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Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma wreak havoc

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Massapequa High School 4925 Merrick Road Massapequa, NY 11758


A summer vacation out of this hemisphere

Helpful school tips for new sophomores

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Athletes comment on the fall sports season

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Vol. 66 – No. 1

September 15, 2017

Debated sixth grade move proceeds as originally planned BY LAURA FRANCAVILLA & CAITLIN LE GOFF



After protests, petitions, votes and re-votes, Massapequa’s sixth graders are attending Berner Middle School this year. The Board of Education voted at their meeting on July 13 to reverse the original plan, approved in 2016, to move the sixth graders to Berner. The reversal came with mixed emotions. “… when we told [our son] the news he was quite excited to know that he would be able to stay back in Unqua,” Massapequa parent, John Reece said. “He’s had an amazing experience.” The reversal came as a shock to many, since the students had already completed all the necessary work and a moving up ceremony from their elementary schools. Some parents were looking forward to the opportunity for their children to experience clubs, sports, a foreign language and chromebooks. As a result, several parents took a stand, protesting against the reversal outside MHS. At the protests, parents expressed how emotional this experience had been for their children. “This is awful. Let them go into Berner, that’s what they were promised,” Sarah Avagnano, a parent of an incoming sixth grader, said. “They graduated and did everything they were asked, now the school’s going back on their promises. This is not fair to the kids.” Students weighed in as well. “We worked hard the whole year and graduated. Now we have to do it all over again. It’s very upsetting and hard to process,” sixth grader Olivia Avagnano said. Still others continued the fight to reverse the decision by signing petitions and attending Board of Education meetings. “By going to Berner, it’s going to give them the best possible education and prepare them the best way we possi-

6th graders for the win | Parents and students carry signs at MHS in protest of the sixth grade move reversal this summer. bly can as a school district to Commissioner’s office stating Many are overjoyed that than Unqua, but I am meeting be successful in their chosen that the only way any corre- the Board of Education was so many people and making colleges and careers,” BOE spondence could be taken into required to keep the initial new friends-just like the stuSecretary, Mr. Gary Baldinger consideration is if an official promise made by the Board dents. I think it is going to be said. petition was submitted, which of 2016 to embark on this new an amazing year.” On the other side, an- she did NOT submit. chapter. Furthermore, the elementi-move parents have stressed Ms. Elia banned the “This is my fifteenth year tary schools will be gaining the point that most sixth grad- school board from reversing as a member of the Board of new science rooms for stuers have not developed neces- the move after receiving a Education,” BOE Trustee, dents to utilize and some of sary social skills to enter mid- petition signed by over 1,000 Mrs. Maryanne Fisher said. the YMCA students will not be dle school at a young age. Massapequa parents. “And I couldn’t be more proud bused to Berner anymore for “I believe that their social “I was as surprised as of what we have accomplished the before- and after-school and emotional skills are not many,” Mrs. Iconis said. “that under the leadership of our Su- program. developed properly enough to the Commissioner weighed perintendent.” “Not only does the configput them in a position to make in on the decision to stay the In spite of the differences uration allow for educational intelligent decisions when resolution passed on July 13, within the community, what enhancement for sixth graders questions such as sex and 2017.” hasn’t been discussed is the going to Berner,” Mrs. Fishdrugs and things of that nature However, some members advantages the students are er said, “but our elementary come up, not that I’m saying of the BOE were displeased gaining, Mrs. Iconis shared. buildings also now have adBerner has drugs” BOE Presi- with her actions. The new sixth graders will ditional space to expand their dent Mr. Tim Taylor said. “... the Superintendent ... be introduced to many new educational programs.” In response to the division emailed the Commissioner of classes, such as MS (Middle Many parents agree. “They in the community, Superin- Education, requesting her in- School) 101 which introduces have so many more educationtendent Mrs. Lucille F. Iconis tervention without the approv- the new students to digital and al opportunities to branch out emailed the state education al of the board,” BOE Trustee physical organizational skills, and meet new friends at this commissioner, MaryEllen Mr. Brian Butler said. “Which conflict resolution and other age,” sixth grade parent Lisa Elia after the August 3 BOE I believe led to the state plac- relevant skills. As well, sixth Hansen said. meeting. The email was sent, ing a stay on the board’s deci- grade students at Berner will But still, not everyone is according to Mrs. Iconis, in sion.” now take language, health and happy about the change. “Our hopes that the Commissioner This led members of the Family/Consumer sciences. son was a little upset, not crycould offer some relief such Board of Education to file All current sixth grade ing or anything crazy, but he as a reduction of the required Article 78 proceedings in an teachers, plus two newly was disappointed [when he days of instruction in order effort to reverse the stay. Ac- hired, are now at the middle learned the move was taking to give the teachers time to cording to Article 78 in New school. Many of these teachers place]. We tried to explain to prepare for the return to the York State Law, an individual feel like “pioneers,” Mrs. Ico- him that he is going to be okay elementary schools. She was can file a challenge against an nis said, by moving up to the no matter where he is,” John concerned that the State Edu- administration. “The Board of middle school and introducing Reece said. cation department was being Education filed the article 78 the new curriculum. Considering that each side bombarded with a high num- against the Commissioner of “The first few days of of the debate has its own opinber of emails about the rever- Education to reverse the stay teaching at Berner have been ions, one thing is for sure— sal and that the Commissioner order she placed,” Mrs.Iconis exciting. It is a new experi- both sides are fighting for the would wonder why the Super- said. ence and it feels like I am em- the best education possible for intendent of the district had As reported in Newsday, barking on a great quest. The their kids and to keep the disnot brought an issue of great Judge Denise Hartman of Al- students have been doing a trict’s reputation untarnished, concern and controversy to her bany did not overrule the com- fantastic job and I am amazed no matter what building they attention. missioner’s stay. As a result, at how quickly they have set- learn in. Soon after sending that sixth grade students are cur- tled in,” sixth grade teacher, email, Mrs. Iconis received rently attending Berner Mid- Mr. Keith Lambert said. “Beran automated reply from the dle School. ner is a much bigger school

THE CHIEF NEWS Hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires bring devastation

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


Even as three major hurricanes, one devastating earthquake, and massive wildfires plague North America in the span of only a few weeks, the worst is yet to come. With such considerable devastation due to these various natural phenomena, billions of dollars of damage and repairs await when the dust settles in the areas affected. This unusual chain of natural phenomena began to gradually grow over the summer, but ultimately culminated at its peak of devastation on August 25, 2017. A date that will live in infamy for the millions of people, rescue crews, and cities caught in the effects of the devastating category four hurricane over Texas, Hurricane Harvey has reaped approximately $150 billion in damage over Texas. Unparalleled in its might over Texas with top-recorded winds of 132 mph and 51.88 inches of rain over several days in areas such as Port Aransas, Hurricane Harvey has resulted in at least 72 deaths and has destroyed more than 210,700 homes.

Hurricane Irma—which as of publication has already hurdled through Barbados, the Bahamas, and Florida— has left the islands in ruin and killed at least 22 people in the United States thus far. Plummeting through the Atlantic and into lower Florida with sustained winds of 185 mph, the storm has caused devastating effects. According to the Red Cross at least 1.2 million people have been affected by Irma, and a state of emergency was officially declared for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. Areas not directly on Irma’s path of destruction have felt its devastating effects as well, as many West Palm Beach residents on Florida’s east coast felt the strong winds of the storm and even lost power at 6:00 AM Sunday morning. “I’ve never experienced a storm like this in all of my 15 years living in Florida,” a Fort Myers resident posted on Facebook. “We have been without power since 4:00 P.M. [Sunday] and the worst is yet to come.” Hurricane Jose, the final of the three devastating

hurricanes once deemed as a Category 5 storm, has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm. With maximum sustained winds of 120 mph as of now, officials are hoping that the storm does not become the third major hurricane to devastate the country. As the south continues to get battered by natural forces of destruction, the Pacific Northwest remains engulfed in flames as wildfires rage on in a record-breaking season. According to the Associated Press, 9 firefighters have been killed and 35 have been injured since the beginning of 2017, as upwards of 26,000 firefighters in the west battle against the (more than) 8 million acres burned across the region. The Massapequa community can empathize with the struggles of those living in Texas and the other affected areas. Hurricane Sandy pillaged through Long Island in 2012, with winds and tides reaching levels which devastated some of the area. Similar to the response before Harvey, many Massapequans did not evacuate the area because Long Island had not seen a storm of such magnitude in the

recent past. In response to these devastating weather phenomena Massapequa is lending its support support to other parts of the country and beyond. The Massapequa Lions Club is continuing to accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief funds at the Massapequa Cop Shop on Broadway. In addition, other orginizations are hosting fundraising events to help those recovering from hurricanes in the South. For instance, the Chiefs Challenge club sold “Extra” brand gum and pretzels at Back to School Night to support relief efforts. “The three Chief Challenges clubs from Berner, Ames, and MHS really came together to raise money for Harvey,” school social worker Mrs. Waters said. “We thought the idea to go the “extra” mile to raise money by selling the gum and pretzels is importatnt for the community, especially after dealing with Sandy.” In addition to three hurricanes and widespread forest fires, a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake off the southern coast of Mexico shook cities/ towns as the strongest earthquake to hit the country in


100 years. With the death toll continually rising and currently sitting at 90 people, many inhabitants of cities such as Juchitan remain on edge with aftershocks and the crumbling structures of buildings continuing to consume the landscape of the country. More than $320 million has been donated to those damaged by Hurricane Harvey, and groups such as the Red Cross will continue to raise money for those in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Jose. National guard and first responders across the country continue to contain wildfires across the west as the season comes closer to an end, while various sources have offered aid to Mexico as they start to rebuild. Sometimes it is the worst of times in which the good in humanity truly prevails, as nation-wide donations and the aid of the National Guard (among others) have helped to start heal many of the areas affected. On the heels of Hurricane Irma and with Hurricane Jose looming by, the U.S. is keeping a close watch for the future.

MHS capstone program adds new research course BY LIAM HIGGINS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


In a never-ending pursuit to expand educational opportunities for students, Massapequa High School has recently adopted the AP Capstone Program into its curriculum. AP Capstone is a relatively new program introduced from the CollegeBoard—the organization which manages AP curricula and AP tests—and features two different courses: AP Seminar and AP Research. The aim of these two courses is to prepare students for essential college skills including higher-level writing and research. Students are able to choose subject matter in which they are interested and develop their skills through writing about and presenting their chosen interests. In both classes, students are able to choose from a host of subjects to write about. AP Seminar, which was first introduced to MHS during the 2016-2017 school year, features several components—a group component and a stimulus-based individual component, both of which involve a written essay and a presentation, as well as a written test during AP weeks in May. These three components

all factor into the AP Score, which students receive in July. This score ranges from one to five, with one meaning a “no recommendation” for credit in that particular subject and a five meaning that the student is “extremely well qualified” in the given subject. The AP Seminar course was remarkably successful at MHS with 95% of AP students receiving credit for the course, according to AP Seminar teacher Mrs. Starr. “[AP Seminar] is student centered in that they are able to choose subjects that pique their interest, formulate a focused claim, and argue points they are passionate about,” Mrs. Christine Starr said. “It is a course designed for students who are willing to explore controversial topics from different lens and perspectives with an open mind. It teaches students to get to the core of the issue and argue using credible sources.” These skills translate into AP Research as well. However, whereas the AP Seminar course focuses more on college writing skills, the AP Research course focuses more on students learning how to create and present original research. AP Research, which has begun its first classes at MHS this school year, is the continu-

‘Caps’ off to new program | The newly implemented AP Capstone Program and its classes. ation of the Capstone program to build on the skills that stu- be leaps and bounds ahead of and has, as its prerequisite, AP dents learn in AP Seminar, but their classmates in college.” Seminar. Research is more fo- it takes academic writing to a AP Research, in particular, cused on one particular subject whole new level. It allows stu- prepares students for necesthan in the case of AP Seminar. dents to choose a subject they sary college skills. Many colIn this class, each student are interested in and explore leges and universities throughchooses one subject to re- those interests while writing out the country emphasize a search throughout the entire a paper that resembles a Mas- strong commitment to research year and then writes an essay ter’s thesis along with an oral in subject matter that students more similar to a college the- defense,” AP Research teach- find interesting, so having a sis than a typical high school er, Mrs. Valerie Domenech course to prepare students to essay and creates a detailed said. “It’s an experience I real- participate in such endeavors presentation, both related to ly wish I had gotten at the high could help students not only their given topic. school level. Students who in college admissions, but in “This class is really going take AP Research are likely to their pursuits during college.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017





Sixth grade move causes controversy and concern EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Liam Higgins MANAGING EDITOR Michael Riggi SPORTS EDITOR Peter Toutoulis LAYOUT ASSISTANT Laura Francavilla ONLINE MANAGER Leah Johnston COPY EDITORS Jack Graziano Isabella Italiano EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Caitlin Le Goff GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kiera Pagano ADVISOR Elyn Coyle Massapequa High School 4925 Merrick Road Massapequa, NY 11758

Editorial Policy

The Chief, the student newspaper of Massapequa High School, is an open forum to discuss the student body’s issues and concerns. Members of The Chief will make every effort to publish following the legal definitions of libel, obscenity and invasion of privacy. Consistent with the first amendment of the United States Constitution, the staff also will refrain from printing material that may incite students, be a violation of MHS’ Student Code of Conduct or disrupt school operations. The editorial board of The Chief welcomes and encourages submitted letters, stories, cartoons and any other feedback to the editor. Please send all submissions to Letters sent by email may need to be verified by student signature before publishing. • Although anonymous letters to the editor are not printed, names will be held upon request. The Chief has the right to deny publication of any editorial, column, review or comment. • Grammatical and/or spelling corrections will be made; however, the content will not be altered. • Corrections will be printed when mistakes are found or brought to the attention of the staff. • Original stories will carry bylines, although stories rewritten by someone other than the original author will not receive a byline. Contributing writers will be listed at the end of an article. All bylined writers will be held accountable for their work. • All columns, reviews or commentary are strictly the opinion of the writer and may not represent opinions held by the school board, administration, sponsors, parents, student body or advertisers. However, all editorials reflect the viewpoint of The Chief editorial board. Distribution: 1,700 copies 1,695 students, 180 teachers All papers are free

The decision has finally been made. Berner Middle School now includes sixthgrade students. After months of decisions and reversals, it became official that this year’s sixth grade class would join the new seventh and eighth graders in the middle school. Now that the decision is finalized, it is important to look back at how the school district came to this point and to consider the feelings of people on both sides of the move. Back in early 2016, the previous school board approved the plans for the sixthgraders to enter the middle school. According to Newsday, one of the primary motives for the move was to give sixth grade students more educational opportunities, including longer school days, different types of classes, and earlier foreign language instruction. The administration began setting in place the infrastructure to allow for such a move - hiring new staff to teach the


sixth graders and making arrangements to schedules. Many parents came out in support of the move, believing it to be beneficial in advancing their children’s opportunities, but some believed the decision to be a mistake. A large number of parents feared that Berner may become overcrowded if more students were placed into the school, and this argument does not come without merit. The middle school is known for having a high student population. The administration, however, attempted to combat these fears by placing most of the sixth grade classes near each other so that there would be little need for sixth graders to roam the halls. The two camps of parents clashed often, arguing both in school board meetings and in various groups on Facebook. Despite opposition by some parents, the move seemed to be proceeding as planned. That is, until the May election of a candidate op-

posed to the move. This changed the composition of the school board, making it three members opposed to the move and two members in favor of the move. The new school board, having been sworn in, held another vote on whether to proceed with the sixth grade move. Now here is where the real mistake was made. The board reversed the decision after months of planning had gone into its execution and implementation. This decision to reverse the move was, by far, more destructive to the Massapequa School District than the initial decision of the move. The fifth graders of the 2016-2017 school year already received moving up ceremonies and graduation parties. Reversing the decision would have left these students and their parents with much confusion. Furthermore, the district had already poured a significant amount of funds and time into ensuring the move would

be as smooth as possible, not to mention the district had already hired teachers to work with the sixth graders in the middle school. Should the move not have proceeded, these teachers would have been out of a job that they had previously been promised. Not only that, but they would not have had enough time to find employment elsewhere before the start of the school year. Setting aside the conflict with staff, the reversal was also a terrible blow to the reputation of the Massapequa School District. The confusion over whether the move would happen did not paint the school district in much of a positive light, and it put the Massapequa School District at the center of attention for negative reasons. Instead of making the news for controversy, the Massapequa School District should instead make the news for its excellent academic offerings and outstanding faculty and students.

Confederate statues: remain or remove?




stay, and not to promote white Last month during a pro- supremacy, but to remember test in Charlottesville, Virgin- history. Many say that the statia, a young woman was killed ues should stay to learn from. while protesting against white supremacy. The original proWe are remindtesters, who were given a proed of our mistakes test permit, began peacefully, with both sides protesting their so that we can grow beliefs. from them. The protesters were legally voicing their opinion that the statue of Confederate Rob- We learn about history so we ert E. Lee should stay stand- don’t repeat the mistakes from ing. Virginia had been tossing the past. If we took away these stataround the idea of removing utes, it would be like trying the statue. The statue was seen by to erase the past. We should some people as a symbol of not be ignoring history and slavery and rebelling against pretending it never happened. the United States. However, Our future generations should it is historically accurate and be able to look at these and part of American history. So be prompted to think about the question is then posed– why some people tried to rebel should we remove all statues against the United States and why they supported slavery. that portray a painful past? By keeping these statIf we removed statues that commemorate the Civil ues in the public eye, we are War, which brings thoughts of reminded of our history in slavery and discrimination to America. We are reminded of our mistakes so that we can some, how can we learn? Statues are erected to pro- grow from them. Keep our statues, look mote thought and reflection, good or bad. Many left-wing at them, and think of the hissupporters say that Confed- tory. Think of how far we’ve erate statues promote white come from discrimination and supremacy, which to many slavery. And think about how America is united against all Americans is not the case. Many right wing support- hate. ers believe the statues should LAYOUT ASSISTANT


Recent weeks have seen much violence and tension across the country, and nowhere was this tension more visible than in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia. In mid-August, numerous white supremacists and Nazi-sympathizers flooded the streets of Charlottesville in protest of a recent decision by the City Council to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Considering the support of the Confederacy for the institution of slavery, it is not proper to erect monuments depicting its leaders in a heroic light.

What were supposed to be peaceful protests turned violent, as there were instances of clashes between these white supremacists and their counter-protestors. One instance even occurred where a car was driven into a crowd of people, killing a 32- year-old woman. These protests have brought new attention to the issue of Confederate statues and monuments in the South.

In no other nation are there statues commemorating individuals who took up arms in rebellion against the very same country.

Considering the support of the Confederacy for the institution of slavery, it is not proper to erect monuments depicting its leaders in a heroic light. These statues stand as a reminder to African-Americans throughout the South--and to the country as a whole--that there is still a deep prejudice in our country. Setting aside the heinous institution which these Southern leaders stood to protect, the Confederacy was a group that opposed the United States government. In no other nation are there statues commemorating individuals who took up arms in rebellion against the very same country in which they are located. Instead of promoting a hateful ideology and rebellion against the state, the government should send a message that racism and civil unrest have no place in the United States.


SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


20/20 Vision For T

20 Tips for the Class of 2020 By ‘The Chief’ staff


Once a chief always a chief


SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

The Class of 2020


Follow these 20 Tips for a great sophomore year at MHS

Tip #1: Tip #2: Tip #3: Tip #4: Tip #5: Tip #6: Tip #7:

Tip #8:

Tip #9:

Tip #10:

Tip #11:

Join clubs - Extracurriculars look great on your college transcript and are fun. Don’t procrastinate - Get work done before it’s too late. Lock your locker - You never want someone to take your belongings. Use the cyber cafe and library - They will be your best friends when doing work. Try the cart lady’s cookies - They’re definitely worth the dollar. Learn the layout and shortcuts - Make sure to explore the school when possible. Keep organized - Color coding your supplies is a great way. Keep moving in the hallway with over 1,700 students - The halls are crowded. Don’t skip breakfast - Unless you have 4th period lunch you WILL regret it. Go to school events - School sponsored events are great ways to have fun with friends and they often support charities. Put the phone down - The teacher has much more to say than your phone does.

Tip #12:

Don’t forget your lanyard - You need your lanyard to scan into the bathroom.

Tip #13:

Challenge yourself - Take some classes that may be out of your comfort zone

Tip #14: Tip #15: Tip #16: Tip #17: Tip #18:

Ask for help from teachers - They’re here to help so ask! Request a song from WMHS - You can hear your favorite song in the morning. Try new eateries - Take advantage of the many off-campus dining options. Always be on time - Show up to class as early as possible to stay on top of work. Juniors and seniors are your friends - Many are willing to help with assignments.

Tip #19:

Take each day by day - Don’t think of the school year as a whole, it’s easier to think about assignments by quarter than to stress about your overall GPA.

Tip #20:

Join ‘The Chief’ - It’s a great club and we can always use your help!

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Capes, crusaders, and more: Comic-Con 2017 recap

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017



This year’s annual San Diego Comic-Con did not fail to deliver the annual thrills, chills, and jaw-dropping moments fans wait months for every year. Whether it be panels, sneak peeks, or even crazy cosplay, Comic-Con offers something for everyone in attendance and watching from home. In a time where entertainment is at its prime, Comic-Con has become larger than ever before. Even though Comic-Con may be months old, the upcoming movies, tv shows, and more dropped at this year’s convention will be discussed for years to come. Marvel and DC Superhero giants Marvel and DC headlined this year’s event with various sneak previews and trailer releases of many highly anticipated future projects. In the battle for the silver screen, Marvel put their best effort forward and delivered on their showcase of various previews for upcoming films in the MCU. Besides teasing films such as Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018), Black Panther (2018), and Captain Marvel (2019), Marvel released an on-

Behind the mask | Web-slingers, shield-surfers and more superheroes highlighted the event. line trailer of Thor Ragnarok veal/sneak peeks of upcom- network to feature an African (2017) and a first look at the ing movies such as Shazam! American lead. much anticipated Avengers: (2019), Wonder Woman 2 20th Century Fox Infinity War (2018) for those (2019), and Flashpoint (2020) Popular film company in attendance. surprise fans, but a new trailer 20th Century Fox also headOn the smaller screen, for the highly anticipated Jus- lined the event with a new Marvel teased their upcom- tice League (2017) film was trailer of Kingsman: The ing Netflix shows including met with widespread appraise. Golden Circle (2017), which The Punisher (2017) and the Continuing on their suc- is the much anticipated sealready released Defenders cessful run at Comic-Con, quel to Kingsman: The Secret (2017), as well as shows on trailers for already existing Service (2014). Shockingly other platforms including DC shows on the CW net- excluded from the showcase Runaways (2017) on Hulu and work were previewed such as were upcoming X-Men superInhumans (2017) on broadcast The Flash Season 4, Supergirl hero universe films including television. Season 3, Arrow Season 6, and Deadpool 2 (2018), X-Men: In direct competition with Legends of Tomorrow Season The New Mutants (2018), and Marvel, DC hit hard with the 3. Additionally, the new DC X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2018). announcement of new films show Black Lightning, to be Warner Bros. and the teasing of other films premiered on the CW, was Warner Bros. not only rein the continually expanding previewed at the event, the leased a first look at the Steven DCEU. Not only did the re- first superhero show on the Spielberg science fiction film


Ready Player One (2018), but a chilling look at the upcoming Stephen King horror film It (2017) as well, which terrified the audience in attendance. Netflix Besides expanding their selection of Marvel shows, the dominating streaming service previewed dozens of other original content at the event. Specifically shining was the new “Thriller”-based trailer for the highly anticipated series, Stranger Things Season 2 (2017) along with the preview for the new original fantasy movie Bright (2017), starring Will Smith. Miscellaneous TV Shows A wide variety of other content present made 2017’s Comic-Con a success as well, including previews for shows such as The Walking Dead Season 8 (2017), American Horror Story: Cult (2017), and a new look at the anticipated CBS show Star Trek: Discovery (2017). Not only did this year’s Comic-Con build hype around a variety of new shows and movies for the end of the year, but it solidified the promise that there will be many great movies and original television shows to come in years ahead.

Spider-Man Homecoming swings into the hearts of millions BY EMILY HARRIS STAFF WRITER

ndaya, who plays Michelle—a silent yet witty girl who observes these new unfolding events that occur in Peter’s life. Throughout the film, Peter has a love interest named Liz Allan, who is in love with Spider-Man, but doesn’t know who is behind the mask. How-

ever, when Peter discovers who Liz’s family is, it becomes complicated very quickly. Many fans of Marvel Comics would have recognized the character Happy Hogan, played by Jon Favreau, who was Peter’s “bodyguard” sent by Tony Stark. Happy also starred in all three Iron

Swinging to success | Spider-Man soars over box office and review scores upon theatre release.


The new smash hit, Spider-Man: Homecoming, hit theaters on Friday, July 7, and has received a lot of feedback since its premiere. Many fans were apprehensive about the idea of another Spider-Man film, but this thrilling sci-fi motion picture lives up to Spider-Man fans high expectations. The film stars Tom Holland, who truly embraces the role of Peter Parker and shows the difficulty of balancing schoolwork and fighting crimes as Spider-man. Tom Holland had made his debut as Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War (2016), and he is scheduled to be in other upcoming Marvel blockbusters, such as Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts, is premised around the character of Peter Parker, a teenager living in New York City, who also happens to be Spider-man. Parker takes an “internship” with Stark Industries, which allows him to interact with the other members of the Avengers. Throughout the film, Parker struggles with his mentor, Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., because Iron Man

constantly treats him like a child. This updated film also starred other well-known actors and actresses. For instance, the villain is played by Michael Keaton, who continuously tries to destroy Parker for interfering with his sinister plans. The film also stars Ze-


Man films. Another familiar face in the movie was Pepper Potts, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, who was also in all three Iron Man films. Along with Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield have also played Peter Parker throughout the years. The original Spider-Man was released into theaters in 2002 and was directed by Sam Raimi. This film was given two sequels, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. In 2012, the Amazing Spider-Man was released, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and fans fell in love. Two years later, the sequel, Amazing Spider-Man 2, was released that still amazed fans. Throughout the years, there have been numerous spider-man films, but each one continues to be unique and different from the rest in their own way. Many people assumed that this film would be just another Spider-man movie, but were surprisingly mistaken when they saw it in the theaters. Given the success and praise of this new Spider-Man movie, hope remains that other movies in the franchise will be just as good.

TRAVEL Ireland, Scotland, and England in twelve days

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


ly not enough. Our first day was spent traveling the city. Something I admire about Edinburgh is how it was preserved to still look medieval. No building structures were changed, even our hotel room was in a dome shape. The second day we spent in the Edinburgh Castle. Atop a hill, this castle definitely has the best views of Edinburgh, and of course is rich with history. My favorite part was seeing the crown jewels. We were able to see ancient jewelry and crowns once used by powerful kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots. We spent the last day of Scotland exploring the highlands, but the highlight of the day was taking a boat on Loch Ness, a lake which is known for the legend of the Loch Ness monster. Sadly, we never saw Nessie. After Edinburgh, we visited Brighton, a beachtown in the south of England. There we relaxed and spent three days without worrying about tours or sightseeing. A fascinating thing about Brighton is there are small walkways, such as North Laine, full of shops and restaurants. In Brighton we spent my actual birthday, July 20, hanging around by the rocky beach and the boardwalk (and of course, eating lots of fish and chips).

Our last stop was London, England. Although this was the only city we visited that I had already been to before, it was amazing to see again. The first day was spent taking cheesy tourist pictures with red telephone booths and drinking gallons of delicious tea. However, the next day was more eventful. Luckily, my dad booked tickets to see the Buckingham Palace in advance to our trip. We were unable to take photos, but we saw beautiful state rooms, the grand staircase, and breathtaking pieces of art. After the palace, we visited the Tower Bridge and the Shard. The Shard is a very tall skyscraper with beautiful


city, but know that they could never reach it until they’re released. When standing by the edge of the island, one can sense the same dispirited feeling that hundreds of criminals saw everyday when the prison was in operation. Just a short boat ride off of the Stone Island is Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s full of cool restaurants and interesting stores that aren’t easy to come across on Long Island. There is never a dull moment at the Wharf. The first day there, an amazing Beatles cover band was performing. There were also tons of people dancing and reminiscing about their days from the 60s while listening to great music. San Francisco is a perfect vacation spot. After San Francisco, my family and I took a drive down the coast to Los Angeles. One part of the highway, there was a rock slide, so we had to detour through the mountains on twisting roads. Being the launching place of many of the rich and famous, LA was an amazing and exciting experience. Our hotel was about two

hours from the city with traffic going both ways but the drive was definitely worth it. When arriving to the city, there’s plenty to do and many celebrity hotspots to visit, such as Pink’s. There are plenty of other celebrity hotspots in Los Angeles. Another interesting attraction in LA was the Warner Brothers’ Studio Lot tour. This absolutely fantastic tour guides visitors around the sets for Pretty Little Liars, Grease Live, Gilmore Girls, and other shows are there. Nearby there is a huge building where I saw costumes and props from movies such as Wonder Woman, Harry Potter, and other films. The tour bus also travels beyond the studios where many famous shows were, and still are, being filmed. The studios where Friends, Ellen, and the Big Bang Theory are filmed are there. At the end of the tour, there is a museum where one can sit on the Friends couch and see all the Pretty Little Liars costumes and props. There are many more

things to see on the tour that change depending on what’s filming there at the time. If you’ve always wanted to get a picture of the Hollywood sign, tough luck. It’s pretty hard to get a good picture up close. There is a pretty good view from the Walk of Fame, however. Many stars are on the Walk of Fame, including Vivien Leigh and Rob Lowe. It’s also really easy to find some favorite stars’ houses that are in residential areas. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is also on the Walk of Fame. This world famous theatre is known for holding many movie premieres. When I was there, there was a movie premier for a movie called The House. There are also great places to eat, The Nice Guy is an amazing choice. It has a no-picture policy due to the fact that it is one of the biggest celebrity hotspots in LA. Another good restaurant is Gratitude, a chain of vegan restaurants located throughout cities in California. Though vegan food is their only option there is something for every-

When my parents asked me if I wanted a trip or a big party for my Sweet 16, I chose to take a trip. I could go anywhere. Where did I pick? California. On June 23, we flew into San Francisco, a very windy city next to the water. A definite highlight was Alcatraz Island. An audio tour guides visitors throughout the old prison, offering information about the history which dates back to the Civil War. My favorite part of the island was definitely seeing all the cells. They were tiny and dated, but they were considered state of the art for 1934. There is also a cell to see where three prisoners escaped using spoons and were never found. For people who like sports, there is a recreation yard. However, it’s not as interesting as it would seem. It’s very overgrown with weeds, and the stairs leading up to it are steep and nerve-wracking. They say that the prison was placed where it is so that the prisoners could see the

views of London, though we were unable to go to the top. We also visited Shakespeare’s Globe, but unfortunately, we never booked tickets to see a show. I’d definitely plan that ahead if I were visiting again. The rest of the day was well spent figuring out the Tube (underground railroads) and drinking more tea of course. Leaving Europe was bittersweet. Bitter, because it was one of the best experience of my life that I didn’t want to end, and sweet, because I missed my home (mostly my dog and my bed). I’m very thankful that I was able to travel Ireland and the U.K. and of course, I hope to go back one day.

Grass and mountains for miles | Taking in the beautiful view.

A trip down the golden coast of California BY LAURA FRANCAVILLA



My 16th birthday will always be one of the best memories I can look back on. Why? I was given the opportunity to spend it in Europe. I got tremendously lucky and was able to spend an amazing 12 days in July hopping through Ireland, Scotland, and England. Only a six and a half hour plane ride from New York and we were in our first stop, Dublin, Ireland. I’ve always been told that Ireland is the home of many kind and happy people. I can attest to fact I’ve never been treated so nicely anywhere else. A deep contrast from New York, the first thing I noticed was the patience and friendliness of the Irish ‘lads’ I encountered. I can certainly say that of all four locations I visited, we were treated the best in Ireland. We only had three days in each location, so I wasn’t able to see all of Ireland in this one trip. On the first day, we walked around the Temple Bar area for a little bit, but it was so packed with tourists. I definitely wouldn’t recommend going there; it’s just a plain waste of time. The next day, however, was way more eventful. We first visited the Dublin Castle, which was absolutely stunning and rich with history.

The walls were engraved with detailed gold embellishments and held beautiful portraits each with a different story. Even the ceilings held paintings and designs. After that we went to the Guinness Beer Factory, which is one of the most popular attractions in Dublin. Something I noticed that you don’t see here in America is how young all the workers were; the drinking age in Ireland is only 18! My favorite part of the day was going to Trinity College. We first only visited the college to see the famous Book of Kells. The book was displayed in a small room behind glass, full of celtic designs and ancient art. After this room was a beautiful, historic library that I will never forget. Two levels full of books that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. I felt as if I were in Harry Potter or Beauty and the Beast, being transported back in time. The next, and last, day of Ireland consisted of a tour to the Irish countryside. We saw the famous green rolling hills full of cows, sheep, and many other animals, as well as the Cliffs of Moher, a beautiful sight to see if you wish to visit Ireland. After Ireland was, of course, Scotland. Three days in Edinburgh was certain-


one. Original vegan dishes paired with the fun menu item names, like the “Cool” for the mint shake, make this restaurant truly one of a kind. We didn’t do much in San Diego. The San Diego Zoo was one of the best zoos I’ve ever been to, with different animals than New York zoos. To finish off our trip, we went to Disneyland. My family and I are huge Disney people so this was one of the best parts of the trip. It’s much smaller than Disney World in Florida but the wait times are much shorter. Disneyland uses the old fastpass system, the firstcome-first-serve time slot. If you happen to go, keep an eye for celebrities. Jamie Foxx was about 10 feet in front of me! Disneyland was a great way to end a perfect vacation, and should be part of anyone’s trip. California was an amazing trip and I plan to go back soon. This was a very memorable trip for me and my entire family.

SPORTS Key varsity players speak about fall sports season SEPTEMBER 15, 2017



Jake Bresnihan Boys Soccer

Andrew Codispodo Boys Golf

Timothy Drake Boys Volleyball

Alyssa Germaine Girls Tennis

“I am optimistic and excited for the beginning of the season. The Massapequa Varsity Soccer Team has a bright outlook on their upcoming season, hopefully ending with a county championship we missed out on last year.”

“This 2017 season has started off with a bang. We came out of our first two matches with two wins. We hope to make it to counties as a team and as individuals. The team keeps grinding as we try to reach and achieve our goal. It is going to be a great season!”

“I think we’ll be good this year because we have a lot of returning players and a good all around team connection. I’m looking forward to play my last season as a chief.”

“I think the upcoming season is going to be very interesting we’re going to be getting a lot of new players and we’ll fare just fine and I do think we have a lot of positive opportunities for our upcoming matches and maybe even playoffs.”

William Kleemann Boys Cross Country

Toni Lippolt Girls Volleyball

Deb Lobaccaro Cheerleading

James McGarrity Football

“I think that this will be a great team. With the combined effort of some of the best runners I know, I believe we have a chance as County Champions. I hope that this will be a very memorable season for all of us.”

“We are extremely excited for this upcoming season! Our team is planning on working diligently to continue our success. We’re looking forward to another great year!”

“Many new, talented girls bring energy to the team. There’s so much potential for a successful season, and although I’m sad it’s my last year, I’m excited to see what this season and team will bring.”

“I think we’ll be successful this year because we have a ton of experience and great leadership. We have a great mix of returning guys and determined players from JV. The team’s very close; it’s like having 55 brothers and being tight-knit will help us on and off the field.”

Haylee Poltorak Girls Soccer

Jenna Pulis Girls Cross Country

Ella Schnee Girls Swim

Jamie Verity Field Hockey

“I’m excited to play my last year of high school soccer before I head off to college. I’m looking forward to playing with the returning players as well as the incoming juniors. I hope we can come together as a team and win a state championship this year!

“I’m most looking forward to seeing where our training takes us. Since we always work together it is a big goal of ours to win a county championship. With our training it is quite possible we will have our whole team standing on stage.”

“For this season I think that we have a lot of strong swimmers who bring different and amazing things to the table. We have a really good chance again to be top of our conference; it’ll take a lot of hard work and dedication but I really do believe we have what it takes.”

“Losing counties last year was devastating but I feel that the team is using that as an extra motivation for this season. Being the last year for the seniors we are looking to end on a high note and take back the county title and possibly advance to the state final.”

September 2017  

The September 2017 issue of Massapequa High School's award-winning student newspaper publication features various reviews on new movies, an...

September 2017  

The September 2017 issue of Massapequa High School's award-winning student newspaper publication features various reviews on new movies, an...