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MARCH 30, 2009

Newly passed restrictions add additional requirements for drivers under 17 // CAMSMITH

First attempt, he drove too fast down a residential street during the first try on his the driving test. He failed the driving test, but the second time was a breeze. Calm, cool and relaxed, senior Noah Quillec was handed a paper copy of his driver’s license. His real one would come in the mail later in the week.

However, under a new bill passed in the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives, teens would have to overcome some newly added obstacles in obtaining a license. The bill has been sent to Governor Kathleen Sebelius to be signed. The bill will modify the requirements for drivers who are younger than 17 years old.

Changes will be made to areas of restriction for drivers and the requirements of getting a learner’s, farm or restricted permit. The bill will lift restrictions, such as transporting non-sibling passengers. It will alter the age at which teens holding a farm or restricted permit are allowed to drive. The restrictions will only be altered

if they are at least 16 years old and have not violated any restrictions within a six month period. According to Suzanne Wilke, Director of Health Policy for the Kansas Action for Children, who testified in favor of the bill, the new plan will do three major things.

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NEWS: Remembering Bryan Barrow and Connor Lehr >PAGE 2-3 A&E: “Watchmen” review >PAGE 18 SPORTS: Basketball recap >PAGE 22-23

PAGE 2 NEWS / MARCH 30, 2009

REMEMBERING East mourns the deaths of junior Bryan Barrow and ‘08 graduate Connor Lehr

After fatal car crash, junior leaves behind leagacy of strong faith and kindness


// TIMSHEDOR They stepped into the bleached room, the only noise was the artificial respirator, pumping into junior Bryan Barrow’s body to keep his organs alive. His closest friends and family didn’t know how to react to the boy in the white bed, a boy who standing was rarely still or quiet. But this boy hadn’t moved a hair. At 10:30 p.m. that Friday night, Bryan’s Volvo hit Brush Creek’s pines near 51st Street and Ward Parkway. He was wearing his seat belt when the red R40 side-swiped one tree at approximately 60 mph and then fishtailed into another. The fire department cut him out of the passenger side when they arrived at the scene. According to Kansas City, Mo. Police Department Captain Rich Lockhart, the most likely cause of the crash was excessive speed, but his family also believes he was on his cell phone or became distracted and simply lost control. His spinal cord had severed at C2, just a few centimeters below his golden blonde hair. The paramedics had tried to revive him. Heart stopped. Blood pressure dropped. No movement. It would be a miracle if his organs could be recovered and donated, as the heart on his driver’s license dictated. He was officially proclaimed “brain dead” the next morning. “Bryan wanted everyone to be strong and courageous,” Bryan’s mother Anne PetersonBarrow said. “Bryan’s way is to be strong and courageous. If he had survived the accident, he would have been paralyzed, and that wasn’t his way. It was always Bryan’s way.” *** As soon as Bryan’s parents arrived in

the St. Luke’s ER at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, they started making calls. They called his best friend - his brother Erik. They called his youth pastor. They called every family member, his best friends, his skating crew. Only Bryan’s scarred face and thin upper foam of his neck brace shown outside the encompassing white sheet. His hand lay outside the blanket, the chain of his friend’s cross wrapped around his fingers. Twenty-seven hours before, he ate his favorite peanut butter and waffle breakfast before he got ready for school. He passed the devotional book at his bedside table, buried under two well-worn Bibles, on the way to the bathroom. He brushed his teeth in the mirror and faced the taped note. It read “Why I believe what I believe.” “It literally was a statement of faith for him,” Hillcrest Covenant Church youth pastor Nate Severson said. “He would read that every day, so he would be take what he believed and live it out. I’ve never had a kid tell me he loved me as much as Bryan does. Every time I see him, he’d come up and give me a big hug, and he’d say ‘I love you man,’ and I would say ‘I love you back.’” After the “High Impact” youth retreat last June, where Bryan adventured in the deep Colorado mountains, where Severson helped reprioritize Bryan’s life with God first, Bryan started attending Sunday morning services in the youth center and meeting with a small group on Sunday nights. The small bedside devotional helped challenge his faith during the small group’s weekly meetings. Severson had left for a mission trip on that Friday. A few hours after he landed in Anchorage, he got the call and was at the hospital bedside by 8:30 p.m. Saturday night. *** Junior Adam Levin came to the bedside, next to Bryan just like the last 17 years. He had lived right next door, and had been friends with Bryan since birth. But Bryan didn’t look like Bryan. His ordinarily messy and tangled blonde hair was slicked back. It wasn’t supposed to be Bryan. The lacerated and combed Bryan wasn’t the Bryan who watered the flowers outside everyday. He wasn’t the 10-year-old Bryan who mooned cars at Franklin Park. He wasn’t the summertime Bryan, the one who ran with Super Soakers and splashed in the hot tub. “I don’t feel like I’ve just lost a friend,” Levin said. “A lot of my memories growing up here are with Bryan. When I think back on childhood, I’m going to think about Bryan. It’s like I’ve lost part of my life.”

But it was still Bryan in the pale white room. He was the one who loved and cared for his friends, and his friends loved him back. A few kissed him on his forehead, the only place without a scrape. Others just held his hand. The rest stayed across the room, too afraid to face this Bryan. He was everyone’s friend. He greeted those he knew in the hall with a unique voice, from a high, Furby-like pitch for junior Dustin Ballard, to a fluctuating nasal tone for junior Brooks Williams. When he saw his former Spanish teacher Rose Detrixhe, he would give her a hug instead of an “Hola.” “Bryan was always there,” Williams said. “He was such a helping friend, such a caring person. He was really selfless and worried about his friends or family. He was all about being happy and enjoying life. He just wanted to have a good time.” 

“I don’t feel like I’ve just lost a friend. A lot of my memories growing up here are with Bryan. When I think back on childhood, I’m going to think about Bryan. It’s like I’ve lost part of my life.” -Junior Adam Levin

*** Cousin Lars-Erik Brunk came to Bryan’s bedside. Lars-Erik didn’t see his future Colorado State roommate. He didn’t see his former competition, his former role-model, his friend. Summertime was sublime for Lars-Erik and Bryan. They vacationed in Wisconsin with their grandma Ulla Brunk and their grandpa Bertil Brunk on the family yacht over the still, blue, deep waters of Lake Geneva. Garfar, affectionate Swedish for grandfather, and a young Bryan bonded over the black and ivory keys in Geneva by singing an improvised melody. He was only kneehigh, but he followed every onomatopoeia, “Da doo doo da doo” melody, his garfar sang and harmonized perfectly to the family gathered around. “He had this fantastic way of looking at you,” Ulla said. “He could be just as sophisticated as he was goofy and just as charming. You couldn’t help but respect him.” Bryan shared time between the Brunks in Geneva and the Barrows in Fulton, Mo. He would alternate between the crystal waters

and the thick forests, loyal and loving to both sides of his immediate family. In the thicket of Fulton, it was a slice of heaven. The A-Frame that served as a reunion hall for the family overlooked the original homestead: 600 acres of forest, plants and rocks, all waiting for Bryan to explore and pull out snakes or other critters. “Bryan had a love for the outdoors and had an appreciation for God’s nature,” Anne said. “He was not one to be inside; he had to be out, just living life to the fullest. He was a real down-to-earth kid.” *** Bryan’s skating friends held a candlelight vigil at the bedside. He was surrounded by the small votives on that night, but the next day Bryan’s body would travel into the recovery room for surgery to donate his organs, and then later settle at Johnson County Memorial Gardens on the following Wednesday. His friends and other skateboarders had organized a barbeque and skating competition yesterday, with all profits donated to Bryan’s memorial scholarship fund, granted to a graduating student who the family feels best embodies Bryan’s qualities. A week before the crash, Bryan came home with a grin from ear to ear and a DVD in his hand. He had earned a sponsorship from Ride Forever, the skate shop he had loved to work at for the past six months. The sponsorship gave him access to free gear, a new board every month and a few minutes in The Ride Forever Studio highlight video of their best skaters. Those five minutes would have sealed a future Vans sponsorship, Bryan’s next major goal, just before an A in fourth quarter physics. But that sponsorship had been his goal for the past school year and it almost always came before homework or parties. He was determined. Cracks, pops and ollies sounded from the driveway on Linden Drive, regardless of how many times he fell. “In jewelry class, I’d be like ‘what’s this new scrape from?’” Ballard said. “‘Oh, I just went down this 14-foot stair,’ [Bryan would say]. He was crazy.” His first hospitalization was on his thirteenth birthday. It was raining, and he wanted to go with Erik to the skate park. His mom wanted to go out for ice cream. The ICU held him for two days after he smacked his head on the slippery concrete, but he left with only a few stitches and a minor concussion.

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PAGE 3 NEWS / ISSUE 13 “In the ambulance on the way to Children’s Mercy, I thought to myself ‘I hope I never have to go through this again,” Anne said. “I worried about him all the time when he was out skateboarding, or doing anything.” Even when he wasn’t on his board, he was a natural athlete and played soccer for East during his three year high school career. His cleats moved like a dancer’s feet; it was like he was choreographed. A lucky fan would be able to glimpse his mouth, biting down on his tongue in determination, just like he’d done since preschool. Next season will be dedicated to Bryan and his legacy of fancy footwork on the grass. “He had this smile,” head soccer coach Jaime Kelly said. “And whenever you saw

this smile….it always kind of made you laugh and bring a smile to your face.” *** Before Bryan’s gurney moved down the hall, his family and friends held hands around the white, suddenly warm room. Severson led the prayer, hoping for a miracle that Bryan’s organs could be donated despite his condition and the doctor’s forebodings. His garfar sang “Tryggare Re Kan Ingen Vara,” the Swedish hymn “Children of the Heavenly Father,” as his last parting “Do do da da do do do.” The rest took turns saying their last good-byes, Bryan’s dad, Bruce, leaning in closely to tell him which friend was coming next. “I just walked in, and you gotta take

deep breaths before you walk into that room, because you can’t control tears from coming out of your eyes when you walk in there and see your best friend lying on the bed, completely, just gone,” Levin said. “There’s no way to describe that feeling. I didn’t know what to say. I had to sit there for a few minutes and just look at him. Held his hand, and touched him, and finally, I don’t even remember what I said. I said good-bye and told him I loved him and then I left. I can’t even remember what I said to him, it’s just overwhelming to see that.” The doctors’ return from the recovery room came with the bittersweet news. They were able to save each organ and find a needy body. His liver was going to a 60-year-old. His first kidney to a 57-year-

old, his second to a 52-year-old. His pancreas: a 45-year-old. His heart was going to a 22-year-old who would have only had a few days left to live. Bryan was the boy who gave everything, from a sympathetic ear for his friends to love and loyalty for his closest to a few vital organs for strangers. He couldn’t return the “I love you’s” and forehead kisses, but he didn’t need to. “It struck me a couple days ago…he only got to live 17 years,” Severson said. “And then I thought, ‘He got to live 17 years.’ And I was thankful God let me be a part of that. He got 17 years and he lived it to the fullest and I guarantee he’s got no regrets.”

Former East student remembered for his sense of humor and athletic ability He loved all sports, basketball, golf, ping pong, but he especially loved tennis. He was on the tennis team at East, and lettered for three years. At his funeral, a crate held tennis balls and sharpies with a sign asking to “sign a ball for Connor.” On a table were pictures of him playing, along with his letter jacket and racquet. He kept us all kind of on a light note,” East tennis coach Sue Chipman said. “He was a pretty good competitor. He didn’t make that top six, but he was a good kid to have around.” He also loved being with his friends, always laughing, a smile on his face. His friends, his co-worker, his aunt talked about Connor at the funeral at the packed Rainbow Mennonite Church, including one friend who said he had a picture in his head of Connor in his Jeep with the tinted windows. One night it was raining and they realized his sunroof was open. Still, he was laughing. “He was incredible, and such a good guy,” sophomore Anousha Shirazi said.” He always had a smile on his face. We talked about our problems, and when I was with him I felt like everything was going to be okay.” Senior Ali Brewer remembers him as “the definition of a



For Connor Lehr, things were looking up. Connor, who attended East last year, had moved to Lawrence and was in the process of applying to KU. He had spent a month at Valley Hope for drug treatment. His legal problems were being resolved. In the weeks before he died, thinks were looking up Connor died March 19 from what his mother, Carrie Lehr, believes was an accidental overdose resulting from a mixture of pain medication and antidepressants. He was 19-years-old. Connor was born on Oct. 19, 1989 and spent his life in Prairie Village. He attended Prairie Elementary, Indian Hills Middle School and then East. ‘08 graduate Quinn Conrad, now a freshman at Kansas State, remembers Connor as an athletic kid, even in elementary school. “I think the first time I met him was on our first grade basketball team,” Conrad said. “All I remember was that he was pretty athletic and kind of cocky about it, but cocky in a confident way not in a mean way. I was a nerd in elementary school and played tons of video games, so when we played together and found out we had a lot in common we just became closer friends.”

He was incredible, and such a good guy. He always had a smile on his face. We talked about our problems, and when I was with him I felt like everything was going to be okay. -Sophomore Anousha Shirazi

chill guy.” They had met through mutual friends three years ago and hung out during the summer. If she didn’t answer his calls he would leave a message saying the bare minimum in his low voice: “Ali (pause) call me back.” The last time she saw him was at a gas station. He was in his Jeep, blaring rap music, laughing. They didn’t talk, but he called her later and asked, “was that you?” “He was going through a lot of stuff, and it was a problem,” Brewer said. “There were a lot of times I felt kind of helpless. I wanted to help him, but I only could have done so much.” But his mother believes he was improving. He had struggled with drug abuse, but had been to Valley Hope, a drug treatment center, for a month, where he met “a lot of nice people,” according to Carrie, and his legal problems for theft and drug possession were being resolved. “[Drug abuse] negatively affected his life,” Carrie said. “At his age, it was hard to believe he had a problem. At 19 I


Visit the Harbinger Web site at to leave your thoughts for the Barrow and Lehr families or share memories of Bryan and Connor. The online guestbook is available in the comment section at the bottom of the page for the respective stories. Registration is not required to comment. think he believed he was invincible.” He hadn’t graduated with his classmates last year, because he “didn’t quite make it to school,” according to Carrie, but he received his GED during first semester of this year, and wanted to go to his beloved KU. A KU blanket was draped over his casket; a picture of a jayhawk was the first image on a slideshow of pictures of him as a toothy toddler and a beaming preteen. “He was looking forward to going [to KU],” Carrie said. “He had a bright future.” His mother is remembering the positive times during his childhood, before the drug use started, which Carrie thinks may have began when he was 16-years-old, after he started driving his own car. She wants to focus on the good memories, not on the problems he was facing before he died. “I’m sad he wasn’t able to rise above his drug use, and see the problem,” Carrie said. “I’m sad he lost his life due to drugs.” He made mistakes. But things were looking up. “He had many troubles, but it brought him closer to God, and for that, we are thankful,” the Rev. Harry Schneider said at the funeral. “It was not Connor’s intention to put you through this, and yet, here you are, forced to face the undeniable fragility of life.” Carrie hopes that teens will learn from his death. “If anything good comes from Connor’s death, I hope it will teach others to value friends, family and think twice before drinking or doing drugs. I’m hoping kids will learn how dangerous drugs are, and how precious life is.” She wants him to be remembered as a good friend, a good person, an “overall good guy.” His friends will remember him as someone they could depend on. “I loved him dearly,” Shirazi said. “We’ll all miss him.”

PAGE 4 NEWS / MARCH 30, 2009

Bill aims to increase safety with age restrictions and new limitations // CONTINUED FROM PAGE ONE

The first requires every teen under age 17 to have their permit for a 12 month period. The second is that when they turn 16 they can get their license, but for a six month period they can only have one nonsibling member in the car, but there are no limitations on how many sibling members they can drive during those six months. The third limits those 16-year-olds with a license by saying they can’t drive past 9 p.m. unless it is for going to or from school activities. Under the new bill, only those older than 17-years-old can obtain a license without having to complete certain requirements. The bill will be effective Jan. 1, 2010. Teenagers who already have a learner’s or restricted permit or license will not be affected by the bill. According to Wilke, Kansas is one of three states that does not have a time-ofday restriction or a restriction on the number of passengers a driver can have in their car. “This bill will prepare teens for the full responsibility of driving and make them better drivers,” Wilke said. “It is good because Kansas has a high teen death rate in crashes so hopefully, it will save lives.” Quillec never thought of getting his license until getting a car.  He had friends to

Changes under NEW Bill

drive him around, and he didn’t have a car to drive. He stuck with a learner’s permit for four years. Quillec would practice his driving with a parent by running them on daily errands. He received a car in December, and then felt it necessary to get his license. “I’m glad I got my license before I would have had to jump all of these new hurdles,” Quillec said. “But I agree with this bill because now I feel like I am more mature and was ready for the responsibility. I’m not nervous and I think I won’t make the mistakes a 16-year-old would, even though it is just one year it makes a big difference.” Under the bill, teens with a learner’s permit must drive with an adult that is 21 years or older. Teens also have to be 14 years old to receive a learner’s permit. To receive a restricted permit, drivers must have had the permit for at least one year, and drivers have to complete a driver’s education course. Teenagers that have a restricted permit can drive within the time period of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. if they are going to or from school activities. Freshman Jake McCoy still has his learner’s permit, but is in the process of obtaining his restricted. Since he has his learner’s permit, he will not be affected. The bill will place his 12-year-old brother under the

new guidelines. Jennifer McCoy, Jake’s mother, will have to take her youngest child to and from activities and school under the proposed bill, but sees the bill as a good thing overall. “There are a lot more cars on the road, the cars go faster and there are more distractions now than when I was a kid,” Jennifer said. “I think that this is a very good thing for the safety of kids, but it isn’t so good for the convenience of those who have to drive the kids around.” The bill still bans teenagers who are younger than 16 holding a restricted permit to drive any non-siblings, but if they are older than 16, they can drive one non-sibling member that is younger than 18. Anyone driving without a full license can’t operate a wireless communication device unless they are reporting something illegal or are in need of help. Public Information Officer for the Kansas Department of Transportation Steve Swartz insists the change is for the better. He thinks the extra time will give drivers more practice to handle different situations they will face throughout their whole life when they are driving. “Even though it is only one more

Age Changes

Passenger Limitations Under the new legislation, the current law prohibiting any non-sibling passengers in a vehicle with a restricted licence (under age 16) would remain the same. However, the bill will allow persons age 16 and older with a restricted license to have one non-family-member passenger (under 18-years-old) in the vehicle.

Required Number of Hours

Full: at least 17-years-old with 50 hours of supervised driving. Restricted: minimum age remains 15-years-old, but different requirements (see left). Permit: minimum age of 14 the same; now subject to license suspension like the full license.

Restricted License (age 16): applicant will have to hold instruction permit for a year (instead of current six months), and complete 50 hours of supervised driving (10 at night). Restricted License (age 15): same as above except only 25 hours are required.

year of driving, I think it will have a great impact,” Swartz said. “It will be safer for those driving and in the community around them.” According to Swartz, teenagers represent 7 percent of all licensed drivers in Kansas. They also represent 13 percent of all fatal crashes and 20 percent of all crashes. Statistics show a 16-year-old driver with one passenger has a 39 percent increase of a crash, with two there is an 86 percent increase and with three or more there is a 182 percent increase, with the greatest time for these crashes being from 9 p.m. to midnight. “It is young drivers that are the most vulnerable,” Swartz said. “It isn’t fair to think they can do it just because they have reached a certain age.” Prairie Village Police Department Detective Brady Sullivan isn’t one to advocate the increase in the age restriction.  To him, getting a license at age 16 is a right of passage and it is expected by teens, parents and everyone else in the community. “Yes, young drivers have more accidents but that is because they are brand new drivers,” Sullivan said. “I don’t see a lot of the accidents decreasing just because they are 17 years old.   In some cases the statistics for accidents for 17 year olds might jump up now.   The bill can’t necessarily do any harm, so it isn’t a horrible thing.” McCoy knows the extra time to practice his driving will be helpful, but in some cases doesn’t see the sense of it. “I don’t see why people have to wait another year if they are ready to drive at 16,” McCoy said. “If parents and the teen agree they have enough experience, and they pass the driving test, why shouldn’t they be able to get [their] license?”

Curfew for restricted license Cell Phone Use

The bill would ban those with instruction permits, farm permits or restricted licenses from operating wireless communication devices while driving, except to report illegal activity or summon emergency help. This includes communication via text messaging.

Drivers possessing a restricted license would be allowed to drive at any time from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and while going to or from authorized school activities.

// Kansas State Legislature


An unexpected threat to students’ health and grind it up in the disposal,” Dollar said. may have entered the East cafeteria by way Since Sept. 1, 2008, there have been 683 of Wells’ Blue Bunny Nutty Sundae Ice reported cases of this Salmonella strain Cream Cones: salmonella. across the nation, called salmonella typhOn Feb. 24, SMSD issued a statement say- imurium. The number of cases has receded ing that they were notified by U.S. Foodser- since December, but has continued on, with vice that the district possibly received a ship- the most recent case beginning on Feb. 8, acment of Blue Bunny Nutty Sundae Ice Cream cording to the Center for Disease Control. Cones which may have been contaminated The Blue Bunny Nutty Sundae Ice Cream with salmonella. The district disposed of the Cone recall is related to the recent outbreak remaining Blue Bunny product immediately of salmonella in peanuts. The nuts on top after receiving notification, but it is possible of the cones were in question. Coughenour that the product was served in five middle learned of the peanut contamination about schools and each high school. According to two months ago. SMSD Food Services Manager Nancy Cough“I verified that all products we were using enour, there have been no reported cases of were okay with the manufacturers,” CoughSalmonella in the district. enour said. “This one was okay at that time. Coughenour received a phone call from They have since issued a potential salmothe distributor on Feb. 19 regarding the po- nella notification. That is when we take actential salmonella. After this, she notified tion.” Cafeteria Managers around the district of the Although the contamination was potenproblem. tial and not definite, the district aimed to “I ask the question, spread the word to as ‘Do you have any of the many students, parents product? Yes or no,’” and people residing in Coughenour said. “If it’s the area as possible. yes, I need to know how SMSD Director of Public ...THE SCARIEST THINGS YOU COULD EAT much you have and I CAMPYLOBACTER Information and Comfound in raw chicken, is the most need you to destroy the munications Leigh Anne common bacterial cause of diarrhea in the world product.” Neal said that each affectSALMONELLA Once East Cafeteria ed school posted a statecauses diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and can be life-threatening Manager Lora Dollar ment regarding the issue received word of the CALICIVIRUS on its Web site and sent sparks a two-day gastrointestinal virus involving vomiting and diarrhea possible contamination, out broadcast recorded she went to work dis- E. COLI messages to families at contracted by eating food contamiposing of it. According each school. nated by microscopic amounts of cow feces, causes severe diarrhea to Dollar, around 10 stu“Our district feels it is CDC.GOV and cramps // dents buy Blue Bunny really important to comNutty Sundae Ice Cream municate with the comCones each day at East. She ate one of the munity,” Neal said. “Even though the recall questionable products the day before the was a possibility of contamination, we felt it recall. was important just to let our patrons know “My procedure was to check the product that this was a product that potentially may that I had on hand, unwrap each product, have been of concern.”


Traces of salmonella suspected in ice cream

briefs The ZAPS PSAT/SAT test preparation seminar is today and tomorrow in the library from 3-5:30 p.m. Students can sign up in the counseling office.

The Kansas math assessment is this week for standard geometry and select sophomores and juniors in the library. The library will be closed this week during the school day. Seminar Update: There will be a meeting for junior and senior NHS members April 8 during session A of seminar. Members will receive additional information in a letter from Rebecca Murphy. // GAILSTONEBARGER

The salmonella organism is most harsh on young children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems. For these people, infections can be grave. Those who are healthy can expect diarrhea, fever, and vomiting 12-72 hours after being infected. Junior Ryan Olander eats Blue Bunny products occasionally at lunch. After buying a Blue Bunny product the week of the possible infection, he learned of the salmonella contamination in some Blue Bunny products. “I bought [the Blue Bunny product] and then somebody told me about [the Salmonella threat in Blue Bunny products],” Olander said. “I wasn’t too worried because I hadn’t heard of any big thing about it, so I was like, ‘Oh, it can’t be that big of a deal if they are still serving it.”


It’s on. After three years of growing success at SM Northwest, the poetry slam has gone district wide. Coordinators and participants of the SM Northwest poetry slam, who created the event for students to express themselves in a new venue, have challenged the five other Shawnee Mission School District high schools to a competition of original poetry, writing and performance that will culminate in a district-wide contest in early May. East has accepted the challenge and under the coordination of librarian Chris Larson has been promoting the contest and assembling students to participate in the contest. “We’ve promoted the project by having English teachers talk to their students about it,” Larson said. “The competition is a great way to encourage students to write poetry.” The poetry slam, which will take place on April 15 and 17 during fifth hour lunch periods in the library, is different from an open-mic night because unlike an open mic, the poetry slam is a competition of poetry writing and performance judged by a panel of teachers and randomly selected audience members. The judges will evaluate performers not only on the content of the poem, but with a strong emphasis on stage presence and delivery. English 9 and writer’s workshop teacher Laura Beachy touts the slam for the opportunity it presents students. “[The poetry slam] gives students a different forum to express


themselves,” Beachy said. “It’s a clever way for students to show off their talent.” The tops scorers from each of the five preliminary rounds will be selected during the three lunches on Wednesday and the first two on Friday to be reevaluated with a different poem during third lunch. Ultimately, four winners and one alternate will make up the East Slam Poetry Team that will go on to compete in the districtwide poetry slam in early May. Prizes for district-competition have yet to be determined said Larson, but prizes at East will consist of Borders’ gift cards. Senior Erik Dickinson is one of 12 who have already signed up for the competition. Dickinson signed himself up for the poetry slam after hearing it promoted in his writer’s workshop class. He attributes his interest in the competition to his zest for poetry. “It’s a unique opportunity because writing poetry and speaking out loud are different,” Dickinson said. “But I’m really more interested in just getting together and sharing.” Dickinson already has a tentative poem selected for the competition. His tentative poem titled “Richard the Rapscallion,” is one he had written prior to hearing about the poetry slam, but Dickinson enjoys the alliteration in it. Larson said that this year’s slam will most likely not be a big production, but hopes that it will grow as SM Northwest’s did. “Northwest started out small, but has become a big deal,” Larson said. “I expect East’s [poetry slam] to build on this year and grow in the years to come.”

The repertory theater class will be presenting children’s plays today and tomorrow after school. Each play lasts roughly 15 minutes for a total running time of an hour and a half. They begin at 3 p.m. in the little theater. The PTA officers for the 2009-2010 school year, selected by the nominating committee, are: President- Cathy Bennet Vice President of Administration// GAILSTONEBARGER Becky Johnson Vice President of Programs- Alison Coulson and Denise Clark Vice President of MembershipNonie Newman and Molly Michell Recording Secretary- Jane Wetzel Corresponding Secretary- Mary Lucas Treasury- Karen Bailey There will be a 1:45 p.m. early dismissal on April 8. The schedule for that day will be 2, 6, 4 and half of a seminar period in which students can visit teachers. To receive weekly legislative updates regarding the Shawnee Mission School District and state budget issues, sign up at SMSD lobbyist Stuart Little’s web page: Johnson County Community College is offering a “Choices Workshop” designed to help current and incoming high school seniors with choices regarding educational decisions and support or their career and life goals. The workshop is held at JCCC and costs $20. For more information or to sign up for an upcoming workshop, contact the Career Services Center at (913) 4693870. The dates for the remaining “Choices Workshops” are : April 6 (3-6 p.m.) May 18 (5:30-8:30 p.m.) June 16 (5:30-8:30 p.m.) July 13 (5:30-8:30 p.m.)


To prevent Mexican drug cartels from getting assault weapons and help stop their violent crimes, the U.S. should


In Juarez, Mexico, attackers stabbed and sliced almost every part of one man’s body. They cut off his head, wrapped it in a plastic grocery bag, and dumped it with his body between two trailers on a city street. In Tijuana, two brothers ages four and 13 were gunned down along with their father outside a grocery store. The bodies of a prominent Mexican general and his associates were found abandoned in a bullet-ridden SUV on a dark highway to Cancun. These victims are the casualties, and each assault is a battle in the war between Mexican drug cartels and Mexican government forces. Though not intentionally, the United States is arming the drug lords who took the lives of more than five thousand just last year. It’s well past time for the U.S. to take action and stop this lethal passage of weapons. According to a report issued by the U.S. State Department on Feb. 27, approximately 40,000 illegal firearms were seized from the cartels by the Mexican government in 2008, and 95 percent of those traced were purchased in the U.S. Mexican drug lords can purchase these weapons from the U.S. because of our country’s gun laws. Most states, including Kansas and Missouri, allow the sale of assault weapons, which include most semi-automatic firearms. Also, there are loopholes in the system that allow for people to purchase these weapons without background checks, whereas gun sales in Mexico are strictly regulated. Tom Diaz, a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, testified against the current state of the gun market at the subcommittee meeting on National Security and Foreign Affairs March 12. “The U.S. gun market not only makes gun trafficking in military-style weapons easy,” Diaz said, “it practically compels that traffic because of the gun market’s loose regulations and the gun industry’s ruthless design choices over the last several decades.” The destruction caused by these weapons from the United States has been astronomical in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Shootings in Vancouver, kidnappings in Phoenix, assaults in Birmingham—all linked to the Mexican drug cartels. A recent Department of Justice report found that Mexican drug cartels control most of the U.S. drug market and are the largest organized crime threat to the U.S. United States law enforcement officials have identified 230 cities where Mexican cartels “maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors,” a Justice Department report said in December. Kansas City is one of them. It is clear that the problem is no longer just affecting


Mexico, and U.S. attempts to fix this situation are well overdue. The U.S. government needs to attack the problem at its source by making gun sale laws stricter and preventing the illegal passage of these weapons into the hands of the drug cartel groups. One way to do this would be altogether banning the sale of assault rifles in the U.S. U.S. government officials like Attorney General Eric Holder are already considering reinstating the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 and prohibited the sale of many types of semi-automatic military-style guns, including AK-47s and AR-15s. When the Ban expired in 2004, democratic senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a ten–year extension, but was voted down. These assault weapons are essentially the fuel for the drug cartels and reinstating the ban would prevent thousands more weapons from being smuggled to them this year. Gun advocates argue that this act would diminish the Second Amendment. However, the Second Amendment was created to guarantee the efficiency of state militias as a means of defense and ensure a person’s right to own a firearm. With the ban reinstated, an individual would still be able to own a gun to use for hunting and sports shooting, which are the activities that the National Rifle Association supports, according to their Web site. People just wouldn’t be able to have an assault weapon, whose purpose and very nature is to kill. Assault weapons are used for attack, hence the name. When our founding fathers drafted the Second Amendment, it was not in their interest to arm these ruthless killers. Gun advocates like NRA executive vice president Wayne Lapierre also argue that the best solution is to increase enforcement along the U.S.-Mexico border and uphold existing laws. While these are both viable options and should be addressed, the bottom line is that these weapons are made to kill, and that’s how they are being used, at home and abroad. The most thorough way to eradicate these attacks is to cut off the drug cartels’ main source. The Mexican Drug War is a complex problem, and it will take more than this ban to end it. However, decreasing this exchange of weapons will set back the cartels, and it’s the most effective way the United States can take action to stop the violence.

ote 11 0 0


a publication of shawnee mission east high school 7500 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208

march 30, 2009 issue 13, vol. 50

The Harbinger is a student-run publication. The contents and views are produced solely by the staff and do not represent Shawnee Mission East or the SMSD faculty or administration.
































The majority opinion of the Harbinger Editorial Board









Dear Harbinger Editor, In response to your March 2nd article, I have decided it is time to “put on the brakes”. In the course of all of our lives, there will be times when the right thing to do is admit you have made a mistake. Seeing this article in print, and the subsequent response by students, parents, and my peers provided a much-needed wake up call for me. Early in my teaching career, I was fortunate to meet former KC Royal’s owner Ewing Kaufman. Through his “Project Essential,” I learned what I consider an important formula, which I utilize in my life to atone for my mistakes and in act positive change. It is the A, B, C, and D of problem solving and here is my strategy for implementing this process. When a problem arises, the first step to resolution is Admitting you made a mistake. The circumstances behind my classroom comments and the tie to economic concepts I was covering are irrelevant. I genuinely regret that I communicated a message that could condone that it is OK to break the law. I think those who were part of the classroom discussion would validate that my message was not focused on influencing students on how to outsmart the legal system. Traffic violations can have inadvertent consequences to a young driver’s insurance rates and I believe it is beneficial to share acquiring tickets with your parents to determine which course of action is best for your specific situation. I do not hold a legal degree or law enforcement certification. Students should not use the content of this article to minimize the importance of safe driving practices and adherence to the posted speed limits. The second component to Project Essential is Be willing to accept the consequences of your mistake. For me, that meant explaining myself to students, being the topic of conversation in colleague circles, and being reported by a parent on the inappropriate behavior and bullying hotline. It also meant listening to Dr. Krawitz’s keynote speech at the National Honors Society induction –an organization that focuses on good character – and realizing the Harbinger article and the exposure of my driving record is contradictory to the character I want to possess. As NHS Sponsor, and a mentor for good character decisions, this became an area I knew needed reform. To me the monetary punishment of small tickets pales in comparison to the exposure of this driving secret and the reflection it has on my character. The next step is to Correct the mistake. I’m going to need the name of a good auto mechanic because I intend to extinguish more brake pads in my future. Since the article was published, I have found that you can go down the steep incline on Nall between I-435 and 103rd Street at 35 MPH with only a few brake pumps. Leaving five minutes earlier and reducing my speed by 5 MPH doesn’t seem like the sacrifice I once imagined. I feel like this public acknowledgment and letter to the editor is also the proper course of action for the development of better driving habits. I’m not just attempting to restore my reputation; this act has actually been quite liberating. I think the fourth component of Kaufman’s plan is one of the most essential. Don’t remember the mistake, remember the correction. It is very easy and natural to become overly embarrassed by your transgressions. There is great power in being able to admit you’ve made a mistake and take the steps to grow as a person and make permanent changes to a less than ideal situation. We are all human and will find ourselves in situations like this during different times in our lives. Don’t get caught up in the mistake as the real influence lies in the opportunity for improvement. Driving is a privilege I enjoy and do not take for granted. We must take a collective stance in obeying traffic laws to keep all of society safe. Speed limits are not guidelines, they are important rules. Students, you are beginning drivers; please learn this lesson earlier than I did. For those adults who have pulled me aside and admitted you have many speeding tickets as well, please gain wisdom from my situation. You thought the disclosure of my record was amusing – it’s not. I truly apologize for the content of my unintended message. Please allow me the opportunity to restore my reputation and make enhancements to my character. You can help me do this by obeying the law… …I know I plan to. - Rebecca Murphy













an opinion of

/ JACKHOWLAND While most kids were kicking soccer balls and earning their boy-scout badges, I was shooting hockey pucks. From second grade on, my quiet escape was a dimly-lit rink, barely large enough to house an entire sheet of ice. Despite the sport’s unpopularity in Kansas, a hockey stick and a puck have meant everything to me. Over the years, I’ve come to love our pint-sized hockey rink. It’s located in an area with a population as big as East. I’ve seen everything there, whether it be the Wednesday night old man league, The Fossils, or the curling lessons that preceded our practice. The building itself is small enough to be someone's home. The value is on the inside. I now play hockey at a large facility, where the rest of our high school league plays. But I'll always remember those days playing hockey until I could no longer feel my legs. Even when my parents were sick of it, even when it was inconvenient, my friends and I would return to this rink to play. During the week we would practice. On weekends, games. And if we were lucky, we'd have a tournament or two. Sioux Center, Wichita and Omaha are just a few of the many destinations we rambled through during our tournaments. We were reckless, merciless and feared nothing. W h e n

most people walk into a hotel lobby and find there's a wedding to be there, they keep their distance. Not us. We played floor hockey, on our knees with smaller versions of hockey sticks, right where the wedding was to be, breaking the leg of a table, and almost breaking the leg of a teammate. And when most people eat out they're on their best behavior. Not us. Instead we played a rousing game of "Hit the packet of cream through the goal". And yes, it's just as messy as it sounds. And all of this began with a hockey stick and a puck. My second year of hockey I found myself in front of my new community center after an unsuccessful year with the "Junior Blades". If you’re a die-hard hockey fan than you know that the Blades were one of our many previous minor league teams. The team failed to attract so much as a few fans. But none of that mattered. Now I was a saint, a Kansas City Fighting Saint. It sounded good. As I stumbled my way through the front doors I was exposed to a new life. I looked up and saw men approaching me like I was their old college buddy. “Hey what’s up?” they would shout my way. But I didn't answer. I was just a shy seven-year-old boy. When I arrived in the locker room on my first day as a Saint, I was surprised to see what looked like a large closet. Crammed into the room tightly were dads, dads and more dads, uncomfortably bending over to tie their son’s skates. Looking nervously around the room were the scared little skaters, confused and unaware of what they w e r e about to do. But encouragement soon came, with pats on the back and smiles. And after six years, I was still in the same locker room, the same closet-like atmosphere, but a noticeable difference. Now instead of dads bending over to tie skates, we were tying our own. There were new faces, but many old, familiar ones. Over the years I’ve come to know each player. We didn’t go to school together, but we’d spend our winters together, every year. It was a constant, something I looked forward to in the summer. After practice was over we would chat and joke. As we made our way out of the crammed locker room we would excitedly run to the PowerAde machine,

where we would attempt the “twofer”, which occurs when two people click on all the flavors and two drinks come out. To the average spectator this is not a big deal but to us it was like striking gold. We'd scream and cheer because we accomplished something. People looked at us like we were nuts. But we were not. We were not crazy kids, we just had unflinching and strict rituals. Superstition was a word that our team knew all too well. Unlike most other sports I participated in, hockey gave me a pre-game and post-game routine. Every practice. Every game. When we arrived in the locker room we went to our assigned seats, not assigned by the coaches, but by us. When it came time to tie my skates, I put my right skate on first, then my left, then I tied my right, then my left, every time. After practice, my friend and I would do a crazy, acrobatic ally-oop with a wad of tape into a trash can, week, after week, after week. We had no worries, it was just us, and the rink. Now many of the guys I was playing against, I am playing with in the Kansas City High School Hockey League. Throughout this season I've had many new experiences. My fellow "Saints" and I are just getting accustomed to high school hockey. However, one change I did not expect was the amount of fans. The crowd now is still minimal at most games, that is unless we play Rockhurst. The "Hawklet" fans arrive promptly on time for the event, sporting their blue and white polo's and their pre-rehearsed

We played floor hockey, on our knees with smaller versions of hockey sticks, right where the wedding was to be, breaking the leg of a table, and almost breaking the leg of a teammate.

chants. A step up from my days where fans consisted of the old lady with the blow horn, the creepy old guy who seems out of place and the little boy running around with his mom chasing after him. If you look a little ways to your left of



1. Rockhurst 2. Wichita Warriors 3. Jefferson City 4. St. Joseph Griffons 5. Springfield Spirit 6. Olathe East 7. Blue Valley West 8. Oak Park Northmen 9. Lee’s Summit


32 28 25 18 17 17 15 12 5

the Rockhurst fans, you see our Lees Summit crowd. I can clearly identify my mom and sister, and I'm pretty sure she throws a wave my way. I'm reluctant to wave back however, because the "Hawklet" crowd is peering through the Plexiglas border, now beginning to pound on the glass. They start to chant "You guys suck, you guys suck" Seems a little harsh. Rockhurst has changed my perspective of a crazy game. In youth hockey we had our own version of these games. For instance, in St. Louis, we had a game where the power went out. No big deal right? Wrong. When the power went out we were in the middle of a brawl. I will always remember the thoughts that went through my head as I saw punches being thrown, and players on the ground. I was excited, exhilarated at what I was seeing. It was never seen before, a real fight. Just when I thought that this was as crazy as it gets, the entire arena went to black. After the game while we sat in the dim locker room, nothing could be seen. The lighting was just enough so that I could make out my coaches head. The slightest hint of a smile filled his illuminated face. Not because fighting was the right thing to do, but because he knew we'd have this memory forever. And I've had so many instances happen to me that I know will stick with me for years to come. I've seen "Zoolander" probably 200 times on tournaments. I've almost lost a shoe in the snow in Des Moines, Iowa. I've broken five windows shooting pucks. I've had to help clean up countless restaurants, locker rooms and hotel rooms. But it's worth it.


Freshman gives insight on growing up playing hockey in Kansas


GOING WITH THE ROW Juniors find a new and enjoyable sport through a competitive rowing club

rowing essentials


JUNIOR Brooke Royal takes a moment to relax after a Kansas City Rowing Club practice at Wyandotte County Lake. // MACKENZIEWYLIE

Junior Brooke Royal doesn’t have the luxury of being able to sleep in on Saturday mornings. Instead she’s up by 8 a.m., already dressed and on her way out to Wyandotte County Lake. By 9:30 a.m., she’s stretched and ready to hit the water in a rowing boat. And while rowing might not be the most common sport for a high schooler to be involved in, Royal enjoys being able to be with friends as well as being involved in an interesting sport. Royal first became interested in the sport of rowing the summer before her junior year. “This lady told me that I would do well in it and I was looking for something new to do,” Royal said. “I thought it was something new that I could do well in.” Royal joined Kansas City Rowing Club, a co-ed rowing team in Kansas City, MO. During her first practice, she got a taste of what the sport was really like. “It was intense, but it was fun so it didn’t matter,” Royal said. “I was really excited because I had good friends doing it with me.” After the first practice, Royal mentioned her new found sport to one of her friends, junior Holly Barling. She had recently quit playing soccer, and decided it was time to start a new sport. “Soccer was getting really competitive and I just didn’t like it,” Barling said. That’s when her friend mentioned a new sport Holly had never really thought of-rowing. Immediately, her interest was sparked and she knew she’d found her new past-time During the some of the beginning practices, Royal and Barling, along with their other teammates, sat in the boats which were tied to the docks. They first had to master gripping the ores properly. Later, the correct way to do the strokes. After a few practices, it was time to actually start moving in the water. Royal began practicing in the quad (four person) boat and the fore (five person) boat, while Barling began in the single boat. These were chosen for them by their coach because she thought it would be the best fit. “The first time I was in the single I tipped over,” Barling said. “It’s harder because you don’t have other people to help balance the boat, so if you make one jerky movement or move your ore the wrong way you can tip.” Being in a single boat also requires more strength. According to Barling, legs, arms and back are used the most. “I wasn’t required to work-out or anything,” Holly said. “I was in pretty good shape to begin with, but as I continued to row, I built up more strength which really helped.” But Barling considers rowing in a single boat to be a good thing because you have the ability to set your own pace. In the bigger boats with multiple people, the first person at the head of the boat sets the pace to how everyone else rows. “You want to have a strong person up front because then they set a fast pace, and going fast is the whole point of rowing,” Barling said. By the time the first competition rolled around, both girls were nervous. Not only would they be racing against other high school teams, but college teams as well. Royal was assigned the role of the bow. She still had to row, but she also had to give directions to the rest of her teammates. “I have to watch everyone to make sure I’m at the

single boat

-Single boats only require one rower. They are typically about 26 feet long and less than a foot wide. Racing singles can weigh as little as 30 pounds.

double boat

-Double boats require two rowers. These may occasionally have a rudder for steering, and recreational versions of doubles are also made. Most doubles can be used with a different set of riggers designed for sweep oars.

quad boat

-Quad boats have four rowers, and often have a rudder attached to one of the rowers’ foot stretchers. Most quads can also be rigged as a straight four, which means there is no coxswain.

rowing lingo

Starboard -The left side of the boat. Port -The right side of the boat. Wayne up -Signals for the rowers to stop during a race. Stern -Looks like the front of the boat, but is actually the back. and urges the rowers on during races. Coxswain -A person who steers// same tempo and I have to look behind me and see where we need to turn,” Royal said. “I have to tell them know which side to pull harder on and I have to judge the turns. The first competition proved to be tough for Royal, especially since the races are not divided by ability. She was a beginner racing people ranging from advanced to beginner, like herself. “I kind of messed up on the steering and went over the lane lines. If you do that, they add seconds to your time,” Royal said. Barling however was content with how she had competed. “I didn’t fall out, but if I had I would have had to just get back in and finish the race,” Holly said. Since then, Barling has stopped rowing due to prior commitments and because of the locations of the practices. Royal, however, is still involved in the sport, and is now practicing indoors to prepare for the outdoor rowing in the spring by doing strength training. “We go to the gym and use erg machines,” Royal said. “You sit on it and you pull this handle that’s attached to a chain, and you slide back and forth while you push with your legs and back.” But both girls consider rowing to be a good life long sport, and both see themselves continuing throughout their lives. “I can see myself going back to rowing later in life, because it’s a good lifetime sport,” Barling said. “I know one of the only people to place highly in a race, was an older women from our team, which is pretty cool.”



recipe EIN



for success Inspired by Broadmoor classes,



senior hopes to attend culinary school and become a chef

After a morning of baking hot-milk sponge cake for Broadmoor Technology Center’s Bistro restaurant, Senior Paxton Gross starts his drive back to East. Its 9:45 a.m., and after spending an hour and a half cooking difficult desserts in his Baking 2 class, Paxton finds it annoying to return and take classes like Algebra II and physics. To him, learning math skills and talking about science while sitting in a desk seems incredibly boring. “Baking 2 is definitely the best class I take,” Paxton said. “All the others almost feel worthless.” Once he realized a cubicle was not for him, Paxton decided to take his cooking skills to Johnson and Wales next year, where he hopes to expand his knowledge of baking for a future in the industry. What started as “just another foods class” turned into a possible job. Paxton’s career in baking started as he looked through the enrollment packet during sophomore year. He saw the Broadmoor culinary options and signed up for Commercial Baking and Pastry. “I had some basic baking skills, like knowing when a cake is done, and some cake decorating skills,” Paxton said, “But other than that, I had nothing but a foods class I took in eighth grade.” After a year of learning more skills, Paxton found he loved the class and signed up for Baking 2 his senior year. According to Paxton, this class is more independent and selfserving because they

get to explore more recipes with greater difficulties. Paxton’s Baking 2 Class, which has 16 people, meets Monday through Friday from 8 to 9:45 a.m. On Mondays, Paxton’s teacher lectures about different dishes or baking processes and then Tuesday through Friday is reserved for “production.” During this time, the students also make dishes for the Bistro, depending on the amount of reservations they have. Senior Thomas Duncan, Paxton’s friend, has been able to taste test several of Paxton’s desserts, such as his cakes and triple chocolate indulgence cookies. About once a month Duncan is treated to a dessert and always enjoys them. “They were pretty much the most amazing cookies I’ve ever had,” Duncan said. “I can’t cook for myself, so it is pretty awesome to have a friend who is a chef.” Ever since he was little, Paxton has been baking cakes with his mom for birthdays or other special occasions, but did not have much experience beyond that. As he grew older, he continued to bake and watch the Food Network’s Act of Cakes show. However, he never considered baking as a future career option. Once he came to Broadmoor and gained valuable cooking experience, Paxton began to think about cooking as a possible career path. Now, after two years of taking classes at Broadmoor, Paxton plans on attending Johnson and Wales, a renowned culinary school in Colorado that he visited last summer. Johnson and Wales, which has four campuses across the nation, has graduated several famous chefs, such as Emeril Lagasse. According to Paxton, because Broadmoor uniquely allows students to focus on food, the students are “guaranteed” to get in. Many of his fellow classmates are applying as well. “[Broadmoor] is pretty much a culinary school,” Paxton said. “It gives us a step up

PAGE 9 FEATURES / ISSUE 13 when we get to college.” David Finn, Paxton’s teacher at Broadmoor, said the class prepares the students to see what culinary school is about and is very similar to culinary classes at Johnson County Community College. “This class opens their eyes to the profession, either you like it or you don’t,” Finn said. According to Finn, even if the students find out that a career in cooking is not for them, they still gain valuable skills for cooking and baking for their future lives. Paxton’s parents, David and Lori Gross, have been supportive throughout the process, never doubting his abilities or aspirations. “It’s something he loves to do,” David said. “He should go for it.” If he attends Johnson and Wales, Paxton plans on enrolling in their baking and pastry program and a management class, which shows students how to start their own business. He also hopes to dive deeper into chocolate and sugar works and gain more basic information about cooking. “At Broadmoor, you just scratch the surface of what there could be,” Paxton said. Once he has finished college, Paxton plans on either enrolling in the school’s job placement program that will help him find a job or go on to get his Bachelor’s degree in restaurant managing. Paxton then plans on starting his own bakery or restaurant in an exotic place to make desserts. “I would love to bake on a cruise that travels around the world,” Paxton said. “I basically want to get away from Kansas.” Throughout the process, Paxton’s family has been nothing but supportive, often bragging to their friends about having a kid who’s a chef. Paxton will bring home his parents treats, but they don’t mind being the guinea pigs. “So far we like what we see,” David said. “We can not wait to see what he will dream up next.”



After 12 years of playing piano, junior pushes through obstacles to pursue her passion


Sitting down at the piano, junior Erin Tuttle asks the guests at her grandmother’s 80th birthday party to sing her grandmother’s favorite song, “Sentimental Journey” instead of “Happy Birthday.” On the front wall a slideshow with lyrics on it is projected. A picture of a heart appears on the first slide next to the lyrics and her grandmother’s family and friends start to sing. “Gonna take a Sentimental Journey, Gonna set my heart at ease. . . .” A picture of a stack of suitcases. “Got my bags, got my reservations . . . .” A picture of railroad tracks. “Countin’ every mile of railroad track, that takes me back. . .” A few lines later as the voices trail off, Erin looks over at her grandmother. Erin first sees that she’s crying. Second, she sees her smile. Then her grandmother walks across the room and, without saying a word, gives her granddaughter a hug. “That’s what makes me feel really good about being able to play,” Erin said. “Seeing how happy I make other people with the music.” *** That’s how Erin describes her connection to the piano. She doesn’t think of it as a chore anymore, and it’s never been a competition. Worrying is not what it’s about, even after 12 years of lessons, practices, and recitals. Even now after years of repetitive motion have caused pain in her hands and anxiety


from not being able to play as often, it’s still all about the process and the people. Erin first put her fingers to the keys visiting her grandparents when she was four. She looked forward to spending an hour sitting at her grandfather’s 70-year-old upright piano in his green-carpeted office. Sometimes her little sister Shannon sat beside her on the bench and they tried out different notes together. Her grandfather often told his granddaughters he hoped one of them would to learn to play the piano. When Erin was in kindergarten, he got his wish. Her parents signed her up for lessons with her first and only teacher, Judy May. Erin was anxious when she walked into May’s living room for her first lesson. They sat down at the piano, Erin on the bench and May in a chair beside her, and started to go over the basics: middle C; note names; “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Mary had a Little Lamb,” “Hot Cross Buns.” May helped Erin get through that first nerve-wracking lesson and she’s been helping Erin learn ever since. Erin said that May is like a grandmother to her and has the right combination of patience and firmness. And May knows how to put her students at ease from her many experiences as a student. May studied music in high school and through college, so when she was looking for something to do after her kids left home teaching piano was the perfect fit.

Both Erin and May agree that what has helped them the most through the years is how they can talk openly with each other. In the beginning Erin had the same problem as most people just starting an instrument-not wanting to practice. The summer before eighth grade, Erin got so bored with the piano that she quit for two months. It wasn’t that she really disliked the piano; she just thought it would be a weight off her shoulders if she didn’t have to practice daily. She was wrong--she missed it. “ I just said ‘I can’t live without this anymore,’ ” Erin said. “And if I’m going to do it I might as well do it right.” Now she looked forward to practicing for an hour and a half. May said that she saw that point when Erin “exploded” with new interest. Now when Erin played a piece at her lesson she would have improved from the week before, instead of stumbling over the same parts again. Then one lesson May asked Erin if she wanted to perform at a concert at the Lied Center at Kansas University. Erin was shocked because she’d never performed at a venue so big, but May thought she was ready. When Erin started playing the piano she played solo in the recital room of Schmitt Music and at the Lied Center there were 32 other people on stage. The raised stage had such a formal atmosphere that it reminded Erin of an opera house. There are 16 baby grand pianos in a U-shape around the director, with 16 duet pairs, all playing the same song. Erin and her duet partner, Nicole Prenevost, would frequently practice together at May’s in the six months leading up to a performance. In addition to trying harder pieces and playing at all different venues, Erin began writing music. “I got tired of following other people’s rules,” Erin said. “ I’d already started playing around with other people’s music, so I decided I’ll make some music so I can play around with it.” Sometimes she’ll find inspiration during the day from a melody she hums while walking down the hall. She’ll try to keep humming it until it’s stuck in her head so she can write it down when she gets home. An everyday noise she hears can also get her thinking about what it would sound like written as music. Erin’s mom Robyn Tuttle said that since her renewed interest in middle school the piano has become more than just a hobby for her daughter. It’s also a way for Erin to calm down. “When she’s worried about something or something’s bothering her she’ll just sit down and play,” Robyn said. *** Twelve years after that first nervous lesson, Erin and May are working with a new challenge. This time it’s not hands in need of practice, but ones that hurt when they try to. Erin first noticed something was wrong in December when she started to practice and her hands felt numb. At first she thought they were just asleep, but then it started to happen more often. When the pain didn’t go away Erin panicked. Her heart started to race at the thought that she might not be able to play.

At her next appointment she asked her doctor, who said that it sounded like carpal tunnel syndrome. Erin then went to an orthopedic surgeon and was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. Next she went to a neurologist for tests that would confirm the diagnosis. The test used an electrode to send an electrical current through the nerves in Erin’s hands. If she couldn’t feel the electricity in the right amount of time they would know her nerves were damaged. But she could feel it right away, so carpal tunnel was almost ruled out. “It hurt like crazy,” Erin said. “ It was a weird feeling. My leg is still twitching and it [the test] was yesterday.” At her last appointment, Erin got steroid injections in her hands to relieve swelling. If the steroids relieve her pain, then it will confirm that she has carpal tunnel. If they don’t, then her doctors will move on to other tests. May found out about Erin’s condition from Robyn. Erin didn’t tell her and May said it was because she wanted to keep playing. Now May is finding ways to let Erin keep learning new things without actually touching the keys. At recent lessons, May has been teaching Erin about arranging music in new ways and harmonizing. Erin’s daily practice routine has also been affected by the pain in her hands. Her usual practice time has to be scaled back depending on how much pain she’s in. “I still play and I still enjoy it,” Erin said. “But it hurts sometimes so I have to not play as much and it really upsets me.” Robyn said she’s seen how all the changes in routine get to her daughter. She’s seen that it is difficult for Erin to be patient with playing less. “I think more than anything it frustrates Erin because she’s such an intensive kind of kid,” Robyn said. “She thinks she can conquer it. It’s frustrating to her that it’s not over within a week.” Erin’s trying to cope with not being able to play as often by teaching lessons. She’s enjoying looking at the piano from another view point but she says it also challenging. “It’s hard because I have to switch my mentality about it,” Erin said. “Instead of trying to figure something out I have to explain how to figure it out.” After the original diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome Erin began wearing braces most of the time to support her hands. Now, without a clear diagnosis she’s still wearing them and waiting for more information. Erin and her family’s hope is that after resting her hands for a few months some of the pain will go away. They’re hoping that she’ll be able to play as long as she wants again after she’s diagnosed and gets treatment. Erin thinks she wants to go to medical school and get a minor in music or music education. She decided to be a doctor when she was in the second grade because she wanted to do something that helps people. A strong medical program is her main criteria for choosing a college, but she still wants to continue playing the instrument she loves. Erin doesn’t have any concrete goals for the piano right now, but she just knows she wants to continue playing. She wants to continue learning and teaching. She wants to continue sharing music with the people she cares about, like her grandmother.

{allmixedup} the page about April Fool’s Day // LOGANHELEY


The jesters of the Middle Ages wore brightly colored clothing adorned with bells. British court jesters were thrown out after King Charles I was overthrown in 1652. Jesters were supposed to entertain the royal family and court, but were seen as unnecessary by Oliver Cromwell's Puritans.









Middle Ages


April Fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, probably developed somewhat differently in various countries, but its observance is documented as early as the sixteenth century in France. Under the Julian calendar developed by Julius Caesar, April 1 was celebrated as the first day of the year. In 1564, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar, designating January 1 as the start of the new year. In France, those who continued to celebrate April 1 as New Year's Day were called "fools" and became the target of ridicule and pranks by adherents of the new Gregorian calendar. The tradition of performing practical jokes on April 1 spread to other European countries and their American colonies in the eighteenth century. American author Herman Melville set and published his novel about a riverboat swindler, The Confidence Man (1857), on April Fool's Day.


Invented around 1930 in Canada, the whoopee cushion has brought flatulence and pranks together. The idea was originally pitched to the S.S. Adams Novelty Company by two employees of the Jem Rubber Company, but they refused to manufacture the product because of its vulgar nature. Eventually, Johnson Smith & Company agreed to make it. Nowadays, the original whoopee cushion has largely been replaced by self-inflating or remote control types.

One of the most famous Shakespearian jokesters was The Fool in "King Lear." Written between 1603 and 1606, Shakespeare uses the common depiction of a court jester for The Fool's appearance, but The Fool is actually one of the king's most trusted advisers.


#1 The Left Handed Whoper

In 1998 Burger King published a full page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu: a "Left-Handed Whopper" specially designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the advertisement, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release revealing that although the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants to request the new sandwich. Simultaneously, according to the press release, "many others requested their own 'right handed' version."

PRANKS OF THE #2 The Whistling Carrot PAST

In 2002 the British supermarket chain Tesco published an advertisement in The Sun announcing the successful development of a genetically modified 'whistling carrot.' The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side. When fully cooked, these air holes caused the vegetable to whistle.

#3 Corporate Tattoos

In 1994 National Public Radio's “All Things Considered” program reported that companies such as Pepsi were sponsoring teenagers to tattoo their ears with corporate logos. In return for branding themselves with the corporate symbol, the teenagers would receive a lifetime 10 percent discount on that company's products. Teenagers were said to be responding enthusiastically to this deal.

David Letterman is considered to be a modern-day jester. His nightly “Late Show with David Letterman” features comical oneliners and physical comedy that have won him five Emmy’s.


“ “

“ “



Two years ago on April Fool's Day, I froze some butter and made it look like ice cream and then I poured some hot fudge sauce on top of it. I [then] gave it to my sister as a hot fudge sundae. And she thought it was ice cream, but it was butter.

Back when we were little kids, I was in fourth grade and [my sister Emily] was in second grade. She did something pretty dumb that kind of made me a little bit upset, I think she stole one of my toys. And I told her that I called the cops and that they were on the way to take her to jail for stealing. And she hid underneath her bed and actually ended up spending the night underneath there because she was scared that the cops were going to come.



WORD OF THE ISSUE from The Daily Candy Lexicon: Words That Don’t Exist but Should {CASE} v. To use the jarring style of all capital letters. Also known as virtual shouting. (“Dude, quit casing me!”)

PAGE 12 SPREAD / MARCH 30, 2009

unwrapping the

PACKAGE A detailed look at the final $789 billion economic stimulus plan as it relates to East students // BERNADETTEMYERS

In 2008, after Wall Street crumbled and economic activity fell, Democrats called for a stimulus to revitalize a struggling nation. When Barack Obama was elected president, he declared that a recovery package would be his top priority. So on Jan. 28, 2009 the House of Representatives passed an $819 billion stimulus plan by a vote of 244 to 188. The measure passed without a single Republican vote in favor. After serious negotiations in the Senate, both the House and the Senate

passed a revised $789 billion final version of the bill on Feb. 11. Since February, money has trickled down through the federal government to state programs and has even begun to impact the Kansas City area. While the package may seem daunting for many East students, it still has an effect on the local community. The following breakdown of the economic stimulus package highlights specific areas that could have the most impact on East students. It is broken into six categories: educa-



tion, energy, transportation, health care, infrastructure and environment. Each category focuses on how the money will be distributed and what specific programs will be affected around East and in the Kansas City area. Categories of the stimulus package that are not covered in this breakdown include unemployment, housing, science and research, tax cuts and rural assistance. For more information, the entire bill is available at



One of the main goals of education spending is to keep teachers on the job. Fewer jobs means higher class sizes, which districts are working to prevent. Kansas will receive increased funding in a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which can prevent cutbacks, and layoffs and provide school modernizations. Throughout the nation, $550 million will go to local school districts that track student data, address teacher shortages and provide financial incentives for teachers who raise student achievement. While the money may go out slowly, states have five years to use their allotted funds, otherwise money will return to the federal treasury. The plan will try and help more Kansans be able to afford college with increases in financial aid; an increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $500, for a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and $5,550 in 2010; and the addition of $200 million to the vital College Work-Study program. Computer expenses could also become part of expenses for around 500 different college savings plans. There is also an emphasis on technology upgrades and infrastructure repairs among public schools. Nationally, $650 million will go to technology upgrades including teacher training and $10.9 billion will create bonds for public education improvements.

As a key issue in th day, energy is a major f the stimulus package. Th idea is to reward familie energy and also provide for the use of alternative es. Families could even reimbursements for buy cars. It also commits dollar ing the electricity grid writing renewable energ In all, the package con than $42 billion in ene investments. These i range from grants for wind turbines and loan for renewable energy pro Specifically, students from the plan by just cha things around the hous a 30 percent tax credit f ing highly efficient air co heat pumps or furnaces. The credit can even replace drafty windows insulation in the attic. A million would go for reb people to buy efficient Making these few adjustm save families an averag year. Schools in Kansas improved energy effici the package includes aimed at “green� jobs to turbines, solar panels energy efficiency in scho eral buildings. These projects break a three-year extension duction tax credit.

he world tofocus within he proposed es who save e incentives e fuel sourcn encounter ying hybrid

rs to upgradand undergy projects. ntains more ergy-related investments makers of n guarantees ojects. s can benefit anging some se. There is for purchasonditioners, . be used to or put more About $300 bates to get appliances. ments could ge of $350 a

could also iency since $20 billion o make wind to improve ools and fed-

k down over of the pro-

PAGE 13 SPREAD / ISSUE 13 LANCER VOICE : (1) What do you think is the most important part of the stimulus package and (2) how will it affect you?

(1) Probably the thing revising the banking system, since the banks are really the thing that have made our economy go down. (2) Our family hasn’t been affected that much by this recession, so it’s not really going to have a large effect on me. But I think that for the people that have lost their jobs, it will give them their jobs back or some new opportunities.



Nationally, $1.3 billion will go to airport transportation improvements including increasing safety and capacity, but there is also an emphasis on highway safety. Kansas will receive an estimated $348 million for highway construction projects that will create or sustain thousands of jobs and make important improvements to the state’s transportation system. Based on the Federal Highway and Transit Administrations’ methodologies, it’s estimated the recovery act spending will create or sustain 10,000 to 12,000 jobs. In keeping with the American recovery act’s goal of creating new jobs, the Department of Transportation’s priority will be to advance as much additional work as possible rather than funding projects that were already planned and funded. In Johnson County, highway projects include expanding the pass between I-435 N to I-35 and adding around six miles of an additional two lanes on K-10. In addition, Kansas will receive an estimated $30 million to be spent on transit projects throughout the state. This could include anything from adding more public transit to reducing taxes on commuter and parking benefits.

(1) The most important part, as far as my understanding goes, of the economic stimulus package is that the economy is in a lull and not enough people are going out and buying things with the money they’re making, so the government is giving people money to go out and stimulate the economy. (2) I don’t know if it will affect me.



Under the stimulus package, $1 billion was granted to help prevent diseases. This includes immunization programs, preventive health grants and hospital infection prevention programs. For students interested in a medical profession, $500 million will help pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in underserved communities. Kansas will receive $71.5 million for Medicaid, which could slow or reverse some of the steps taken to cut the program. Medicaid is jointly funded by the state and federal governments but is administered by the state. The stimulus package increases the federal government’s share of the cost, which means the state can spend less while still maintaining the services. Additional stimulus money is retroactive to Oct. 1, 2008, which means the federal government is reimbursing the state for costs already incurred. That should provide direct, immediate fiscal relief for the state of Kansas.

(1) I think that is important, but I think the more important part is educating those people on how to use that [money]. (2) Probably not that much, I don’t really have a job and I haven’t had a job.



While most of the infrastructure funding will go to highway improvements, building construction and expansion will also receive aid. One of the many infrastructure improvements that can affect students are repairs to facilities on public lands and parks. Approximately $3 billion will go to local park safety improvements and even hospitals will receive construction upgrades. The plan includes financing for two Agriculture Department programs to improve communications in rural areas: one to expand broadband and another to improve health care and education through technology like video conferencing. With an emphasis on infrastructure in broadband, major public policy shifts to follow, with the goal of making broadband available and affordable to all Americans. Though final language is still being worked out, the $7 billion plan offers funding, to companies willing to deploy broadband — wireless or wired — in “underserved” or “unserved” markets. In all, the infrastructure portion of the stimulus plan focuses on job creation through construction improvements. The idea is to circulate money by creating jobs and solid incomes for consumers.

(1) Just the idea of having more money and more capital going into the economic system. The government is the only entity big enough to expend and add more capital to help boost job creation. (2) Hopefully the money will go to some infrastructure things and education that will affect my life in a positive manner.




The package includes $9.2 billion for environmental projects at the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. The money would be used to shutter abandoned mines on public lands, to help local governments protect drinking water supplies and to erect energy-efficient visitor centers at wildlife refuges and national parks. For the EPA, the payout is $7.2 billion. The bulk of the money will help local communities and states repair and improve drinking water systems and fund projects that protect bays, rivers and other waterways used as sources of drinking water. The majority of the funds focus on creating jobs through projects that improve drinking water in local areas and also overall environmental clean-up. When it comes to national parks, the plan sets aside $735 million for road repairs and maintenance. But that’s a fraction of the $9 billion worth of work waiting for funding. The rest of EPA’s cut — $800 million — will be used to clean up leaky gasoline storage tanks and the nation’s hazardous waste sites.

PAGE 14 A&E / MARCH 30, 2009


Israeli Oscar nominee balances the horror of war with beautiful visuals


STAR SCALE | |Stay home |

and none of them have an active animation department. In the end, the stunning visuals that populate “Waltz with Bashir” were conceived on ordinary household computers, a lengthy ordeal that gives the movie a handmade quality that further elevates its director’s unswerving dedication to his craft. It’s also a testament to Folman’s talent that he was able to convince all but one of his old friends to allow their images to be seen and heard in a movie that actively condemns the Israeli government. The man who refused to lend his voice and image agreed to be replaced by a voice actor, whose performance is indistinguishable from the others. The only real criticism I can give the movie is just another veiled compliment. At only an hour and a half, it feels way too short. It’s not that it feels rushed or unfinished. I was just so emotionally invested that when the end came, its arrival felt abrupt and illtimed. Maybe I just didn’t want it to end. An extended director’s cut of “Waltz with Bashir” would be a rare treat indeed. But remember, I’m not bashing the ending, just its timing. No, Folman’s conclusion is arguably the most powerful part of the film. For a moment, just a moment, events change to jarring liveaction as the camera cuts to the bloody aftermath of the Phalangist massacre. Suddenly, Folman’s waking nightmare takes on lucid new meaning as stacked corpses and shrieking mourners coat the screen in a collective national guilt that’s both great and terrible to behold. “Waltz with Bashir” is one of the most visually striking movies imaginable and the fact that it was denied an Academy Award last month is a crime against cinema. Folman is a true visionary and I will follow his future work with great interest. I’m afraid that “Waltz with Bashir” won’t be in theaters for long, but it definitely deserves to be sought out and experienced by anyone interested in entertainment of true substance. Wherever you can find it, see it soon.

| Rental at best |



|Worth seeing |

MAKING ART AT THE MOVIES A look at animation through the ages

“Toy Story”


John Lasseter’s charming Pixar debut was also the first computer-animated feature film. Even 15 years later, the story of Woody and Buzz remains a magical, monumental experience.

“Waking Life”


Richard Linklater’s film, a surrealist rumination on the meaning of dreams, was also a revolution in cell animation, the careful process of layering animation over real actors and settings.

“A Scanner Darkly”


Linklater breached the limits of his craft again with this paranoid head-trip about the bleak future of the War on Drugs. The film is based on a novel by Philip K. Dick, the man behind “Bladerunner.”


A pack of rabid dogs stalk the streets of Tel Aviv, howling for blood. A colossal naked goddess plucks a lost soldier from the churning sea, clutching him close and bearing him to safety on a far-off shore. A dazed gunman dances with his rifle, taking out a hidden nest of snipers to the rhythm of a synthesized tango. Images like these haunt every frame of Ari Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir,” a hypnotic meditation on the horrors of war as witnessed through the eyes of a young Israeli soldier during the 1982 conflict in Lebanon. The same war ended with Christian Phalangists massacring untold numbers of Palestinian civilians to avenge the death of their beloved Lebanese president Gemayel Bashir. Plagued by repressed memories of the conflict and unable to recall his role in the slaughter, Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman decided to interview his surviving war buddies and pick their brains for further information. What Folman found was devastating enlightenment, something so potent and profound that he felt compelled to make a film out of the interviews, which range from darkly funny to unrelentingly horrific. But Folman’s most interesting and daring idea was choosing not to present the interviews in the usual point-and-shoot style of the standard documentary. The reenactments of the character’s stories, along with the interviews themselves, are presented entirely in vibrant cell animation, a bold choice that makes the unbearable beautiful without softening the film’s aching emotional impact. It’s also what makes “Waltz with Bashir” so wholly unforgettable. The film is a movie miracle for a lot of reasons. For one thing, it took Folman over a decade to secure the government funding needed to make the movie due to the controversial subject matter and its unflattering portrayal of the Israeli armed forces and their Phalangist allies. It took the latest Lebanese quagmire to finally convince Israel to finance Folman’s vision. But even after receiving the funds, Folman still faced an uphill battle to find his animators, since Israel has very few movie studios

|Instant Classic


PAGE 15 A&E / ISSUE 13

Peking Chinese Get the scoop on restaurants with top-notch food for...


FOR 10 DOLLARS OR LESS 1209 W. 103rd Street Georgie Porgies // SAMKOVZAN & JEFFRUTHERFORD

Vintage records, license plates, hatchets and saws. A tricycle and a 16-foot kayak hanging from the ceiling. Glancing at the smorgasbord of items that plaster the interior of Georgie Porgie’s Café upon arrival, it took no time to realize this place wasn’t your usual “run-of-the-mill” diner. The one-room restaurant has no more than 10 tables – flashy retro ones that look like they came straight out of the unfinished part of your grandma’s basement – and is tucked into an unsuspecting strip mall between Jackson Hewitt and Edward Jones, across the street from Gates’ Bar-B-Q. Despite its hole-in-the-wall location and interior oddities, Georgie Porgie’s serves up some top notch grub for under $10. The breakfast menu features a wide variety of three-egg omelets and what they call “3-egg scramblers,” a plateful of classic breakfast items mixed into a jumble of flavor. We settled for a sausage scrambler and a stack of what Star magazine rated as Kansas City’s best pancakes in 2003. The sausage scrambler – literally a scramble of eggs, sausage, tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, cheese and mushrooms – was unique in that the tastes didn’t blend together. Setting itself apart from the usual scrambler, which quite often resembles a sloppy omelette, it kept the pallet guessing with different bursts of flavor in each bite. If you come hungry, you’ll want a second round before the first order is even finished. They’re just that good. The critically acclaimed pancakes, made of a sweet batter, were melt-in-yourmouth satisfying. Griddled to a golden brown, they were thick and heavy. Order these delicious flapjacks in moderation, which occasionally are served for free on Saturdays. Although Georgie Porgie’s is best known for its breakfast, it has a surprisingly diverse lunch menu. Dishing out anything from tortillas to pot roast, Polish sausage to “Al Capone’s Lasagna,” it’s hard to leave the place not getting what you wanted. The lunch menu offers eight specialty hot sandwiches and eight specialty burgers, the Alpine Burger being their most popular - all the amenities of a normal burger plus ham and ranch. Georgie Porgie’s is conveniently open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. With fast service and prices ranging from just $5 to $8, customers will leave more than pleased and with a little extra money in their pockets. And a few ideas of how to decorate a dull dining room.

Sausage Scrambler

STAR SCALE | | Stay away |


| | Pit stop at best |

PRICE: $6-8

3609 Broadway Street

Its Web site reads “Best Chinese Food in Kansas City.” So we understandably entered Peking with the highest of expectations. But we weren’t greeted by a lively crowd of customers...or even a customer. As we hesitantly crept in, we saw just one person - a neatly dressed Asian woman, the owner of the restaurant. “You would like to eat here?” she asked, almost in shock that someone was in her restaurant. “Yes,” we replied. We soon realized we wouldn’t regret that choice. The lunch menu is served until 2:30 p.m. and is full of authentic Chinese dishes, such as Moo Goo Gai Pan (Chicken Vegetable with White Sauce). No dish is over $5.50. But we arrived just after lunch time and the dinner menu was placed in front of us. It was an extensive menu with nearly 100 different choices averaging around $6.75. After a few minutes with the menu, we settled for the Chicken Fried Rice and the Beef and Broccoli. The Chicken Fried Rice is full of flavor. Bits of chicken and vegetables are served over a bed of rice, which are there to soak up the juices. The chicken is perfectly tender and is complemented well by the peas and carrots. You could probably say they go together like peas and carrots. The Beef and Broccoli was served piping hot with a side of white rice. The beef, chopped into small slices, was juicy and layered in a zesty sauce that packed the broccoli with a blast of flavor itself. Though we came at an odd hour of the day, it didn’t take much to envision the atmosphere at peak hours. Chinese lanterns and decorations hang from the ceiling, a stereo with a neon blue light sits at the back of the restaurant and artistically folded napkins are placed at each table. Chinese food fan or not, Peking is a great choice for anyone looking for a great meal. The food isn’t too heavy and the servers are there to make sure you enjoy your experience to the fullest. And most importantly, it’s affordable.

Chicken Fried Rice


Max’s Autodiner



8240 Wornall Road

The look of Max’s is simple enough. The quaint diner has just three tables and a row of five stools looking out onto busy Wornall Road. Pepsi-Cola ornaments - bottles, caps and clocks cover the walls, along with photos of the European owner’s family. If the at-home ambience doesn’t come to you immediately, it will once your order is taken by the father, cooked by the mother and served by the sons. Epitomizing the term “family owned,” Max’s Autodiner goes a step further than the typical burger joint, serving not only the quarter-pound char-grilled patties, but chicken sandwiches, pork tenderloins and Greek gyros as well. That said, a burger and fries is probably the best way to go. As a customer, you have a couple options. Starved? Order the triple, appropriately titled, “The Animal.” If not, the Maxburger (single) or Bigmax (double) will certainly satisfy. For something a little more “classy,” we recommend the Mushroom and Swiss Burger with grilled onions. Regardless, each burger is made fresh and served on a lightly toasted bun. They’re made to order, taste good with or without all the dressings and have that classic backyard, fresh-off-the-grill taste. Max’s other self-proclaimed specialty is the Greek gyro, consisting of lamb meat, tomato, onion and creamy tzatziki sauce all in a pita wrap. If you’re feeling less adventurous but still don’t want a burger, the Polynesian chicken with grilled pineapple and Teriyaki sauce is a messy but worthwhile option. Each sandwich comes with your choice of their own french fries (our favorite), tots or onion rings. The people at Max’s clearly strive for perfection. It’s evident that, along with serving up great burgers, quality service is a top priority. Even if a sandwich doesn’t sound good, there are many other snack options, from Otis Spunkmeyer cookies to milkshakes and even carrot cake. Most likely, these fine “deserts” (as spelled on the menu board) won’t be necessary. Only then will you have come close to our $10 budget.


Max Burger


| Cut above the rest |



|Blue Ribbon

PAGE 16 A&E / MARCH 30, 2009 Tea Drops the



in Kansas City


I am a huge fan of the relaxed atmosphere at Tea Drops off 39th Street, and an addict of their bubble tea. It’s a great place to bring homework or just relax, and you can linger as long as you like without feeling burdensome. Their milky teas, served shaken, iced, or steamed, are offered in an array of flavors. Cappuccino and mango are among my favorites, but steer clear of the almond—it tastes like hand cream. The “pearls,” soft tapioca balls at the bottom, can be ordered in any of their drinks. Bubble tea originated in Taiwanese tea bars and made its way to the states less than ten years ago. Made with flavored powder, milk , tea and unique tapioca balls, these drinks are a sweet new phenomenon.



TEA DROPS’ SHAKEN TARO BUBBLE TEA— Tea drops taro tea is delicious and creamy, tasting a little like Coldstone’s birthday cake batter. Preferably shaken, taro is also good steamed. This drink is on the sweeter side, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth, I recommend a more neutral drink like the raspberry green tea.

how to buy a lady coffee

HI HAT’S PEACHY KEEN— Hi Hat is known for its comforting coffee and quaint atmosphere, but their blended juices and teas deserve equal attention. This creamy drink is an iced blend of half and half, green tea, peaches and a touch of white chocolate. The result is heavenly, like peaches and cream.

WINSTEAD’S CHERRY LIMEADE— Convenient, cheap and consistently tasty, Winstead’s drinks match the caliber of their food. This pale pink drink is served on shaved ice with lime sherbet in the center. Mixed together, the sweetness of the sherbet balances perfectly with the tart cherry taste. Lime is the dominant flavor, and it makes for a deliciously refreshing drink.

Caribou Coffee


Nevermore are the days of purchasing solely alcoholic beverages for a desired counterpart as a sign of gentlemanly tendencies. One-up your game in Generation Starbucks by becoming the barista of your relationship. If wearing chic designer frames, moccasins, designer jeans, and a close-knit tee shirt to your nearest indie joe-joint doesn’t make you appealing to the fine lady listening to her iPod in the corner, buying her a cup of jitter juice will. Nothing says, “I’m thinking of you,” like a triple half-caf, half-fat, soy latte grande with rose scented syrup and vegan dark-chocolate biscotti. If you haven’t lost your dignity yet, remind her how proud you are of her for not going to a corporate coffeehouse. Such a method of mating may be questioned by traditionalists who stay true to calling up a Manhattan or Cosmo for a female... but this is the same era in which a cup of coffee can cost five bucks. So come on. Even if you don’t know how to differentiate between the different sizes the coffee shop offers, just remember that non-fat triple shot of soy. You’ll be the most venti in her heart.

Caribou Coffee, on Shawnee Mission Parkway, serves its customers by means of a convenient drive-thru, but it has little to offer in the way of good coffee. Bitter and weak, this coffee is disappointing. Campfire mocha —This chocolatey drink is topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and mini marshmallows, much like those in stale Lucky Charms. The drink itself is pretty good, mostly because you can’t taste the Caribou coffee.


Located on the outskirts of UMKC’s campus, Muddy’s attracts college kids with more than just a cozy place to study. Their coffee is flavorful and fresh, and they’ll make it anyway you like. In addition to coffee and Italian sodas, Muddy’s also offers sandwiches and paninis. Alpine Mocha —Unlike its sickeningly sweet candy bar counterpart, this drink has tasty hues of coconut, almond and chocolate. The deep flavors don’t overpower the coffee, which is topped with creamy steamed milk. All of the drinks can be ordered hot or iced.

Bo Ling’s The Boba teas featured at Bo Ling’s stay true to the natural flavors, which are great without the aid of excessive sugar. I prefer a sweeter bubble tea, but this would appeal to those who are a little sugar shy. The Taro Boba Tea has a lighter purple color and a lighter flavor than offered at Tea Drops. I could taste the taro perfectly, but it was missing the punch I expect from such a drink. Although this is probably a more traditional form of bubble tea, it tasted a little bland to my processed-loving palette.


With a menu this cheap and expansive, why not try a weird, new drink in addition to your favorite. Like the ones named with beach nouns you would never intend on drinking, like Ocean Water or Orange Cool Breeze. With no expectations, you have nothing to lose but maybe the spare change in your car. Orange Cool Breeze —A mixture of pineapple, orange and cherry sounds awesome, but the description doesn’t include pulpy orange chunks and a bubble gum aftertaste. All the Sonic sugar in the world couldn’t hide the hint of poolwater in this concoction. However, this is the only drink I tried that made me laugh out loud.

A ‘Prince’ in Progress // GRIFFINBURR

Sell out. It seems given that at some point, all musicians do it or are accused of it. Musicians as diverse as Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery and U2 have been labeled sellouts. The Who made an album satirically selling their songs as advertisements. Then they actually did sell their songs as advertisements. Sometimes, the music in question holds up to criticism. After all, change is an important part of everything, not just entertainment, and sometimes a new sound is the best sound. And sometimes it just sucks. “Beware,” the new album by indie-countryfolk-whatever artist Bonnie Prince Billy (a.k.a Will Oldham), walks the line between evolution and devolution of his sound. There’s no question what side previous albums have sat on. They focused around Oldham’s unique, morose vision of rural Americana. His most famous - well, relatively album thus far, “I See a Darkness,” typifies this. It centers around heartbeat bass, sepulchral drums and especially Oldham’s lifewearied voice. He delivers non-sequiturs and ominous fortunetelling

STAR SCALE | |Broken record|

PAGE 17 A&E / ISSUE 13

Will Oldham, known as Bonnie Prince Billy, releases his most recent album with a slightly different style that still needs work

with equal fervor. “I See a Darkness” was also distinguished by Oldham’s wry humor. He’s the rare cynic who isn’t above mocking himself. The change on “Beware” is instantly noticeable. Gospel choir and lap steel augment most of the songs and occasional distorted guitar adds life to them. While Oldham is often tagged as an “alt. country” artist, he’s here dropped the alt. in favor of a filled out, traditional sound. album could easily sit next to Hank Williams and Merle Haggard in terms of sound. The lyrics still aren’t exactly uplifting – see “You Are Lost” or “I Don’t Belong to Anyone.” However, with shimmery voices doubling most of the lyrics, the darkness is an afterthought. But while the sound resembles classic country, the quality doesn’t quite make it. The new approach does work in some places. “Death Final” takes road-worn death-folk and buffs it up a little. Extra elements like raucous guitars and stately banjo emphasize the message without undermining it. Elsewhere, “You Don’t Love Me” shows off Oldham’s grim wit, with some actual interplay from the backing band. The music and words create a unified sound, unlike the improvised feel of earlier albums. However, the standouts are outnumbered the boring. The first two songs on the album, “Beware Your Only Friend” and “You Can’t Hurt Me Now”, overuse the icing without enough cake. The sound is full but the song itself is mediocre. It’s never awful, but nothing really stands out. The overbearing choir only makes this more plain. The sarcastic tinge of earlier songs is eclipsed by somewhat silly lyrics. When it’s just Oldham

|Borrow at best|

singing, it’s easy to see the humor and cynicism lurking behind the lyrics. This effect is lost with the extras, and the melody is boring besides. Essentially, the lighter sound and bevy of instruments are both the best and worst parts of the album. A surprise xylophone part might bring one track up, an overwrought guitar part might drag down another. While Oldham isn’t a technically good singer, it would be nice to hear a little more of his voice. The choir does a good job of keeping his more “experimental” voices in check, but it also makes him sound a little generic. In the end, Will Oldham’s new thing seems to be more of an artistic change rather than selling out. True, “Beware” is an easier listen, less Johnny Dowd than Johnny Cash. But then again, the Man in Black himself might be shunned from radio today, in favor of lighter sounds. Oldham’s sound is an evolution, a move forwards towards accessible yet interesting music. Unfortunately, it’s much more a work in progress than a completed move. The sound, while refreshing at first, can get homogenous, or worse, boring. With a little tighter editing and arrangements, Oldham might make his new direction as good as his earlier albums. For all intents and purposes, Bonnie Prince Billy is Will Oldham, and Oldham is the main attraction. A little more of his voice and lyrics, and this could be really cool. For now, worth a few spins but not much more.

|Worth buying |



Bonnie Bio

> Real Name : Will Oldham < Oldham debuted as a musician in 1992 with the Drag City single Ohio River Boat Song, which he released as Palace Songs; his debut album, There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You, arrived the following year as a Palace Brothers offering. By 1995’s Viva Last Blues he was beginning to work as Palace Music, a name that stuck until 1997’s Joya, which Oldham released under his own name. However, with 1998’s Black Dissimulation and the following year’s I See a Darkness, the Bonnie “Prince” Billy name seemed to stick, for the most part: aside from the soundtrack Ode Music and Guarapero: Lost Blues 2, the majority of Oldham’s work from then on was credited to Bonnie “Prince” Billy. Ease Down the Road arrived in early 2001, featuring collaborators David Pajo, Catherine Irwin, Mike Fellows, and Harmony Korine. Master and Everyone appeared two years later. In 2004 came the release of a rather surprising project for Oldham -- Bonnie “Prince” Billy Sings Greatest Palace Music, in which his usual collaborators were joined by a band of Nashville session musicians for a set of polished re-recordings of songs from his back catalog. //

|Instant Classic

Are You ready for your season? its time to get fit! 68’s Inside Sports is the place for you. Only 15 minutes away fom Greatness! Programs for all ages!!




PAGE 18 A&E / MARCH 30, 2009 Watchmen 101:

Unmasking the movie’s mystery men and women

Dr. Manhattan

After the obligatory nuclear accident, Jon Osterman becomes the god-like Dr. Manhattan, a radioactive superman with the power to reshape worlds in his big blue image.

Nite Owl & Silk Spectre

The paunchy, impotent Dan Drieberg becomes Nite Owl again after rekindling his romance with Sally Jupiter, aka the Silk Spectre, a reluctant super heroine who was forced into the business by her mother.


One of the few superheroes to publicly admit his true identity, Adrian Veidt has founded a commercial empire based on his costumed alter-ego Ozymandias. Some call him the smartest man in the world.


One of the last active costumed heroes, Rorschach dispenses his own brutal brand of vigilante justice while keeping to a strict code of black and white moral conduct.

The Comedian

A hardened mercenary and professional assassin, the Comedian is also a smirking sociopath who views the world as a joke with an apocalyptic punch line.

STAR SCALE | |Stay home |


Graphic-novel-turned-movie deconstructs the myth of superheroes with style and substance // LANDONMCDONALD

The end of the world never looked so cool. Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” is a provocative triumph of zeitgeist filmmaking, a subversive action juggernaut that may rival “The Dark Knight” as the greatest movie ever made about superheroes. Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel, the holy grail of geek text that has been influencing pop culture for over two decades, has finally gotten the film adaptation it deserves. “Watchmen” transcends its often lurid violence and convoluted narrative to become a visceral, character-driven experience. The film also functions as a kind of escapist social commentary, one with a sobering relevancy that cuts deep enough to draw blood. The story unfolds in an alternate version of 1985, a parallel era where Richard Nixon is serving his fifth term as president and the Vietnam War was won in a week thanks to the appearance of Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a blue American demigod who can bend all matter to his will. But despite our triumphs abroad, the homeland has devolved into a grimy cesspool of greed and corruption and the nation still stands on the brink of nuclear war with the Soviets. To make matters worse, all other forms of costumed heroism have been outlawed by the government and groups like the celebrated Minutemen are forced into early retirement. The plot kicks off with the assassination of the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a former superhero who worked as a mercenary during the final days of the war. The psychotic vigilante known as Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) decides to investigate the murder and becomes convinced that his former Minutemen colleagues are being targeted for death by an unknown adversary. Rorschach sets out to warn his old partner Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), the sultry Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman), brainiac businessman Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) and Dr. M himself and eventually uncovers a cataclysmic conspiracy. A major strength of the movie is its relatively unknown cast and no one fares better than Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Ever since his searing performance as the neighborhood pedophile in 2006’s “Little Children,” the former child star of “Bad News Bears” has been making a living off playing with his dark side. And it doesn’t get much darker than Rorschach, an enigmatic loner who was warped by his abusive mother and mentally crippled by the memory of a hideous child murder. Rasping out sentence fragments from behind a grimy ink-blot mask, Haley makes this pitiable creature both frightening and oddly admirable for his stark, uncompromising morality. Other performances of note include Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian. Although his character is seen mostly through flashbacks, Morgan still manages to imbue this gleeful redneck sadist with surprising amounts of emotional complexity. Only someone as magnetic as Morgan could make a grunting, bullying misogynist this sympathetic. And Crudup gives a performance of remarkable depth for a character so emotionally stilted by his own omnipotence and the disconnect he feels towards mere mortals. He actually makes you feel the curse of divinity. Dr. Manhattan’s exile on Mars, interspersed with his origin story and a haunting organ hymn from renowned composer Philip Glass, is an absolute

| Rental at best |

marvel of storytelling. The film also boasts the best soundtrack of the year, a collection that includes Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin and even the late great Jimi Hendrix. But the real highlight comes from the spectacular opening credit sequence, ambitiously set to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” I dare you to find a film with a better opening. Zack Snyder (“300”) treats Moore’s hallowed source material with a reverence that’s commendable in its neurotic precision. But when he does decide to change things up, it’s almost always for the better, like when he alters the original ending and (blasphemy alert) actually improves on one of Moore’s central conceits. Action highlights include a daring prison break, a revisionist Vietnam flashback and the best version of Armageddon I’ve ever seen committed to celluloid. But “Watchmen” isn’t for everyone, especially not children. In addition to being extremely violent and sexually explicit, it’s also nearly three hours long. However, it would be tragic to miss out on a film of this extraordinary caliber just because of a runtime you’ll barely notice. Believe me, time flies when you’re watching the “Watchmen.” Just make sure you see it on IMAX first. If there was ever a film worth the extra coin, this is it.




|Worth seeing |

|Instant Classic


CALIFORNIA DREAMING Sophomore hopes to attend year-round San Fransisco School of Ballet next year // MOLLYTROUTMAN

Stretching on the wooden dance floor, sophomore Rachel Duvall bends over, grasping the wooden toes of her point shoes. One by one, the San Francisco School of Ballet dancers enter the room, staring at the new girl in their class. Rachel had flown 1,504 miles to audition for the San Francisco ballet summer program. A two and a half hour Pointe class would tell the director whether or not he wanted Rachel in the program. During the class, Rachel kept pace with the other dancers, gaining helpful corrections from the teacher as she went. By the end of the class Rachel felt like any other dancer in the class. The other dancers had warmed up to her and one even knew Rachel from a previous summer program. At the end of the class, the teacher said she hoped to see Rachel during the summer but didn’t comment on the turnout of her audition. Rachel was told she would be contacted within two weeks.


“I felt like I had a good audition but their reaction made me nervous,” Rachel said. Four days later Rachel got home from school to find the printed e-mail on her counter accepting her into the program. Rachel stood in shock staring at the letter. Watching her daughter, Rachel’s mom, Elaine Duvall, had to ask Rachel if she had read the letter. Rachel had gotten accepted into level seven-eight, the top level of dancers. “It wasn’t really on my mind so when I came home and read the letter I was really excited but I didn’t really know what to do,” Rachel said. Rachel practices classical ballet three to four hours a day at Kansas City Ballet, along with an hour and a half a week of Jazz and Modern dance classes and at drill team practice at East. This summer, she will travel to San Francisco for the ballet summer program. Judges will watch the dancers and may request that Rachel attend the San Francisco school of ballet year-round with the program. Because the average career of a dancer is only 10-15 years, most companies try to hire dancers straight out of high school and bring in dancers from high schools to study dance full time. After high school or college Rachel hopes to be hired by the San Francisco Ballet Company and dance with them for 10-15 years. Dancers in the program live in the dorms of University of San Francisco and dance from morning to mid afternoon. Although it is very similar to the School of American Ballet (SAB) Program in New York, classes are not all in the same facility. Rachel says that dancers have to take more responsibil-

LEFT ABOVE Duvall dances in a contemporary piece composed by Matt Powell in the spring of 2006. She was a soloist in this dance. RIGHT ABOVE Duvall dancing in her solo during the Powell piece. RIGHT Duvall dancing in a classical ballet composed by the director of KU dance program Jaroll Hilding. She was a soloist in this ballet.

ity and learn time management, riding the public bus to and from classes. Rachel’s dancing is so impressive that judges for the program in North Carolina invited her to stay for the fall season. While Rachel felt it was an honor to be invited, she and her family decided that it was too early for her to leave home and that the director would most likely still be interested Rachel’s senior year. “It is really hard to get asked to stay for these things if they take a hundred girls for [the] summer program maybe they’ll take ten to stay year round,” Rachel’s mother Elaine Duvall said. Rachel said summer programs help dancers earn scholarships, gain exposure at the schools they hope to attend and learn to put themselves into their dancing. She hopes to attend the school of San Francisco Ballet but auditions elsewhere to keep her options open. “I’m learning how to dance rather than do the steps,” Rachel said. “A choreographer can show you a step, but it’s our job as a dancer to make it your own [and put yourself into the dance.]” For the past two summers, Rachel has participated in a summer program in New York called the SAB. The program is affiliated with the New York City Ballet and trains many principle dancers, the highest-ranking dancers in the company who dance lead roles and solos. Alecia Goode, Rachel’s dance teacher and mentor, encouraged the Duvalls to keep an open mind towards attending the program. The program she says will help Rachel continue her training towards becoming a professional dancer. “Rachel is number one a very talented

dancer and those are few and far between,” said Goode. “You may get one or two really, really talented dancers in a group of a 100 dancers it’s very rare.” Goode says that the company will have the chance to see if Rachel fits in and being with the company will help Rachel “get her foot in the door” to professional dancing. However, gaining acceptance to the San Francisco school program takes serious work. Rachel feels she’ll have work extra hard to show directors that she wants to be in the program more than the other dancers. She hopes that they will see her efforts and feel as the North Carolina program felt. “When I’m dancing it’s like I’m in my own world where nothing else really matters,” Rachel said. “It’s really soothing to me.” On the other hand, drill team is a more relaxed environment. It acts as a fun activity in which she practices with her closest friends. “She’s an amazing dancer, her technique is superior, her control is amazing,” drill team coach Kristen Anderson said. “She’s just a beautiful dancer.” Waiting to see what offers she gets from college, Rachel plans to attend college before or after her dancing career. She imagines a regular life after her dancing career. In the future Rachel thinks she will possibly teach choreography, run a dance school or simply have a family. For now Rachel hopes the director of the San Francisco Ballet program likes what she has been working at her whole life. “Everybody’s looking for something different,” Duvall said. “You just have to hope that the director of a company likes what you do.”

ABOVE Sophomore Rachel Duvall dancing in a production of The Nutcracker in 2006 with the Kansas City Youth Ballet. She was the lead in this Arabian dance that took place in her eighth grade year.


VARSITY MATERIAL Former JV coach now leads and brings his own style to coaching // JACKHOWLAND

The boys soccer season is a distant memory for head coach James Kelly. A blurred image of an overtime loss and a penalty kick is the last memory of last season. But none of that matters. Fall is over. Spring is here. It’s time for girls soccer. For the past eight years Kelly has been the assistant of the girls’ team under Jim Ricker. But this year he will take over as head coach, hoping to change the way they play the game and go far into this year’s state playoffs. “I think this year’s team has a lot of potential,” Kelly said. “We have nine returning varsity players and all of them were starters.” Last season the Lancers went 8-8-1, with an early exit from the playoffs. Looking upon their 2007-08 season, senior players feel confident for this season, with a new head coach who is already accustomed to the team. “He’s always been our assistant coach so we already know him,” senior varsity soccer player Libby Jandl said. “I think he already knows how a lot of girls play and how everything works, so it’s going to be a great season.” The Lancers have been given high expectations. Five of this year’s seniors are already committed to play in college. But Kelly isn’t thinking about any of the pre-season excitement. Instead, his main focus is the changes that need to be made to turn the team into a state contender. “My goal this season is to win league first,” Kelly said. “Because if we can win league then that will set us up in a good situation to win regionals. But winning league is right there in our main goals to start off with, I mean every team every year says we want to win state, but to win state, you’ve got to get there.” Kelly thinks that this expectation could very well become a reality, with hard work. At practice, the first thing he wants out of a player is a habit of working hard. “I think one thing we need to improve on is conditioning,” Kelly said. “Because I think it’s typical of most coaches at the beginning of the season to get their players into better shape.” Along with hard work, there’s a well thought-out battle plan to bring to every game. For years, Kelly has encouraged offensive traits over defensive. This theory differs from Ricker’s ideas, bringing a change to how East will play the game. “I think that me being more offensive minded [than Ricker] will give us more of an attacking mentality than Ricker had,” Kelly said.


// HALEYMARTIN Softball coach Deon Slemp loves softball. He loves playing catch outside. He loves teaching the girls to play, and he loves knowing that he has made a difference in the program. “When I teach them something new, I love seeing their faces light up and the look that they have accomplished something,” Deon said. Between having one of his daughters on the JV cheer squad, one daughter on the JV basketball team and coaching a competitive under 16 softball team, Deon still finds time for coaching the softball program. Last year, Deon was the assistant head coach and is thrilled to return as head coach this season. His goal for this season is to win six out of the 20 games. “If we can get six wins in our season then I think it will be a big step up from where the program was; a step in the right direction,” Deon said. “If we can get to 10 and 10 this year then I will be very ecstatic and feel like it was a very successful year for the program.” After the East softball team struggled 1. Stretch through a no-win season last year, they 2. Warm Ups- throwing progression, were pushed to the bottom of the Sunflower wrist snaps, and long throws League rankings. This year, Deon is plan3. Offense & Defense Exercises- hitting ning on working fundamentals more than stations, swing speed, base running, anything else to strengthen the incoming players. strategies (steal, stride, lead off) Deon said that the dominant freshmen 4. Circle Up- cool down stretches and program has a promising future and it will roundtable (get to know each other make the team better. So when their senior exercises) at beginning of season year comes around, the team will have mas-

ctice Sche Pra du

Kell y’s

PAGE 20 SPORTS / MARCH 30, 2009

mplishmen o c ts Ac Playing:

-Three years of varsity soccer at East -Holds the record for most goals scored in a season (senior year) -Four years on varsity at Missouri Valley College -First team All-Conference for two years at Missouri Valley

Growing up, Kelly played a wide range of positions in the game of soccer. He credits his offensive ideas with his history of playing forward in soccer. In addition to coaching for eight years, Kelly has also played soccer nearly his entire life. Coaching: “Early on [in my life] I played really -Three years for at Missouri just soccer and baseball but I really enValley’s JV team joyed the aspect of soccer,” Kelly said. “My -9 years for premiere parents were afraid that I would get hurt playing football.” Both Kelly and his brother were athletes growing up, soaking in every lasting impression made by the game of soccer. All four years at East, Kelly played soccer. His desire for the game carried over with him into college at Missouri Valley. Four years later, the passion was still there. When Kelly realized that he could not be a professional soccer player, he decided to do the next best thing, coaching. After trying to coach for a couple years at his alma mater Missouri Valley, he found his way to East. And now Kelly has taken over both soccer programs, after Ricker stepped down from the positions. “[I stepped down] for a different leadership role, to give myself a different personal growth, to see what else I could do, a new challenge in life,” Ricker said. “I will miss [coaching] immensely, it’s my competitive edge.” Now with Ricker monitoring the girls team from his Athletic Director office, separated from the girl’s soccer practice, change is imminent. Kelly is ready to begin a new era for the East girls soccer team. “I have no envisions of being an administrator or athletic director or anything like that,” Kelly said. “So as long as I still enjoy it, as long as I feel like I can do it, as long as I feel like I can not only teach the kids about soccer, but about being on a team, and the team concept, then I’ll keep doing it.”

Batting Basics

Softball coach wants to master fundamentals to improve team


tered the fundamentals and the girls it will make the team stronger. “I have a few freshmen who I know want to play into their collegiate years and I am going to do all that I can to help them economically and coaching wise to get there,” Deon said. Deon has been coaching for 19 years and it all began with co-coaching an 18 and over competitive team, the Arrow Signs, with his mother during the summer. Both of his daughters, freshman Kyra and junior Dara Slemp would attend the games, and they soon wanted to play softball for themselves. When they were old enough, Deon agreed to coach their T-ball team. Through the years he has coached their Tball teams, competitive teams and now is their high school team coach. “I think that he will bring to the team more experience from his past coaching jobs that he has had,” Kyra said. This year they are focusing more on the basics for hitting, batting and catching. Deon said they will also make sure to stretch and strengthen their quads to prevent injury, which has troubled them in the past. “This year is going to be a good growing year for us,” Deon said. “Hopefully by next year we are able to step in and be competitive with the rest of the teams in the area” Currently, Deon coaches the Diamond Devils, a U16 softball team that is ranked 33rd in the nation, which includes one of his daughters freshman Kyra Slemp. The team has been together since they were 12 and unders. They play together in the summer and fall, but are splitting up for the high school season to play on their respective teams. Even though Deon deals with a busy schedule on a daily basis, he knows that coaching is worth it. “I have been doing this for 19 years and for the majority of them I didn’t make a penny,” Deon said. “I love just being around the sport.”






The Lancers lacrosse team comes into this season fresh off their first ever appearance at the state tournament. First time coach Alex Houlton has taken over the open position vacated when former coach Shaun Reilly had to return to a job on the East Coast. After the team only won two games in the regular season last year before making the state tournament by process of elimination, Houlton plans to put more emphasis on defense and toughness. “I’m a defensive minded person, so I want them to be able to play a smart game,” Houlton said. “I want them to be tough, since this is a team that nobody else has a lot of respect for. I want them to go out and show those other teams that they’re wrong.” According to senior Josh Barlow, the team has seen a large number of new players joining this year, including



Bishop Miege junior Clancy Merrill, who has experience playing at camps and with teams on the East Coast. Merrill is able to play since it is a club team and isn’t school-sponsored. Barlow said the team has already discussed their main goals for the season. “We want to make the state tournament again, and we definitely want to beat Pembroke,” Barlow said. “We lost to them by two last year and really should have won if it weren’t for a couple of flukes and little mistakes. Their coach even told ours after the game that we were one of the best teams they had played.” Barlow said he enjoys lacrosse because it combines aspects from a lot of other sports. “Lacrosse is kind of like a mixture of a bunch of different sports that I like,” Barlow said. “The positions are similar to soccer, and different moves are similar to basketball, like a splitdodge which is basically what a crossover is in basketball.” One of the main plays that they plan to run

organized team affiliated with a school in the area, and the two teams have begun setting up games already. To prepare, the team has been playing pickup games daily at Porter Park and working on drills with coach Dan Brauch, a former player for the KU HorrorZontals Frisbee team. As of early March, Brauch had only worked with the team a few times, but said he sees a lot of potential. “When I play with the high school guys, I’m always amazed at how they’re in such good shape,” Brauch said. “There’s some great athletes on the team, and a couple of guys can huck it super far. They could really be a deep threat type of team once they get a little more sight of the game.” The team has been working on a play called the “cup defense,” which involves one defender always guarding the player on the opposing team who has the frisbee. Two other defenders then shadow the first defender, and if he can force the other player to make a careless mistake, the two shadows can then pick off the Frisbee and create a breakaway. Though the team has worked on other plays in past seasons, this year is the first time they’ve had a coach to give them more structure to their play. According to Brauch, since there aren’t any of-


Junior Scott Rainen still remembers the tackle. As a freshman, Rainen looked on from the sideline during a match against St. Thomas Aquinas when senior Pat Foley made the biggest hit he’d ever seen. Foley lifted an opposing player several feet into the air before throwing him to the ground. “He was like five feet off the ground just dangling at the mercy of Pat, then Pat smashed him to the ground,” Rainen said. “The kid was lying on his back screaming. Obviously you don’t like to get hit that hard, but it’s part of

this year is called “the wheel,” which involves the players spreading out on the field and moving the ball as fast as they can. As soon as an attacking player sees an opening, he attempts to juke a defender, or another player will cut to receive the ball. Houlton said that his expectations rose substantially after just one week of practice because of how well the team played together. He expects them to be playing in the playoffs at the end of the season and for the state title. “Right now, I see no big weaknesses in the team,” Houlton said. “I’d be very disappointed if we don’t win nine to 10 games [out of 15]. I’m excited to see us do some damage to all of these other teams who don’t expect much out of us.”

ficials in ultimate frisbee aside from observers at national tournaments, the players must learn to make their own calls in the “spirit of the game,” and trust each other. He remembers a time when he saw the community aspect of the sport firsthand during a tournament in Wisconsin. “I was at a tournament and the hotel we stayed at was all booked, and another team of strangers came into our room,” Brauch said. “We realized that they played frisbee, and we all became good friends. There’s definitely a really open worldwide frisbee community.”

the sport. It wouldn’t be as much fun if you couldn’t hit people.” The players on the Lancers Rugby Football Club realize that there is more to the sport than big tackles. They have been practicing at Franklin Park twice a week since January, where they divide into backs and forwards for drills. In rugby, the backs are generally the smaller and quicker players, and the forwards are more like linemen in football. According to coach Rob Loney, the Lancers RFC returns several key seniors including forwards Ben Gloe and Nick Benge, and backs Alex Collingwood and Eric Ellwood, who no longer goes to East but still plays on the team. Rainen said that the team’s main competition during the regular season will come from Olathe schools, Rockhurst and Aquinas, but they will also play Schlagle and Park Hill. The team last won state in 2005, and were runners-up in 2006 and 2007, but lost in the tournament in 2008.


There is little to no structure in the sport of ultimate frisbee, according to senior Grant Morris. There aren’t any referees, and players have to make their own calls. But it’s still his favorite sport. “I love playing ultimate because there aren’t so many rules like physicals and things that are required for high school sports,” Morris said. “It’s just really fun to be out with guys that you know, and you’re never going to see a ref or fights over a game.” The Lancers ultimate frisbee team plans on competing in several out-of-state tournaments, including some in St. Louis and Denver. They also hope to get a bid to play at nationals in Kansas by going through an application process, which only requires that the team has played in one tournament when they apply. At nationals, the players will still make their own calls during the game, but there will be observers on the sidelines ready to resolve a dispute if needed. Morris said their biggest competition outside of tournaments will be Rockhurst, as they are the only other


Loney said that the team’s goals include beating the Rockhurst team and competing for the state championship at Westwick Field in Lawrence, but they don’t play solely to win. “The thing about rugby and club sports at the high school level is just to get more kids involved and grow the sport,” Loney said. “Really to take these kids from introducing them to a rugby ball at the first practice, to wanting to go see rugby matches at higher levels and play the video games is really what keeps me in it.” According to Loney, while rugby can be a violent sport, it is defined by the brotherhood between all of the players. “Rugby is called elegant violence,” Loney said. “You leave everything on the field and there’s no animosity towards other players. After the game you shake hands and have a burger and a dog and a soda. No matter how hard you play or get hit, you shake the guy’s hand at the end.”

PAGE 22 SPORTS / MARCH 30, 2009

A Stately Appearance

The Lady Lancers end their season with a substate victory and a state tournament showing


The Lady Lancers took the floor on March 12 to the roars of the Lancer faithful. They were about to begin their Kansas 6A State quarterfinal game against the Shawnee Mission West Vikings. The sounds of their names bounced off the seats of the home of the Emporia State Hornets. For most of the girls, this was the biggest gym they had ever played in. They capped off an 18-5 season by earning the fifth seed in the state tournament and East’s first state tournament appearance in 19 years. They were matched up against West, a team which they had split their regular season games with. The Lady Lancers fell behind early as a result of turnovers forced by a mix of zone and man defenses from West and the hot hand of Vikings sophomore Lizzy Jeronimus, who scored 13 points in the first half. Trailing 31-18 at halftime, the Lancers rallied to outscore West 35-28 in the second half. The Shawnee Mission East girls’ varsity basketball team left one dominant impression over the course of their time in Emporia. They didn’t give up. Trailing by 18 in the third quarter, the Lancers turned the momentum towards the East side by cutting the Viking lead to four with under a minute to play. Unfortunately for the Lady Lancers, that was as close as they would get, as they went on to lose 5953 and be eliminated from the tournament. Head Coach Rick Rhoades believes nerves played a huge part in the Lancers falling behind early in the game. “When we walked into the stadium I could see we had the deer-in-headlights look,” Rhoades said. “We were very nervous. In the third quarter, we just figured it out and started playing our game.” Junior Janna Graf led the Lancers in scoring with 22 points, including 16 second half points and also had three key steals in the second half. Junior Alison Stephens chipped in 13 points as well. The scoring from Graf was one of the things that worked to the benefit of the Lancers for the entire season, as Graf put up about 20 points per game and won the Kansas City Star Sunflower League Player of the Year Award. However, Graf credits her teammates for the honor that she won. “I think it really happened because I had a great team to guide me and to support me and none of it would have

SENIOR Libby Jandl drives to the basket during the state quarterfinal game against Shawnee Mission West. The Lady Lancers lost 59-53. // PATRICKMAYFIELD happened without the team,” Graf said. “It definitely was a team effort and it should be a team award.” Both Graf and freshman guard Shannon McGinley believe that what made this team unique was the unbelievable team chemistry. “We got along real well and were friends outside of basketball,” McGinley said. Rhoades agrees that the team chemistry played a vital part in the Lancers’ success over the course of the season. “I think that is one of the most important things if you are going to have a good team,” Rhoades said. “If you have different subgroups and everybody is going apart, you just

50 Days Until Graduation

aren’t going to be as successful.” The Lancers gained a reputation throughout the Sunflower League by playing stifling defense. They were able to hold opposing teams to an average of 42.4 points per game throughout their season. For next year, though, Graf wants to build on what the Lancers have accomplished this year and make a run deep into the state tournament. “Our goal is winning state,” Graf said. “We all need to work hard over the summer, and we just need to come out next year the same way, working hard and determined.”


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view fromthe bench


Staff member and guard describes state basketball tournament from his spot at the bottom of the depth chart




Being a part of this year’s varsity basketball team during its state tournament run had me feeling a little spoiled. Yeah, I was able to experience three memorable days on the senior-laden team that was streaking at the best possible time. There I was, missing school with 11 other varsity studs and being honored at pep assemblies. My name was nudged into the tail end of the choir’s hit single “12 Plays of the Game,” and everyone was wishing me good luck in Emporia as if I was instrumental to the squad. My VIP status must’ve been soaring. The truth is this: the entire season I had been part of a JV team that went 8-12 and had poor coach Oettmeier on the verge of self-harm. So when a couple JV teammates and I were thrown onto the postseason roster of a state championship contender, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d dined and dashed or stolen some freshman’s fancy tennis shoes.  Here’s my point. This story isn’t about my fun little experience in Emporia. I was lucky enough to go along for the ride, functioning as a scout-teamer who’d maybe mop up some minutes in the dying seconds of a blowout. It’s about the three-day grind of a team that came close to pulling off something crazy, and of the seven seniors specifically. After all, without them, a Cole-Aldrich-sized poster of my head never would have loomed creepily in the cafeteria for everyone to see.  ***  Olathe East, our quarterfinal opponent on March 11, had a lot of talent. Prior to this game I’d never seen their point guard Danny Mundweiler miss a shot. They also had uber-athletic forward Bruce Reed, whose one-handed alley-oop flush in our earlier meeting this season nearly made me drool. Both players averaged over 15 points per game, and Mundweiler had already committed to Wagner to play college ball.  We were different. We didn’t really have a leading scorer or a surefire college prospect. Seniors Winn Clark, Jack Slaughter and Marcus Webb all averaged around 10 a game, but there were no stat sheet junkies on our team.   “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”  Coach Hair’s use of Michael Jordan’s quote in the locker room before our first state tournament game put everything in perspective.  As the team stood court-side waiting for the preceding game to end, I felt confident in the seniors. The afternoon shoot-around was really focused, but everyone was laid back and relaxed. Players were full of energy, wore goofy smiles during shooting drills and were constantly chatting, just like any other out-of-town tournament. We had a winning mentality: the question wasn’t if we would beat Olathe East, but how we’d beat them. Based on the seniors’ demeanor up to this point, I’m not sure they ever realized this could be the last time they sported those baby-blue jerseys.  Seconds before we took the floor for warm-ups, East’s Big-Man-On-Campus huddled us together.  “Don’t let this be the last game you play for this school,”

senior Marcus Webb yelled. Maybe the realization had finally hit him. This could be the end. As we dispersed and a Lancer team ran onto the White Auditorium court for the first time in three years, Marcus took a breath. And tears came to his eyes.  The game itself was a classic, one of those barn-burners where quiet moments are nonexistent and the energy of the players emanates throughout the gym.  One of our goals was to slow down Mundweiler. Senior Johnny Delgado, a guy who didn’t make a team his freshman year, stopped him almost completely. Johnny’s fourth quarter 3-ball, followed by an emphatic roar, gave me no reason to think we would lose. Winn Clark played like the D1-bound guard on this night and scored 26 points. Overcoming poor free throw shooting down the stretch and a dominant first half from Reed, we held on for a win.  ***  For the majority of March 13, I lingered around restlessly in my hotel room. Draining half the battery from my iPod and watching the same SportsCenter episode over and over again, I felt like our semifinal match-up against defending state champs Wichita Southeast would never come. Slated for around 8:30 that night, it was the last game of a quadruple header at White Auditorium.  After what seemed like a week of waiting around impatiently at the Holiday Inn, Hair finally stood before us in the locker room prior to tip. He read off an excerpt from the Wichita Eagle, predicting an all Wichita final between Heights and Southeast. No big deal, we thought. Like Hair said, we’d risen to every challenge and proved people wrong all year. The pre-game environment fired everyone into an extra gear. During warm-ups I was launching 25-foot jumpers, running on pure adrenaline. Sure, I was going to stay at the end of the bench that night, but the classic Friday night atmosphere - the wailing band, the hostile student sections, the muggy feel of the gym - gave me a good idea of how Rockhurst ‘07 grad Conner Teahan must’ve felt before a big game at Allen Fieldhouse.  I couldn’t hear a thing in our huddle before tip, but I could see that each of our seniors had something to say. Marcus’s eyes got watery again. Wichita Southeast was one of the best teams we had run into all year, an inner-city squad full of quickness and athleticism. We had to play flawless basketball to keep close. Seniors Jack Slaughter and Curran Darling were bodying up giants twice their size and doing a solid job throughout the first half. Charlie Ludington was stroking NBA threes in the face of his defender, and Chase Lucas had provided an offensive spark off the bench. But after a series of tough breaks and hellacious calls that had East’s side of the gym on the brink of murdering the refs, we found ourselves down by double digits with time running out.  I didn’t lose hope once. If there was one thing I learned during my time with the team, it was to never quit on that

group of seniors. We just didn’t quite have enough. When the buzzer sounded, the team gathered in front of the student section. Tears and exhaustion exhumed the seniors, and the only thing that didn’t make me feel completely awful was the fact that we were playing for third place the very next day. *** The next morning, playing a third-place game might’ve been the last thing anyone wanted to do. “My legs are toast...screw this dude, I’m done...Yeah, let’s get out of here and go to Mexico.”  The team had left everything it had - physically, mentally, and emotionally - on the floor the previous night. A humdrum third-place game coming just 13 hours after a heartbreaking loss seemed less appetizing than the mouth-drying biscuit and repulsively mushy banana I had for breakfast.  Everyone was running on empty before the consolation game against SM Northwest on March 14 even started. Looks of determination in everyone’s eyes the night before were replaced with glassy gazes. During warm-ups, players settled for lazy jump shots rather than attacking the rim. Our insane, sprawling student section from the night before had been reduced to around 20 tranquil supporters. The first half largely reflected our pre-game mood. Losing at the break, the seniors had one half to turn it around and end their careers on a positive note.   “This is the last chance for you seniors to play together,” freshman coach Ryan Hintz said at half. “You guys have a rare opportunity to win your last game. So go out and fight one last time with your teammates, your brothers, and have fun.” Heads nodded in agreement. This team had played too hard to end the season with a loss to a rival we all hated. After all the practice hours, all the body soreness, all the 10-in-60s, it wasn’t going to end with an uninspiring loss.  Running on fumes and playing purely for pride, we scrappily chipped our way back into the game and exchanged leads with Northwest throughout the fourth quarter. Next thing you know, Marcus had the ball on the left wing with 15 seconds left and the game tied 50 apiece.  Slashing right into the heart of the lane, he floated up a hopeful shot over Northwest’s center with around 4 seconds left. In midair, I thought it was in. It would be dumb for me to think a last second shot from Marcus would ever miss.  But it did, bouncing off to the right. Standing under the rim was Curran Darling. All game his shots bounced around and out, his free throws wouldn’t fall, and the refs had picked on him.  In the grand scheme of things, none of this mattered. His tip-in at the buzzer had given the Lancer basketball team its second-best showing at the state tournament in school history. And a proper send-off for the seven seniors.  “See Curran, aren’t you glad you played now?” asked an enthused coach Hair after the game.  He smiled and shrugged. “Yeah, I guess.”


THE END OF A LONG ROAD The Lancers end the season strong, finishing third in state

ABOVE: (From the right) Seniors Michael Cray, John Hart, Bryan Parman, Nick Benge and David Degoler and the rest of the student section react to the buzzer-beating shot by Marcus Webb to win the sub-state final at Lawrence Free State High School. // ALYSABETHALBANO LEFT: Senior Jack Slaughter gets past the Olathe East defenders to get the ball to the hoop. // ELLENFRIZZEL FAR LEFT: Varsity players Winn Clark, Scott Kennedy and Jack Slaughter stroll off the court after thier victory over Olathe East in the first round of the tournament. // MEGHANBENSON

RIGHT: Seniors Bryan Parman, John Hart and Nick Benge watch junior Sam Logan sit on the shoulders of senior David Degoler and rip off his shirt to get the Lancer crowd pumped up. // RACHELENGLISH FAR-RIGHT: Senior Marcus Webb gets cheers for his team on the Lancer bench. Webb made a last -second three in the sub-state final against Lawrence to bring the Lancers to the tournament. // RACHELENGLISH

Issue 13  

NEWS: Remembering Bryan Barrow and Connor Lehr &gt;PAGE 2-3 A&amp;E: “Watchmen” review &gt;PAGE 18 SPORTS: Basketball recap &gt;PAGE 22-23 I...

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