Our Reporter explores the Solar Roadways project in Sandpoint, Idaho after many errors on their install. The day the student journalism class went to test the panels, it led to a city police investigation. Unfortunately, the panels were not working on the day of Bird Eye News’ test. To this day, as of March 21, 2017, the panels are not producing any power that can be used by the city’s power grid.
One of the privileges of being an upperclassman is that we get to go off of campus for lunch. But where we can go in 30 minutes is quite restrictive. Some choose to go to Subway or Burger Express, while others risk Dominoes or going to a grocery store. Junior Emily Hieronymus shares some of her strategies.
“There are two different ways that we can look at lunch, either bringing your own or going out to eat. Eating here is easy if you bring your own lunch, but waiting in catering lines can be the same as going out to eat time wise. Going out is great if you think that you can make it in time. I often order ahead of time at dominoes and have it be ready by the time that ill be there.” The places that are close enough are: Safeway, Super 1, Dominoes, Both Starbucks, the Express Lane, Dubs, Jack-in-the-box, Subway, and Winter Ridge.
Another Junior Wyatt Huckaby says that the “Ultimate Strategy” is to; if you are able to, leave the class period before. Trying to get to Subway at 11:35 creates a huge mess and it takes them forever to make your sandwich. Making food here is sketchy at best as Wyatt describes, “I’d be a little afraid to use the microwaves; some students blew up a cup of noodles by using no precautions whatsoever. Some of the places that he thinks are greatest for the lunchtime half hour are Babs, Subway, Catering, and Burger Express if your willing to take a shot. If you are able to leave early Jack in the box would be a good location.
Some of the main places to go are nigh inaccessible without a car. But the best places to reach would be running to Subway or Babs. If you don’t want to spend all the time waiting for your subway sandwich you can go to www.subway.com and order online 15 minutes early. Babs often has order by slice pizza’s that you can get right off the rack. This is a great option if you don’t mind regular slices and only a few pieces.
Finally, if you’re thinking of any of these strategies make sure that you able to get back to class in time. Quite a few students drive cars around here and are willing to take you just about anywhere for a couple dollars. Ask around before going blindly running to Super 1 only to make it back halfway through third period.
New Sandpoint Crisis Line… Story By: Harry Henderson
Sandpoint has a new crisis line that will be open after hours and is available when the current crisis line is closed. It will be open from 5pm to 8am and will be staffed by licensed Idaho mental health clinicians. The health clinicians will earn minimum wage and will work in 15 hour shifts answering phone calls. The North Idaho Crisis Services after hour line opens Friday, January 15th, 2016. The crisis line has enough funding to go on for about another nine months thanks to the partnership that NAMI Far North made with Bonner’s Partners in Care Clinic, the group is seeking donations to reach their 20,000 goal. The group asked if the local government would give them funding to keep them going, but there has been no response.
Catherine Perusse, crisis director for National Alliance for Mental Illness Far North wants the crisis line to be a place that people can call anytime and someone can be there to prevent a crisis before it gets out of control. She says that the crisis line can help with calls to the hospital or 911. Perusse said that there is a major lack of resources in the area and the crisis line’s goal is to show data that proves the town desperately needs resources.
A few Forrest Bird Charter School students agree they should make their money strictly through donation and corporate funding, and that the tax payers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for a crisis line that they might never use. Many of the students that I interviewed liked the idea of an after-hours crisis line if it is going to be beneficial to the community and possibly stop people from doing bad things. The students think that it would be beneficial because it will provide jobs and improve the community, but many of my peers believe that Sandpoint really doesn’t need an after-hours line because there isn’t a lot of crisis in Sandpoint. In all, the students that were interviewed believe that a crisis line is a good idea in that it may help people get through hard points in their lives and it may stop people from doing things that they might regret, also it is good for the town because it will provide jobs for residents, but there might not be a lot of demand for a crisis line in a town that doesn’t have a lot of crisis.
Local Community in Uproar
Story By: Lauren Stidham
Men, women, and children are desperately fleeing wars in Syria. “For many, the choice to embark on such dangerous journeys seems the only way to give their children a chance of survival and safety.” – UNHCR. Out of the Syrian population, 4.3 million of them are refugees and 6.6 million are being displaced within their own country. Half of those are children.
So how is America helping these refugees? As you probably know, the US is helping refugees by taking them into our country and supporting them with our resources. As a nation, the U.S plans on taking in 10,000 refugees this year. Even though that is a nice little number, it is quite petty compared to the situation at hand. There are close to eleven million people that are being moved from their homes, and America is taking 0.07% of them. Eventually we hope to bring in a total of 30,000 but even that is still 2% of the total.
But even though the U.S. is only taking a small part of the total burden, how will this look for the cities and culture of America? Most people instantly jump to the security risk factor. The argument for this is that we are bringing in many people who are of the same religion and race as many terrorists that have viciously launched attacks on America and her allies.
In order to try to keep an event like that from happening again, the government has put into place a background/vetting system. The refugees have to pass a series of tests so that we can ensure that they shouldn’t be a threat to society. “It is not a perfect process. There is a degree of risk attached to any screening and vetting process. We look to manage that risk as best we can,” Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said. (FOX news)
So even though the U.S. has a basic screening process that refugees must go through, it is still possible that there will be mistakes. An argument against this is that since 9/11 the United States has taken in 784,000 refugees from around the world and only three of them have been arrested for crimes related to terrorism none of them were anywhere close to actually committing an attack against America. However, not very many of these people were from religions that members had declared war on our nation in the name of their god.
So it is debatable whether the refugees could prove as a risk to our country, we really can’t say. There is evidence that supports both sides. “People fear what they don’t understand…” – Andrew Smith. America can’t truly know or predict if the refugees will be a threat. But the things that can be predicted and even known include how much it will affect the economy, how much resources the U.S. will need to support them, and possibly what cultural differences it will make if refugees are to be placed in a place like Sandpoint.
Have you ever tried to find a job in Sandpoint? It may not be impossible but it isn’t overly easy either. For a few years after the refugees come, it would be much harder to find an open job for teens and other people without complete and specialized education. Suddenly there would be approximately 350* more people competing of the same jobs that high schoolers and college students want too.
Then there is housing. Where could Sandpoint possibly fit an extra 700* people? Each family would need a home that would suit their own specialized needs. The refugees don’t just need housing for 700* people, they would need housing for a large group of families. Maybe the refugees would need three five-bedroom houses, two four-bedroom houses, six studios, and ten tree-bedroom houses. The city couldn’t simply provide them one or two large buildings to all live in, because it would create a very segregated culture.
Then, if we were successful in creating a non-segregated housing situation, in order to maintain that culture Sandpoint would need to equip the schools. The schools would need teachers that could speak Arabic and English fluently so that we could effectively teach the students. The question is, where can the schools find these teachers? Arabic isn’t a commonly spoken language and not only that, but the few who do speak Arabic are likely to not be qualified teachers.
Next, Sandpoint must observe the additional resources needed to effectively provide for the refugees. They would need food, clothing, proper tools for their religion, and transportation.
Obviously food would be a huge factor, for a long period of time, the refugees would not be economically stable enough to afford food. The same applies to proper clothing, perhaps they would have some clothing with them, but it is most likely that they would not have winter boots, jackets, gloves, and hats. What about transportation? Either the government would need to upgrade the Spot buses or somehow provide them with vehicles. Now this would all add up to a major bill, but who would be funding it? Would it be footed with tax dollars? If so, just about think how much taxes would have to go up.
What about their religious needs? They would need a place to pray and worship, but how could it ever possibly be funded through tax dollars? Really, there is no constitutional way to do that.
What does an extra 1% sales tax in Sandpoint really mean?.. Story by Marcus O’Cyrus
An extra sales tax for Sandpoint, Idaho was recently passed by the city, but why? After listening to the commercials, I was deeply moved toward a community effort to rebuild the grand stands at Memorial Field and that everyone could afford to pay an extra 1% sales tax to make it happen over the next 5 years.
But, what is a sales tax anyways? A sales tax is a tax on all purchases. A sales tax is also known as a regressive tax. It actually harms more people economically, especially those of lower economic status. A regressive tax takes a larger percentage of a person’s income if they are poor or lower middle class compared to the wealthy. It is not a tax the wealthy care about since it doesn’t impact them as much as someone living from paycheck to paycheck. Just looking at the signage in front yards while driving into work each morning, I noticed the more affluent neighborhoods were sporting their support of an extra sales tax while the more economically depressed neighborhoods did not. It is also a known fact that people of more affluent lifestyles participate more in politics than those who struggle to get by.
What will this increase in sales tax do? Well, most people not in support of the sales tax will move their shopping to Ponderay for the next 5 years. The economically depressed part of Sandpoint will most likely move the rest of their shopping requirements to Ponderay as well. How will that affect the businesses of Sandpoint if the majority of the community of local patrons takes their shopping to Ponderay? It’s unfortunate that the wealthy in this case have passed the buck on paying for their dream grand stand onto everyone else in Sandpoint as a community effort. If this was truly a passion of the 1% supporters, why didn’t each of them donate 1% of their yearly income each year to pay for a new stadium?
I find it ironic that many of the people who are paying for the grand stands will be sitting outside the fenced area to hear the Sandpoint Music Festival. While those wealthy, cultural elite enjoy the new grand stands from those who can’t afford to even attend the concerts.
The majority of the argument for the one percent increase was trying to play off the idea that the grand stand is not about the music festival, but for the football games played there. One commercial went so far as to talk about the muskrat bowl. The argument is also flawed when looking at the value of the grand stand. Many people in the Sandpoint area do not attend football games, which is a school sanctioned event from the same school district that bullied Bonners County into a property tax increase of 14 million dollars over the next two years and has done this more than once.
Many people say the sales tax will be supported by the tourists, which is false. The majority of tourists who come to Sandpoint may stay for a week or two at most. While the locals remain here week after week footing the bill for the tourists who come here to enjoy the facilities the locals are paying for with their grocery purchases.
Something has gone horribly wrong here in Sandpoint when a minority can become a washed in tax generated funding without any fiscal responsibility to the people they are deriving their funding from. Instead they use that same funding to pay for signage to convince or guilt the community to pass the next tax upon themselves, and yet, we fall for it every time.
Check out this website for some great information: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/regressivetax.asp
In the news recently there has been some buzz about the Sandpoint mayoral race. The only two candidates for mayor are Shelby Rognstad and Mose Dunkel. In a recent interview with the Sandpoint Reader, the candidates outlined their positions on issues such as the coal trains coming from Montana, legalized cannabis, and our local economy. For instance, Candidate Rognstad opposes the coal trains coming through the area. He cited worry about a spill or derailment, while Candidate Dunkel has stated that he would work with the railroads to keep the trains running smoothly and safely. Interestingly, despite their differences, they are both in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Rognstad called it a waste of police resources and Dunkel said that the ability to use marijuana was a liberty.
On Shelby’s website http://www.electshelby.com/he gave his political views on a number of issues. He wants to finish the fiber project that would bring ultra-high speed internet to Sandpoint. He also stated that he would improve our recycling program, fix our storm drainage system, and improve our wildfire response by collaborating with other fire regional services. He has also stated that he will improve police training involving subjects with mental health problems.
Mose Dunkel’s website http://mose4sandpoint.webs.com/ outlined his platform through a FAQ and issues page. He stated that one of his goals was to bring government and the people together. He has also vowed to bring transparency to the city government. He also wishes to lower utility costs to low income residents and stimulate the local economy by creating a local business friendly environment. He has also stated that he would like a community college campus here because it would allow people to stay in Sandpoint and train for local jobs.
Both of these people are good, decent candidates. I have a favorite, but in the interest of fairness, I won’t divulge his name. While I disagree with some of their stances on a few issues, I would not be disappointed if either one won. I encourage you to go to their websites, look at the issues, and make the decision for yourselves. And if you are able to go out on November third, do it, because you will be helping to create the community that you want to live in. Bonner Taxi will also be providing free rides to the polls, so you have no reason not to go. Their number is 208-597-FINE.