For the past three years, Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war that ties into the regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In the midst of the conflict, millions of civilians are at risk of famine and disease. The US is supporting this violence, and has largely ignored the human cost of giving help to Saudi Arabia. Coverage of the crisis in the US has also been lacking—both the media and president have stayed clear of the topic. So what is the conflict in Yemen, and why is the US involved?
In 2014, Houthi rebels rose up in northern Yemen due to religious strife and discontentment with elections. They were able to take the capital Sana’a and much of the populated land in the western parts of Yemen. Government forces under President Sadi were initially routed with the president himself being forced to flee the country—however, they eventually retook the port city of Aden, where the government is based now.
Houthi rebels are largely reported to be supplied and supported by Iran. This concerns Saudi Arabia and their allies, as the two countries fight for influence across the Middle East. In 2015, they began a bombing campaign to prop up the Sadi government and harm the Houthi rebels. While fighting up to this point had still been bloody, the bombings led to a new level of casualties. Upwards of 60% of the 50,000+ casualties are from the air strikes, including many civilians. This effort is supported by US intelligence because of the alliance with Saudi Arabia—as a result, the US is aiding the murder of civilians.
Media coverage on this conflict and specifically on US involvement has been limited at best. The government has very little to say regarding the conflict, but refuses to condemn Saudi actions. This isn’t a partisan issue—both Obama and Trump have had the same response. However, the crisis has reached a breaking point, and Yemen is now on the verge of famine.
Yemen imports about 90% of its food, and what food does remain inside of the country is exorbitantly priced. The Saudi bombings have damaged the infrastructure in the country to the point where getting supplies to those who need them is extremely difficult. Also, there is a Saudi blockade of all ships going to Houthi-controlled ports. In one recent case, a United Nations (UN) ship was held for weeks trying to get humanitarian aid and medical supplies into a port. Currently, 17 million of the 27 million people living in Yemen are food insecure. There is a chorea outbreak as well that affects over 600,00, and also severe malnutrition among 400,000 children.
These statistics show more than simple internal strife. There is a potential famine called the worst in modern history by the UN. Not only is the US refusing to speak out against the war, but it actively supports Saudi Arabia. None of this is to say that Houthis are free of blame, as they also have indiscriminately shelled population areas, but the current issue is from devastating bombing that does not let any relief come in for the population of Yemen. The media’s refusal to cover this is truly dangerous, and even if the government refuses to speak, more should be aware of the crisis. Governments should have a moral responsibility to put life ahead of politics, something which the US has certainly not done.
In 2015, $357 million dollars were spent in TV advertisement for the prescription drug Humira. This was the drug that had the most advertising based on money alone. It’s no secret that drug commercials are primarily shown on every channel. They can vary from allergies to things dealing with Schizophrenia, however they are all based around the general idea of appealing to their audience.
TV viewers are slowly dropping as they are going to other sources for entertainment, but the amount of viewers is still high enough to the point that drug advertisements are continuously being shown. These commercials are slowly stirring up more controversies each day. USA TODAY states that these controversies are becoming more popular due to the fact that the drugs that are being advertised are rather expensive or have a “limited practicality for the average patient-viewer”.
Promoting drugs that have a high price, or are impractical, doesn’t seem to concern the drug advertisement department as they are only continuing to publish these ads. For example, the drug Lyrica costs $400 per 60 capsules, meaning that those who really need the drug may be unable to afford to keep the prescription going. Another factor that is changing within the advertisement is actually the side-effects that one may experience when taking the drugs. The commercials are focused primarily on things that will speak to the patient-viewers that are struggling with the disorder or issue the drug can correct.
For example, allergy commercials promote that once you start taking the allergy medication, you will be able to do things you used to be unable to do, such as playing with animals, walking around in the springtime, etc. This is something that someone with strong allergies would naturally be attracted to. However, when listing the side-effects, the commercial will divert the viewer’s attention with aesthetically pleasing pictures or videos, alongside pleasant music so that they don’t have their full attention on what the side effects actually are, therefore missing the major issues the drug may cause.
While drug commercials aren’t the only ones guilty of this technique, the products they are promoting can be dangerous if the viewer isn’t completely aware of the side effects they may be facing. Now before getting a prescription, patients must speak to their doctors about it, to see if it is best for them. However it seems to be growing more common that the patient’s want overpowers the doctor’s advice. The Placebo Effect is then put into motion. Due to the fact that patients are determined to get the medicine prescribed to them, they begin to develop ‘symptoms’ that would make their doctor more likely to let them have the prescription.
This can be unwise, especially if the patient’s financial situation isn’t the best as prescription prices are getting higher and higher every year. Despite the things that are happening, the drug advertisement business isn’t slowing down. Whether or not they will change their tactics is still unknown, but in the meantime, viewers are advised to make sure to properly research and discuss the drug they are interested in becoming prescribed to. www.pbs.org/newshour/ health/drug-commercials-like-prescription-costs-rise
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.
With as popular as the stadium was during the festival at Sandpoint, the new bleachers were competing with the musicians themselves for the attention of the people. When asked in a survey, around 58% people said it was a good idea, mainly because of the safety hazards that the old ones provided. “I thought it was time for something new, glad that ended up that way” one person added.
However, the new stands weren’t favored by some, around 25% of surveyed people answered no. Most of the surveyees said that it was because of the nostalgia that went hand and hand with the old bleachers. They are planning on replacing the grass with something, whether it be real grass or AstroTurf is undecided. If they do plan on replacing the grass, then it is estimated that it will be done around 2018. It will also include a new gate system that covers the new entrance. The new way the entrance is designed will change the way the gates work.
However, voters may need to ask themselves if the city is moving beyond the original measure proposed to them to remodel the Memorial Field bleachers. The bleachers are being paid for by an extra 1% sales tax which is being charged at grocery stores and farmers’ market. This tax was approved in late 2015, and plans to run its course by 2020. It had been planned to generate another $2.7 million for the town in order to fund the project over the 5 years it should be in effect.
It’s also worth remembering that residents did vote for this tax overwhelmingly, at 73% approving.
Recently, the locker rooms underneath the stadium have been unveiled. This will likely be warmed received by Sandpoint High School teams who use the stadium, including the baseball, soccer, and football groups. It has also hosted graduations, ceremonies, and festivals that drive in tourism and as a result improve the economy. It’s also worth remembering that the program was initiated by failure to meet safety codes for the bleachers, and so was a necessity to keep the stadium running.
Sandpoint, Idaho is a popular destination during the summer, but it’s also very popular in the winter, due to the heavy amounts of snowfall and the exciting activities that one can do. Snow is normally in abundance anywhere from mid-December to February, and sometimes it stretches out beyond that. There are many winter activities that Sandpoint has to offer, meaning a winter break has all sorts of possibilities to be exciting.
Western Pleasure Guest Ranch is becoming increasingly popular due to the fact they offer not only cabins to stay in alongside log lodge rooming, but also horse drawn sleigh rides. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing are available, taking you on a course through the foothills of the Cabinet Mountain Range, giving one irreplaceable memories.
The Selkirk Powder Company, offers snowmobile tours throughout the back country of Schweitzer Mountain which is actually in the Selkirk Mountain Range.
There are two options for the tours, one being the half day tour, the other being a full day tour which will take you to the other side of the mountain range, all the way into Priest River.
There are a few unique ways to explore the winter landscape of Sandpoint, one of these ways being Flatbiking. What exactly is a Flatbike? This is a bike that was specifically designed with oversized tires so that it can be used off-road and in the snow. The best place for this is Schweitzer Mountain, as there various trails that you can access even during the winter. Not only that, but there are also 92 skiing trails and 9 lifts that make it possible to explore the majority of the mountain.
There are also other options if you are not up for exploring the mountain, such as snow tubing, and looking through the various establishments that the village has to offer. There’s also housing options up on the mountain, such as a hotel, but also cabins. Schweitzer Mountain has a lot of fun activities to offer, making it the most popular place to visit in Sandpoint during the winter season.
However, the must see event that happens every year, is the Sandpoint Winter Carnival. This has been going on for 43 years, taking place in the Panhandle of Idaho, with plenty of different things for one to view or participate in. During the day, there are outdoor activities that you can watch, such as the Keg Pull. During the night, fireworks are displayed, and live music is played at various restaurants. This year the 2018 festival will be held on February 16th through the 25th, and people are already counting down the days for winter activities as Sandpoint had its first snowfall on November 11th. So what do you plan on doing this winter?
Larson’s, a 3 chain department store here in North Idaho, has been around since the 1940s. There are 3 store locations, one in downtown Sandpoint, one in downtown Bonners Ferry and one in downtown Grangeville. The store located in Sandpoint is generally acknowledged as the oldest business in Sandpoint.
Larsons, whose current owner is Dick Larson, started as a partnership store with Jennestad’s store in 1908, located just down the street from the current Larson’s store. Then Dick’s father Lloyd and his uncle Thor bought the J.A Foster & Co. store in 1940, and started their first store.
In 1964, Lloyd then bought out Thor’s share of the store and replaced him with his son Dick. Dick has been working there ever since. In 1970 the Larsons bought the building on First Ave from Jim and Page Parsons. Then in 1978 Lloyd Larson retired and Dick took over as general manager of the store.
In 2000 Dick Larson and his wife Linda bought the old J.C Penny’s store in Bonners Ferry next to the Post Office. After remodeling, they opened the Bonner’s store. In 2010 Dick and Linda purchased the old Miller hardware store in downtown Grangeville, from John and Annelle Urbahn. After another remodeling they opened the third store in October of 2010.
Currently Larson’s store is doing well, but as with many small clothing stores, its biggest competition is Online shopping, as said by the current manager Lindsey Larson. Online shopping is a major industry and sometimes it’s a hindrance to small businesses. They have about 10-12 employees in Sandpoint and in all three stores combined about 22-24 employees.
If you’re looking for a job, Larsons loves High school students who come and work for them. Anyone who’s out going, loves clothes and knows how to run a computer. If you are interested in going to Larsons, make sure to check out one of their three stores.