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FH students take a step back in time for “Up the Down Staircase” newspapers

Vol. 116 No. 8 USPS 439-000

Portage, Pa.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Since 1904

Newsstand Price 75¢

36 Pages

By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

There’s no chalk; there’s a broken window. Books are constantly arriving late, and so are the students at Calvin Coolidge High. Sylvia Barrett, the English teacher at this New York innercity school, hopes to nurture her students with classic literature, but in turn, she becomes frustrated with her job. Her colleagues don’t seem to understand her, and she doesn’t feel like she is accomplishing her mission as the Forest Hills High School presentation of “Up the Down Staircase” continues. As “Up the Down Staircase” progresses, Barrett leaves the school to work in a more private setting, but while she’s working, she thinks of Calvin Coolidge High and what she has left behind. She quickly changes her mind when she realizes that she indeed made a difference in her students’ lives. “Up the Down Staircase” refers to the infraction many students face at Calvin Coolridge; they walked down the wrong staircase and are penalized by the principal. This 1967 novel follows Barett’s struggles as she realizes her purpose in life. The book is

Forest Hills drama club takes a quick break from practice. They will be performing “Up the Down Staircase” on March 20-22. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

set up as a series of memos and notes. Some are from the class suggestion box, but others are notes written by Barrett herself to her old college classmate, who chose to get married instead

Portage first-grade students Ethan Hodge, Terry Kolenovic, Zachary Hodge, Katelyn Klein, and Ava Bienvenue color their Dr. Seuss coloring sheets. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

of pursuing a career. The struggle in the story becomes based around the women’s roles in society, and the Forest Hills High School Drama Club clearly paints an accurate picture of the

tale. Under the direction of Melissa Livermore, the high school drama coach and teacher, the students stuck to the tale with only making one, slight modification. Instead of basing

Kaleb Castel gets in the zone for the green egg race at Portage Elementary School. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

the story in the ‘60s, they changed the time period to the 1980s to make the situation more of a present-day affair. SEE STAIRCASE, PAGE 6A

Portage Elementary students honor their beloved Dr. Seuss By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers

On your marks, get set, go! And they’re off! Portage student Kaleb Castel, is in the lead, and here comes Eva Sossong right behind. Lyndsey Castel and Logan Summer are catching up. Oh wait, here comes Nicholas Baker, running with spoon in hand, and Jacob Zonich is running to the lead. Phew, it’s a close call.

Portage student Lyndsey Caste starts on the green egg relay race. Photo by Amanda Petrunak.

Sossong pulls out a sprint for the win as the next race begins. On Monday, March 3, Sara Erzal’s first grade class celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday by having a fun-filled afternoon of themed activities. The first-grade students lined up, as Erzal gave them a plastic spoon with a green, plastic Easter egg. The object of the game was to have a relay race, holding the Easter egg in place with the spoon. The student who ran to the

finish line first was the winner of the game. This was a skill of balance and patience. If the egg would drop, it would delay the student’s progress in the race. The students surely put a twist on Dr. Seuss’ classic “Green Eggs and Ham.” In keeping with “The Lorax,” the students got their hands dirty as they planted beautiful flowers to preserve the environment. The Once-ler wasn’t going to spoil

their day of fun. After the students helped out their dear friend the Lorax, they decided to get creative by decorating paper socks in honor of the “Fox in Socks.” Their stylish socks will certainly be the new fashion statement and trend. The students also made their very own fox puppets, and then they played pin the tail on the Cat in the Hat. As they spun around the room with their eyes shut tight, the students got closer and closer to

pinning the tail on the famous cat. Once the students pinned his tail on, it was photo shoot time. They stood next to the clever cat with a big smile stretched across their faces. After a hard day of races and pin the tail on the cat, the students sat down for some Dr. Seuss themed snacks. Celebrating Dr. Seuss’s

The Portage Borough Council met on Monday, March 3, to discuss the sewer ordinance that was put in place for Ward 3. According to the ordinance, the sewer authority is requiring each new system to be airtested. If the authority finds any traces of terra-cotta pipes, they will need to be removed and replaced. Typically, this would happen when an individual would buy or sell his or her house, but the sewer authority

wants to tackle all of the issues at once before they put in a new sewer line for Ward 3. Wards 1 and 2 already have sewage in place. Once Ward 3 is completed, all of Portage will have an updated sewer system. Bob Hazlett from the sewer authority came to speak to the borough council about the issue to make sure that everyone clearly understood the ordinance. Don Squillario also re-addressed the issue. “We are

putting in a $3 million sewage system; we have to test for infiltration or else we will just have a bunch of problems piling up later on.” Council member Rebecca Chobany chimed in to discuss the issue at hand. “I was under the impression that we were still keeping with the old system, where it would not be tested for buying and selling. A lot of families in the area are going to be upset if they have to

rip apart their basements, just for this sewage project,” she said. Squilario went on to add that he addressed this point during the last workshop when they were first discussing this project. “DEP says that we have to stop infiltration, but they never gave us a way to go about it. It was our decision to test these lines when we put in the new sewage sys-

Portage Borough discusses sewer authority ordinance By Amanda Petrunak of Mainline Newspapers



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