THE KING AND I, etc., etc., ctc.
NEWS - MR. DRAPER DONATES LOCKS p. 2 EDITORIAL - CYBER CAFETERIA p. 5 SPORTS - UNDER THE LIGHTS p. 16
Massapequa High School
Vol. LVIII - ISSUE 4
Something new on the lunch menu at MHS cafeteria BY ANTHONY CASSERO, LYNN HOROWITZ, TOM STRONG-GRINSELL MANAGING EDITOR, BUSINESS MANAGER, ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
The current cafeteria and conjoining kitchen and room 141 will soon be nonexistent as construction for a new 2.1 million dollar cyber-cafeteria prepares for the start of the 2010-2011 academic year. The cost of the renovations total $2.1 million, the lowest bid of any of the bidding contractors. The new cafeteria will include large screen televisions on the wall featuring MHS news broadcasts, and a separate cyber-room that is set to include between 24 to 28 computers for students to work on while they eat. The plan is to create a walk through between the two rooms, creating a food court-like atmosphere complete with booths along the perimeter and traditional cafeteria tables in the center of both cafeterias. The kitchen will be modernized and revamped to include a walk-in refrigerator and freezer. The renovations are to be funded by a surplus from a bond taken out to pay for the eight-classroom expansion that was built in 2005-2006. After the completion of the expansion, there was a remaining balance due to the fact that
the bid for the project came in underbudget, allowing this current renovation to become a reality. The process to get here has been a long and well-thought out issue that Assistant Superintendent of Business Allan Adcock took well over two years to plan and begin to execute. Though the district is still in the process of finalizing some of the design disparities, construction is set to begin on the evening of June 11, the last official day of classes for the 2009-2010 school year. The work will not be a disturbance to the final exam schedule because it will occur solely in
Graphic provided by: MUFSD
the evening. Contrary to popular belief, opencampus privileges will not be revoked from eligible students and there are no plans to remove the program being according to Mr. Piotrowski, because the new cafeteria can only hold 150 students. The cyber-portion can hold an additional 35 students, a total that is no where near the capacity that MHS would need for all its students. The new cafeteria will no longer be the supervised lunch cafeteria and there will be alternate accommodations made that have yet to be determined.
Junior Alyssa Derasmo said, “Why would you stay inside when you have such a nice variety of food outside? But, then again, they should have given a drawing for us to look at to know how updated it will be.” “We have so many great things to be proud of but when you walk into the cafeteria it just doesn’t fit MHS,” Mr. Adcock said. He hopes that the new cafeteria will serve as an additional social gathering place for students aside from its dining purpose. MHS Junior Debra Demarco, who also attends BOCES, feels the same way. “I wouldn’t go in because I like to go out for lunch. Most schools don’t have the privilege, and I believe it’s more fun,” she said. Other students take a more optimistic view, however. Sophomore Spencer Nord said, “I think the CyberCafeteria is a good idea. Although I probably won’t use it a lot, it’s nice to have that kind of option in case I have some extra homework I’d like to do before the end of school.” The new cafeterias will officially be tested come the first day of classes for the 2010-2011 school year and will finally be graded to determine its success.
MHS staff unites in solidarity in small, medium, or large BY CHRISTOPHER RIOTTA NEWS EDITOR
Blue and gold: the colors that evoke a feeling of pride in every Massapequa resident might just be why the Massapequa Federation of Teachers has decided to wear them every Friday. However, the MFT isn’t sporting the school district’s colors at the end of every school week just to show support for an upcoming football game or mock trial competition. They wear these colors to represent the staff’s “solidarity” with each other in the midst of contract negotiations. Teachers are not the only unit working without a contract. They are joined by the secretaries, custodians, monitors and teaching assistants. As of July the educators (teachers) and paraprofessionals (teachers’ assistants and monitors) of Massapequa will be working without contracts for one full year, and the custodians for three. Students from any of the school district’s campuses may question why their teachers and secretaries are wearing these collared tees once a week and their “respect” buttons everyday. However, due to an agreement made by the administration and the MFT, nobody of authority is allowed to speak to students in detail about what has been underway for quite some time – including five-hour long negotiation meetings, custodians picketing during the SATs on May 1, and teachers working with no contracts. So what exactly is going
PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
“Just like the economy, education is always changing,” said Tomia Smith, President of the Massapequa Federation of Teachers. Before the teachers’ contracts expired last June, she said a request was made the previous February to the administration in order to begin discussions on new contracts. “There wasn’t any progress being made,” Mrs. Smith said, regarding the initial discussions with the District’s Administration negotiation team. A mediator was hired who worked on finding a balance between both sides. Since then, according to Dr. Thomas Fasano, Assistant to the Superintendent, there has been a memorandum of agreement that the membership will
vote on which may, if approved, lead to a contract. Due to economic uncertainty, it has been difficult for Smith and her team to work with the administration on reforming their contracts. “It is really, a very difficult time to be negotiating,” Smith said. Mr. Jordan McCaw, English teacher and Massapequa High School Representative for the MFT, has worn his blue and gold “solidarity” shirt to work along with his coworkers every Friday. “I wear my shirt to show respect to my colleagues,” he said. While McCaw couldn’t state the goals of the MFT for the negotiations due to the agreement of disclosure, he did seem loyal to his shirt’s promise of solidarity. “We are a cohesive unit working together for a common purpose,” he said. “We all want what’s best for the students in Massapequa. The children are the future,” said Mrs. Quirk, President of the Secretaries unit of the MFT. She, along with the other secretaries in the Massapequa School District, wears the shirt as well. Regarding the shirts teachers have been sporting, administrators were receptive yet slightly hesitant. “Our primary responsibility is to provide the best education for students in the most appropriate setting possible,” said Dr. Fasano. “We certainly understand the desire of the unit to raise awareness
of the issue,” he said. “We’re working very closely right now to try to come to an agreement on a contract that fairly addresses the needs of teachers and school district, particularly in light of the difficult economic times that we all face.” Students at the main campus have expressed their thoughts: the shirts, or negotiations for that matter, have not affected their education. “I really am indifferent to the shirts, aside from making the teachers look like they’re in a cult. They don’t mean a whole lot to me. The issue though, not having contracts, is kind of a big deal,” said junior Andrew Valenski. Junior and future senior class president Rich Staubitz was appreciative of the teachers’ efforts. “It really gives the student body... a sense of honor that our educators are coming together and doing something to show their concern on this subject. I feel proud to say that I go to such a respectful high school where the faculty takes pride in what it does.” Certainly, the negotiations underway between the Administration and the Massapequa Federation of Teachers have been long, stressful, and tiring for both parties involved. However, both do agree on one thing: they are eager to bring the process to a swift and mutually beneficial resolution. For now, the blue and gold shirts Massapequa students see each Friday are here to stay.
THE CHIEF 2
Massapequa teacher, Mr. Draper, loses locks for a cause BY JENNA FRATELLO OPINIONS EDITOR
The decision was made. The scissors came out. The smock went on. The hair was cut. On Friday, May 7, our very own Mr. Draper did the unthinkable. He got a haircut. Standing in the middle of the Field of Dreams as the anxious crowd awaited a halftime show like no other, Mr. Draper chopped off the locks he had been growing for the past two years for the foundation Wigs for Kids. The non-profit organization, founded 25 years ago by former hair-
dresser, Jeffery Paul, is a charitable foundation that uses the donated hair it receives to custom design prosthetic wigs for children and adults struggling with cancer and other medical conditions that result in hair loss. “We’re a small organization on the inside so we can make a big impact on the outside,” said Paul, who created the organization after his 15-year-old niece had been diagnosed with leukemia according to wigsforkids.com. To this day, every handcrafted wig is compiled of roughly 150,000 strands of natural hair. After being molded from the person’s head for a proper fit,
MHS Senior Rob Goeren snips Mr. Draper’s hair.
each individual strand is hand-tied into the formation of a wig. This year, Mr. Draper’s strands of hair will be some of them. “Never once have I done this,” said Mr. Draper. “I’ve always wanted to. So I figured, why not?” Being a personal goal of his, Mr. Draper wasted no time in preparing for the event. Draper began growing it two years ago in order to reach the minimum length requirement – 12 inches. “I actually am excited to have short hair again. I have a newfound respect for men and women with long hair. It’s just so annoying to take care of all of it,
you know?” Draper said, prior to getting the new ‘do. Senior Rob Goeren was the lucky candidate to cut Mr. Draper’s hair in between the first and second half of the lacrosse game. “It hurt him, so I felt bad, but it was definitely a lot of fun,” Goeren said after the cut was made. In regards to all of those who witnessed the spectacle, Mr. Draper sends his gratitude for the surplus of support given. “We had a great turnout. We raised about $2,000 so far; it’s great. Thanks so much for everyone’s support.”
Mr. Draper showing off his new head of hair.
Photos by Meaghan Haskell
CHIEF CHAT A lockout occured in the entire school district after a bank robbery took place in the Unqua area on May 27. Officals kept the main campus closed as well as the other schools in the district, keeping MHS students five minutes beyond the ninth-period bell. Lacrosse players from Ward Melville High School are being reprimanded after pictures of them at a party were uploaded to Facebook. School officials say the party was on a weekend at a private location “which involved the presence of alcohol.” Nine players sat out in one game, and six have been suspended indefinitely. Pre-teen New Yorker Miriam Starobin saved her friend’s life in music class and credited the popular Nickelodeon television show Spongebob SquarePants. In a statement to the Associated Press, Starobin recalled an episode in which Spongebob used the Heimlich maneuver in an attempt to dislodge a clarinet from Squidward’s throat. MHS students have been in uproar over the infamous fight at the local bagel shop, which involved a pregnant wife, her husband, and an elderly woman. The fight was broken up by police after the older woman allegedly spat on the husband, who proceeded to spit back at her. Phil Armato, junior at Massapequa High School, also took a part in ending the feud. Following the arrest of then-seventeen year old Jeffrey Conroy, who allegedly stabbed and killed Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero, it has been discovered that New York State has failed for nearly a decade to compile and report data on hate crime incidents, arrests, and prosecutions. A Long Island family in Great Neck was caught organizing a fake breast cancer charity that reaped half a million dollars in funding. The Winston family has been put on a monthly $10,000 budget for living expenses as the investigation continues. In an effort to reduce aggressive driving in Nassau County, police are conducting a crackdown that will include the issuance of tickets for a multitude of moving violations, from unreasonable speed to failure to obey traffic control devices.
THE CHIEF 3
Volcano spews disaster across Europe BY TYLER NOVET FEATURES EDITOR
Smoke soared into the air and ash loomed below the clouds, darkening the sky. Lava drove down the sides of the massive hunk of rock over Iceland. Flights were grounded, communications cut off, and all interaction over the North Atlantic was terminated. The world stood in awe last month as the unpredictable and unpronounceable Eyjafjallajökull volcano began erupting on March 20 and finally blew its lid on April 14. The volcano continued to spew out ash for over a month, leaving the globalized world in disarray. The problem with volcanic eruptions that separates it from other natural disasters is that they are as undetectable and unstoppable as they are violent and destructive. The eruption of Eyjafjal-
lajökull was caused by an underground hot spot – basically a tiny stove burner underneath the Earth’s surface. As the island of Iceland floated over the hotspot, the magma underneath it heated up, rose, and eventually blew out of the small opening it had: the volcano. The ash, mostly composed of tiny crystals consisting of glass, rock, and dust, expelled from the eruption, which can be extremely dangerous to anyone trapped inside of it. It’s extremely damaging to breathe in and it can cover roads, homes, and even entire cities in minutes as it cascades from the sky. As the ash built up in clouds and floated in numerous directions, the winds carried it directly over Northern and Central Europe. The airplanes flying throughout the area were not safe from the volcano’s
A car driving through the ash near Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland on Thursday April 15, 2010.
The volcano in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull glacier sends ash into the air Saturday, April 17, 2010. destructive path either. On top of reducing visibility in the air, the dust and glass had the ability to enter the engines where it could become hot enough to melt, stick to the turbines and blades, and cause massive engine failure which would turn the plane into a giant hunk of metal hurtling throughout the sky. It is a mystery as to how much ash is necessary to cause this problem, rightfully making the policy to avoid it altogether. The radius of the eruption caused flights all over Europe to be delayed and cancelled as hundreds of airports were closed. How far the world has come to a globalized society truly comes to surface here, as we kneel down to the power of nature under a volcanic eruption from a tiny island in the North Atlantic. The eruption prevented President Obama from flying to Poland for the funeral of
its late president, Lech Kaczynski. It has cost airlines and other companies millions of dollars to ground many flights without warning. Tons upon tons of people were stuck their location at that time without any means of transportation, including a convention of volcanologists in Paris that ironically stood watching in disappointment as they were unable to get any closer to the eruption. As the ash continues to be a problem, flights continue to be delayed and cancelled, which poses a large problem for many airlines in Europe. Millions of dollars have been lost. Thousands of people are trapped wherever they may be. Worst of all, no one can say when it will be fixed.
Death of the Polish government BY JENNA FRATELLO OPINIONS EDITOR
President Lech Kaczynski was flying aboard a Tu-154 plane on April 10 when a fatal explosion occurred. The plane, carrying the President, his wife Maria, and dozens of other head political and military leaders of Poland, was flying to the historic site of a Soviet massacre of Polish officers in World War II when it crashed in western Russia, killing everyone on board. Kaczynski’s plane was attempting to land in a heavy fog when it missed the runway and took treetops with it about half a mile from the airport in Smolensk, scattering fuselage pieces across a bare forest nearby, according to The New York Times. Minister Vladimir V. Putin became the first Russian leader to join the Polish officials in commemorating the 1940 massacre at Katyn Woods, as Poles and Russians were amidst coming to terms with the murder of roughly 20,000 members of Poland’s elite officer corps in the same location 70 years ago. Lech Walesa, former President of Poland who presided over Poland’s transition from Communism, called the crash “the second disaster after Katyn.” “They wanted to cut off our head there, and here the flower of our nation has also perished,” said Walesa accord-
ing to The New York Times. It has been reported that air traffic controllers at the Smolensk airport had ordered the crew not to land the plane several times, as they warned that it was descending below the correct glide path and recommended to reroute to another airport. According to Russian officials, 97 people were killed in the tragic crash: Poland’s deputy foreign minister, a dozen members of Parliament, the chiefs of the army and the navy, national bank president Anna Walentynowickz, an 80 year-old former dock worker whose firing in 1980 set off the Solidarity strike that resulted in the overthrow of Communism in Poland, and the family members on their way to commemorate the victims of the massacre. The stability of Poland is now at risk as they search for a new man to take on the presidential position. “Law and Justice is in big trouble,” said Eugeniusz Smolar, a senior fellow at the Center for International Relations at Warsaw. “The party has no obvious candidates to stand for the presidency.” The Civic Platform candidate and speaker of Parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski, is taking on the role of “acting president” temporarily, according to The New York Times. However, with this sudden trag-
edy, a positive change may come for the Polish government and its people. The controversial Law and Justice Party had received some heavy criticism in opinion polls recently, according to Fox News. A newfound public sympathy may revive the party created by Lech and his twin brother Jaroslaw in 2001, said Ms. Iglicka, sociologist. “If you look at this outpouring of grief for the death of Lech and all those who died in that plane crash, there must be some feeling of guilt, some feeling of remorse for those who criticized the president so much. There is a need for a conservative party in Poland. Look at the rest of Europe, where many countries are led by conservatives. Maybe we might have a generation change in Law and Justice that could make it more attractive for the younger generation.” All of this will depend on the eligibility and credibility of the future presidential candidate, who should be elected by June, according to The New York Times. But a possible change in Poland’s political system was not the only thing that arose from the crash; many of the government’s leaders reverberated not only throughout the world, but also in history. In 1940, Katyn became the sym-
bolic memorial site of the mass murder of more than 20,000 soldiers by the Soviet secret police after the invasion of the Red Army during World War II. The President and his fellow passengers were on their way to attend a ceremony in memory of this massacre. During his reign as president, Kaczynski had forged tight relations with Ukraine and Georgia as he pushed their accession into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, arguing that it would keep Russia from reasserting its control over Eastern Europe. With the president’s death on Russian soil, the reopening of old wounds in the relationship between Poland and Russia is a probable circumstance, according to The New York Times. The dramatic event has brought a heavy sense of sorrow and remorse for Poland, its people, and the loved ones of all who lost their lives in the fatal crash. World leaders across the globe have reflected their thoughts, including President Barack Obama. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kaczynski family, the loved ones of those killed in this tragic plane crash, and the Polish nation,” Mr. Obama said just hours after the crash. As the world remains saddened by such an ironic tragedy, the fate of Poland still remains a question.
E T O V 2010
s y Kreb Jerem
G.O. Co-Treasurer “I hope to give the voice of the student body back to them.”
itz Staub h c i R
Senior President “I look forward to continue making changes.”
Junior President “My main goal is to succeed in creating world peace, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll settle with better cafeteria food.”
mott Pat McDer
G.O.Co-Treasurer “I just to plan on helping the school out. I’ve been on student government for a while and I enjoy it”
Senior Vice President “I won’t let you guys down.”
oy Brittney R
Junior Vice President “I want to bring out the students opinions in discussions to have their voices heard.”
G.O.Activities Coordinator “Right now I intend to listen to my fellow students and find out what problems they have because without problems, what is there for me to fix?”
Br yan Lo cher
G.O. President “I hope to make some changes in future school events.”
Kim Gentr y
G.O. Vice President “Hopefully I’ll make an incredible GO vice president, and I’ll work hard to make school as enjoyable as I can.”
John Dor ia
G.O.Publicity Coordinator “I plan to get every club and sports team well recognized.”
G.O. Historian “Class of 2011, we’re going to have a great senior year.”
Senior Secretary “I want to make a good senior year.”
Senior Treasurer “I hope that our class of 2011 will accomplish all our goals and create a great atmosphere for our senior class.”
Helena Cosenz a
Junior Secretaty “I just want to have a really good year.”
THE CHIEF 4
Junior Treasurer “I plan on simply doing my best to make next year a great one.”
G.O. Representative “I want to have a good junior year and class unity.”
Senior Activity Coordinator “I plan on making sure that senior year has a lot of exciting activities.”
Spencer N o
Junior Activities Coordinator “I plan on making the best decisions for the class of 2012... with my fellow officers, to plan the best possible year for the Junior class.”
Senior Publicity Coordinator “My goal is to try to make the school coordinator more environmentally friendly.”
Junior Publicity Coordinator “I hope to have a great Junior Prom. I want our junior prom to be the best.”
aM Steve L
G.O. Secretary “I was given this position for a reason and I intend to fulfill it to the best of my best ability.”
low Jarmo e i n a h Step
G.O. Representative “I hope our senior year will be the best one it can be.”
es Alex Br
Senior Historian “I plan on accomplishing, putting in the man hours, to help our school boost, and then prestige world wide through the thick and thin.”
Junior Historian “My goal is to plan a very fun and successful junior prom.”
PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
THE CHIEF 5
Is new cafeteria worth the millions it will cost?
Now that there will be a new “cyber cafe” at Massapequa High School, the question is simply this: will it be an improvement to our school, or will it be an unfortunate waste of time and money? It’s about time that students will be able to do some of their homework and eat lunch at the same time in a convenient location. Currently, people have to lug around books and bags to places off-campus or the current lackluster cafeterias just to do their homework. With the addition of this new cafeteria, students can experience the best of both worlds. The cafeteria seems to come off as beneficial to students because they presently cannot eat in the MHS library. This will finally provide students with a place to eat their lunch and have access to a computer – something that is somewhat of a novelty but was never a viable option for our student body. “I think I would use it because I spend my lunch period in the library and I can’t eat in there, so it’s convenient,” said sophomore Kailyn Tropeano, who
homework and eating put together in the same room is the only aspect attracting the students at MHS. The broadcasts and video features that will be provided by the Broadcasting and Video Communications classes are most likely not going to be a factor in determining whether or not the students utilize the new cafeteria. “It’s a good idea for rainy, snowy, and homework days. But it’s probably not going to be used that much,” sophomore Mike Savidge said. Does this mean that we’re putting too much time and effort into a room that may only be used for catching up on homework? As nice as it might be to see and hear your fellow students reporting on the big screen, it’s unfortunate to say that a majority of the student body will not take advantage of the cyber cafe for the sole purpose of being informed about school news and events. Therefore, we believe that the school has placed too much emphasis and time on unnecessary ideas. The students will most likely not pay attention to what is shown on the television screens while
As nice as it might be to see and hear your fellow students reporting on the big screen, it’s unfortunate to say that a majority of the student body will not take advantage of the cyber cafe for the sole purpose of being informed about school news and events. feels that the cafeteria will balance out the banning of food in the library and serve as an advantageous alternative. As we begin to investigate all of the benefits that this improvement has to offer, it is evident that the idea of
The Chief Editorial Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Noelle Witt MANAGING EDITOR Anthony Cassero BUSINESS MANAGER Lynn Horowitz PHOTO EDITOR Paige Snider LAYOUT EDITOR Lauren Reisig NEWS EDITOR Christopher Riotta OPINION EDITOR Jenna Fratello FEATURE EDITOR Tyler Novet ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Tom Strong-Grinsell COPY EDITORS Nick Barbieri Bridgid Bergin Eileen Liebler EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Matthew Goldenberg ADVISER Elyn Coyle
they talk to their friends and catch up on their studies. Despite the good intentions put into this project, the question still lingers as to whether or not the over two million dollar cost of the project will
This graph shows the results of the survey distributed to the students in ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade concluding that a majority of students would use the new cafeteria. justify the actual use of the cafe. In a have a range of available places, the survey conducted by The Chief, the only vendors will face some competition opportunity for students to voice their that might hurt the cafe’s questionable opinion on the idea, it was concluded popularity, depending on the type of that 61 percent of high school students food they are serving. would occasionally use the facility and “It would depend on what food 17 percent would utilize it regularly. venders are there,” said junior Pat Based on this preliminary survey, it ap- Regan. “A burger place would probably pears as though the number of students get me to stay in because there aren’t who say that they will use the cafeteria many around other than All American, may result in the project’s success. which you have to drive to.” Another point to ponder is the If the cyber cafe includes vendors fact that come September, the cafe will that we’ve never had the choice of, a house certain vendors from which to spike in usage may emerge. For now, buy your lunch. We all know that an the fate remains undecipherable; can the abundance of places surround the high sole presence of “new” vendors be the school and that they have given us a foundation that holds the cyber café in wide variety of options to choose from the eyes of the students? during our lunch period. A factor that Undoubtedly, come September 7, may make or break the triumph of the the cyber cafe will be all the talk around cyber cafe is the incoming of these new MHS. Will you use it or ignore it? lunch vendors. Seeing as we already
The untimely death of print media BY MATTHEW GOLDENBERG EDITORIAL ASSISTANT
It wheezes its last few pathetic breaths, desperately beckoning you to come closer as the sound of its heart rate crawls to a standstill. You lower your head to heed its last wishes when the doctor grabs your shoulder and solemnly whispers, “He’s in a better place now.” You’re horrified, but you saw it coming all along. Print media is dead. And we killed it. People these days, myself included, are used to getting their news from digital sources: online newspapers, social media sites (Digg, Reddit, Twitter), and cable news, to name a few. Are newspapers simply an obstinate relic of a bygone era, or do they still have a place in our increasingly technological world? “The traditional economic model is collapsing,” said David K. Johnston, a renowned journalist and Pulitzer Prize recipient. The Times is stricken with salary cuts, forcing it to cut entire weekly sections; the Chicago Tribune is laying off over fifty staff members, throwing numerous lives into disarray; even the Washington Post is cutting an undisclosed number of employees. Unadulterated chaos is consuming the
publishing world. Papers simply cannot earn enough money to stay afloat anymore. Numerous forces are at work to speed up print’s demise, from the recession to the popularity of the Apple iPad and the success of the netbook market. The only thing that traditional newspapers have going for them is nostalgia. There is no question that in today’s world, newspapers are expensive, impractical, and borderline obsolete. For better or worse, we no longer need publications like USA Today or the Wall Street Journal to get the information we need—the internet has opened the door for the free exchange of information, all but rendering newspapers unnecessary. It’s a classic example of survival of the fittest. Newspapers simply can’t compete with the wealth of free content on the web. The golden days of the newspaper are over. Shambling towards the driveway in the morning sunlight and reaching into your mailbox, instant coffee in hand, to get a copy of the Sunday paper is a thing of the past: just another casualty of new media. Of course, there will be some dark ramifications when newspapers finally disappear. Writers will be jobless
(redundant, I know), journalism quality will plummet, and sound bites will continue to dominate over substantive facts. If Digg is any indication, people are more interested in videos of cats playing the piano than real reporting. Who can blame them? There just isn’t any interest in real news now, a result of our superficial Western culture. However, some newspapers are adapting to the new climate of the twenty-first century. The LA Times is experimenting with an online edition, and the Wall Street Journal is working on an Internet-based subscription model. Some argue that the online experience just isn’t the same as the feeling of a new black-and-white issue in your hands, and they’re right. The question is whether or not “different” necessarily means inferior. Maybe we’re forgetting what news is really about. Ultimately, it’s the content that matters, not the means by which people experience it. Analog or digital, news is news. While the face of news will change, its essence will remain the same. Either journalism will evolve or it will perish, and I don’t see the latter happening any time soon.
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Forty-nine stars: Vermont’s fight for freedom BY DANIEL PAPA STAFF WRITER
Forty-nine stars: to most of us this would be an uncomfortable, unimaginable, perhaps even an unthinkable look for the flag of our great country. Yet way up north, in the Union’s second smallest state, there are those who advocate just this. Vermont’s Thomas H. Naylor, founding member of the Second Vermont Republic, is calling for the secession of Vermont from the United States of America. For fear that we, on first blush, dismiss Mr. Naylor as some backwoods and uneducated upstart, we should know a few facts about him. He is a 73 year old married father of two adult children who resides in the quiet town of Charlotte, Vermont. He has been an international business consultant and the founder of a software company. Most importantly, he is a retired professor of Duke University. He has written hundreds of articles, a manifesto, and has appeared on many major television programs. Naylor is by no means a slouch. The Second Vermont Republic is “committed to the peaceful return of Vermont to its status as
an independent republic and more broadly the dissolution of the Union,” according to Vermont magazine. In support of this “mission statement” there has been the minting of a new $50 clover silver token. One clover will correspond to one US dollar. The coin bears the words “Independence, Freedom, and Unity,” and displays the Green Mountain Boys’ flag. This is the same flag the Republic of Vermont flew from 1777 to 1791 – when Vermont was an independent nation. The SVR philosophy envisions rural based farm communities, the abolishment of big government and corporations, and the values of a self-sustaining type lifestyle according to Peter Miller of Vermont magazine. Mr. Naylor’s peaceful solution involves secession to take place after a two-thirds majority popular vote. This vote would take place after the Vermont legislature considers a set of articles of secession. He is fueled by the feelings of many Vermonters. A recent University of Vermont 2008 poll found that a whopping 77 percent of Vermont’s eligible voters agree that the United States government has lost its moral authority. Furthermore, 50 percent believe that our
government has become unsustainable. My interest in this political, philosophical, and almost spiritual current event was peaked due to my life-long connection with Vermont. For over 25 years my parents have owned a small country cabin in the backwoods of this bucolic, green mountainous state. For me to say that the people are friendly is a gross understatement. Little did I ever imagine that many Vermonters, pronounced “Va- mon – taahs,” were so dissatisfied with the country we love, some to the point of proactively seeking secession from the Union. There are some important points that Mr. Naylor might consider, if he hasn’t already. The first is that this country fought a long and devastating civil war not only to abolish slavery, but to form a single united federal government. Second is that The Articles of Confederation, first adopted by our Founding Fathers, were a failure. The very country he disagrees with allows him and his organization the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the opportunity to change our policies in the voting booth – in essence, Mr. Naylor has benefited greatly from living in this
union. He has embraced the capitalistic economy and the educational system from which he has made his livelihood. Perhaps though, his message of big government is one that needs to be considered. It seems that our nation has subscribed to the adages of, “pull-up your boot straps,” and “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” These are statements that tout the promise of individual effort and entrepreneurship. Any huge bureaucratic government that would control nearly every aspect of our lives would be too constricting. The individual freedoms we enjoy are born from our Constitution’s Bill of Rights, and protection from a tyrannical government is guaranteed by our three branches of government. Our founding fathers did a pretty good job for us, and President Lincoln put the finishing touch on their ideals. I continue to look forward to enjoying the beauty of Vermont, without checking the currency exchange rates, or showing my passport at the border. I can only hope that our generation and future generations will continue to say the Pledge of Allegiance in front of a flag that has at least 50 stars.
Junior banquet 2010 is a huge success
A message from SADD:
It’s okay to make these memories last, but don’t let them be your last.
Photos provided by: M. Beleckas
Red Watch Band at MHS
My day being dead BY MIKE SAVIDGE
BY ALYSSA YURASITS
The bell struck twice as my head rose. I found a dark, ominous figure standing before my social studies class in room 304. Nervous laughing arose from my classmates, but I was not afraid. I was well aware of what lay ahead that day. It was 8:07 am; it was my time. As the Grim Reaper brought me to the guidance office, it occurred to me that what I was about to take part in was no ordinary matter. I had volunteered my time to Grim Reaper Day, during which I could not speak to anyone since I had “died.” I would also wear the face of death, a reminder of the devastating amount of people who die from drunk driving accidents. When I first stepped out of the door, makeup and all, I could tell that I would have an effect on my fellow peers. Fortunately, remaining silent proved to be peaceful. Thanks to senior Wendy Gil and Ms. Drezner, the makeup
Photos provided by Ms. Drezner
looked realistic and eerie. At the end of the day, my fellow disembodied and I gathered at the center lobby and gave a visual demonstration in which we lined up in the center lobby. With our tombstones in hand, we sat silently as all the students passed by. This showed everyone how many people can die from drunk driving accidents, and I believe this got the message across. I knew that people were deeply affected by our message: if you drink and drive, a life will be lost. I will most definitely continue taking part in this day, and I recommend it to all MHS students.
Infidelity in Hollywood BY BRIDGID BERGIN COPY EDITOR
As I Googled Jesse James and took a look at his Wikipedia page, I saw headlined at the top paragraph: Jesse Gregory James, born April 19, 1969, is an American television personality and the CEO of West Coast Choppers. His TV shows, such as “Jesse James is a Dead Man,” have been featured on Spike TV. But shouldn’t the verb change from “is” to “was?” After all, it seems nowadays the two alliterated words “Jesse James” are inextricably linked to cheater and fellow partner in crime (or I guess you could say “mentor-forwomanizing,” Tiger Woods). According to People.com, Tiger Woods started this new fad of publicly cheating on your wife on November 27 at approximately 2:25 AM when he “steered his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree just feet from his house in the gated community of Islesworth, Florida.” Most probably know the story as to why he got into this accident. His wife, Elin Nordegren, used not just one but two golf clubs to “shatter the back window of Woods’ SUV in an effort to remove him from the vehicle.” This was no “get out of the car to take care of the kids, honey.” It was more of a “get out of the car so I can kill you now, honey.” Apparently, Nordegren did all of
this because she suspected Woods for cheating with a woman by the name of Rachel Uchitel, though that wasn’t all she had to worry about. It was like the floodgates had opened for all Tiger’s mistresses, tarnishing both his reputation and his career. But wait! Another man took Woods’ place for being a complete embarrassment to society – rugged motorcycle buff Jesse James, married to Sandra Bullock. His mistresses made themselves known in March. Now that the public eye is on Jesse James, Tiger’s mishaps may have been all but forgotten. There is much infidelity in Hollywood, but why did these men cheat with such trashy women? They seemed to have the perfect relationship with their significant others, so why did they cheat? Was it for the sense of power, reassuring themselves that they could get any woman they wanted at a snap of their fingers? Or was it the giddy feeling of sneaking around and not getting caught? Maybe they just wanted more. The fact of the matter is that infidelity seems to be on the rise. There are men like Tiger Woods and Jesse James everywhere, not just in Hollywood. Obviously cheating is not okay, and everyone knows that, but it seems more and more people are doing it. It’s an addiction.
Chiefs Challenge kindness corner
BY BROOKE DUTKA A few weeks ago, a random act of kindness was witnessed while walking on the ramp near the gym lobby. A student walking with crutches fell while making his way up the ramp among fellow Chiefs. The student hit the hard, rough ramp fast, as he could not brace for the fall among all the other students. Surprisingly, many others walking alongside the now fallen friend stopped and helped the student rise
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to his feet with assistance. Crutches were returned and the usual quick pace was resumed. For that one moment in time, students of Massapequa were one and happiness was spread for all to witness. The people who helped this student must be very kind and caring individuals. It is wonderful that they are putting themselves out there to help those in need. This is the kind of action is what want to see in out hallways! Keep it up Massapequa!
What would you do if the person standing next to you at a party suddenly started showing signs of alcohol overdose? Would you even recognize the signs? More importantly, would you know how to react? Knowing how to assess and intervene in dire alcohol-related situations such as overdoses and alcohol poisoning is the focus of The Red Watch Band. It began on Long Island when a Stony Brook University professor founded this training program after the tragic death of her own child from the aforementioned circumstances. To bring awareness to the Main and Ames campuses, MHS social worker Ms. Waters involved 17 students in this training program. “The students received two hours of alcohol training
and three hours of CPR certification,” Ms. Waters said. This provides the experience to allow the students to respond appropriately in times of emergencies. Now that the students are informed on how to recognize signs of alcohol poisoning and possible overdose, Ms. Waters can assure that the impact this knowledge can – and will – have a positive influence on the lives of others.
ROB DUFFY // THE CHIEF
Students in the Red Watch Band.
Silly Bandz craze BY EILEEN LIEBLER COPY EDITOR
You’re not anyone unless you have an animal bracelet. These animal bracelets have caused a big craze in Massapequa High School. It has become such a huge trend that even the guys in our school have started to wear them. The bracelets are produced by a company known as Silly Bandz and are sold in all sorts of forms – land animals, sea animals, mystical creatures, houses, gloves, and various body parts. The bands are made of silicon and are dyemolded into various shapes. The animal bracelets are a good way to teach kids how to share items they care about with others according to the Silly Bandz website. The growing trend has caused the company to expand its merchandise – the website states that it will soon offer Silly Buttons and Silly Bandz apparel like tee shirts. Local convenience stores on Long Island and Staten Island such as Jelly Bean sell the bracelets for $3.25. The irony, of course, is that rubber bands that were originally designed for “elementary students as rewards for tasks and accomplishments,” according to animalbracelets.net have become a fashion statement for high school students. Stated in the animalbracelets.net, “The animal bracelets emerged out of Birmingham, Alabama in the summer of 2008,” and then went from Alabama to Atlanta, Cleveland, and New Jersey and has continued to be moving westward.” “They’re hip, attractive, and fun to trade,” said MHS senior Julianne Barnes. These new trendsetters might look cute when you see the animal shapes like a pink T-Rex, but once you put them on your wrist, they turn into wrinkly blobs. While they might be popular bracelets, the real question is if they are worth spending money on. Imagine for a second that you went to Jelly Bean and bought a package of sea animal bracelets. In the package you find an adorable light blue penguin. It is your favorite bracelet of them all and is the only one that did not come with
a duplicate. But when you go to put it on your wrist, you accidentally pull the band too hard and snap! I have to admit that I was sucked into the obsession for a few days, and I wanted to see how great these bands really were so I purchased a package. I soon became addicted to them and I played with them on my wrist during class, taking them on and off to see the different shapes. After a while, I realized how fragile and overpriced the bracelets were – I had wasted over $6.00 while I could have spent it on something more useful. “Funkadelic and childish,” is what Katie Gordon, a junior at Massapequa High School, considers these bracelets to be. Although these silly bands may look adorable, they have become a major problem for teachers. They have become distracting and disruptive to the educational process according to Long Island teachers. According to “Driving Schools Silly,” a Newsday article by Joie Tyrell, the bracelets have “become so distracting in fact, that some schools have prohibited them from the classroom, and others have outright banned them from buildings.” As shocking as this might sound, a school in our Massapequa school district, Birch Lane, has taken action to prevent students from wearing the bands in school. The principal sent a letter to the parents instructing students to not wear the bracelets in school due to the distractions they caused. According MHS teacher Mrs. Simpson, the silly bands are not a distraction, for students are not playing around with them as much in the high school. Two MHS teachers, Mrs. Starr and Mrs. Baskir, agree that Silly Bandz were a minor distraction at the beginning of the fad for some of the students, but for the majority of the students it was not, and now the novelty has worn off. The animal bracelets are a trend of today, but will they still be popular in a few months from now?
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MHS show performed to Broadway standards BY NOELLE WITT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
There was nothing amateurish, “etc., etc., etc.,” about the MHS production of The King and I. Under the direction of Mr. Kevin Harrington, students dedicated countless hours to perfecting Rodger and Hammerstein’s award-winning 1951 musical.
perfection. Westernization was further explored throughout Act II with the wives’ performance of “Western People Funny.” As the ladies tried on their new “western” wardrobes while maintaining their impressive accents, the crowd was taken aback by the intertwining of such maturity and raw talent. “I was very impressed with the
After months of rehearsal, it was evident that the cast had grown extremely close – a vital component of any production. The show starred junior Jagger Kugler (King of Siam) and senior Jenna Briedis (Miss Anna Leonowens), who made it clear in their first musical numbers that they had been perfectly cast. Briedis openened the show with “Whistle a Happy Tune,” singing alongside sophomore Andrew Dacunto (Louis). After the introduction of junior Zach Urban as the Kralahome, the King’s sarcastic Prime Minister, Briedis concluded her opening number. Sophomore Alexa Arent (Tuptim) stunned the audience with her renditions of “My Lord and Master,” “We Kiss in a Shadow,” and “I Have Dreamed,” in which she sang of her secret love with her duet opposite, senior Lenny Sadowsky (Lun Tha). “Everyone put 100 percent effort into making the show the best it could be,” said Sadowsky, who will miss the unbreakable friendships he made during the production. When it came to “Getting to Know You,” possibly the most renowned song from The King and I, audience expectations could have become a problem for the cast. However, Briedis proved that there was nothing to worry about. With the help of the King’s wives, led by senior Sam Masone (Lady Thiang), and the Massapequa elementary school students, the cast explored westernization and assimilation in the kingdom to
outcome of the performance,” said head wife Sam Masone. “I felt it was the most professional show we have put on at MHS.” The professionalism was without a doubt the result of the dedication from all of those involved in The King and I. The tech crew, directed by Mr. McCabe, controlled impressive effects, including the simulated fireworks that lit up the auditorium walls at the end of Act I. The pit orchestra, conducted by Mr. Stempel, provided the music that accompanied the cast. As fluidity between the scenes increased and pleased all ears in the room, the musicians of MHS progressed the show with every note. “We put a lot of effort into making the play great,” said junior Brittany Vella, a cellist in the pit orchestra. “We
made every rehearsal fun and enjoyable.” “I am very proud of everyone involved in the show, from the cast to the pit, and the techies as well,” said Jenna Briedis, who has performed in many other MHS productions, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Rodger and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. A highlight of the night, and most certainly a crowd favorite, was the interpretation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an act performed against one of the many elaborate sets designed and created by Mrs. Domingo’s art students. The dance was choreographed by junior Chloe Durkin (Eliza), who graced the stage with sophomore David
The crowd was taken aback by the intertwining of such maturity and the exploitation of such raw talent. Sherlock (Angel George), senior Sam Taussig (Topsy), junior Kristin Magaldi (Uncle Thomas), freshman Becky Ditzel (Little Eva), junior Nina Pisciotta (King Simon of Legree), and sophomore Sara Dramer (Buddha). The King’s wives, led by Alexa Arent, transitioned into troubadours as they sang the story of an escaped
“I felt it was the most professional show we have put on at MHS.” - Sam Masone met at least three times a week to practice, but when we got closer to opening night we met almost everyday.” “Being in the pit orchestra was a great experience,” added Nick Barbieri, a sophomore clarinetist. “Even though it required seemingly endless rehearsals, it was worth it in the end, because we
took the stage for “Shall We Dance,” as the emerging relationship between the King and Anna caught the audience’s attention while the two waltzed and spun magnificently with increasing speed. And, of course, humor allowed the audience to become involved in the characters’ experiences, as Anna compromised her liberal beliefs by bringing herself to lay on the floor in order to “never be higher than the King.” The King added to the comedy throughout the production with his signature “etc., etc., etc.,” at the end of his statements. Additionally, the onstage chemistry between Briedis and Kugler, paired with that of Sadowsky and Arent, appeared effortless, personalizing the show. These interactions may have very well been effortless. After months of
slave. The dancers and singers were impressively in sync, and the ensemble complimented the excitement with masks and vibrant costumes; selected by costume advisor Ms. Kirby, these costumes matched the clothes of Siam -- now Thailand -- in the 1860s. Jagger Kugler and Jenna Briedis
rehearsal, it was evident that the cast had grown extremely close – a vital component of any production. “The things I’m going to miss most about the shows at MHS are all my friends that I have made throughout the process and the experiences I had with all the various directors over the years,” said Sam Masone, who reminisced about her years spent on the MHS stage. Yet, as we know, all good things must come to an end. The musical ended with the unfortunate death of the King, but not before senior James Vigilante (Prince Chululongkorn) came face to face with his character’s internal conflict throughout the show – whether or not he was worthy of the crown – as he was deemed the new leader of Siam. Anna and the King resolved their tensions as Buddhist hymns consumed the theatre, and the audience was left with a memorable show filled with entertainment, talent, and success. PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
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JUNE 2010 ADVERTISEMENT
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rewell a F d n o F A
... to Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Woodbury BY TYLER NOVET FEATURES EDITOR
After graduating the Massapequa Class of 1968, Mrs. Susan Woodbury, the Assistant Superintendant, decided that she wanted to give back to the community that gave her so many opportunities. When she settled down after college she instantly knew where she wanted to go to raise her children. She came back to Massapequa and began her career here as a seventh grade social studies teacher. But she didn’t stay there for long – she obtained certification to teach English and eventually taught English and social studies to all grades in all of the Massapequa buildings. Soon, she worked her way into
administration and climbed the ladder in the Massapequa school system to her final job as Assistant Superintendant of Secondary Education. Mrs. Woodbury is proud of everything Massapequa has to offer. To her, the school district is a “great assembly line of goodies,” that opens so many doors for so many students every year. She loves all of the classes offered here, from the new Mandarin Chinese program to the extensive math classes available for students on all levels. Mrs. Woodbury is also a strong supporter of student-run clubs and activities like the Darfur Awareness Club, the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s’ Society, and the Heavy Metal Appreciation Club.
Everything offered at Massapequa opens doors for the students wherever they go, for it prepares them for college like no other district and teaches them to seize every opportunity available. After leaving Massapequa, Mrs. Woodbury intends to continue to teach, but this time, she’s teaching up-andcoming teachers at Molloy College. She wants to share everything she can with them in an attempt to prepare them for the world that they are about to face. Mrs. Woodbury also plans to spend more time in Boston and Washington D.C. with her children. She hopes during her final goodbyes to Massapequa that the district will uphold its strong tradition of great education and immea-
the futures of students for quite some time now. He recently began the creation of career portfolios for all students. The portfolios, beginning when the student’s enter Berner Middle School, store all of the students’ scores, interests, goals, and aspirations. “It keeps going as the students move from building to building to help with college and eventually it will help them shape their future,” said Mr. Sabatini. Directing guidance may be an understatement in terms of the accomplishments he has achieved during his time here at MHS. He created a support group that runs every year from November to April to reach out to the students in need. “It has been such a rewarding experience to see how the kids can cope with the loss of a parent or loved one, and I have seen the way they’ve become stronger in life,” he said. As he prepares for his final days
here at MHS, Mr. Sabatini, who loves the idea of college counseling, will continue to “reach out” to future students. He plans to continue working at Hofstra University, where he teaches a bereavement course, while possibly working as a consultant at a private practice or a small school. We may very well see these achievements on bookshelves somewhere down the line. Mr. Sabatini, who said he would “love to write a book one day,” plans on writing about bereavement consulting in a school setting, something that he feels has deeply rewarded him and his students everyday throughout his entire career. Mr. Sabatini will certainly not become a stranger to the Massapequa community, however. This resident of Massapequa of 27 years and former C.Y.O Basketball coach has kept himself widely involved in our town, and
will still be active around and about the community. In the words of one of the most proactive and dedicated men in the building, “it’s been a great ride,” and his retirement is most certainly not the end of it.
Her demeanor makes a student feel comfortable and relaxed in the stressful high school environment. As she walks through the library, she recognizes former students and congratulates them on college acceptance or simply stops to have a casual conversation. These characteristics shape Mrs. Baskir into a renowned English teacher within our district. She started her quest to become an English teacher at Hofstra University. There, she earned her degree in secondary English education and later obtained her Master’s degree in learning disabilities. She worked for over 13 years part-time at writing labs and was soon ready for a return to a full-time position after taking ten years off to raise her children. But there were no openings at Massapequa High School until the school switched to a nine period bell schedule. During that hiatus, she worked at Nassau Community College for a semester and a half where she became affiliated with the Long Island branch of the National Writing Project and became a “fellow,” during which she worked on staff development and promotion.
Due to her immense passion for writing, after creating the writing lab, Mrs. Baskir formed the idea of teaching an advanced writing lab known as the MHS elective “Writing for College and Career.” This elective addresses all of the genres of writing and business in order to truly enhance a student’s writing ability. Mrs. Baskir treasures the students most at MHS. She has had “wonderful memories of the teenagers in the district,” and said that the “kids are wonderful.” For the chapter of her life after retirement, Mrs. Baskir jokingly said she will “do whatever – including nothing,” for a year, but she is excited to have the opportunity to spend more time with her husband, family and friends without the obligation of her duties as a teacher. She said that one day she will probably go back to teaching, but most importantly, her daughter will soon have a baby who will be the first grandchild on both sides. “I’m thrilled to have this exciting adventure ahead of me,” said Mrs. Baskir. She loves to travel, but she was always limited to the school vacation
times, so she is excited to do some off-season traveling with her family. Although she is an English teacher, Mrs. Baskir also has many other interests she truly wants to pursue such as art and languages like Spanish (she already knows French.) “I am looking forward to making my time my own,” she said. “Growing up, girls had limited options of careers to pursue,” Mrs. Baskir said, for the most common career for a woman was a teacher or nurse. She wants young women today to be aware of their gift of career choice. Everything worked out for Mrs. Baskir, of course, because she loves to teach. Mrs. Baskir leaves Massapequa High School with words of wisdom and inspirational advice to students. “Try your best in school, because it is your job at this point of your life. Try to discover who you really are and to not be swayed. What you put out into the universe you get back. Never stop learning, no matter how old you are, because there are always life lessons to be learned.” We will miss you, Mrs. Baskir!
... to Guidance Director Mr. Sabatini BY JENNA FRATELLO OPINIONS EDITOR
“The image of the guidance department has greatly improved over the last five years,” said Director of Guidance Mr. Sabatini. Much of this is thanks to Mr. Sabatini himself, who reflected on his position as Director of Guidance from which he will be retiring from this year. He began his career at Massapequa High School as the Director of Guidance five years ago, but his journey began at a K-8 Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn where he taught science, math, reading, and religion for four years. Plainedge was his next destination, with a last stop at Massapequa. “It’s been a real privilege to work in the community for the past 27 years with my students and my neighbors who are my friends,” he said. Mr. Sabatini has been improving
... to English teacher Mrs. Baskir BY BRIDGID BERGIN COPY EDITOR
“My passion is writing. I think I was born to be a teacher,” said English teacher Mrs. Baskir, who will be retiring after 25 years at the end of this year. This passion is difficult to ignore based on the overwhelming greetings and respect students give to Mrs. Baskir as they walk through the halls or into the library.
PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
PAIGE SNIDER // THE CHIEF
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Coming soon: New seasons of summer reality shows BY TOM STRONG-GRINSELL ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
The school year may be winding down, but your summer reality fix is just starting up. And while these shows may be some of the most daring and bold shows out there, they are sure to keep you laughing, yelling, and questioning their actions until the very end. Big Brother 12 will be premiering on July 12; it will be airing on CBS every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8 PM. This show may be in its twelfth season, but by no means is this show over. Still keeping to the original premise, there is a new twist every season – rumors are running rampant about what this season’s twist is, but with the first promo already shot, one thing is for sure: this season is going to be bigger than ever. There is a great rumor spreading that they are going to have two identical houses with the same number of competitors in each, and then when it’s down to the end they will merge the two houses into one. Though it’s only a speculation, one thing I can assure you of is that this show is certainly worth watching and is definitely going to be
nothing short of another stellar season. The Real World: Back to New Orleans will premiere on June 30 and will air every Wednesday at 10 PM. This show is back for its twenty-fourth season and will feature the same premise as the twenty-three seasons prior – it will detail the lives of seven or eight strangers who are going to live together and will find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real. Though the cast of this season has yet to officially be confirmed, there are six known members of the cast, including Preston Roberson-Charles, Eric Partick, Ryan Knight, Ryan Leslie, Jemmye Carroll and Sahar Dika. This season may be the first season ever to feature less than seven roommates and is also only the third to feature roommates from the same city; Preston and Ryan are both from Bay City, Michigan. Although there is still some information up in the air about this season, there is one certain fact: this show will still contain the usual provocative statements, bold-faced drunken fights and escapades, and the detailing of six or seven roommates as they expose their lives for the world to see in New Orleans.
24: The final hours BY ROB DUFFY
Picutred above is The Real World: Back to New Orleans roomates’ residence.
Lost: “The End” of the island BY NICK BARBIERI
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the actionpacked, thrilling ride of a television show known as 24. This show will make you scream like a little girl, will make your jaw drop, and will even make you sweat like an enormously gargantuan swine. 24 had an appropriate name because all the action possible was packed into just one day. The show stars Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, who worked mainly for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU), where he helped to prevent major terrorist attacks on the United States. Although Bauer’s motives may not have always been orthodox, including his means of torture, they always seemed to be effective, and the majority of the time they saved the day. Sutherland is the only character to have appeared in all eight seasons of 24, including the two-hour special called 24: Redemption, which was broadcasted between seasons six and seven. So many things happened in season eight – the first season that was filmed in New York. United States President Taylor and IRK President Hassan worked on a peace treaty, but Hassan’s brother, who was one of his closest advisors, was part of the resistance to take Hassan out of power. The assassination attempt failed when CTU Agent Ortiz came to the rescue and cut off Hassan’s limo right before it drove into the terrorists’ trap. Later on, the terrorists attempted to bring nuclear rods into New York City and succeeded as they are helped out by the CTU traitor Dana Walsh. The terrorists gave President Taylor the option to either give up President Hassan or allow a bomb to blow up in New York City. President Taylor was unwilling to make deals with terrorists, but President
Hassan gave himself up to save New York City. Before Jack could save him, Hassan was killed and it looked as though the peace deal was down the drain. After Hassan’s death, it was discovered that the Russians were working with the terrorists to stop the peace deal. It was President Taylor’s efforts towards peace against Jack Bauer’s for justice as the season wound down to a close. The President worked with expresident Charles Logan to hide the Russian’s help in the assassination of President Hassan. In the last few hours, Jack became extremely violent after the Russians killed Renee Walker, who was very close to Jack. He killed many in the Russian government. Jack was eventually caught, but a small information card with a video of him explaining President Taylor’s wrong-doing, ended up in her hands and she decided to call off the peace treaty. Charles Logan commited suicide to avoid being caught and Jack was released. The season ended with him running away from the crimes that he committed. While the timer usually counted up to the next hour after the episode ended, after the final hour concluded, it counted down from 00:00:03 to 00:00:00. There is a feature film in development with Kiefer Sutherland in the works. With 68 Emmy nominations and the award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2006, hopefully 24 can become a successful movie franchise as well.
On May 23, Lost ended its historic six-year run as one of television’s most beloved programs. As tabulated by “TV by the Numbers,” the series finale, appropriately entitled “The End,” garnered about 13.567 million viewers and a 5.8 rating in the 18-49 year-old demographic, the series’ best viewing since February 2008 and the best finale ratings for the show in 3 years. In fact, it has been reported that 20.5 million people watched at least six minutes of the finale; even the series’ retrospective special, which aired before the finale, managed to attain about 9.926 million viewers and a 4.1 rating in the 18-49 year-old demographic. Both shows destroyed all other shows that aired against it that evening. The finale included exactly what this epic series needed to end with. The hype that surrounded Lost for the past six years about the island’s true identity was not wholly resolved, but the episode had a definitive ending nonetheless. In the last half hour, the audience discovered that all the castaways would end up going to heaven together, which left much speculation as to when and how they died. However, it was conclusive enough that the audience was aware that they were all, in fact, dead. Many scenarios have been brought up to suggest what exactly the ending of Lost meant. Some believe that “the island” came to symbolize purgatory, and the “flash-sideways” world introduced during the final season represented a “stairway to heaven” universe; this is the theory that I view to be correct. Thus, they all died when the Oceanic 815 plane crashed on a legitimate island, but the island which the show centered around was symbolic of purgatory. Additionally, everyone already on “the island” was already dead and in purga-
tory, and when the Oceanic Six left the island, they were still in a form of purgatory; they had to return to the island to determine whether they would proceed to heaven or hell. In the end, Jacob symbolized God and the Man in Black symbolized the devil; with whom the islanders sided determined whether they would go to heaven or hell. Ultimately, they all sided with the forces of good and traveled to heaven together in the “flash sideways” world, bringing an end to one of television’s greatest series. Rumor has it that there will be a special feature on the season six DVD, set to be released on August 24, that will have the show’s executive producers, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, a.k.a. Team Darlton, answering questions about the finale. Perhaps this will give greater insight into what the finale was actually supposed to mean, but it might be better to leave it open to everyone’s own interpretation. The finale got great ratings, and proved to be the best television event of the 21st century so far. It will be remembered forever and go down in history as one of the greatest shows ever created. Hopefully, the Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards will recognize this and honor this fantastic show come award season. Thus, Lost will be greatly missed, and a definitive ending which was left open to interpretation was the perfect way for it to conclude.
Christian Shephard, Jack’s father, opening the doors to heaven.
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Hair’s revival: The age of the untamed BY JENNA FRATELLO OPINIONS EDITOR
“When the moon is in the Seventh House/and Jupiter aligns with Mars/then peace will guide the planets/and love will steer the stars/this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” Peace signs, shaggy rugs, ripped jeans, anti-war chants, and long uncombed hair are all nestled in their rightful place in one of Broadway’s most famous theaters, the Al Hirschfield Theatre. In front of the classic red seats, the curtain opens to unfold the story that teaches us about a time where the more hair you had, the better (literally). The revival of Hair that hit Broadway for the third time around in March of 2009, was originally conceived by actors James Rando and Gerome Ragni after they met while performing in an off-Broadway production of Hang Down Your Head and Die in 1964. It was later in that same year that they began to script Hair, the American tribal love-rock musical, possibly the most daring production that Broadway goers alike have ever seen. The bohemian life of New York City during the Vietnam War is where Rango and Ragni’s tribe of politically active hippies in the 1960s takes the stage to immerse the audience in a time capsule that transports them to the “Age of Aquarius,” the opening number of
the production that immediately sets a mindset of peace to the audience. Profanity is an understatement when describing this revolutionary enigma of a show; its depiction of illegal drug use, blasphemy of the American flag during the musical score of “Don’t Put It Down,” dim-lighted nudity after the tribe burns its draft cards to be free of the war at the end of Act I, and freedom of sexual orientation, have caused an uproar of controversy ever since its first off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater, and its Broadway opening in April of 1968. Simultaneously, the musical of demolition and youth went onto stages across Europe, including the successful London production that ran for
1,997 performances with a feature film adaption directed by Milos Forman and produced by Michael Butler and Lester Persky in 1979. Despite such disapproval from the conservatives of today, Hair returned for its third round on Broadway on March 31, 2009. In its latest resurrection, Hair has proved to be less domesticated than ever, which is exactly how it should be. Under the direction of Diane Paulus and the choreography of Karole Armitage, the cast of 2009, including Gavin Creel (Claude), Will Swenson (Berger), and Sasha Allen (Dionne), have brought this showcase of how to live low and think high back to life, while keeping intact the show’s raw reputaiton. The award-winning musical scores
of Galt MacDermot continue to sing a message of tranquility while incorporating African rhythms with a pinch of exoticness hidden behind them. MacDermot’s lyrics of struggle, misunderstandings, and longing for love capture the different sounds and styles as they did in 1968 when the musical was given a Grammy Award for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album. The recent cast has not let down past fans of the musical. The talented and racially-integrated group gives a stunning yet uncivilized performance that takes the creation of Rando, Ragni, and MacDermot and turns it into a rich, unadulterated joy of a show. Rightfully, the uncensored musical won a 2009 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, alongside a Drama Desk Award for excellence in its production. Notorious for its anything-butbashful portrayal of an anguished and rebellious youth, the stage of Hair, the American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, is one of dignity, freedom, transition, exploration, and peace. The barefooted hippies in the success of a show teach us to rid darkness and destruction in the production where being conservative is a sin. You will walk away knowing that the movement of peace is the most vital step of all humanity. “Let the sun shine in.” Join the tribe.
Iron Man 2: A generic movie with a superb cast BY NICK BARBIERI COPY EDITOR
Iron Man 2 started off the summer movie season with quite a bang. It opened on May 7 and made $128.1 million in its first weekend, surpassing the amount of money its predecessor, Iron Man, made in its first weekend. However, the original film also boasted tons of critical praise and was more than just an average superhero movie; it was a great film overall, with a great political message. But does the sequel live up to the high expectations set for it by the original? The answer is simple: no, it does not live up to the high expectations, but it is a great movie nevertheless. The original movie was excellent because it told the story of how Iron Man came to exist and did so with excellent writing, acting, and an unexpected political message. It was not an average superhero movie with a successful hero and a defeated villian; instead, it presented a man on a quest to find himself following a devastating accident and to better the world in the process. The sequel follows more of a conventional superhero movie path, but it is still above average for a genre film. It begins by introducing the villain, Ivan Vanko, and shrouding him in mystery. The film centers on his quest to destroy Iron Man, a typical superhero movie plotline. Tony Stark’s storyline picks up right where it left off, with the revealing of his true identity – Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. plays this role to perfection as a wonderfully narcissistic and egotistical man, and his wit shines on the screen and is the biggest reason for the film’s success. Although
Stark is able to acquire superhuman strength when in his armor, Downey plays the part so well that Stark appears vulnerable and human enough that he could be an average guy. An improvement that Iron Man 2 made was casting Don Cheadle in the role of Lt. Colonel James Rhodes, therefore replacing Terrence Howard, who held the part in the first film. While Howard underplayed the part and left no lasting impression on the viewer, Cheadle played the part perfectly. Cheadle embraced donning the War Machine name, and did a great job evolving into Iron Man’s sidekick and keeping Tony Stark in check. The sequel also benefited from the casting of Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who is sent to assist Tony Stark and determine if he is capable of joining the “Avengers Initiative.” Johansson does an excellent job playing the part, for she is cunning, strong, and a great fighter. In one standout scene, she defeats a group of guards while Stark’s driver, Happy Hogan, played by director Jon Favreau, can barely fend off one guard. While it’s a great action scene, the comical nature of Favreau’s character being outperformed by Johansson is also fantastic. The one thing this film is missing is the great political undertone that the original had. Iron Man explored the dangers of the production of weaponry, even for military usage, and went so far as to label the producer of these military weapons, Tony Stark, as the greatest mass murderer to ever have lived. The first film follows the internal struggle that Stark faces as he is forced to come
to terms with the destruction his weapons cause, even though he has created them with good intentions. Iron Man 2 does not deal with this internal conflict, and the internal conflict it does deal with is incredibly weak -Stark is faced with the possibility that he might die of blood toxicity, but as a viewer, it is clear that he cannot die considering he will be present in The Avengers that will be released in 2012. This plot was too predictable and did not give Downey a proper internal conflict, thus hindering his performance and hurting the movie as a whole.
On a positive note, Iron Man 2 had stunning visual effects that were even more impressive when seen in IMAX theaters where the movie was shown during its first two weeks of release. These created a truly immersive viewing experience. Despite the lack of a truly powerful plotline, Iron Man 2 is still a good movie with powerful performances led by Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, and Scarlett Johansson, and essentially perfect visual effects. It is a great way to start the summer movie season, and it is a truly enjoyable movie to watch.
Courtesy of the Surfriders Club
1. Gum - Dispose of your gum in the trash, not on the ground or under your desk. The average American chews up to 190 sticks of gum each year. In all, those 57 billion sticks could add up to a gum patch 4 miles wide and 6 miles long. 2. Paper - Recycle and try to use recycled paper. American businesses use over 21 million tons of paper annually. If half of this were recycled paper, a forest larger than the state of Florida could be saved every year. 3. E-mail - More than two hours of the average office worker’s time is used sending e-mails and surfing the net per day. Internet data servers use as much energy in the U.S as is used by all U.S. televisions combined. 4. Lighting -Turn off your office lights if natural light from the sun is available. You will get less eye fatigue due to glare. 17 percent of the energy used for lighting offices is wasted when offices are left vacant or lights are unnecessarily turned on in a sunlit room – enough to drive a car to Jupiter. 5. Carpooling - Carpool to save gas and money. On a typical day, the average mother with school-age children spends 66 minutes driving, taking more than five trips to and from home and covering 29 miles. If more moms carpooled, it would save them all of that time and gas wasted while driving. It also would reduce congestion, which costs Americans $78 billion a year in wasted fuel and lost time. 6. Bicycle - only 2.5 percent of students who live within two miles of the school get there via bicycle. Still, by not taking a bus or car, those six hundred thousand students are saving almost one hundred thousand gallons of gasoline a day. 7. Restaurants -Take home what you don’t eat, and ask for as little packaging as possible. Use it for compost for your lawn or garden. This reduces food scraps and the disposal costs that restaurants bear. 12 percent of landfills and food scraps, and one quarter of all food produced in the United States is wasted. 8. Water Bottles - Refill your water bottle. If just two out of three sports fans refilled a water bottle rather than buying a new one, it would save about as many plastic bottles as there are people in the United States. 9. Free Transportation -Walk or bike and create zero carbon emissions from fossil fuels. 10. Phone Books - Recycle them. Better yet, call to stop phone book delivery and then use an online telephone directory instead. Telephone books make up almost ten percent of waste at dump sites.
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Pokewalkers: I want to be the very best BY MATIAS CONSTENLA STAFF WRITER
Hey, what’s that kid wearing around his waist? Is that a pedometer? Well kind of, because it counts your steps, but it also does a lot more. This red and white pedometer is called a Pokéwalker. This device allows you to connect with your Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver for the Nintendo DS. Players can send their Pokémon into this device with the use of infrared waves that transfer data from the Nintendo DS to the Pokéwalker. When a Pokémon is transferred into the Pokéwalker, it can gain experience to level up and to obtain watts. Watts are used in the Pokéwalker to catch Pokémon or get new items, and for every 20 steps you earn one watt. You can also connect with other people who have a Pokéwalker and get an item from them. The items, Pokémon, and watts can be later transferred back into the game. Senior Mike McGann said, “I always have my Pokéwalker on me. I con-
nect with at least six people everyday.” He is just one of many MHS students who have fallen into the Pokéwalker routine. This device has caused a chain of events to occur over the past couple of
months. First of all, it quickly became a fad similar to the silly bands. The Pokéwalker is a lot more expensive, however, because the only way you can get one is through the purchase of
Pokémon HeartGold or Soulsilver for about $45. Ms. McKenna, a student teacher at MHS, said, “It reminds me of the Tamagotchi pets that everyone used to carry around.” This new invention has made people who haven’t played the game in years start to play Pokémon again and people who have never played it before start to do so. Some people bought the game in order to wear the Pokéwalker for a cooler vibe. Some game stores encourage people to wear the Pokéwalkers into their stores because their employees have the same device on them. Unfortunately this fad is slowly dying down, which is depressing for true Poké-lovers because they won’t have many people to connect with. It’s hard to predict what the future of the Pokéwalker is – maybe they will just die out like Lindsey Lohan’s career, or perhaps people will continue to buy them and we will live in a world where everyone has a Pokéwalker, including teachers and grandmas.
A fine night for Massapequa’s artists BY LAUREN REISIG LAYOUT EDITOR
For those students who excel in creativity, for those students who always have a sketchbook in hand, and for those students who constantly blow you away with their artistic abilities, there is the National Art Honor Society that inducted 21 new members on May 17. The National Art Honor Society is in its third year at Massapequa High School. As part of the national organization, students who meet the criteria participate in community service projects involving the arts. To be inducted into this club, a student needs to be a junior or senior, to have taken at least two years of art, and to have enrolled in a course this year with a minimum of an A average in those classes and recommendations. The student also needs to do ten hours of community service before acceptance. According to Mrs. Gale Domingo, the coordinator of the National Art Honor Society along with the chairperson
LAUREN REISIG // THE CHIEF
of the Art Department, Mrs. Barbara Mims, “Acceptance is reflective of art scholarship, exemplary conduct and character.” Once in this organization, students partake in rewarding and meaningful endeavors. For instance, this year some National Art Honor Society members traveled to Carmens Road School and
assisted students with handicaps with art projects that brought the joy of expressionto them. For those students who excel in the field of art, the National Art Honor Society is at Massapequa High School. So keep drawing!
MHS students making achievements
MHS Senior Jess Apicella (pictured MHS students Jordyn Iger (pictured above right) and Lauren Reisig (pictured above left) above) recently recieved the National both recieved awards at the recent New York State National History Day competiton in Merit Scholarship Cooperstown. Lauren placed first for her individual exhibit on the Levitt Houses while Jordyn placed third for her historical paper on the New York City Subway System. Congratulations to Lauren Reisig who will be advancing to the national competiton in Maryland. PAIGE SNIDER// THE CHIEF
The end of the dynasty? BY ROB DUFFY STAFF WRITER
Prior to the 2010 season, the Massapequa Chiefs’ Varsity Baseball Team had been on a roll. For the past four years, The Chiefs have held the title of Long Island Champions, including a New York State Championship in 2006 – incredibly impressive considering that there are over 100 teams across Long Island and that the odds of one team being the best for four years straight is less than one in one hundred million. The last team to win that many consecutive championships was the New York Yankees, who won five in a row from 1949 to 1953. However, this season the team has not been able to replicate their past success. All year the team’s offense has been plagued by a home run drought, as they only hit six long balls this season. Although their homers have not been up this year, they are still outscoring opponents 122-110. In the Chiefs’ last game of the regular season, they beat East Meadow to clinch a good bye for the first game of the playoffs. While the Chiefs ended the
season with an 11-8 record and earned a first round bye, their playoff hopes still ended on a sour note. The Chiefs entered the Class-AA quarter-finals best-of-three series as the number four seed going up against Bellmore JFK, the number six seed. The series started out at home for the Chiefs, but unfortunately for Massapequa, Andrew Alesi, the team’s leader in wins could not stop the bats of Noah Shulman, who drove in 2 RBIs going 2-for-3 with a homer, and the Bellmore squad. Alesi received the loss as the Chiefs lost 4-1. In order to advance the team had to win the next two games. The next day, the Chiefs traveled to Bellmore to take on Andrew Wood, the starter for Bellmore. The Chiefs’ bats stayed cold as Wood only gave up two runs with four strikeouts, pitching a complete game for Bellmore. And with that, the Chiefs’ season was over. With a past of grand success, it was a hard blow for the Chiefs. Next season will show if this was a sign of things to come or if the team will return to their previous championship form.
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Boys lacrosse makes playoffs BY JASON CELARU STAFF WRITER
Massapequa has always been known as a place of success and high expectations, and lacrosse this past season is a great example. The team started the season off strong as the players battled their way through the playoffs. As of June, the Massapequa Lacrosse team was in second place behind Farmingdale, with a record of eight wins and one loss in their conference. Overall, they had 13 wins and only 4 losses. Their record proves that they are a fierce force to match. Number 28, junior Joe Dilena, a defenseman for the Boys’ Varsity lacrosse team, stated that the team needs to work together and to be prepared to play as hard as it can the second the players reach the field. In an important game on May 4, Massapequa played Hicksville in the “Walker Cup,” a game played every year in memory of Mr. John Walker, a town executive that ensured playable turf fields. They won the game 9 to 4, after taking a 4 to 3 lead in the second
LAUREN REISIG // THE CHIEF
ANTHONY CASSERO // THE CHIEF
Why the boys track team is as hot as MGMT BY MIKE ESPOSITO CONTRIBUTOR
At first it seems silly to compare a high school sports team to a renowned electronica band, but anyone who knows the heart of the Varsity team could probably tell you the same. MGMT is a band that preaches to being something unique while still using foundations of music established in the 1980s and 1990s. The Varsity team is similar to this idea because it uses the style of running that was famous in the 1970s and 1980s but consists of unique kids who refuse to conform for high school. The sport is one that receives grief from nearly every other sports team in the universe, but the excuse “my sport is your sport’s punishment” just isn’t cutting it anymore. This is where the Varsity boys play a huge role – they don’t need a witty comeback to defend them. Instead, they take every insult that comes their way as a compliment. MGMT has hit it big, and yet the members still insist upon using the same equipment. Similarly, the Varsity boys are certainly on the rise, but you won’t see them conforming anytime soon. For one reason or another, no one can possibly understand the boys of the Varsity Track team unless they understand the culture that they share. Regardless of how fast they run,
the boys aren’t superheroes, they’re just kids. Unlike the average perceived high school kid, the boys provide something different. You won’t find them at a raging party or in the library. The group of oddballs takes pleasure in their hobbies and aren’t shy to admit that they have spent roughly 2,000 hours playing Pokêmon combined. The Varsity Boys have created a culture that is very special to each individual on the team. It is as much of an honor to wear their coveted Varsity “M” jersey as it is to wear their first pair of short-shorts. The short-shorts have become a fashion statement on the team – a once feared article of clothing has become a monument for all to display. The clothing screams, “Track and Field” and the boys couldn’t be happier about that. The general public often misunderstands the electrical feel of being on the Varsity Track team; most think the boys aren’t capable of much else. Those who believe that are fortunately wrong, as each boy on the Varsity Track team participates in at least two other extracurricular activities. MGMT stands for management, and while the band jokes about pretending to be something they aren’t, it is also very serious about sending a message. The Varsity team is similar in the sense
quarter “Take one step at a time, do not look for the next time and focus at the task at hand,” said Assistant Coach Draper. “Anything less then the Nassau County Championship would be disappointing,” he said. At the final playoff game on June 2, against Farmingdale, the Chiefs unfortunately lost with a very close score of 9 to 8. Jamie Shand had 3 goals and two assists, John Deignan and Rob Goeren had 2 goals and Dylan Sheehan had one. Goalie Eric Schneider also played extremely well, making 6 saves, keeping the game at a neck to neck score. As the playoffs came to an end, the Chiefs Boys’ Varsity lacrosse team showed amazing determination and ferocity throughout the season, and finished in second place out of the entire league, making a great accomplishment, although Assistant Coach Draper and the entire team wanted to win the Nassau County Title. In second place, and with a strong record, the Boys’ Varsity lacrosse team proved themselves with strong teamwork and a great level of effort.
that as friendly and odd as the members can be outside the track, once they step on the line the game changes. Miles upon miles documented in running logs pay off in the aggressive and tactical races the boys run. None of the Varsity boys are concerned with how fast they run as long as they win. The idea of simply running in circles is more inaccurate than the existence of a fourth floor in this building. The boys have to keep watch of the pace, opponents, and weather for each race if they decide they want to win. Newspapers are constantly talking about the team as a force to be reckoned with, and the fear factor is certainly growing
as opposing teams have to triple their best men to have a shot at defeating the Boys’ Varsity team. With only three seniors leaving this year and a plethora of freshman and sophomores on the rise, Massapequa’s Varsity Boys Track team is not only to be feared this year, but for the many years to come as well. MGMT leaves its lyrics up for the interpretation of the fans and the Varsity Boys are no different. They want their fans to view them as whoever they want them to be. Putting it simply, the Boys’ Varsity Track Team is as fresh as MGMT’s new album, Congratulations.
Photo provided by Michael Esposito
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Boys and girls track and field shine under the lights BY ANTHONY CASSERO MANAGING EDITOR
The track teams are probably two of the most underappreciated teams at MHS. This is due in part to nearly all track meets being held at distant locations. But on May 7, the boys’ and girls’ track teams, led by Coach Degnan, hosted the second annual MHS Under the Lights. This event is held to raise funds for the boys’ and girls’ track teams. “We expect to raise around $3000,” Coach Lisa said. The money raised will be used to buy new equipment and to fund the teams’ long distance trips. This year’s Under the Lights displayed exponentially higher attendance than last year’s, for 39 teams, 21 boy teams and 18 girl teams came to MHS – much larger than the field of 10 teams that attended last year’s event. Coach Lisa attributed this to other coaches’ realization of the potential results. The variety and vastness of the competition made for a better event in many people’s eyes. “I like the big events. They provide better competition and a better experience for the kids,” Coach Vessichio of Ward Melville said. One of the main attractions of the event was the chance for the runners to run under the lights, which the Town of Oyster Bay imported specifically for this event. Coach Willman of Smithtown East, one of the teams that did not attend the inaugural Under the Lights, said that this was the first time his team had run underneath lights and that it was one of the attractions that brought the team to Massapequa. While the lights were an attraction, the reputation of Coach Degnan in the
track community was also a big recruiting tool. Coach Vessichio, who coached with Coach Degnan in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in Bay Shore, said that he brought his team to support his friend and rival coach. “We’ve had many head to head battles,” Coach Vessichio said, “and he usually won.” The event itself did not fail to live up to expectations. The East Meadow boys’ shuttle hurtle relay got the night off to an exciting start as the team attempted to break the national record. The team failed to break the record, but they did come within half a second of it. With this being the third event held at Massapequa this season, the track teams had to cope with the pressures and advantages of running at their home track. “It encourages me to be better,” junior Tim Callahan said, “because my friends and family are here.” Senior Michael Dioguardi seconded Callahan’s sentiments about an advantageous home. “It provides more incentive to beat the other teams,” he said. Both Dioguardi and Callahan were right in their belief that Massapequa would perform better at home. Massapequa won a large majority of the races in which it participated. Most notably, Andrew Valenski won the championship 1600 with a time of 4:23.6, and Nick DeLuna won the championship 800 with a time of 1:58.2. Many other members of the Massapequa track teams had good nights as well. Both the Texas distance medley relay and normal distance medley relay placed second. Emily Marchini finished third in the girls’ championship 1500, and Kelly Burke broke sixty seconds
Photo by Michael Esposito
Dan Varon hurdles on the track during the Under the Lights meet. in the 400. Joe Cariacolo won the long jump competition, and Tim Callahan came in third in the unseeded 1600 with a time of 4:49.2. While the night was filled with competition, a festival-like feeling was present throughout the evening, for many entertaining events, both planned and unplanned, occurred. Most notably was the Cotton Eye Joe dance off between Massapequa (led by Colleen Tomargo in her golden pants) and Uniondale. A race in which the spectators had the opportunity to see some potential future track stars also added to the festive
mood, as youngsters from the some of the local elementary schools, St. Rose and Kellenberg, took the track. While the times were not as fast as some of the earlier high school races, the people in attendance were just as entertained as the late entry, Kellenberg, won the race. The only downside to the event was the lack of attendance by non-track members, and this flaw did not go unnoticed by some of the runners. Senior Michael Dioguardi said, “I’d hope that next year it becomes more of a school event rather than a track event.”
Boys varsity volleyball has a perfect season BY ANTHONY CASSERO MANAGING EDITOR
Photo courtesy of Newsday
Brian Smith spiking the ball against his competitor from Port Washington in the Nassau Class A final at Adelphi.
Perfection is something that every team aspires for, but very few teams ever come close to achieving it. However, this season the boys volleyball team has accomplished this tremendous feat, as they navigated through the regular season with an unblemished record and won the Nassau County championship game against Port Washington held at Adelphi University. Although the team’s perfect record might be their most impressive accomplishment, their number one priority all season has been to bring a Nassau County championship back to Massapequa. “It’s not as important as winning a county championship,” captain Vinny DelGiudice said about their record. With an undefeated record it would only be human nature to take a game off against a lesser team. This is something that head Coach Mariano has guarded against and often talked to the team about. “Any top team can beat any other top team on any given day. While the expectations for this year’s team were high coming into the season, nobody expected the team to dominate the league like they have. “I expected them to play well,” Coach
Mariano said, “but they’ve [improved] faster than anyone could have expected.” This team is led by a strong senior class headed by captains Vinny DelGiudice and Brian Smith and head coach Steve Mariano. The team saw significant improvement last season, which was Coach Mariano’s first season at the helm, but this year the team has taken the difficult step from good to great. DelGiudice credited the team’s improvement to their improved passing, which is directly related to another year under the offensive minded Coach Mariano. This season has been especially sweet for the team because it finally got out of the large shadow casted by their female counter part, as the girls volleyball team has won the county championship for the past decade. “They’ve always been better and been able to say we won counties” DelGiudice said, “and we’ve never been able to say that.” This championship may be the first of many for the boys volleyball team, and this season may be the first of a dynasty. “If the kids stay dedicated and train hard,” Coach Mariano said, we should be with the elite teams for a while.”
The June 2010 issue of Massapequa High School's award-winning student newspaper publication.