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Falcon News




‘Get The Led Out’ rocks Marasco Theatre by THERESA LIN Editor-in-Chief

Graphic/Angelo Wo

Monroe High School’s Marasco Theatre echoed Saturday evening, October 3, with the voluminous acoustics of the heavy metal tribute band “Get The Led Out.” The Monroe Cultural Arts Commission sponsored and organized the event in what member Nancie Gukelman says is not the usual choice of concert for the over 65 and under 12 target age audience. However, Gukelman says,” recreating the 1960s-1970s rock concerts may be quite appealing for the original concert to share with their children and grandchildren.” Lead singer Paul Sinclair hopes the band gains their own following for playing timeless Led Zeppelin music. He says being labeled as only a tribute band is “sort of a dirty word for us. People do not label classical Mozart and Bach performances as cover music.” The band continues to gain their own following for playing timeless Zeppelin music. “Get the Led Out” manager and agent, Frank Keilb, has been with the band for six years. He says, “They’re not a cover band anymore, they’ve made the break into the concert act.”He says since its modest beginning, “The band plays four to five shows a month. Each concert is sold out.” Keilb says. “The band does not

dress up like Robert Plant. Instead, “Get the Led Out” parallels Led Zeppelin in their attention to detail. Zeppelin is known for their recording imperfections; we intentionally incorporated those mistakes.” He says, “We try to recreate to records as close as we can. Everyone knows what the show was like. ‘Song Remains the Same’ froze Led Zeppelin in time. Everyone always emulates that.” “It’s like when you see a Beatles cover band,” Keilb says, “there’s always someone who dresses up in a Sergeant Pepper costumes. Every time a band covers Led Zeppelin now, they copy everything from the outfits, drums and even the big blonde hair or dyed wigs.” Keilb says, “They are the best musicians I’ve worked with… and I’ve worked with many. The band has a Jimmy Paige connection, as Paige’s personal financer comes to every one of our shows.” “The band members are very low maintenance,” says Keilb of his dedicated band. Even though they have played together for so long, they continue to practice as a group once a week. Lead guitarist Paul Sinclair, who grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, says the band’s beginning was not the result of “a bunch of guys just sitting around thinking, ’We should cover Led Zeppelin.’” Continued pg. 2

A conversation with Perez de Tagle & Naughton by GABRIELLA LAFATA Staff Writer Falcon News reporters conducted an exclusive interview via conference call along with 121 other schools with Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and Naturi Naughton, two stars of the much anticipated movie Fame. Perez is best known for her past roles on Disney Channel’s original movie Camp Rock and Hannah Montana, while Naughton is best known for her starring role as Little Inez in Broadway’s Hairspray. As the rising stars continue to work on television and on stage, they apply their past experiences acting in the Fame remake. Falcon reporters asked Perez to discuss the difference between working on the small versus the big screen.

befriends everyone and is very outgoing. I truly love this character because after this movie I became more confident and found myself interacting with many new people.” Along with learning new techniques to plot a carefree character, Perez also adjusts to her new work schedule. “Filming movies vs. television is quite different. Fame took about three months and an episode oh Hannah Montana about a Photo/ takes FIRST GIG Denise Dupree (Naturi Naughton) revs up week.” during her first professional singing performance. Continued pg. 10 Perez says, “My character Joy Moy

Pete, a 500 pound moose belonging to David Lawrence, lives on an elk farm in Irasburg, Vermont. A rise in animals afflicted with chronic wasting disease is causing a concern on the farm, forcing Pete to find a new home.

The Monroe Falcon Staff salutes all American soldiers

Photo/Jackie Push

HEADS HELD HIGH Assistant Coach Marc DeBellis and the Monroe Falcons had no reason to sulk at the beginning of the second half as they beat the Edison Eagles 45-0 on October 2. Monroe let up only 60 yards of total offense as Falcons beat the Eagles on both sides of the ball, running and passing for a combined 358 yards.

What’s Inside School News ............. 2 News ............................ 3 Entertainment .......... 4 Global News ............. 5

Back To School ..... 6-7 Op-Ed ........................ 8-9 Special Features .......10 Sports .................... 11-12

School News

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October 8, 2009

Rules not made to be broken

School Briefs

by ALI DEITCHE Executive Editor

by AMANDA SEDLMAYER Editor The class of 2011 elected Rishi Sharma as its new secretary on September 17. In addition, previously elected officers Kruti Shah and Ali Deitche moved up in position to fill the absence of originally elected president, Ryan Miller, while Kuldeep Yadav remains the treasurer. Class President Shah now plans a productive year for the junior class. Junior class advisor Ms. Michele Ballard is coordinating an upcoming meeting to further discuss major events such as prom on May 14, hall decorating on October 22 and homecoming on October 23.

DECA met with club advisor, Ms. Deborah Stapenski, on September 21 to shortly discuss the club’s purpose and objectives. On Monday, October 5, the club will collect the $15 registration fee and forms and discuss competitive events for regionals and the upcoming 7th Annual DECA Car Show. Student Council welcomed new and returning members at their meeting on September 17. Student’s requirements are to dedicate time to the club and commit to events. Council members planned Spirit Explosion activities and homecoming at the October 1 meeting. FBLA conducted its first meeting Thursday, September 24. Aspiring members were introduced to the current board, who explained rules, priorities and competitive and fundraising events. The $20 membership dues, which includes the cost for an FBLA t-shirt, and registration is due Thursday, October 8. High school staff distributed assignment pads and lockers in a timely fashion. On the first day of school, all students received a locker and combination during first block. A few days later, an I.D. picture, lanyard and cover arrived for students who took their pictures last year. Students received agenda pads on September 11, much earlier than 08-09’s October arrival.

Art/ Jackie Push

Posted flyers in every classroom clearly display several rules from Monroe Township High School’s code of conduct. Vice Principal Mr. Scott Madreperla says, “We’re just trying to make it easier for kids.” “We didn’t make any new rulesthese are the same rules, and this year we just decided to start off making everyone more aware of them.” On the first day of school, first period teachers addressed the new signs and emphasized the importance of abiding by the rules. The signs declare students must wear IDs, dress properly, and are not allowed to wear hats, use their cell phones, or use their iPods during class.

Senior Stephanie Nawracaj says, “I honestly don’t care about the signs and stuff. The first day, the teachers were like, ‘Here’s the rules, you have to follow them,’ but it’s the same as last year. The

nicer, safer, happier place for everyone- now that everyone is on the same page, it’s consistent and just better for everybody; it minimizes any confusion,” he continues. Inconsistency between last year’s stricter teachers and

the more lenient ultimately led to confusion as to whether violating a rule constituted punishment. “Trouble comes when you have these teachers who enforce the rules and then some who don’t, because then some students get angry when they get in trouble for something another teacher lets them get away with,” says Madreperla. Due to posted signs throughout the school and the newly instated notolerance policy, all teachers will now equally enforce the rules. Students no longer escape

punishment for forgetting their IDs, regardless of how understanding the teacher. Freshman Elena Kim says, “The school rules are fair, especially the ID’s. It’s better to be safe then sorry.” “Not all girl’s tank tops reveal too much. Some styles cover enough and still provide comfort,” says freshman Katherine Oliva.

only rule the teachers really care about is the IDs.” Madreperla believes the sign’s prominence ensures a more uniform, school-wide policy for those who do not follow the rules already. Rules “make school a

‘Get The Led Out’ cont’d from pg. 1 Instead, he says, “Paul Hammond and I, the guitarist, have

not a job.” “I don’t know if you talked to me six years ago that I’d say we’d play at the House of Blues, actually I think I’d laugh at him if he did,” says

Maria Naumik, director of the Monroe Township Cultural Arts Commission, says, “It’s a real treat to have them here. You don’t know what I had to do to get them.” The Monroe Township Cultural Arts Commission arranges monthly art related events for the

township, including art shows, free concerts in Jamesburg Park and hands on arts classes in the high school. For more information on upcoming events and ticket purchases, visit the commission’s website at: www.


together s i n c e we were 18. We were playing that kind of music already. I think we’re building quite a reputation.” “We got a call to do a Led Zeppelin show… then I just started to do these kinds of shows. When we are playing the music we love, it’s

Sinclair of this band’s surreal success, says Sinclair. “Get The Led Out” begins their 12 to 30 day world tour soon, including performances in Canada, Australia, Singapore and across the United States. Keilb jokes, “I consider us musical nomads.”

The Monroe Falcon Staff Business Manager Jamie Costa Editors Joey Romanczuk Jill Shah Amanda Sedlemeyer Layout Editor Angela Wo Staff Writers Anupali Bewtra Jessica Billitz Victoria Cinquegrana Stephanie Eng

Shaena Gupta Allie Houlihan Jazmin James Rachel Kowal Gabriella LaFata Christina Mattina Katelyn Mercier Dan Morgans Aditya Patel Elizabeth Russo Jenna Rutsky Raevin Walters Art/Photography Jeanna Dressel Jackie Push

Winners of the Columbia Scholastic Press Association 2008 Gold Medalist certificate & 2007 Bronze Medalist certificate

Photo/Jeanna Dressel

SPIRIT EXPLOSION Dance Team tryouts on September 30 and October 1 initiated a new year for its members. Students and staff will witness the team’s hard work and new moves at the Spirit Explosion on October 23. Senior Renee Pijo (left) and Sophmore Amanda Tessler (right) perform a jazz style dance combination in hopes they will make the team.

October 8, 2009

School News

Page 3

President Barack Obama Pencil a d d r e s s e s s t u d e n t s It In!

Photo/ AP Images

IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION President Barack Obama enthusiastically advises students across the nation to “get serious this year” in his National Address to Students on September 8 at Arlington, Virginia’s Wakefield High School.

by AMANDA SEDLMAYER Editor A new school year brings new clothes, new teachers and the opportunity for a fresh academic start, which President Barack Obama explains in his national address to students organized by the White

House and the Department of Education on September 8, 2009. Obama’s powerful words and personal emotions stirred students witnessing the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia as it was broadcasted throughout the nation. Marked as multiple school districts’ first

day back to school, including Monroe Township, President Obama spoke to students about the upcoming school year and the goals students are expected to meet. School districts nationwide were invited but not mandated to view the address. Communities and families had the freedom of whether to watch the speech at 12 p.m. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan introduced Timothy Spicer, senior class president of Wakefield High School, who was chosen to represent his school and lead Obama onto the stage. President Obama encouraged the students of the United States to “fulfill your responsibilities,” participate in school, put forth the best effort possible and never give up. Concluding the speech with a thoughtful push for the students of America, Obama says, “I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down.” Students ranging from apprehensive freshman and new kids on the block awaited a distinct school experience that day while some parents opposed their children viewing the speech because of Obama’s “brainwashing” ideals. Obama is not the first president to address students in the classroom. On November 14, 1988 President Ronald Regan addressed students in four middle schools and took questions. He dove into his political agenda by defending tax cuts. President Barack Obama’s speech had a “very, very good message,” says Mr. Robert Goodall, MTHS principal. “Education is the ticket to any measure of success.” Junior Angela Wo did not watch the speech in school but found time to read it and says, “There was nothing wrong with it… no political agenda.”

H1N1 virus arrives by ANUPALI BEWTRA Staff Writer

Vito, a Monroe Township High school juinor, returned home from the doctor in June not surprised that he had contracted the H1N1 flu virus. “Some symptoms I had were fever, soreness, headache, congestion, just the regular flu feeling with a recovery time for about a week,” says Vito. H1N1 virus first appeared on the global stage in Mexico with over 30,000 cases. Reports of severe symptoms began to appear around the world in 74 countries. World Health Organization (WHO) officials declared a pandemic on June 11. Warning the high school student body to avoid the spread of the virus, MTHS Nurses Maryann Procopio and Cathy Lestingli prepare for the upcoming perilous season.

“Parents should have a back-up plan,” Procopio says. “Make arrangements if they become ill.” The nurses advise to “cough into the crook of your arm, eat well and exercise, get the vaccine. Start with the regular flu shot and H1N1 vaccine, when readily available.” Vito misinformed in his belief that he is now immune,“Once you get it, you are immune to the flu.” In a telephone conference interview a representative of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says,“Just like the seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus vaccination will not protect you for the next flu season.” The long-awaited first nasal vaccination,

FluMist, arrives throughout the country today, including 21 states and four cities. High risk indivuals will receive the vaccination first including: fire fighters, emergency responders, pregnant women, children and young adults, people with conditions like asthma and diabetes, and caregivers of infants. Junior, Stephanie Shainer says, “I think it’s fair because we can wait another month it’s not so bad. Fire fighters and health officials are more important.” How much vaccine will be available and for whom is going to change week by week, but expectations are full distribution by mid-November. Additional Reporting by: Victoria Cinequegrana and Allie Houilhan

by CARLA PALERMO Executive Editor

October 9 Progress Reports Posting Closing

October 11 7th Annual

DECA car show to benefit Alex’s Lemonde Stand Foundation

October 12 Progress Reports Mailed Home (Four Hour Session)

October 15 PTO Meeting at 7:30 PM (Media Center)

October 17PSATs at

MTHS from 7:30-11:30 AM Marching Band Competion

October 19-23 SPIRIT WEEK!

October 23 Varsity

Homecoming Football Game Vs. J.P. Stevens High School at 6:30 PM

October 23 Homecom-

ing Party “Spirit Explosion” at 8 PM (School Cafeteria) Featuring the amazing D.J. Party Exchange and live musical performance by Castastrophina.

October 29-30 Ring

Orders Taken (Cafe during lunch periods)

October 29-30 High School Musical at 7 PM (Auditorium)

Use a tissue to wipe your nose and throw it immediately in the garbage.

Do not rub your eyes, nose or mouth to aviod spreading germs.

Graphic/ Angela Wo

Stay home if you are sick and wash hands constantly throughout the day.

November 1 HS Musical at 3 PM


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October 8, 2009

New time, new set, same show

‘The Jay Leno Show’ fails to innovate by MICHAEL BAUMANN Editor-in-Chief Art/Bridget Dipierro

After much touting and hype, The Jay Leno Show, its namesake host’s new primetime talk show on NBC, premiered on Monday, September 14 to an audience of nearly 18 million viewers. Obviously, NBC must be extremely pleased to garner such ratings for a program that is seen as a money-saver compared to weekly scripted dramas. Yet, in spite of the sheer quantity of Leno’s viewers, the actual quality of the show leaves much to be desired. In the months prior to the show’s debut, The Jay Leno Show was hyped by its hosting network as a comedic variety program, harkening to the days of Ed Sullivan, and would feature segments from a wide assortment of comedians and talents. NBC has apparently not aired that show, seeing that Leno’s new program b e a r s very little semblance to anything of the sort. TJLS follows the exact same formula Leno has b e e n using on late night television for nearly two decades. To call it The Tonight Show with Jay Leno 2.0 would be a mistake, inferring TJLS is an improvement upon its predecessor while, in essence, it is merely The Tonight Show all over again. The only difference is its 10 p.m. airtime. In an almost exact mimicry of The Tonight Show, Leno opens with a ten-minute monologue, joking about the day’s headlines and major news stories. Luckily, here, Leno exhibits his proficiency as a stand-up comedian, and he will more than likely earn a chuckle from even the most solemn of viewers. However, he often reuses punch lines throughout the week and even in the same episode, with rapper Kanye West’s outburst at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards and Representative Joe Wilson’s heckling of President Obama being among his favorite topics. Afterward, Leno brings on a guest comedian to introduce a prefilmed segment he or she starred in. Although it is refreshing to see a relatively unknown talent take to the spotlight, the sketches have a tendency to drag several minutes too long. The debut episode’s segment in particular was a grueling affair, with comedian Dan Finnerty (the wedding singer from The Hangover) serenading customers at a local car wash. To be honest, it is only half as amusing as it sounds. One of the few new aspects to the

show is a segment called “10 at 10,” in which Leno asks celebrities ten questions via satellite feed. The whole prospect is a gimmick, as the questions are not particularly in depth or interesting (for example, “What is your favorite fast food restaurant?”), and the success of the segment entirely depends on the interviewee. The joint appearance of actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz proved to be mildly entertaining in one episode, but the interview with Mel Gibson just showcased his oddness. The on-set interviews with guests, the main focus of the show, are another way the show attempts to bring variety, as Leno ditched the staple desk and couch layout used by countless other late night shows and instead opted for a few armchairs for him and the guest. While the motive of creating a more conversational and relaxed atmosphere is understandable, this new approach will evoke h e a d scratching a m o n g s o m e viewers. For some reason, L e n o without a desk in front of him is almost incomprehensible, and throughout an interview, it constantly feels as if a pivotal component is missing. The tone is often informal and more relaxed, but this is achieved by sacrificing the informative aspect of the interviews. The interviews themselves range from overly animated, such as the debut with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, to entertaining and interesting, like the appearance of director Michael Moore promoting his new film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Easily the most gripping interview of the show’s opening week was the unplanned discussion with a choked up Kanye West, in which the rapper sorrowfully apologized for interrupting VMA winner and country star Taylor Swift. Leno thanked West for his heartfelt appearance by making many jokes at his expense through the remainder of the week, proving that in late night comedy, nothing is out of bounds. In spite of being almost the same program Jay Leno hosted merely months beforehand, TJLS can be quite entertaining. Not surprisingly, the show shines most brightly when it showcases its namesake host. It falls flat in terms of innovation and edginess that NBC had promised, but if the show continues to bring in millions of viewers, Leno could be doing the same thing for another twenty years. The Jay Leno Show Airs five nights a week on NBC Primetime 10:00-11:00 p.m.

How could Kanye be so ‘Heartless’? by JESSICA BILLITZ and JIMMY NEMETH Staff Writers

The 26th annual MTV Video Music Awards went off with a bang by broadcasting its controversial content live to millions of viewers around the world on September 13. The VMA’s started off strong with Lady Gaga’s racy performance of her hit song Paparazzi, which included illusions of blood pumping and a hanging. Her costume was little more than risqué lingerie and white knee length boots accentuating the singer’s eccentricities. A Michael Jackson tribute starring his sister Janet soon followed, beginning with clips of his famous singles Bad, Thriller, and Smooth Criminal. Janet arrived on stage to perform the brother/sister duet Scream, with the originally filmed video as the backdrop. The real controversy began when Twilight star Taylor Lautner and singer Shakira announced the award for Best Female Video. After announcing nineteen yearold country singer Taylor Swift as the winner, Swift approached

the stage to recite her acceptance speech. After a few short words from Swift, rap sensation Kanye West barged on stage to give his unwelcome and impromptu opinion. West took the microphone right out of Swift’s hand, ranting that Beyonce had “one of the best videos of all time.” West shrugged his shoulders at Swift, and proceeded to leave the stage while the young country star was left speechless. As the camera views captured the crowd’s reaction, they picked up footage of Beyonce in shock and dismay. The crowd overwhelmed West with boos recurred every time his name was mentioned. Though Swift’s moment was ruined, Beyonce invited Swift back on stage to finish her interrupted acceptance speech when the R & B star won the award for Video of the Year. Many, including fellow musicians and almost all of Swift’s fans, took offense to West’s actions. Some celebrities even went as far as to speak their mind on Twitter, the social-networking site. Joel Madden, lead singer of Good Charlotte, commented on Twitter:

“Wow, Taylor Swift’s first VMA and she didn’t even get to enjoy it. Kanye, you were just a bully on that one man.” Though this incident may seem shocking to many, this is not the first time Kanye has pulled a stunt like this. At the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2006, West marched on stage and started complaining after he did not win an award that he felt he deserved. According to MTV, West was escorted out of the building shortly after interrupting Swift. Some speculated that the reason for Kanye’s disruption was to receive publicity for his upcoming appearance on The Jay Leno Show the following night, while other sources, such as world-famous radio station Hot 97, reported that Kanye “took a bottle of Hennessy to the head” and was “just speaking is mind.” Kanye has since apologized for his actions. Swift, however, has had an outpouring of support from a wide variety of celebrity personalities. In the past three years, eight of Swift’s songs reached 40 or above on the Billboard Hot 100 and has won 22 awards.

‘The Informant’ wins with absurd espionage by ALEX VAN DRIESAN Guest Writer The Informant!, directed by Steven Soderberg is ridiculous and peculiar. Main character Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is a high ranking employee at an agricultural firm who stumbles upon details of an international money conspiracy. Driven by his conscience, he informs FBI agents (Joel McHale and Scott Bakula), Immediately, Whitacre’s mediocre life is transformed into one of an espionage as an FBI informant. His actions, however, completely contradict his incognito role. While viewers cannot fathom such a plot, Whitecre’s story is based on true events.

Soderberg takes this true story and turns it into a fantastic comedy. Every time Whitacre’s motives appear to be clear, he

“Damon manages to add a sense of dry humor to each scene while remaining relatable to viewers.” does something that completely contradicts his last action, for reasons that are only fully revealed at the film’s end. Damon’s convincing portrayal of the eccentric Whitacre is a departure from the actor’s usual tough guy persona. As a hilariously clueless executive, Damon manages to add a sense of dry humor to each scene while remaining relatable to

viewers. Scenes featuring the two FBI agents assigned to Whitacre add comic relief to the otherwise convoluted plot about corporate crime. The film is a homerun and one of Soderberg’s best ever. Instead of trying to make the viewer feel cool as he did with the Ocean’s saga, he gives the viewer a glimpse into the world of clumsy criminals just like any other hardworking American. If the narrative proves to be too complicated, one can simply enjoy watching the film’s hilarious performances. The movie projects a great sense of authenticity, as any true story should. The film boldly alludes to the corporate crimes happening right under our noses.

World News

October 8, 2009

Page 5

The World Today



by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

1. China’s Public Security Ministry arrested six Uighur 2. Jose Manuel Barroso was reelected for his second fivecitizens in China’s Xinjiang region. They had constructed three bomb making workshops and already assembled abo­ ut 20 bombs. Authorities believe that the bombs were to be placed in cars and motorcycles in a suburban area of Xinjiang in hopes of killing as many Hans as possible. The violence in China is due to ethnic animosity between Uighurs and Hans. The Uihgurs long dominated Xinjiang, and now retaliate against the influx of the Hans. The arrests indicate that authorities have not yet suppressed the two fighting groups and that the extremity of the issue is increasing rapidly.

year term as European Commission president. Mr. Barroso ran unopposed. The European Parliament voted 382 to 219 to approve him. France and Germany openly oppose Mr. Barroso for his ‘ultra-liberal’ economic stance. The former prime minister of Portugal, Mr. Barroso has extensive power over agriculture, trade, antitrust policy, and some legislation in the European countries. His main goals are to persuade Britain to adopt the euro as their currency and retire the pound. He will talk with leaders, such as President Barack Obama, to curve the worldwide economic crisis. Barroso says that he would like to build a ‘stronger Europe of freedom and solidarity.’

Middle East

Graphic/ Carla Palermo

Africa by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

3. A deadly drought has claimed thousands of lives in Kenya this month. Starvation runs rampant and tourism has come to a screeching halt, contributing to the worst drought that Kenya has suffered in over a decade. The United Nations World Food Program reported that nearly four million Kenyans need food desperately. The slow response and lack of available United Nations funds only perpetuate the starvation. Western ambassadors are slow to help, as they are unhappy with the corrupt justice system and police force in Kenya. Police officers are not monitored and allow rape and theft to occur. Criminals receive no trail, and receive the death penalty as their sentence. Some Kenyan officials deny the drought, saying that greedy Kenyan citizens are lying to acquire free food. Kenya’s government officials sell most of the country’s food supply for profit.

by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

5. Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his

Photo/ AP Images

VIOLENCE IN ASIA China’s parliamentary soldiers marched through western China on September 4 to stop confrontation between Chinese Hans and Muslim Uighars.

South America by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

4. The last American troops have left Ecuador’s Pacific Manta air base, officially closing the U.S. military post there. American troops have been in Quito, Ecuador since 1999 to control the immense cocaine smuggling over its borders. The world’s major producers of narcotics, Columbia and Peru, border Ecuador, causing it to be a center of narcotics trafficking. American troops kept the drug smuggling under control by flying small planes to watch for cars that cross the border in illegal areas. The Ecuadorian government is satisfied with the progress made, and agrees with the U.S. that the drug smuggling is under control and Ecuador no longer needs foreign help.

shoes at former President George W. Bush, was released from jail on September 15. Mr. Zaidi fled Iraq and flew to Greece, fearing that American soldiers might kill him in retaliation for his outburst at the former president. He claims Iraqi security officials tortured him in jail, beating him with pipes and steel cables and issuing electric shocks through his body. Mr. Zaidi says that the night he was arrested for hurling his shoes, he was soaked in water and then left in a cold room for the night. American soldiers are investigating the issue. The soldiers feel that this incident shows there is ‘still work to be done in Iraq’. Mr. Zaidi’s mental state is questionable and he is currently seeing a psychiatrist in Greece. The Iraqi government has yet to comment on the issue.

Photo/ AP Images

FIRST STEPS OF FREEDOM Muntadhar Al-Zaiki, the reporter who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush, was released from prison.

Photo/ AP Images

KENYAN DROUGHT Kenya’s Meat Commission loads cattle carcasses killed by the drought. Millions of Kenyans are being forced to seek emergency food aid.

North America by JENNA RUTSKY Staff Writer

6. President Barack Obama has repealed the Iranian missile defense shield plan that former President George W. Bush proposed while in office. Former President Bush’s plan only protected against long range missiles. The plan stated that a missile base would be directed at Iran, but located near Russia. Russian government officials did not support this plan, saying that they wanted nothing to do with the missile defense system. Obama’s new plan is intended to protect our country and European allies from short and medium range Iranian missiles. The sea and land based sensors and interceptor missiles will probably be in the Czech Republic or Poland. President Obama’s plan has received criticism from Republicans saying that this is a ‘wrong-headed policy’ and that it will ‘weaken our national security.’ The Pentagon backs President Obama’s plan saying that it is ‘a positive step’ and that this plan will ‘accomplish the original goal and more.’ The plan is to be enacted by 2015.

Back To School

Monroe Township, 08831

Page 6

New kids on the block by ELIZABETH RUSSO and RAEVIN WALTERS Staff Writers

Lost and confused, many freshmen navigate the hallways with difficulty during the first day of the 2009-2010 school year. Yet, Monroe Township High School’s class of 2013 approaches their new school with confidence and a little bit of humor. “The first day was nerve-racking” says freshman Melissa Salvador. “I was scared and I really didn’t know what to expect.” The students look forward to their involvement in the variety of clubs and activities the school offers. Freshman Taylor Narsavage says she plans to join spring track and the newspaper, while freshman Melissa Salvador is also eager to join spring track and Key Club. “There’s such a wider variety of activities that can help you in the direction of what you want to be when you’re older, like if you want to be an architect you can take drafting,” says Narsavage. In addition, freshmen are required to switch their routines from 48 minute classes to four 84 minute class periods a day.

“I like it better, the 84 minute block lets us learn more,” says Salvador. So far freshmen seem to enjoy high school better than middle school. However, many of the freshmen admit the upperclassmen can be a little intimidating and the crowded hallways slow them down. Melissa Salvador said she was the youngest in her Spanish class. Salvador as well as many other freshmen feel as if they are the new kids on the block. Teachers are happy to share their unique impressions of this year’s newest students. MTHS Language Arts teacher, Ms. Catherine Simmons, is impressed by the class of 2013. She says. “They came in on the first day very prepared and organized. The freshmen left favorable impressions and seem happy to be a part of this school.” Biology teacher Mr. Christian Jessop says, “The freshmen are smaller in height, though, they did not seem nervous and were prepared to learn.” As of now, the class of 2013 is enjoying their high school experience and the excitement of beginning this new time in their lives.

Page 7


Ashleigh ki Perchers

Joseph Rooney

New teachers fly into nest by JILL SHAH Editor

High School update By ALI DEITCHE Executive Editor Photo/ Jackie Push

Impossible to ignore, the new high school’s construction continues to progress with assurances its first graduating class will be the current sophomores.   “The exterior is 80% complete,” says Mr. Gerald Tague, Director of Facilities for the Monroe Township School District.  “It will be finished by mid-February of 2011, and the first day of school in the new high school will be September of 2011.”

Juniors enjoy the fact that they will be the last graduating class of the current building. Junior Kuldeep Yadav says, “I don’t want to be in the new school because we’d feel like freshmen, and we’ll be the last class out of this high schoolit’s like a legacy.” Yet, sophomore Emily Jarosiewicz says, “I don’t like the fact that I’m going to have to find everything all over again when I’m a senior, but it’s good… it’s so big, there’s going to be much more room and less overcrowding.” Despite concerns of getting lost in the unfamiliar building, students realize that everyone will be equally clueless. The teachers will be the only ones who know the layout of the

school in advance. Tague says, “As soon as the building’s complete there will be a couple months for the teaching staff to have in-services and tours, to learn where everything is in it.” According to Tague, school administrators and teachers are excited to transition into the upcoming high school. High school Physics teacher Mr. William Kelly says, “It looks pretty impressive. The teachers are very excited for the new building, and I think the students are too…I noticed with the renovation of the current high school that students appreciate it… they feel like they’re in a more professional, modern environment.” Students agree with Kelly’s observations. Freshman Kerry McCabe says, “The space will be good, because we’re overcrowded.” As students and faculty alike anticipate the transition, they can be confident in knowing that it will certainly be ready for use in September 2011. “We will definitely finish on schedule,” says Tague, “during the summer there were about 140-150 workers per day working on the exterior, and now electricity, piping, heating, and concrete floors are being installed.” “This way the exterior structure is done while the weather’s good, so during the winter about 80 workers per day will be working on the interior,” says Tague. “So far there’s been a lot of positive feedback from board members, and the teachers who have toured it are pleased.” Monroe continues to witness the rapid construction as its younger residents eagerly await the day they will attend the brand new high school.


Graduated from: Hofstra University

As another year begins, the Monroe Township High School community welcomes all the new faculty and staff members. New MTHS Language Arts teacher, Mr. Joseph Rooney, came to his first day filled with butterflies in his stomach. Rooney was apprehensive yet excited to see his new students. “I was nervous until the first bell rang, but when the students came into the classroom, the nervousness went away.” His anxiety as a new teacher parallels those of the new freshmen in his class. The night before school started, he tried to get a good night sleep. “I tried to go to bed early, but I didn’t go to bed until one or two.” Responding to a questionnaire, new teachers and staff members share their thoughts, inspirations, and their aspirations for the coming year. Joseph Rooney- Language Arts Why teach Language Arts?: “I teach Language Arts because I believe that reading, writing, speaking, and listening are four invaluable skills teenagers need to cultivate.” Graduated from: The College of New Jersey Lauraine Santoro- Special Education Paraprofessional Inspiration: “I enjoy being able to assist students with their individual learning experiences.”

Jeffrey Warner- Physical Education and Health Why teach high school students? “I enjoy working with high school students because you can see how much they learned and grow over four years.” Graduated from: The College of New Jersey Kalynn Deedy-Language Arts Inspiration: “My two biggest sources of inspiration are my parents who are both teachers. I have always liked the idea of using my experiences in the world to help someone else learn about their world.” Graduated from: Georgian Court University Lindesy Specht- Algebra II and Geometry Why teach Math? : “Math is universal. It is one of the few consistent “languages” that can be found all around the world. Graduated from: Fairleigh Dickinson University Navneet Singh- Paraprofessional for Special Education Inspiration: “I am certifying to be an ESL teacher in the U.S. I want to help ESL children in learning English language, which will help them in selecting a brighter and better career.” Graduated From: India, Delhi University

Jeffrey W



oughe D n e e l h t Ka

Photos/ Angela Wo and Jeanna Dresel.


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The Monroe Falcon Editors-In-Chief Michael Baumann Theresa Lin

Executive Editor-Copy Ali Deitche

Executive Editors-Layout Carla Palermo Haley Strincoski Editorial Policy The Monroe Falcon is a newspaper dedicated to accurate, ethical, and responsible high school journalism.

Advisor Sandy Appel-Bubnowski


Is DeGeneres smart move for Idol? by JULIE KELLY Guest Writer The nation’s most watched TV show, American Idol, has only been off the air for a few months and already its producers have hired a new judge to replace one who quit. Paula Abdul, the friendly Idol judge of eight years, officially left American Idol, and it is not a publicity stunt or a way to get sympathy. It is final. Abdul announced early August on the social network site Twitter. “With sadness in my heart, I’ve decided not to return to Idol.” Replacing her on the show this year will be Ellen DeGeneres, talk show host seated next to the often blunt, Mr. Simon Cowell, and joining additional judges, Randy Jackson and newcomer, Kara DioGuardi. Although it is difficult to discern the actual reason why Abdul left the successful show, stories flying all over cyberspace claim that the offered contract after the eight season of Idol, was unacceptable to her. As American Idol continues into its ninth season, it is easy to ponder on what Ellen will bring to the show. She may convey the same humorous atmosphere and clever dialogue incorporated into her daily talk show, or her lack of music industry experience may result in a less than stellar contestant feedback. She also risks being disliked by the public simply because she’s replacing Paula. It is still too early to tell if DeGeneres will assume the role of the easy-going, dream-big judge like Paula, or take on the harsh criticizing ways of Simon Cowell. However, Monroe Township High School students have some strong opinions on Ellen’s announcement. “She is hysterically funny…that show needs more fun and jokes, what Idol needs is simply Ellen,” says MTHS junior, Kaitlyn Simons. On the other hand, junior, Keri Anacker says any new judge “should have some musical history.” Agreeing with her is sophomore, Sydney Brennert who says she “hate[s] it cause she has no idea about music or performing.” The conflicting opinions already show the nation that they are in for one interesting season of American Idol. “Americans wonder if this will affect the sky-high ratings of one of the nation’s most popular reality shows,” according to “This year Idol averaged about 26 million viewers per episode over the course of the five months that it was on the air.” Audiences will really find out this year if the show is about the talent or just the ridiculing and funny remarks made at the judging table. It is possible that ratings could go up, or down, without Paula on the show, or maybe even remain the same if viewers focus on the contestants. Whether producers got it right or wrong, get ready for an Idol season filled with drama and clashing views on the DeGeneres topic.

October 8, 2009

Obama’s health care ills What the president’s plan is up against by MICHAEL BAUMANN Editor-in-Chief

help bring down the cost of health care,” says Obama. “I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, Art/ Bridget Dipierro but… defensive medicine may be conEmotions continue to run high tributing to unnecessary costs.” Roughly midway through his on Capitol Hill in the dialogue over health care reform continuing from speech, Obama announced he would the summer into autumn, as the di- be ordering Secretary of Health and vision between opposing views on Human Services Kathleen Sebelius the issue deepens with Republi- to move forward on creating pilot cans strongly opposing President programs first proposed by the Bush Obama’s advocacy for a public op- Administration in several states. Obama described tion program. how “The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action,” said President Obama to a special joint session of Congress held on September 9, calling for progress on health care reform instead of the continued bickering between Republicans and Democrats. “You lie!” responded Republican Representative Joe Wilson of North Carolina to the president’s attempts to debunk the rumors about his health care plan, specifically addressing how illegal immigrants would not be covered under cithis proposal. Wilson’s rude heckling aside, izens his outcry represents the stiff w h o competition President Obama cannot still faces in passing his ambitious currently get proposal. coverage due to “We’re focused on more affordable and accessible health care and preexisting medical maintaining the ability for people to conditions would be offered lowchoose their own doctors and health cost federal options until the new insurance,” says New Jersey Repub- insurance exchange marketplace is lican State Senator Bill Baroni, rep- established, in order to “protect you resentative of New Jersey’s 14th con- against financial ruin if you become gressional district. seriously ill,” an idea attributed to Throughout the 47-minute speech, Senator John McCain during the Obama’s detailing of his plan, which 2008 presidential campaign. has yet to become an actual bill, was Although the president’s inclumet with much enthusiastic ap- sion of such items earned Republiplause and many standing ovations can applause and a thumbs-up from from the Democratic congressmen. “Maverick” McCain himself, GOP “He’s a marvelous speaker… no one members of Congress have unanican deny that,” says Democratic mously declared that they oppose Representative Rush Holt, U.S. con- Mr. Obama’s plan in any semblance gressman for New Jersey’s 12th dis- of its current form. trict, in a telephone interview with Many Republicans believe that the a Falcon reporter. “I believe he did public option offered under Obama’s a skillful job of addressing all of his plan would greatly threaten private audiences.” insurance companies, resulting in a Republicans applauded quite often, as well, but there were many moments during the session when they remained firmly in their seats. In several parts of his speech, Obama attempted to appeal to the Republicans, saying that he would include some of their proposed health care solutions, including malpractice law reform. “Many in this chamber, particularly on the Republican side of the aisle, have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can

government takeover of the health insurance industry. “Replacing your family’s current health care with government-run health care is not the answer,” says Republican U.S. Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana in his party’s televised official response to Obama’s speech. “In fact, it’ll make health care much more expensive.” While Obama mentioned how he will “continue to seek common ground in the weeks ahead,” Republican congressmen held up copies of the House Republican Outline in protest, exercising how the president had ignored or disagreed with many of their ideas and suggestions. “Most… wanted to hear the president tell… Congress that it’s time to start over on a common sense, bi-partisan plan,” says Boustany. “Unfortunately, he didn’t do it.” As the president faces unyielding resistance in Congress, many American citizens have taken it upon themselves to voice their opinions of support and condemnation of Obama’s plan. On Saturday, September 12, tens of thousands of members of the conservative advocacy group, the Tea Party Express, gathered outside the nation’s Capitol to protest what they see as out-of-control government spending in health care reform. “This is not people upset over one particular politician or one particular party,” says Tea Party Express organizer Mark Williams in an statement to the press given in August. The group’s rallies have garnered much controversy and counter demonstrations, as some of its protesters displayed signs and posters depicting Obama as a witch doctor and using Nazi imagery to describe the current administration. “Health care reform means many things to many different people,” says Holt. “Many people are convinced that we need reform… they believe [the current system is] not worthy of the greatness of America.” Regardless of what Obama’s plan is up against, those on Capitol Hill universally agree that action on health care reform must be taken.


October 8, 2009

The real A l o n e state of real estate by HALEY STRINCOSKI Executive Editor

by THERESA LIN Editor-in-Chief

Monroe Township’s real estate appears to follow national trends of market price decline, with no promises of a turn around any time soon. New Jersey real estate agent of ten years and Monroe Township resident John Wuertz knows firsthand the difficulty of selling homes. “There are four factors to selling a home: location, market, price and condition,” says Wuertz. “The first two can be controlled, but the last two are out of our hands.” Such variables force sellers to accept well below the value of their homes. However, “sellers [now] are more realistic about their asking prices… they can only deny market prices for so long,” says Wuertz. Reasons for selling stem from necessities

“This is the first time in history that resale and rental are down at the same time.” range from job transfers to the inability to pay off mortgages. “Young families, not necessarily first time home buyers continue to steadily move to Monroe,” says Wuertz. He estimates that national sales prices are down a third while New Jersey’s are just shy of those numbers around 28-29%. Since there is such a large market, buyers can afford to demand much and take their time in selecting property. In these ominous times, Wuertz says businessmen, and real estate agents in particular, need to rely on spouses or partners to aid with finances. “During times of boom we can make a lot of money,” but he says those times of great profit inevitably come to an end. “Any good real estate agent knows how to save money.” Wuertz’s incoming business consists of referrals, relocating employees, foreclosures and short sales. He says, “Short sales should not be confused with houses that are sold quickly, though in some cases they can.” In theory, short sales prevent home owners from foreclosure. The sale of their property allows banks and mortgage lenders to recover the amount borrowed for the purchase of the property. Wuertz says, “This is the first time in history that resale and rental are down at the same time.” He refrains from any personal predictions of the market’s future, disbelieving values can depreciate any further. “Since the market has been down my crystal ball has been in the shop.” He continues, “If you listen to Wall Street and financial forecasters, the market will pick up in another year and return to stable prices.” Wary sellers and real estate agents simply wait for the market to return to their favor. Until then, they sell what they can.

Students naturally sit together during lunch and on the bus, and when they see each other in the hallways. Yet there are still some who sit alone, feeling awkward and isolated. A new student was sitting in gym on the first day of school, looking like she did not know anyone. “I moved h e r e during t h e summer and I don’t h a v e m a n y friends in the school,” Junior Emily Crilli says. In effort to help these students meet

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at school

potential friends, guidance counselor James Cernansky, is in the process of creating a group for new/ transfer students. “The idea is to get a group of transfer students together so they have something i n

common,” he says. At these meetings, students will talk about

the differences in their old schools and townships compared to Monroe. “I started this group because I was new hre too, and I figured we would have something in common. It is also important that both staff and students make new students feel welcome. Cernansky believes it is important for current students to consider other people’s feelings and also for new students to keep an open mind. The student culture of MTHS s h o u l d include a sense of community t h a t welcomes all new and transfer students with open arms. It takes only one person to begin this change to reach out and welcome new students.

Hitting the books, not just the beach Pre-college programs benefit students this summer by STEPHANIE ENG Staff Writer The final bell of the school year rings freedom to most students, yet some opt to continue learning during their summer vacation. Enrichment programs, local and throughout the country, are offered to teens worldwide by well-known colleges. Although “hitting the books” sounds like a drag, especially during the summer, pre-college program recruiters widely pitched their recruiting sales and motivational speeches to teens and can help increase students’ appeal when applying to college. Students choose from a variety of classes, spanning from the sciences to the arts to world languages and cultures. Exposure to these programs allows teens to become worldlier and get a taste for the “real life” experience. MTHS junior Ali Deitchi spent much of her summer in California for St. John Hopkins University. She says, “I went to a 3-week program for community service for a program called Civic Leadership Institute. We went out to the city of San Francisco to do community service, like the Boys and Girls Club.” Brown University tells students that universities and colleges believe there is no typical pre-college student; all students who participate in summer programs can partake in an assortment of opportunities. “I took meds in society,” says junior Ariel Ominou, who took a two-week course at Brown University. “I attended lectures, which touched upon current events, like

swine flu and medicine in culture.” Some summer courses also offer college credit upon completion. This type of summer program makes for a snazzy college application that will further boost a student’s probability of getting into their college of choice. In addition to an impressive resume, stu-

can be fully booked early spring. Although these programs are expensive, students can apply for scholarships or choose to commute to save the price of living on campus. Applications to these summer pre-college programs differ from school to school. Most

Graphic/Angelo Wo

dents who live on campus also gain a real college experience. With no parents or curfews, and twice as many responsibilities, like doing laundry and picking courses, students feel a new sense of independence. Pre-college programs allow teenagers to broaden their horizons and intermingle among a diverse group of peers from around the country. Program costs range from $2,000 for one week to $9,000 for seven weeks and many

completed applications will include a teacher’s recommendation and a high school transcript submitted with a fee ranging from $40 to $60 depending on the school. Universities often use SAT scores for acceptances along with teacher recommendation, high school transcripts, and personal resumes to gauge students’ abilities. “After participating in this program, I came back with a whole new view of the world,” says Deitchi.

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Special Features

October 8, 2009

‘Fame’ does not Conversation cont’d from page 1 live up to its name Remake of old classic disappoints by SHAENA GUPTA and JILL SHAH Staff Writer and Editor

gives the movie a High School Musical flavor. Manalapan resident, Rebecca Ross, says, “I watched the original movie, and it was fabulous. My kids came for the music and dance in this movie.” The 1980s Fame highlighted situations that were current during that time period. The remake, however, only provides entertainment for those Disney Channel viewers.

We asked Naughton “Why did you decide to turn away from your political science major and go into theatre?” She says, “Well it was not exactly a choice, I just felt like doing Broadway was a once in a lifetime thing. It was a real question of what my initial dream was.” Also, “How is the new Fame All Photos/ different from SPICE UP YOUR LIFE Alice (Kherington Payne) spices up jazz rehearsals in the dance studio. the original F a m e ? ” that you would like my first job; I worked at Backstage Naughton to share with people Publications in the casting says, “The who want to become department. I was able to attend new Fame is actors and actresses?” the casting call.” Bavuso said, different from Naughton says, “Yes, “The car scene was filmed right the original stay encouraged! there in the middle of the street. It b e c a u s e Anyone in this was exactly how it is in movie, it it is more career always gets a was crazy! Kids jumping on cars, modernized. lot of rejection and singing in the street, and there was There are new discouragement. You dancing everywhere!” characters, yourself always have to MTHS sophomore Theresa new styles of stay encouraged.” Curcio was lucky enough to have music and a lot Practicing day and an audition for the film. This past more dancing. night to perfect the August, Curcio and friends went to There was a lot role of Joy Moy, Anna Six Flags Great Adventure where added to this Maria watched the casting directors had an open new version.” 1980 original version audition. The judges auditioned Naughton is of Fame over and over 300 aspiring actors. Even though very excited again as inspiration. Curcio didn’t make it, she says “It about this Monroe Township was a lot of fun!” movie, saying resident Donna Bavuso As Anna Maria gets older, she it’s a test of her worked as a part of realizes that these are the moments SING IT OUT Denise Dupree acting ability. (Naturi Naughton) performs the casting crew for that matter most in life. “Working “Did you have a one of her many showstoppers. the 1980 original hit on Fame will leave me with many piece of advice movie Fame. “This was memories.”

The September 25 premier of Fame attempts to update the 1980s classic by attracting a large audience with a slick film. Unfortunately, the new Fame is little more than the Disney genre of “The High School Musical” movies. Heavy advertising and an exciting trailer could not make up for the Fame almost amateurish performances. Kevin Director Kevin Tancharoen bor- Director/Chorographer: rows elements from the original Tancharoen Fame and modified them to relate to the current generation. Issues heavily featured in the original were only briefly touched upon in the remake. Manalapan r e s i d e n t , GHOULS AND GOBLINS Students perform at the school’s Adria Barysh annual Halloween Dance, CarnEvil. says, “When I was younger, I went to the La- Producers: Erics Reid (II), Beth Depatie, Guardia School of the Arts. There Harley Tannebaum (II) was no such thing as hip-hop, and Starring: Kherington Payne, Anna Mathe principal was not as involved ria Perez de Tagle, Paul McGill, Asher with the student’s activities as she Book, Kristy Flores. Rated: PG for teen drinking, sexual situ[Debbie Allan] is in the movie.” Like the original, the movie is ations, and language. divided into four parts: freshman, Released Date: September 25 sophomore, junior and senior year. As the years progressed, the characters experience change within themselves. The film opens with the school holding auditions for the upcoming year. From acting to dancing to by SHAENA GUPTA of Fame, directors Alan Parker and singing to playing an instrument, and JILL SHAH Kevin Tancharoen focus on issues students from across the country Staff Writer and Editor young entertainers dwell upon in came to prove they have what it their daily lives with topics centakes. Whether in the 1980s or present tering on modern issues like the Naturi Naughton plays the lead role of a young pianist, Denise day, New York City bursts with effects of pressure and the desire Dupree, who has a hidden sing- aspiring performers searching for to be the greatest. Both movies begin with the audiing talent that is not accepted by their big break. From dancing to her parents. Despite her parents’ singing to acting, artists and per- tion process at a New York High disapproval, Denise continues to pursue her singing talent. Amongst the cast members, Naughton gives the strongest and the most memorable performance throughout the film, playing her character with passion and dignity. Unlike Naughton, Kherington Payne (Alice Ellerton), former contestant of So You Think You Can Dance, fails to reach that expectation. Payne’s dancing scenes were her only shining moments in the movie, and her acting is below average. For a character so heavily featured in the trailers, Payne’s role in the movie was minimal. Tancharoen places Payne in awkward scenes where she must rely on her proficient dancing skills to compensate CURTAIN CALL Students of the New York School of the Performing Arts for her inept acting. perform on stage during senior graduation. The original Fame was rated R for adult content, appealing to mature audiences. By removing the con- formers are constantly pressured School for the Performing Arts. troversial subjects and changing by the entertainment industry to The audience catches glimpses of various departments in the perthe rating to PG, the movie pulls fit in with modern trends. In both the original and remake forming arts such as theater, dance in viewers of all ages. However, it

Fame old and new attracts audiences and choir. Performers from all over the country come out to prove they have what it takes to be the best. From freshman year, students must balance rehersal schedules with their musical extracurricular activities, and their academic courses. Any student who fails to meet the requirements is immediately expelled from the school. Young female performers in the school who desire quick fame are easily seduced by more experienced men who claimed they are the key to the girls’ success. Some artists, exhausted by their failure to reach their goals, even attempt suicide. Homosexuality is not an issue covered in the remake; yet, it plays a large role in the 1980’s original. One character, who plays an actor, chooses to reveal his sexuality to his peers. Surprisingly, his friends are supportive of his lifestyle, despite society’s negative view of the issue. As a result of the passing decades, the two films differ in their depiction of dance styles. In the 80s, the popular styles were jazz, ballet, and modern dance, while the remake focuses on hip-hop, contemporary, and ballet dance forms. From the original to the remake, the main framework of the story remains, but is presented in a way that relates to today’s generation.

1980 vs. 2009


October 8, 2009

Cross country races to finish by ADITYA PATEL Staff Writer “It’s most difficult during the last two miles, when you want to keep going, but your body doesn’t,” says Monroe Township High School Cross Country Co-Captain, junior Nick Mazurek, about finishing his three mile long meets. Both MTHS boys and girls Cross Country teams defeated John F. Kennedy High School on September 15, as runners from the both teams placed in the top five places. The boy’s team trailed JFK in

Photo/Rachel Kowal

WARMING UP MTHS Junior, Arvid Pagsanjan, hustles to warm up before the meet against J.F.K.

the very beginning of the race, but rallied together in the home stretch to take the victory. The course at Merrill Park took a toll on the runners, who at times appeared confused as to which direction they should run. Parents, coaches and bystanders cheered as runners completed the arduous race. Mazurek captured the win for

Monroe with an 18:43 finish, proving that despite the absence of last year’s captain Ben Wendel, the team is still a threat. Co-Captains Mike Bauman and Keith Anacker as well as Francis San Andreas and Kuldeep Yadav, all juniors, placed in the top five with times under 19:45. Junior Francis San Andreas says he was motivated to run the race by “the idea of being the best I could be.” As the boys defeated J.F.K, the girls Cross Country team went to work by placing two runners in the top 5. Senior Co-Captain Katie Rusnock finished first in the meet with a time of 22:24, and freshman Courtney Klecha finished with a time of 23:34 clinching Monroe’s win. Junior Francis San Andreas says he was motivated to run the race by “the idea of being the best I could be.” As Monroe recovers from their win from J.FK both girls and guys continue to think about the upcoming season. “It would be nice to see more runners from Monroe, and not just anyone, people who will give 100%,” says girls Coach Rachel Zarodanksy of her determined team. Since most practices are every day and meets are every week, it is important for runners to stay physically and mentally fit for the meets. “Practice everyday, drink enough water, and sing,” says Mazurek on his secret to winning and finishing the meets. Both teams prepare for upcoming meets such as Perth Amboy on October 6 and Sayreville and Woodbridge on October 13. As both Cross Country coaches prepare their teams for future games, they hope to see even further improvements and efforts from all runners. “If we put in the time, we will see the results,” says boys Coach Nick Puleio.

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Field hockey scores through teamwork By CHRISTINA MATTINA Staff Writer

A new coach, a renewed sense of teamwork and positive attitude prepares the Lady Falcons varsity field hockey team to play their hearts out. This intensity showed in their 2-2 tie game against Sayreville on September 12th. The game remained scoreless until late in the first half, when sophomore Alexa Carini scored with an assist from senior Morgan Widener to put Monroe on the board. Carini soon scored again with three and a half minutes left in the first half. Sayreville soon retaliated with two goals, tying the game. It went into double overtime, but despite numerous scoring opportunities for both teams, the tie remained.   This season has been full of change  for Lady Falcons field hockey. Coach Ashleigh Pecherski replaced Virginia Gonzalez as head coach, as Coach Eileen Kelley continues to coach the fresh-

men and Coach Lindsey Specht replaces Keith Hudak as the junior varsity coach. “There’s a positive, upbeat feeling,” says Kelley of the girls’ reactions to Pecherski. Monroe won the conference last year and is widely considered the team to beat, further heightening that optimism. Pecherski says the scavenger hunt the girls competed in for fun created “unity and team bonding. Hopefully, we can incorporate [these feelings] into our games.” The Lady Falcons certainly look like they have bonded as a team. Supportive cheers from the sidelines encourage the players on the field during games. The teams must now set its mind on winning the upcoming games on September 30th, October 2nd, October 5th, October 14th, with finals starting on October 24th. The Lady Falcons anticipate the rest of their season as the effort and cooperation they have shown guarantee they are not a team to be taken lightly.

(above)BATTLE FOR THE BALL Senior, Leah Castrovince, wins control of the ball from her opponent. Monroe draws a 2-2 tie game against the Sayreville Bombers. (below)MORGAN MAKES A PLAY Senior, Morgan Widener, swings at the ball in an attempt to move it down-field to her teammates.

turning point in the game. After a scoreless third quarter Vizcaino threw for a 7yd touchdown to Chris Gregor giving Monroe a 2120 lead. However East Brunswick’s kicker, Tyler Yonchiuk redeemed himself after missing an extra point by kicking a 45-yard field goal with 1:30 left in the game. On Monroe’s last chance to score Vizcaino fumbled a handoff, turning the ball over ending the game 2321. The emotional finish left few Falcon senior players in tears. Bascom was again very impressive running for 112 yards on 21 carries averaging 5.3 yards a carry, averaging about 5.5 yards on the season. Vizcaino was 10 for 13 and threw for 147 yards. After the emotional loss against

the Bears, Monroe bounced back and romped the Edison Eagles 45-0. The Falcons held the Eagles to 77 yards of total offense and three first downs that came late in the fourth. Bascom ran for 142 yards on 22 carries averaging about 134 yards a game already in the season. Not only did Bascom run well but so did senior Shane Garcia who ran for 114 yards on 14 carries in two quarters. The Monroe Falcons are led by five seniors who have been with the program since they were freshmen. Linebacker and tight end Chris Gregor, Wide receiver and cornerback Frank Rupoli, D-tackle and O-guard Anthony Mariani, halfback and free safety Blake Bascom, and center and D-end Chris Geist. “If we lose a game it won’t be because of lack of experience, says Beagan.”We are led by all of our seniors.”

Photos/Jackie Push

High expectations for run-heavy Falcons by JOEY ROMANCZUK Editor The Monroe Township High School Falcons ran up, down and all over the Red Bank Catholic Caseys as they won 14-3 in the September 11 home opener. The Falcons benefit from the experience their seniors bring to each game. “Its all about ball control as well as being physical on both sides of the ball,”says coach Chris Beagan. The Falcons were not only physical; they were effective. Senior running back Blake Bascom stole the show. He ran for 149 yards on 27 carries, averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Bascom also scored the only two touchdowns of the game on, 11 and 12 yard carries. Junior quarterback Alex Vizcaino also impressed spectators throwing for 42 yards on eight attempts and completing 50% of his passes,

earning him a QB rating of 66 On the first scoring drive Monroe stomped 47 yards down the field in nine plays to take the lead late in the first half. At the end of the first half Red Bank Catholic kicked a 42yard field goal as time expired, giving Monroe a 7-3 lead. After a strong first half, Monroe looked even better in the second as Bascom scored the second touchdown. Bascom ran for a 12-yard touchdown and Monroe held RBC to 77 yards of total offense for the whole game. “We owe a lot of thanks to the offensive line” says Beagan. The O-line consists of seniors Chris Geist at center, Anthony Marian at right tackle, Kevin Meyers at left guard, and Matt Stolte at

left tackle, and junior George Meyers,at right guard. Following a win and a bye-week the Falcons went into Jay Doyle field to play the East Brunswick

Bears. Monroe had dominated early on in the game leading 14-0 just 11 minutes into the first but slowed down letting up 20 unanswered points before the half ended. The 13 points scored by the Bears in the second proved to be the


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October 8, 2009

Falcons look to turn around a slow start by DAN MORGANS Staff Writer

Photo/ Eric Winchock

EVERY POSSESION COUNTS Going for the ball, Junior, Ray Durski, fights to clear the ball away from the North Brunswick offenseive player on September 22. Monroe did not have enough possesions as they lost 0-1 early on in their season.

Girls’ Tennis ready to ace by SHAENA GUPTA Staff Writer Despite the cancellation of their first home game, the Monroe Township High School girls’ varsity tennis team keeps their spirits up this year. Fall’s arrival brings rigorous training and practices for the players. Varsity and Junior Varsity players were selected at August tryouts in which players performed skills necessary to impress coaches Nicole Mazzola and Trudy Marmorek. “This year’s group of girls is great. They are hard-working, responsible, and experienced,” comments Ms. Marmorek. There is a lot of pressure when competing at a higher level. “When you make a mistake, you may feel that you are letting yourself, as well as the whole team, down” comments one of the girls on the team who chooses to remain anonymous. Tennis is a huge commitment to all the girls on the team. “It doesn’t interfere with schoolwork as long as the players manage their time wisely,” says junior JV player Charmi Vakharia. On the other hand, some students

have slightly more difficulty learning to balance schoolwork with extracurricular activities. “Tennis definitely interferes a bit, especially when it comes to homework and studying since practices usually end around 5:30. We are pretty tired after, so focusing on school after a long match can be tedious, but manageable,” says junior Patricia Masigla. This season, the girls’ Varsity tennis team looks to better last year’s record of 10-9. “For this year, the main objective is to win,” says Ms. Marmorek. Improving skills and having a strong mental focus is essential as well, though winning and enjoying the game comes first. “We watch how the opponent serves and returns the ball. Determining the other players’ skill level is important information to us so that we can point out specific weaknesses and make them our strengths,” says Pauline Masigla. In mid-September, the Varsity team against JFK won 3-2. Also, in a match with South Plainfield, the team won 3-2 again. Against Mother Seton, the varsity team faced its season’s first loss of 1-4. Still, the team remains motivated for more wins.

Photo/ Shaena Gupta

READY TO WIN Girls’ Varsity tennis team huddles for first game.

Varsity Boys soccer coach and Special Education teacher Steven Mackenzie expects to lead the Monroe Falcons Boys Soccer team to a state final this year with the help of his captains, and seniors. “These guys are carrying on a tradition.” says Mackenzie who expresses his seniors were his most important players on the field. “They provide leadership, and experience.” The Monroe Falcons squared off against the New Brunswick Zebras on Friday, September, 11. A half hour into the first half New Brunswick took a 1-0 lead over the Falcons. Toward the end of the game, Monroe gave a final push in attempt to win. However, New Brunswick scored another goal off of a controversial call that would have given Monroe a goal kick. Instead, New Brunswick was awarded a corner kick and scored. Senior Shane Santiago was given a yellow card in the last minutes of the game. He was also given a red card shortly after for provocative

comments he had made. The final score of the game was 2-0, Zebras. This gave Monroe their third loss of the season. The loss to the New Brunswick Zebras will not impact the rest of the season’s predicted success. Mackenzie believes that he knows what needs to be improved. “We need to train harder.” senior captain Tim Gandy comments. “We need to score more goals and keep more possessions because when our mid-fielders can’t keep the ball the opposing offense can shove the ball down the defense’s throat.” Gandy believes that Monroe’s defense is very under developed, but when the needed adjustments are made, it will shine. He also wants to bounce back from a slow start by winning the next couple games. Monroe, who plays Sayreville on September 30, Colonia on October 2, and Perth Amboy on October 3, hopes to win these upcoming home games. A win in all three of these games would give Monroe a much-needed confidence boost and could quite possibly start a winning streak.

Dive Into Teamwork Senior, Amy Kalbach, dives on the gym floor for a bump pass to her teammates.

Photo/ Jeanna Dressel

Lady Falcon volleyball spikes into new season by JAMIE COSTA Buisness Editor Varsity volleyball team captain, senior Elaina Hansen started the first home game for the Lady Falcon Volleyball team against Colonia on Saturday, September 12, with a great jump- serve. Captain, senior Katie Douglas, showed great teamwork and talent by succeeding in her position libero receiving the first serve from the opposite team to set up her teammates for a good attack. Even though Douglas was exemplifying her skills in her solid colored uniform, different from the rest of the team to indicate her position, the whole team could not count on just her for a win. Along with Douglas, fellow captain senior Amy Kalbach, strived for the chance to win as she hustled to score a point, diving after any loose ball or running into the stands to keep the ball in

play. Varsity coach and graphic design teacher, Ms. Julia Bulkley, wants only the best for her team and is confident with her choice of the four senior captains, Douglas, Kalbach, Hansen, and Paige Haugland. When asked how the team captains carry the team so far, Bulkey says, “All of our players work hard to succeed. There is no one player or group of players that carries the team.” The loss of last years’ seniors, Katie Guidi, Radha Sha and Kim Allegro only minimally affected this year’s team. Sophomores Stephanie Johler, Kerriann Manziano, Jamie Kazar, and juniors Keri Anacker and Erica Holland moved to varsity this year in order to compete at a higher level and hopefully fill the shoes of the past players. Hansen’s goal for the season is to finish their careers with a better then 500 winning record percentage. Although

the season’s first home game ended with a loss of 25 to 14 in the second of three sets, there is still hope for the rest of the season to be conquering. “The first home game is always a little nerve racking. The team works hard to prepare for every game and always strives to win,” says Bulkey. Monroe’s competiveness is not lacking. Even though the first three points were awarded to Colonia, Monroe got their first point by an out-of-bounds error. Junior Meghan Williams ensured that more points were to be added to the Monroe scoreboard. By blocking almost all spike attempts from Colonia, Monroe’s fourth point was granted. While Colonia gave Monroe a tough fight, it is not the only intense team on their schedule. “The hardest competition that we will face this year is Bishop Ahr,” says Hansen.

October 2009  

MTHS's school newspaper