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ndy Haroldson, who is purchasing a headband, supports the student run business, Urbandz. Those involved with the business and innovations class, contributed to selling headbands this semester. Students in the class are in charge of all aspects of the business. This includes finding the money needed to purchase the products and a company to sponsor the business. One headband costs $4, but buying three only costs $10.

ith winter in full swing boys’ varsity hockey hits a steady stride almost halfway through its season with new head coach Terry Keseley leading the team to an improved overall season. Varsity currently has a 6-71 record, and its next game will be at Irondale Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

or freshman Talia Simonett, coming from club gymnastics to the high school program has been one of better decisions she has made. “I think it was good coming from an experienced gym to high school because I had more experience and it was easier to (transition) into the high school,” Simonett said. Because of the stricter rules, Simonett said club gymnastics has helped her push herself and gain motivation to improve. Senior captain Kylie Eldridge said this motivation from club gymnasts has helped the overall team.

lue replaced the traditional orange and black at the girls’ basketball game Jan. 10. Players tied their shoes with light blue laces and the student section wore blue to honor the anniversary of the passing of Carly Christenson. The game included a moment of silence for Christenson, a Park freshman who passed away Jan. 8, 2013 from influenza complications. In remembrance of Christenson, students could donate to Carly’s Dream. Those who donated received a blue bracelet. During the game, the Carly’s Dream fundraising booth raised $1,517 according to girls’ basketball coach Tim Sension. Janet Maertens, close friend of the Christenson family, helped at the booth. Maertens said the attendance from Park shows the impact one person can have. “(The support) shows to other children in the community that even a 14-year-old’s life makes a difference, so these little kids can see that they are important,” Maertens said. The Carly Christenson University of North Dakota College of Nursing Endowment, or Carly’s Dream, reached its goal of $25,000 as of Jan. 13. This endowment was created by Mary Corbett and Marci Glessner, college friends of Christenson’s parents, with UND because it was Christenson’s goal to attend UND’s college of nursing. Superintendent Rob Metz said Carly’s Dream allows people to more easily support the Christenson family and her memory

through donations to Carly’s Dream. “People want to help and this gives everyone an opportunity to do something,” Metz said. Christenson’s close friend sophomore Kaylee Chamberlain said a lot of the support to achieve the goal originated from Christenson’s influence within multiple communities. “I think that it is just amazing to see our community, as well as other communities that were affected by her, all come together to raise that much money,” Chamberlain said. “You never really realized how many people she touched and this is just reciprocating that again.” Christenson’s mother Sandy Christenson said she is amazed by the support Carly’s Dream received. “It’s kind of overwhelming, and you just can’t believe how generous everyone’s been,” Sandy Christenson said. Corbett said she and Glessner began Carly’s Dream as an outlet for support and to continue to remember her. “When a tragedy happens people are there right away, but they don’t know what to do over time,” Corbett said, “We thought this was a really good way to keep Carly’s memory alive forever.” The endowment is still accepting donations, which will increase the scholarships awarded amount according to Corbett. This endowment is an annual scholarship that may be applied for by a nursing student with similar values to Christenson. Christenson’s close friend sophomore Olivia Sieff said the fundraiser made something tragic into a positive light. “Instead of look at how sad and hard it was, we look at the good that she would have accomplished,” Sieff said.

or the first time since teacher contracts expired last June, representatives from the Park Association of Teachers released a statement while about 70 teachers sat in the audience at the School Board meeting Jan. 13. Negotiators from the Park Association of Teachers (PAT) and the School District began meeting to discuss the new contracts last spring, but an agreement has not yet been reached, according to Mike Nordean, social studies teacher and lead negotiator for the PAT. New contracts are negotiated every two years to allow teacher pay and benefits to stay relevant to economic changes. Teachers are currently working under last year’s contract because a new agreement has not been reached, Nordean said. Nordean said the PAT would like to receive more than it has in the past because there are more resources available. “The reason the Board has money right now is because we have settled in the district’s favor, because we knew they didn’t have enough money,” Nordean said. “Now they do, so it’s time to pay us back.” Human resources director Kimberly Hergott said the district must maintain a balanced budget, and this consideration must be included when negotiating teacher contracts. “Frequently when they come to the table,

fter many years since Park’s last snow day, students finally received their wish as the district closed schools Jan. 6 and 7 because of extreme winter temperatures. Gov. Mark Dayton announced Jan. 3 all Minnesota public schools would be closed the following Monday, as the state experienced temperatures reaching -30 degrees and wind chills as low as -50 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. In addition to the mandated closing on Monday, Superintendent Rob Metz decided to extend the vacation by closing schools Jan. 7 as the cold weather trends continued. “It was decided by me and all superintendents after (discussing the) pros and cons. We decided together,” Metz said. M e t z said he decided students should remain at home based on

the frigid temperatures, exposure to the weather when waiting outside for buses and the possibility of late buses. Some students have questioned whether or not the days will need to be made up, particularly for seniors who have three fewer days than the rest of the grade levels. Despite this, Metz said at the moment extending the school day requirement will not be necessary. “The state requires that seniors attend 1,120 hours of school,” Metz said. “We have just gone back and checked and seen that our seniors do meet that requirement.” Many students enjoyed having the extra time off before transitioning back to school after two weeks of winter break. Sophomore Allison Cramer said she enjoyed the break and took advantage of the additional cancelled days. “It was definitely nice,” Cramer said. “It gave us more time to relax and more time to get work done.” Sophomore Arfat Jeilani said he agreed and found the added days off as a bonus to his break. “It was really cool. I enjoyed it, I had work to do that I hadn’t done; so I said ‘You know these extra two days I can do it,’”Jeilani said. In addition to students, some teachers were glad when school was cancelled. English teacher Rosalyn Korst said she believed it was a good decision to ensure the safety of students and staff. “I was very pleased on Friday when the governor came on early enough in the day to alert parents to the closing on Monday.

I think it’s really critical when it gets that cold,” Korst said. “School curriculum has to come second at that point to personal safety.” However, despite the benefits and positive reactions, these additional break days may have resulting consequences. With finals quickly approaching, teachers and students are now dealing with less time to complete their agendas for the rest of the semester. “When school closed the second day, once again I thought excellent move and then I started getting nervous, because we’re right in the middle of IOP’s (individual oral presentations) and we had a perfect schedule set up starting on the Monday of closure right through the final exam day.” Korst said. “It sent me into recovery mode, recovering time that we had lost.”

unions bring what they want to see change,” she said. “The district doesn’t want to change anything, so is not searching for concessions, which is a good thing. Anytime we’re not looking for concessions, there’s a balanced labor management.” PAT president Kevin Jones said the statement followed a previous meeting at which 40 or 50 teachers appeared wearing Park Staff shirts at the Dec. 9 Board meeting. Wearing new staff shirts, the teachers filed into the meeting before Jones and teacher Dick Plantz spoke about the PAT’s desire to see the contracts settled in the near future. “The statement will be asking the School Board to put forth more effort to reach a fair and reasonable contract between the PAT and St. Louis Park School District,” he said. “We realize both sides are working very hard to accomplish this.” Hergott said the district would like to provide for staff members, but needs to prevent risking the district’s financial stability. “We want to make sure we’re financially providing really strong salaries for our teachers and showing our appreciation of their work, but at the same time we have to be cognizant of fund balance. So it’s a delicate balance,” she said.

cy roads and unpredictable cold weather are a concern for schools across Minnesota. Recent cancellations of sports, activities and school days at Park are just some of the repercussions. Gov. Mark Dayton decided to cancel school Jan. 6 because of severe cold weather conditions. In a press release the Dayton said the main reason for this was to ensure children’s safety. Additionally, Superintendent Rob Metz cancelled school Tuesday Jan. 7 as well because he felt students would not still be safe outside, especially those students who waited for the bus. “If students waited for the bus too long it could have possibly led to frostbite,” Metz said. In regard to this cancellation of school, Metz said the district has not had a snow day in many years. He said the St. Louis Park district area was a lot safer compared to other metro districts in terms of road conditions. “Cold weather hasn’t been the problem for the past 10 to 15 years,” Metz said. “In the St. Louis Park area, the roads are not as tough to get through, which causes our school to rarely have any snow days. If school gets cancelled, it’s particularly due to the cold weather.” However, the school was not the only activity to be cancelled. The cold temperatures cause the Nordic team to cancel meets and their winter break trip. According to Nordic ski coach, Doug Peterson, the weather has been really hard for the skiers. “The team missed two meets and also had to cancel the

winter trip over the winter break due to harsh weather conditions,” Peterson said. “The trip, happening once a year, was meant to last for three days during Dec. 29-31 at the Giant’s Ridge Ski Resort.” Sophomore Conrad Phelan said he was upset with the decision to cancel the Nordic trip. “I am disappointed because that’s the high point of the ski season. It is a fun trip to bond with the team,” Phelan said. Peterson said the high school league is required to cancel if the temperature is -4 degrees. Besides these low temperatures, Metz said the road conditions also played into his decision. “As predicted the buses weren’t able to move through the snow, which meant drivers would also have a difficult time moving through snow,” Metz said. “Having Monday and Tuesday cancelled greatly reduced students and teachers from getting hurt through slippery roads, traffic and car mishaps.” According to Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety, hundreds of Minnesotans became stranded on the roadside where winter weather can kill unprepared drivers. The American Automobile Association recommends motorists use a simple checklist to determine their car’s fall and winter maintenance needs. Out of 284 students surveyed Jan. 10 many students believe that road conditions pose the greatest danger to students during the winter. According to the AAA emergency road kit guide, some of the winter car safety equipment include snow shovel, ice scraper, first aid kit, drinking water, non-perishable snacks, snow brush, mobile phone and flashlight with extra batteries. Junior Radiance Brown said she thinks drivers should keep winter safety equipment in the car in case of an unexpected accident. “Students who drive to school should have a spare tire, extra pair of gloves, and an ice scraper,” Brown said.

hile casting dragons, goblins, and spells may seem outlandish to the average teenager, they are a major part of my life. Through Magic: The Gathering, a 1992 trading card game with more than 12 million active players worldwide, I have learned to express myself and develop relationships with others. Although some may consider Magic childish, I take pride in it as a hobby I can enjoy with my friends. As a child, I didn’t spend a lot of time with my half-brother John, as he mostly lived with the other side of his family. Although our time together was limited, we grew close after countless hours of dueling. I clearly remember the day he gave me my first cards. I was drawn in by the mechanics and art and resolved to build my own collection. I aspired to emulate his professional status and maybe even one day play across the world. Magic brought me closer to my brother despite our age diferences, and I will always be thankful for that. My brother eventually moved to live in China, so I saw even less of him. However, I continued to play Magic and it helped me make friends. In my youth, I played with many people including my friends at church, best friends in middle school and even babysitters. In high school, people told me I was too old to play Magic. People gave me a hard time for being nerdy and weird, so I caved in and sold my collection of cards sophomore year. I immediately regretted that decision, however, because the little cash I received didn’t compare to the value of my happiest memories. I felt lost without my cards. This past summer I decided to start playing again with a good friend of mine from school. Even though buying new cards was expensive, it was completely worth it. Our friendship grew. We met students who also played and taught the game to our other friends that wanted to learn. We don’t play all the time, but often we’ll play Magic if we’re bored instead of watching a movie or playing video games. Even when I am alone, especially if I am stressed from school, I enjoy sifting and sorting through my cards like I did as a child. Looking at the art and reading the clever flavor texts helps me find solace and happiness no matter what mood I am in. I am still amazed that so many of my best memories and friendships originated from my experience with Magic: The Gathering, but I have come to realize that for me it is more than just a card game; it is who I am.

hen junior Ben McKone saw the cast list for the upcoming Winter One-Acts, he was surprised to see his name in a “director” role. For the first time in Park theater history, students will write and direct their own adaptation as part of an effort by adviser Jodi Hatzenbeller to include more student input. “It creates great opportunities for students,” Hatzenbeller said. “We have a lot of talented actors who also have a knack for directing and blocking.” The show consists of three separate performances of adapted short stories, one of which students adapted themselves. “We’ve never been the ones doing the adaptation before, so I’m excited to see how it turns out,” McKone said. The theater department contacted “All Summer in a Day” writer Ray Bradbury’s estate directly and received expressed permission from his lawyers, an exception considered rare in the theater department, according to Hatzenbeller. The cast held meetings to adapt Bradbury’s original script into presentable theater format, demonstrating the collaborative effort between students. “It’s a growing script that we continue

to adapt every rehearsal,” Hatzenbeller said. The Winter One Acts also consist of adaptations of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and directed by McKone. He said he thinks each play has its own character, but “The Yellow Wallpaper” proves especially challenging in conveying subtle nuances and messages in emotion. “Since ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is a more existential play with a lot of dialogue, my challenge is to convey the subtext to the audience and keep their attention where it needs to be, especially when there’s a lot going on onstage,” McKone said. While the One Acts represent a smaller production than the fall musical, the cast hopes the non-traditional approach will bring more attention.

McKone said beyond the array of stories, collaboration between student directors and Hatzenbeller proved beneficial in the various stages of production. “Whatever decision we make for the direction, we collaborate on it” McKone said. “We’re working together to figure out how everything will work.” Hatzenbeller said she agrees with McKone, commenting on the importance of dialogue between her and the student directors. “We literally sit side-by-side in matching chairs and bounce ideas off each other and really collaborate on almost every decision,” Hatzenbeller said. After hitting a record in attendance for the fall musical’s opening night, the One Acts open Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., with a performance on the following Saturday at 7 p.m. and the finale on Sunday at 2 p.m.

I started blowing glass in my garage around the middle of last summer, about six months ago.

The finished piece is the best part. Being able to shape the glass into anything you want is really rewarding.

The biggest glass blowing competition is the National Flame off. I’d like to do it.

I took an intro class this summer. My instructor influenced me to continue after the class. I’ve been interested in art and glass for a few years, and I decided to take a class last summer for fun.

The hardest part is working with the liquid. Glass is a liquid at first, which a lot of people don’t realize. It’s really hot and it’s difficult to work with. Gravity likes to force the glass down.

I make pendants for necklaces, some ornaments and paper weights. I’ve been working on creating things in new sizes and shapes. It’s pretty hard.

Sometimes I sell it, or give it to friends, or break it for fun. I mean, it’s glass, why not smash it? It’s the perfect art: it involves lots of fire and demolition.

I can do custom work if you have good ideas. I’ll make jars, pendants, necklaces, ornaments, and small things like that.

I have a wood table. You’re supposed to have a stainless steel table or a table with a stainless steel top but my wood table works. I have propane, oxygen tanks, tools and extra glass.

I’d love to make it a career out of (glassblowing) and go to college for it. I’d like to be an artistic glass blower and make my career about art.

Easiest way to reach me is Facebook: search Miles Shaggy Bay. If you message me I will be able to get back to you in a day or so.

I’ll stick with the simple one, the pendant. Start with a 9 mm rod, melt it into a ball like shape, apply other colored glass to color it. I just shape it. Bend it. Move it. I use an oxygen propane torch and sturdier glass rods for shaping.

hen junior Kalaia Bouley participated in a mock DECA competition in her culinary arts class, she discovered her passion for business-related activities and projects. “We did a DECA simulation in class, which got me interested in joining,” Bouley said. “My goals are to gain new skills I can use in the future.” District competitions take place Jan. 26-27 in Downtown Minneapolis. According to DECA’s co-adviser Sophia Ross, students mainly prepare for these competitions with in-class activities and assignments. “Some students have advantages with getting ready for competition,” she said. “In the business classes, students do some DECA competitive events as part of the curriculum projects in the class.” According to Ross, six students qualified for the national competition last year. Senior president Klara Hermes said she hopes more students qualify this year. “Our goal is to have everyone who competes go to State and eventually Nationals,” Hermes said.

Every year, DECA participates in competitions consisting of business simulations such as sales pitches, interviews and decision making. Co-adviser Jena Splettstoeser said students should become acquainted with their event in order to succeed. “The best way to be prepared is to take a business class looking through your event guidelines,” she said. “It helps to understand what the actual event will look like. Ross also said students who work in the school store, the Storiole, helps students get a feel for real-world marketing. “There’s a chapter event that students can compete it where they can write about their

school-based enterprise,” she said. “But just the experience of working and customer service and the marketing that they create down in the school store actually helps them prepare for competition.” Bouley said despite the long term goals of qualifying for nationals and the extensive preparation necessary for any level of competition, her focus is now on performing well at districts. “(I want) to possibly move on to the next round but because it is my first ever DECA competition,” she said. “I mainly want to do the best I can even if I don’t move on,” Bouley said.

fter a recent a conference match, Quiz Bowl members still look toward the season with confidence. The A, B and C teams all went 2-2 at last week’s tournament. In December, the A team had qualified for a national tournament and was undefeated nearly halfway into the season. Recent losses have shaken the A team’s confidence. Senior Simon Fruchtman attributes the losses to several factors. “We had a really tough schedule. We only played teams that were all top of the line,” Fruchtman said. “We’ve been doing very well, but we’ve been overconfident. This last week showed us that there were other teams at our level.” Despite the mediocre start to 2014, the team’s adviser, Carmen Garland, said she is still optimistic about the rest of the season.

“I’m sure that they did the best that they could,” Garland said. “I’m more concerned about them feeling like they enjoyed it and did the best they could. They still have a decent chance to end up with a really good record.” According to Garland, tough competition is just a part of the game, but the team still has a shot to make it big. “You’re going to play lots of different teams,” Garland said. “Sooner or later you’re going to hit teams that are a lot better than some others that they play.”

ecause of the increasing popularity of apps such as Vine, it is much easier for the youth generation to see displays of violence. Social media is a way for teens to express themselves and show the world what is important to them, according to Dr. Shayla Thiel-Stern, professor at the University of Minnesota and expert on how teens use the internet for their social lives and social identity. “With social media, (teens) can choose what they want to put to the world,” ThielStern said. “They look at what they see on their social media and they compare their own lives. They also do it without getting

the whole context of someone else’s life.” She also said it is unfortunate teens use these means to show negative and violent content for attention through popular pranks like “smack cam,” where an unsuspecting victim is slapped by a friend or the “knockout game,” where violent teens try to knock a random passerby unconscious with just one punch. Freshman Vince Callahan, frequent user of Vine, said although he rarely sees videos of extreme violence, he often sees videos of “smack cam” and other pranks. “I check Vine at least every other day, and I’ve seen people jump over cars and do ‘smack cam,’” Callahan said. “If someone’s pulling a prank on someone, it’s funny to see their reaction.” Callahan said he also wondered why someone would put a video of them participating in reckless behavior on a social media site. “I’ve seen some, and I don’t know why they would do that,” Callahan said. “I don’t know why they would put it on the internet for everyone to see.” Freshman Ethan Brown, a “smack cam”

victi “ (a fri jon m and why T show dia. “ but cize A dia Scho sever dang “ matt circu think ding

im, said how he felt after the prank. “We were chilling, and out of nowhere iend) came up and smacked me with Dimustard,” Brown said. “It didn’t hurt, I wasn’t mad. I was more confused on y I had mustard on my face.” Thiel-Stern said it is now much easier to w negative content through social me-

“The opposition has always been there, social media can amplify it and publiit. Now everyone can see it,” she said. Attorney Jane Kirtley, a professor of meethics at the University of Minnesota ool of Journalism, said she stresses the rity of posting videos of reckless and gerous behavior to the public. “There is liability under criminal law no ter where they post it and under (what) umstances,” Kirtley said. “If people k they are immune to that, they are kidg themselves.”

ealth teacher Amy Berchem said she thinks the accessibility to these videos

are, in part, what makes them so popular. “It’s accessible, and it’s something easy to look for it in their hand or pocket. The value of the app in the short amount of time it’s been out is because of the users,” Berchem said. Moreover, junior Sophia Noreen said she thinks the people who post these types of videos do it for the attention they receive. “Some people do it with a hope deep down to become ‘Vine famous’ or get a lot of likes or revines,” Noreen said. Sophomore Neda Salamzadeh said she thinks it’s human nature to find these violent acts funny. “As people we like to laugh at other people getting hurt,” she said. “Teenagers are accustomed to it, because we have grown up feeling it everywhere, like in movies.” Additionally, junior Ashley Neitzel said she believes that it is normal for people to find this kind of entertainment fun. “It has evolved from over the years. We used to have the Colosseum and bull fighting. We also have wrestling now,” she said. Thiel-Stern said there is a pattern among teenagers where they copy what the habits

and actions of one another, and she said this is why these videos are gaining so much popularity. “There is an element of copy cat happening among teens,” she said. “It’s a way of getting attention; it’s negative attention, but it’s effective. They’re trying something out. And it works.”

owever, within the past few months, the severity of impact these videos may be aggrandized by major news corporations. Popular news sites including Today, New York Times and CNN have assessed these videos’ relation to popular culture as a whole, particularly the “knockout game.” For example, in November 2013, CNN wrote, “A sick so-called game known as ‘knockout’ ... is catching the attention of law enforcement throughout the nation.” Likewise, the following day the Today Show reported “the ‘knockout game’: teen-

agers knocking people out for the fun of it. They even target women and children. Cases are piling up, and police are on high alert.” Thiel-Stern said she think this issue is getting blown out of proportion by the media. “This is a case a mass-media, overcultural panic,” Thiel-Stern said. “These videos are of a small number of people who are getting a lot of attention.” Thiel-Stern also said blaming the youth is a recurring instance throughout history. “It’s a common theme that each generation is obsessed with violence and sex. The fact that it keeps happening over and over again proves that it isn’t real,” she said. “It makes a good news story that the new generation is a problem.”

ver since I was just a baby, I’ve been exposed to the thrilling atmosphere of the rink. While watching my brother and my sister, I always had a role model on the ice. Once I was 6, I began playing the game myself. If someone had told me last year that pursuing a puck carrier in the defensive zone would have given me a concussion, I would have laughed and then continued whatever I was doing. However, during a game in December when I stopped to gain a better defensive position, my head knocked into another player. I tumbled down, hitting the back of my head on the ice. My vision blurred, and I immediately got a splitting headache. Returning to the bench, I was faced with a decision: do I speak up and tell my coach about what I knew might be a concussion, or do I continue to play the game? Ultimately, I chose to try and see if I could handle one more shift on the ice, to make sure it wasn’t all in my head. Once I was on the ice, it became impossible to follow the puck, and playing my position left me confused with my head throbbing. I knew I couldn’t continue to play the rest of the game in that mental state. I talked to my coach and the trainer who told me I had symptoms of a concussion and would not be able to continue in the game. After confirming that I was concussed, I was out for 13 days. During this time off, all I wanted to do was get back to my normal habits. Instead, all I could do was sit in a pitch black room and sleep. Homework was harder and learning new concepts became nearly impossible. Once I was able to return, I was fearful: what would happen if I got another concussion? Would the next one be the one that ends my hockey career? I had to stop, I couldn’t think like that, that would only get me down and it ended up scaring me to no end. These constant questions were not only terrifying but were detrimental to my progress. All I could do was get out of my own head and step back out onto the ice. Once I was cleared with confidence that if I played my game, the rest would take care of itself. I could not live in fear of sustaining another injury or let the risk of injury hold me back. Concussions are a serious injury and should not be taken lightly. Playing any sport is not worth severe brain damage. However, psyching yourself out is also something to avoid. You cannot let fear dictate your life. At some point you have to face your fears head on and realize that you are stronger than whatever is holding you back, or else risk never doing what you enjoy.

hile many enjoy snowboarding as a pastime, the sport plays a major role in the life of junior Robbie

the snowboarding video they think deserves to win and won by four votes. “I’m on People’s Court, and I have a vid-

“A lot of times I’ll go to a gymnastics place and get trampoline training in. It really helps with jumps and getting air con-

Roethler. Roethler said he began snowboarding when he was 7-years old. He has since improved, moving on to compete in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado and California. “There’s around 100 participants in a competition, so it gets really competitive,” he said. “A lot of the time it’s in an age group, but this year I’m doing open so I’ll probably be against even more.” Roethler attributed his success in events to his ability to perform under pressure. “I have it pretty easy with competitions because if I land tricks I can usually land them consistently,” Roethler said. “All I have to do is relax.” Roethler recently received some attention online. He said videos filmed by senior Donovan Hyuck were sent in to Snowboarder Magazine and posted. He also posted his video Dec. 12 on “People’s Court,” an online competition where viewers can vote for

eo that’s up against another one,” Roethler said. “All my friends have been voting for me and giving me the support I need.” Roethler’s videos not only attracted the attention of his peers, but that of a sponsor. The sponsor approached him the same day he posted his video on “People’s Court.” “I just landed a sponsor with East Coast Lifestyle, a clothing line from Nova Scotia,” Roethler said. “My friend I met at Windells (a snowboarding camp) reposted my edit and his friend who owns this company messaged me on Facebook and asked if I was looking for a sponsor.” To reach his current skill level, Roethler put in a lot of time and effort during the years. Roethler said he trains year-round with coaches in order to prepare for his competitions. During the offseason, he said he finds other ways to practice away from the snow.

trol,” he said. “I also do snowboarding in the summer at a snowboarding camp called Windells.” While he has come far in his career, Roethler said he still has goals he would like to reach in the future. “My biggest goal is to go pro, that’s been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid,” Roethler said. “Other than that I’d like to land a nice board sponsor because boards can get pretty expensive, especially when I break at least one every season.” Roethler said his favorite part of snowboarding is the independent nature of the sport. “My favorite part about snowboarding is being able to do whatever you want,” he said. “You don’t really have to be a part of a team, you really just do whatever you want to do, get better at whatever you want to get better at.”

ophomore Conrad Phelan approached the Mesabi starting line in a race with more than 1,200 skiers. Phelan blocked out the others and focused on finishing on top. “It was a lot more nerve-wracking with so many people watching,” Phelan said. “I felt like I had to do well in order to support the team and rank highly.” The boys’ varsity team competed in the Mesabi Invitational ski meet, the largest high school race in the nation Jan. 12. The boys’ team was able to finish in fifth place out of 73 teams, but according to senior captain Nick Sokolowski the team was preparing to do better than that. “We were hoping to place higher than fifth,” Sokolowski said. “We were still able to place higher than we were ranked though.” Park competed against the highest ranked teams in the state, including Park’s biggest competition to qualify for State, Minneapolis Southwest. Southwest beat out the Orioles during Mesabi, but Sokolowski said he believes the team still has a shot at beating them in sections. “They didn’t beat us by all that much, and our skiers didn’t have their best races,” Sokolowski said. Head coach Doug Peterson said he believes the team has the potential to qualify

for and succeed at State. “Ten years ago the St. Louis Park Nordic team was able to win the State championship. This team is as good as that team, if not better,” he said. Peterson also said he believes they will not only succeed in State, but also defeat Southwest. “We got beat by Southwest but not that badly,” he said. “In ski racing every race can be different, and that day they were better, but we get another chance.” Phelan said he believes the team has the talent and skill to beat Southwest. “We just need to keep practicing as hard as we have been and match Southwest with our performance,” he said. The boys’ Nordic team’s next event is a sprints race at Como Golf Course Jan. 21.

he boys’ swim team lost to conference rival Spring Lake Park by a margin of 13 points, which is the number of points the Panthers gained from their diving team at Park’s away meet Dec. 19. In swimming, teams gain points for their overall score by having divers participate. Park does not have a diving team, so it is constantly at a disadvantage against other teams. The pool the swim team uses for home meets does not allow diving according to high school rules. This means at home, Park is not at a disadvantage, however, when they compete away, they can be if the opponent has a diving team. Senior captain Brian Shrestha said although the result was unfortunate, he thinks the team displays promise for remainder of the season. “Even though we lost, everyone swam really well and gave their whole effort,” Shrestha said. “Overall, everyone is very good, so we have a lot of depth on the team.” According to athletic director Andy Ewald, the diving team was cut about 12 years ago because of insufficient funding. “At that time we had maybe one or two kids diving, and we had to rent a facility,” he

Senior Holly Westwood Synchronized skating said. “It wasn’t the best use of our money at the time, and we had to make reductions.” Despite this, head coach Joe Yaeger said he believes the absence of diving makes them a better team. “I think us not having diving makes us stronger swimmers,” he said. “They know they have to beat them in the pool and overcome the diving points.” Ewald said the reason Park has not reformed the team is a lack of support and interest from students. “There has never been a movement to look at reinstating the dive team,” he said. Despite the lack of a diving team, Stone said he has high hopes for the rest of the season. “It’s always the goal to win conference,” he said. “I think we can also send at least one relay to state.”

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St. Louis Park Senior High School 6425 West 33rd Street St. Louis Park, MN 55426


Gabe Bichinho Cole Bacig & Artis

Brenna Cook Sten Johnson Carolyn Guddal, Noa Raasch & Claire Steffenhagen Noah Betz-Richman & Suh Koller Ori Etzion, David Hope, Ivy Kaplan & Emily Melbye Maddy Bremner & Madisen Lynch Conner Wickland Khadija Charif, Lucas Kempf, Jonah Resnick & Claire Steffenhagen Josh Scal Josh Anderson & Peter Johnson Ori Etzion, Noah Robiner & Daniel Vlodaver Isaac Greenwood Carter Green John Kinney Ari Weinstein Natalie Vig Ladan Abdi, Sean Cork, Shoshi Fischman, Gila Grad, Malik Grays, Noa Grossman, Meagan Hein, Brita Hunegs, Zoe Kedrowski, Josh Mesick, Alonso Ruiz, Natalie Sanford, Sara Tifft, Amira Warren-Yearby, Erin Wells Jonah Resnick Joann Karetov Quad Graphics Lori Keekley

The Echo is the official student-produced newspaper of St. Louis Park Senior High School. It is published tri-weekly for the school’s students, staff and community. The Echo will not be reviewed by school administrators prior to distribution, and the adviser will not act as a censor. Content represents views of the student staff and not school officials. 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. 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 may be emailed to or submitted in room C275. Letters must be signed and should be no longer than 250 words. Emailed letters must be verified prior to publication. We will not necessarily publish all letters received and reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. Anonymous letters wherein the Echo does not know the identity of the writer will not be printed. Advertisements will be sought from local businesses. 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 All-American and Hall of Fame member; NSPA 2007, 2011, 2013 Pacemaker Finalist, 2010 National Pacemaker Award Recipient; JEM All-State; CSPA Gold Medalist; 2012 CSPA Silver Crown, 2013 CSPA Gold Crown.

n rememberance of freshman Carly Christenson’s death last year, her parents’ friends banded together and created the Carly’s Dream fund to maintain her legacy among and beyond the community. According to the Carly’s Dream website, Christenson hoped to study for a nursing degree at the University of North Dakota. Her family and friends hope to keep her memory alive by providing students who share her drive and passion for helping others to afford nursing school. Christenson’s memory will live on for years to come as the recipients of the Carly’s Dream award become nurses and provide aid to the sick. The fund will impact everyone those nurses help. It will allow them to fight illness and prevent tragedies. It has already raised more than $25,000, according to Mary Corbett, the fund’s founder. Christenson’s close family members and friends have taken a tragedy and turned it into an opportunity to help people in memory of Christenson. It is never healthy to dwell on dark times, but it is rare that an occurrence has such a profound effect on others. Very few people are able to find silver linings in events like this, and using it as a catalyst for such a selfless project is the best way to honor anyone’s memory, especially Christenson’s. Her family’s dedication to keeping her memory alive by extending opportunities to students who embody her vitality serves as an example for everyone in our community. When confronted with situations like this, we should try to find a way to make something good out of it. The way the founders of Carly’s Dream

fund worked to turn heartbreak into hope is something all students can learn from. Even in tough times, we can all rally together as a community and make a positive and meaningful impact. When confronted with inevitable hardship, it is important (though difficult nonetheless) to channel frustration and sadness into a constructive outlet. The Carly’s Dream endowment is a remarkable example of taking a tragic event and making the most positive impact possible.

or the last two years we have been very impressed with the articles in this paper regarding the proposed freight rail re-route. Despite the excellent reporting, a St. Louis Park student who attended a public meeting Jan. 9, 2014 asked our elected officials if they could do more to help St. Louis Park students understand the re-route issue. Although we are not elected officials, as co-chairs of the grassroots community organization, Safety in the Park, we are able to give you some background information, but more importantly we are able to direct you to websites so you can learn more for yourself. It is widely believed, and we agree, that the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project will not only be a benefit to St. Louis Park, but also to the region in general. It is not necessary for the freight trains to be moved from the current location along Hwy. 7 to the tracks near the high school for the project to move forward.

In the Dec. 11 issue, Brien Pine’s name on page two was misspelled. In the same issue, the addresses for Afton Alps and Hyland Park recreation centers were reversed. The Echo regrets these errors.

Yet, at the insistence of the City of Minneapolis the SWLRT project was put on hold last October to study ways to remove the freight rail from a wealthy and influential area of Minneapolis. The relocation plans that would move the trains to the tracks near the high school are receiving the most attention. Moving the freight to the train tracks near the SLP high school will mean an increase of 253 rail cars a day passing the school and because none of the reroute plans include mitigation for safety, the students at the high school, PSI and Peter Hobart will be at increased risk for being harmed by a freight train. In the next two months decisions about the location of the freight and the SWLRT project are going to be made. There is time for you to learn more, comment and help keep the students of St. Louis Park safe. For more information visit Safety in the Park on Facebook, go to or www. - Jami LaPray and Thom Miller, CoChairs, Safety in the Park

To our lack of a diving team. When can we have a watersliding team?

To extreme temperature. I can’t wait for the weather to turn up. J.K., N.K.R.

itizens of Colorado age 21 or older legally purchased recreational marijuana for the first time, generating more than $1 million on opening day alone. According to CNN, Colorado is expecting $67 million in revenue each year from the marijuana tax. In order to improve educational facilities, school construction will make up $27.5 million of the tax, which is a very significant section of the funds. The remaining money will be spent on the upkeep and success of the marijuana business. However, the United States is ranked 17th in the world for education, according to the Pearson Education firm. According to Kids Count Data Center, 17 percent of all

18-24 year olds in the country were not in school, not working and did not have a degree past high school in 2011. Education needs to be improved with excess tax revenue. Taxing marijuana is a perfect way to acquire the funds needed, because it affects a huge portion of the population in Colorado. According to a study completed by Colorado State University April 24, 2013, it is estimated 12.4 percent of the Colorado population consumes marijuana regularly. In addition, the study estimates a demand of 2,268,985 ounces of marijuana annually in the state alone. Alaska, California, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont are among the states close to the legalization of weed in the next few years, according to Rolling Stone magazine. Since the United States. is headed for the end of marijuana prohibition, we must capitalize on all benefits.

hile Colorado and Washington are lighting the way for others in legalizing marijuana for recreational use, their current system of taxation should be revised to better serve the people. As lawmakers essentially treat marijuana like alcohol or cigarettes, the tax imposed seems high, both literally and figuratively. Although this tax is meant for productive means, it harms consumers, a phenomenon that occurred in New York last year. New York City, which raised taxes on cigarette cartons to $5.85 per pack earlier in 2013, saw more than 60 percent of sales come from smuggled or illegal vendors, according to the Tax Institute. This spike in substance smuggling, in which one truckload of cigarettes is worth at least

$2 million, could permeate into Colorado and other marijuana friendly states should taxes increase too much. Colorado politicians plan to use the projected $40 million to fund the creation of new schools. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Colorado spent an estimated $398 billion in 2013. Education is one of the largest sources of funding in the United States, and Colorado would benefit by using the taxed money in lacking areas, such as health care or infrastructure. Proponents of this tax argue it provides a safer product and benefits society as a whole, similar to a classic “sin tax.� However, the current system fails to call for effective government oversight on the production. Colorado lawmakers should rethink the extent of marijuana taxation. Colorado and Washington must be careful of too much government involvement lest consumers turn to other sources.

hen it comes down to it, most students would rather pay $1 for a bag of Chex Mix than $3 for a fruit parfait. While Park has made an effort to offer healthier lunch options, these are often overlooked by students who instead favor a large variety of unhealthy snack bar options. This lack of healthy food variety leads students to choose less nutritious snacks. This trend is not limited to Park, across the nation, one in three children are considered obese, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. A part of this problem is attributed to less than stellar school lunch choices, leading the nation to improve school lunches by adding more regulations and nutrition guidelines. While full school lunches cost $2.80, excluding those on free and reduced lunch, they only include three fruit and vegetable choices. Double ups cost $2.25 and extra fruit, vegetable, milk or bread is an additional 55 cents. However, unhealthy options are available as well, such as ice cream and chips for only for $1 each. Often students lean toward the latter of these two choices and as a result, have an increased sodium, fat and calorie intake. The cafeteria staff are making efforts to increase their variety of healthy options. The snack bar no longer serves excessive king sized ice cream treats instead are offering healthy options including banana bread, zucchini bread and granola bars. According to Kathleen Milbrath, the director of school nutrition, the cafeteria is on having smaller portions of meals that are under 200 calories and have less than 35 percent of their calories from fat. A larger part of the problem, however, is that students are ultimately the ones who need to make the decision about what they are going to eat. Even with more healthy options, students are responsible for their own healthly choices. To start this change, Park needs to have a larger variety of fruit and vegetable choices for an cheaper than snack bar options in order to truly help students make a healthy choice.

ven for those who don’t ski, the City of Lakes Loppet Festival offers a wide range of activities such as dog sled races, for participants and spectators alike. The festival starts Jan. 31 and runs through Feb. 2. The Loppet offers 19 different events, including traditional activities such as classic and skate cross country skiing. The Loppet also has events such as cross country skiing with a dog in the skijoring race, a snow sculpture contest and a night event with candle-lit lanterns called the Comcast Luminary. In addition to activities that have been around since the establishment of the festival, this year welcomes the new events. According to Kristen Spargo, director of advancements for the Loppet Foundation this year welcomes a dog sled race, a full 42 km marathon and a snowshoe event. “Anyone can participate, a lot of the events are for casual skiers,” Spargo said. “In the Luminary, participants can ski, snowshoe or walk

Jason Aldean will be performing at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as part of his “Night Train” tour. This tour features country hits “Night Train,” “My Kinda Party” and “Take a Little Ride.” Aldean’s concert will be opened by country artists Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr. Tickets for the event range from $40-$126. For more information, visit Aldean’s website.

while spectators enjoy the skijoring, which are ski races with dogs.” All Saturday ski events consist of classic style while all Sunday events are skate style. The Luminary takes place Saturday with multiple time waves because of the popularity of the event. This year senior Owen Dennehy, previously a spectator of the event, said he looks forward to being involved in the events. “I’m really looking forward to participate instead of watching on the sidelines,” Dennehy said. Although freshman Nils Rykken said he is not a skier, he believes the skijoring and the dog sled races would attract people and might get them interested in skiing. “The dogs would definitely attract younger people, and they could take up skiing as a sport and become more athletic in the future,” Rykken said. The Loppet Foundation was established in 2002 and hosted the first festival in 2003 with unfavorable conditions, according to Spargo. Spargo said the Loppet village at Lake Calhoun center is new to the festival. Many of the races will start and finish there; other locations in the festival include Theodore Wirth Parkway and Lake of the Isles. Junior Miranda VanPilsum-Johnson, a participant in the Loppet Festival in years past, said she believes it helps bring people closer. “It’s a community event, it just brings together everyone,” VanPilsum-Johnson said. “There’s events for everyone, not just really intense skiers.” The festival cost varies because of the wide arrangement of events, however coming to watch and cheer people on is free.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board will host its 13th Annual Kite Festival at Lake Harriet from noon to 4 p.m. Activities include kite flying, ice fishing, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, a medallion hunt and a marshmallow roast. If weather is prohibitive, it will be postponed one week until Jan 25. For more information, visit the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board website.

St. Paul will host its Annual Winter Carnaval. Activites include a 5K run, hot chocolate, sledding and ice sculptures in various locations around St. Paul. This tradition takes place during 10 days with various activities daily for children and adults. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit the winter carnaval website: www.winter-carnaval. com.

Echo Issue 6  
Echo Issue 6