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Contemporary dance represents students’ emotions

Dory Mwangi (left) and fellow ballet dancer Alli Meyer (right), a student at Western Washington University, prepare for their upcoming recital.
Photo Courtesy of: Dory Mwangi

Passion, or graduation requirements, often push RAHS students to embrace new extracurriculars. Contemporary dance, alongside other forms, has currently taken the interest of a few underclassmen.

Sophomore Dory Mwangi has been interested in dance since childhood, always aspiring to learn the art in some form.

“I was always mesmerized by dance as a kid, and from a very young age I was interested in doing ballet, but my parents never really had the time to take me to or from [ballet] or the money for it either so it was just a fantasy that I had to forget about.” said Mwangi. “As I got older I forgot about it, but when I came to RAHS and found out dance could be used as PE credit, I joined ballet and, after a while, contemporary/jazz.”

Distinct differences separate the more relaxed contemporary and the high-standard ballet.

“I feel like the rules of ballet are a lot more uptight than in contemporary” said Mwangi. “So far there’s a lot of floor work involved [in contemporary], whereas in ballet I’m just improving my technique and trying to look as elegant as possible.”

Mwangi’s dancing experience has earned her a new appreciation for the art.

“I’ve definitely gained a lot of appreciation for all dancers,” said Mwangi. “I feel like nowadays dancers are really underrated, but it takes a lot of work to make yourself look pretty, flawless, and weightless when you’re also going through a lot of pain.”

Lately she has invested more in contemporary, with lessons ramping up she prepares for a performance.

“We’ve been focusing on showing our emotion a lot lately and really being in sync with our bodies, so I can’t wait to see how it’ll look on stage,” said Mwangi. “We’ve just started practicing for our recital in June which will be held at the PAC in Burien. The choreography is really great and I love how it’s coming together. Ms. Micheala [the dance choreographer] is so down to earth and energetic and you can really see that through her choreography.”

While Mwangi doesn’t see herself pursuing a lucrative dance career, her love for dance will keep her invested in it as only a hobby.

“I don’t want to pursue dance as a career or anywhere along those lines, it’s just something I like to do in my free time because I get to express the way I feel, talk with my friends while building trust between each other, and improve my body at the same time,” said Mwangi. “I see myself taking a few classes in college, nothing too serious — just pop in to some open ballet classes here and there.”

Another sophomore, Tija Marie, does dance for fun and has just recently been able to get more involved.

“I always liked the thought of joining contemporary but had too many extracurricular activities, which made my schedule full at the time, until now,” said Marie. “Dance is something I do for fun.”

Original starting as a ballet dancer, Marie is excited at the prospect of contemporary.

“When I was younger I did ballet and tap [dancing] for most of my childhood but grew out of it in my teen years,” said Marie. “Contemporary dance involves a lot of improv dancing whereas ballet includes a lot of technique. I enjoy contemporary a lot more than ballet and tap because of this.”

Marie is able to channel her feelings uniquely through dancing, expressing herself in ways that words cannot.  

“I hope to gain more confidence in myself over the years,” said Marie. “Sometimes I find it hard to express how I feel with words. But when I’m dancing I can show I feel without having to say anything.”

Rolling around at the speed of sound

Many students at RAHS pursue passions outside of engineering. Some, for instance, utilize the Pacific Northwest outdoors to mountain and dirt bike and to motorcycle.

Senior Carson Lobdell has had an interest riding mountain bikes since middle school, and considers it a major hobby. It was first introduced to him by his father, but he has taken it a step further as his interests peaked.

“I started mountain biking when I was about 6 years old because my dad had been mountain biking for about 20 years,” said Lobdell. “I picked it up mostly because of family, but by the time I was 12 years old, I was faster than my dad and better than my brother.”

Due to taking on various sponsorships, Lobdell has started taking mountain biking more seriously. A sponsorship will provide him some gear and money when representing their company at races.

“I started my first sponsorship from Salsa Industries back in my sophomore year. That summer I transferred to KTM Industries and biked with them until basically the start of 2017,” said Lobdell. “For this past year I’ve been riding for Ellsworth. They used to be a local Northwest company but now they[‘ve] moved down to California, so I represent them up here.”

After gaining a sponsorship, Lobdell started participating in more races and events, either required by the company or on his own time. He had, however, been racing proactively before gaining sponsorships.

“I haven’t had my first race this year. The first race is at the end of April, and after that I have a race pretty much every month,” said Lobdell. “Last season went really well, I took first place for my division in all but two races.”

Before going semi-professional in mountain biking, Lobdell started out dirt biking, but over time he has grown more inclined towards the classic biking method for its ease of access.

“I used to ride KTM dirt bikes actually — I started riding motorcycles when I was about four years old and I did that until I was about 13,” said Lobdell. “After that I started mountain biking hard, mostly because you can’t, especially in Washington, go as many places on a dirt bike as you can on a mountain bike [because of regulations].”

Besides mountain biking, other students have become invested in the quicker side of bikes such as senior Nathan Simmons, who enjoys riding motorcycles in his freetime.

“I ride street bikes, so I own a 2001 Honda CRF 80 100 Interceptor, Honda CRX Cruiser,” said Simmons. “Before I used to ride dirt bikes when I was younger, and my dad owned one that he never really rode, so it was already in the garage for me to ride.”

Similar to Lobdell, Simmons was first introduced to the hobby from family, and later turned his interest into a passion.

“I’ve always been prone to dirt biking and hiking and everything with a motor so it just went together,” said Simmons. “Now I have been riding street bikes for about a year [and] for the most part I spend a lot of that time out on the back roads doing some corners anywhere there aren’t too many cars — riding with friends and stuff.”

Simmons enjoys both riding and connecting with the community, taking a more casual approach to biking than Lobdell, and while he is not currently participating in any races, he plans on looking more into MotoGP tracks.

“I do plan on doing track days coming up this summer, I have absolutely considered doing MotoGP,” said Simmons. “A lot of the fun of [riding] comes from getting to know other people; it’s a very good community, everyone’s really friendly and you can just get on and find someone and just buddy up and hit a couple back roads and have some fun.”

Simmons hopes to continue to ride motorcycles as much as he can.

“I try to ride as much as I can,” said Simmons. “If it’s not too rainy I’ll go usually everyday after school and weekends when I don’t work. This past weekend was really nice and sunny so I was out for the morning Saturday and all day Sunday and all day Monday.”

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Viaduct’s rise to stardom

The scene: Guitarist and vocalist Zach Watson hammers away at the strings, voice straining and veins popping as he sings lyrics familiar only to him, the bassist, and the drummer. Beside him stands the mellow bassist, Sevawn Guenther, head bobbing and fingers smoothly sliding along his earthy brown colored instrument as he sets the foundation for the wild, yet coherent song. Set in front of them both sits Henry Chapman dreadlocks hanging low behind his drums as he rhythmically matches the guitar and adds even more flavor to an ensemble that can be described somewhere between grunge and hard rock.

 

This homebrew, teen-spirit-esque band Viaduct began as many things do: online and over a video game.

“One night Sevawn and I were playing Minecraft and I said to him ‘Sevawn, we should make a band,’” said RAHS junior Zach Watson “I said,‘dude, you know what, I can play guitar,’ and he [Guenther] said ‘you know what? I’ve always wanted to play bass.”

Thus started an epic journey of grunge, soul searching, good times. After training for some 5 years on their instruments, Viaduct is now feeling confident enough to perform publicly.

I think that from playing for a bit and practicing, I think that we have a nice sound,” said Watson. “It’s like we have a cohesion where we can play, and we don’t really necessarily need to know what we’re doing, but it will still sound like something, and people will go ‘oh yeah, this is pretty good.’”

In the future, Viaduct hopes to be able to perform in paid gigs.

 

“The ideal is [to start] play[ing] in March,” said Watson. “We want to start playing shows then.”

Chapman had even more ambitious goals.

“I want to be playing sooner than that, I want to be playing in two or three weeks,” said Chapman. “We can just go to an open mic and say ‘hey we’ve got instruments, we have a few songs, can we just play a few?’ We could also get together some CDs and a tip jar and start earning some money.”

 

Their musical vision has evolved and changed throughout the years, but recently they have found their unique style, falling into a sort-of grunge genre.

“I’m definitely a little hasty to label ourselves, I’ve noticed as of late. I used to think that back in the day that we were grunge, and it was all about grunge, and I certainly still have that attraction to grunge,” said Watson. “But at the same time we’re not Nirvana and we’re not Soundgarden and we’ll never be them. We’re just making music and that’s all that matters, it doesn’t matter if you label yourself or if you’re successful.”

“We are Viaduct, without the the, and that’s our genre,” said Chapman.

Becoming Viaduct has called for some major commitments from its members, and often times, being a part of the band has opened their eyes to a new perspective.

“When Zach asked me to start a band with him, I thought I hated music,” said Guenther. “But the whole sort of starting a band thing completely veered my life in a separate direction from where I thought it was going, but a very good direction.”

With their musical talents supporting them, the band hopes to realize their dream of turning their music into more than just a hobby.

“The goal really is to be self-sustaining by doing the things that we love,” said Chapman, “and we love music so we’re hoping that we can make a living by pursuing music and if we can do that, then I’m going to be happy.”

 

 

 

Advisory shift may leave students hungry

Due to insufficient teacher planning time and possible legal action against the district, RAHS, as well as other Highline schools, were required to change their daily schedule. This change could potentially lead to advisory being moved to the beginning of the day. However, given very little time, the teachers created a temporary solution of moving advisory to the end of the day. Teachers Michelle Juarez and Dona Bien-Aime are leading the resolution efforts.

The issue that caused the sudden change arose when a problem was reported in one high school, which resulted in a district wide audit. Juarez was one of the teachers who looked further into the issue.

“The central office did some sort of reconciliation, so they noted that there was a discrepancy in one of the high school schedules – the teachers weren’t getting enough planning time,” said Juarez. “It essentially made them do an audit of all the high schools, and it turned out that there are numerous high schools that [showed a discrepancy].

The time planning error was found in RAHS because of the block periods, which did not give teachers their allotted planning time as promised by their contracts. Originally the district’s recommendation would exclude advisory altogether.

“The contract says you have to have 120 minutes [of planning] a day, and that counts the 30 minutes before and after school, all the passing time, and some class time,” said Juarez. “They [the District] told us that we have until October 9th to change it, and they’re pushing us to go to a six period day, but we said absolutely not, that won’t work for us.”

After rallying the teachers together to keep advisory in the schedule, their combined effort led to a temporary fix of moving advisory to the end of the day until a more suitable schedule could be agreed upon. The 2017-18 school year will continue with this schedule.

Data from Michelle Juarez

“Mr. Bien-Aime and I attended a meeting and we put together, with other teachers’ help, a waiver and submitted that,” said Juarez. “In the meantime we started playing around with the schedule, and after October 9th they said that we are okay to go to the revised schedule, with advisory at the end of the day.”

While the current compromise, with advisory being at the end of the day, certainly accounts for the missing planning time, it has caused some problems for students who don’t have a 6th period, or leave early for sports.

“[The new schedule] impacts quite a few students, I think over 40 students are impacted who are essentially never seen in advisory,” said Juarez. “If you don’t have advisory you don’t have access to a lot of college and support information.”

In order to give all students advisory and adhere to the teacher contracts, a possible solution would be to put advisory at the beginning of the day, helping students who are now missing advisory. However, the change would push lunch back to 1 pm and have it end at 1:45 pm.

“We’re hoping that if they allow us to move advisory to the beginning of the day, the number of students that are impacted will be greatly reduced. There are only 15 students that would be affected for only one day or the other,” said Juarez. “Now it would be fine except it does impact lunch, so lunch wouldn’t be until 1, so that can be kind of big, but we’ll cross that when we get there.”

Many students are in support of the additional lunch time that both schedules grant, but having such a late lunch is not as exciting. Sophomore Kyla Sorensen prefers the old schedule over the proposed one.

“I think that lunch at one is too late, I get hungry during second period basically,” said Sorensen. “I really don’t think that lunch should be that late, that’s crazy.”

Freshman Caleb Jones has a similar mindset, and has become accustomed to the additional work time at the end of the day in advisory.

“I like advisory at the end of the day because I usually get extra work time to get homework done, which is kind of nice,” said Jones. “You’ve gone through all of your classes, so you know what you need to work on.”

Other opinions vary, but generally the newer schedule isn’t perceived well by students, such as junior Chase King.

“I personally like the extra 15 minutes of advisory [from previous years], but the extra 15 minutes of lunch makes up for it,” said King. “I would not be okay with having lunch at 1 though, that’s a long time to wait for lunch.”

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Interns fly into new career paths

RAHS senior Brynne Hunt stands with her peers at Blue Origin.

Students at RAHS ready themselves for future careers by gaining work experience through summer internships.

RAHS senior Brynne Hunt started her summer with an internship at Blue Origin, working in a field she hopes to pursue. Blue Origin, a leading company in rocket and space endeavors, provided her with familiarity in the rocket science industry and helped guide her post high school aspirations.

“I went in there with an open mind and ended up really enjoying my summer,” said Hunt. “I was in an environment where my ideas and contributions were really well respected, and being in an environment like that really helped me confirm that this is an industry that I really wanted to be in.”

Readily entering an internship on the magnitude such as Blue Origin is a daunting task for any high school student. That level of commitment for Hunt served as an opportunity to reevaluate her goals.

“Coming out of the school last year I was a little lost, and spending the summer at Blue Origin confirmed that, ‘okay I need to get back on my grind,’ and work really hard,” said Hunt. “If I want to make a contribution to the space industry, then this is what I need to do.”

At her specific internship, Hunt was able to explore the different authorities in rocket design and hone in on her specific interests while contributing to the building and designing of the Blue Origin rockets.

“I know I want to work in space and I’ve known that for a really long time,” said Hunt. “Being in an environment where all the disciplines that are in rocket design are there, [I could] basically go and learn anything from any part of the rocket.”

Coming out of the Internship and into senior year, Hunt has more drive to succeed and works for a purpose, so after college she can work in the space industry. RAHS junior Sydney Brusnighan experienced a similar exposure in her internship at Alaska Airlines working on the simulations for the 737.

“My internship made me more interested in going into engineering because it has so many different parts to it,” said Brusnighan. “They designed the simulations using computer modeling, they’d also repair parts of the simulators, which is really cool, and they’d also deal with the people – all the pilots that came in [and they would help them].”

All the moving parts that came together in the one job was an aspect that appealed to Brusnighan, especially the engineering and 3D model components, both of which she wishes to pursue.
“I didn’t really know how computer modeling would fit into a lot of different parts of aviation, and I didn’t really know which one would be interesting to me, then seeing it through simulations was really cool,” said Brusnighan. “I think that combination of aviation and digital modeling was a really interesting thing that I could probably get into in the future.”

Brusnighan was especially interested in the modeling aspect of the simulations as it combined her interest in engineering with digital modeling.

“The digital modeling of what you’re seeing in the simulation was really cool to me because I always wanted to do something like working at Pixar, or something with computer generated images,” said Brusnighan. “Doing that was really cool and it really interested me and showed me a more practical side of how I could do that in the future.”

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Sophomore spring adventures

The Sophomore class was especially active this past Spring Break with some traveling to Japan, Guatemala and Germany. These are accounts of some of their funnest and most interesting experiences while out of the country.

V8_I9_Features_BreakTravels_Sleeth

Student :Thomas Waite

 

Location: Went to Germany, specifically Bavaria

 

Story: We began the day in Munich and we took a 4 hour train ride to Neuschwanstein, which is the castle that Sleeping Beauty was based on. However, on the way back somebody committed suicide on the train tracks, and our train had to stay where it was for around an hour or an hour and a half, so we missed our connection, which was the last train of the night. We had to take a bus to someplace, get on that bus, get onto another train which stopped and wouldn’t move for another hour. We ended up getting home around 1 am, but not after meeting some incredibly drunk guy and some tourists from all over the world and playing blackjack on the train for 3 hours.

 

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Student: Felix Bosques

 

Location: Kobe, Japan

 

Story: Japan is a very nice area and you don’t see very many interesting things there. Everyone is pretty kept to themselves and pretty nice as well. But one time I was walking with my family at night through Kobe and we had a man following us who was drunk and hiccuping and walking very fast; it was pretty creepy under the circumstance. As he was following us up the stairs he was leaning back and hiccuping and walking up the stairs at the same time. It was really hard not to laugh, but since things like that don’t usually happen in Japan, I had to get a laugh out of it.

 

Student: Anna Horner

 

Location: Antigua, Guatemala

 

Story: We went to a volcano and it was really foggy when we were going up. It had a great view. We got to see a volcano and we got to see volcano dogs which were dogs that lived near the volcano. At the top there was a vent that was hot enough for us to roast marshmallows. We got up to the volcano to take pictures and saw a lot of tourists from Europe there. We met a woman from Wales. We also had an experience in the market talking down money, and I was also offered to ‘ladies night’. Someone didn’t know that I was 15, they thought I was 25 and so they asked me to go out and have drinks with them. I said, “No, I’m underage” and she said, “How old are you?” and I said, “I’m 15” and she said, “Wow you look a lot older.”

 

Student: Reece Keller

 

Location: Antigua

 

Story: “There are a lot of venders who try to force you to buy these materials and there were these one venders with these really cheap drums, really beautifully decorated drums. It wasn’t until the end of the week that we found out that these drums they were trying to sell were actually like a code-name for people trying to buy marijuana there because it is obviously illegal. So they all have these backpacks and they bang this drum, and when they bang this drum they are really just signifying for people who are trying to buy some weed, some mota, that there is a drug dealer nearby and the people that can hear it can go buy it. That was pretty interesting because I was about to buy a drum, but in doing that I would be buying weed.”

 

Student: Paul Richards

 

Location: Antigua

 

Story: “There was this one kid that was crying on the side of the street so I tried to cross the street to ask if he was ok. His mom came and called me a gringo and then walked away, I was shook after that.”

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Teacher’s work never ends

Wilson proudly stands in front of this year's paper origami work, which she learned how to teach at one of the summer programs.
Wilson proudly stands in front of this year’s paper origami work, which she learned how to teach at one of the summer programs.

Teachers are required to accumulate 15 college credits through college courses or 150 professional clock hours to maintain their teaching certificate, so they often go to summer classes and teacher programs to meet those requirements. But otherwise, teachers still have lives outside of school, and often do fun things over the long break.

 

Karen Wilson, RAHS math teacher, has been attending summer math courses regularly and has used those experiences to learn more about the math she loves and create better classes as a teacher.

 

“I’ve been going to Experience Music Project [MoPop] two summers now and they’ve offered a STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art, and math] class, and the idea was to try to get more art into math,” said Wilson. “That was what introduced me to the idea of paper engineering.”

 

The paper engineering concept made its way into her Algebra 2 class, where students created simple designs out of paper, leading into a second project regarding exponential growth patterns. Wilson has been attending these programs for several years, and she typically does those that fall under her interests. These programs can last for a few days to a few weeks, and are generally for educators.

 

“Back when I was teaching geometry at a previous school, I took a one week course at the University of Washington through the Northwest Mathematics Interaction groups,” said Wilson. “They were called the Geometry Institute, and we were there for five days [for] eight hours a day plus the evening time.”

 

For Wilson, these experiences have led to more opportunities to expand her knowledge of math.

 

“Because of that experience I was able to attend a three week class in Parks City, they called it the Park City Math Institute, and it was all paid for. That was the best part,” said Wilson. “They covered my transportation there and my lodging and my meals, and it was three weeks of math.”

 

These classes are available to many different types of teachers, not just high school teachers, and they all have offered something new to Wilson. While teachers need to attend programs like these, Wilson enjoys exploring more math.

 

“It was broken up into different things. Some of it was for secondary teachers and some of it was just a morning of ‘let’s explore this math,’” said Wilson. “What I get out of it is that math is huge and there is so much to learn, and you can’t learn it all in just high school math courses.”

 

Math courses are widely available, but other programs for history or social studies teachers aren’t offered as frequently. Troy Hoehne, the CGI and Aviation History teacher earns his professional clock hours through district meetings. These aren’t much interest to him, so he does other things to expand his knowledge. One such event was going to an airshow out of the country with Richard Edgerton.

 

“We went to the airshow at Duxford in England which is near Cambridge, about 11 miles south,” said Hoehne. “We went there for the airshow and to see the air museum there.”

 

Overall, Hoehne doesn’t attend events specifically pertaining to his field of interest, but still does things he enjoys over the summer.

 

“The things that I do to broaden [my content area] are things like my trip to Duxford, and other trips for my historic interests,” said Hoehne. “But none of that counts, not a bit, towards my professional development. So, I have to sit through those meetings, and do those [other things] on the side.”

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Satterlee incites mockumentary mayhem

Bow down to the almighty Samuel Satterlee. He's not too afraid of confrontation and will gladly include anyone in his videos that's interested.
Bow down to the almighty Samuel Satterlee. He’s not too afraid of confrontation and will gladly include anyone in his videos that’s interested.

Ambitious actor and RAHS sophomore Samuel Satterlee has been working on a film mostly involving students in the school. He has been collaborating with other students to find what comedy fits him and his future videos.

 

“I’ve always wanted to make a film,” said Satterlee. “Everybody is very supportive about it and we all agreed that this is going to be a great idea, and it’s going to be a mockumentary like ‘The Office,’ but with students.”

 

A mockumentary is similar to a documentary but layers in some fictional comedy and overall humors a particular aspect of life such as, in Satterlee’s case, school. A lot of his motivation derives from the natural humor and wit he finds in the students.

 

“We have so many creative people at our school, and I find a lot of their comedy very funny, so we take a lot of their comedy and put them into our videos.” said Satterlee. “I’m always laughing when I’m at school. We have a lot of crazy people at our school, and not to be mean or anything, I mean crazy in a funny way.”

 

The people participating with Satterlee’s comedy create a filming opportunity that he greatly enjoys, and while he is still experimenting with his works, he wants to include more and more students in his films.

 

“Our main goal is to make something we find funny, but if others find it funny that’s great,” said Satterlee. “I would also love to involve more people in our videos, everyone is welcome, especially with our larger films.”

 

One such large film that is planned involves poking fun at the Mali Army, whose military cannot afford enough ammunition, so some troops resort to imitating gunfire through verbal shouts and sounds.

 

“We do want to go off compass to do a spoof of the Mali Army, a wonderful army,” said Satterlee. “They fake having ammunition, and we want to do a mock of that in the woods, because pretending to be an army at school would be a little crazy.”

 

While this film calls for off-campus filming, Satterlee wants to keep a lot of his videos relevant to the school and the student body, sticking with the idea of a mockumentary.
“That would be away from the school, in a forest or something,” said Satterlee. “We only want to film things on school campus that is relevant to the school, which is a lot, and we want as many students as we can to be in it.”

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Hammock lets students kick back

Bader and Quinsay enjoy their school getaway, taking a break from responsibility, homework, and their TA duties.
Bader and Quinsay enjoy their school getaway, taking a break from responsibility, homework, and their TA duties.

A new hammock in the third floor flex space appeals to the stressed, tired, and overwhelmed. This addition is one of many to try and give students a way to relax and take a step back from the academic day.

 

ASB Treasurer Catie Stukel is an avid hammock lover and made the proposal for one in the third floor flex space. With the help from the graduated class of 2016, it was made possible.

 

“Part of last years senior’s gift was to get something that was actually useable for the students,” said Stukel. “They passed $1,000 for a gift but didn’t specify what to buy, so I [and ASB] decided to buy a hammock.”

 

 

The hammock isn’t the only groovy new addition to the school, however; the vending machines have already found their home on the opposite end of the third floor, and plans for more accommodations are slowly being revealed.

 

“We also bought a water kettle, microwave, and some tea that we are going to put out here once it gets approved,” said Stukel. “I really hope the microwave will be especially useful because the cafeteria microwaves, let’s say, aren’t ideal and do not heat food very well.”

 

Gudor’s TAs Abigail Quinsay and Adeline Bader have been using the hammock to their full advantage and are anticipating the arrival of the tea and microwave. They spend most of their free time in the now-luxurious third floor flex space, either doing work or just relaxing.

 

“I love the hammock because it’s comfy; it’s a nice, chill place to relax,” sad Bader. “The school’s chairs are so uncomfortable and they hurt your back but with the hammock you can just chillax and hide from the world.”

 

Quinsay is just as attached to the hammock as Bader, saying that they are ‘married to it,’ and they often argue over who should be able to use it at a given time.

 

“It’s really comfortable, and it gives me resting time during sixth period instead of doing homework all the time,” said Quinsay. “Sometimes we fight over who gets to sit in it – if there was another hammock that would really nice.”

 

While there may not be plans to add another hammock soon, other accommodations are becoming available for students, making the school just as comfortable as home.

 

“Oh I am excited,” said Bader.” I’ll have everything I need: a hammock, tea, a microwave, wifi, a clock — and I can do art. I can just live here.”

 

 

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The sky IS the limit

By Zak Sleeth

Phoenix Flyer Reporter

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New laws regarding drones educate pilots and ensures the safety of the public airspace by requiring registration and establishing stricter flight boundaries around airports, public spaces, buildings, and adding a flight limit of 400 feet.

Some students at RAHS have been directly impacted by these changes, including junior Vlad Nazarov, who is an experienced model aircraft enthusiasts and instructor. He feels that it’s a great step towards making the drone community more responsible and overall safer.

“It is great addition for [adding] a level of responsibility,” said Nazarov. “Especially with so many new [drone] owners flying them wherever they want.”

The main goal of the new changes was to make the public airspace safer by requiring training for new drone users and establishing responsibility. Nazarov, however, feels the new system is more of an annoyance than anything else.

“I think it will make people think twice before buying a drone,” said Nazarov. “I think it will affect more of the new users than current ones, they will have to register then keep doing what they’re doing.”

The registration process entails paying a twenty five dollar fee and reviewing a ‘Know Before You Fly’ document that goes over all the new rules and regulations. The site also goes in-depth on which drones need to be registered and which ones do not. Nazarov personally feels the payment should not be required.

“With the twenty five dollar fee and credit card requirement it may push some people away,” said Nazarov. “I don’t think everyone is actually going to do the registration.”

David Hadley, a freshman at RAHS and experienced quadcopter hobbyist, also feels the new regulations are restricting in some aspects.

“The new drone regulations say that you cannot fly a drone within five miles of any airport,” said Hadley. “I happen to live close to Sea-Tac so I have to do a paper registration which takes forever.”

Despite Hadley’s dissatisfaction with multiple parts of the regulations, he is happy with some of the new rules directed at new drone users that will make flying safer.

“It creates responsibility among the community,” said Hadley. “The registration number you put on your drone links it to you, and if you crash it, whoever finds it can return it.”

While Nazarov feels it will definitely make flying safer and more responsible, he can’t see how they are going to enforce the regulations among newer users.

“When [new users] get a drone they don’t understand that they can’t just fly it wherever with no liability, ” said Nazarov. “But who’s going to enforce it? The police?”

For more information regarding the new drone regulations visit federaldroneregistration.com

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