Tag Archives: fbcs

New Teacher at FBCS… Story by Aurora Reishus

The Forrest Bird Charter School has received two new staff members this year. One new staff member is Mr. John Stevens, the new history teacher. Mr. Stevens has had experience as a substitute and student teacher, but this is his first year as a full time teacher.

Growing up, Mr. Stevens had always enjoyed school. When he was younger he had thought about becoming a geologist or a paleontologist. “Loved the dinosaurs; a Land Before Time kid,” puts Mr. Stevens. As the new history teacher, Mr. Stevens is extremely passionate about his job. Even as a kid he preferred to watch the History Channel over other TV shows.

Exploring History... Mr. Stevens talks about the explorations of the New World
Exploring History… Mr. Stevens talks about the explorations of the New World

In high school, Mr. Stevens struggled as in the middle of his high school career he became homeless. “Mom left; dad was struggling. There were some times when I tried to reconnect with my dad, but we were living in a rundown house with holes and no running water or electricity,” explains Mr. Stevens. Due to the condition of his father’s house, he often couch-surfed. Before the start of Mr. Stevens’ Junior year of college, his father’s house burnt down. After Mr. Stevens had graduated from Lewis-Clark State College in December of 2015, he got a place of his own.

Before Mr. Stevens became a teacher he worked as a janitor during his time in college. As well as working as a janitor he did yard maintenance and started student and substitute teaching. When asked why he decided to be a teacher he talked about how helpful his teachers had been during his troubling years of high school. “I love the idea of helping others; I always have. I also love history, so those two connected and made it a really easy choice for me to want to be a teacher,” stated Mr. Stevens.

Everything’s Magic… Learning Magic 101 in the Magic club at FBCS
Everything’s Magic… Learning Magic 101 in the Magic club at FBCS

Just like anyone else, Mr. Stevens has a life outside of school. Mr. Stevens described his hobbies with the opening statement, “Any student who knows me already they’ll find out really quickly I’m a huge nerd. I love Magic the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons, and I like anime too.” Magic, the card game, is one of Mr. Stevens’ favorite things and he has been playing for a very long time. Mr. Stevens is the new advisor to the Magic club at FBCS and is willing to teach anyone who wants to know how to play. Mr. Stevens used to be into the card games YUGIOH and Pokémon as well. Other than participating in Magic tournaments, in his free time, Mr. Stevens also loves to experience nature and goes on walks and hikes.

Mr. Stevens is an important member of FBCS and the community. He is charismatic and friendly and hopes to have a good year teaching. As a new teacher, he hopes to leave a mark of “history” on those he teaches.

All Photos by Aurora Reishus.

Hurricanes Devastate America and Caribbean… Story by Lydia Martin

The southern part of the United States has been hammered twice within the past three weeks with torrential rain, violent winds, and engulfing floods. The first visitor was Hurricane Harvey which landed in Texas on August 25, 2017 and throughout its stay it has caused critical loss. Millions have been without electricity, running water, and homes. Over 136,000 buildings have been flooded and demolished by water and rain resulting in billions of dollars in damages.

The Aftermath…A smashed car sits outside a demolished building after Harvey hit Rockport, Texas Photo by: Courtney Sacco/Corpus via AP
The Aftermath…A smashed car sits outside a demolished building after Harvey hit Rockport, Texas. Photo by:  Courtney Sacco/Corpus via AP

The hurricane, which dumped more than 50 inches of rain, has caused cities that were once abundant to be reduced to nothing but murky water and debris. Not only have people lost their homes, but also friends and family. The total death toll is now up to 70 people and will continue to rise as the floodwaters recede.

Another major disaster that has swept Texas is the loss of cattle to the flood waters. Cattle is such an immense industry in Texas, plus the fact that most ranchers don’t ensure their livestock. The cattle owners could be in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is this loss of livestock going to affect meat prices? David Anderson, an A&M professor and agriculture economist said that he doesn’t expect the losses to affect meat prices, because the number of cattle lost in Harvey won’t be enough to impact the national beef market, which is expected to yield a record amount next year.

Not long after Harvey hit Texas and parts of Louisiana, Hurricane Irma hit Florida, Alabama and South Carolina. Like Harvey, Irma has caused millions more to be without homes and has also caused over billions of dollars in damages. People are without power because of falling trees and high winds. Thankfully, it has been downgraded to a tropical storm but not without causing a lot of chaos.

Beat and Battered… A destroyed neighborhood seen after hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys. Photo by: Matt McClain/Getty Images
Beat and Battered… A destroyed neighborhood seen after hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys. Photo by: Matt McClain/Getty Images

The total death toll is a staggering 68–32 of those people in America, the rest being in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is struggling right now as food and supplies are running low and people have no place to go. Since homes are vacant because of people being evacuated, others have been arrested for looting homes and businesses.

It is going to take years and cost billion upon billions of dollars to repair what has been lost. The government has donated millions for relief, but even with that money will we ever recover from this catastrophe?

Schedules and Semesters… Story by Isaac Solly

As students get back into their school routines, at least one aspect of the day is sure to be different than last year, as class times have been adjusted to add a total of 15 minutes to each day. Starting school 5 minutes earlier at 7:55 and finishing 5 minutes later, at 3:15 made up for this. The rest of the added time came from student lunch period, reducing it to 25 minutes.

Bus Timing… School ends now at 3:15, but buses won’t leave for another 10 minutes past that
Bus Timing… School ends now at 3:15, but buses won’t leave for another 10 minutes past, until 3:25

Period timing is now somewhat changed from last year, but not by more than 3 minutes per class (which is about the time between classes anyway), so it is unlikely that there will be far reaching consequences. Students seem to prefer losing 5 minutes at lunch rather than the alternative of taking away holiday-time to make up for the deficit.

However, what was the reasoning for the schedule changes?

In order to get a credit for a class, 60 hours must be spent in it per semester. These are the rules that national public schools, including SHS, go by. However, Forrest Bird goes by trimesters, meaning that the third trimester project’s extra hours and half-credit isn’t part of state requirements.

The necessity of a half-credit is debatable in on itself—on one hand, it provides a “safety net” that can add up to an additional 2 credits per subject should a student spend 4 years in Forrest Bird. There also is merit in having a school-wide project that promotes creativity and individual thinking, as seen recently in the service-learning project last year. Then again, this is all extra time not mandated by the state, and won’t be required for graduation.

Rethinking the Schedule… Class periods times have been adjusted slightly to create an extra 15 minutes at school
Rethinking the Schedule… Class periods times have been adjusted slightly to create an extra 15 minutes at school.

This leads to the argument between keeping trimesters as they are or switching to a semester based schedule. Learning in semesters would keep Forrest Bird more in line with NIC and SHS, and would limit disruption that happens to the middle school during third trimester. However, though the middle school doesn’t do a project, 8th graders make up the time with a week-long trip to Yellowstone, and other grades have field trips as well.

Third trimester can either be seen as an integral part of the Forrest Bird identity, or as an unnecessary drain on student time for a token half-credit. This question is essentially the basis of the trimester-semester debate, and will be the basis of any decision to keep or do away with our new schedule.

All Photos by Isaac Solly

Labor Day Smoke… Story by Catherine Ross

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Wonder Woman debuts at the Cinema… Story by Casey Williams

Before she was Wonder Woman she was Dianna, princess of the amazons. From a young age she was trained to be a warrior on a secluded island named Themyscira that is void of men. Until she meets an American pilot named Steve Trevor who tells her of a great conflict happening on the outside world. Convinced she can end the threat Dianna leaves her home for the first time to fight alongside men in a war to end all wars. Along the way discovering herself and the powers she is capable of wielding.

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In the Trenches… Wonder Woman will feature in the First World War and is played by Gal Gadot

Fans of the DC comic heroine have something to look forward to this June. The amazon princess is making her way to the big screen for the first time in a live action movie. Fans have deemed this as “overdue” because of the fact that her comics debut in 1942, but never once having her own live action movie. There have been cartoon adaptions and a T.V. series that was created in 1975 and ran till 1979. The movie is currently the most anticipated movie of the years on the Fandango movie surveys followed by Spiderman: Homecoming, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Lies.

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A debut overdue… Wonder Woman has been in DC Comics ever since 1942, but is just recently breaking into the cinemas

The movie seems promising staring actress Gal Gadot who most is known for her role as Gisele Yashar in the Fast and Furious series. And Chris Pine. Playing supporting role Steve Trevor, he is most noted for his role as James Kirk from the modern Star Trek movies. The movie follows Diana’s origin story but whether that’s from the new 52 origin story, one of the many timelines from the original comics, or makes its own origin. Fans will just have to wait to find out.

With her cameos in the Batman vs Superman movie, fans guessed that it was only a matter time before Wonder Woman would hit the big screen.

The Creature… Fiction by Daniel McLaufe

Part 1:

I grew up in South Pittsburgh on a little street called Redding Street. The year was 1984, and I had just gotten out of High School for summer break the day previously. I woke up to the fan going back and forth like a serpent blowing the breeze into my hair and on my bed. I got up turned on the radio on the shelf behind my bed. It began playing some unfamiliar Rock music. I walked downstairs and to my surprise both my parents had left for work–after all it was a Thursday. I poured some orange juice into one of the glasses and grabbed some bacon my dad must have cooked before he left. As I chewed on the dry and cold bacon I walked to the phone and called my friend James’ house.

“Oh Hello” James’ Mom said.

“Hi, is James there? It’s me Nick,” I replied.

“One moment, Nick honey…JAMES! Nick’s on the phone for you!” James’ Mom yelled.

I heard him say that he would be over in a few minutes and James’ Mom told me the same thing and hung up. James and I live a few streets down from each other, so I knew he wouldn’t be long. About ten minutes later, James got to my house and walked in.

“Hey Nick, what’s up?” he asked.

I asked him if he wanted to go for a bike ride, and he agreed. We got on our bikes and started riding down the street before getting to our hang-out usual spot–a tree fort in the forest a few miles out of town. James and I usually hung out there whenever it was nice outside as it was a nice fort we had had built and put carpet and windows in. It was pretty deep in the forest so no one ever messed with it. The fort even included a battery powered radio mounted to the wall. We spent a few hours there until about 5 or 6 PM when James had to go home for dinner.

“You sure you don’t want to stay over? My mom’s making spaghetti,” asked James.

“No, I’m fine. I think I’ll hang out here for a while.”

I got bored and decided to turn on the radio to my favorite station. I heard the song Panama by Van Halen come on until the radio cut short. It came back on with a man saying,

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

I grew an eerie feeling in my stomach because I wasn’t too far from Axel Swamp as well as being out of town. All I had with me was a dimly lit flashlight—insufficient for the pitch black night. The radio’s message continued to echo through my head over and over. All of sudden I heard knocking at the hatch to the treehouse. I froze as I got this tingly hairs on end feeling up my spine.

“H- H- Hello?” I stuttered.

“Let me in…” the voice replied in a deep voice. I instantly turned off the radio and my flashlight and got to the corner wall.

“Open up!” the voice boomed. I remained quiet as a church mouse with my back pushed against the wall trembling.

“If you aren’t opening up, then I am coming in!” the voice yelled. The latch suddenly thudded and thudded until it opened. A pair of bright green eyes with blue pupils peered slightly above the trap door almost looking like two flashlights. This creature was obviously searching for me–I slowly began to crawl my way to the other side of the fort, barely making a sound until I sat on a leaf.

The creature stood up and walked towards me in the treehouse. I began kicking and twisting but to no hope. It grabbed me by the leg and turned me around and I saw the creature…

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Artistic impression of the creature. Of course, it’s true appearance will never be known…


Part 2:

Its eyes seemed to bulge from its sockets, green ooze dripped from its jack- o – lantern like mouth. Its warm, moist breath breathed down on my forehead. I desperately grabbed a pair of scissors and jabbed them into the beast’s eye. It roared in pain and ran down the ladder in a very quick motion.

I quickly ran to the hatch and locked it. The screams of the monster continued as it ran away distantly disappearing as time went. I grabbed my flashlight and went to run to my bike. I had never run so fast in my life; I grabbed the bike and began peddling. I peddled so fast and so hard that I ran out of energy. All of sudden I heard a snap! It was my bike chain. “Great what’s better than having a broken bike and a maniac monster after me,” I thought.

I was quite far from my home, however, I was close to James house , so I began pushing my bike as I continued onward. Suddenly I heard a noise behind my left shoulder. I turned just to see a dog cross the street. “I’m really scaring myself,” I thought.

I finally made it to James house after 10 or 15 minutes or so. I knocked on his door. “James are you up?” I yelled.

The door suddenly burst open. “Nick is that you?” James asked very frantically. “It ran up to my house and began screeching!” he yelled.

“It found me at the tree house, “I replied.

It suddenly dawned on us, what if the creature was targeting us? We began to ponder why the creature might be after us. We thought maybe it was because of how close our tree fort was to the swamp We weren’t a hundred percent sure as the creature methods and motives confused us. What did it want we continued to brainstorm until we heard a thumping noise at the door.

“It might be the monster,” I whispered to James. We opened the door slowly to find a tall man in a black suit and fedora standing there.

“Excuse me boys. Have you seen anything strange recently.” he asked in a serious tone.

“Yes there was a creature running through the neighborhood it’s been after me and my friend James. Wait who are you?” I asked.

“My names Agent Thompson, but you boys can call me Tom.” He replied.

“What’s with the suit; are you a detective” James asked curiously.

“I can’t disclose that information. All you need to know is that I keep boys like you safe from things that howl in the night” he replied.

“Boys, why don’t you take a ride with me and help me track this creature?” Tom asked. We agreed and got into Tom’s all black Sedan. We drove down the street for some time until Tom stopped an turned around.

“Boys do you understand what it takes to keep Americans safe from foreign invaders?” Tom asked.

“Like the Commies, Sir?” I replied.

“No, something a lot more foreign, something foreign to this earth?” He replied with a serious tone.

“Like ET?” James asked.

“I guess you could say that, but a lot more troublesome.” Tom replied.

“It takes a lot boys it takes sacrifice, and tonight you boys are going to pay that sacrifice, I’m afraid you’ve seen too much”

“Wha… what are you going to do to us?” I stuttered.

“I’m going to have to kill you boys, erase you do you understand?” Tom said.

“Please don’t do this, we have families!” I replied.

“Im sorry boys, it’s for the safety of all of us”. He reached into his pocket of his coat revealing a large suppressed handgun. I began to look around the back seat for something to throw at him, then I spotted a beer bottle. I grabbed the bottle and bashed it on his head, glass went everywhere and James and I got out of the car and began to run.

“He’s after us. Go, James, go!” I yelled. Tom said something indistinguishable in the distance as James and I ran into the swamp border lining the neighborhood we were in. We continued to run until we didn’t hear him anymore.

“Finally we are safe” I whispered to James.

“Nick… Ni….. Nick don’t look behind you!” he replied. I turned to see the creature it stood at what seemed to be 10 feet tall. It opened it’s mouth to reveal some several hundred razor sharp teeth under it’s skin flaps.

“Please! NOOOOOO!” I yelled.

I woke up in treehouse out of breath, I looked around.

“It was all just a dream thank God.” I said to myself. I began to calm down and switched on the radio. The announcer began to say something.

“Attention listeners: there has been strange sightings of a human like creature roaming around the Axel Swamp. Be on the lookout and call the police if you see this creature.”

“No, it can’t be, no please, it was a dream; it’s all a dream!”


Lost in The 50’s Week… Story by Lauren Roth.

For 32 years, Idahoans have celebrated the cars and culture of 1950s America. This tradition occurs on the third weekend of May annually, and it includes music concerts, dances, parades, and car shows. FBCS started the festivities early with a week of decade-inspired dress down days. May 15th-May 19th were packed with retro fashions, such as the 60s tie-dye, and the 80s neon colors.

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Lost in the 50’s… The events attract cars from around northern Idaho and even Washington or Montana

The school celebration may have ended that Friday, but it was just getting started in the rest of Sandpoint. On Friday night, hundreds of antique cars flooded downtown Sandpoint for the parade. There was an immense variety in car models, some from the early 1900s, and some at the end of it.

The atmosphere of the parade was very positive, car owners and audience members a like were excited to participate in the event. It was a lively night, full of fun surprises. At one point, some in the crowd demanded the cars to honk their horns so much, that the car owners synchronized nonstop honking for a minute. While this probably doesn’t sound very impressive, there were about 30 cars that did this, so the sound resembled that the siren of a fire truck. Speaking of fire trucks, an old-fashioned fire engine was also present in the parade.

Motor Pride... Each car was authentic and prepped up for the weekend
Motor Pride… Each car was authentic and prepped up for the weekend

Other unusual cars in the parade included a purple jeep and a limousine that both had humongous 6 or 7 feet tall tires, a car that blew fire out of its exhaust pipes, and a car that had a life-size doll riding on the back. Car owners definitely were creative this year.

Saturday then brought the sounds of live music echoing through the city streets, and the aroma of barbeque floating in the air. It had rained that morning, but by 3 PM it was all sunshine. Awards that resembled old music records were given out to the best cars, and then one by one, they left. Lost in the 50s is a week that shows the character and charm of Sandpoint. It is a wonderful time, and if you missed it this year, you definitely should mark your calendar for next year!



Spoilers! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2… Review by Isaac Solly

On May 5th, Marvel released their second edition of Guardians of the Galaxy, coined Vol.2 of the series. It is the latest in a string of successful films, taking in $145 million on the opening weekend, according to Business Insider. Guardians 2 was open at Bonner Mall Cinema as well, and it’s popularity was even more impressive when considering the movies it competed with—all its competition were PG-13 or under and didn’t isolate younger audiences.

In theaters now… Bonner Mall Cinemas is showing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 3-D
In theaters now… Bonner Mall Cinemas is showing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 in 3-D

Guardians 2 had extremely refined visual effects, especially in a 3-D showing. Also, the song selection was just as fun as the first, featuring songs such as “Mr. Blue Sky” from the 70’s. However, the plot line was driven by the action scenes and created a lack of detailed stories. Fortunately, most characters were already present in the first Guardians, and didn’t need explanation.

A driving theme through the film was family, whether it be between the Guardians, Quills’ father, or Gamora with her sister. The given conclusions to these relationships felt somewhat forced and predictable—there is nothing new with a main character finding his father only to be betrayed by him. Despite this, there are many interesting new elements from the old films, such as the plant/celestial being “Ego” and genetically modified races.

Pictured: the Guardians… The international poster prepped viewers for the movies release this May
Pictured: the Guardians… The international poster prepped viewers for the movies release this May

The guardian characters stress humor quite a lot in the dialogue, and while there are some funny one-liners most of it lacks wit. More humorous are scenes with Groot and, ironically, the action sequences. During the fighting, lots of the action can be taken fairly lightheartedly instead of serious and dramatic scenes. Speaking of the action, it is extremely well done both in graphics and its overall progression. It is here that the guardians show their draw to audiences and why the film can afford to rely so heavily on the action.

Overall, the innovative take on action and humor outweighs the forced plot, and fans of the first film will definitely enjoy the sequel. Because of this, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 scores 4/5 stars.