Category Archives: Local News

In-Depth Look at Arby’s… Story by Leah Roth

Arby’s has been an integral part of our Sandpoint community ever since it opened back in 1987. This restaurant has always held a special place in the heart of Journalism teacher Mark Webber, who used to go there as a kid:

“There’s just this feeling of nostalgia going back in there, like a time machine back to 1984. I do miss the old look before the remodel, but I understand that the solarium leaked and they needed to update the interior. However, I just wish they stayed more retro with the décor.”

Our journalism staff recently visited Arby’s during their ‘Happy Hour’ which is from 2 to 5 PM and offers certain small menu items for $1 each. Lolisa, the supervisor, talked to us about the history of the restaurant and her experience working there. She said she loved meeting all the people who come in, and that it is a pleasure working for Pierre and Denise Huguenin, the owners. Denise was kind enough to take time out of her vacation and answer a few of my questions:

A Cornerstone of the Community… Arby’s has been in Sandpoint for 30 years.
A Cornerstone of the Community… Arby’s has been in Sandpoint for 30 years.

Leah: “Why did you decide to buy this restaurant?”

Denise: “We had a restaurant called RAX from 1991 to 1994 in the same location. RAX, as a national franchise company, was failing nationwide and we felt it was time to make a change. Arby’s was expanding its franchise locations at the time, so it was a logical move to buy an Arby’s franchise. We opened Arby’s in July, 1994.”

Leah: “How are you connected to Lost in the 50’s?”

Denise: “We love Lost in the 50’s! Carolyn Gleason is a good friend and we are happy to support her in any way we can. We started “Locals Nite” about 10 years ago to give our local car club, The Injectors, the opportunity to show off their cars before the 50’s car show. It has become a tradition between Arby’s and The Injectors and a kickoff for the 50’s activities.”

Leah: “Why did you decide to remodel?”

Denise: “We remodeled Arby’s because our license as an Arby’s franchisee was expiring after 23 years and Arby’s wanted us to update our building inside and out in order to continue as an Arby’s franchise for the next 20 years. We are very excited about the changes in the building…it’s great to have a fresh, new look!”

Leah: “What is your favorite part about owning Arby’s?”

Denise: “My favorite part about owning Arby’s is working with so many wonderful people in our community…our guests, our suppliers and most of all our crew members!

Friendly Service… Lolisa and the Journalism staff stand behind the counter at Arby’s.
Friendly Service… Lolisa and the Journalism staff stand behind the counter at Arby’s.

Our manager, Stacy Johnson has been with me at Arby’s for 20 years…her Mom, Alena Zantow, worked with me for 23 years before she retired last year. I love teaching young people how to be responsible employees. My philosophy for young workers is…if you can succeed at Arby’s, you will succeed at any career you pursue! It’s all about the people!”

Leah: “Which sandwich would you personally recommend to someone who has never eaten at Arby’s?”

Denise: “That’s a difficult question! I personally like every one of our sandwiches! I’d say our two signature sandwiches are the Classic…simply roast beef on a sesame seed bun, or the Beef and Cheddar…roast beef, cheese sauce, red ranch sauce on an onion bun.”

Our Arby’s is a family owned and operated restaurant that provides jobs for many local high school students, including 3 of our very own Forrest Bird High School students. If you haven’t been into Arby’s in a while head on down during Happy Hour and see the new remodel!

All Photos by Kai Eagley

Internet Outage in Sandpoint… Story by Eliza Lister

Two weeks ago Sandpoint suffered a major internet outage by the accidental cutting of a fiber optic cable in Athol. This outage happened on an EAD, leaving many students and teachers unable to complete their work.

RIP Server… We will no longer be using the server for our data. Photo by Kai Eagley
RIP Server… We will no longer be using the server for our data.

Although it may not seem like that big of a deal, the school is in the process of moving everything onto an online cloud called OneDrive. This means that everything is only available online, and not on the computer hard drive. The school decided to switch to OneDrive because it was more cost efficient. The technology industry is also moving towards cloud based document storage for everything. Though convenient when connected to internet, if an outage like this happens again nothing will be accessible.

Now that all the data is backed up automatically on the cloud it can accessed from any computer, at home or at school. This means if something happens to your laptop all of the files on one drive are still there. Each student has 1TB of storage, which is quite a bit, no need to worry about running out of space.

In the Cloud… We’ve moved all of our files and documents to OneDrive cloud storage. Photo by Kai Eagley.
In the Cloud… We’ve moved all of our files and documents to OneDrive cloud storage.

The schools shift to OneDrive will cause a huge dependence on the Internet and could bring classes to a grinding halt. Unfortunately, if the entire school day just stopped there would be a lot of catch up work on the back end. You may consider having backup copies of your assignments on a flash drive.

Not to worry the school has only had one Internet outage in the last three years. If it were to happen again there is a backup circuit in place to power the schools Internet. But continue to be safe with your work and keep a backup copy available.

Photo by Kai Eagley.

Intro to Interact Club… Story by Eliza Lister

There is an air of excitement when you first walk into our school Interact Club. Though it was just formed last year, you can tell it’s already gaining momentum. Now, what exactly is Interact Club? Interact is a student driven community service organization that is connected to Rotary. They believe in “service before self.”

Last Wednesday was the first meeting, and around 13 people were in attendance. An opportunity came up for the club to work with Family Summit to serve soup on October 26th. The funds from this will go back to the club to do more service based projects.

What is Interact?... Lindsay Holland explains to the group. Photo by Eliza Litster
What is Interact?… Lindsay Holland explains to the group. Photo by Eliza Litster

There are hundreds of Rotary clubs in our country, and thousands of Interact Clubs. Representatives from the Sandpoint and Ponderay Rotary clubs were attending the first meeting last Wednesday. Debbie, the representative from Sandpoint Rotary said, “Together the two rotaries have 200 of your “best cheerleaders” here to support you in whatever type of service you can dream up, whether it be a service trip to Mexico in the spring or sending tennis shoes to Ethiopia. They’re here to help make that happen.”

You may be thinking, what can I get out of that? There’s so much joy in serving others. Really what it’s all about is giving. “Everything is do able,” said Lindsay Holland when answering an inquiring about busy scheduling, “If your heart is wanting to serve then we can find a place for you. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make every event. There are so many other things you can do if your heart is wanting to do it.”

This is a year-long club, but you can join at any time. They do encourage you to stay because they are constantly working on service projects. The nice part about Interact Club is that it meets Wednesdays and club day is Thursday, giving you the ability to join 2 clubs. However students must make-up the CIS Wednesday Advisory assignment on their own time.

We’re official!... Last year saw the Interact Club officially chartered. Photo by Suesan Roth.
We’re official!… Last year saw the Interact Club officially chartered. Photo by Suesan Roth.

Debbie said, “We need your ideas, first and foremost, and that counts. It doesn’t cost any money to join but you need to have your heart in service before self. Ask yourself that question. Can you bring yourself every Wednesday morning to this meeting prepared to contribute with your ideas and energy? Then you’re an interactor at heart and we need you and we want you.”

Interact Club is a great way to give back to your community and meet likeminded people. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, then come check it out on Wednesdays during advisory in the Sunshine room.

Labor Day Smoke… Story by Catherine Ross

Labor Day of 2017 in Sandpoint was the worst in the entire country of the United States. The taste of smoke hung in the air and burned your throat and eyes. Each breath felt as if it were killing you. Which it was in a sense. On this Labor Day, the smoke in Sandpoint, Idaho was above 418 which is at very unhealthy and hazardous levels. The ranges of air quality that authorities and business judge from is simply good to hazardous. Good means the air quality is zero to fifty. However a hazardous day means the air quality is 301 to 500 and over. For Sandpoint, this meant that the young, old, and anyone with any respiratory illnesses or conditions were advised to stay indoors.

Burning up Idaho and Montana… This photo was taken on September 3, 2017, showing the heat that was detected by satellites. Photo by Wildfire Today.
Burning up Idaho and Montana… This photo was taken on September 3, 2017, showing the heat that was detected by satellites. Photo by Wildfire Today

The beautiful lake that many come from all over to see was covered in thick, heavy, gray clouds of smoke. Local boat rentals closed down that day, calling all their rentals back in, refusing to let anyone expose themselves to the dangerous air quality, but also the possibility of getting into an accident due to low visibility. These businesses were Action Water Sports and Sandpoint Marine Boat Rentals. While wildfires in Sandpoint, or in Northern Idaho haven’t been reported, the surrounding states have been in an unforgivable battle with the flames.

For around the past six months there have been wildfires that over 24,000 fire fighters have been battling. Usually around the third week of September, the fire season is mostly over, and the risks drop considerably. But this year, that’s not really the case. Montana, Southern Idaho, Washington, California, and Utah have been hit the worse. In Southern Idaho, 23 fires are currently active, one fire being the Payette Wilderness fire which is 87,496 acres in size. In fact, on Labor Day, the National Forest of Boise caught on fire, which led to harmful air quality there as well.

Smoke by Sandpoint... Visibility was low among Sandpoint's roads because of the smoke, and air quality was horrendous. Photo by Kai Eagley
Smoke by Sandpoint… Visibility was low among Sandpoint’s roads because of the smoke, and air quality was horrendous. Photo by Kai Eagley

The fire season this year is so bad due to how dry and hot it was all summer. The rainfall began to disappear as we headed into the warmer months, which created the perfect playground for fires to ravage. Many of these fires were in fact started by lightning, this especially applies to the Idaho fires.

Currently in Sandpoint the air quality is returning to normal and it’s becoming safer for people to open windows and enjoy whatever fresh air they can enjoy. However there are still some who are getting effected by the current weather. Many students with asthma are still wearing masks or at least having them with them whenever they go outside. While they aren’t the best thing to keep the smoke out, they do help filter it so it’s safer for the individual to breathe. It is no longer hazardous for people and animals, so life is slowly turning to normal once again, but the concern that a fire could possibly start closer to home is still in the air.

 

 

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: https://citizensclimatelobby.org/. 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!