Election.................4 A Useless Board...9 Scary Situations.10 Victory!................16 Rockin Coffee.....20
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Survey/Distribution Editor In October of 1929, a crash in prices on the New York Stock Exchange led to a depression that sent America’s economy in a downward spiral for nearly a decade. At the time, America had around 25,000 banks holding the money of American citizens safe, but by 1933, 11,000 had failed, forced to either shut down or sell their business to larger banks. As a result other businesses imploded causing a steep decline in the country’s production and export of domestic goods. Which, then caused a massive unemployment rate
of 25-30% of the population before spreading to other nations causing an international “Great Depression.” But is America at risk of slipping into another depression? The Current Situation Since September, there have been numerous changes in America’s economy. The Stock Market is constantly reaching historical levels as it plummets and soars, massively improving one day only to massively decline the next. The nightly news on all channels keeps mentioning something called the “housing bubble,” and it is difficult to go anywhere without hearing the word, “bailout.” But what does it all mean? Everyone involved in the 2008 Financial Crisis has their own opinion of what exactly happened to get America’s economy in the state it’s in now, what exactly that state is and how to go
about fixing it. However, the only way to truly understand how to fix it is to understand what events led to the government’s decision to spend upwards of $700 billion taxpayer dollars to save America’s banks and hopefully avoid another “Great Depression.” How It Started In 1929, the depression began with a failure within the stock market that led the banks to close. In 2008, the beginnings of a depression emerged in the form of an announcement made by the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). On September 7, James B. Lockhart announced the FHFA’s decision to place two of the countries top Government Supported Enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) and Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) under a conservatorship with the FHFA. The conservatorship, a form of protection by the Federal government for businesses in peril, would allow the government to use the taxpayer’s money to keep the business from going under by promising the companies at least $100 billion each. This plan was supported by Henry Paulsen, the United States Treasurer who said, “I attribute the need for today’s action primarily to the inherent conflict and flawed business model embedded in the GSE structure, and to the ongoing housing correction.” The taxpayers are going to have to bailout the two mortgage companies because of bad home loans they had made. This statement was one of the first that brought the crumbling infrastructure of the housing market to light. The Problems with the Housing Market
In the 1990s, the housing market countless high risk loans, and shockboomed. Large houses were starting ing amounts of deregulation (the reto appear in newly formed suburbs all moval of laws) struck the economy over the United States and the econo- much like the issues with the housing my seemed stable enough to support market are affecting our economy toloans for consumers who might not day. Businesses were going under and have had the income to pay off loans people were losing their homes. In an on houses too large and expensive for attempt to counteract the failing marthem to afford. The only problem was ket, Former President George H.W. that the mortgage companies would Bush signed a Financial Institutions offer loans for more than the house Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement being purchased was worth to people Act to replace the removed regulations who couldn’t necessarily afford the as well as enforce new regulations on house before the loan increased. the savings and loan industry. By 1995, In order to make a large profit on instead of the industry booming as the loans and boost the housing market predicted, over 1,000 savings and loan even further, before they were consid- companies had failed and closed and ered “bad loans,” the mortgage com- the $200 billion the government had panies and banks would then sell the paid to boost the industry was lost. loan as stocks to large companies, both But the government believes that domestic and over seas, and offered a this bailout is better planned. Al“credit default swap” to the buyer as though the majority of politicians see a form of insurance in case the loan positive changes in the future, they fell through. A credit default swap is a mostly agree on one flaw in the plan. guarantee from the seller to the buyer The government’s plan is to spread the that the money they invest in the stock money out between the failing banks or loan is protected should the market to do with as they choose. There are no start to fall. While credit default swaps aren’t illegal, they aren’t regulated by the federal government meaning that the government has no legal obligation to pay back the companies who invested in the “bad loans.” The Gov- A local gas station closes because of a slowing economy. ernment’s Plan regulations or limitations on how the Earlier this month, President Bush banks should spend the money. With proposed a massive government bail- no regulations, many economists are out totaling $700 billion to save the fearful that, much like the situation economy from slipping into a full blown with the savings and loans companies, depression. Senators from all states the banks and mortgage companies received countless letters, emails, and will fall back into their old ways, credit phone calls demanding that they vote swaps and all. no on the plan, and they did. The first As for what the future holds, only vote on the bailout was denied by a time will tell. The government is in majority in Congress. However the relatively new territory and econobill was proposed a second time and mists are just as stumped as the rest passed, when the fear of economic of the world. However, if anything can failure greater than that of losing fa- be learned from the 2008 Financial vor with the voters. Crisis, it’s that regardless of what the Will It Work? presidential candidates say, there is no This is not the United States gov- right way to fix the economy and no ernment’s first bailout for the hous- real way to fix it quickly. ing market. In August of 1989, the Voice graphics and graphic headline by “Savings and Loan debacle” caused Dylan Geiser by high, uncertain interest rates,
Voice photo by Sam Treglia
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
October 31, 2008
Pep rally rescheduled for JCL kicks off year biggest game of year
Lakota West Voice
Justin Sharp Business Manager
n October 23, Lakota West held its annual fall pep rally, initially intended for the Homecoming football game but delayed because of the blackout, to pump up the student body for the East vs. West football game. Starting the rally, the senior football captains ran around the gymnasium waving the West bomb squad flags in the air. The activities began when senior Michael Proctor, dressed as the Firebird, playfully fought junior Nick Hagglund, who was dressed as the Thunderhawk. “I thought that the pep rally pumped up the school for the East West game, because the activities we did were exciting,” junior Brett Acuff said. The West dance team then performed for the crowd, dancing to “Boom, shake, drop” by Pitbull Ft. DJ LAZ. The next activity forced the classes against one another in a game of tug-o-war. The game pitted the juniors against the sophomores first, with the winner facing the seniors. At the end of the event, the seniors won the tug-o-war, beating the juniors easily. After the tug-owar tournament, the announcer, senior Bren
After a kick-off party last month at Kheener Park, the Junior Classical League (JCL) has started the year with Latin Quiz team, the ALS walk and an upcoming lock-in at Mercy HealthPlex. JCL has a new teacher advisor this year. West Latin teacher Sarah Elmore was the freshman school sponsor for the past nine years, but this is her first year sponsoring at West. “[I want the students] to have a good experience in general, connect with their peers and recognize the importance of community service,” Elmore said. October 4, the Latin Quiz team competed against other schools in the area. Similar to a regular quiz team, the Latin Quiz team answers questions in history, culture, grammar and mythology. As a group dedicated to community service, the club participated in a walk to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on October 5. Along with quiz team and community service, JCL hosts parties and fun events, like the Lakota Latin Lock-In, which will take place on November 1 at Mercy HealthPlex. The club looks forward to many more events like this later in the year. “We know what’s really fun,” sophomore officer Stephanie Wang said. JCL hopes to better their Latin skills, make a difference in the community, and have a good time with friends this year.
Harper, announced all of the fall sports team’s accomplishments, including the girls’ tennis team winning the GMC and the doubles team winning the state doubles tournament. Also mentioned were sophomore Korey Ward winning the golf district title, and the boy’s cross country team, winning the district cross country title. “I think parts of the pep rally went well and other parts we could improve on for the winter rally. The raffle in the middle and the powder puff champion activity really made the rally lose momentum. We will definitely try to improve on these for the winter rally,” senior and SGA member Brigit Reder said. After the announcement of all fall sports achievements, the cheerleaders had the crowd participate in the “Do-It” cheer. Following that the powder puff champion team, Justice League, tried to throw footballs into hoops af-Katie Johantages ter spinning around a pole, at the conclusion of the cheer. “The pep rally was really fun, we got to do it,” junior Elaine Perrin said. At the conclusion of the powder puff passWith the 2008 presidential elections right around the corner, ing competition, the senior football captains held a fashion contest, with them dressed as the Junior Statesmen of America have held weekly debates at West princesses. Senior Jake Odom dressed as a to discuss the issues as well as prepare for future conventions later bunny, won the costume contest hands down. this year. One of the recent debates gave students a chance to discuss political issues in the perspectives of both the Democratic and Republican parties. Senior Mark Ferris represented presidential candidate Barack Obama while senior Adam Snyder represented John McCain. “I have been interested in politics since a very young age and it turned out to be a passion for debate,” Snyder said. While some members in the organization have experience, advisor Diann Adams explains that being a political expert is not a requirement to participate in the “luscious discussion”. “Anybody can join. You don’t have to like politics,” Adams said. “Some people research the topic and ask questions during the debate.” A regional conference at UC and Spring State in Columbus, Ohio are among the few events scheduled for 2008 and 2009.
JSA holds debate
Each year the West National Honors Society inducts new members based on prospective members’ academic achievements, and interest in joining. In order to be eligible for National Honors Society, grade reports from students’ freshmen, sophomore, and junior years are examined. A list of new eligible members is posted on Main Street at the beginning of each year, and those interested must meet an application deadline, which was near the beginning of the year. To be eligible for National Honors Society, prospective members must meet criteria such as having over a 3.5 accumulative grade point average, and exemplify an all around good student. Members must maintain a 3.5 cumulative grade point average their senior year and complete the service hours. “Once you are inducted you have to complete community service and attend National Honors Society meetings,” National Honors Society member senior Emily Canepa said. Although students can be eligible for National Honors Society their junior year, only seniors are official members. Voice collage by Alex Mancabelli Voice photos by Sam Treglia
4 News Abby Ford Survey/Distribution Editor
he 2008 election between John McCain and Barack Obama is historical for many reasons. This election could produce the first African-American president, the oldest president to ever take office, and the first female vice president. So, it’s safe to say that the 2008 presidential election is possibly the most exciting and potentially politically reformed election to date. John McCain John McCain, the Republican candidate for the 2008 presidential election, is relying on his military background and experience in Congress to help him win the election. Should he win the election, he will be the oldest individual to ever do so. According to his website, www.johnmccain.com, his goals for reshaping the nation are, “To keep our nation prosperous, strong and growing we have to rethink, reform and reinvent: the way we educate our children; train our workers; deliver health care services; support retirees; fuel our transportation network; stimulate research and development; and harness new technologies.” Barack Obama Democratic nominee, Barack Obama is the first African-American to make it to Election Day as a front runner. He is counting on his diverse background, having lived in several different states with diverse beleifs and opinions, and real world experiences to help him win the election. It was in college that he first realized that he was made for leadership when his passion for change lead him to On his website, www.barackobama.com, he posted a quote saying, “I’m asking you to believe not just in my ability to bring about change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” Education Thie first major change regarding education in McCain’s plans is to get rid of Bush’s No Child Left Behind program because it teaches children that there is not only a safety net to catch them when they can’t make the cut but because it also keeps children from striving to be the best person they can be. He wants schools to compete to be the best school so that America ’s children receive the best opportunities for
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
the top education. He also wants parents to be able to choose what school their child goes to if the school they are currently enrolled in is not improving to meet the standards of “better” school systems. “Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that public education in America should foster innovation and provide students with varied, high-quality learning opportunities. The ObamaBiden education plan will focus federal funding on the most effective programs with a proven record of success, and work to expand successful school choices for parents and students within public education,” according to the campaign website. His plan involves increasing funding for schools with high success rates, encouraging change for schools that don’t come up to par, and closing schools that either refuse or are unable to make the necessary changes to become a top school. He also plans to start government scholarships for future teachers and reward teachers with high success rates by increasing their pay. How Does This Affect High Schoolers? McCain is not only trying to reform the elementary through high schools to make education more beneficial for their students but will also be pushing to make the college application process more simple and less stretched out to ensure a higher acceptance rate into top colleges all over the country as well as push for lower tutitions. Obama’s plan offers higher opport u n i ties for graduating high schoolers to have a g o o d chance at getting into the college of t h e i r choosing. He does this by reforming college to fit the needs of the students as opposed to changing the students to fit the standard the colleges are looking for. Health Care McCain’s health care plan focuses on making healthcare affordable for the average middle class family. By not taxing American families in the areas of premiums (up front costs) paid to the doctors, employers offering insurance policies to workers, and medical procedures such as surgeries or emergency room visits on top of giving American
families $5000 and individuals $2500 of medical taxes paid in the past back to them by the end of next year. McCain is hoping that his plan will benefit Americans in both the short and long run. Obama’s healthcare plan focuses on the insurance companies and expanding their coverage to patients with preexisting conditions (patients with diseases existing before they applied for insurance have never before been able to get the same coverage as the average, healthy American). He also wants to lower taxes and business costs for companies providing insurance for their employees and illuminate the taxes on up front costs at the doctor’s offices. How Does This Affect High Schoolers? As soon as a teenager graduates from high school as a young adult, they can get their own health insurance either through an employer or individually. Obama and McCain are promising less expensive insurance with more coverage by reforming the health care system to be cheaper for even for those who don’t have it. Obama also wants to allow patients with serious or terminal diseases to have the same coverage as everyone else. The Economy When it comes to the economy, McCain’s major plan involves creating more jobs for Americans by raising taxes on businesses that send their jobs over seas to save the company money on paying employees. He also plans on cutting government spending and boosting the small business markets through cutting taxes for localized businesses. Obama also plans on improving small businesses but his main focus is on regulating credit card practices and dealings and reforming the bankruptcy laws in an attempt to slow the crash of the economy in the short run and improve it in the long run. He also is planning on providing tax cuts for middle class families. How Does This Affect High Schoolers? Life after high school, for the vast majority of students, includes college, job, and family. How the economy fares now and over the next few years
may determine the colleges students can afford to attend, given the possibility of limited government financial aid due to the current financial crisis, what jobs will be available for what salaries, and what size house and what places house will be affordable when students reach that hurdle. America’s Energy American oil is one of the biggest concerns in this election. Obama is working on creating 5 million jobs by increasing the funding for clean energy technology. His hope is that by investing in cleaner energy practices in the future, America can not only move forward with less expensive forms of transportation but also remerge out of the financial crisis as a cleaner, healthier, more prosperous America. He also plans to put regulations on big businesses to get them to clean up the release of toxic greenhouse gases by 80% by the year 2025. McCain’s plan is to support the search from domestic oil sources (drilling for oil and looking for alternative means of producing energy on the American continent) as well as completely reforming America’s transportation system by imposing regulations on automakers to decrease carbon emissions from cars and improving car mileage and promoting alcohol based fuels. He also promotes clean coal technologies and plans to endorse the building of 45 new nuclear power plants, as well as improving wind, solar, and water power technologies. How Does This Affect High Schoolers? Most high schoolers already have cars and know what it’s like to pay bills. The more energy that can be produced in America, the less Americans are paying for cars, electricity, and water. The less oil America imports from other nations, the more quickly the economy takes off by exporting the excess to other nations, improving the financial crisis even further. The 2008 Presidential election is definitely one for the history books. Mainly because no matter who the victor is America is looking at a historical first (or two) as well as making the first of many tiny steps toward a better future for America’s future: the high schoolers of today. Voice Headline Graphic by Dylan Geiser Voice photos contributed
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Exam exemptions no longer obtainable Emily Bamforth Staff Reporter
t Lakota West, opting out of exams is no longer possible for this school year. West has always focused on academics, scored high on standardized testing, and had students who received a number of national awards. This year there are seven National Merit Finalists at West. Students who score high in classes and only miss a couple days of school were recognized for their effort in preceding years. Previously, one such reward for good attendance and grades would be exam exemptions. For the past two years, students could exempt up to two exams if they missed no more than two days of school and were passing the class with a C average. Students could utilize this to their advantage during stressful exam times and the incentive raised attendance. In fact, the exemptions raised attendance up to 95%. However, the rise in attendance was not enough to outweigh the problems that came with exam exemptions. “The administration received numerous concerns from parents with
kids coming to school sick,” Hamilton said. Therefore, the decision was made to eliminate the option of exam exemptions at West. The administration communicated this fact in a newsletter sent home to parents this summer. Teachers and students have various opinions about the lack of exam exemptions this year. Hamilton originally thought that the concept was a good idea, and Pamela Owens, American history and government teacher, thinks that the elimination could be for the better. “I think it’s fair. Every student should take their exams seriously,” Owens said. Another teacher, Paula Dolloff, agrees because she had the same problem.
“I had students exempting both English exams, and it’s not a good idea to go to college without taking an English exam,” English and acting teacher Dolloff said. Some students would also ask to
see their grades so they could figure out which exams to exempt and students became less interested in learning and more about achieving that desired percentage. Some students have differing views about the exam exemptions from the teachers.
“We should be rewarded for being here every day,” sophomore Stephanie Powers said. Students previously had an incentive to come to school, in the form of exam exemptions, but now the only incentive is not missing schoolwork. This may prove to be bad for attendance. If exam exemptions were to return to West, it would not be based on students coming to school, but rather on mastery of subject matter, according to Hamilton. This would eliminate the problem of students coming to school sick, and improve grades. Although students and administration have different opinions about the lack of exam exemptions at West, the results of this change have yet to be seen.
Voice survey graphic by Dylan Geiser
Peer counseling begins Peer counseling is about students living above peer pressure. Students who join must make a vow to not drink or use drugs while in the club, if this pledge is broken then they will have to removed from the club. Currently the peer counseling group is in the process of selecting and training proper peer counselors. Bob Emig, Emily Granger, and Emily Williams, the advisers to the peer counseling group are the ones conducting the search. The head counselors are trying to expand involvement into the freshman and junior high buildings. Emig feels that there is not enough mentoring being done at the freshman build-
ing and hopes to correct that this year by setting up more programs. “Peer counseling sets role models to the building; it sets a standard for the building,” Emig said. Emig believes that since the peer counselors are the people around us, that they can influence people more. They are the people in our classes and when people see that they have chosen abstinence over indulging themselves with alcohol and drugs; it is easier for students to follow their example. The size of the peer counseling group last year was about 100 students. This year Emig is hoping to keep it at a manageable size of around 100 students.
Math club represents Mu Alpha Theta, the honors math team, holds many events and competes in competitions over the course of the school year. The Mu Alpha Theta convention occurred this summer. Also, many contests have happened during the first months of school. The American Scholastic Math Association math competition was held on October 9th, and the OML was held on the 21st. Check with your math teacher for more dates, you might be able to compete and even earn extra credit.
However, the Mu Alpha Theta Math Team does community service. Some students helped out at the Arts and Crafts Show. They will also be contributing to the charity mentioned in Firebird Link, Adopt a Child. Therefore, the Mu Alpha Math team is an organization that not only competes for West, they represent West well and help in the community.
n October 17, governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin made an appearance and addressed hundreds of West Chester residents at a republican rally. At 8 a.m., attendees of the rally started lining up at a security check point run by the secret service in the Square of Union Centre. At 11:30 a.m., Palin delivered a speech that highlighted economic and alternative energy plans that both Palin and John McCain endorse. Palin also emphasized her positive feelings toward drilling for oil in America and her negative thoughts on “redistributing” wealth. When Governor Palin arrived, she was accompanied by a full police escort down West Chester Rd. behind the designated area in which she was suppose to be. Not only was she
greeted by hundreds of her fans, but John Boehner, Republican minority house leader, delivered an introductory speech. For thirty minutes, taxation, Joe the plumber, drilling for energy sources and alternative economic plans were elaborated upon. “On Election Day you have a very important decision to make, and it’s the choice between a politician who puts his faith in the government, and a politician that puts his faith in all of you,” Governor Sarah Palin said. McCain was described numerous times by Palin as a “true reformer that wants to lower taxes.” A memorable moment in the speech was when Palin touched on controversy surrounding Acorn, a group that is under investigation for registering fraudulent voters. “This group needs to learn that you, here in Ohio, won’t let them turn the buckeye state into the acorn state,” Palin said. When the rally ended, severe traffic was anticipated but the West Chester police department had the situation under control. Barriers were set
Voice photo by Elise Maxfield
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
up in local business parking lots in order to restrict attendees from filling their lots that are intended for business only. Lakota West’s parking lot entrance from West Chester Rd. was blocked off as well for hours surrounding Palin’s appearance. The school day was not interrupted by governor Palin’s rally and resumed as a usual academic day. The Lakota West symphonic band performed four songs prior to governor’s speech including “Purple Majesty” and Sarah Palin speaking at a rally in the square at “Tribute to Troy”. Union Centre. ence,” junior Kelsey Reinhard said. “Playing at the “After we performed, we got to sit Palin Rally was an amazing experiback and watch the rally.”
Tensions increase between Board and teachers Elise Maxfield News Editor
been, for the most part, under wraps due to the desire to have negotiations very Friday of this past month, occur at the table and not through the teachers have been meeting media. outside near the flagpole and “The District believes that more then entering the building together at can be accomplished by negotiating 7:05 am. This event occurs at every Laface-to-face rather than negotiating kota School in the district each Friday through the media,” states the Lakota before the teachers cononline website. tractually have to be in One teacher who spoke at the board the school. These demmeeting was disturbed onstrations have been a with the boards’ reaction symbol of the teacher’s to the negotiations. unity during the con“We [the teachers] are tinuation of their conupset that the Board has tract negotiations. After not seen the urgency that one such demonstration, we do,” Lakota District principal Richard Hamteacher Bonnie Kindler ilton made a comment said on his hopes for the neAnother teacher comgotiations. mented on the undesir“I have all the faith in able situation. the world that all parties “To start the year with will come to an amicable expired contracts leaves solution,” Hamilton said. a dark cloud over all the The Board of Educateachers of Lakota,” Lakotion does not deem the ta District teacher Brooke demonstrations necesShriver said. sary in a statement reYet another speaker leased October 22 on the Teachers congregate around the flag pole in demonstration before made a statement for all Lakota online website. school. the teachers concerning The placards that teachers have teachers and board members was bro- the reason behind the prolonged negobeen wearing recently had sayings ken when three teachers went up and tiations. such as, “Lakota Teachers for Lakota expressed their displeasure on the mat“Lakota teachers deserve a fair conStudents” and “Got Contract?” At the ter. Previously, these negotiations had tract that reflects Lakota teachers’ pro-
West vs. East, game teachers could be seen passing out pencils that said “Lakota Teachers for Lakota Students,” and wearing black t-shirts stating “Lakota Education Association” on the front. On the reverse side, the text read “Because we care”. During a board meeting on October 23 the silence between the
fessionalism,” Lakota District teacher Ben Kellerman said. While the board refused to discuss the negotiations, they expressed their sentiments about the hope to come to an equitable agreement as soon as possible. “We have a shared goal to have a fruitful end to the contracts,” board member Jamie Green said. However, the sentiments expressed at the board meeting have been intensified since the release to the media about the possibility of a strike. The teacher union has notified the Board that it will be informed 10 days prior to when a strike is planned. The district hopes to come to an agreement without undergoing a strike, as stated on the Lakota online website. “The District intends to continue negotiating in good faith with LEA in an effort to reach an agreement without a strike.” Currently the only parts of the contract that have not been settled are the economic terms, wages and health insurance. Negotiations are continuing in the hopes of achieving a fair and equiatable contract. The final two meetings with a federal mediator took place on October 28 and 29. Voice photo by Elise Maxfield
Additional Reporting by Austin Mc Carthy.
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Less than one dollar of your money will help make over 42 kids happy this holiday season. If every person at Lakota West donated that much, these kids would have at least one item that they wished for this holiday season. True, Liberty Township is not a “slum” and most people are above the poverty level, however, about 2.1% of the population is not. These families are supported by an income of less than $20,000 a year. In the Lakota district about 350-400 of Lakota students are included in that percentage. These kids know tough economic times; they live that reality every day. The rest of us are afraid of what the economy will do to our future. These kids live the life the rest of us are afraid of, scraping for money to pay the bills,
worrying if there will be enough money to cover them all, and luxuries like college are a near impossibility. But, we can give them a relief, in the form of a dollar donation that can buy them one little toy. These kids are not asking for Ipods or laptops or anything most of us ask for, most aren’t even asking for toys. Their Christmas lists include underwear, mittens and coats. Of course we are far too worried about whether or not mommy and daddy will get us that new gaming system to care if a little kid gets a single present at all. We are too wrapped up in our “oh so important” teenage drama to care that a little kid needs underwear because his or her family cannot afford it. Look at your wish list; now imagine that instead of all these cool expensive electronic devices, you listed underwear and socks. Can you deny these kids the relief they feel when they open up something taken for granted by so many? Imagine an Ohio winter without some of those things, when the snow comes and you don’t even have basic necessities. Yet, we cannot manage to spare ourselves one trip to the vending machine to give
to these kids. There is no excuse for our school to not be able to help these children. There are, after all, about 2,110 of us and 42 of them. Keep forgetting to bring in your money? Write it down somewhere, your hand, your planner, somewhere you will see it. Never have the money? Remember all those trips to the vending machines? For just one day use an empty water bottle and fill it up at the fountain, it is probably better for you than what you usually buy anyway. All these simple things you can do will m a k e this child’s Holiday season.
rwea r Socks Glove s S Tooth hoes brush C Snow oats Boot s
Have you met my new campaign manager?
Mr. Obama, can the top five percent really carry the other 95 percent of us?
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Election irritation: Uninformed voters could cancel your vote
’ve heard, “McCain believes in stem cell research on lines of stem cells that already exist? No way. I didn’t know that. I was just voting for him because Palin’s hot,” from more than one voter and frankly, I’m terrified. While it is every adult’s right to vote, it is every American’s right to have informed voters. Just because you’ve been told to register and you can vote, doesn’t mean you should. Over and over again we hear about this being a historical election with the nation’s first African American candidate. A lot of people want to be a part of history; they want to remember voting for the first black president so they can tell their grandchildren they had a
hand in making the difference. However, this presidency will be historic either way, as McCain has a woman running as his vice president. McCain is also the oldest presidential candidate to ever run at the ripe old age of 72. So whether you go black or go old, you’re going historic; don’t let that be your reason. Voters, especially in high schools and colleges, are voting liberal simply
is basically a carbon-copy of Bush. In fact, this same reason will make others vote exactly the opposite way; for McCain. Bush has been our president for eight years; I’m sure that somewhere along the way, had it been McCain, different choices would have been made. The two have differing views when it comes to several issues such as climate control and federal spending. For example, when it comes to oil and energy
While it is every adult’s right to vote, it is every American’s right to have informed voters.
because it’s considered the “cool” thing to do. They figure that liberals will let citizens do whatever they want, but that’s not necessarily the case. Check your facts before you jump on the bandwagon. Another reason some people will vote for Obama without really thinking it through is they’ve been told McCain
McCain is set against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge while the Bush administration has been wanting to drill off the coast for quite a while. Even if people don’t necessarily love McCain, there are some who find it worth voting for him to get Palin in the white house. McCain is a little older
than the average candidate and people are convinced the white-haired grandfather is going to kick the bucket soon, paving the way for a certain Alaskan. Palin, who is also a grandparent, is still young enough for people to predict her living through the term. Her home and family life seem to comfort people and is considerably easier to relate to. With the way science and medication are going today people are living to be over 100 years old, which would give McCain more than enough time to serve a term, even two if he were to be reelected. As a 17-year old, I’m almost glad I don’t get to vote, because I personally know I don’t have sufficient knowledge to make a decision. Even if I could vote, I probably wouldn’t, or I would have started researching and paying attention a year ago in order to be prepared. At this point, the least all you voters can do is get informed.
Possible next step accepting clean diesel
n 1997, Toyota released the first major fuel efficient car… in Japan. The Toyota Prius was one of the early attempts at fighting the Abby Ford rising gas pricSurvey Dist. Editor es and yet it didn’t appear in America until 2000. Toyota didn’t build a fuel efficient car in America for America until 2006, while in Europe and Japan fuel efficient car sales exceed regular car sales by thousands every year. America is falling behind the rest of the world technologically and needs to be open to new forms of change or the rest of the world’s automakers will be entering their fuel efficient cars made with their fuel efficient methods into the American market and we will have economically fallen even further behind than we already are. The first and currently most popular method of making a car fuel efficient is to make it a hybrid. Hybrid technology has been available to car companies since the mid 1990s but because of America’s dependence on gasoline, it has not been used in mass production until recent years. Hybrid cars run on half gasoline, half electricity, and are unfortunately are massively more expensive than traditional gasoline
cars. Up to 18 miles per hour (mph) the car runs exclusively on electricity. Once the car reaches beyond that point it runs on a mix of gasoline and electricity until it reaches 50 miles per hour when it runs completely on gasoline. Although in the long run, buying a hybrid car saves the consumer money on gas, the car itself costs upwards of $24,000. While most major car companies have at least one hybrid car in the market, the Toyota and Honda car companies are currently dominating in hybrid car sales: Toyota with the Prius and Honda with the Civic. But last month, Ford Motors announced the production of a new car that could surpass the Prius and the Civic without using hybrid technology. The Ford 2009 Fiesta ECOnetic is a fiveseat compact car with a sleek, sporty look and a state-of-the-art navigation system. However, what really has peopletalking is the unbelievable 65 miles per gallon (mpg) the car gets by using the second and often despised method of making a car fuel efficient: “Clean diesel.” “Clean diesel” is a concept still unknown to the United States. While automakers such as Mercedes and Volkswagon have been striving to make diesel-run cars the dominant vehicles on the roads, lack of knowledge on
the new technology and stereotypes of diesel have prevented them from ever succeeding. Before going through the process of becoming “clean,” diesel is a high energy producing, petroleumbased oil and what makes diesel smell so unappealing is the high level of sulfur in it. After being filtered into “clean diesel,” the sulfur content is reduced by 97% making it nearly three times cleaner burning than gasoline. The American market’s scrutinizing view of diesel is the main reason Ford will only be releasing the Fiesta in Europe. America is holding itself back from the energy-saving methods of the future. It doesn’t help that the propaganda surrounding the “green” movement
condemns diesel as a high polluting, disgusting smelling, and utterly useless oil. Once again our stubborn, closemindedness has allowed the rest of the world to pass us on the technological front and as a result, their economies boom and their air is cleaner, while we sit behind burning money and further polluting the environment to points
beyond repair. Not only is the fuel itself more efficient, even the diesel engine is more efficient than the common gasoline engine. Gasoline engines light the fuel by using spark plugs, taking energy from the car’s battery whereas the diesel engines use the combustion method which involves adding pressure to the fuel until in spontaneously combusts, using less energy and is actually safer for the car. Pollution levels are also lower in diesel cars than in gasoline cars. Diesel cars come with a filter system that the car exhaust runs through before ever being released in the atmosphere. “Particle traps” collect the dangerous particles from the exhaust and reduce the amount of pollution released into the air 90% more than gasoline cars. After a lot of thought, Ford announced that they will eventually release the Fiesta in America, as a gasoline run car, not giving us the efficiency and money saving technology America so desperately needs right now. Who can blame them? Releasing a diesel car here in America would be possibly the worst business move Ford could ever make. Until America learns to embrace alternative forms of efficiency instead of sticking to old ways because it’s easier, America will not make an progress regarding either the economy or the environment. Voice photo contributed
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Lakota’s teachers deserve better contract
veryone in the district can feel it. The dark cloud of a strike hangs over all of us, and it is starting to seem like an inevitability Austin Mcarthy that substitutes Copy Editor will soon be replacing our teachers. When this happens, each and every student will suffer, and, depending on how long the strike lasts, it may seriously harm our education. It is unfortunate the teachers have
been forced to this extreme. The culprit behind all of this is our Board of Education. The teachers’ demands are not outrageous. A 3% raise to keep up with the inflated cost of living, is not much to ask, and asking the Board to not cut health care support is minimal. Perhaps, if the Board was to take a look at almost any other district in the area, they would see our teachers’ contracts are below the average. Not to mention our teachers are among the finest in the region. We have high test scores, consistently being rated Ohio’s strongest ranking. By contract conditions, they have well exceeded their requirements. For example, the teachers are only forced to be
in their classrooms by 7:05 a.m. each morning. But every teacher I have ever had has been more than willing to come in early, as early as 6:30 a.m. to help students who need a little extra assistance. They do this for a contract that is below average. They deserve better. The Board is being downright ridiculous. They fail to understand the needs of the teachers, and they refuse to acknowledge how privileged they are to have such involved, caring and professional educators. The contract negotiations have been continuing since May, and progress has only now reached economic terms. But our teachers care about the students’
education, and have not issued a strike notice, even after almost a half of a year of negotiations. Add this with the fact that the teachers have been working with an expired contract for about two months, yet they still are at school working. The Board disrespected them with by not resolving this before the school year began. If the teachers weren’t as caring as they are, they could have refused to come in to work as soon as the contract expired. They have treated the Board with respect, and have shown professionalism. Our teachers deserve better. We, the students, deserve better. Lakota deserves better.
Choices for safety
very day, walking down the halls of the school, some teachers are carrying guns. Each day the same teachers, or different ones (you never know) may have a gun in their possession. For students in the sate of Texas, this is true. Texas has always had lenient gun laws, and now some districts are allowing teachers to have concealed carry licenses, and carry guns to school. Being a supporter of conceal carry laws myself, my first reaction was to think this was a great idea. But after some research and talking to students who attended schools in Texas, I quickly changed my mind. The schools that choose to allow teachers to have guns all operate differently. Some schools, such as Harrold Independent in Houston, allow some teachers to carry a gun on their person if they wish. Other schools, such as Forest Brook, also in Houston, randomly select different teachers each day to have a gun. The teachers who have the guns must keep them with the safety on, in a locked box, in a locked drawer. How could the gun be of any use? If there was a situation where a life was endangered and a gun was necessary to get out of the situation, by the time the teacher got to the gun everything would be over. This is if the teacher was not dead before they could get to it. Guns not being accessible quickly enough is not the only problem. If the school district feels enough threat from students to choose to allow teachers to have guns, there is a good chance the
district has had a problem with violent students before. I would think that if a student who planned on being violent knew guns were being carried by teachers, this would only encourage the student to be more dangerous and possibly bring a gun them self. Or, god forbid, one of the teachers with the gun were to go insane. The thought of a gun in anyone’s possession at school, other than a resource officer, is unnerving for me. I understand the idea behind the law is protection in extreme situations, but guns in school is not the answer. A much more logical solution is one even used in several school districts across America; the teachers are trained in self defense. All teachers can defend themselves and other students in dangerous situations, and are even trained how to kill a person with one hit. This is only to be used in extreme life threatening situations, but this is much safer and easier than having guns. All teachers should be required to take self defense classes. I have seen and read about many incidents where a teacher was assaulted by a student. If the teacher had taken self defense classes, they could have protected their self. I would feel more comfortable knowing all of my teachers could assist me if I were in any danger. Instead, I know that if anything dangerous were to happen I would have to wait for the office to be called, officer to be radioed and reach the scene. So many people are against guns, concealed carry is controversial enough in public areas. There is absolutely no need for guns to be on school ground. This is especially true when teachers could easily take self defense classes and be just as safe.
Do you think teachers should be permitted to carry guns as a safety precaution? Tyler Hosbrook SENIOR “Yes, a teacher has the responsibility of their students. If someone threatens the student, it’s on the teacher. I think there should be a vote on if teachers should be allowed to. It’s a matter of just-in-case.”
Samantha Ivory JUNIOR “Definitely not. If our school is that unsafe for teachers to need a gun, then there’s a problem.”
Taylor McBee SOPHOMORE “No, because it would make it a more dangerous environment knowing there are guns in the school.” Voice photos by Sarah Helsinger
Erica Zaccagini Assistant Features Editor
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Alex Mancabelli Photo Editor
ackling witches, screaming goblins and dressed up Lakota West Voice reporters are among the creepiest creatures lurking around West Chester this Halloween. Being scared speechless is just something that comes with the territory of such
Alex and Erica after their transformations.
a holiday, but we wanted to see what it was like to be on the other side of the mask, to be the ones doing the scaring. So this is when we decided to go through a terrifying maze at EnterTrainment Junction, but not for the purpose of being petrified. We, among other West theater students, were in full makeup scaring people. EnterTrainment Junction is an 80,000 square foot family fun facility that houses the world’s largest indoor train display. However, 10,000 square feet of this is reserved for two truly terrifying mazes, called Junction Nightmare. Upon arrival we went into the back room and found some of our fellow West students among the crowd. They were franticly running around, finding costumes, getting makeup, and transforming from every day people into victims of Jack the Ripper and possessed clowns. The theater students have been working at Junction Nightmare throughout the Halloween season and their pay goes to raise money for the International Thespian Conference in Nebraska. While the actors were getting ready, we walked through both of the mazes with a very informed tour guide, Bill Balfour, the coordinator for the attractions at Junction Nightmare. We learned all the twists and turns, which one would expect would make it less scary. But even with the lights on and no actors in the mazes, we were freaked
out. Our expectations were high as we anticipated our actual run through. Then the lights went out, the actors got in their places, and we were welcomed in by an enthusiastic host. Of course we knew everything that was going to happen, but this did not make it any less intense, as our screams were heard throughout the building. The drop down doors, mirror mazes, whispering halls, chain link fences, claustrophobic closets and static handrails were more than enough to get our hearts racing. After a terrifying run through, we were invited to get our faces painted and put on a costume. Erica was dressed up as a possessed clown, and stationed in the ‘Fun Factory’ section of the maze. Alex was painted several shades of grey, with blood streaks and a slit neck, put into old-fashioned clothing and was set up in the in Jack the Ripper maze. Alex’s costume was intended to make her look as if she was murdered by Jack the Ripper, a themed character whom was lurking throughout the whole maze. Stationed behind a tree, her job was to jump out and scare people in the front portion of the maze. Erica was positioned in room with bright colors and black lights along with two other crazy clowns. It was so odd to see all the decorated people just standing around like it was no big deal, then we heard screams and we knew someone was coming towards our section of the maze. It was exciting to see everyone transform. They came around the corner with nervous smiles on their faces. Erica’s role was to take a stick and hit a barrel nearby. The other actors advised to never break character. It was neat to see Halloween mazes from a different perspective. They will always freak us out, but this experience helped us realize that underneath those frightening costumes it’s just a regular person and being the one in the frightening costumes, well, it’s just fun.
Abby Ford Survey/Distribution Editor
n Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout October, Lakota’s Theatre group was at EnterTrainment Junction volunteering their time in the hopes of earning $4000 to $5000, so the group can compete at the International Thespian Society Festival this year in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Haunted Mazes were the perfect opportunity to raise money and have a great time doing the very thing they are studying to do: perform for the masses.
“I’ve learned a lot [about acting] through this, you have to stay in character.”
-senior Martin Walton
“It [scaring people] is a really big timing thing, you have to plan what you’re going to do before the next group comes in or else your scare won’t be successful.”
-junior Megan Marshall
“It [my costume] is perfect because the fog will go through my suit and I will be invisible.”
-senior Jon Whitney Voice graphics by Dylan Geiser Voice graphic headline by Dylan Geiser Voice photos by Erica Zaccagnini and Alex Mancabelli
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Officer Neil Schmitz welcomed at West Jessica Schmidt Staff Reporter
ince the beginning of this school year, many juniors and seniors have probably noticed that we have a fresh face among us—that fresh face being Officer Neil Schmitz. Officer Schmitz is our school’s new resource officer, and he comes to West with a great background, a great outlook and a great amount of experience. Schmitz’s police work began 16 years ago, but that is not the only career path he has taken. He once was in the United States Armed Forces, but afterwards decided to follow in his father and brother’s footsteps. “I returned from the Gulf War and decided that it was time to get out of the Army,” Schmitz said. “After getting out I went right into police work and have enjoyed it.” Students here at West may have the opportunity to bond with Schmitz, because he grew up in this area. “I went to Fairfield High, and have a bachelor’s degree from Wayland College in Texas,” Schmitz said. “I worked for Friendly’s Ice Cream as a kid, worked at UPS after the Army, and then became a police officer.”
amount of duties. However, this is not the only con“I am currently a SWAT Team nection Schmitz could potentially member and trainer, I was on the make with students. His son, Evan Mounted Horse Patrol, and before Schmitz, is a junior here at West—givcoming to West I was a road patrol ofing Schmitz an extra edge that other ficer,” Schmitz said. faculty members may not have. E. After experimenting with all of Schmitz has, thus far, enjoyed the opthese different job opportunities, portunity to spend more time with his Schmitz was prepared for a change. dad. Officer Tim Mintkenbaugh asked “At first I didn’t really know how it Schmitz personally to take his was going to go, but so far it’s pretty place as resource officer at cool,” E. Schmitz said. “I like West, and Schmitz was hapbeing able to see him more; py to have a new chance at he’s a cool guy.” another side of the police Throughout his law encareer. forcement career, Schmitz Being a police ofhas had many different ficer, Schmitz’ job opportunities to experiaffects many people ence all different sides throughout the comof the police career. He munity on a daily lived with his family in basis. But more than Anchorage, Alaska for anyone, it affects his six years and was a pofamily. lice officer there. They “I have to watch what then moved back to West I do because it reflects on Chester, and Schmitz rehim and I don’t want him joined the West Chester to get in trouble because police department. While of me,” E. Schmitz said. working in West Chester In his free time, his second time around, he has truly had an Officer Schmitz and his son, Schmitz enjoys working out, shooting old immense and diverse Evan.
military rifles, and golfing. His favorite food is pizza, especially Big Doggs, and like a lot of guys here at West, Schmitz is into sports. “I like most sports, love college football: Go Michigan,” Schmitz said. Most of all, though, Schmitz is a family man. He tries his best to help others in any way he can and have fun. In Evan’s opinion, he is quite good at it. “I definitely look up to him because there are a lot of things he has to do that no one else does—he has seen things that no one should have to,” E. Schmitz said. “I have so much respect for him and I wouldn’t want him to have any other job.” There is a private side to Schmitz though. For instance, his main goal at West is classified information. “My goal is to get Mr. Card’s office painted maize and blue,” Schmitz said. With all that said, it is obvious Officer Schmitz is a well-balanced man. Don’t be afraid to say hello when you pass him in the halls, or try to convince him that OSU is really the better team.
Voice photo by Jessica Schmidt
Lakota West Voice
Christine Brewer Jessica Dukes Features Editor Ads Manager
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October 31, 2008
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Voice illustrations by Erica Zaccagnini Voice Headline Graphic and graphics by Dylan Geiser Voice Photos by Christine Brewer and Alex Mancabelli
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Breana Booker Austin McCarthy Staff Reporter Copy Editor
Jessica Dukes Ads manager
he Environmental club, or Group Ready for Environment Efficiency Now (G.R.E.E.N.) ,is a new club at Lakota West devoted to raising awareness about a environmentally friendly way of life. G.R.E.E.N. was founded by West student Shelby Owens, who was looking for a way to make West a little greener. “Last year when we (West) had G.R.E.E.N. week I was amazed at how much garbage there was in the school in one week. It disgusted me,” Owens said. Club adviser Matt Grimes thinks G.R.E.E.N. is a good club for West students. “I think it’s a great opportunity for students to get involved,” Grimes said. The club is trying to get sponsored so they can work on eco-friendly projects and make more of an impact on West. “We are trying to get recycling bins
for plastic and metal objects to be put in each class room,” Owens said. G.R.E.E.N. is also working on getting a bike rack for the school so students who live close by can bike to school instead of driving. “Gas is getting more expensive, and it (biking) would be really good for our school,” Owens said. Some students think G.R.E.E.N. is a very important club at West. “It (G.R.E.E.N.) brings up important issues that people tend to forget about,” junior Shana Powers said. G.R.E.E.N. meets every Friday after school for about a half hour in room 286. If you are interested in participating in making our school a little greener, come to one of the meetings on Friday and have $20 ready for club fees. Voice infographic by Dylan Geiser Voice illustration by Erica Zaccagnini Voice graphic healine by Dylan Geiser
he colorful papers, creative cut outs and different craft tools that line the walls of room 246 are not the usual classroom decoration. This is because room 246 is no ordinary room. It houses the meetings of the Scrapbooking Club, where creativity is born. The pre-calculus teacher and creator of Scrapbooking Club, Doreen Peck, advises the meetings bi-weekly, teaching basic skills and techniques for anyone interested. This club gives students an alternative to the usual curriculum activities with the opportunity to find a new hobby and get to know different people within the school that share the same interests. “This club gives students the opportunity to participate in an activity they enjoy and have the chance to possibly turn it into a prospective business. If you’re working, doing what you love, then it isn’t really considered work anymore,” Peck said. The club has made improvements since last year and is still in the process
of making new additions. An activity bus is now available for interested freshmen to be a part of scrapbooking club. The club plans to continue their community service contributions and make valentines and Christmas cards for soldiers. They participate in sending mail to soldiers who may not receive a letter daily, and plan to hopefully adopt a platoon this year for the holidays. During a typical meeting, Peck circulates around answering any questions, giving advice and actually participating in “scrappin” with the students. Peck gives the students’ an opportunity to qualify for scrapbook door prizes with raffle tickets the students can receive each time they attend a meeting. The club has no time limit for having fun. For a fee of $25, a collection of pictures, and the interest to scrapbook, anyone can become apart of scrapbooking and start snipping away to making a project that they will remember forever.
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
West exchange students return home Erica Zaccagini Assistant Features Editor
week or two away from home may seem like too much for many, but imagine living in a completely new country for almost an entire year. Last year, senior Marissa Dunyak lived as an exchange student in Győr, Hungary for ten months. “I wanted to go on exchange because I wanted to meet people from around the world, learn about new culture and of course travel,” Dunyak said. However, not everything about the experience was all for fun, she also had to attend school. It was unlike the typical school days one would imagine, though. “It [school] was very different from American schools because you have one class of 35 students who you are always with from grades 9 to grade 12 or 13 and the students don’t change classes, the teachers do,” Dunyak said. Dunyak adjusted quickly because she had no choice, and there was no
Alex Mancabelli Photo Editor
his past year I had the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to Europe as a foreign exchange student. I lived in Slovakia, in a town called Poprad. I didn’t choose to go to Slovakia; actually I wanted to be an exchange student to learn Spanish, originally I was assigned to go to Peru. The program that I went with, Rotary International, had a problem with a few countries getting certified as districts so students exchanging to conflicting countries were assigned elsewhere. They asked me if I would switch and go to Slovakia instead. This was a decision that I made almost immediately because I knew I wanted to be an exchange student so badly, and also a decision that has undoubtedly changed the rest of my life. I boarded the airplane on August 14th, 2007 with everything I owned packed into two suitcases and zero idea of the culture or language I was about to throw myself into. Looking back on that day, I’m not sure why I got on that plane to leave a perfectly good life behind, but I’m definitely glad that I did. Alex and other The first couple vakia. weeks were really hard. My first host family (out of three) was less than friendly, and didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I had never experienced seclusion like that before; I was lonely and wanted noth-
time to be homesick. She kept busy traveling to different cities in Hungary to visit friends and hanging out with the four other exchange students from Mexico, Brazil and Australia that were also living in her city. “On regular days I would just bum around the city with my friends, sit on the riverside, walk to the outskirts of the city, eat, see a movie or go to a friend’s house,” Dunyak said. Overall, Dunyak explains that there are more differences than similarities between Hungary and the United States. For example, for fun on weekends it is very common for Hungarian natives to go clubbing, and lunch was the main meal of the day rather than dinner.
Transportation is also very on going back to different in Hungary, trains visit the family she and buses are the preferred lived with and the mode of travel. Above all friends she made. though, the most noticeable “Being an exdifference for Dunyak was change student was the liberal atmosphere, which definitely the best is strikingly different from choice I have ever West Chester’s conservative made. Living in anbubble. other country with “Hungary is a much more native families, I open and liberal country than was able to greatly the US and everyone is more expand my views on independent, I would see six life and have an exMarissa holds a Hungarian flag year old kids getting on the while visiting Italy during her Euro- tremely open mind city buses and tour. about everything,” going to school them- Dunyak said. “Being in Hungary taught selves in the morning,” me many things, like how to pack my Dunyak said. whole life in two 50 lbs. bags and how Dunyak has now been big the world really is if you can get to many cities in 17 differ- out of the small West Chester, Ohio or ent countries, certainly a even American bubble you’ve been livlot for a senior in high ing in.” school to say. She plans
school was over there. ing but to be Even if I understood Sloback in West vak perfectly from the beChester. ginning—I still wouldn’t During have understood the this period, math. The school is set I attended a up over there such that special lanthe students sit in the guage course same desk all day while for all of the exchange stu- Marissa visited Alex in Poprad during the teachers come in and out. It was mandatory dents living in the exchange. to stand every time a teacher entered Slovakia. The Slovak language is very or exited the room. Generally, everydifficult.There were a total of about one in the same grade takes the same 32 of us in Slovakia with my program, classes and there are no electives. At from countries such as Brazil, Mexico, times I found this crazy boring. Thailand, Canada and the US. These After school started, things started other ‘exchangers’ were to become getting easier. I had more friends, a like my family for the year, and this better grasp of the language and unlanguage course sparked friendships derstood what was going on around that I’m sure will last a lifetime. me. My days were spent at school and In September I began attending then going out with friends and weekends were spent with my host family helping in the garden or going to Starka (grandma)’s house. Slovakia is a very cold country, and since I lived in the mountains it was typical for there to be snow on the ground about 110 days out of the year. Ski/Snowboard season runs from late October until late April, so I had many opportunities to improve my skiing skills and even give snowboarding a try (which proved to be unsuccessful). Teens are really big into snowboarding over there, and would go almost every day after school. I spent Christmas in the Austrian exchange students skiing in central SloAlps skiing; it was breathtaking. The best Christmas gift for me was perhaps coming home from the Alps and Slovak high school which they call being informed that I was to change gymnazium. Students who attend host families. My relationship with gymnazium work very hard in school. my first family got increasingly worse I was surprised to find how difficult the as time went on, and it was definitely
time for me to get out of there. My new family lived in a very small apartment in the center of town. The apartment was comprised of five rooms in totalincluding the bathroom. I lived there with my new host father, mother, 19 year old sister, 15 year old brother and our very large yellow lab. What the family lacked in space, they made up with love for their family- which for the first time in months, included me. With Rotary I had the opportunity to travel all over Europe with students from all over the world. During my exchange I experienced the modern art designed by Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain; swam in the seas surrounding Athens, Greece; walked the abandoned barracks of WWII in Auschwitz, Poland; heard the Pope speak on Palm Sunday in Rome, Italy; listened the sound of music on the hills around Salzburg, Austria, and walked the streets of Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Ukraine. It was definitely a difficult thing, being away from my friends and family for so long- but I wouldn’t trade in my experiences for anything. I am thankful for every homesick day and plate of sour cabbage, it was all well worth it. There is so much out there to learn outside of classrooms and textbooks- all about the world that we live in, the people who live in it and perhaps most importantly, about ourselves. We live in a world that is truly as big or as small as we want it to be, its secrets and adventures just waiting for us to get up the courage to venture out. Voice photos by Alex Mancabelli and Marissa Dunyak
Abby Phillips Sports Editor
round 5,000 fans packed the Lakota West stadium last Friday for the annual East vs. West football game. The game was the final football game of the season. West added another victory to its record against East by winning for the
West defensive line stopping a run
fourth year in a row by a final score of 20-19. “Sitting with my dudes on the 50 after the game talking about all we’ve been through was the most memorable part of the night,” senior captain Ryan Turner said. “It was our last game together, and it was awesome winning, but a really really really bad feeling knowing it was our last game I’m going to miss those dudes.” The week was packed with events
Lakota West offense lining up before a play
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
leading up to the game Friday night. A pep rally was held in school Thursday during D lunch to get students ready for the game. SGA held a bonfire Thursday night for West students. The marching band played while students received free hot chocolate and the cheerleaders preformed. Tailgating began at West at 5:00 pm Friday. Chipotle t-shirts were given away to the first 100 students at tailgating. Games and music entertained students on Main Street until 7:00 p.m. “It was my last football game and it was one I will never forget tailgating. It was so much fun, it got everyone so excited for the game, and the football game was amazing—the team did a great job,” senior Taylor Wasilewsky said. A helicopter delivered the game ball to the stadium. The pilot got out of the helicopter and brought the ball onto the field then left. “The helicopter delivering the game ball was for sure the most memorable part of the evening all of a sudden a helicopter was on the football field,” junior Lindsey Adams said. After kick-off, West had an impressive lead over East. By halftime, West
was leadi n g 13-6. W e s t running back Stephen Houston was the first to score with a 7 yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter. “The game was going nowhere. Houston got the game West players watching events unfold of the game but the princistarted,” Wasilewsky pals and teachers stood in front of the said. stands to prevent any unacceptable The score increased to 20-13 by the behaviors. beginning of third quarter but by the “It was our last game, and we just end of third quarter. East had caught wanted to make it a memorable game. up and was attempting to make a come We weren’t going to run on until afback. East made four plays in less than ter the game, but I think we should two minutes. With nine minutes left in have been allowed. After all, it was our the game the score was 20-19. last high school football game ever,” “It wasn’t a great game, we could Wasilewsky said. have done better. We should have nevEast was disappointed over their er been so close in score, but a win is a fourth loss but remained positive. The win and I’m not complaining,” Turner score was closer than it ever has been said. before. Had Weinheimer not missed This win increased the team’s rethe two point-after-tries (PAT), East cord to 6-5. West prevailed when the very well could have come out the team saw winner. East fans were ecstatic the East missed two extra points both last quarter of the game. They hoped by Austin Weinheimer on to come out on top, and they look forhis second missed pointward to next year, where they hope after the football hit the the four year losing streak to West will goal post. Leaving the end. score 20-19 and leav“We were really close to coming ing West reigning out on top, and we played pretty hard. champs over East. Those missed PATs killed us,” fresh“We deserved to man Sean Mclaughlin said. win, we worked West ended the season with a winhard and our ning record of 6-5 and said goodbye to defense was the seniors with a close victory. The intense the seniors were happy with the end to entire game,” their final high school season football Adams said. game. W e s t “I will never forget the guys I played f a n s football with,” Turner said. “the Laplanned kota West football program is an aweto storm some program filled with amazing the field people who I’ll never forget.” at the e n d Voice photos by Elise Maxfield
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
tudents see it at every West home game. A flash of red enthusiastically flying and jumping up and down on the track in front of the student section. We score, and it bursts into a victory dance, pumping up the fans and helping to bring some school spirit. It’s the Firebird mascot: a Kestler with Westen Lengerich and Ross Johnson tradition at West home face behind the furry mask of the Firegames. But what exactly is a West bird at the West vs. Oak Hills football home game like for the person inside game. This was Kestler’s first game as the Firebird costume? the Firebird mascot, so the whole exSenior Brendon Kestler was the
perience was new and unexpected. “You can basically do whatever you want and no one knows who you are,” Kestler said. At West games, the main responsibility of the Firebird is entertainment. At the Oak Hills game, Kestler spent time before the game taking pictures with children. “I go around and take pictures with little kids and give them high fives,” Kestler said. After kickoff, Kestler is found on the sideline by the cheerleaders in front of the student section. Throughout the game he was seen performing victory dances and bringing enthusiasm to the students in the student section which loomed above him. “I try to mimic the cheerleaders and I do stuff with the bomb squad,” Kes-
Voice photo by Jaymee Heineke
Jaymee Heineke Staff Reporter
tler said. For the most part, being the Firebird is an amazing experience. You get to have a great time at football games entertaining students, and the mysterious question of “who was in the costume?” follows you around throughout the night and the halls the next day. “My mom thinks it’s hilarious, and my friends think it’s funny too,” Kestler said. The Firebird mascot is a great tradition at West home football games, and it will continue to help spread school spirit through its enthusiastic dances and cheers.
Voice graphic headline by Dylan Geiser
Girls tennis finishes season state champs
est Girls Varsity tennis team, under the direction of Coach Bryan Skoog, has won another GMC Championship. Many of the Varsity players won medals. Junior Ashleigh Witte (first singles), freshman Amanda Lin (second singles), senior Natalie Flotner (third singles) and second doubles team juniors Kelsey and Shelby Betz won gold. First doubles team seniors Mackenzie Hammel and Jill Rich placed third. “I’m very happy about placing third at first doubles,” senior captain Mackenzie Hammel said. “Jill [Rich] and I were the fourth seeds going into the tournament, so it was great to place
above our seed.” The lineup for the GMC tournament was slightly different than that of a regular season game. In the regular season, which consists of 20 matches, the team doesn’t always play in the same position. The GMC lineup, however, was simple. In the line up, the best players were placed on the first court, and so on down the line. “I think this has been the greatest accomplishments by the tennis team as of yet,” Hammel said. The tennis team consists of many top-ranking players, which benefits all of the girls. “Having top players is nice, because it makes it easier for everyone,” Skoog said. With better players playing higher
up, each player below gets knocked it was a good opportunity,” Hammel down a court, giving them all easier matches to play. In addition to the regular practice of warm-ups, stroke work, drills, individual work, and playing with teammates, some Varsity girls see private coaches outside of school to work on their game. “About five of us take lessons,” Hammel said. In preparation for Girls tennis team after winning the GMC the tournaments comsaid. “[It ing up, Skoog recruited was] a great way to prepare for the himself and other tennis players to enstate tournament.” sure high performance. The team also looks at their compe“ W e tition before a tournament. The team brougt in uses other schools’ stats to prepare for Wyatt Lipa match, trying to get a feel for what pert to hit they should expect out of their oppoaround with nents. the girls to “We’re all pretty familiar with other give some players,” Skoog said. tougher On October 11th, Witte and Lin competiplayed together as a doubles team to tion,” Skoog win first in the District Tournament. said. The pair played a team from ChamiThe nade-Julienne and Fairmont to claim c h a l number one. Both placed in singles as lenge was well, Witte at first and Lin at second. beneficial They advanced to the State tournato the team ment, which was played on October 17 members and 18, and won the GMC title. who played Lippert and Skoog. “I think Photo contributed by Jill Rich
Amy Rubenstein Staff Reporter
Austin McCarthy Copy Editor
n week one, the AFC East’s presumptive victors, the New England Patriots, lost their star quarterback for the entire season. Subtract Tom Brady from the Patriots success equation due to his week one ACL tear, and the division is up for grabs. At the midway point in the season, the Buffalo Bills have taken the initiative and seized the lead, at 5-2. This has surprised many experts, and the maturation of Bill’s quarterback Trent Edwards has given the Bills the opportunity to be a competitor. Also, the Bill’s defense has stepped up and led with consistent play, currently ranked tenth in total defense. Second year Bill’s running back Marshawn Lynch, although he is still without a 100 yard game, provides the threat that keeps teams guessing as to the play call. The New York Jets have struggled to stay consistent, but they still have a chance to turn around their season. Their off-season acquisitions, including the additions of Alan Faneca and Brett Favre, have made huge impacts already, and with their help, the Jets may be a wildcard contender. They currently are 4-3, and the next game could spell their fate. The strongest aspect of the Jets is their run defense. At the moment, they rank fourth overall in rushing yards allowed per game, and this could bode well for them because teams will be forced to throw. This creates a one-dimensional plan which is much easier to defend against.
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Miami, last year’s last place finisher, has put up a good fight considering their recent finishes. Using a revolutionary formation called the “Wildcat”, which allows several different possibilities from the same formation, the Dolphins have already won more games than they did last year. This formation places Dolphin’s quarterback Chad Pennington at the slot position, running back Ronnie Brown at quarterback, and second running back Ricky Williams at the halfback position. The only team who has been able to defend against the Wildcat has been the Baltimore Ravens, whom are known for their stingy second-ranked defense. Somehow, the Patriots are still afloat, even with Matt Cassel starting at quarterback. Cassel, who before this season had not started a game since his senior year of high school, is doing just enough to keep the Patriots in the race for the division title. They are one game back in the quest of the division title, and are looking to be a strong player in the wildcard hunt.
If they don’t, he might not play every game this season. If he goes down, back up quarterback Leftwich, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, would play, and in limited action last year, he was not impressive. The Ravens seemed like the team to beat early on, but with three straight losses recently, their defense will need rookie quarterback Joe Flacco to step up to the plate. Their running game has been inconsistent, but they have multiple backs to carry the rock, so they should turn around.
The Cleveland Browns took the AFC North by surprise last year, nearly beating out the juggernaut Pittsburgh Steelers for the division title. Therefore, many predicted the Browns to improve even more, and to win the title this year. However, after a 0-3 start, the Browns have left many in doubt. They still have a chance to turn it around, though, after their significant wins over in-state rival Bengals and the formerly unbeaten World Champion New York Football Giants. They have shown America two different teams: the hapless Browns with no running game, a quarterback who flails the ball around and a defense that watches people instead of stopping them; the playoff Browns with bruising Jamal Lewis, sharp Derek Anderson and a defense that stopped the prolific Giants. Their season’s hopes depend on which team shows up on Sunday. Pittsburgh leads the division, at 5-2. They managed to survive a couple of weeks without starting running back Willie Parker, by relying on their stingy defense and rookie Mewelde Moore, who has stepped up to the plate. Roethlisburger has been hit too frequently, though, and he needs his offensive line to start picking up the blitz.
The Bengals, the runt of the litter of the AFC North, are winless. An injured quarterback, a miserable running game, an offensive line that couldn’t block its way out of a wet paper bag and a porous defense have all contributed to the losing season. A lack of off-season moves, such as not trading Chad Ocho Cinco or drafting any potential game-breakers, is to be blamed on both ownership and coaching.
Formerly the strongest division in football, with the powerhouse Indianapolis Colts, brutal Jacksonville Jaguars, run-stopping Tennessee Titans and the up and coming Houston Texans, the AFC South has been shaken up this year. While the division still houses the strongest AFC team, the Titans, the Colts, who are in the same division, are struggling following Peyton Manning’s off-season surgery. With injuries early in the season to key players, the Colts struggled out of the gate, starting 0-2. The Titans have the only undefeated record, using their strong defense and game-breaking running game, and, with Vince Young on the bench and veteran Kerry Col-
lins starting under the helm, turnovers have been limited, which helps the defense even more. The Texans and Jaguars were both expected to be contenders this year, but the Texans have had difficulty finding consistency, and the Jaguars O-line struggled to find a strong footing. It’s going to be an interesting race for the division title.
One of the weakest divisions with two teams in the NFL with one and two wins, the AFC West has surprised many. After the Denver Broncos stole a game from their division rivals, the San Diego Chargers thanks to a botched Ed Hochuli call, the Broncos took a lead in the division. It seems as if Cutler has matured into a resilient quarterback, and the Denver defense has plugged the holes it had last season. The Chargers, pre-season Super Bowl favorites, loss their first game to the Carolina Panthers on a final second field goal. After that, linebacker Shawn Merriman was lost to injury for the season, which has had serious repercussions on the Charger’s pass rush. In addition, 2006 MVP LaDanian Tomlinson has struggled all season with turf toe. These injuries have left the Chargers inconsistent, and many have doubts of a turn around. The Oakland Raiders are seemingly in turmoil; they have already fired their head coach Lane Kiffin, and are off to a 2-5 start. They appeared to have supplemented their team well in the past few drafts, after drafting running back Darren McFadden and quarterback Jamarcus Russell. Also, the Raiders picked up free agents Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall. But with fourth quarter losses to both the Chargers and the Bills, the Raiders are simply inept. However, worse than even the Raiders, are the Kansas City Chiefs. With the third worst net points in the league, the Chiefs don’t have anything going for them. Their big men up front can’t block, their defense is terrible, none of their three quarterbacks have shown any life and their star running back is facing charges of simple assault. The best they can hope to do is to start building for next season. Voice graphic headline by Dylan Geiser Voice graphics by Dylan Geiser
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
captain and senior defender. John Wittich, junior midfielder, scored in the 53rd minute while being assisted Ashley Jeffers by Bowling. Robert Hasselfeld, sophStaff Reporter omore keeper, had two saves creating a West shutout of Moeller. he men’s varsity soccer team at “(When we win) it’s usually a good West has had an eventful seafeeling. You’re not worried about anyson so far this year. The men’s thing,” Michael Proctor said. “When team had their season opener at Turyou lose you think about what you pin on August 18; they lost 0-1 with could have done better.” a Turpin goal in the 54th minute of At Loveland, West won 2-1 with the game. Their next game, against Bowling and Proctor each scoring a Worthington Kilbourne, was just as goal. The team’s overall record inclose, losing 0-1, leaving their record creased to 2-2. 0-2 overall. The team had a young “The first two games we played group of players to start the season. with five in the midfield and three in “We had only two players returnthe back. We just did not have the ing with any significant varsity expepersonnel for that so we made a tactirience, so much of the beginning of cal change and have played with that the year was getting the kids used to change since,” Cooper said. “All the the pace and intensity of varsity socother changes have been personnel cer in the GMC [Greater Miami Conmoves. We move players around to ference],” Men’s Varsity Soccer Head find the combination that works for us Coach Rick Cooper said. “We also had as a team to be as successful as posto spend more time with figuring out sible.” our approach to the game or the style West then played Fairfield and we were going to play. With so many tied 2-2. Both Bowling and Proctor new faces we had to establish a perscored. This sonality.” increased T h e their record men rallied overall to 2together 2-1 and their and won GMC record their next to 0-0-1. two games. “We play The first rather digame was rect. We try against and get balls moeller wide and with West serve them winnng 2into the box 0. Robert to try and genB o w l i n g , Junior Nick Hagglund slips between two defenders. erate scoring chances,” Cooper said. captain and senior striker, scored “We work very hard on maintaining within the opening 15 minutes of the defensive shape and keeping defensive game assisted by Michael Proctor,
organization.” had a good season considering they Over the next four games the men lost quite a few seniors last year. won two games and tied the other two. “They lost a lot of seniors last year. Against Saint Henry, West won 4-0. Ten I think,” Weisgerber said. “You Playing against Oak Hills they tied just want to see improvement so that at 1-1 with Pithe otrowski scoring once. “ W e ’ v e played really well [this season],” Proctor said. “We’ve just been unlucky.” Their next game against Sycamore was an all around shutout with Hasselfeld hav- The boys soccer team preparing for their game. ing seven saves. end of At Hamilton, West won 2-0 with Nick the year they have a chance when it Hagglund, junior midfielder, and Patmatters.” rick Henke, junior striker, each scoring The team’s first game in the 33rd once. Hasselfeld had two saves. West Ohio State Tournament was a win had increased their overall record to against Mount Healthy 8-0. Hag4-2-3 and their GMC record to 1-0glund, Max Hausfeld, junior mid3. West then lost at Mason 1-2 with fielder, Henke, Kinter, Conner JohnBowling scoring on a penalty kick. son, junior midfielder, and Lashley “We have played well at times, unall scored a goal; while Alex Wagoner, fortunately we have not been able to freshman midfielder, scored twice. put a full 80 minutes together against Hasselfeld had two saves. some of our tougher opponents,” CooIn the next round of the tournaper said. ment, West beat Anderson 4-0. WitPlaying against Princeton, West tich, Piotrowski, Eno, and Hausfeld won 3-0. Jordan Boivin, sophomore all scored once. Hasselfeld had seven defender, scored while being assisted saves. by Wesley Lashley, senior striker; Against Sycamore, West lost 1-2 Bowling scored while being assisted after going into two sudden death by Piotrowski; and Erik Kinter, capovertimes. Hagglund had scored the tain and senior midfielder, scored only West goal while being assisted by without an assist. Hasselfeld had two Bowling. The team had a great season saves. West has increased their overall this year. record to 6-5-5 and their GMC record to 3-2-4. The men’s soccer team has Voice Photos contributed by Nick Hagglund Voice headline graphic by Dylan Geiser
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Roxx Coffeehouse pwns all other coffee Sarah Helsinger Editor-in-Chief
The computers are for gaming by design and produce top quality. “These are specifically designed to be gaming machines,” Eigel said. “We decided we didn’t feel like charging for something people had at home. This is not an e-machine in your parents’ den. These are top of the line gaming com-
Voice photo by Sarah Helsinger
oxx Coffehouse and Games is an establishment unique to any other; entering the building is an experience in itself. Take a step in and the first sight is 14 computers—displayed high above the monitors— with translucent siding to see lights and parts within. A genuinely caring man greets customers from behind the counter, extending an invitation to the colorful selection of beverages. On the other side of the coffee bar, a customer playing the acoustic guitar is audible. Flashing lights, welcoming colors and pleasant sounds and smells are everywhere. To describe exactly what Roxx is, is difficult. Technically, Roxx is both a coffeehouse and a local area network (LAN) center (aka a place for gaming). Noticeably, the owners strive to have top notch service, equipment and products. “You don’t cut corners, Coffee Bar at Roxx Coffeehouse and Games that is a lesson taught to us from our own experience puters. They will play any game that as well as watching others,” co-owner comes out for the next year.” Chris Spencer said. Roxx ensures the computers stay up Co-owner Andy Eigel agrees with to date by upgrading the computers evSpencer, emphasizing Roxx sets out to ery two years and the video card every be the best. year. There are 14 running computers, “This place is about the best. It’s all all with 24 inch monitors. The headabout the best. If we are not being the sets are custom, designed for comfort. best we have nothing new we can offer Roxx also has a 73 inch DLP TV with somebody. Anything less than the best three consoles (XBOX 360, Playstation here, is not worth doing,” Eigel said. 3 and Wii) and a 53 inch Plasma TV. All the computer software was The cof- fee at Roxx is also of highwritten by Spencer; even t h e est quality. The coffee is provided by cash register program. La Terza. The owner of La Terza,
Chuck Pfaler, knows everything about finding quality coffee beans. He produces exceptional coffee by noticing the color of the bean, the soil pH, the rainfall, et cetera. He knows how long to dry the beans and how to roast them to produce different flavors. Compared to other coffee beans, the ones produced by La Terza win hands down. Being allowed to a sniff test La Terza coffee to another, a bag of “the best” Cincinnati coffee was presented. The cof-
fee looked dark and pleasant and the beans smelled of the nice, bittersweet scent of a good roast. Then the La Terza coffee was handed over. The beans looked slightly darker, but the real difference was in the smell. The scent overwhelmed. In comparison, the La Terza coffee smelled closer to chocolate than coffee; it was mouthwatering. One of the best selling coffee drinks at Roxx, their signature drink, is an original creation they call the Candiccino. When Spencer preferred his coffee with more flavoring to offset the coffee taste, the idea of flavoring coffee as a candy bar was born. The Candiccino can be custom-flavored to the taste of a favorite candy bar. “People may not like the taste of coffee, but they still want that caffeine,” Eigel said. “The first Candiccino was two pumps of chocolate, one pump vanilla and one pump carmel. That is the box standard Candiccino. You can tweak it a little bit to make it taste like different candy bars.” Spencer agrees that the Candiccino is outstanding. “If you could turn Barry White’s voice into liquid form, it would be the Candiccino,” Spencer said. Not only does Roxx sell delectable coffee, they also provide a wide variety of beverages, some difficult to find. The selection includes Mexicoke (Coca-Cola made with cane sugar), Bawls (regular, sugar free and cherry), Jarritos (Mexican flavored soda), Arizona Green tea, Monster, Jones Soda, WhoopAss (energy drink) and more. In addition to top grade products, the important and extremely obvious
to any customer is the authenticity and genuine care of the owners. “The only thing that is going to convince people to hang here, to change their life style to accommodate this third space, is if you offer them an authentic experience,” Eigel said. The owners fondly refer to Roxx as a “third space.” “A third space is not home and is not work,” Eigel said. “What are you going to do when you’re not working or at home? When are you going to have time to relax and have time to be yourself.” There are very few options of entertainment within reasonable distance of most West Chester youth. The owners of Roxx designed their business to solve this problem. “Roxx Coffeehouse and Games is a place to go because there is no other place like it. There is literally nothing to do in this burg for anyone between the ages of 17 and about 25. Unless you want to go see a movie, unless you’re on an eight to five schedule, there’s nothing to do,” Eigel said. Roxx is open on weekdays from 6 a.m. until 12 a.m., Friday from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m., Saturday from 12 p.m. until 2 a.m. and Sunday from 3 p.m. until 12 a.m. Game play is $5 an hour. Roxx hosts tournaments and special events, including the Halloween costume party tonight. They will also be open on Thanksgiving day. To find out more check out www.Roxx.biz.
Voice graphics by Dylan Geiser
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
for random things while people are golfing. “We interact with the crowd by doing give-aways and trivia [with people on the course,]” Smith said.
Voice photo by Christy DeGrace
The several different arcade games include glow-in-the-dark air hockey and skee-ball, at varying prices, all of which take quarters. Most of these est Chester’s newest entergames produce tickets based on your tainment craze is defined score for you to by the three words redeem at that create its name: Monster the prize Mini Golf, an indoor mini golf counter. course located next to Fitworks “ I t in the Wal-Mart Super Center doesn’t Plaza on Cin-Day Road. matter how The dark building is brought old you are, to life by various monsters and you can black lights. The walls and come here props are all covered with a with your high quality fluorescent paint friends and to make them glow and create family,” a creepier atmosphere. Smith said. “All the art is tied in locally. EveryIt’s all custom for this locaone is weltion,” owner of Monster Mini come, from Golf Tony Smith said. the little There is a “hole” painted in ones in diathe wall shared with Fitworks Hole 18 of the Monster Mini Golf course on Cincinnati-Dayton Road. pers to the through which monsters runbig ones in dianing on tread mills and lifting Instead of age, the general prices of pers. As for the journey from one to the weights can be seen. There are also deplaying here are based on height. Chil- other, Monster Mini Golf offers four pictions of crazy Ohio laws on the walls dren between three and four feet tall different birthday party set ups; Deluxe as well, such as the law stating you can are permitted to play for the low price Package, Super Deluxe Package, Monnot get a fish drunk. of $5.50, between four feet and five feet ster package and the Saturday-Sunday However, nothing truly frightening at $6.50 and those above five feet tall Morning VIP Party. Prices range from lurks in the dark. It is all in good fun measure in at $7.50. However, “tiny $100 to $350. Although, there are also and no ghost, ghoul or goblin is waiting monsters,” children under three feet, “corporate parties” and “team building to jump out to make you cry. In order get to play for free. days” used for more adult focused parto create even more fun, they have built “It’s got so many different elements, ties. Each of these include the private a radio station & DJ Booth W.I.R.D. like the golf, arcade, glow-in-the-dark, party room. However, the biggest of (Weird Radio) right on the eighth hole. music, prizes and parties,” Smith said. all possible parties is aimed towards The DJ’s sometimes give away prizes
Christy DeGrace Opinions Editor
a milestone in life; the sweet 16. The “Not So Sweet 16 Party” allows you to rent out the entire place during any closed time with an unlimited number of guests. This particular package costs $650. Moster Mini Golf is extremely flexible and offer parties for any occasion or event, including graduation parties. They ask that you call for prices on any party idea you may have. Monster Mini Golf is open from 2pm-9pm Tuesdays through Thursdays and until 10pm on Fridays. Saturdays it is open from 12pm -10pm and until 8pm on Sundays. The chance to golf surrounded by monsters is denied on every Monday as the place is closed, except official Monday Holidays. Some people go mini golfing just for something fun to do when they can’t find anything else in boring ol’ West Chester, but some people go to compete. This course will simply enhance either experience. “It’s also a challenging course if you want to take it seriously,” Smith said. Instead of driving around in circles repeatedly asking your friends, “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” make Monster Mini Golf your destination point. It is guaranteed to keep you entertained and make you want to come back.
Voice headline graphic by Dylan Geiser
Halloween Haunt takes over Kings Island Natasha Milligan Staff Reporter
error has wreaked havoc across Cincinnati. Halloween Haunt is back again at King’s Island and it’s more terrifying than ever. There are roughly 550 monsters and ghouls roaming the premises of the park. That’s a little more than 100 monsters from last year. “If you’re into being scared, this is for you,” King’s Island Public Relations Area Manager Don Helbig said. Classic haunted houses like Massacre Manor, CarnEvil, Tombstone Terror-Tory and much more will be back again. There are a total of 11 haunted attractions so, there will be no shortage of fear. Prepare to have monsters lurking around every corner. “I think it is very fun and worth
going to.” sophomore Kelly Edwards said. Halloween Haunt’s most popular exhibit, Club Blood, will be up and running as well. But beware, Club Blood has some intense imagery and adultrelated content. It has been said that you have to be 18 or older to enter Club Blood but that is just a rumor. Any age can enter.Want something new and exciting? Check out the new haunted hospital, Urgent Scare. It’s the largest haunted house they have at the park, measuring over 3,666 square feet. The premise of Urgent Scare is a hospital broken out with a virus seeming to infect everyone from doctors to patients, transforming them into crazed zombies. Closely related to the video game Resident Evil, this is sure toget your heart racing. Your mission: escape the hospital or end up a disease spreading monster. “It’s really cool because they have
new attractions every year.” sophomore Bethany Matchett said. Horrifying shows are just another part of the fun. The return of the performance Dead Awakening will keep audiences on edge as they witness a girl’s ultimate nightmare come to reality. It has some mature images and adult-like content, so parental discretion is advised. It plays at the Showplace Theatre in the park on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30, 9:30, 11:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. Halloween Haunt is definitely an event you don’t want to miss this holiday season. Come here to face your fears and get terrified beyond your wildest imaginations. Be aware that some attractions and overall theme of Halloween Haunt may be too intense for younger viewers. “I don’t recommend anyone under the age of 13. There are a lot of mature images and parental discretion is definitely advised,” Helbig said. “We
don’t turn anybody down. Anyone can come, but this isn’t really aimed for younger kids.” Halloween Haunt continues every Friday and Saturday until November 1. The park is open from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Fridays and from 11:00 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays. Tickets cost $34.99 on Fridays at the gate and $47.99 on Saturdays. Trying to save some cash? Log onto www.pki.com and buy your tickets online for a discounted price. Already have a pass? You can get in for free. Just make sure to present it at the front gate upon arrival. “Halloween Haunt is the greatest exhibition we’ve unleashed here at King’s Island,” Helbig said. Enjoy your visit to Halloween Haunt. Don’t worry, they’ll identify your body in the morning…
Voice graphic by Dylan Geiser
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Saw V The fifth installment of the Saw series has arrived. With the last scene of its predecessor being Saw V’s first, it follows the structure of the other four movies. Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson, Gilmore Girls) is determined to put the Jigsaw murders to an end. He begins to revisit the scenes of the murders in an attempt to find a missing link. Through flashback and thought, Strahm believes he knows who is now behind the murders. Just as all the other movies, Saw V contains multiple story lines all happening at once. Jumping from plot to plot along with the unpredictable flashbacks, the movie catches the viewer off guard leaving a few seconds of confusion before the realization of what is happening hits. Though, this fast pace action may be hard to follow at times, it leaves the viewer on edge and heightens the excitement and intensity. Saw V is a great movie for people who love mind games. The movie can be watched to be analyzed while Directed by D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, The Shield) and trying to solve the Jigsaw mystery along with or starring Shia Lebouf (Transformers, Disturbia) and before Strahm or the viewer can just watch to be Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor, The Heartbreak along for the ride of twists and thrills. There is no Kid), Eagle Eye is sure to keep the watcher on their lack of gore or painful games, so for those who toes through all the twists and turns of the stimulatcannot stomach the violence this is not a good ing adventure that inspires the wonder of future movie choice. Otherwise, for the Saw series lovtechnology and just how free America really is. ers the movie was a good addition to the series. After the death of his twin brother, Jerry Shaw finds -Sarah Helsinger himself trapped and helpless is a whirl of secrets and lies. Upon discovering his bank account mysteriously empty, then even more mysteriously filled with $751,000 and his apartment full of illegal weapons and explosives, he receives a strange call on his cell phone. The woman’s voice on the other end begins giving him instructions to run because his apartment is about to be raided by the FBI, and events quickly get worse from there as Jerry finds himself caught up in the middle of a massive plot to assassinate the Presidential Cabinet. While the plot and the idea is a wonderful thought, the movie was slow moving and at times monotonously unappealing. The acting was good but the story just didn’t move enough and there were too many questions with and a lack of answers.
Max Payne Video game movies have a notorious reputation for being absolutely terrible. Doom, Resident Evil, and Bloodrayne, all are considered failures by box office ratings and critics alike. The latest video game movie, Max Payne breaks away from this stereotype, since it is only sub-par instead of downright awful. The movie follows the struggles of Max Payne (Mark Wahlber, Shooter), your typical “rebel cop” who is out for revenge against his wife’s killers. Teaming up with Mona Sax (Mila Kunis, “That 70’s show”), Payne races to uncover the truth behind the mysterious drug valkyr and the conspiracy behind it. Instead of going for the “shoot ‘em up” feel of the video games, the film opts for a more suspenseful tone, focusing more on the plot than the action. While this adds a great deal of suspense, there are times when it gets a bit tedious to keep up with. As a whole, the acting wasn’t all that great; most of the characters were very shallow. The characters were hard to relate to and while there was all this drama going on around them, there was no real emotion or feeling in their performance. I thought Mila Kunis was an odd choice for the lead heroine. Although she looks the part, she still sounds like a high school cheerleader instead of a cold blooded assassin. Overall, I would say that this was a fairly enjoyable movie. While the acting was not great, and there were plenty of plot holes, the movie still manages to keep the level of thrills and suspense high enough to keep your attention, eager for more. -Alex Rice
With October being the month for scary movies, Sony Pictures released Quarantine. With all the hype put into the trailer, a top-notch movie was expected. The plot was one of the key factors that drew my interest to the movie. Quarantine is about a news -Abby Ford crew who is doing a story on what it is like to be on the firefighting night shift. When the crew is called out to Voice graohics courtesy of Lionsgate and DreamWorks an apartment complex, everything takes a turn for the worse. The building has been quarantined because a disease similar to rabies is spreading amongst the occupants. From that point until the end, Quarantine becomes a pointless movie that tries to scare the audience but fails. With camera work similar to that of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, you get lost very easily and at sometimes feel sick. Then, if the camera work does not make you sick, the useless blood and gore might do the job for you. Once the movie couldn’t get any worse it did by throwing in some weird cult and further confusing the audience. Quarantine being director John Erick Dowdle’s first big release is a typical movie for a new director. Poor acting, poor effects, and poor plot are all the things this movie consists of. If you want a scary movie do yourself a favor and see something else. -Kyle Kearns
October 31, 2008 Lakota West Voice
Voice headline graphic by Dylan Geiser Kyle Kearns
Hope for the Hopeless, Brett Dennen’s third album, is considered a folk album. I was rather skeptical of the genre, but, after listening to the CD, I was pleasantly surprised. The smooth compilation of soft drums, Dennen’s lulling voice and wide variety of instruments makes for a calming sound. The final song on the album has an amazing incremental sound. As the song progresses, the message grows stronger and the music grows louder. The speaker in the song declares in the beginning “He ain’t gonna lose you”. He lists all the misfortunes he is willing to endure, and constantly repeats his resolution, that he will not lose this person. It is the perfect track to end the album, and the message will stick with anyone. Dennen sounds similar to Jack Johnson, and has worked with big name artists, like Jason Mraz and John Mayer. Dennen has been named by Rolling Stones and Entertainment Weekly as an up and coming artist, and this album definitely solidifies this position with me. If you want a CD that is relaxing and moving, take a chance on this rising star.
Suffer City the first indie album by Roll The Tanks, is a CD for the alternative listener. My first time through, I could hardly stand it. The guitar riffs had the same tone throughout the whole CD, and sounded a bit unoriginal. The drums were nothing special, and the singers… were terrible. Their punk shouting was almost amusing at points. The singer could have used back up vocals, because his voice was not strong enough to be solo. The lyrics were nearly unintelligible. Then my second time through, I began to understand their style. I noticed the subtle instrument changes that added variety to the music. Also, the vocals began to sound more and more like The Killers, with a filter causing a unique effect. The shouting started to rub off on me, which could have been because my mood had changed. When I finally heard the lyrics, I began to hear the wit of an independent band: “I support St. Cheri, she’s been my only friend, she’s been my only friend.” The band also mixes up the way they open each song, starting acoustic at points, a cappella at others and full on guitar riff, too. Overall, I would suggest this CD for alternative lovers, but not the general public. It takes a while to grow on you, but it is worth the time.
Hope for the Hopeless Brett Dennen
Suffer City Roll the Tanks
When putting in Brett Dennen’s newest CD, Hope for the Hopeless, I was incredibly reluctant to play it. Not being a big fan of folk was already something I would have to get over to review the CD. I quickly found out that getting over my dislike of folk was incredibly easy. The first song “San Francisco” grabbed my attention and the rest of the album kept it all the way to the last song. With extremely catchy acoustic guitar and a mellow beat Brett Dennen does a very good job of creating some well done songs. Dennen gives of the impression of a solo song writer with clever lyrics such as: “Throw away your myth misconceptions, There ain’t no walls around heaven, There are no codes you gotta know to get in, No minutemen or border patrol,” from the song “Heaven.” Although all the songs are well done, extremely catchy and upbeat, they have the tendency to blend together and sound the same. For some, similar sounding songs are a good thing; for me, even though I think the songs are good, I found the repetitive songs to get boring. Hope for the Hopeless is enough to satisfy those who are hopeless, but for those with some hope already it might just sound nice.
All the way from the West coast, punk rock band, Roll the Tanks, released their first major album titled Suffer City. Being the first release for Roll the Tanks I wasn’t expecting too much, especially coming from just another Californian punk band. However, Suffer City managed to pull out a sound that wasn’t typical to the stereotype of the average punk band but still managed to throw in the F-you attitude punk is known for. Some songs border more of an indie feel such as “Gameshow Love” and “Police Me” but still maintain the vocals of a punk band. The mixture of pop-like beats and the punk like vocals is a good one that balances out to create a different kind of sound. Another good thing about Suffer City is the guitar and it’s more pop/indie feel to it which also helps create this new sound. Although the vocals from song to song blend in with each other, the instruments stand out and keep the songs going and interesting. Suffer City manages to take all the key factors of many aspects of punk and indie and blend them together creating an album with solid guitar riffs and a good punk and indie feel to it. Whether you’re a punk fan, indie fan, rock fan, alternative fan, or looking for something new, Suffer City is a good place to start.