Tuesday, November 19, 2013

New Hope-Solebury’s own Ms. Alexa Gutter is Bucks County Poet Laureate

Bailey Hendricks
Staff Writer

Poet Laureate is an honor that is bestowed upon the poet of the given area who is expected to compose poems for special events and occasions. This person is usually appointed by government or a designated arts group. In the Bucks County area our very own English teacher, Mrs. Gutter was selected for the fresh and original voice present in her intensely crafted poems.
 “I was surprised and honored to get this type of recognition,” said Mrs. Gutter. She has been reading and writing poetry since the very moment she could start--around the age of four. It started just as a form of expression, but as she kept writing it became very rewarding to her to use the language in such a way.
  Mrs. Gutter found her greatest inspiration and influence in the poets Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda. Neruda was a politically active writer from Chile whose poems she found just beautiful. Oliver wrote about the beauty and simplicity of nature, another topic Mrs. Gutter enjoyed as a child and enjoys now as an accomplished poet in her own right. We interviewed her before her first official reading was on Sunday, Nov. 17, and she was very forthcoming about what she was thinking about.
 “My reading this weekend, getting through that,” she said during a Thursday interview, but the award was definitely a good push to get her work out there and to start publishing. “I always thought I would just write when I got older.”
 She was surprised to receive such an honor so early on in her career, but she is eager to take up the challenge. With such great talent Mrs. Gutter could have easily pursued a writing career, but to her “it just didn’t seem realistic.” She loves teaching, and it allows her to continue writing. “Teaching doesn’t feel completely separate from writing,” she said.
  “I tried to capture moments that stuck out as meaningful or beautiful,” Mrs. Gutter said of the series of ten poems she selected to enter the competition.  
  One memory was of the birth of her nephew, while the other was of the time a man jumped in front of the train she was traveling on.
  “I like my poems to be sad, funny, beautiful, and true all at once. That is my goal.”
 Her many students at New Hope-Solebury High School are very proud of her. Mrs. Gutter “is a fun, creative, and inspirational teacher.” said Katie Steele, a freshman. Nicole Martin told us, “She pushes us to think deeply and expand our thought process. She’s always creative in how she goes about teaching us new things.” It is truly a rare experience to have someone with such high honors as a teacher, but all of us here at NHS are very fortunate to have this experience.
  As for Mrs. Gutter’s reading this past Sunday, it went very well, and she seemed very pleased when talking about it with students.
  Mrs. Gutter also wanted to tell young and aspiring poets to read. “Read as much good poetry as you can. That is where you learn by seeing others skills.”
  She also extolled the value of working with others. You can learn so much from your fellow poets.
  From everyone at New Hope-Solebury High School, Congratulations Mrs. Gutter!

Tim Radar connects to students

 Dalton Waterman
Sports Editor

Over the years the class of 2014 has gone through numerous dull presentations about drug prevention. Every time some doctor or some person that knows about all of the negative impacts drugs can have stands up there, they pour all of their knowledge onto the students and think that they will come to an epiphany and never do drugs again. The fact is that we listen to those presentations as they are happening, but immediately after, there is harsh mockery of the presentation; and not too soon after that there is no memory of what was supposed to be an informative drug assembly. It was soon realized that in order to get to students about drugs, there has to be a story behind it that teaches a lesson. When the sophomores and juniors took the PSATs, the senior class was inspired by a motivational person, with a heartwarming and informative story.
  Tim Rader is a former straight A student, captain of the football team, and one of the most popular kids in his school, but this soon became a thing of the past as he fell into the downward spiral of drug addiction. He started off talking about his high school days. He kept going back to how he tried to please everyone and get everyone to like him. He talked about his football days and how he was going to get recruited and get a full scholarship. He talked about how he saved his little cousins life when he rescued her from drowning in the pool. He talked about all of the friends he had, and how everyone liked him. It’s ironic because he succeeded in getting everyone to like him, but ultimately it is what ruined his life.
  All it takes is a couple of bad choices to spiral your life out of control. He explained how he made those mistakes, but he thought that nothing would happen to him, and nothing did for a while, until addiction came back to ruin his life. Addiction will always decide when to come back and ruin you, even if you have it all. This was the biggest lesson he was trying to teach through his life story.
  He kept mentioning how all of these drug presenters came to his school droned on and on about the effects of drugs, and how he would get nothing out of it. His story was inspirational and it seemed to move a lot of people. He even said that if you don’t get anything out of this presentation take a couple of “I nevers” and hold onto them for the rest of your life, but it seemed that everyone did get something out of  this presentation because it was different. If there is one presentation about drugs that the seniors will remember, it will be this one.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Navy Yard shooting highlights violence in the workplace

Matt Firth
Staff Writer
 On September 12, a flood devastated over 2,000 square miles of the Front Range of Colorado. Over eight inches of rain soaked the area. Many have called it a “thousand year event” because of the excessive rain and unprecedented flooding. So far eight people have been found dead, over 100 miles of road damaged, and thousands of homes have been ruined.
 Almost Immediately after the floods, President Obama, as well as Governor John Hickenlooper stepped in. The day after the floods began, Obama gave the Federal Emergency Management Agency permission to begin giving aid to the region. On Sept. 13, Hickenlooper said in the Denver Post, “Each time an issue arises, we’re saying ‘all right, do we need a special session or can we deal with that,’ “ on the topic of convening a special session to assess the damage and decide what to do. The next day he signed for $20 million for disaster relief.
 Everything began on Monday, Sept. 9, as rain began to fall over the Front Range. In just 24 hours almost a year’s worth of rain was dropped on the area. Over 2,000 homes were destroyed by the torrents of water that surged down roads and transformed small creeks into rivers. Roads and bridges were badly damaged and many were destroyed. Along with the eight dead, thousands of people have been evacuated.
 Approximately 14,000 people were evacuated, due in large part to the National Guard who began to evacuate people on Friday. Three thousand people and 900 pets have been evacuated by helicopter, and hundreds more from “high profile” trucks that “wade” through the water. Of the thousands originally missing, the final six were found alive on Tuesday. There is only one person left unaccounted for, but is believed to be dead.
 Among many activists there has been a severe concern about the multitude of fracking wells in the path of the floods, and recently their worries were confirmed. Many fracking and oil wells were destroyed, releasing chemicals and oil into the water. In Weld County, the site of thousands of fracking wells, many were submerged, and even some tanks containing the waste produced by the fracking were torn away. This connects to people living in Pennsylvania because of the immense amount of fracking going on in the state. Due to the high concern the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took helicopters out to do an aerial survey. They were looking for oil sheens, but were also on the lookout for any signs that an event like the Yellowstone River pipeline rupture of 2011 could happen again.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Hope Wears It Pink

Bailey Hendricks
Staff Writer

Friday, October 18, 2013, New Hope Solebury High School was wearing it pink. Every year the Key Club sells t-shirts to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This year Key Club  sold over 200 t-shirts, raising between $800-1,000 according to Jessica Greenup, a key Club homeroom representative.
 Student government initiated a pink out at Friday night games. The football team had an outstanding win of 33-0 against Jenkintown Drakes. It was nice to see everyone out and supporting not just our school but also a great cause.
 In the United States alone in 2013, 232,340 woman have been diagnosed with breast cancer, but not just women are prone to the disease. Over 400 men have been diagnosed in 2013. Statistically this type of cancer affects about 1.3 in 100,000 men and 120.9 in 100,000 woman. It is not just a national issue though, it is much more personal than that. When surveying NHS students the Lion’s Tale found that more than 6 in 10 students know someone that has been affected, ranging from math tutors to moms. New Hope however isn't willing to let that go. Guys and girls alike were willing to put on their pink and stand up to a disease that has touched almost all of us at some point.
 There are other ways to show your support outside of school though. The Susan G. Komen Foundation holds 5k races for the cure, with 140 races around the US. There is no need to run though you can raise money or volunteer, but if you're really feeling it you could run.
 Although October has already passed and breast cancer awareness month is over, it doesn't mean you cannot still show our support. So, don't bury those shirts in the back of the closet and wait for next year to roll around again. Wear them with pride, knowing that you are doing the right thing, you are standing up to Breast Cancer.

School Shooting in Nevada

Lauren Mangano
Opinions Editor

On Monday, October 21, Sparks Middle School in Nevada was sent into chaos when a student opened fire in the early morning, wounding two students and killing a teacher. The shooter then turned to gun on himself.
 According to CNN, “Students described...how they ran into the school screaming and crying when they realized the pops they heard were gunshots just before the morning bell welcomed them back from fall break.”
 The shooter had taken a semiautomatic handgun from his parents to get the job done; his motive is still unclear.
 Amaya Newton, a student at Sparks Middle School, told CNN that the student who opened fire was always “a really nice kid” and made people smile whenever they were having a bad day. Newton also commented saying that she thought the shooter was friends with the two 12-year-old schoolmates he wounded.
 One of the wounded students was shot in the stomach, and the other was shot in the shoulder.
 Mike Landsberry, a popular math teacher at the school as well as a former Marine, was killed in the midst of the shooting. Reggie Landsberry, his brother, said that Mike was probably trying to “talk the kid down and protect whoever he could,” when he was killed outside on the playground.
 City officials said authorities received emergency calls about the shooting at around 7:15 a.m. on Monday morning. According to authorities, students were taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School was cancelled for a week for the students at Sparks, and it was cancelled for a day at closeby Agnes Risley Elementary School.
 As one of several school shootings this year in the U.S., Sparks Middle School is not alone in their recovery. A shooting took place at an Atlanta middle school in January, as well as in a high school in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in August. And the country still has not forgotten about the Newtown shooting, when 26 students were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
 The tragic shooting in Nevada is just another reminder that parents, teachers, and schools need to continue finding solutions to keep students safe.

Freshman Class Visits MBIT

Lexi Anderson
Staff Writer

On October 16, 2013  the New Hope Solebury Freshmen class visited the Middle Bucks Institute of Technology to learn more about future career options and how they can start to pursue them. The Middle Bucks Institute of Technology or MBIT is an institute for high school students that provides professional experience for all sorts of professions students may want to pursue in the future.
 There are several areas of study available at MBIT. Some of these include Commercial Art & Design, Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Health Sciences, and many more. When the freshmen visited MBIT, they were given thorough tours of our ideal program. The teachers and students were all very professional and took learning very seriously. The MBIT program is provided for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students enrolled in MBIT are at their high school learning their critical material for one half of the day, and studying at MBIT for the other half.
 What are the benefits of MBIT? Is it worth being taken out of school for? For some, the answer is no, but for others, there is a lot to be gained. MBIT provides substantial experience that will help students grow and learn in their desired field of work. Because so much intricate, hands-on material is taught, it is likely that students enrolled at MBIT don’t have to attend college, and can find a job straight out of high school. If you are planning on attending college, MBIT provides college credits for several schools such as Bucks County Community College.
 Many students want to focus strictly on high school academics and worry about career experience as they get older. Freshman Heather Borochaner thought the field trip was great. “It was good, I plan on going there.” Another freshman, Erin Gouris, had a similar opinion “It was interesting. I liked seeing the different jobs we can take up.” The field trip opened our students eyes to some of the future careers they can pursue and how they can start to do them.

A Year After the storm

Rachel Locke
Staff Writer

A storm that was the second-largest coastal catastrophic event in American history occurred one year ago, on Oct. 29, 2012. Also known as Hurricane Sandy, this superstorm led to the deaths of 182 people as well as an estimated $62 billion in property damage. And a year later, Sandy’s remains are still present.
Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast region, devastating the eastern seaboard. The destructive winds and pouring rain led to power outages in millions of homes that lasted for days upon end. During this time, schools were closed across the East Coast and millions were hoping that this storm would not produce any damage. 8.5 million people across the eastern region lost power and electrical companies could not easily restore power to this homes. Some people were out for as short as a few hours to as long as a month. Nevertheless, this storm damaged many homes, as well as devastating the shores. The actual eye of the storm landed just shy of Brigantine, New Jersey. The boardwalks of these Jersey shores were completely destroyed and some parts of it were actually in the ocean waters. Not only did this storm affect New Jersey, where the central part of the storm it, but it affected the entire eastern region as a whole.
A year after the storm, boardwalks have been restored. The beaches have been temporarily repaired by recreating the sand dunes and planting beach grass so that the summer attraction sight would still be used. It took a good seven months for the restoration of many of these beaches, but it was well worth it. Over 8,000 people helped out as volunteers in an effort to restore this favorite summer pastime.
Unfortunately, many residents in New Jersey and New York are still displaced from their homes. They are fighting with insurance companies and government financial aid to get their homes restored. Many are struggling to find a temporary home while juggling their financial issues. Overall, a year later from the storm looks like most people are slowly recovering. However, there are some families out there that are looking forward to a recovery. But, ultimately, this storm made everyone across the eastern seaboard a little bit stronger.

Obamacare reveals its new website

Nick Damarodis

Millions of Americans have tried to go on to the Obamacare website to see what type of insurance they can receive, but are not able to due to website glitches. It is an ongoing problem, with congressional committees now looking into the situation.
 Many had tried to go onto the site the day that it opened up, but the servers were not able to keep up with demand and several states had issues opening up their websites. It was a problem that many people were not expecting with the newly created website, which was designed to allow people to sign up for the health insurance exchanges and see what types of plans were being offered.
 Congressional leaders, in particular those who have been against Obamacare, have been describing the problem as just one of the many that will be coming along in the next few years with the rules of the law. Certain parts of the original law, such as the small business mandate, have been delayed,  and more changes to the law are expected.
 Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) was one of several members to question the Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, during a recent committee meeting on Capitol Hill. After Sebelius publicly apologized for the website problems, Blackburn attacked the law as a whole, saying that not everyone needs the same type of health insurance. She pointed out that some people want “Ferrari” health care plans while others may just want a “Ford” plan. “You’re taking away their choice,” Blackburn said to Sebelius referring to the American people and the issues they are facing under the law.
 Few people have currently signed up for the program, with an astonishingly low number of six sign ups on the first day, even though millions have gone on the website. The President continues to defend the website and program as a whole, though, and believes that there is a bright future for the health care plan, which has the goal to provide every American with health insurance.
 With large amounts of money spent, and many people losing their current health care plans because of the new regulations being implemented by Obamacare, the law is negatively viewed by Americans. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls on the health care law, 51 percent disapprove of the law while 42 percent approve. It will take time to see if the law will gain more popularity as more of the laws are put into place.

Is Technology the Future of Education?

Michael Iverson
Features Editor

As technology around the world takes giant strides of progression, education seems to be stuck at a crossroads. Living in the post-industrial era, with the average person owning several pieces of personal technology and social media, it has become a perplexing question whether society should allow technology to further consume us, as it has already absorbed many people in Western culture, and whether we should allow for the use of technology to consume education as well. The debate, of whether technology enhances education or rather distracts, is sweeping across the nation at an astounding pace. And with many schools, including our own New Hope-Solebury, adopting bring your own device programs it seems the advancement is inevitable. However, the bring your own device plan still has drawbacks and limitations set on it, such as the safety concerns associated with any form of technology, and many schools are searching for a solution to this problem. However, the bring your own device initiative has still managed to grab the attention of New Hope-Solebury staff and students alike.
The bring your own device policy, which started last year as one of Mrs. Lang’s policies, has been extended this year by our current principal, Mr. Malone. Mr. Malone has been an active proponent for devices in the classroom, encouraging students to use their devices in a positive and productive way, but he also wants students to interact with each other and not constantly be buried in their devices, a problem that has deterred many schools from starting similar programs. In an interview Mr. Malone, he stated that he feels students using their own devices is beneficial because it enables them to be fully comfortable with their device and also allows them to have access to beneficial resources in almost any situation. The program, which has been widely accepted by students, still does face some opposition from teachers and students who appreciate a traditional approach to education; as shown in many classes where pencil and paper are the only options for students. However, technology does seem to be quickly creeping its way into education, which is evident by the abundance of SMART Boards, teacher desktops, new laptop and Chromebook carts and especially through bring your own device programs.
It seems the transition into technology, although facing several hurdles, will inevitably come to schools whether people approve or not. Mr. Malone believes that the problem is not necessarily within technology itself, but within the way people utilize their devices. Mr. Malone wants to urge students against using sites such as ask.fm, where people can anonymously ask questions to any member on the site and has recently been a common cyberbullying platform, and asks instead that students use their technology for beneficial practices, such as research. Principal Malone firmly believes that students need to help their case for technology in schools through proper utilization and that the only way for technology in New Hope to further progress is for students to work with him. We have yet to see whether the risks of safety, exemplified last year by a Snapchat conflict in New Hope, will derail the bring your own device program, but it seems for now its here to stay.

Nebraska Supreme Court Denies Abortion

Mia Kaminoff

A teenager in Nebraska was denied the right to an abortion by the state’s Supreme Court on the grounds that she was not mature enough to make the decision. Last May, when the unnamed teenager was 10 weeks pregnant, she asked a judge for documentation to get an abortion without parental consent. Her reasoning was that she was not financially stable enough to support a child, and that she couldn’t “be the right mom that [she] would like to be right now.” The same month that she asked the court for an abortion, the court terminated her biological parents’ parental rights due to abuse and neglect. Her father was convicted of third-degree assault after he broke her collarbone and shoulder blade in 2011, and her mother had a drug addiction problem. In February, she was placed in a foster home. 
The teen was worried that her foster parents wouldn’t sign for her abortion because of their strict religious beliefs. The court concluded that she was not mature enough to make the decision because she was financially dependent on her foster parents and had never lived alone. The decision was appealed in July, but was shot down after the Nebraska Supreme Court declared her too immature to make the decision. In order to get the consent from the court, she had to prove that she was abused by her parents. Because her parents no longer had parental rights over her when she asked for the consent, the court would not grant the abortion.
This young women is not the only example of this fate. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization that works to increase the reproductive rights of women, women in foster care are more likely to get pregnant young than the average women. 14 percent of women become pregnant by age 18 in the general population, while 33 percent of women become pregnant by the same age in foster care, meaning that women in foster care are twice as likely to become pregnant. Once released from foster care, these women are cut loose into society with a child, but have no family to support them.

Friday, November 8, 2013

New schedule to increase instructional time

Molly  Price
Staff Writer

With all of the new rules and regulations that have this year—a new principal, new mobile phone rules, new headphone regulations, and new bathroom passport requirements—it may be shocking for students to hear that a scheduling change may be on the horizon. This change will be done to increase instructional time and may include something like block scheduling.
 The scheduling committee, made up of Mr. Malone, Ms. Reeder, Ms. Anderson, Mr. Rutledge, Ms. Ryan, Mr. Bachart, Ms. Gomez and Mr. Gaffney, has been exploring the subject of adding more instructional time to the school. The transition to a new schedule is not definite, but is a possibility.
 “The benefits of a new schedule are longer periods of instructional time which would increase the contact time between teacher and student at longer blocks, less traveling throughout the day, and more efficient use of time,” said Principal Mr. Malone, chairman of the scheduling committee.
 The student body has mixed feelings about the idea of changing the schedule and extending the amount of time you spend within a math or social studies class to be 90 minutes rather than our current 41 minutes.
 Bella Dougherty (2015) says: “I like the idea of block scheduling because it would mean having less homework per night.”
 If NH-S went to a block schedule it would more than double the time we as students spend in a classroom. This could undoubtedly decrease our amount of homework having more time in class to complete assignments and allow students to better comprehend material with teachers having more time to explain different concepts. Some students may find it difficult to concentrate after sitting for an hour during a lecture and zone off or become bored of the class.
 There are a few different types of block scheduling models that could be considered. The different types would have classes change at different times, like every semester, every marking period or even every other day. Either way, it would reduce all homework by half each night because we would only have 4 class periods a day.
  Whatever decision is made by the scheduling committee--change to block or stick with the current schedule--the guiding directive is to benefit the students and their academic careers.

MaST got violent

Karli Burns
Staff Writer

An altercation occurred at the Sept. 20 girls’ soccer match between New Hope and MaST Charter. Number 14 from MaST Charter attacked two players during the game and a third when she tried to intervene and stop the behavior. Though the girls’ varsity team beat MaST Charter at Comly Elementary school in Philadelphia 7-0, that is not what everyone was talking about.
   “I saw what number 14 was doing to my team and I wasn’t okay with it. That’s my team and I felt obligated to step in and stick up for my teammates. I know anyone else on the soccer team would have done the same thing for me,” said Lexi Morse.
  “I am so happy I have a teammate that will stick up for me in those types of situations. It really showed me how strong of a bond our team has.” said by freshman Kelly Hyland.
  The first instance of violence was when number 14 punched Anna Vidakovic. She later threw Kelly Hyland to the ground by pulling her hair. Morse confronted number 14, which lead to more violence. Number 14 began to throw punches at Morse and Morse fought back by kneeing her in the stomach. The altercation was stopped by a parent after referees did nothing. Both Morse and number 14 received red cards and were ejected .
  Anna Vidakovic scored two goals while Lexi Morse, Channel D’Angelo, Jess Zimmerman, and Bella Devito all contributed  one apiece. Even though a fight occurred, New Hope still came out on top.