar Roadways fact or fiction?

Gonzaga Success…Story by Bailey Stapleton

The city of Spokane is celebrating as Gonzaga University men’s basketball team is on one of the biggest streaks in NCAA history. Game after game, the team has gone to win with an outstanding 27-0 record; the best in Gonzaga history. Team after team has challenged the Zags to only be defeated. The Bulldogs defeated the San Francisco Dons last week 96 to 61. But, why is this season different from the others? After the Portland game, The Spokesman Review got the chance to interview HeadGonzaga Coach Mark Few. Who went to say, “It’s been stressful with these consecutive games, and we need to get time to rest; it will continue to be tough and hopefully that’s where our depth comes to help us.” (Quote from

White, Red, Blue...Gonzaga’s #32 goes in for a layup against the San Francisco Dons at home in Spokane. Photo by The
White, Red, Blue…Gonzaga’s #32 goes in for a layup against the San Francisco Dons at home in Spokane. Photo by The

Spokesmen Review) One ofGonzaga’s keys to winning these games is their center PrzemekKarnowski from Poland who manages to lead the team to greatness with amazing lay-ins and shots. Karnowski came to Gonzaga in 2012 to play basketball for the university from Poland.His Resounding success this year has led him to be one of the most successful centers in GU history. Coming in at 7’1 and 300pounds he truly is the backbone of GU’s 2016-2017 team. With aPoint Percentage of 12.8 Karnowksi truly is a great player.Another thing fans are wondering is will the Zags win the NCAA tournament? Could we possibly see a repeat of last season?Based on the statistics of what we’ve seen, hopefully, the Zags will continue to dominate and bring pride to the local area. For now

the Zags seem to be on point delivering blow after blow on other basketball teams challenging The Lilac Cities Juggernaut men’s basketball team The Gonzaga Bulldogs. Last season proved to be very disheartening for the Bulldogs who made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. Last year’s team was very successful in the fact that they were on a massive win streak, but lost their momentum in the 1st round of the Final Four, It truly brought fans and the player alike to sorrow as the season they had worked so

Captions for Gonzaga Story Gonzaga (White,Red and Blue) Goes in for a dunk during Gonzaga Urancisco Dons beating them 96-61 at home in Spokane. Photo By
Captions for Gonzaga Story
Gonzaga (White,Red and Blue) Goes in for a dunk during Gonzaga Urancisco Dons
beating them 96-61 at home in Spokane. Photo By

hard for ended. This year however proves to be different for the players as their coach Mark Few has said that they have been working on all the strengths and weaknesses of the team as a whole and how they can make it better in each game they play. Zag fans everywhere are excited to see how this season turns for the zags. So far their season has been an incredible one and the best in Gonzaga Basketball history. With an all-star line up with some of the best players from around the globe, this year’s tournament should be looking up for Gonzaga and The Lilac City as they are able to beat team after team with an amazing success rate. The Odds are in their favor, but we will see how it plays out during March Madness.

Snow Days…Story by Natalie Faris

The northern counties of Idaho have been experiencing some very violent snow/ice storms. All of the cities that surround Sandpoint and FBCS are covered with fresh snow and icy roads. Sandpoint received about a foot of snow with some freezing rain. However, the snow never stopped north of Sandpoint, hitting Bonners Ferry with about three feet in most places, however, deeper snow was found further north from Bonners Ferry.

On Monday, officials declared Monday the 8th an emergency, enabling the city to ask for additional snow removal resources if needed. Thankfully, the city hasn’t needed the resources yet and has been hard at work. According to the Spokesman-Review’s interview of Mayor David Sims the city generally hauls about 50 dump trucks of snow, but on Monday they were at a total of 160 and still counting, making this three times bigger than an average snow storm in Bonners Ferry.

Rumors of possible record snowfall are floating around, however, the current record is “26.0 inches on January 15, 1954”. Sadly, the

Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham
Heavy Snow…A picture of the trees that received a fresh blanket of snow during the snowstorm which caused Bonners Ferry to declare a state of emergency. Photo by Lauren Stidham

storm dropped about 20 inches on the hardest day. Learn more at the Spokesman-Review and WeatherDB.

However, even though no records were broken, school was canceled on Monday the 6th and the north bus wasn’t running at all expect for on the afternoon of Wednesday the 8th. Overall, full-time school was only held twice this week (Tuesday and Wednesday), the and there was two EADs (Thursday and Friday).

But what is up with all of these EADs? What happened to our snow days? Our school has a cap on how many snow days we can take after we hit our limit, snow days are turned into EADs. You might wonder how we are supposed to know how to complete all of these EAD assignments without seeing our teachers and learning what we need to do, and you might have found it hard to complete all of those assignments without teacher help before the hard due date scheduled on Friday the 10th. Thankfully, the school recognized the tough situation and moved the hard due date to Friday the 17th, giving students extra time to get things all tied up.

With all of this talk of snow and missed school days, don’t let the weather get you down! Sunshine and warmth are forecasted for the week

of 12-18th of February, maybe spring isn’t far away after all!