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February 27, 2015

Administration cracks down on abused web overrides at MIHS by

Sean Bender sports editor

Mercer Island High School’s blocked website override codes are passed around like meth on “Breaking Bad.� Students seek this override information everyday to access blocked websites. The most popular include: YouTube, Facebook, and Netflix. While these sites hold possible educational value, most MIHS administrators feel that students use the sites inappropriately. However, much like in the 1920s when liquor was prohibited, the ban of these websites has caused students to take action on their own. Students have created a system of obtaining overrides and giving them to friends. Many students believe that rather than working around the Administration to access these sites, the Administration should simply remove the block on popular sites. “While resources such as YouTube can provide great educational content, there are portions that are inappropriate for a K-12 environment. We also continually try to ensure we have enough bandwidth and network resources available,� said Andreeves Ronser, Mercer Island School District’s Director of Information Technology. “Sites such as Netflix and Facebook can use a substantial amount of bandwidth and prevent others from accessing school appropri-

ate sites and content.� This view stantly has shifted the Adminisis shared among most admin- tration’s perspective on the enistrators working in the public tire override system. Surveying every override’s usage is taxing, school system. Students have continued to and “over the past several years, uproot the newly updated over- we have been moving away from rides, forcing the tech and dis- generic shared overrides. Intrict offices to shut down those stead of having the computers abused. Abused overrides are used by journalism request the those that exceed the normal student to enter an override, we amount of traffic in a day; once an override is determined as abused, “We can either change the password for an override that we feel is being abused or remove the override completely. This can be done either by the building technology specialists or the district office,� Students frequently use shared overrides to access block websites such as Netflix. said Ronser. The process of finding an abused will configure the computer to aloverride can take days, but once low access to blocked content. By discovered it is immediately removing the need for students to enter an override password, shut down. “It isn’t that hard to simply we will be able to remove the bypass the override. There are shared overrides that tend to be plenty of software options to get abused the most. The computers around it,� said an anonymous that are stored in the library, student. “When I do bypass the computer labs and carts will override, I simply use it to check still require an override,� said Ronser. With the removal of the some facts or read an article.� Policing the overrides con- antiquated shared, the Adminis-

tration hopes that breaches will decrease, providing the district and tech offices with more time to focus on other matters. As the transition to the new system begins, “the message that I would give to the student body regarding overrides would be that using an override inappropriately is a violation of the network policy. While there are ways for students to gain access to these o v e r rides, there are m a n y methods for the school district to monitor web activity,� said Ronser. Photo by Jessica Waller T h e transition to the new system will not occur overnight. The Administration will never be able to completely snuff out the override information leaks, but hopes to limit the amount of overrides circulating throughout the school. With the shared override system slowly disappearing students will no longer be able to freely access blocked content on the Internet.


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Volume IV, Edition 3


Mercer Island Shore Club undergoes renovation Features > Page 2

Mercer Island Youth Soccer prepares to play in Portugal Sports > Page 3

Black History Month Trivia Spread > Page 4/5

Moratorium on Town Center development enacted

tram service extending from Bellevue to Seattle via Mercer Island, is scheduled to begin this On Feb. 2, the Mercer Island year. Presently, the Park & Ride City Council enacted a four- fills by 7:30 a.m. every weekday, month moratorium on new de- and many have become worvelopments in downtown Mercer ried over what will happen with Island. However, many complain the addition of the Light Rail. that the ordinance provides too Consequently, the City Council many exemptions, rendering it hired a research company to exuseless. plore possible sites for a new lot. The moratorium, which be- Kite Hill, located just west of the came effective on Feb. 16, pro- Mercer Island Community Cenhibits new construction within ter, was thought to be the most the Mercer Island Central Busi- realistic location to provide ridness District, commonly known ers with easy access to the bus as “Town Center.� Though, the and Light Rail stations. Addiban does permit the building tionally, Sound Transit commitof one and two-story buildings. ted to contribute $6.3 million Furthermore, the Council de- towards the construction cost. cided to alHowever, low Hines, a an opposiprivate Houstion group ton-based of Mercompany, to cer Island continue its citizens plans to develn a m e d op a proposed “Save Our five-story comSuburbs� plex in the lot came foreast of the Alto Photo courtesy of City of Mercer Island ward bertsons park- A sketch of a possible design configuration of the Hines devel- express its ing lot. opment has been submitted to the City of Mercer Island. concern Opposition to in turnfurther development in the Town ing what the City Council has Center began this winter, when defined as an “open space� Sound Transit asked the City into a parking lot. The Council of Mercer Island to install more dropped its interest in reconfigparking spaces near the North- uring Kite Park, but many are End Park & Ride. Construction alarmed that Light Rail is movfor the East Link Light Rail, a ing forward without a solution by

Richard Chess editor in chief

to facilitate commuters’ parking growth.� Whole Foods Market has exneeds. When talks of a new multi- pressed interest in bringing a story development began, SOS, store to the new Hines develonce again, balked at the idea opment. There are also plans to bring of further Town Cenm o r e ter development. The commergroup pleaded with cial space, the City Council to public establish a moraparking, torium to prohibit residenfurther development tial apartin the Town Center. ments, After listening to and a civdozens of public comic plaza. ments at the Feb. 2 T h e City Council meeting, C i t y members established Council a moratorium but exhas reempted Hines. ceived “From my perspech a r s h tive, this moratorium Photo courtesy of City of Mercer Island criticism was never just about The moratorium on new developments is only effective in f r o m the Hines Project,� the shaded region. SOS for said Deputy Mayor Dan Grausz. “We are trying its decision to exempt Hines to preserve the status quo until from the moratorium. But in the we know what direction we are end, no resolution will satisfy all heading with the Town Center stakeholders, and Grausz wants to make clear that the decision Development Code revision.� Still, SOS believes that large to enact a moratorium was made developments degrades Mercer after listening to much comIsland: “Save Our Suburbs is munity input and deliberation determined to help preserve the among councilmen. “It did not do everything that village feel of the community we all love and to protect our won- any group wanted but sought derful schools,� said resident Mi- middle ground that would enchelle Goldberg. “While we want able us to move forward in a a vibrant, interesting downtown, constructive manner while not our schools and infrastructure putting our Town Center and can’t take the added residential City finances at risk.�

Junk food at schools countrywide contribute to obesity Opinions > Page 6

Top Albums of 2014 A&E > Page 7

After you’ve finished enjoying this paper, please recycle it!



MSC nearing completion by

Jane Gormley online editor

The Mercerwood Shore Club has been the home of countless summer memories for Mercer Island families since 1953. This year, however, the club is undergoing massive changes that will help make summers even more memorable for its members. Last year, the Mercerwood Shoreclub board decided that the club was in need of an upgrade. The structure of the clubhouse itself was extremely old, and if kept in its current state, would need constant maintenance and repairs. The club also felt the

The remodeling plan for the MSC pool area

need to provide better facilities for members, especially considering the competition coming from other, more modern clubs on the island such as the Beach Club and the Country Club. The $3 million budget for the project will go towards improving the clubhouse. The pool and the beach facilities will both remain the same, but the clubhouse will be completely redesigned and rebuilt. The upper floor of the new clubhouse will include a large gathering room with a fireplace and television as well as a new bar area. There will also be a small kitchen, making this upstairs area more useful for those wishing to host parties at the club. The biggest area of improvement will be in the construction of a new exercise room. To picture what the old one looked like, one would need to imagine a relatively small, usually unused, and somewhat grimy room with a few pieces of exercise equipment. The new exercise room will be moved from its current location downstairs by the snack shack to the upper floor where, along with new equipment

and floor-to-ceiling windows, members will enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Washington. The locker rooms will be updated to include new changing areas as well as more showers. Another significant change is the construction of a children’s lounge, which will open up to the new terraced lounge area. Its three tiers will include group seating, a new wading pool, and a hot tub before connecting to the existing pool deck. The Construction Committee has reported that the project is going well and according to plan. The old clubhouse has been demolished, the main structure and roof have been completed, and workers are just starting on the interifinishes. Photo courtesy of MSC or The project began this past September and is estimated to be completed in late May. With this time frame, all summer activities will carry on as they always have in their new home this summer. The renovation has already started to attract new membership this past year. “We like the laid back feel of Mercerwood, having explored other summer options on Mercer Island, and many of our friends, as well as those of our kids, are members of the club as well,” said Heidi Singh, a new member this year after being on the wait list for eight months. “We are especially looking forward to using the new workout facility.” While the design of the club will be drastically different when members return this summer, its relaxed atmosphere of fun in the sun with family and friends will remain. MSC will always be the home of summer memories for many Mercer Island families and as Bill Gormley, a member of the Construction Committee noted, “[the] only difference now is that there will be a nicer facility for people to do the things they have always been doing.”

4th elementary school fixes overcrowding increased road usage, but this trend could be mostly mitigated by improving the sidewalks in the area. In addition, the start times will be sufficiently offset that it will not interfere with the High School rush hour. Furthermore, Chief Operations Officer Dean Mack, who is actively involved in the construction, says that for times outside of the norm, the traffic is expected to be roughly equivalent to what was being generated by YTN and the daycare services in the area. When the 2016-17 school year begins, elementary students, possibly younger siblings of current high school students, might be required to change schools. The proposed borders have the entire Northeast of the island relocating to the new school, making students leave the familiarity of an old school to consume learning time adjusting to minor differences, which

has generated some concern from parents. However, these are temporary issues, and not everyone thinks it will be a negative change. “I want to switch schools because I think my new school will be closer to our home” says Jack Wheeler, a first grader from Island Park who will be in the new zone. In a year or two the students should adapt, and end up with better-equipped and less crowded classes. Not everything has been permanently determined, the name of this new school and what it will use for colors are still mostly open questions. Soon the administration will hire new teachers to work under the principal Aimee Batliner-Gillette. The coming years will change the educational landscape of this island, but it should fix the issue of having too many kids in small classrooms.

staff writer Enacting a ban on cell phone use while driving sounds like a simple plan. In 2007, the year the iPhone made its debut, Washington state became the first state to outlaw distracted driving, making handheld phone calls and texting illegal while driving. At that time, occasional calls and texts were the main causes of distraction while on the road. Over the next few years, emailing, Internet browsing, and directional map viewing joined the list of driving distractions. Texting became ubiquitous; the United States alone generates over 153 billion texts per month. The problem of distracted driving is so serious that the United States created an official website for distracted driving,, which shows that distractions increase the risk of an accident by 300 percent. While fatal crashes make the headlines, the less serious crashes create headaches by increasing the congestion and traffic delays for which the Seattle area is known. “Not always, but what we suspect just based

on the experience of our troopers, is that our low-end, rearend collisions that mess up rush hour are because of texting,” said Bob Calkins, Spokesman for Washington State Patrol. In response, Washington state lawmakers are once again sponsoring legislation that would ban all cellphone use while driving, except for calls made with hands-free devices. Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal way, introduced a bill in 2014, but it died in committee; this year, Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, is trying again. On Jan. 28, 2015, she introduced Senate Bill 5656 to help protect those who walk and bike from preventable deaths caused by drivers distracted by their phones. The proposed bill is surprisingly controversial. Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, Chairman of the House Public Safety Committee: “It’s a pretty bold proposal to outlaw the use of handheld devices entirely. Certainly the evidence is clear that we shouldn’t be using these devices, but I know there’s a lot of sentiment among my colleagues that they maybe don’t perceive it

to be as dangerous as it is, and they get business done while they’re driving.” Goodman offered other solutions such as having cellphone companies block phone use while in a car, or police could ticket more drivers for violations that occur for distraction related accidents, like swerving. Rep. Dave Hayes has a similar opinion. While he agrees cell phones should not be used while driving, he said, “it’s almost like the gun issue, you’re attacking the tool, instead of attacking or addressing the matters surrounding it.” Research supports that stronger legislation will have little meaningful impact. Recently, economists from the Research and Development corporation and the University of Colorado studied the effects of hand-held cell phone bans on the number of car accidents. They concluded that there is “no evidence that the ban on hand-held cell phone use led to a reduction in traffic accidents.” Regardless of what the law allows, common sense supports the turning off of cell phones while driving.

efits to Running Start, there are a few drawbacks as well, “It’s the most expensive thing you can do in high school to earn a great savings later because the benefit is that your tuition is paid through the state so for the student there is no tuition cost, however, there are all other costs such as transportation, fees associated with the course and course materials such as textbooks,” said Stearns. Furthermore, if students have a strong affinity with activities at MIHS, going back and forth can be overwhelming and hard to manage. College vacation times are not the same, which can cause problems with family vacations when classes are still in session. Because the college environment is different than high school, students who go must function on their own. Another popular alternative learning choice for students is Crest Learning Center. Crest was first established in February, 1971 with two half-time teachers and 13 students, since then it has grown to be a successful alternative learning option for MIHS students. Crest is a very close knit

community where personal one full year for only one class. relationships between staff At Crest one to sees them every and students are important. day at school for two years and“At Crest there are four ‘pil- forms strong bonds with them. lars’ used as a guiding frameOne type of class offered at work for what we think is im- Crest is a contract class, where portant for education beyond just students design their own sylacademics: work ethic, healthy labus and work with a teachrelationships, fun and commu- er one on one. “We do contract nity. We use those as a frame- classes as well where students work to help us reach out and work with a teacher one on one, students write meet kids where they’re not findthe syllabus for the class, ing what they need through but there is education at a syllabus framework. MIHS,” said Let’s say you Patrick Rigby, are taking head teacher at Photo courtesy of MISD an Crest. As head English teacher, it is Crest is an alternative learning center for students. class, there Rigby’s job to teach ninth grade are certain learn- ing standards and tenth grade block, moni- that need to be met but you could tor and facilitate online learn- manipulate the way that you ing programs, as well as work get to them, so you could write closely with Crest students, your own course and do things Crest staff, high school admin- your own way,” said Rigby. istration and counseling staff. Many students who take Relationships are a huge part classes at MIHS are unaware of of Crest, the classes are set up the alternative learning options in a block schedule so that for which could potentially make two years you have the same their high school experience teacher, instead of having a more enjoyable and educational. teacher for a semester or maybe


Mithril Hugunin staff writer

According to the Mercer Island School District newsletter released in 2013, there are over 30 portables in use, housing almost 700 students. The elementary schools suffer from the most severe overcrowding, with approximately 350 students enrolled over the intended capacity. At the higher grades the numbers are roughly 180 students over capacity. Because the portables are not ideal classrooms, voters passed a bond to construct a fourth elementary and renovate existing facilities at other schools in the district. Traffic can cause delays for anyone who bikes, drives, or takes a bus to school. The district addressed this concern by hiring a company to run a traffic study in 2013, the report maintained that there would be some

Possible new laws for distracted drivers by

Jessica Waller

The path less trodden: the untold tale of Crest and Running Start by

Corinne Wheeler staff writer

At Mercer Island High School, there are a variety of alternative learning options for students that have a difficult time learning in an average classroom, believe high school life is not for them, or need more credits to graduate. In March 1990, Washington State Legislature adopted the Learning by Choice law, which allows high school students to earn credits in a variety of ways including private academics and Running Start. Running Start is a dual enrollment program in Washington state for 11th and 12th graders that immerses full-or part-time students into two year and technical colleges. When students are enrolled in Running Start, they attend college with the ability to receive both college and high school credit. In Washington state, Running Start credits are accepted by all public four-year colleges. Each year of classes consists of four quarters, and each quarter is the equivalent to one se-

mester of a high school class. The benefit of Running Start is that students receive both high school and college credits, and potentially save up to two years of paying for an education at a four-year instituton. Entering college with credits already earned can be beneficial when applying for scholarship programs as well as gaining access to various classes that are closed to most freshmen. Another benefit to Running Start is the students learning among others with diversity of age, backgrounds, and prior learning experience in the classroom. Running Start allows students to pursue more in depth knowledge of a specific subject “In the computer science field students have gone on and concentrated on it in Running Start and have earned Microsoft certification for certain things. Some of our advanced arts students do Running Start so they can go into very advanced classes such as live models which we couldn’t possible offer in high school,” said Counselor Kathleen Stearns. Although there are many ben-

February 27, 2014

Mercer Island Youth Soccer plans to take on the best of Portugal


tugal. Though the trip will proby Sean Bender vide opportunities for fun, the sports editor main focus will be preparing for The Mercer Island boys soccer each match. “We will take each program has always pushed its game at a time, but will play to players and coaches to the lim- our strengths and tactically apit. This summer, a select group proach the games in a way that of MIHS players will embark gives ourselves the best advanon an adventure never before tage,” said Rigby. This, however, attempted in program history. is easier said than done. Teams Accompanied by head coach Col- like the Benefica academy are in Rigby, the boys will set sail to known for their extremely fastLisbon, Portugal to play in a ten- paced passing, deadly strikes, day local tournament hosted by and immense individual skill. the region’s top teams. The most “The Portuguese are known for notable of these regional teams their skill and speed of play. I include the Benethink we will have fica and Sporting a tough challenge, Lisbon academies. but we will match These academy up with them athteams recruit their letically,” said players from a very Rigby. It will take young age and funevery second until nel the best talents the day of the first straight to the game to improve professional team, enough athleticalproducing some Photo courtesy of ly to compete with of the best play- The Benfica Academy club logo the best of Portuers in the world. gal, but it is a chalBenefica, currently atop of the lenge Rigby trusts his players professional league in Portu- will embrace and overcome. gal, has produced players such One of the main differences as Eusebio, who scored 474 between teams from the United goals during the 440 matches in States of America and Europe is which he played. in the culture of soccer and how Rigby has decided to ros- it is viewed. “Culturally and deter a mixed team of freshman, velopmentally the Portuguese sophomore, and juniors, some are growing up in areas where of whom have yet to play with soccer is the primary sport and each other. “We want to give all resources go into that,” said the young players at Mercer Is- Rigby. These differences howland High School a chance to get ever will not sway the Mercer to know each other. I am very Island boys, but push them to close with the senior class and if prove themselves worthy of playI could, I would take them on a ing against the best of Portugal. trip of their own, but I think this Regardless of the outcome of the decision was best for the future tournament, Rigby expects the of the program,” said Rigby. The team to make the most of this team may be inexperienced, but opportunity: “We want the kids what they lack to have an in experience experience they hope they will to make up never forget. for in athWe want this leticism and trip to eneagerness. hance their Adventurlove for socing into incer and give ternational Photo courtesy of Austin Taylor them a taste territory may Portugal trip rostered teamates Austin Taylor (left) and of Europeprovide chanc- Frederik Kleemann (center) an culture.” es to sight see This quest rivals any challenge and explore, but Rigby views a youth soccer program can take this trip as a real chance to com- on, and the expectations are high. plete with the top teams of Por-


Corinne Wheeler

staff writer Boys Swim and Dive The Boys Swim and Dive season came to a close on Feb. 21 when they finished second in state behind Bellevue High School. With numerous other accomplishments under their belt, such as their 9-1 record during the regular season and their first place win at the Kentridge Invite, this team of relatively new faces considers their season a success. “The biggest difference from last season was our depth,” said captain Teddy Larkin. The team lost about 20 seniors from last year, leaving only five swimmers who had been to state to lead the younger members of the team in the post-season. Senior Ian Caldwell registered All-America Consideration in both the 50 and 100 freestyle races. “It felt great,” said Caldwell. “It was great to be with my team because it’s my last year

What’s your obscure sport? Quidditch: The muggle, or human, version of the popular broomstick game inspired by the Harry Potter series. Extreme Ironing: A sport that combines the art of ironing while on a surfboard on ocean waves or sand dunes. The winner is the first to either perfectly iron the given piece of clothing, or last to fall off of their double decker board. Shin Kicking: A game that in-

volves two people trying their best to kick each other’s shins and force the other to the ground.

ner pulls the sled the farthest. Underwater Hockey: A contact sport in which two teams try to score by pushing a puck across the bottom of the pool using a hockey stick. Each player is supplied with an oxygen tank that can be used to hit opposing players. Data and descriptions compiled by Lily Clugston Chess BoxTractor Pulling: A motor- ing: A mix of the two sports, chess sport that includes modified and boxing, in which they altertractors pulling a heavy sled nate between playing rounds along a long track. The win- of chess and rounds of boxing.

En garde! A glimpse into the world of fencing by

Jane Gormley staff writer

If you walked up to a stranger and asked what they knew about fencing, he would probably say that it is just two people poking each other with pretend swords. Some would go as far as not even considering fencing a real sport. Mercer Island High School sophomore Sofia Simontov would have agreed with all of the above if you had asked her about fencing seven years ago. However after picking up a foil for the first time in 2008, her opinions regarding the legitimacy of the sport changed drastically. It was at a fencing camp hosted by Sergey Danilov, coach at Ohio State University, that Simontov first discovered her love of the sport. There, she learned fencing basics and made the decision on which style of swordplay she would pursue. There are three weapons used in the sport of fencing each with their own style and rules of use; the foil, the epee, and the saber. Simontov’s weapon of choice is the foil, a light court sword. Fencers competing in the foil category score points by landing the tip of their blade anywhere on their opponent’s trunk. This concept of having specific targets originates from the teachings of 18th century fencing masters. Today, Simontov fences for

Salle Auriol, a club in Seattle. Each week she attends four three-hour practices and has tournaments almost every weekend. “[Fencing is] a large time commitment just like any commitment to any sport,” she said. “Practice is hardcore exercise like running, weights, strength training, and agility for the first hour and a half. For the rest of the time, we do drills and open fencing.” All of Simontov’s hard work has paid off though. Since her start seven years ago, she has become extremely successful here in Washington state and has even been recognized nationally. Just last year she placed seventh in Division 1A at the national tournament and is currently the youngest A-ranked fencer in Fellow fencers joust for a point W a s h ington state. At nationals, she had the chance to compete against, and beat, college fencers attending top-ranked schools such as Northwestern, Cornell, and Ohio State. There are a handful of colleges around the country that have fencing teams. This in and

of itself may draw people to the sport considering the small pool of young fencers in the United States, especially on the west coast, and the fact that many of these school’s with teams are very highly selective and will offer fencing scholarships. Simontov’s success in the sport continues its upward trend. She has qualified to attend the Junior Olympics and Division 1 nationals in February this year to compete alongside Olympians and other Division 1 collegiate fencers from mostly Ivy League universities. Simontov has come a long way from her old mindset, shared by many, that “[fencing] is not actually a real sport.” Although she has no plans of pursuing a professional career, Simondoes Photo courtesy of tov hope to fence at a Division 1 college. Even without professional aspirations, fencing is an activity she holds near and dear to her heart. She will continue to help people change their opinions about the art of swordplay by proving that it is more than “just hitting people with swords.”

this coming Saturday to secure their ticket to state. Even with various injuries that have greatly impacted the starting lineup, the team still completed the regular season with a 12-6 record and had three players named to the KingCo All-Conference teams. Sophomore Anna Luce made first team, and seniors Jess Blakeslee and Julia Blumenstein were named second team. “We lost a key starter early on in the season due to a shoulder injury and we have had crucial players sit out of games and not be at 100% due to various other injuries,” said Blumenstein. “That has been a huge obstacle for us but we overcame it by sticking together and having some of our younger girls step up and take on bigger roles than they were initially expected to have.” Boys Basketball Boys Basketball finished with a 10-2 record in the regular sea-

son, but their post-season was cut short by a heartbreaking loss to Seattle Prep, then another loss to Lakeside. The team improved a lot this season by working hard in practice, focusing on a detail-oriented mindset, and encouraging each other on and off the court. “We face adversity every game, regardless of if we win or lose,” said captain David Emanuels. “We overcome this adversity by coming together as a team. We prioritize encouraging teammates.” “It was a successful season overall,” said sophomore Jacob Evans. Evans was one of the many new faces that made up the team this season. Five new players joined the team this year and are more than capable of stepping up and leading this team to success. “We lost a lot of pieces from last,” said Coach Gavin Cree. “But this was a great season for a team that had a lot to replace.”

Winter Sports Review

and it was great to spend it with a great group of guys.” Although the team will once again be graduating some of its star swimmers, there are many younger members of the team more than capable of filling the holes that will be left behind. “We can’t always expect to win each year but we need to always be building the foundation to continue to win in the years to come,” said Larkin. Gymnastics Gymnastics rounded out their 4-2 season by sending seven gymnasts to districts, with junior Cece Belady continuing on to the state tournament. There, she tied for 39th in the floor event on Feb. 20-21. At the beginning of the season, captain Emily Menz said that this year the team was focusing on “keeping a positive and encouraging atmosphere.” With a very new team this year, it is clear that this strategy worked and will continue to help


the team develop next season. Wrestling Wrestling ended their season strong with two of its captains competing and placing at state. After the team’s 5-1 regular season and difficult loss at the KingCo 2A/3A match, Evan Condon, who dislocated his f i n g e r , and Taylan Yuasa both went on to take medals home from the Tacoma Dome. Condon, even with the dislocated finger, won the state title at 195 and Yuasa was named state runner-up at 113. Even with these two strong team players graduating, coach Creighton Laughary is optimistic for next season. “We just coach ‘em up every year, and we got a new crop and some guys returning. It’s sad we don’t have those particular guys, but if we did, something would be wrong,” said Laughery. Girls Basketball The girls basketball team heads into their regional game


What What was the first was theAfrican first African American dramadrama group? American group?

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countries celebrate What What countries celebrate Black Black History Month? History Month?

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Answer: The Gas Mask Answer: The Gas Mask The gas by Garrett MorganMorgan in 1912. Themask gas was maskinvented was invented by Garrett in A 1912. A forerunner to World War I War gas masks, Morgan’s masks masks were were forerunner to World I gas masks, Morgan’s intend intend as safety hoods hoods and smoke protectors which which drew drew as safety and smoke protectors clean air from it withitmoist sponges clean air the fromfloor the and floorfiltered and filtered with moist sponges

Answer: US, Canada, UK Answer: US, Canada, UK Black Black HistoryHistory Month Month was formerly recognized by theby the was formerly recognized U.S. government in 1976. The UK its firstits first U.S. government in 1976. Thecelebrated UK celebrated Black Black HistoryHistory Month Month in 1987 in 1995. in and 1987 Canada and Canada in 1995.

Answer: Gone with Wind Answer: Gonethe with the Wind In 1939InHattie McDaniel won the Best 1939 Hattie McDaniel won theSupporting Best Supporting ActressActress Academy Award Award for herfor role Mammy Academy herasrole as Mammy in “Gone with the She played the role in “Gone withWind.” the Wind.” She played the role of a house slave who herfor owner’s chil- chilof a house slavecares who for cares her owner’s dren. Some critics critics felt that successsuccess dren. Some feltMcDaniel’s that McDaniel’s was proof notdidoppose was that proofonly thatthose only who thosedid who not oppose Hollywood’s racial racial stereotypes would would succeed. Hollywood’s stereotypes succeed.

For what movie did the first African American win an Academy Award? For what movie did the first African American win an Academy Award?

Answer: California Answer: California In a1946 a judge In 1946 judge ruled ruled in favor of desegrein favor of desegregating gating four four OrangeOrange districts. CountyCounty school school districts. One later, year later, One year Gov. Gov. Earl Warren to Earl Warren movedmoved to end segregation end segregation in all in all public public schoolsschools as wellas well as public other public as other spacesspaces

Answer: an entirely Answer: He wasHe anwas entirely self-educated American self-educated AfricanAfrican American who an expert in many who was anwas expert in many fields of science and camfields of science and campaigned slavery. In paigned againstagainst slavery. In fact, thiswas man was actually an fact, this man actually an astronomer. astronomer. Benjamin Banneker wastoborn to Benjamin Banneker was born a free African American a free African American womanwoman and a former in Baltimore and a former slave inslave Baltimore Maryland. He authored County,County, Maryland. He authored a successful series of almanacs a successful series of almanacs and corresponded with Thomas and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson the of topics of slavery Jefferson on the on topics slavery andequality. racial equality. and racial

WhichWhich state was first endto end statethe was thetofirst segregation in schools segregation in schools

What is Benjamin Banneker What is Benjamin Banneker famous for? famous for?

Above the Rim Above the Rim Coming to America to America Gone withComing the Wind Gone with the Wind Under the Cherry Moon Under the Cherry Moon

SouthSouth Carolina Carolina

He was one of the first famous african american doctors He was one of the first famous african american doctors

Washington State State Washington

He was a well known astronomer during the Civil Rights He was a well Movement known astronomer during the Civil Rights Movement

California California

He was the scientist who invented the gas mask which helped lives in who the second world war mask which helped Hesave was many the scientist invented the gas save many lives in the second world war

New York New York

He was an entirely self-educated African American who was an expert in He many fields of science and campaigned slavery was an entirely self-educated Africanagainst American who was an expert in many fields of science and campaigned against slavery

ack tory nth ivia

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Who said this?

Phillis Wheatley Frederick Douglas Harriet Tubman Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

What was the name of the first African American basketball team to play professionally? What was the name of the first African American basketball team to play professionally?

Which black singer is known as the “King of Pop”

The Red Devils

Ray Charles

The 12 Streeters


The Panthers

Michael Jackson

The Renaissance

Stevie Wonder

Answer: Michael Jackson Born in 1958 Michael Jackson was the eighth child. In the early 1980s, Jackson became a dominant figure in popular music. Since then he has been a huge influence on rock, pop, hip hop, and other modern styles of music. He has won hundreds of awards, making him the most award-winning artist in the history of popular music

Answer: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. An estimated 2500 students, faculty, and visitors heard this quote during King’s “The Future of Integration speech at Oberlin in 1964 during his 2nd visit to the school.

Answer: The Renaissance Also known as the Renaissance Big Five or the Rens, the team was established Feb. 13, 1923 by Robert Douglas in an agreement with the Renaissance Casino and Ballroom. They served as entertainment in the ballroom that doubled up as their home court. Before being disbanded in 1949, the Rens successfully defeated several Caucasian basketball teams in interracial matches that drew large crowds

Answer: Rosa Parks On December 1, 1995, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama for not giving up here seat to a white passenger on a bus. Although she was not the first person to be arrested for resisting bus segregation, Park’s actions became important symbols for the Civil Rights Movement. She died in 2005 at the age of 92.

Who is famous for standing up for African American rights and refusing to give up her seat on the bus?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Answer: Jackie Robinson On April 15 1947, Jackie Robinson started on first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, making him the first African American to play on a major league team since the 1880s. That play marked the end to racial segregation that had been prominent in baseball leagues for six decades

Answer: Jacob Lawrence Jacob Lawrence was only 23 years old when he painted the Great Migration. The series depicts the migration of African Americans from the rural south to the urban north during the mid 1990s.

Who was the famous person who became the first African American to play Major League Baseball?

In the 20th century, who painted The Migration Series?

Willie Mays

Jacob Lawrence

Rosa Parks

Jackie Robinson

Malcolm X.

Derek Jeter

Pres. Obama

Hank Aaron

Marcia Brady

Pres. Obama Frederick Thompson


Testing anxiety Samantha Philipp


opPOOM rience when in a situation where

performance really counts or A&E editor the person needs to do well. You have paid attention in For example, a person may feel class, done all your homework, nervous when they are going in studied hard, and you think for an interview for college or a you have a good understanding person may feel anxiety when on the material. But then, the trying out for a school play. day of the test comes. SuddenWhen a student experiences ly, you freeze up, go blank on all test anxiety the student may the questions, zone out, or feel feel a stomachache, a headache, so nervous that you cannot reor “butterflies”. Some people spond to the questions you knew may feel shaky, sweaty, or may the answers to the night before. experience a fast heart beat. Sound familiar? If so, you may A student with really strong have a case of test anxiety — test anxiety may even feel like that restless feeling that people passing out or throwing up. get immediately before a test. People who worry a lot or Of course, some stress and who are perfectionists are more nervousness is completely norlikely to have trouble with test mal before taking a test; everyanxiety. People with these traits body feels like this at one point sometimes find it hard to accept or another. Unfortunately, for mistakes they might make and some people this feeling is at an may panic about extreme. The getting anything nervousness less than a persome students fect score. In this feel before a way, even withtest can be so out meaning to, strong that they might really it interferes pressure themwith their conselves. centration or Photo courtesy of There are performance. The test format, Scantron, is used by many teachers. many ways to An annoyhelp treat test anxiety. If you mous student with test anxiety have problems with this perforsaid, “I always try my best to mance anxiety, you can always study ahead of time for tests, ask a teacher to take a test or but sometimes when I go to take quiz in a separate room to help the test, I forget everything I calm the nerves. Studying ahead studied the night before and of time is also known to reduce it’s really frustrating for me.” stress. If you are feeling stressed In fact, test anxiety is actualout, always feel free to ask a counly a type of performance anxiety selor, teacher, or friend for help. — a feeling someone may expeby

Sleeping Enough? by

Mithril Hugunin staff writer

As we walk the hallways of our school, sleep-deprived students dragging themselves to class are a common sight. However, these Islanders are inflicting this unnecessary suffering upon themselves. Do you suffer from sleep issues, or know anyone who does? Here is an idea: go to bed earlier! The common excuse for staying up late is, ‘I have events to attend, and sports and activities extend late into the night.’ “Homework kind of keep me up,” says a student who wishes to remain off the record, “I have to have a life.” This is a common sentiment, but I think that it is misguided. While sports and activities may seem important, sacrificing sleep degrades the quality of your next day. This also sets off a vicious cycle. If you are tired and sleep deprived, then you have trouble being productive and holding off the urge to lounge around. “Current research suggests that sleep is essential for proper memory function” is in an experiment write-up done by Harvard. With cognitive impairment, you end up having to do your homework late into the night, and are more tired than you were before. “Social media, yes,” says freshman Hannah Mills when asked what kept her up at night. One of the biggest problems that impede students when they are trying to fall asleep is the lure of a phone screen. When parents do not regulate use of electronics at night, teens will travel to the online universe. Cyberspace presents two problems. First,

looking at blue-white light will affect your circadian rhythms. According to the US National Library of Medicine, “most visible wavelengths can reset the clock, the blues do the job with the greatest efficiency” Second, having entertainment is a highly effective way to stay up late. If you are laughing or using your brain, your body will increase blood flow and you will stay alert. How do you get enough sleep? Avoid using luminescent electronics after you get in bed. Find rituals that work; for example, listening to soothing music every night right before falling asleep. Leave time during your day to get your homework done, do not over-schedule one morning or evening activities. Also, if you have too much homework to do in a day, ask for an extension. Teachers will often realize that you need an extra day, and allow you to stay healthy. If you have a real sleeping issue, like insomnia, then see a doctor. It is not actually very complicated, but you first need to realize that loss of sleep is a real issue that must be combatted. So next time you see someone asleep in class, or slumped in a corner, you might want to tell them to prioritize sleep. Sleep is about as important as water or food, and cannot be treated as a luxury to cut into every time you want a few extra hours. One or two nights a week of long evenings might be okay, but this easily stretches to become a regular habit. Save yourself from bleary and unfocused days, and start getting enough sleep today.

Junk food in school systems by

Jessica Waller staff writer

other schools, MIHS also offers a comprehensive athletics program open to all students. Yet junk foods abound at MIHS, beckoning students to indulge. Our Parent Teacher

In an effort to curb America’s obesity epidemic, the United States Deparment of Agricult u r e passed string e n t f o o d a n d b e v erage requirements regardi n g w h a t schools m a y o f f e r to stuSchool vending machines promote unhealthy eating habits in students. dents, known as “Smart Snacks in Association frequently shares Schools.” This program became treats with students in an effort effective in the 2014-15 school to make them feel welcome and year and is part of First Lady included. Campus clubs offer Michelle Obama’s focus on ado- foods (often doughnuts and pizlescent health. Over 20 percent za), classes have parties with of teens in the United States sweets and chips, the student are now overweight, according store sells decadent cookies and to the CDC. However, the nu- after-school events offer candy merous exceptions to the pro- and soda. This constant temptagram may swallow the rules, tion is difficult to avoid or resist. just as America’s teens swallow Part of the problem is that, unhealthy quantities of fats, according to the USDA websugars, and salt. Accordingly, site, the Smart Snacks in School Mercer Island High School stu- rules do not apply to special ocdents and teens nationwide are casions, like “off-campus fundunlikely to benefit from the pro- raisers, athletic events and gram. school plays or foods sold during MIHS seems to be on the non-school hours (30-mins afright track in terms of offer- ter school).” In fact, there is no ing healthier choices for meals regulation whatsoever on foods and snacks. The high school is brought from home, like cookies also educating students about for a class party, or donuts for a the health implications. The PTA event. Nor are there limits cafeteria serves fresh fruit and on the amount of these foods vegetables, the Yo! Zone vend- given to each student. A student ing machines in the sports cor- might enjoy candy in class early ridor, serve healthy snacks, in the day, cookies for a lunchand students are taught about time celebration, pizza and diet and exercise in mandato- cookies after lunch, and chips ry health and PE classes. Like during an extracurricular event.

These offerings are unhealthy, and unfair to teens, who often grab whatever is in front of them when hunger strikes. Limiting junk foods on campus does help reduce obesity. For example, in California, which i m posed strict rules on all foods a n d bevera g e s sold on c a m Photo courtesy of Endtime Headlines pus in 2007, on average, students consumed 158 fewer calories while at school, according to a 2012 study by Dr. Daniel R. Taber, assistant professor with the University of Texas Health Science Center. “I would definitely say that 158 calories is significant,” said Dr. Taber. “[The] evidence suggests the schools in California really have made healthier changes by getting rid of things like sweets and candy bars.” An extra 158 calories a day equates to over a pound a month for the average student in California. Junk food affects more than weight. Diets comprised of too much sugar, fat and salt impair a teen’s academic performance, according to a study published in the May 31, 2012 issue of “Pediatric,” the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. With all the harmful effects of unhealthy foods it is time our PTA, student leaders, extracurricular sponsors and student store begin honoring the spirit of the USDA program.

The controversial legacy of the outstanding Oscars by



February 27, 2015 w Lily Clugston staff writer

As winter comes to a close, the American public looks forward to crowding around the television to watch the Academy Awards. While the golden statue remains a highly coveted prize by all aspiring actors, directors, costume designers, as well as the other numerous nominees, many have started questioning the fairness of the Academy’s selection process and have rightfully called the Academy biased. The Academy has started to gain an underlying connotation of being a political game instead of truly honoring honest works of cinematic art. Academy award winners are the ones who move their audiences the most; whether this be emotionally or intellectually, which is why sentimental movies are a favorite. Blockbusters and films featuring a certain race or gender are favored as well. The winning film of the Best Picture award usually expresses how to

bypass social segregations such back Mountain”. Also, many of iconic films such as “Psycho”, as the main character finally ig- the Academy’s colleagues, prom- “North by Northwest”, and “Renoring society’s regulations and inent actors, played roles in becca”, never once won an Oscar carving their own path such as “Crash” and the movie also dealt for Best Director in his entire the winner of the 78th Academy with the heavily discussed topic career. Wes Anderson also has yet to receive Awards during an Academy 2002. Award despite Many were cultivating s h o c k e d modern cult when the classics such 78th Acadeas “The Royal my Awards Tenenbaums”. Best Picture Therefore, winner was the Academy announced, tends to choose e a r n i n g popularity, “Crash” the which means Oscar instead the same of “Brokeback kinds of acMountain”. tors over and While both Photo courtesy over again, were wellover bona fide made movies, Celebrities take a legendary selfie at the Oscars “Brokeback Mountain” was an of racism. Junior Rose Guttman talent because the blockbustexcellent film that everybody commented, “Every institution, er award-winning movie will thought was a shoo-in for the involved in Hollywood, or any sell better than a barely known movie. The Best Picture Oscar. One theory other case, is going to be biased award-winning why the movie lost was because anyway [so there’s no helping award ends up giving the movie the free marketing it needs many of the Academy’s mem- it].” Alfred Hitchcock, a prominent to sell a couple thousand more bers were uncomfortable with the homosexuality in “Broke- director who directed numerous copies of the movie. For exam-

ple, when the company Sony was hacked into “The Interview” become extremely popular and well-known. The Academy tends to ignore artistically superior works in favor of those that will sell the most copies with the new added title of “Academy Award Winners” plastered on the fancy bluray cover. By popular opinion the Oscar will go to who is most politically relevant at the time since Hollywood is a very selective and picky community. Iris Beatondoyle, junior, said that the Academy is “biased towards the way they only choose mainstream films and neglect international films [in favor for American ones] and independent films.” Thus, the fact that the nominees would all be very similar makes sense and their movies and characters even more so. Therefore, to finally decide which nominee should win the golden statues, boils down to a popularity contest in the end.

Sam Lachow-Huckleberry Locally-based rapper Sam Lachow debuted in the local underground rap scene in 2001, and has since grown in popularity with a variety of listeners. Lachow’s crossover appeal has allowed him to work with talented artists such as Arianna DeBoo, Gifted Gab, Mario Sweet, Magik, Ryan Campbell and Raz Simone. “Huckleberry” is an example of West Coast rap with its incorporation of more laid back beats and harmony. While Lachow has his party songs like “Action Figures” and “Cadillacs & Videos”, he still balances out the album with tracks like “Stolen Bikes.” Each of Lachow’s songs tells a story that makes each song interesting to listen to. Tracks to check out: Banana Goo Pie, Cadillacs, Dreams of Gold For fans of: Ground Up, Knowmads, Sol

ODESZA- In Return Practice makes perfect. Sometimes an album leaves you in shock because you have never heard anything like it. Other times the album incorporates elements from music you love and combines them so amazingly that it transcends those influences all together. This is the case with local indie electronica (or chillwave) duo ODESZA’s third album “In Return”. Formed in 2012 at Western Washington University, the pair have developed a strong local following. They consistently manage to take a spin on indie electronica music by adding a heavier beat but still being able to keep the dreamier side intact. The duo’s second album “Summer’s Gone” was stereotypical chillwave music, but was nothing compared to “In Return” in which the sound is more focused and diversified. Tracks to check out: Say My Name (feat. Zyra), Sun Models, All We Need (feat. Shy Girls) For fans of: Flume, Chet Faker, Glass Animals

Glass Animals- ZABA “ZABA” successfully transports listeners into the wild world of Glass Animals. The first few songs can be overwhelming at first with the incorporation of cultural beats, echoing vocals, jazzy harmonies, hip hop beats and hard to pinpoint sounds, but eventually the tracks are woven together by deep electronics, varied percussions and smooth jazz. This album is gorgeous, bizarre, playful and dark. It has an element of danger in the music. With its subtle, malevolent and utterly charming tunes, “ZABA” is Glass Animals best album so far, and an album that will be listened to for years to come. Tracks to check out: Gooey, Pools, Black Mambo For fans of: ODESZA, Chet Faker, AlunaGeorge

Schoolboy Q- Oxymoron Quincy Matthew Hanley, better known by his stage name Schoolboy Q and the man who inspired the bucket hat trend, released his most popular album “Oxymoron” in 2014. Schoolboy Q has been rapping since 2007, his mixture of stoner anthems and socially conscious numbers draw in the attention of listeners everywhere and have made his music fairly popular. Schoolboy Q notes The Notorious B.I.G., Nas and 50 Cent as his biggest influences, but the California lifestyle can easily be heard in his voice, slang and content. His artistic ability to combine the two produces a product that makes every track on his new dark and abstract album stand out. For for fans of: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, Vince Staples Tracks to check out: Collard Greens (feat. 2 Chainz), The Purge (feat. Tyler, The Creator, Kurupt)

Ty Segall - Manipulator Ty Segall is known as a musical genius. His latest album “Manipulator” is a melting pot of all his influences. “Manipulator” features 17 tracks, which normally may be too much for some albums, but when it comes to the work of Ty Segall, 17 tracks is not enough. Manipulator reminds fans that Ty Segall knows how to create rock & roll, but he proves he knows a lot more. Somehow, Segall manages to incorporate every significant development in rock ‘n’ roll from the 70’s. Although Segall draws influences from music 30 years ago, his lyrics demonstrate his views on modern technology. As to be expected from someone who hasn’t updated his twitter in nine months, his lyrics describe his problems with dependence on technology. This ‘70s-inspired madness results in Segall’s best and most pleasurable album to date. For fans of: Thee Oh Sees, White Fence, Sic Alps, Kurt Vile Tracks to check out: Tall Man Skinny Lady, Susie Thumb, Feel, Manipulator

Compiled by Jane Gormley and Isabella Murillo

Hey Islanders, we’ve got a website! Come visit us at: every Monday and Thursday for new content. Student Features


Are you an artist? Athlete? Actor? All around interesting person? We’d like to introduce you, in all your glory, to the school with a short interview.

Looking for some new music? Wondering what kind of music your teachers listen to? We’ll be posting playlists compiled by our staff, the high school staff, and even other students that you can enjoy on our Soundcloud.

Make sure to follow us on our Facebook page and our Twitter so you can be updated when we post!


And much more!

There are just too many movies to watch, books to read, and shows to see for the small amount of time we have as high school students. Let our staff help you narrow down your choices by watching, reading, and then reviewing all these things so you don’t have to waste any of your precious free time on entertainment that doesn’t entertain.


Editors in chief: Richard Chess Isabella Murillo Features Editor: Helena Shield Sports Editor: Sean Bender Spread Editor: Complied by all editors Opinions Editor: Isabella Murillo A&E Editor: Samantha Philipp Back Page Editor: Isabella Murillo Online Editor: Jane Gormley Photo Editor: Samantha Philipp Staff Writers: Lily Clugston Mithril Hugunin Jessica Waller Corinne Wheeler Adviser: Chris Twombley

We’re still experimenting with this new platform so you can expect us to come up with even more new content as we progress. We love feedback so if you have any ideas, or would like to contribute, please send us an email or stop by room 502A during 5th period!

Events Looking for something to do in the greater Seattle area? Come visit our events calendar! Here, we’ll be posting cool events such as shows, conventions, volunteer events, and everything in between for you and your friends to enjoy. You can help fill it up by shooting us an email to let us know about fun events you think would interest other students.

Editorial Policy

The Islander accepts and welcomes feedback from its readers. Anyone wishing to submit to The Islander must e-mail his submission to or deliver it by hand to Chris Twombley. All submissions must be submitted two weeks before the next publication date, which can be found at any of our distribution boxes. All handwritten submissions must be signed to be considered for publication. No submissions will be published anonymously. All submissions become property of MIHS Islander.


To provide news to the Mercer Island High School student body and members of the surrounding community in a manner that accurately reflects the readers’ interests.


To print an ad in a future issue of The Islander, contact Business Manager Richard Chess at for rates and more information.

Continuous Nondiscrimination Notifications The Mercer Island School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups.

The following people have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Coordinator: Dr. Gary Plano, Superintendent, (206) 236-3300 Title IX Compliance Coordinator: Dean Mack, CFO/COO, (206) 236-4522 Section 504 & ADA Coordinator: Lindsay Myatich, Director, (206) 236-3326 Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator: Mark Roschy, Director, (206) 236-3439

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Islander Edition IV Issue 3  

Islander Edition IV Issue 3  

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