KIDS AND USED CARS
R aising kids can be a challenging endeavor. When are growing up in a world very different from the one Heather and I knew when we were teenagers. We are far from perfect parents, but we do our best. This article chronicles some of our successes and some of our less than stellar moments. We hope you can learn from some of our failures and find entertainment in the moments we share. KIDS AND USED CARS After about 25 arguments and a summer schedule that would send my boys in different directions, I finally came to the conclusion I was postponing as long as possible: My boys needed their own cars! My son Andrew was fortunate enough to receive a 2002 GMC pickup truck from his grandmother. This truck had one of the coolest paint jobs you have ever seen. Depending on how the sun hits the car, it changes from purple to orange to red. It has also served as our family’s go-to vehicle for hauling recyclables and any other project where a pickup was needed. However, it was about time for Chandler to have his own wheels as he had a full-time summer job at Camp Equinox, and there was no way we could reconcile his schedule with Andrew’s. Buying a used car is not for the faint of heart. Although it has been about 10 years since I was in the used car market, I set out with Chandler to hopefully purchase a car that would be new to him. We had a budget (which we broke a little) and an idea of what we wanted. As a seasoned negotiator and someone who appreciates cars, I was ready to guide my son through his first purchase. Heather and I married in 2013, she agreed to take on not only a husband but also two boys, Andrew, 12, and Chandler, 11. The boys are now 18 and 19 years old and
“Whatever you do, Chandler, do not buy the first car you see.” In response, Chandler said, “Hey dad, let’s check out this Volvo. It will be easy to say no to this one!” There it was, off-white with a ski rack and four spare summer tires in the back. It had about a half-dozen bumper stickers on the back, all causes Chandler believed in. After about a five-minute test drive, it was all over! We broke the cardinal rule of purchasing a used car. Those damn Swedes build an irresistible car.
- Lucas Foust
The No. 1 rule for anyone looking for a used car is you cannot buy the first car you find. So, I instructed Chandler accordingly,
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SWITCH IT UP The Family Feud You Want to Be a Part Of
Tama first appeared at the station as a young cat in the late 1990s. She lived near the train station and would visit commuters daily to receive affection and the occasional treat. But, as it turned out, her continued visits to Kishi Station would end up playing a much bigger role for the station. The same year it became unstaffed, residents living near the station asked the president of the Wakayama Electric Railway, Mitsunobu Kojima, to revive the station because the cat’s survival depended on it. It turns out Tama’s original owner had asked the railway workers to care for her before he moved away — he couldn’t bear to take her from the station she loved to visit so much. So, Kojima decided to go meet Tama. He liked her immediately and adopted her. A year later, Tama was officially named the Stationmaster of Kishi Station, the first cat Super Smash Bros. Ultimate There’s nothing like grabbing a group of friends to fight it out with your favorite video game characters. The Smash Bros. games have been around since 1999, making it possible for Link to fight head-on with Mario or Samus Aran to take on Fox McCloud. With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, you can choose your favorite Nintendo, Sega, or Square Enix characters and see who comes out on top! Pokemon The Pokemon franchise has lasted for over two decades and continues to be a source of entertainment for people of all ages. With Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, players can take on trainers, face gym leaders, or even play with other Pokemon trainers throughout the Galar region. Both games are capable of online connectivity to other real-world players, letting trainers battle and trade globally. TAMA, THE CALICO
As one of the most popular gaming consoles, the Nintendo Switch draws the attention of gamers and nongamers alike. It offers hundreds of games for people of all different ages and preferences. If you’re thinking about adding to your family’s game collection, take a look at these five family-friendly options everyone can enjoy. Super Mario Party and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe If you’re looking for fun multiplayer games, look no further. Super Mario Party and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe allow up to eight players to get together and play against each other, giving people the chance to race, fight, and compete in a friendly atmosphere. The games offer a number of terrains and game boards to play through, each with unique challenges for players to overcome.
Splatoon 2 This game offers a fun and colorful twist on a typical shooter game. Up to eight players can battle it out with one another and attempt to paint the other players with their own colors. Splatoon 2 can also be played online, making it a great family game. No matter how far away you are from one another, you can always play Splatoon 2 together for as long as you’d like.
The First Feline Stationmaster in All of Japan
During the mid-2000s, the Kishi Train Station in Japan began to deteriorate. By 2006, Kishi Station was left completely unstaffed because of low ridership and financial problems. However, one last resident still remained after everyone else was long gone: a black, white, and tan cat named Tama.
stationmaster in Japan. To complete her look, Kojima gave her a small conductor hat to wear as she greeted commuters from her window perch inside the ticket gates. As an official stationmaster, Tama became well known all across Japan and throughout the world. She appeared in the media and on promotional materials that soon brought much-needed foot traffic to Kishi Station. Thousands of tourists came rushing to Kishi to see Tama for themselves, ride the Tamaden carriage, and pick up Tama merchandise inside the station. Tama brought joy to all commuters for the next several years before passing away in 2015. Nearly 3,000 people attended her funeral, and her legacy lives on. Tama’s successors continue as stationmasters: Nitama, who serves as Kishi stationmaster, and assistant Yontama at Idakiso, five stations away.
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Digging for the Truth
FOIA LAWSUITS THAT CHANGED HOW AMERICANS PARTICIPATE IN DEMOCRACY
The Freedom of Information Act, commonly referred to as FOIA, has been a crucial part of the democratic system for decades. It was designed to improve public access to governmental records, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always work as intended. In most cases, requests are only answered if a lawsuit is filed. Nevertheless, FOIA has had a crucial role in many high-profile legal cases. Here are a couple of the most significant ones in American history. A Journalist’s 16 Years in Court California-based journalist Seth Rosenfeld has had some serious contention with the FBI. In 1985, he filed his first lawsuit against the FBI for ignoring his requests for information about the Berkeley protests of the 1960s. The case was eventually settled in 1996, and Rosenfeld was awarded $560,000 in fees. In their settlement agreement, the FBI agreed to be more thorough with FOIA requests.
Rosenfeld filed a second lawsuit in 2007 accusing the FBI of withholding information during former President Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Five years later, he was awarded $479,459 in attorney fees. Rosenfeld is known for having some of the longest-pending FOIA requests and has received over 300,000 pages of FBI documents since the 1980s. The SCOMM Scandal In a landmark FOIA settlement concluded in 2013, the federal government paid $1.2 million to settle a suit brought by several civil rights groups over the Secure Communities (SCOMM) Immigration and Customs Enforcement program. The litigation exposed a plan to create a multi-agency database focused on collecting DNA, a person’s gait, and iris scans. When evidence was uncovered during the litigation, governors of New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts tried to opt their states out of the program, but the Department of Homeland Security
determined SCOMM mandatory, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The case also changed how the government is required to identify, collect, and produce data for all FOIA requests. Thanks to FOIA and these important cases, the people’s right to government information (and honesty) will continue to progress in America’s democracy.
Take a Break!
GREEN VELVET CHEESECAKE BARS
Inspired by AboutAMom.com
This St. Paddy’s Day, try taking a festive spin on a classic staple. If you have red velvet lovers in your family, they’re sure to love this equally decadent treat.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
• • • •
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted
1 oz green food coloring (gel works best)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract Green sprinkles, optional
1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and food coloring. Press into the baking pan. 3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. 4. Add eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla. 5. Pour mixture over the packed crumbs. 6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. 7. Let cool completely before adding sprinkles and slicing.
ARIES BLOOM BUD FLOWERS
GROWTH LUCKY MELT PUDDLE
RAIN REBIRTH SPRING SPROUT
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Foust Law Office
PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411
www.lucasfoustlaw.com 406-587-3720 Fax: 406-879-4400
3390 South 30th Avenue Bozeman, MT 59718
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Kids and Used Cars PAGE 1 Switch Up Family Game Night PAGE 2 Bringing Love, Joy, and Life Back to Kishi Station PAGE 2 Influential Freedom of Information Act Lawsuits PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars PAGE 3 March Madness Fun for the Whole Family PAGE 4
WHOSE PICKS WILL GO ALL THE WAY? March Madness Fun for the Whole Family O ne of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities. Reward the winners with prizes.
fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them— and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can. Turn each game into an event. Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn each March Madness matchup
Create a learning opportunity.
Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant.
Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize they’re learning valuable skills.
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