The Internship Internship?

One of AHS’s many student interns, Anastasia Pallis, is one of the first to work for the school itself. Her specific job, being an assistant to the internship coordinator Ms. Burr, is going well. 

The idea for the internship came from Ms. Burr in response to the chronic problem of not enough time to do everything.

“There is too much to do, and too little ti me,” Burr said. “I just don’t have enough time to set up so many internships. So I thought, ‘if only I had an assistant’ and I decided, why not have an intern from here.”

“My internship with Ms. Burr started this year after I had done the Seafair Blue Angels Internship over the summer,” Pallis said. “I had gotten to know Ms. Burr through that and she saw me in the hallway one day and asked if I would like to help her out with some projects she was working on like a student text messaging project and events like the Mentors’ breakfasts.  It was really spur of the moment and random, but it is now organized so that once I complete so many hours, I may be able to earn a credit that will go on my transcript.”

The idea was a good one, with both Pallis and Burr having high praise for each other and for the program.

“I really love interning with Ms. Burr,” Pallis said. “She teaches me so many great things and has become like a mentor to me.  It’s a really fun way to get involved with the school.”

From Burr, the praise of Pallis’ work is equally high. 

“It is turning out great,” said Burr. “I’ve been very impressed with Anastasia’s maturity and her reliability. She is a perfect intern, she works independently so I can accomplish more.”

Student Business Has the Beat

Many great and famous musicians have appeared out of the Puget Sound area over the years. Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and Macklemore are just a few of the musically-talented people to emerge.  Now, AHS junior Austin McHenry and Highline

Northwest Empyre, Student Start-up With Style

High School junior Kyle Sprague are contributing to the hip-hop scene in the Pacific Northwest by starting a business that DJs, designs, and records music.

“The big hip-hop scenes are New York, down south like in Texas and Georgia and Southern California,” McHenry said. “There are two famous rappers from here: Macklemore and Jay Barz. We want to basically put Seattle on the hip-hop map.”

This may seem like a long shot to some people, but their company, Northwest Empyre, is already well on its way.

“It’s an actual company.We started over a year ago. I handle all the business side of things so I did all the registration, all of our financial stuff. I talked to the bank and registering with the Department of Licencing, with the IRS, Department of Revenue,” said McHenry. “We DJ, we’ve done house parties, high school parties, sweet sixteens, birthdays and school carnivals.”

One big event coming up for the company is AHS’s Tolo, at which Northwest Empyre is signed up to DJ.

“Yes, we are going to be there,” said McHenry. “Kyle is going to be there too.”

At the Tolo dance, McHenry said that there were going to be many differences in the DJ technique than at the Aviators Ball earlier this year.

“I have a biased opinion about DJing obviously, that’s like asking a football player about someone else’s technique, but I thought honestly it was pretty bad,” McHenry said of the DJing at the Ball. “Mostly the fact that there wasn’t a DJ and that they were using iTunes, which means there isn’t smooth transitions between songs. They also didn’t have any effect lighting, just one disco ball.”

The company is also trying to do things that are not directly tied to music.

“We are also trying to do photography and graphic design,” McHenry said. “We will do all of our photography in house. We are also trying to get a t-shirt line going. Urban street style is what we are going for, kind of like Zoo York. We are going to sell online and in person, as well as possibly in stores.”

McHenry also plans to keep the business up and running during his college years.

“My plan is to major in mechanical engineering and minor in business, hopefully at MIT,” McHenry said. “My plan, as a young entrepreneur, I was able to create a platform that would be able to grow and develop as it goes on, meaning I can study what I want and run this on the side, so when I get out of college there will be a platform that I can devote my time to.”

The idea for the the name came out of the blue, while Sprague was listening to music.

“So Kyle was listening to a song by UGK that’s from Texas and he had said some thing along the lines of ‘UGK is a southern empire’ and that sounded cool, so why don’t we do something like northern empire, and that eventually changed to northwest empire,” McHenry said. “I don’t know where the ‘y’ came in.”

“As for the logo, what I did was take the Space Needle from the Sounder’s logo and combine it with the old Mariners ‘M’ logo and then do a little work on it,” explained McHenry.

As they work, the Empyre is always building it’s collection of DJ gear.

“So we have five speakers in total, our mix deck and two computers, sound library of about twelve thousand songs,” said McHenry. “We have three giant lights which will be suspended about twelve feet off the ground, spaced ten feet apart and all angled. The funny things is each of these lights are supposed to fill the room by itself, and the cool thing about those are they are sound activated so when the bass hits they change color and effect. It gives the impression of a real club.”

Northwest Empyre is currently working on the creation of a devoted website, but for now, they are available on Twitter (@NwEmpyre), Tumblr  ( and Facebook.

The More CAP the Merrier

Max Wienke during a Color Guard ceremony in Kirkland. Photo courtesy Max Wienke

The Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, which helps introduce teens to military discipline as well as develop them into strong leaders and moral citizens, is gaining popularity with teens nationwide, especially students at Aviation High School.

Two years ago, in September of 2009, AHS junior (then a freshman) Max Wienke, decided to look into joining Civil Air Patrol. His squadron of choice, Overlake Composite Squadron, is based at the Lake Washington School District Resource Center in Redmond, Washington.  After looking into the matter and attending a few meetings as an observer, he decided to join. In 2009 there were around twenty-five cadets in the squadron.

Since then, Wienke has been promoted seven times. There are now fifty-eight cadets that are members of the Overlake Composite Squadron.  That number is more than double the number of cadets that were members when he joined.

Even now, two years later, he is still enthusiastic about participating in CAP.

“I really like the military structure of it,” Wienke said. “I really like having the opportunity to train new cadets and try to bring them up to my level. 

He is currently the commander of Tango Flight, the group of new cadets who have not yet been promoted. Three cadets have promoted since Wienke took over a month and a half ago.

Although he is a high grade, Wienke enjoys many things about the Civil Air Patrol program that even the lowest rank cadet could.

One activity that is open to a cadet of any rank, and one that Wienke participates in, is Color Guard. This consists of four people in a ceremony of placing the state and national flag. Wienke participated in both the Veteran’s day and opening of school assembly ceremonies.

“There is really nothing about the program that I don’t like,” commented Wienke. “It is a really great program.”

CAP also has excellent benefits for the average teenager.

“It is really a great opportunity; it opens a lot of doors,” said Wienke. “Colleges really love it; it has great leadership potential and you can learn a ton of stuff. Great First Aid classes. You can get into more jobs with it. Also, it is a great way to give back to your community and a good way to fill your community service hours for high school.”

CAP also helps fund teens to get flight time on route to a pilot’s licence.

“The greatest experience I’ve had in CAP was my first solo flight,” explained Wienke. “Just last summer at the end of July, I went to Desert Eagle VIII, which is CAP’s Flight Academy. I had about seven hours of flying time with my instructor before I went solo. It wasn’t all exciting when I was taxing out to the runway, it hadn’t quite set in yet. Right after I took off is when it sank in. I was a great feeling to have finally accomplished that. I hope that was not my last solo flight. I’m looking into pursuing more flight training really soon and eventually getting my Private Pilot’s License.”

Daisuke Fukagawa, an AHS freshman, is also involved in CAP. He is currently an Airman Basic and enrolled in the Seattle Composite squadron. The squadron is based out of  the King County International Airport terminal at Boeing Field in Seattle.

I like that it gives you the opportunity to experience new things and explore new roads,” Fukagawa said.

Even though Fukagawa is only an entry-level cadet, he still had many of the same things to say about the benefits of CAP as Wiekne did, even though the difference in rank is so great.

CAP is, without a doubt, a large commitment. Even though most squadrons only meet once or twice a week, there are many other activities that cadets have to do to achieve higher and higher rank.

“It takes a long time to memorize things like the cadet oath,” said Fukagawa. “The encampments and stuff also take up lots of time.”

Some of the other “things” Fukagawa mentioned are activities such as community events in which cadets help out with crowd control and cleaning up, and encampments in which cadets go away from home overnight to a selected location and spend a week training with CAP.

Sonics Wound Healing

In 2008 when the Sonics were threatening to leave Seattle, the people of the emerald city were going insane over the loss, but three years later, they have moved on.

In 2007, Oklahoma City native Clay Bennett bought the Seattle Sonics for an estimated $350 million dollars from Starbucks CEO and Sonics owner Howard Schultz.  The Sonics head owner was convinced that Bennett was going to keep the team in Seattle.

“I think it’s presumptuous to assume that Clay Bennett and his ownership group won’t own that Seattle team for a long, long time in Seattle or somewhere else,” said Schultz, “it’s presumptuous to assume they’re going to move that franchise to Oklahoma City.”

As time passed Bennett was upset that the local government would not provide an estimated $500 million for an overhaul of Key Arena (the Sonics home court), so the team took flight.

Since the move, the team has flourished. They have posted a win-loss percentage of over .620, gone to the conference finals and posted average attendance numbers of around 18,000 fans per game, selling out nearly every game.  Chesapeake Energy Arena, the new home of the team, boasts upscale restaurants, Kids zone, updated scoring and video from Daktronics, upgraded flooring and new view suites. The whole renovation from the original state of the arena cost $156 million, $350 million less than the proposed cost of Key Arena.

Since that time, the Seattle based company Casual Industries has started manufacturing a line of shirts that features the 1995 Sonics logo featuring the word “Robbed” instead of the usual team name and city. Although it is evident that feeling of deceit and some sorrow is felt when the subject is brought up, the matter has mostly faded to the background for northwest basketball fans.

The Seattle Storm have also been a powerhouse in women’s professional basketball, winning two WNBA finals in the past seven years, accumulating around 8,500 fans per game, only 2,500 fans less than the meager 11,000 fans posted by the Sonics in 2007.

Other sports have also appeared in the spotlight. Last year, the Seahawks went to the second round of the NFL playoffs, and the Mariners have acquired their own TV channel, ROOT sports.

Although Key Arena is an arena worthy of R&B singer Usher, the Seattle Thunderbirds and countless other acts and events, the arena is in fact aging. Although it was renovated in 1995, the original structure was built in 1962, two years before ex-Mets ballpark Shea Stadium was built, and it has since been torn down and the New York team has gotten a new field. Why shouldn’t the Sonics get one?

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