May 12

Life as a President’s Child

by Matthew Lowe

Our president has two daughters, Natasha and Malia. His oldest daughter Malia is coming to the age of 18 years old, while Natasha is 14 years old. Although they live in the White House, President Obama and Michelle Obama are trying to make it like a normal home. To resemble a normal home they have family dinner at 6:30 P.M. Also, to make it more family like, Barack Obama has been assistant coach for Natasha’s basketball team. As you can tell, the Obama family attempts to make their home as normal as possible.

Since the girls grow up in such a public way, there are many challenges they face. Even Michelle Obama has said that they caught their daughters being “bratty.” Also, “I think they are… the first kids in the White House where everybody’s got a cellphone and everyone’s watching.” This shows her empathy for them and how they feel about their attitudes.

Along with having a normal life, the girls still have active social media lives, sleepovers, and they both go trick or treating. The past summer they went to sleep-away camp in New Hampshire, but the Secret Service has to attend them.

Even though they are the president’s daughters they still have “ “normal” lives like everyone else.

May 10

Perspective of a Photographer and Journalist on Organized Crime in 1980’s Italy

By Nicole Woods

letizia

A picture of a widow who’s husband was killed by the mafia for protecting judge Giovanni Falcone.

In America, a whole genre of gangster movies have been dedicated to the mafia. One of the most famously known mafia movies is the Godfather. The Sopranos, The Family, and other movies come to mind as well. However, life in Italy with the mafia was and is no walk in the park and definitely no action thriller either, according to Letizia Battaliga, a Sicilian woman who photographed many of the murdered victims of the mafia throughout the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s.
“Americans love ‘The Sopranos.’ They don’t believe the Mafia is like what they see on television, but the Mafia is dangerous, like ISIS,” Battaliga said in an interview with CNN. A dream of Battaliga in the 70’s, after her divorce, was to become a writer. And, just as she dreamed, she got a job as a journalist in 1971 at Milan. When offered a job in her home town Palermo, she wrote a lot about the Mafia.

The people who worked for her asked for pictures to be included in her article. Camera lenses saw the horrors of the Mafia in Palermo. Unfortunately for her, she was in the bloodiest time period of the Mafia in Palermo, her home town, and now Mafia territory. She struggled photographing both the greatness and the victims of the Mafia. Victims plagued the streets, and little hope could be found within Palermo. Battaliga was deeply disturbed.

Many of Battaliga’s friends were killed. Battaliga explained, “The best judges, the best policemen, the best people were killed. Some were friends. I can’t accept that this happened. I can’t finish my life accepting this. I want love. I want beautiful things. I want a normal life. That’s what my photos were fighting for.”

Some of her photos photographed the normal lives of Sicilians despite the Mafia lurking in the city. She tried to even out her bloody archives She photographed children. Children gave her hope. letizia-battaglia-restricted-super-169

When she testified against the Mafia in court she received death threats from the Mafia. When she arrived to crime scenes she was with victims who were taking their last breath. Every day of her life was scary in Palermo.

And it’s still not over. “The Mafia is now more powerful than ever. Before it was savage, they killed. Now they are in politics and financial life. This is not only blood … it is corruption.” Live and photograph was all she could try to do in her old town. She could photograph the normal, and even out her archives of murder victims and blood baths with the happier things in life.

One thing she learned in Palermo was that the Mafia wasn’t something to be joked or romanticized. A whole genre of movies inspired for their thrilling action and romance has actually taken victims. Never have Mafia movies become more disturbing and romanticized.

 

May 10

Man Files Lawsuit Against Starbucks

by Caleb Domenico

A Starbucks customer in Chicago felt that when he got his­ Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, sugar-f­ree syrup, extra shot, ice, no whip; that they were putting too much ice in it. Sounds crazy, right? But not to the customer Stacy Pincus as she filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for five million dollars!

There is almost no doubt that the customer will win. Here’s their argument; so a normal venti drink is advertised as 24 fluid ounces but, with the ice they put in there, it is really only 14 ounces of the liquid. So, in the end they are not getting as much of the drink as they paid for.

This kind of lawsuit can be traced back to a lawsuit that was filed against McDonald’s because a customer was burned by the coffee that was ordered and the customer won. So it looks like popular food chains will have to be cautious or the could lose a lot of money. After this is all over, Starbucks will have a latte to change.

Apr 26

Politics­: How is voting done?

by Matthew Lowe

In the United States, the people choose how our country runs by selecting the most important person in the United States government, the president. However, many people who have not voted before (myself included) are legitimately confused about how it works. So before you turn eighteen, sit back and read this article to learn the ropes.

First things first, we do not vote for the president. We vote for representatives called “delegates” who in turn vote for the president. Each state has multiple delegates depending on the population of that state. For example, Colorado has a total of 11 delegates. Over the past year a total of 537 delegates have voted. The more votes a delegate has, the more powerful they’ll be in the election.

When America was founded, we did not have accessible technology for voting. We used to just put paper in a box and have it shipped to the White House. However, this form of voting was completely scratched due to the fact that the votes could be easily tampered with. Now in a world with advanced technology, we have complicated and secure machines to do the counting.

Voting is a serious matter. Don’t skip out on voting because it takes too long and don’t miss out on political things just because you’re too young to vote. Your vote could be the thing to make America a better place.

Apr 26

Bizarre burglary

by Cameron John                                                                                                                                                       CBS Denver News

There’s nothing like a relaxing vacation, what could possibly go wrong? You’re going somewhere awesome, you can’t wait to have fun but what could happen while you’re away? A family in Jefferson County had taken a vacation and when they came back their house was a total mess. They found broken chairs, destroyed floors, missing ceilings, broken TV, you name it. Whoever was there wasn’t just interested in taking any property from the home, they destroyed the home itself. The suspects left more than $225,000 in damage to their home.

bizarre burglary-4

More than just the home being destroyed, matters became worse when the suspects broke the water pipes and caused the home to flood. Their neighbor (Michelle Butzke) was watching their home while they were away. After what had happened she described their home as if it were hit by a hurricane.” We walked in through the garage and it was like something out of a horror movie. The walls were seeping water, and the ceiling was completely gone,” said Butzke.

Apr 25

Lionel Messi Scores 500th Career Goal

by Zach Bruhn

 

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Sunday night against Valencia, Lionel Messi scored his 500th career goal. Ever since scoring his first ever senior goal, he has remained a legend across soccer and the whole world. Messi has nearly all the Barcelona scoring records set, and is also the only player to ever get the  Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player of the Year, Pichichi Trophy and Golden Boot in one year. He has outscored Cristiano Ronaldo, who set a new record with 300 goals in February.

He is only 28, and with an amazing career already, he has more ahead of him. With many La Liga championships and an Olympic gold medal under his belt, he sure has a cramped resume, but that is not going to stop him. He plans on continuing his career and earning more impressive milestones.

Lionel Messi is considered to be the greatest soccer player alive, and is setting the stage for newcomers everywhere.

Apr 21

Swearing in the School Environment

Today we live in an environment that socially accepts swearing in a daily manner. Students can’t walk through our school halls without hearing a cuss word or seeing someone getting flipped off. Which got us thinking, “What is the school’s policy on swearing and body language?” Can students be punished for using swear words and foul body language in a school setting? In this article we will cover this topic and interview the school’s Principal, Mr. Young as our primary source.

To start off, our group searched the school handbook for mention of swear words and other clues as to what the guidelines are. However, as we delved deeper into the text, we found no trace or mention of swear words. If we take a closer look we can observe the first building rule and assume it falls under that category. Mr. Young confirmed our theory, that it does fall under the first building rule. He also told us that he believes swearing is not acceptable in a public place.

So what should you do if you witness swearing in our school? There are many answers, but one thing you should not do is ignore it. Principal Young responded to this question by stating that it depends on the context. If a student falls down the stairs and lets out a curse, that would be completely different from insulting someone. If you are insulted or feel violated, you need to let a school personnel know immediately. In more serious cases, students are permitted to report someone to the authorities if needed.

Consequences for swearing can vary as mentioned before. They can range from first time offender to in school suspension. Either way you do not want to swear on school premises. However, many students pose the argument that, “Oh it’s just a joke. No one was hurt by it”. In this scenario, it is still a case of swearing and you can be reported.

In closing, let’s use appropriate language and show respect for each other and our school. And be careful what you say, for some day you may eat those words!

 

 

Apr 19

Is Standardized Testing Needed

by Matthew Lowe and Nicole Woods

It starts out like every school day. Students wake up, get ready, and pop into their classes while simultaneously keeping up a good grade. Somewhere in the day, a test sheet is laid in front of them. From the beginning of the school year, students are trained to face one obstacle, standardized testing. Some study for hours, others don’t care. However, students are beginning to wonder why we take these tests. Even now, parents have the option to opt their children out of standardized testing. But why not have them take state standardized tests? What for? What is the meaning of it all?

Standardized testing has been around since the mid 1800’s. It’s a part of everyday student life. However, opponents of standardized testing believe it’s affecting students negatively. It causes stress and is eating up taxpayer money. Ever since the No Child Left Behind Act, education quality has dropped significantly. Most of the blame falls on low quality teachers. The mandating of annual standardized tests has been enforced since 2002. The United States has been flung back from position 18 to 31 in overall country ranks on education.

Although standardized testing is regarded as a negative effect on education, people are worried about what would replace it. Some recommend to have standardized testing removed altogether, and replace it with regular classes. Some parents believe that students should have a natural interest in learning and not be motivated to study because of testing. Others are willing to take the necessary steps to improve their children’s education and relieve stress and sadness due to school.

Even if this form of testing is helpful to the students of America, there is no doubt that it is not accepted by everyone. Is there a better way of testing, or is it simply the failing curriculum of our schools? What can be done to improve our schools?

Apr 19

The Death of Will Smith

by Avery Marr and Brice Martin

The death of the NFL player Will Smith the defensive end for the Saints, came as a surprise. He was shot six times in the chest at 11:29 PM, near Sophie Wright Place and Felicity Street in New Orleans. The footage from the streets shows two cars, a Mercedes SUV and a Hummer. The Mercedes stopped too quickly and ended up hitting the Hummer after it pulled into the other lane and passed the SUV.

The two cars collided again. “This time, it was the Mercedes that was rear­ ended,” police said. Smith and the driver of the Hummer “exchange words” and at that moment the driver of the Hummer, Cardell Hayes, pulled out a handgun and shot Smith six times. He then proceeded to shoot his wife two times in the right leg. After seeing the shooting, one person did call the police, who arrived four minutes after the call. The police found Smith’s body in the middle of the road, where he lay outside of his car suffering from the wounds. Cardell Hayes was still at the scene, and he did not leave the area.

Hayes was not the only suspect with weapons that night. New details from the police had been released, and more weapons were found in Smith’s car. Detectives found a handgun and a revolver. In addition, other passengers were in the cars, although police haven’t said if they have caused any problems within the crime. After the shooting, police confiscated the weapons that were found.

Overall, the tragic death of Will Smith was a tragedy to many people. Lots of them still miss him today.

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The sudden death of Will Smith was a tragedy to many people. They will miss him.

Apr 15

Obesity in Teenagers and Children: How to Prevent it

By Breanna Encinas, Nicole Woods and Bobby Ambriz

It has startled parents for years. It has caused and been linked to eating disorders, diseases, strange eating patterns, and lack of physical activity. Obesity has been affecting the lives of many adult Americans and is now starting to affect the wellbeing of children. More doctors are starting to see extreme cases of obesity more frequently than ever before, and doctors are saying the overall health of Americans is getting worse and worse. But how does this affect our children?

Childhood obesity rates are three times greater than in 1980. The number used to rise very slow, but now that there are easier ways to access fatty foods through restaurants and fast food joints, the numbers are starting to rise rapidly. Obesity is a condition characterized by the excessive accumulation and storage of fat in the body. Every single person’s body is created in a way that will benefit them and help them in day to day life.

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Fast food is high in calories and gives very little energy. It makes you hungry faster causing you to eat again. When people eat more than they need (this is called overeating) they start to build up fat. When a large amount of fat is built up, a person can be classified as obese. Obesity is a big health risk for adults, of course, but how can this affect children and adolescents?

Researchers started to worry when the number of obese children started to rise, and from the results it can be caused by many things. It’s getting easier to access foods with empty calories at home and away from home. Think about it, how many times do you drive by a fast food restaurant? It’s not rare that we pass a McDonalds or Burger King while on the way home or to work. Many children who struggle with being overweight or obese are often that way because parents do not have time to make a healthy home cooked meal and need something quick and fast so they can feed their kid(s). Also, cutting sodas from your everyday meals cuts down on empty calories in addition to other health benefits.

Another one of the biggest causes of childhood obesity is the direct result of eating large amounts of calories with no physical exercise. It can be difficult to cut down after getting so big. Children that struggle with obesity find it hard to lose weight and if they do not manage their eating habits, exercise, and weight,  the bigger the health problems might be in adulthood. However, you can prevent it without even worrying about it.

By being active, you are already preventing yourself from becoming overweight or obese. Things like snowboarding and walking your dog are little things you can do to keep yourself healthy. If you have a fun activity like swimming, hiking, climbing, or even a sport you play then you’re already taking a big step towards keeping yourself healthy.  If you’re the type of person who doesn’t do a lot of outdoor activities and are only going to sit and play video games or stay indoors, eat things that have less calories, or foods with more nutrition.

In addition, if you’ve had more than an hour of exercise or outdoor play, then that’s when it is okay to consume more calories to make up for all that you burned off. When we asked one of our fellow students, Avery, how she keeps healthy, she responded by saying, “I run on the treadmill.” Another benefit for playing sports is that you may even get a reward, like a scholarship!

Obesity can be prevented in lots of different ways, and if you are overweight or obese, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. Eat in moderation, eat good foods, drink healthy drinks, and exercise as much as can while also having fun. Being overweight or obese can cause many health risks and it’s important to manage your health. Overall, if you manage all the things this article mentioned, you’ll feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally.

http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases­conditions/childhood­obesity/basics/definition/con­20027428 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity­prevention­source/obesity­trends/global­obesity­trends­inchildren/ http://www.webmd.com/children/guide/obesity­children http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/weightloss/2010­02­09­1Afirstlady09_CV_N.htm http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jun/23/truth­about­obesity­10­shocking­things­nee d­to­know