Syria chemical weapons disarment deal

Story by: Andrew Van Winkle

After three days of talks John Kerry and Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement. The US and Russia agreed on September 14 a framework that they would remove and destroy all of Syria’s chemical weapons. It definitely stalled the US military strikes on Syria that they were going to do as punishment for the deadly chemical weapons attack on a suburb in Damascus on August 21st .             

The agreement states under the framework deal, the US and Russia will ask the organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to destroy Syria’s chemical weapon program, and for verification that it had happened.

The government of Syria was given until September 21 to submit a listing, including names, munitions, storage, and research and development facilities. Inspections of the chemical weapon sites will and must be completed by November. The munitions will also need to be destroyed by November. The complete elimination of the munitions must be completed by the first half of 2014.

The US and Russia agree that the chemicals and chemical agents must be destroyed outside of Syria if possible. But the framework says they could also be destroyed inside of Syria.

The US and Russia are working together on a UN security council resolution that includes steps to make sure verification and effective execution of the OPCW’s

disarmament plan. According to the framework “in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer,, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, The UN security council should impse measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter”. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made clear that his country remains opposed to any military action in Syria. September 16 he stressed that the framework does not mention a threat of Chapter VII measures being part of the resolution being drafted by the US and Russia. But US Secretary of State John Kerry said Lavrov had agreed to that part.

On 14 September, the UN confirmed Syria had come to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which commits members to destroying their stockpiles.

Seven days later, the OPCW confirmed it had received an expected disclosure from the Syrian government regarding its chemical weapons program. It declined to release details of what was in the declaration.

The US-Russia agreement says the two countries have reached an agreement that the type and amount of chemical weapons was indeed involved. A US official said that there were about 1,000 tons of chemical weapons including a blister agent, sulfur mustard, and saran nerve agent.

The Hunger Games Sequel to be Released Soon

Story by Ian McConnaughey

The hit movie edition of the popular Hunger Games book was massively popular, and was voted one of the top movies of its year. Think how the sequel will be met…

Early predictions for the movie release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire say that the film could make even more profit than previously thought. Original speculations guessed that the sequel would make around $575 million, but new predictions show that the highly anticipated film could make up to $950 million or more.

It is predicted that if Catching Fire hits the numbers, it could easily be placed as the second most successful film of the year, beat only by the recent film Iron Man 3.

A partial list of the cast for this upcoming film is as follows:

    • Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
    • Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
    • Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
    • Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
    • Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
    • Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
    • Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
    • Jeffrey Wright as Beetee
    • Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
    • Donald Sutherland as President Snow
    • Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
    • Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair
    • Jena Malone as Johanna Mason
    • Lynn Cohen as Mags
    • Amanda Plummer as Wiress
    • Meta Golding as Enobaria
    • Bruno Gunn as Brutus
    • Alan Ritchson as Gloss
    • E. Roger Mitchell as Chaff
    • Maria Howell as Seeder
    • Stephanie Leigh Schlund as Cashmere
    • Elena Sanchez as Cecelia
    • Bobby Jordan as Blight
    • John Casino as Woof
    • Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen
    • Paula Malcomson as Mrs. Everdeen
    • Patrick St. Esprit as Romulus Thread

Eric Feig, the Lionsgate Studios President of Production said “We are so excited to be embarking on this adventure with Francis Lawrence, who has already exhibited immense creative vision and resourcefulness in casting the film and planning its look and feel.  The stakes are raised in every way in this second story, and we are thrilled to get the production underway in these perfect locations, with our excellent returning cast and some world class actors in new roles.”

The movie takes place after Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark win the 74th Annual Hunger Games, and return to District 12, but not before after several victory parades, none of which they wanted to participate in. Rumor reaches Katniss that her and Peeta’s actions have sparked small rebellions in the districts, but President Snow makes it very clear that they are inconsequential. She and Peeta are thinking that they will finally be safe from the Capitol, but then a shocking twist brings them back to the Arena for the Quarter Quell, the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Will they prevail and live yet again, or shall they be split apart in a bloody confrontation?

Lawrence, Jennifer. “Analyst Predicts ‘Catching Fire’ Will Make $950 Million Worldwide.” Zimbio. Zimbio, 18 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. <http://www.zimbio.com/Jennifer Lawrence/articles/B99P01AE6p1/Analyst Predicts Catching Fire Will Make 950>.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Sept. 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.

“THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE BEGINS PRODUCTION.” Lionsgate Investigators. Lionsgate Studios, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. <http://investors.lionsgate.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=62796&p=irol-newsArticle&id=1733641>.

Pros and Cons to iTalc

Story by Brooklyn Fleury & Thomas Ruppert

The Negative Side of iTalc
Story by Brooklyn Fleury
Are you okay with your teachers looking at everything you do?! I sure am not! Italc is being usedin our school every day. For those who don’t know what italc is, Italc is a program that monitors yourcomputer so your teachers can see what you are doing on your computer. If you are gaming the bigMonitor in study lab turns into your computer screen so everybody sees it. I think that it should go backto the usual thing when the teacher walked by and made sure you weren’t playing games or doingthings online that you shouldn’t be.
I took a poll on pro’s and con’s and 27 people were against italc and three were for

Photo by Thomas Ruppert: Hillary DeCecchis works at her computer using the program School Master which keeps schedules, grades, and contact information.
Photo by Thomas Ruppert: Hillary DeCecchis works at her computer using the program School Master which keeps schedules, grades, and contact information.

Italc, and that was just one class. Even some teachers are against Italc, not only the students. We did a poll to ourteachers it was the opposite of the students vote, but some still believe we shouldn’t have Italc orthey’re undecided. “I really don’t want students to get used to growing up in a police state.”-Anonymous.

One teacher, Miss Higgins, was undecided on Italc. “My concern is that the students would feelthat it is an invasion of the student’s privacy. I don’t want the students to become resentful or stopdoing their work altogether because they don’t like Italc. However, with 8 hours of study time given perweek, I cannot come up with a reason as to why there are NC’s in our school. I would challenge thestudents, if they are against Italc, to come up with a better solution. As it stands I support theAdministration because it is the best idea so far…and I personally cannot come up with a better way toreduce the NC rate at our school. I also really want to stress that it is customary in a corporate settingfor the employer to monitor the computer use of an employee. Ultimately, we are training students atthis institution for a future in the work force.”
Maybe if the whole High School proves to our teachers we are responsible and that we all wantto keep our grades respectable, then maybe one day they would get rid of Italc! If we really want Italcgone then we should show it by being responsible and actually caring about our grades.
Positive Side of Italc
Story by Thomas Ruppert

iTalc is one of the new good things that our school has the privilege of having. Some people have said that they like it and some say they don’t. An anonymous survey was given to the teachers at Forrest M. Bird Charter High School.

One response stated, “I like iTalc because it gives me the control to keep kids in line with their electronics. People will always abuse the rules, but this gives me a level of comfort I can live with.”

However, one teacher against iTalc claimed, “I really don’t want students to get use to growing up in a police state.”  As you can see, the people that complain are slightly on the losing side but still put up a good fight.  ITalc is one of the best programs we have had in the school, because it can see if people are playing inappropriate games or watching bad videos. Last year a freshman was looking up pornography during his study lab, without iTalc we would not have caught him. If we had had iTalc it wouldn’t

Photo by Thomas Ruppert: Gloria Hanson works at her desk. iTalc could be a tool used by all teachers.
Photo by Thomas Ruppert: Gloria Hanson works at her desk. iTalc could be a tool used by all teachers.

have happened at all. “I think it helps us keep track of so much computer usage.”- Anonymous teacher.

Would you want to sit by a person who was looking up pornography, violent movies, cyber bullying, and violence, (Example: People cutting up puppies for the fun of it.) We need a safe environment to work in so I think that there should be iTalc because of these disgusting things people do on the internet. Would you sit by a person who was looking up pornography or other nasty things?

It’s That Time of Year; The Fall Dance is Drawing Near

Story by Phoebe Tietjen-Archie

October is drawing near, and with that comes all the festivities of Halloween including the Fall Dance. With a new student council just elected we should be expecting a pretty good outcome for the dance.  Sophomore Trista Hindberg said “I think the dance all really depends on how they plan it; we could be facing an upcoming disaster, or one amazingly magical night.”

For the most part everyone is excited about the upcoming dance, which will be held on October 25th, for the freshmen class this is especially big news; the first high school dance one attends will always hold a place in the memory scrap-book. Freshman Camille Wagner said “I’m super excited for my first high school dance; I love dances and look forward to it! I expect the dance to just be fun and drama free; after all we’re all in high school now.” For the rest of the classes we are all bouncing around with wide eyed wonder about how the dance will actually end up… Will the music be good? How will the decorations turnout? Will it be costume, formal, or casual attire?  Dance Committee member, Jennifer Kobelt, said “We would really like everyone to come in costume, but it’s not required.”

Last year FBCS’ financial planning for the dance, was not at its best; we made $350 in revenue from the dance, however we spent  $526 on preparing and decorations for it which means  we were roughly $176 in the negative zone.  Hopefully with a new student council in place that will change this year. Student Council Treasurer Jenifer Kobelt said “Instead of spending money on decorations I’m planning on having the decorations made at the school or reuse decorations that were bought and unused from prior dances or that are in top condition. Also I will make sure I refer to the budget at hand before making any final decisions to buying something and to make sure it is really needed not just wanted. I’m also really good with efficient spending so I will put that to use when wanting to spend money because I could possibly get the same thing cheaper somewhere else with the same quality as the more expensive product.”

The big question overall is what is the theme going to be? With this we also begin to wonder who will be the DJ, and who will be in charge of the main decorations? Junior Tommy Smith, who decorated the board used for pictures last year as well as rapped on the open mic, said “If I’m asked, which I think I will be since I’m on the student council as Junior rep, I would definitely like to help with the decorations for the dance again this year as well as rapping and or singing.” Middle school choir, and sophomore advocacy teacher, Paul Gunter, said “If student council, and or the dance committee asked me to DJ I would be more than pleased to. Plus I have a lot of the gear, and machines to do so including fog machines and lights; basically at this point I’m just waiting for someone to approach me with a set date.” Dance committee member, Jennifer Kobelt, said “We are planning on having a Halloween themed dance, hence the costumes. We will be putting up posters soon, advertising that we will be holding auditions for DJ’s for the dance in the near future.”

The dance is looking like it’s going to be a big hit this year; all that’s left to do is patiently wait for this magical Halloween themed night to pull you from your seats and get you moving on the dance floor!

Voyager 1 makes history as first man-made object to leave solar system

Story by: Jack Meier

Voyager 1 has just made history by being the first manmade object to exit our solar system, NASA stated on Thursday.  It has crossed the heliosphere, the magnetic boundary that defines the border between interstellar space and our solar system.

The probe and its brother, Voyager 2, were launched in 1977, sixteen days apart.  Voyager 1 is currently at a distance of 18.8 billion kilometers from Earth, and its brother Voyager 2 is 15.3 billion kilometers away.  Voyager 1 is currently traveling at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour.

Voyager 2 is estimated to leave the heliosphere in three to four years.  Since Voyager 2’s plasma instrument is still functional, we will have a better idea of when exactly the probe crosses into interstellar space.

“In leaving the heliosphere and setting sail on the cosmic sea between the stars, Voyager has joined other historic journeys of exploration; the first circumnavigation of the globe, the first steps on the moon” Ed Stone, chief scientist on the Voyager mission remarked.

How they determined when the spacecraft actually crossed the threshold was tricky, as the plasma measuring instrument broke way back in 1980.  To skirt around that handicap, the scientists working on the project measured the waves in the plasma around the craft, and used it to calculate density.

The vibrations were caused by a large coronal mass ejection (solar flare), from the sun in 2012.  The ejection formed what Stone called a ‘solar wind tsunami.’

Between October 23rd and November 27th, the spacecraft traveled through an area with an electron density of 0.06 per cubic centimeter.  This is still within the interstellar space range, meaning the craft passed through plasma with increasing electron density.

In the interstellar medium, the density of electrons is thought to be between 0.22 and 0.05 electrons per cubic centimeter.  Interstellar plasma particles are created by the explosions of giant stars, scientists theorize.

The theory, led by the University of Iowa physicist Donald Gurnett, states that the concentration of plasma particles is thirty times greater outside the heliosphere than inside.  This middle ground between the heliosphere and interstellar space is called the heliopause.

The probe itself has 68KB of data storage, much, much less than the average smartphone.  Scientists communicate with it daily to retrieve the pictures and wipe the memory so more pictures can be taken.

“It’s the little spacecraft that could” said Suzanne Dodd, Voyager project manager.

Scientists are interested in observing the differences between our solar wind, and the solar wind from interstellar space.  Our heliosphere is akin to a rock in a river, the solar wind has to flow around it like water around a rock.

Both probes carry the ‘golden record’, a 12 inch gold plated copper disk with sights and sounds from Earth.  The idea was that if extraterrestrials find the probe, they will listen to the disk and learn about us and our culture.

The disk has 115 images, and many natural sounds such as birds, surf, thunder, wind, and animals.  There is also a compilation of music from different genres and eras.  There are greetings spoken in fifty-five different languages, beginning with Akkadian, an ancient Sumer language, and ending with Wu, a modern-day Chinese dialect.

Natural radioactive decay generates enough power to allow Voyager to communicate with Earth and run its instruments.  The first instrument will be shut off in 2020, and the spacecraft will go dark in 2025.

But for now, the probe will forge on through the complete darkness that is interstellar space, and hopefully, one day, something else will pick it up.

IPhone 5S ! Samsung Galaxy S4 ! Who’s the winner ?

Story by Charles Guénard

On September the 10th, Apple launched the brand new iPhone 5S.  But at the same time, Samsung replied with its latest smartphone : the Galaxy S4. They have just been released on the market days ago, but a war is already announced between these smartphones who can be both considered as the best. The question that can be asked is : what is the best ? Through this article who will develop and compare each device with the design, the performance and all important stuff, you will be able to make your idea.

With the design, the iPhone 5S has a stronger  structure than the galaxy S4, the glass of the iPhone 5S can resist to an important shock. The Galaxy S4 is just built in a plastic slab. Speaking of the color, the iPhone 5S is proposed in 3 colors : gold, silver and space grey.  Samsung’s smartphone proposes a removable back.

The drawback of the smartphone is the battery life because it doesn’t last for long, Apple and Samsung have tried to improve with that with their new products. Samsung talked a lot about the battery life of the galaxy S4 and presented it as “an amazing improvement”. Apple was very discreet about that, but after many tests, it has been proved that the iPhone 5S will last longer than the Galaxy S4 : 10 hours of Internet LTE for the iPhone 5S against 6 hours for the Galaxy S4.

The size of the screen of the iPhone 5S is the same than the previous iPhone. The galaxy S4′ screen is much bigger than the one of the iPhone 5S. The Samsung product will be better to watch videos, surfing on the web and playing games, it has a 1920 x 1080 pixels’ display.

For the performance, the iPhone 5S has all-new A7 chip. It also got a 64 bit architecture. Apple insure that these features will double the performance compared to the previous iPhone. Apple showed these performance with the new game Infinity Blade 3. This demonstration let people think that the gaming performance of the iPhone 5S will blow away what has been seen with the Android games.

With the iPhone 5S, Apple introduces the new Software iOS 7, the notable feature is the control center who make the main setting easier to access.  The Galaxy S4  has what has been called the TouchWiz, it promises to give you notifications faster while busy. It also propose a clever multitasking interface : 2 apps can run on the screen at the same moment.

While introducing the iPhone 5S, Apple talked a lot about the ID touch, a fingerprint scan. This way, the smartphone can be unlocked only by the owner, “thinking foward”, that’s how Apple describes this feature.  The Galaxy S4 proposes the Air gestures, the vocal assistant which is clever than Siri on the iPhone 5S.

It’s impossible to talk about these phones without speaking of their camera. The Galaxy S4 will give your better results in terms of definition and resolution. But in terms of quality of the picture and the video, the iPhone 5S will give you amazing results with his iSight camera. Moreover, the iPhone 5S offers a slow motion recording : a whole new feature in the smartphone history.

IPhone 5S or Galaxy S4 ? It’s time to make your choice !

The Byway or The Highway

Story by Hali Aller

Imagine you’re on the verge of making a big time business deal for your company; this deal will hopefully impress your boss, making you big bucks and perhaps a big promotion. You’re driving down highway 95 towards the meeting all the way across The Long Bridge, your running just behind schedule due to traffic; you can’t afford to lose this opportunity. Traffic is still jammed, if only there was a faster way. All of a sudden, BAM!! A new byway is created, allowing you to cut through traffic and slide on through Sandpoint to your

meeting. What a life saver. You reach your destination, only to look at the clock and notice you are 20 minutes late, the deal is lost, they’re not going to waste their time on someone who’s late. If only the byway was created sooner, only then would you have made it on time and strike on that big time deal.

The Sand Creek Byway began construction in 2008, with many struggles along the way, construction ended in 2012; allowing us to get through town quicker and avoid traffic. Many have been saying the byway has improved our town greatly.

Mala Saied, a senior from Forrest Bird Charter school comments, “I like how it separates the big hauling trucks from those who drive little town vehicles. It allows us to enjoy going to through town for a drive about, without dealing with big trucks blocking our view.”

“It’s convenient for the town, I haven’t been here that long, but it’s sure a nice way to get through town without actually going through town,” says teacher Mrs. Logan from FBCS.

“I like it because it allows me to get to practice on time, which is out at Cocolalla, being a coach I have to be there before the kids, and before the byway I was always minutes late, which leaves me little time to get prepared

Photo by Hali Aller: Heading home on South Bus.

and ready,” addresses Rae Aller mother of student at FBCS.

The byway has improved our town greatly, but it took a little longer than planned. This project was supposed to end two months before schedule, which was in 2010, but with many construction problems and weather conditions, it wasn’t finished until 2012.

This year the Idaho Transportation Department nominated the byway for America’s Transportation Award.

“We had a number of major factors in completing it and still we were able to complete it ahead of schedule,” said Mel Coulter, a spokesman at ITD’s Office of Communications in Boise.

Others are shocked.

“Really?” said Mark Webber, teacher at Forrest Bird Charter School, “They’ve nominated our byway, even after all the problems they had with it?”

Yes, and now it’s been named best project in the highway/bridges category by the Engineering News-Record Mountain States.

Even though there were many benefits that came with the new road, after the problems that cost us more money to fix, do you really think the byway should be called the best project?

“Best project? Well, I wouldn’t call it the best, for there have been other ideas put out and even taken into action that may have or has improved our town far greater than the byway, but really after all the problems that took place while under construction with the byway, I don’t think it should be even nominated for best project,” says student at FBCS.

Welcome to the 75th Annual Hunger Games!

Story by Sam Berkey

Jennifer Lawrence is back again as the infamous Katniss Everdeen in the new prequel to the first Hunger Games movie, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. This time, Katniss and Peeta Mellark are put back into the Games after barely coming out alive from their first competition.  Old characters we know and love along with some new characters, thrills and chills await us in this new film, coming November 22nd.

But what made Jennifer become this beloved character? How did she rise to fame? These are questions that some people overlook or just don’t think about. Many don’t know that she tried out for the role of Bella Swan in the Twilight movies. Nor do they know much of the other movies or TV shows she stared or guest stared in.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky as the youngest and the only daughter to Karen and Gary Lawrence she started acting at the local theater. When she was fourteen, she persuaded her parents to take her to New York to find an agent and to pursue a successful acting carrier. Never having one lesson or class in acting, Lawrence started on the TBS The Bill Engvall Show comedy TV series as Lauren Pearson in 2007. She was given the Young Artist Award for Outstanding Young Performer in a TV Series for the role, even though the show was cancelled after only three seasons.

From there, Lawrence appeared on other TV series such as Monk, Cold Case, and Medium as a guest. She was given a small role as Tiff in Garden Party in 2008, and later that year was in The Burning Plain as Mariana. She received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for best young emerging actor/actress at the Venice Film Festival in ’08 due to her performance. Lawrence was cast as the lead role in the family drama The Poker House as a young girl victim of abuse and neglect which awarded her the Los Angeles Film Festival for Outstanding Performance that same year.

Lawrence finally made a breakthrough when she stared in Winter’s Bone as Ree Dolly which won Best Picture at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010. She had obtained the Academy Award for Best Actress and the National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance on January 25th, 2011. This made her the third youngest actress to be nominated for that category accruing more nominations from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Independent Spirits Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and the Satellite Awards among many others.

But her most well known performance is her character Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games. Lawrence, a fan of the series, was intimidated by the size of the movie and what it might do for her fame that it took her three days to accept the role. She had to go through yoga, archery, rock and tree climbing, combat, parkour, running, Pilates and stunt training in order to be in perfect shape for the role. Her role as Katniss was praised by many reporters and critics and Forbes Magazine stated “No one who has seen The Hunger Games would question star Jennifer Lawrence’s ability to play an action star.”

In 2011, Lawrence stared as the golden eyed, blue-skinned shape-shifting Raven Darkholme/Mystique in X-Men: First Class which was one of two prequels to the X-Men series. She will be returning as the same character this upcoming year in X-Men Days of Future Past. Lawrence stared in her first thriller called The House at the End of the Street as Elissa, and was first cast as “O” in Savages, but she declined it due to her scheduling conflicts.  She played Tiffany Maxwell, a recently widowed young woman in the romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro. That performance made her receive worldwide praise from all critics for her leading role. Lawrence was given the Golden Globe, Academy Award and other accolades for Best Actress for her wonderful performance.

Lawrence surprisingly replaced Angelina Jolie in Serena as an unstable woman who can’t give her husband children and sets out to kill a woman that bore him a son before Selena and her husband were married. She will also be staring in American Hustle which is about the ’70s FBI sting operation Abscam with actors Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and actress Amy Adams. The Ends of the Earth is going to be her third collaboration film that is directed by David O. Russell and The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeanette Wall’s best-seller, will be casting Lawrence as the lead role. Lawrence will still be acting as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay-Part 1 which will be released in November 21st, 2014 and Part 2 will be released the 20th of November in 2015. June of this year, it will be announced that Lawrence will not only be acting but producing the film adaptation of The Rules of Inheritance, Claire Bidwell Smith’s memoir that will be directed by Susanne Bier.