New Beginnings

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New Beginnings 2021

New Year, Same Problem Zenobia A. New Age of Marvel Superheroes Zainab Kabir

Starting From Scratch Through Creativity Juliana Marston

Saving the Planet in 2021 Abeeha Zaidi

Kinnelon Teacher Creates Cast on Past Ethan Burt

The Revival of Sports Mike Lally

Kinnelon High School

Colt Chronicle


Starting from scratch through creativity Shreyal Sharma


Capitol Hill Incident: Now What? Andrew Noel


Will we ever get Spirit Week again? Michael Koutsokoumnis


What will the New Year Bring? Juliana Marston


New Year, Same Problem Zenobia Ahsanuddin


Bring Back the Reefs! Dan Yu


Vaccine Update Zenobia Ahsanuddin


Saving the Planet in 2021 Abeeha Zaidi


New Age of Marvel Superheroes Zainab Kabir


Shawn Mendes : Live From Your Own Home Marissa Kosco

16-17 15 Start Self-Improving

to Grow Happier Alex Garcia & Harpriya K.


From Delayed in 2020 to Made in 2021 Shreyal Sharma


On Pointe Mystery Novel Shreyal Sharma


Starting Off the New Year Zara Yu


Kinnelon Teacher Creates ‘Cast’ on Past Ethan Burt


Biden’s Ambitious Agenda Alex Garcia


Two Weeks in ... Julia Hackney


The Revival of Sports Micheal Lally

33 Photos courtesy from Unsplash

Looking Forward Micheal Lally


Alana Van Der Sluys Newspaper Adviser

Camille Balo Editor-in-Chief

Julia Hackney World/Local Editor & Managing Editor

Abeeha Zaidi

Juliana Marston

Will Cappello

Managing Editor & Layout

School News Editor

Opinion Editor

Gabriella Avagyan A&E Editor

Ethan Burt

Dan Yu

Sports & Features Editor

STEM Editor

Mike Lally Sports Editor


Starting from scratch

The National Art and English Honors Soc contest, inspiring students to embr

By Shreyal S

After the challenges of 2020, many students are excited for the new year; to showcase 2021 and the hope many have for it, the National Art and English Honors Societies have partnered together to organize a poetry and art contest themed “New Beginnings.” Writers and artists can submit their pieces until Feb. 5. This competition allows students to express their ideas to their peers through poems outside of the classroom. “Poetry, in particular, distills emotion and experience and enables us to connect with others,” says English teacher and NEHS advisor Lori Robbins. “We hope to accomplish the connection from each person who submits a poem and each person who reads that poem.” Similarly, the competition also promotes this self-expression through artwork. “Art and poetry are both creative outlets for the students to study and perform in. Words and pictures are a natural marriage of creativity,” says digital imagining teacher and NAHS advisor Alice Kivlon. “The theme of ‘New Beginnings’ is just really flexible and subjective overall, so it gives people an excellent opportunity to write virtually whatever they feel like while also sticking to a universal theme,” says NEHS executive officer Lauren lee. Through this competition, Robbins, Kivlon, and the executive officers “hope to accomplish some school wide participation and appreciation for the arts, even from those who don’t typically actively participate in them,” says NAHS officer Caroline Tighe. “It’s also an excellent opportunity to get the idea of the NAHS out to underclassmen who may be interested once they hit their junior year.” In addition to giving students the option of poetry and/or physical art, there will also be three winners per category. “Winners for the art portion will be determined by outside judges. There is a prize if you win - first, second, and third place will all receive gift cards of varying values,” Tighe explains. “[For poetry] the winners will be decided by the judging panel. We will be giving each poem two scores and averaging the two to get the final grade of each poem,” says NEHS executive officer Maya Vaitovis. “From there, we will meet and discuss the highest scorers and the honorable mentions before passing along the final verdict. I believe there will be trophies and probably prizes for the first, second and third-place winners.” “I’m looking forward to all of the submissions. Even with the same mediums, different people can do so many different things, so I’m excited to see each unique take on the theme,” says Tighe.


h through creativity

cieties have come together to organize an art and poetry race “New Beginnings” on the horizon in 2021.

Sharma, Staff Reporter



Image courtesy of Mrs Kivlon

20 21


With 2021 here, students and staff are both wondering about the main event of the year: Spirit Week. By Michael Koutsokoumnis, Staff Reporter

The third week of October each school year has traditionally been reserved for Spirit Week. It is a competition between the grades organized by the Student Council Executive Board and advisor Hannah Sappio. The goal of the week is to promote both class and school spirit, getting students and staff alike involved in the events. Unfortuanely due to the on-going pandemic, Spirit Week has been postponed for the 2020-2021 school year thus far. However, with the dawn of the new year many students and teachers are hopeful that they will get Spirit Week after all. According to the KHS Home School Association, Spirit Week was discussed during their November meeting. Principal Gary Suda stated that he is unsure of what the event will look like as of yet, but hopes to hold it sometime this spring. Modifications will be made to accomodate safety guidelines for COVID as necessary should the week take place. Matthew Smith, Student Council Executive Board President, is in the early stages of planning the event. “My vision for spirit week is to ultimately have it in person. The Executive Board and myself are working hard to plan a safe and memorable spirit week,” says Smith. “As of right now we hope to have it outside during the spring”. Spirit Week 2020-2021 will likely be different from previous years, but hopefully the student body will be able to come together to make some fun memories and the best of this situation. “It is imperative that we plan progressive ways to get in-person and virtual students involved in spirit week events,” says Smith.

School buses signify the normal days, how long till , everyones back on board ? and we get a spirit week? Photo courtesy of Unsplash @austin_pacheco



Will we ever get Spirit Week again?


What will the New Year Bring?

What students are looking forward to in 2021. By Juliana Marston, School News Editor

The year 2020 has been an interesting start to the decade for students at KHS and around the world. As a new year approaches, many are excited to see the changes and advancements it may bring. “I’m looking forward to covid cases dropping because of the new vaccine, and maybe [life] going back to more normal,” says sophomore Ian Hackney. “I have high hopes for next year, any year is probably gonna be better than 2020.” “I’m looking forward to a return to normalcy, sooner rather than later. No masks, movie theaters and concert venues open, all of that,” says senior Owen Kruger. However, some students are a bit skeptical. “I don’t really have high hopes for next year because they [medical professionals] are saying that the vaccine probably won’t be available to the general public until April or May but I am still hoping,” says junior Emalene Castellano-Smith. Seniors are also preparing to go off to college in 2021. “I am very excited to go off to college next year and I can’t wait to make new friends and memories,” says senior Kesini Shivaram. “I’m probably the odd one out here but I’m most excited for my first semester of college,” says Kruger. “I’m looking forward to a completely new environment with new people to meet and learn from.” There are specific seasons and events students are looking forward to, as well. “I’m most excited about summer and spending time with friends before we leave for college,” says Shivaram. “I am also excited about graduation.” “I am most excited for the summer and spending time with friends and family,” says junior Baylie Daniels. “In 2021 I’m looking forward to becoming a senior and starting to look at colleges and spending a lot of time with friends and family.” “I’m most excited about summer, because I really hope we’re able to do things this year, and safely. Hopefully I’ll get to be in a musical, because it’s been a while!” says sophomore Caroline Nieto. From graduation to extracurriculars, many new events and opportunities await students in 2021. “I’m looking forward to a fresh start, since this year has been so unpredictable. I think it will be nice to get another chance at a good year!” says Nieto.

With 2021 only a few weeks away, many students are equally excited and nervous.

Photo courtest of


New Year, Same Problem

Implementing these New Years resolutions can help reduce the effects of climate change. By Zenobia Ahsanuddin, Staff Reporter An ongoing issue that has lasted many years has been global warming or also widely known as climate change. Started by people, it has worsened over the last few years by excessive drilling, irresponsible dumping of waste, and more. Many simple improvements in everyday life can be conducted to decrease this issue. Especially with the New Year, the following resolutions can be incorporated into everyday life, and are much easier to stick to versus dieting, exercising more, and spending more time with friends and family, and less time on electronics. Waste Less Water Did you know that saving water also reduces carbon pollution? It takes a lot of energy to supply a house with water, as well as the other temperature control procedures it goes through to either warm up your showers or cool the water down. If a multitude of households came together and started to incorporate this habit into their everyday lives, then about 100 million kilowatt- hours of electricity would be saved, and thus avoiding about 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (NRDC). Buy Better Light Bulbs With lightbulbs so widely used, and an extreme pain to fix, who would not want long lasting light bulbs? LED light bulbs not only use less energy to run, but also also last longer, and are cheaper than regular light bulbs. A 10 watt lightbulb will last longer and be financially better than a 60 watt light bulb. Shop for food smarter A good majority of the energy the U.S. uses goes towards planting and maintaining food. About 40% of it ends up going to waste, and therefore the energy spent producing it does not have any net benefit. Therefore, by buying only what you’ll use, it helps to save energy and cut back on the amount of food that goes to waste. Pull out those plugs Each household has many items that require a plug, however stay there for long periods of time. This consumes a lot of energy, even though they may not be being used. Across the U.S., all households equal 50 large power plants with the amount of energy and electricity used to power the appliances (NRDC). Instead, unplug those rarely used appliances, and turn down the energy levels of ones that are constantly plugged in.





Keep your vehicle in check When tires are not properly inflated, a lot of gas gets consumed to keep the car running as close to normal as possible. Therefore, keeping your car up to standards and well equipped can use up less gas, and result in a better drive.

Below, the graph shows how the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have changed over time.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of NASA.


How can we protect what is left, this year? By Daniel Yu, STEM Editor

Within the next 20 years, up to 90% of Earth’s coral reefs may die out completely. Despite only occupying anywhere between 1-3% of the ocean floor, these reefs host a vast fraction of all marine life: the continued welfare of creatures ranging from sharks, to eels, tropical fish, jellyfish, turtles, dolphins, and more are dependent on these habitats, and many more species will struggle to survive in their absence. This was an avoidable outcome, one caused by decades of continued poor-decision making and interests which were apathetic at best— and downright selfish at worst. But this a trite topic, and one best left to more qualified individuals. What matters now is our handling of the aftermath and how we can treat whatever dwindling vestige of the reefs is left. Currently, one popular means of protecting these habitats is through “replanting” at vital locations. Perhaps the word replanting is misleading— Coral is not a plant. In actuality, what we see as coral is actually the calcified armor of many soft-bodied polyps (a type of small animal with tentacles) which have taken root on the ocean floor. Coral “replanting” involves the moving of developing coral from nurseries to favorable outcroppings of rock and degraded reefs on which they can attach themselves and spread.

“Everyone can… [be] more conscientious about their decisions.” Another measure that protects vulnerable reefs include the establishment of fishing-free zones, which prohibit or otherwise limit fishing in regions where coral reefs are found. This accomplishes two outcomes: one, that the local wildlife is protected and given a chance to recover from fishing activities, and two: that delicate reef structures are protected from careless boats and other human activities that may be otherwise destructive to the structure of the reefs. Environmental organizations such as the Coral Restoration Foundation have committed to both of these actions, and many others, in their attempts to better preserve and cultivate what is left of the great reefs. Various “adopt a coral” fundraisers also help in this regard, but without further support on a widespread basis, they may prove to be for naught.

“Many species will struggle to survive in their absence.” The only definitive means of protecting these remaining habitats, and our natural world in general, is through our collective effort to emphasize doing what is best for our planet while still upholding reason. This 2021, we should all strive to accomplish this— whether it takes the form of volunteering for a garbage cleanup group, or making sure that recyclable materials are properly disposed of, everyone can start to help clean up the world by being more conscientious about their decisions. Information used in this article was gathered from the official Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) website. For more information, visit them at:



Bring Back the Reefs!

COLT CHRONICLE | NEW BEGININGS ISSUE |STEM The Great Barrier Reef is named as one of seven natural wonders of the world, renowned for its stunning array of natural wildlife. However, experts predict it may disappear entirely by 2050.

Photo of a coral by Daniel Öberg on Unsplash.


What the new vaccine means for 2021 By Zenobia Ahsanuddin, Staff Reporter With the New Year having just arrived and the new vaccine having been approved, 2021 is filled with possibilities that are much more known than 2020 was. On Dec. 11, 2020, the U.S. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) approved the Pfizer and Biotech-N vaccine, and began an emergency administration to the people. Being an mRNA type of vaccine, it would usually protect against infectious diseases by triggering a response in the immune system. Instead this one takes on a different approach by “teaching” the cells to make a protein that causes the immune system to respond specifically to the germ or foreign sickness that enters the body, according to the CDC. The protein is called the “spike protein,” and is found from the COVID-19 virus, and more specifically within the surface. Once the vaccine is taken, the instructions, or mRNA, “instructs” the cells to make the protein and then to break down the instructions. The protein latches itself to the virus, and then the immune system does not recognize it and then deems it as a foregin entity, and therefore tries to combat it. Therefore, at the end, the immune system will have successfully treated the virus, and the


person who was vaccinated will not get sick with the virus again. Two doses of the vaccine are required because it helps the body to recognize and reduce responses from the virus. The first dose is taken to help prep the immune system by basically prepping it. The second dose, taken after 21 days is to then strengthen it, to help the body to keep fighting the virus. According to GoodRx, by taking the required two doses, the immune system first recognizes and then continues to fight the virus until total immunity is achieved. In many places, the vaccine has already begun being administered, and is proving effective. Scientists are able to observe and look for any side effects that may emerge, or anything out of the ordinary. Healthcare providers have even been trained to properly administer the vaccine, and some of the outcomes that may emerge, as well as how to handle any issues that arise. It is going out in waves, and is targeting specific groups of people from those who are most prone to the virus, to those who are less likely to get it. By using this method, slowly and carefully, life can go back to the way it once was.

Above, the image shows a coronavirus vaccine that is to be injected, meaning that a vaccine was found and approved for administration. Photo by Hakan Nural, from UnSplash.


Vaccine Update


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Saving the Planet in 2021

The year 2020 was a disaster for the environment, many movements were canceled and held back due to the pandemic? Is this year going to be the eraser of the past?

By Abeeha Zaidi, Managing Editor & Layout

As the new year approaches, people are beginning to wonder whether or not there will be greater efforts from our world leaders to move towards a better, more sustainable, and carbon-neutral future. Last year, world leaders had to turn their attention to combating the spread of COVID-19, and were unable to pursue their plans for the disease of the dying planet. What will they do to make up for their efforts last year? What are their plans for this year? Last year marked the 25th year anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was supposed to result in a meeting of the leaders in the agreement (referred to as COP 26). The COP 26, according to, has organized to take place in Glasgow, United Kingdom because of its experience, commitment to sustainability, and world-class facilities. The COP 26 meeting was created in order to reunite the international government every five years to further cut emissions, to establish temperature regulation criteria, review progress made in the previous five years, and plan their financial contribution to assist developing countries in their battles against climate change. Moreover, China, the largest emitter globally, is beginning to take the climate crisis more seriously and begin their contribution to the battle. Though China isn’t a part of the Paris peace treaty, last year it was reported that they are going to head towards Carbon Neutrality by 2060. Details are scheduled to be released in 2021. In addition to COP 26 taking place and China releasing its carbon neutrality plan, things are also looking good for the United States in 2021. This year, after Joe Biden’s election victory and alongside him, his climate plan, the US is expected to be put back into the Paris treaty agreement and, hopefully, no longer be the second largest global emitter. However, the only thing holding back the US is Congress. If Biden is not able to successfully pass the plethora of bills that are needed for his climate plan to be fully executed, he may not be able to bring any change to the United States and its work on climate change. Overall, this year is beginning to provide people with some hope for the climate, as it may be the turning point for international carbon agreements. Protestor walking by with a sign stateing “Planet over Profit” , signifying what 2020 has been all about , and maybe in 2021 well leave this concept it will be left behind.


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash



In the midst of this Constitutional crisis, where do we go from here? By: Andrew Noel, Staff Reporter

Adviser’s Note: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this opinion article belong solely to the author and do not reflect the view of The Colt Chronicle Staff, Kinnelon High School, or its students and staff members. There are two dates that every American knows—or at least should know: Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001. Unfortunately, another date can be, and truly should be added to that list: Jan. 6, 2021. When democracy was questioned, and when everything this country has endured since 2014 was revisited in a few short, history-changing hours. In case you have been living under a rock, here’s what happened: Supporters of Former President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building and entered the chamber of the House of Representatives. The reason for this siege was simple: Many Trump supporters believe that the election was stolen from them and that he should remain president for the next four years. To avoid congress certifying the election results, his supporters stormed the building. Members of the House and Senate, along with Vice President Mike Pence, were taken to a safe location. No politician was injured or killed during the siege. However, five people did lose their lives as a result of the events. Eventually, at around 11 p.m., Congress returned to session and at 4 a.m. certified that Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States. There is no doubt that these domestic terrorists were coerced by an incompetent President into doing terrible things in the name of dictatorship, rather than democracy. People, however, are divided on how to move forward after these events. People on both sides of the argu-

ment are correct and deserve to be heard equally. They also all agree that President Trump was at fault for the events of Jan. 6 and that he should be punished. It is the question of how to punish him that people disagree on. On one hand, we have Republicans, who would ideally like to hold an impeachment trial for the President, but after he leaves office. This would ensure that the esteemed and important process of impeaching a president is not rushed, and also delay Democratic President Joe Biden from starting to push his agenda on congress. Additionally, it is important to know that impeaching a president after his time in office is allowed in the Constitution.


Capitol Hill Incident: Now What?

On the other hand, we have Democrats who would ideally like for the President to resign. This is almost certainly not going to happen. Their second preferred choice is having Vice President Pence enact the 25th amendment, which would essentially mean Pence is telling Congress that the President is not capable of being in office and that they should remove him. However, the Vice President is a strong supporter of President Trump so this too seems unlikely. The final option is again, impeachment. However, the same problems arise, there would not be enough time to complete this process before Joe Biden takes office, which would result in a delay in Biden’s agenda, which includes a faster rollout of the COVID vaccine. Right now, we are at a crossroads in American history. The decision of Congress is a historic one that must be made quickly and rolled out smartly. Whatever they do, I just hope for the sake of our country and our democracy that we finally come together and unify as one. Because at the end of the day, the most important thing isn’t being a Democrat or a Republican or being conservative or liberal. Rather, it is being American, which means being unified for better or for worse.


Start Self-Improving to Grow Happier

By Alex Garcia and Haripriya Kemisetti

There is a reason most New Year’s resolutions fail so quickly; it is because they are just words without any plan behind them. I’ve been successful in only two of my approximately ten New Year’s goals with my past two being to begin working out and to finally start reading more. Alas, Forbes says, “studies have shown that approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.” Improvements need to be made in people’s lives. As Americans we are getting consistently unhappier. The Associated Press states that, “Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.” This is based on a study conducted by the University of Chicago. The way to fix this is self-improvement. “People are more likely to have a sense of well-being if they set specific goals,” says Science Daily. These are four simple steps on how to conceive and achieve goals. Step 1: Figuring Out Where Improvements Need to be Made Throughout this piece, we’ll be using a personal goal of ‘reading more’ as an example that can be followed. I read a lot to begin with but almost all of that came in the form of articles I read on my phone. On top of that, I spent countless hours staring at a screen in school as well as after school. This was far too much screen time and I decided to look for an activity to take my eyes off the screens. This was the improvement that needed to be made in my life. I also wanted to grow my vocabulary and become more educated. Those were important to me. Now there was meaning behind the goal and a reason for me to try to achieve it. Reflection is needed to discover goals. Self-reflection through sitting down for 15 minutes or so and thinking about the positives and negatives in life can make it easier to find a goal. When the negatives are isolated, look for what causes this negativity and form a goal around that. These processes push it beyond just being a phrase. Step 2: Make A Plan! How are you going to make this goal a reality? A few words underlined in some journals mean nothing until there is an actual plan of action. The goal should be set up in a positive way. In a TED article titled “The Science of Setting Goals,” writer Nadia Goodman says, “Focusing on what you want to bring into your life—not what you want to avoid—will make you more likely to actually pursue it.” For reading, I had done it a lot in the past but stopped because of how unenjoyable school had made it for me. That was my reason for inaction: Not wanting to do it because it doesn’t seem fun. Now, I have to turn that around and frame reading as positive. My goal ended up being: find a book to enjoy, and find time in your day to read at least five pages of it. Baby steps. “If you make daily choices that are consistent with your goal over and over again, you will eventually reach it,” says Goodman. Set concrete dates to complete these goals to hold yourself to a timeframe. This will stop the ‘I’ll do it later’ mentality.


Step 3: Follow The Plan! This is a pretty amazing plan, but you actually have to follow it. Plaster this plan everywhere. Personally, I put it in a note on my phone that stays on my lock screen at all times. A little note that just says something simple like “go read” and I put it everywhere. You can’t motivate yourself unless you have a will made of pure titanium… you probably don’t. “A staggering 92 percent of people that set [...] goals never actually achieve them,” according to research done at the University of Scranton. Make this note a little motivator to keep you on track. Give yourself little rewards that create more motivation. “Setting goals and planning rewards can help you: [...] get started, keep working, and reach the end [...] and reinforce good behavior and build new habits” says Reed College. Motivation is key; if you’re not motivated you’re not going to do anything.


Step 4: Maintain This Goal! Amazing, you’ve accomplished a goal. Think of how positive an experience this has been and use that to motivate you to maintain your current goal. Give yourself a pat on the back. You did it. Whatever it is, big or small, it is an accomplishment. This is a modern day success story for the ages. If you’re really ambitious, let it motivate future goals. Goal setting is imperative to self improvement. The two go hand in hand, and striving for both creates a happier life. This plan can create happiness. Happiness is an amazing thing, and let us hope the new year is filled with it.


New Age of Marvel Superheroes Is this the year of Marvel movies? When and What Marvel movies are coming this year? By Zainab Kabir, Staff Reporter Just when everyone thought they were saying goodbye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (CMU) with the release of “Avengers: Endgame,� Marvel ambitiously announced a new line of movies that will be releasing as far into the future as 2023. Audiences will say hello to a new line of Marvel movies that will spread over the next few years, seeing familiar characters in new, unfamiliar settings. Some of these movies include:



Black Widow: May 7, 2021

Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings: July 9, 2021 The Eternals: November 5, 2021

Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home Sequel: December, 17, 2021 Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness: March 25, 2022 Thor: Love and Thunder: May 6, 2022 Black Panther II: July 8, 2022

Captain Marvel 2: November 11, 2022 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 : TBD

Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania Fantastic Four : TBD X-Men: TBD Blade : TBD

A wall in memmory of Stan Lee , representing the love from millions of fans of his and his Marvel creations. Photo courtesy of Unsplash

These are just some of the movies that the public knows that will be coming out, and while some of these movies are not guaranteed to happen, many of them will eventually meet their release. So grab some popcorn, a few friends or family, and get ready to stream these movies online. Marvel is not over yet.


Shawn Mendes now lets his fans to have their own live concert, as he releases ‘Live in Concert’ on Netflix. By Marissa Kosco, Staff Reporter Once just a small town Canadian boy, Shawn Mendes has now made his name a known one; not only in the music industry but in the general public as well. As Mendes’s name grew throughout the world, he was able to accomplish many big goals for a music artist such as multiple album releases, tours and many more successful job opportunities like modeling. Now adding to the list of his accomplishments: having a film which comes up when his name is typed into the Netflix “search” bar. Mendes is now included in one of Netflix’s many film genres. Joining many other artists such as Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Travis Scott, Shawn Mendes now has his own film, “Shawn Mendes Live In Concert,” a film of his live performance in his hometown of Toronto, Canada. This film includes the entire set from Mendes’s tour. From the performance on stage to the fans in the crowd; this film captures many aspects of the concert right from your netflix screen at home or wherever you may be watching Netflic from.

some headphones on butalso to feel the entire energy of the live performance. Sophomore Tuleen Abdallah says, “I think live concert films are a great way for artists to connect with their fans especially if their fans are unable to make it to the concert for whatever reason that may be.”


Shawn Mendes : Live From Your Own Home

Especially in today’s day and age where social distancing measures have to be enforced in order for gathering, concerts are very scarce especially with big artists in the industry such as Mendes. As fans are not able to gather in huge concert halls. filmed performances are a great way for artists to be able to connect with their audience from the luxuries of their own homes.

The cover of Shawn Mendes’s Live Concert Film , now available on Netflix. Image from

Besides his talent in singing, Mendes also includes his talent in playing the bass guitar, electric guitar and the piano in his performance. Also shown in the film: a short performance of his song “Senorita” as he brought out his girlfriend, Camilla Cabello to sing her part of the song. Although this may not be the entire concert experience, it still allows fans to be able to embrace Mendes’s music, not just though listening to it with


to Made in 2021 Due to the pandemic, many movies in 2020 were delayed for 2021. Here is a list of the top five movies that are upcoming in 2021.

Nomadland The screenplay is an adaptation of the book Nomadland. With the help of book writer Jessica Bruder and director Chloe Zhao this lovely story shapes into an amazing movie. It is about a woman who embarks on a turbulent journey through the American West after losing everything during the Great Recession. The movie focuses on the woman’s life as she van-dwells as a modern-day nomad. This movie was initially scheduled for Dec. 4, 2020; however, Walt Disney Co. decided to wait until the pandemic subsided and rescheduled it for Feb. 19.

Raya And The Last Dragon Long ago, in Kumandra, humans and dragons lived in peace and harmony. However, when an evil monster, Dunn, threatened humanity’s existence, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humankind. After 500 years of peace, Dunn is back and now it is up to the lone young warrior, Raya, to track the monster and slay it for good. The movie’s writers are Adele Lim and Qui Nguyen, and its release date is March 5.


Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

By Shreyal Sharma, Staff Reporter


From Delayed in 2020

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

Free Guy With comedy, romance, and epic adventure, director Shawn Levy presents Free Guy. The movie focuses on a bank teller who discovers that he is a background player in an open-world video game. Tired of living the same repetitive and boring life Guy, the character, decides to become the hero of his own retold story. In a world with no limits, Guy decides to save the world before it is too late. The movie premieres on May 21.


No Time To Die No Time to Die is a movie based on rescue and mystery, and is directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga. The legendary spy, James bond, is hired to rescue a kidnapped scientist from a mysterious villain, who is armed with dangerous new technological weapons. The movie was supposed to come out in 2020. However, because of the pandemic, the premiere was delayed to April 2.

Cruella Photo Courtesy of

The story of Cruella De Vil is familiar to many people; however, this movie is a live-action prequel fiction film that follows the evil plots and life of the young Cruella de Vil. Leading star Emma Stone plays Cruella de Vil, who, according to many fans, is perfect for the part. The movie will be released in theaters on May 28, after being delayed due to COVID-19.


On Pointe Mystery Novel: Murder in First Position After winning the Silver Falchion Award for Lesson Plan for Murder, Lori Robbins publishes her new book: Murder in First Position. By Shreyal Sharma, Staff Reporter

Inspired by her successful mystery novel debut, Lesson Plan for Murder, English teacher Lori Robbins continued in the murder-mystery genre for her second novel. This time, she brought to life the setting of the world of ballet. On Nov. 24, 2020, Level Best Books released her sophomore novel, Murder in First Position. Robbins has confirmed that this is the first installation in a series of dance-related mysteries.

The novel provides a glimpse into the life of a ballerina, which Robbins knows well from her own experiences in the dance world. “I am a former dancer, so I spent many years dancing in ballet companies,” Robbins said. “It seemed like a very inherently dramatic setting for a murder mystery.” The story focuses on Leah Siderova, a ballerina facing the possible end of her career. “For dancers, life can be very fragile; it is a very short career,” Robbins said. The stakes are certainly high when Siderova experiences a downfall in her competitive career while also being accused of murder.

Although the plot of this book focuses on ballet, the book has universal themes and appeal. Even those unfamiliar with dance can enjoy reading this book. “[The book] deals with someone who is at a critical point in her life, and that was the inspiration for the book,” Robbins said. After her first book, Lesson Plan for Murder, Robbins continued to explore the murder-mystery genre in her second novel. Robbins said, “I like to read mysteries, and I think a lot of people like to read mysteries because the world is a crazy place, and I think mysteries provide a sense of justice and a sense of closure, at the end, there is usually a very satisfying ending.”


As mystery novels need closure, many mystery writers carefully plot their stories and clues out before writing and stick to them exactly when writing their books. Robbins, too, outlined her plots before

writing but admitted that she didn’t always stick to them, saying, “I had everything planned out; however, when I was about halfway through the book, I realized that I had chosen the wrong murderer and that the real murderer was so clever that this person fooled even me, and I had to go back and rewrite it.” Robbins explained that she wishes to continue writing in the murder mystery genre, saying, “I love puzzles, and the thought of writing a book where a puzzle was part of the plot is very attractive to me.”

She also confirmed that she has more in store following Murder in First Position. Robbins said, “I signed a three-book deal so there will be at least two more coming out over the next two years, so it could be a couple more years with Leah.” Robbins, along with the rest of The Sirens of Suspense, will be at the Kinnelon Library the evening of Feb. 18.

The Sirens of Suspense are three female mystery authors, all on the board of the New York Chapter of Sisters In Crime. They provide free book readings, writing workshops, and other related programs that they present at libraries, book clubs, women’s groups, and community centers. The programs are geared toward people who love reading and/or might want to try writing. The Sirens of Suspense also includes D.M. Barr, an award-winning author of stand-alone psychological thrillers, the most recent being Saving Grace: A Psychological Thriller; and Cathi Stoler, award-winning author of the Murder on the Rocks mystery series (Bar None, Last Call). The Sirens of Suspense donate a portion of the proceeds from any book sales connected to their events, and Robbins is donating a portion of the proceeds from her book to the KEA Scholarship Fund.




Murder in First Position, Lori Robbins’ second mystery novel, is now available for purchase Photo courtesy of Level Best Designs


Many people are making changes in th life for the New Year! By Zara Yu, Staff Reporter As people across the world ring in the new year, many participate in the classic tradition of creating personal resolutions. Despite the ongoing pandemic and the limits it has put on what people can accomplish, they can still set goals for themselves. The shutdown of schools last year, stay-at-home orders, and other measures enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19 have made it more difficult for people to go out and complete their resolutions, but people are still trying. Freshman Sema Zor said, “One of my resolutions last year was to get a job but because of the pandemic, I was unable to do so.” People struggled to go out and accomplish their goals due to restrictions. Travel was virtually impossible and interaction with others was limited. Even though the pandemic put a stop to people carrying out their resolutions, there were some goals that could be completed. Junior Jake Pryor commented, “Some of my resolutions last year were to get a good SAT [score], improve my grades and to branch out and work on new projects. While these goals were hampered by the pandemic, I was still able to pursue these goals and work on them to some degree.” There are many ways to focus on completing your goals. They can range from listing them down to planning out daily tasks for yourself. History teacher Matthew Arroyo says, “When I write something down and set a goal, I remind myself of that goal and dedicate myself to fulfilling it.” Zor also states that “having a specific motivation will help you and keep you inspired to stick to your resolutions.” This year, as pandemic restrictions have lessened to a degree and people better know what to expect, people have a better chance at keeping their resolutions. Freshman Ah-In Kim says, “My goal is to get high grades in school as it’s important to keep my grades up, especially in high school.” The goals of different students and staff members are certainly varied. Arroyo personally hopes this year to “help his children with academics and help his students finish off the year.” The events of 2020 may have thrown a wrench in plans and may even have caused some to reconsider what their goals ought be. This may change the content of some resolutions this year, but this holiday need not be devoid of hope and resolutions for the new year.


Some recommend writing down resolutions to help stick to them. Courtesy of @helloimnik from unsplash


Starting Off the New Year

Illustrated by Abeeha Zaidi , Concept by Layout Team

This cover embodies the typical mess in the beginning of every year. Every year, we have some essentials swimming around our bedroom floor, and many of us like to get our life in order, starting from making a list for ‘Our goals of 2021’ and then slowly proceeding to buying a planner, and writing all the dates and appointments we already have... all before the clock has even struck midnight; and 2021 has begun. This year, though many of us still consciously decided to take action and once again ‘organize’ our year, in the back of our mind. We took our learnings from the unprecedented 2020 and reminded ourselves that “we can’t predict the future.” The aim with this cover was to show an environment that is usually built on the first day of the year and just as quickly fades away. So dont stop making goals; but this time, make them ‘fit for all situations,’ and remember to put ‘be happy’ as the first one. - Abeeha Zaidi


About the Cover

Kinnelon Teacher Cr

Peter Zablocki shares his historical k By Ethan Bur

Kinnelon High School history teacher Peter Zablocki started History Teachers Talking, a historical podcast, with a longtime friend and fellow history teacher, Thomas Reszka, in the first months of lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, his podcast has taken off. As so many hobbies and endeavors have, the podcast grew out of COVID-induced boredom and a longing for the halcyon days of in-person connection in school. Zablocki says that he and his co-host founded the aptly named podcast because, “we missed the ability to talk history with our students and have that banter.” Still, the podcast is not simply additional history class. As friends since college, Zablocki and Reszka bring a friendly and fun dynamic to the information discussed in every episode. On top of their enjoyable banter, the show is also different from a typical history class both in the content they discuss and the lenses through which they look at history. “It’s talking about some history topics that you may have heard about in class and some that you haven’t but also talking about them outside of the limits of a curriculum.” With episodes on topics as varied as breakfast cereals and serial killers, it would certainly be hard to pin the podcast into the confines of any history class. Zablocki and Reszka get some ideas for episodes, such as their episode on Davy Crocket, from fans of the podcast who send in recommendations. More often, they come from their own lives. For example, Zablocki said that his co-host “called… on a Saturday morning. He was like ‘what are you doing?’I said ‘I’m eating cereal’, and he said ‘oh we should do a podcast on that’ I’m like ‘alright. Let’s do it.’” After deciding upon a topic, however, the two research independently, and all of the episodes are unscripted. This means their conversations can go anywhere and are completely organic. “There’s zero set script… we want this to be unscripted and an actual conversation, so I don’t know what he has and he doesn’t know what I have, and you actually hear it. It’s very unscripted and as off the cuff as we can be while still being prepared.” The podcast, which was initially started as a way to have some fun and talk about history, has quickly accumulated over 2,500 subscribers hailing from all over the world. This impressive success has not come without work though. “We have our hands full,” Zablocki admits, which is understandable given that each episode takes an hour to record and up to two hours to edit. The burgeoning podcast, however, is far from his only current creative historical endeavor. On top of the podcast and teaching at KHS, Zablocki is also the Vice President of the Denville Historical Society, and he has a book about a true crime that occurred in Denville coming out February 22. This book is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, and the podcast can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podcast Republic, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, and RadioPublic. These locations and more information about the podcast can be found on its website.


For now, the goal is to just keep having fun with it and expanding their audience. “The goal for the podcast is just to continue talking about history and hopefully inspire some other people to do the same thing. History is fun. It doesn’t need to be all about tests and essays; it can just be a fun conversation.”

knowledge on new podcast and more rt, Features Editor


reates ‘Cast’ on Past

The logo for Zablocki’s quickly growing podcast, which has a new episode each week.



Biden’s Ambitious Agenda Due to the Democrat’s control of congress, the left-wing of the Democratic party may push for a more liberal Biden agenda. By Alex Garcia, Local and World News Editor

Joe Biden now has the presidency, and his party controls the senate and the house. This is cause for celebration among Democrats as they have limited opposition to a new slate of policy proposals that could change the direction of the nation. The lack of opposition that comes with majority control in both of the legislative branches could shape a very ambitious two years for the Democrats. Highlighted below are Joe Biden’s policies towards the climate, taxation, and college education followed by ways more liberal figures of the party want to shift his agenda to the left. Climate: Joe Biden has a very clear and ambitious approach to tackling climate change. It has been praised by climate activists as one of the most ambitious to ever be proposed. With BBC saying it is, “the most ambitious of any mainstream US presidential candidate yet.” His plan calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 along with US electricity becoming carbon-free by 2035. “Once in office, Joe Biden wants to spend $2 trillion over four years to drive down emissions by upgrading four million buildings to make them more energy efficient” says BBC explaining the plan. Biden also wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and to build a modern, climate-conscious infrastructure. Building on his theme of unity, Biden wishes for more compromise in congress even with his party holding control. Some more liberal figures of the democratic party believe this plan does not go far enough, with calls for embracing the Green New Deal and far more regulations on American industry. Taxation: Joe Biden’s tax plan will reverse many policies championed by Trump during the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He will call for the top income tax bracket to be raised from 37% to 39.6%. Further, he will increase the business tax rate to 28%. Many aspects of his tax policy do with heavily increasing taxes on those making above $400,000. Biden’s plan also, “Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) from a maximum of




College Education: In a departure from the more liberal wing of his party, Joe Biden’s plan does not call for the forgiving of all student debt or free state universities. Joe Biden’s plan is to grow the middle class through improved resources for community colleges which will allow millions of hardworking students to get some of the roughly 30 million jobs with an average salary of $55,000 as cited in Biden’s plan. This plan is likely far less forgiving than many Democrats had hoped for, but seems more in line with the beliefs of Joe Biden. Hard working students will still be able to afford quality education and have the middle-class life on which America is built. That is what Joe Biden believes, and it is doubtful that even with the majority in both houses of congress that the plan will get much more liberal than the one he has already proposed. Joe Biden is in a situation many presidents envy, a unified legislative branch and control of the white house. Joe Biden will not need to compromise to get these deals done, but to stay true to himself the policies will likely remain moderate.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

The united congress does not mean Joe Biden will not stay true to himself and fall prey to becoming a puppet of his party. It is far more likely that he can just get more items checked off his checklist than he could have imagined completing before the Georgia senate seats flipped.


$3,000 in qualified expenses to $8,000 ($16,000 for multiple dependents)” says the Tax Foundation. His plan is criticized as not progressive enough by liberal members of the Democratic party. Some of whom have proposed increasing taxes, such as the estate tax, to 77%.

Watch : Biden’s Platform Explained: What Biden Plans To Do If Elected - TLDR News. To find out more about Biden’s Plan


Two Weeks In ...

Its only been 2 weeks into January? And theres alot to catch up on already... By Julia Hackney, Local and World News Editor Jan. 1: Senate Overrides Trump’s Veto An override of Donald Trump’s veto of the annual military spending bill was passed overwhelmingly with an 81-13 vote in the Senate. This bipartisan act of the Senate marks the first of its kind in Trump’s presidency, signaling the overwhelming congressional popularity of the bill, despite the president’s demand for a measure overturning Section 230 and $2,000 stimulus checks to be written in. Jan. 6: Capitol Riot, Democrats Win the Senate After attending a rally for President Donald Trump between the White House and Washington Monument, pro-Trump mobs marched down Pennsylvania Ave., Constitution Ave., and the National Mall to the Capitol. During Trump’s speech, a crowd had already begun to amass behind barricades on the Capitol lawn, as documented by live streams posted to social media as well as news broadcasts. Among Trump supporters were the far-right group the Proud Boys.


In his speech, Trump announced, “We are going to walk down to the Capitol.” Supporters began to march in the direction of the Capitol before Trump’s speech ended. As more supporters began to arrive, small clashes between the police guarding the building and agitators began to happen. Over the next few hours, the debate began on the Senate floor as police and rioters clashed outside, while reports of a found pipe bomb were simultaneously announced at the DNC. Just after 2 p.m., rioters broke into the building as debate continued. Shortly thereafter, the Senate went into recess, closely followed by the House, as rioters continued to enter the building and violently clash with police. The violence endured for three hours until the building

was declared secure, with five lives being claimed in the process. That evening, Representative Ilhan Omar announced she would be drawing Articles of Impeachment against Trump. Representative-elects Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock won their respective races against David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. Democratic success in Georgia means that the Senate will be split 50-50, giving Vice President Kamala Harris the tie-breaking vote. Jan. 7: Biden’s Win is Confirmed In the early morning, Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden’s win. The vote was delayed by several hours due to the mob that took on the Capitol, forcing congresspeople to shelter and the Vice President to be removed from the building. Some Republicans who had previously challenged the legitimacy of Biden’s win backed down from their stances following the riot, but other Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz continued to fight to overturn the election results. In the end, the Vice President, who presided over the counting, announced that Joe Biden was the president-elect following the counting of Vermont’s electoral votes which put the Biden-Harris ticket over the threshold of 270. Jan. 12: House adopts resolution for Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment The night before the House impeachment vote, a resolution was adopted calling on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment. In a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Pence rejected the resolution. Only one Republican, Adam Kinzinger, supported the resolution. Aside from Kinzinger, House Democrats supported the mea-



Jan. 13: House Impeachment Vote Two hundred thirty-two representatives voted to impeach Donald Trump on the basis of committing “high crimes and misdemeanors� following the incitement of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Almost all of the votes in support of impeachment came from Democrats, with 10 coming from Republicans such as Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. One hundred ninety-seven Republicans voted no, and four abstained from the vote altogether. Jan. 14: Biden announces Coronavirus Spending Package In an effort to aid in economic recovery, President-elect Joe Biden announced a $1.9 trillion as an agenda item for his first days in office. Most notably, Biden is looking at $1,400 stimulus checks to be added on top of the $600 checks from the December relief package. Other items include potential financial incentives for schools to reopen, a minimum wage increase, a paid leave extension, an unemployment extension, and increased spending for local municipalities.


sure and House Republicans opposed it, with Republicans Greg Murphy and Daniel Webster abstaining.

Photo courtesy of Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash.


The Revival of Sports

How 2021 will be able to bring sports back to what we envision it as. By Michael Lally, Sports Editor

As 2020 comes to a close, many describe this past year as a “complete failure.” The cancellation of March Madness, the postponement of the NBA Championship, MLB World Series, and other major events led many to believe that the sports industry would collapse as a whole. However, by surviving the pandemic up to this point, it has been proven that there is nearly nothing that can stop sports from being played. Despite losing nearly $13 billion in Covid losses, per ESPN, the major sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS) have proven that they are more than resilient. The lost money was only a small portion of what these leagues had to suffer, but now that they have reached the end of 2020, it can only get better from here.

will actually have a season. However, Murphy recently set a final date for his “return to play” 2020-2021 spring season. Sophomore Christian Larusso is predominantly a spring athlete, and eager to return to competition that has been delayed for nearly a year. “I have been working in the offseason, and trying to prepare for a season. It is hard to predict what will happen, I just hope I get a chance to play,” Larusso said. It is clear that sports have been the hot topic of discussion under all scopes. Whether it is a professional sport or a high school sport, fans and athletes alike are starving for a relatively “normal” sports season, and won’t settle for anything less.

Junior Dean Carhart is an avid sports fan and understands the importance of 2021 to the sports world. “It still feels weird watching sports games with the arenas and stadiums being completely empty. Hopefully, fans can be back this summer,” Carhart says. That is the key, fans. Many sports teams are notorious for their fans, and without them, they are simply playing in an empty dome, quiet enough to hear a penny drop. To tighten the scope on sports, high school sports have also been a heavy topic of discussion, especially for athletes of New Jersey. Gov. Phil Murphy has been very fluid with his “return to play” deadlines, which leaves many athletes wondering whether they


The sight of a packed “Friday Night Lights” is a dream for most fans, but as vaccines are distributed to the entire country , over time , this may become more and more of a reality. Photo courtesy of Unsplash



How Sports can be saved and returned back to normalcy By Michael Lally, Sports Editor

As many of us know, 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years of recent history. Whether it was the coronavirus sweeping across the world, or the passing of legends such as Kobe Bryant and Chadwick Boseman, 2020 is labeled by most as “The Worst Year of All Time.”

With this being said, how could schools possibly be able to have spring sports for the year 2021? No touching, social distancing, and other factors came into play, but Gov. Phil Murphy and Chief of the NJSIAA, Colleen McGuire, were able to give athletes relieving news by passing various spring sports have begun competing. With spring sports being able to start as early as March 26, many student-athletes were able to exhale and come to a realization that their dreams of having a fall sports season were slowly becoming a reality. While not many people have experienced a modified season like this, junior quarterback Aidan Duffy has first-hand experience during the fall season. “At this point, I’m just happy that we had a season. It was such a long wait for football, and the last thing I wanted was for our season to be canceled. I was just really happy.” To succeed, every team needs a leader, and having a quarterback with a positive attitude, creates a perfect mesh to become the team leader.

However, not all news is good news, as McGuire and Murphy had to address the elephant in the room: indoor athletics. The ultimate result was the postponement of volleyball and gymnastics until a date to be determined at a later time. Junior volleyball player Natalie Klinger gave her insight as to why this postponement might not be as bad as it may seem. “Most of our team doesn’t think of it as a bad thing. We get more time to practice, more time to clean up what we were rusty in last year, and overall we are grateful that it was postponed and not canceled. Girls’ sports are many times overlooked and to still have a shot at playing this season is great in itself.” The key to a successful season for all sports is to find the positives where there seemingly are none. A postponement can be either looked at as a setback, or more time to practice. A cancellation can be looked at as an opportunity taken away, or a way of protecting the lives of athletes. It all boils down to how one can turn a negative situation into a positive one, and the athletes interviewed seemingly did just that. To conclude, not everything will go according to plan, especially in 2021. But as long as rules are followed, reasonable expectations are set, and we all work together, the future of sports may not be tarnished after all.


Looking Forward

As volleyball players await a final say to how there season will be directed, basketball players look to prepare for a start in early January. Photo courtesy of Unsplash



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