Category Archives: Local News

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson

People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen. -Photo by: jessscott
People who are having a hard time with something in their lives and just need to talk it out are encouraged to call the crisis line no matter what time of day and express their feelings and to have a safe place to talk about what is going on with someone who is there to listen.
-Photo by: jessscott

Sandpoint has a new crisis line that will be open after hours and is available when the current crisis line is closed. It will be open from 5pm to 8am and will be staffed by licensed Idaho mental health clinicians. The health clinicians will earn minimum wage and will work in 15 hour shifts answering phone calls. The North Idaho Crisis Services after hour line opens Friday, January 15th, 2016. The crisis line has enough funding to go on for about another nine months thanks to the partnership that NAMI Far North made with Bonner’s Partners in Care Clinic, the group is seeking donations to reach their 20,000 goal. The group asked if the local government would give them funding to keep them going, but there has been no response.

Catherine Perusse, crisis director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Far North wants the crisis line to be a place that people can call anytime and someone can be there to prevent a crisis before it gets out of control. She says that the crisis line can help with calls to the hospital or 911. Perusse said that there is a major lack of resources in the area and the crisis line’s goal is to show data that proves the town desperately needs resources.

With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others. -Photo by: lifelineh2h
With the implementation of the new after-hours crisis line people are welcome to call any time of the day with anything that is bothering them and a certified mental health clinician will be there to listen and respond with helpful encouragement to resolve any issue, if a crisis arises the clinician will be there to talk anyone down from potentially injuring themselves or others.
-Photo by: lifelineh2h

A few Forrest Bird Charter School students agree they should make their money strictly through donation and corporate funding, and that the tax payers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a crisis line that they might never use. Many of the students that I interviewed liked the idea of an after-hours crisis line if it is going to be beneficial to the community and possibly stop people from doing bad things. The students think that it would be beneficial because it will provide jobs and improve the community, but many of my peers believe that Sandpoint really doesn’t need an after-hours line because there isn’t a lot of crisis in Sandpoint. In all, the students that were interviewed believe that a crisis line is a good idea in that it may help people get through hard points in their lives and it may stop people from doing things that they might regret, also it is good for the town because it will provide jobs for residents, but there might not be a lot of demand for a crisis line in a town that doesn’t have a lot of crisis.

Local Community in Uproar… Story By: Lauren Stidham

Local Community in Uproar
Story By: Lauren Stidham

Men, women, and children are desperately fleeing wars in Syria. “For many, the choice to embark on such dangerous journeys seems the only way to give their children a chance of survival and safety.” – UNHCR. Out of the Syrian population, 4.3 million of them are refugees and 6.6 million are being displaced within their own country. Half of those are children.

Man carries girl from the ashes... This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015.
Man carries girl from the ashes… This young man carries Syrian girl from the rebel of a heavy shelling attack on the Douma neighborhood of Damascus on June 16, 2015. Photo By: Latin Times

So how is America helping these refugees? As you probably know, the US is helping refugees by taking them into our country and supporting them with our resources. As a nation, the U.S plans on taking in 10,000 refugees this year. Even though that is a nice little number, it is quite petty compared to the situation at hand. There are close to eleven million people that are being moved from their homes, and America is taking 0.07% of them. Eventually we hope to bring in a total of 30,000 but even that is still 2% of the total.

But even though the U.S. is only taking a small part of the total burden, how will this look for the cities and culture of America? Most people instantly jump to the security risk factor. The argument for this is that we are bringing in many people who are of the same religion and race as many terrorists that have viciously launched attacks on America and her allies.

In order to try to keep an event like that from happening again, the government has put into place a background/vetting system. The refugees have to pass a series of tests so that we can ensure that they shouldn’t be a threat to society. “It is not a perfect process. There is a degree of risk attached to any screening and vetting process. We look to manage that risk as best we can,” Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said. (FOX news)

So even though the U.S. has a basic screening process that refugees must go through, it is still possible that there will be mistakes. An argument against this is that since 9/11 the United States has taken in 784,000 refugees from around the world and only three of them have been arrested for crimes related to terrorism none of them were anywhere close to actually committing an attack against America. However, not very many of these people were from religions that members had declared war on our nation in the name of their god.

The truth... This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in. Photo By: MyCause
The truth… This picture depicts the true conditions of which Syrian refugees live in.
Photo By: MyCause

So it is debatable whether the refugees could prove as a risk to our country, we really can’t say. There is evidence that supports both sides. “People fear what they don’t understand…” – Andrew Smith. America can’t truly know or predict if the refugees will be a threat. But the things that can be predicted and even known include how much it will affect the economy, how much resources the U.S. will need to support them, and possibly what cultural differences it will make if refugees are to be placed in a place like Sandpoint.

Have you ever tried to find a job in Sandpoint? It may not be impossible but it isn’t overly easy either. For a few years after the refugees come, it would be much harder to find an open job for teens and other people without complete and specialized education. Suddenly there would be approximately 350* more people competing of the same jobs that high schoolers and college students want too.

Then there is housing. Where could Sandpoint possibly fit an extra 700* people? Each family would need a home that would suit their own specialized needs. The refugees don’t just need housing for 700* people, they would need housing for a large group of families. Maybe the refugees would need three five-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses, six studios, and ten tree-bedroom houses. The city couldn’t simply provide them one or two large buildings to all live in, because it would create a very segregated culture.

Then, if we were successful in creating a non-segregated housing situation, in order to maintain that culture Sandpoint would need to equip the schools. The schools would need teachers that could speak Arabic and English fluently so that we could effectively teach the students. The question is, where can the schools find these teachers? Arabic isn’t a commonly spoken language and not only that, but the few who do speak Arabic are likely to not be qualified teachers.

Next, Sandpoint must observe the additional resources needed to effectively provide for the refugees. They would need food, clothing, proper tools for their religion, and transportation.

Obviously food would be a huge factor, for a long period of time, the refugees would not be economically stable enough to afford food. The same applies to proper clothing, perhaps they would have some clothing with them, but it is most likely that they would not have winter boots, jackets, gloves, and hats. What about transportation? Either the government would need to upgrade the Spot buses or somehow provide them with vehicles. Now this would all add up to a major bill, but who would be funding it? Would it be footed with tax dollars? If so, just about think how much taxes would have to go up.

What about their religious needs? They would need a place to pray and worship, but how could it ever possibly be funded through tax dollars? Really, there is no constitutional way to do that.

Should Sandpoint Embrace Syrian Refugees?

  • No (53%, 21 Votes)
  • Yes (48%, 19 Votes)

Total Voters: 40

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Times are Changing…Story by FBCHS Journalism Class

America is Changing... I came across the dead mall phenomenon in the United States and question the class on some of the radical changes I am seeing just in my lifetime in the culture. This article is a reflection on what they see.
America is Changing… I came across the dead mall phenomenon in the United States and questioned the class on some of the radical changes I am seeing during my lifetime in the American culture. This article is a reflection of what they see.

What’s Next?

We live in what is called the Y generation. This generation is one that invokes the questions of; ‘why work?’, ‘why earn money’, and ‘why wear decent clothes’. These questions then form new ones, and it becomes a total domino effect as time passes. People in my generation don’t view as getting their first car as a freedom, a ticket to getting away from their suffocating parents. No, now kids are seeing cars as a standard, a name tag, a label, and stereotype. The more expensive, the cooler your car is, the more you are paid attention to and people will notice you more. We have drifted into a generation of being lazy, addicted to electronics, buying whatever we want, and really not caring about a lot of things.

Being detached from people and addicted to things such as the newest iPhone. People becoming so dependent on nonliving things is worsening health, personal relationships, mental health, and people’s abilities to survive in this world. It’s as if everyone is like a child. They still need to be coddled by their mother, protected by their father, have their family’s money to support them, and the comfort of an electronic. It’s quite a depressing things to me that we have turned into this rather shameful generation. Of course I can’t say that I’m not on an electronic a lot, or having my phone on me all the time, but I do understand how it’s unhealthy to be addicted to them. To me, fighting with your parents is better than being on an electronic because at least you’re able to verbally express yourself, feel human emotions, and are able to see and hear the person quite clearly.

Since my generation is the future of this world, I’m quite worried to be honest. I mean, who will be able to succeed in life if all they care about is having the best of the best, being able to hack into electronics, or do things related to electronics only? People who lack real life experience flounder as they get older. Soon they will turn to someone who has supported them before. Then they will become dependent on that person or people. Being dependent on someone whenever you meet a challenge in life shows how weak and vulnerable the human race is. We are able to adapt, to form to our environment. We as properly functioning people can handle things differently than animals or infants. As adults, or even young adults, we are able to get in touch with our emotional side and deal with things, grow from experiences, and learn how to survive in this world properly.

We won’t have people to protect us for our whole life. We need to learn to look up from the computer screen, go outside, breathe fresh air, have fun, hang out with friends, and get a job, an education. I truly believe that we need to ditch the title of ‘Generation Y’ because the longer we have that title, the more people will adapt to it. Turning around this generation will be hard. After all nothing is really easy in this world. Having less addictive electronics in life can help people learn from hands on experience, become healthy, happy, and live better lives. Sure, people will trip and fall, maybe scrape a knee or hand, but that pain will help shape them into a person they can be proud of. Hey, you never know. Maybe the first person who truly begins to try and turn our generation around might end up as our president. Anything is possible, as long as you look up from the screen long enough to imagine it.


Is Our Culture Changing?

Is our culture changing? Between the dead malls and shift in technology, I would say yes. While our culture hasn’t changed drastically, it has changed; technology’s advances, age norms, and the open mindedness of my generation are great examples of how our culture is changing.

I’ve been inside a mall a grand total of 15 times. In the past, the mall is where you went to meet friends and find a date. Over two dozen malls have been shut down in the past two years, and it is estimated that 10-15% of malls in the US will be shut down within ten years. This is due to the advancements in technology, we no longer need to drive to the mall to meet our friends, or to even shop. We used to be more social creatures, technology has taken out the face-to-face aspect of many teens lives. In the 1800’s women would be married very young, around the age of 13 or 14, and begin having children shortly after. In the 21st century 25 is the average age for, first, marriage and pregnancy. 10 years is a huge difference, so is the openness we have around the LGBT community. Most of my friends are gay or Trans, and in our world today they are accepted.


Times are Changing

The times are changing in a way unlike ever before. It is the truth, we are turning into a society that is based on innovation and technology. The question is, is this a turn for the worse or not?

If you peel back the appealing top layer of luxury that comes with the innovation and technology, I believe you find an uglier result. Although it is non-intentional, I think our culture is becoming a place where you as a person do not matter as much, it is all about what you can offer.

Now of course, people like employers don’t care so much about you as a person as they do your capability to get the job done correctly. That is how it has always been, and always will be. What I am saying is that perhaps these innovations will slowly take away some of our basic social capabilities. Things like understanding, judgment, and some character could easily be taken away by our dependence not on each other, but our technology.

Already ethics have changed. More and more people are taking the easy way out. From online shopping to broken relationships, people are making every shortcut to make things more comfortable and easy.

The effects of this are showing even in newspapers. Reporters go for hype and yellow journalism just to make their stuff more appealing, they use an “anything for another five readers” type philosophy. News is their own personal shortcut to fame.

The next question we must ask now is: What do we do about it? Or how could we do anything about it? After all, if the world is changing, is there really anything we can do about it?  Should we revert from the old ways and simply become the next generation? Or can we take a stand for what used to be?

For now all we as a newspaper can do is supply a genuine feed of solid news and do our best to be our best.

1% Sales Tax Pro… Story by Charlie Harrison

1% Sales Tax Pro… Story by Charlie Harrison

The memorial field grandstands are falling down. The structure was built in 1946, so it has been serving the community for almost seventy years. In the past ten years however, the grandstands have failed numerous health and safety tests, with the score dropping every year. Now, the grandstands are set for demolition with no way to stop it. The only question now is what should replace them.  A 1% sales tax increase has been voted on and approved by 60% of voters to fix memorial field. If the sales tax was not approved, the structure would be replaced with nothing but cold aluminum bleachers. The bulk of the money from the tax will be going towards the grandstands, but a lot of the money will also be going into fixing the field itself, including completely replacing the old drainage system and repairing the infrastructure. Any extra funding will go into the

Out with the old... the 1% sales tax will raise money for new bleachers.
Out with the old… the 1% sales tax will raise money for new bleachers.

other city parks such as Sandpoint ‘City Beach and Travis Park.

There are several exemptions to limit the tax on low income and vulnerable households. For instance, gas and diesel are exempt, along with prescriptions and many medical devices. Food stamps are also exempt, and out of state shipments. Utilities will also not be taxed. It is worth noting that the increase will raise Sandpoint’s sales tax to 7%. While it sounds like a lot, it is actually well below the national average of almost 10%. The tax cannot be used for anything but the parks, and can’t last for more than five years without voter approval.

The next Stadium will be designed to be very low maintenance and cheap to run. It is also designed to last for at least another fifty years (and probably longer). The reason people failed to produce the money before was because most of the money came from corporate sponsors, who had to back out for financial reasons. The old stadium was built in 1948 and it has seating capacity for 900 people. However, town population has tripled since then. The new stadium will have capacity for 1500 people. This means the grandstands will be less overcrowded during games and we will be able to sell more tickets. The same goes for the festival at Sandpoint, a major music festival in the pacific North West. The University of Idaho stated that festival has an estimated $2 million direct impact on our community.

And in with the new... Sketch of what the new bleachers will look like.
And in with the new… Sketch of what the new bleachers will look like.

The grandstands will be able to seat more people so the festival will be able to sell more tickets. More tickets will bring more out of town and out of state money into Sandpoint for festival season. Instead of overbooking our field, leading to overcrowded conditions, which we have done in the past, we can provide Sandpoint residents and out of towners alike with a larger, more comfortable stadium for everybody to use. Memorial field brings economic activity into Sandpoint during games such as baseball, football, soccer, and other community sports events. It brings in tourist money for our massive festival that routinely sells out. I think it’s about time we rebuilt it to make sure future generations get to use it too.

What does an extra 1% sales tax in Sandpoint really mean?.. Story by Marcus O’Cyrus

What does an extra 1% sales tax in Sandpoint really mean?.. Story by Marcus O’Cyrus

An extra sales tax for Sandpoint, Idaho was recently passed by the city, but why?  After listening to the commercials, I was deeply moved toward a community effort to rebuild the grand stands at Memorial Field and that everyone could afford to pay an extra 1% sales tax to make it happen over the next 5 years.

Investopedia Breaks Down the Regressive Tax... Sales Tax is a regressive tax that negatively impacts the poor and lower middle class compared to the upper middle class and the wealthy.
Investopedia Breaks Down the Regressive Tax… Sales Tax is a regressive tax that negatively impacts the poor and lower middle class compared to the upper middle class and the wealthy.

But, what is a sales tax anyways?  A sales tax is a tax on all purchases. A sales tax is also known as a regressive tax.  It actually harms more people economically, especially those of lower economic status.  A regressive tax takes a larger percentage of a person’s income if they are poor or lower middle class compared to the wealthy.  It is not a tax the wealthy care about since it doesn’t impact them as much as someone living from paycheck to paycheck.  Just looking at the signage in front yards while driving into work each morning, I noticed the more affluent neighborhoods were sporting their support of an extra sales tax while the more economically depressed neighborhoods did not.  It is also a known fact that people of more affluent lifestyles participate more in politics than those who struggle to get by.

What will this increase in sales tax do? Well, most people not in support of the sales tax will move their shopping to Ponderay for the next 5 years.  The economically depressed part of Sandpoint will most likely move the rest of their shopping requirements to Ponderay as well.  How will that affect the businesses of Sandpoint if the majority of the community of local patrons takes their shopping to Ponderay? It’s unfortunate that the wealthy in this case have passed the buck on paying for their dream grand stand onto everyone else in Sandpoint as a community effort.  If this was truly a passion of the 1% supporters, why didn’t each of them donate 1% of their yearly income each year to pay for a new stadium?

I find it ironic that many of the people who are paying for the grand stands will be sitting outside the fenced area to hear the Sandpoint Music Festival.  While those wealthy, cultural elite enjoy the new grand stands from those who can’t afford to even attend the concerts.

The majority of the argument for the one percent increase was trying to play off the idea that the grand stand is not about the music festival, but for the football games played there.  One commercial went so far as to talk about the muskrat bowl.  The argument is also flawed when looking at the value of the grand stand.  Many people in the Sandpoint area do not attend football games, which is a school sanctioned event from the same school district that bullied Bonners County into a property tax increase of 14 million dollars over the next two years and has done this more than once.

Many people say the sales tax will be supported by the tourists, which is false.  The majority of tourists who come to Sandpoint may stay for a week or two at most.  While the locals remain here week after week footing the bill for the tourists who come here to enjoy the facilities the locals are paying for with their grocery purchases.

Something has gone horribly wrong here in Sandpoint when a minority can become a washed in tax generated funding without any fiscal responsibility to the people they are deriving their funding from.  Instead they use that same funding to pay for signage to convince or guilt the community to pass the next tax upon themselves, and yet, we fall for it every time.

Check out this website for some great information:

Don’t Get Locked Out… Story By Alistair King

Don’t Get Locked Out

Tears, running, sweat, and the pings of gunfire… This year’s lock-in was a BLAST; with many fun activities such as Dodgeball, Midnight Yoga, Karaoke, and game rooms. With over 80 students attending and so many activities, there was fun for everyone.

The Student Council planned all these activities on a panel system, meaning that while Dodgeball was going on, Family Feud could happen on the other side of the school. But throughout this entire time there were activities for the less awake students. Movies such as Big Hero 6 and Forrest Gump were being played along with a Lord of the Rings marathon. And the game rooms… of course the game rooms. Three classrooms were dedicated to the activity of video gaming. In U2 a large group played League of Legends, Picasso was the home place of Dark Souls II. Finally in Ali was a game of Fibbage and the day one release of Fallout 4.

Picture-ception... This picture poses for another picture.
Picture-ception… This picture poses for another picture. Photo by Ellie Mearns

How can we forget the greatest of all the activities… Karaoke (before 3am). Brought to you by all the great students here at the school we saw many songs such as “I’m gonna be” by Ellie Mearns and Squad, and the Bee Gees with a large group of boys (See Video). Capture the Flag was a blast, even with both the teams staring each other down at the center line. With eyes locked and unmoving feet, Ellie Mearns had to impose a new rule that they could only do that for 5 seconds. That quickly ended the dispute.

The Dinner was prepared by the Catering Crew and consisted of Soda and Spaghetti. Students were allowed to bring their own snacks and this was thoroughly stated by Ian Mchonnahey who brought an entire carton full of candy in celebration of him becoming 18. After the fun was over and the clean-up had ended, Webber made his special pancakes and homemade syrup, complete with “crispy” bacon and your choice of juice. But this was not without a catch. In order to decide who got to eat first Webber held a “limbo for your meal” contest.

Let’s not forget the Vending Machine either, with a crowd of people struggling to stay awake the vending machine was their only hope. Several students bought upward of six drinks trying to stay awake.

There were also some really great prizes donated by local businesses and adults. Some of these prizes were gift certificates to Petal Talk, various hygiene supplies, and a brand new Kindle.

With so many activities and great fun to be had, is it any surprise when student council members stated, “This could be the best lock in we’ve had. Ever.”  With two great events already happening and so many more coming up in the following trimesters; how will student council surprise us next?

Check out this great video also by Ellie Mearns…

Halloween Dance: Drama and Blood Shed?… Story by Miranda Paddack

Halloween Dance: Drama and Blood Shed?


October 30th was filled with blood, sweat, and tears. Actually, it was only filled with sweat from a wonderful dance hosted by the Student Council. This dance had our one and only DJ Paul, a costume contest, and a surprise that was postponed.

“We had a great turn out,” Stated Orion Syth between songs, “We sold nearly 60 tickets!”  According to secretary, Deryk Harlan, the dance made approximately $300 in profit. “The money made from the dance, along with a bit more, are going towards the school Lock-In happening November 10th-11th.”  Along with the turn out number, there was no girl’s bathroom drama.  Not one ounce of drama or backstabbing was reported at this dance. However, buckets and buckets of sweat could have been collected.

The costume contest winners were announced November 2nd. For those who missed it, first place was Jason Snyder, second place went to Samantha Miller and Jacob Colegrove, and best group costume went to Ariel Miller and Sloan Warner. Maybe next year they will have two spots open for best group costume!

A wide variety of music was played, everything from Lip Gloss by Lil Mama to Santeria by Sublime. Ending the dance with the Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show, the student council out-did themselves. Handing out candy and chips at the dance, rocking the decorations, and hosting a, from what I gather a drama free night. They put their best foot forward, but can they step it up for prom?

Sandpoint’s Small Town Mayor Race… Story by Charles Harrison

In the news recently there has been some buzz about the Sandpoint mayoral race. The only two candidates for mayor are Shelby Rognstad and Mose Dunkel. In a recent interview with the Sandpoint Reader, the candidates outlined their positions on issues such as the coal trains coming from Montana, legalized cannabis, and our local economy. For instance, Candidate Rognstad opposes the coal trains coming through the area. He cited worry about a spill or derailment, while Candidate Dunkel has stated that he would work with the railroads to keep the trains running smoothly and safely. Interestingly, despite their differences, they are both in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Rognstad called it a waste of police resources and Dunkel said that the ability to use marijuana was a liberty.

Business man... Shelby Rognstad stands in front of the Hive: a music venue that he helped to create.
Business man… Shelby Rognstad stands in front of the Hive: a music venue that he helped to create.

On Shelby’s website gave his political views on a number of issues. He wants to finish the fiber project that would bring ultra-high speed internet to Sandpoint. He also stated that he would improve our recycling program, fix our storm drainage system, and improve our wildfire response by collaborating with other fire regional services. He has also stated that he will improve police training involving subjects with mental health problems.

Ready to coach a new team... Mose Dunkel has been involved in student athletics, including little league baseball and football.
Ready to coach Sandpoint… Mose Dunkel has been involved in
student athletics, including little league baseball and football.

Mose Dunkel’s website outlined his platform through a FAQ and issues page. He stated that one of his goals was to bring government and the people together. He has also vowed to bring transparency to the city government. He also wishes to lower utility costs to low income residents and stimulate the local economy by creating a local business friendly environment. He has also stated that he would like a community college campus here because it would allow people to stay in Sandpoint and train for local jobs.

Both of these people are good, decent candidates. I have a favorite, but in the interest of fairness, I won’t divulge his name. While I disagree with some of their stances on a few issues, I would not be disappointed if either one won. I encourage you to go to their websites, look at the issues, and make the decision for yourselves. And if you are able to go out on November third, do it, because you will be helping to create the community that you want to live in. Bonner Taxi will also be providing free rides to the polls, so you have no reason not to go. Their number is 208-597-FINE.


The Loss of the Birds…Story By Sherman Peabody

Loving thoughts... Todd honoring the late Birds with flowers students gave.
Loving thoughts… Social Studies teacher Todd Claunch honors the late Birds with the students of Forrest M. Bird Charter School. Photo-by Mr. Webber

This year we lost both Dr. Forrest Bird and Dr. Pamela Bird, two amazing people who contributed greatly to our community. They supported the idea of the “Invention Convention,” a program that allowed kids from around the community to invent new ideas and contraptions with the great inventor, Dr. Forrest Bird. Forrest and Pamela Bird were both “excited to see kids, young inventors, trying new things and expanding their horizons,” according to Mary Jenson. Forrest would give advice to kids as they invented, allowing them to expand their inventing skills. He especially liked interacting with these young inventors, asking them why they did things to their inventions, probing them to think more about their inventions.

Dr. Forrest Bird invented the “Babybird” respirator, a respirator made for infants. He based this invention on a respirator he invented for fighter pilots, so that they could go higher into the atmosphere and still breathe. Because of the hundreds of thousands of lives he saved with the different sizes of respirators he invented and the kind of person he was, our school wanted to be named after him. When asked the first time, Bird declined the offer. The second time, a year later, he responded “I thought they only named schools after dead people!” according to Jenson. Eventually, he said yes, even though he still thought it was weird that we were naming our school after him while he was still alive.

He has been described as “a youth in an old man’s body.” Even when he was wheel-chair bound, ideas seemed to dance behind his eyes as he thought of new ways to look at things. When asked by the Sandpoint Magazine editor Billie Jean Plaster if he thought he was eccentric, he stated,

“Eccentricity. Well, I guess the definition of course is “out of the usual” or something by Webster. But no, I don’t think I’m really that. I have my own way of doing things, and I like my privacy. I like to remain alone. And I like certain friends. Certain people annoy me, others don’t. Same way with music, all the way through. I’m not anti-social, but I’m not a nightclubber either on that basis. And I think I’ve had the same friends just about all my life. As far as eccentricity goes, I think anybody that doesn’t probably conform to everything, every day might be called a little bit eccentric.”

 Forrest M. Bird was a thinker, and he had a great heart.

Where Forrest was a great thinker, Pamela was the heart. She was dynamic, founding many foundations including Innovative Product Technologies Incorporated, Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center, and was the president of the Inventors Association of Idaho. She had a strong personality, taking an air of authority wherever she went. Yet she was also approachable, as Jenson describes. “For me, she also offered things to me like ‘Hey Mary, call me when you want some advice,’ and ‘if you need some help on something, just let me know.’ She was always very open, and that was awesome.”

Walk of Memories... Students were taken out of class to participate in a school parade in honor of the late Birds.
Walk of Memories… Students given an opportunity to pay their respects for Dr. Pamela Bird in a silent, reflective school march in honor of the late Birds and surviving family members.  Photo-by Mr. Webber

Some people think that the Birds were giving money to the school, which is false. What they did do was the area around the flag, and the school sign in front of the High School. He was a great patriot, and believed in America and how fortunate we are to live here. He served our country in several wars, and wanted to make sure that we remembered to honor our country. They came to speak at graduations and gave a scholarship every year, but that was everything that they did monetarily for this school. According to Jenson, naming the school after Forrest Bird was about honoring these two amazing people, not about the money.

Third Trimester: The End of the World?… Story by Miranda Paddack

Everyone is talking about the end of the world: CERN, climate change, the blood moon, etc.; however, no one is talking about Third Trimester at FBCHS. Who would be talking about Third Trimester anyway? Christmas break is still 32 school days away!

Magnificent Art... Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Magnificent Art… Innovation at work. Photo-by Miranda Paddack

After collaborating with the High School staff, Mary Jenson has put project-based learning in motion for third-trimester, “We want to make third-trimester fun,” stated Mary. No midterm or final just one project, with a catch nonetheless. Innovation, this theme has been the idea since the baby stages. This theme was originated to honor our schools namesake, Dr. Bird.  The recent death of Mr. and Mrs. Bird makes this a wonderful tribute to their lives.

What is project-based learning? Project based learning is a type of teaching method in which students spend an extended period researching one topic. The focus of our final trimester will be innovation; the project we decide to create will be worked on in nearly all classes, the classes also be focused on this topic. For example, the history class could be about the history of innovation and science classes about innovating something. Group or single, you can pick your “team” in study lab. The project will count for a part of all your grades, completion of this project is your key to passing.

Forrest M. Bird Charter... Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack
Forrest M. Bird Charter… Can we live up to our name? Photo-by Miranda Paddack

The students and staff are being challenged third-trimester to innovate the world in which we live. To look at the problems of this world and to solve them with real life answers in our projects.  This could be the most innovative form of education our world has ever seen.