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SPORTS: Track looks ahead to conference championship ~ page 13

A&E: Matt Kearny Plays Sharp Threater ~ page 8

THE RAMAPO NEWS Haitian Students Share Their Stories

A publication by the students for the Ramapo College community

THURSDAY, February 18, 2010

XL No. 14

Raw Footage Depicts the Devastation

By KAITLIN MCGUINNESS Staff Writer

Students of the Jacmel Cine Institute came to Ramapo Wednesday to screen their film that depicts the destruction wrought by the earthquake in Haiti. The students of the Jacmel Ciné Institute “survived, and they’re the ones who went out with cameras and shot most of the footage we saw on American television,” said visual arts Professor Shalom Gorewitz. In the wake of the earthquake, relief efforts focused mainly on the Haitian capital, Portau-Prince. “Nobody came to rescue anybody in this neighborhood,” student Bayard Jean Bernard said. “As filmmakers, we wanted to tell this to the international community,” Ebby Angel Louis said. The students sought to draw attention to the need in Jacmel by filming people trapped under rubble, searching for loved ones and walking through the devastation. Their raw footage showed corpses and people struggling to survive. Many people had yet to be moved, and many injured people needed medical attention despite a dwindling supply of medicine and supplies. Jacmel is the cultural capital of Haiti, containing artists, musicians and film students. Cine Institute opened in 2008 for students to continue their education after high school

Viewers Find Unique Experiences in ABCʼs “Lost” see HAITI on page 6

By KERI ANN FLACCOMIO Staff Writer

Is the real John Locke truly dead? Did the explosion work? Does everyone get off the island in the end? The speculation swirled as the final season premiere of the television series “Lost” intrigued fans who have been waiting six years to have their questions answered. More than 15 million people tuned in on Feb. 2 to watch the three-hour season six premiere, beginning with a one-hour recap, and finishing off with a two-hour episode that, for many devoted fans, raised more questions than it answered. First airing on ABC on Sept. 22, 2004, “Lost” is a serial drama that tells the story of

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

48 survivors who are stranded on an island in the South Pacific when Oceanic Flight 815 unexpectedly crashes en route from Sydney to Los Angeles. The episodes use the flashback, flash-forward and, most recently, flash-sideways to provide background information and advance the story. The recap introduced the main characters: Jack, the doctor and leader; Kate, the fugitive; Sawyer, the con man; Sayid, the Iraqi torturer; and Locke, the man searching for faith. It also explained the major storyline: Researchers on the island 30 years prior had drilled into an energy pocket, causing the plane crash in 2004. After 108 days, some survivors returned home from the island, but ultimately came back—with some time traveling to the 1970’s—in an attempt to save

those left behind by detonating a hydrogen bomb and preventing the “incident.” This season picks up with two storylines unfolding at once—one with the characters still on the island, and one where their flight never crashes. “I thought that it raised a big thematic question of the entire series,” said Kelly Dolak, who teaches The New TV Criticism as a professor in the School of Contemporary Arts at Ramapo. “If you have lived through a traumatic experience and yet gained so much insight into yourself and the human condition, but were given the chance to change the past and not go through the pain, would you do it?” “[The characters] are given the opportunity—they think—to change what happened

and have the plane land safely in Los Angeles and not crash on the island,” Dolak added. “That would mean they wouldn’t have met one another and experienced this difficult journey.” With the passing of each season, “Lost” has had an infectious appeal. Many who hear about the hype, even now, make an effort to start watching the show from the first season and catch up with regular viewers. According to a 2009 press release from Nielsen Online’s VideoCensus, “Lost” was the most-watched show online in December 2008, with 1.425 million viewers watching at least part of an episode. But with so much happening at once, many see LOST on page 6


Queer Love Week Begins, PRIDE Provokes Ramapo Thought

Page 2 The Ramapo News

By AMY FEZZA Staff Writer

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Poran and PRIDE Discuss the Construct of Queer Virginity

Even though Valentine’s Day has come to an end, the members of Ramapo PRIDE felt it necessary to prolong the holiday. They decided to celebrate all week. This is the first Queer Love Week at Ramapo College and the members of PRIDE are hoping that it leaves a lasting impression. “This is something fun to do, so why not?” President of the PRIDE Ali Melillo said. To kick off Queer Love Week, an open

“It is un-freaking-believable to see this. When I was a student here, there were underground meetings. This is truly amazing to see.” - Maya Poran

discussion was conducted for both the gay community and the rest of the Ramapo community to gain a better understanding of what queer virginity is. “In this discussion people will be able to get a better understanding on the social construction of it and how we can define it from a queer perspective,” Melillo said. The discussion was held in a classroom in the Anisfield School of Business, and the environment was far from a mundane classroom-like atmosphere. The chairs that are usually stationed in rows were placed against the walls, so that everyone could interact with each participant of the

event. “This is informal. The main focus here today is to interact and to get involved,” Melillo said. Everyone introduced himself or herself

cross-legged underneath the desk. She started the discussion talking about her surprise with the turnout and strength of the organization as a whole. “It is un-freaking-believable to see this.

photo by Amy Fezza

PRIDE and students of the Ramapo community discuss queer virginity in a non-judgemental, informal and friendly classroom. as the group ate pizza provided by the organization. The setup had an informal and laidback feel, which gave the participants a chance to express their true emotions on topics without holding back. The group quickly got to know one another in the friendly atmosphere. “I’m interested in hearing what she would have to say about a topic such as this, she’s extremely intelligent,” Secretary of PRIDE, Missy Feldman said. Maya Poran, Associate Professor of Psychology at Ramapo, was the head speaker and leader of the discussion of the complexity of queer virginity. She sat

When I was a student here, there were underground meetings. This is truly amazing to see.” Two of the main questions that were hoped to be answered were: what do we think virginity is, as well as how does our notion affect our experiences? Poran added some light humor. “Penetration is key in this chat. It’s between the V and the P,” Poran said. This started conversation on social status. Stereotypical issues were addressed in a heterosexual manner in order to create a roadmap for the main discussion. “There are a lot of reasons as to why

people have sex, but the primary reason is usually pressure,” said Poran, “Sexual desires are very, very complex and don’t always wait for hard understandings.”

The participants forgot they were in a “scheduled discussion.”

The true question, however was: how do you know what your sexual preference is if you haven’t “tried” both? “Certain forms of penetration need to occur in order for the same sex to know what their sexual orientation is,” Poran said. People had opened up about trying to come to the “realization” as to what they preferred. They thought that if they had sexual intercourse with the opposite sex, they would be “cured.” “We all have weird ways of knowing who we are, but we know in the end,” Poran said. “Sex is defined by who has it and what they do,” said Melillo. In the end, whatever someone performs or believes they have accomplished is what sex is to someone in the gay community. In the end, the participants had seemed to forget that they were at a “scheduled discussion” and felt as though they were talking amongst friends at a typical college hangout. Discussing a topic such as sex was not terrifying, but a chance for people to engage and to ask questions without feeling insecure.

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A New Structure to the Old Honors Curriculum By DIANA STANCZAK Staff Writer

In spring 2008, the Ramapo College Honors Program was redesigned and an experimental pilot program was introduced. Based upon its success, a new Honors curriculum was set in place for the 2009-2010 school year under the direction of Dr. Marta Vides. Ramapo has had an Honors program for over 12 years, and the structure of the new curriculum is its big change. The former program revolved around the Honors-Option, also called H-Option. “H-Options are projects linked to courses in the student’s major or related to it,” Vides said. The H-Option Program featured two tracks for Honors Graduation: a certificate in Honors, and Honors with Distinction. To receive a certificate in Honors, a student needed to complete three H-Options: one at the 200 level, and two at the 300 or 400 level. To achieve Honors with Distinction, a student had to complete these same requirements in addition to a senior project. All H-Option projects had to receive a grade of either H+ or H, which translated into A or A- quality work. If a student did not fulfill this requirement, honors credit was not given. The senior project for Honors with Distinction required six credits of independent study, a faculty sponsor and two additional faculty readers to support and offer feedback on the student’s work. Vidas said that the new College Honors

Program is more structured than the HOption Program. There are three requirements for this program: the completion of four Honors-level courses, a senior project and civic engagement. One Honors-level course is offered each semester, which means that a student on a four-year plan needs to take only one course per school year; however, if a College Honors student wants to exceed this minimum, he or she may do so. The senior project is similar to the HOption Program because it requires a Faculty Sponsor and two Faculty Readers to assist with the completion of the student-designed project. “The College Honors Program emphasizes mentoring,” Vides said. Civic engagement is the biggest change to the College Honors Program. “Students are expected to work to support the College Honors Program and also work within the College, their local community or wider community on projects for the good of their community,” Vides said. In order to encourage an intellectual environment, the redesigned program includes an Honors suite in A-110 where students can work on projects and co-curricular activities, as well as meet other College Honors students to discuss ideas about civic engagement. An example of civic engagement is the Professor Swap held on March 15-19. Created by senior Aaron Rampersadsingh, a member of the College Honors Executive board, and

other members of the Honors Program, the event is a chance for 50 professors to swap classes for one session. The idea is that since Ramapo is a Liberal Arts College, each professor can teach something of value in subjects outside of his or her specialty. “Engaging the curiosity of students and faculty on joint projects of interest to them means bringing them out of their comfort zones,” Vides said. Currently, freshmen in the Honors Program are following the new curriculum, while sophomores, juniors and seniors have the option of following the new curriculum or finishing their college careers on the H-Option track. “With only one H-option left to complete, I personally felt most comfortable continuing on the old track and finishing up with a final H-option project,” junior Jackie Ostrander said, a member of the College Honors Student Executive Board. Senior Lori Gough sees the benefit of both programs and is involving herself in both, an option available to those graduating by spring of 2012. “The classes [for the new curriculum] are better for going in depths on topics, but the H-Options are better for delving into a particular subject that you enjoy as opposed to being limited to specific classes,” Gough said. Vides emphasized that the key ideas of the College Honors Program are based upon “intellectual, creative and moral engagement,” rather than high grades. “Strong academic performance will

Thursday, February 18, 2010

come if the passion is there,” she said. While many students choose to join the College Honors Program as incoming freshmen, current students with at least four semesters left are encouraged to apply. Information about the application process and interview can be found on the College’s Web site.

CORRECTION: Last week’s article, “SGA Creates Haiti Relief Student Planning Committee” was written by Krysta Daniels.

The Ramapo News cordially extends an offer to any aspiring journalist, photographer or critic to come to SC-218 for the opportunity of a lifetime. Mondays & Wednesdays 7:15 p.m.

International Institute Gives Opportunities to HS Students By ANGELA DIMARI Staff Writer

Ramapo College will introduce a new International Studies Institute this summer for interested high school students. Due to a strong student interest and an uncertain budget for the Governor’s School this year, a similar program through CIPL was developed through the College’s Center for Innovative and Professional Learning. The new RCISI program will continue as an in-depth learning experience with the goal of encouraging intellectual stimulation, positive self-image, as well as challenges that are worked on as groups to teach exploration of thoughts and personal involvement. Available to rising high school juniors and seniors, and now New Jersey residents, the program consists of courses covering globally-related topics. The program also consists of workshops and seminars. The participants will have the opportunity to

learn negotiations and diplomacy through stimulation in which they will prepare country briefs and be assigned specific problems. Dr. Jeremy Geller, who is the director, and has been with Ramapo College for 18 months, explains that the participants “will need to prepare statements on the

The new RCISI program will continue as an in-depth learning experience with the goal of encouraging intellectual stimulation, positive self-image. basis of the country they are studying and the position they take. They will learn to work closely and intensively in groups and apply real data to hypothetical yet real problems.” Ramapo is aiming high, and expects that students

will gain an appreciation of living and non-living systems, enriched personal awareness and understanding, personal responsibility and a set moral stance, and a reorganization of what could be to come. This new program is currently advertised through electronic and paper mailings to schools. About 30 students are expected, and they will live on campus for two weeks this summer. “There will be meetings dealing with fun stuff, there will be a farewell dance,” Dr. Geller said. There will also be much more, including an alumni BBQ, talent show, and even tango. Dr. Geller is also looking for two paid assistants, preferably Ramapo students. They must have an interest in International studies, and a plus would be if they are already International Studies Majors. They must be serious about the academic content “but good role models for the fun/camp councilor aspects as well,” Dr. Geller said.


Page 4 The Ramapo News

Roving

Reporter

Thursday, February 18, 2010

“Who would win in a fight: George Washington or Barack Obama?” Question and Photographs by Erica Buchman

“George Washington because he's the 18th Century equivalent of Chuck Norris.” -Albert Camwell Sophomore

“George Washington because he has serious muscle mass from chopping down that cherry tree.” -Ysabel Dela Riva Freshman

“I think it would be an even match. You don't want to mess with either of them.” -Nicole Prisco Freshman

“George Washington because he's a total badass.” -Ross Yellin Sophomore

“George Washington because he has actual combat experience.” -Jason Kenyon Junior

Always Greener: Dining Services Dish Out Sustainability

By BRYAN KAMINSKY Staff Writer

Whether it is using less packaging, recycling or offering alternative choices of food in their locations, it is noticeable that Ramapo College Dining Services has done a lot to practice sustainability. Dining Services is one of the departments of the Ramapo College administration taking steps to be green. Dining Services uses “Xpress Naps” napkins, which are eco-certified. Some lesser known food options dining services offer are cage-free eggs used in the Pavilion, tofu which can be taken from the salad bar and brought to other stations such as the grilling station to be cooked with a meal and a gluten-free freezer. Dining Services also has products and packaging available that are more environmentally-friendly than other options. The new Poland Spring water bottles with a 30 percent reduction in materials (plastic) are available for purchase on campus. Also offered are Seattle’s Best and Starbucks coffee cups, which are made from ten percent post-consumer recycled paper. Organic Fair Trade coffee is brewed in all of their locations on campus except for the Birch Tree Inn and the Pavilion. Other efforts by the department including printer cartridges, fryer oils, cardboard and waste paper are recycled. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) are used in locations permissible by code to replace incandescent bulbs which require significantly more energy to operate. They also recycle all non-contaminated glass, aluminum, tin and plastic in their

locations. Recycling receptacles are placed near garbage bins in the Atrium, as well as in other locations. Recent changes made in dining services include tray-free dining, which began in 2009. This reduces the amount of waste and water used in the dining locations. Another change is the newly purchased ice machines in the Student Center that are aircooled. This change saves on water usage compared to the water-cooled machines used in the past. A sustainable program for coffee and tea service, Aspretto, was introduced in spring 2010 to offer a more sustainable hot beverage option. Dining Services also made efforts to ensure that lower packing waste for their chemicalware washing products from Apex were made available. In the past, the bags of dish washing chemicals came in big plastic containers, but now they are delivered without the container. Ramapo College Dining Services works with 1STEP (Students Together for Environmental Progress) to educate students through cooperative programming. Some past programs were offered in the Pavilion for late night dining. Alternative eco-products were used instead of paper plates and plastic-ware, as well as organic salad bars and other alternative food options. Point of sale information on waste reduction was also offered in resident dining halls for students to read information to become more aware. Positive changes have been made in the ways of marketing, catering, transporting and ordering product operations to reduce waste. One change is a new catering guide, which was produced on a CD and Web site,

instead of paper copies. The large monthly marketing calendars were printed using soy ink and recycled paper. Soy ink is produced from soybeans and is more environmentally friendly than regular ink, which is petroleum-based. Their new marketing program also allows for “print on demand,” reducing the number of units shipped to dining services. Dining Services works with vendor partners to replace bulky invoice messaging for products with e-invoicing or thermal imaging printing to minimize paper waste created. Some of the vendors they work with are Pepsi, Coke, Crystal Springs and Jack and Jill ice cream. Dining Services chooses to work with vendors who are trying to be greener and practice sustainability as well. Its main vendor for all frozen potato products, McCain, focuses on “increasing their efficiency and use of renewable energy, driving system wide water reductions, improving their packaging to incorporate renewable and recycled materials and support local farmers.” Their prime vendor AFI joined up with SMART WAY Transportation Partnership to reduce carbon emissions during transport. In the past, separate deliveries were made to the Pavilion and the Student Center, but now, collective deliveries from vendors are made to the two locations. The Convenience Store (C-Store) located in the Trustees Pavilion has made positive efforts as well. The C-Store has been “bagless” for a few semesters and has been featuring reusable bags at $1 per bag. People are encouraged to reuse their bags when they come to the C-Store instead of purchas-

ing new ones each time. A complete line of Ecover cleaning products has been available at the C-Store since fall 2008; these items include dish soap and all-purpose cleaner. On their company Web site, Ecover says, “We produce our washing and cleaning products in an ecological, economic, and socially responsible way.” In spring 2010, local and organic snacks were introduced in the C-Store. These snacks include crackers, chips, salsa, cereal, and more. There are also some vegan and gluten free products available. Some of these products are from Full Circle Foods, which according to their Web site, “brings a natural goodness to all your meals and snacks” and “offer natural and organic foods.” Dining Services also sells reusable mugs. The mugs have the Dining Services logo on it, and cost $5.99. With this mug, coffee refills are 89 cents. The department has done a lot to be greener and practice sustainability. They plan on continuing to do so in the future. One way to make a small difference on and off campus is to support Dining Services in their efforts to create a more sustainable future.

Want to be greener?

Robert Burke will speak about his green auto spa and wind energy legislation on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. in the Alumni Lounges.


Eating Disorder Awareness Week Educates Ramapo

Page 5 The Ramapo News By JILL GRIMALDI Staff Writer

The Women’s Center will observe their second annual Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign starting next week. The event, beginning in 2007, was created by Women’s Center employees Michelle Cresci and Rebecca Garrabarant. “I started EDAW because my best friend in high school struggled with an eating disorder privately for a year. She had no resources and did not feel like she could confide in anyone,” said Michelle Cresci, “I want to make sure that Ramapo students

“I’m planning on going to Female Friendly Funk because I believe what’s inside a person is more important than what’s on the outside.” -Rachel Halpern, freshman

know the dangers of eating disorders and disordered eating, especially on college campuses and why they exist. Also, I want students to know that there are resources out there and where they can get help.” The campaign, lasting for two weeks, will begin with Female Friendly Funk on Feb. 25. The first half of the event will be an Eating Disorder speak-out and vigil, followed with Open Mic. Night. “Events like this are important because unlike other issues college kids face, eating disorders generally [remain] unspoken,” Cresci said, “Many people struggle with this terrible disease and don’t know how or where to get help. Also, I have found that many people are just uninformed about eating disorders and body image issues.” On March 3, the Women’s Center will be presenting Bare Confessions, a student

written and produced show about body image, in the Sharp Theatre. The monologues encompass a variety of topics, from eating disorders to self-mutilation. Tickets are currently on sale for Bare Confessions at Roadrunner Central for $2; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Profits from the show will be split between The National Eating Disorders Association and towards funding for next year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign. “This is a show that everyone can take something away from,” said Amanda Castro Conroy, one of the directors for Bare Confessions, “You can’t help but relate to at least one of the stories.” Lady Aye, a performer and professional sword swallower, is coming to Ramapo on March 4 to talk about her decade-long struggle with bulimia and how it affected her practice. She will also perform a free show in the Alumni Lounges at 8 p.m. On March 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Ramapo will launch the first Women’s Day Conference. The conference is cosponsored with several other campus organizations. In honor of the Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign, the conference’s theme will be “Beauty: Inside and Out.” Workshop topics include “Body Image and Sexuality,” “Beauty in the Eye of the Camera: Media’s Impact on Body Image” and “Intersectionality of Race and Beauty” to name a few. This event will conclude the Eating Disorder Awareness Campaign. “I’m planning on going to the Female Friendly Funk because I believe what’s inside a person is more important than what is on the outside. I’m going to speak out about body image,” first-year student Rachel Halpern said. “My hopes for this year are to raise awareness,” Cresci said, “If I can help one person realize they are not alone in their struggle, then I feel like the week is a success. “

Ramapo Reacts: Hearts for Haiti

Thursday, February 18, 2010

By AMY FEZZA Staff Writer

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, three organizations here on campus had put their minds together for an inspiring philanthropy. Hearts for Haiti was a fundraiser benefiting the victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Through the purchases of gifts for Valentine’s Day, many people of the Ramapo community seemed intrigued and willing to help with contributions that not only benefitted themselves but also people in need. The earthquake that struck Haiti left many victims without proper medical care and basic everyday essentials. People have lost their homes, as well as love ones to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Many people at Ramapo are helping out by raising money through creative fundraisers. Hosted in the Fishbowl, SGA, Kappa Sigma and Delta Phi Epsilon set up a table filled with Valentine treats. “We are all joining together with this project due to its importance in world affairs, as well as to the students, faculty, and staff who have been affected here at Ramapo,” Tom Ng said, SGA president. Reasonably priced chocolate assortments, sweet candy, roses, messages and songs were items featured at the charity table. This particular setup made the holiday gift shopping experience much less chaotic for students rushing to get last minute gifts. Rather than driving to the mall or going to a local Hallmark store, students were able to purchase their essential needs right on campus. What made this fundraiser so unique was not only having convenient purchases available to the people of Ramapo, but

also that all items were delivered personally by members of the fraternity Kappa Sigma. The brothers dressed as Cupid. “Everyone is looking to help out with this disaster. It’s a horrible thing and the more help, the better. If we can help out by dressing like Cupid’s, than that’s what we’ll do,” Ken Rodenheiser said, a sophomore and member of Kappa Sigma. This was a chance for sentimental gifts to be delivered to love ones on an important holiday and more importantly help the

“Everyone is looking to help out with this disaster. It’s a horrible thing, and the more help, the better.” - Ken Rodenheiser, sophomore

victims of Haiti through the earnings of this charity. All of the proceeds collected from this event went to the American Red Cross Association in order to get help out to the victims as quickly as possible. “I had received suggestion about a Haiti fundraiser from some brothers and thought it would be a great idea,” said Alfie Tolli, Community Service Chair of Kappa Sigma, “I feel that this event will be very successful because most people’s attention are turned toward the Haiti incident and it is clearly one of the most pressing current issues that we face today.” “Its wonderful to see so many passionate about a cause and willing to step up, and SGA wants to ensure it does its job by helping to create opportunities for students to help those in need,” said Ng.

Child Obesity Rate Doubled Before Easing Off By MOLLY PETERSON Washington Post

WASHINGTON - The rate of childhood obesity and chronic health problems doubled in the United States from 1988 to 2006 with fewer cases toward the end of the study consistent with a recent leveling off, researchers found. Children ages 8 to 14 showed an obesity rate of 15.8 percent at the end of 2006, compared with 8.3 percent in a similar period that ended in 1994, according to a study published online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The overall rate of chronic childhood health conditions including obesity, asthma and behavioral or learning problems increased to 26.6 percent from 12.8 percent during the same years. The report comes a week after first lady Michelle Obama began a nationwide campaign against childhood obesity, urging American youths to get more exercise and develop healthier eating habits. Another

study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January reported the rise in obesity levels for children, while high, may have leveled off in the decade ended in 2008 at about 17 percent. "We can speculate that because of the increased attention to obesity in recent years, children may actually be making better food choices, have better nutrition, exercise more and spend less time in front of the television and the computer with video games," said Jeanne Van Cleave, the report's lead author. For most of the 5,001 children tracked in Tuesday's research, the chronic health conditions weren't permanent, Van Cleave, a pediatrician at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston and Harvard Medical School, said in an interview. "Half of all children in the U.S. will have a chronic condition during childhood," she said. "But a lot of these conditions resolve over time." Tuesday's study analyzed data collected during six-year periods from three consecu-

tive groups of children who participated in a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey that began in 1979. The study began tracking the first group in 1988, the second in 1994 and the third in 2000. For all of the groups combined, less than 38 percent of the children who had chronic conditions at the beginning of the observation period still had them after six years. "Many conditions in children tend to wax and wane," said Neal Halfon, director of UCLA's Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities. "Even those that get better can, down the line, end up having problems because of the nature of the issues." Another study from CDC found obesity rates may have hit a plateau toward the end of the decade ended in 2008. That study found about 17 percent of children ages 2 to 19 were obese, with the heaviest boys ages 6 to 19 continuing to gain weight over the decade while others leveled off. "The leveling off really speaks to increased attention to childhood obesity recently," Van

Cleave said. President Barack Obama signed an executive order Feb. 9 directing federal departments to come up with a plan within 90 days on how to make federal nutritional and health data more accessible to the public. The same day, Michelle Obama announced a new federal Web site, www.LetsMove.gov, that emphasizes physical activity and more healthful meals in schools. The site also offers tips to help parents choose more nutritional foods for their children. "I think she's trying to highlight that it's not just all about eating or exercise," Halfon, who co-authored an editorial that accompanied the study in the journal, said of the first lady's initiative. "It's about having places where people can exercise. It's not just about individual behaviors, but about the systems we have in place -- the health system, the education system, the nutrition system." Tuesday's study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the CDC. With assistance from Roger Runningen in Washington and Meg Tirrell in New York.


Viewers Hope Final Season of “Lost” Answers Their Questions Page 6 The Ramapo News

Continued from page 1

wonder how “Lost” fans keep up with the show, why they bother to keep watching and what keeps the ratings increasing. “I think the key element in making the show successful is the hold out of answers until now,” said junior Katie Agresti. “It has created a fan base that just has to find out what happens.” Junior Jackie Ostrander agrees that the desire for answers has been a big factor in the show’s success. “The best aspect of this show has to be its suspense factor,” she said. “The plot is unpredictable and exciting and the characters are each unique. I also like the overreaching and classic themes of the show—like good vs. evil—that are incorporated in clever, and

“For some, a return home would be a catastrophe. For some, a joy. I don’t know how I want it to end possibly because I don’t want it to end. In any event, I want to be blown away by the ending.” - Bob Sproul, convener and assistant professor of social sciences and human services

usually subtle, ways.” Dolak believes that the open-ended story approach used in “Lost” and the strong development of the main characters have allowed viewers to relate to the show by forming their own interpretations and making personal connections with the characters. “The complex characters and diverse life

Thursday, February 18, 2010

experiences set this show apart from other TV programs,” she said. “Also, its exploration of what it would mean to start over and to get a second chance. Each character helps the other explore who they are.” Freshman Stephanie Onder began

and exist beyond college students and those who specialize in media studies. Robert Sproul, convener and assistant professor of social sciences and human services at Ramapo, has watched every episode of the show. Sproul said he even

photo courtesy of ABC

The promotional poster for the final season of “Lost” featured the cast in an imitation of “The Last Supper.”

watching past episodes of “Lost” online. After missing the first three seasons on television, she has caught up in time to watch new episodes as they air. She considers herself a seven or eight on a scale of one to ten for how big of a fan she is. “I started watching it when my junior or sophomore English teacher used ‘Lost’ as an example of a book we were reading,” she said. “The first season got me hooked and I could never stop watching it since. I keep watching because I just love all the characters and some things need to be cleared for me.” Aside from watching the show, Onder owns a “Lost” calendar, game, puzzle and posters. Fans can buy merchandise, find episode guides, chat with other viewers and explore the show further on the “Lost” Web site. “Lost” fans comprise a wide age range,

“had to get both [John] Lockes in the discussion at least briefly” during his History of Social Thought class last week. “I don’t even remember what drew me to the first one,” he said. “I guess I’m an old Robinson Crusoe/Lord of the Flies fan and decided to give it a shot.” After watching the show on its original airdates for the first few seasons, Sproul grew tired of the commercials. He now records the show when it airs and watches the following day, fast-forwarding through commercials to minimize the wait for answers. Although “Lost” fans share many common interests, each hopes for a different outcome when episode 121—the series finale—airs on May 23, 2010. “For some, a return home would be a catastrophe. For some, a joy,” said Sproul. “I don’t know how I want it to end

possibly because I don’t want it to end. In any event, I want to be blown away by the ending.” “My only hope,” said Ostrander, “is that it reaches a conclusive ending and I can stop wondering what that black smoke is all about, why there are so many John Lockes, and how all of the characters’ lives turn out.” Agresti wants questions answered on a broad spectrum: What is going to happen to everyone on the island? Why did they have to be there in the first place? How does the island make connections with people? “I hope that all the answers to questions will be resolved and it ends without leaving the audience hanging,” she said. Onder wants to see some characters from the past and hopes the show ends with them remaining on the island. And then there is Dolak, who represents the fans who hope “Lost” will stay true to form, leaving them wondering and theorizing. “I hope that it ends ambiguously,” she said. “I don’t want any easy answers. The series as a whole avoids easy wrap-ups and answers, and I wouldn’t want the writers to go there now.”

Missing out on “Lost?”

Catch up on ABC.com or Hulu.com.

Missed last week’s episode? Catch it Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on ABC before the new episode premieres at 9 p.m.

Students From Haitian Institute Present Film to Ramapo

Continued from page 1

without having to leave the province. When the earthquake hit, the Institute and all of its facilities were destroyed. The diligent film students immediately got to work, filming the devastation and disseminating the images via Internet. “I had a mission,” said student Ebby Angel Louis. “It was to grab my camera and record people’s suffering.” Bernard spoke about trying to spread awareness of the devastation and the importance of trying to help the country. People were injured and buried in the rubble, he said. “We could not just film while we see someone struggling; you help.” The students presented a documentary, in its entirety, of the footage they collected,

narrated in French and set to Haitian music. “Through the power of film, the Institute provides a voice to the victims of the Haitian earthquake,” a voiceover to the disturbing images said. The students are in America after assisting in the creation of the new “We Are the World” video to benefit the victims of the earthquake. Student Jocelyne Firmin spoke of how joyful they were to be working on this project and how the Haitian people needed opportunities like this, rather than mere sympathy, in order to sustain themselves. Paul Haggis, director of the video, has been connected to the Ciné Institute for a long time and asked them to lend their footage and get involved. “[As an artist] having something to do keeps us from being depressed,” Louis

said. Firmin said that despite the suffering in Haiti, “we still remain a people with dignity.” She also said that the disaster brought people together. “Most things were gone,” Firmin said. Houses, along with and cars were gone. “Everyone came together to help each other.” At the same time, Firmin admitted that Haiti has major government problems. “We do have bad governance – it’s not a secret.” Ciné Institute is free but receives funding from the government. The Edouard Eloi, Manager of the Berrie Center, commented on this. “Haitian government doesn’t do things that doesn’t put money in their pocket. This tragedy will hopefully be a chance to

re-mold the government and the education system.” The students also showed a short film of theirs, set in Jacmel, from a time before the devastation, when they were focused only on creating their art. “[Ramapo is] something of a sanctuary for Haitian art; it is very fortunate and special for these students to be here, amongst their peers, talking student to student,” he said. The fourth student, Marie Andree MonTisolle, addressed the audience in Creole at the end of the presentation, and her fellow students and Edouard Eloi translated as she spoke about being the only woman who works at the Ciné Institute and how grateful she was to be working on such an compelling project.


VIEWPOINTS

Dear Tiger: It’s Time to Think Before You Act

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Delegate Yourself Some Responsibility: Become an SGA Delegate

Campus views are the sole opinion of their respective authors, submitted to The Ramapo News and in no way reflect the views of either The Ramapo News or Ramapo College of New Jersey.

By CHARLIE LAPLACA Co-Editor-in-Chief

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make a statement Friday, so I’m going to make mine today. Don’t do it, Tiger! You have nothing to gain from opening up to the public about your laundry list of mistresses. What do you think an apology is going to do? The people who wanted an apology from you are going to say, “You waited long enough.” And the people who don’t care about your apology are going to say, “You’re only sorry because you got caught, Tiger.” In this undergrad’s opinion, the smartest thing to do here is keep quiet and move on. You don’t need to give the press even more fodder. Apologize to your lovely wife and beautiful children, as I’m sure you have. You need not expose yourself to more public analysis and ridicule. Before you even finish your statement on Friday, the cable news networks will dissect every word, facial expression and hand gesture to the point that your real message will just get lost in translation. Everybody with half a brain knows that you’re only giving a statement because “you have to.” Granted, some of your fans out there want an apology, but your true fans will forgive you no matter what. Look at Bill Clinton. For the record, I’m not a big fan of either swashbuckling gentleman. Get back to playing golf as soon as you want, and spend some extra time with

your kids – if they want to see you, that is. But move on, please. For everyone. Let the media focus on important things like Haiti relief, the Olympics and the “Avatar” novel. Of course, if you don’t give a statement, the press will ask you about your infidelities at every corner. But will giving a statement stop them from asking? No matter what you do, for the next few months (or years), your escapades will be on our minds every time we hear your name. Do the right thing for your kids and just keep your mouth shut. You also might want to take their TVs out of their rooms. Don’t let them read any Websites or magazines either. With that said, of course you have to go apologize to everyone on national television. Otherwise the media will never forgive you. If they don’t get their story, they will never treat you the same again. Maybe the best thing you can do for your family is to do exactly what the media wants, so that one day – a long, long time from now – the press will stop associating you with your record-setting infidelities, and once again with your record-setting golf achievements. But that’s the other thing, Tiger. Your level of cheating is of epic proportion. I’m not so sure the media will ever let you live it down. Luckily you didn’t break any actual laws. Bill Clinton was forgiven, but he was the leader of the free world. You play golf. Clinton also didn’t have quite as long a list as you do. Did I mention he was the leader of the free world? It’s not like you can get back to work protecting democracy, balancing budgets and expanding trade agreements – things that will surely put your personal life on the periphery. There’s really nothing too heroic about golf. You win prize money for you and your caddy. Bill Clinton presided over the greatest economy in American history. So on Friday, Tiger, think long and hard about whether or not you need to give that statement. Who will benefit?

By TOM NG SGA President

Over the past four years, I have heard a lot of student concerns as a member of the Student Government Association. Many of them have come to the table for discussion and I have seen numerous solutions take effect to address the problems Ramapo students face. Demand for a quiet place to study late at night began the process of extending library hours during finals week. Uncertainty among students over what majors were available led to the Majors Fair for first-year students. Concern over an absence of traditions led to the development of the annual Octoberfest festival.

The delegate initiative has increased the amount of active SGA members by almost 50 percent.

Despite the satisfaction I have had watching these accomplishments take shape, I recognize that with limited resources and time, SGA can only do so much. In fact, trying to overcome these limitations has been one of our greatest challenges for years.

The Student Government Association, however, has developed a solution to address this issue. Our solution starts with you. Last fall, the Student Government Association developed a new position within the organization, known as the delegate. This is a nonelected position that allows any student an opportunity to work with SGA to address their concerns or the concerns of the student body at large. Delegates have nearly all the same rights and privileges as elected SGA members. Most importantly, they also have access to SGA’s resources to ensure that the best solutions to the challenges facing the student body are found. Delegate Adam Panella attested to these opportunities, saying that being a delegate “gives you the opportunity to get involved with SGA, interact with faculty, staff and students to achieve goals that benefit the student body. You get to make a difference without even being elected.” To become a delegate, students need to fulfill a short training program, which includes attending a delegate training day on Saturday, Feb. 20. If you are interested, please e-mail General Secretary Clifton Shambry at sga@ramapo.edu for more information. The delegate initiative has been a huge success since its establishment last semester, increasing the amount of active SGA members by almost 50 percent. This increase has enabled our organization to better serve the needs and concerns of Ramapo’s student body quickly and efficiently. In addition, these delegates have brought a variety of valuable ideas and perspectives to improve the Student Government Association as well. By becoming a delegate, helping to establish SGA’s vision and instituting initiatives that make Ramapo a better place, you can take part in improving the responsiveness and reliability of not only SGA, but, more importantly, the student body.

Got an opinion? Come and be heard.

ff

Monday and Wednesday nights in SC 218


ARTS

&

E N T E RTA I N M E N T

Mat Kearney Connects With Steadily Growing Fan Base

Thursday, February 18, 2010

BY TARA LAFEMINA Staff Writer

“Doctors should make out to that tune,” was all Mat Kearney needed to say to make the Sharp Theater rock. Kearney was, of course, making reference to his features used on medical television series. If you have watched “Grey’s Anatomy,” you were bound to at some point have heard the tunes of Mat Kearney. It was an intimate set, with Kearney jumping between piano and guitar. An additional guitarist also played a lap steel. The dialogue between Kearney and the almost full house made the show feel as though the crowd was watching a good friend play for them. Of course, New Jersey stirs up a lot of conversation by itself. The unusual names Ramapo and Mahwah boggled Kearney’s mind a bit. After the ice was broken, Kearney was able to talk about how he ended up in Nashville. His friendly nature, and joking tendencies helped make the show enjoyable. Kearney played some of his most popular hits from his albums, “Nothing Left to Lose” and “City of Black & White.” In the middle of the song “Girl America,” he covered “Chasing Pavements” by Adele. “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” the theme song for season four on “Grey’s Anatomy,” was another hit with the audience. Other songs he played included his hits “Closer to Love,” which has a soothing chilled out beat. He also played “Nothing Left to Lose.”

Kearney is clearly talented, but his songs often have a very similar style. If it were not for him talking in between songs, the set

able to scream at the sight of Kearney and have a good time. When Kearney first wanted the audience to sing along, there was

photo by Stefanie Mauro

Mat Kearney showcased his songs in the Berrie Centerʼs Sharp Theater on Friday. Fans of the show “Greyʼs Anatomy” have heard his music, as his “Breathe In, Breathe Out” was used as the showʼs theme in season four.

would have seemed as though it was one long song. It may be his familiar vocals that are reminiscent of other singers or his emotional, relatable songs that hold an audience captive. He is doing something right, and it shows by having his fan base steadily grow. This was not a show where someone would get up and dance in the aisles. However, fans, many coming from other schools, were

some reluctance. After Kearney was able to break this shell, the audience became more engaged. The more songs Kearney played, the more upbeat the atmosphere became. Kearney’s opening act, Angel Taylor, was a huge hit with the crowd. Like Kearney, Taylor played piano and guitar alongside an additional guitarist, Jason Kanakis. She stunned the crowd with her talent at only

plate, adding nice contrast from the black seeds. At eight dollars, the turkey dumplings are a steal considering the freshness and attention to detail. Each dumpling consists of about two mouthfuls of heaven and a burst and flair from the sauce. Their large salads are packed full of pizzazz, with crunchy Chinese noodles in the Thai peanut salad, and hard boiled eggs in the buffalo chicken salad. The Thai salad comes with a spicy peanut dressing that awakens every sense. The crunchy peanuts also add some flair to the chopped lettuce. The buffalo chicken salad comes with crumbled blue cheese and blue cheese dressing creating a creamy sensation. At $13, the salads are enough for two people to enjoy. A large glass of soda or water with a fresh lemon wedge is the perfect addition to any

meal. Gelato and cakes are also offered for dessert along with delicious hot coffee. Café Amici’s large red velvet cupcakes are the perfect combination of moist red cake with creamy frosting, enough to feed two or even three happy diners. “I enjoy the warm atmosphere. When I go, I love to order the turkey dumplings to start off what I know is going to be an enjoyable meal,” said Andrea Napolitano, a customer. Café Amici gets an overall “A” for atmosphere, food, and service. They offer a perfect experience for all food lovers and those who appreciate true attention to detail.

21-years-old. She was very personable and true to who she is. She spoke of how she was discouraged to be playing at a college because she is a dropout. Taylor opened up to her personal life by saying, “Boys are stupid.” This seems to be a theme in her song writing. She played songs such as “Make Me Believe,” which she said she was inspired to write while watching “The Bachelor”. She also played her popular song, “Chai Tea Latte.” Taylor finished with her song, “Not Even Human.” She wrote it about an ex-boyfriend and it is filled with lyrics like, “You’re not even human / Just a lovely idea of one.” Even if people in the crowd did not know who she was when she began to play, they warmed up to her by the time she finished. Taylor definitely made a fan out of one guy that gave her his number. Senior Amanda Fulmer was really impressed with the show. “I thought Angel Taylor was a good opening act. I really liked the intimacy of it being Mat Kearney and his acoustic. I didn’t know much about him, but I am definitely going to look up some more of his songs.” The concert had a mellow vibe. It was perfect for the fans of Mat Kearney and people just learning who he is. It seemed as if most people in the audience did not know what to expect, but no one seemed to leave disappointed. Mat Kearney and Angel Taylor will be on tour this spring with Ingrid Michaelson. You can check them out at the Wellmont Theatre in Montclair on March 13.

Cafeʼ Amici: Less Cash, More Class

By AMANDA VALENTI Staff Writer

The Italian inspired Café Amici, located at 315 Franklin Ave., Wyckoff offers customers a classier feel for less than the fancy Italian restaurants. For around $20 per person, the fresh dishes satisfy your pallet and your wallet. The attentive wait-staff, adorned in all black, tend to customers’ every request. The faux finish walls accent the classy murals giving a true feel of Italy. The wooden tables and chairs are beautiful accents and a true touch of nature to the Italian café. Any party size can be accommodated and any alterations to dishes the chefs are happy to make. The turkey dumplings are full of ground turkey and fresh vegetables and garnished with black sesame seeds. A side of sesame ginger dipping sauce accompanies the five steamed dumplings served on a stark white

OVERALL GRADE: A

Youʼre Gonna Like the Way You Write. We Guarantee It. Come write for The Ramapo News.


Valentine’s Day Delivers the Romance for the Holiday Page 9 The Ramapo News

By MATT THOMPS ON Staff Writer

The crowd was packed at Garden State Plaza Saturday night for opening weekend of Valentine’s Day. The romantic comedy made $52 million over the weekend (as well as selling out every showing at Garden State) and it’s easy to see why. Valentine’s Day was amusing and romantic, which is what one would want out of seeing a love film. It managed to take all the A-listers in the movie and wrap them around one storyline. When thinking of this movie, think of films like Love Actually or He’s Just Not That Into You. Whilst it didn’t reach the levels of the star-studded Love Actually cast, it far surpassed He’s Just Not That Into You. The film has an ensemble cast of an astonishing 21 people, with many of the roles equally important. The movie starts off on Valentine’s Day with romantic florist Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) proposing to girlfriend Morley (Jessica Alba), who happily accepts. Alphonso, his upbeat best friend and co-worker (George Lopez) is shown outside congratulating him. The film migrates to different stories in schoolteacher Julia (Jennifer Garner), who is also one of Reed’s friends, falling in love with Dr. Harrison Copeland (Patrick Dempsey). The catch is she’s unaware of his 15-year marriage. Julia’s student (Bryce Robinson) gets flowers from Bennett for who he considers his Valentine. Julia Roberts plays the role of a somber Kate Hazeltine, shown on board a plan to Los Angeles. She’s a captain in the U.S. Army and she’s on one day leave, taking two 14hour flights for one night with her special someone. She’s seated next to commitment shy Holden (Bradley Cooper), who is recently single. Edison’s babysitter Grace is played by Roberts real-life niece, Emma. She is trying to have her first sexual encounter with her boyfriend Alex (Carter Jenkins) at lunch break during the school day. Taylor Swift plays their ditzy high school friend Felicia while Taylor Lautner plays her

Thursday, February 18, 2010

boyfriend, Willy. Meanwhile, Edison’s grandparents Edgar (Hector Elizondo) and Estelle (Shirley MacLaine) find secrets have been kept in their fifty year long marriage. The last of the connections centers on Sean Jackson (Eric Dane), a football player contemplating retirement with his heartbroken publicist (Jessica Biel) and his hard-ass agent Paula (Queen Latifah) due to lack of family life. Kara happens to be a best friend of Julia’s. Paula recently hired a bubbly receptionist named Liz (Anne Hathaway) who has just begun a relationship with the unsure mail clerk (Topher Grace). Sportscaster Kelvin Briggs (Jamie Foxx) is mixed in due to the lack of sports news, as he’s unenthusiastically sent out by producer Susan (Kathy Bates) to cover Valentine’s Day. The stars of this film were blatantly obvious. Kutcher played his tune of a romantic to perfection, which is what you’d expect of him. The best role of the film perhaps was Taylor Swift, who dropped her real life good girl gimmick and played the role of a ditz. She has so many hilarious one-liners that it keeps you on your seat. Carter Jenkins also plays a hilarious role. The weirdest role of the film is played by Hathaway, a secret sex phone operator. This is a role much different than anything she’s played in the past. Personally, my favorite couple was the older couple Edgar and Estelle. They had one of the best storylines of the film and you really had to feel for them. Taylor Lautner’s role was expectantly boring. Maybe the recent weight gain has gone to his head, but he still seems awkward in the “big athletic jock” role after playing completely different roles the rest of his career. Jessica Alba is virtually nonexistent for most of the film as she’s only mentioned by name. The film has a clever title and it was placed on the perfect weekend. It was made to see with your special someone. At the end of the film, all the stories are interwoven with much of the cast ending up in the same location. Expect a pleasant surprise ending.

OVERALL GRADE: A

The Wolfman’s Gore Simply Satisfies, But Doesn’t Thrill By MICHELLE HA Staff Writer

The Wolfman, an iconic remake of the 1941 horror film, did not disappoint nor enrapture its audience. The film takes place in England during the late 1800’s and stars many well-known faces including Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, and Geraldine Chaplin, as well as Benicio Del Toro as the ostensible protagonist, the Wolfman. The storyline basis is relatively true to the original script as it follows Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) back to his family estate following his brother’s ruthless death. Once there, he is reunited with his estranged father (Hopkins), as well as his brother’s ex-wife (Blunt). In efforts to find the beast responsible for his brother’s death,

forests, and somewhat spine-tingling thrills. The kill shots are swift, but with just the right magnitude. The film is very graphic, but suits just the right level of illustration for this gore-fest. The cinematography is quite

With all the vampire films that have been pervading the media lately, it seems that all the monstrous, gruesome creatures have been disreguarded.

Lawrence sets out to hunt the beast down. During this excursion, Lawrence himself is bitten by the beast becoming infected with the “Wolfman disease” himself. So now with two wolf men in the area, the question remains: “Who is the other Wolfman?” With all the vampire films that have been pervading the media lately, it seems that all the other monstrous, gruesome creatures have been disregarded. Thus, making this prospect of a new werewolf movie considerably modernistic in its own sense. The film is jam-packed with bloodthirsty howls, moonlit

captivating, because the camera angles on the Wolfman throughout was well-filmed. The dense, gloomy forests are dark, but enchanting; the

view of London during this Victorian period is simple and majestic. In addition, the way Del Toro morphs into this horrendous beast is quite a sight as he claws out in raging terror. The make-up and the costumes in this film also really nail the spot. On the contrary, the film is largely trivial, in the sense that it is filled with perpetual amounts of clichés about werewolves. The film is also very predictable. Even if one hadn’t previously watched the original classic, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out who the other wolf man is. The dialogue is a bit rudimentary, and the pacing of the film is a bit too choppy. It makes the storyline feel obstructed, and there is a lack of progress in the development of the characters. Considering the film acquired so many well-acclaimed actors, one would think that the acting would be over-the-top captivating. Del Toro’s acting was smooth as usual, but very primitive making him a very docile protagonist who is hard to root for. For one thing, the Wolfman needs more complexity. It is hard to feel the same emotions as the Wolfman, because torment lacks in his eyes. If you’re looking for a trendsetting revise of the classic film, then this film may be a bit disappointing. However, if you’re an admirer of the classic black and white horror films with a surplus of gore, it is definitely recommended. This gothic Victorian period horror film is stimulating, but forgettable. All in all, The Wolfman is a decent horror flick, but not a top ten.

OVERALL GRADE: C


Artist of the Week: Alexandria Potosnak

Page 10 The Ramapo News

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Self-Taught Singer/Songwriter Finds Her Forte in Writing Untraditional Love Songs

By JULIANNE ILARIA Staff Writer

For Alexandria Potosnak, writing songs has become a form of therapy, a release. “It’s like sharing secrets with people you don’t know,” the 20-year-old singer/songwriter from Vernon, N.J. says. Due to the cathartic effects music brings her, she has been writing songs for the past two years now. These two years have provided her with five original songs recorded as well as two covers. Her most popular song is “No Words,” a love song, but not a happy-go-lucky love song. This genre is her forte. Potosnak would say she is an artist, but in a specific sense of the word. “I would say that you can definitely see a difference between someone who cares about what they are doing as opposed to someone who is there just because they have to be. I always loved music, although I never sang or played until I got to college.” Potosnak is not a girl who knew she wanted to be a singer/songwriter her whole life. She once had terrible stage fright and was “really, really shy” until she took an acting class at community college before attending Ramapo. She says the rush she got from having the

spotlight on her in a crowd was the jumping off point for her, which made her want to keep going with it. Because of this, she became part of the school play. The rest is history.

photo by Julianne Ilaria

Potosnak says she draws upon past experiences to obtain her material. She draws inspiration from Colbie Calliet because of her laid-back style and pure talent and because Calliet writes songs that almost everyone can relate to. She does not compare herself to another artist, however, because she does not know who to compare herself to. You may have caught Potosnak perform-

ing last semester at open mic nights, Female Friendly Funk or Quality of Marriage. In addition to being a part of the Ramapo community, she has also branched out to frequently playing bigger venues, such as Rivera’s. Rivera’s is where she got her start. A man by the name of Dwaine Harris approached her there and set up a whole bunch of shows for her to do. She was elated. Now she frequently performs at 96 West, a coffeehouse in Allendale, where she will be playing tonight as well. She is all over the place, attending a benefit to raise money for the victims of Haiti this Saturday. When asked how she goes about writing a song, Potosnak explains that she’ll start with a beat, then start writing and see where it takes her. If the song is too happy, she might have to fine-tune the beat. Potosnak says when she first told her parents about her desire to be a singer/ songwriter, her mother didn’t take her seriously. “I think she thought it was just a phase,” Potosnak recalls. “You know how kids are.” But clearly, it wasn’t just a phase. Potosnak is a music/performance major at Ramapo. “Eventually I would love to have a band,” she says. “This is my dream – to have something with my voice.” Potosnak only

knows how to play a bit of guitar, in which she is self taught. When asked how someone does such a thing, she admits to getting some help from Youtube videos and utlimatedashguitar.com. Her way of combating her stage fright is by simply “jumping around” to get her mind off being nervous so she can focus on her work. Luckily, she says all of her fans have been supportive and kind, as have other members of bands she has played with. “You know, some people will come up to you after and say ‘Good job.’ Everyone is always clapping. You’ll even get the occasional drunk person who obnoxiously exclaims, ‘That was the greatest performance!,” she adds with a laugh. “All the fans are really supportive.” You can catch Alexandria this summer at the Suffern Movie Theatre on July 8 for $12 at the door. Four bands will join her, including Love Assassin, Jay Everett Band, Holler Wild and Tasdalhi.

“This is my dream – to have something with my voice.” - Alexandria Potosnak

Meyer’s Music: Black Eyed Peas Make Others Green With Envy By SHARON MEYER Staff Writer

Welcome to the section of the paper that is going to give you the low down in music. From what is topping the charts to what digital music to look for that is free for download to recent CD releases you may have missed, as well as plenty more. This week on the billboard digital chart, Ke$ha’s single “TiK ToK” dropped two spots to No. 3, making the Black Eyed Peas’ “Imma Be” the most downloaded digital song this week. Taking the second spot is the Lady Antebellum single “Need You Now,” which was performed at the Grammy’s last month. Coming in at the fourth spot on the chart is “Bedrock” by Young Money ft. Lloyd. “Hey Soul Sister” by Train is holding down the fifth spot on the digital charts. If you have yet to download this song, do so now. Although Lil Wayne’s jail time is rapidly approaching, his album Rebirth debuted at number one for most digitally downloaded album as listed on Billboard’s Web site. Billboard asked their readers who they thought were the sexiest women in music and sexiest men in music. Britney Spears took the number one spot for sexiest artist followed by Beyonce and Miley Cyrus. Adam Lambert, last year’s runner-up on American Idol, took the number one posi-

tion as sexiest male in music, closely followed by Nick Jonas in second and Chris Brown in third. Who would have thought

that a woman-beater is still sexy? Switching gears, iTunes officially named “I Got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas as its all-time best-selling song last week. As for new releases, there are not too many big names, but some you may know: Massive Attack - Heligoland, Toby Mac’s Tonight, Sade’s Solider of Love and Motion City Soundtrack’s My Dinosaur Life. If you have missed any of these releases, all

albums are available for download at Amazon, iTunes and basically any source you usually get your music from. MySpace music announced the premiere of the new album titled LOVE by Angels and Airwaves (led by Tom DeLonge, lead singer of Blink-182). The music can be previewed at myspace.com/angelsandairwaves. The iTunes store has a cool section where it features “Singer of the Week.” The artist’s music is offered free for download. Broken Bells’ single “ The High Road” is currently featured, so go check it out. Fast forward to two of the hottest videos out right now: Jay-Z’s “On To The Next One” and Rihanna’s “Rude Boy.” “On To The Next One” features Jay-Z keeping a black and white theme throughout the video, which creates an old school yet futuristic vibe. Rhianna’s “Rude Boy” takes the “Pop Art” effect to the extreme, making Rhianna’s video look like a box of crayons exploded. During the bridge, colors disappear but return in full effect for the chorus. Both are available on MTVs website. Moving on to upcoming concerts in the New Jersey and New York area, Cold, a rock/alternative/roots band from Florida will be performing at the Starland Ballroom in Sayerville, N.J. tonight. Check out their MySpace for details: myspace.com/cold. New Found Glory will also be gracing the Starland ballroom stage on Saturday. Tickets

are available for purchase off Ticketmaster. The lineup for Bonaroo’s 2010 Music and Arts Festival, held annually in Tennessee, was announced last week. The confirmed headliners of the Festival include Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews Band and Kings of Leon, according to Billboard.com. Other artists performing at the festival include Norah Jones, Tori Amos, Rise Against, Dropkick Murphys, Lotus, GWAR, Zac Brown Band and many others. If any of these concerts have sparked an interest, go to your nearest Ticketmaster and buy the tickets! Support the music you love!

iTunes Top Downloads Week of February 18

1. We Are the World Artists for Haiti 2. Imma Be Black Eyed Peas 3. Hey, Soul Sister Train 4. Need You Now Lady Antebellum 5. TiK ToK Ke$ha


Galactic’s Ya-Ka-May Dances Its Way To Greatness

Page 11 The Ramapo News

By JOHN FRAZE Staff Writer

Galactic are a bunch of talented musicians from good old New Orleans, Louisiana. The band totally defies any sort of classification. The only words

that can even begin to pin them down are crunch and funky. You’re going to want to dance when you listen to their new release, Ya-Ka-May, and if you don’t want to dance, you’re not going to be able to stop your body from sharing in the groove. It has a lot of fantastic guest artist collaborations. In fact, almost every song on the album does. There is so much New Orleans flavor within the confines of Ya-Ka-May that listening may actually incite a riotous dance party on the spot. ‘Boe Money’ (featuring The Rebirth Brass Band)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

is an awesome instrumental jam combining a lot of funky elements with a grand horn section to create a really solid groove. The Rebirth Brass Band does a great job adding a lot of New Orleans funk and jazz and really livens the track up to another level. The Rhythm section keeps it solid, not a second for your feet to stop for the duration of the track. Background gang vocals throughout the song give you the feeling of being in New Orleans at a street festival listening to a rockin’ band. ‘Heart of Steel’ (featuring Irma Thomas) draws on a light hip-hop feel in the drum beat while infusing the rhythm and blues in the sweet vocals and a little old school blues-rock in the harmonica and guerilla guitar riffs. That is a lot to chew on for one song, but Galactic was born for it and makes it happen with a little help from Irma Thomas. This song is a powerhouse with a really catchy chorus, lyrically and instrumentally: you can feel the instrumentals meshing with Irma’s vocals for the chorus to really drive it home, while staying in the pocket during the verse. “Tight” is the word that comes to mind and you can surely feel the New Orleans again in this track. ‘Dark Water’ (featuring John Boutte) is a really low down funky, bluesy, soul track with some smooth lyrics from John Boutte. The song starts off leading each individual instrument in and you know it’s taken form once the guitar riff cuts through the speakers and shakes your soul alive. The breakdown is so crunchy that trying to resist it would be futile: every song on this album was made to move to. ‘Liquor Pang’ (featuring Josh Cohen & Ryan Scully from the Morning 40 Federation) is a heavy blues-rock tune with a bit of electronic thrown in right next to all the hard alcohol streaming through

its sound waves. This song reeks of whiskey, especially in the lyrics: “Finger on the trigger / take your liquor in the fast lane.” The song moves along at a sluggish pace, slowly injecting its awesome instrumentals into your skull via a solid rhythm section and a grungy, bluesy infusion of horns, guitar and electric organ. ‘You Don’t Know’ (featuring Glen David Andrews & The Rebirth Brass Band) may be the most powerful song on Ya-Ka-May. The Rebirth Brass Band comes back for another round to lay it down with Glen David Andrews. The heavy, raspy, blues lyrics that comes from the soul and the brass is just phenomenal. Galactic lay down a gorgeous foundation and work so smoothly with their collaborators you would never know it was a track featuring artists who are not a part of the band. These are only a few of the songs off Galactic’s newest release, Ya-Ka-May. To try and describe any of the tracks on this album in only one or two sentences would have been a serious injustice. This is one of those albums you must give at least one listen to this year, because you WILL be hearing about it.

OVERALL GRADE: A+

MTV is Airing New Reality Shows This Spring By MELISSA VELOZ Staff Writer

Reality TV is a concept that was created a couple of years ago and since then, there has been a massive increase of interest with TV viewers. It is defined as television programs that present real people in life. And though it is often deliberately manufactured, viewers can watch the situations and monitor the characters’ emotions and behaviors. There are many networks that have stuck with this concept and continue to produce new reality shows constantly in order to keep the viewers happy as well as entertained. With shows like Road Rules, Real World, True Life, and even Made, MTV has lured viewers to become more obsessed with watching reality TV than anything else. Since the start of their reality TV programs, which may have begun with just two or three shows, they now have successfully created close to, if not more than, 20 reality programs. All of which, are heavily viewed by teens and college students across the nation. MTV’s latest reality programs such as The Jersey Shore, have increased the public’s interest and therefore they are considering a second season just as other MTV hits like The Hills and The City had. Some of MTV’s newer reality programs which aired recently are 16 & Pregnant, The Buried Life and My Life As Liz. So if you’re one of those people who loves reality TV you may want to check those out. 16 & Pregnant is an hour long documentary which

follows young girls who are dealing with pregnancy as well as being a teenager. Each story is different and gives you a good look

into what they go through, whether it’s with the pregnancy or children itself, their relationships with the babies fathers, work, school and/or friends. You get to witness how dramatically life changes for these young teen girls who are now mothers. This show airs on Tuesday nights at 10 pm. The Buried Life on the other hand is a little different though. This reality show follows a group of friends who are on a mission to complete a list of things they want to do before they die. For each thing the group manages to complete on

their lists they will also help a stranger (adult or child) do something they would like to do before they die. This reality show brings you to question yourself “What is it that you would like to do before you die?” This show airs on Monday nights at 10 pm. Last but not least, the new show, My Life as Liz is a reality show which goes into high school experiences through a rebellious girl named Liz’s perspective. In this show you will see how a conservative Texas town leads Liz to want to find herself and allowing viewers to witness moments of what a teenager’s life is like (with a quite comedic approach). This show airs on Monday nights at 10:30 pm. These reality shows are few of the many out there provided by MTV. When you want to get away from the stress, boredom, homework and/or even have a mini study break try tuning in to catch these new shows.


Tools for Procastination

Page 12 The Ramapo News

Thursday, February 18, 2010

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RAMAPO SPORTS

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Track and Field Looks Ahead to Conference Championship By MICHELE McKENNA S taff Writer

The Ramapo track and field teams see every day up until now as preparation for the one big meet that will make or break their season: The NJAC conference championship on Feb. 22. “No matter what happens in every other meet, if you compete well in the conference championship, you can say you had a good season,” Coach Michael Jackson said. The track and field team has seen great victories so far this year. “We finally have some decent records and they are being broken. This team has been building up success and it’s really a new them,” Jackson said. On the women’s side, sophomore Maura Burke has qualified for the ECAC Championship in 55 meter hurdles, 60 meter hurdles, and as a part of the 4x400 relay team along with sophomore Alexandra Jacob and juniors P harline Dauphin and Kristen Klemic. “We have the right mind set and the will to win a championship,” sophomore Maura Burke said about her team this year. “Maura is what we call a multi-event athlete. She is still fairly new to the sport of track and field and doing so well I think she’s even surprising herself,” Jackson said. The 4x400 relay team and sprint medley team have also set school records this year. Freshman Michelle Favre set a record for pole vaulting, clearing 3.65 meters and receiving NJAC rookie of the week. “Michelle is a national qualifier for every event. She

is a huge part of the team,” Jackson said. Jackson says his goal for the indoor season for the women’s team is to place high in the conference championship coming up in less than two weeks. On the men’s side, the 4x400 relay team made up of senior Jake Stass and freshmen Jamar Pierce and Eugene Warren, qualified for the EC AC Championship. Pierce also earned himself a spot in the ECAC in the 400 meter run with setting a personal best with a time of 50.35. “I feel that we have a really strong team that has yet to show it’s true potential, ” senior Kyle Price said, “I’m hoping that NJACs is our big break out meet.” Price broke a school record in the 800 meter when clocking in at 1:57:43 at the New Balance Collegiate. Isaaic Patterson earned himself a school record in the long jump and hit an ECAC qualifying mark for the triple jump. Freshmen Joe Vargas set a school record in the pentathlon tallying over 3,000 points and also received NJAC Rookie of the Week. “The men’s team has a real chance at winning the NJAC Championship, ” Jackson said. Jackson mentioned that this year has been his best recruiting class for the men and women’s teams. Out of the 65 team members, 35 are freshmen. “Their hard work shows in their respective events and they have brought a lot of depth to our team,” Burke said. Track and field is essentially a year round sport. They compete from December to May and the rest of the year is spent training or participating in crosscountry. Both Burke and Price compete in all three sports sea-

The track and field NJAC conference championships start on Feb. 22.

photo courtesy of Stockton Photo Inc.

photo courtesy of Stockton Photo Inc.

The Roadrunners hope to place in the several conference championship events.

sons throughout the year. “I really only have May off to rest up. Come June, I start building up my miles again to be in shape for preseason,” Price said. “What affects their performance the most is what they do when they’re not here,” Jackson said, “Anyone can come to practice everyday, but your sleeping habits, eating habits and what you are putting in your body will determine how you measure up to others.” “Taking care of yourself is important especially the days leading up to a meet,” Burke said. “Success is a decision. They have to make that decision by how they handle their adversities and how patient they are,” Jackson said. Having good leadership is always a great way to keep the team on track. Jackson notes Jessica Horne, though currently injured, is a great captain. “We are always looking for leaders for the women’s team. It’s great to have people that lead by example like Maura,” Jackson said. As the indoor track season comes to an end, all coaches and players are looking forward to spring track. The Roadrunners are very excited to host their first home track meet in Ramapo College history on April 3. “All the preparation will pay off this spring, ” Jackson said, “It’s time to let the flood gates open and kick a lot of behind.”


Tragedy Dampens the Start of Winter Olympics in Vancouver

Page 14 The Ramapo News

By ANDREW GOULD Staff Writer

Although the 2010 Winter Olympics got off to a terrible start before they could even begin, the athletes are fighting strong to proudly represent their countries. The Olympics started amidst tragedy when Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21, died during a practice run before he could make his Olympic debut. Kumaritashvilli lost control and steered off the track, where he hit a metal beam. There has been much concern about the safety of the track being dangerously fast, as Kumaritashvili was going 89 miles per hour before the crash. However, Olympic officials have been quick to avoid taking the blame, defending the safety of the track and stating that a “driver error” was responsible for his death. After mourning Kumaritashvilli’s death and controversially airing footage of the accident, the games started Friday night. The United States currently has eight medals, second to Germany, who has won nine. In the Men’s Snowboard Cross, Seth Wescott defended his title and brought home the gold medal for the United States for the second straight time. Since the competition debuted in 2006, Wescott remains the only person to win gold in the event.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hannah Kearney captured another gold medal for the U.S. in the freestyle skiing Women’s Mogul. Shannon Bahrke won a bronze medal in the same event while Bryon Wilson received bronze in the Men’s Mogul. In an exciting finish in the speed skating Men’s 1500m, Apolo Anton Ohno and J.R. Celski earned silver and bronze after two South Korean competitors crashed into each other on the final turn. South Korea still had one athlete on the podium, as Lee Jung-Su

won gold. Bode Miller, one of the goats of the 2006 Olympics, achieved some redemption by picking up a bronze medal in the Men’s Downhill. Switzerland‘s Didier Defago won the gold. After blowing her chance at a gold medal in 2006, Lindsey Jacobellis squandered yet another chance at winning gold in the snowboard Small Final when she lost balance and landed outside the gate, disqualifying herself

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Bode Miller redeemed his 2006 failure with a bronze.

from the semifinals. Jacobellis had the gold in hand in 2006 when she paid the price for showboating. The biggest story of the Olympics so far has been Lindsey Vonn. Although there were concerns that she would not be able to compete at a high level due to an injured right shin, Vonn won the gold in Women’s Downhill Skiing. Vonn, who will compete in four other events, has been hyped up to be the United S tates’ biggest star of the Winter Olympics, but she will now have to continue to overcome severe pain to meet the high expectations. Teammate Julia Mancuso won the silver metal. The U.S. men’s hockey team defeated Switzerland 3-1 in their first game of the Olympics. Although the U. S . looked impressive, they are still an underdog behind powerhouses Canada and R ussia. C anada cruised past Norway in an 8-0 route in front of an energized home crowd. R oberto Luongo, goalie for the local Vancouver Canucks, got the starting nod over veteran Martin Brodeur. Russia, led by two goals from Alexander Ovechkin, defeated Latvia 8-2. As exciting as it would be for the United States to thrive in the underdog role again in hockey, watching the NHL’s two biggest stars in Ovechkin and Canada’s Sidney Crosby face off for a gold medal could provide an instant classic.

Men Look to Carry Regular Season Momentum into NJAC Tourney By MARIS S A TORR Staff Writer

The Ramapo College men’s basketball team lost their last regular season game against Rutgers-Newark 59-65 Wednesday night at the Bradley Center. Ramapo did show their heart and character. The game started off slow for the Roadrunners when Newark jumped out to a 2-12 lead, but Ramapo got it together quickly and went into halftime only trailing by one. Kenny came up big in the first half on his big night. Since it was the last home game of the regular season, it was also Senior Night. Isaiah Lynch and Andre Kenny were honored. “Andre Kenny is a good scorer and a good leader. He’s really nice and supports other teams. Hopefully, the team will win in the playoffs. I really want them to,” said Roadrunner baseball player and avid fan, Tony Timiraos. “I’ve been around Isaiah my whole life. He’s really passionate about the game, loves a challenge, and he’s not scared,” said Lynch’s cousin, Kevin Findlay. “I’ve known Andre pretty much my whole life. He’s a funny guy, likes conversation, likes the competition,” said Tim Wesley, who graduated from Ramapo last year. “I used to play basketball with him here. He loves the game and works very hard at what he does. He does anything he can to get better and he’ll do anything to make the team do better.” “Seniors Isaiah Lynch and Andre Kenny and sophomore Anthony LoRusso are all doing an excellent job of providing leadership and doing things necessary to get our team to where were are at now,” said Coach McBreen about his captains. February has not been a bad month for the Roadrunners. It began with a loss to William Patterson University, another NJAC team. The Bradley Center saw victories with the

photo by Michael Jagendorf

The Roadrunners will play at Rowan University in the NJAC Tournament on Saturday.

Roadrunners beating Montclair State University 82-62 in another NJAC contest and John Jay College of Criminal Justice 105-80. As far as NJAC games go, McBreen feels that they lost a couple that they should have won. “We got third seed in the NJAC playoffs, but we should have the second seed,” he said. “We were picked not to get into the playoffs though so the fact that we were is an accomplishment in itself.” “Our best characteristic is that we lead the conference in scoring and we’re in the top 20 in the country in scoring. We

average 85 points a game. Our leading scorers are LaQuan Peterkin and Andre Kenny. They are also one and two in the NJAC,” McBreen said. All in all, McBreen has hope for the future. “Out of our first nine guys, seven out of those nine are freshmen and sophomores. We’ve got a good nucleus,” McBreen said. “It’s definitely a positive. We’re a little ahead of schedule. We’re young and I think that these next couple of years are going to be great years for this program.”


Mets Look to Redeem Lackluster 2009 Season

Page 15 The Ramapo News By KEVIN JOHNSON Staff Writer

The MLB season has truly become a year round competition. Teams battle for supremacy with one another over the course of the regular season and playoffs. The action carries over to the offseason like no other sport, as the front offices of every team compete for the big ticket free agents. With pitchers and catchers set to report for spring training next week, the 2010 MLB season is officially underway. The landscape of the National League has changed greatly since last season. NL East Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies come off another strong season, as they made their second consecutive appearance in the World Series. They have replaced their ace starter Cliff Lee with the dominant veteran pitcher Roy Halladay. Ownership has shown their commitment to excellence by assembling another championship caliber team. Florida Marlins – The Marlins have always managed to find success despite their financial inadequacies. With the resigning of second baseman Dan Uggla and pitchers Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson, the Marlins should be a tough team to beat. New York Mets – The Mets were one of the biggest disappointments in the league last season, as they were plagued with injuries. The addition of all-star outfielder Jason Bay was less than fans expected of GM Omar Minaya, but the Mets hope to return to prominence in 2010 under the leadership of third baseman David Wright. Atlanta Braves – The Braves defense will be improved in the outfield with the acquisition of Melky Cabrera, but the gain has cost them pitcher Javier Vazquez and his

Thursday, February 18, 2010

238 strikeouts from 2009. With the retirement of manager Bobby Cox at the end of the 2010 season, the Braves look to send off their legendary manager on top. Washington Nationals – The Nationals have spent their existence in mediocrity, failing to ever post a winning record. They have made a change in direction this year with the hiring of manager John Riggleman. The expectations are not high for the Nationals in 2010 as they made little changes to impact this year’s team, aside from adding former Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang. NL Central St. Louis Cardinals - The Cardinals are coming off a very strong season in 2009 that ended in disappointment in the playoffs. They were able to lock up free agent outfielder Matt Holliday for the next seven years. A strong pitching staff and the best hitter in the game in Albert Pujols make the Cardinals the team to beat in the NL Central. Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers are looking to make a return to the postseason following a disappointing 2009 when they failed to post a winning record. Slugger Prince Fielder and five-tool player Ryan Braun are the cornerstones of a team depending on offensive output. Chicago Cubs – The Cubs, like many other teams, had a relatively quiet offseason. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano and third baseman Aramis Ramirez must find a way to lead the team to the playoffs. The Cubs are anxious for the chance to win their first World Series since 1908. Cincinnati Reds – The Reds have created a strong, young team that looks to build for the future. There are high hopes in Cincinnati with the arrival of pitcher Aroldis Chapman. Young outfielder Jay Bruce looks to elevate his game to the

highest level after showing his ability to play in the majors last season. The Reds are excited to see their young team in action. Houston Astros – The Astros are coming off a disappointing 2009 season when they finished fifth in the division with a losing record. Their offensive sensation Lance Berkman and pitcher Roy Oswalt also hope to return to dominance following the feeble season each had in 2009. Pittsburgh Pirates – The Pirates have become accustomed to losing. Pirates’ fans can look forward to the maturation process of young outfielder Andrew McCutchen, who has the making of a star in the future. NL West Arizona Diamondbacks – The Diamondbacks are coming into the 2010 season off a disappointing performance last year that landed them in last place in the division. The return of Cy Young winner Brandon Webb, who missed all of the 2009, is pivotal for the team’s success this season. The Diamondbacks have established an elite pitching staff with Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, making them the team to beat in the NL West. Los Angeles Dodgers – In the third year of the Joe Torre era in Los Angeles, the Dodgers have built a solid résumé. Coming off two consecutive National League Championship Series losses, they look to progress to the World Series this year. Colorado Rockies – The Rockies had a successful season in 2009 claiming the Wild Card in the NL. With no major changes coming into the 2010 season, the Rockies are poised for another strong year. San Francisco Giants – The Giants have been absent from the playoffs since the 2003 season. They had one of the best pitching rotations in baseball in 2009, but they also had an anemic offense. With a pitching staff that includes the 2008 and

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

David Wright hopes to lead the Mets to the postseason for the first time since 2006.

2009 Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, the playoffs are certainly on the Giants radar. San Diego Padres – The Padres have certainly seen better days, as they seem to be a lock to finish last in the division in 2010. There were no major additions to the team, but there has been the major departure of ace starting pitcher Jake Peavy. This is the last year under contract for all-star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, and many experts feel he will be traded during the season if the Padres fall out of contention.

Yankees Hope for Another Trip to the Fall Classic By JAKE EDINGER Staff Writer

With the Super Bowl over, the country changes its focus once again to its pastime. The MLB season is almost underway and 2010 looks to be actionpacked. After winning the World Series last year, the New York Yankees look to repeat. The Yankees have bolstered their pitching rotation by adding former pin-striper Javier Vasquez. The Yankees also addressed one of their few weak spots last year, which was the outfield, by trading for Curtis Granderson. The Yankees weren’t the only AL team that made moves last year. The Seattle Mariners acquired left hander Cliff Lee from the Phillies to provide them with a one-two option behind Felix Hernandez. They also obtained third baseman Chone Figgins from the Angels. Figgins will provide the Mariners with a dangerous baserunner and he will join Ichiro as a catalyst for their offense. As for pre-season awards for the American League, I think the Mariners’

Felix Hernandez will make a great case for the Cy Young Award and will just beat out Boston’s Jon Lester. Hernandez set career highs in wins (19), ERA (2.49), and strikeouts (217)

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Andy Pettite looks to win his sixth World Series ring.

all at the young age of 23. With the acquisition of Cliff Lee, Felix Hernandez should solidify himself as one of the best pitchers in the Major League. The Yankees Alex Rodriguez will make a great candidate for the AL MVP and will see competition from, the Rays’ Evan Longoria and the Twins Joe Mauer. The Royals’ Billy Butler will make a strong run at the AL breakout player of the year and will post career highs in home runs and RBIs. Butler posted career highs in home runs (21), RBIs (93) and batting average (.301). Look for Butler to expand more on those stats and provide the Royals with somewhat of a consistent bat. After missing the entire 2009 season due to shoulder surgery, the Oakland A’s newly acquired pitcher Ben Sheets should finish the season winning comeback player of the year for the American League. Just before the surgery Sheets was in his prime pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. The move to the American League can be difficult, but the spacious Oakland Coliseum should help him adjust and

keep his stats relatively solid. Although the season hasn’t begun, it’s never too early to start predicting the teams that will be in the playoffs and the World Series champ. The Yankees should once again win the AL East and the AL Central will go to the Twins, who have put together a solid team. This season it is imperative that the Twins make the playoffs in order to sign All-Star and MVP Joe Mauer. Although they didn’t make any major splashes in the free agent market look for the Angels to regain the AL West title with a much more stable pitching staff. The AL Wild Card spot will be a close race among the White Sox, Rays and Rangers, with the Rays winning the spot at the end of the season. The AL Championship game should feature the New York Yankees vs. the Minnesota Twins with the Yankees edging them out making yet another appearance in the World Series, and eventually winning the entire thing for a second straight year.


RAMAPO SPORTS DRIVE THE LANE

Roadrunners hope to have success this weekend in the NJAC Tournament. Andre Kenny lays it up during the Roadrunners 65-59 loss to the Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders last night.

photo by Michael Jagendorf


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