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The Vox Box

Our New Blog… *sniff* *tear* *sigh*

Alright everyone, listen up. We are still waiting to find out whether we’ll be able to keep THIS blog up for next year. But in any case, we went ahead and created a new blog on BlogSpot, so that if that’s what we end up having to do, you all will have been able to get the new web address.

Its nothin’ fancy right now, but we just wanted make sure we got the address out before this blog is closed, IF that’s what ends up happening. Here’s the web address:

Goobye to the Vox

Due to budget cuts and layoffs affecting the Spokesman-Review, the upcoming issue of the Vox will be the last issue produced under Erin Daniels-Bangle and the Spokesman-Review. The Vox Box will also be shutting down in early June. We may continue with a small-scale blog or something more awesome on Blogspot or another blog site, but it will not be under the Spokesman-Review. We’ll keep everyone informed.

This paper has,undeniably, meant a lot to the kids (and adults) involved. The Vox Bloggers are each editing this post, but if you have any memories, whether you are a reader, Vox kid, Vox parent or former Vox kid, please comment. We’ll leave this up for as long as possible.

Mariah: I have wanted to join the Vox since I was in middle school. When I first went down to the Spokesman for a Vox training session, I really liked it. Erin was hilarious, and I could tell I meshed with the other bloggers. It’s disappointing that the program has to end, but the demise of the newspaper business is even more disappointing. The fact that the teenagers of the US aren’t reading the paper only sets up a larger demise in the next 10 to 15 years, as the internet becomes more important and published news becomes less is very disappointing.

Chloe: I’ll NEVER forget the blog-post of Cash and I performing the High School Musical dance!!! That was great. :D. (Sweet dance-moves, Cash!) I got introduced to The Vox through Journalism Camp at the S-R, such a great experience. Like Mariah said, Erin was hilarious (always laughing up a storm, nearly making licorice come out my nose…) and really made the program run smoothly.  It’s so fun to get to know kids who are interested in the media as I am, and getting to know The Vox staff has been an unforgettable experience! I love you guys! :) There will definitely be NO forgetting of The Vox and everything it has meant to me.

Caitlin: These past three years with the Vox have been amazing. I was thrilled to be able to continue helping out with things here on the blog despite being almost 2000 miles from Spokane, and I will never forget both my time writing and blogging with my fellow staff members. As many have said, Erin has been absolutely wonderful, as has everyone else I’ve gotten to know through the Vox. I will miss you guys so much, and I really hope a small-time publication works out. You guys definitely deserve it. Farewell to thee!

Rae: I’ve had such an amazing time being a part of the Vox, and while my time as a Vox Staffer was short lived, I’ll have plenty of experiences, and lots of memories that I’ll be able to take with me. My favorite memory of the Vox, at least on the blog were the “fights” that broke out on occasion. ;) They were always so stupidly hilarious to read. Although after ThunderBunny left, those “fights” weren’t as exciting… Also, training for the Vox was super fun, and I too thought Erin was a hoot! (I’m going to miss all of her emails flooding my inbox… =\) One last thing. I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the security guards in the lobby after our staff meetings. So sadly we must say goodbye to the Vox, unwillingly of course. Its been fun, and I’ve loved getting to know all of my blogging companions. I’ll miss this. Goodbye. ~Rae

One question: Do you read the paper? How do you get daily news?


Relay for Life Touches Lives

The live band could be heard across town.  The fireworks erupted and ignited in the dark of night.  A huge crowd of people marched around the track.  Simply said, Greyhound Event Center was bustling with a cause Friday night: cancer.

The American Cancer Society’s annual event, Relay for Life, was held in Post Falls overnight Friday and well into Saturday.  This memorable event started at six o’clock Friday evening and ran until noon Saturday.  Volunteer groups, schools, clubs, families, and individuals gathered together to remember those who have passed on, commend those who have survived, and celebrate the cure the future promises.

Those participating were asked to raise funds by having others pledge money for the cause based on the number of laps the participants walked around the track.  In addition, groups collectively raised funds with activities, sales, and concessions.  The unbelievable monetary and social support for the American Cancer Society makes Relay for Life memorable and unique.

The Battle: Individuality vs. Peer Pressure

Should schools enforce school uniforms?

With the current school year winding down, several school administrators are considering changing policies within the school districts.  For example, the Post Falls School District may opt to elect a four-day week for the 2009-2010 school year as opposed to a five-day week, in order to allow for more teacher planning and preparation time.

One major issue that is affecting school districts right now is schools uniforms.  As unneccessary as they may seem, the idea is quickly becoming more and more appealing.  Schools that have enstated uniforms have been proven time and time again to have lower violence rates, and with the number of lockdowns our district saw this year, violence has become quite the issue.

In addition, school uniforms alert staff members and security officers in the schools of intruders, particularly those who pose a dangerous threat to students.

Perhaps the largest issue that has been addressed by the potential school policy of school uniforms is peer pressure.  By enforcing a school uniform dress code, students are relieved of any pressure to act, dress, and BE who everyone else wants him or her to be.  One of the very first parts of a student’s routine every morning is to get dressed.  Think about it.  With a school uniform dress code, every student within the district would practice defeating peer pressure within the schools with the very simple act of dressing EACH MORNING.  That is a lot of practice towards a very wothwhile goal.  Just like anything, eliminating peer pressure will take practice.

Consider this issue within modern high schools.  Sure, sacrificing the freedom of dress will prove to be diffilcult, but the purpose behind enforcing school uniform dress codes is much greater than the cause of individaulity.

So They Think They Can Dance, Eh?

So You Think You Can Dance, the hit dance reality show, is back full strength for yet another season.  This will be the show’s fifth season, and the auditions have alreadied demonstrated a lot of promise for the show as the judges tour from city to city across the United States scouting out talented dancers. 

As Nigel Lithgow and Mary Murphy, accompanied by a different guest judge for each city, travel across the U.S. holding auditions for the coming season, dancers of all genres, styles, and talents are invited to audition.  The auditions are airing each week on television.  Check out the amazing, the incredible, the “interesting”, the unique, and the downright hilarious dancers on Wednesday, June 3, and Thursday, June 4, at eight o’clock!

“Your Voice was the Soundtrack of My Summer”

Signs of summer vacation: yearbooks, finals, tans, job applications, shorts, sandals, and heat.

Summer is teasing students.  It is peeking around corners, giggling, and running away.  The beautiful freedom of summer is merely days away!

The goals of next year are looming in the distance, yet the joy of a vacation well deserved is waiting like an anxious relative in an airport dying to see you.

What are you most excited about as summer rolls around?  Who will you miss most?  What are your plans?

Video of the Week

“For Jo” by RiddleTM

All of you Harry Potter fans out there ought to enjoy this.

No Car? No Problem!

I was looking on the Year of Plenty blog, here, and it had a post about a town in Germany that is car free. Not bicycle friendly or walking friendly, but bicycle and walking only. The town, Vauban, Germany, exists without cars. The New York Times story is here.

Would you live in a community like this? Do you think that it is viable? Do you like living in urban environments?

Ducks on Parade

Get Adobe Flash player

Okay, this video is adorable. Last year, a guy in downtown Spokane, who works at Sterling Savings Bank, saved a group of baby ducks after they nested in the concrete awning above the bank. He caught them as they jumped, and led them to the river, with Mama Duck close behind. This year, he did it again. This video by Jesse Tinsley is adorable.

The story of this went viral last year, so the Spokesman put up a webcam above the awning, because Mama Duck used the same awning this year. For about a week, you could watch the ducks online.

Have you seen the ducks? Did you ever look at the duck cam? Were you at the parade yesterday?

Video of the Week

“Real Life Twitter” by collegehumor

Question: What is your opinion of Twitter? Is it frivolous fun, or is it just inane? Is it somehow better to say these things online rather than in real life?

Video of the Week

Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch

It’s AP week, we all need something brainless.

Unique Ways to Lighten Up…

Trends are fickle and ever-changing: Our music, clothes,  -  even food can go ‘in’ and ‘out’ of style!  Yet with this amazingly cool and crazy lamp, it’s good to know that our trends are taking a turn for the unique. 

This is my favorite! The ‘tasteful’, (and cleverly named), Cereal Bowl Lamp is a new way to light up any room. Just reach for the spoon and turn on the 14-watt flourescent bulb. 

Found on Etsy for $89.98, (but sold out…sorry guys, I really wanted one…), the lamp can be purchased with a variety of bowl-colors including orange, greens, blues, and pinks.  Ohgizmo!.com points out the stunning likeness to a real bowl of Froot Loops, warning light bowl-owners to “keep it out of the reach of pets, toddlers, and hungry roommates.”

Not a very important topic, yet I feel it should be discussed…:D. Would you buy a lamp like this? What other cereal would make a good light-fixture? (This one is definitely making me crave some sugary breakfast cereal…)

Who’s Ready?

Tomorrow is the first day of a week and a half of AP tests. There are multiple tests a day all of this week and next week. Tomorrow, there are the United States Government and Politics, Comparative Government and Politics, and French Language tests.

The AP US History test is Friday morning. I’m nervous and excited.

Who is taking an AP test within the next few days? How have you been studying?

Who’s Running?

Today is the day, folks! Stretch those calves! Double-knot those laces!  Got your Powerbar? Good…because today is Bloomsday.

So who is running Bloomsday this morning? Ever run in the past? What’s the best part? The worst? (I hear there’s a pretty nasty hill….)

Why You Shouldn’t Worry About the Swine Flu

  As the media reports more and more on the swine flu, Americans are getting more and more scared. Some schools have been closed, and germaphobics everywhere are on lockdown. What the media has failed to report on, however, is that the swine flu really isn’t any more dangerous than the regular flu. According to, “atotal of 86 influenza-associated deaths were reported during the 2007-08 influenza season.” Most of these deaths were comprised of very young children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems. So far, only one person has died from the swine flu, and those in the most danger are the same as those in danger from the regular influenza. 

  I’m not saying that you shouldn’t not be worried about the swine flu, or try to keep yourself from getting it. You just don’t need to worry about dying from it. The main danger from influenza is dehydration, a problem that can be solved with an IV and a doctor’s care. If you have more questions about the swine flu, check out the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Key Facts page. 

Charity-A-Day: Cell Phones for Soldiers

American soldiers are detached each day from the lives they once led, but teenagers Robbie and Brittany Bergquist are striving to reach out to these troops with an organization all their own known as Cell Phones for Soldiers.

Through this unique program, soldiers are reconnected with their homes, families, friends, neighbors, and communities, even if only for minutes at a time.  Cell Phones for Soldiers was established in 2004 to provide American troops with means of calling home; five years and millions of dollars later, the program has succeeded in reuniting loved ones all across the United States.

By recycling used cell phones, the program raises money to purchase prepaid calling cards for American soldiers.  Getting involved with this remarkarble program is simple.  Donate any used cell phone today, and contribute to the cause that is reuniting families everywhere.

Be sure to check out for more information.

“Your Mission: Help Our Troops Call Home”

Video of the Week

Not fond of swearing, but not sure that “gosh darnit” aptly expresses the pain of a stubbed toe? Try some wizard swears on for size!

Raising the bar on pandemic protection

The swine flu? (I just heard about this on today’s morning news…) 

The World Health Organization, (WHO), reports Mexico’s infection-count at 26 cases with 7 death while the U.S. Government having a count of 91 confirmed cases with no deaths: until now. 

Having traveled to Texas from his home in Mexico for following medical treatment, describes the 23-month-old child as “the first [death] outside Mexico and the first in U.S.”

“This is obviously a serious situation.  Serious enough to take the utmost precautions,” President Obama said while speaking at the White House before a short trip to Missouri. 

“Every American should know that the federal government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to control the impact of this virus,” Obama said. 

Follow the current standings on the swine influenza with WHO. Updated daily.

If only her name was Toto…

A six-pound, eight-month-old Chihuahua named Tinker Bell was reunited with her owners recently after a 70-mph gust of wind blew her nearly a mile away. The owners credited a pet psychic with Tinker Bell’s rescue. “The brown long-haired dog was dirty and hungry but otherwise OK,” according to this article.

Where’s Dorothy when you need her, hm? Any amusing pet stories of your own?

Lights, Camera, Community Action!

Spring is a time of renewal, reinvention, and reinspiration.  So my question is this: What have you done recently to serve your community?

It’s easy to forget about volunteerism as the weather warms up, school draws to a close, and spring sports seasons get fired up, but are those truly acceptable excuses?  Our communities, neighborhoods, and cities are crying out for help.  Let’s face it: There’s a ton of hurt in the world today.

Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” and I can’t help but agree with him.  What are we contributing to if not to our own backyards—our sources of education, entertainment, empowerment, and VOICE?

Check out this other amazing quote from Charles F. Kettering, an inventor.  “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.”

Get inspired! Get out there and use your voice, talent, and heart to make those memorable changes you seek in the world, for the world has been waiting for you.

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About this blog

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at

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