VOLUME 99 ISSUE 5
APRIL 21, 2017
the student newspaper of Ballard High School
Getting outside p10
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March 14, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
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Managing Editor Jackson Croy
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If a student or staff member passes away during the school year, the Talisman will print a picture and extended caption, however, some cases may warrant an article. Each current student or employee will receive an obituary including name, date of birth, date of death and a short biography. Coverage of former students and employees will be taken on a case-by-case basis.
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Corrections In the news article “A celebreation of culture,” Felicia Pelaez’s name was incorrectly spelled Palaez.
Cover photo by Miles Whitworth
Katie Read Kearney
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Online E d i t o r
The grave consequences of trickle-down environomics
hen apathy rises faster than the water levels, arguing that anything should be done to protect the environment is tough to say the least. The nauseating mix of overseasoned celebrity gossip paired with hostile executive orders and finished with a slew of Spicer’s Special Sauce (Ingredients include: tantrums, denial and slanting the truth) has turned 2017’s news media from a disgusting meal to the daily slop of gruel that we accept as terms of our citizenship. However, in the revolting buffet of Trump administration policies, none are so offensive as the promises to deplete and destroy the fewremaining protections to the environment. Unlike the majority of presidential policies
which can be restored or revoked by the succeeding administration, rolling back environmental protection laws has consequences that make low approval ratings look as petty as counting social media followers. The first consequences will be the acid rain, followed quickly by diminishing of water sources in developing countries (Lake Chad for example has shrunk 90 percent in the last 30 years), which leads to internal conflict that prevents industrialization, hurting developing economies far more than the Paris agreement’s so-called restrictions could. A strong case is made by deniers of climate change, though. How could us liberal hippies possibly tell the hardworking blue collar workers of the world that their humble
jobs in the energy industrial complex should be taken away and regarded as obsolete? But cutting a few thousand energy jobs doesn’t nearly equate to the imminent destruction of the entire planet. In fact, by directing funds out of the pockets of billionaires and into retraining programs for displaced workers, the government would be investing greatly into the future of clean energy. The issue of the environment has no political motives, only political solutions. The rising seas and temperatures won’t take the time to distinguish between sides of the aisle. No matter who decides to kill it, the climate’s quickening death will affect us all. Editorial cartoon by Brandon Griffith
Fletcher Anderson Brandon Griffith James Johnson
R e p o r t e r s
Elsa Anderson Ella Andersen Nolan Baker Clay Cantrell Chris Barrett Julia Drossler Olivia Burdick Graciela Gomez Chris Holland Keely Carolan Jake Rehfeldt Sam Swainson
A d v i s e r
04 War Survivors Institute clothing drive a success NEWS ballardtalisman.com
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Students collect over 1,000 lbs of clothes for Iraqi refugees
s Neiw fs e r B Earth Earth Serivce ServiceCorps Corps promotes Earth promotes Earth Week Week
ast month, War Survivors Institute (WSI) members hosted a clothing drive at the school and several local businesses with the goal of being able to ship clothes to Iraq. With unrest in the Middle East, many people have been forced to flee their home countries. Members of the WSI club have been doing their best to help refugees in the Seattle area and abroad. Junior Cameron Clonch’s uncle, Dr. Michael Hollifield, worked with refugees suffering from PTSD, which inspired him to start a non-profit to help refugees. “[In California] I think [the non-profit] is more about the mental health of refugees, but up here, we’re just doing whatever we can to help refugees in Seattle and abroad,” junior Jenny Mastrobatista said. “WSI as a whole, not the student part, is about mental health,” Clonch said. “Honestly, we never expected to get that much stuff. We were really just trying to figure out how to ship it all,” junior Chloe Marzio said. “We got the most donations, I think, from Grumpy D’s and Sip and Ship, but Holy Grounds still helped a lot. We’d have to collect it every couple days because the boxes kept filling up.” They are currently facing a dilemma of how to get all of the donated clothing to Iraq. “We’re trying to find some way to raise money so we
Elsa Anderson Staff Reporter
o celebrate Earth Week, members of Earth Service Corps came up with a theme for each day of the week to promote environmentally friendly practices. The days included Reusable Day, Transportation Tuesday, Environmental Education Day, Thrifty Thursday and Color Day. On Environmental Education Day, Isaiah Bolden gave a presentation on climate change. On Color Day, Bogdana Manola will give a presentation about environmental justice. can send everything, because that’s expensive. I think we’re toying with the idea of a yard sale or a bake sale or something like that, but we’re still in the process of deciding,” Marzio said. “We knew a lot of people [would want to donate] because Seattle is such a liberal bubble, but given everything that’s been going on, people were really eager to help out and we were really moved by that,” Mastrobatista said. “My basement is very full [of clothes] right now,” Clonch said. At the end of the clothing drive, it was estimated that 1000 pounds of clothes were collected. Club members have spent the past couple of weekends sorting through the clothing to make it easier for recipients to find what they need. “There are people who donated nice suits and jackets and stuff, which is really nice, and we’re trying to pull that out so if people are trying to look for work or something, it will be easier for them to find nice clothes,” Marzio said. Members meet on Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. in Mr. Thompson’s room. “[At the meetings] we usually just talk about whatever project we have going on. Right now it’s sort of the clothing drive and we’re making thank you notes to all the businesses in Ballard who agreed to have a box for our clothing drive,” Mastrobatista said.
War Survivors Institute members pose in front of donated clothing. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Clonch)
Dr. Hollifield is planning to go to Iraq in late May, when he will distribute the collected clothing. “We’re going to ship [the clothing] to sort of an office there and once he arrives in Iraq he will take it from there to the refugee camp and he will personally distribute the clothes to refugees,” Mastrobatista said. Due to recent politics, though, his trip may be postponed. “[My uncle] might not be able to go because he might now need government permission because of Trump,” Clonch said. With President Trump’s recent executive orders banning people from traveling to the United States from Iraq, Dr. Hollifield may not be able to travel back from Iraq. Though focused on fundraising now, club members have hopes of getting more involved in the lives of refugees living in Seattle. “There’s different partners that my uncle has set up and one of them is in Seattle,” Clonch said. “They’re going to try to set up storytelling groups, so we could go and participate in the storytelling groups and maybe record some stories and publish them on a blog or something.” “We’re just in it to help refugees,” Clonch said. “There’s a lot to be done.”
Students register for classes online for the first time
egistration for classes for the 2017-2018 school year has changed from years prior. Students are now able to register for classes online. This system comes as a relief for counselors, students and the registrar alike, as it offers a far more convinient alternative to the conventional pencil and paper system. While the incoming freshman class is unable to use the system at the current time, all current students returning next year will utilize it.
Graduation Graduationauditions audtions to tobe beheld heldon onApril April 25 25
ith graduation around the corner, the odds and ends of the ceremony must be planned. That means its about time for graduation auditions. Students who feel they want to share a speech or performance must audition on April 25th in the performing arts center.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
District to add four portables this summer New space to accommodate rising student enrollment
he school district will add four portable classrooms this summer to prepare for the 2017-2018 school year. With an ongoing influx of students in Seattle Public Schools, it’s seemingly inevitable that every school will eventually need to add portable classrooms, this one coming only 17 years after Ballard’s latest remodel. The heavy student population of 1,818 is set to go up a notch, raising to an estimated 1,904 students for the upcoming school year. Two portables will be located on the north side of the school, outside and between the home economics and science pods. Preparing for the move in process, science teacher Eric Muhs has already had to clear a couple of classroom projects out of the way. A “solar death ray” was built as a classroom physics project, using a homemade reflecting dish to harness the sun’s light and use it to heat water. Also, Muhs had a polar aligned telescope pier setup for his astronomy classes that needed to be removed.
Sam Heikell Sports Editor
The other two portables will likely be installed outside of the commons, where the astroturf planter box currently sits. Installing the classrooms won't affect the tight school budget and are funded by the school district. “[The classrooms] are taken care of by the capital budget,” Principal Keven Wynkoop said. “The furniture and everything else is covered by the capital budget as well so the new classes will have all new furniture.” With a growing number of students, the school will need to be hiring a couple more teachers. “We have about a half dozen positions that we are planning to hire for,” Wynkoop said. “Most of them are part time positions but we’ll be able to keep up with enrollment so class sizes don’t increase.” Being a student in an overcrowded school may be difficult, the hallways get crowded, not everyone gets a locker and the teachers have a lot on their plate. But in the next few years, the projected student enrollment is said to progressively go down. “We have a two year window where
The planned portables will be located on the Northwest and Southeast side of the school and with installation beginning over the summer. (Sam Heikell)
the school is going to continue to get a lot bigger, and then Lincoln High School will open in the fall of 2019, and then [our enrollment] should drop precipitously,” Wynkoop said. “We
will probably be about 500 students smaller in the fall of 2019 than we were the June before that. So the anticipation is that all of the portables would leave before that year.”
Students activists take on climate change
How 21 teenagers are suing the government over enviornmental inaction
Student protesters march for environmental justice (Photo courtesy of iMatter)
landmark lawsuit Staff Reporter against the U.S. government is taking place over its failure to address the effects of climate change. It’s 21 plaintiffs are all between the ages of nine and 22. “Inaction by U.S. government officials,” alleges the suit, “is robbing
[millennials] of their future by failing to protect them despite their knowledge of the global harm caused by fossil fuels.” Against expectations, the lawsuit was approved to advance by Oregon judge Ann Aiken, who ruled that it “adequately alleged infringement of a fundamental right.” The suit -- which runs on the argument that ignoring
the future ramifications of climate we had come a lot farther in terms change infringes young people’s right of progress on climate, and now I to life, liberty, and happiness -- marks had to accept the reality that our what many hope will be an important current administration is a huge step shift in the government’s stance. backwards.” “My hope centers around the young Climate activists hope that the case people that I work with every day,” inspires more young people to take said Larry Kraft through e-mail. Kraft action and fight for what they care is the executive director of iMatter, about. a nonprofit organization centered “We have campaigns that around engaging essentially guide young people “Inaction by U.S. you through with combating process of government officials is the climate change. acting on the iMatter has robbing [millennials] of local level, which guided many where your their future by failing isvoice of the young can best plaintiffs in the to protect them despite be heard and process of the to make their knowledge of the used suit. “You may change,” Adkins not realize it, but global harm caused by said. “And I your generation think being a fossil fuels.” has tremendous young person power to make -Alec L. v. McCarthy really amplifies change on this that because city issue,” he said. councils are so “I always feel anxiety about the surprised to see that young people can future in regards to climate change,” actually care about real issues, and Maddie Adkins, a youth leader from actually you are able to show up and iMatter, said through e-mail. “But speak out for what you care about.” when [the election] happened, I was just so surprised. I thought that
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Film program to produce documentares for IMAX Students travel to the Elwha Dam for their environmentaly focused project
Film students set up for their daily shoot along the Elwha River near Port Angleles. The Ballard Digital Filmmaking Program has been producing two documentaries about local environmental issues for IMAX and the All American High School Film Festival. The documentaries are to be released in early May. (Miles Whitworth)
he All American High School Film Festival (AAHSFF) chose the BHS Digital Filmmaking Program to be one out of five other exceptional programs to receive a $5,000 grant from IMAX. The AAHSFF is the largest high school film festival in the nation, which draws competition nationwide. The announcement for which schools were selected for the In Focus grant was made on Oct. 7, 2016, in New York City. The In Focus grant from IMAX was created to highlight the work of young filmmakers, by asking them to make documentaries that inspire their audiences to improve the planet. IMAX will award Staff Reporter
Senior Celilia O’Rollins sets up the camera for a filming session along the Elwha River. (Miles Whitworth)
a grant of $5,000 to four high schools and one salmon, swam up and down the river and many non-profit film workshop, selected by the AAHSFF. habitats flourished throughout the area. After the These schools are considered to have exemplary dams were put in, denying access to 83 percent of programs. the river, the fish were trapped, which didn’t allow The BHS film program was selected purely from the salmon to reproduce properly. their already stellar reputation, that is known The restriction of fish passage through the river throughout the nation. This project will without a caused a second problem--the Lower Elwha Klallam doubt push that reputation up even higher. tribe had lost their main source of food. Before the IMAX has explicitly given the winners of the dam was put in the tribe would fish up and down the grant a task that isn’t an easy feat. The young river both for their own food and for their income. filmmakers were asked to create documentaries “It was so crazy. We went to the sight where the that put a spotlight on today’s most compelling dams were and there was this giant lake and now it’s environmental, societal and economic issues. all gone and it’s just this river,” O’Rollins said. “It Under these guidelines, each program has to was just so weird, you could see where the lake had create an eight-minute and there was all this fresh “We went to the sight been documentary and growth and it was just really neat produce related social where the dams were and to look at.” media content. 1992, the dams were up there was this giant lake forInrelicensing The film program at and there was Ballard has two different and now it’s all gone and harsh opposition to getting the teams that are filming dams relicensed. The Lower it’s just this river” with the grant money. Elwha Klallam tribe stepped One team is filming for -senior Cecilia O’Rollins in, protesting relicensing for the Bullitt building in the dams. The tribe opposing Seattle, a 100 percent relicensing claimed that the dams sustainable building. The other team is the team were doing more harm than good because they documenting the removal of dams on the Elwha weren’t generating a lot of power and they were River near Port Angeles. awful for the environment. The students on the Elwha Dam team are By 2012 both dams had been taken down. documenting the history of where the dam is, Port “All of this new life is coming back and it’s a really Angeles, from the early 1900s to now, focusing on interesting story because it’s one of the few nature the dams effect on the river and community. success stories. And it’s also the world’s largest dam The shooting crew for the Elwha group consisted removal ever, right here in the Pacific Northwest,” of senior Cecilia O’Rollins, juniors Miles Whitworth, O’Rollins said. Jasper Land, Chris Barrett, Martin Bolivar, senior On May 12, each documentary that was selected Aaron Miller and sophomores Freeman Marshall for the grant will be shown before feature IMAX and Maddie Lausted, however the whole digital films worldwide, replacing what would be previews. filmmaking class assisted in some way. From our little bubble in the Pacific Northwest, In the early 1900s two dams, the Elwha Dam and a group of high school students are reaching Glines Canyon Dam, were put in on the Elwha river audiences nationwide, conveying messages about by Canadian business man, Thomas Aldwell. The environmentalism that could change how people Dams were designed in a way that made it so there think, and potentially change the world. wasn’t passage for fish through each dam and the rest of the river. Before the dams were put in, fish, especially
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Revisiting the memorial of a slain student
The story behind a memorial bench dedicated to student Melissa Fernandes
t is not clear, in every case, Staff Reporter the purpose of a permanent memorial. I recently visited Washington, D.C, the home of a number of memorials. In contemplating their purpose, I left considering their impact on our past and future. The dictionary defines a memorial as serving to help people remember some person or event; commemorative. I like to think that more importantly, memorials provide us the opportunity to apply their symbolism and impact on our future. We have such a memorial to one of the students who left our campus suddenly and violently. Perhaps you have seen or experienced the memorial at the southeast end of campus. The memorial which is in the form of a marble bench, came at a high cost. Melissa Fernandes was a sophomore here in 1994; a student very likely facing many of our same challenges at the end of the current quarter. This bench with Melissa’s picture, was placed in the front of the school in memory of her. It can be found adjacent to the outside tables east of the south entrance to the school. In 1994, March 23 was a Wednesday; this year it was a Thursday. Perhaps that day so many years ago, Melissa Fernandes may have been thinking about the end of third quarter and tests, just as many of us were contemplating on Thursday the 23. Unfortunately, Melissa lost her life in front of the school, at a time when violence visited her and our campus, in an untimely manner. Former student and current language arts teacher Brook Brayman recalls the event. He was a junior at the time. “Certainly we were a little bit scared but we also understood that this was not Brook Brayman, a random event, Language Arts Teacher this was because somebody had beef with somebody else and was going after them,” Brayman said. “This happened kinda right around where the tennis courts are on the sidewalk and yeah it was very tragic.” According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the academic year of 1993-1994 had more than 125 incidents reported here on campus, including 22 assaults, 27 disturbances and 12 cases
involving weapons. The previous year 171 incidents were reported. More than any other Seattle Public School at the time. Brayman experienced this environment first hand when a gun was flashed at him. “This was either my freshman or sophomore year and we were in the auditorium and I was just kinda shooting the breeze with a couple guys, and one guy who was sitting next to his buddy said ‘you want us to use this’ and he reached over and pulled up his buddy’s shirt and This bench with Melissa’s picture, was placed in the front of the school in memory of her. This can be found his buddy’s got a pistol in his adjacent to the outside tables east of the south entrance to the school. (James Johnson) waistband. This was before I do recall being in Señor Bedoyas we were really encouraged to report spanish class, I do recall it being a things like that. Before Columbine,” mindless sort of day, I don’t recall as recalled by language arts teacher sirens, I don’t recall hearing the shots Brook Brayman. and I think I would’ve been in a good March 23 may have passed us position acoustically. I don’t think by, but it is a date long remembered there was even a lockdown, we didn’t by the family of one of our former do lockdowns. I don’t recall any big students, the Fernandes family. to do of getting off campus,” said On that day, 23 years ago, Melissa Brayman. Fernandes was killed by Brian Within the past few years, state Ronquillo of Shorewood High School Court of Appeals returned the case in a drive-by shooting. Ronquillo was to King County Superior Court for the same age as Melissa, age 16. resentencing. This was related to the Today, Ronquillo sits in a jail cell. court reconsidering lengthy sentences Ronquillo, who was a part of a gang for perpetrators who were minors at that went by the name “23rd street the time of their sentence. diablos” fired eight rounds in response According to a friend of Brayman, to a rival gang challenge. This rival Ronquillo wasn’t the cold-blooded gang was called the “bad side posse” killer the media had portrayed him as. reported to be headquartered here at “My best childhood friend actually BHS at the time. Photo of Melissa Fernandes from the sat with the shooter when they were This story is not about Ronquillo, 1994 BHS yearbook. (Shingle Archives) freshman at Blanchet, and my friend but perhaps more appropriately, the Had she lived, Fernandes said he wasn’t that bad of a guy but he lost future of Melissa Fernandes and would have likely gone on to lead a was just a bit of a punk, and then the what we can learn from her passing. successful and happy life, and today shooter transferred to Shorewood,” Although Fernandes wasn’t an she would be 39 years old, perhaps an said Brayman. intended target, she paid for being age similar to some of our parents. Ronquillo received a sentence of in the wrong place (67th Ave NW As we are all progressively moving 51 years that will see him released and 14th) at the wrong time, as she through the final quarter, we are sometime in his late 60s. awaited a ride from her mother. making plans for the summer and As many of you may know, we’re A second student was reportedly graduation is on the horizon for some reminded of Fernandes through a injured. of us. What we are not thinking about memorial bench located near the According to the Seattle Times is mortality. athletic field. Fernandes was shot outside the Many of us face a challenge when The bench reads “victim of a drive school at about 1:30 p.m. and later contemplating death because it is by shooting died March 24, 1994 age underwent surgery at Harborview generally met with aversion and 16. Just think of the brightest star you Medical Center. She died at 11:27 a.m. avoidance, since it seems so obscure ever saw and you are thinking of her.” the following morning. The memorial was originally placed and distant to us in our mid-to-late If this were to take place today the teens. where the shooting took place but school would be put on immediate Perhaps this is the reason one was later moved after the campus lockdown and there would be a death is marked in a very permanent renovation in 1999. massive police response. But things way on our campus, it is there to “And if I recall correctly that were different in 1994. This was before remember a life cut too short. It is monument was near the site of the mass shooting preparedness was shooting and I think it was moved as a there to remind us to live each day as common in public schools. This was if it were our last. result of the school rebuilding. I recall before Columbine. it being back there for a little while,” “I think it was fifth or sixth period, said Brook Brayman.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
The effect of cancer on our community
Students and staff members share their experiences with cancer
hen I Megan Vogel passed away. Within a was in Features Editor few years, cancer had crept in, first second into her classroom, then her family grade, my grandma was diagnosed and finally her best friend. with a rare and aggressive cancer, Two years ago her longtime friend with a less-than-encouraging survival Sarah passed away from melanoma. rate. Nine years, several surgeries and They had been best friends since high rounds of chemotherapy later, she’s school, when they met working at the still living life to its fullest. Although Redmond Town Center Gap. In the she walks with a cane, she spends the years since then, they celebrated the summer floating on an air mattress, 10-year anniversary of their friendship going on rides at the fair my sister was and traveled to Mexico together. too afraid to get on and bouncing on They never imagined the turn their our trampoline. friendship would take. Her story is James one of many “You planned your life around also lost a within our loved one to having these old girlfriends community. melanoma. According forever or going to your cousin’s Her to the wedding or your aunt being grandpa Washington passed away there when you have grandkids State last year, and they’re not there.” Department months -Nell Niewdomski of Health after James there are spent spring on average break 10,697 annual incidences of cancer in traveling with him and her grandma, King County, of which 2,934 are fatal. knowing the trip would be their last. It is clear that many lives have been Fractured Future touched by cancer. One of the hardest parts for both Our school is not immune. Niewiadomski and James was the Science teacher Nell Niewiadomski, altering of their expectations for the senior Eleanor James, maritime future. They had dreams and plans teacher John Foster and secretary that would never be realized, and Vivian Belcher all shared their there’s a permanently empty spot at experiences with cancer. the table of their future celebrations. Niewiadomski was never affected “When I get married she would’ve by cancer until her late twenties. been my bridesmaid and now she During her first year at BHS that was won’t be,” Niewiadomski said. “You changed when former science teacher planned your life around having these
Nell Niewdomski, Science teacher (Miles Whitworth)
old girlfriends forever or going to your cousin’s wedding or your aunt being there when you have grandkids and they’re not there.” James felt a similar disappointment. “I think about things like ‘Grandpa would be proud of me if I did this thing,’” James said. “I think about how I’ll be graduating soon and him not being there makes me really sad.” Losing an individual During their battles with cancer, both
Niewiadomski and James recalled out of character behaviors from their loved ones as they slipped away. Physical deterioration and increasing dependence were also difficult parts of the journey. “It’s really hard to see someone that you knew — like who they were— and they’re not there anymore,” Niewiadomski said.“It was very hard to watch somebody have to go through that, like be in diapers and no longer brushing their teeth and can’t get out of bed.” In the moment The climactic moment of their loved one’s departure is still the hardest part to talk about for Niewiadomski and James. James remembers that moment with regret, because she returned too late to be there for her grandpa’s passing, after having gone home earlier in the day to watch the movie, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” “I just hate myself for having gone home from the hospital and just watching that movie that I could watch any other time and not having been there,” James said. The moment was emotionally overpowering for James. “I remember walking into the stairwell and just sobbing and being so angry and not understanding or knowing what to think,” James said. “I was in shock. No one else in my life had ever died and I just didn’t understand.” Remembering little things In the aftermath of loss, it’s the small things that reopen the wound. Niewiadomski and James both mentioned details that still hurt them today. “I can’t watch ‘Sex and the City’ because that was our thing. And so maybe in five years I can do that again,” Niewdomski said. “Getting his phone calls—he’d call me Sugar—and not hearing his voice, there’s little things that you miss,” James said.
Eleanor James, Senior (Miles Whitwoth)
Finding closure Despite medical efforts, death is often a sad result of cancer. Niewiadomski and James know this all too well. Although the hurt is never fully gone, they have both resigned themselves to their loss, as one must. “It’s been pretty gradual, just not seeing him and realizing, no he’s not on a vacation,” James said. “Grief is a bitch. I feel bad for anyone who has lost somebody,” Niewiadomski said. “You have no idea when it’s coming and then it can show up at anytime. You have no way of knowing how long it’s going to hurt.” Firsthand Experience Due to modern medical advancements cancer isn’t always a death sentence. Many people live with cancer, and many recover. Here at BHS, secretary Vivian Belcher and maritime teacher John Foster are currently fighting cancer. For the past three years Belcher has been battling ovarian cancer. She is continuing treatment and is doing better now than she was three years ago. At the end of the last school year, Foster found a lump in his throat. It turned out to be cancer, and a surgery soon followed. He began treatment just as this school year was starting. He gave up some classes but continued teaching maritime, while undergoing treatment. Even though his treatment continues, he is back to working full time.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
“The cancer I don’t feel, I don’t in to outreach, to spread the message. notice, it was the treatment itself,” It’s totally preventable, Sarah tanned Foster said. “Things didn’t taste when she was in high school and in right, I had no appetite, the drugs her 20s, that was her thing and it numbed me up and I just didn’t feel killed her,” Niewiadomski said. like myself.” One of the reasons Foster agreed to Support share his cancer story was because he Both Belcher and Foster also wanted to educate students. He suffers mentioned that during these from throat cancer, an HPV strain that difficult times, can be prevented the BHS with a vaccine. Each of these stories can community “Its one of inspire us as a community. was very those things that They prompt us to be grateful supportive. if you think for things both big and small. Throughout about it, it’s They are reminders to make their a vaccine the most of our time and treatment against remain steadfast in our hope. cancer,” each continued Foster said. to come to “And it has a work everyday, showing strength, great success rate.” John Foster, Maritime teacher (Miles Whitwoth) fortitude and perseverance. Takeaways Belcher remarked on “how Each of these stories can Treatment incredibly supportive BHS has been.” inspire us as a community. They Both Belcher and Foster agreed Outreach prompt us to be grateful for that undergoing treatment isn’t easy. All of these people wanted to things both big and small. They “You just want to curl up in a ball share their experiences with cancer are reminders to make the most and do nothing, but staying at home because they wanted to spread of our time and remain steadfast isn’t good either,” Belcher said. awareness and understanding. in our hope. For Foster, the radiation therapy Niewiadomski sends the message While each story is unique was the hardest part. Because of the through her biology classes, telling and their outcomes are not the radiation directed at his throat, he her students Sarah’s story, and same, each is a portrait of the was unable to eat for three months, teaching them the science behind effect cancer has had on our had a feeding tube and ended up cancer. community. They are all stories losing 50 pounds. “I brought the melanoma people about our loved ones. Because
it is the stories of lost loved ones that bring us to tears. And for those fighting cancer, it is the thought of their loved ones that emboldens them. “Part of it is knowing I’ve got two great daughters and whatever happens to me they’ve got a great start in life,” Foster said. “That’s the hard part too, I don’t want to leave them.” “I’ve got three grown kids and I want to be around, ” Belcher said. “My words of advice would be don’t give up...because I haven’t.”
Vivian Becher, Secretary (Miles Whitwoth)
Fulfilling prisoner’s paperback dreams
Local non-profit organization provides thousands of books to those incarcerated
oday in America there Features Editor are hundreds of thousands of people incarcerated. Prisons are bleak places where people watch their hopes and dreams evaporate while they stare at a wall for infinite hours. According to USA facts, 728,600 people were incarcerated in America in 2015. This number, although high, shows a decline in prison populations since 2010. Current efforts are underway in Washington state to increase prisoners access to books and learning. Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to sign a new law this year that would allow prisoners to receive two-year college degrees paid for by the state. The goal is to better prepare prisoners to reenter society after they have served their time. Non-profit organizations have been trying to do this in various ways for years. In Seattle, the organization Books to Prisoners sends 15,000 books to incarcerations across the country every year. The program is sponsored by Left Bank Books, a well-known anarchist bookstore located in Pike Place Market.
Originally founded in the early 1970s, the program has expanded over the years. It started with volunteers only but now includes a full-time staff. Current program manager, Michelle Dillion, spoke at the National High School Journalism Convention held in Seattle in early April. She was a young graduate student at the University of Washington when she first discovered the organization. “I started reading through the letters from the individuals, just expressing the most basic needs,” Dillion said. She was moved by the prisoners simple requests and the lack of opportunities they faced. For the past three years Dillion has worked to ensure the books prisoner’s request end up in their hands. This is quite a challenge as most incarceration centers have tight regulations and banned-book lists. “Prisons are very isolating places,” Dillion said. “Part of that are the systems of control —often arbitrary, often capricious —that you find on every level.” In the face of this isolation, prisoners turn to books to guide them. From Western novels to GED materials to the ever popular dictionary, the requests reflect each prisoner.
A prison cell at Washington Corrections Center for Women. (Washington Department of Corrections)
“So often in prisons people get used to being identified by a number. I think our organization helps them remember they truly are still individuals,” Dillion said. By acknowledging prisoners’ individuality and providing support for them to pursue their dreams, Books to Prisoners is giving the gift of knowledge and providing valuable opportunities, with long-term payoffs. A 2013 study by the RAND
Corp. found that inmates who are involved in correctional education programs have 43 percent lower odds of returning to prison, and their employment rates were 13 percent higher than those who do not. In the tumultuous state of American politics, efforts such as these are a reminder that lives can be changed by little things and the power of books and learning is undeniable.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
In a time of confusing environmental priorities, it’s important to remember the natural beauty around us. City life can make it easy to withdraw from nature, but we are fortunate enough to live nestled in a cornucopia of parks, beaches, islands and forests. These natural resources won’t be here forever, and its time to recognize this very real possibility.
eattle is one of the most rapidly evolving urban environments in the country. In the past two years, the number of construction cranes dotting our skyline has surpassed that of New York City. The threat of gentrification appears every time a beloved landmark is bulldozed for condos. A brand new skyscraper has been proposed that in the next few years, will cast a shadow on the Columbia Center. However, even with the proof of industrialization rising around us, it is important to remember that we live in a naturally spectacular region. Just outside of our city, the Pacific Northwest offers stunning mountains, pebbled Pacific Ocean beaches and perfectly preserved national parks. Mt. Rainier and the islands of the Puget Sound are visible from crowded freeways. It’s easy to get caught up in city life and forget just how close we are to nature. The trees that line our streets and color our neighborhoods green are enough to ease our hunger for the natural, but are often not enough. Seattleites have the extraordinary privilege to return to the great outdoors in a matter of miles, and that privilege should not be taken for granted.
Rachel Halmrast Editor-in-Chief
We also face the obstacle of living in a bubble. Not only is Seattle almost entirely a city of liberals, we also can get caught in our own perception of what changes to the planet will actually mean. When we are asked to consider the environment, we often think of faraway ice caps, endangered animals we have never seen and tropical rainforests far beyond our imagination, but we do not think of the beauty that we see everyday— that we have grown accustomed to. Our beloved Puget Sound and it’s many animals inhabitants will not be unaffected by climate change. It’s harder to accept that our lives and our city could change, but it is exactly that mentality that we need to embrace if we are to genuinely address the problem of our changing planet. It’s time to accept that dramatic environmental changes are coming in our lifetime, and they will not be fixed for us. The Earth’s natural wonders are not indestructible, and their preservation is not being
It’s time to accept that dramatic environmental changes are coming in our lifetime, and they will not be fixed for us.
prioritized. Our planet has sustained us for hundreds of thousands of years, but since the Industrial Revolution we have demanded an unsustainable amount of resources. Climate change has been set in motion by the generations before us, and it’s no longer safe to say, “it’s somebody else’s problem,” or “it won’t ever affect me.” It’s somewhat of an alarming reality to face, but we are the ones who have been charged with rectifying the mistakes of the past. Those in power refuse to acknowledge the mere existence of a problem, and there is no time left to waste on them. There is no time left to wait for someone else to take responsibility. Every individual has the power to create change. The technology of our time is advanced enough to counter the effects of climate change, we just need the motivation to harness that power.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
THE POWER OF THE ACTIVIST Five of the most powerful agents of environmental change who continue to lead by example RACHEL CARSON 1907-1964
Wrote “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential pieces of environmental writing in American history. Published in 1962, “Silent Spring” illustrates the harmful effects of pesticides, particularly DDT, on wildlife and humans alike. It became an instant bestseller, and was the most talked about novel of the time. Six years of private research and analysis led to Carson’s introduction of a scientifically complicated and controversial topic to the American public.
JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL 1974-
Wangari Maathai 1940-2011
Was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. After Began with the voyage of a small group of becoming the first woman in East and Canadian activists to the Alaskan island of Central Africa to obtain a doctorate degree, Amchitka to confront a U.S. nuclear weapons she founded the Green Belt Movement in test. Since this first protest in 1971, Greenpeace 1977. This broad-based non-government has grown into one of the most visible organization still promotes environmental environmentalist organizations in the world, conservation, poverty reduction and women’s with offices in 55 countries and almost three rights through the planting of trees. Maathai million members across the globe. Whether it’s was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for nuclear testing, commercial whaling, toxic waste her “contribution to sustainable development, dumping or the possible mining of Antarctica, democracy and peace.” Greenpeace has and will continue to oppose environmentally CHICO MENDES harmful activities.
Was 23- years-old when she climbed a redwood tree in Humboldt County, California to prevent Pacific Lumber Co. from clear-cutting the forest. Hill remained in the tree (affectionately referred to as “Luna”) for a total of 738 days—from December 10, 1997 to December 18, 1999. She lived on a 6-by-6-foot platform, heating her meals on a single-burner propane stove, and receiving supplies from supporters via rope. She finally vacated the tree when Pacific Lumber Co. agreed to preserve Luna and all trees within a 200-foot buffer zone.
Initiated the first ever tropical forest conservation movement led by forest peoples themselves. After recognizing the injustice and environmental damage that the rubber industry created, Mendes sought to unite the tappers’ unions of Brazil to combat these issues. In 1987, he convinced the World Bank and U.S.t Congress to support the creation of extractive reserves as part of their funding.
If you’re hoping to get outdoors this spring, see page 16 for recommendations on Washington’s best hikes
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Running for a cause
First annual Running of the Beavers a success
he Ballard foundation, News Editor a group that works to sponsor and fund students and activities at school, put on a 5k run on Saturday, April 1 to raise money for the organization. The funds will be used in the coming years to help support students in their extracurricular pursuits. “The foundation has just been a fundraising machine for Ballard High School, I think it’s raised over 3.5 million dollars,” Sue Verduin, Running of the Beaver Chair, said. “The biggest part of the pie of what we give goes to athletics, because of the golf tournament, and then there’s performing arts, and the library, as well as big projects such as the GAINS program.” The 5k was an additional fundraiser the foundation decided to put on this Bucky the Beaver sends off the participants of the first annual Running of the Beavers. The event year, with the hopes of raising money also raised over $20,000 for the foundation. (Melina Monlux) and starting a new community event. participants in the first year, and to a brisk pace in the middle, and many “The inspiration behind running of net about $20,000 when all is said walking. The first place finisher the beavers was to create a community and done,” Verduin said. “We’re for the men was Ballard alum Alex event that would support the high hoping it will grow, the turkey trot Bowns, with a time of 18:01, and close school but also bring many different only had around 200 its first year and behind him, with a time of 19:37, was people from the community together,” now its at 2 or 3 thousand.” the female first place finisher, Erica Verduin said. “To add to that, to try Saturday proved to be a success for McElrea. and get all the younger people moving the foundation, as over 300 runners Ballard High School was well into the area into the mix and show turned out for the first annual run, represented at the event, with them that there is a high school here, including various ballard alumni Gymnastics coach Stephanie Gundel while showing off one of the most and Bucky the Beaver. The event finishing second for the women, and beautiful areas of the city, Golden also raised over $20,000 for the teacher Eileen Yardley finishing 5th. Gardens and truly, home of the foundation. The band and cheerleading squad beavers.” The runners took off just after 9, were also in attendance, sending the The run is set to take place annually with the competitive participants runners off at the starting line. on the first Saturday of April. bolting off at the start, others enjoying “Our goal is to hit about 300
Becoming a metro soccer powerhouse
ver since the 2015 season, the boys soccer team has had a target on their back, a weight on their shoulders and a high set of expectations. That team two seasons ago made a long playoff run, taking home a Metro championship trophy and making it to the state semi finals, not only setting the bar for the program but giving the Ballard sports fans something to get truly excited about. Students, parents and teachers filled up Interbay Stadium every Friday night, heckling the
Sam Heikell Sports Editor
opponents and supporting the team all the way. Last season however, they finished with the best record in Metro and a top three state ranking, but fell short in the first round of the Metro tournament. The 3-2 loss to Chief Sealth came as a shock, ending their season seemingly before even it began. Their superior regular season that would be cherished from other schools, felt like an afterthought at Ballard because of the bar that was set the previous season. “Last year we thought that our record was really
important until we lost at the end of the year,” Senior captain Max Berner-Hays said. “But when we lost in the playoffs, the regular season really meant nothing to us.” This season that high bar still remains. The team believes that they are still knocking on the door, trying to make a state tournament run. They are currently third in the Metro league with the end of the regular season approaching. Despite losing key players from last season, they may have more depth throughout their roster this year, to go along
with a group of experienced returning players. Throughout my four years at Ballard, I have watched these expectations grow. For years, they have been just an average program, not the team to beat. But their recent dominance has helped them expect bigger and better things, as well as create a create a winning mindset down the road. “As seen by our senior class of 14 or 15 kids, the program has really gotten a lot deeper,” Berner-Hays said. “We’ve really become a powerhouse in metro.
Sideline Chatter Lacrosse remains undefeated Since moving down to the Division 2 league, the boys lacrosse team has been surging, winning every game this season by a wide margin. “We have a lot of seniors on the team this year,” Tlaloc Orozco (12) said. “We have been playing together for four years now and have built up a lot of chemistry.” The team is getting ready for playoffs, starting on May 12.
Track Track and and Field Field update update Track and field has triumphed in almost every event. Sophomore Celyn Stermer is the 6th fastest 100 meter dash runner in BHS history. Senior Theron Baker has a personal record of 13 feet 6 inches, which is the second best pole vault record in BHS history, after a record set in 1966, of 14 feet-1/2. James Konugres continues to lead the pack of distance runners, with the fourth best mile time in school history at 4:22.5. Konugres has committed to run at Santa Clara University next year.
Baseball falls to Bainbridge Baseball lost by a score of 9-5 to the Bainbridge Spartans on Monday, April 17. Ballard’s pitchers gave up a combined 10 walks in the game as they got down 9-2 heading into the final inning. But their three runs in the seventh weren’t enough. The beavers look to bounce back today in their game at O’Dea at 3:30.
Alumnus receives honor BHS 2016 graduate Handwalla Bwana has received the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award. The University of Washington star scored four goals and tallied seven assists over the season. In addition to winning Freshman of the Year, Bwana was named to the All-Pac 12 Second Team.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Varsity baseball team faces major cuts
Questions raised regarding value of seniority
his baseball season, the varsity News Editor and Editorteam underwent a in-Chief dramatic change in their roster’s size and specific players. Seven seniors were cut after tryouts, three of whom were on the varsity team the previous year. Of those seniors, one was previously a starter. This decision was met with animosity from both sides, and called into question the value of seniority. “It wasn’t necessarily something that we wanted to happen, because we like them, and they were good players, but we have a lot of young kids that are really good and that throw really hard, so, I don’t know, it’s tough, it’s a tough situation,” senior Captain Connor Mount said. “I can say with experience that there is no coach on the planet who would not consider making cuts the worst part of the job,” Athletic Director Jason Thurston said. “It doesn’t matter what sport, what state, what anything. When you know what a sport can do for a young man or a young woman and you want everything you can to let them experience what it can be, but sometimes your hands are tied and you’re going, ‘I only have so many slots.’” The captains were sad to see their teammates go, but remain confident that the team is strong this year. “As a team, I think we are better this year. That doesn’t necessarily reflect that because they got cut we’re better, it’s just as a team,” Mount said. “We’re all working together every day. It’s not like the guys who are there now don’t deserve it.” For them, the decision to cut the seniors was fairly black and white. “I think the coach just wanted to put the best guys on the roster, and that’s just who he felt were the best guys,” senior Captain Aidan Welch said. “Guys outworked them for their spots.” The priorities of the captains and coach are very much in line when it comes to the value of skill versus seniority. “Our coach definitely prioritizes winning,” Welch said. “Which is how it should be,” Mount added. However, for those seniors who lost their spots this year, the rationale didn’t quite add up. “The reason he gave us is that we weren’t ‘bought in’ or ‘committed,’ which didn’t really make sense because we had shown up to everything and we had been on the team last year,” a senior said, requesting anonymity. “[The coach] definitely is concerned with winning. [The cut] wasn’t from a skills standpoint, speaking for [other players] and I, we would have helped the team, based on our past stats.” Those who were cut were not the only
Melina Monlux and Rachel Halmrast
ones to question the decision. “For some cuts yes, [they were justified], for others no. Some were for goofing around and lack of commitment. Especially for like [name withheld], Doug [coach] told him that he just had a lack of commitment when he showed up for like every winter workout,” said a player currently on the varsity team who also requested to remain anonymous. “For [yet another player], he told him he had a lack of talent, but he’s a pitcher, and when he was pitching, Doug wasn’t even paying attention. So, I don’t know how he knew he had a lack of talent when he wasn’t even watching.” Coach Montgomery was unresponsive to the Talisman’s request for an interview. For some, the cuts seemed to be less about skill and more about relationships. “[The coach] sort of picks favorites and he’ll help them out, but other people he will just blow off completely, which I think is sort of weird,” the player said. “The kids he favors aren’t necessarily strong skill-wise but they are definitely more supportive than others. He definitely didn’t favor those who got cut. At all.” “We never addressed it,” the player who was cut said, “but it was definitely like I didn’t agree with his decisions and he knew it, and I don’t think he wants outstanding disagreements on his team.” The captains, however, feel that this is just a part of being on a competitive team. “Unfortunately that’s part of it, if you have a bad relationship with the coach it doesn’t play in your favor, but I don’t think it would have been the main reason,” Mount said. Although the motivation for the cuts remains somewhat ambiguous, Thurston urges those with concerns to address them. “Communication is the most important thing,” he said. “If there are questions that are still out there, approach the people that makes those decisions and sit down respectfully with them and ask. You’re not gonna agree with every decision that your boss makes or people that are in your life make, but have the ability to sit down and say ‘Could you explain the decision to me, so that I can use it for growth.’”
Senior captain Connor Mount up to bat earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Ballard Shingle)
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
‘Les Misérables’ shows BPA excellencce
Wind Ensemble awarded gold standing at Carnegie Hall Katie Read Kearney Copy Editor
he Ballard Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Michael James, was awarded gold standing at Carnegie Hall on April 11. The invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall is, in itself, an accomplishment, but to receive the highest rating for their performance is an enormous achievement. The ensemble performed the overture to “Candide” by Leonard Bernstein, a renowned composer who was a conductor at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic for many years. The ensemble also performed a spiritual, Buddhist influenced piece entitled, “Give Us This Day” by David Maslanka. The performance at Carnegie Hall was part of the Wind Ensemble’s participation in the New York International Music Festival which included eight groups from around the world. Events such as this are years in the making. Though the honor of a coveted spot in the festival was received almost immediately after James submitted an audition recording— he did so back in 2015. James indicated that the Wind Ensemble was especially focussed and determined these past several months to elevate their performance. Ultimately, the
Carnegie Hall performance was adjudicated by three professional musicians. James described the process of evaluation and the end result in an interview following the ensemble’s return from New York City. “They have a rating system. Each group receives either bronze, silver or gold, based on their scores and performance and we qualified for the gold award,” James said. “It went really well. It was quite an amazing experience.” The opportunity to perform on stage at Carnegie Hall is one that many musicians do not receive in their lifetime. In anticipation of the performance, senior Forrest Hsu reflected, “Carnegie Hall is culturally one of the most significant places to perform in the entirety of the United States--probably in the entirety of the Americas. It’s quite an honor just to be able to go out and perform in [someplace] that in the musical world is practically sacred.” Prior to the trip, James outlined the many opportunities and benefits to the ensemble’s participation in the festival. “We have a one-hour clinic with a former college wind ensemble conductor to help us prepare before the concert. We get to do a sound check on stage at Carnegie Hall, which will be fun, because that building is amazing. All the groups get
The Ballard High School Wind Ensemble poses at Central Park. The ensemble received a gold rating at the New York International Music Festival, which was held at Carnegie Hall. (Karen Williams)
to perform at Central Park in their band shell,” James said. “So we’ll [all the ensembles] be doing all these things together and supporting each other, watching each other, and so I think as students learn and interact with students from these other groups, it will be a fun experience for them.” In addition to their performance at Carnegie, the festival provided students with the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of young musicians and participate in workshops. “A bunch of the other bands present were from different countries. There was one from Wales and one, I think, from Australia and then there were some from California,” said senior Helen Dahl. “I really enjoyed meeting people from other places around the world and fostering friendships. I was excited to interact with students and hear about their school or their music programs.” Senior Mckenzie Riley reflected upon the ensemble’s prodigious achievement. “We put so much work into our music…. And getting the highest ranking possible for a performance at one of the most prestigious music halls in the world was an unforgettable experience.”
Staff Reporter es Misérables, based on the book by Victor Hugo of the same title, has run continuously since October 1985 – the second longest-running musical in the world. Set in 19thcentury France, it is the story of Jean Valjean, and his quest for redemption after serving 19 years in jail. Valjean breaks his parole and starts a new life after a bishop inspires him by an act of mercy, but he is relentlessly tracked down by a police inspector named Javert. Along the way, Valjean and a slew of characters are swept into a revolutionary period in France. Director Shawn M. Riley, the cast, and BHS Playmakers presented the school edition of this musical on March 16-26. Their hard work payed off, and the crowd could feel it throughout the rendition. The production captured every facet of the story in its purest form. Senior Diego Roberts Buceta’s embodiment of Jean Valjean was perfect, hitting every note smoothly without mistakes. The cast as well as the orchestra successfully portrayed every characters’ story, taking us through their journeys. Especially, in Act I for “At the End of the Day” performance. The tone of his voice, which has grandly developed since his entry to the program, expressed Jean Valjean’s pain in such
a way that it pulled at your heartstrings.The orchestra was well synchronized with the actors, adding nuance to emotions that couldn’t simply be portrayed through acting. The casting was top notch and each cast member manifested their character with grace. Among the most memorable are Gavroche, who tragically collects boots from dead soldiers, Mr. and Mrs. Thenardier played by seniors Nick Requarth and Olivia Sutherland added the perfect amount of humor to an otherwise dark story. Fantine was also memorable, played by senior Meg Shepherd who persevered even when her microphone didn’t cooperate. The show’s best scenes included One Day More and Javert’s Suicide, both of which tugged heartstrings from every corner of the room. Senior Alex Putnam’s performance as Javert, especially in the suicide scene, was beautifully executed. Putnam showed how prideful Javert was by the position of his shoulders. The stillness of the audience as Javert fell to his death was a magically artistic moment. As the curtains came to a close you could feel that the audience had just witnessed an exceptional performance. The top-notch theater department once again provides an artful and thoroughly entertaining performance
‘Get Out’ turns heads, shifts paradigms
Sketch comedian makes smash horror debut against odds
oing into see Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, I expected fairly simple, cut and dry entertainment. I was hoping for some cheesy jumpscares to keep me on edge, and hopefully some easy-to-swallow gore at the end. I didn’t go into the theatre that night expecting a horror movie to hit me with so many emotions. I was glued to the screen every second, unable to look away, not unlike the protagonist Chris. The film isn’t just a horror movie, in that horror is only one of many emotions the audience will experience. It’s funnier than most comedies coming out today, although this shouldn’t be surprising given writer Jordan Peele’s veteran history on some of the funniest sketch comedy shows in American television. It also made me think about systemic race, society and helped me challenge the commonly held belief that white liberals are somehow not responsible for the systematic subjugation of AfricanAmericans. This sounds heavy, and a little boring, but more than anything “Get Out” is the most badass horror movie in the past few years. The opening scene of “Get Out” is the most haunting part of the film. A black man is walking down the streets of a suburban, upper class neighborhood, talking on his phone minding his own business when an all-white, lowrider sports car starts tailing him until a man hops out, bashes the pedestrian’s head in and shoves him in his trunk. The scene could have killed the movie before it even started but writer/director Jordan Peele paces it seamlessly, snapping us into the actual story. It helps the audience realize that this movie isn’t here for cheap scares, it’s here to make you realize that the only real monster is racism. The story revolves around Chris, a talented photographer played by the British actor Daniel Kaluuya, (of Netflix’s “Black Mirror”) as he goes to meet his girlfriend Rose (played by Allison Williams from HBO’s Girls) parents for the first time. “Do they know I’m black?” he tentatively asks before they leave for their ritzy upstate New York farmhouse. A recurring theme in the film is that the
Nolan Baker Staff Reporter
Graphic by Chris Holland
white characters always downplay race in every conversation with Chris, even if they’re really bad at doing it. When Chris meets Rose’s father, played menacingly by Bradley Whitford, he tries to seem cool to the new black boyfriend, but slips up frequently. He tries to fist bump him when they first meet, refers to Chris and Rose’s relationship as a “thang,” but ultimately isn’t a racist because he “would have voted for Obama a third time.” The un-racist facade the parents try to play off quickly dissolves as Chris meets their black gardener and maid, who always wear suspicious grins and are overly happy to be working for on their estate. They seem to have a glazed-over look in their eyes that turns Chris’ awkwardness to full on suspicion. As the movie progresses, more is revealed about the family’s creepy past, and the less Chris wants to be there. The house and the people in it only get weirder and weirder, as Chris is put into spacedout trances by Rose’s mom, played hauntingly by Catherine Keener who uses a simple tea cup to paralyze Chris, inducing the now-trademark horrified stare that everyone knows, even if they haven’t watched the movie. The final act is one of the most satisfying examples of using blood, gore and violence in a horror movie. It’s a perfect end to mounting tension that shows the talent of writer/director Jordan Peele in his directorial debut. What makes this movie so special is not the creepy maids or heart attack-inducing tension, but the thoughts it puts in the audience’s mind. This film is about race, and the success it has garnered shows that Hollywood may finally be ready to accept the work of young black
15 SEATTLE’S A&E
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
This is how most of the audience will look throughout watching the film. (Still from IMDB)
filmmakers. Jordan Peele is the first African-American writer/director to make over $100 million on their debut movie, showing that he is a legendary talent. His track record includes writing for and starring in “MadTV” in the early 2000’s with Keegan Michael Key, who would later become the other half of “Key & Peele,” the wildly successful sketch comedy show that elevated black comedians to a level none thought possible after Dave Chapelle infamously quit his own “Chapelle Show” in 2006. Not only does Peele’s success mean he will become known as one of the greatest television and film writers of our generation, but it has broken a glass ceiling for all black filmmakers to create what they want to create. “Get Out” proves that black filmmakers who aren’t Tyler Perry or Spike Lee are a viable option for studios to support. The nation-wide success of “Get Out” is because it’s a movie made by a black filmmaker for all audiences, not just black audiences. This isn’t “Madea Sees a Ghost,” it’s a horror movie that holds up because it has an amazing story that captures the essence of legends like Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King, but also advances the genre as something that can comment on today’s society and advance entire
Get Out (2017) 1/2
FIRST YOUTH POET LAUREATE FINDS ACTIVISM IN POETRY
eija Farr writes poetry that finds Staff Reporter the love in the darkest corners of oppression. A descendant of a black panther, Farr sees her poetry as a form of activism. “An activist,” she says, “is somebody who resists and challenges certain notions of what is ‘normal’ or what is ‘beauty.’” The 19-year-old student is Seattle’s first Youth Poet Laureate, an honor that awards Farr a writing mentorship and book deal with Penmanship Press in New York. “For Black Boys” is an ode to black men in America, and a criticism of the conventions that hold them to their stereotypes. Her slam-style intensity could be mistaken for angst, but it’s clear that the heart of her frustration comes from a profound tenderness for those she writes about. Her poetry is rooted in the deconstruction of the norms she sees as toxic. “I can tell from the oceans on your bed that you’ve never been told you’re beautiful,” she writes. “Black boys bleed every month.” She simultaneously acknowledges the violence that black men face and compares it to a uniquely feminine problem. Masculinity, to her, is a prison that holds black men back. Farr’s poems are soulful and visceral. She is unabashed in her identity as a black woman. She’s not interested in censorship or subtlety; she collides with the issues she tackles head on. She proves that there is grace in the audacious.
Farr’s first collection of poems, “Battered Yet Beautiful,” is available now.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
WASHINGTON’S BEST HIKES Ana Marbett Claire Moriarty Online Editor
Mount Ranier Ntl. Park
he trailhead of Lake 22 is located 80 minutes east of Seattle by car, leading to a stunning hike that almost anyone can enjoy. While it is steep, rocky and tiring at times, the beautiful mountain vistas and the lake at the top make whatever hardships the journey may have presented more than worthwhile. For the most part, the trail passes under trees and over little rivers, but towards the top the forest thins out and the path runs along the side of the hill. If you don’t fare well in the heat, this part can be grueling when it’s sunny, but on a clear day, the view of the Cascades from here is breathtaking. The lake itself, ringed by trees and craggy rock faces, is glorious, and definitely swimmable on warmer days. The trail wraps all the way around it. Rest there if you’re weary. It’s quiet except for the noise of other hikers and the occasional bird call.
iking up to Snow Lake is always a breathtaking experience. The moment you descend the last ridge and catch sight of the crystalline waters reflecting the snow-covered peaks you know it was worth the 7.2 miles of jagged switchbacks. The trailhead is tucked away at the end of the Alpental parking lot. A series of wooden log steps begin the ascent up the mountain. Early spring is the optimal time to hike Snow Lake because winter fog still clings to the trees and patches of snow surround the lake. The wooden steps soon give way to a forest trail that carries you up towards the lake. About a mile in the trees clear to expose a view of Chair Peak that stops you in your tracks. After passing the opening, the trees engulf the trail once again to begin the fairly steep trek up along the ridge above the lake. Finally, as the trail peaks up and over the ridge, you catch sight of the glimmering translucent lake. Swatches of snow paint the sides of the slopes around the water creating an almost imitable scene. A rocky beach provides a perfect place to eat and rest.
Icicle Creek Leavenworth
f the many trails in the Leavenworth area, Icicle Ridge is a staple, and a favorite of many residents. The hike snakes up into the Wenatchee National Forest, above the Wenatchee River, Tumwater Canyon and the town itself. The end of this trail connects to the much longer Fourth of July Trail, which offers a day-long hike for those seeking major elevation gain and a ridgetop view. Icicle Ridge, a six-mile hike climbing up nearly 1800 feet, is not for the faint of heart. Over a dozen switchbacks carry the hiker up through the morning fog or afternoon sun, to a gorgeous view of the surrounding Cascades and town below. The trail is lined with conifers, with a few trickles of small streams crossing the path. As the trees break periodically, one can catch a glimpse of the Icicle Creek Valley, but the full view can only be found at the very top, where a small clearing acts as the perfect vantage point.
Rattlesnake Ledge North Bend
he Rattlesnake Ledge Trail is a fun and moderately challenging hike just over 6.6 miles long and at an elevation gain of 2240 feet. Located near North Bend, Washington, this winding trail features scenic views of Mount Si, Mount Washington and Rattlesnake lake. This trail is just under an hour drive from Seattle and is a very popular destination during the summer when the water is warm enough to take a dip. This hike is at a relatively gentle incline due to the multiple switchbacks on the well maintained trail. When you arrive, the trailhead offers bathrooms, a helpful information kiosk, maps and history of the area. This is where you will begin your hike. As you gain elevation you will find many great lookout points from which you can see Rattlesnake Lake and track your progress. At just under two miles you will reach a marked junction, keep right and follow a short path to reach Rattlesnake Ledge. This exposed ledge is a popular photo opportunity but you must take extreme precaution when at the ledge as it is surrounded by cliffs on either side. If at this point you still haven’t had enough hiking for one day, you can extend your journey by heading back to the junction and hiking down the trail towards East Peak which is 2.4 miles from the junction. Upper Ledge and Middle Ledge are also just a short distance from the junction and offer alternate and less crowded scenic views. Overall this hike is excellent for anyone wanting an introduction into hiking, a quick weekend getawayor just some great exercise. Hop in your whip with your closest friends and take a trip to The Rattlesnake Ledge Trail for an awesome time!
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
What are those little evangelist comics? A guide to Jack Chick’s “Gospel Ammunition” Oscar Zahner and Fletcher Anderson
Political Correspondent and Staff Artist nce every year, like clockwork, men in collared shirts stand outside the middle schools and high schools of Seattle, just far enough off of school property that administrators are powerless to kick them out. In their hands are stacks of little black-and-white comic books. It’s a familiar sight to most students. Their presence inspires a range of emotions: grim fascination in some, giddy excitedness is others, and annoyance in many. Behind all of these emotions is the controversial content of those little comic books. Every one of them is a short evangelist parable, with morals of varying severity. Despite their fire-andbrimstone message, the comic books have gained a sort of following as an “ironic” taste. The dated slang, ludicrous storylines, and hyper exaggerated strawmen characters all lend the comics an entertainment value that transcends their religious message. Perhaps this lack of gravity is the reason that, while the comic books are a fairly common touchstone of the Seattle schooling experience, their fascinating and occasionally disturbing history remain relatively unknown. Even the proper name for one of these evangelist comic books, a “Chick Tract,” is recognized by few who are familiar with them. Perhaps that’s fitting, given the fascinatingly enigmatic and private nature of their namesake and founder: Jack Chick. Chick, an unparalleled voice in the world of longform fundamentalist Christian cartoons, built himself quite a formidable empire of religious publishing before his death in 2016. It’s difficult to paint an exact biography of his life, due to the man’s obsession with privacy and aversion to the public eye. According to a brief biography on the Chick Publications website, he spent
the early years of his life as a foul-mouthed nonbeliever. After three years of military service during World War II, he met and married Lola Lynn Priddle, who converted him to fundamentalist Christianity. After his conversion, Chick was inspired to write his first Tract, A Demon’s Nightmare in an attempt to parallel the success of communist propaganda in China. Even if Chick’s personal history is opaque, the legacy of his Tracts is surprisingly sprawling. Chick Tracts are not a phenomenon unique to Seattle; in fact, Chick Publications is based in Ontario, California. And the comics have gained notoriety on a national legacy: the Smithsonian Institute has even used Chick Tracts in a display on American culture. Unfortunately, the legacy of Chick Tracts has a dark side. While the most common Tracts that fall into the hands of Seattleite students may depict acts of violence or upsetting and even grotesque stereotypes, many Chick Tracts exist solely for the purpose of attacking religious groups. Examples include Allah had no Son, Camel’s in the Tent, and Are Roman Catholics Christian? In fact, Chick Publications has earned such a dubious reputation that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated it as a hate group. Chick Publications has often found itself at odds with more moderate churches that see Chick’s religious extremism as an excuse for bigotry. Still, it’s difficult to deny that there’s something fascinating about the Tracts. Maybe its the effort and caring that has clearly been invested in the masterful illustrations. Maybe it’s the laughable misconceptions about youth culture, and the puzzling logic of the Tract’s strawman characters. Maybe its the unironic way in which the “hardened” characters call each other “jive turkeys” and refer to all drugs as “speed.” Something just keeps bringing us back. We hate to admit it, but we
have a passion for these Tracts. And as long as they remain an unavoidable routine in our schools, we’ve decided to share with you the ones that we think are worth a read-through, out of curiosity if nothing else. Though the parables can be interesting insights into the psychology of extreme fundamental moralism, we’ve elected to judge our favorites based on their artistic merits. This means that we will discuss what makes each Tract fascinating in terms of its story, its art, its characters, and its dialogue, rather than our summary of its theological undertones.
The tribulations of Jesus Christ, as explained in the Chick Tract “Charlie’s Ants” (Jack Chick)
TOP TRACTS SOMEBODY GOOFED
Somebody Goofed will always be my number one. It’s got everything: speed, violence, and a plot twist to rival M. Night Shyamalan’s finest. The story recounts the adventure of a young blonde boy and his evil black-haired atheist friend who rebuke a priest and almost immediately get hit by a train. I don’t want to spoil anything, but all the human drama has an incredible emotional payoff.
Ever wonder what the cool kids do at Halloween parties? Well “anybody who’s anybody at Salem High” is renting out a haunted house on and sacrificing a cat to satan at midnight. A cautionary tale for those who think Halloween is all fun and games.
THE NERVOUS WITCH
A truly revealing tale about how millions of teens are being swept into witchcraft and Satanism by the notorious Harry Potter series. Will ensure that your friends won’t get lured into hell.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Internet privacy and the information-industrial complex Congress’ erosion of privacy rights has disturbing implications
enate Joint Resolution 34 passed in silence, a break in character for a president who usually signs legislation with flourish and Oscar Zahner fanfare. Only Political Correspondent days later, that news story would be drowned out by other, more exciting headlines: the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase, for instance, or the confirmation of the hyperconservatvie Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But behind the smokescreen of Trump’s spectacular media circus, shrouded by a climate of public apathy, a new institution is being birthed from the gangrenous influence of dark money in American politics: the information-industrial complex. The bill, which repealed the implication of FCC regulations preventing internet service providers from obtaining the internet histories of their users without prior consent, is a significant rebuke to online privacy. In short, it grants your ISP access to your internet search history in order to sell your information to advertisers on the open market. And with a Gallup poll indicating that nearly half of regular internet users pay “little or no attention” to internet privacy and only 16 percent pay “very close attention,” public consent seemed like an afterthought. An afterthought dwarfed by the monumental specter of campaign contributions. The Verge reports that the telecom industry spent nearly $10,000,000 in campaign contributions on politicians who voted for the bill in the most recent election cycle. Of course, with their users’ information as a brand new source of revenue, that seems like chump change. The bill was passed in a palpably sleazy cocktail of public unawareness and corporate interests, but the precedent it has set for the future of technology is even more harrowing. Corporations have already begun the process of lobbying to undermine what little privacy protections exist for the internet, and now have succeeded getting legislation that supports this goal past the president’s desk. As private industry erodes the standard for privacy, the precedent is set for the government to create an invasive system of surveillance based on your online information. The end result is a potential scenario in which government
surveillance programs would rely on non-existent, which undermines their private industry for your information. potential to become a significant factor This cooperation between government in the complex. and the massive industry would Additionally, some VPN providers render your information a commodity; vehemently opposed the bill that it would render your privacy nonISPs were so warm towards. Private existent. Internet Access, the most notable For now, the most obvious question example of this opposition, took out a is: “what can I full-page ad in the As private industry New York Times do to protect my privacy?” condemn the 50 erodes the standard to Unfortunately, senators who took for privacy, the options are contributions from dishearteningly precedent is set for telecommunications limited. One of lobbies and voted the government to for the bill. the most easily discernable While it may create an invasive solutions, appear more system of surveillance socially conscious to switching to an ISP that a VPN, it won’t based on your online use won’t sell your change the fact that information. internet history, your information is rendered is available for crushingly purchase. It only difficult by the death grip in which changes the source that’s selling a few massive corporations hold the your information. And VPNs aren’t industry. a particularly well-known service, Additionally, ISPs have a nasty meaning that they’re unlikely to history of obfuscating their intentions challenge the invasive power of ISPs. with your privacy, meaning that Downloading a VPN might make choosing a responsible provider is you feel safer, but the reality is that nearly impossible. there is no easy fix for this problem. Another, more promising solution As long as the issue continues to slip is downloading a virtual private under the radar of the public, and network, commonly known as a VPN. as long as our government is broken Most students at Ballard are familiar enough to support the corruption of with VPNs, which help combat an information-industrial complex, restrictions in the school WiFi. VPNs privacy will not be treated as a right. are able to do this by routing all your And the most recent consequence of traffic through their server, meaning, this corruption has reared its head: among other things, your ISP will not your internet history is now on the have access to your search history. open market. However, your VPN does have access to this information. This solution, in effect, only moves the source of the problem. One may be inclined to trust a VPN over the cutthroat capitalism of an ISP provider, especially given the fact that privacy regulations for ISPs have been lifted. But it’s important to keep in mind that VPNs are equally unregulated and unpredictable, and are often subjected to less scrutiny than large corporations. For now, however, VPN companies don’t threaten to create an informationindustrial complex in the same way that ISPs do. VPNs are comparatively small companies that don’t have the same political clout as the telecommunications industry. As such, their influence in Cartoon courtesy of Emma DeRubertis government is practically
Letter to the Editor: “lou reed”
f Lou Reed had gotten his way, we would all be listening to Lou Reed. Music would be an arbitrary word, and the sensible people of this Earth would solely listen to the songs of Lou Reed. I have considered for many days and nights whether or not I would be able to handle Lou Reed’s world. It wouldn’t take too many “Perfect Day”s to make me blow my own brains out. I’m fragile in this way. But on the contrary, it’s possible that there is a vast universe of music I’m cut off from, and to only listen to earthling music in this universe would be the same as only listening to Lou Reed as an earthling. Another challenge the Lou Reed universe faces is the possibility that the entirety of Lou Reed’s discography does not capture a large enough scope of the human experience to adequately support the human race. It’s possible that emotional complexities that Lou Reed doesn’t sing about could lose their validation in the public eye and be whittled out of existence. This idea relies on the belief that certain emotional complexes are only pertinent in society due to their affirmation in music, but is it possible that we wouldn’t still believe that “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend” if it weren’t for the song of the same title written by John Cale in 1974? In his 1983 album ‘Legendary Hearts,’ Lou Reed sings about some pretty bold subjects—one could argue that this album alone captures the human experience. With songs about “legendary love” and even a guy who hates work, it’s possible that this album could single-handedly record the entirety of the human condition. By Leo Rauf, Senior
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
Suffering in silence: The perils of school-wide assemblies Overcrowded gym poses threats to the safety of the student
hroughout the year, we have become all too familiar with the issues and inconveniences caused by the overcrowding of our school. Melina Monlux While we have News Editor spent months exhausting the topic, there seems to be one place in which our suffering remained silent: school-wide assemblies. The bane of every high schooler’s existence, these events take place at a time of utmost inconvenience to skip, and consist of some spectacle which its patrons are unable to properly enjoy due to the incessant awkward nudging from all sides. While the overpopulation of the bleachers is not (technically) a safety hazard, as maximum occupancy is 62 students more than we have at the school, it is truly an uncomfortable situation. There is absolutely no escape from the knees jabbing into your back from behind, causing a crippling cramp in
your lower back, or the kid to your right who is sitting just a little too close. The heat which emanates from these people becomes unbearable. And if you are wearing a sweatshirt, tough luck, there’s no room for you to take it off, unless of course you are in the mood to give your neighbor a black eye. While the rigid position every student is forced to sit in for hours out of fear of seriously invading the personal space of those around you is not reason enough to take up arms, what happens during spirit assemblies just may be. Students flock to the gym to celebrate class pride and enjoy a lovely event produced by ASB, and yet are entirely unable to do so. How can one properly scream for spirit when they cannot hear their own scream as a result of the sheer number of screams that exist within such an overcrowded gym? With students getting excited left and right, there are likewise bound to be some casualties within such a cramped space. We dream of the glory days when the only injuries ever inflicted during an assembly were a misfired water balloon and a teacher
collision. Now, one must be on alert at all times to avoid a wild elbow to the gut or a rogue fist to the face. There is absolutely no stopping the perils of these assemblies until there is some sort of reduction in attendance. With that said, a lightly attended assembly was once easily attainable. In the years of post 6th period assemblies, skipping was a far more viable option. But when the treacherous administration discovered that kids were skipping (in the interest of being good samaritan of course) they moved the assemblies to their current slot after 2nd period to dissuade this behavior. What a mistake that turned out to be. Still, even if students wish to give up their seats in an assembly for the greater good, there is the issue of arriving back at school on time. The assembly could go under or over the designated time, for example, and the student would be at fault. Truly a shame. Action must be taken against this atrocious problem. Opening a new school simply isn’t enough. We need results now. Whether students must sign up for assemblies, draw from a
lottery for the privilege of attending or play a game of freshman assassin at orientation to determine who may go for the next four years, a solution must be found. The student body should not have to suffer in silence any longer.
Sophmores cheering at this year’s Academic Spirit Week Assembly. (Miles Whitworth)
We have a student handbook?
How the student handbook contradicts the unwritten rules that our school lives by
e all get the first day of school packets at the beginning of the year, but how many people really look at them? These packets contain flyers for clubs and sports, paperwork to be turned in and a copy of the student handbook. Though some information in the handbook changes from Keely Carolan year to year—such as the ASB Staff Reporter roster, list of coaches and administration—the basic district-wide rules remain the same. But how well are these rules enforced around our school? And while the schoolwide rules are consistently outlined in the handbook, each teacher has their own regulations for their classes, generally highlighted in the syllabi that we’re given at the beginning of the year. It’s hard for students to follow these expectations when everyone seems to be operating under their own guidelines. Let’s take the cell phone policy for example. According to the handbook (which can be found on the BHS website), people aren’t even supposed to use their cell phones during school hours, and they are to be turned off and put away during class time. However, in many classes the use of cell phones is permitted, and sometimes promoted, as an educational tool. It’s great that so many of us have access to such devices as a resource for our education, but if we are to do so, it is definitely time to align our
policies with the times. Not to mention that alternatives to this technology-based education need to be provided for those who don’t have such easy access. Another example is the food and drink policy. The handbook states that, “No food or non-water drinks will be permitted in any academic pod, the performing arts areas, 1st floor entrance next to the Main Office, library, Career Center, office areas, gyms or in the locker room areas.” This may come as a surprise to many seeing as the pods are lined with groups of students during lunch, an effort to find a quiet space to recollect ourselves and get prepared
for the second half of the day. Along with the fact that there’s simply not enough space for everyone to eat in the cafeteria, and it’s unreasonable to expect that all of the overflow will travel off campus. This is one of the rules that clearly just doesn’t make sense for administration to enforce, as it will create a safety hazard if we’re all made to cram ourselves into the cafeteria for lunch. In some instances, a few rules in a section will be enforced while other rules are ignored. Let’s take the attendance policy. When a student shows up to class after the bell has rung, the teacher usually marks them late. That goes on the student’s permanent record unless they are able to get it excused. But the handbook also states that if a student is late to periods 2-6, they have to go to the office to get a late pass, and are required to attend one period of lunch detention. First of all, it doesn’t make sense to make students go pick up a pass from the office when they’re already late to class. That will just make them more late and cause more of a disruption when they enter the classroom. Secondly, it doesn’t seem like lunch detention is something that teachers still use as a punishment (although maybe it just isn’t made known to most students), so why is it still listed as a consequence? If students take the time to examine the handbook, they’ll see that there are many inconsistencies with what’s written, and what actually happens at our school. And to be clear, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! Often these rules are broken to the benefit of us all—the handbook just needs to be rewritten to reflect this.
April 21, 2017 Ballard High School (Seattle, WA)
HEARD IN THE HALLWAYS: WE’RE NOT FUNNY ENOUGH TO MAKE THIS STUFF UP “For my birthday present, can I uppercut you?” “Pescetarianism is my favorite religion!”
“Some kid just rubbed his sandwich on my shoe!”
“Stop stress-balling my arm!”
“Yeah all Icelandic people sound like elephants.” “I have respect for all artists because that sh*t is harder than it looks. Except Migos.”
“I want to go to jail just to play prison soccer.” “Yeah and she’s always touching my elbow!”
SENIOR ASSASSIN OBITUARIES
DEATHS AND UPDATES ON THE SCHOOL’S FAVORITE GAME
Clay Cantrell Staff Reporter
The first man to go was poor Will And for that his friends surely did grill He was strutting his strut When shot in the butt Eli Wolk had just claimed the first kill R.I.P. Will Bittner Adam was driving young Jackson to school But his banter was irritating, some might say cruel Jackson had been defiled So he texted Ol’ Miles And Adam was killed in a duel R.I.P. Adam Barenchi Alison, Alison sweat while she slept Under her pillow, her blaster she kept She went straight to work And Jake with a smirk Brought her down to an untimely death R.I.P. Alison Aiken There once was a young man named Sam Who found himself in quite the jam While making a truce Her bullets let loose For Annabelle gave not a damn R.I.P. Sam Heikell
First death in rash of assassinations
lowers, candles and letters piled up outside the school, on the corner of 14th and 65th, where senior Will Bittner was assassinated. Bittner was just trying to walk to class on the brisk April morning, but fate had other plans when his assassin shot him in the rear. Authorities found the body at 9:30 a.m. but it was too late, he was pronounced dead at the site. Bittner enjoyed traveling and hanging out with friends and planned on attending the University of Arizona next fall. “He was a real sweetheart,” junior Carolyn Miller said. “He always had an open mind and kept a smile on his face.” A memorial service will be held this Saturday at the Ballard Bluff at 5 o’clock where family, friends and all who knew him can mourn together and pour one out. “I always loved hanging out with him,” senior Jake Thompson said. “He was a gracious, gracious person. He will be missed.” Sam Heikell Sports Editor