“Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs”
Find out what RB students are thankful for on page 4.
Read reviews for fall play, Murder Room, on page 6.
Friday, Nov. 20th, 2009•Volume 79, Issue 2
Budget crunch coming to RB
Quote of the issue
“Until we can pass a referendum, budget cuts will be to be made every year; these budget cuts will include cutting staff.”
“I decided to take charge of the GSA this year because first of all I am a part of the LGBT community. I am proud to be homosexual and people should be proud of who they are.”
Brian Wilson Layout Manager
ver the past couple year’s, RB has been experiencing a quickly escalating budget crunch. Many budget cuts have already been made and more are expected to happen in the following year. Some of the budget cuts that have already happened include reduced catering, athletic supplies, and a change in food service vendors. Whelton explained the source of the budget crisis by saying, “Revenues are flat, expenditures are rising, and that is the source of our deficit. Enrollment is up, we need more teachers, and then we have more salaries to pay. Our enrollment has driven our staffing pattern. Our three feeder districts are getting larger each year.” RB’s three feeder districts; district 94, 95, and 96 whichincreased 27% last year, are all steadily increasing with each year, requiring more teachers. The average school in Illinois gets nearly 59% of revenues from local property taxes and about 18% from general state aid, whereas RB receives 81% of revenues from local property taxes, and only 7% from state aid. “We are very reli-
--read the full article on page 3.
NewsBLURBS Jr High Band ConcertMembers of Hauser jr High’s band peformed in the main gym on tuesday. Fine Arts Profiency Exam Students had the oppurtunity to test out of Fine Arts Survey on wednesday. Club PhotosClub photos for Rouser were originally scheduled to take place this week but were rescheduled for next week.
Snowball Great American SmokeoutMembers of Snowball took part in the great American Smokeout on thursday in order to get people to stop smoking.
ant on property taxes, but the most we can increase property taxes is the CPI (consumer price index) which is currently 0.1%. Our revenues are very flat, but salaries and benefits are our biggest expenditures, and those are increasing at a faster rate than property taxes, this is what causes this structural imbalance,” said Whelton. Enrollment is expected to continue to increase, strengthening the deficit. Whelton talked about federal funding as well, saying that “Illinois is in bad shape, because of the economy, and we already don’t get a lot of federal funding due to our demographics.” Whelton said RB did receive some new money from the stimulus plan. RB currently receives less than 1% of its revenues from federal funding, quite a difference from 7% which is the state average. Whelton explained plans to fight the budget crunch. “The only way to turn this financial situation around is, that we are eventually going to have to pass a tax referendum, most likely in April of 2011,” said Whelton. The only way to get people to support raising taxes is to make budget cuts,” said Whelton. Whelton expressed plans for budget cuts, “ when you make budget cuts, you try to
stay away from the teaching and instructional programs, we try to make the budget cuts that don’t affect the learning that is going on in the classrooms. We are trying everything we can to be more cost effective.” Whelton added that next year’s budget cuts would be “significant”, and that it would be “a very difficult time financially, until we can pass a referendum, budget cuts will have to be made every year; these budget cuts will include cutting staff.” “The students come first, we have high standards for our students but we need to be cost effective, and we need to provide student services in a cost effective manner,” said Whelton. Whelton also stated that “clubs and student programs will be under high scrutiny in next year’s budget. Lots of difficult decisions will have to be made when thinking about things that will have to be cut.” RB is trying an outside source of revenue. A new cell tower is being built that AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint will use. These companies used to have antennas on a smokestack that RB owned, but it was knocked down as part of the renovation project. Part of the deal was that a new cell tower would be built that all three companies could use, as well as a fourth carrier.
RB receives about $20,000 annually from each carrier, and is taking bids for a fourth and final spot on the tower. RB is looking into U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile for the fourth carrier on the tower. The tower is expected to be completed this winter, and is being built just off of First Avenue next to the field house. The cell tower is the only outside source of revenue for RB.
LIKE THIS STORY? Read more of Brian Wilson’s budget sitdown with Business Manager Chris Whelton by visiting www. rbclarion.org. including Whelton’s explanation of the renovation and it’s impact on RB’s current budget picture. You might also be interested in Brian’s other stories on RB’s test score progress and fitness testing, also available at www. rbclarion.org.
Art students working to save the Arcade Building Danielle Sanchez Staff Reporter
f you’ve seen the large murals on the second floor of the new entrance, you’ve seen the artwork of the many students who are working to preserve an old building. The building they’re trying to save is the Arcade Building, which is located in downtown Riverside. When threats to the building came in September of 2009, the village of Riverside contacted RB. With RB Fine Arts Department Chair Jon Grice more than willing to participate, the artists prepared to take on the huge challenge which lay before them – devising a plan to save the historic building. With this project, serious help was needed. Many middle schools have been volunteering their time to come out and paint murals which will cover the boarded walls of the building. Two particular schools that have joined the effort are Hauser and St. Mary’s. When asked what has come from the mural project, Grice said, “Just the fact that the community has
•November 23S.A. Coat and Blanket Drive begins. •November 26-27Thanksgiving Holiday (Student non-attendance days) •December 17:00 AM-7:55 AM Executive Board meeeting. •December 212:20 PM- 5:00 PMWe are RB (Main Gym, Alumni Lounge, Little theatre) •December 3S.A. Coat and Blanket Drive begins. •December 87:30 PM Board of Education Meeting (Alumni Lounge)
Students work for the Fine Arts department on the Arcade Building mural. The work space is part of the new northwest entryway, which has been converted to a temporary studio.
stayed together and is working on completing this huge community project.” The mural is filled with images centered around the town of Riverside and the four seasons. The themes all come together and represent the passing of time in Riverside. With what participating students call the “friendly
Riverside Brookfield High School
giants,” the large mural promises to be something remarkable that everyone will be able to enjoy. The targeted completion date is November 21st. On this date, the mural is slated to be attached to the Arcade Building and put up for the Holiday Stroll, an annual Riverside event.
160 Ridgewood Rd.
Riverside, IL 60546
Photo by Sanchez
LIKE THIS STORY?
See video of the students and Mr. Grice at www. rbclarion.org!
Riverside Brookfield High School
Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
RB honors veterans
Clarion Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jette Pleasant CONTENT EDITOR Kate Abbatacola DESIGN EDITOR Rigo Reyes WEB EDITOR David Maslowski PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER Alexandria Krug
Local veterans who gathered for the annual Veteran’s Day Assembly on November 11th watch the speeches and performances which honor them.
n Wednesday, November 8th, RB honored the men and women of the armed forces. A school wide assembly took place in which veterans from many different wars were honored for their bravery. Students were also given the opportunity to listen to personal accounts of veterans’ war experiences in break out sessions. The assembly followed the successful model of previous veteran’s day assemblies. This year, the flag that was flown in the assembly was a flag that was flown by the regular and reserve army out of North Riverside at their base in Iraq in 2008. Ten years ago former social studies department chair William Jirkovsky decided that having students take Veterans Day off as a holiday was not the correct way to honor the brave men and women who have served in the armed forces and have made freedom possible for Americans. RB administration petitioned the state of Illinois to allow them to have school on Veterans Day in order to have an assembly in which veterans are honored. Many schools have followed what RB has done, and Veterans Day is now becoming a day for students to honor veterans instead of just another day to sleep in. “It’s our hope that our students understand the debt that we owe to veterans because our freedom is not free,” said Jirkovski. During the assembly Jirkovski was given a plaque by the school board to honor him for organizing the event for the past 10 years.
Over the past few years the amount of WWII veterans who attend the event has gone down. The overall number of veterans who come to be honored has increased as those who served in the Gulf War and the current war on terror are now
-Photo by Wilson
joining veterans of previous conflicts. There will always be veterans to honor and RB is committed to making sure that they are given the respect and recognition that they so greatly deserve.-Reyes
ith the search for a new superintendent continuing, there has been a change in the outlook on the situation. Steve Humphrey, of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates Ltd, recommended that the interim superintendent, David Bonnette to stay as interim superintendent until either January or July. Bonnette has reduced the chaos at Riverside Brookfield after Jack Baldermann stepped
OPINION MANAGERS Jason Flam, Joe Saur MEDIA MANAGER Bradley Wilson LAYOUT MANAGER Brian Wilson NEWS MANAGER Charlie Morrissey FEATURES MANAGER Megan Welch ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER Anthony Scianna STAFF REPORTERS Vince Arvis Mike Hansa Mark McDonagh Ethan Gallegos Ian Pruett-Jones Ryan Chodora Ted Radek Madison Powers Nick Kirkines David Skowronski George Suchy Danielle Sanchez SPONSOR Daniel Mancoff Cherise Lopez Clarion publishes hard copy papers once a month and updates stories constantly online at www.rbclarion.org. The opinions expressed in editorials are those of the individual writers, and do not express those of the Clarion staff or District 208 Administration. Signed letters to the editor are encouraged, but the Clarion reserves the right to edit for content or length.
One of the oldest veterans among the crowd stands -Photo by Wilson proudly at the assembly.
Web Extra: To view multimedia of the Veteran’s Day Assembly, log on to rbclarion.com.
The superintendent search continues... Joe SauEr Opinion-Manager
SPORTS MANAGER Eddie Morrissey
down from his position as superintendent. The school board spent two days interviewing potential superintendents until the idea was proposed that it should hire a new principal before it hires a new superintendent. Last year Baldermann held the positions of both principal and superintendent. “With a filled principal position and superintendent position, there would be more importance to the role of principal.” said Bonnette, when asked what he thought about the decision. When Baldermann stepped down, Tim Scanlon,
who was assistant principal of instruction last school year, stepped up to become the new principle. Scanlon was O. K. with being interim principle for up to a year. The school board recommends that it holds off the search for a new superintendent until next November and to have a new principal by July 1st. At the meeting on October 29th the school board said that it was willing to commit to the idea and will have another meeting on November 10th to make its decision official.
S.A. hosts annual coat and blanket drive I t’s the holiday season where neighbors help neighbors and this year the students of RBHS are trying to help the less fortunate. The students will bring in large boxes and ask for donations. Although money is accepted they are specifically looking for coats, hats, mittens and anything else that can be worn in this cold season. Last year the students donated boxes full of seasonal wear to churches and hope to do more this year. Although a specific location to accept the donations has not been decided, the coats will still be pouring in. The Student Association has also painted a mural to promote the event and it will soon be hanging inside the new entrance. The weather is already cooling down so donations will be accepted now and for the next several weeks. -Suchy
LIKE THESE STORIES? www.rbclarion.org Read some of our other pieces about SEE Team going to the Galapagos Islands, Nick Kirkines’ opinion on Veteran’s Day, and Bradley Wilson’s opinion column about the renovation.
Riverside Brookfield High School
Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
Students provide international loans to the poor Megan Welch Features Manager
lex Wilson, Charlie Rock, and Eric Din are doing some extraordinary homework in their independent study of Microfinance. The three RB seniors, along with their teacher Whitney Carlson, are taking on a giant task – raising 10,000 dollars for a microloan program, Opportunity International, which helps people in developing nations start their own business by giving them small loans. The concept of microloans is not very complicated, but will be most familiar to those who have taken an economics class. “Microloans is the giving of small loans, on average 162 dollars, to entrepreneurs in developing nations. With that money they can buy their first refrigerator if they want to start a butcher shop; they can buy a sewing machine so they can start a sewing business,” said Din.
“According to the law of diminishing marginal returns, when you first start out in a business, you will increase your production the most,” said Rock. For example, if you own Starbucks, and you open the first one, you are making 100% more coffee then before. But if you own 250 Starbucks stores, the 251st one will only increase your coffee sales by a small amount. Imagine what that could do for someone who wants to start their own store in a developing area. “We’re really helping these people out a lot,” said Wilson. Economics aside, what Din, Rock, and Wilson are really doing is raising money for a good cause. People in poor countries are often unable to receive a loan for necessary items they need because banks in their communities don’t have money to lend them. Even a small amount of money is a huge benefit to them, and to the economy of their area. Another important thing to remember is that these payments are a loan. “It’s not just giving them money; it’s teaching them
how to pay it back and actually start a business, said Din. And where does the money go when it is paid back? “They lend it out to other people,” explained Wilson, “One loan can benefit many entrepreneurs.” Din, Rock, and Wilson have already started raising the money in various ways around the school. During Spirit Week, RB’s “penny pinch” competition this year went to the Microloan program. The microfinance class is also selling t-shirts for $13 that have the Opportunity International logo on them, a globe and the word, “OptINow.” The t-shirts were ordered at a price of $3 each, so for each t-shirt they are raising 10 dollars for microloans. “The eventual goal is to raise between nine and ten thousand dollars,” said Wilson. All three students are interested in the economics field and haven’t ruled it out as a career opportunity. “I’m really, really interested in economics in general, so who knows, I might be doing something with microfinance in the future,” said Rock.
GSA branching out Monster or savior? Jette Pleasant Editor-in-Chief
n Monday, November 16th, the Gay Straight Alliance held one of its first meetings of the school year. The central purpose of the GSA is to make sure that RB is a safe and supportive school for all students, no matter what their sexual orientation might be. Students who have openly revealed themselves to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are often met with an increasingly hostile school environment where they must face daily discrimination, bullying, and harassment. As a result of this treatment, such students can experience lower grades and even go so far as to skip school simply to avoid abuse from their peers. GSA works against this injustice by serving as an outlet for both gay and straight students to promote tolerance. “The GSA is an important club because it expresses who we are as members of the LGBT community and its allies,” said junior Trevor Zaremba, “It helps students who tolerate the
LGBT community become allies and help the world become accepting to the LGBT community.” Zaremba has stepped up to the plate this year and proved to be an instrumental source of leadership for the GSA. “I decided to take charge of the GSA this year because first of all I am a part of the LGBT community,” said Zaremba, “I am proud to be homosexual and people should be proud of who they are.” Margaret Leiteritz, GSA sponsor, feels that another major benefit of the organization is that it allows students to know that they are not alone. “LGBT students are typically subjected to a lot of bullying and harassment,” said Leiteritz, “GSA provides students a means of discussing these issues in a discrimination-free environment.” The GSA is currently planning to create stickers which teachers will be able to place in their classroom windows to show that they support a learning environment free from discrimi-
nation. Members of the GSA are also designing their own club t-shirts which feature the phrase “proud to be me” in rainbow letters. T-shirts will be available for purchase soon to all those who are interested. While alliance members continue to plan ahead on how to eliminate prejudice against homosexuality, positive changes the club has helped create are already apparent. “The fact that [participation] rose from 5-7 students to a large 23-25 students is amazing,” said Zaremba, “We’ve only had two official meetings so far and we already tripled! This means that we are becoming heard throughout RB. Its amazing to see how many students want to aid the LGBT community.” Zaremba has high hopes for there being 40-50 active GSA members by the end of the school year. “I hope to have the student body and the community hear what we have to say and I hope they learn to tolerate us.”
The experience of a gay student at RB an anonymous student shares what it feels like to be openly gay in a high school environment “At RB we have some students that tolerate the LGBT student body and we have others that don’t. Personally I’ve experienced bad times at RB. Sometimes at lunch a group of boys that sits across from me and my friends throw their food at us. They usually say rude comments and give us dirty looks. I reported this matter to the teachers and they dealt with it, but it didn’t stop. The boys found ways to harass me outside of school. On Halloween I was trick-or-treating with my boyfriend and they called us ‘fags’ and threw candy at us. But there is some good at RB. Around the time of the Day of Silence the GSA sees a large group of students who tolerate the LGBT student body and help keep the day recognized by staying silent with us.” -name witheld by request
Let Kosovo decide. ryan Chodora Staff reporter
n November 1, 2009, former President of the United States Bill Clinton was awarded a statue in his honor in Kosovo. Thousands of cheering Albanians showed up for the event. The eleven foot statue of Clinton travelled down Clinton Boulevard before the red curtain was pulled off. “I never expected that anywhere, someone would make such a big statue of me,” said Clinton moments after the unveiling. Many see the reasons for this honorable event to be quite controversial. In 1999 Serbian forces had commenced the cleansing of ethnic Albanians in Yugoslavia. Clinton gave the order for NATO to begin the bombing campaign of Yugoslavia. From March 22 to June 11, 1999 NATO repeatedly bombed villages and towns in various parts of Yugoslavia in an attempt to rid the area of Serbian forces determined to slaughter independence seeking Albanians. Within the first week of bombing, the Serbian forces had stepped up the ethnic cleansing of Albanians and an estimated 300,000 Albanians had fled their homes in Kosovo to seek refuge in Albania. By April 850,000 people had fled for their lives. NATO increased the attacks to individual targets such as tanks and artillery placements. On May 7, NATO had accidentally bombed a Chinese Embassy killing three journalists. The US and NATO later apologized for
the mistake, blaming it on an outdated map. There was talk of a ground invasion in the start of April which would bring the conflict to a quick organized resolution. Clinton opposed a ground invasion and suggested de-stabilizing the Serbian government under Slobodan Milošević. However it was agreed that a military invasion was the only option, and the UN headed the operation along with NATO. British and Norwegian Special Forces were the first ones to cross the border into Kosovo, two days before the other militaries. Their mission was to clean up and to implement peace between the Albanians and Serbians. This was completed under very complicated circumstances.At the end of the war an estimated 500,000 Kosovo Albanians were missing and most likely dead. In 2000 Milošević was arrested and charged with various war crimes. 1.900 US troops are still stationed in Kosovo as a peacekeeping force along with NATO and many other countries. Over the past few years thousands of troops from various countries have been taken out of Kosovo. There is still a civil war in Kosovo, hate still rages on between Serbs and Albanians. Children go to separate schools in separate neighborhoods and are raised to hate one another. Violence is still a major factor for the people of Kosovo.
Riverside Brookfield High School
Thanksgiving opinion Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
What to be thankful for: New facilities and the end of construction. I’m pretty sure everyone in the school is relieved that every hallway is open and the construction is over. This also means there are new facilities that make everything easier. The field house, the new weight room, and the new swimming pool enhance the athletics at RB.
Football. Fans of any football team can agree on one thing: Thanksgiving is for football. The Thanksgiving weekend gives football fans the opportunity to watch the sport all weekend, highlighted by the annual NFL games on Thanksgiving. Skyward: The new Edline has sure been a hit at RB. This online grade book is more updated and more visual-enhancing. The calendar on Skyward allows students to see what grade they got on each assignment. The gradebook mode shows students what overall grade they are getting in each class, and the message center is also very simple. Thanksgiving break: This is always one of the best breaks of the year, but then again, what break isn’t great? Thanksgiving break is filled with food and family, and is a great holiday. This four day weekend is always needed for students and teachers alike.
What not to be thankful for: Finals after winter break. Since we started school later than usual, RB had to change a few things. One of these things included having Finals after winter break rather than before. This makes winter break a little less enjoyable because rather than having no work to do over the break, students have to study for their finals. Cold weather. When Thanksgiving arrives it brings with it some winter weather. Few people enjoy going outside in freezing weather to shovel paths or to warm up the car. AP classes: This could go either way, but it lands on the not thankful list. This is the time of year when AP classes tend to start getting to students, and the homework load is very time consuming. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving: In the past, this was a day students could be thankful, but not this year. Because of the construction, this is a mandatory school day, rather than an extra day off. This is the second year in a row that school has been in session on this day; last year was because of the flood. -compiled by C. Morrissey
Dear Marge, I am a strict vegan, which means I will eat no meat whatsoever nor will I eat anything with animal byproducts like gelatin. I learned about this through my friends who introduced me to an association called PETA. I have since joined up with a more radical group called PETANMW (people for the ethical treatment of animals no matter what). We are the people throwing paint on fur coats and freeing cattle. Now the problem is, my mother wants me to help with Thanksgiving and I refuse to serve these foods. I am a great cook and won several contests when I was younger. Also my mother is lost in the kitchen and without me our family will not be able to celebrate. I stand by my decision to be a vegan, but I also refuse to eat or prepare this food. Worst of all my new friends at PETANMW want me to sabotage our meal. I really like these new kids but I also want to help out my mom. What should I do? - Brachiosaurus
Dear Brachiosaurus, You are in quite a vinegar cucumber, my friend. Your new friends should not influence your decision and they shouldn’t make you sabotage anything. I am not saying that ou have to to quit this new gang of yours, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your family to stay in it either. If you want to help your mother, maybe you can help prepare the vegetarian items and just tell her what to do with the meat items. This will help your mom while also not making you compromise on your ideas. And that’s the way the turkey gobbles, - Marge
Need help with any prolems of your own? E-mail Marge at dearmarge@ rbclarion.org
What are you thankful for, RB? Veteran’s Day Appreciation Do Americans take Veteran’s Day for granted?
-compiled by Welch
Nick Kirkines Staff-Reporter
O Mary Fucinato, Senior: “Chocolate.”
Robin Jensen, Junior: “My dog Penny.”
Anthony Sacco, Sophomore:
Sara Nie, Sophomore:
“I’m thankful for friends.”
To read more about what RB students are thankful for log on to rbclarion.org
nce a year the people of the United States honor the 24,900,000 veterans who have lived, served, and died for America. Many people take this day to Bar-Be-Que and spend time with their family. Many veterans however choose to spend the day reflecting on their fallen comrades and what they have done for their country. Contrary to popular belief, Veteran’s Day is a solemn day especially for those who have fought for this great country. As Americans, we owe our lives to veterans, but I feel that the majority of us rarely show our gratitude. What many people do not realize is that veterans fought for every right they have. When someone speaks out against the war and how soldiers should stop fighting, the person does not realize that if he/she lived anywhere else the right to speak may not exist. We often take advantage of the rights we are given and most of us do not fully appreciate the sacrifices made by those who have served in the armed forces. Although some veterans may never say why they have done what they have done, the answer is universally known among them: they did it for their country. This is why I feeel that when Veteran’s Day rolls around, everyone should be sure to thank a veteran for the sacrifices they have made. Whether they are your sister, brother, mother, father, grandfather, cousin, uncle, or aunt, be sure to let them know that their sacrifices were not made in vain. Veterans do not need a party on V-Day, they just need to know that what they have done is not taken for granted.
Riverside Brookfield High School
Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
Who wants to play the AP scholar game? Bradley Wilson Media-Manager
elcome to “Who Wants to be an AP Scholar?” In this episode, one student will attempt to gain eight college credits, all while maintaining some mild form of a social life and balancing practices and matches for his sport. This week’s contestant hails from the small town of Riverside, Illinois where he attends the incredibly prestigious Riverside Brookfield High School. This week’s 1st question comes from AP US history, a course designed to prepare students for what a college level history class may offer. Q. During the closing decades of the nineteenth century, farmers complained about all of the following EXCEPT? a. rising commodity prices b. high interest charges c. high freight weights d. high storage costs e. large middleman profit A. The correct answer to that question would be A, rising commodity prices. I can’t even begin to explain the historical and modern day importance of this question. Not only does it encourage critical thinking skills, but it shows exactly what skills are needed of a college
level class: the ability to recall seemingly random information at any given time. The key word in the previous sentence being seemingly; one never knows when you will need to know about those nineteenth century farmers. Our modern school calendar was based off an agrarian agricultural society, so we deserve to give them at least a little respect, right? I could go on and on with increasingly dull and boring questions, but I think you get the point. I strongly believe that many AP classes have become nothing more than a simple game that requires spitting out facts or knowledge that are useless at this point in time. I know that AP classes are intended to prepare high school kids for the challenges of college, but if our AP classes reflect what actual college classes are like, then it’s a pretty sad statement on what college has become. AP classes should be teaching kids how to think, and how to critically examine the subject matter involved. I know targeting AP US history is easy because the amount of random knowledge you have to know is simply unreal. You would think that the College Board would want to encourage students to appreciate history and to understand the impact that it has on our lives, rather than teach them to spit up random facts that no average person will ever be expected to know.
A scantron from an AP test filled with incorrect answers.
It is completely understandable that AP level classes require an ability to know information that relates to the subject area, but at least the College Board could make a better attempt to make the questions relevant. I have no problem with difficult questions as long as they are at least somewhat useful. AP classes have spun out of control, and many have resorted to making students memorize random information in order to pass a test that theoretically correlates to taking the actual class in college. While a good idea on paper, tailoring classes to a single test of random facts and essays and calling it college credit turns out to be ridiculous. Much of my Advanced Placement experience has become nothing more than a game of who can recall the most
Athletics vs. academics Jason Flam Opinion-Manager
Do student athletes have their priorities straight?
very year students work hard to succeed at a high level in both academics and athletics. Colleges require high standards to participate in sports competitions while maintaining a respectable grade point average, so why shouldn’t high schools? In Chicago Public Schools, the required g.p.a. to be eligible to play in a sport is 1.0. So let me get this straight, I could go out for the football team, be a superstar athlete, and still be eligible to play with four D’s, and three F’s in seven of my classes? Under this system, high schools are virtually allowing their athletes (notice how I left out the student part) to never lift a finger in class and not have to pass any of their courses. Why does this not sound right? Look, we don’t want any future athletes to pull a Derrick Rose, right? Everyone is capable of at least doing the work to achieve a C average. In case you were wondering, that’s just a 2.0 on the non-weighted scale. Not difficult to do by any
means, especially when studentathletes are supposedly hold to a “higher standard” than everyone else. Playing sports is a privilege not a right of passage, and I think that most people tend to forget the difference. In actuality, there is a very fine line between the two. The truth is, why should these athletes be allowed to give little to no effort in the classroom? Don’t try to tell me that they give it all on the field and then have nothing left for academics. I laugh at that assumption because I myself am a student athlete, and I know plenty of my fellow classmates and teammates that can not only handle playing a varsity sport, but excel in the in their schoolwork everyday. Granted, not all athletes are as adept to the curriculum we are taught as others, but in a school like RB it is really hard to fail any of the classes offered here, let alone achieve a mere D. That kind of performance should be in no way rewarded by a spot on the field, court, or any other
place you may find an athlete. The teachers around here are simply wonderful and will do everything in their power to make sure you can get the highest grade possible. I’ve even heard of certain cases where the student did not deserve the grade whatsoever, and the teacher made up extra credit opportunities just to help them pass. Other schools around the area, including one of our very own conference rivals Elmwood Park, set the standards at where they should be as a 2.0 g.p.a. I feel like this is really not asking a whole lot, considering that to maintain that grade point average, one must receive a C in a regular class and even a C- in honors and AP courses. We are basically giving no help to these kids whatsoever simply because they will not be prepared to work in the real world once their athletic careers are over. Everyone must work to put food on the table, and in order to have big turkey for Thanksgiving. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that 2.0?
random information. When asked about AP classes, History teacher Mark Gouwens said, “Proving you know the subject matter is one part of the equation. The other being that you acquire the specific skill set necessary to be a successful learner.” While AP classes may require you to be a successful learner, I think that the College Board’s definition of a learner has been tainted, and that too much importance is placed on random facts. If you take AP US history, you will be required to know insane amounts of history minutia, and if you take AP Language and Composition, you will be expected to know what synecdoche is and pinpoint its usage in a text. These things are not bad in themselves. They might fill the dictionary definition of education, but
-Photo by Bradley Wilson
I don’t believe that most AP classes are the answer to a challenging and stimulating education. While there isn’t much that RB can do directly because much of the AP program largely resides in the College Board’s hands, I think that kids need to know what they are getting into before taking the classes. I urge all students to think when you hear the statement “take the hard class,” why the class is hard and whether or not you want to play “the game” so to speak. I’m not trying to say it’s a bad game necessarily, but don’t take AP classes just because they have two fancy letters in front of them. That isn’t what your high school education should be about. Would you sign up to be on a history game show if you didn’t like history?
Job market - outlook grim
Ian Pruett-Jones Staff-Reporter
ave you ever asked your best friend if they want to hang out later, only to be turned down because your friend has to go work? I know I have. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, that example isn’t happening as much as it used to. There’s no way around it, there are fewer jobs available for teenagers. It used to be that if a teenager wanted a job, they went to the local family owned business, earned minimum, wage, and spent the money they made on movies and such. This is no longer the case. Jobs are nearly impossible to find these days, so if someone finds themselves a job, they need to hold onto it with everything they’ve got. On top of that, students need to spend their money much differently than kids of old. Gone
are the days of care-free frittering away of money. Here to stay it seems are the practices of paying for insurance and things. It’s probably just my distorted view of adolescence, but I was under the impression that we had this time to enjoy being a carefree kid without the worries our parents had to deal with. Life is going to be hard enough without that life starting a couple years earlier than it used to. It is my belief that it is our right as teenagers to enjoy and be irresponsible with our money. It helps make experience for us when we are adults. The only lessons we are learning now is how much working stinks and how it’s really hard to enjoy the money we make. That shouldn’t be something you learn until you’re at least 20. These hard financial times are doing the youth of this country no favor when it comes to finances. Too many of us are focused on trying desperately to find jobs or feverishly holding onto those jobs that we don’t even necessarily like.
To read more student opinions log on to rbclarion.org
Riverside Brookfield High School
Entertainment Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
Murder Room, a killer performance Kate Abbatacola Content-Editor
he scene starts off dark. It’s late at night when Mrs. Hollister arrives home to find her husband sitting at the living room table, pouring himself a drink. As Mrs. Hollister struggles to explain why she didn’t come home from her cancelled church meeting, tensions rise and lies start to unravel. Before the audience can even begin to figure out the truth, she fires three gunshots and Mr. Hollister lies dead on the floor. RB’s presentation of The Murder Room may sound dark and mysterious, but its clueless, wacky characters made it just the opposite. The performance kept the audience on the edge of their seats and laughing the entire time. The small cast of six allowed the audience to connect with the characters and get a sense of who they really were. Senior Zeyne Guzeldereli played the role of Mr. Edgar Hollister as well as police constable, Abel Howard. “I’ve done original comedy before and that requires me to be 5 or 6 different characters,” said Guzeldereli, “so this was a piece of cake.” His favorite role of
the two was Edgar Hollister because he was crazy and eccentric. Other characters in the show included Edgar’s ditsy daughter Susan (Stephanie Duve) and her laid back American fiancé (Dovas Lietuvninkas), Lottie Molloy, the Hollister’s sassy older housekeeper (Olivia Toriumi), the inquisitive inspector Crandall (Nathan Smith), and the devious Mavis Templeton Hollister, Edgar’s recent bride (Olivia Landa). As the police and Mr. Hollister’s loved ones attempt to discover the truth behind his disappearance, secret identities are revealed and one discovery leads to another. The suspicion of murder flies around and ironically the Hollister home has a secret room nicknamed “The Murder Room.” The Murder Room’s twisted plot and quick, witty dialogue kept audience members entertained and often as confused as the characters, which seemed to be the point. If it wasn’t the humorous dialogue keeping viewers amused, it was the secret contraptions and props used for the show. Some of the clever contraptions on set included a
where they usually recorded their albums to try to make a final album worthy of the greatness The Beatles put out before. The result was “Abbey Road”. Referred to as the masterpiece, this album did all that The Beatles hoped for and more. “Abbey Road” had six songs originally featured on the disc: “Come Together”, “Something”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “I want you (She’s so Heavy)”, “Octopus’s Garden”, and “The End”; are all featured on the game. This means that “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, “Oh! Darling”, “Because,” “You Never Give Me Your Money”, “Sun King”, “Mean Mr. Mustard”, “Polythene Pam”, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”, “Golden Slumbers”, “Carry That Weight”, “Her Majesty” are being released for download. “You Never Give Me Your Money” – “The End” are a series of unfinished songs blended together called “The Abbey Road Medley”. When using Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 you’re given the option to play all of the songs from “The Abbey Road Medley” as one continuous sixteen minute track if you buy the entire album. When you don’t play the song as one continuous track, the medley songs are grouped together as when they were recorded. For example, “Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard” is one
Seniors Zeyne Guzeldereli and Olivia landahl played Mr. & Mrs. Hollister in RB’s production of The Murder Room.
drawer that flew open when the top of the desk was pounded, a window seat that led to “The Murder Room” and could only be opened by a very specific procedure involving the coat stand, and a picture frame on hinges that took the whole cast to operate.
A bicycle was another surprising prop that made a quick appearance in the show. Susan’s fiancé Barry rode in housekeeper Lottie Molloy on the handlebars, carefully maneuvering around furniture on the set. “We had to practice the bike
-Photo by Welch
scene a lot to get it down,” said Toriumi. With a plot that never slowed down and characters with secret identities and hidden agendas, the cast of The Murder Room put on a killer performance to say the least.
First Beatles Rock Band DLC Arrives Borderlands - unknown Entertainment Manager
n October 20th and 22nd the first batch of downloadable content for The Beatles: Rock Band was released. The rest of the songs from the album “Abbey Road” that aren’t already in the game will be available for download. Although Xbox 360 players have had “All You Need is Love” since the game came out on September 9, 2009, for Playstation 3 and Wii owners this is the first time any Beatle songs will be available for download. Harmonix (creators of Rock Band) and Microsoft (creators of Xbox 360) worked out a deal where “All You Need is Love” will be exclusive to Xbox 360 until the contract expires in December. So for Xbox 360 players this will be the second time that songs will be available for download. “Abbey Road” was the final album recorded by The Beatles before they broke up. Although it was the second to last album released, it’s still considered by most fans to be the last album. After recording songs for an unfinished album named “Get Back” The Beatles were on each other’s last nerves. The recordings for the unfinished album didn’t go well so they abandoned the project and decided they wanted to end strong. So they went to the Abbey Road Studios
continuous track on the game because it was recorded together as one continuous track. All the songs will take place in the Abbey Road Studios and evolve into a dreamscape, like the songs from the album already featured on the disc. The biggest issue with the first batch of DLC has been the fact that the Abbey Road Medley, which was one of the huge draws for buying the full album, is only available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 players. If you play on Wii, you have to play the song separately and there’s a loading in between songs like any normal playlist. The only good thing for Wii owners is that all the tracks are available to buy individually, where Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 owners only have the option of buying “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, “Oh! Darling”, and “Because” as individual tracks. The only way for PS3 and 360 owners to get the songs from the Medley is to buy the full album. “Abbey Road” is the first of three albums planned to be released by the end of the year. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Rubber Soul” are being released in November and December respectively. “Abbey Road” is out on Xbox 360 and Wii on October 20, 2009 and Playstation 3 October 22, 2009.
To read more movie, music, and videogame reviews log on to rbclarion.org
game of the year Bradley Wilson Media-Manager
ith Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2, and Left for Dead 2 scheduled for November release dates, many other first person shooters aren’t getting much press. Every year, a few staggeringly good games get overshadowed by more popular games that receive almost all of the press coverage. Borderlands, Gearbox’s new RPS (Role Playing Shooter) is an incredible game that has been overlooked by many players in lieu of many other highly anticipated shooters. Borderlands is available on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Borderlands is an incredibly unique experience that combines a first person shooter and a role playing game. Although many comparisons have been made to Fallout 3, Borderlands fully captures the essence of both genres. The graphics were not engineered to look realistic, but have an almost cartoonish effect. The graphics make use of a technique called cell shading and fit with the presentation of the game. Although they definitely don’t look spectacular in screenshots, they are quite impressive on an actual TV. Players follow one of four characters, all with different strengths, who are treasure hunters searching for alien loot in the desert wasteland of Pandora. As the story progresses, the characters delve deeper into the wasteland in search of “the vault,” a location said to house legendary alien treasure. Although there is a main story line, with quests that eventually lead to the conclusion of the story, the world of Pandora is entirely open and players can explore as they see fit. The world of Pandora houses many creatures and enemies that are trying to keep you from progressing towards the treasure. As a shooter, the game incorporates a typical screen layout and the standard shooter controls. However what sets Borderlands apart from other shooters is the diversity in weaponry. There are over seventeen million different guns in the game. Yes, you read that right, 17,000,000. Granted, the guns are randomized from different parts, but the developers took special care into making every weapon model unique. It is incredibly unlikely that players will ever see the same gun twice. Borderlands interface is set up around quests. Players may progress through the main story line or complete many of the side quests available for extra weapons, cash, or just plain fun. These quests are incredibly fun alone, but even more fun with friends. Borderlands features two player split screen cooperative play, and four player cooperative online play. Both the split screen and online coop are of a “drop in, drop out,” style...To read the full article log on to rbclarion.org
Riverside Brookfield High School
Nov. 20, 2009•Issue 2
Boys and girls cross country wrap ups Sixth man ready to go Boys Finish Third at Sectionals; 20th state
he RB’s boys cross country team ran to a third place finish at Sectionals. They are moving on to state for the first time since 1979. The runners stuck it out with horrible conditions for running. They ran through mud and even puddles up to their ankles, but that didn’t stop them. Justin Pomey lead the way for RB placing 19th. Keegan Buttimer really pulled it through for RB, being their
second best runner in the race. Buttimer is normally around their seventh best runner but he proved he had it in him and beat his record by 26 seconds. David Melone and Peter Lyson all ran hard to get to 30 finishes. “I’m very excited to be going down state with this team. They have worked hard both on and off season, and their hard work paid off,” said coach Daniel O’Rourke. The state meet was held on Saturday, November
7th at 12:30 p.m.. in Peoria, Illinois. The track was flat and on grass. RB competed in division 2A and placed 20th. RB’s top placing runner was senior Pete Lyson. In advanced of the meet, Coach Larry Forberg said, “My hope is that all the kids run their personal record this Saturday. It would really be great for the seniors to run their best race of the season at state.” --Gallegos
Girls out; Oberholtzer goes to State Seven girls from RB had the chance to run in sectionals on Saturday, October 31, but only Sam Oberholtzer made the qualifications for state. The top five teams are the only one’s who can go to state, along with the top five individuals not on those teams. Oberholtzer came in the third place allowing her to race on November 7th in Peoria, Illinois. Oberholtzer ran in Detweiller Park and her coach expected great things from her. Coach Whitney Carlson said, “Sam is a tough competitor. I expect her to be
in the top 50 or even top 25 (all state).” Last year the team came in third place; they also made it to state. This year they struggled with injury, sickness, etc. Carlson said, “Although we have a talented team, it just wasn’t our day.” Members of the team who competed were: Sam (3rd place) and Sydney (mid-late 20’s) Oberholtzer, Anna Tess (35-36), Maggie McLaughlin, Kelly Glavin (80’s), Gabby Ulloa (60’s), and Rachel Powell. Sophomore Maggie
McLaughlin said that sectionals were “very disappointing, we were expecting to go to state, but we didn’t run our best. I feel really sad, but proud of Sam and the boys.” On Saturday November 7, Oberholtzer proved her coach correct and placed 51st in state finishing with a time of earlymid nineteen minutes. She had a phenomenal performance and ran her best. She was supported by her fellow teammates and made RB proud. --Powers
New basketball season sees return of a favorite Vince ARVIS Staff Reporter
ootball season is now over. This means that it’s time for RB to focus on its next big sports craze, basketball! The 2009-2010 basketball season is quickly approaching and hoops fever is high. The team this year will be led by future Brown University superstar and senior, Sean McGonagill and returning junior, Ryan Jackson, who came off a sensational sophomore year. With these two players returning this year, the team looks better than ever. Possibly more important than these two stars, however, is the RB basketball cheering section, The Sixth Man. At home game, more than 100 spirit-filled RB students yell, scream, and cheer on the Bulldogs. “The goal of The Sixth Man is to give the team a confidence boost during the game and also get in the heads of the other team’s players, and psyche them out,” said senior Ian Robertson, who plans to lead The Sixth Man this upcoming season. Over the years, The Sixth Man has helped the Bull-
dogs prevail against many difficult opponents by making their presence known. “The Sixth Man definitely gives us a home court advantage,” said senior Forward/ Guard Mark McDonagh, “every team that comes into our house knows that The Sixth Man is going to be relentless, so they start the game off with a disadvantage.” Another thing The Sixth Man wants to bring to the table this year is not only going to home games, but games on the road too. “Playing on the road is one of the hardest things our team has to do. Having The Sixth Man there will definitely make us feel at home,” said senior Shooting Guard Mike Hansa. The Sixth Man has some big plans for the upcoming season. “We are going to try a lot of new and different things this season to help get our team win a state championship,” said Robertson, “we are going to use black outs, rally towels, and different costumes. Be ready for anything!” The RB Basketball Season tips off on November 25th at RB. The team will be there, The Sixth Man will be there…will you?
Playoff football ends in a loss Mike hansa Staff Reporter
iverside Brookfield varsity football season came to an end as the Bulldogs faced off against playoff rival Hubbard in the opening round of Class 6A playoffs. During the first drive of the night, the Bulldogs marched down the field with a powerful drive until being stopped by a turnover of downs at the inside of the greyhounds’ 25 yard line. With a momentum boost from the big fourth down stop, Hubbard went on to score 14 unanswered points and took control of the game
until the second quarter when quarterback Billy Vandemerkt scored on a quarterback draw to cut the lead to 14-6. However Hubbard came right back with a field goal before the half to make it 17-6. In the start of the second half Hubbard took off on the run game. With a couple of touchdowns the Greyhounds strengthened their commanding lead by making it even bigger at 30-6. The Bulldogs’ power defense could not stop the power house run game of the greyhounds having let up over 400 yards. The Dogs couldn’t get anything going on the offensive side of the game with a season
low of 115 yards in the air; it just wasn’t enough to spark the offense. The dogs finished the season at 6-4 overall and 5-1 in conference, sharing the conference title with Fenton. With a highlight season from many players this year including Mark McDonagh’s 165 receptions not only sets a state record but a national record as well. With a season coming to an end wide receiver McDonagh said, “It was a fun year and I’m glad I could spend it with my teammates and coaches; it was a year I will remember for the rest of my life.”
WEB EXTRA: SWAGGER Do you like Mike Hansa’s reporting? Check out his podcast Swagger with partner Mark McDonagh at www.rbclarion.org! Recent episodes include interviews with former host Kieran Brennan, shout outs to local RB teams, and a discussion of the upcoming NBA season. You can e-mail Mike and Mark at email@example.com.
-Photo by Radek
Football lives on in pickup games Ted Radek Staff-Reporter
n November 7, the second week of Indian Garden’s football kicked off. This group of 11 bulldogs and one friar engaged in some hardcore football, some even drawing blood. The students used the lines from a soccer field as boundaries with goal lines marked off by cones. The teams were picked by Captains Vince Varbaro and Ted Radek. Team Bag-o-Donuts consisted of Vince Varbaro, Alex Kavouriaris, Christian Hitt, Paul Beckett, Ian Robertson, and Tommy Gilbert. Team Tommy D consisted of Ted Radek, Tommy Doherty, Ben Johnson, Jeremy Fong, Ivan Garcia, and Alex Magdic. The game kicked off around 2 o’clock with a lot of miscommunication because of 2 touchdowns in 3 plays. The Kavouriaris and Hitt connection was seemingly unbeatable
with 4 touchdowns through the air. Christian Hitt was clearly the sleeper in this draft – 2nd to last pick. Although the defense was rocky at first, Bag-o-Donuts picked up in the end with big tackles out of Ian Robertson and Paul Beckett. Ian Robertson and Kavouriaris both had rushing touchdowns as well. Despite Bag-o-Donuts effort it was no match for Team Doherty’s wildcat offense. With Tommy Doherty taking the snaps lead blocking by Ted Radek and Ben Johnson the run game was truly unbeatable. Tommy Doherty had a career day with 6 rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown. But the play of the day must be credited to Alex Magdic forcing Paul Beckett to fumble going into the end zone. That takeaway set up the game winning pass-and-catch between Tommy Doherty and Ivan Garcia for a Team Doherty victory 7-6.
Riverside Brookfield High School
Sports Clarion staffers take the fantasy hoops plunge 8
Nov. 20 2009•Issue 2
Follow our season online at www.rbclarion.org/basketball! MARK MCDONAGH Pippen Ain’t Easy
MIKE HANSA Love Shaq
JOE SAUER Larry, Larry, Quite Contrary
JASON FLAM EDDIE MORRISSEY CHARLIE MORRISSEY Blinded by the Dwight His Majesty Morrissey That’s Birdman to You
Chris Paul NO
Tony Parker SA
Mo Williams CLE
Chauncey Billups DEN
Deron Williams UTA
Jose Calderon TOR
Ray Allen BOS
Brandon Roy POR
Paul Pierce BOS
Eric Gordon LAC
Nate Robinson NY
Joe Johnson ATL
Ron Artest LA
Stephen Jackson GS
Trevor Ariza HOU
Jeff Green OKC
Richard Jefferson SA
Carmelo Anthony DEN
Elton Brand PHI
Dirk Nowitzki DAL
Lamar Odom LAL
Kevin Garnett BOS
David West NO
Chris Bosh TOR
Brook Lopez NJ
Luis Scola HOU
Nenad Krstic OKC
Dwight Howard ORL
TJ Ford IND
Jameer Nelson ORL
Wilson Chandler NY
Monta Ellis GS
Acie Law ATL
Raymond Felton CHA
James Posey NO
Pau Gasol LAL
Gerald Wallace CHA
Hedo Turkoglu TOR
Boris Diaw CHA
Zach Randolph MEM
Luke Ridnour MIL
Mehmet Okur UTA
Kenyon Martin DEN
Jermaine O’Neal MIA
Kobe Bryant LAL
Carlos Boozer UTA
Kirk Hinrich CHI
Paul Millsap UTA
Jamario Moon CLE
Andrew Bynum LAL
Josh Howard DAL
Thaddeus Young PHI
Luol Deng CHI
Anthony Randolph GS
Al Harrington NY
Peja Stojakovic NOR
Tyson Chandler CHA
Leandro Barbosa PHO
Shawn Marion DAL
Udonis Haslem MIA
Allen Iverson MEM
JJ Reddick ORL
Josh Smith ATL
Kevin Martin SAC
Tyrus Thomas CHI
Samuel Dalembert PHI
Al Thornton LAC
Anthony Parker CLE
Russell Westbrook OKC
Michael Redd MIL
Rudy Fernandez POR
Derek Fisher LAL
Brandon Jennings MIL
Nene Hilario DEN
Ben Wallace DET
B VINCE ARVIS I’m Da Lawson
NICK KIRKINES Team K
RIGO REYES Yao Know What I Ming
DAVID MASLOWSKI Shaq Fu
Amare Stoudemire Brendan Haywood PHO WAS
CHERISE LOPEZ Oh Snap!
DAN MANCOFF Team Mancoff
Jonny Flynn MIN
Patrick Mills POR
Steve Nash PHO
Lou Williams PHI
Gilbert Arenas WAS
Jason Kidd DAL
Kevin Durant OKC
Manu Ginobli SA
Dwayne Wade MIA
OJ Mayo MEM
Vince Carter ORL
JR Smith DEN
Charlie Villanueva DET
Danny Granger IND
LeBron James CLE
Shane Battier HOU
Rudy Gay MEM
Joakim Noah CHI
Troy Murphy IND
Marcus Camby LAC
Al Horford ATL
Joe Smith ATL
Lemarcus Aldridge POR
Shaquille O’Neal CLE
Anderson Varejao CLE
Marc Gasol MEM
Spencer Hawes SAC
Andris Biedrins GS
Tim Duncan SA
Ty Lawson DEN
Ronnie Brewer UTA
Aaron Brooks HOU
Jason Terry DAL
Ben Gordon DET
Mario Chalmers MIA
M. Speights PHI Emeka Okafor NOR
David Lee NY Rodney Stuckey DET
Michael Beasley MIA Danilo Gallinari NY
Mike Miller WAS Chris Kaman LAC
John Salmons CHI Rajon Rondo BOS
Andre Iguadola PHI
Caron Butler WAS
Darius Miles FA
Greg Oden POR
Ryan Gomes MIN
Tyler Hansborough IND
Andrea Bargnani TOR
Larry Hughes NY
Rip Hamilton DET
Baron Davis LAC
Jamal Crawford ATL
Andrew Bogut MIL
Tyreke Evans SAC
Stephen Curry GS
Jason Thompson SAC
Andray Blatche WAS
Erick Dampier DAL
James Harden OKC
Rashard Lewis ORL
Derrick Rose CHI
Andrei Kirilenko UTA
Grant Hill PHO
Chuck Hayes HOU
Andres Nocioni SAC
Antwan Jamison WAS
Blake Griffin LAC
Chris Duhon NY
Roy Hibbert IND
SF Jason Richardson PF
Kevin Martin SAC
Al Jefferson MIN
Courtney Lee NJ