Frequenters of the Forrest Bird Charter School (FBCS)’s Uncommons may notice an influx of hoodies and other overwear not allowed in the dress code, and not just on seniors (who have the privilege to do so). When questioned, the most common reason given was undeniably, “I’m cold.”
Also notable was, “The dress code jackets aren’t warm enough”
“The dress code jackets are uncomfortable”
“I’m not spending twenty dollars on a jacket I’m only going to wear at school”
Twenty or thirty dollars may not sound like a significant expense to some, but compared to the $1-$15 Goodwill price for sweaters or the expanse of pullovers and hoodies in the $6-$15 price range at Walmart, FBCS’s dress code-approved jackets are definitely on the pricier end of non-designer everyday wear, ranging from 28 to 40 dollars depending on the style.
Relevant to these costs is that around 49% of the school’s population in impoverished. And living in north Idaho isn’t particularly cheap; according to rentdata.org, rent in Bonner County is higher than it is in 76% of the US and 80% of the state. And while Boundary Country’s rent is closer to the national average, it’s still more expensive than 65% of the state. Combined with food and heating costs for a family, twenty to thirty dollars for a coat may not be a viable option for the half of FBCS in poverty.
These costs are significant to our student body, however, the school does have policies in place to help students in need. Middle School principal Jennifer Greve was adamant in assuring that systems are in place to address these issues.
“I do wish the items were more affordable. This is why we have sought other ways to help. We have donations in the middle school we try to hand out when possible. Other times adults (faculty & parents) in each building have purchased a jacket for a student in need (using their own money).” [sic]
Unfortunately, the prices on the jackets are set by Sand Creek Custom Wear, the printers and providers of the product. Because Sand Creek Custom Wear gets to set their prices, adjusting the price of the jackets isn’t possible. Greve assures that she is aware of the monetary issues in the school, and that these systems are in place to assist those who face these issues.
Greve states that these procedures aren’t discussed openly too much to protect the privacy of the students who use them. This is understandable, privacy is important to protect. However, one must wonder if keeping these alternatives too hidden could discourage those who need them from asking. Perhaps in the future these options could be further advertised, or the options of overwear could be expanded beyond the logo-emblazoned pieces.
In recent years, cryptocurrency has become, for some, a new standard of paying for items on the internet. While this highly volatile currency has become a near overnight phenomenon, there might be a more sinister meaning to it. Before we jump into that, however, we should address the question that some people might have: what is bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s origins can be traced back 2009 when an anonymous person who went by Satoshi Nakamoto invented the currency. This currency was attractive to many because it eliminated the “middle man,” i.e. banks. Another reason people were attracted to it was the fact that it could be used anonymously, and that bitcoins are not tied to any countries monetary regulations. While bitcoins are not universally accepted everywhere, some companies such as Overstock (an online furniture retailer) and Expedia (a hotel booking website) allow bitcoins to be used as payment.
Before 2017, a single bitcoin was worth around 900 USD. As of last year, it skyrocketed into twenty of thousands of dollars.
There are two ways to get Bitcoin(s). One of which is to do what is called “mining.” Where multiple people compete against each other to solve equations, whoever completes the equation first is awarded a set amount of Bitcoin(s). The other method of getting them is by helping decode Bitcoin payments. Every year the production of Bitcoins slows and will eventually they will stop being produced. People don’t usually have the money to spend on making the best mining rig to become successful in mining, which leave the only option is to trade it. Websites offer the ability to trade regular currency to bitcoins as well as other types of crypto-currency.
Owning bitcoins isn’t as simple has putting coins in a wallet. Or is it? Bitcoins are stored in “digital wallets.”, which exists either in the cloud on the persons computer. The wallet is, in a way, like a bank account in that it allows the users to send and receive bitcoins. However, there is nothing insuring the wallets, so if the wallets were to be accidently deleted, then they are gone forever.
Also some have been looking out how it can be used for tax evasion. A prime reason that this could be occurring is the fact that bitcoin has near complete anonymity. That translates to having the currency being able to be traded to anyone anywhere with little record of the transaction taking place, as the only thing that is recorded in a bitcoin transaction is the wallet id of the sender and the recipient.
In the United States, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) classifies bitcoin income as income and expects people to pay income tax on it. However, due to the anonymity, it becomes difficult to prove if people are receiving income from them.
Recently the South Korean Government after conducting raids against bitcoin exchanges for committing tax evasion, have stated that legislation is on the way to ban cryptocurrency from being traded. This would add them to the list of countries that have already banned them, which includes Bangladesh, and Bolivia.
All in all, it can’t be said whether the true purpose of bitcoin is to give criminals a way to purchase goods with near anonymity, or to just be a currency that is purely digital. However, with the possible bans and decreasing value, the future of cryptocurrency may be in jeopardy.
Sandpoint has had its cornerstone restaurants around for decades, serving their trademark dishes and family comfort food for as long as locals can remember. However, when coming up with the idea for their restaurant, owners Jeremy and Jessica Holzapfel wanted to do something unique.
“There [were] a lot of different people that wanted to come into this space but…what it came down to was they were all high end fine dining restaurants again…they do higher end food, but we aren’t that …we prefer to bring alternative food into town and to fill a niche that never existed, or fill a niche that existed but that no one ever attempted to fill.”
After working for a variety of different restaurants both here and in Seattle, Jessica began to experiment with different exotic ingredients and spices.
“…we would leave town to find Indian food, to go get Pho, to go get Malaysian fried rice. We’d go to the international district in Seattle and walk around and try random things that we have no idea what it is because it’s not in English and then decipher what it is once we’re eating it…as we went to spice stores, she (Jessica) would open the different spices and smell them. She bought endless spices just to try, to experiment. So…for the last decade our house was like a constant array of different smells. You felt like you were in a different country every other day when you walked in our house just because of how intense the spice aromas were, because she’d be stewing something or something would be brining. She’s not afraid of spice, but she also learned how to balance it, and that’s really great for these dishes that she does here.”
While living in Seattle, they had an idea for a restaurant.
“So Beet and Basil was an idea that we’d had when we were a little bit younger in Seattle. Jessica had been bouncing around kitchens in Seattle, kind of learning on the fly… she started working at a bunch of different restaurants in Seattle, and she worked at this one ‘Poppy’ up on Capitol Hill, and it was an Indian fusion restaurant. The [chef] of the restaurant was (also) the chef at a really famous restaurant called ‘The Herb Farm’ (which) has a farm on premises, (and the restaurant is located) outside of Seattle. They harvest all of their own herbs and all these different things so they can integrate them into the dishes, and the dishes are very high end, fine dining. So as she was working for him in Seattle…they had people that just brought them strawberries, and they had…several people that brought them mushrooms and that foraged for them in the mountains.
So Jessica would receive all of this food and then it would become dishes and specials that the chef would come up with, and Jessica was a line cook at the time and so she would just make whatever she was told to and…it was super inspiring for her, but even there it was like she wanted to learn more. She just kept moving to different restaurants around the city and learned from all of these different chefs that happened to be in Seattle. While we were there we started to develop a concept, and we wanted to do a food truck. Then as we were developing this food truck…about 6 years, maybe even 7 or 8 years ago now, we also were like, ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to bring all these flavors back to Sandpoint?’”
A few years later, they did just that and launched the Beet and Basil Bus in 2016. Parked in front of Evan’s Brother’s, the food truck was wildly successful and soon gained a local reputation. They sold food from May to October, and had planned to open for another season this year. However, fate had something better in mind.
“…we did the food truck and we weren’t sure how that was going to be received, so we did a lot of social media before we opened, we had a lot of friends in Sandpoint, because we’re from here, and we both moved here. She moved here when she was 15 and I moved here when I was 16, so we kind of grew up here in our 20’s and we’ve made endless roots here. So the truck did amazing like it was shocking how many people – we only survived on locals because we were parked in front of Evan’s Brother’s in the parking lot, kind of away from everything, didn’t have money to advertise so we used social media and word of mouth. I was still running the Starbucks store, between the two stores at the time, and so trying to support her and the truck, and then Jessica was also the chef at Spud’s when she opened the truck, so she would run the truck service and be open from 11 o’clock to 4 o’clock at the truck and go and open Spud’s for dinner at 5. She was working like 13 to 14 hours like 5 to 6 days a week and it was really crazy and really trying, but we were basically taking as much money as we could and putting it into creating this concept.”
Unlike typical restaurants, their diverse menu is ever changing.
“She never went to culinary school. She started as a dishwasher, actually at where Trinity is now, it was called The Beach House and that was in like 2000 or 1999. At the same time she started working at Spud’s and was a sandwich girl…At that time, Jessica hated tomatoes and sprouts and mushrooms and any seafood, like endless things, it was crazy. We started dating back then. Then she started working her way through kitchens here and quickly became a line cook at Spud’s…She would get bored over time doing the same food. Restaurants in Sandpoint tend to be very static, as far as like the food that they make…but I’m a super foodie and I have been since I was young. My mom was a pastry chef and I’ve been exposed to a lot of food from everywhere my whole life. So when Jessica and I started dating, I cooked mostly and so it was like whatever I felt like cooking and then she’d try it and we’d be kind of falling in love with all kinds of foods, and as she was kind of moving around, basically we ended up moving to Seattle because certain circumstances brought us there.”
Today you can explore the flavors of the world right from their dining room. North African Harrisa Shakshuka, Indian Chicken Vindaloo, Vietnamese Pho Chay, Malaysian Rendang Beef Curry, Cuban Press Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Korean Chicken Fried Steak Sandwiches–one of my personal favorites–and more are available for under $25.
“Our customers are accepting of our menu. They’ve learned it, they have their favorites. And we’ve kept what we call the five favorites from the bus and they’re on the menu always, so you can get them at lunch or dinner, they’re always there. But the rest of the menu changes, and now that everybody’s kind of gotten used to our menu, we’re actually going to expand it coming up here. Every month there’ll be a menu that has four or six different items on it, and they’ll stay on the menu for a month at a time so that the kitchen gets used to making those items and it isn’t a constant game of retraining and retraining everybody that’s working every shift. For our customers it’ll be a lot more exciting because for that whole month they can be sure that we’ll have those items, and they’ll actually be able to count on that fact. But we’re also going to use the larger menu template so we can showcase local farms [and] businesses that we work with.”
Not only is it delicious, many of the ingredients are organic and locally sourced.
“At home we eat mostly organic produce, we try not to eat very much processed food whatsoever… What we believe in is that our dollar is our vote. Yes, we had to pay more for the organic food. Yes, we had to pay more for this beef because it came from a local ranch. Yes, we had to do these different things and it cut into our budget, and it was more expensive, but it was also our vote… So here we are on a larger stage, and we buy thousands of dollars in food. We get to make that vote with a larger dollar, and we make our food purveyors find us these things or we search them out and we find the locals that will grow us different crops…It reminds me of what ‘The Herb Farm’ was and what ‘Poppy’ that Jessica worked for, the same chef, where he would go out and harvest the herbs from out back.”
Everything is done with the customer in mind.
“What we’ve learned is that people really like our food, and we get rave reviews on our food. We have opportunity with our service sometimes and with our hosting, and getting people set. But what that teaches me is those are high expectations, and I… don’t want to fail those expectations when people are telling their friends to come here.
So the only thing we can do is to not rest on our laurels and to continuously work to get better. To look for every single problem and make it be an opportunity to fix it, and have an open mind and not try to get caught up and frustrated in the day to day stresses of the restaurant, like customer flow and all these things. We have to come back to center and be like “How do we make this fun?” every day. [Sic]
But I like taking care of problems and problem solving. That’s probably my favorite thing…we have these compostable little plastic containers that we do to-go Pho soup in, and the Pho is really hot, like extremely hot to the point that it starts to melt the [plastic]. So we actually had to re-source and we found a new container that has a honey wax in it so it’ll actually break down that will actually preserve that paper. So it’s pretty awesome, I’m like “Okay. Yup. There we go. There it is right there, this is exactly what we’ve been looking for.” It’ll eliminate the spill for the customer, which elevates that customer experience, and makes it so that they don’t question ever ordering that item because they’re afraid that it’s going to spill in their car like it has in mine.
So just problem solving little things like that makes the customer experience better, makes them able to trust everything about the product. It seems so little, but when you are doing that all day every day, evaluating and fixing all these little things, it becomes a huge thing.”
He’ll even refer them to other restaurants in the area.
“…it’s amazing what word of mouth does. The businesses on this strip alone, sending people here this summer, is where everyone came from. They’d be like, “Where should we go eat?” and they’d be like, “Go to Beet and Basil.” The pizza place was telling people to come here! If you didn’t want pizza, they were like, “Oh, go over [there].” Even Ivano’s was doing it, they were sending people here. And we would send people [there]. I’d have people come in here so shocked by the menu, like it scares them, and if I can tell I’m not going to win them, I’ll instantly refer them to our sister restaurants. If it’s lunchtime, I’ll send them down to [City Beach] Organics, and I’ll send them to Spud’s, and I’ll send them down to McDuff’s Brewery. At dinnertime I’ll send them over to Ivano’s and be like, “They have Italian food here…” and I’ll explain the menus of each of the restaurants because that’s another huge thing.
I am not jealous of any restaurant, and I’m not trying to compete with any restaurant. I’m trying to fill a niche that isn’t filled, and be the other option.
Our number one mission is to stick to our values and also deliver on our concept, and to fill that niche that’s missing—or that’s there. So, to actually bring exciting new flavors and ethically source those ingredients, and figure out ways that we can do this using sustainable products.
And also, if I could give one piece of advice that I’ve learned through all my time…is never burn a bridge. Never burn a bridge…and always make sure you have good work ethic. Those are so important, and they have opened up so many opportunities for us because we hold true to those different values and it’s amazing what it does.”
Beet and Basil is a great restaurant run by even greater people. The next time you’re looking to eat something new, stop by in downtown Sandpoint for a unique dining experience.
All Photos by Lauren Roth
Picture 1: Goblet of Fire… the spicy Chicken Vindaloo Bowl features a myriad of Indian spices. Photo by Lauren Roth
Picture 3: Come Visit!… Beet and Basil is located at 105 S 1st Ave Sandpoint, ID. Photo by Lauren Roth
How important is news? News keeps us informed of the changing of events, issues and characters that provide citizens information to make the best possible decision about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. Even though news is factual and boring, people still keep abreast of news as they take it as a responsibility. When people have the right to vote and obligation to pay taxes, they will feel this responsibility. Who could be appropriate representative of them, how taxes are spent and so on, news helps them to figure out these questions. The government is the keeper of the powers while journalism is the guardian of the powers that prevent the misuse of powers. However, the guardian goes astray since people do not care about boring news.
“Everybody wants to be entertained by the news,” says Todd Gitlin, a professor of sociology and journalism in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University. It is hardly surprising that people prefer entertaining news like ‘The Daily Show’ than a serious and in-depth news report.
People are intellectually lazy, they are reluctant to investigate any issue; rather, they are eager to be told something as simple and interesting as a joke. Media will lose audience, unless they turn news into entertainment. News should reveal the truth, sadly truth does not matter now, only fun is important. According to the Pew Research Center, 10 % of ‘The Daily Show’ viewers are watching the half-hour show for its news headlines, 2% for in-depth reporting and 43% for entertainment. Obviously, a soaring number of people care entertainment more than facts.
Moreover, media is a business, and the purpose of news is making money more than exposing the corruption. To be honest, running a news site costs a lot of money, and when corruption can no longer catch people attention, the media has to change their strategy such as making entertaining news.
More entertaining the news is, more audience they have, more advertisements they get and more money they earn. Fox news is known as entertaining news, and Fox is Basic Cable’s Most-Watched Network for 17 Months, and has far more audience than other serious news. Fox News is ‘successful’ as it has a considerable revenue, whereas a news channel that exposes corruption cannot be defined as successful.
Also, the media tycoons themselves may share the same interests with certain politicians. These tycoons could be part of the corruption, so how could you expect them to reveal their tactics? They cannot get much viewership anyway. If they keep exposing corruption between the government and big companies, the big companies will not be stupid enough to subsidise an enemy. Speaking of profit, news should be entertaining instead of exposing corruption that nobody cares so as to be profitable.
What is going on in the society? Corruption is becoming untraceable since the news is trying to cover it instead of exposing it. Politicians work for the big companies instead of the citizens, they vote according to the orders from their ‘boss’. News is no longer a news, people are entertained and fooled at the same time, and the government is corrupting is due to the civic ignorance.
Logan Paul is back. The YouTube vlogger posted a seven minute video about suicide prevention and awareness on January 24, 2018 It featured a man named Kevin Hines, who when he was 19 years old, jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Throughout the video, it talks about suicide and how large of an influence it actually has in the United States. But, even though this video is trying to promote suicide lifelines and helping those who may be struggling with those dangerous thoughts, people are torn over the fact that this might just be a well time PR video for Logan to bring back his career.
On December 31st 2017, right before the New Year, Paul posted a vlog while in Japan which showed a man who had recently committed suicide in the alleged ‘Suicide Forest’ on the northwest side of Mount Fiji. The video was up for around 24 hours, even hitting the top ten trending list before it was removed from the platform.
The video caused the 22 year old to receive a lot of backlash and the removal from Google Preferred ads, as well as putting his various YouTube projects on hold. Paul issued two apologies for this video, which included a Twitter apology and YouTube video. He later went on a three week hiatus. During that hiatus, his younger brother, Jake Paul, made a video on January 23, which hinted at the fact that Logan would be able to recover his career despite this mistake.
Which brings us to his current video. Though the video has pulled over nine million views in 22 hours, it’s still up for debate whether or not Logan Paul will change his attitude and how he deals with life and others. But is it really all Paul’s fault for his behavior? The answer that first comes to mind might be yes, of course he’s responsible for his behavior, but YouTube isn’t entirely innocent when it comes to the young vlogger. Both Paul brothers have been known for their ‘loud and obnoxious’ videos and personalities, doing pranks to neighbors and just having that wild and reckless behavior in general. YouTube never seems to do anything about it. It seems that the YouTubers are the ‘golden boys’ of the platform and get away with most of the things they do without getting trouble for it.
Now YouTube and the Paul brothers can’t be the only ones getting blamed from this unfairness. The subscribers of both channels are guilty as well. By constantly watching the videos they bringing more revenue to the Paul brothers, giving them more material to make more videos. The subscriber demographic for both channels is as young as eight years old, which makes them very impressionable, and unable to always know or process what the videos are actually doing or what actions they are promoting.
Even with the Suicide Forest video, YouTube allowed the video to be up for a day without adding an age restriction to it, before it was removed. Since the video had been flagged, YouTube had to manually review it to see why it was flagged, and even then, they still kept it available for all ages before it was later taken down. YouTube’s actions against Paul weren’t instantaneous, Google having pushed for a ‘punishment’ if you will first by removing Paul from their Google ad tier program. It took time, but YouTube eventually put a hold on Paul’s programs and stopped his income from the platform. Though, where these late reactions the correct ones to take?
YouTubers are known to make mistakes, whether it’s from things like racist jokes and comments, being inappropriate in general, or plain disrespectful in other countries. The fact that Logan Paul was able to have a video up which showed the body of a man who had committed suicide shows that the platform has issues with the staff. It currently is having people manually view and filter videos now, and the possibility of a video such as Paul’s being posted again is slim to none, but will videos that should have age restrictions or be taken down be left up for anyone to see? YouTube has a very heavy influence over the younger generation and the videos can change the actions of someone if they are of that impressionable age. So should more videos be filtered and have age restrictions? Should certain YouTubers be allowed to post on the platform? It’s a grey area, but YouTube seems like they are trying to make it a safer place for all people, and viewers can only wait and see what the future holds.
If you or someone you love/know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please contact someone who can help, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). This is available 24 hours every day.
Phones: a device that has overtaken the world. A reasonably small object that easily fits in your pocket is controlling our society. When the very first mobile phone was made in 1973, it was used for one thing: to call and talk to someone. Now almost 45 years later, cell phones are used for everything from calling or texting to playing games or solving a math equation. You basically have every book ever written on one note card sized phone.
About 36% of the world’s population owns a phone and about 68% of Americans own a smartphone. Now, I own a phone and in no way am I saying it a bad thing. In fact it can be quite helpful. For example, if you need to contact someone who is at work, or to find information for a project. The problem comes when people abuse the job of the phone or overuse it. When it becomes an addiction. It is going to affect your life, and it will have consequences.
Here are some statistics about cell phone ownership from psychguides.com:
60% of U.S. college students consider themselves to have a cell phone addiction.
71% of people sleep with or next to their cell phones.
Nearly 40% of people never disconnect from cell phones, even while on vacation.
44% of Americans say they couldn’t go a day without their mobile devices.
These statistics are concerning and show that our world revolves around cell phones.
There can be major consequences to having a phone addiction. When I got my first device, an iPod, I told myself this would never happen. Sadly, I didn’t really go through with it. If I was bored the first thing I would do would be to either check Facebook or watch YouTube. I was on my device a lot and I felt is change my family life. This happens to families all around America. Finally I realized I was truly on my device too much and so I made a change. I have realized that having an addition to a phone or other device has consequences.
It appears that some millennials of this world don’t seem to realize this. People divide from family, become afraid to not have their phone, and in some cases, even die because they were staring at their phone and crash or get hit by a car.
Our world needs to realize what is happening to our world and make a change. Yes phones are nice but in no way do we need to be on it all the time. Some changes we can make are: Raise awareness because most people don’t realize they are addicted to their phone. Personally: if you notice you are on your phone a lot, turn it all the way off. Yes that can be hard but it helps. Go do something else to get your mind of your phone and social media. Take a walk, play a board game with someone or read a book. These may seem like small things but over time it will make a difference.
High school students learn how to run a business, create a product, figure out a demand schedule and sell their product to make a profit. Students are able to keep the profits they earn or absorb the losses they create. It is said, no high school in America teaches students to do this very thing. This has been happening for the past 8 years and 7 at Forrest Bird Charter School in Sandpoint, Idaho.
On your next trip to Boise, be sure to add these to your itinerary!
-The Capital building with its marble floors and the stone staircase is a marvelous site to see. Used as the back drop for many engagement, wedding, and senior photos, the architecture of this iconic building is also the backdrop for several political rallies and movement of the state political scene.
-Newly remodeled Boise Downtown area, loving renamed BoDo for short, houses shops and restaurants all in walking distance. You should also visit the 8th Street Market Place, Saturday’s farmers market, and the zoo.
BSU Football & Steelheads Hockey
-For those sports enthusiasts, you’ve never seen team pride until you’ve experienced a Boise State home game, with blue turf and painted faces, it’ll be a game to remember. If football isn’t your thing, then you can always watch a brawl on ice by attending an Idaho Steelheads hockey game.
-Outdoor enthusiasts will love the White Water Park, greenbelt, Table Rock, hiking trails in the foothills, Bogus Basin, white water rafting, and floating the Boise River. There are also many parks.
-The Wild West wouldn’t be complete without a few ghost towns. Silver City, Pearl Idaho, and Idaho City can each be a pleasant day trip from Boise and well worth the drive.
-Boise has a rich history, stories can be found at the Train Depot, Penitentiary, and the Historical Museum downtown.
-No matter the season there is always something going on in the area. Shakespeare in the park, Boise Shakespeare festival, hot air balloon rides, and the State Fair all happen in the summer. The cherry festival in Emmett happens early spring. The Ice festival in McCall and the Festival of Trees downtown all happen during the winter.