Pierce Pioneer

Boom Supersonic and the high speed changes to air travel

In a press release on June 3, 2021, United Airlines announced a partnership with Boom SuperSonic to add aircraft to their fleet in pursuit of a sustainable future. Boom Supersonic is an aerospace company based in Denver, and United will purchase 15 to 50 of their ‘Overture’ airliners.

There was an emphasis on net-zero carbon and sustainability. The fuel that these Overture airplanes will use is sustainable aviation fuel and the craft itself is expected to be net-zero carbon from launch day—a first according to them.

As for numbers, Overture can fly up to speeds of Mach 1.7 and can cut current flight times in half. A flight from San Francisco to Tokyo would last six hours instead of 11. Commercial flights won’t be available until 2029, but they will start flying in 2026. Boom hopes to have ticket prices be $100 someday, saying it was better to set a goal far out and work backwards.

It’s interesting to see how fair aviation has come in the century after the first commercial flight in 1914. It feels far away, but Elon Musk wants to land humans on the moon again in 2024, so who knows what innovations are awaiting.

To see more by United or Boom, check out the links at the end of the press release.

Kicking it with Q – Episode 5 – The Struggle in Hong Kong

Quintin Mattson-Hayward talks about the struggles in her home, her transition to the United States and Coronavirus.


Editor: Quintin Mattson-Hayward

Guests: Kay Li, Emma Li, Kitty Hui

Logo: Jesus Contreras

Uber and Lyft prices skyrocket after mass shooting in Seattle

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With a suspect at large and multiple roads closed with no pending date, those hoping to travel to Seattle this weekend may need to reconsider

A mass shooting took place on Third Avenue and Pine Street, in Seattle, Washington, leaving 1 dead and 7 injured, including a 9-year-old boy. The shooting took place around 5 p.m. Wednesday on Jan. 22 after a dispute occurred outside a McDonald’s, according to the Seattle Times. Two suspects – Marquise Latrelle Tolber and William Ray Tolliver – have been identified and remain at large.

Seattle has issued numerous road closures across the city following the shooting, with no official time on when they’ll be uplifted. This has caused a surge in prices for Uber and Lyft users, with some prices reaching beyond $100 for a ten minute drive.

According to GeekWire, people leaving the area post-shooting began reporting the increased prices on Twitter. User Hannah Herber screenshotted her Lyft prices, which were $249.55 just to go north of Seattle. “You bet!” tweeted Hannah. “This is a ride that may be 20-30 minutes and is usually about $35. How is this okay?”

Jason Wiltshire, another user, tweeted his criticism of Uber following the shooting. “Good old Uber, always ready to profit out of a tragedy.”

Lyft has since released a statement to GeekWire, giving condolences for those affected by the shooting. “When we learned what happened, we implemented a cap on prime time pricing, which automatically enabled during periods of high demand,” said Lyft. 

“We plan to reimburse or credit users in the surrounding area who were affected by this increased pricing.” Uber and Lyft prices have slowly begun lowering since releasing a statement, prices currently ranging between $16 to $25 in King County, and $65 to $90 if traveling from Lakewood.

Transportation has been rerouted following the shooting, with SDOT Traffic tweeting an ongoing traffic warning on Jan. 22. “If you can, avoid downtown streets and/or delay your commute if you’re in the downtown district. Seeing high travel times due to multiple street closures in the area for investigations.”

Tips for bad weather

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Trucks in Chicago, Illinois clearing the streets of snow.

Your hands are numb from the freezing cold. You can barely feel your face as the harsh wind cuts across your cheeks as you wait for your car to warm up. As winter approaches, bad weather curses the streets with black ice and racks up electric bills. Here are some tips for how to fight off the cold.

To remove ice from windshields, invest in a de-icer spray or make one by combining two thirds of rubbing alcohol with a third of tap water. Start the car but put the heater on medium, not full blast. As it defrosts, spray the de-icer onto the frozen windshield and let it sit for about a minute before carefully scraping the ice.

Some people buy an ice scraper to scrape away ice as long as it’s used carefully but using a school ID, or a card similar to it, can also work. Do not use metal items to scrape ice. Pouring regular water onto a windshield would also be ineffective as it will only freeze again. One way to reduce ice altogether is to cover it with bedsheets, cardboard, towels, or a tarp overnight.

Once the car is drivable, keep your regular headlights on so other drivers can see you. The lights can help show where black ice is. Black ice is hard to see but tends to be reflective and located on the back roads and bridges.

If you’re brave enough to drive on icy streets, invest in snow chains for your tires. If not, don’t tailgate others and be sure to pump the brakes at a reasonable distance. Sudden movements when braking or turning can be dangerous, so it would be best to avoid that. Slow down when the roads are covered with snow or ice. It’s also important to keep your gas tank filled due to the high usage of gas when the car works to stay warm.

To keep your body warm, wear layers of clothing that are insulated and windproof. Wearing wool is more beneficial during the winter season rather than cotton or denim, which gets wet and cold faster. Keep clothing loose so your circulation doesn’t get cut off. Scarves are also best at protecting your face. 

Carry hand warmers to place into your mittens to trap the heat. For feet, boots are preferable to keep water out, but breathable shoes are not. Toe warmers can be worn with shoes to keep your feet from going numb.

In houses, keep the doors to rooms that aren’t being occupied closed so warm air is not lost through circulation. Cover up the windows at night with curtains or hang a blanket on walls and doors to insulate the heat. Set the temperature to heaters at a medium setting because the higher the temperature, the faster it gets lost to the cold air outside. Space heaters save electricity by focusing heat for the room in use.

There are many other ways to keep warm during the winter season. These are just a few tips to handle the bad weather that may come along.

For information about school emergencies, delays or closure procedures and how to stay up to date, check out this link for more information.

Student spotlight

Travel loving student Madison Moore pursues her future

person smiling

“Live as much as I can each day,” said Madison Moore, 17, a Pierce student and a senior at Bonney Lake High School. Moore has taken that concept and ran with it – around the world.

Growing up in different states on the West Coast, Moore and her family moved from California to Washington when she was 10. She didn’t travel much in her younger years, but when she turned 16 all that changed. Her license meant her freedom, and Moore took advantage of that, traveling whenever she could. She’s been on a few road trips; her favorite was to Lake Tahoe with her boyfriend and his family, but the best state she’s visited is where she was born:  Oregon.

While Moore wasn’t old enough to make any memories in Oregon while she lived there, the second she visited the state she knew that that was her home. Between family and “good vibes and good people,” she has decided that she would like to live there one day when she settles down.

Moore sees a family in her future, and she expects it to be a fun one filled with travel. “A big thing with me is that I want my kids to experience things,” Moore said. There are no plans for that anytime soon, due to her adventurous spirit and drive for a better future for herself and her family.

While wanting to attend college for an undecided career, she also has plans to travel. In just a few short months, Moore plans on spending spring break in Hawaii with her family and her boyfriend, and is looking forward to swimming with the animals, and going to the beaches. It’s her first time traveling by plane, which will be a good practice flight for when she goes to England in the summer. Her boyfriend’s father is from England, and so she’ll have authentic experiences and guides throughout England.

After that where she goes will be a mystery, but places like Jamaica and Asia are on her bucket list. With connections in Asia, she hopes that traveling there will happen sooner rather than later.

“I want to go to anywhere in Asia that has pandas in the wild,” Moore said of her favorite animal.

“Since I’ve been a senior, I didn’t really think about how my life has gone. “Seventeen years just went by” she said thinking back on her life. “Life is short in that way, because we don’t always think like that. Make every moment count and let those that I love, know that I love them.

“I want to see as much as I can.”

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