Page 1

Eastview defeats Park, 3-4

‘Cats’ disgusts viewers

Page 9

Page 12

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 Volume 93 Issue 5 St. Louis Park High School 6425 W. 33rd Street St. Louis Park, MN 55426


Photo Jayde Claussen

Online traffic: Junior Rodo Abdullah looks at the parking pass guidelines online. This is the first semester Park has sold parking permits online.

City Council bans sale of vape products, e-cigarette products

Parking passes for second semester move to online sales District hopes to make process easier, quicker

Ordinance goes into effect Feb. 1

Kate Schneider


hen purchasing her parking permit this fall, junior Greta Kulevsky said she felt inconvenienced by the line. However, she looks forward to the possible benefits of online sales. “I had to get up really early just to wait in a long line. If you forget any of the stuff you need, you lose your spot,” Kulevsky said. Administrative assistant Kiki Chistensen said she has been working to set up the online registration and to inform drivers on how to buy parking passes. “I attended a couple of meetings and then had some training on how to set up. Now, I’m working on doing announcements,” she said. Christensen said the goal is for students to have a shorter wait time to buy their parking permit. “I’m hoping that it’ll make it easier for students and parents because we won’t have this rush at the door. It gives (students) time because it opens up on (Jan. 24),” Christensen said. “Then they can have all weekend.” According to Kulevsky, buying permits online will save time and the system will be less stressful than the past. “Selling passes online is going to be so much easier because we can just buy them from our computer,” Kulevsky said. Junior Maddy Doherty said it might be harder to get a parking permit online since some may have easier access. “They will sell out faster online because people won’t have to come into school early to get one. Also I don’t know how they’re going to hand out the parking passes,” Doherty said.

Marta Hill


t the first reading of the ordinance, former City Council member Steve Hallfin said the City Council should not get to decide what adults put into their own bodies. “People put bad things in their bodies all the time. We could be up here trying to ban alcohol. We know how many people get killed because of alcohol every single day,” Hallfin said. “I abhor all tobacco products, all nicotine delivery systems, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have freedoms in this country.” According to senior Brandon Wetterlin, the ban on the sale of vapes and e-cigarettes in St. Louis Park may not be very effective, especially at trying to limit teenage use. “Would you ban cigarettes? Would you ban other The 2019 drugs? I don’t see the purpose behind it,” Wetterlin said. “It Minnesota is not going to stop people from going to other cities Student Survey like Minneapolis to try to get of St. Louis Park, vapes.” On Jan. 6, City Council showed approved an ordinance to prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products in St. Louis Park. The summary of juniors and of the ordinance will be posted Jan. 26 and the ordinance will go into effect Feb. 1. According to senior Wilof freshmen liam Schoenecker, the ban could have a large impact had used some on the economy in St. Louis form of tobacco in Park. “They have the right to the last 30 days. do it because they are our government, but that doesn’t Infographic Marta Hill mean it is necessarily a good Source City Council idea,” Schoenecker said. City Council member representing Ward 2 Anne Mavity, said in her support of the ordinance banning the sale of vaping and e-cigarette products she is not ignoring the possible repercussions of the regulation. “We have to respect the market, all the stakeholders in the community and

26% 8%

how these changes can impact people,” Mavity said. “We have 21 establishments that sell tobacco products, but only eight of them actually carry these products, which is an indication to me that even the market is moving away from this. It makes me feel a little bit more comfortable moving forward with this.” Speaking as a former smoker, mayor Jake Spano said he is worried people dismiss the severity of nicotine addictions. Spano said he is concerned about what he is hearing about high schoolers who cannot go long without vaping. “I am a former smoker, I’m only about 10-11 months past I think about having a cigarette every day, multiple times a day,” Spano said. “They measure heroin and fentanyl in grams, they measure nicotine in thousands of grams. By weight, it is a highly addictive drug and it’s hold on people is profound.” According to City Council member Thom Miller, whose term ended after the first reading of the ordinance, the approach taken to restricting vaping should be considered seriously because there are so many unknowns about the repercussions of vaping. “Any large problem like this has to be taken with a 360 degree approach, there are many people who are working on putting together some type of facet to do whatever we can do to keep the public’s health intact,” Miller said. “In the meantime, we will do what we can do, as the city government we can step in to restrict the sale of vaping products in St. Louis Park.” Miller said St. Louis Park’s passing of this ordinance is important because it can lead the way in larger scale restrictions. “We will be taking a leadership moment here,” Miller said. “When we pass something like this it will perhaps lead to other cities passing ordinances, it will perhaps give more leadership to our legislatures and we will have a better opportunity to move this forward.” This initiative is also moving forward nationally. According to U.S. News & World Report, in a spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump Dec. 20, 2019, no one under 21 years of age can legally buy cigarettes, cigars or any other tobacco product.



Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Photo Emily Ziessman

Community meeting to discuss banning conversion therapy


fter a meeting at the United Church of Christ Dec. 19 to discuss the use of conversion therapy in St. Louis Park, city event organizer Justin Lewandowski said it went well, with many community members in attendance. “(The event) went great. One person is better than none and we had 25 folks,” Lewandowski said.

Tenzin Gyaldatsang tenzingyaldatsang

Photo Noah Orloff

ACE sees increased participation


hile reflecting on his high school years, Architecture Construction Engineering mentor Dan Klobucar said the program was not available for him. “I’m glad to be able to help these students get an idea of what architecture, construction or engineering is,” Klobucar said. “If it’s something they are interested in, this is a way to get an idea so that when they go off to college, they’re not lost.”

Gabriel Kaplan & Noah Orloff

‘The Mandalorian’ is out of this world


can recall from my childhood having a strong passion for “Star Wars.” When I first heard there would be a series focused on a Mandalorian bounty hunter, I was excited. “The Mandalorian” was executed beautifully — Disney got almost everything spot on. The story follows the struggles and successes of the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), or Mando for short. Noah Orloff

For more content go to

Elliott Rickert, senior

New ordinance alters straw accessibility City tries to limit waste through new policy Sam Swisher


fter the city’s new straw ordinance went into effect Jan. 1, the city’s solid waste manager Kala Fisher said the ordinance was put in place to reduce the number of straws used in St. Louis Park. “(The ordinance) would both reduce the amount of straws that people have to throw away and it would reduce the number of straws that end up in the wrong bin when people are sorting their garbage,” Fisher said. The new rule regarding straws is an amendment to the Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance. The amendment regarding straws was passed in June of 2019 and went into effect Jan. 1. The Zero Waste Packaging Ordinance is a goal of the city to reduce the amount of trash created by food and beverage packaging. According to junior and Wok in the Park employee Miles Massie, the ordinance is not effective because it will only prevent a couple of people from getting straws in St. Louis Park.

Photo Ayelet Prottas

Save the turtles: A Starbucks barista prepares a drink by handing a straw to a customer Dec. 19. Drink establishments are implementing new straw-free lids. “St. Louis Park having a few people who don’t get a straw won’t change anything because it’s such a small drop in the bucket,” Massie said. Junior Zoe Frank said the city has been good at creating environmental policies. “St. Louis Park has always been innovative when it comes to environmental policy, a lot of which is due to the Climate Action Plan,” Frank said. “Hopefully this legislation allows for the city’s sustainability goals to happen sooner, and reduces waste output in the city.” According to Frank, she hasn’t noticed much change yet, but she has high hopes the ordinace will make the city more environmentally friendly. “My family and I have been keeping

an eye out for changes when we eat at restaurants, but so far haven’t noticed much. I’m hoping to see this change go through because it would allow for (St. Louis Park) to become more sustainable and put out less waste,” Frank said. According to Massie, the ordinance is making his job harder because he has to get people straws after he delivers their drinks. “It’s already affected me at work where now we aren’t allowed to give people straws with their drinks. It’s another inconvenience where most people will end up asking for a straw and we have to go back and get them one,” Massie said. The ordinance affects all food establishments in St. Louis Park.

Attendance numbers low following break Frustrated students return from shortened break Jan. 2 Marta Hill, Isabel Kjaer & Kaia Myers

A Fair use Disney

The more single use plastics in the world we have, it’s just going to keep on adding to the big land fill ocean.

fter returning to school two days earlier than pervious years, freshman Wilton Bomsta said he felt the time in school wasn’t worth it. “I didn’t really like it because I don’t feel like we did anything on those two days,” Bomsta said. “I’d rather have a longer winter break than a two-day longer summer break.” According to Superintendent Astein Osei, the decision to have a shorter winter break was complicated. The School Board weighed many factors including child care for younger students and ending the school year earlier. “The calendar is probably one of the best educational tools that we have,” Osei said. “When you have long breaks, it generally requires district schools to go longer.” English and cinema teacher

Photo Kaia Myers

Back so soon: Junior Clayton Horstman-Olson holds the door at the entrance of the high school Dec. 20. Winter break for the 2019-2020 school year was Dec. 21-Jan. 1. Andrew Carlson said the tradeoff of a shorter winter break for a longer school year was worth it. “I think everyone would have preferred to have a couple of extra days this time of year, but I think it’ll be nice not having to come back after graduation that Monday and Tuesday,” Carlson said. While attendance has been lower than normal Jan. 2 and 3, according to assistant principal Jessica Busse, some students and staff have taken the two day week as an opportunity to do some extra work. “It’s brought up some really good conversations and the people that have been here have been able to get a lot of work done that they might not

have been able to get done,” Busse said. According to freshman Kwame Fokuo, the two days with school in session failed to offer any benefits when compared to previous years. “It was stupid (to return Jan. 2), and we should’ve had our two days because we have all the other years,” Fokuo said. “It’s pointless to go and kids should have fun instead.” Busse said students have voiced concerns over the calendar, but it is a complicated issue without a simple solution. “Some students have talked to superintendent Osei about the calendar and about how they feel they weren’t consulted about the calendar. He heard that and has taken that into

It was stupid (to return Jan. 2), and we should’ve had our two days because we have all the other years

Kwame Fokuo, freshman consideration,” Busse said. “It’s something the School Board and the district are looking at. It’s district-wide, and it’s also not something that’s just St. Louis Park, there are other districts that are going through the same issue.”

“ Families work to find healthy balance on social media If (oversharing) makes them happy, then they can post whatever they want, (but) it depends on what they’re posting and how they’re sharing it. It could be unsafe (if you) share too much.”

Oliver Christopher, sophomore

Parents, teens encouraged to discuss internet safety, privacy Riyan Said & Ben Sanford


s social media becomes increasingly impactful in today’s society, Marguerite Ohrtman, director of school counselling and clinical training at the University of Minnesota said parents and guardians talking to their children about how they use social media platforms is becoming more important. “(Social media) is something that parents and guardians should really work (on) with their children,” Ohrtman said. “It’s a big communication point. Just like parents and guardians talk to their children about school, school activities, drinking (and) smoking, I think (social media) should be another thing they have open communication about.” According to Ohrtman, based on studies she’s conducted, apps like YouTube and Snapchat have no clear effect on emotionally intelligent children. “If you look at adolescence research, there’s a lot of mixed reviews on whether (social media) is positive or negative. What we found is that there was no impact on emotional intelligence,” Ohrtman said. Senior Victoria

Contreras said she notices her peers oversharing online, which can develop into unhealthy behavior. “Some people might overshare (by) putting things on their story and sharing every detail about their life,” Conteras said. “In some ways it’s OK, but if it’s excessive. It can become too much and not super beneficial.” Sophomore Sophia Curran-Moore said social media can be harmful to a person’s mental health by enforcing a need to overshare. “Social media is generally toxic to mental health. I often feel left out on social media. I see no need to share everything I do or to see what everyone else is doing. If it was important, I would tell other people independently,” CurranMoore said. According to Contreras, people overshare in different ways, with parents focusing on their children, and students posting about their own lives. “Parents share in a way that is bragging about their kids and milestones. Kids don’t necessarily post about their important milestones. It’s more about their lives on a daily basis,” Contreras said. Sophomore Sumaya Moalim said her mother has always engaged in healthy conversations about social platforms. “She is always cautious to not overshare because she sees other parents sharing much more about their children, (which) can be uncomfortable,” Moalim said. “My mother is always telling us to be careful about what we post because these days it’s much easier to share too much that people can use against you.” Freshman Sadie Lund said she doesn’t


Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


understand who the target audience is when parents post about their children. “Sometimes they post unnecessary things about others,” Lund said. “I don’t really get why people have to know about their kids’ lives.” According to Ohrtman, it is the responsibility of teachers, in addition parents, to educate youth on healthy ways to use social media. “As educators we need to find more research about what benefits (social media) has, how to utilize it in the best way and to teach children and adolescents how The thing with to use it,” Ohrtman said. social media is Contreras said befinding a healthy ing conscious of how balance and much time is spent on moderation of social media will keep students and adults what’s appropriate safe online. to share or “Limiting screen what isn’t. time and setting boundaries for what Marguerite Ohrtman, you share and what University of Minnesota you look at would be director of school counseling helpful,” Contreras said. Ohrtman said social media can be beneficial as long as you understand the possible toxicity that comes along with viewing it. “The thing with social media is finding a healthy balance and moderation of what’s appropriate to share or what isn’t. I think parents, guardians (and) schools can be teaching that,” Ohrtman said. “Adults as well are still learning what’s appropriate to share and what’s good moderation.”

Out of 12,000 teens in 25 countries, 42% believe their parents share too much about them on social media. Infographic Kate Schneider Source CNN

Art Sophie Livingston



Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Trip deepens religious knowledge Isra Mohamed isramohamed@


recently returned from Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, which was an amazing experience. I visited Saudi Arabia because in my religion it is the holy place and where the religion was created. I saw some of the most significant historical sites in my religion, such as Mount Uhud, where a huge battle took place, and Mount Arafat, where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last sermon to the followers of Islam. I also got to visit the Kaaba, which is a large marker signifying Islamic worship, where billions of people surround the structure and pray. I’ve seen pictures of it online, but it was jaw-dropping to see in real life. It was surreal to be there, because it made me feel closer to God. While there, I also visited Medina and I got to pray at Masjid What’s the AlNabawi, POINT? which is the masjid, or mosque, that the Prophet Muhammad built. Architects added to it over time, and now the mosque is one of the biggest mosques in the world. It was breathtaking to see the colorful sky-high pillars that are abundant throughout the mosque, and the beautiful patterns that adorned the walls and ceiling. Considering the thousands of people who were there, it was calming and quiet as everyone was deep in prayer. I was surprised by how populated both Mecca and Medina were, which is something I was not used to, coming from a tight-knit community in Minnesota. While in Saudi Arabia, I noticed there were many diverse groups all in one place. It was a very beautiful thing to see so many different types of people all coming together to practice Islam. My trip was unforgettable. I saw many different things I’ve dreamed of seeing I learned so much about my religion and myself. I was surrounded by such an empowering environment, and I’m very grateful I ended the year in my favorite place in the world.

Historical context creates new perspectives

I think it’s really cool and unique. It’s going to help improve the Art (Tech) department.

Ilhan Abdi, sophomore

Art Tech department invests in virtual reality School collaborates with local VR company Henry Brettingen


ccording to Art Tech department head Trevor Paulson, students are working with the virtual reality company REM5 to design soda cans for a local company. “The students are going to work on designing cans for the soda company, and the artwork going on the can, with the local company using only virtual reality software,” Paulson said. Paulson said the department has decided to experiment with virtual reality (VR) systems. “We picked up a VR system for an upcoming project that we’re working (on) with REM5 and a local soda company, as well as five students and a couple staff members,” Paulson said. Paulson said VR will be integral to education in various sectors in the future and he hopes to take advantage of its potential. “There’s a lot of evidence

that VR is going to be another revolutionary piece, so we wanted to hop on before it becomes really big,” Paulson said. Senior Matthew Loftus said he believes VR technology plays an important role in education. “It is important to further learning with technology, and having VR experience is something that will be very beneficial,” Loftus said. According to Paulson, the Art Tech Department is focusing on exploring where VR could be incorporated in the future in a variety of areas. “It’s new, so it’s different. It’s like nothing we have currently, so we don’t necessarily have the curriculum ready for it,” Paulson said. “We are going to work on incorporating it into a couple units next semester.” According to sophomore Deqay Koumalasy-Dent, without access to developing technology, students will be put at a disadvantage. “I think updating tools used by teachers will help introduce students to modern technology,” Koumalasy-Dent said. Paulson said VR will have educational applications in a

Photo Rodolfo Zarate

Art meets virtual reality: The head of the Art Tech department Trevor Paulson tests out the new virtual system. The virtual system is meant to help him make logos for companies. lot of different classes, not just design. “Right now we’ve chosen to focus on the design side of it, but it’s useful for other classes like science, where you can do things with dissection and human bodies,” Paulson said. According to Paulson, if the program is successful, the department will look into acquiring funds to obtain additional VR sets. “Depending on student interest and how incorporating it into other classes go, we are going to look at getting some grants and bringing in a few other pieces to make it more convenient,” Paulson said.

What is the Art Tech Department doing? •

• •

Working with REM5 (virtual reality company) Students will design soda cans for local company Helping to make logos for companies Teachers are incorporating VR into courses Infographic Tamar Gewirtz Source Trevor Paulson

Bus driver celebrates students’ birthdays Jay Wolkenbrod ensures birthdays are not overlooked Sofie Geretz


ourth-year bus driver Jay Wolkenbrod said he came out of retirement to become a bus driver. “I was at Walgreens one day and talking with some kids that were boisterous,” Wolkenbrod said. “The owner (of the bus company) came up to me, she says, ‘You’ve got a great personality. Would you like to drive a school bus?’ I said, ‘I’ve been retired for ten years now. I don’t think so.’ She says, ‘Oh, you would love it.’” Wolkenbrod said he has been able to stay with students throughout their educational careers. “I’ve had the same route for four years and have seen some of my kids go from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school,” Wolken-

Photo Ava Ashby

Lifts and gifts: Bus driver Jay Wolkenbrod sings “Happy Birthday” to a student Dec. 20. Wolkenbrod celebrates birthdays and brings gifts, including a balloon and a card, to students. brod said. “I still enjoy it.” According to freshman Ruby Livon, Wolkenbrod recognizing students’ birthdays is a sweet way to celebrate. “This is a fun way of someone recognizing their birthday and celebrating with them,” Livon said. Wolkenbrod said celebrating students’ birthdays ensures they feel appreciated on their birthday. “I’ve been doing it for three of the four years. I used to work at shelters for runaway kids called the Bridge. I noticed that a lot of kids get passed up on

their birthday,” Wolkenbrod said. “In the morning, the first thing they see is a balloon and a little gift and a card and everyone sings ‘Happy Birthday.’” Wolkenbrod said the bus ride celebration may be the only one the student receives. “It is nice. I do not know what the situation is at home, but the kids enjoy the recognition and they never miss out on a birthday this way,” Wolkenbrod said. Livon said celebrating birthdays on the bus is a way to ensure students feel cared for. “A lot of people don’t cel-

ebrate their birthdays necessarily at home or they don’t have a way to celebrate,” Livon said. According to Wolkenbrod, he makes sure to give the student an individualized present. “(Students) get a balloon, a sucker and a card,” Wolkenbrod said. “I try to personalize the card about them.” Livon said celebrating birthdays together on bus rides adds a level community for the students on the bus. “It adds unity to the bus,” Livon said. “Otherwise there’s not really anything (creating a community).”

(The $4 bet) sounds like fun as long as whoever is betting is getting their money, I don’t think there is an issue.

FEATURES Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Max Conway, sophomore


$4 bet waged to outlast, brave elements Four sophomores challenge each other’s limits Colin Canaday


he first snowfall of each year signifies many things, including the end of students sitting outside for lunch. But sophomores Danny Shope, Blake Knudson, Joe McGurgan and Luke Walsh are set on testing limits, according to Shope. “A few friends and I were eating outside for lunch in the fall, when it was still warm outside. We started to wonder how long we could stay outside and if they would ever kick us out and make us sit back inside,” Shope said.

Shope said the bet only progressed from there, eventually incentivized with money. “We decided to each put a dollar in on it, and whoever stays out the longest gets (it all). It escalated, (and) I never thought it would get this far,” Shope said. Grade level coordinator Aaron Schloer said he thinks the bet is a good demonstration of camaraderie. “As long as weather safety permits, I think it is creative, builds community, and is overall a wonderful high school competition amongst friends,” Schloer said. Sophomore Beau Finley said he is entertained by the prospect of the bet. “It’s really funny (to watch) because they also play ultimate frisbee in the snow (during lunch),” Finley said. According to Shope, rules have been put in to place to expedite the process.

“We can vote to make it illegal to wear certain things. We could say ‘all in favor of not wearing mittens’ and if a majority of the people agree, then you can’t wear mittens,” Shope said. Even with the safeguards, Shope said he We can vote to make completely believes in his it illegal to wear odds. certain things. We “I think my chances could say ‘all in favor are 100 percent. I have of not wearing mitcomplete confidence,” tens’ and if a majority Shope said. “My stratof the people agree, egy is just having a really then you can’t wear high pain tolerance and mittens bringing as many layers as Danny Shope, sophomore possible.”

Photo Jane Pupeza

Brrrr: Sophomore Luke Walsh throws a Frisbee to sophomores Blake Knudson and Joe McGurgan during second lunch. The sophomores have been eating lunch outside since the beginning of the school year. The four have placed a $4 bet on who will eat lunch outside for the longest time, even if it lasts past this year, according to Danny Shope.



Junior commits to prestigious school Sam Hunt to play baseball at IMG Academy second semester Photo Emily Ziessman

Debate away: Debate coach Samantha Leo critiques junior Liz Hodges Oct. 30. The JV debate team attended State Dec. 6.

Debate puts in extra work Sam Hunt, junior What exactly is IMG Academy? It’s a sports academy in Bradenton, Florida for top athletes. It’s basically just a normal high school. We live on campus, there are dorms and (they provide) some of the best training facilities in the country. How did you get into the academy? I did have to apply to the academy, but a scholarship was figured out. How long will you be there for? I know for sure I’m going to be there for a semester, (but) I’m not sure after that. What is the balance between sports and academics like at the academy? It’s basically half and half. So half the day is going to class like a normal kid, taking AP courses, and then the other half is going to be practice and games.

Photo used with permission from Sam Hunt

Batter up: Junior Sam Hunt plays in an examination game, part of the 17 USA National Team program. Hunt has committed to Vanderbilt University and will play baseball at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida starting in 2020.

What are you looking forward to at the school? I’m looking forward to the overall team. They have a great program and (it’s) a new beginning. Does the academy just focus on baseball, or other sports too? There are eight other sports. What comes next after the academy? I’m still trying to figure that out. It definitely (will prepare) me to go to college a lot more, and overall (will) better prepare me for what comes next year. Gabe Kaplan


unior Kaylee Quick was proud of how her teammates performed after the JV debate team went to State Dec 6. “My team overall did very well, especially the novices,” Quick said. “I didn’t do my best because state is a really traditional tournament.”

Teacher collects funds to support wildfire victims


cience teacher Jessica Gust said after seeing the damage caused by the wildfires in Australia, she set up a fundraiser to help those affected. “I was really saddened by all the stuff I was seeing in the news. It seemed like something we could help out with even in the smallest way,” Gust said.


For more content go to



Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020

“My sport [cross country] does get a good amount of funding, but I feel like we should get more. We need more money for new equipment because all of ours are wearing down from years past.” Henry Nelson, sophomore

Cutting through the

comp ain

is the sports

Fall sports’ spendings go over expected amount Kaia Myers & Grace Schultz

How the sports budgets are decided


ith only five lanes in the swimming pool, insufficient starting blocks and no diving equipment, swim coach Amanda Forsberg said the swimmers are unable to train properly for meets. At away meets, Park swimmers automatically lose points that their opponents can receive in diving because Park’s pool lacks the facilities to train for diving. Some swimmers feel as though their funding is insufficient. “We don’t have diving so when we go to an away meet, we’re 13 points in a hole which is really hard to overcome,” Forsberg said. “It affects our training big time. We’ve got way too many guys in a lane and people aren’t exactly where they should be.” The athletic department is often accused by athletes of unequitable spending between sports. Football is commonly targeted for receiving a large share of the budget, however, this past fall they spent $19,628.47 of the $21,900 football budget. Freshman Henry Bendickson said the high budget for football is due to the amount of equipment they need in order to play, though other sports have many necessities as well. “I do feel like football has more necessities than other sports with pads and stuff because they need to provide safe pads, with that being said though, hockey also needs that kind of attention,” Bendickson said. Athletic director Andy Ewald said he starts creating the sports budget by addressing the yearly needs of each sport program, and meets with coaches to discuss what they need compared to what they want. “I first have to take into account things that are set. For example,

Budgeted amount Amount spent



$20,000 $17,500

transportati every coupl basis,” Ewa Girls’ so vides the tea “There h couldn’t get it’s been pre Kent said. “ some balls e and play ga The athl district gene with money “(The mone participatio at goes back


Fall spor a total of $6 specifically enough fina Accordin toward putt quality for s The athl HVAC syste while $5,09 Although and an imp there are sti “I know our facilitie to meets, w Synchro transportati


$15,000 $12,500 $10,000


Budgeted amount


Amount spent

$7,500 $646.58

$5,000 $2,500 $0

$1,265.91 $22,500

$2,271.50 $897.22





Boys’ soccer

Girls’ soccer

Girls’ swimming

Girls’ tennis$17,500 Girls’ cross country

Visualizing the fall sports budget$15,000 $12,500

Boys’ cross country $381.10

Down to the numbers

The graph shows the budgeted amoun and the actual amount spent. Sports o indicated by red text and sports under indicated by green. The total fall budge However $65,638.04 was spent. Fall s $1,988.04 over budget.

Infographic Maggie K Source Andrew E

I’m in gymnastics and our needs have definitely not been met because we aren’t given the materials or equipment we need to be safe in the gym.


Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Josie Briant, junior


s budget fair?

ion, event workers and officials. We do a uniform rotation le years. From there, I (consider other factors) on a need ald said. occer coach Benjy Kent said the athletic department proam with the majority of what it asks for each year. have been times where I’ve asked for things that we t — like goals or some bigger items — but for the most part etty reasonable because soccer expenses are fairly low,” “The school pays for some uniforms every three years and each year so we always have a decent set of balls to train ames with.” letic department receives its money from the St. Louis Park eral fund, according to Ewald, which supplies the district y for a variety of endeavors. ey) comes from the general fund,” Ewald said. All our on fees and (gate fees) from sports that we collect admission k into the general fund.”

es perceive shortages in funding

rts in 2019 had an overall budget of $63,650, but spent 65,638.04. Despite being over budget, various sports, those who use the pool, felt as though they weren’t getting ancial support. ng to Ewald, the athletic department recently put funds ting an HVAC system in the pool to attempt to improve air swimmers. The system was close to $750,000. letic department went over budget — not including the em — for girls’ swimming in the fall. $4,450 was budgeted 96.58 was spent. h the swimming pool has recently received new lane lines proved air system, junior Lily Metzler said she feels that ill more improvements that need to be made. w there’s other sports they have to focus on, but I think if es were better quality there would be more people coming which would bring in more money for the school.” swimmer and junior Maya Lee said she felt her sport’s ion and practice facility needs weren’t met.

nt for fall sports over budget are budget are et was $63,650. sports were

Klaers & Grace Schultz Ewald & Grace Schultz


In light of complaints from athletes about their programs not receiving enough funding, the question comes down to whether there is enough money given to the athletic department, or if the budget is unevenly distributed.

“We didn’t get a bus when we practiced at the middle school for synchro, so we had to drive ourselves,” Lee said. “The pool also hasn’t been renovated in years.” Forsberg has expressed her concerns for swimmers and the pool. At meets, swimmers are at an immediate disadvantage due to outdated equipment and small pool. “Most blocks these days have a different starting spot that we don’t have and we can’t practice with it,” Foresberg said. “So we’re at a disadvantage on the start and on relay starts.” Although Ewald said he is commonly blamed for athletic problems, such as the outdated pool, not everything is in his control. “I wish (we could have) a six-lane pool,” Ewald said. “With swimming, when the coaches said we need to get new lane lines, we got new lane lines. We found a way to get a whole new touchpad system because ours was not working.”

Communication needed for efficient funding Using what he hears from athletes and coaches involved in each program, Ewald allots money to each sport. “To me, in terms of equipment and spending money on equipment or supplies, it’s me getting communication and relying on the coaches. If students and participants aren’t feeling like that’s happening, I want to hear that from them,” Ewald said. Kent said the athletic department keeps the prices of its sports programs lower than surrounding districts, which allows other districts to build more facilities. “St. Louis Park has done an outstanding job at providing high quality programs and facilities and equipment while keeping prices very reasonable,” Kent said. “When you look at other districts, high school sports are considerably more expensive.” According to Ewald, he hopes athletes are open to communicating to him any issues with their sport’s funding they feel needs to be solved. “I would encourage anybody that feel like (their needs) aren’t being met, I would like to know what those are so we can address them and take care of them,” Ewald said.

Featured Raegan Alexander, Jovan Dennisan, McCabe Dvorak, Alanna Franklin, Elie Grassley, David Klein, Hattie Kuglar, Sadie Lund, Abby Meyers, Rakesh Plantz, Deantez Ross, Jackson Thoe


SPORTS Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Club sport sparks involvement

(Zheng placing at Nationals) shows that although other schools have more money, we are still cool like them and there are people at our school that can accomplish big things. Azlyn Thompson, freshman

Hayden Zheng places second at Junior Nationals

Ruthie Posada ruthieposada@


s a sophomore, I knew I needed to be more involved in school activities, frequently finding myself bored. I wanted to join a sport, but I didn’t know if I could handle the serious competition. After attending Herzl Camp for the past six summers, the camp’s most treasured sport, ultimate Frisbee suddenly seemed like a good fit. I had a lot of friends both from camp and Park who played ultimate, so I knew I would have people to support me. This heavily factored into my decision to join ultimate. There were no tryouts and my teammates made sure I felt optimistic about my progress while learning how to play. Although it was difficult to learn all the different plays and What’s the positions, I eventually POINT? got the hang of it. Ultimate is a sport that is commonly overlooked because it’s relatively new to the athletic world. At Park, it’s considered a club sport, meaning we are required to fundraise for ourselves and aren’t represented with Park’s mascot, the Oriole. The girls’ team is called “Crush” and the boys’ team is called “Orange Crush.” Because of a lack of funding we hold many fundraisers. This has a large impact on where we are able to rent out practice space. It’s surprising that ultimate isn’t widely known at Park, considering the team has existed since 2014. A lot of sports and clubs aren’t represented in the same way as others because they are not considered as popular. It’s important for students to not only show pride for other students’ initiatives, but also try to branch out and seize new opportunities. By taking initiative and expanding your horizons to experience and learn more about sports and clubs that are generally disregarded, it provides you with greater knowledge of the world around us.

Expand your horizons

Photo Ava Ashby

Make a splash: Junior Hayden Zheng wins the 500-yard freestyle against Benilde-St. Margaret’s Dec. 19. Zheng will compete for the high school team for the rest of the winter season after attending the Junior Nationals meet outside Seattle, Washington.

Junior swimmer reflects on support from friends, experience at high-level meet Tobias Khabie


ccording to junior Hayden Zheng, he placed second in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Juniors Nationals meet Dec. 14 in Washington. Zheng said he was sure he would succeed in the meet because of his hard work in the weeks prior. “It was the best training I’ve had,” Zheng said. “I was confident going into the meet, with all the work I put in the

weight room and in the pool.” Senior and swim captain Zachary Weiser said he also was not surprised by Zhengs success considering the hours of work he practiced for the competition. “I knew that he was fast coming in,” Weiser said. “I’ve seen his work ethic and how, even though he’s swimming every day, his work ethic really never falters.” Zheng said his teammates were a crucial part of his success at the meet, as they inspired him to remain persistant before the meet. “My boys on the high school team, they’re watching. They’re texting me throughout the weekend,” Zheng said. “They push me every day. I’ve surrounded myself with a good support group.” Weiser said they support Zheng when

he has big meets like Junior-Nationals. “We’re always fans of watching Hayden swim at our meets,” Weiser said. “It’s fun watching him compete with some of the best (swimmers) in the nation while we were (The team) all together as a team pushes me supporting him.” every day. I’ve Zheng will now return to the Park swim surrounded myteam and train for the self with a good Olympic qualifiers support group. this June. He said he will begin to work Hayden Zheng, junior with his team to make it to State. “I’m focused on high school. I’m with the team now,” Zheng said. “We’re looking to place high and (go to) State.”

Girls’ basketball loses to Cooper for 14th year in a row Team falls short by seven points Sofia Seewald


fter girls’ basketball lost to Robbinsdale Cooper, junior and captain Kendall Coley said the team’s lack of focus in the first half led to the loss. “The first half we got down by a little,” Coley said. “It was because we didn’t turn on that motor that we needed until the second half. (We) realized we needed to pick up the intensity (and) start pushing sooner.” According to senior and captain Jordyn Turek, a few mistakes the game contributed to the loss, though she was pleased with the team’s energy later in the game. “It was frustrating because if we would’ve cleaned up a little throughout the whole game and had less turnovers we could have won, but I was glad to see we changed our energy toward the end of the game,” Turek said. “It definitely hurt that we weren’t able to pull out a win.” Coach Chris Nordstrom said there was

Photo Molly Schochet

Baller status: Junior Kendall Coley works with junior Raegan Alexander to block Robbinsdale Cooper defender junior Meme Wheeler Jan. 3. Park lost to Robbinsdale Cooper 62-69. At one point during the second half, the team was down by two points. pressure to win the game, as Park’s last win against Cooper was in 2006. The team’s current record is 2-10. “It (was) the first game of the conference. We haven’t beat Cooper in years, so we felt like we had an opportunity to do that tonight and we let it slip,” Nordstrom said. While the first half did not go as planned, Turek said the team improved in the second. “Once we started pressing, we were tired, but we dug a lot deeper and realized that it is a close game. We need to give it our all,” Turek said. According to Nordstrom, the score was close at the end of the game, but the team

was unable It definitely hurt to recover that we weren’t from the first half able to pull out deficit. a win. “We were down Jordyn Turek, senior about 17 (points) and we cut it to two or four points. We battled our way back,” Nordstrom said. “There were some good things we did, it was just a little too late.” The girls’ team’s next game is against Chanhassen 7 p.m. Jan. 10 at Chanhassen High School.

Outdoor games are cold, but it’s still fun. I’ve been hanging out with my friends and enjoying the game. Skylor Glover, senior

SPORTS Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Outdoor game ends in overtime loss


Who Shayla Miller Grade Senior

Park falls to Eastview, 3-4

Sport Basketball

Maggie Klaers & Ruthie Posada


hen boys’ hockey took on Eastview Jan. 2 at the Recreation Outdoor Center, coach Andrew Sackrison said the matchup allowed for a tight game. “It was overall a good hockey game. Great chances for both sides and great efforts on both sides,” Sackrison said. According to Sackrison, both goalies and the equal talent of the teams kept the game close. “Both goalies played really well, (coming) up with huge saves and keeping their teams in it,” Sackrison said. “We’re pretty evenly matched teams, so I didn’t expect it would be a blowout.” Senior and captain William Pinney said outdoor games can be hard, but the team was able to pull through. “It was difficult playing outside — the


Photo Emily Ziessman Photo Emily Ziessman

Check this: Junior McCabe Dvorak checks Eastview senior Ben Malloy against the boards Jan. 3. Park lost 3-4 in overtime against Eastview. ice is different. Eastview is a good team, we handled it well,” Pinney said. According to junior McCabe Dvorak, despite the high quality of the rink, playing outside can be visually problematic at night. “It’s a great facility. The only thing is (when) the puck’s in the air and you can’t see it really well. When it’s up, it blends in with the dark at night,” Dvorak said. Pinney said it’s key for the team to focus on themselves, rather than their opponents. “We can’t play down to teams’ levels. We (have to) stay at our level (and) play consistent for the full 51 minutes,” Pinney said. Boys’ hockey will face Holy Angels Jan. 9 at the Richfield Ice Arena.

Upcoming games • • • •

Jan. 9 vs. Holy Angels at the Richfield Ice Arena Jan. 14 vs. Hopkins at the Rec Center Jan. 18 vs. Chanhassen at the Victoria Recreational Center Jan. 23 vs. Bloomington Kennedy at Bloomington Ice Garden Infographic Grace Schultz Source Star Tribune

Nordic skis in Loppet Invite Relay race increases levels of energy, competition Sofie Geretz


Photo Carissa Prestholdt

Look up: Sophomore Tait Myers races downhill in a classic ski race Jan. 4 at the Loppet High School Invite at Theodore Wirth Park. Myers and his relay partner senior Rakesh Plantz placed ninth in the boys’ classic relay competition and the boys’ team placed eighth overall.

fter cheering on her teammates, senior and captain Maggie Klein said the race was different than usual because the team competed in relays. “This meet is unique because there were relays, (which) we’ve never done before,” Klein said. “Normally, we stick with one style for an entire meet, so there is a lot (happening) in the race.” According to coach Patrick Hartman, the meet began with a team sprint followed by an individual 5 kilometer ski loop, with two girls’ and boys’ teams for relays, three classic skiers and three skate skiers. Hartman said the relays added another level of strategy. “This has a different dynamic because we have the skating classic and then we have a relay piece to it, so you have to be a little more strategic about which skiers you place where,” Hartman said. Klein said the relays helped the team with niche skills. “(The relays) helped us prepare for harder parts of the race,” Klein said. “It was probably a unique opportunity for them to train in sprinting.”

According to senior and captain Rakesh Plantz, the team was more competitive even against strong teams. “There’s so many more teams in the race. It is a whole new level because we (were) competing against the best teams in the metro area,” Plantz said. “It was so different and so much more competitive, which gave us so much more to push for.” Sophomore Tait Myers said the extra spectators at the meet helped the team perform better. “A lot of people (were) watching, which is not usually how Nordic meets are, but the environment (was) much better,” Myers said. Hartman said the team did a good job acting as a community throughout the meet. “The energy on the team is really great. (They are a) really great group of kids, tons of fun to work with. They’re all super supportive of each other,” Hartman said. According to Klein, the extra fans that showed up increased optimism at the meet. “Since the meet was on the weekend, there’s a lot of people who were able to come,” Klein said. “The energy (was) really good, all the parents (were) out in the neon orange scarves and a lot of the team decided to come.” The next meet will take place 3:45 p.m. Jan. 7 at Theodore Wirth Park.

How long have you been playing basketball? I’ve been playing since I was in third grade and I started (playing) on the varsity team as an eighth grader. What position do you play? It’s kind of evolved actually. When I was younger I started as a center. Now I’m more of a guard, sometimes a point guard. What’s your favorite part about basketball? I really like the challenge and keeping yourself on your toes. You’re never satisfied with where you’re at, you always have something you can be better at. How did it feel to score your 1,000th point? It felt really good. Coming into this year I knew I was close, but you never really know what to expect with the season, so I didn’t really want to talk about it or get my hopes up. I was 17 points away (in) the game that I got (1,000 points in), so I really wasn’t expecting it because (scoring) 17 is a lot. Then I got it and I felt really good. What does scoring 1,000 points mean to you? I think it’s recognition for my hard work. I’ve been playing for a long time, and it’s one of those things that you hope to accomplish as a basketball player. Getting to that point is just really fulfilling for me. Who has made a big impact in your basketball career? All my coaches, specifically my summer coach Dre (Jefferson). He coached me in the summer. He was a really big impact in pushing me to the next level. I was just average in about seventh, eighth grade, and he really trained me hard and pushed me hard to get to the more elite level. Do you have any advice to new basketball players? I would say, don’t get too overwhelmed. You are young when you start (playing basketball) and you don’t want to push yourself too hard and get burnt out. You just want to have fun with it and let it take you where it leads you.

Ryan Barnett

Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Editors-in-chief: Marta Hill* & Isabel Kjaer* Managing editors: Gabriel Kaplan*, Kaia Myers*, Noah Orloff, Carissa Prestholdt & Sofia Seewald Photo editor: Emily Ziessman & Abby Prestholdt Assistant photo editor: Anna Benishek Design editors: Maggie Klaers, Sophie Livingston Copy editors: Emma Leff, Ruth Posada & Sofie Geretz Assistant copy editors: Ryan Barnett & Tobias Khabie* News editor: Talia Lissauer Features editor: Tamar Gewirtz In-Depth editor: Maddie Schutte Sports editor: Sadie Yarosh Opinions editors: Maria Perez-Barriga* Entertainment editor: Ben Sanford Video/Broadcast editor: Isabella Kanne Special Projects editor: Sam Klepfer Business Manager: Adin Zweigbaum Staff: Ava Ashby, Mushtaq Barquab, Neb Bekele, Humna Belete*, Svea Bleske, Henry Brettingen, Colin Canaday, Jayde Claussen, Tennam Gyaldatsang, Tenzin Gyaldatsang,* Megan Hoenie, Harris Keekley, Isra Mohamed, Emelia Pearson, Ayelet Prottas, Riyan Said, Kate Schneider, Molly Schochet, Grace Schultz,* Lily Simonett, Lillian Strathman, Samuel Swisher,* Zuhayb Yassin, Rodolfo Zarate Principal: Scott Meyers Printer: North Star Media Adviser: Lori Keekley *Denotes editorial board member

Nanati Omer, freshman


Online sale of parking passes inaccessible


s finals and the beginning of second semester near, Park’s administration announced parking passes for the rest of the year will be sold online. Although this system will likely be more efficient than the one used in the past — where students came in early to buy passes at the beginning of each semester — the Echo Editorial Board believes changes must be made in order to prioritize accessibility of passes to all students. According to the student office, the sale will begin 8 a.m. Jan. 24, with passes being sold for $50 each. Students will have to make their purchase online, and then bring their receipt and driver’s license to the student office the following school day to collect their pass. By moving the sales online, the student office will likely bypass the large, early morning lines that have been typical in the past, however, there will be no school Jan. 24 as it is the day after semester finals, creating an issue for students without stable internet access. The passes sell quickly, according to the student office, but without access to

Photo illustration Abby Prestholdt

Permitting issues: Students buying parking permits online may cause barriers. Second semester parking permits will be sold online for the first time Jan. 24. the school’s computer labs, some students may be left without a computer or internet to purchase their pass. We ask that the administration delay the sale of passes to the following Monday, Jan. 27, so any student may purchase their pass in the building with access to a good computer, working printer and stable internet. By hosting the sale online, the student office is essentially requiring that students pay with a credit or debit card. According to the student office, if this truly is a barrier for some students, they can come and discuss their situation with the student office. We applaud this effort to be inclusive, however, students should not have to seek special treatment or go out of their way to pay with cash or in person.

Instead, these two options should be standardized alongside the online sales in order to make the passes more accessible for all students. Although not unique to this semester, the high price of the passes will also act as a barrier for many students. A scholarship fund should be created in order to supplement the cost for students who cannot afford it. We support the new system overall, however, changes must be made to eliminate barriers that threaten access to the passes, such as the need for stable internet, enough money to afford it and the ability to pay online with a card. Students should give feedback to the administration about how this new system is implemented as well as their thoughts.


The Echo is the official studentproduced newspaper of St. Louis Park High School. It is published triweekly for the school’s students, staff and community. The Echo is a designated forum for student expression in which students make all decisions of content without prior review from school officials. The adviser will not act as a censor, but will advise students. Students have the final decision on all content. The Echo will work to avoid bias and/ or favoritism. We will strive to make our coverage and content meaningful and interesting to all our readers. We will make every effort to avoid printing libel, obscenities, innuendo and material that threatens to disrupt the learning process or is an invasion of privacy. We will avoid electronic manipulation that alters the truth of a photograph unless clearly labeled as a photo illustration. Staff editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board arrived at by discussion and will not be bylined. Bylined articles are the opinion of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo staff or administration as a whole. The Echo welcomes reader input. Letters to the editor and suggestions must be signed and should be no longer than 250 words and may be emailed to slpecho@ or submitted in room C275. Emailed letters must be verified prior to publication. We will not necessarily publish all letters received and reserve the right to ask the writer to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous letters will not be printed. Advertisements will be sought from local businesses and school clubs and sports. We maintain the right to reject any ads we believe to be false, misleading, inappropriate or harmful. The Echo does not necessarily endorse the products or services offered in these advertisements. NSPA Hall of Fame member; 2011, 2016, 2017, 2019 NSPA Print Pacemaker Finalist; 2013, 2014, 2015. 2018 National Print Pacemaker Award Recipient; 2014, 2015, 2017 National Online Pacemaker Finalist; 2018, 2019 National Online Pacemaker Award Recipient; 2017 CSPA Hybrid Crown Finalist; 2013 CSPA Gold Crown; 2015 CSPA Hybrid Gold Crown; 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 CSPA Silver Crown; JEM All-State.

Public’s news choice misplaced Lack of attention on current events Talia Lissauer


n today’s digital age, it’s not hard to access any sort of news through the internet or social media. However, the type of news people are turning to is questionable. People tend to go straight to celebrity news instead of current events. Politics are a complicated and nasty subject for many people. However, it is important people educate themselves on what is going on in the world. Just because a story is complicated does not mean it’s a legitimate reason to not read the news. Many credible resources exist that simplify information. It may take some extra time, but when someone isn’t educated on current events, they become oblivious to major worldwide, or even local, issues. It is very common to read a click bait story on something crazy a celebrity has done in the past week instead of the story about a school shooting. News exists to inform readers. It is meant to educate people and break down complicated issues. Credible news sources give edited, factual, unbiased versions of events. It informs people about rights like voting, protesting or educating a reader on the actions of a political figure their state or country elected. This is increasingly relevant as both the 2020 election process escalates and international tensions rise. It’s crucial during this time to make sure we have credible sources and we are questioning the validity of our sources.

Up to “bus drivers”: At least you celebrate my birthday.

Photo illustration Grace Schultz

Test your knowledge on current events This quiz tests your knowledge on current and pop culture events to see what you keep up on.

1. Where is there a massive wildfire happening at the moment? a) New York b) South Africa c) Australia d) England

3. Which actress won the musical or comedy motion picture award at the Golden Globes? a) Emma Thompson b) Beanie Feldstein c) Cate Blanchett d) Awkwafina

2. What movie did Taylor Swift recently star in? a) “Cats” b) “1917” c) “Toy Story 4” d) “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

4. What recent event happened in Iraq because of the U.S. government? a) A charity gala b) Iran’s head general was killed in an airstrike c) Iran had a party d) Iran celebrated a holiday Answers: 1. c 2. a 3. d 4. b





Celebrity (news is) more fun, there is drama and people talk about it. People have to take time to research (important news).

Infographic Maggie Klaers & Maria Perez-Barriga Sources USA Today, Golden Globe & Fox News

Down to “Cats”: So much for a purr-fect ending.

Up to “straws by request”: Am I a VSCO girl? sksksk.

Art Maggie Klaers

J.C., M.S., M.S.

(Selling hijabs) is good and I hope that other hospitals learn from it and make everyone feel comfortable in the environment they are in. Kate Gage, junior


Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Methodist Hospital lessens inconvenience for Muslim women Hospital sells hijabs in gift shop for Muslim staff, patients Tobias Khabie


ethodist Hospital in St. Louis Park recently became the first hospital in the country to sell hijabs, a scarf that covers the hair of religious Muslim women. By doing this, the hospital will help patients and staff alike. Due to St. Louis Park’s significant Muslim population, there is a need in hospitals for religious Muslim dress. According to, before the hospital sold hijabs, many patients and medical staff would just put blankets over their heads. This should not be the case for these women, as this dilemma is easily fixable. Selling hijabs does not only benefit the Muslim community, it will also benefit the staff and patients in the hospital. The funds received from the sales of the hijabs will go

Photo Anna Benishek

Hjiab wrap up: Methodist Hospital Gift Shop is selling hijabs made in Minnesota. Methodist is the first hospital system to sell hijabs in the country, which the proceeds will go to educating medical personnel, according to toward educating medical personnel to further gain insight into the health of patients. The hijabs are definitely a great addition to the hospital gift shop, but it could raise some controversy. For instance, while it is an excellent idea for Methodist Hospital to sell hijabs, they don’t sell any other religious dress, even though there are many doctors and patients of other religions at the hospital. If Methodist Hospital wants to avoid any sort of trouble, they should try to be as inclusive as they can in

terms of providing more religious garments. This is important because hospitals are a place where some people get in touch with their religion. Methodist Hospital has the ability to go above the standard of other hospitals to assist people in practicing their religion more conveniently. Methodist Hospital is setting a wonderful example for other hospitals by accommodating the religious needs of patients and staff. Hopefully other hospitals will follow suit and take a step further to service other religions as well.


Impeachment of President Trump impacts national, local politics The House of Representatives impeached President Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of justice Dec. 18, the trial may go to the Senate, according to NBC News. Country can find common political ground Impeachment should lack partisan Maddie Schutte


ith Trump’s official impeachment on two articles in the House of Representatives Dec. 18, St. Louis Park should be able to fix its divided community. Since the 2016 presidential election, St. Louis Park has been divided into two sides — the left and the right. We have lost all ability to understand each other’s point of view. The impeachment proceedings should give St. Louis Park citizens an opportunity to unite. We all should be in agreement that the most high ranking elected official is not above the law. Whether the president is a member of your political party or not, he shouldn’t be abusing his power. We need to hold our elected officials accountable in order to maintain a functioning democracy. Park is a predominately liberal school. We should take this op-


Do you think students at Park care about the impeachment?

Local, national politics can change Tobias Khabie

“Since our school is so diverse, I think people do care. I’m really glad about it because he wasn’t a good president, but it seems late since his term is almost over.” Munna Ahmed, sophomore

“Some people care more than others because their family is tied to the president, but (overall) people don’t care.” Erastus Makana, junior


ith the House of Representatives voting to impeach President Trump Dec. 18, bipartisanship is starting to become a thing of the past. The harsh reality is republicans and democrats will soon become too polarized to collaborate any time in the near future. Impeaching Trump has already caused grave consequences. The impeachment process will not get Trump out of office, but it will give him the momentum that could win him the election in 2020. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said there is no chance Trump will be removed from office, according to NBC News. Impeaching Trump could also haunt democrats in the future. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, implied that if a democrat wins the presidency and republicans win back

control of the House, the republicans could impeach said president with ease, according to The New York Times. This could have major repercussions. However, the most concerning consequence of the impeachment process is at the local level. As of now, republicans and democrats miraculously coexist. However, as the parties become more radical, so will the party members. With party leaders feeding biased information to their parties, the consequences at the local level are unimaginable. As of now, Park is liberal, but still has a strong republican population. If the radicalization of politics spreads to a local level, Park might experience high tensions between students. Trump’s impeachment has already had severe consequences on all fronts, and could lead to a country where there is no bipartisanship. Due to Trump’s impeachment, the country will forever be changed in ways that would make our Founding Fathers disappointed.

Carissa Prestholdt

2010 I haveI have my Now DVDDVDs for for my movie night night! movie

portunity to try to fix the divide we experience daily in an equally liberal state. St. Louis Park citizens should also take this as a lesson to learn from. While running for president, Trump was impulsive and made it nearly impossible to have a productive debate. It felt as though every week he made a new bigotted comment or had another scandal exposed. It should be no surprise that he would abuse his power in order to investigate one of his front-runner opponents, Joe Biden, as well as intimidate witnesses. The campaigning process is the perfect time to pick up on harmful character flaws that come out in the heat of the moment. Trump’s flaws have now become a reality. Staying informed during the election process is pivotal in order to eliminate candidates who are running for the wrong reasons. The impeachment serves as a perfect way to unite the country and keep people, especially our youth at Park, involved in politics and voting.

Impeaching Trump would shatter bipartisanship


2020 Where did all the DVDs go?


Echo Wednesday, January 8, 2020

It was an absolutely horrifying experience. The CGI is disgusting. It cuts off at their wrists so all of them just have human hands on their weird anthropomorphic cat bodies. Michael Broad, junior


‘Cats’ got my tongue Movie adaptation belongs in litter box Maggie Klaers


he opening number of “Cats” left me searching for the exit. I was thrown into a plotless show with a sudden dance number and without explanation. From the very beginning, the bizarrely designed costumes confused me, as they were a poorly made mesh of human and feline features. Even long after finishing the movie, I still have nightmares of the overly sexualized cats. These cats would literally strip on screen, on one occasion shedding a layer of skin with a zipper, revealing a dress with yet another layer of fur. I came in excited to hear the powerful vocals of a headlining cast members, such as Jason Derulo and Jennifer Hudson, but was disappointed by how their solos were few and far between. Visually speaking, I was baffled. The discrepancy in the cats’ sizes disturbed me. Although the set designers made an effort to proportion the cast to

METRO AT A GLANCE Ben Sanford Fair use from Interscope Records, Disney, A24, Warner Bros. Studios

be the size of actual cats, they were unsuccessful. Some cats were shown smaller than the height of a railway track, while others were big enough to fill a reclining chair. It simply didn’t add up. The only redeeming qualities of the film were Rebel Wilson’s performance and her cast members’ solo vocals. Sadly, Wilson’s appearances were minimal and the stunningly strong vocals were overshadowed by a shocking absence of plot. It’s no surprise this film is expected to lose around $100 million, according to Variety. It isn’t just the film that has issues, it’s the original stage production that is flawed. Despite the vocal talent of the actors, the songs they sing do nothing to further the plot, scarce as that is. Typically, the final number in a show is indicative of the moral of the story, wrapping up the plot. However, “The Ad-Dressing of the Cats” is symbolic of “Cats’” meaninglessness. The message of the song is just as you would expect from the show: pointless. It’s problematic for a film to lack a true conflict or climax. If there’s a deeper meaning in the film, it was buried by incoherent songs and disturbing costumes. The film lacked clarity and purpose — after sitting through the longest two hours of my life, I am unsure if I watched someone else’s fever dream or a cat lady’s love letter to her herd of kittens.

Purrrfect: According to Vogue, Victoria Hayward, a Royal Ballet principal dancer, made her debut acting performance in “Cats.” She played Victoria, the abandoned cat that the Jellicile cats befriend. She was joined by celebrity cast members, such as Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and James Corden.

Jan. 10

Jan. 10

Jan. 14

Feb. 7

Selena Gomez’s third album “Rare” is set to be released Jan. 10, with songs such as “Dance Again,” “Look At Her Now” and single “Lose You To Love Me.”

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is a mockumentary style TV show focusing on high schoolers staging a production of “High School Musical.”

The Walker Art Center hosts a film award ceremony Jan. 14. The Walker encourages conversation of artistic and notable films made within the last year.

“Birds of Prey” stars Harley Quinn after her break up with infamous villain, he Joker. Harley Quinn teams up with other anti-heroes to fight crime lord, Black Mask.

Fair use from Universal Pictures

Profile for SLP Echo

Echo Issue 5, Jan. 8  

Echo Issue 5, Jan. 8  

Profile for slpecho